....Is managing client expectations, most definitely.
Most of my clients of course want and expect a quick fix, one maybe two treatment sessions.
This may be possible when treating an injury or pain complaint which is fairly fresh, perhaps having been causing physical problems for up to a week or two. If we are able to start treatment early, give the correct advice, the correct exercises as well as using other techniques which help pain relief, healing and repair, a quick resolution is normally possible.
Sit on a low back pain problem for eight months, try various medications prescribed by your GP, maybe have a couple of irrelevant scans and then come in to us for treatment....this is a different story.
Our aim is always to get our clients better as quickly as possible, however in this scenario and others like it, physiotherapy treatment has been shown to be effective but takes time, usually around 6-8 sessions, but sometimes more. The effects of treatment are cumulative, pain relief and improved function normally occurs gradually as the body heals and the nervous system starts to wind down.
It’s very satisfying to work with a motivated client who commits to a course of treatment, gets better and is delighted when we discharge them to look after themselves with all the best knowledge we can provide.
What can be very unsatisfying is when, despite best our efforts, our clients' expectations don’t match with what volumes of scientific literature suggest is a realistic time frame and treatment comes to a premature end often due to impatience and frustration. Having already invested time and money in a course of treatment, it’s a shame when we aren't given the opportunity to complete it.
Thankfully cases such as these are fairly rare in the clinic, but when the do occur, we often get quite upset....why?....because if our client has already tried many other forms of treatment it is very likely he or she will go on to develop chronic pain which may never settle and have a severely negative impact on their quality of lives.
When investing in your health, sometimes it can take some time to see a return. Let us help you, trust in the process and please give it some time. When you are enjoying that round of golf again and still pain free a year later, you’d be glad you did.