Blog Posts

The desperate patient – causes the desperate clinician- to do desperate things.

If there is any one word I find myself using on a regular basis in both these blog posts and when talking to my fellow clinicians it is the word self-efficacy. 

I think back to my early days working in private practice. A middle age gentlemen, couldn’t have been any older than 55, came in with a recurrence of his medial sided joint line tenderness of his left knee. His name was Paul. I was sat in my clinic room and when I heard the front door of the clinic open I heard a booming scottish accent bellow the words ‘right, which one of your physio’s is going to be zapping my knee today then?’ he said to the receptionist. 

I’d never met Paul before so I grabbed his previous clinic notes from past visits which resembled the entire works of JK Rowlings Harry Potter series.

They read as follows:

14/02/2015 1MHz 1:1 0.8 W/Cm2 and DTF’s to medial joint line. Good response to Rx. R/V and resume Rx.

16/02/2015 1MHz 1:1 0.8 W/Cm2  and DTF’s to medial joint line. Good response to Rx. R/V and resume Rx.

18/02/2015 1MHz 1:1 0.8 W/Cm2  and DTF’s to medial joint line. Good response to Rx. R/V and resume Rx.

24/02/2015 1MHz 1:1 0.8 W/Cm2  and DTF’s to medial joint line. Good response to Rx. R/V and resume Rx.

01/03/2015 1MHz 1:1 0.8 W/Cm2  and DTF’s to medial joint line. Good response to Rx. R/V and resume Rx.

I decided to flick the pages back even further. 12/12/2011. 1MHz 1:1 0.8 W/Cm2 and DTF’s to medial joint line. Good response to Rx. R/V and resume Rx.

Ok Let’s go back a bit more I thought! 06/08/2008. Aaahhh Here it was the first admission for left knee pain (lets ignore the rest of his problems for this blog). The notes read:

“Patient presented with left sided knee pain after going for a long walk with his dog 2 days ago. No Locking/No Clicking/No trauma/ No giving way. Positive medial joint line tenderness. Clinical Impression: Medial Meniscus Tear. ?Arthoscopy. Well That escalated quickly.

So up I get and walk through to the clinic reception, notes under arm, and before I even get chance to introduce myself Paul is thundering full steam ahead into the clinic room with a gait cycle resembling that of a wounded animal. Up he pops. Straight onto the plinth. Trousers round his ankles. 

“I’ve not seen you before son.” (just to clarify he is not my dad)

“Hello Paul, my name is Matt. I’m one of the physiotherapists here”. Would you mind telling me a little bit about why you’re here?”.

“Are you taking the piss son. It’s my bloody left knee. It’s knackered lad – now be a good lad and get that machine over there on it!” He barked back.

“Do you think before we do that maybe we could have a little chat about the issue to see how I can help you best?”

By now I could tell I was really saying all the wrong things. The look he had on his face was one of a man who knew his way round this clinic room and had seen his fair share of physios.

“I’ll tell you what – get that machine buzzing and we can chat as we go – how does that sound.” (It sounded bloody tragic but by now I could feel my face burning up and even a bead of sweat rolling down my arm pit)

“Sound’s good” I feebly responded with what felt like a frog stuck in my throat.

I wheeled the machine over looking at it the same way I did a washing machine in my first week of University – completely perplexed. 

I proceeded to analyse the machine with Paul watching over me like a hawk stalking it’s prey. To be fair by now Paul virtually had shares in this ultrasound machine, he should be self treating while I sit in the corner and supervise!

F*** sake how do I work this thing! I wondered in my mind! There it is! The ON switch!!! As the screen lit up it was go time.1MHz 1:1 0.8 W/Cm2 I repeated in my head over and over as I scrolled through the numbers using the dial on the machine. A quick squirt of the lubricating gel on the ultrasound head and we were ready. GAME TIME.

Hold on a second – I haven’t even examined the thing! What am I doing!

The desperate patient – causes the desperate clinician- to do desperate things.

