Physiotherapist counseling isn’t the same as psychological counseling. We know that when you step into our rooms for a medical consultation your problem has been painful and worrisome enough for you to seek help. You probably feel frustrated, unsure and concerned that your injury will continue to take more away from you than it has already. Your training performance isn’t at your best, you have already missed out or fear missing out on something that is important to you. Our skilled physiotherapists give you the medical advice and pain couseling you need to aid in your recovery. Like if your car has a flashing light or your washing machine makes a funny noise, knowing what is wrong enables you to plan how you will manage while it is being fixed. When you know and understand what is going on, you will feel better for knowing.

What exactly is physiotherapist counseling?

Physiotherapist counseling is all the medical advice you receive from your physiotherapist during your medical consultation. This isn’t necessarily done while sitting face to face and nodding in agreement, as we try to get the most from our time together. We can show you what structure is injured with a passive test, where we move the joint, or explain the muscle we target with a stretch by letting you feel the sensation while actively doing the stretch yourself. We can explain the physiology of your injury while using manual treatment techniques and what you can expect from recovery while using electrotherapy. We will tell you the do’s and don’ts for your specific problem to help the healing process, how long to rest, what positions to avoid, when to take off the strapping and most importantly when to do what exercises. If you feel empowered and confident that you know what is wrong, how long it will take to heal and what you can expect from your recovery you have been counselled.

Why we use pain counseling

There are numerous studies over the entire field of health care showing that when a patient understands why taking medication at a certain time, why walking is beneficial or why immobilisation is important it lowers subjective anxiety, fear and worry they experience and make them more compliant to actually do the thing that will aid their recovery. How many times a day does a three year old ask “why?” Why do they do this? Curiosity drives understanding. We strive to empower you with knowledge. Medical advice received with physiotherapist counseling will guide the decisions you make during your recovery.

Effects of understanding your diagnosis
  • Boosts confidence
  • Have a clear plan of action regarding recovery
  • Less worrisome thoughts regarding problem
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Trust and understand the process of rehabilitation
  • Increased resilience towards injury recovery
  • Better understanding of how your body functions
  • Opportunity to explore new exercise disciplines during active recovery
  • Increased self efficacy
  • Better compliance to plan of care
  • Decreased fear avoidance behaviour
  • Increased hope of recovery and future participation

“ipsa scientia potestas est”

“Knowledge is power”

– Sir F Bacon

When all your questions are answered you have peace of mind and can let go of all uncertainty.

Different types of physiotherapist counseling

  • Formal one on one counseling

Here we discuss your injury, prognosis and rehabilitation plan with you and your family or caregiver. This may include showing certain exercises and techniques to you and your team at home and all the medical advice you need to know.

  • Informal counseling

This type of physiotherapist counseling can take many forms. We will give you medical advice regarding exercise adaption during your recovery and give you guidance on positions and movements to avoid or use to your benefit. We can make these recommendations in person or include it in a booklet, email or video. Some guidance is stock standard for everyone and other advice will be specifically tailored to your unique situation. We can provide education on health promotion, pain counseling and lifestyle recommendations regarding your environment, sleep and nutrition. Our physiotherapists can make recommendations regarding your over the counter medications and provide feedback on your specific questions during your medical consultation.

Thinking patterns because of injury:

“Will I even recover?”

“What’s wrong?”

“Will I be able to participate in …….?” (insert race, competition, wedding, party, trip)

“How long will I need to recover?”

“Will I need surgery?”

“Does anybody else have the same problem?”

“Will I feel like this forever?”

“How common are my symptoms?”

“Will I ever feel like myself again?”

If you combine this thought process with experiencing pain, you have a recipe for fear and anxiety. Your brain’s limbic system, which includes the hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and thalamus, processes emotions. Once activated, they can increase the hormones cortisol and adrenaline to activate the stress response. You may feel worried, moody, feel your heart racing or even have elevated blood pressure. This, in turn, influences where your body is sending most of your circulation and how well you digest and sleep. This is not an environment suited to healing.

The effect of physiotherapist counselling

Our aim by giving you all the medical advice about your injury is to take the threat value away. Once you understand what is happening and what you can expect you won’t be pulled into the rabbit hole of questions. Less fear and anxiety equals less cortisol and adrenaline equals a better environment to heal.

Sleep quality and nutrition are also very important factors when recovering from injury that we will cover during your medical consultation. We will guide you to choose a position that aids the process and encourage you to include wholesome meals into your day, even though you may not be training as you would like. Healing needs nutrients too.

How long does pain counseling take?

It really depends how much you want to know! Your physio will definitely give you the most important information in a way that is digestible to you. If you are analytical and fascinated by the human body you may like an entire lecture on the anatomy of the structure, the biomechanical forces that come into play when you move in a certain way and the physiology of your recovery. But we promise not to bore you if you are more of a highlight reel or information as you need it kind of person. As you progress through your rehabilitation you may notice changes or symptoms that you always wondered about and want to know more about that, so please feel free to ask away. Our team is passionate about what they do and love empowering you with knowledge to make informed decisions about your health.

What can I do at home to aid my recovery?

We understand that all of this can be really overwhelming. Being interrogated about your symptoms and lifestyle, taken through positions and treated all in one hour is a lot to make sense of. We encourage you to ask questions, discuss your diagnosis and treatment with friend and family, and to come back with more questions. This means you have processed the information. As your treatment changes we will change the pace of exercises and information to one that suits you.

Cost of physiotherapy counseling

There are certain medical aid rates for pain counseling, but it is always used as part of a complete medical consultation. So, you will never be paying for only physiotherapy counseling. Understanding your problem won’t fix it, it’s the complete treatment package that shows the real improvement.

Medical Aid Code – 708

The physiotherapy pain counseling treatment code 708 is used. Medical counseling can take place at the same time while other techniques are being applied and very  rarely happens in isolation. Most good medical aids offer re-imbursement for physiotherapy counseling.

Does it make a difference to have an experienced physiotherapist counsel me?

The experience and skill of your physio makes all the difference to identify the origin and contributing factors to your problem. Our physiotherapists have years of clinical experience and in depth knowledge of your body’s anatomy. They understand different painful conditions and injuries and will be able to give you context when dealing with your unique case. Watching a YouTube video can give you information, but no context.

Physiotherapist practice in Pretoria Well Health Pro

Conditions that benefit from pain counselling

Can research be harmful?

We strive for balance. If you can recite your MRI report you have spent too much time researching terms that the internet cannot explain to you in context to your unique condition. Please use reliable sources when you research your condition, treatment or surgical options.

Unreliable resources

  • YouTube

  • Opinion articles or blog posts

  • unqualified Dr Google, please check qualifications and experience of virtual experts

  • Neighbour’s relatives with previous slightly similar problem

  • Facebook

  • Good meaning, but ill informed family member

Physiotherapy counseling questions answered:

You will most probably experience an increase in symptom intensity.

Please give us a call if you are uncertain about anything, we are happy to help.

Your therapist will be reachable during office hours telephonically or via email or leave a message at reception and we will get back to you ASAP.

No, we strive to make the most of our time together and can give you information while you are actively doing your rehab exercises or while we use manual techniques or electrotherapy.

To empower you to understand your injury and make nourishing choices during your recovery.