Where So Many Physios Go Wrong

Where So Many Physios Go Wrong

I’ve always loved this quote by author and psychiatrist Dr Gordon Livingston. It’s a short but challenging sentence I’ve used to great effect mentoring new physios. It’s also one of the reasons behind our 3 visit rule.

“If the map doesn’t agree with the ground,
the map is wrong”

It encourages you to think outside the box. Really look and understand what you see in front of you.

Whether you realise it or not, you have been taught to follow maps you’re entire life. As a child your parents provide you with a mental map to follow. They show you right from wrong, provide you with values…gave you a direction to abide by.

University is no different.

It teaches you the theory. Provides you with a thought process to follow. A path to adhere by.

What happens when the problem does not stick to the rules?

You see this all the time in our clinics.

In fact…

Less than 30% of the patients fit exactly ‘what the textbook says’

Many physios and chiros fall into the trap of pigeon holing problems based on what they learnt at uni. They stick to and ‘trust’ the process.

Question is,

  • What if your injury or tightness does not follow the rules
  • Have you suffered other injuries that might be involved
  • What if your body is different?


At what point do you stop, realise you’re lost and recalibrate?
Create a new guide based on what you actually see

I can tell you this…

If the theory applied does not match your body exactly, you won’t get better!

80% of the Time There Will Be a Curveball

You will have symptoms which don’t respond to traditional thinking and treatment.

One of the patients I looked after the other week is a perfect example.

He had been suffering Achilles tendonitis for close to 6 months. He had tried every textbook approach

Physio and treatment
Had an injection
There was no change!

As is often the case…

In taking a more detailed history it turned out he had broken his femur causing the hamstring to stop working properly. This affected the tibia, changed how the ankle worked and put stress on the achilles.

Unless the hamstring starts working the achilles will take the load and the tendonitis won’t go away.

Bottom line is this…

If It’s Not Getting Better…You Are Looking At The Wrong Map

You need to find the right one!

This is why there is a 3 visit rule in all of the clinics. In combination with asking the right questions this ensures you have a path to follow. It also means you can quickly julietta in canada change direction if you’re heading the wrong way. Not seeing positive changes.

If the plan isn’t working, you don’t stick to it just because. You alter the approach based on what you see.

I’ve seen Achilles problems stem from a spinal issue, a shoulder problem, a neck problem, an opposite side ankle problem. It’s simply because everyone will compensate in their own way.

Remember the quote,

If the map doesn’t match the land then the map is wrong. The theory needs to fit the patient, not the other way around.

This approach works

It’s a big reason we get the results you’re after. It’s why we stand by the 3 visit rule. If you want treatment with direction you have two options…

Contact the clinic on 98995512 between 8 and 5 on workdays

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