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Physio for Vertigo

Imbalance, Blurry Vision, Migraines? Physio for Vertigo Can Help

Physio for Vertigo

Vertigo is an unpleasant condition in which you feel the world around you is spinning around. It is not the same as general dizziness but both symptoms can be present together, causing troubles with balance, blurry vision, and worsening of movement. Sometimes, the spinning head symptoms show up when getting out of bed or bending up to pick up something from the floor. Vestibular migraine, vestibular infections, stroke, and neck-related pain are common causes of vertigo.

Remember to stop sudden movements if you experience light-headedness, floating, and general symptoms of unsteadiness, especially if they last longer than a few seconds. Once your doctor diagnoses the reasons for such symptoms, you will be asked to attend physical therapy for vertigo. Vertigo physio can significantly improve the condition and eliminate the anxiety that typically accompanies the sense of imbalance.  

 

Vestibular Rehabilitation 

Physiotherapy for vestibular vertigo, also called vestibular physiotherapy, is a specialised physio program to help you with symptoms of vertigo and dizziness resulting from disorders in the inner ear (vestibular) system. Vestibular vertigo is a common condition for adult citizens. 

Vestibular rehabilitation exercises are a part of the treatment that starts with examining your gait, head and neck mobility, balance, positioning, and stability. The initial consultation may include an inner ear exam. After the personalised check-up, you will get a plan that includes some or more of the following exercises: 

  • Balance improvement
  • Posture repositioning
  • Vision stability training
  • Stretching and strengthening
  • Neck exercises
  • Walking
  • Ergonomic training 

Unless vestibular physiotherapy is a part of a postsurgical treatment, it is usually the only program you will get to treat your condition. 

 

Types of Physical Therapy for Vertigo

Vestibular physiotherapy involves:

 

Habituation Training 

The purpose of habituation exercises is to reduce the symptoms of dizziness. The patient performs specific movements that numb down the vestibular system by simulating dizziness.

 

Eye—head Coordination

These exercises improve focus and reduce dizziness.

 

Walking/Balance and Gait Exercises 

By challenging the vestibular system with walking and balancing exercises, the patient restores balance and gains confidence, stability, and grounding while walking during daily activities.

 

Physiotherapy for BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)

Re-positioning techniques are used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and vertigo that occurs when lying in bed and moving and changing positions. Epley and Semont manoeuvres effectively treat BPPV but must be performed by a physiotherapist trained in vestibular rehabilitation.

 

What Are Epley and Semont Manoeuvres for Vertigo?

Both manoeuvres treat vestibular vertigo, although the Epley manoeuvre is more successful than the Semont one. The treatments are performed seated down while the physiotherapist turns your head horizontally and to the side to cause movement of the debris in the ear canal. You should hold on to the therapist during the treatment for safety reasons. Sometimes, only one treatment can solve the BPPV. Usually, patients need several treatments and, when you feel confident, repeating the procedure at home.

 

Physio for Vertigo from Concussion

Concussion headache is similar to migraines. It shows up in the frontal head area with throbbing pain that can expand to the temples. The headache can go along with vertigo, fatigue, dizziness, and imbalance. These symptoms that resemble car-sickness are a part of post-concussion syndrome. Cognitive disturbance may also present following a concussion. Vestibular rehabilitation techniques can be applied to patients with a concussion. However, since concussion is classified as mild traumatic brain injury, the doctor may prescribe painkillers, assess visual vertigo symptoms, and recommend additional treatment. You may need to perform eye exercises, postural control treatment, and pacing techniques as a part of the repositioning protocol. 

 

By following the physiotherapist’s advice and adhering to the exercise plan, you will quickly improve balance, minimise headaches, and prevent reoccurring vertigo episodes. Physio for vertigo can help you come back to your old self as soon as possible: short-term vertigo can go away within 1-2 weeks.     

 

Hamstring Strain

Hamstring strain: does physiotherapy help with hamstring injury?

Hamstring strain causes and treatment explained. Why physiotherapy is vital post injury.

Quick take:

  • Regular physiotherapy can reduce the risk of hamstring injury and re-injury.
  • If not torn, hamstring muscles will heal without surgery.
  • Lack of professional care may lead to long term pain or disability.

Hamstring strain and physiotherapy summary

Often misunderstood and inadequately treated, hamstring strain accounts for between ten to thirty percent of all sports-related injuries. But how does hamstring injury happen?

A violent stretch or contraction while running, walking, or exercising may partially, or completely tear one of the three hamstring muscles. Bicep femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus -located at the back of the thigh- are collectively known as hamstring muscles.

