So you've recently been having pain and decided it was a good idea to get some guidance from a physio. A common question that plagues our clients is 'how often should I see my physio?' Quite often physiotherapists and health practitioners get a bad rub, wanting to see you more often than you would like. The real answer is often that physiotherapists and health practitioners don't see clients enough initially in order to provide them with the best line and gold standard treatment we aspire for our patients. Physiotherapists want to work with you to develop a treatment plan to meet your needs and desired goals. These are usually outlined after the first consultation, as the physio will have a good idea of the nature of your injury and what it will take to get you back to your pre-injury levels. This can include a discussion on the regularity of your physiotherapy sessions over the course of your recovery.
If the the initial injury is acute and requires remediation of pain and inflammation this might mean your physio will see you more frequently initially to get you moving pain-free and trying to restore function on your injured body area as soon as possible. This is one of the most important periods in your rehabilitation and should not be neglected before progressing to the next stage of your recovery. Treatment in this area can often include a more 'hands-on' approach requiring massage, mobilization of joints, as well as exercise-based intervention.
As your treatment progresses, pain and inflammation subsides and the body is slowly restored, the focus is shifted more to exercise-based treatment, which the client can perform independently. In these latter instances, your physiotherapy may be more spaced out or be less frequent to encourage the client with independence in their rehabilitation. Once you have regained your range and mobility, the last stage of rehabilitation is improving your strength and conditioning. This phase of recovery ensures the body is strongly equipped to ensure the same injury does not reoccur again, which inadvertently will prevent you from seeing your physio down the road for the same insult later down the track.
Always discuss with your physio the best possible treatment plan for you, as everybody's injury and therefore recovery will differ.