FAQ's

Please click on any of the questions below for further information.

What happens during my first visit?

During your first visit you can expect the following:

  • Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (or complete online via an email we send you at the time of booking).

  • The physiotherapist will discuss the following:

  • 1. Your medical history.
    2. Your current problems/complaints.
    3. Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
    4. How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
    5. Your goals with physical therapy.
    6. Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.

  • The therapist will then perform the objective assessment which may include some of the following:

  • 7. Palpation - touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc.
    8. Range of Motion (ROM) - the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
    9. Muscle Testing - the therapist may check for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. This is also part of a neurological screening.
    10. Neurological Screening - the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
    11. Special Tests - the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
    12. Posture Assessment - the positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed.
    13. Gait assessment - we may take a video of you walking or running on our treadmill to anaylse if something you are doing is causing your pain.
    14. Body Bike Balance - if you are a cyclist we may put you on your bike on our turbo trainer and video you to analyse technique and posture and if it links to your pain.

    The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently developed with the patient's input. This includes how many times you should see the therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, patient education, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from therapy.

    What do I need to bring with me?

    Make sure you bring your paperwork or have completed it before hand online. If your insurance is covering the cost of physiotherapy, bring your details such as policy number, authorisation code and details of any excess of the policy. If you are on medication, it is sometimes useful to bring a list of the drugs you take. If you are a runner, bring your trainers that you run in. If you are a cyclist and are having our Body Bike Balance assessment then bring your bike, cycling gear (including tight fitting cycling shorts) and shoes.

    How should I dress?

    You should wear loose fitting clothing so that you can expose the area that we will be assessing and treating. For example if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem and you are female, a vest top is a good choice.

    How long will each treatment last?

    The initial assessment is typically 50-60 minutes long. Subsequent sessions are 30 minutes long.

    How many visits will I need?

    This varies. You may need one visit or you may need months of care. Typically we see people around 6 times per episode.

    Why is physiotherapy a good choice?

    Physiotherapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder and physiotherapists can help to correct the disorder and relieve the pain.

    What do physiotherapists do?

    You have probably heard of the profession of physiotherapy. Maybe you have had a conversation with a friend about how physio helped get rid of his or her back pain, or you might know someone who needed physio after an injury. You might even have been treated by a physio yourself. However, have you ever wondered about physiotherapists --who they are and what they do? Many people are familiar with physiotherapists work helping patients with orthopedic problems, such as low back pain or knee surgeries, to reduce pain and regain function. Others may be aware of the treatment that physiotherapists provide to assist patients recovering from a stroke (e.g., assisting them with recovering use of their limbs and walking again).

    The ability to maintain an upright posture and to move your arms and legs to perform all sorts of tasks and activities is an important component of your health. Most of us can learn to live with the various medical conditions that we may develop, but only if we are able to continue at our jobs, take care of our families, and enjoy important occasions with family and friends. All of these activities require the ability to move without difficulty or pain.

    As physiotherapists are experts in movement and function, they do not confine their talents to treating people who are ill. A large part of a physical therapist's program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physio’s work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing low back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs. With the boom in the golf and fitness industries, a number of physiotherapists are engaged in consulting with recreational golfers and fitness clubs to develop workouts that are safe and effective, especially for people who already know that they have a problem with their joints or their backs.

    The cornerstones of physiotherapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to "hands-on" care, physiotherapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists may also "mobilise" a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physiotherapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice. Although other kinds of practitioners will offer some of these treatments as "physiotherapy," it's important for you to know that physiotherapy can only be provided by qualified and state registered physiotherapist.

    All physiotherapists must be registered with the HCPC and you can use their ‘Check the Register’ facility to make sure http://www.hpc-uk.org

    Why are people referred to physiotherapy?

    You and others may be referred to physiotherapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Your difficulty with moving part(s) of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.) very likely results in limitations with your daily activities (e.g., difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physiotherapists treat these movement dysfunctions and their associated pains and restore your body's ability to move in a normal manner.

    Who pays for the treatment?

    Most patients will self fund their treatment. We are registered with the major health insurance companies such as BUPA and AXA PPP so patients with policies can use this cover to see us. In this instance you normally need to see your GP first to make sure that physiotherapy is appropriate and then phone your insurance company to authorise treatment. You will then call us to make the appointment 0800 0751 641.

    Who will see me?

    You will be assessed by one of our qualified state registered and highly trained physiotherapists and he/she will also treat you during subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics, where you see someone different each visit, we feel it is very important to develop a one-on-one relationship with you to maintain continuity of care. Since only one physical therapist knows your problems best, he/she is the one that will be working closely with you to speed your recovery

    Is physiotherapy painful?

    For many patients, one of the primary objectives is pain relief. This is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques, modalities such as ultrasound, and/or heat or cold therapy. Movement often provides pain relief as well. Your physiotherapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises not only for pain relief but to recover range of motion, strength, and endurance.

    In some cases, physiotherapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery may be painful. Your physiotherapist will utilise a variety of techniques to help maximize your treatment goals. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.

    Will I get a massage in physiotherapy?

    Massage may be part of your treatment. Deep tissue techniques may be part of the rehabilitative process. Massage is used for three reasons typically - to facilitate venous return from a swollen area, to relax a tight muscle, or to relieve pain. Contrary to common thought, massage does not increase circulation.

    What happens if my problem or pain returns?

    Flare ups are not uncommon. If you have a flare up (exacerbation), give us a call. We may suggest you come back to see us, return to your doctor, or simply modify your daily activities or exercise routine.

    Can I go directly to my physiotherapist without seeing my GP?

    Yes, if you are self funding. If an insurance company is going to be paying for your treatment you typically need to see your GP first to authorise treatment.

    What do I need to do after physiotherapy?

    Some patients will need to continue with home exercises. Some may choose to continue with a gym exercise program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your physiotherapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.

    How do I choose a physiotherapy clinic?

    These are some things you may consider when seeking a physiotherapy clinic:

  • The physiotherapist should be state registered (check on the HCPC website www.hcpc-uk.org)
  • The first visit should include a thorough medical history and physical examination before any treatment is rendered.
  • The patient goals should be discussed in detail during the first visit.
  • Care should include a variety of techniques which might include hands-on techniques, soft tissue work, therapeutic exercises and in some cases heat, cold, electrical stimulation or ultrasound.
  • Do they have a service that can address your problem?
  • They should be conveniently located. Since sitting and driving often aggravate orthopedic problems, there should be a very good reason for you to drive a long distance for rehabilitation.
  • What are the hours of operation?
  • The physiotherapist should provide the treatment.
  • Can you briefly interview the physiotherapist before the first visit?
  • Ask your family and friends who they would recommend.