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physiotherapy for mental health

Transformative power of physiotherapy on mental health

We all know that physical activity is a huge mood booster. Feeling good mentally and emotionally due to feeling good in one’s body is well past recreational exercise. As the International Organisation for Physical Therapists in Mental Health (IOPTMH) marks in its motto: “There’s no health without mental health.”

Beyond its well-known benefits for physical health, physiotherapy plays a crucial role in releasing mood-regulating chemicals, fostering improved sleep, and providing effective pain relief. Let’s explore the holistic advantages that physiotherapy can bring to your mental wellness journey.

How Mental Health Physio Helps Your Health

The goal of physiotherapy for mental health is to enhance well-being by promoting functional movement, movement awareness, and physical activity, integrating both physical and mental aspects. This is grounded in scientific evidence and best clinical practices about the mind-body link. Although this relatively new approach requires deeper insights into the mind-body link and how both therapeutic modalities affect overall health, new research data emerges to support the fact that physiotherapy, especially embracing an individualised physio program as part of a holistic therapeutic relationship, is a game-changer when it comes to top-notch mental wellness.

1. Release of mood-regulating chemicals.

Physiotherapy exercises give you a natural high. Engaging in physical activity through physiotherapy triggers the release of essential neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals, along with the endorphins released during exercise, act as natural mood enhancers. By rewarding your body for its efforts, physiotherapy provides a natural and sustainable way to boost your mood.

2. Improved sleep.

Sleep is a restorative pillar for mental wellness. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your ability to make decisions, cope with stress, and introduce necessary lifestyle changes. Physiotherapy contributes to improved sleep quality, a cornerstone of mental well-being. By addressing underlying issues affecting your sleep, physiotherapists help establish a more restful and rejuvenating sleep routine. Quality sleep plays a pivotal role in preventing mood disorders and enhancing overall cognitive function.

3. Pain relief.

Physiotherapy can provide a non-pharmacological approach to mental health. Chronic pain can significantly impact mental health, leading to conditions like anxiety and depression. Physiotherapists work closely with you to identify the source of pain and develop a personalised treatment plan. Managing pain without relying solely on medication is the physiotherapeutic strength that promotes mental resilience and a more positive outlook on everyday activities.

4. Improved focus, self-esteem, and motivation.

Physiotherapy doesn’t just address physical fatigue; it provides a natural energy boost that revitalises both your body and mind. This renewed energy contributes to a sense of achievement, increased confidence, and enhanced focus and motivation in your daily life.

5. Healthy eating habits and a positive metabolic influence.

Physiotherapy goes beyond the immediate benefits, positively influencing metabolic syndrome and diabetes. By promoting a healthy appetite and encouraging a proactive approach to metabolic health, physiotherapy becomes a key component of your holistic well-being strategy.

6. Fun, endurance, and stress management.

Engaging in physiotherapy activities isn’t just about exercise; it’s about having fun and building endurance. The process helps manage stress, emotions, and reduces tension and mental fatigue. Physiotherapists, especially those with expertise in stress management, offer various relaxation therapies, including guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, and more.

7 . Preventative mental health strategy and adjunct treatment.

Recognising the usefulness of physical activity as a preventative strategy and as an adjunct treatment for mental illness, physiotherapy takes a proactive stance in maintaining mental well-being. Regular engagement in physiotherapy activities serves as a powerful tool in building resilience against mental health challenges.

The benefits of physiotherapy extend far beyond physical health, offering a holistic approach to mental well-being. If you decide to follow the natural connection between mind and body, physiotherapy can empower you to make strides towards a healthier, happier you.

Tailored Solutions for Mental Well-Being

Physiotherapy offers personalised exercise programs designed to improve mood, promote overall well-being, and address co-morbidities associated with mental health diagnoses. A tailored approach ensures that your journey to mental wellness is unique to your needs and preferences.

Discover the transformative potential that physiotherapy holds for your mental wellness.

Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating and debilitating condition accompanied by persistent pain. But there’s hope. Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive and innovative treatment that has shown significant promise in relieving plantar fasciitis-related pain. If you’re seeking a way to regain your mobility and bid farewell to that stabbing heel discomfort, read on to discover how shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis might be the answer you’ve been searching for.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis, also known as fasciopathy, is a common foot condition characterised by pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia.

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your calcaneus (heel bone) to your toes. It forms the arch of the foot and acts as a shock absorber during activities like walking and running.

The primary function of the plantar fascia is to support the arch of the foot and provide stability during weight-bearing activities. It helps to distribute the body’s weight across the foot and absorbs the impact of walking, running, and other activities.

This condition often causes stabbing pain near the heel, particularly during the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest.

Plantar fasciitis pain often develops gradually over time rather than suddenly. You may not recall a specific injury or event that triggered the pain but instead notice a gradual increase in discomfort, particularly after engaging in activities that stress the foot.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Several factors contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis, including:

Age and Foot Mechanics

As we age, the plantar fascia can lose elasticity, making it more susceptible to injury. Additionally, issues with foot mechanics, such as flat feet or high arches, can contribute to strain on the plantar fascia.

Improper Footwear

Wearing shoes with inadequate support or an improper fit can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

Overuse or High-Impact Activities

Activities that involve prolonged standing, walking, or running on hard surfaces can strain the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and pain.

Weight Gain

Excess weight puts additional stress on the plantar fascia, increasing the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis.

Diagnosing plantar fasciitis often involves a physical examination by a healthcare professional. They may assess your medical history, and symptoms, and perform tests such as the “windlass test,” which involves dorsiflexing the toes to stretch the plantar fascia.

If you’ve tried alternative treatments for plantar fasciitis without success and are searching for a solution that truly works, your doctor may advise you to undergo a number of shockwave therapy sessions.

What Is Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis?

Shockwave therapy, or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive and effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. This innovative approach involves using acoustic waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in the affected area.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis

“Extracorporeal” means the treatment happens outside the body.

