As a Physio, I talk to a lot of people about one thing or another during treatment (I confess, I am quite chatty) and occasionally the topic of previous physio experiences pops up or fears of what is in store for them during treatment etc etc! I wanted this blog to clear up a couple of concerns that people often have which may stop them from contacting us for advice.
Physiotherapy treatment hurts
Ok so..this isn’t entirely a myth but Physio certainly isn’t always painful and it entirely depends on:
The person in question (i.e. pain tolerances)
The chronicity of the injury (i.e. how long you have had the issue). If the injury is acute, we tend to avoid over stimulation as it will likely make the pain and inflammation worse. If someone has been suffering with pain for a long time, we also have to be cautious as firm pressure can overstimulate a sensitive nervous system and result in worsening of symptoms.
The amount of pressure/pain really does depend on the type of injury and the person so this will need to be gauged by your physio. I often hear the phrase ‘No pain, no gain’ which is often true (in one way or another) but we still have our limits.
If the Physio is doing a treatment you don’t understand or it is hurting, make sure to ask them about it so they can explain why it is necessary and what it is doing to help you with your pain or of course to ease up if it is too sore.
“The last Physio I went to didn’t even touch me!”
Well…..I can’t speak for an individual physio’s reasoning and judgement and of course this will depend on the situation, however, in order to offer a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan (even if we need to refer you on) we need to assess thoroughly which 99.9% of the time will require the physio to use their hands, even if just for simple tests!
If you want to discuss the assessment process before you go and see your Physio just give them a call.
I thought Physios just gave out exercises?
I get this a lot! As Physios, our job is to figure out what is causing your pain and how best to manage it, whether this be manual therapy, exercise, activity modification, weight loss etc. I am a little biased as I am a keen believer in Manual therapy and therefore incorporate hands on treatment whenever it is necessary (which is a large majority of the time).
Some Physios do less or no hands on treatment (which is entirely up to them and may in part be due to preference or time constraints). This isn’t to say exercise prescription isn’t effective, because quite simply it is, and again a staple part of most treatments.
If you are in any way apprehensive about going to Physio’s, whether it be relating to how we assess you, what we treat and/or how we treat, it is always a good plan to have a brief discussion with the physio on the phone and ask them to explain the process.