What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a recognised medical profession which works to restore the normal movement of the body. Whether due to ageing, injury, disease, or postural change our muscles, joints and supporting structures can become painful. When pain occurs this creates abnormal movement. The unique skills of a Physiotherapist are able to promote healing and restore normal movement.

The specialised skills of a Physiotherapist use assessment techniques to provide a diagnosis, creating a treatment plan to ensure you get back to health and fitness as soon as possible, achieving your goals.

What happens during an assessment?

A Physiotherapy assessment can last anywhere from 45 minutes up to one hour, depending on your condition.

Your Physiotherapist will need to examine the painful area; this usually requires you to undertake some movement tests. Dependent on the area affected you may be asked to undress, so it is advisable to bring shorts and a t-shirt with you.

For ladies with neck or shoulder pain we would recommend you wear a vest top or similar. For patients with longer hair, it is helpful to tie up your hair during the assessment, as this will enable your therapist to look closely at your neck movements.

Can I bring a chaperone or ask to see a female or male therapist?

Yes, please inform us when you book your appointment and we can make the necessary arrangements for you.

I am currently taking pain medication, can I take it before my assessment?

If you are taking pain relieving medication, do not feel it is necessary to stop taking it prior to your assessment. Your Physiotherapist will be able to diagnose your problem using their clinical assessment skills. We always prefer your pain to be under control.

At the end of your assessment your Physiotherapist will discuss their findings, often using models of joints to explain. A treatment plan will be suggested which could include home management strategies such as exercises or stretches. Your treatment may include ‘hands-on’ techniques to restore movement of stiff painful joints. This may include joint mobilisation, manipulation trigger point release or stretching.

Many Physiotherapists use additional skills such as Taping, Acupuncture or Electrotherapy to help with pain management. It is usual for your therapist to discuss treatment options and give you the opportunity to ask questions.

At the end of the assessment if the therapist has time, they may begin some treatment or show you self-management exercises to begin your treatment.

How will I feel after the assessment or treatment?

It is usual to feel a little sore after an assessment or treatment session. Your symptoms may feel slightly worse but this is quite normal so do not worry. This will only last for a short period of time. If this does happen it is advisable to take pain relieving medication to help settle your discomfort. Try to rest where possible as increased activity may make your symptoms worse. Applying an ice pack can often help.

Most patients usually feel an increase in their symptoms for a short period of time (up to 24 hours) this is dependent on you condition. Should your symptoms not return to your ‘normal’ pain level after 24 hours it is advisable to contact your therapist.

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