How It Works

During a shockwave therapy session, high-energy acoustic waves are directed at the heel and sole of the foot. These waves stimulate blood flow, enhance tissue repair, and reduce inflammation, promoting the natural healing process.

Painless Procedure

Shockwave therapy is generally well-tolerated and doesn’t require anesthesia. Patients may experience a tingling sensation during the procedure, but it is not typically painful.


Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of shockwave therapy in treating plantar fasciitis. A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research found that shockwave therapy significantly improved pain and function in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.

The procedure is generally well-tolerated and doesn’t require anesthesia. Patients may feel a tingling sensation or mild discomfort, but it’s usually not painful.

How Many Sessions Of Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis Do I Need?

The number of shockwave therapy sessions needed varies from person to person. Most individuals experience positive results after approximately three to five sessions.

Sessions are typically spaced a week apart to allow for optimal healing between treatments.

Patients often notice a gradual reduction in pain and improved mobility after each session. It’s essential to follow the recommended treatment plan for the best results.

Is There At-Home Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis?

While professional shockwave therapy is conducted in a clinical setting, at-home devices are available. However, the effectiveness of these devices may vary. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting any at-home treatment.

Caution: At-home devices may not provide the same level of precision and expertise as professional treatments. It’s essential to use them under the guidance of a healthcare provider, usually a podiatrist or a physiotherapist, to avoid potential risks.

In conclusion, shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis is a promising treatment option for individuals who haven’t found relief with alternative methods.

Get in touch with our team to find out if shockwave therapy is the right choice for you and to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs.

Exercise Physiology

How Can Exercise Physiology Help You?

Exercise physiology can make a profound difference in your life and supercharge your health and well-being. As a clinically supported path to a healthier, more vibrant life, the science of exercise physiology offers a broad spectrum of advantages that range from enhancing your daily activities to managing chronic diseases.

Physiological Benefits of Exercise

Anyone engaged in regular exercise quickly experiences how being active benefits the body.

People who sweat and work out regularly feel full of energy, look healthier, and overperform their inactive friends in many areas of life.

Exercise physiology, often referred to as exercise physio, is a field dedicated to understanding how our bodies respond to physical activity. It delves into the intricate processes that occur within us when we move, and it’s not just about looking fit—it’s about feeling and being healthier.

Let’s dive into the five main goals of exercise physiology, each packed with benefits that can transform your life.

1. Chronic disease management

Exercise physiology is your ally in the battle against chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

By customizing exercise plans, exercise physiologists help you manage these conditions, improving your quality of life and reducing the need for medication.

For example, a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercises which can range from light to moderate is an effective exercise program for diabetic patients.

Running, cycling, or swimming pushes the muscles to use more glucose, lowering your blood glucose levels.  

2. Reducing risks for early development or recurrence of long-term conditions

A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the dominant health problems worldwide. Prevention is the best medicine.

Exercise physiologists not only help manage existing conditions but also design programs to prevent the development or recurrence of chronic diseases. They’re your proactive health partners, especially with age as the body’s optimal function starts to decline.

3. Creating lifestyle habits that promote better health

Good health due to exercise is not something you achieve once and for all.

Exercise physiology helps you cultivate lifestyle habits that boost your well-being. These habits become second nature, leading to lasting health improvements.

4. Facilitating the elimination of barriers to lifestyle changes through planning and prioritising

Breaking old habits can be tough, but exercise physiologists are experts at helping you set achievable goals and prioritise what matters most to you. They make the journey to a healthier you smoother and more manageable.

With the help of exercise physiology, you can learn how to avoid getting back to the “same old, same old” situations and replace unhealthy behaviours with healthy ones. An exercise physiologist is your enlisted support in designing an exercise program that prepares you mentally and physically to progress to your goals by rewarding yourself for small steps.

5. Improving everyday quality of life

Ever wished everyday tasks were easier? Exercise physiology makes that a reality.

By enhancing your physical fitness and mobility, increasing your strength and fitness, managing pain, and improving your posture and balance, exercise physiologists empower you to breeze through daily activities with vitality.

Clinical Exercise Physiology

Now that we’ve explored the broad benefits of exercise physiology, let’s delve into the role of an exercise physiologist in clinical settings.

Why is an Exercise Physiologist Important?

In the acute phase of recovery, exercise physiologists play a crucial role in helping patients regain their strength and mobility after surgeries or injuries. They design tailored exercise programs that facilitate a safe and speedy recovery.

In the recovery phase, exercise physiologists continue to be essential. They guide patients through rehabilitation exercises, ensuring they regain their full range of motion and strength. This support is instrumental in preventing relapses and optimizing long-term recovery.

Skills Your Exercise Physiologist Should Have

When seeking an exercise physiologist, it’s essential to ensure they possess the right skills.

Look for professionals with accreditations, experience, and a strong understanding of exercise science. Effective communication skills are also vital, as they will work closely with you to achieve your health goals.

Physiotherapy vs. Exercise Physiology: What is the Difference?

You might wonder how exercise physiology differs from physiotherapy. While both fields focus on physical well-being, they have distinct approaches. Physiotherapy primarily deals with treating injuries and managing pain, while exercise physiology emphasizes overall health and fitness, making it your go-to choice for preventive care and holistic well-being.

Exercise physiology is a powerful tool that can transform your life.

It offers a holistic approach to health, addressing not only the physical but also the physiological aspects of your well-being.

Whether you’re looking to manage chronic diseases, enhance your daily activities, or simply lead a healthier life, an exercise physiologist is your guide on this journey to a happier, more vibrant you. So, why wait? Start your journey to a healthier, more active life with exercise physiology today.

after childbirth physiotherapy

Postpartum Physiotherapy – Supporting Recovery After Childbirth

If you are newly introduced to motherhood, the postpartum phase holds immense significance. It’s a time of recovery, adjustment, and healing after childbirth. This is where postpartum physiotherapy steps in, playing a pivotal role in aiding you to feel better during this crucial phase. From addressing physical changes to guiding through exercises, postpartum physio provides essential support.