As I put the ultrasound head onto his knee he looked at me like I had just cold called him asking about his mis-sold PPI.

“Wrong one son.”His intimidatingly deep voice boomed.S***

Take 2. I placed it onto his left knee – medial side and off we went!

“So what do you want to talk about- the weather, holidays, TV, Football?” – It was like a new man was on the plinth! His whole demeanour had changed, like a crack addict who had got their latest hit.

“Tell me about your knee, Paul”

“My Knee? It’s shot. Knackered. Bone on Bone. Its grinding together – I should never of gone for that bloody walk! Doctor say’s if I don’t get it seen to now by you good people then it will be a knee replacement next year but they probably won’t do it because I’m too young – so I’ve stopped bloody everything!”

“How was it before the walk?”

“Perfect- I’d never had a problem with it! After that walk it hurt to put weight on it for a couple of days so I came here and your colleague told me about the cartilage being worn away.”

“Ahhhh it’s feeling better already son!” Paul said.

“It’s had a big impact on your life then” I stated.

“Too right – no more taking the dog out, I’ve gained weight, I’m a diabetic now, and I can’t play football with my grandson! But I’ll tell you what, I’m not having one of those metal knees, I’ve seen a video of them things being done – brutal!”

We continued to chat in this way and by now you should be building up the picture. Acute episode of knee pain some years ago after having NO prior knee pain, comes to see his doctor and a physiotherapist. Given some crappy diagnosis and treatment with no reassurance and scare the living crap out of him and destroy his quality of life. And where is his self efficacy now? Well every time that ultrasound probe made contact with his skin I can assure you it was sucking the life out of it. Paul was a victim of the machines!

I glanced over to the ultrasound machine. S*** I never even started the thing!

“Much better now son- cheers for that! Same time next week then?” Paul said as he clocked the time and recognised the treatment should be reaching its conclusion by now.

Like hell was I going to just let him walk out of that room with a bit of lubricant on his knee making him feel better.

I proceeded to assess his knee, 125 degrees of flexion, minimal joint line tenderness, negative meniscal tests. What’s going on I pondered. This guy came into the clinic in agony and was leaving with a nice bit of placebo only to be heading through to reception to book his next treatment for the following week.

“See you next week Matt!” his strong Scottish accent echoing through the waiting area.

When my clinic ended that evening and I was sat writing up my days notes the clinic owner poked her head into my room.

“How did it go with Paul today Matt? Nice and easy, usual treatment?”

That stuck in my head and when Paul came back to see me the following week usual treatment was abandoned. This was my one of first realisations of how I could do more as a physiotherapist to help empower my patients!

Now this blog isn’t about how I treated Paul (although I will do one on request) but instead about how these machines and passive treatments rob our patients of their self efficacy.

But…..I use manual therapy and passive treatments to get a buy in from my patients – I hear clinicians cry. If that’s your response then I suggest you look a little deeper at your so called ‘soft skills’. When you hone your soft skills then the buy in comes naturally, without the need for all of these sham treatments.

A blog from Adam Meakins entitled Abandoning Manual Therapy summarises this perfectly in this one paragraph:

“In my opinion manual therapy is often used to justify the therapist’s existence giving them a feeling of purpose and responsibility, and often used to pander and pamper to patients rather than to genuinely help them.”

And would this even be a blog without some knowledge bombs from my idol, Louis Gifford.

Gifford points out that as a profession, we struggle to give our patients rational answers to simple questions and make clear what we can and cannot do. Think about it, what information do you expect to receive from the doctor when you have a bad cold? Do our patients really expect us to fix them or do they want the answers to these four simple questions…

  1. What is wrong with me?
  2. How long will it take?
  3. What can I (the patient) do for it?
  4. What can you (the healthcare provider) do for it?

By the way, the answer to all 4 of those questions is not an machine with some gel on it just like my good friend Paul now recognises.

As always people.

Stay Honest.

