It is a fact that approximately 8 out of every 10 people will experience at least some form of debilitating back pain in their lives.
The symptoms for back pain can be:
In most cases, back pain can be treated with modification of activity and physiotherapy. Initially your physiotherapist would perform an evaluation to determine your physical condition, pain location and mechanism of injury. Initially, pain management is the main focus of a physio program, and numerous treatment techniques may be used, including electrotherapy, massage (including trigger point massage and myofascial release), dry needling spinal mobilisation and manipulation. Stretches and exercises are often included as symptoms progress to help manage and prevent symptoms in the future.
Almost everyone experiences one form of headache from time to time, but when these become persistent and almost daily in occurrence, it may be beneficial to speak to your physiotherapist about this.
The most common form of headaches are Tension headaches, which are often stress-related and occur as a result of excessive muscle tension in the shoulders, neck or facial muscles.
Eyestrain headaches are most commonly associated with tightness and pain referring from the base of the skull to the eye and temple areas. These headaches often occur due to poor sitting posture and long hours looking at a computer screen.
Jaw tension headaches - teeth grinding, jaw clenching and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction can cause headaches due to the large number of muscles that attach to the jaw. The tension in these muscles increases in sleep, and persistent contraction of these muscles could contribute to neck pain and headaches.
Sinus congestion creates an increase in internal pressure across the face and can also lead to headaches.
Physiotherapy treatment will aim to loosen the stiff joints and muscles, using a combination of joint mobilisation and manipulation, massage including trigger point massage and myofascial release and dry needling. Stretches, strengthening exercises and postural advice will also be given, aimed at future management of symptoms, including prevention of further persistent headaches.
Wry neck is a relatively common condition where you develop sudden neck pain and stiffness, which is often accompanied by spasm of the surrounding neck muscles. The onset is often acute and the patient experiences constant severe pain (usually one-sided), restriction to neck movement and localised muscle spasm through the neck (and occasionally into the scapular region). It is common to wake with a stiff and painful neck without any real cause.
Physiotherapy treatment will confirm the diagnosis, then use low risk joint treatment techniques as well as soft tissue release to normalise the joint function and reduce the muscle spasm and inflammation. Ensuring normal cervical posture and function as well as stretches and postural exercises to restore muscle tension-length ratios are also necessary. Treatments will haste the healing process and reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
Sciatica is the name for a syndrome which is characterised by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body, which arises in the lumbar spine (lower back) then travels through the buttock and down the posterior thigh to divide into two branches at the level of the knee. The pain from sciatica is felt along the path of the sciatic nerve, and can be felt deep in the buttock, with pain travelling down the back of the leg, sometimes into the foot. The pain can be accompanied with tingling or numbness, as well as muscular weakness, and usually only occurs in one leg at a time.
There are numerous causes of sciatic pain:
Physiotherapy will initially diagnose the cause of the sciatic nerve interference, then try to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve with a combination of spinal mobilisation, massage therapy and trigger point therapy, stretches, electrotherapy, dry needling and advice as to how to minimise further pressure and irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage and bones within a joint. Pain is often a feature of joint inflammation, especially with arthritis, but joint pain may or may not be accompanied with joint inflammation. Pain that is isolated to just one joint can be arthritis or an injury to that area. In most cases, the cause of pain originating inside multiple joints is arthritis. The most common disorders outside the joints that cause pain around numerous joints are Fibromyalgia, Polymyalgia Rheumatica or disorders causing bursitis or tendonitis in many joints.
The most common causes of joint pains are:
If the joint pain is accompanied with swelling, redness, tenderness and warmth, joint deformity or inability to use the joint, then this requires immediate assessment and treatment by your physiotherapist.
|When any muscle or its tendon is stretched beyond what it can withstand, damage can occur to the structure. This can occur as a single incident of overstretching or straining the muscle, tendon or ligament, or over a period of time when the tendon becomes work and damaged due to overuse or incorrect use. Ankle sprains are the most common ligament injury which occurs in sport, and physiotherapists can therefore play a role in assisting return to full activity as quickly as possible, as well as looking at prevention of re-injury. Prescribed exercises, stretches and rehabilitation is aimed at optimising recovery from the injury.|
Sports injuries are often caused from overuse and over training, when the player pushes their body to the limit. They can also occur from under training or poor training techniques, including not preparing the body prior to the chosen sport.
The injuries can vary in severity, from a sprained ankle to a dislocated shoulder or ruptured ACL, but can also include overuse issues such as Tennis elbow or Achilles tendinopathy. Ankle sprains are the most common ligament injury which occurs in sports, and physiotherapists can therefore play a role in assisting return to full activity as quickly as possible, as well as looking at prevention of re-injury.
Initially sports injuries shoulder be treated with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), then the injury should be assessed by a physio, which can accurately diagnose and treat the injury. Part of treatment is then aimed at modification of activity returning to sport, and ensuring correct training techniques to prevent recurrence of symptoms.
The importance of good posture cannot be stressed enough, as it is more than outward appearance, but an indication of muscle balance and mechanical efficiency.
Physiotherapists often see cases where issues with posture cause a chain of events that results in incapacitating pain, limited mobility and time off work. An assessment of posture can screen for structural problems and muscle imbalances which can cause injury.
A thorough assessment of your posture can address issues of muscle and joint tightness and imbalance, and provide ergonomic advice and personalised stretching and exercise programs to specifically address your issues, and take care of your long-tern structural health.
Prior to undergoing scheduled surgery, a physio can ensure you have optimal functional ability to maximise your recovery. It has been shown in joint replacement procedures as well as with knee surgery such as meniscal tears or ACL repairs, that optimising strength and mobility of the joint prior to the procedure results in faster healing, with improved post-operative function and decreased pain. The more educated and prepared you are for surgery, the better the outcome.
Post-operative management is aimed at reducing localised stiffness and pain, and restoring function by improving range of movement, muscle strength, balance and gait. Individualised programs are often coordinated between the surgeon and physio to assist in returning you to independence and optimal function.
An estimated nearly 4 million people, young and old, are affected by arthritis in Australia, and this is a number which is rapidly growing in and increasingly overweight and ageing population. Arthritis is an umbrella term for a wide variety of inflammatory musculo-skeletal conditions particularly affecting bones, muscles and joints (i.e.where two bones meet). The arthritis can cause pain and stiffness, and make the affected joint weak and unstable.
Often the main goal of physiotherapy treatment is to prevent the progression of joint damage, with maintenance or improvement in mobility, decreasing pain and inflammation, increasing muscle strength and improving posture, and also aiming to increase exercise tolerance and general fitness. It may include manual therapies, dry needling, electrotherapy, stretches and exercise programs, as well as education on managing the arthritis in terms of pain control, posture and managing flare-ups, to improve the overall quality of life.