These muscles flex at the knee and extend at the hip.  When strained or damaged, you will experience a sharp pain near your buttocks or in the area that attaches to your knee.

A fall, accident, old age, previous injuries, strength imbalance, poor core stability, and other factors listed below may increase the risk of occurrence.

Hamstring anatomy and why physiotherapy is vital for recovery

While walking or running, hamstrings pull the leg backward (hip extension) and bend the knees (knee flexion). Injury often happens in the area where the muscles join (musculotendinous complex), explaining why hamstring strain is the most common type of injury in sports. Swelling happens because the body produces chemicals and enzymes in the area. If the muscles tear off completely (avulsion), you will need surgery, followed by weeks or months of physiotherapy to aid repair and strengthen the muscle.

In short, Physiotherapy helps patients who have a hamstring tear or strain to; (1) reduce or manage pain. (2) to fully recover from the injury by improving core stability, increasing muscle strength, and promoting healing.

How to self-diagnose hamstring strain

Whenever you feel mild or severe pain, you must seek help from a healthcare provider. Because left untreated, hamstring injury may lead to degeneration of your hamstring tendon, and that may lead to long-term pain and possible disability.

Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. You know that you have a strained hamstring if:

  1. You feel pain or have difficulty straightening your knee.
  2. Experience Pain or difficulty walking or running.
  3. Climbing stairs or taking large steps is painful or difficult.
  4. Long-lasting weakness or pain in your leg

What is the typical cause of hamstring strain?

If you experience a sudden sharp pain at the back of your knee or near the buttocks, sometimes accompanied by a tearing or “popping sensation, you may have a strained or torn hamstring muscle. Within a few minutes or hours, swelling and tenderness will develop. Some may experience discoloration or bruising along the back of the leg.

What are the causes of hamstring strain?

Hamstring tears do not result from direct trauma, instead, it is a stretch-induced injury caused by sudden-forced lengthening. The risk factors include:

  • Previous injury
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Stiffness or reduced flexibility
  • Preseason weakness

For athletes, the contributing factors include; being out of shape or overworking muscles, not warming up properly before and exercising, an imbalance in leg muscles, poor technique, or returning to activities too soon after an injury. For non-athletes. Old age, accidents, poor core stability, lack of exercise, are amongst the contributing factors.

We are all at risk of suffering hamstring strain or injury at some point in our lives. So, the important question is what should you do immediately after an injury and the weeks following?

Step 1: hamstring strain first aid (immediately after injury)

Warning: when you strain or tear a hamstring, do not stretch it out. Stretching out the injury may cause further damage and disrupt healing. Physiotherapists recommend that you wait at least five days before you stretch gently. The idea is to Let the symptoms guide you, that is, if the pain is severe or unmanageable, seek medical assistance right away. Whereas, If the pain is not serious, do the following:

Phase 1: first aid

  • Keep the leg comfortable, and apply a cold pack on it every two hours.
  • Use crutches to take the weight off the leg.
  • Get plenty of rest and do not put weight on the leg.

Phase 2: at home physiotherapy

If pain persists for more than 48 hours, seek the assistance of a physiotherapist. However, if you notice some improvement, you may:

  • Have someone perform cross friction massage to increase circulation, decrease collagen cross-linking, and promote optimal collagen healing.
  • Massage the leg with a roller.
  • Gently stretch the muscle.
  • Use an exercise ball to strengthen your leg or core.

Step 2: patient-specific hamstring strain physiotherapy

The first 24 to 48 hours are the most important. This is when you or the patient will experience most of the bleeding and swelling. To control the swelling, apply a cold pack to the affected area every one or two hours.

How will a physiotherapist help me?

Without proper medical training, you may not be able to comprehend the severity of the injury. To you, the damage may not feel serious. But. Internal bleeding -caused by torn arteries or muscles may lead to an embolism or blood clot, which may cause a heart attack.

The purpose of consulting with a physiotherapist is to; identify the extent of the injury, rule out other problems, including bone injury, reduce swelling, stop internal bleeding, and manage pain.

Note: the doctor may recommend imaging tests if unsure of the extent of injuries.

What if the muscle is torn?

If Hamstring strain results in torn muscle, you will need a surgeon to reattach and repair the injury. That is why it is crucial to consult with a physiotherapist immediately after an injury or if the pain or discomfort persists for more than 24 hours without showing any signs of improvement. Without corrective surgery, the result may be long-term pain or in some cases disability.

A complete hamstring tear happens when there is a sudden extension of the knee joint and bending of the hip joint.

