How We Look for Problems – The Integrated Systems Model

I often get asked “What is the difference between a Chiro and a Physio?” and “How are you different to other physios?”. Fair questions.

Chriopractors believe that keeping the nervous system functioning by adjusting the spinal bones optimises your health (source: Chiropractors’ Association of Australia). Physiotherapists also believe this but…

…Physiotherapists also believe that it is not just the nervous system that needs to be optimal. It is also the muscles, bones, joints, brain and vital organs that need to be optimal as well. That is what we spend our time at university studying – the whole body and how it all works together.

The bottom line is that there are good physios and bad physios, good chiros and bad chiros…the difference is usually what your therapist is looking for and how effective is it at getting you better – and all of that starts with what model you use to assess the patient – you!

There are many models to follow and all have something to offer. However, I currently like the Integrated Systems Model proposed by Diane Lee and Linda-Joy Lee (no relation to each other!). This model considers how your goals, values, story, virtual body and emotions interact with your Articular, Myofascial, Neural and Visceral Systems – then how all of that affects your strategies for function and performance. It is quite a complete system and is well-designed to be able to integrate new research as it updates our knowledge. (source: Discover Physio Website and the 4th Edition of the Pelvic Girdle)

So when you come for an appointment at The Physio Detective or with anyone else trained in the Integrated Systems Model, you will be sure to get a thorough examination. Once we work out what is affecting what, we then work our what to Release, what Alignment of your posture is optimal, what needs to be Controlled and then how to put it all together to Move better.

If you want to learn more or if you have other opinions, please post a comment below. I will be trying to post on different conditions regularly. If you have any particular areas or conditions or questions answered, please post them in the comments below! Thanks!

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About Antony Lo
Antony Lo is an APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist based in Sydney. His website is www.MyPhysios.com.au. He specializes in the management, treatment and prevention of pain and dysfunction, particularly of the pelvis and ribcage. His sub-specialties include Crossfit and Exercise Performance Optimization, Ante-Natal and Post-Natal Care and difficult cases that have failed treatment elsewhere.

6 Responses to How We Look for Problems – The Integrated Systems Model

  1. Carina Ode says:

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    Like

  2. Maricruz Hill says:

    Love your article. Was looking for information about this very topic. Thankyou

    Like

  3. Pingback: How I work with pelvic floor physios « The Physio Detective

  4. lev says:

    I agree that there are good chiros and bad chiros .The same goes for PTs. Chiros also believe in optimal function of bones, muscles , motor control and how all of these systems are integrated. I think taking a phrase from out of content and then building your shiel based on that is not fare. All of my life I have been learning from top world experts without regard to what they are( MDs , DOs, PTs or Chiros) .I always look at what this particular exert believes. I learned a great deal from Dian and L.J a Lee as well as many other physios and have a great respect for Integrated System Model approach which I enjoy using. But lets be fair and respective to one another as professionals. Chiropractic and physiotherapy are very similar disciplines.Lets put politics and busyness aside and respect each other.

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    • Antony Lo says:

      Hi Lev.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Physiotherapy / Physical Therapy and Chiropractic are similar with different philosophies within each profession.

      How do I answer my patients when they ask what is the difference? Ultimately, I could write about many things that I like and don’t like about each profession but what I chose to write about is the model I choose to use.

      Whilst we both agree that both chiros and physios believe in how the body integrates and works together, ultimately, according to the CAA, adjustment of the spine (however you choose to do that) is at the heart of Chiropractic.

      Believe me when I say that I am the first to get angry about dodgy physios. It makes my life harder because people think all physios are the same.

      I recognize that there are good and bad physios and good and bad chiros.

      What I choose to talk about is the model of assessment to find out problems. I choose the Integrated Systems model. That’s it.

      The title of the blog post is exactly what it is about – how “we” look at problems…as a clinic – I wrote this post when I was the owner of Penshurst Physiotherapy Centre. I have now edited the post to reflect that I am on my own now.

      This blog is about me as a Physio and what I do. If you found what I have said to be disrespectful, then I apologise but also make the point that it was about how I am different to others including chiropractors in terms of assessment.

      Thanks again.

      Like

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