What is Postpartum Physiotherapy?

After the miraculous process of childbirth, a woman’s body undergoes remarkable changes. Postpartum physiotherapy is a specialised practice that offers tailored guidance for women’s physical well-being during this phase. With the right care, you can go through postnatal care like having a friendly expert by your side, helping you understand and manage your body’s transformation.

Importance of Postnatal Exercise

Engaging in suitable postnatal exercises is a game-changer. These exercises, recommended by postpartum physiotherapists, aid in gradually rebuilding core strength and stamina. While it’s exciting to embark on the journey of postnatal care, it’s crucial to recognise the importance of doing it under the guidance of a professional physiotherapist.

Starting Physio after Birth

As your body heals, it’s essential to introduce physiotherapy gradually. The first step is often gentle movements that consider your body’s state. Postnatal physiotherapy is about nurturing yourself and giving your body the time it needs to regain its former strength.

After Birth Physio Exercises

Starting gently is key. Postnatal physio exercises begin with gentle movements that gradually progress to more intense routines. These exercises target muscle groups affected by pregnancy and childbirth, helping in their restoration, and strengthening.

Contraindications of Postnatal Exercise

Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Factors like medical history and individual recovery pace play a role in determining suitable exercises. It’s important to acknowledge the contraindications of postnatal exercise to avoid any potential setbacks.

Pelvic Floor Exercises after Birth

Pregnancy and childbirth can impact the pelvic floor muscles. To regain their strength and function, engaging in targeted exercises is crucial.

Pelvic floor exercises after birth aid in preventing issues like incontinence and provide the foundation for overall core stability.

Postpartum Massage

Alongside exercises, postpartum physiotherapy can also include techniques like postpartum massage. This practice not only promotes relaxation but also aids in reducing muscle tension and promoting circulation.

Best Types of Physiotherapy for the Postpartum Period

Several types of physiotherapy cater specifically to the postpartum period. From manual therapies to specialised exercises, these approaches contribute to holistic recovery.

Working with a professional who understands the unique needs of postpartum bodies ensures you receive the best types of physiotherapy for the postpartum period.

1. Manual Therapy

Manual therapies, such as soft tissue manipulation and joint mobilisation, can help alleviate postpartum discomfort. Skilled physiotherapists use gentle techniques to address musculoskeletal imbalances caused by pregnancy and childbirth. These therapies promote flexibility, ease muscle tension, and enhance blood circulation.

2. Core Strengthening Exercises

Core muscles undergo significant changes during pregnancy and childbirth. Specialised core-strengthening exercises, tailored to the postpartum phase, target deep abdominal and back muscles. These exercises aid in restoring core stability, improving posture, and preventing issues like back pain.

3. Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

The pelvic floor muscles play a vital role in postpartum recovery. Physiotherapists guide women through targeted pelvic floor exercises, helping these muscles regain strength and function. Pelvic floor rehabilitation reduces the risk of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

4. Postural Training

Pregnancy can alter a woman’s posture, leading to discomfort and pain. Postural training provided by physiotherapists focuses on realigning the body, improving posture, and relieving strain on the spine and joints. This aids in enhancing overall comfort and reducing the risk of musculoskeletal issues.

5. Aerobic Conditioning

Gradual re-introduction of aerobic exercises, like walking and stationary cycling, promotes cardiovascular health postpartum. Physiotherapists design safe and effective aerobic conditioning programs that consider individual fitness levels and recovery progress.

6. Breathing and Relaxation Techniques

Physiotherapy isn’t just about physical recovery; it encompasses mental well-being too. Learning breathing and relaxation techniques can help manage postpartum stress and anxiety. These techniques contribute to overall relaxation and emotional balance.

7. Scar Tissue Management

C-sections and perineal tears can leave scar tissue that affects mobility and comfort. Physiotherapists employ scar tissue management techniques to improve tissue flexibility, reduce adhesions, and alleviate discomfort caused by scar tissue.

8. Ergonomic Advice

Physiotherapists provide ergonomic guidance for activities like breastfeeding, lifting the baby, and other daily tasks. Proper body mechanics reduce strain and minimize the risk of developing musculoskeletal issues.

9. Treatment for Mastitis

Physiotherapists provide a combination of manual therapy, ultrasound and breast feeding advice to treat and prevent recurrence of mastitis. This can be on its own or as an adjunct treatment to antibiotics.

Get Your Individualised Treatment Plan

Every woman’s postpartum journey is unique. Physiotherapists create personalised treatment plans that consider specific needs, goals, and medical history. This approach ensures that the postpartum physiotherapy provided is tailored to each individual’s requirements.

Desk Exercises for Neck and Shoulder Pain: Alleviate Discomfort and Improve Well-being

Working at a desk for long hours can take a toll on our neck and shoulder muscles, leading to discomfort and pain. Fortunately, there are simple yet effective exercises that can help alleviate these issues.

Incorporating these desk exercises for neck and shoulder pain relief, including gentle stretches and mobility exercises into your daily routine can make a significant difference in how you feel throughout the day.

Shoulder rolls.

Start by sitting up straight in your chair. Roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion, making smooth and controlled rotations. After several rotations, switch directions and roll your shoulders backward. This exercise helps release tension in your shoulder muscles and improves mobility.

Neck tilts.

While sitting with good posture, slowly tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then repeat on the left side. This exercise stretches the muscles on the sides of your neck and provides relief from stiffness.

Chin tucks.

Maintaining an upright posture, gently retract your chin inwards, as if you’re trying to create a double chin. Hold this position for a few seconds and then relax. Chin tucks help strengthen the muscles at the front of your neck and improve alignment, reducing strain on your neck and shoulders.

Shoulder blade squeezes.

Sit up straight and gently squeeze your shoulder blades together, as if you’re trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise several times to strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades and improve posture.

Seated neck rotation.

