What does the initial assessment involve?

The Initial Assessment (IA) process allows us to identify the injured tissue(s) and the underlying factors that have contributed to your injury / problem. The IA comprises three sections:

History taking:

This involves us asking you lots of questions on how your injury / problem developed what activities make it better or worse and basically identify how you have been affected by the injury / problem. We will also ask questions on your medical history, work history and your exercise history in order to identify any genetic and lifestyle factors that may have had an impact on your problem. The bulk of this information is taken in a questionnaire format which you can download here and print off (don’t forget to bring it with you to the IA); if you are unable to print the IA off please ensure you arrive 15 minutes prior to your IA in order to complete the forms. (Working in this way helps keep our costs down and it also means we do not lose any valuable consultation time with form-filling!)

The History Taking process also helps us identify any potentially serious medical conditions which might be masquerading as a muscle or joint problem. Such problems are thankfully rare but if they happen to arise we will liaise directly with your GP to ensure you get appropriate and prompt medical attention. Our physios hold full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and are registered with the Health Professions Council therefore you can rest assured that you will be dealing with properly medically trained physios. Membership of the above bodies also provides us with full professional liability insurance.

Physical examination:

The second part of the IA will involve us looking at your posture and alignment and seeing how well your injured body parts move. Please ensure you wear loose comfortable clothing (ideally vest and shorts) in order to permit accurate assessment. Your physio will then apply a range of diagnostic tests in order to identify the structures at fault.

Treatment planning:

By compiling the information gleaned from your questionnaires, history taking and physical examination we develop an injury profile and then explain the findings to you and give you a diagnosis. You will be given a clear list of Do’s and Don’ts and you will be started off on your exercise programme.

Time permitting your physio will also treat the injured area in order to begin getting you back to normal. Whilst we acknowledge that hands-on treatment is important, the number one priority of the initial assessment is to establish a precise diagnosis and ensure you know exactly what to do what not to do in the time you are not in the physio clinic.

Trust us – we know which is much more important! In summary by the end of the initial assessment you will know what is wrong with your body, what we can do to help and how you can help yourself!

How many treatment sessions will I need?

On completion of the initial assessment you will be given an estimate as to how many therapy sessions you are likely to need and as to how long it will take for your body to heal. In some cases some simple advice and exercises may be enough to successfully manage your condition in which case you would only need one or two sessions.

In the majority of cases a short course of treatment (6-8) sessions should be sufficient to achieve an optimal recovery and significantly reduce your risk of relapse or re-injury. In cases where there has been significant tissue damage or if your physiotherapist suspects you may be suffering from a rheumatologic condition we can refer you on to the appropriate orthopaedic physicians, rheumatologists or orthopaedic surgeons for further investigation and management.

We have links with some of the top consultants in the country in their respective fields should their services be required. Remember the longer an injury or problem is ignored the harder it becomes to ensure a full recovery. When injuries are left to their own devices all sorts of compensatory strategies and secondary problems can develop, resulting in ultimately more treatment sessions and / or surgery being required.

The sooner you get to us the sooner you are going to feel better and you are also more likely to make a full recovery. The only caveat here is that if you have sustained a major injury or if the problem has been ignored / inappropriately managed for too long then your body may never fully recover – hey, don’t shoot the messenger!

As a rule of thumb we will refer you to your GP or appropriate specialist should you not notice a significant improvement within three physiotherapy sessions.

Are you recognised by Private Medical Insurance companies?

Yes our physios hold full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and are also registered with the Health Professions Council. This means that we are recognised by all Private Medical Insurance Companies. We are happy to invoice PMI companies on your behalf providing you supply us with a valid reference number / policy number / membership number on your initial assessment.

What training do your physiotherapists undergo?

Our physios all hold BSc (Hons) degrees in Physiotherapy which involves three-to four years of full-time education. Our physios also hold full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and are registered with the Health Professions Council which means that our work is comprehensively insured.

We pride ourselves on providing first class treatment and rehabilitation and to ensure we maintain these standards our physios attend regular in-house training sessions in addition to post-graduate courses hosted by internationally recognised experts in the field of musculoskeletal medicine.

You can rest assured that you will only be dealing with highly trained physiotherapists at your local Advanced Physiotherapy Centre.

What should I wear to my appointments?

Please ensure you wear loose comfortable clothing (ideally vest and shorts) in order to permit accurate assessment of your body and its movement patterns. If you feel uncomfortable being treated by a physiotherapist of the opposite sex then please let us know when you book your initial assessment and we will book you with a therapist of the same sex. You are also more than welcome to bring a friend or significant other to your appointments.

Do you treat children?

We are happy to treat children under the age of 18 providing they are accompanied by an adult. It is important that your child is capable of communicating the nature of the problem to us otherwise we may struggle to help.

We have no experience of treating toddlers and babies therefore the best port of call for parents of very young children with musculoskeletal disorders or children with special needs would be to a specialist paediatric physiotherapy department (this would require GP referral on the NHS).

