rip off physios

I last ran in June. For all those with a true runners mentality, imagine those three months without running.
But I was a 'good girl' I did as my physio told me and went back every week at considerable cost to see her.
I was beginning to get suspicious that after three months I didn't feel any better and saw a different physio for a second opinion.
He massaged the muscle and said "Wow, this hasn't been done in a few years,". I had paid for it to be done 6 days previously, had even laid on the table and felt her pressing on the muscle, but that's ALL she had been doing.
My new physio tells me I can start running, gradually, again in three weeks and should have been running by July.
So, next time you get a new physio (even on recommendation as this lady was), check out their credentials first, it set me back £400 and has made my knee worse.
Of course now I'm just excited that I'll be back running again soon :-D


  • I have fallen foul of Dodgey physios before. So many times in fact that I think the industry is riddled with them and I'm now at Uni trying to become a decent one.

    What did they diagnose?
  • Me too - got told a groin strain was a back probelm - "referred pain"

    With some physios EVERYTHING is a back problem...
  • Ermen, sorry to hear about the dodgy physio. Having done some research on the web site for Chartered Physiotherapist and it would appear that anyone can advertise as a physio without necessarily doing a course (strange but true).
    Their guidance is generally that, if you are seeing a physio check to see whether they have either MCSP, FCSP or SRP after their name as a check of 'quality'.

    Pizza Man: good on you, good luck with the course.

  • what about when they start telling you that 'Some Pain Is Good Pain' & to 'Work Through It'?

    Helloooo? A sharp, rapidly increasing & debilitating localised pain ain't good.

    & I think I know the difference between trying to strengthen your muscles & this...

  • It's scary that so many others seem to have experienced a similar thing. The bloke I'm seeing now is employed through the local council at one of the local council run gyms. He gets paid a flat rate each week and the money I pay goes to the council.
    I think something needs to be done to stop unqualified people being allowed, as 2002 A Trombone Oddity has discovered, to practice. How can you work on a persons body without the proper training? I certainly understand what muscle is where and how it's all attached but I wouldn't begin to assume I could diagnose nor cure a problem. Does anyone know how to go about campaigning against this kind of thing?
    (ps good on you Pizza man, I've been thinking about doing the same thing myself)
  • ah, sorry, I forgot to answer the question about what was diagnosed!
    The rip-off lady said my muscle had tightened into knots which had pulled my knee out of position. It sounds feasable if you don't know what's possible...
    My new physio says I run ever so slightly from the outside of my heal to the ball of my toe causing my knee to bend in slightly. Infact, the problem only started after I swapped Saucony Grid Trigon for Mizuno Wave Mustang. I shall take both pairs of shoes to the next session as he's going to watch me on the treadmill.
  • Hi ermen,
    Totally agree that something needs to be done. Physiotherapists should be relatively easy to differentiate, as they are already 'recognised' by the medical council. However, Sports Massage is still deemed a 'complementary' treatment. In 2002 the Sports Massage Association (SMA) ( was officially launched as the national body for Sports Massage Practitioners with a view to standardise the minimum recognised qualification for Sports Massage Practitioners (in a simialr way to Physios). The SMA are pursuing this route through the Health Professions Council and, hopefully, in the not to distant future we should be able to check the credentials of our practitioners.
  • A lot of the 'hands on' manipulative medical practices are a mixture of science and craft. Some people are better at the science and get good grades, some are better at the craft and get results, others are good with one form of injusry, others with other types of injury...

    Physios are prone to this as any other. My reckoning is 2-3 visits and unless there is very good reason to beleive you that's all you get for your money. After that its the wrong cause been diagnosed and either the physio needs to change track or its time to change.

    It costs too much otherwise for no return on investment.
  • ermin, I'm glad that he/she is going to evaluate your running style and shoe wear whilst you're running.
    It beats me that any physio can treat a running related problem without first of all seeing you run.

