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Mature discussion surrounding important health issues and concerns. Alternative therapies, healthcare questions, discussion of community resources, peer support help, group therapy, etc.

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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Effectiveness and reliability of physio clinics

Any of you visited a physio clinic at some point in your lives? How was your experience and how effective were the treatments? Do you think you would have fared better without spending money and time on the treatments, and could have done better on your own?

I know for a fact, that for certain people at the beginning stage of injury,improvement rate tends to be higher... However, for those that have gotten doctor recommendations to physio treatment, it must mean that the doctor thinks you can benefit from it and the aid of physio in your healing process would be crucial. I'm curious as to what your thoughts and opinions are on this, as I am keen in pursuing a career path in this direction...

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:23 AM   #2
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For my current injury; I've seen my surgeon three times for a total of less than thirty consious minutes, compared to my physio who I have seen over 300 times.

On the rare occasion I see a doctor; he assesses my injury, takes a few notes and gives a progress update. In and out, no personal compassion, strictly business.

I see my physio almost everyday; she understands percisely what areas I'm struggling with and where I've seen recent success. Day to day she's the one managing my pain, tracking my progress, putting together recovery plans and helping me through a very difficult time. Not only that, but the doctors have largely followed the recommendations she gives and only make the most complex decisions on their own. Without a great physio, recovering from my injury would be much more difficult emotionally and I guarantee less successful physically.

It's unfortunate physio's are compensated as poorly as they are, they deserve to earn much more than they do. If my injuries don't physically bar me from doing so, I'll be applying to grad school for physiotherapy.
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:23 AM   #3
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I'm lucky enough that I've not yet had any issues that required me to go to physiotherapy, but I've worked at a relatively large physiotherapy clinic for several years and I have seen what a difference it can make for many people. You get all types of people who come in for treatment, from minor sports injuries, work accidents, whiplash from car accidents, to people who have been hit BY a car and have suffered extensive damage. At our clinic, we rely on doctor's referrals for a large portion of our business, but we also have a ton of regulars (those who come once or twice a year for a "tune-up"), returning patients (old patients who come back with new injuries), as well as patients who were referred by their friends or family because they had a good experience with us.

As beneficial as I believe physiotherapy is, it can't always cure everyone. Some injuries are permanent, and no amount of exercise and treatment will ever make the body go back to the way it was pre-injury. It's unfortunate that some people will have to spend the rest of their lives in some amount of physical discomfort, but physios do their best to help those patients with managing their pain and giving them on advice and exercises on how to prevent it from flaring up or getting worse. That being said, I've seen physios work magic on patients. I've seen a patient with a shattered ankle who signed up for her first marathon after her discharge, a patient who broke his back at work falling 5 stories off a building, and a patient who broke her back and both her arms after being hit by a car and had surgery where all her organs had to be taken out and rearranged to fix her internal injuries. It's crazy how much the body can endure.

To answer your question, I think physiotherapists are there to help you. If money's a concern and you can only afford a couple of sessions, a good physio can give you a treatment plan of exercises for you to take home and do yourself. They can teach you movements and exercises most people wouldn't know how to execute properly (a really simple example is how to lift heavy objects), and what types of movements to avoid. I have so much respect for physiotherapists, and I've seen how dedicated they can be in wanting to help others, whether charging pro bono or reduced rates for those with little to no health coverage, to bugging ICBC to approve those extra 5 treatments when they're hesitant to do so (greedy bastards), to coming in early before their scheduled start or staying late just so that they can squeeze in a patient who was in pain and desperately needed treatment. There's nothing more rewarding than knowing you helped a person reduce or eliminate their pain. Like MindBomber said, physios don't get compensated as much as they deserve, although it IS possible to make a good living (a couple of our physios gross in the high 80-90k working 5 days a week, 6 hours a day, an average of 18-24 patients daily. They work like machines though, and it depends on who you work for too)
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:52 AM   #4
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I'm lucky enough that I've not yet had any issues that required me to go to physiotherapy, but I've worked at a relatively large physiotherapy clinic for several years and I have seen what a difference it can make for many people. You get all types of people who come in for treatment, from minor sports injuries, work accidents, whiplash from car accidents, to people who have been hit BY a car and have suffered extensive damage. At our clinic, we rely on doctor's referrals for a large portion of our business, but we also have a ton of regulars (those who come once or twice a year for a "tune-up"), returning patients (old patients who come back with new injuries), as well as patients who were referred by their friends or family because they had a good experience with us.

