Article Archive

April 2019 (6)

March 2019 (2)

February 2019 (18)

January 2019 (3)

December 2018 (7)

November 2018 (2)

October 2018 (4)

September 2018 (1)

August 2018 (2)

July 2018 (2)

June 2018 (2)

May 2018 (8)

April 2018 (3)

March 2018 (4)

February 2018 (2)

January 2018 (6)

December 2017 (1)

November 2017 (9)

October 2017 (8)

September 2017 (4)

August 2017 (4)

July 2017 (4)

June 2017 (1)

May 2017 (3)

April 2017 (4)

March 2017 (1)

February 2017 (2)

January 2017 (1)

December 2016 (5)

November 2016 (3)

October 2016 (5)

September 2016 (7)

August 2016 (5)

July 2016 (2)

June 2016 (1)

May 2016 (2)

April 2016 (8)

March 2016 (16)

February 2016 (2)

January 2016 (19)

December 2015 (7)

November 2015 (30)

October 2015 (47)

September 2015 (39)

August 2015 (33)

July 2015 (59)

This Week's Top Stories

  1. Nail biting: not just a habit
  2. Anxiety, Panic & Claustrophobia: Case Study, Alison
  3. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway!
  4. Letting Go of Struggle.
  5. Addiction: Root causes and road to recovery through homeopathic treatment
  6. Reiki: A Natural Healing System for Health and Wellbeing
  7. Energy Toxins - Almost impossible to avoid!
  8. Menopause: Did you know the following Healthy Eating tips may help ease your symptoms?
  9. The T H I N K Protocol: Dementia, Alzheimer's and Cognitive Decline are preventable and reversible
  10. FLU Alert: 10 Reasons Why Flu Shots Are Actually More Dangerous Than Flu!
Tim Humphries

Treating Expectation

Posted by Tim Humphries

81 Days Ago

Treating Expectation                          

Within my role as a physiotherapist I treat people with many varied conditions. It involves the need to address the physical symptoms, such as stiffness, weakness and soft tissue tension, physiological processes including inflammation and pain and lifestyle/postural influences that affect an individual’s complaint.

There is, however, another element that is vitally important to address to maximise the possible success of any intervention. It is that of managing the individual’s expectations. Their expectation with regards to what treatment is necessary, how they may respond to treatment and the number of sessions required. Any previous response to treatment will also influence their perception of how they will respond to treatment of a current problem. An important part of my role is to ‘educate’ the patient about these issues so as they have a better understanding as to what to expect and the time it can take for recovery to occur.

What is known is that there is rarely a sudden cure for any condition. A quick response can be achieved although a gradual response is far more common and expected.  This is due to the natural physiological processes that occur when ‘something goes wrong’ and the time it takes to heal. Take a mildly strained muscle, for example. The pain associated with this may only last for 1-2 weeks, however, the full healing process goes on for 6-8 weeks and beyond, long after the pain has gone. A more significant strain can take longer. Physiotherapy intervention (and any other intervention by the same token) cannot, and should not, bypass the body’s own healing processes. Treatment should enhance these processes to help speed up recovery.

Over the years people may have been told that something is ‘out of place’ when they are getting pain. Treatment is, therefore, aimed at ‘clicking’ the offending part back into place (often to do with spinal pain). This is not the case and the notion that a quick manipulation can ‘cure‘ the problem in one session is misleading and will leave the patient disappointed. Certain treatment techniques that produce a click can lead to some relief of pain but not cure. Indeed, even gentle treatment can stimulate and agitate joints and soft tissues which can lead to a temporary increase in pain that is not a sign of getting worse. This is, however, very different to the treatment needed for a true joint dislocation as a result of a significant injury.

The effects of treatment are accumulative. Research suggests that the effects of a single session may not be felt until sometime later but it is the aggregate of several sessions that can produce improvement over time. This is also true with acupuncture as it can take 3 or 4 sessions before any change is noted by the patient.

Lifestyle influences on recovery include working postures, repetitive tasks, physical activities and hobbies. Any or all of these can slow down the rate at which the body responds to treatment.

While for many a course of treatment will maximise the chance of recovery it is rarely beneficial for treatment to go on and on without an end point. The aim is always to treat the fewest number of times necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Equally, it is important not to under-treat and leave the patient only 75% better when 100% improvement is the goal.


Tim Humphries

Article written by Tim Humphries - West Mersea

Tim lives in West Mersea, Colchester, Essex with his wife, family and Nala, the dog. He has been there for 21 years and has had a private practice from home since 1999.
Tim has been a Chartered Physiotherapist for over 21 years. Previous occupations include car sales and yacht sales. He enjoys... [read more]


View Profile

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

© Find a Private Tutor Ltd, 2019 / View our Privacy Policy / Website by Simon Hix.