Top 5 things we’ve learned from helping over 17,000 people relieve their pain

After helping more than 17,000 people in our clinics, you can be safe in the knowledge that we will likely have seen your issue before and know how to help. But, we’ve also learned some slightly surprising things over the years and seen some patterns emerge. Patterns that can help…

Reading Time: 6 min.

Top 5 things we've learned from helping over 17000 people relieve their pain

After helping more than 17,000 people in our clinics, you can be safe in the knowledge that we will likely have seen your issue before and know how to help. But, we’ve also learned some slightly surprising things over the years and seen some patterns emerge. Patterns that can help people avoid pain, relieve their pain faster, and avoid suffering at the hands of pain quite so much.

So we thought we would reveal them here for the first time…

People put up with pain for far longer than they need to

Whilst you can’t come to us for every niggle you get, most people leave it much longer than they needed to to come and see us. Generally speaking, if something is painful, and not improving within 10 days (or 2 weeks at most) of the pain starting, it’s unlikely to just disappear by itself.

We see people who have put up with pain for weeks, months and sometimes even years in clinic. The delay results in two things. One, it takes longer to get rid of the pain with treatment as things have been allowed to get stiffer or weaker, and so there’s a longer journey back to feeling good.

Secondly, it means that the patient has put up with pain for longer (sometimes much longer) than they needed to. Even if a pain is just a niggle and doesn’t stop you doing anything, when it’s there for a long time, it wears you down. So often, our patients tell us they wish they’d come sooner.

Physio isn’t what people think it is

Most people don’t actually know what Physio is really. They’ve often been told it might help, or read somewhere it might help with their problem, but most people don’t know what we do, or think we just do massage.

The stereotypical view of Physio is that we are Massage Therapists basically. Whilst we do do Massage, and it can work brilliantly, there’s a lot more to our treatment. It all starts with our ability to diagnose a problem. Our detailed assessments allow us to find the root cause of the issue, rather than just one of the symptoms, which tight muscles often is.

We also have lots of options when it comes to treatment. We can mobilise joints, we can manipulate joints, we can work on improving the mobility of nerves. We can help people get stronger, fitter and more resilient to what they have to do in their normal day. We can help people with training plans for their specific sport, and we can devise a full plan for helping someone relieve their pain and keep it away.

We do also do massage. It does help, but there’s a lot more to Physio than most people realise. That means it can help with more problems than most people think, and can help you learn how to stay pain-free in the long run, rather than offering a quick fix.

Back pain is the most miserable thing we see…but it does usually go away

The most common problem we see in clinic is lower back pain. It’s also often the most miserable…which is why we see it so much. It’s not something people can ignore.

If you’ve had back pain yourself or you’ve seen our article How Back Pain Really Makes You Feel, you’ll know that back pain feels like it will never go away. It’s an odd psychological experience where even whilst it’s improving, it still feels like it could never possibly go away completely. That in itself makes it miserable to have.

If you then add that it often affects sleep, and it limits pretty much everything, it wins the dubious honour of being the most miserable thing to have.

What’s even more striking though are the number of people who we see who really do think the best they can hope for is a bit of relief from it, and they have to learn to live with it. The fact is, that a huge, huge majority of the people we see in clinic with backpain do make a complete recovery, with no on-going problems. Unfortunately, that’s not the picture painted in the media or by the minority who have on-going problems.

So, if you have back pain, chances are it will go away, and it won’t be a problem forever, however different it may feel at the time.

People who pay for treatment upfront get a better outcome than people paying as they go

Until recently, almost everyone paid for their treatment as they went along. But, we recognised that the patients who worked with us for a little longer (6 to 8 sessions rather than 3-4 sessions) got much better results.

Most people come to us to relieve their pain. That can usually be done in a few of sessions. But, where Physio is really useful is to then work to get people back to doing everything they want to do, and get stronger so the pain doesn’t come back. So, whilst after a few sessions, people tend to feel 50-60% better, often after 6 to 8 sessions people feel better than they did before the pain came on in the first place.

Now, we’re aware that money is a bit tight for a lot of people at the moment, so we looked at making coming for 6-8 sessions more affordable. So we introduced pre-paid passes. What we saw immediately was that the people who bought the pre-paid passes, and therefore we committed to their treatment from the start, got noticeably better outcomes. They got better quicker. They reached their health targets more often, and a lot of the time they actually spent less money doing it.

The difference was so stark that we now recommend people buy pre-paid passes as they are more likely to get the maximum benefit from their sessions.

Most people think Physio isn’t for them

So often, we hear about patients delaying coming to see us because they didn’t think Physio was for them. This was usually for one of 3 reasons:

  • 1. They didn’t think they were in enough pain
  • 2. They didn’t remember a specific injury ie the pain just came on so they didn’t think we’d be able to help
  • 3. They aren’t sporty

None of these are good reasons not to come and see us. If you have any kind of pain, however minor, we’re here to help. Even the tiniest of pains, if it’s there for long enough, or is present when you’re doing a certain activity, is enough to detract from life. To wear you down.

Pain often comes on without an injury. In fact, a majority of people we see can’t remember a specific injury that brought the pain on. Pain often comes on over time. So, we definitely don’t need you to know how or why the pain came on. That’s often our job to work that out.

A lot of people think they have to be sporty to come to see a Physio. In reality, we have more people come to see us who don’t play sport than do. They may be active doing other things, or lead quite a sedentary life, but that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t come to see us. Equally, if you are sporty we can help too. Basically if something hurts, we can usually help.

Does any of this sound like you?

So, if you’re in pain, whatever it may be, whether you know where it came from or not. Whether you’re sporty or not, please don’t put off coming to see us…and we’ll do a lot more than massage for you.

Find your nearest clinic here to have a chat about your pain and see how we can help.

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