I think the answer is research. Physios positioned themselves cunningly right at the heart of medical matters by justifying their existence through evidence based practice. This has produced mixed results for the end user, for example; exercise beats ALL hands on therapies according to the evidence for virtually all situations. So when you go to the NHS (which has a mandate to deliver evidence based practice) you normally walk away with an exercise sheet, disappointed.
We’ve learned in private practice that people like a bit of hands on and it might not be as good as exercise but it works and helps patients understand and contextualise their pain.
However, what can so easily happen is a practitioner forgets to research, does the bear minimum CPD and does what has always worked.
I’ve always enjoyed asking questions of the works around me – I don’t know the answers to most things so research helps me sound clever when patients ask me difficult questions. So I’m especially pleased to be accepted into the International Rock Climbing Research Association.
I’m looking forward to publishing my first study (hint: shouldn’t be long now).