Is physiotherapy suitable for me and/or my animals?
Physiotherapy is suitable for most conditions, most people and most animals (provided they are handleable or able to be treated under anaesthetic if necessary). Some conditions or pathologies and certain stages of the healing process do contraindicate/limit some elements of therapy. However, physiotherapy is a non-invasive therapy and can encompass a wide range of applications and approaches to allow modified or adapted therapy to meet individual needs. The information and detail given by you in the initial assessment will alert your physiotherapist to any of these issues. For this reason, please be as detailed and open as you can during assessment and treatment. Any concerns you may have as to your suitability can be discussed with your therapist.
If treatment is considered inappropriate for your condition or it needs to be referred for the attention of another professional e.g. a consultant, veterinarian, farrier, saddler etc…. you will be advised of this accordingly. Joint liaison between professionals to enable best outcome for you and your animals is recommended. Touch Physio is happy to liaise with fellow professionals to achieve the best outcomes for its valued clients.
Please bring a list of current medications, any referral letters, investigation reports or scan results with you to your appointment.
For human and small animal appointments please arrive promptly for treatment at the Clinic. For equine/large animal … please have your animal dry and ready to be treated at your allocated appointment time in a dry treatment area on your yard or farm.
How long will each session last? How many sessions will be needed?
For humans and small animals initial assessment is for approximately 1 hour. Follow up treatments will last approximately 45 minutes per session.
For equine and large animals initial assessment is for 1 hour 30 minutes and follow up treatment will last approximately 1 hour per session.
Therapy sessions will be appropriate in number to resolve the problem, injury issues, post-surgical recommendations, training implications and personal goals or needs of the Client. You will be advised if treatment is no longer indicated or recommended. You are free to cease treatment at any time. Please advise your therapist accordingly.
Payment for assessment and treatment is required at each session. Payment is requested one session in advance – this is to cover any non-attendance or late cancellation (less than 24 hours notice) which will be charged at the full rate, as this will have resulted in a wasted treatment slot. Should this not be an issue during your treatment period this payment will cover your final session.
If you are making an insurance claim to fund therapy for either you or your animal(s), you are advised to liaise with your individual insurance company to ensure reimbursement will be met by their terms of provision before commencing a course of treatment as all policies and levels of cover differ. Third party payment is not accepted by the Clinic and all fees must be settled directly between clients and the therapist at their time of treatment. An insurance receipt will be given on request at the end of a course of treatment for you to claim your refund from your own Provider.
What should I wear? Do I need to bring anything?
Thorough assessment of biomechanical movement and soft tissue problems requires that body part(s) in question will need to be exposed or accessible. The following everyday garments will be fine:
For the gentlemen – suitable underwear and shorts.
For the ladies – suitable underwear and shorts (and if wished – a camisole type top).
Please bring footwear appropriate for participation in gait/sporting assessment and exercise therapy prescription, for example, regular flat footwear, trainers/training kit.
If you have any orthotic fitments please bring them to your assessment as it is not unusual to find these are maladapted, worn and need correction, adjustment or replacement. Advice can be given accordingly.
For canine/small animal appointments – please ensure your animal is wearing a well fitted collar and lead (and/or harness if usually worn). Also please ensure your animal has not been fed for at least an hour prior to treatment and has had the opportunity to both urinate and defecate prior to coming to their appointment. This allows them to be more relaxed and comfortable for treatment.
For equine/large animal appointments – please ensure your animal is fitted with a suitable head collar and lead rope or means of safe handling during treatment. Horses can be left in their stable or tie up spot, dry and rugged until physical assessment begins. You may need your lunge equipment or tack and riding hat should it be required for assessment purposes and/or rider assessment.
How do I know if physiotherapy is needed?
Both humans and animals are prone to bumps, bangs, trips and falls, pathologies and age-related changes resulting in pain and limitation of function which can all benefit from treatment and restored pain-free mobility.
We may notice that we can no longer participate in our favourite activities; reach up or down with ease; sit comfortably at our desks or in our cars; handle or lift things without feeling pain or discomfort; or just cope less efficiently with daily life. Perhaps we may have suffered some sort of injury or just want to feel that we are giving our best performance every time. Physiotherapy can be of benefit.
As owners or working partners you may notice that your animal has changed in their normal behaviour in some manner such as reluctance to walk out, withdrawal or grumbling when being handled or touched. You may notice them licking or chewing a joint or area of skin, struggling to climb on/off furniture (if allowed) or get in and out of the car or to maintain balance when turning. You may find inconsistent acceptance of the bit or resentment to being saddled or ridden, reluctance to turn or jump. You may notice a change in gait or stride length, limping or dragging a toe, rearing, bucking or napping, stiffness, one-sidedness, lameness, apparent unsteadiness or weakness. You may notice your animal is ‘not quite right’ or suffering a loss of performance.
Can I just telephone to make an appointment for therapy?
Yes. Human clients and rider assessments can be booked directly with the Clinic.
Do I need my vet involved if I want my animal assessed and treated?
Yes, you do. The Veterinary Surgeons Act (1966) states that any type of treatment on an animal when it is not carried out by a vet must be referred to the professionally qualified person treating that animal by their veterinary surgeon. Therefore, for all those Practitioners who specialise and work as veterinary therapists in any field can only treat animals with prior consent being in place. This is a routine requirement, and this ensures your animal is given the best care possible and maintains liaison with your veterinary team with regard to treatment and rehabilitation. Veterinary consent can be sought by the Clinic directly from your veterinarian or as an owner you can download the referral form, complete your details and take it to your vet to complete and forward to the Clinic. Please be advised that NO treatment will be given to your animals without prior consent being in place.
How do I know if my Physiotherapist is appropriately qualified to treat me and my animals?
All Chartered Physiotherapists initially train intensively to degree level to work with humans to attain their Chartered status and have the letters MCSP (Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) and HCPC (Member of the Health Care Professions Council) after their name. Both bodies regulate and audit their members to ensure they not only attain but also maintain their ‘Chartered’ status by continuing to practice to a high level of skill and professionalism, continuing their professional development and updating their knowledge acquisition to ensure best practice.
Chartered Physiotherapist is a protected title by law, but the term physiotherapist is not if you put ‘animal or veterinary’ before it. An ever-increasing number of people now advertise their services as veterinary and animal physiotherapists with varying levels and sometimes very little qualification or knowledge. To ensure your physio is appropriately qualified please look for MCSP, HCPC, ACPAT A and for RAMP registration before seeking treatment for you and your animals.
ACPAT is a clinical interest group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. ACPAT regulates its physiotherapists to ensure they achieve the highest possible level of training in the specialism of Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapy and that these standards are maintained to be allowed to practice as a qualified Category A Practitioner. Members of ACPAT only work with Veterinary Referral in accordance with the legislative requirements of the Veterinary Surgeons Act. Beware of anyone offering to treat your animals without prior vet consent/referral.
RAMP is the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners and to be admitted to the Register means you must have met the gold standard requirements set by them and have completed training to a very high level to demonstrate that you are competent as a Practitioner. This Register was set up to allow the public and referring veterinary professionals confidence when seeking a therapist to ensure they can select from a directory of highly skilled, appropriately qualified individuals.