How will my Physiotherapist Treat me?

Many of my new clients believe at physiotherapy is synonymous with ‘hands-on’ treatment, usually along the lines of massage or maybe some ‘manipulation’. 

In recent years, with an emphasis shift towards exercise-based treatment, many of my clients now expect to be prescribed exercises as part of their treatment. If the prescription of exercises is viewed positively by my client, I am encouraged that my client will be committed to doing them!

In clinical practice, we have many techniques available, some with more ‘evidence’ of effectiveness and efficacy than others. An experienced physiotherapist will know which techniques to choose and when, depending on the client’s presentation. 

Proper evidence-based practice considers the research, the preferences of the client and the physiotherapist’s experience in applying the techniques.

physio 1778034 640Here is a list of some of the physiotherapy techniques used in a clinical setting:

  • Pain management counselling and education with an emphasis on relevant psychosocial factors.
  • Manual therapy, including joint and soft tissue mobilisation and manipulation for pain management, improves mobility and function.
  • Therapeutic exercises for pain management, to improve mobility, strength and function.
  • Electrotherapies such as low-level laser therapy and extracorporeal shock wave therapy for pain management and to promote tissue healing and repair.
  • Medical acupuncture (including dry needling) for pain management, to deactivate myofascial trigger points and normalise muscle tone.

In my view, the more techniques a physiotherapist has at his or her disposal, the better. Having more ‘tools in the toolbox’ allows for greater flexibility and creativity in treatment. 

In a private practice setting, we are fortunate as we are generally able to apply a greater range of techniques.

Our clients want to get better as quickly as possible; our job is to combine skills and techniques to produce 'healing alchemy'—such alchemy usually cannot be fully replicated outside the clinic setting.

By Simon Coghlan MSc, BSc, DipMedAc

Chartered Physiotherapist & Practice Principal


Image by Cedric Clooth from Pixabay

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