You know that there is internal bleeding if:

  • The tissues form a hard bunch in the back of your thigh when bending the affected leg.
  • The skin is bruised or turns purple.
  • There is liquid pooling in the injured area.

Death from a torn or strained hamstring is rare, but it may happen if you do not seek proper care.

When to see a physiotherapist

Note: medical experts grade hamstring muscle injuries as mild, moderate, and severe.

  • Severe injuries result in complete tearing of the muscle-tendon unit. With physiotherapy, it may take weeks or months to fully heal. Without physiotherapy it may take months or years.
  • Moderate hamstring strain results in a significant but incomplete muscle tear. With physiotherapy and rest, it may take three to six weeks to fully recover. Without physiotherapy, the patient is at risk of suffering further injury and will take longer to heal.
  • A mild hamstring strain, as mentioned, is treatable at home with adequate rest and gentle exercise.

You may treat grade 1 or mild hamstring strain following the instructions above. However, if you experience significant pain walking or if the leg cannot bear any weight. You will need physiotherapy to aid recovery, prevent long-term damage, and relieve pain.

Grade 2 and 3 hamstring strain and physiotherapy

Often, the muscle affected in grade 2 hamstring strain is the long head of the biceps femoris. Your physiotherapist will recommend immobilisation for not more than a week. That will be followed by weeks of strengthening and corrective therapy.

How does physiotherapy help with hamstring strain?

Phase two of treatment (after rest and pain management) is delicate and if not done right or too aggressively, may result in further injury. Because of that, we recommend consulting with a physiotherapist. What a physiotherapist will do is design a personalized treatment program suitable to your injury.

Physiotherapy and hamstring strain rehabilitation

Physiotherapy rehabilitation combines multiple components including, joint electrotherapy, taping techniques, and patient-specific exercise prescriptions that help to improve mobility, improve the patient’s quality of life, and shorten the length of hospital stays.

The benefits of physiotherapy after hamstring strain or injury include:

  1. Reduced risk of injury reoccurrence.
  2. Quicker return to sport function
  3. Improved muscle length
  4. Reduced pain

Can you do hamstring physiotherapy on your own?

You may, but the risks involved in self-physiotherapy may worsen the problem. Remember, physiotherapy is patient-specific, so what works for one person, may cause problems for you. The risks include (1) overworking muscles, tissues, or tendons that need to recover (2) pushing past the pain may aggravate an underlying problem (3) aggressive stretching may lead to more tears.

A physiotherapist will check your history, account for past injuries, then craft a suitable program.

How will working with a physiotherapist benefit me?

We encourage physiotherapy at home. But if you have suffered grade 2 or 3 hamstring strain or other injuries that require physiotherapy. It is in your best interest to consult with a physiotherapist for the following reasons.

Pre-rehabilitation and post-surgery rehabilitation

If the hamstring injury (avulsion) suffered requires surgery, physiotherapy will help pre and post-operation. A torn hamstring may cause bleeding or hematoma. Hematoma left untreated, can be serious as explained above. Post-surgery, what physiotherapy will do is reduce swelling, bleeding and may prevent complete loss of hamstring function.

The University of Wisconsin Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation recommends a post-operation four-phased physiotherapy approach to prevent long term damage after a hamstring injury. that is:

Phase 1: range of motion and gait training for at least 6 weeks.

Phase 2: progressive supervised strengthening

Phase 3: speed and amplitude movement, and force distribution

Phase 4: rehabilitation.

Note: physiotherapy may help avoid the need for surgery and reduce hospital stay, that is why you must consult with a physiotherapist within the first forty-eight hours after injury.

Injury prevention and recovery

With years of training, physiotherapists craft a recovery or prevention program suitable for the sport you play. So, if you are an athlete, thinking of becoming one, or are planning to start exercising, it is in your best interest to consult with a physiotherapist.

Improved balance and Age-related issues

The older you get, the higher at risk you are of falling and injuring yourself. A fall risk assessment (see the snippet below), aims to identify risk factors contributing to your risk of falling, obtain a risk score, and formulate a personalized plan. If you have suffered a grade 2 or 3 hamstring strain, we recommend getting one done.

That said, physiotherapy improves core strength, muscle strength, and balance. The result is a lower risk of falling or causing further injury.

Without physiotherapy or specialised treatment, hamstring strain or injury will lead to weakened or tight muscles. Also, as mentioned, lack of treatment may result in disability or long-term pain.

Physiotherapy consisting of adequate rest, leg elevation, and compression in the early stages will help speed up healing and guarantee an optimal outcome. In the latter stages, a physiotherapist will recommend patient-specific exercises to strengthen recovering hamstring muscles, and improve flexibility.

