“Why should I get physiotherapy?”
“How can I prevent injuries this winter?”
“What questions should I ask my physiotherapist?”
“What questions will my physiotherapist ask me in our first session?”
If you’ve ever asked yourself (or the Internet) questions like these about physiotherapy, you are not alone. In your searching, what you’ve probably found is that there is only so much you can learn about physiotherapy from Google. Some questions are best answered by a physiotherapist. However, some people want answers before setting up a physiotherapy evaluation. If you are one of these people, this blog article was written with you in mind.
Below, Rhea Dufort, a physiotherapist for Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics in Winnipeg, provides clear answers to the questions listed above, as well as several others. Keep reading to discover what only physiotherapists know.
Physiotherapist Rhea Dufort Reveals What Only PTs Know
Q: What is the #1 reason patients come to you for treatment?
A: Overuse injuries. Also, injuries that are postural-related (this is a common result of desk work) or those that slowly developed over time due to a sport or activity abound. These injuries are often created due to imbalances in the body (structures overworking for others that are under-performing).
Q: What questions should a patient expect his or her physiotherapist to ask in an evaluation?
A: Expect a detailed medical screen to rule out any medical causes for your pain and to paint a picture of your past injuries and why you move the way you do today. All of your previous injuries will be noted. Even that ankle sprain from 12 years ago could be very relevant. Specific details on work and sports/activities will also be asked as they are key to programming and treatment planning.
Q: What are some examples of treatments that physiotherapists facilitate?
- Individualized exercise programming
- Return-to-work-or-activity planning and reconditioning
- Manual therapy (massage, joint mobilizations, stretching)
- Modalities (acupuncture, dry needling, TENS, ultrasound)
Q: What types of questions should patients ask their physiotherapists?
- Ask specifics on what activities you can and cannot do if this was not made clear.
- Ask what the treatment plan entails and how much time you will have to invest in the clinic and in home programming.
- Ask questions if you’re not sure why your therapist is doing a certain intervention (hands-on technique or exercise). Remember, research shows that patients who take an active approach in understanding their care buy into it more readily and improve quicker than those who don’t!
Q: What did you enjoy most about your schooling in physiotherapy? What was your favorite class?
A: The hands-on labs. For each technique we learned for a given body part, we practiced it (including testing) 6 times. This made it much less scary for me when I had to start practicing on real patients. I also enjoyed placements. We had 2 placements per year throughout our 3-year program for 5-8 week blocks. Sure, you can read about physiotherapy in a book, but you don’t truly understand it until you have worked hands-on with real clients and asked your supervisor 100 questions!
Q. What are 3 practical tips most people can implement to prevent exercise-related injuries this fall and winter?
- Optimize your balance at any age. In Canada, we battle icy conditions half of our year, so this is important. Understand that your balance will not improve unless you specifically target it with training.
- Work on hip hinge and various lifting/bending mechanics. Whether you are a parent, labourer, or just do day-to-day chores such as raking leaves or shoveling snow, you need to use good technique. Your technique doing the “little things” is key to an injury-free body.
- When in doubt, get assessed. Often, people wait until things are severe before they have them looked at. It is much easier and faster to rehabilitate if you go in early to a PT clinic or get preventative screening.
Q. What are a few fun facts about yourself that your patients may not know about you?
- I love adventure and travel. I have hiked amazing terrain in Peru, Asia & Brazil, bungee jumped in Thailand, and scuba dived in Bali and Colombia!
- I received my yoga teacher training in Goa, India and now teach Elite Restorative Yoga classes for both injured and non-injured clients trying to seek wellness and relaxation. I am also working towards my Yoga Therapy designation.
- I am acupuncture certified, and taking my Kineticore Dry-needling certification Spring 2018.
Are you looking for a physiotherapist who not only deeply understands how to treat your injuries, but also knows how to treat them in unique ways? If so, and if you live close to Winnipeg, request to work with physiotherapist Rhea Dufort. She is an integral part of the team at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics. Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics team treats sports injuries, back and neck pain, repetitive strain injuries, and more. Learn all about Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics here.
Find additional physiotherapy-related questions with answers from Elite staff in Physiotherapy FAQs with Ricky Paggao.
Key Takeaways from Rhea’s Interview:
- Using proper technique when performing small tasks, such as raking leaves or lifting your child, is key to an injury-free body.
- The quicker you are evaluated by a physiotherapist, the quicker you will rehabilitate.
- Physiotherapists so thoroughly assess patients in order to completely understand why they are hurting and help them feel better ASAP.