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All you need to know about physiotherapy at Nuffield Health.
About Nuffield Health physiotherapy
What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a treatment used to help with the pain relief, healing and rehabilitation of most medical and surgical conditions. It’s used for a range of muscle, joint and nerve conditions, whether resulting from injury, illness or disability.
Physiotherapists use a variety of physical, hands-on techniques. As well as manual treatment, they will also advise you on changes to lifestyle and ways you can reduce further muscle and joint problems with exercise programs and methods to cope with chronic conditions.
If necessary, your physiotherapist may recommend you’re seen by other specialists, for example orthopaedic surgeons, pain specialists or rheumatologists.
Is physiotherapy a massage?
Physiotherapy is much more than massage, although physiotherapy treatment can include manual therapy (moving your joints), soft tissue mobilisation (such as massage), acupuncture and electrotherapy, plus many more treatment options.
What types of problem can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy can be used to help manage an array of health conditions that affect many of the body's systems. Most often these relate to problems with bones, nerves, joints and soft tissues. A few examples of these include:
- painful backs
- necks and joints
- sports injuries
- injury resulting from accidents
- rehabilitation after surgery or strokes.
What does the treatment involve?
Your physiotherapist will begin with a full assessment and physical examination to establish the cause and nature of your condition.
After this, the physiotherapist will look at the results and consider your past medical history to determine, in conjunction with your wishes, what treatment is most fitting for your needs and create a personalised treatment plan.
How effective is physiotherapy?
In the vast majority of cases, physiotherapy is considered extremely effective for appropriate conditions. Research suggests that physiotherapy significantly improves the rehabilitation and recovery of these conditions, as well as being instrumental in the prevention of further injury.
Why choose a Nuffield Health physiotherapist?
Our patients tell us that they come to Nuffield Health for physiotherapy as they want to be able to choose the location and timing of the appointment and know that they’re being treated with the best approach to get better.
Nuffield Health is the largest provider of physiotherapy services outside of the NHS. We have an extensive network of physiotherapists across the UK, meaning appointments are readily available so you won’t have to wait.
All Nuffield Health physiotherapists are Chartered Physiotherapists and are highly skilled, trained and registered to practice. We invest in developing our physiotherapists, who all practice to our agreed best care protocols, so you know the treatment you get is the right approach to maximise your recovery. Plus, all treatment plans and sessions are monitored so that each physiotherapist can assure you of the quality care they offer.
How much does physio cost?
The average course of physiotherapy treatment (an initial assessment and 4 to 5 further treatment sessions) is £240 to £300. Average appointment costs are £50 to £60.
Individual discounts may be available based on your gym membership, for example.
- What is physiotherapy?
About your first session
What happens during my first session?
This depends entirely on the information you give the physiotherapist and the progress you make. However it’s usually split into the subjective assessment and the objective assessment.
The subjective assessment
The majority of your first session will be a discussion to find out about you and your condition – the subjective assessment.
Typical questions you may be asked include the following:
- How long have you had the condition – was it an injury or long-term strain?
- Have you already seen a practitioner?
- What makes it better or worse?
- How does it affect your daily life?
- What are your work and hobbies?
Your physiotherapist will also take your medical history to check if your current condition could link to an existing condition. Gathering all of this information is important because it ensures that the advice the physiotherapist gives you is safe, while helping to devise a hypothesis for the injury. It also helps to determine your goals and expectations for treatment.
The objective assessment
The next step is to physically assess your injury – this is known as the objective assessment. At this point you’ll be asked to perform a series of movements to demonstrate where you may have stiffness or discomfort. This assessment helps to confirm the injury hypothesis made in the subjective assessment.
The combination of these two assessments will help to rule out anything more serious, or give the physiotherapist grounds to refer you to an expert.
If there’s time at the end of this session, you may be given some treatment, or exercises to do at home. Your physiotherapist will explain what the aim of this treatment is, and what you should hope to achieve from it. If you have exercises to do, they’ll show you how to do them and give you an information sheet to guide you when you’re doing them at home.
How can I get the most out of my session?
Here are some top tips for successful physiotherapy treatment:
- Communicate: It’s important to inform your physiotherapist fully, and to listen to their advice.
- Be active in your treatment: Make sure you stick to the exercises and actions you’re given. It’s like ensuring you take your medication – if you don’t take it, you won’t get better.
- Listen to your body: If something starts to hurt too much, it’s your body telling you you’ve gone too far. Either ease off or stop the action.
What should I wear?
You should wear comfortable clothing that you feel able to move around in easily, such as a loose top, tracksuit bottoms or shorts, and trainers. Physiotherapists need to visually assess you in terms of movement and posture, as well as move different areas of your body.
How long do sessions last?
Your first appointment will involve a full assessment so it’ll take between 45 minutes and an hour. Follow-up appointments are around 30-minutes long, depending on your treatment plan.
Do you get treatment during your initial appointment?
Your first session will involve a full assessment and in most cases you’ll received treatment and recommendations.
Do I need to see my doctor first?
If you’re self-referring and paying for your own treatment, then you don’t need to see your GP first.
If you use private medical insurance you may need a GP’s referral, depending on your insurer’s requirements. You should always check with your insurance company before attending your first session.
Will it hurt?
Some treatment can be uncomfortable but at no stage should you be unable to tolerate the level of discomfort. Your physiotherapist will give you clear guidelines on what to expect during and after treatment and what is a normal reaction. If you have any concerns, speak to your physiotherapist immediately.