Begin by sitting upright and slowly turn your head to the right, looking over your shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then repeat on the left side. This exercise helps improve neck mobility and reduces stiffness.

Wrist and finger stretch.

While focusing on your neck and shoulders, it’s important not to neglect your wrists and fingers, as they can also experience strain from prolonged desk work. To relieve tension in these areas, perform some simple stretches. Start by extending your arm forward with your palm facing up. Use your opposite hand to gently pull back on your fingers, stretching the wrist and fingers. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then switch hands. This exercise promotes flexibility and reduces stiffness in your wrists and fingers.

Seated spinal twist.

Sitting for extended periods can lead to a stiff and achy spine. The seated spinal twist is an effective exercise to alleviate this discomfort. Begin by sitting up straight and placing your right hand on the outside of your left thigh. Slowly rotate your torso to the left, using your right hand to gently deepen the twist. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then repeat on the other side. This exercise releases tension in the back and improves spinal mobility.

Shoulder shrug and release.

This exercise is excellent for releasing built-up tension in your neck and shoulders. Start by sitting up straight and relaxing your arms by your sides. Lift both shoulders up towards your ears as if you’re shrugging, hold for a few seconds, and then release them back down. Repeat this motion several times to promote relaxation and alleviate tightness in your neck and shoulder muscles.

Deep breathing.

Although not an exercise specifically targeting the neck and shoulders, deep breathing can aid in relaxation and stress reduction, which can indirectly alleviate pain and tension in those areas. Take a moment throughout your workday to engage in deep breathing exercises. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This practice promotes overall relaxation and helps release tension from your entire body.

Remember to listen to your body and take regular breaks to stretch and move. Additionally, practicing good ergonomics and maintaining proper posture will further contribute to alleviating discomfort. Prioritise your neck and shoulder health to enhance your productivity and overall quality of life in the workplace by continuously practicing these exercises for neck and shoulder pain

benefits of shockwave therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy and How Can It Help You?

You may have heard that shockwave treatment is a safe and easy way to resolve chronic pain without surgery. If your doctor advises this rehabilitation modality, here is what to expect and what you should know.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive medical treatment that uses the delivery of pulsating waves to damaged or injured ligaments, bones, tendons, and fascia to promote the body’s natural self-healing process.

Shockwave therapy is also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). Because of its effectiveness to treat pain, shockwave physio is usually recommended as a first-line treatment for overuse disorders.

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

ESWT works by sending transient waves that enter deep into the cellular level of the scarring tissue where they propagate three-dimensional pressure.  Shockwave has a positive phase, which applies mechanical force to the affected area, and a negative phase, which applies cavitation producing gas bubbles that further create and expand waves. 

Mechanical pressure increases the cell permeability, microscopic circulation, and metabolism of the treated tissue. Consequently, healing happens faster. If the area has calcified deposits, the smaller waves created from the negative phase cavitation can create additional impact and dissolve them.

Shockwave therapy stimulates the growth of fibroblastic cells found in soft tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles and connective tissue. It promotes the creation of osteoblastic (bone-forming) cells, responsible for new bone tissue and healing bone injuries.

ESWT for Pain Relief

Pain reduction as a result of ESWT happens in two ways:

  • Short-term pain reduction mechanism called hyperstimulation anaesthesia overstimulates local nerve endings, thus reducing their sensitivity.
  • Long-term pain reduction mechanisms called gate-control mechanisms stimulate local nerve endings to the degree that recalibrates pain by alternating perception. 

Despite the similarities, shockwave therapy has unique physical characteristics, making them different from standard ultrasound therapy.

Shockwave (SWT) vs. Ultrasound (UT)

Although the mechanism by which they help patients is not identical, both treatments can be used for treating the same disorders. Ultrasound waves resemble the ripple effect of a small rock thrown into the water, while shockwaves resemble the V-shaped bow wave created by boat movement.

UT can produce thermal on non-thermal effects depending on the frequency, intensity, and duration of the treatment. Electric signals sent to the inside of the body raise the temperature promoting blood circulation and faster healing. UT also stimulates tissue recovery on a molecular level by boosting protein synthesis.

SWT is more focused on healing by re-injuring and inhibiting the transmission of pain stimuli.  

Benefits of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Observed effects of shockwave therapy include:

  • Formation of new blood vessels at the tendon-bone junction
  • Proliferation of tenocytes (ligament and tendon cells)
  • Differentiation of bone stem cells
  • Increased infiltration of white blood cells
  • Stimulation of growth factor and protein synthesis

The initial application of shockwave therapy was for treating urinary stones. After expanding from urology to orthopaedics, this modality has proven to be effective for treating a range of musculoskeletal and soft tissue disorders, including fracture healing.

Shockwave Treatment Indications

Shockwave therapy is typically applied to chronic conditions that affect larger tendons and their bone insertions, such as tendinopathies and fasciopathies. Then list of specific indications extends to:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Hamstring tendinopathy
  • Ankle bursitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Calcific tendonitis
  • Patellar tendinosis (Jumper’s knee)

When the patient doesn’t respond well to other physiotherapy treatments, for example, rest and painkillers, shockwave therapy is recommended as a method to build up the biomechanics of the affected area, strengthen the tissue, and improve load tolerance.  A series of shockwave treatments can successfully produce health improvements and increased mobility in the majority of the cases. Most people respond well to the therapy and are happy with the achieved results.

You may notice a slight improvement after the first treatment, but it usually takes several for optimum results. Each treatment takes up to 30 minutes. For patients who don’t feel improvement after three sessions, further investigations should be done to assess why the patient is not improving.

What to Do and not to Do after Your Treatment

Avoid doing any strenuous activity that affects the treated area for 24 hours after the shockwave session even when not in pain. The healing mechanism of the treatment instigates an anti-inflammatory response which goes away after a day. Therefore, skip anti-inflammatory medications and ice application.