@Honest_Physio

CFT WORKSHOP 2019- TELL ME YOUR STORY

TELL ME, I’LL FORGET

SHOW ME, I’LL REMEMBER

INVOLVE ME, I’LL UNDERSTAND

Courses should help us to both confirm and challenge our bias.

This weekend however was all about confirming my own bias. Peter O’Sullivan’s 3 day CFT workshop in London was easily one of the best courses I have attended in my career. I feel that Peter (@PeteOSullivanPT) would modestly prefer that I credit the CFT workshop to his widespread team (see below image) across the globe rather than as an individual accolade. Peter’s distinctive hair (which I can only envy) and charisma spearheads the CFT movement and the fantastic work that the team are doing was clear to see for all of the attendees over the 3 days.

Collaborators

After the 3 days I spent attending the workshop and having accumulated a plethora of knowledge bombs I left with a sense of optimism knowing that the physiotherapy profession is moving forwards and having improved my own self efficacy (more on self efficacy to follow).

The CFT approach was demonstrated on 4 patients to whom Peter was blinded on days 2 and 3 and the effortless execution which Peter demonstrated was inspiring and reflected the attributes of a highly skilled practitioner who has honed his style and communication skills over many years.

To leave this 3 day workshop and feel that you are now a certified CFT practitioner would be naive but to leave with a recognition that you are able to grasp the foundation skills and nurture those skills within clinical practice a fantastic start point.

Peter’s approach was an amalgamation of motivational interviewing and sound clinical reasoning which allowed him to create a strong therapeutic alliance and gain the trust of these patients in front of a packed lecture hall. Peter was able to subtly incorporate key motivational interviewing techniques and violate his patients expectations of pain through the connection he had developed and build their self efficacy through the power of doing. To paraphrase Peter:

I’M LIKE A DOG WITH A BONE – I KNOW WHAT I WANT, AND I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL I HAVE GOT IT”

Peter listened to his patients, understood and validated their concerns and was careful not to dismiss any beliefs in which they were strongly invested. Peter is a world class clinician who utilities some extremely intelligent techniques. Peter used the patients own words back at them – emotive words, words that had come directly out of the mouth of his patients. We should not make assumptions, but what we can do is use the words our patients use back at them! Not only does this show that you have listened – but it shows the clinician is not making assumptions, the things that “terrify, fear, scared, worried” can then be addressed.

TELL ME YOUR STORY.

Chesters et al. 2019 found that “physiotherapists prefer open focused questions when addressing the topic of patients’ presenting problems in initial clinical encounters, providing patients with a focus, whilst still allowing them to express themselves in their own words”. What better way to allow your patient to feel in control and able to lead the consultation than with the phrase TELL ME YOUR STORY. Peter continually used the phrase at the start of each consultation without exception. What do you think of when you think of the word story? A narrator. A beginning. A middle. An end. The narrator takes the story where they want. Peter feels that a patient should have the opportunity to be the narrator and that within the first minute of a consultation you will be privy to a key piece of the puzzle. So rather than the traditional “how are you today?” where the patient must confide to the social norms of “fine thanks” sit yourself down ready for story time.

If you haven’t completed a motivational interviewing course yet – do one! (There’s a couple of great resources available in the form of the book “Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behaviour” aswell as The Physio Matters Podcast – Session 64) oh and I did the artwork for the podcast on a side note 😉

After every patient story Peter utilised a very simple motivational interviewing technique. A summary. Why is a summary useful? Have you ever been in the situation where your friend/partner/ colleague recognises that you’ve completely blanked out everything they’ve just said only for them to then say “what did I just say?”. Is there a sweeter feeling in the world than being able to accurately recount their previous ramblings play by play. Nope. A summary is your perfect opportunity to show that you have listened.

Peter asked permission to provide the summary. Allowed the patient to intervene should the summary be incorrect and provided an account of the patients story, identifying the key points and facts with the whole focus of building therapeutic alliance. And guess what. Nobody interrupted him. Why, because he had listened, and the account he gave back to the patient was a perfect summary, drawing on the key incidents, using the emotive words, and identifying patients goals!