References:

physio for tmj

Physio for TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) dysfunction is a condition that consists of a set of symptoms presented in the TMJ, the area around the two joints connecting your jaw bone and mandible to the temporal bone of the skull. 

TMJ symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, and locking the jaw in a position that makes it painful to move. Symptoms may progress to include headache and dizziness. 

The first typical sign of TMJ is a painful jaw. There is no reason to panic if you notice that your jaw hurts, pops or clicks when you speak or chew. A professional physiotherapist can assign effective treatment to heal this debilitating condition.

 

What Causes a Dysfunctional TMJ 

If you don’t know what you’re dealing with, TMJ dysfunction initiates discomfort because it is located in a sensitive head area near the ears, eyes, and teeth. However, there is no need to let TMJ dysfunction prevent you from enjoying life once you learn why your jaw hurts. 

The TMJ is one of the more complex joints in your body. It is made of the articular disc (a thin oval plate) and two bones. The TMJ joint moves in two halves of one movement. In the first phase, the mandible makes a circular spinning motion inside the joint. In the second translational phase, the mandible and the articular disc slide forward on the temporal bone to come to a full opening. 

When there is misalignment between the joints during this movement, the jaw starts hurting and presents additional TMJ symptoms which require physical therapy. 

 

Benefits of Physio for TMJ

Physio for TMJ targets the causes – poor posture, teeth grinding, trauma, yawning or eating habits – by developing a set of stretching and strengthening exercises for the weak TMJ area, manual therapy, prescribing painkillers, and making suggestions about adjusting your workstation and car seat. 

 

Physio for TMJ – Strengthening

TMJ dysfunction in some patients is an outcome of how they eat and speak. Moving your jaw too fast or too forcefully can misplace the temporomandibular joint and cause pain. A trained physiotherapist can notice improper movements and advise how to make improvements.

 

Improving TMJ Range of Motion

TMJ stiffness caused by past trauma requires attention from the physiotherapist in the shape of manual therapy techniques. The TMJ physiotherapist will loosen the stiffness to get the joint to move naturally. You will get instructions for exercises to do between visits to maintain the improved range of motion.

 

Muscle Spasm Treatment

By using their knowledge in anatomy, physiotherapists assess the muscles of the TMJ and how you move them. Muscle spasms prevent your joint from healing. Your physio clinic can assist you with manual therapy techniques for improving joint alignment.

 

Posture Changes

Poor posture shortens muscles, making it difficult for some people to move the head and the jaw properly forward. After a while, the posture causes TMJ pain. A licensed physio professional can observe what movements contribute to the pain, recommend posture corrections, and teach stretching and strengthening exercises that will ultimately improve your body position. 

 

TMJ Dysfunction Pain Relief

Some patients need instant relief because they are in a lot of pain and cannot address the TMJ condition with exercises or postural changes. In that case, the patient’s pain is relieved by gentle manual physio, thermal therapeutic modalities, ultrasound, and acupuncture. 

 

Dental Care for TMJ Pain

Your physiotherapist may work alongside a dental expert to advise relaxation techniques for a clenched jaw, a nightguard to prevent you from grinding your teeth, or prescribing medications such as analgesics, relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Eating softer foods, stop biting your nails, and avoiding chewing gum is among the techniques that can help TMJ dysfunction pain. 

 

Best Exercises for TMJ 

This regimen will be put on the list of most helpful exercises to improve jaw mobility, strengthen jaw muscles, relax the TMJ area, and reduce clicking and popping sounds. 

  • Goldfish opening exercises  
  • Chin tucks 
  • Resisted mouth closing and opening 
  • Tongue-on-the-roof
  • Side to side jaw movement
  • Forward jaw movement 

Ice packs or heat pads can reduce sharp pain that prevents you from doing exercises. Many mild TMJ disorders go on their own. But if you don’t see any improvements or the TMJ dysfunction results from a trauma such as a fracture, cooperating with your physiotherapist can significantly speed up recovery to feeling your best self. 

 

Physiotherapy For Pelvic Floor & Common Exercises To Alleviate Pain

Physio for the pelvic floor can help when the pelvic floor muscles you have relied upon throughout your life weaken or present other symptoms that indicate a pelvic floor dysfunction. 

The pelvic floor muscles are located between the hip bones and the sacrum. The uterus, prostate, bladder, and colon are positioned in the pelvic floor area, supporting these organs. When the muscles in this area are either too weak or too tight, you can suffer from urinary incontinence, constipation, bowel movement strain, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction. 

