Physiotherapists are primary health care providers that have an in-depth knowledge of the body and specialized hands-on clinical skills that can assess, diagnose and treat a variety of conditions and injuries. How physiotherapists work within the guidelines is completely different, which is just one reason why I love my job. I have created my own philosophy, which is often different from other physiotherapists. During the initial assessment, I look at the global picture, which includes whole body movements, and the local picture, the area of the pain. This allows me to evaluate if the global movement problems are affecting the local pain and dysfunction, or vise versa. By completing this comprehensive examination, it allows the treatment plan to be patient specific. Comparing how the client is moving overall is essential, especially for those clients who did not notice pain with one specific movement/lift/etc. We often build compensations over time, which we may not even recognize. Perhaps you sprained your ankle when you were younger and never fully regained your ankle movement. From there your body needs to learn to walk, climb stairs, chase after your kids or grandkids, differently than it used to. As an example, the knee starts to compensate and there is more force and wear and tear put through it, and over time it gradually adds up to enough that it gives you pain. Due to your knee pain, you end up putting more weight through the other side, which increases the force through the SI joint (where your pelvis meets your sacrum). With the extra load going into the SI joint the body may create some stiffness there, and potentially give a signal of pain. The compensation keeps occurring, and by the time a client gets to my office, I need to take the time to peel back the layers to see where the source of the dysfunction is. I loved puzzles as a child, so it is no wonder that this type of a job where I get to connect the dots and coach a client, is more than fulfilling. I am so grateful to have a profession that allows me to create, connect, learn, achieve, and grow.
Another component to my philosophy is the type of treatment that I preform. All the treatments are one-on-one, and include primarily hands-on techniques. There are some modalities that I include in treatments depending on the case, but it is specifically chosen for that client and their injury. I have chosen to treat in this capacity because I feel that the consistency of seeing the same practitioner is essential to progress. The hands-on side of the treatment I feel is necessary too. Take the above example, if the real problem was the ankle movement, the most effective treatment is likely hands-on techniques to restore normal movement in the ankle. It would not matter how much we tried to alleviate the pain in the knee or low back because the source of the dysfunction is still creating compensations.
Physiotherapy is the whole package for me as I love being able to coach clients, see the progress and help them get back to their normal life! I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing profession!