It’s estimated that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time during the lives. Whether the issues arises all of a sudden or gradually increases over time, it’s important that you see a professional if you are suffering from ongoing back pain. How do you go about choosing the right physiotherapist – are some physios better equipped to treat your back pain than others?
If you are suffering from back pain you should ask yourself the following 3 questions before choosing a physio to treat your condition.
WHAT ARE THEIR QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE?
The first thing you need to look for is the right qualifications. Any physiotherapist working in Australia is required to complete a physiotherapy degree and be registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. (Actually AHPRA) This registration means that your physio meets the requirements to treat in Australia, including having the right insurance, English language standards and adheres to adequate codes of conduct.
When you’re researching your physio, you can find out more about their qualifications on their website or by asking when you call to book an appointment. Generally physiotherapists will also display their registrations and qualifications in their practice. It is a good idea to find out what is a physio’s area of specialisation. Some physiotherapists specialise in back pain so this will give them special insights into your condition.
ARE THEY A GOOD LISTENER?
It may sound simple, but one of most important traits in your physiotherapist is that he or she listens to all of your concerns. In your initial appointment your physio should ask a lot of questions about your back pain and listen well to your answers, asking follow up questions if necessary.
If you feel that you’ve mentioned something that the physio doesn’t take on board that might be a sign that they’re not listening to you and paying attention to your individual needs.
DO THEY CONDUCT A REASSESSMENT?
During your first appointment, after you explain your symptoms, your physio will conduct an initial assessment. That is, they will assess your movement and what is causing you pain. This will help the physio determine the treatment they provide.
At the end of your series of appointments and treatment, the physiotherapist should then complete a reassessment. They should check to see that the therapy they have completed has helped in some way. You may still have some pain, but you should definitely get some relief – not just from the pain but also increased movement.
Back pain isn’t generally something that can be fixed in just one physio session, but after a few sessions of physiotherapy for back pain, you should definitely start to feel improvement.
If you’ve had treatment, have completed any prescribed exercises and the pain doesn’t seem to be improving, then your physiotherapist should be reexamining their diagnosis or giving you a referral to see another health professional. Some injuries can take a while to get better, but generally you should begin to see improvement within four to six weeks.
Don’t suffer through back pain in silence. Book an appointment with a Fairfield Physiotherapist today.