Recently, there was a workshop on muscle energy techniques. I know the name sounds corny but it is a gentle postitional push- release-stretch technique that has become one of the principle manual spinal techniques now taught to physiotherapists and besides Maitland techniques has become the standard. A recent application was made for family physicians to have credit for taking this course in Manitoba and word was received back that family docs don’t need to know this stuff.
Not only does this show incredible ignorance, as 30% of Canadians live in chronic pain, it sends the message that doctors don’t need more than the 11 hours of training (see other blog article re this) they receive in medical school when it comes to treating pain. Not only is this physiotherapy technique a treatment technique – it is a diagnostic process for spinal problems that would allow doctors to converse with physiotherapists.
Given that it is a well established physiotherapy technique taught (albeit as advanced training) in many Canadian physiotherapy programs, one wonders what there problem was. One could only assume someone was put off by the name and didn’t have enough brains to check with a physiotherapist whether this was legitimate training. Shame on them. It also sends a very negative message to physiotherapy that what they do is not important. It also highlights why chronic pain can be so poorly treated by family physicians. It also sends out the message that doctors from the prairies (which I am one of) are country bumpkins- something I resent.
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