10 questions to ask your physiotherapist

Johanne Gordon

January 30, 2022

…And what you can do to help the treatment

Millions of people experience injuries and chronic pain each year. If you are one of them, you know just how debilitating that can be.

Injuries and chronic pain can make it hard for people to participate in activities that they love. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? Here’s some good news: it doesn’t.

There is actually a whole career path that is geared toward helping people suffering from pain and injuries to feel better. It’s called physiotherapy.

This article will help you generate a list of questions to ask your physiotherapist at your initial appointment.

If you’ve never heard of physiotherapy or have never done it, you might not know where to start.

Read on to learn more about what physiotherapy is, why you might use it, and what questions to ask your physiotherapist.

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is the treatment of medical ailments such as acute injury and chronic pain by physical means.

Physiotherapy comes in many forms. Common forms of physiotherapy include heat therapy, massage, stretching, and strength training.

Reasons to see a physiotherapist

You may want to see a physiotherapist if you are experiencing physical pain for any reason. This could be due to a known injury or an unknown cause.

Physiotherapy seeks to get patients back to a healthy level of flexibility, strength, and comfort. Anyone who is seeking improvements in these areas can benefit from this treatment!

You don’t have to know what you need. That is why there are physiotherapists.

Questions to ask your physiotherapist

1. Are you a registered physiotherapist?

You shouldn’t be getting physiotherapy from just any random person on the street.

In Canada, those who wish to become certified physiotherapists must receive a master’s degree in physiotherapy. Then, they must take the national Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) and receive a passing score.

This process ensures that those providing treatment are qualified to do so. You will want to check that your provider is a registered physiotherapist before agreeing to use their services.

2. Do you specialize in certain therapies?

Physiotherapists may or specialize in certain therapies. They may also be more familiar with certain ailments and injuries.

Asking your physiotherapist about their specializations is important. It can help you select the physiotherapist who is perfect for treating your condition.

3. What specific therapies do you offer?

There are many types of physiotherapy.

Your specific physiotherapist may use therapies such as acupuncture, soft tissue work, home exercise prescriptions, and much more. The specific therapy your physiotherapist chooses will depend on your needs.

It is important to ask about the therapies offered to understand the scope of treatment.

4. What techniques do you use?

This question is similar to the last one. It goes further, though.

“Technique” refers to the specific measures the provider takes to deliver the benefits of physiotherapy.

For example, soft tissue work is a specific therapy. Soft tissue release would be the specific technique the therapist uses to deliver this therapy.

Knowing the techniques your therapist uses will give you a deeper understanding of the type of work that will be done.

5. What can I do outside of treatments to ensure my success?

Your provider may suggest at-home remedies to aid your treatment. This is how physiotherapy works best!

Your once or twice weekly physical therapy appointments are probably not enough to get you back to normal. An at-home stretching or exercise routine may be recommended.

It is essential that you follow whatever recommendations your provider gives you in order to ensure success. If you do, you will be feeling better faster.

6. What will my sessions entail?

A physiotherapy session typically lasts between 30 minutes and one hour. The actual length of your appointment will depend on what you are doing.

Your provider may break your session up into one or more parts. This is a great question to ask along with your questions about technique and specific therapies. Doing so will tell you what to expect from each session.

7. How many sessions are required?

Again, the answer to this question depends on your specific condition. That is why it is important to ask.

Many people with chronic pain attend ongoing pain management treatments, which help them keep pain under control. For others, only short-term therapy is necessary.

Whether you will be attending physiotherapy for a few sessions or many, there are steps you can take to make sure you are getting the most out of your sessions. Doing so can significantly decrease the number of sessions required.

8. What activities should I avoid?

Your therapist will likely have suggestions about activities to avoid so you do not worsen your condition.

The answer to this question may surprise you. Some of your daily habits could be contributing to pain and suffering, so don’t forget about this one.

9. What kind of outcome can I expect?

Most people experience improvements after a couple of weeks of physical therapy. That is great news for you!

Asking your provider about outcomes can give you more information on recovery rates that are specific to your condition. Knowing this can provide a lot of hope!

10. Can/should I combine physio with other treatments?

There is a good chance that you can combine physio with other treatments to aid your recovery process. Your provider may suggest chiropractic medicine, dry needling, and more.

Be sure to ask your provider about what combinations could work best for you!

Help Is here

If you have experienced an acute injury or chronic pain, help is here. Physiotherapy can make you feel better!

At the Elysian Wellness Center, our experts are ready to answer all of the questions you are dying to ask your physiotherapist.

The sooner you call, the sooner we can help. Contact us or book your initial appointment online today!

 

Johanne Gordon - Registered Physiotherapist

January 30, 2022

Johanne is an experienced, fluently bilingual physiotherapist who graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in physiotherapy with magna cum laude honours from the University of Ottawa.