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West Hill Physiotherapy, Tower Road, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2EU [See map]
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Physiotherapy - What To Expect As A New Patient

When you have never gone for treatment before, it can be a daunting thing. What's going to happen? Will it hurt? Will it help? Will I need to show my body?

If you are due to have physio for the first time the following maybe of help to you!

Treatment is a very personal thing, people usually go to a clinic based on what others have told them about it.

It is very important to everyone here, that you are made to feel comfortable from the moment you speak with someone on the phone and then when you enter the clinic for the first time. When the Physio is really he or she will call you into a private room, much like at the Doctors, and a seat will be waiting for you.

Your first treatment will usually last around 1 hour. This can seem like a very long time to be the centre of attention, but the time will go so fast you will wonder where on earth that hour went!

During that hour, the physio will take around 15-20 minutes to ask you all sorts of questions about you, about any previous problems or treatments you have had, and then will want to know all about the problem you are facing at the moment that you are seeking help for. Indeed, if all our questions do not cover it properly, then you would be encouraged to let us know anything else that you would like to tell us.

The following 20 minutes will be the formal body assessment. Now it is at this point that some of your clothes will need to be taken off so that we can see where the problem is. For example; if you have come in for help with your knee then you would need to be prepared to take off your trousers. You can of course wear shorts instead if you would feel more comfortable.

If you are have treatment for your back, then we will need to look at your back and pelvis. You may be asked to undress to your underwear or bring some shorts with you to change in to. We can assure you that we will not be looking as to whether you have shaved your legs or how old your underwear is. That is something that we are simply not zoned in on. We are looking for reasons for your pain all the time you are with us in the treatment room.

You will be asked to move in certain ways, you will be asked if we can see you do this and that. All the while building a picture as to why you are in pain.

Your problem will be looked at thoroughly, reasons why the problem started in the first place, (this is important when you don't know how it started…this happens a lot. You would be surprised how common this is.) We will endeavour to assess every possible reason for the symptoms will be checked out in order to get to an initial diagnosis - it's a bit like being a detective looking for clues and piecing them together to get the picture of why you have a particular problem.

Depending on your symptoms and your condition your treatment may entail a combination of the following:

Spinal joint mobilisation

Spinal Manipulation

Soft tissue massage

Acupuncture

Electrotherapy

Exercise and Rehabilitation

We will always give you exercises to perform away from the clinic to compliment the treatment you received during your session with the Physiotherapist. The exercises we provide are designed to help you recover more quickly and strengthen the body. We will also give you practical advice in order to reduce the chances of your injury occurring again.

The treatment hour has been broken down conveniently into 20:20:20; however it really does depend on you and your problem. Sometimes I personally have had a patient that has had a 20 year history of multiple problems and both the patient and I have realised that is important to spend more time to get a full and accurate history. Sometimes this is very comforting thing; to have someone listen and then understand what you are trying to say. Sometimes patients have never had the chance to fully explain their problem to anybody.

Being a patient isn't always the easiest thing to be; it can be very hard indeed to talk about yourself much less analyse the pain you are in. Many patients find describing the symptoms/pain is the toughest thing to do! Sometimes the first assessment can make you feel very tired. If treatment is given during the assessment - and the assessment itself can be treatment too; it is very normal to have what's known as 'treatment soreness'. This can last for 2 days: some have no soreness, some have a little bit that lasts a few hours, some have more than 2 days but this is rarer.

Exercises are very important indeed for most problems we treat. In many cases the exercises given will help to stop the problem from coming back again. Most people will require a course of treatment. Quite often we will arrange to see you within a week of your initial assessment to check your response to treatment and check your exercises.

We hope that this has been helpful in getting you prepared for your first Physio Treatment!

Written By Joanne Clark MCSP

For more information or to book an appointment please call 01322 275 402 or email info@westhillphysio.co.uk. Alternatively please feel free to complete the form below.
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