When not to Use Shockwave Therapy

ESWT is relatively safe to use unless you have some of the following contraindications:

  • Pregnancy
  • Undergoing cancer treatment
  • Implanted cardiac pacemaker
  • Within 90 days of a corticosteroid injection treatment
  • Blood clot disorder
  • Patient is on anticoagulants (blood thinning medication)

Shockwave therapy is tolerated well by patients with only a small number experiencing discomfort that could be managed by the physiotherapist during the treatment. If you experience an adverse effect, the treatment will be adjusted to best suit your needs.

Types of ESW Therapy

The different types of devices used for shockwave therapy are based on three physics mechanisms:

  • Electromagnetic
  • Piezoelectric
  • Electrohydraulic

Physiotherapy clinics use radial and focused shockwave therapy to treat different disorders. You will be advised to undergo the most suitable treatment by your doctor.

How Can Shockwave Help You

Confirmed benefits from ESWT treatment include:

  • Improved circulation and oxygenation of the treated area to accelerate healing
  • Increased number of mast cells that are critical for wound healing and protection from pathogens
  • Generation of more collagen for firmer tissue structure
  • Breaking down calcium build-up that is excreted by the lymphatic system from areas suffering from microtrauma
  • Reduced pain from lowered substance P Levels.

Shockwave therapy is a versatile treatment that successfully treats several chronic conditions and is effective when used individually or in combination with other treatments. It produces long-lasting effects for patients suffering from problems with the fascia in the limbs, who have reported they experienced no pain up to six months after treatment.

Post-Natal Physio Exercises

Post-natal physio exercises help women restore body movement, strengthen pelvic floor muscles, introduce relaxation and breathing techniques, and improve general well being in a sensitive period when both the mother and the baby need extra care. 

Postpartum is a period of change and adaptation. Dedicating adequate time to post natal physio exercises can help you prevent ongoing pregnancy-related issues. Your body still needs a lot of rest and your muscles, joints, and ligaments are not in the same condition as they were before pregnancy.  

You can start by slowly restoring body strength 6 weeks after delivery. Gradually increase exercise intensity after 12 weeks. 

Benefits of Post Natal Physiotherapy

Regular exercise after birth has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Weight loss. Apart from you monitoring calorie intake and breastfeeding, a physiotherapist can devise a postpartum exercise plan to increase aerobic fitness, and improve the tone of abdominal muscles and overall muscle strength.  
  • Pelvic floor strengthening. Signs of a weak pelvic floor after birth include accidental urine leakage and bowel movement, vaginal heaviness or aching, and a constant need to pee. A pelvic floor exercise specialist can help you work out gently and slowly to regain strength in the sensitive area, as doing intense workouts can worsen symptoms and extend post-natal rejuvenation.  
  • Psychological well-being. Social interaction after birth is a lateral benefit of post-natal physiotherapy, It can improve the new mum’s mood, and decrease stress and anxiety to prevent post-natal depression.

Everyone should visit a post-natal physiotherapist six weeks after birth to get a potential injury screening and agree on a post-delivery exercise program to regain strength and overall fitness. Doing prenatal physiotherapy before birth can help you with post-natal goals, as well.  

Common Exercises After Childbirth

A stronger back, spine, and abdomen, less pain during and after delivery, and improved flexibility of the lower limbs are only a few of the advantages you will enjoy when you exercise regularly  

  • Kegel (Pelvic floor) exercises. You can do Kegels sitting and lying on your back. Before you start, it is important to identify the right muscles. If you’re unsure whether you’re squeezing the right muscles, insert a finger in the vagina: if you feel pressure, you’re doing the exercise the right way. Sit and lean forward. Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles, hold for several seconds, and release. Breathe normally as you do the exercise. Repeat 2 to 3 times per day. Little by little, you will be able to hold the pelvic floor squeezed for longer. 
  • Diaphragmatic breathing. Belly breathing or breathing with the diaphragm involves engaging the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles to fill the lungs to their maximum capacity. Use the stomach muscles to pull the diaphragm downward as you breathe in. Diaphragmatic breathing fills tissues with oxygen, improves circulation, and helps full-body relaxation. 
  • Walking. Walking will probably be the first post-natal exercise you can start as soon as you feel comfortable standing on your feet. Walking restores muscle strength, energizes your body postpartum, enhances cardiovascular strength, and aids with weight loss. 
  • Bird dog holds. Bird dog hold is an excellent post-natal exercise to strengthen the lower back and improve posture and range of motion after delivery. Start on all fours in a tabletop position. Lengthen your back by drawing your shoulder blades together. Keeping hips and shoulders parallel to the floor raise your right arm and left leg and hold for several seconds. Switch arm and leg and repeat on the other side.
  • Cat-Cow pose. The popular yoga pose is regularly recommended in postnatal physical therapy. Begin in a tabletop position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Inhale as you curve your back down and lift your head to bring it into a “cow” position. Exhale and curve the back up to the highest arch by tucking the belly in and bringing it into a “cat” position. Repeat several times.
  • Glute bridge. You can perform the glute bridge with or without a stability ball. It is more effective and challenging in the second variation. Lie on the floor with your face up, knees bent, and both feet on the floor. Raise the hips in the air, at the same time pressing the heels into the floor or the stability ball, and squeezing the glute muscles. Try to remain in a straight line from the knees to the head as you rest your body on the shoulders and the upper back.
  • Plank holds. Planks are isometric exercises that place a lot of weight on the spine and require a strong and functional core. Although planks are not recommended during the first four months after birth, you will benefit greatly from them later as you have recovered your health with easier postnatal exercises. Consult with your postnatal physiotherapist about when is the best time to start planking.
  • Side bridge. The side bridge, also called the side plank, is safe to do post-partum. You can modify the exercise by adding leg lifts to each side. 

