This article examines physiotherapists’ lived experience of practicing physiotherapy in primary care, focusing on clinical reasoning and decision-making in the case of a patient we call Eva. The material presented derives from a larger study involving two women participants, both with a protracted history of neck and shoulder pain. A total of eight sessions, all of them conducted by the first author, a professional physiotherapist, in his own practice room, were videotaped, after which the first author transcribed the sessions and added reflective notes. One session emerged as particularly stressful for both parties and is explored in detail in this article. In our analysis, we seek to be attentive to the experiences of physiotherapy displayed and to explore their meaning, significance and uniqueness from a phenomenological perspective. Our research reveals the complexity of integrating multiple theoretical perspectives of practice in clinical decision-making and suggests that a phenomenological perspective can provide insights into clinical encounters through its recognition of embodied knowledge. We argue that good physiotherapy practice demands tactfulness, sensitivity, and the desire to build a cooperative patient–therapist relationship. Informed by theoretical and practical knowledge from multiple disciplines, patient management can evolve and unfold beyond rehearsed routines and theoretical principles.
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