SELF EFFICACY “AN INDIVIDUALS BELIEF IN THEIR INNATE ABILITY TO ACHIEVE GOALS. HOW WELL ONE IS ABLE TO EXECUTE COURSES OF ACTION REQUIRED TO DEAL WITH PROSPECTIVE SITUATIONS.”

Thankfully in physiotherapy departments the tide is slowly changing it seems and we are educating our patients with evidence based medicine however this often results in clinicians telling patients how common disc bulges are in the asymptomatic population – Yes, this is very important, but how do you think a symptomatic patient feels when they are presented with these facts? They do not sit in this category of having an asymptomatic disc bulge in their eyes – they have a symptomatic one! Peter was able to listen to his patients story, and who doesn’t love a good story! Recognised what was important to them within the story and tailor his assessment and treatment around this. Not once did he violate his patients belief system by sitting them down and lecturing them- he violated his patients expectations of pain through doing– now consider what is a more powerful method for changing someone’s beliefs and expectations, sitting down and having the facts presented in a lecture format or physically having their expectations and beliefs altered through their own doing and actions. All of this without manual therapy, without lecturing, but instead with listening and understanding with one goal in mind – Improve self efficacy.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of CFT – I suggest that you become familiar with it. Not because CFT is THE way but because it is A WAY. So what is Cognitive Functional Therapy?

CFT is built on 3 pillars:

  1. Making Sense of Pain
  2. Exposure with control
  3. Lifestyle Change

Think about doing 1 of these components in isolation without the other 2? A patient presents with disabling LBP. You can’t talk a patient better. Show them! Give them a new representation of pain and then show them what they can do! The bigger the violation of expectation the greater the effect!

The work of Holopainen et al. 2018 identified the things which our patients do and do not like!

Patient’s DONT like it when:

  1. We don’t listen or interrupt
  2. We don’t consider their expectations
  3. Give unclear or scary information
  4. Don’t involve them in the rehab plan
  5. Blame them
  6. Don’t write things down for them
  7. We are in a rush or don’t follow them up
  8. Over treat unnecessarily!

Can you guess what they do like? Reverse all of these! CFT is built on these things. And this is normal human behaviour! People like to be listened to, understood, involved! We are in the business of treating people. Often my colleagues say I didn’t train as a psychologist! I don’t want to treat like this! I became a physiotherapist because I like the human body and how it works” I’m afraid to say that you’re in the wrong job then. Because in this job we treat human beings – with highly sophisticated and complex minds, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, if you think a sheet of paper with a few exercises on it is physiotherapy then you’re mistaken. That is like going to a restaurant for a meal only for the chef to come out with the raw ingredients and dump them on your plate. Peter described our role as clinicians as being facilitators and coaches. You are there with your patient to help them put together a jigsaw puzzle. Except you don’t have the front cover. You have all of the pieces of the puzzle, and the patient can vaguely remember what that front cover looks like. Our job is to work together to help put the puzzle back together, by working together making sense of what the puzzle should look like we can help our patients put it all back together!

NICE Guidelines for LBP identify the importance of using a risk stratification tool. A fantastic tool yes, but do you think people like to be stigmatised? Put into a box? Do you think a patient likes to be labelled as “yellow flaggy?” Do you think their pen might choose to tick a different box in order to avoid being stigmatised. I certainly do! Yellow flags aren’t really yellow flags, yellow flags are called being human. If pain threatens to stop you from doing the things you love doing and worry about the future then I would assume that to be a normal human response. Do not put your patients in a box of being “yellow flaggy” – identify that they have come to you for some help and support not to be put in a box! So use these tools yes – but do not rely on these tools! Listen to the story, empathise, don’t be a robot, show some emotion, show humour! Be a human being!

