Physiotherapy is a simple science: we strengthen what’s weak and loosen what’s tight. If you’re having difficulty moving then we work on the muscles that are failing to carry the load, if you’re in pain we treat the injury and balance the body to relieve the burden.
The skill in physiotherapy lies more in knowing where treatments will be most effective rather than the treatments themselves. For example, strengthening a problematic muscle group is a relatively simple process but knowing which specific muscles to target requires a deep understanding of human anatomy, insight into your lifestyle and what you hope to achieve.
My colleagues and I painstakingly dissected cadavers, down to every muscle, tendon and nerve. Understanding how everything connects together and which parts are used for which movement lets us know that if, for example, it hurts to move your knee then we need to take a look at your hip and back.
There is no “new weird trick” to curing a knee injury, there are just simple treatments delivered precisely.
The human body that I work on today hasn’t changed all that much for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Modern living may stress it in ways it’s not adapted for and there are always individual circumstances to take into account, but overall I work on a fixed object that isn’t going to undergo any radical transformations in my lifetime.
I find it’s the inexperienced who compensate with complication. Someone who lacks the practical knowledge and experience will list off a dozen different solutions to a problem (most of which are conveniently only known to them) while our approach at West London Physio may involve nothing more than a precise regime of a handful of easy movements, joint stretches and take home exercises.
That’s not to say technology isn’t changing the field. Electrotherapy has proven to be highly effective in aiding the recovery of certain injuries such as chronic heel pain, and we’ve recently installed our own shockwave machine in the practice. We also use biofeedback and pressure plate machines to give us pinpoint accuracy in our diagnoses.
At the end of the day, if we do our job right then we shouldn’t often need to see you again for the same thing. The average number of sessions our patients receive is between five and six, during which we won’t just be treating the problem but informing you how to prevent it reoccurring. Injuries and pain are rarely a one off, they’re usually the results of bad physical habits that you’re not even aware you have.
Breaking these habits involves educating you on your body so that you understand the stresses and strains you’re putting on it then giving you easy steps you can take to relieve them. Most of the exercises we recommend can be done at home with little or no equipment and minimal time commitment. The more convenient the treatment is, the more likely you are to recover.
And that convenience extends through everything we do. If you have pain or immobility you want to be cured but the more resistance the treatment involves the less likely you are to continue. That’s why I make sure the practice is comfortable, that everything runs on time and that crucial information is emailed – all small encouragements that help you get better.
If you’re in pain or having difficulty moving, email us at email@example.com to start on your road to recovery.
Clinical Director, West London Physiotherapy