Be careful of the 'Weekend Warrior' therapist

20 FEB

Be careful of the 'Weekend Warrior' therapist

By Dean Phelps on Friday, 20th of February    Tag: , Best Practice Therapy, Quick Fix,

Check out my thoughts on a new plague that is affecting health and fitness.

The “weekend warrior” therapist

This is a term I have coined for a new trend across the many ‘health’ and ‘fitness’ industries. Notice I have separated these, as they are distinctly different, yet some believe they work in both.

The ‘weekend warrior therapist’ has infiltrated both professional domains and I hate this. I hate this even more then selfies on Facebook, so I thought I would share it for you…

What do I mean by the weekend warrior? This is the person who goes to a weekend course then on the Monday all of a sudden we have a new guru who cures all with their new stroke of wisdom or from the new magic wand they acquired attending it.

This weekend warrior is spreading into new realms and you the average injured or person in pain better watch out. They are coming for you!

With everyone looking to diversify in a flooded market, some are making their point of difference (POD) known by giving the perception with their marketing campaign that they are better, more skilled or equipped. Some even trying to cross professional boundaries into unchartered waters and claim to be better then those rightly qualified to practice what they preach. There is a new breed emerging, an unskilled, poorly qualified, shit talker who to the average person sounds like they know what they are on about.

It is ugly to watch and even worse to hear what comes across my table from patients or stories that are spread through my inner professional networks about nasties that are happening.

We are seeing PT's from the fitness industry decide to add A.R.T (Active Release Technique) or a quick massage course to their portfolio. Massage therapists using manipulation. SnC coaches using kinetic chain enhancement techniques and that’s ONLY just to name a few. They then preach it like a pesky salesman at your front door on a sunday morning!

The problem with this is that these people have very quickly aquired one tool to fix all. Like only having a hammer to fix a loose screw sticking out of wood. Yeah you could bash it in with the hammer, the screw would end up in the wood (a short-term or even a placebo fix), but the screw would eventually come back out because you used the wrong tool for the job.

There is also the potentially for causing more harm in using the wrong tool to fix the problem (crack the wood, break/bend the screw, ruin the hole etc.), same thing can apply to the human body. Use the wrong tool for a short term, Band-Aid fix and run the risk of doing more harm. The person preaching its use might have a big toolbox (scull) but it only has one tool rattling around inside it making a shit load of noise, which generally comes out from the mouth to the unsuspecting recipient/client.

A high level of knowledge, thought, research (Not from Google, but peer reviewed journals), screening and proficiency acquired from years of study and clinical practice goes into the skill of using a therapeutic technique/s as a regulated 'health professional'. It is not simple task and requires you to think and dig through your big toolbox, and in good practitioners is full of multiple tools and they find the best fit for the job.

There is no recipe, people are individuals and need individualized treatment plans. This requires high-level clinical reasoning, the WHY? am I about to use this ‘tool’ as a therapeutic technique and lay my 'hands on' this person. In some cases picking a tool out may be to take your 'hands off' this person or because the 'wood might noyt be ready for the screw to be fixed'.

Moral to the blog, be cautious of a one-tooled weekend warrior. Look deeply at the qualifications of those providing therapy. Go deep and look for the best, those who took years to qualify and be skilled because placing your hands on a person is not a given right, but something earned and respected. Be mindful that a one-size fits all approach is a worry because a hammer might fix some things, but there are many, many things that it doesn’t help with and you will be grateful when the ‘real’ therapist pulls out the screw driver!


Dean Phelps - Head Physiotherapy

Dean is a registered Gold Coast Physiotherapist with undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Human Movement and Exercise Science. His background has developed his vision for Fighting Fit Physiotherapy to focus on optimal health and peak physical performance for every single patient. Utilising his many qualifications, in depth knowledge of the body and passion for exercise he can provide a holistic approach to your treatment and exercise prescription to get the best outcome.


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