As beneficial as I believe physiotherapy is, it can't always cure everyone. Some injuries are permanent, and no amount of exercise and treatment will ever make the body go back to the way it was pre-injury. It's unfortunate that some people will have to spend the rest of their lives in some amount of physical discomfort, but physios do their best to help those patients with managing their pain and giving them on advice and exercises on how to prevent it from flaring up or getting worse. That being said, I've seen physios work magic on patients. I've seen a patient with a shattered ankle who signed up for her first marathon after her discharge, a patient who broke his back at work falling 5 stories off a building, and a patient who broke her back and both her arms after being hit by a car and had surgery where all her organs had to be taken out and rearranged to fix her internal injuries. It's crazy how much the body can endure.

To answer your question, I think physiotherapists are there to help you. If money's a concern and you can only afford a couple of sessions, a good physio can give you a treatment plan of exercises for you to take home and do yourself. They can teach you movements and exercises most people wouldn't know how to execute properly (a really simple example is how to lift heavy objects), and what types of movements to avoid. I have so much respect for physiotherapists, and I've seen how dedicated they can be in wanting to help others, whether charging pro bono or reduced rates for those with little to no health coverage, to bugging ICBC to approve those extra 5 treatments when they're hesitant to do so (greedy bastards), to coming in early before their scheduled start or staying late just so that they can squeeze in a patient who was in pain and desperately needed treatment. There's nothing more rewarding than knowing you helped a person reduce or eliminate their pain. Like MindBomber said, physios don't get compensated as much as they deserve, although it IS possible to make a good living (a couple of our physios gross in the high 80-90k working 5 days a week, 6 hours a day, an average of 18-24 patients daily. They work like machines though, and it depends on who you work for too)
thanks for the helpful response. One area of concern to me right now is: given the difficulty of entering a recognized physio school, and the high cost of tuition, why then, does the salary of most physiotherapists not reflect this? It's an extra 2 years of schooling. I mean, it's definetly a well-recognized procedure and medicine for everyday physical damages to the human body so it would make sense for physios to be treated as highly as any other medical field right?

One reason I could think of, is the misconception that physiotherapy breeds off of massage therapy and that it is a simple massage and excercise to gain comfort. What they really don't know, is the knowledge and time it requires to professionally diagnose and accurately devise a treatment plan for any particular injury.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:30 AM   #5
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... Where are you guys going for "cheap" physio?

I have a family friend who is a physiotherapist, and she makes $60-80/hour. Now to me $60/hour is a DAMN good rate of pay. The physio clinic she works at, she is a "partner" in the company. Yet the company is only made up of 5 partners, 1 secretary and 3 assistants (trainers, I don't know what you call them... helpers??)

I have always known of physiotherapy being a money career, never under-paid once you get a job. Again, I'm thinking after 5 years of experience you'll make big money, not right off the bat. (Like with any career, experience is key.)

To answer your question OP:
I threw my back out when I worked for Purolator, and physio helped in the beginning. After about 3 months it was then just on to strengthening my back. Where I told my physiotherapist that I didn't feel it was necessary to keep coming back and asked if I could just have some instructions to do at home. This was based on a time/money point of view for me. I didn't want to continue to use up travel time to the physio place, and it was quite pricey ($50/hour-1 hour session twice a week for a student.... -.-).

Don't forget something though... go into a career that you like, not based on money. Money is just a bonus.
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