A dysfunctional pelvic floor is common during pregnancy. Therefore, most patients who seek physiotherapy help are women. However, pelvic floor physiotherapy (PFPT) can help both men and women build strong and supportive pelvic floor muscles.    

 

Do I Need Physio for Pelvic Floor?

When you show up at your physiotherapist’s office, you will learn about the muscles, nerves, joints, and connective tissue in the pelvic floor area and how they affect the concrete pelvic floor dysfunction you suffer from. 

Usually, people seek physio help when the problem progresses, becomes unbearable or too embarrassing (for example, you cannot wait to get to the toilet or suffer from accidental leaks during sports, coughing, or sneezing). 

Many women accept pelvic floor dysfunction as a common childbirth consequence and don’t do anything about it. 

Sportspeople who work hard, especially on the muscles in the abdominal area, can tighten the pelvic floor muscles too much. 

Although weaker pelvic muscles are normal as you age, a simple set of physio exercises for the pelvic floor and appropriate treatment can solve the problem in several months.     

 

Physiotherapy for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The longer you wait with physio after noticing the first signs of a weak or tight pelvic floor, the more effort you will need to invest in getting better. 

When you experience constipation or faecal incontinence that won’t go away, pain during intercourse or urination, muscle spasms in the pelvis, pain or pressure in the rectum, you should schedule a visit to a physiotherapy clinic to get an exam. The physio for pelvic dysfunction can include:

  • Education about how pelvic muscles work
  • Pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises)
  • Manual relaxation, which provides for hands-on massage to help with circulation, stretching, and mobility.
  • Biofeedback, based on a computer analysis of a probe test. 
  • Electrical stimulation, including a low voltage current to train the patients how to contract pelvic floor muscles. 
  • Uroflowmetry test
  • Medications, depending on what organs bear the difficulties of the pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, warm baths, or acupuncture.
  • Trigger point injection (TPI) to relax knots that form in the muscle after inactivity. 

Surgery, a last resort for many physio pains, is not an option for the pelvic floor because you need to work on the muscles. It is important to keep in mind that physio for pelvic floor issues won’t solve all problems with your pelvic floor organs. For example, if you have an underlying bowel disease or inflammation issues in the area, you may need alternative treatment.

 

Pelvic Floor Exercises

 

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor strengthening exercises, are by far the most popular pelvic floor workout. 

It will take some time to get used to contracting precisely the muscles in the pelvic area because they are difficult to isolate if you don’t exercise them regularly. 

 

How to Do Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are performed on an empty bladder, in a lying, sitting or even standing position. 

Hold the muscles tight for 3 to 5 seconds, then release. Breathe deeply and try not to squeeze other muscle areas. In time, you’ll get better with this practice. 

Try not to over-exercise, as you may need to go the other way around and seek physical therapy for tight pelvic floor muscles. 

 

Common Misconceptions about Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy (PFPT)

Common myths about pelvic floor physio people have are: “I’m too old”, “I’m a man”, and “I’ve just had a baby, so the damage is done.” The physio for the pelvic floor is for men and women. Men do not have a uterus, but they do have pelvic muscles. Age is not an obstacle – physio shows results at any age. And if you start physiotherapy soon after childbirth, you will get back in shape in no time. 

As you may reasonably assume, success requires persistence on your part. In the case of pelvic floor physiotherapy, this could take about 4 to 6 weeks. 

 

Physiotherapy for SciaticaPhysiotherapy for Sciatica

Physiotherapy for Sciatica

People often ask for physio for sciatica relief once the pain becomes unbearable. If you experience moderate to severe pain, stiffness, weakness, and tingling (pins and needles) in your lower back, hip, leg or foot, you are a likely patient for sciatica physiotherapy. Before you can hardly move your hip and lower back, you may feel low to moderate pain. A deep, dull ache can also be a sign of sciatica. Sciatica pain can also occur suddenly or worsen in a matter of hours. 

Self-help is possible, and many patients get better over time. However, if the condition produces electric-shock-like pain or has rendered you immobile, you may need immediate physiotherapy treatment for sciatica.

 

Physiotherapy for Sciatica Relief

Sciatica, also called lumbar radiculopathy, is a condition of a pinched or damaged nerve in the lumbar area of the spine. A herniated, bulged, or slipped lumbar disc is a common reason for sciatica. Other known reasons include spinal stenosis, spinal misalignment or osteoarthritis of the spinal vertebrae. But sciatica can also have more innocuous causes, such as an improper sitting posture (and long hours on the chair), wearing uncomfortable (high) heels, or poor lifting and bending techniques during work or sports.

