If you’ve never had physiotherapy before, or have had a bad experience in the past, it can be daunting to take that first step through the door. You may be concerned about what’s in store: Will it hurt? Will it work? Could it do more harm than good?
Rest assured that done properly physiotherapy is a very collaborative form of treatment, in which you’ll be part of the process every step of the way.
What happens during a physiotherapy session?
Prior to your first session, we advise you arrive 5-10 minutes earlier than scheduled to complete registration. Usually, your physiotherapy sessions will last between 45 minutes to an hour. What they are comprised of will depend on your condition, the information you give your physiotherapist and the progress you make.
The Subjective Assessment
The majority of your first session will be a discussion to find out about you and your condition. This part of the session is called the ‘subjective assessment’.
Typical questions that are asked include:
- Origin of the condition: How long have you had the condition for, how did it start, was it an accident or injury or long-term strain?
- Have you already seen a practitioner?
- What makes it better, what makes it worse?
- How does it affect your daily life?
- What are your work and hobbies (which might be impacted by injury).
Your physiotherapist will take into account your medical history to examine if your current condition could possibly link to an existing condition. Collating all of this information is necessary to ensure that the advice our physiotherapist gives you is safe and will help to devise a hypothesis for the injury. This will also help you both to determine your goals and expectations for treatment.
The Objective Assessment
The next step is to physically assess your injury, this is known as the ‘objective assessment’. Here, you will be asked to perform a series of movements which will demonstrate where you may have stiffness or discomfort. This assessment helps confirm the injury hypothesis made in the subjective assessment.
The combination of the two assessments will aid in ruling out anything more worrying, or give the physiotherapist grounds to refer you to an expert.
If there is time at the end of this session, you may be given some treatment, or exercises to do at home. Your physiotherapist will explain what the aim of this treatment is, and what you should hope to achieve from it. If you have exercises to do, we will show you how to do them and give an information sheet to guide you when you’re doing them at home.
Your next session will begin with a discussion to find out:
- How you have been since the last appointment,
- If there have been any changes in the condition,
- And, if you were given exercises, how you have found them.
Your physiotherapist will conduct another objective assessment, checking for any changes since your last appointment. If you were given treatment at your first appointment the physiotherapist will use this assessment to determine if this needs to be changed. If you were given exercises, for example, these may be progressed or changed depending on the results.
You’ll be instructed what to do and given a printout to support you when you’re at home.
Follow up sessions
Your physiotherapist will re-assess your condition during each session and you will decide together whether you need a follow up appointment, as well as, if it’s safe to continue treatment yourself or if you have recovered.
For an optimal recovery, you may require 2-3 sessions per week.
As you improve throughout treatment you may be given additional exercises, or you may be able to stop them altogether.
You won’t be discharged from treatment until you are confident that you can either continue treatment on your own, or have recovered from your injury. Recovery from some conditions, such as ACL surgery, will take a long time, but with most conditions people find that they are able to finish physiotherapy treatment in five sessions or less.
Our care does not stop once you’ve been discharged. We strive to achieve long lasting and sustainable results through continuous patient education and ongoing patient involvement.
2 weeks to a month after your completed program, you can expect a review session. Our physiotherapists will assess your progress since discharge and revise prescribed exercise to sustain or advance your recovery.
Depending on the nature of your condition and general health profile, subsequent sessions may occur on a monthly basis to ensure our results are maintained.
Top tips for successful physiotherapy treatment
- Communication is key. It’s important to inform your physiotherapist fully, and to listen to their advice.
- Be active in your treatment – ensure that you are disciplined about doing the exercises and actions as prescribed. It’s like making sure you take your medication, if you don’t take it, you won’t get better.
- Listen to your body. If it starts to hurt too much, it’s your body telling you you’ve gone too far.
Make your first appoint with us by filling out our inquiry form or call us at +60 12 2202 569.