Physiotherapy is a health profession concerned with the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disease, injury and disability through physical means. It is based upon the principles of medical science and is practiced by physiotherapists (or physical therapists in the United States) following evidence based research and practice.
Physiotherapists enjoy professional autonomy, with the ability to act as primary care providers and to determine — and be responsible for — a patient's diagnosis, treatment and management. Physiotherapists also work in conjunction with other health professionals, receiving referrals from and liaising with appropriate health care workers such as GP’s, Consultants or Occupational Health advisers. Physiotherapists can therefore be found working in the private sector, in private practice or as part of an occupational health team in private industry as well as in public healthcare employed by the NHS.
In simple terms physiotherapy is about trying to recover normal function to the musculoskeletal system. Most people see a physiotherapist because they are in pain due to a musculoskeletal problem. The principle of physiotherapy is to get that musculoskeletal problem functioning properly and the pain will then look after itself, however chartered physiotherapists have a number of techniques they can use to treat the pain also to make the rehabilitation process as comfortable as possible.
Primarily you may want to see a physiotherapist if you have what's known as a musculoskeletal disorder.
Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common occupational illness in the UK, affecting millions of people a year. They include problems such as low back pain, neck pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain type injuries as well as sorts injuries.
If you have any musculoskeletal problem as a result of work, an injury at home or through sport or an accident or you don’t really know how or why, you should see a chartered physiotherapist.
There is no definitive answer as to who should be seen but generally, if you have pain that lasts for more than 48 hours without relief you need to seek a professional opinion. You can contact the clinic on 01223 350622 and we will advise you accordingly.
Some common conditions that physiotherapists see frequently and that you may recognise are listed in the Advice section. Here you will find some general advice as to how to best manage these problems before you see your physiotherapist.
The physiotherapist will ask you to sit down (if you can) at their desk and run through a subjective examination. This involves some details that may be significant to your problem such as previous injuries, medications, x-rays or scans you may have had etc.
They will then ask you specific questions about the problem you have presented with such as where the pain is, how long you have had this problem for, what aggravates it and what eases it. There are no right or wrong answers but the subjective exam helps to narrow down the possibilities.
Once that is done, which usually takes about 5 minutes, the physiotherapist will then examine the problem. This usually involves a series of simple movements or tests within comfortable limits. For example if you have presented with back pain they will ask you to bend forward, backwards, from side to side. Simple tests to establish if you have a “trapped nerve” associated with your back pain may involve reflex testing, or moving the legs while you are lying down. These are very simple tests and nothing to be concerned about.
It is important that the physiotherapist can examine the area affected so appropriate clothing is important. Dignity will be respected at all times. If your back is to be examined they will probably ask you to roll your shirt/blouse up so your back can be seen. If you have a problem with your legs it is best to bring a pair of shorts if you can, so that your knee or hip can be seen if that is the problem. Similarly, if it is your neck or shoulder area, clothing should be loose enough to expose the relevant parts.
Once these tests have been carried out the physiotherapist will palpate the area to identify any abnormalities and establish the diagnosis if possible.
When the examination is complete the physiotherapist will explain to you what the nature of your problem is. They will formulate a management plan which may range from simple advice or may involve a course of treatment.
The easiest way to make an appointment is to call the clinic on 01223 350622.
You can also e-mail a request to arrange an appointment, leaving your name and best contact number. Ideally a mobile number. You can explain the nature of your problem but it is not necessary to give any details. A physiotherapist will call you back if you wish to discuss your particular concern before making an appointment. E-mail email@example.com.
It is not necessary to see your GP prior to making an appointment.
Some insurance companies require a referral from your GP in order to cover the cost of treatment. It is important to check with your relevant insurance company before you attend for treatment.
The Spinal Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine Clinic only employs Fully Qualified Chartered Physiotherapists who are registered with the Health Professions Council.
Kevin Hunt is the principle Physiotherapist who is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) and holds a Masters degree in Sports medicine. He has worked in both the public and private sector and has been in Private practice for nine years. He has published work on Acupuncture and Frozen shoulder and has also carried out research into Exercise and Sleep, Spondylolysis in Golf, The effectiveness of Creatine on Multiple Sprint performance in Ice Hockey and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Instability testing. He is also an active member of The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) and The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (ACPOHE). He is the expert author on sports injuries for living sport magazine (www.livingsport.co.uk).
Kevin Hunt's membership numbers:
Nick Smith's Membership numbers:
Abi Chambers Membership numbers