Physiotherapy can help you in recovery from acute injury, manage issues that have been chronic or persistent, help prevent injury in the future and maintain function. No matter what your goals or issues are – it is important to be an active participant in your care to ensure the best possible results.
Here are some ways to ensure that your experience with Physiotherapy provides you with the best results possible:
1. Find the Right Practitioner for You
Do some research and speak with neighbours, friends and co-workers who have had treatment and ask what their experience with Physio was like. Physiotherapists have different skill sets and methods of practice – if you have had Physio in the past that has only put heat on you that may not be your best choice. If the person you are speaking with did not have a positive experience ask why? Were they an active participant in the process? Other things to ask would be how much time does the Physio spend with a patient? Do they use a Physio Assistant in part or most of their treatment? Has the Physiotherapist done any continuing education courses? BEWARE of searching for the best deal – a FREE assessment may be too good to be true…would you work for free?
2. Set Goals
In your initial contact with your Physiotherapist you will / should discuss what your goals
are. This helps the Physio tailor their treatment to you and your goals. Is your goal to simply be pain free? Is it to be able to walk 18 holes of a golf course after a knee replacement surgery? Is it to prevent injury or time away from a sport or activity you love? Being clear with your goals helps your Physiotherapist ensure your expectations are reasonable and work with you towards your goals.
3. Communication is Key
Communicating your goals and expectations to the Physiotherapist is an important part of the process. It is important to continue the communication throughout your treatment(s) regarding comfort level with techniques being used, activities that increase or decrease pain, changes in health status etc. How is your pain or issue affecting your daily activities and work? Your treatment is a fluid entity dependent on many factors. Also important is to ask questions if you do not understand something or why a treatment method is being chosen.
4. Be an Active Participant
After expressing your goals and during treatment, your Physiotherapist will do their best to ensure your treatment plan is tailored specifically to you. Part of your treatment may be manual therapy based but a large factor in your treatment is what you do (or don’t do) at home and in your daily life. Based on what your issue is you may be given stretches to do, strengthening exercises and positions or activities you should avoid. It is important to be an active participant in your treatment in order to achieve your goals.
5. Physiotherapy is a Process
Whatever your reason for seeking out Physiotherapy – change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for tissues to heal, our muscles to get stronger and to learn motor patterns. These changes also take consistent work from you at home. Your Physio will direct you regarding what is appropriate for home exercises and in how to progress to safely work towards your goals. Remember if your issue has been a result of de-conditioning or faulty postures / movement patterns it takes time to reverse that. People may be tempted to stop attending after their pain decreases. This is only part of the picture – it is likely beneficial to continue a little while longer to ensure your goals are met for the short term as well as the long term.
At Palermo Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre in Oakville, we are focused on your individual needs and working together with you to help you achieve your goals. Contact us if you have any questions regarding our practice and if you would like to book an appointment with our Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists or Chiropodist (foot care specialist).