Theo Lind is a physiotherapist and osteopath born and raised in Denmark, been healing people for more than 15 years.
1-What path did you take to become a physiotherapist?
Actually I spend 5 years traveling the world after high school. I guess I wasn’t really ready to start studying and I needed a taste of freedom before committing to my life career. I’ve always been interested in training and fitness, so physiotherapy seemed like a good choice back then. I haven’t ever regretted it.
How is it different from what a GP does? A chiropractor? An osteopath?
So basically a GP is a medical doctor. He/she can administer medicine and refer the patient for further tests, blood work or diagnostic scans. We work with a handful of GP’s here in Dubai. A chiropractor is a practice who actually branched of from some of the early founders of osteopathy back in the States. There are a great variety of how chiropractors work, but the core of their treatments is manipulating the joints of the body, usually with a focus on the spine. The osteopathy approach is more holistic than the chiropractor. As an osteopath you will try to help the patient get better using and working with all the different systems in the body. He/she will also use some of the manipulative techniques known from chiropractics, if indicated, but they will be a small part of the overall treatment and never a stand alone.
I really see a lot of different problems in the clinic. That said, there is an obvious connection between most injuries I see and the spine. The reason is that most problems will affect the function of the ribs and/or spine at some stage. For that reason I almost always have a standing assessment of the spinal alignment before starting any treatment. But besides that I more or less treat any dysfunction or complaint from the muscoloskeletal body. Stemming from an sedentary lifestyle in front of the pc and tv or the top athlete, my overall approach will always be to stimulate and mobilize the area of injury
Can a person who is not injured Benefit from physiotherapy?
Most definitely. I see taking care of our bodies as a part of life. People will take their car for a regular service check-up, but how many will do the same for their body? I mean you can always buy a new car right? Unfortunately its still not a generally accepted approach. !!
On average, how many treatments does it take to see noticeable difference? What does this depend on?
It is so incredibly different from one diagnosis to the next. Even with the same diagnosis it can vary a lot from one patient to the next. We have to remember that we are not all created equal. I use to say that I haven’t seen two similar patients in the 15 years I’ve been working as a physiotherapist. That said, I think its important to see some kind of improvement within the first 2 – 5 sessions. Some patients I see for one stand alone treatment and they don’t need anymore, they are rare though. A few ive seen for years because of their diagnosis being more of a permanent nature.
What would you say are signs of a great physiotherapist – so we know what to look for?
I have to be honest and say the level of education within the field of physiotherapy varies a great deal in Dubai. The problem is you can’t go by credentials alone either since the physiotherapy schools around the world all have a very different approach. I really think the best way to find a good one is to ask around your circle of friends, as you would do with so many other things. Secondly try to look around for someone who suit what you are looking for and if you have never been to a physiotherapist before, then don’t hesitate to contact the clinic directly and ask whatever questions you need to ask.
What qualifications and training did you have to do to become a physiotherapist?
In Denmark you have to study at one of the 5 different schools we have for 3 1/2 years. If you pass all your exams along the way you can call yourself a physiotherapist.
What are the most common injuries you come across?
I would say back and neck problems of some sort is most common. But its really hard to say as it all relates. It even happens that a patient will come with a headache and we have to sort out a torsioned pelvis to fix the headache. I also see a lot of sports related injuries. That could be tennis elbow, blocked ribs, runners and jumpers knee and a lot of variations of other tendinitis.
What in very general terms, is the most important thing for almost any injury, is to keep mobility intact and making sure not to loose too much muscle function. If you approach your injury from that perspective then you have the chance of coming back stronger and better with the right guidance from your physiotherapist.
What are the best and worst things about your job?
Best thing is when I see, and the patient feels that he/she is doing progress. Worst things is when I have too much paperwork, which for me is a waste of time cause its taking away time where I could be with patients doing my real job.
Is there any advice you would give to someone who would like to become a Physio?
If you are young and have an idea of becoming a physio then you are probably into sports. Stay there and keep working with yourself. If you are not into sports, then its time to get going. Learn to watch others, see how different people move differently. The more you watch, the more you realize how unique we all are and that will help you tremendously in your work as a physiotherapist.
How can people contact you?
If anyone is interested to know more about my clinic then they can check it out at http://www.scanphys.com., where there is a little introduction to the clinic. We can also be reached on 04 551 6126 for questions or bookings. Alternatively our mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much Theo!