Three reasons why a Physiotherapist may choose to refer to, or work alongside an Intrinsic Biomechanics Coach
Three reasons why a Physiotherapist may choose to refer to, or work alongside an intrinsic biomechanics coach.
Written by Andrew Rouse of ARBodyworks
One of the most common things I encounter when approaching physiotherapists about referral links or working together as an intrinsic biomechanics coach (IBC), is an uncertainty as to what an IBC does and how that differs to physiotherapy. Two other points raised are; why a physio would need the skills of an IBC when they study injury and biomechanics as part of their degree and “wont your set of skills reduce the amount of clients/patients I treat?”
Firstly I think it would be pertinent to describe the role of an IBC so that no misconceptions remain about what we do.
An IBC is able to understand the internal movement mechanics of the human body, which enables them to reduce the risk of orthopaedic overuse injuries (OOI’s): Indirectly, when the body adopts abnormal movement the biological tissue of the human body is loaded incorrectly, although there may be no pain or sign of this, the low intensity loads that accumulate over time create these orthopaedic overuse injuries i.e. bursitis, tendonitis etc. These loads and changes in tissue function of the bodies sub systems (neural, muscular and skeletal) need to be recognised, measured and approached intrinsically: the criteria of an Intrinsic Biomechanics Coach. In a preventative sense an IBC is able to predict the risk ratio of an OOI occurring before it becomes acute, which is invaluable when looking at sporting performance. However the majority of people are unaware of any OOI until it becomes acute. In a rehabilitative sense an IBC’s role is to identify and categorise which system has become dysfunctional, to plan treatment, to correct this dysfunction using an isolated to integrated exercise protocol and lastly to predict whether any other OOI’s are likely to occur due to the current dysfunction. An IBC indirectly treats pain, by reducing the load and changing the tissue mechanic properties that may be causing the pain.
Reason 1: Because we are different with different skills!!!
The next point which is frustrating is the question “why would I need an IBC when I do injury rehabilitation and biomechanics as part of my degree level education?” the answer IMO is that having clinicians that approach diagnosis from different angles to give a more holistic service to clients can only be a good thing. To be able to give different opinions about the cause of the problem and how best to treat and prevent it, IMO is a very powerful tool. Yes you may have studied biomechanics as part of your degree, but do you consider the same aspects of biomechanics as me? Would you treat it the same way as me? Can you evolve an exercise program and execute the coaching/teaching as well as me as an IBC?
Reason 2: Yes you may have been taught similar skills but we use them in different ways and approach things differently to get to the same result.
Building from that point, why would a physiotherapist working in collaboration with an IBC treat less people any less effectively than alone? Working alongside or through a referral pathway will boost success in treatment and also increase/improve feedback and word of mouth advertising from happy clients.
Reason 3: Collaborations will always be a good thing for clients and an IBC is an asset to add to a clinic or to have as a referral link.
In conclusion, skepticism is to be expected when a new type of therapist starts to achieve results with clients. It is also understandable to be nervous about “stepping on toes” or “why would I need you we do the same thing”. However how can a new set of eyes and skills applied to a problem, ever be a bad thing? For too many years therapists and clinicians and researchers have all worn the “hats” of their specific disciplines – maybe it is time to work together to develop a superior management system for injury prevention optimal performance and management of injury?
If any of you want to feedback, comment or connect with me; find me at @ARBodyworks on twitter or ARBodyworks on Facebook…
If you have any further comments on this blog or have any experiences to share about working within a team and the benefits/challenges why not share on our forum? Start a topic on the forum tweet it to @Physiowizz and we’ll retweet it to get everyones opinions. #learnsharedevelop
Many thanks to Andy for taking the time to write this guest blog. If you’re interested in writing a guest blog please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.