When should I see a Physiotherapist, GP, massage therapist, Osteopath, Chiropractor, sports therapist or acupuncturist? By Marathon Physio Lucy Macdonald

 

Physiotherapist

If you are injured or want short and long-term pain relief, see a Physiotherapist who has a specialism or a high level of experience with marathon runners. Physiotherapists diagnose and treat all pain and injuries to the joints, muscles and nerves of the body, the most common areas being the back, knees, ankles and hips.  A private Physiotherapist will refer you to an Orthopaedic Consultant or Sports Doctor for scans, injections or surgery if required. Seek a second opinion from Lucy and her team if you do not have sustained improvement within three sessions. You can read more about second opinions and how to know if you are seeing a decent physio in the previous article. 

 

Osteopath

If you have back pain, neck pain or pelvic pain and want hands-on treatment, particularly anywhere on your spine or pelvis see an Osteopath. However, most Osteopaths also treat all other joints, muscles and nerves of the body as well as carrying out visceral therapy. A private Osteopath should be able to refer you to an Orthopaedic Consultant or Sports Doctor for scans, injections or surgery. Seek a second opinion from Lucy and her team if you do not have sustained improvement within three sessions. You can read more about second opinions and how to know if you are seeing a decent osteopath in the previous article. 

 

GP

For any other symptoms including fatigue, heart and breathing problems, are struggling to cope or want to see an NHS physio, Orthopaedic Consultant or other kind of specialist on the NHS, you need to see your GP.

 

Chiropractor or Acupuncturist

If you want alternative treatment of your symptoms see a Chiropractor or an Acupuncturist. Seek a second opinion from Lucy and her team if you do not have sustained improvement within three sessions. You can read more about second opinions and how to know if you are seeing a decent Chiropractor in the previous article. It is worth noting that many Physiotherapists and Osteopaths are qualified to carry out the manipulations that Chiropractors perform but are less likely to use them. Please do not have an X-ray unless your GP has referred you for one. X-rays are only necessary if there is a possibility of a fracture and in which case you need to go to A and E or see your GP.

 

Sports Therapist, Sports Massage Therapist or Rehab Specialist

If you want to relieve generalised muscle soreness, improve recovery and performance see a sports therapist or sports massage therapist. Please note that these are not protected titles and there are therefore no minimum requirements for people to give themselves these titles. You therefore need to be particularly vigilant to get a good recommendation and ensure they are registered with official regulatory bodies. If you have a specific area of pain or discomfort you should see a Physiotherapist or Osteopath instead.

 

More marathon physio advice 

Follow @octopusclinic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and/or Lucy Macdonald on YouTube to access our latest free videos on marathon training and injury prevention. If you would like our marathon handbook and are running for charity please contact Lucy Macdonald directly on lucymacdonaldphysio@hotmail.co.uk or if you would like to get the video course Your Marathon: Your Physio please click on the link. 

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