Whether a chronic back problem or an acute injury - physiotherapy is in demand, because conservative therapy often offers a sensible alternative to surgery. In the search for a suitable physiotherapy, however, you will quickly discover that the choice is huge. In Germany alone there are more than 36,000 physical therapy practices, in Austria and Switzerland the numbers are similarly high measured against the population figures. It is not always easy to keep an overview.
It can be helpful to look for a specific treatment. More and more practices are now specialising in certain areas such as reflexology, breathing therapies or neurophysiological treatments. In doing so, they like to advertise with numerous advanced trainings and certificates. But do these also guarantee high-quality treatment?
How to know: By following a few basic rules, you too will find the appropriate physiotherapy.
In order to put your body and health in competent hands, you should already be attentive at the first contact. The friendliness of the staff alone is not necessarily a decisive criterion. However, it does play a role whether you are already asked about your complaints when you make your appointment. This is the only way to ensure that you end up with the right therapist. A high willingness to provide information on the part of the staff also indicates professionalism and a genuine interest in the patient's health. In addition, an uncomplicated process when making appointments speaks for a well-organized practice.
At the first appointment, the physiotherapist should inform you about the basic procedure of the treatment. This is usually followed by an extensive questionnaire about your current state of health, fitness, living conditions and, of course, your complaints. The entire subsequent treatment is based on this anamnesis - it is crucial for successful physiotherapy. The more comprehensive the anamnesis is, the more specifically the therapy can be adapted to your individual needs. So be sure to be honest with yourself during the questioning and also point out any previous injuries or problems with your health. In this case, a little too much is better than too little.
After the anamnesis, a competent therapist usually gets a first impression of your physical condition. For this purpose, they undress down to their underwear so that all movements can be recorded. Typical examination criteria here are an inspection of posture and a gait analysis.
After the therapist has gained a first impression, the affected areas are palpated and examined again during the so-called palpation.
Based on the results of the examination, the therapeutic measures can be discussed. It is important that the therapist informs you in detail about the methods used and possible risks, and that he or she responds sensitively to your questions. If you feel uncomfortable or if anything remains unclear, you should speak openly about this.
Whether strength training, massage techniques or lymphatic drainage - communication between patient and therapist also plays a major role in physiotherapy itself. For example, during treatment there may be a temporary initial worsening of symptoms - if this is the case, be sure to mention it.
Usually one or two treatments a week are still not enough for a lasting improvement. Therefore, the physiotherapist usually shows them various exercises from the areas of mobilisation, strength training or stretching, which they can also complete at home. In order for them to be able to do the exercises independently and, above all, without injury, detailed instructions on how to do them are essential.
For a successful physiotherapy it is of high relevance that the therapist is regularly informed about your complaints and your fitness in the further course. Only if they are absolutely honest about this can the treatment methods be reconsidered and modified if necessary.
If a queasy feeling remains in or after the individual phases despite discussion, do not hesitate to change the physiotherapist.