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How to Make Physiotherapy Work for You


A physiotherapist is a university-trained “movement specialist” able to help injured people reach optimal body function so they can return to a normal life. He or she will assess your injury, specifically, the quality and quantity of movement and offer the best treatment possible towards a quick recovery. So why do some folks heal quicker than others?  There are several reasons why healing rates vary; some are under the client’s control, while others are not. This blog will focus on what you can do to increase your chances of a quick (and hopefully full) recovery.

Pointing to your painful body part saying “it hurts here” is simply not enough. Pain only tells us there’s a problem somewhere. The physiotherapist’s job is to get to the root of the problem and restore normal body function with regards to movement and strength. A physiotherapist will want to know when the problem started, how it started, the progression of it since the beginning (better or worse), past treatments (helpful or not), etc. Once all the information is gathered, the physiotherapist will be able to explain what the problem is and the best way to treat it.

Most clients believe the reason they come to physiotherapy is to get rid of pain. Wrong!! Pain is an external feeling. The true reason lies within...internal motivation. What is the true driving factor? Typically, it’s something we can’t do anymore and desperately want to start again: sleeping, working, jogging, playing with a grandchild, cooking. Then the reason for seeking help becomes unique to each individual. The real question is; how can we help you become happy again? The more precise is your goal, the more likely you are to focus on it and achieve it. For example, wanting to walk every day is a good start, but wanting to walk 45 minutes and 4 times a week is a better goal.

One thing is certain; physiotherapy requires commitment to reach the desired outcomes. Nothing comes without investing time and effort. We have noticed that those that recover quickly from an injury have incorporated their home exercise program (aka homework) and were able to find ways to attend all scheduled appointments. Most clients have to juggle busy work and family schedules, but those that prioritize physiotherapy over other “non-essential” activities usually reach their rehab goals much faster.

Each client is unique. Two people can suffer from the same injury, but individual needs and goals may be totally different. Our job as physiotherapists is to develop a plan of care to help the client reach their goal(s), and this include in-clinic treatments and home exercise program. Both clinic and home programs are essential to recovery. Clients don’t always realize that a physiotherapy plan of care includes short term and long term goals. Everything is planned out by the physiotherapist to ensure recovery. So following the plan of care established by the physiotherapist is necessary to reach your end goal(s).  

Granted, physiotherapy is not for everyone. Certain requirements, such as client availability, commitment level, and desire to improve an aspect of one’s life, are necessary to consider before making the call to schedule a physiotherapy consult. If you’re able to prioritize physiotherapy in your schedule and commit to the plan of care, chances are you’re likely to have success with physiotherapy.


Author- Marco is a physiotherapist with a career extending over 21 years. His main clinical interest is the treatment of back pain. He completed his Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) at Université Laval (Quebec City) in 1996 and his Masters of Clinical Science (Manipulative Therapy) in 2009 at Western University (London, Ontario). He became a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT) in 2009. His treatment philosophy is to empower his patients so that they become self-reliant mostly thru education and active rehab program. "Exercise is the best remedy."