The traditional assessment model will certainly become a thing of the past for me. I distinctly remember learning as an undergrad student how to assess the spine, how to assess peripheral joints and how to palpate the spine (although I couldn’t and still can’t feel s***).

Think about this:

Patient “I have pain when I roll over in bed and when I bend down to pick something up”

Clinician: “OK, stand up, touch your toes, arch backwards, walk your hand down to the left, walk it down to the right, lie on your front, lie on your back, lets see how your hips move, lets test your nerves, slump, slouch, stretch, lets see what your hamstrings are doing. OK you can sit back down, I will be back in a minute with an exercise sheet”

Baffling hey?

Patient “I have pain when I roll over in bed and when I bend down to pick something up”

Clinician “OK, let’s take a took at you doing those things”

Which clinician would you like to see if you had a problem? The one who look at your problem or the one who gets you to do a whole host of random tests because they learnt them in a text book and from out of date undergraduate courses!

What is more important than assessment of “joint mobility”? Peter suggests (and I agree!) patient response to stimulus. Assess how sensitised the system is! Pressure response, exposure to cold stimulus, allodynia, pain response to repeated movements! The model of assessment needs to change, and CFT is here to hold your hand and guide you through this change!

I DONT GIVE A RATS ABOUT PAIN. REALLY I DON’T. WHAT I DO CARE ABOUT IS DISTRESS!

How many people in the world are living with pain? I don’t know, look it up.

How many people are living in pain and seeking help? I imagine a fraction of the number above.

What does that tell you? People are resilient, people are able to tolerate a bit of f****** pain!

FEAR YOUR PATIENTS PAIN AND WHAT WILL YOUR PATIENT DO? FEAR IT!

If you’ve been able to rule out sinister pathology (Maher et al Lancet 2017) then what are you afraid of? Ask yourself this – why are there people living with pain and not seeking intervention but also people living with pain and seeking intervention? The answer is self efficacy- some people feel empowered to manage their own problem without worry and fear. These cognitive factors (worry/fear) fuel pain. Address the cognitive factors, violate expectations, build self efficacy and develop therapeutic alliance! Do you think that rolling around on a spikey ball builds self efficacy. No. Do you think lying on your front and having a back massage for a persistent problem where you get pain with bending builds self efficacy? No. You get where I am going with this right? As Physiotherapists we can empower our patients – we can help build their self efficacy and not fear their pain!

As I write this I’m sat in a coffee shop, headphones in, people watching. As the lady opposite me takes a sip of her drink I’m watching her face. I should probably stop now. But what do you think her face would do when she takes her next sip if whilst she was not looking I replaced her frothy cappuccino with some lemon juice. You’re probably making that face right now thinking about drinking a cup of lemon juice! What does the face tell you? Everything! The face projects emotion. The face projects these cognitive factors! Look on your phone now, look through the emojis! There are faces for every possible emotion you can think of- Happy, sad, confused, scared, worried, the list goes on! So as you watch a patient move where do you think you should be looking? You got it. The emotional projector! Peter doesn’t mean it offensively when he says he does not care about pain. He cares about distress and where is he getting that from? Looking at the thing that will tell you! What emoji can you see on the face of your patient?

Fear and worry are common cognitive factors in those patients who come to see us with pain. If you don’t think your patient is fearful or worried, then I would suggest that you’re not looking hard enough. In November 2018 I attended Ben Cormack’s course when he used the phrase – Find the hook. The hook is the thing which is meaningful to your patient, the reason they are sat infront of you. This is what your appointment should be tailored around. Passive adjuncts in physiotherapy need to become a thing of the past, these machines, tapes, needles (the list goes on!) rob people of their self efficacy- they create dependency! Yes, this is a fantastic business model, but if that’s the reason you work as a physiotherapist then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. We are in this industry to help people first and foremost, right!?