While the pain running down the buttock and the back of the legs can be debilitating, it rarely produces chronic nerve damage. The pain is caused by inflammation, which can be successfully treated by a physiotherapist. 

 

Sciatica Diagnostics

Your physiotherapist will first run a series of tests to reveal the sciatica cause, including:

  • Exploring your medical history    
  • Spinal, orthopaedic, and neurological exam
  • X-ray, CT or MRI scan

The physiotherapist will work on reducing pain and inflammation, strengthening weakened muscles and restoring movement. Best results are achieved with passive and active physio treatment for sciatica.      

 

Physio for Sciatica Pain (Passive Physiotherapy)

If you are in pain or motionless, you are most likely to avoid any movement. Instead of actively participating in the treatment, you may prefer passive help. The physiotherapy for sciatica, in this case, can include over-the-counter medications, light stretching, deep tissue massage, ultrasound, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), and cold or hot packs.

 

Over-the-Counter Medications for Sciatica

Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Ketoprofen, and Naproxen Sodium can provide immediate sciatica relief by reducing pain and inflammation.   

 

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a type of physiotherapy that uses soft strokes and firm, gliding pressure to reach deep layers of muscles and fascia. It eases pain and tension in sore muscles and tissues and can improve limited mobility. This type of sciatica therapy is always best performed by a licensed physiotherapist who will use hands, elbows, fingers, knuckles, and palms to “untie” knots or rigid tissues in the painful area.  

 

Ultrasound Therapy

By gently heating the muscles and improving circulation, ultrasound waves can help decrease pain faster and reduce inflexibility, tension, cramping, and swelling. 

 

Cold and Hot Packs

Start with ice bags wrapped in a soft towel to heal acute pain in the affected area. Move to hot packs – heating pads or a heat lamp – after a couple of days, and alternate hot and cold packs if the pain remains. 

 

Physio Exercises for Sciatica (Active Physiotherapy)

The type of physio exercises for sciatica will depend on the cause of your condition. Exercises that stretch the piriformis muscle, the hamstrings, and the hop extension will alleviate lower back and leg pain.

 

Light Anti-sciatica Stretching 

 Examples of helpful sciatica exercises are:  

  • Pigeon pose (reclining, sitting and forward) 
  • Seated spinal stretch
  • Knee-to-opposite-shoulder
  • Knee hugs
  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Cat/cow pose

You may want to remain inactive if severe pain persists. But bed rest is not recommended, as long as you can move within the pain constraints. Keep in mind there are movements to be avoided when suffering from sciatica.

 

Hydrotherapy

Light muscle toning exercises performed underwater will help you strengthen the body in the sore areas, thus supporting the spine and the weakened muscles. Water aerobics and swimming usually don’t cause pain for patients with sciatica.

  

Adhering to ergonomics principles, active life and weight reduction is typically on the list of long-term help your physio clinic will recommend once the acute condition subdues. You will need to familiarise yourself with how your habits affect your body posture and develop new ones to prevent future issues.  

 

twisted vs sprained ankle

Twisted vs. Sprained Ankle: Learn the Difference to Treat it Right

When you are not a medical expert, the issue of twisted vs. sprained ankle can puzzle you because both are similar.

The key difference is the severity of the problem; a sprained ankle is akin to a twisted ankle, but the injury is greater and more painful. You are most likely suffering from a sprain if the ankle is swollen and bruised, and it causes worse pain.

It is essential to know the differences between both injuries to treat them properly. Mild injuries can be treated at home. But for more severe injuries, giving adequate professional treatment makes all the difference between healing fast or suffering years of chronic pain.

Symptoms of Twisted vs. Sprained Ankle

Twisted ankle injuries are widespread. An ankle sprain is more serious. It typically occurs during strenuous activity or athletic performance. However, it can happen rain or shine if you are not careful.

Your doctor will carefully observe your ankle sprain and diagnose you based on the following symptoms:

Pain
Warmth to touch
Tenderness
Swelling
Stiffness
Bruising
Limited range of motion
Inability to bear weight

All of these symptoms will be more severe with ankle sprains. Bruises, sharp pain, instability, and discomfort while rotating your foot indicate a sprained ankle rather than a twisted ankle.

Grading Your Ankle Injury

Physiotherapists use a grading scale to diagnose the severity of the injury and place it on a scale from 1 to 3, 1 being mild, 2 being moderate, and 3 being severe ankle sprain. It takes from one to three weeks to heal a mild injury. A severe ankle sprain can take as long as six months to heal.

After grading your injury, the doctor will specify physiotherapy treatment or assign you for additional diagnostics that may include an X-ray, MRI, or a CT scan.

