What should I expect to happen at my initial physio appointment? During the initial physio appointment assessments take place to figure out why you are getting your symptoms. Both a history (known as a subjective assessment) and hands-on tests (known as objective assessments) are used to come to a diagnosis from which treatments and a prognosis can be delivered. The aim of the initial session is to figure out why you are getting the symptoms you are.
What should I expect to happen at my follow-up physio appointments? A brief assessment of your markers as identified by the initial assessment are re-evaluated, so not a full assessment as initially but the tests that flagged in the initial assessment. These are known as markers and are used to monitor your progression. Further treatment is then given in these follow-up sessions.
What can I expect to happen during physio treatment? Depending upon your individual diagnosis and circumstances a range of treatments will be advised. These may include passive treatments such as soft tissue, joint mobilisations, dry needling, acupuncture, stretching, tractions or active treatments such as education, exercises, trigger pointing and self mobilising.
To what level will I need to get undressed during the physio appointment? When assessing an area it is key to both visualise and to feel the area. This is done to see any malalignment (such as poor foot posture, hyperextended knees, rotated hips/pelvis’s/spines and shoulder positions) and to feel (palpate) muscle tightnesses and joint stiffnesses that could be contributing to these malalignments. For example, during an assessment in the back pain clinic you may be asked to remove your shirt so that your back can be observed and felt. For this reason it would be helpful to bring clothing that exposes the area such as shorts/vest.
Prior to objectively assessing an area the assessment will be discussed with you and consent obtained. Should you not be comfortable with any of the assessments please do highlight this. Consent to assess and treat can be withdrawn at any time.
Do you treat children? Yes. Children do not have a fully matured musculoskeletal system (until about 21!) so they present with their own issues that can differ from adults. When contacting (link) to make an appointment it will be briefly discussed with you to see if an appointment is appropriate. All children must be accompanied by an adult to all physio appointments including follow-up appointments.
How many physio sessions will I need? How long is a piece of string?! This very much depends on your diagnosis and prognosis. As a part of the initial assessment your current status will be identified and your goals discussed. For example if you have torn your hamstring you may not be currently playing football, your goal may be to return to football. If it is a fascial hami tear this can be as quick as 7-10 days, if it is a musculotendinous hami tear this can be 3.5-8 weeks, if it is an intratendonous tear it could be 6-12 weeks and if it requires surgery it could be 3.5+ months.