Physios on Pilates reform – John Contreras
APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist
Melbourne-based APA Sports and Exericse Physiotherapist John Contreras believes PHI Pilates reform will help differentiate the profession’s expertise from other health and fitness professionals.
Can you explain how you use Pilates in your clinic and if that will change as a result of the reforms?
We use Pilates as a part of our patient’s rehabilitation process. Following an assessment and relevant manual treatment, our patients are guided through a physio-based exercise program. Our patients have the option of completing their rehabilitation exercises independently or they can join our Pilates-based program. At this point, Pilates-based exercises are introduced into their individual programs and they continue in the group classes under the guidance of a physiotherapist. We have been reviewing the way we deliver our Pilates-based service over the last 18 months. So other than changing our description of our group sessions, we won’t need to change much as a result of the reforms.
Running of sessions
We only run group sessions at the clinic where each patient has their individualised program to follow. As part of their assessment, clinical goals are established and an appropriate program using a mix of Pilates, traditional rehabilitative and gym-based exercises is developed. So the reforms won’t mean a big change for the clinic.
We will be changing the name of our Pilates classes to Physio Exercises Classes. We felt this was the easiest with respect to compliance and consistency across the team. Since we only have one class type in the clinic, it makes things easier for us.
We are changing the term Pilates to Physio Exercise. I feel physiotherapists have used the term Pilates in lieu of physiotherapy exercise. So I am happy to promote Physio Exercise to our patients and inform them that Pilates-based exercises in many cases make up part of a physio-exercise program.
We currently use an online software to maintain all of our notes. We keep individual SOAP notes for all patients in each group classes. We also have their programs online. So from that perspective we will be compliant with the reforms. However, we will be changing our use of the word Pilates and replacing it with Physio Exercises.
We already review our patients fairly regularly, from two weeks to a three month review. That way we ensure the clinical goals we set are being achieved.
We have been communicating to our client base of the name change, and the feedback to date has been positive as patient’s appreciate their programs are more than solely Pilates exercises. We recently sent out a document to all our clients and have copies in the studio. We made sure the entire team is clear on the changes as well. We’ve informed our clients that the only significant change will be the removal of the work Pilates in our documents. However, the structure and content, being compliant, will remain the same.
Any other thoughts?
Overall I am supportive of these changes in that they encourage physiotherapists to be more accountable in their provision of exercise therapy. In addition, having to highlight physiotherapy over forms of exercise such as Pilates, will help us differentiate our profession’s expertise from other health and fitness professionals offering what in name appears to be a similar service.
Read more about the PHI natural therapies reform and how they will affect your practice here.