Do I Need to See a Doctor or Do I Need Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy ThornhillPeople who sustain musculoskeletal injuries are often left with a question: “Should I see a doctor or physiotherapist?” It’s a good question and any confusion is certainly understandable. After all, we’re trained to “go to the doctor” when anything happens to us; whether that’s the flu or an injury sustained while working out at the gym. The fact is however, that when it comes to injuries related to physical activity either one is acceptable. Although to be sure the experiences will be quite different. The following should help clarify things for you.

GP or Physiotherapy Thornhill?

If you’ve experienced a significant injury while exercising or playing sports you may be confused over whether to see your GP or seek physiotherapy in Thornhill. Here is a short Q&A that should help clarify things for you.

Q) Which one is better equipped to make a proper diagnosis?

A) While most people’s default answer is “doctor” the fact is that today’s physiotherapists have the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries down to a science. A qualified physio possesses all the knowledge and skills necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a GP to refer a patient to a physiotherapist for a diagnosis.

Q) Which is better qualified to treat my injury?

A) That depends of course on the injury. Many musculoskeletal injuries are best treated via a program of physiotherapy and the GP will tell you that. Although for things like an ACL tear there is no doubt you will need to see a surgeon to have it repaired. And in some cases the physio may refer you to a doctor to obtain a relevant prescription.

Q) What if a proper diagnosis calls for scans?

A) Neither a general practitioner nor a physiotherapist is able to perform scans so both will have to refer you to a third party. As such the question then becomes “Who is best qualified to decide if I need scans?” 20 or 30 years ago the answer may well have been your doctor. Today, however both are qualified to determine which type of scan would be most effective – X-Ray, MRI or CT.

Q) Which is better qualified to devise and exercise program?

A) With few exceptions this is the domain of the physiotherapist. GPs, surgeons and other specialists routinely refer patients to physiotherapists who then devise a graduated exercise regime that enables the patient to attain full recovery from their injury. No self-respecting pro athlete today would consider recovering from an injury without an exercise regime designed and monitored by a physiotherapist.

Q) Do I need a referral to see a physiotherapist?

A) Professional physiotherapists, like those at Active Care, are fully qualified to be first-contact healthcare providers. Which means there is no need to go to a GP or other specialist first.

If you have any questions regarding what a physiotherapist can do for you or wish to make an appointment for physiotherapy in Thornhill call Active Care Health Services today on 905-762-0225.