What does the initial assessment involve?

The Initial Assessment (IA) process allows us to identify the injured tissue(s) and the underlying factors that have contributed to your injury / problem. The IA comprises three sections:

History taking:

This involves us asking you lots of questions on how your injury / problem developed what activities make it better or worse and basically identify how you have been affected by the injury / problem. We will also ask questions on your medical history, work history and your exercise history in order to identify any genetic and lifestyle factors that may have had an impact on your problem. The bulk of this information is taken in a questionnaire format which you can download here and print off (don’t forget to bring it with you to the IA); if you are unable to print the IA off please ensure you arrive 15 minutes prior to your IA in order to complete the forms. (Working in this way helps keep our costs down and it also means we do not lose any valuable consultation time with form-filling!)

The History Taking process also helps us identify any potentially serious medical conditions which might be masquerading as a muscle or joint problem. Such problems are thankfully rare but if they happen to arise we will liaise directly with your GP to ensure you get appropriate and prompt medical attention. Our physios hold full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and are registered with the Health Professions Council therefore you can rest assured that you will be dealing with properly medically trained physios. Membership of the above bodies also provides us with full professional liability insurance.

Physical examination:

The second part of the IA will involve us looking at your posture and alignment and seeing how well your injured body parts move. Please ensure you wear loose comfortable clothing (ideally vest and shorts) in order to permit accurate assessment (we don’t have X-ray vision!). Your physio will then apply a range of diagnostic tests in order to identify the structures at fault.

Treatment planning:

By compiling the information gleaned from your questionnaires, history taking and physical examination we develop an injury profile and then explain the findings to you and give you a diagnosis. You will be given a clear list of Do’s and Don’ts and you will be started off on your exercise programme. Time permitting your physio will also treat the injured area in order to begin getting you back to normal. Whilst we acknowledge that hands-on treatment is important, the number one priority of the initial assessment is to establish a precise diagnosis and ensure you know exactly what to do what not to do in the time you are not in the physio clinic. Trust us – we know which is much more important! In summary by the end of the initial assessment you will know what is wrong with your body, what we can do to help and how you can help yourself!

How many treatment sessions will I need?

On completion of the initial assessment you will be given an estimate as to how many therapy sessions you are likely to need and as to how long it will take for your body to heal. In some cases some simple advice and exercises may be enough to successfully manage your condition in which case you would only need one or two sessions. In the majority of cases a short course of treatment (6-8) sessions should be sufficient to achieve an optimal recovery and significantly reduce your risk of relapse or re-injury. In cases where there has been significant tissue damage or if your physiotherapist suspects you may be suffering from a rheumatologic condition we can refer you on to the appropriate orthopaedic physicians, rheumatologists or orthopaedic surgeons for further investigation and management. We have links with some of the top consultants in the country in their respective fields should their services be required. Remember the longer an injury or problem is ignored the harder it becomes to ensure a full recovery. When injuries are left to their own devices all sorts of compensatory strategies and secondary problems can develop, resulting in ultimately more treatment sessions and / or surgery being required. The sooner you get to us the sooner you are going to feel better and you are also more likely to make a full recovery. The only caveat here is that if you have sustained a major injury or if the problem has been ignored / inappropriately managed for too long then your body may never fully recover – hey, don’t shoot the messenger!

As a rule of thumb we will refer you to your GP or appropriate specialist should you not notice a significant improvement within three physiotherapy sessions.

Are you recognised by Private Medical Insurance companies?

Yes our physios hold full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and are also registered with the Health Professions Council. This means that we are recognised by all Private Medical Insurance Companies. We are happy to invoice PMI companies on your behalf providing you supply us with a valid reference number / policy number / membership number on your initial assessment.

What training do your physiotherapists undergo?

Our physios all hold BSc (Hons) degrees in Physiotherapy which involves three-to four years of full-time education. Our physios also hold full membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and are registered with the Health Professions Council which means that our work is comprehensively insured. We pride ourselves on providing first class treatment and rehabilitation and to ensure we maintain these standards our physios attend regular in-house training sessions in addition to post-graduate courses hosted by internationally recognised experts in the field of musculoskeletal medicine. You can rest assured that you will only be dealing with highly trained physiotherapists at your local Advanced Physiotherapy Centre.

What should I wear to my appointments?

Please ensure you wear loose comfortable clothing (ideally vest and shorts) in order to permit accurate assessment of your body and its movement patterns. If you feel uncomfortable being treated by a physiotherapist of the opposite sex then please let us know when you book your initial assessment and we will book you with a therapist of the same sex. You are also more than welcome to bring a friend or significant other to your appointments.

Do you treat children?

We are happy to treat children under the age of 18 providing they are accompanied by an adult. It is important that your child is capable of communicating the nature of the problem to us otherwise we may struggle to help. We have no experience of treating toddlers and babies therefore the best port of call for parents of very young children with musculoskeletal disorders or children with special needs would be to a specialist paediatric physiotherapy department (this would require GP referral on the NHS).