Physiotherapy Treatment – What to expect on your first visit.
If you have never had Physiotherapy treatment before you may be surprised to learn that it is not like going to the doctors!
Firstly your appointment is either a half to a full hour.
We will start by taking a detailed history regarding your current symptoms and any aches or pains that you have had in the past that could be contributing to the current symptoms. We will ask about your general health, any medications that you may be taking and about your activity levels, what you do for a living and what you do in your spare time.
We would then take written consent to confirm that you are happy to be assessed and touched. Clothing is removed, usually down to your underwear bottom or top half, to expose the relevant area.
The examination starts with looking at your posture and maybe some functional tasks such as walking or moving from sitting to standing. Then moves on to looking at the range of movement of the affected area, for example, for a neck assessment you would be asked to look down, look up, look one way over your shoulder then the other, whilst we will be observing for signs of stiffness or tightness and the quality and quantity of pain free movement. Signs of abnormal movement or compensatory behaviours are noted, allowing us to build up a picture of what your body finds difficult to do and how best to relieve that tension.
Following this we will look at strength. This can detect any muscle injury, tendinopathies, weakness or over activity. If a neurological examination is required due to suspected nerve injury, this will follow on from muscle testing to include include testing your sensation to light touch and your reflexes.
You will then be asked to lay down on the bed either on your back or front on a special treatment couch that has a breathing hole if you are laying on your front. The joints are assessed for inter-joint play, stiffness and for muscle stiffness or spasm.
For a women’s health assessment we will start by checking how you breathe in different functional positions, whether you are allowing the diaphragm to descend normally. The abdomen is palpated for any signs of visceral organ tightness, either from adhesions following surgery or postural changes. If you are post natal your tummy muscles will be checked to assess if they have come back together following childbirth. Further tests such as head and neck or alternate leg lifts will test the strength and integrity of your core stability muscles. Most of this is done laying on your back.
An internal pelvic examination is carried out to assess the function of your pelvic floor muscles and your ability to engage your core stability muscles. The pelvic floor is assessed in the same way as any other muscle in your body looking to establish:
If it is tight?
Is there trigger points or knots in the muscle?
Is it weak?
Can you contract it? How well? Can you hold a contraction? For how long?
After a thorough explanation of the assessment findings, treatment will start on the same visit and you will be advised on posture, function and taught some exercises so that you can maintain what we have achieved in that session.
Physiotherapy Treatments can include massage, joint mobilisation, muscle stretches, muscle strengthening exercises, tape to hold the joint in a better position or reduce muscle spasm, electro therapy or acupuncture. Your treatment will be dependent on your personal assessment findings.
Contact me to find out more.