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The unique relationship between a rehab Physio and their patient.

Founder of Evoker Sydney CBD, and Senior Physiotherapist, Adam Monteith talks to Health Times.

“The aim is to maximise the patient’s potential, and provide them with the ability to exceed their own expectations in all that they are required to do – no matter what level that they are playing the game,” says Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Adam Monteith.

An authentic care factor is critical to the outcomes of patients being treated by rehabilitation physiotherapists, but practitioners must be mindful of their own wellbeing too.

Rehabilitation in the physiotherapy world is care that addresses one’s physical health, more specifically movement and pain management.

If the patient is unable to perform their necessary activities of daily living, safely and confidently, and without pain or discomfort, then a physiotherapist will be engaged to help the patient achieve full function.

Causes can vary, from falls or accidents, to joint overuse or even mental health challenges.

“The aim is to maximise the patient’s potential, and provide them with the ability to exceed their own expectations in all that they are required to do – no matter what level that they are playing the game,” says Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Adam Monteith.

While necessary, the rehabilitation process can be a traumatic one, as patients struggle with inability and sometimes slow progress.

“Patients experience a wide range of emotions before, during, and at the end of the rehabilitation process,” says Mr Monteith.

“Generally speaking, a pain journey often begins with fear, anxiety, avoidant behaviours, and sometimes sadness.

“However, as the patient begins to understand the nature of their pain, and the reasons underlying its cause, they begin to accept their new normal environment.

“Acceptance turns to hope, and positivity and confidence starts to shine through, and every achievement thereafter continues to reinforce this happier state.”

With patients susceptible to bouts of frustration, helplessness, and even depression and anxiety, Mr Monteith says its crucial for practitioners to be genuinely invested in their journey.

“For me, it is a non-negotiable,” he says.

“In order to get the best result achievable, the physio must be invested. They must be empathetic. They must be warm. They must understand, intimately, the wants and needs of the patient.

“You can’t fake this stuff.

“If the patient can see and feel that the physio is emotionally invested in the rehab process, and ultimately the result, they too will invest more.”

As a result, patients may be more compliant with their home program too, giving more of themselves to the process, and ultimately improving their chances of a positive outcome.

“We completely understand what they are going through, and we genuinely care about the person sitting in front of us, and the result that we help them achieve.

“We know everything that they know, we ‘almost’ feel what they feel.

“At this time, we take the lead and show them that we understand, we support them and we don’t give up on them.”

Of course, a natural consequence of an authentic interest in the outcomes of patients you treat regularly, is the development of personal relationships.

“Physiotherapists that care about the result that the person sitting in front of them achieves, can’t help but develop ‘something’ for their patient,” says Mr Monteith.

“A soft friendship might be a good way to describe it, one where respect is held high and travels in both directions.   

“There’s mutual understanding and trust as we experience the highs and lows of rehabilitation together.

“You may not realise it, but they will likely remember every word that you say, and they will embody your enthusiasm for the process in the week to follow.  

“To not have that relationship with a patient will most probably lead to poorer outcomes.”

Of course, the development of genuine feelings for patients means physios can acutely feel the impact of the highs and lows that come with rehabilitative treatment.

“One issue that may arise on the rehab journey is the realisation that the result is now unachievable,” says Mr Monteith.

“If the goalposts for the result need to shift, or the trajectory changes on the journey, the physio needs to be transparent, and perhaps seek help from other health care providers/professions – it is always a team effort.

“You can never promise a result in health, but you can always promise to give it your absolute best shot.”

Like many health professionals, physiotherapists need to keep their own mental health front of mine, particularly when working with patients whose outcomes are not guaranteed.

Mr Monteith suggests taking time each day to focus on achievements.

“Always take a moment to enjoy the little wins, even celebrate them.

“Put things in black and white and regularly list the positive gains or wins on the journey.

“If in doubt, you – the physio, should grab a colleague and present the case in detail – it can often be quite cathartic to talk through the case ‘out loud’.”

To ensure you remain at your best, both mentally and physically, Mr Monteith says you should regularly take part in activities you enjoy outside of work, unplug mentally at night, and get seven hours sleep.

“Fill your own bucket first, then you can give to others.” 

Physio in Sydney City is making the media. Hit the link below to see this physio feature piece up in lights, exactly as the journalist intended…

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/rehabilitation/51/practice/nm/the-unique-relationship-between-a-rehab-physio-and-their-patient/6016/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ADAM MONTEITH | FOUNDER & APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist
MHlth Sc (Manip Phty) BPhty BExSc

Connect with Adam Monteith on LinkedIn

After completing a rather unique double degree – a Bachelor of Physiotherapy & Exercise Science in 2003, & a Masters of Manipulative Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney in 2010 (a voluntary, yet brutal, undertaking for a physiotherapist who wants to be better), Adam established Evoker in 2011. A physiotherapy practice with a difference. & that difference, or ‘niche’, was absolute excellence. 100% of the time. Attention to customer service detail, & excellence in physiotherapy.

Adam’s career in physiotherapy began in the ‘elite’ sporting arena at the Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Club. The lessons learned in this ‘sink or swim’, high pressure environment of the 03/04/05 seasons, created a platform for Adam to really excel in this profession. Adam has accepted invitations to look after the physical health of other Physiotherapists, Doctors, Specialists, Surgeons & none other than the Prime Minister of this country.

Adam Monteith is a highly skilled musculoskeletal physiotherapist. You can be assured that when you see Adam, your complaint will be thoroughly assessed, and he will use the most appropriate and up to date techniques to treat your problem. Adam’s treatment will always be governed by research. He is constantly analysing the results of the most recent clinical trials so that you can receive the most up to date treatment, helping you to get better sooner. Adam only ever uses evidenced based and clinically proven treatment techniques. Adam Monteith is also a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Adam is very time aware and prides himself on seeing his patients on time. With a greater than 10 year history of treating and servicing the busy professional in Sydney city, he respects your time and does his best not to keep you waiting.

Adam has:
25 years combined study & clinical experience in physiotherapy/physical therapy
Worked in the heart of Sydney city for more than 15 years
Worked with both the elite athlete & ‘weekend warrior’
Had great success in treating:
– Acute sporting injuries
– Overuse running, cycling & swimming injuries
– Post operative shoulders, hips, knees and ankles
– Complex neck & back cases.
– Adam is often called on for 2nd and 3rd opinions in these complex scenarios.

Expect: A good listener, time spent in assessment phase, plenty of ‘hands on’ physio and exercise.