Adjusting Your Patient’s Understanding Of The Problem

Being the Go-To physio takes hard work and it takes dedication, but it’s having the confidence and the clarity to help even the most complex patients that is the real ‘Go-To’ trait…

And it is the information I’ll share with you now that will be a powerful tool when faced with those complex cases.

Explain Who The Real Hero Is

The second you give a diagnosis their attention is drawn away. Now if you tell the patient the problem then you can begin to help them understand.

Take a low back pain patient for example. What I do personally is tell them the real problem. I’ll draw their attention to tissues that aren’t contributing enough but more importantly I’ll relay to them the parts of the body, like their lower back, that are doing their job efficiently.

Once our patient knows this, they understand that their back is the real hero in the story and that other tissues are the main contributing factors to their low back pain.

Change Your Patient’s Perception

When you explain who the real hero is you change your patient perception of their lower back. All of a sudden the low back is not the ‘weak culprit’ anymore but is actually the hero in the story. 

Once they have a certain amount of belief in their body then you can tell them how to solve the problem and begin to turn their attention to the area that will get the ideal outcome for them.

At this stage you will be able to move on and provide movement strategies to give their nervous system the ability to tolerate load in these tissues.


You expect the patient to want a diagnosis but to be honest, I can’t remember a time when I gave someone a solid diagnosis, whether it’s in private practice or professional sports. A full diagnosis is too limiting and their attention is then far too focused.

Do not underestimate the power of getting your patients attention on where you want them to get to versus taking them down a dead end.

All you really have to do is present what caused the problem, what we can do to solve the problem and how we can make sure it never comes back. Your patient just needs clarity and simple instructions allowing them to take action.


With clarity comes confidence, with confidence comes the power to take action. 

Final Thoughts

Keeping it simple is the best way for you to get patients to buy in, have confidence and clarity and give them clarity also so they will adhere to the exercise plan.

Remember to consider your awareness of what you’re saying to the patient when you are explaining the problem.

Click here for more tips and advice on being the ‘Go-To’ Physio in your town.

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