5 things to do to ensure you get the best results from your physiotherapy
Physiotherapists are expertly trained in the musculoskeletal structure of the human body and its movement and recovery. Your physio is trained in the assessment, diagnosis, planning and management of your care, they are unfortunately not miracle workers. This means that while your physio is capable of assessing and treating your injury or condition, recovery and rehabilitation can take time and is also dependant on the energy and dedication you put into becoming pain free. Most physiotherapists I know entered the industry because they want to help people and a large part of that is helping our patients to look after themselves and actively engage in activities and exercises to help prevent injury and condition flare-ups in the future. Ultimately it is you who holds the key to your recovery and long-term physical wellbeing. By working closely with your physio and dedicating a positive and engaged attitude to your physiotherapy treatment you will go a long way to achieving your goals in no time at all.
Whatever your injury or condition, the secret to physiotherapy is that you get out what you put in. Below are the 5 tips I can give on how you can get the most out of your physiotherapy treatment at Lane Cove Physio.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT PHYSIO
Choosing the right physiotherapist for your condition or injury is the first step to becoming pain free and is hard despite the growing number of physiotherapists on the Lower North Shore. Like other health professions, physiotherapists have a vast array of areas of expertise and experience. All practitioners must be highly educated and officially registered to practice with the governing body, adhering to strict standards of service, but practice areas are vast. Working out which physiotherapist can treat your specific condition requires more than simply typing it in to Google.
Did you know that only 5% of registered physiotherapists hold the rank of APA Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist? Even less rise to become a Specialist Sports Physiotherapist. If you think of a regular physiotherapist as a GP, a Titled Physiotherapist or Specialist Sports Physio is the equivalent of a specialist. Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists are experts in the treatment of muscular and joint conditions. They have a comprehensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, injury assessment and utilise up to date evidence based approaches to treating spinal and joint injuries. Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists are the experts in assessing the structures, contributing factors and mechanics causing your pain.
- SET AT LEAST 1 GOAL WITH YOUR PHYSIO
The positive effects of goal setting on achievement, wellbeing, motivation and performance have been studied and proven by science for a long time now. Setting a personal challenge or a goal gives you something tangible to work towards and achieve. Plus, it’s always satisfying to be able to look at a written goal and cross it out as achieved!
When setting yourself a goal, focus on where you are now and discuss with your physio the expectations in order to set a goal that is achievable but will push you as well, goals weren’t meant to be easy. Your goal could be to go for a run or a surf without pain, it could simply be walking by yourself unassisted. The important part is that it’s your goal, it is tangible and it’s achievable. It is important to work with your physiotherapist goal achieving plan that works for you, be sure to tell your physiotherapist if there are any changes or if something isn’t working.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK
I never liked homework at school, and I don’t know many people who did, but failing to complete the homework your physio gives you is going to hurt a lot more than not doing your maths homework. It’s difficult sometimes to have clients say they want to improve their condition, yet fail to complete their rehabilitation exercises at home. We can only spend a short period of time with you at the clinic; the rest of the work has to be done by you. By failing to complete your treatment plan exercises at home, you are prolonging your recovery and potentially causing further pain. Your physio will write down your exercises, going through them with you in the clinic so you can use the correct technique and tempo. It usually only takes 30 minutes a day to complete the exercises, don’t add months of recovery by not doing them.
- ASK YOUR PHYSIO QUESTIONS
I know it can be hard, especially during initial sessions to take in absolutely everything we’re going through and some of the exercises may be difficult to remember. We can get carried away explaining everything to you and going through all the exercises, so just ask if there’s anything you’re unsure about. We actually love questions because we’re genuinely invested in your treatment too. Your physio is here to work with you as a team during treatment working towards the same goal. For instance you might be confused as to why you were given an exercise for your hip when your pain is actually in your foot. As your physio, we know why, and we’re more than happy to explain the ins and outs.
- THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Out of all the parts of the human body, the brain is easily the most mysterious and complex. The power of positive thinking is much more than a New Age fad, current research has actually shown how positive thinking in itself can have a significant effect on healing. A Canadian Medical Association Journal study showed that patients with the belief that they would recover well after surgery experienced less pain and faster recovery than those who were anxious or pessimistic about recovery.
If you would like to know more about the range of physiotherapy treatments we offer or to book an appointment call us on (02) 9428 5772, email [email protected] or drop in to see us at the corner of Longueville Rd and River Rd West, Lane Cove NSW 2066.
 Role of Goal Orientation, Ability, Need for Achievement, and Locus of Control in the Self-Efficacy and Goal-Setting Process. Journal of Applied Psychology Copyright 1997 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
1997, Vol. 82, No. 5, 792-802
 Mondloch MV, Cole DC, Frank JW. Does how you do depend on how you think you’ll do? A systemic review of the evidence for a relation between patients’ recovery expectations and health outcomes. CMAJ 2001;165(2):174-9.