Water-based sports such as swimming, water aerobics, and hydrotherapy are excellent to improve conditioning and bond with the baby after delivery. Find a heated pool and an expert in postnatal physiotherapy who can advise on the moves and keep an eye on you and the baby as you enjoy safe and relaxing movements as early as cessation of bleeding after delivery.

workplaces exercises

Simple Workplace Exercises for Computer Users

The average working person spends between six and eight hours per day in front of a screen. Add to that a couple of hours of non-work-related computer activity, and it becomes clear that your wrists, hands, neck, and back will suffer at one point. 

Overuse of any body part can lead to pain, stiffness, and RMI (Repetitive Motion Injury). To prevent unwelcome events from occurring, you can perform simple sitting, standing, and stretching exercises right at your desk. Spread them in multiple short breaks or do them all during your lunch break and your body will say thank you by rewarding you with greater preparedness, flexibility, and agility.

Simple Workplace Exercises for the Whole Body

When working on a computer, hands, wrists, and fingers are exposed to the most effort. However, poor posture and mental strain can take a less obvious toll. Therefore, a full-body routine anyone can do will solve most of the unnecessary issues that show up when not paying attention. Relief from common computer-related injuries, including CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), mouse shoulder, computer back (Posterior Cervical Dorsal Syndrome), disc injuries, and lumbar sprains and strains, is at your fingertips.

Hand and Wrist Exercises

Repeat on both sides and do each motion 5 to 10 times for best results. Hold stretches for 10-15 seconds.

Hand and Wrist Shakes

Put your hands in front of you with palms facing downwards, let your wrists loose, and shake up and down several times to boost circulation and relieve stiffness. 

Wrist Flexion and Extension

Place each arm at the end of the work desk with the palm freely dangling downwards. (Add a cushion for comfort). Stretch your palm upwards and downwards by holding the stretch for 10 seconds on each side.  


To relieve hand muscle and joint stiffness, put your hand into a fist, extend partially with bent knuckles, hold for 3 seconds, then extend fully with fingers straight and wide apart.  

Thumb Touches 

To improve hand coordination and blood flow, hold both your palms upwards and mindfully bring each fingertip to touch the thumb. 

Head and Neck Relief

Sitting with a flat back or standing, turn your head from left to right to look over each shoulder. Hold each turn for 3-5 seconds. 

Shoulders, Back, and Trunk Exercises 

Back injuries are one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions that can be prevented by regular exercise.

Upper Back Stretch

Fold arms in front of you, holding each elbow with the opposite palm. Raise to shoulder level and push the elbows straight back to stretch the shoulder blades.

Shoulder and Chest Stretch

Grab both hands behind your back, and raise your arms upwards until you feel mild tension in the chest and the front of the shoulders.

Workplace Exercises – Leg Stretches 

Leg exercises will help you perform daily tasks, increase flexibility and range of motion, and decrease pain connected with muscle tightness.

Leg Lifts 

Stand or sit in your chair and pull the shin of your leg gently towards your chest, holding the stretch for at least five seconds. Then do the other leg.

Quadriceps Stretch

Stand behind your chair and hold the backrest for balance. Grasp one leg by the ankle and pull back and up until you feel the front of the thigh stretching. 

Hamstrings Stretch

Stand with one knee bent and the opposite leg straight in front of you. Bend forward at the waist until you feel the back of the thigh stretching. 

Ankle Stretch

Bend the knee, raise the ankle, and rotate the ankle clockwise and counterclockwise for 20 seconds.

Slow breathing workplace exercises and raising your feet on an ergonomic foot stand will help you restore mental balance and improve circulation in the legs. Irrespective of what exercises you choose to do as a computer user, remembering to get up and walk away from your desk a few times a day will help you ease aches, tackle muscle soreness, and leave you feeling energised after a long day at work. 

What is the Difference between Regular and Remedial Massage?

The confusion between regular and remedial massage arises from the fact that often people require a massage treatment that overlaps both specialties. When one is in pain or discomfort, the point of getting in touch with a massage therapist is to feel better. Feeling better can be achieved with both massage modalities. Although both remedial massage and regular massage have the patient’s wellbeing in common, they are very different in what they target. They are executed differently and ask for a different level of qualification. 

Which is which, and how to choose the one for you?

Remedial Massage vs. Regular Massage

Various massage techniques include some form of kneading and applying pressure and movement to the body. It aims to provide relaxation, relieve pain, heal injuries, and target specific body areas to help patients achieve maximum health and wellbeing. Here are the key differences between remedial and regular massage:

  • Massage goal: address particular pain points vs. promote a whole-body wellbeing
  • Technique scope: remedial massage targeted specialties such as effleurage, petrissage, deep strokes, compressions, wringing, picking up and skin rolling, vs. liberty to choose a variety of strokes and movements

It is not impossible for a regular massage therapist to know or use any of the above techniques. But a remedial massage program is goal-oriented. It contains focused and detailed strokes for solving the most painful localised issues as fast as possible. 

What is Remedial Massage?

Remedial massage, sometimes also called massage therapy, targets body ailments related to specific body areas. The examples include ligaments, muscles, tendons, and soft tissue to provide relaxation, remove pain, eliminate muscle tension, and treat injuries. 

Remedial massage is a therapeutic modality, which means that its primary goal is to heal disease (the meaning of “therapeutic” is “healing disease”).

The root of the word “remedial” itself is “medicine” so the first thing that comes to mind is a massage treatment provided by a qualified professional. 

Patients tend to mix remedial massage with deep-tissue massage. That is a common confusion especially for those who visit a massage therapist to treat muscle soreness and sports injuries. However, they are not the same. Deep-tissue massage uses forceful pressure methods to recuperate over-trained muscles, inflamed tendons and joints, and to treat chronically painful connective tissue — the fascia. It is not unusual to feel sleepy and fatigued after a deep-tissue massage.  

What Hides Behind Regular Massage?

Regular massage is the umbrella term for massage modalities that include relaxation and stress relief techniques, muscle tension removal, and methods for improved circulation, energy, and mental alertness. Shiatsu massage and Swedish massage are two massage treatments that belong to the “regular massage” group. 

