Like any health profession, differences exist between physiotherapist and their approach to treatment.  If we were to poll the Ottawa community, and ask them what they thought physiotherapist did, I’m sure the feedback would be very diverse.  Luckily, in the healthcare field, there is an easy way to actually determine what works and what doesn’t…Research!

Evidence based care ensures that patients are receiving the best form of treatment, for that particular problem.  Consequently, patients have better results, faster recovery and improved overall customer satisfaction.


So, what does the literature say and what should I expect from my physiotherapist? 

Well, although there are many different techniques, tools, instruments and machines that may or may not have some research to support their use in treatment, patients should look for three proven approaches used in physiotherapy treatments;

  1. Exercise
  2. Manual Therapy
  3. Progression

Exercise has been proven to be effective in treating and supporting many health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and of course muscle and joint problems.  However, often times stretching is emphasized and we forget about the strengthening component.  With any exercise routine, it is imperative your physiotherapist find balance between “stability” and “flexibility”.

Manual therapy is the professional term for “hands on” care.  The research has shown that therapeutic modalities like ultrasound and Tens have limited proven effects on treatment.  There is strong evidence to support the need for your physiotherapist to physically get their hands on you; to move, stretch, mobilize and/or manipulate those muscles and joints.  Therapeutic modalities can be used as an adjunct to care, but cannot encompass the entire treatment.

Lastly, the category that is often neglected is “progression”.  Similarly to an exercise program, when we treat muscle and joint conditions or sports injuries we need to progress the patient.  This will ensure the patients progress doesn’t reach a plateau and ensures the patient is doing everything they can to not only resolve the problem, but also help to prevent it from reoccurring.

The Active Health Institute takes great pride in its extensive clinical experience and we strive to stay current with the latest research.  Our physiotherapist, works one on one with each patient, and ensures they are getting the best care, to get you better, faster!