Where do I park?
There is a car park at the front of the practice and / or one hour free parking just across the road on Ground Lane.
What can I expect at my first visit?
The receptionist will ask you to complete a registration form.
When you arrive for your first appointment, your Hatfield Physiotherapist will take a detailed case history asking about how the problem started, your symptoms and any relevant past medical history. They will then carry out a physical examination to discover the origin and extent of your current problem.
Your Physiotherapist will give a full explanation of your problem, together with an outline of the appropriate treatment, rehabilitation and if possible an estimate of the number of treatments you may require.
Treatment will begin at your first visit. Following the first assessment/treatment session, your Physiotherapist will often give you a regime of rehabilitation exercises to continue at home.
You do not need to make any special preparations for your first visit, other than wear clothing that you feel comfortable in, and which can allow easy exposure of the area to be examined and treated. If there are any worries please just ask as we want your experience to be a pleasant one.
Can I have an urgent appointment?
Please let us know if you are in need of an urgent appointment and we will do our utmost to see you as soon as we can. Please tell the reception staff of your situation.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
Many patients are referred by their doctor, but it is not necessary to see them first. However, if you wish to claim on your Health Insurance, some companies require a doctor’s referral as with any other specialist or consultant.
How do I know that your Physiotherapist is properly qualified?
All our Physiotherapists are Chartered and registered with the Health Professions Council. A Chartered Physiotherapist is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (MCSP) which is the professional regulatory body of the profession. This means that the Physiotherapist has undergone an approved course of training (usually a 3-4 year degree course), and is governed by a professional code of practice. The Physiotherapist is also insured to provide treatment services. In addition, all our Physiotherapists have undergone post graduate training to specialise in their particular field.
We are committed to continuing professional education. As a practice we review each others work.
How long is an appointment?
There is no fixed amount for an appointment although they are generally in the region of 25 to 45 minutes. Conditions vary considerably in the amount of time required and we are committed in achieving the best for you. Most patients improve considerably after 3-4 visits.
Remember that what is achieved inside the consulting room is only a proportion of the Physiotherapist’s work. It is necessary to write detailed notes, communicate with GPs, review hospital X-rays and scans, write reports, liase with staff and upgrade our skills.
What are the fees ?
For a list of current fee for all services please click here. They can also be found on the reception desk. Fees are payable at the time of your visit by cash, cheque or credit card.
Is it safe?
We are very aware of the few but significant risks from manual therapy and of the potential for certain serious conditions to behave like a musculoskeletal problem. All our Physiotherapists are trained to screen for these risks before they commence treatment. If there are any doubts, the Physiotherapist will alert you and contact your GP to advise them of the assessment findings.
What does Physiotherapy treatment involve?
In short there are many manual therapy techniques, exercises and orthotic devices (including taping) that can be used by the Physiotherapist. These will be tailored for your specific set of problems/symptoms.Physiotherapists work with their hands using a highly trained sense of touch with treatment including passive mobilisation and specific joint techniques, massage and other soft-tissue techniques, electrotherapy devices and your own specific exercises for your condition.
Should I bring my x-rays with me?
Yes and any other relevant medical information you may have.
Does Physiotherapy permanently cure Arthritis and Rheumatism?
No, but there is good research evidence that exercise can significantly reduce symptoms and pain associated with these common problems. There are several techniques aimed at improving function and reducing the pain and discomfort of the muscles, ligaments and joints. Physiotherapy practitioners can also give advice on how to help manage these problem at home or in the workplace.
What is the difference between Physiotherapy, Osteopathy and Chiropractic
There is some similarity between a manipulative Physiotherapist and an Osteopath. Physiotherapists may focus more on a broad approach to the resolution of problems that includes a substantial proportion of therapeutic muscle work in combination with different forms of manipulation. Osteopaths may focus on joint based therapy and passive muscle techniques, but there is overlap in the techniques used by both professional groups. Physiotherapists tend to treat a wider range of musculo-skeletal problems. Physiotherapists seek problem solutions with a short course of treatment and educate patients emphasising the importance of self-help and self-management principles.
Chiropractors tend to use more manipulative approaches and may focus on the possibility of spinal contributions to both local spinal and more remote problems. They often utilise methods that require regular appointments at intervals of a few days or weeks, managing patient symptoms this way which they feel, reinforces the benefit of treatment.
Does Physiotherapy hurt?
Physiotherapy is not inherently painful but some discomfort is likely to be experienced when an injury is treated, even with gentle techniques. Your Physiotherapist will be sensitive to your symptoms and will discuss the treatment options with you before you start on an agreed programme. Any potential for pain, short-lived side-effects or risks will be highlighted, for example, manual muscle trigger-point release can be very painful at the time but the pain is often described as ‘good’ and fades quickly during the technique with a reduction of pain in the original problem after. Alternative options will always be found if you find a particular treatment too uncomfortable.
We do not believe the old saying “No pain is no gain!”
Are there side effects with treatment?
Side effects are generally rare but you may experience some tiredness or soreness for a few days afterwards, for example, some forms of muscle strengthening cause an ache in the muscle usually experienced a few hours after exercising and persisting for up to a day. Your Physiotherapist will adjust the treatment programme according to how you respond to treatment.
Can I phone between treatments?
If you have new problems, or concerns between treatments we would rather you telephone us as soon as possible than be anxious or in pain in silence. If the Physiotherapist is busy, your call will be returned as soon as possible.
How many treatments will I need?
This depends on the problem and its severity. In some cases, particularly when the pain is strong, it is more effective to see you again within a few days. Generally treatments are spaced roughly one week apart, although as the condition begins to improve they may be spaced more widely. Your rate of recovery will also depend upon several other factors including your age, general health, sensitivity to treatment and general activity level.
Some patients feel that they benefit from a Physiotherapy MOT which may require visits on an occasional basis.
Will I need a regular check up?
Not usually but this depends entirely upon the problem as some long-term conditions such as forms of arthritis and muscle wasting may vary month to month and occassional top-up treatment or tweaking of exercises may be beneficial.
Can I claim on my medical insurance?
The majority of medical insurance companies cover Physiotherapy. The Hatfield Practice enjoys specialist status with Bupa and PPP. Most now refund part or all of patients fees; some have special conditions or require that you tell them at the onset. It is best to check with your insurers first, sooner rather than later, as individual policies may have exemptions. If you do have complimentary health cover then you should obtain an authorisation number.