Unlike remedial massage, which typically follows a stricter schedule, you can choose how often you undergo deep-tissue or regular massage. 

Massage Therapy Qualifications for Remedial and Regular Massage

Remedial therapeutic massage is performed by a qualified remedial therapist. 

A remedial therapist is certified to use advanced massage techniques to heal musculoskeletal and joint disorders that are more serious or have been dormant for some time. If you schedule an appointment for a remedial massage, the physical therapist will usually assess the level of injury or disease, create a specialised program, pick up the best massage techniques, follow progress, and adjust treatment accordingly. 

Remedial Massage Techniques

The additional weeks of training in remedial massage qualify massage therapists to ask questions and reveal what bothers the client in a more specific way. Apart from specialising in the universal massage techniques applicable for a regular massage, remedial massage therapists spend additional hours in training to learn about:

Trigger Point Therapy 

Muscle knots that trigger chronic pain are among the top three reasons clients ask for help from a remedial massage therapist. Trigger points can be located anywhere in the myofascial tissue. You can tell that you have a trigger point if you feel the tension in a certain area. The existence of a harder muscular fibrous tissue that passes through a tender spot in a shortened muscle is a clear indicator. When you apply pressure to the area, the muscle responds by a twitch or a jump. 

Painful knots in muscle tissues can make life hard, especially when left untreated for a long time.

The therapist’s task is to apply pressure to the trigger point and stretch the muscle to release tension and reduce myofascial pain. By stretching and moving the affected area, the myofascial point is softened and knot pain and surrounding pain are eliminated, or at least reduced.

Neuromuscular Techniques 

Neuromuscular techniques are used to treat muscle spasms with steady focused pressure executed with the fingers, knuckles, or elbows. The therapist holds a stable pressure level for at least ten to thirty seconds. 

The benefits of neuromuscular therapy are:

  • Improved strength and flexibility 
  • Ease of movement 
  • Better posture 
  • Tissue detoxification
  • Overall improved neuromuscular and skeletal health

The more practice hours the remedial therapist has, the better their choice of a specific neuromuscular technique will be for a speedy recovery.

Special Orthopaedic Assessment 

Orthopaedic testing is a physical examination tool for identifying musculoskeletal disorders. Your remedial massage therapist will perform a series of assessments to rule out specific orthopaedic conditions and injuries. The therapist will ask you to position your body standing and lying and perform motions with the purpose to determine the cause of the problem. By observing your performance, the therapist will design the best course forward and re-assess the success of the assigned remedial therapy at a later stage. An AROM (active range of motion) test is an example of such an assessment.  

PNF Stretching

PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching is a partner-assisted stretching that applies passive and isometric techniques for improving static muscle flexibility. Since the remedial therapist acts as your partner, they will stretch, hold, contract, and relax muscles in a series of movements. Although you can do it by yourself, PNF has better effects on the isometric (motionless) contraction when partnered. This remedial massage technique can improve passive and active range of motion.   

physiotherapy for lower back pain

Physiotherapy for Lower Back Pain: Is Physio Good for Lumbago?

If you have been experiencing lower back pain (radiating down your leg), numbness, tingling, or weakness for more than a week, or if you are having problems with your bowels or urination physiotherapy for lower back pain could be the solution to your troubles. Below are the causes, and how physio can help decrease your backache.

Quick take: Is physio good for lower back pain?


What Does Physiotherapy do for Back Pain?

For most patients, a month of physiotherapy is enough to relieve lower back pain if there is no underlying condition. Why?

One of the main causes of lower back pain is a sedentary lifestyle. The nature of your work may also contribute to back pain. Think about it; how many hours do you spend hunched over a laptop? Or does your work require you to stand for extended periods?

Physiotherapy for lower back pain is a safe and less aggressive treatment that decreases back pain, improves function and with a good maintenance program, it helps prevent future back pain.


How does physiotherapy work for lower back pain?

Depending on the cause of the pain, you may need active or passive physiotherapy. Active physiotherapy focuses on building muscle strength and repairing the damage. It involves patient specific exercises and stretches.

Passive physiotherapy focuses on pain relief. It includes electrical stimulation, heat application, ice packs and patient-specific physical treatments.

Below is everything you need to know about active physiotherapy, including how it can help you recover from back problems and what you can do at home to prevent future flareups.


How do I Know if my Back Ache is Serious?

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that between 70 to 90% of people will suffer lower back pain at some point in their lives. The causes include:

  • “Spine arthritis” may lead to a condition known as spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the space around the spinal cord that causes lower back pain.
  • Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens your bones making them more likely to break. The condition takes several years to develop, and one of its symptoms is lower back pain.
  • Muscle and ligament strain. Sudden awkward movements, heavy lifting, and some jobs put you at higher risk of muscle or ligament strain.
  • Bulging or ruptured disk. The “disks” in your spine act as cushions, they contain a soft material that may rupture or bulge leading to lower back pain.

Note that the pain may come from your vertebrae, ligaments, discs, nerves, and many other locations in your body. Consequently, you may feel the pain radiate down your leg. For most patients, the pain comes and goes. Meaning you have some good days and some painful ones.


Centralisation of Back Pain: When to see a Physiotherapist

If you experience back pain on and off and it suddenly progresses to your legs, or if you feel the pain developing in other areas of your body, it is time to see a physiotherapist. Also, if you begin exercising and the pain gets progressively worse, your exercise regime could be the cause.

What you need to remember is do not go under any procedure, including x-rays, MRI, surgery, exercise, or take medication before you consult with a physiotherapist. Why?

Pain killers have side effects and only mask the problem, and some patients may have problems such as bulging disks and experience no pain. The best way to understand a patient’s pain is through movement. Experienced Physiotherapists are movement experts who help patients identify the source of their pain and any possible underlying problem.