    It's a bit like treating a septic blister but leaving the blister in ............. it'll go septic again.
  • I agree with David B2's comment - although I think you need the science as well as the craft.
  • I listened to a progranmme on radio 4 a couple of weeks ago that said physio for backs....forget it!Trials done said it was placebo effect!!
  • so what did it say worked then?

    and a good physio would give plenty of backcare advice too -"managing a chronic condition" in some cases

    ( better than surgery! inmho)
  • I have been very lucky with the physio I see. He is a chartered physio specialising in sports medicine. He works at the hospital and runs a private practice also. He is also a competitive sportsman himself, so knows that you won't want to be out of action for too long.
    I have sen him for a number of running injuries over the years and also for my back problem, slipped disc, which I have had several times. Whilst I know he cannot cure my back, he does help it get better quicker, and I have been very happy with the treatment he has provided for the other complaints.
    I do not know what I would do if he were to stop practicing as I just do not have faith in anybody else. It seems so hit and miss whether you get a good physio or not. I think there should be an easier way of knowing who is fully qualified and who isn't
  • it is quite easy to know who is fully qualified - look at the qualifications listed and also ask

    and to be honest id be wary of people who set up in sports centres and gyms offering sports massage if you want treatment for injury as few of them will have the training or experience to diagnose unless they have done some decent courses or have a lot of experience

    most qualified practitioners will advertise in Yellow pages under Physiotherapist, Osteopath, Chiropracter etc and will probably operate out of clinics - the more established and experienced will have their own clinics - some will say if they specifically treat sports injuries (although that doesnt mean just runners - but most experienced physios will understand the injured sports psyche - impatient to get back to playing and training !)

    word of mouth is often one of the best ways to find a good practitioner
  • Stiff Link - there was a programme on radio 2 (jeremy vine) on that research on backs. What it said was that the treatment physios gave in the NHS for backs had the same outcomes whether patients had one session and were given advice or had a number of physio sessions (it didn't say they had no effect but that what had the effect was the patient getting correct advice) - this was followed by loads of people calling in with positive experiences to the extent Jeremy Vine said it looked like none of their listeners experience tallied with the results of the research.
  • IMHO, there are too many state registered physios out there who will treat an injury and treat it well but will not look for, let alone find the root cause of the injury.
    Thereofore 6 months later you're back at the same physio again with the same problem becasue they treated (the injury and reduced pain) so well last time.

    The repetitive injury cycle must be broken and this is where some physios are not doing the job asked of them by their customers.
  • If anyone wants a brilliant sports physio in Surrey, I know one!
  • not Surrey, but if anyone knows of a great one in North London (Northern Line area) I'd be very grateful as I get my cast off soon...

    The podiatrist I'm going to see will probably send me to one but I'd rather have some kind of sports recommendation as I don't think it's his priority!
  • Hey Pizza Man, that's exactly what my new physio said. He pointed out an old ankle injury was one of the base problems and worked on that, before even starting on the knee. Old rip-off physio said it was my ankle and did nothing to it...
    in retrospect I do feel a little stupid ;-/
    In regards to other comments, I had the old rip-off physio recommended AND she had her own practice. There were no letters after her name on her sign though, which I hadn't noticed at first. THAT will be something I look out for in future.
    Thanks everyone for all your advice and for allowing me to rant :-)
    I get closer to running with every day that passes and that's what truly matters :-)
  • GlennGlenn ✭✭✭
    I've been waiting to get some facts before contributing to this thread. Finally tracked someone down withing Department of Health who knows what they're talking about.

    The term "physio-" is now regulated - you can no longer use it unless you have the proper qualification that would previously have qualified someone for "state registered" status.

    BUT there is not yet a continuing professional development regime in place for physiotherapists and similar professions. This means that someone could have qualified twenty years ago and be completely out of date as far as current techniques are concerned - may in fact not have practised for a long term.

    Apparently nearly all good physios are attached to the major teaching hospitals, so expect to go to one if you want the best.

    Another piece of advice is don't self refer - go through your GP, who should know the good ones, even if you want to pay to go privately.
  • Well it's good to have different perspectives, but I disagree with much of that Glenn.

    There are a load of post qualification courses for physios - they may not be compulsory but if you look in the back of the profession's magazine and see the volume of them you;ll realise that there must be a fair few of them doing them. No doubt they'd welcome more funding and time off for training but I think you paint an overly bleak picture of professional development.

    Why would the best physios be attached to teaching hospitals? Many physios don't even work in the NHS because they can get better pay elsewhere. It may be true that bigger hospitals have more specialist physios as it would be true of any health profession - to say "nearly all good physios" are attached to teaching hospitals is patently false.

    I'd much rather take the recommendation of someone I knew than the word of my local GP. About 18 months ago I was in an NHS physio clinic in Derby and they reckoned most GPs in Derby weren't even aware they were there.
  • With regard to Sports Massage Practitioers, any member of the Sports Massage Association (MSMA after their name) must complete a minimum CPD requirement (40hrs) each year, and submit the paperwork to the SMA for verification, in order to remain a member of the association.
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