(Pay attention to how your ankle looks and feels: if there is a visible bone protruding, the ankle is deformed, crooked, numb, or you are in extreme pain — you have a fracture.)

Ankle Sprain: What Happens?

Twisting or spraining your ankle is an injury to the ligaments.

The ankle has three fibular ligaments: anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament, and calcaneofibular ligament, and a deltoid ligament, which keep the foot in a stable position and the ankle free from injuries.

An ankle sprain happens when you roll or move your ankle in an awkward way, causing the tough tissue band of the ligaments to twist, extend, or, in the worst case, tear mildly or more severely.

The ankle is most stable in dorsiflexion — with flexed toes and least stable in plantar-flexion — with pointed toes. Therefore, most ankle injuries occur when you step with your foot on the ground in an unsupported manner.

Inversion ankle sprains (when the foot rolls inward) tear the fibular ligaments. Eversion ankle sprains (when the foot rolls outward) tear the deltoid ligament. The prevailing reason to visit a physiotherapist with an ankle sprain is the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) injury.

Twisted Ankle Treatment

Usually, RICE (rest-ice-compress-elevate) therapy will help. Unlike a sprained ankle, a twisted ankle won’t be as painful. The injury will go away after two weeks.

Sprained Ankle Treatment

Always seek out help from a medical professional to treat ankle sprains.

If the pain doesn’t go away with REST treatment, your doctor may prescribe painkillers.

As a general rule for all moderate to severe ankle sprains, a NO HARM (no heat-alcohol-running-massage) protocol may also be advised.

Strapping can keep the ankle stable and protect the blood flow regenerate the injured area.

Surgical methods may be applied to severe injuries.

When you feel better, you can start an exercise program to restore strength, stability, and balance into your ankle and foot.

Do you feel an unexplained pain in your ankle? Let us know, and we will do our best to answer any questions about a twisted or sprained ankle!

Strapping a sprained ankle

Strapping a Sprained Ankle

Ankle strapping, also called wrapping or taping, is a common physio treatment for helping a sprained ankle heal faster and prevent further injury. Depending on the type and the severity of the injury, your doctor may suggest using ankle support products such as a bandage, kinesiology tape, or braces. Surgery is a possibility, too, in case of completely torn ligaments. 

What Causes a Sprained Ankle?

Ankle sprains happen often when you step on your foot at a wrong angle during sports activities. Running is a typical example. Because you don’t land flat on the bottom of your foot, the ligaments around your ankle sprain and cause the surrounding area to swell and hurt. 

Pain and the inability to fully step on your foot are the most common symptoms of a sprained ankle. Apart from applying all other steps from the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) program, you will need to have your foot stabilised by supporting the ligaments with sticky physio tape or another way of ankle support, including:

  • Ankle sleeves
  • Mesh ankle tape
  • Bionic and cryo ankle support
  • Lace-up or air-stirrup ankle brace
  • Elastic ankle support
  • Support splint for Ankle
  • Ankle walker

Ankle sprains are also known as low ankle injuries. They don’t they usually require using more advanced strapping equipment from the above list.

How Does Strapping a Sprained Ankle Work?

The main purpose, as well as advantage of strapping a sprained ankle, is to limit the range of motion for the affected person without causing complete immobility of the hurt ankle. 

By letting the foot exercise the range of motion it is comfortable with, it helps the ligament move within limits below pain level, encouraging faster recovery. Unlike elastic ankle support sleeves or bracing, strapping provides greater flexibility in choosing which areas will be kept in place and which ones will be left tape-free. 

Advantages of Sports Taping

Among the many patients in need of ankle strapping, athletes, both professional and recreational, frequently require sports taping. Kinesio taping is practical and quick, and hence, a preferred way to deal with less serious sprained ankles. 

One of the first time you encounter such an injury, a physiotherapist will assess how serious it is and do the initial taping. Many patients decide to do sports taping themselves, which is not recommended. It can be a first-aid measure when they can’t visit the physio clinic or need immediate pain relief. It is important to do ankle strapping properly to avoid causing greater damage and helping the injury to heal faster.

Ankle Taping: How to Do it Properly

The first thing to know about sports taping is whether your foot suffers from an inversion or eversion sprain. 

  • Inversion sprains cause the foot to turn inwards due to a sprain in the lateral (outside) ligament. Most people who require strapping a sprained ankle come to the physiotherapist with an inverted ankle sprain. 
  • Eversion sprains tear the medial (inside) ligament, thus causing the foot to evert or invert in the other direction. This is important because it will impact the direction in which the tape need to begin and roll out. 