What to expect when you visit a Physiotherapist with Lower Backpain

  • The session will begin with an initial assessment where the physiotherapist will review your medical history and ask you detailed questions about your pain and injury.
  • Your physiotherapist will test your range of motion, strength, swelling, nerves, palpation, and ligament and joint stability to diagnose your pain or injury.
  • Based on the diagnosis, your physiotherapist will recommend a patient-specific treatment plan.


Physiotherapy Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Depending on the cause of the pain, a physiotherapist will provide you with information on how to manage the pain at home. Treatment may involve

  • Manual therapy including massage, joint mobilisation, spinal manipulation, and soft tissue techniques.
  • Heat and cold packs.
  • Patient specific exercises.
  • Dry needling or acupuncture.
  • Electrophysical agents such as therapeutic ultrasound, low-level laser, and NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation).


How do I strengthen my lower back with physiotherapy?

If you have lower back pain, your physiotherapy treatment plan may include the following exercises. But, before you perform any of the exercises listed below, you should consult with a physiotherapist to avoid further injury or damage to your back:

Core strengthening exercises for lower back pain:

  • Wall sits
  • Pelvic tilts
  • Bridges
  • Knee to chest
  • Hip stretches

Will Physical Therapy help Arthritis in the Back?

As you get older, the risk of developing arthritis increases. The condition may also result from injury. Some signs that your lower back pain is related to arthritis include, loss of range of motion, weakness or fatigue, nerve pain, stiffness, and back pain.

Physiotherapy helps relieve lower back pain through exercises and stretches that increase flexibility, improve blood flow, and lubricate the joints to improve movement. Physical activity causes weight loss, and that takes some pressure off your joints.

If you have arthritis, your physician may recommend you to a physiotherapist. What a physiotherapist will do is design a treatment program that targets your specific symptoms, the program may include stretching, core building, patient-specific exercises, and aquatic therapy.

Why not do it on your own?

A non-targeted approach may lead to more damage and pain. Consequently, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced physiotherapist.

Will Physiotherapy help Osteoporosis-related Lower Back Pain?

Yes. As mentioned, osteoporosis is a condition that weakens your bones. Physiotherapy helps to strengthen bones, helps manage pain, and prevents bone thinning. If you are above 65, you are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

The condition affects your balance, putting you at higher risk of fall-related injuries.

Through physiotherapy, you can regain your balance and have more energy.

If you have osteoporosis, a physiotherapist will help find suitable weight-bearing exercises aimed at improving your balance and strength. You will also get advice on what to eat, exercises you may do at home and patient-specific advice.

Some signs that your back pain is related to osteoporosis include:

  • Brittle bones
  • A stooped posture
  • Loss of height
  • Back pain.

Will Physiotherapy Help Muscle and Ligament Strain-Related Back Pain?

Physiotherapy treatment for muscle or ligament strain may involve dry needling, soft tissue treatment, taping, and load management advice. The treatment varies with the severity of the strain. For example, during the acute inflammatory phase, you may only need hot and cold treatment -whereas, during the repair phase, your physiotherapist may prescribe exercises that help maintain muscle strength and joint range of motion.

What to expect

If you are an athlete or work in an active environment. You are at a higher risk of straining your back muscles. If you go to a physiotherapist, treatment may involve:

  • Inflammatory phase: you will get patient-specific advice on how to manage pain, and your physiotherapist may recommend braces or crutches for support.
  • Repair phase: to prevent re-injury, your physiotherapist will prescribe exercises to help maintain muscle strength and range of motion.
  • Remodelling phase: this stage involves retraining your body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location through exercise.


What are The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Lower Backpain?

To guarantee the best outcome, physiotherapists recommend that you create a full list of all factors that may contribute to pain, including recent injuries, accidents, falls, family medical history, your job, and the sports you play. This will help your physiotherapist to create the most suitable treatment plan.

That said.

Some benefits of physiotherapy for lower back pain include:


Physiotherapy for Lower Back Pain May Eliminate the need for Surgery

As mentioned, before you get surgery or begin taking medication, it is advisable to consult with a physiotherapist. Why?

Physiotherapy may eliminate the need for surgery. On top of that, the recovery window for physiotherapy treatment is shorter than surgery.


Reduces Risk of Injury and Resurgence

Physiotherapy helps to correct underlying issues, including degenerative disease and poor posture, both of which may contribute to lower back pain. Through a structured patient specific treatment plan, a physiotherapist may help you improve your balance, coordination, and strength.


Pain Management Without Painkillers

By correcting your posture, gait, and the way you work or play, physiotherapy can help relieve pain with or without the need for medication. If the pain has progressed or if there is an underlying condition, your physiotherapist may work with an osteopath and chiropractor. Chiropractors specialize in neck and back pain whereas, osteopaths focus on the muscles and joints.

Tip: if you have back pain, you may refer yourself to a physiotherapist. However, in some countries, you may need to be referred by a physician.

Better Mobility

Back pain may lead to stiffness in your back and pain in your legs or other parts of the body. As mentioned, physiotherapists help to pinpoint the root cause of the pain through movement therapy. Once the therapist identifies the cause of your discomfort, treatment will focus on strengthening specific muscles, easing stiffness, and pain management.

Patient-Specific Care

The issue with fixing lower back problems at home is you do not have the training and expertise necessary to tell if there is an underlying condition. Adopting an exercise routine from the internet is problematic in that it may exacerbate the problem leading to more pain.

Why is Physiotherapy/prehab Important Before Lower Back Surgery?

Physiotherapy prepares you for surgery both physically and mentally, and as mentioned, it may eliminate the need for surgery. It also prepares you for life after surgery. You will know what causes pain and how to avoid it through a treatment plan prescribed by a therapist.

Why is Physiotherapy Important after Lower Back Surgery?

Post-surgery, physiotherapy will help strengthen your back muscles, improve your range of motion, and heal tissues damaged by surgery.

If you experience lower back pain symptoms don’t hesitate to give us a call at (02) 9771 1977. Our team at Pro-Fit Physio & Allied Health Centre is always happy to discuss your symptoms and offer the best treatment option.