Hi everyone, Catherine here. I wanted to give you some information on medical imaging. If you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to get in touch.
When do I need a scan? X-Rays, MRI, CT and Ultrasound.
Medical imaging gives us lots of useful information regarding injuries to muscles, ligaments or bone. It really depends on the circumstance of your injury. A subjective (talking about what happened/what you feel) and objective (hands on) exam with your physiotherapist can quickly determine timing. This means if we need to get imaging done now, in a few weeks or not at all. We consider lots of factors in making that decision. We will discuss that decision with you.
Will it change management?
We treat everybody and every injury as it presents to us. Our understanding of body structures and healing timeframes gives us guidance. We strongly consider how you as an individual move, feel and what you can tolerate. Two people with the “same injury” by diagnosis can have very different recovery pathways. It’s more important to be specific. Recovery of an individual over a predetermined program given purely from a scan report.
Imaging will often show us changes that can be termed ‘degenerative’ but don’t match to your pain and symptoms. I always compare these to grey hairs – we all get them but it doesn’t have to mean anything!
Once we get the words “degeneration” or “deterioration” into our heads we tend to experience more anxiety and worry about our bodies, but also have lower expectations of recovery. Instead we want to focus on what the body IS able to tolerate and do more of that while we let tissues heal without learning behaviours that may cause our symptoms to linger.
Appropriate rehabilitation = Good outcomes!
We will assess your whole body movements, joints, muscles and nerves and treat with hands on techniques to help settle your body. Then teach you self treatment techniques and exercises as appropriate. Initially we may tell you to avoid certain movements or activities or to use crutches but these are only short term and we aim to get you back to your activities ASAP!
What if things don’t improve?
If symptoms don’t improve the way we expect after a minimum 2-6 weeks of physiotherapy treatment then we will refer for scans as needed. Sometimes more invasive treatments are needed (such as injections or surgery). This is nearly always the last option and most surgeons require 3-6 months of physiotherapy management prior to surgery. If surgery does end up being the result, then the physiotherapy treatment has helped get your body as happy and strong as possible. This can significantly improve surgical outcomes.
Do you need a physio?
At Barefoot we have a team of in-house physiotherapists plus specialists. We consult with each other to make sure you are getting the best care possible! If you have any concerns, or require a second opinion we are happy to help. You can book an appointment here.