What is physiotherapy?
To us, physiotherapy should be kept simple – no long introductions or anatomical jargon. You tell us what your problem is and we’ll listen. You tell us where the problem is and we’ll assess. Then we’ll tell you what your problem is and how we’ll get you better.
Physiotherapy, in our eyes, revolves around you as an individual, but is guided by us as professionals. Hence you are biggest part of the treatment plan.
Regardless of structure, if it’s weak, let’s strengthen. If it’s tight, let’s loosen. If it’s stiff, let’s mobilise. And so on.
If we can’t help you we won’t leave you in the lurch. We’ll direct you to, and where possible, put you in contact with a health professional colleague or a doctor that will be able to, regardless of the condition or problem.
Are you certified and professionally registered?
Yes, all of us at Harpenden Physiotherapy are members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) and are members of our governing body the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC). We also belong to many others, depending on the specific interest each of us have – read more about them in the about us section.
What should I expect from my first session?
A friendly face! We strongly believe in a thorough initial assessment, as this often uncovers potential biomechanical reasons behind why you may have picked up a specific injury and informs you of your individual treatment plan and goals. Rather than just treating the problem in question, we’re all about curing what may have caused the issue in the first place.
What should I bring with me?
Bring along any referral letters, scans or documents you have that are pertinent to your problem. If you don’t have them to hand we are happy to contact your referring doctor or hospital department and request copies of any documentation that may be useful before you come in for treatment.
How long does a treatment session last?
Your first visit is usually 45 minutes but can last up to one hour, for the same reasons as mentioned above. Ongoing treatment sessions will usually last 30 minutes or 45 minutes, depending on the nature and complexity of your problem.
What does a treatment session involve?
Treatment or rehabilitation? Hands on treatment might be needed to reduce swelling, loosen a stiff joint, or rid you of muscular tightness or ligament scar tissue. This can include techniques such as massage, soft tissue releases, mobilisations and stretching. We firmly believe that the best tools to use are our hands, as they ultimately provide the most sensitive feedback to what’s happening in your tissues.
Rehab may then be necessary to help in the correction of a weak muscle or joint, amend an unhealthy muscular imbalance or re-train an ability to balance correctly on an injured knee or ankle. This could include specific exercise prescription and individual exercise programmes, movement correction techniques or simply teaching you to control your body’s own strength.
We also like to use other equipment, such as ultrasound, interferential therapy, traction and laser therapy, or taping and acupuncture for example.
The list goes on. But ultimately, we’ll take time to figure out what works best for you, talk through it with you and implement that into your path to recovery.
Will I be in pain after a treatment?
The old adage ‘no pain, no gain’ doesn’t always apply with us here! That said (and depending upon the nature of your problem), post treatment discomfort can sometimes occur as a result. This is usually a normal expectation and we’ll discuss that with you during your treatment. If you go away and are unsure, pick up the phone and give us a call.
What should I wear?
Come dressed comfortably in loose fitting clothes. Be prepared to expose a bit of your body, i.e. if we are treating your back, neck or shoulder. For the lower limb, bring a pair of shorts with you. For the upper limb, a strappy vest top will allow us to get to your shoulders and neck a little easier.
If applicable, you may want to bring your running trainers with you as this can provide a good insight into foot and lower limb biomechanics and potential causes of issues.
Do I need to be referred by a GP?
Absolutely not, you can make an appointment with us without having been referred by your GP. We can provide a report following completion of your physiotherapy treatment for your GP’s record – with your consent to do so of course!
If you are using medical insurance, your insurance provider will usually require you to have seen your doctor beforehand and therefore be referred to us. Continue reading below for more details.
I have medical insurance how does this work?
We are recognised by the majority of the insurance providers, as we are all Chartered Physiotherapists and members of the Health Care Professions Council.
Your insurance provider will need to authorise your physiotherapy treatment before you can make an appointment with us. Some providers also require you to have been referred by your GP. We suggest calling your insurance provider before making an appointment with us.
Insurance providers include:-
- Aviva – 01603 622200
- AXA PPP Healthcare – 0800 454080 FREE
- BUPA – 0845 6090111
- CIGNA – 01475 492222
- First Assist Group Ltd – 01455 251155
- Medisure – 0870 3331174
- Pru Health – 0845 3003483
- Remedi – 0207 3842929
- Simplyhealth – 0800 2947302FREE
- Sovereign Healthcare – 01274 841130 01274 841130
- Standard Life – 0845 2798877 0845 2798877
- WPA – 0800 298 9588 FREE
Once authorised, just tell us your insurance provider, your membership number and your authorisation code when you make your first appointment with us.
I have medical insurance, do I have to pay for my treatment?
Insurance providers differ slightly in the way that payments are concerned. Some require you to pay for a proportion of your treatment and claim it back from them, whilst others allow us to invoice them directly – both of which can depend on your level of medical cover. We strongly suggest you discuss this with your provider prior to arranging a consultation.
What happens if I don’t have medical insurance?
Not a problem, you can ‘self-fund’ your physiotherapy treatment with us. We accept payments via cash, cheque, BACS payments or card (excluding American Express) and payments is required at the end of each session.
Please note that we do have a cancellation policy for any cancelled appointments within 24 hours. Give us a call as soon as you know if we need to amend an appointment.
When you make your first appointment we will take your debit/credit card details. You will only be charged once your appointment is completed. If you fail to attend an appointment or cancel with less than 24 hours notice you will be charged a £20 non attendance fee.
How much are appointments?
New Patient Assessment – 45 minutes – £60.00
Follow up Treatment – 30 minutes – £40.00
Follow up Treatment – 45 minutes – £60.00
Neurological Assessment and treatment – 60 minutes – £80
Neurological follow up treatment – 45 minutes – £60
Acupuncture – 30 minutes – £40.00
Home Visits -60 minutes – £90.00
45 minutes – £75.00
Sports Massage – 60 minutes – £60.00
45 minutes – £45.00
Ergonomic & Work Place assessments – Please Ask
Late cancellation or missed appointments – £20.00
When can I make an appointment?
Our opening hours are outlined below. We understand that during the week you will have work and family commitments, so we can offer you clinics in the evening as well as the weekend to suit your needs and lifestyle.
Harpenden Clinic Opening times: If we do not answer the phone please leave a message and someone will contact you as soon as possible
Monday 08.30 – 19.00
Tuesday 08.30 – 17.00
Wednesday 08.30 – 17.00
Thursday 08.30 – 21.00
Friday 08.30 – 17.00
Saturday 08.30 – 13.00
I have injured myself playing sport, what should I do?
For any acute sporting injury, rest is integral to allow the bodies natural healing process to start. Therefore, stopping any sporting activities or indeed any movement that aggravates your symptoms should be adhered to for the first 24-48 hours. We don’t believe in waiting lists here at Harpenden Physiotherapy, so we can get you in for an initial assessment quickly and begin treatment and advising you as soon as possible.
I’ve recently had an operation, do you provide post operative physio?
Yes, we provide post operative treatment for the majority of orthopaedic surgeries. When and what treatment you will have depends on the nature of your surgery and the post-surgery protocol that your surgeon wants you to follow. We can see you in clinic or in your home depending on your level of mobility.
If you have any medical notes or any post-operative instructions/advice, feel free to bring them along to your sessions, as this will help to inform us of the exact surgery you’ve had. Alternatively, we will endeavour to contact your surgeon and/or secretaries to ensure completeness.