Should I invest in products and if so, what?
As a physiotherapist, the way I view people is that our bodies have an amazing capacity to adapt, and we are truly robust and resilient beings. I would consider myself a movement optimist and this certainly bleeds into the way I like to practice and treat my clients. What this means with respect to products is that typically, I will use them as an adjunct or addition to treatment/management; which is generally focused on helping my clients improve movement and capacity as opposed to focusing solely on pain management.
My decision not to focus patient care on external items or products to deliver outcomes is influenced by having a good understanding of the scientific literature around many different interventions. Some of the research around typical ‘rehab tools’ such as massage utensils/creams/TENS units etc. is not super supportive of their use. Despite the lack of support for their use, it is still important to consider each person individually and if client’s have had personal experiences of benefits using tools like these, then absolutely I will use them to assist with providing outcomes. I will more often than not focus on capacity building tools, such as weights or resistance bands as they are proven to offer longer-term health benefits.
The ‘rehab tools’ that I often suggest to clients to aid in recovery are suggested with the view that the person may gain some form of benefit – whether it will help them be 1% or 50% improvement. As physiotherapists, I believe that the most important thing to do is to provide a thorough explanation of what the product is, and importantly, ISN’T doing. This brings us back to my view of clients/people being resilient and robust. A thorough explanation of what these tools are and aren’t doing ensures that people realise that their body is wonderfully capable of adapting and in many cases, we do not need to rely on external tools to feel good and keep doing the things we love.
In summary, rehab tools can be helpful in some scenarios to assist with symptom improvements and to feel better overall; however, our bodies are amazingly capable of doing this with the right care and often does not require an arsenal of ‘rehab tools’ to achieve our goals.
Come in and see us in clinic to discuss possible rehab tools suitable for your needs or lets set you up with a treatment plan to get you back doing what you love!