After watching Peter take an extensive history, complete a thorough assessment of the patients feared and challenging tasks and confront their fears, Peter would involve the patients in a discussion around what he had found and what the patient had experienced. Now to say Peter did not use manual therapy would be narrow minded. Manual therapy is defined by The Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Description of Advanced Specialty Practice manual therapy is defined as “a clinical approach utilizing specific hands-on techniques, including but not limited to manipulation/mobilization, used by the physical therapist to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain; increasing range of motion (ROM); reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation; inducing relaxation; improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability; facilitating movement; and improving function.”

Did I observe Peter put his hands on a patient? Yes. Did I observe reduced pain with feared activity? Yes. Did I witness relaxation, movement facilitation and improved function. YES. By far the greatest and most simple yet effective manual therapy I have ever seen.

Following each patient consultation Peter gave us the opportunity to work through the clinical reasoning process where he highlighted the key components of the patient story. During the clinical reasoning process and through identifying the key modifiable factors in the patients story it became apparent as to why Peter had tailored the patients treatment in the way he had and gain a greater understanding of how the CFT model worked.

CFT Spider Diagram to identify key modifyable factors in patients story

Now if I refer back to paragraph 1 of this short blog. “This weekend however was all about confirming my own bias”. As I sat in the workshop finding myself becoming enthralled in each slide I could not help but think CFT was already the way I was working without recognising it. It is at this point if you have not already read the works of the late great Louis Gifford I urge you to go and get a copy of his trilogy Aches & Pains. Louis Gifford’s introduced me to the idea of the MOM (Mature Organism Model – as per below). Here are some of my favourite quotes from Louis Gifford:

“If your therapist only does a ‘treatment’ to you and misses out the ‘get it moving/rehab/ graded recovery/functional recovery process – then its my opinion that your therapist is a complete waste of time” 

“Integrating psychological and social issues into practice is not an easy matter for professions that are linked historically to tissue/injury/pathology-based explanations and treatments for all pains. Overcoming a natural antipathy to integrate ‘other’ issues, concepts and explanations is a major step towards effective practice change.”

“Most of us tend to think of pain as an unpleasant, distressing sensation that originates in traumatized tissues and courses its way along neural pathways to the brain and consciousness. Thus, the amount of pain perceived fits with the amount of damage done and the pain happily recedes in direct relation to the pace of healing.

The problem is that our clinics and departments are full of patients who have ongoing pain with no clear trauma or disease process, or who have suffered trauma but the pain continues on long after a reasonable healing period.” 

Louis Gifford was way ahead of his time. Peter O’Sullivan and his team are still ahead of their time but thankfully the work he and his team do is dragging our profession into the future! Thank you Peter O’Sullivan. Thank you CFT for confirming my bias.

That’s all for now!

@Honest_Physio

Why did I quit my private practice job.

First off, thanks for checking out my page, it’s a pleasure having you as a reader. Secondly, a little about myself. I’m a UK trained physiotherapist who graduated a little over 5 years ago now. When I applied to the undergraduate programme as a naive 18 year old I had the same vision all other football obsessed undergrads did, that one day I’d be running out onto a football pitch in front of 80,000 people to put my 3 hard years of study to use with my licence to use the magic sponge. Surprisingly 5 years after graduating the sponge feels like it may have lost some of its magic but thankfully some of my peers keep that magic alive by prodding things that are painful, sticking brightly coloured tape all over their patients, sticking needles randomly into peoples skin as well as putting low dosages of electricity on elbows, shoulders, and the occasional spine. More on that later.

Anyway, I specialised in MSK physiotherapy soon after graduating with the goal of climbing the greasy NHS ladder as quickly as possible and seeing where the profession would take me.

During my early couple of years as an NHS junior physiotherapist life was surprisingly easy. Shoulder impingement, easy- yellow theraband tied to the door. Tennis elbow? They sell a cracking strap for that in the chemist, Back pain? Its your posture of course! I’d fire up my computer, print out the exercises, book the patient back in for a few weeks time and when they’d return they would either be well on their way to getting better, or just the same.

But what about those patients who were not improving despite listening to my postural advice, despite me telling them to switch on their trans abs whenever they moved! Had my 3 years at university taught me nothing!?