Can I bring someone with me?
You are more than welcome to have someone chaperone you during your treatment. In some cases a chaperone is compulsory, such as for children or someone with special needs.
Is parking available?
Most locations will have parking. If not available on site, the team at the location will be able to tell you where you can park close by.
- What happens during my first session?
What happens during my second session?
Your next session will again begin with a discussion to find out:
- how you’ve been since the last appointment;
- if there’ve been any changes in the condition; and
- how you’ve found your exercises, if you were given any.
Your physiotherapist will then conduct another objective assessment, checking for any changes since the last appointment. If you were given treatment at your first appointment, the physiotherapist will use this assessment to determine if this needs to be changed. If you were given exercises, for example, these may be progressed or changed depending on the results.
If you weren’t given any treatment or actions in the first session, you will be in this second session. You’ll be instructed what to do and given an information sheet to support you when you're at home.
What happens during further follow-up sessions?
Your physiotherapist will re-assess your condition during each session and you’ll decide together whether:
- you need a follow-up appointment;
- you’re safe to continue treatment yourself; or
- you’re fully recovered.
The time in between sessions will reflect the condition itself. If you need a follow-up session, this usually won’t be the next week, in order to give you time to make improvements.
As you improve throughout treatment, you may be given additional exercises to do, or you may be able to stop them altogether.
How long are follow-up sessions?
Most follow-up appointments are 30 minutes and will depend on your treatment plan. If you have any concerns about timings, you’re welcome to discuss these with your physiotherapist.
How many sessions will I need?
Your physiotherapy treatment is tailored to your individual needs, so it’s not possible to advise in advance exactly how many sessions will be required. However, on average it takes people around 5 sessions to achieve their anticipated results. At your first appointment your physiotherapist will suggest the number of session you’ll need based on your assessment findings.
You can be assured that you won’t be over or under-treated at Nuffield Health. We give all our physiotherapists regular audits and case reviews to ensure all our practitioners treat to the same high quality. We’ll never continue treating beyond the point that is necessary and we’ll teach you how to take steps to help prevent needing future treatment.
When will I be discharged?
You’ll be discharged from treatment when either: you’re confident that you can continue treatment on your own, or you’ve recovered from your injury.
Recovery from some conditions, such as ACL surgery, will take a long time, but with most conditions people find that they are able to finish physiotherapy treatment in 5 sessions or fewer.
Can I stop treatment at any time?
Yes, you can stop your treatment at any time. However, we do recommend that you complete the planned treatment course as some effects are temporary and require repeated session to have a long-term impact.
If you feel the treatment isn’t achieving the results you anticipated, discuss this with your physiotherapist as they may be able to offer alternative treatment to achieve your desired results.
If you do stop treatment, you’re welcome to return to physiotherapy when it suits you. If this period is longer than 6 weeks, the physiotherapist will need to complete a full review of your initial assessment before recommencing treatment.
What do I do if physiotherapy isn’t helping me?
If the treatment isn’t helping you then raise these concerns with your physiotherapist who’ll discuss your progress with you throughout your treatment. It may take some time to make improvements if you’ve suffered from an injury for a long period of time.
Your physiotherapist will discuss your case with senior practitioners and explain their recommendations to you.
- What happens during my second session?
I’m a Nuffield Health member – do I get a discount?
Individual discounts may be available based on your gym membership, for example. Please advise the staff member when making your booking. You’ll need to have your membership number and gym location details to hand.
I’ve had physiotherapy with Nuffield Health – do I get discounts to any other services?
By receiving physiotherapy with Nuffield Health, you’re able to gain free access to our gyms for 30 days after your final appointment. This will give you an opportunity to use a gym for rehabilitation and access our facilities.
If you become a member of one of our fitness and wellbeing clubs you’re entitled to other discounts on Nuffield Health services such as health assessments.
- I’m a Nuffield Health member – do I get a discount?
When are cancellation fees charged?
A cancellation fee will be charged if you don’t attend an appointment without notice, or cancel an appointment with less than one full working days’ notice (excluding weekends).
How will payment be taken?
For all bookings, payment will be taken at the time of booking.
Can I pay using my private medical insurance?
If you wish to use a health insurance product to fund your treatment and would like Nuffield Health to bill your insurer directly, please call our dedicated customer service team on 0845 045 4845. Make sure you have your insurance details to hand.
- When are cancellation fees charged?
How can I make a complaint?
Please call us on 0845 004 8788 if you’d like to make a complaint.
We take all concerns and complaints seriously and will make every effort to resolve them to your complete satisfaction. We also regularly review all feedback to continuously improve your experience with us.
If your complaint isn’t resolved, please do write to us and we’ll respond to you directly:
Group Customer Services Manager
What happens if the physiotherapist cancels my appointment at short notice?
Unfortunately, very occasionally, an appointment may need to change due to staff sickness/absence. Every effort will be made to rebook you an appointment with minimal inconvenience.
What do I do if my booking is incorrect?
If there’s an error in your booking, please call our dedicated customer service team on 0845 045 4845.
What if I’ve been overcharged?
If an error has been made, we sincerely apologise. In this rare instance, please call 0845 045 4845. If you have any concerns regarding your physiotherapist or treatment, please speak directly with the centre manager who’ll work to resolve the matter.
- How can I make a complaint?