"I don't really like my physiotherapist, but it's the clinic my doctor told me to go to, so I have to"
"My chiropractor says that as long as I'm going to see them, I can only see practitioners within their clinic"
I sincerely hope that both of these individuals misinterpreted what they were told. The bottom line is that no one has the right to make these decisions for you! There are a few regulations that are in place in Ontario, as well as professional ethical guidelines, that help to keep patients safe that everyone should know. In addition to those, I am going to outline a few general rules of thumb to help you choose a team that works best for you.
No practitioner is allowed to make these referrals based on financial gain. Let me reiterate that; there cannot be any kickbacks, motivation, or underlying business interests that influence the practitioner's decision on where they refer their patient. Referrals must be made in the best interest of the patient.
- The environment should feel safe. If you prefer closed doors and privacy, that should be available. If you don't feel safe, your healing will suffer
- You should be able to trust your therapist. If you feel as though there are things you can't share that are relevant to your injury, then you may need to find a different practitioner
- You should feel as though you can ask questions and say 'no' to anything your practitioner suggests. While they are a professional, they don't know your limits or desires unless they listen to you
- Your therapist should put your healing above their convenience. It's their job to adjust their treatment technique to your injury
- Your therapist should spend time with you, and speak to you face to face. You are not a walking talking injury, you are a person with pain, fear, goals etc.
- You should begin feeling improvement and change after 1-2 treatments! You probably won't get better in this time, but there should be change
- You should not have to agree to a long term course of treatment, and you should never feel guilty about leaving a therapist if things are not working out
Making a Change
As part of my Athletic Therapy education, I learned a lot about other practitioners and what tools they use to treat patients. I offer consultations with patients where I can get to know them, and their injury, to see if Athletic Therapy would be a fit. More importantly, it allows the public to see if I would be a good fit for them.
If you are unsure if your course of treatment is working, or you don't know if AT is for you, give me a call, and we can work together towards creating your wellness plan.