Heading to a physiotherapist for the very first time can be pretty nerve-racking, even if you have a simple injury or concern that you know will be easy to treat. Not knowing what to expect is a sure way to get your worries turning and to make you feel slightly on edge before heading to your local physio, and if you’re reading this and resonating strongly then you’ve come to precisely the right place. Here’s what you can expect when you start your physiotherapy treatment, with a few methods and care insights along the way to help you on your road to a speedy and simple recovery.
An In-depth Discussion
First things first, as with most appointments with most professionals, you will have an in-depth discussion regarding what your issues are and what brought you to seek treatment. If you have a clear injury or you’re recovering from or preparing for surgery then this will be briefer as the motive is easy to identify. Your physio will chat with you to get an understanding of your overall health, lifestyle, concerns, limitations, and goals before anything else happens. This is one of the most significant benefits of going to physiotherapy, your treatment is tailored exactly to yourself and your unique requirements.
Next, the physio is going to determine what’s wrong with you, if you don’t know already. You may have found yourself at physiotherapy after a doctor’s referral or you may have sought out treatment yourself, either way, your professional will want to disclose their informed conclusions. This will help to set the tone of your session and your subsequent treatment, so it will never be skimmed over.
Looking for the Cause
One of the definers of physiotherapy is that it’s a holistic approach to a problem, it looks at healing the body as a whole to restore mobility, health and eradicate injuries. With this in mind, your physio will likely look to find the cause of your pain, discomfort, injury or limitation. They will take many different elements into account including your day to day lifestyle, activity levels, health, diet, and flexibility – to name a few! These will all help them to effectively treat you and your concerns, instead of just slapping plaster on the problem and calling it a day!
Once the diagnosis and the cause are effectively determined, you will be presented with a recommended schedule to follow. Treatment is not done in a day, in fact, for many different patients, it can be a lifelong commitment to better health. Your physio will outline their recommended treatment process for you.
Whether it’s your very first session or you’ve been going for years and years, chances are, you’re going to leave physiotherapy with a little homework to get stuck into. At-home exercises are a big part of maintaining health and contributing to treatment when you’re not in a session, so you’ll need to get comfortable with committing a few moments a week to your wellbeing. This can include stretches, exercises or physical activity, no matter what your concern might be, you’ll likely be asked to do at least one form of take-home exercise.
With a mapped-out schedule comes mapped out payments. You should ask for a cost breakdown to effectively understand how you can best afford the care that you need. Remember that your health is your biggest asset, so you’ll need to be willing to pay for it to keep yourself active, limber and healthy for a long time to come.
What Treatment Should You Expect?
A physio will use a myriad of different treatments, depending on what your injury or concern is. They will likely practice heat and ice therapy, dry needling, Pilates, stretching, strength-building exercises and massage as a means to treat you holistically. Some physiotherapists will be able to use advanced technologies such as the state of art AlterG treadmill to alter your mass whilst running or ultrasound to target specific muscles, both of which are highly effective for sports-related injuries or surgery recovery.
By now, you should be ready to book that appointment and get started!