What are adjunct treatments and how they fit into the big picture?
You’ve probably heard of most if not all of the above treatments. At some point during your physio treatment there is a good chance you’ve been exposes to not just one but a couple of these in your sessions. These are all what we call passive treatments. Basically, that means sit back, relax and enjoy. It’s what we all love about going to the physio right? That wonderful, if not slightly painful soft tissue massage that we’ve come to expect.
The big problem we run into is that these passive treatments are just a small part of the picture when it comes to rehabilitation and returning back from injury, but they are often still being used as the primary treatment method. The treatments are all adjuncts, or complimentary treatments. There MUST be an accompanying active component to treatment if you want a long term solution to your problem.
Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. I believe there is always a place for these passive modalities in treatment. Sometimes tissue is angry and needs to just be calmed down, desensitised, and be allowed to settle. But the long term solution for majority of injuries is to ensure that your therapy has an active component. Strengthening, stability work, exercise… active movement.
The last 5-10 years has seen a massive influx of new evidence pointing towards the need for the inclusion of active based treatment for majority of injuries. All of the evidence and research papers out at the moment read something like this “(insert adjunct treatment here) combined with exercise shows increased effective than (insert adjunct treatment here) alone”.
With all this being said, what can you expect from us as your Physiotherapist? Massage? If muscles are tight and spasmed then absolutely, yes. But always following the passive, feel good, temporary relief treatment we will give you an exercise that is specific to you. It might be strength, stability, activation, or mobility work. We need you to get your own body moving, allow you to take control of your health and create a sustainable long term solution to your problem.
So, sit back and relax, but be prepared to work.