How We Treat
If you’ve never received physiotherapy before, you may be wondering what is involved and how physiotherapy can actually help your problem. Many people think physiotherapy is purely about exercise, or have a picture of someone running onto a football pitch with a “magic sponge”, but in reality physiotherapists are highly skilled medical professionals with a wide array of skills that they will tailor to your individual problem.
At Alfreton Physiotherapy we follow a clear process with all our patients that has been shown to optimise our success rates and help you to recover as quickly as possible. There are 4 key stages to our approach:-
- Plan of Action
- Discharge and Aftercare
When you first attend for a physiotherapy assessment, the bulk of the first appointment will be taken up by the assessment process. The assessment is incredibly important, because without a thorough examination and analysis of your problem, any treatment that follows will be doomed to failure. Initially the physiotherapist will ask you a number of questions concerning your symptoms, the history of the problem and how the problem is affecting your life. Once the physio has a good idea of the nature of your particular problem, they will then decide what physical tests need to be undertaken to try and establish a diagnosis and to also decide what treatment approach is most likely to help.
Don’t be surprised if we need to look at parts of your body that you may think are unconnected to your problem. For example it is common for someone with elbow pain to need their shoulder, neck and upper back examined, as all of these areas can be involved in producing pain around the elbow.
Once the physical examination is completed, we reach the next stage of the process:-
Plan of Action
At this point the physiotherapist will discuss their findings and suggest their recommended plan of action. This will include the number of treatment sessions that you may need; the type of treatment that could be provided at the clinic; what you can do to help yourself and an estimation of the likely success rate and overall prognosis. The treatment plan will be fully individualised to your individual symptoms and circumstances, and will be discussed with you to ensure that you are happy with all aspects of the recommended course of action.
If following the assessment we do not feel physiotherapy is appropriate, we will let you know why and what the best alternative course of action is. This could mean that we liase with your GP, recommend that you need to see a Consultant or different type of therapist, or recommend that you require further investigations such as an MRI scan or X-Rays prior to physiotherapy starting.
Finally it is the clinic’s policy that whenever possible, we like to start your treatment programme off on your first visit, and therefore it is extremely rare that we will only do an assessment and offer no actual treatment on your first visit. If you decide to follow the treatment plan, the physiotherapist will arrange your next appointment at your convenience.
We use a variety of effective treatments at the clinic, and the physiotherapist will probably select a combination of approaches to try and help you as quickly as possible. A selection of potential treatment methods is listed below:-
- Manual Therapy – Manipulation, Mobilisation Techniques
- Exercise – Individualised exercises to strengthen, stretch or stabilise, including “gym-ball” exercises
- Acupuncture (Currently available on a private basis only)
- Electrotherapy – Ultrasound, Interferential, TENS
- And last but not least ADVICE – lots of good advice regarding how best to manage your problem.
Once your treatment is successfully completed, we will advise you on any further home exercises that you might need, and advise you on preventative measures you can take to try and avoid a recurrence of your problem. If physiotherapy has not been successful, we will discuss what other options may be most appropriate and will liaise with your GP or Consultant. With your permission it is the clinics policy to provide a full report of your treatment to your GP or Consultant within 48 hours, in order that they can be kept updated with your progress and our recommendations.