Just a few weeks ago, I had a client make an appointment for a "second opinion".
When the client came in and started explaining the situation, it was mentioned that I was the 9th (YES, 9th!?!?!) clinician that said client was seeing. He didn't seem fazed by that and continued explaining what he wanted out of the treatment. He went to each previous clinician for one or two sessions, and "feeling" that he did not make any improvement, decided to find someone else whom he felt could help him.
To cut a long story short, in 2 sessions, we were able to make some change in his issues, which were also reflected in a few of the objective tests we did so he could see for himself the progress he had made. He was really grateful for his improvements and mentioned that all his previous treatments did not work.
The purpose of this is that I don't want to take full credit for the changes/progress that he made. Yes it was unfortunate that he did not get the change that he was hoping for, (and maybe the previous treatments did not have an effect on him), but what I would argue, was that perhaps all the clinicians that he had visited previously actually did the ground work for me. Maybe all I did was the easy work towards the end of his recovery, whereas all the hard work had to be done beforehand, but which did not show much observable change.
Adam Meakins (https://thesports.physio/) humourously plots a graph of recovery from injury. Everybody is different and everyone responds differently, and at different rates. We think we want our recovery to pan out a certain way, however, we can't cheat our body physiology. We can optimise our healing outcome with our treatment technique through soft tissue mobilisations, joint work, and exercise.
I do believe that every clinician works for the good of the patient. If not we wouldn't (and shouldn't) be in this line of work. I am extremely blessed that my clients have trusted me (and trusted me to refer on if needed) and have understood the need to be patient in certain circumstances. I do respectfully acknowledge that some of the cases that I see are those who have not responded to their previous clinicians, but on the flip side, clients who do not respond to our treatment go and see other clinicians as our "failed" cases.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have treated a client for the last year and we had made good results and progress with his sport. However, from a recent injury which was more serious than he thought it to be, he did not make the progress that he wanted and the last I heard, he had gone to another clinician as he wasn't happy with the rate of progress that he was having with us.
Back to the first client, if he had stuck with the same clinician (presuming that they were doing their job), he would very possibly have had gotten the same progress he had made when he came to see us rather than jumping between multiple clinicians.
For readers who are seeing your own preferred clinician and might not be getting the improvement you are hoping for, we are not hinting for you to come and see us, but maybe stick it out for a bit and trust your clinician rather than going for the next quick fix.
As always, thanks for reading! Comments and criticisms are welcome.