It was at this time I opened the manual therapy door. Was this the secret ingredient I had been missing!? The senior physio’s I worked alongside would occasionally appear from behind the curtains to either grab the massage lotion, wheel in the ultrasound machine or grab a bizarre tool for treating “trigger points” (To me it looked like a sex toy I’d seen advertised in the back of a dirty magazine but to them it was “the Jacknobber”).  I decided it  was my time to dabble in the dark arts and armed with my jacknobber I got to work at stabbing it into my patients upper traps with all my might, now, finally I was a physiotherapist! I was a manual therapist junkie, the patients’ screams were my drug.

Lets fast forward to present day. I’ve seen lots of clinicians, I’ve heard them talk to patients, I’ve heard all the analogies and if I hear another physio tell a patient their back is like a jam donut or they need a scan to work out what’s wrong then I’m just about ready to strap a giant magnet to myself and jump in the MRI scanner!

Now this is not a personal attack on anyone I have ever worked with. My colleagues work hard! But lets take another profession, a pilot for example. Wouldn’t you like to hope that the pilot with your life in their hands is  keeping up to date with training, not doing what they once did 30 years ago!? Times change and we live in a world where we need to accept that maybe what we once did maybe was not right? Pilots are exposed to rigorous testing every 6 months to check they reach the high standards required to ensure the safety of the general public but as a physio many play Russian roulette praying they aren’t called up to present their CPD file to the HCPC rather than being proud of having kept up to date.

I dare you- google any private physio practice and the first thing you’ll find is how much experience the clinican has, the next page, the treatments they offer. Let’s play bingo, mobilisation, manipulation, acupuncture, trigger point release, massage. I could go on. 30+ years experience, experience in doing what the latest research suggests actually has minimal benefit, yet this has become accepted as modern day physiotherapy and the general public still gladly part with their hard earn cash for this? Why do these patients get better without evidence based treatments? Well that’s a whole blog in itself and one that I’ll revisit at a later date.

Sitting here typing this I don’t claim to know it all, in fact, I know very little. But what I do know about is morals.

Growing up we learn what’s right and wrong, don’t steal, treat others as you’d like to be treated and always eat your greens.

Well, personally, I felt like by entering the world of private practice too soon I hadn’t found my own approach to treatment, my approach was a mixture of the clinicans I’d worked alongside as a student, the very few research papers I’d read and the one or two courses I’d scraped together enough money to attend. As a result of the pressure of working for a well established private practice where the treatments were built around very little evidence I consequently felt my morals had gone out the window (except I was still eating my greens). But charging patients for treatment that lacks evidence because of feeling pressurised by more experienced clinicians because that’s how they do things!? I couldn’t keep on doing this.

What’s the harm if the patient gets better, you’re still getting paid, the business still makes money? Truthfully there is nothing wrong with it. Morally there is everything wrong with it and if you’re committed to personal development in the same way I and many others are then you too would have decided to get out before it consumed your morals and you become blinkered by the approaches of others.

So why did I start this blog. Well it sure as hell doesn’t make me the money that private practice did, but now I am free from the shackles where I never felt I could implement my own approach, I have the time to create content, express my opinions (yes, we are all entitled to one) and continue with my own personal development.

As a university student you’d often find me on the back row in the lecture theatre doodling cartoons, my notes would be full of them. That’s how I learn give me a page of writing vs a page of doodles containing the same information and I guarantee you that I’d retain the information from the doodles far quicker than a word document in Times New Roman, font size 12.

Check out my Facebook: The Honest Physio Instagram/Twitter @Honest_Physio if you’d like to check out my doodles, subscribe to the blog to read more of my rambles or don’t if I’m not your cup of tea. But whatever you decide remember your morals, remember that commitment to life long learning you made when you produced your personal statement for University and keep doing what the evidence shows!

 

That’s all for now,

 

The Honest Physio.

@Honest_Physio