I’m interested in helping people with back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal (MSK) pains. Overall we have not done a good job of this and many people have had their lives changed for the worse by diagnosis and treatment.
I have learned that giving them the time to tell me their story is one of the most fundamental and non-technical requirements so they know they have been listened to. This may be more powerful than any clinical knowledge or technical and manual skills.
My physiotherapy colleagues and I follow cognitive functional therapy (CFT), a development of physiotherapy, which promises much better results for those people in spinal and other pains.
So What’s Wrong with Physiotherapy?
Well, it’s not just physiotherapy that has problems in healthcare of course, but it’s the profession I’m most familiar with and dedicated to. Let’s list the problems as I see them, I’ll flesh my ideas out later.
- Most physiotherapy treatments for musculoskeletal (MSK) problems are ineffective
- We have no outcomes to show we are making real differences in patients’ lives over time
- We don’t give people enough time in spinal assessments to find the drivers for their problems.
- Many new innovations are driven by capacity problems and measured by numbers of treatments rather than real improvements in patients’ lives
- Our profession is Physiotherapy, not Physiodiagnosy, so extended scope practitioners (ESPs) and first contact practitioners (FCPs or FLPs) could be the wrong road. Being a diagnoser means you’re not a fixer.
- Our patients are looking to transform their lives in one way or another. Our job is to facilitate this, not to just tell them where they are.
- Our patients don’t really want to see us, they’d much rather take the blue pill and get the transformation they want. We should get out of the way and give them that change they are looking for.
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