Have you ever wondered what your physio is thinking when they assess you? Here are just a few things that might be going on in your physio’s mind as they look at your posture, movements and feel your muscles and joints.
1. Does the sore side look the same as the other?
What we see at rest and when you move can tell us a lot about what more we need to look at. Take for example this picture. The right shoulder blade is sitting forward and is up higher than the other side. The right arm is sitting slightly further around the front of the body than the left. This gives us clues as to what muscles might be tight and causing pain and which might be weak amongst other things.
2. Does this fit a pattern?
Experienced therapists work using pattern recognition – how your injury occurred, how your pain behaves and patterns of movement are relatively consistent in patients with the same diagnosis. Therefore we can streamline our assessment to find the most likely contributors and get to the bottom of your issue faster. Conversely, if you don’t fit a pattern we can do a thorough deep dive to gather as much information as possible from your body.
3. Is there any evidence about this condition to help me?
Evidence comes in many different forms. It might be what we know about normal bodies that we can use to educate about imaging findings, it might be dosages or types of exercises that have been shown to have superior results, it might be supporting a diagnosis. At Carlton Physio we use evidence to inform and support our management, but also allow a healthy dose of experience to guide us where the evidence is lacking.
4. What is the best approach for THIS patient?
The key to good outcomes for patients is to adapt management to meet the needs of the individual. Taking into consideration the severity and acuity of the presenting condition, current levels of physical activity and life circumstances of the individual is vital for hitting the right balance for each patient. It is the physio’s job to make sure each and every patient understands what is going on with their body and how to help it, cookie cutter physiotherapy where every person is delivered the same information and given the same program just doesn’t get the same results.