What is a Chartered Physiotherapist?
A Chartered Physiotherapist is a highly trained allied health professional, university trained alongside doctors & nurses. Our undergraduate Honours Degree takes 4 years and includes 1000 clinical or patient-contact hours. We have a strong academic & clinical training, & use scientifically researched clinical assessments & treatments, known as an ‘evidence-based medical approach’.
Our professional body is The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) and is based in The Royal College of Surgeons in Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. The ISCP is the only physiotherapist’s group recognised by The Department of Health, Health Service Executive (HSE), VHI, BUPA, VIVAS & all international health insurers.
What can a Physio do for me?
Well, physiotherapy is relevant in many areas of healthcare. Here, at TherapyXperts Mount Merrion we have specialised in musculoskeletal medicine & orthopaedics….so we treat neck pain, Whiplash, back pain, loss of movement, stiff shoulders or hips, sore knees, or ankles, tennis elbows, flat feet… the list is long! We can assist problems with walking, running, sport injuries, physical problems that occur from poor posture or less than perfect ergonomics at work, among other things. We treat from small children right through to very elderly, using appropriate treatments & techniques.
However, in this clinic, because we have chosen this speciality, we do not, in general, offer to treat serious neurological disorders (stroke, paralysis, birth disorders), cardiac rehabilitation, stress incontinence…. But we can recommend other physio colleagues who have specialised in these areas.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to come to TherapyXperts?
ISCP members are allowed by law treat you ‘on first referral’
(meaning without coming via a Doctor) because of our specific high level training.
Approx. 60% of the time our patients come on self referral. The remaining 40% are referred by a GP, Hospital Consultant, or come through their employer or sports club. However recent reimbursement changes may mean you will need to have proof of a doctor’s referral to achieve maximal reimbursement for some health insurers and The Revenue Commissioners. We advise you check with the relevant body.
Irrespective of referral source, our clinic policy is to take the name of your GP, in case we require more detailed medical information or we may need to contact if treatment is not progressing as anticipated.
What happens during my first visit to the clinic?
Having been introduced to your physio, s/he will take a history of the problem you have come with, your general medical history.
We will ask about:
Aggravating activities i.e. sitting, driving, prolonged standing
& Easing postures: what you have learned to do to ease off the pain
This helps us choose which clinical physical tests we will need to perform to hone in on your problem.
Then we come up with our physiotherapeutic diagnosis… the named, specific condition affecting you. In most instances the diagnosis will be clear by the end of the initial assessment process. However in difficult cases coming up with the exact cause of your symptoms takes a couple of visits, where your response to testing and treatment over the first few sessions makes your problems clearer. This is often the case where you have had symptoms for many years… if this describes you, please be patient with us, as we work diligently to sort things out for you.
Once the diagnosis is clear, we begin initial treatment, aimed at specifically clearing your pain and the accompanying movement dysfunction.
What other information may be relevant during the first assessment?
During the first visit, we also ask you about your occupation, sometimes in great detail if you have an unusual job. This can be very helpful to us in determining whether something in your work tasks or environment may be causing or impacting on your problem.
For the same reason we also ask about your leisure activities, both sporting and other (even prolonged sitting such as at card games may impact on your pain!).
I have X-rays & scans, are they helpful for the Physio to see?
Yes, definitely! If you have the actual ‘pictures’ bring them along on your next visit. It can be very beneficial for us to see them ourselves to confirm the diagnosis we have made. Sometimes little things observed on X-ray, when added to your symptom presentation, allow us make sense of exactly why you have the specific problem.
If you don’t have the ‘pictures’ but know your doctor has the reports, you can call your doctor & request that they fax or email the report to us (details on your appointment card)
I haven’t had any X-rays or scans, do I need them?
Well, let us assess your complaint first. In many cases our detailed & experienced testing clearly identifies the dysfunction causing your problem. In this case, X-rays add little further & are not necessary.
However, if we feel questions remain that would be fully answered by appropriate scanning or blood tests, we will contact and discuss this with your G.P. At all times our focus is on doing the best we can for you.
What should I wear for a physio visit?
Well, as physio is a ’physical’ process, we will need to undress the relevant area… so if it is your hand, you can just pull up a sleeve, whereas if it is your neck or shoulder you will need to remove your shirt/top so that we can observe the body part and compare one shoulder or limb to the other.
For problems in the limbs we always ‘clear the relevant spinal level’ as well, so even if you feel the problem is in your knee, we ask you to undress sufficiently so that we can assess the lower back also, so you may be asked to strip right to undergarments. You are of course welcome to wear shorts/ a camisole as necessary for you own comfort.
Please do not feel embarrassed if your body is not quite a ‘perfect 10’…, neither are ours, and there isn’t a body shape or size we haven’t seen & treated over the years!
How many treatments will I need?
Until we have completed our assessment, we simply cannot tell. By the end of your initial visit, we aim to give you some idea of how many treatments we expect your problem will require, whether 1-2, 4-6, 8 or 10+. However, careful analysis of statistics of patients attending our clinics in the past number of years suggests that on average 2.75 visits is required (yes, it is just like a statistician to throw up an average number, rather than a whole number: so for ease, most straightforward presentations require between 1 and 3 visits. Of course, more complex problems may take many more sessions than this.
Here at TherapyXperts we use sophisticated software information tools to allow us track our treatments and to communicate to our skilled therapist how best to approach and treat all types of presentations. We routinely audit treatment outcomes to ensure we are achieving what we promise for our patients.
We will also suggest the frequency of the course of physiotherapy and how quickly we would advise seeing you again for maximal effect.