Thursday, 17 December 2015

Q and A - your first physiotherapy appointment

We are often asked questions regarding the initial physiotherapy consultation.  I hope the information below gives you a few answers, however please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like any further details.

Some people feel slightly nervous or apprehensive prior to their first physio appointment.  We will help you to feel at ease, keep you comfortable and give you details about your injury so that you learn how to manage it and how long it is likely to take to get better.

Q. I have hurt myself on the slopes?  Do I need to see a physio or a doctor? 
A. If you are not sure, then please give us a call for free advice over the phone.  Usually, physio is your first port of call for injuries.  However, there are a few exceptions when you may need to see a doctor first including:
  • if an x-ray is required to rule out bony injury.  We can advise on this if you are not sure.
  • when painkillers and / or anti inflammatories are needed
  • for insurance purposes
  • for onward referral, e.g for an MRI scan or surgical opinion
Q.  How long is a physiotherapy session?
We usually allow 45 to 60 minutes for your first session.  This is often longer than sessions will be in the UK, however we use the extra time to perform a comprehensive assessment and understand your goals, as well as getting stuck into treatment straight away.  Most people are keen to get back on to the slopes as soon as possible and when safe to do so, we will do what we can to accelerate the healing process and keep you 'fit to ski'.  Follow up sessions are usually 30 minutes long.

Q. What will happen at my first appointment? 
A. You will be asked to complete a registration form, then your therapist will run through a series of questions relating to your current complaint, including medical history, details of your work, hobbies and your goals / aims of treatment.  A physical examination will be completed, then your therapist will discuss their findings and formulate a treatment plan.  Treatment will then be started which is likely to include manual therapy and a home exercise programme.

Q.  How many treatments will I have? 
A.  There is no fixed course of treatment.  Your needs will be assessed and discussed with you during your initial visit.

Q. Do you just treat ski and snowboard injuries? 
A. No.  Although alpine injuries are the most common presentation, we can treat all sorts of injuries, whether recently acquired or long standing.  We often see people with injuries that have occurred before arriving in resort or injuries that have occurred in transit, for example back injuries from lifting heavy suitcases.

Q. What should I wear?
A. Please wear comfortable, easily removable clothing as your physiotherapist will need to examine the affected area.  Shorts are useful for lower limb problems and vest tops if you have hurt your shoulder or neck. Your modesty will be respected at all times.

Q.  Will I always see the same physiotherapist? 
A. It is our aim that you will always see the same person.  However, there are occasions (such as the therapists day off) when it becomes necessary for you to see someone else.  In this instance, we make sure that a full handover is made to ensure continuity of care.

Q. What payment do you accept?
A.  Cash, cheques in euros and all credit and debit cards, except American Express.

Q. Do I need a doctor's referral?
Not necessarily.  You can refer yourself directly to us, however if you are going through your insurance, it is recommended that you contact them to find out what your policy says with regards to physiotherapy treatment.  Sometimes, insurance companies will request that you see a doctor first to have physio authorised.  In this situation, we can point you in the right direction for the doctors in resort.

Q.  Should I bring my X-rays and MRI scans with me? 
A. Yes, please bring all the relevant information relating to your condition.  It all assists your therapist at your initial assessment.

Q. How long will I have to wait for my first appointment? 
A. We aim to see you on the day that you book, however if this is not possible, an appointment will be arranged for the very next day. We are committed to getting you pain free as soon as possible.

Q.  I work in resort and I do not want my employer to know that I am having treatment.  Do you have to tell them?
A.  No. We cannot discuss any aspect of your treatment with anyone, other than yourself without your prior consent.  The only times we may ask your permission to do this, is if your injury affects your job and we can offer advice and modifications in the workplace to make your life easier, however usually we would advise you directly.

Q.  I am training to be a ski instructor.  Can you liaise with my coach about my injury as it is a affecting my performance? 
A.  Absolutely, as long as we have your full consent to do this.  We can help advise on training load and recovery, plus advise on any drills that should be avoided or limited while you are having treatment.

Q. Can I be seen at home / in my chalet? 
A. Yes, especially if you are having difficulty walking.  We prefer to carry out physiotherapy treatment in the clinic (65, Residence Les Andes) in the centre of town, where we have a wide range of equipment to facilitate your recovery. However we are happy to come to you when this is difficult or not possible.

Q. What if I need physiotherapy when I return to the UK?
A. We have links with some top UK practices, so we can often recommend where you can continue your treatment on return home.  Will can provide a detailed handover to facilitate our ongoing treatment.

Q. Do you offer any treatments other than physiotherapy?
A. Yes, we offer a range of massages including the following:

  • sports / deep tissue
  • pregnancy
  • relaxation / bien etre
  • hot stone
  • indian head
  • stretch and relax
  • thai and swedish techniques
We also offer ski injury prevention screening, biomechanical assessments for performance enhancement and pilates.  


      Bonne Santé

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