There is currently a lot of debate regarding hands on versus hands off physiotherapy. Research is being undertaken to ascertain, through evidence based trials, which form of treatment is most helpful in the long term to patients.
Very often patients will come to the Iveson Clinic, having had hands-off treatment at the local hospital but feeling frustrated that, after waiting on the NHS waiting list for their treatment, they received only advice and exercises!
I recall in my training being advised that it is mostly down to the patient, and only partly to us the therapist, to achieve the best outcome from their ailment/injury. This comes down to compliance with exercises and taking on board the advice given by the physiotherapist regarding posture, do’s and dont’s etc and healthy lifestyle.
However, I think common sense must prevail in the end! Without hands on treatment, patients will be unable to do their exercises, in the way intended, due to joint dysfunction or pain. The NHS is under tremendous pressure financially and is having to find answers to cutting their budgets as well as finding ways to help patients in a more cost effective way.
In my view, and from 30 years in practice, there are many things the physiotherapists and chiropractors at the Iveson Clinic can improve with our hands. Whether this involves massage, myofascial release, mobilisation or manipulation of stiff joints or modalities such as acupuncture or electrotherapy, in conjunction with the treatment, we can give symptomatic relief to patients. This then opens a window of opportunity to the patient to then do their own exercise programme, once the muscle spasm and joint restrictions have been eased.
In private practice such as the Iveson Clinic, we have the time to listen, discuss our findings and plan treatment with our patients. We have learnt our skills from the best – Maitland, Mulligan, Cyriax, Mackenzie – to name but a few. We want to give you the best chance of an optimal recovery, and in my view this must include hands-on and hands-off treatment.