THP Success Story – Improving Chronic Lower Back Pain & Care for a Patient with PTSD

June 29, 2023

In this interview, we interviewed a wonderful Physiotherapist at Total Health Physio.

We asked him to recount a meaningful success story, here is his response; which is a fabulous example of how Trust, Compassion and Care are integral to creating relationships that then help people to work towards their goals of good health and well-being.


As a Physiotherapist, few things are more rewarding than seeing a client achieve their goals and improve their quality of life.

One particular success story that comes to mind is that of a lovely, kind adult person who had been struggling with chronic lower back pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Due to her symptoms, she was unable to participate in the community and even going for a walk was a challenge as she did not feel comfortable doing so.

She was an NDIS participant due to her pain and PTSD but previously had not been able to receive physiotherapy input as her primary disability was psychosocial in nature. So this was the first time she was accessing physiotherapy services.

Completing an initial review

When I first saw her for an extensive initial review, I was surprised to find that her lower back pain had not been validated appropriately. She had been told by previous providers that her pain was cognitive, not physical. Nevertheless, it was clear that her pain was very real and significantly impacted her daily life.

During our session, I listened to her story and we explored the mechanisms behind her pain. Together, we developed a treatment plan and set meaningful goals that we could work towards.

Initially, she was very reluctant to open up to me due to her previous negative experiences with healthcare providers. However, with Trust, Compassion, and Care, I was able to create a safe and supportive environment where she felt comfortable sharing her experiences and concerns. We used trauma-informed care to understand that she could get re-triggered by her trauma, and we took measures to avoid re-traumatising her during our sessions.

Starting the journey together

Our treatment plan involved introducing hydrotherapy to help gently move her body and integrate her slowly into the community, with the support of a support worker and myself. We used outcome measures such as the Oswestry Disability Index and the pain self-efficacy scale to measure her level of disability and ability to perform activities and live a meaningful life despite the pain.

Through this process, we worked towards her goal of being able to engage in the community and live a more independent life.

Client feedback

Overall, this success story highlights the importance of listening to a client’s story, validating their experiences, and working together to develop a treatment plan that addresses their unique needs and goals. With trust, compassion, and care, physios can create a safe and supportive environment where clients can feel comfortable sharing their concerns and working towards their goals.

It’s a privilege to be able to help clients like this one achieve a higher quality of life and more independence.

Do you know someone that would benefit from our Physiotherapy services?

Total Health Physio is a mobile Allied health provider in Melbourne, and we would be delighted to hear from you.

  • Our Physiotherapists are university trained and receive ongoing training
  • Our values are Trust, Compassion and Care
  • We are mobile and come to you, we arrive on time, every time
  • We are NDIS registered and founded in Melbourne over 10 years ago

To get in touch, please use our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!