Warning Signs of a Bad Physiotherapist
Georgiy Sekretaryuk
February 19, 2017
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5 Warning Signs of a Bad Physiotherapist

Bad Physiotherapist

It won’t always be this obvious

We know you have many questions about physical therapy, and in response, we’ve provided an easy to follow guide on how to choose a physiotherapy clinic. And while we like to focus on the positive, we know that some of you want to know what to watch out for too. Being able to identify the telltale signs of what may result in a poor experience can be a key qualifier in your decision making process. Today, we are pointing out warning signs that indicate a physiotherapy clinic may not be right for you.

5 Things that Tell You a Physiotherapy Clinic May Not Provide What You Need to Attain Optimal Physical Health

1. A Lack of Depth (Staff)

Visit a candidate clinic’s website and have a look at their team roster. That roster should be deep and diverse, including highly qualified specialists to cover the entire spectrum of physiotherapy. Look for the following staff accreditations, certifications, degrees, and distinctions:

  • Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)
  • Certificate of the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (CAFCI)
  • Certification in Dry Needling / IMS
  • Registered Massage Therapist
  • Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)
  • Certification in Active Release Technique (A.R.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (BSc Kinesiology)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition (BSc Nutrition)

If the team page is missing any of the above accreditations, certifications, and degrees, or they simply don’t seem to be forthright regarding staff qualifications, you need to go elsewhere.

2. A Lack in Modern Facilities and Equipment 

The staff can have decades of collective experience and have received their accreditations from the top Ivy League Schools on the continent, but without modernized facilities and equipment to apply their knowledge and skills (to you), it’s all for naught.

Verify that a clinic has a state-of-the-art facility and gymnasium, one that is equipped with the top of the line physiotherapy and rehabilitation equipment. In addition to free-weights, exercise balls, stationary bikes, rollers, adjustable benches, and stretch bands you’re going to want to look for mention of modality machines and spinal decompression tables. While there will always be shared spaces, a facility without private rooms (chiropractic, massage, etc.) can be a concern for many, so verify whether or not the latter is available. If a physiotherapist website does not address this key qualifier, don’t be afraid to pop by a clinic and ask for a quick tour. If they don’t accommodate the request, they may have something to hide.

3. Limited Services

A lack in one (or both) of the above two qualifiers will lead to a limitation in physiotherapy services offered. Take a look at a candidate website’s SERVICES section and if there does not appear to be an in-depth accounting of treatments and therapies you may have cause for concern. For instance, if it’s missing an essential service such as a Gait analysis and foot orthotics, get to stepping.

There are numerous conditions that could result in your physical ailment. Let’s return to foot orthotics as an example. Did you now that an issue with the manner of which you walk can cause chronic pain all the way up in your neck? If a given clinic does not specialize in a service such as foot orthotics, they may misdiagnose the condition that causes your neck pain, and prescribe the wrong form of treatment and therapy. This is just one of many examples where which a lack in an essential service can lead to ineffective or outright bad physiotherapy. When considering a clinic near you (wherever you may be) compare this list of services found here and under our clinic’s PHYSIO tab to make sure you’re pairing your needs to a physiotherapist that offers a full suite of services.

4. Minimal (or Questionable) Reviews and Testimonials 

One of the more obvious ways to cross candidates off the list is to look to reviews and testimonials.  For starters, make sure the testimonials section runs deep, beyond one single page of Jane and John Doe quotes. Of course, no clinic will publish bad reviews on their own website, so you must also cross-reference testimonials with unbiased online reviews. Look for a consistently positive Google Review Score and a back-up point of reference, such as the clinic’s Facebook Reviews. If they only have on-site testimonials and no other verifiable online reviews, something is amiss.

5. A Lack of Up-to-Date Supplementary Materials to Support Your Wellness Plan

Even if you’ve completed your last session and decided for whatever reason (financial, etc.) that you will not continue with physiotherapy, a relationship with a physiotherapist should not stop there.

The clinic should continue to be your ongoing resource of physical health and wellness information, a resource that is accessed at your convenience. While subscribing to a clinic’s online newsletter can be an effective means to access this information, they often come with a strong sales message and can have you relegating the communication to the spam folder along with pitches about payday loans. Instead, a helpful clinic will publish a weekly blog that provides past, current, and future patients/readers with tips and useful information about how to maintain physical health. Simply visit a clinic’s website and see if they provide this sort of information on a regular basis. If it’s been months (or longer) since they’ve last provided patients/readers with any sort of counsel, you may have stumbled upon another reason to walk in the other direction.

If you reside in the Burnaby, Coquitlam, or anywhere in the Greater Vancouver area, and are in search for a physiotherapy clinic that puts your needs above all else, we encourage you to contact us at your earliest convenience.



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