21 things you should ask your physiotherapist before treatment
Finding the most suitable health practitioner for your needs can be difficult, especially when it involves embarrassing or emotionally intense issues such as pelvic floor health or birth trauma. Many women are referred to a pelvic health physiotherapist but then get discouraged if that therapist is not well qualified in their particular concern or if they don’t have a clear treatment plan for them.
To help you navigate this process and find a pelvic health physiotherapist that is the best fit for you, we have consulted with women and physiotherapists to put together the top questions you should ask your physiotherapist prior to treatment. It is also important that you have a clear idea of the goals you wish to achieve in seeing a physio and are able to clearly articulate that to them. For example, wishing to reduce pain, return to running, resolve incontinence or have prolapse interfere less in daily activities.
You may be able to find the answers to some of the following questions via their website prior to your first consultation. You may wish to ask some questions before booking your initial consultation and others you may want to ask in person. Some of these questions will only be able to be answered after an assessment, as they include information about your particular presentation.
What is your educational background in pelvic floor health?
Post Graduate qualifications?
Master level qualifications?
What specific pessary training have you had?
University level training?
How long have you been working in the pelvic health field?
Do you have any special areas of interest or expertise?
Tell me more about your experience with (insert specific concern here).
How much of your caseload is people with (insert your specific concern here)?
What is your success rate with treating (insert your specific concern here)?
What guiding principles do you use when treating (insert your specific concern here)?
What do your sessions for treating (insert your specific concern here) often include?
What equipment do you use for treatments and will I need to purchase any equipment or devices as part of my treatment?
How often do you recommend I see you and for how long?
What can I expect from follow up appointments and do you provide home programs?
Can I reach out to you between our sessions if I have questions or a concern?
How do you determine when a patient no longer needs to see you or you may need to be referred on?
The following questions will also be useful for some women:
How do you asses for Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)? If indicated, are you able to perform a standing POP assessment or use real time ultrasound?
Do you have any experience with patients who wish to return to exercise (Eg. Yoga, pilates, CrossFit, dance, running strength training etc)?
I want to return to (insert activity here). What do you think about that?
Would you be able to advise my fitness instructor/coach on any changes to make to my program?
Do you see people pre-post surgery? (if applicable)
Do you see people during pregnancy? (if applicable)
Is it OK if I bring my partner/support person along? (This may be an important consideration for those who have experienced birth trauma, sexual assault or medical trauma).
If there are any other questions you have found useful and think we should add to our list, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.