For sports injuries, or problems of everyday life, you may have to resort to consulting a physiotherapist, looking to us “adjustment”, “pull”, “massage”, “sell” and ultimately, we apply a treatment to improve the condition; but often we forget the importance of communication between therapist and patient.
Therefore, I take this opportunity to recommend investing time in talks between therapist and patient, but the talks made while giving or receiving a massage or mobilization, or you dress or undress in the changing of the query or you cross the physio at the supermarket. I mean what is called “treatment hands off”.
What do we mean treatment “hands off” in physiotherapy?
The term “hands off” is an expression, which would translate as less literally, “without using hands,” emphasizing that formal conversation time is spent without applying manual techniques or another contact, to devote time to communication – based interventions.
This entails several advantages… Major: a better understanding of the situation, injury or problem, the limitations it causes, how it came about, thinking about, how you can alleviate and correct selection of the most appropriate therapeutic tools to improve.
Physiotherapy techniques (most would say) do not cure or improve injury alone. By putting a bandage, do some exercises or apply a massage or mobilization we will not achieve 100% recovery; especially if no guidelines are given to do at home, tips to avoid injury mechanism, guidelines for preventing relapse…
By treatment “hands off” we mean the intervention of the physiotherapist not focused on the use of techniques or devices, but devote the time necessary to talk with the patient to find all relevant data on the disease or injury, and also keep centric approach in dialogue to explain doubts, correct misconceptions, agree on objectives, clarify expectations… In addition, not all this can be done in 10 minutes while the physio gives a massage or applies an electric current apparatus.
Not everything is arranged with the hands, but not without them
Processes like chronic pain where this type of approach is very useful since the therapist help reduce the fear of movement, exercise or activities that caused pain.
However, beware, treatment “hands off” refers not to talk for talking, or ramble on about the injury, but to employ a wider manuals technical approach and give importance to the proper reasoning, both by the physiotherapist as part of patient: both must understand their role in the recovery process, and agree on the objectives.
So do not be surprised if your therapist spends much time in making assessments and reassessments or explain how the injury occurred and what you can do to prevent relapses or try to solve your doubts. Your misconceptions about the injury or recovery using manual techniques but also giving importance to communication between physio and patient: that is physiotherapy (and good, I might add).