A number of times during treatment I find myself explaining the difference between Active and Passive coping mechanisms and the importance of individuals taking ownership of their injuries and their rehabilitation progress. Are you getting treatment or interventions that are making you feel better in the short term but over time they really aren’t making a massive change?


Activities or interventions that the individual needs to actively complete or put in place mechanisms to assist with change or improvement in their lives.


Activities or interventions that individuals receive or help them without having to actively change their ways or their activities.

There are a lot of treatments out there that are mainly passive mechanisms – Panadol, heat, ice, etc- and while these types of treatment have there place, more and more people are completely relying on passive coping mechanisms and expecting that their issues are going to miraculously change. These passive coping mechanisms need to be used in combination with the active coping mechanisms.

A number of studies show that people need to take ownership of their issues – whether it be their rehabilitation, lifestyle or diet, taking an active involvement of your change is integral to making the change stick. If you are having treatment and their is nothing that you are actively doing to change your habits, your strength or your movement patterns then it is likely you will become reliant on the treatment as it does make you feel better – but the changes don’t stay for very long.

Your therapist or advisor for your change should instil some confidence in you about the change and involve you in the treatment process – working towards the goals that you want to achieve. It may include a combination of hands on and exercise based therapy interventions but should aim for self management.

Remember to be involved in your rehabilitation and make active changes that will assist with long term change rather then short term small changes that don’t last.


Remember stay Agile, Nimble and Active


Alissa Williams


Bachelor Physiotherapy
Bachelor Exercise Science
Graduate Certificate Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
Level 1 Triathlon Coach

Related Tags: Injury Management Gold Coast