Whether injury has you sidelined from your favourite sport or pain is hindering your passion for gardening (or Saturday morning yoga), Soaring Health’s highly-trained professionals in physiotherapy, chiropractic, dietetics, remedial massage, myotherapy and psychology can help. However, even the most passionate, dedicated and highly skilled professional can only do so much. Any therapeutic work is a collaborative effort between practitioner and client. Getting the most from your Soaring Health treatment experience also depends on your level of motivation, commitment and perseverance (dragging yourself out of bed to do those exercises when it feels too hard or futile willpay off in the long run). The other key to optimising the benefits of your treatment is avoiding common – and often surprising –mistakes that undermine progress. From minimising recovery time to preventing future injuries and pain, these tips will help you to achieve your treatment goals.
1. Arrive early
It’s hard to clearly communicate your goals and symptoms when you’re flustered from traffic and out of breath – and being late heightens the risk that you’ll forget something important. On your appointment day, leave plenty of time and plan to arrive early. You can enjoy a complimentary latte while you review what you want to say. If you do have time to spare, consider making a list of key points. You’ll arrive at your appointment calm and relaxed – which will also enhance your treatment. For initial appointments, you’ll be asked to complete an intake questionnaire, so try to arrive at least 15 minutes early.
2. Dress the part
When dressing for your appointment, consider the type of clothing you’d wear to yoga or Pilates. Wearing lightweight, flexible clothing and easy-to-remove shoes will mean you’re comfortable and able to move freely. It will also enable your practitioner to locate and access target muscles and joints. Try to avoid jeans, tailored clothing and jewellery (you’ll only have to take it off). If you are coming from work or somewhere requiring a ‘treatment unfriendly’ wardrobe, there is a change room available, so remember to pack a bag.
3. Silence your phone
Smartphones can be sneaky treatment saboteurs. While a social media ping or email alert may seem inconsequential, the intrusion of technology mid-massage or adjustment will not only cause you to tense up and drift from the moment (ideally you’d be relaxed and focused on your body), but it may distract your practitioner from doing their best work and break the important connection between client and practitioner. If you can’t turn your phone off, at least put it on silent.
4. Communicate well
All good partnerships are built on communication. In the case of treatment, the more clear, concise and direct you can be, the faster your practitioner can diagnose relevant issues and get you on the way to recovery. While your practitioner is trained to ask questions that elicit key information, you can help. Start with the core reason you’ve sought treatment and any known or possible related causes (such as a fall before the onset of back pain) and frame your experience in visceral terms (e.g. ‘It feels as though it gets caught and needs to be clicked into place’). While being concise and direct can fast-track diagnosis and treatment, detail can help your practitioner to fine-tune their diagnosis and treatment plan, so don’t be afraid to mention something that maybe relevant – even if you fear that it’s melodramatic or embarrassing.
5. Work it with active care
Treatment doesn’t end when you leave the consultation room. In fact, most of your recovery occurs outside your sessions – so it really is up to you to ‘facilitate’ the treatment process. The biggest factor within your control (aside from following advice to avoid activities that may make your injury worse), is how you approach homework. It may seem like a chore or that missing a day here or there won’t matter, but consistently performing prescribed exercises will help you and your practitioner to efficiently achieve your treatment goals while preventing injury and pain in the long term. If you do miss a couple of days (you’re human), be honest with your practitioner. It will help them to understand your progress and administer appropriate treatment in session.