This is probably the most important thing for us as health professionals. If you give us the most accurate, forthright information it will assist us in:
- Determining the diagnosis or highest priority problem to deal with
- Finding out your goals, aims, and objectives
- Formulating a solid plan to maximise your results!
Of course this can be quite difficult and confronting as you don’t know us that well, especially if you are meeting us for the first time. To open up to a complete stranger can be a trial as you may have your own affairs that are confidential. It doesn’t help that we may look intimidating as well!
We care, even if the issues that you experience are confronting or uncomfortable.
If you are struggling with the rehab – let us know.
If you are not happy with the treatments – let us know.
If you are not progressing the way you hoped – let us know.
If you are going well – let us know!
Be honest, and we can do the best for you.
2. Communicate clearly in your words what is going on
We can speak using lots of medical jargon – degenerative changes in the end plates of L4-5, superior labral tear from anterior to posterior, etc.
You definitely won’t know if these things are the structures that are causing you pain, or contributing to the problem. But if you can describe what YOU are feeling as clearly as possible, it can help us determine what structures are causing the problem. You may describe the pain as sharp and moderate in intensity, only when you are gardening for over an hour, which settles after you lie down for 15 minutes.
What you say can really help us figure out the behaviour of the pain and the possible contributing factors, which are usually modifiable!
3. Trust us!
Similar to point 1 – gaining trust is again quite difficult when you are meeting us for the first time! With the advent of social media there is an absolute plethora of information out there, and I would wager that 99% of it has good intentions. The problem is that with an abundance of information, it comes with many agendas and perspectives, and there is a lot of misinformation out there. We spend at least 4 years in university AND beyond – trying to sort out the gold from the crap!
From all the information that goes from our craniums to your ears – you may trust us less if the clinical evidence that we show challenges your own beliefs and assertions. For example, it might be hard to believe that the degenerative changes in your back – might be normal! They may not even be contributing to your symptoms! But it might! It all depends on the context and situation.
Regardless, we have your best interests in mind at all times. We lean slightly towards long term benefits, but overall we want to draw the best out of you!
Even if it means challenging your assumptions. Even if its challenging our own assumptions!
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
Written by Laurence Nguyen (Loz)
Physiotherapist (Member APA)
P.S. I want to start this blog to bring to the forefront things that are important for people to know. If you want us to write about something – holler on our socials or ask us in person!