Teresa – manipulation vs mobilisation

Question: After my physio aggravated my condition we wrote to the hospital to complain. They told us it was normal procedure to pull the neck in this way. We also wrote to our solicitor who is handling my case against the company I worked for in relation to my original injury. [confused yet , cause I am] He told us it would be impossible to bring any kind of action against the hospital. It seems to me that something is very wrong when a hospital I had complete trust in can do this to me then wipe their hands of it all.

Answer 1:  It really sounds like you’ve been done over here! I’d be livid as I’m sure you are. I’m sure you’ve covered this but couldn’t you bring the action against the physio as opposed to the hospital? I’ll check with my chappie (he’s a font of all knowledge (well occasionally!) It might be normal procedure but surely if it aggravates a condition they should try and make it better! I’m trying to be calm as its Friday but I’m getting angrier by the second that people out there can just do these things and then deny responsibility when it doesn’t go right.

Answer 2: To bring a successful action against the hospital you would have to be able to prove two things:

  1. that negligence had occurred – i.e., that the physio did something which other physios would agree she shouldn’t have done   and also
  2. that you were damaged by what she did.

There doesn’t seem to be any doubt that you were damaged by it, so if your solicitor thinks you couldn’t bring an action it may be because he doesn’t think there was any negligence in what the physio did, or doesn’t think negligence could be proved. It could be true that what was done would have been done by any other physio in the same circumstances, in which case a court would not regard it as negligence even though it had disastrous consequences for you.

If the solicitor is still acting for you, you could ask him to explain the reasons for his opinion. You could also get someone to help you follow up the complaint side with the hospital and find out exactly what was done and why, and why you have been left to deal with it without help. The local Community Health Council could help you do this, or AVMA, who I mentioned yesterday. Hospitals do tend to get very defensive and close ranks and refuse to answer questions, when they are challenged about treatment, so it really does help enormously to have some help from people who are experienced in getting the information out of them, e.g. CHC or AVMA. If you can find out what happened, and whether it was negligent or not, you might find it a big relief because you can get that part of it off your mind even if though it doesn’t bring help for the pain. I found it a huge relief in my own case.

Answer 3: I am in a similar position where my GPs remedial therapist pulled to hard on the neck and has aggravated my condition, he also did a high manipulation on my neck which left me with double vision for a week – scary. The remedial therapist did make reference on his notes that he heard some abnormal noises and asked his tutors/trainers for advice; he offered more treatment with himself or a more experienced therapist at a cost. I was really going to let him touch me again. Other professional people have suggested that I pursue the matter and there is also an issue about suitable qualifications i.e. should this person be allowed to practice. As I already have some existing neck/shoulder problems I felt very unsure about my ground and where it would lead?

I also remember a oesteo’ telling me that a lot of damage can be caused by pulling to hard on the neck, how can the rest of the physio department know how hard the pull was? Do they have some kind of measuring device or does it depend how loud you scream. Know how you feel, things are bad and they get worse!

Answer 4: The claim should be direct to the physio as it is he/she who is insured as the professional in question.

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