An inverted sprained ankle must be wrapped starting from the outside while sticking the tape towards the inner foot areas. An everted sprained ankle should be taped by starting from the opposite point.  

10 Steps to Securing a Sprained Ankle with Atheltic Tape

Here is what an inversion sports taping would look like and what the physiotherapist will do when an injured patient comes in for treatment: 

  1. Make sure the foot is clean and provides enough of an adhesive surface for the tape by cleaning it with a specialised kinesio pre-tape spray.
  2. Ask the patient to put the foot in dorsiflexion, facing the shin upwards at a 90-degree angle, and maintain that position while the taping is in progress, especially during anchoring.
  3. Protect areas of more friction, usually front and back tendons, with heel & lace pads.
  4. Apply pre-wrap athletic tape which protects the skin from getting in touch with the adhesive tape and causing rash, irritation, or allergies. Start pre-wrapping from above the ankle and below the muscle area by moving the tape around the heel, leaving the heel free. 
  5. Create anchors by circling the sports tape and allowing contact with the skin above the pre-wrap. Three anchors at the top and one anchor at the bottom are usually sufficient.
  6. Secure the foot with stirrups. Starting from the inside of the leg, tape the foot by adding a layer from the inner uppermost anchor, below the foot, and to the outside uppermost anchor. Repeat three times.
  7. Place three to four surface tape layers across stirrups to keep them in place.
  8. Apply horse-shoe-shaped tapes to stabilise the ankle as you go down.
  9. Use figure-eight strapping to surround the ankle area from all sides by angling the tape following the natural foot curve.
  10. Create heel locks by wrapping the heel in tape from both sides.

You can switch between heel locks and figure-eights if you are comfortable with the technique. Finalise the taping by checking for wrinkles or holes. Reapply if necessary. There are different widths of athletic tapes: the most common for strapping a sprained ankle is 1.5 inches wide.

Physiotherapy for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow physiotherapy is on high demand among patients who engage in activities that require repetitive movements with arms, wrists, and elbows. The painful and swollen tennis elbow, also called Lateral Epicondylitis, affects athletes and workers that do plenty of forearms muscle work, causing strain, swelling, and pain in the elbow. The pain is due to the injured extensor tendon. That is the tendon located on the outside of the elbow, which inflames under the pressure of strenuous, continuous overuse. 

Patients suffering from the condition find that physical therapy for tennis elbow effectively solves their immediate issues, such as inflammation, and benefit from a proactive stance toward healing this degenerative disease. Occasionally, the disease can be persistent, causing elbow pain to return and asking for a more comprehensive approach. Apart from devising self-helping tennis elbow exercises to reduce symptoms, your physiatrist will assign appropriate physiotherapy treatment you will need to do in a clinic.

What is the Most Successful Tennis Elbow Physiotherapy Treatment?

The first thing to instantly relieve symptoms is to rest and to avoid any activity that has caused the problem in the first place. Rest will improve blood supply to the painful area and help it heal. To conclude what type of activities to avoid, your doctor will ask you a set of questions about your lifestyle and work engagement. As a general rule, men are at greater risk, as well as people between the ages of 30 and 50. Tennis elbow encompasses the most active age group of all that actively contributes to the workforce or plays sports. 

Sports That Bear Heightened Risk

To eliminate the root cause before starting with additional tennis elbow physiotherapy treatment, you may be asked to avoid certain sports that require constant use of the forearm:

Racket sports. Tennis, table tennis, squash, and badminton engage the forearm a lot and can be especially tiresome for novices who don’t have well-developed and balanced muscle use. They are the most common casualties and among the first to ask for tennis elbow physiotherapy consultation. 

Basketball and handball. Due to the stress of throwing or dribbling the ball with the underarm, basketball and handball players are among the typical tennis elbow patients.

Throwing sports. Discus and javelin, because of the immediate impact on the forearm.

For sports pros, abstaining from the activity for a long time can be out of the question. The same goes for professionals who do these tasks for a living, such as forest workers, gardeners, builders, musicians, typists, crafts persons, or cooks. If you find yourself in any of these groups, you should look into sports physiotherapy for tennis elbow that lets you be active while removing or managing symptoms.

Manual Labour Tasks 

Tennis elbow is an occupational condition, so some people will be more prone to it and have more difficulties with avoiding it. Certain jobs are strong triggers for the condition. Keep in mind that these activities do not necessarily need to be forceful. Sometimes, the act of repetition itself is enough of a problem:

  • Using pliers, screwdrivers, and hammers
  • Painting, plumbing, and bricklaying
  • Sewing and typing
  • Weaving, raking and fishing
  • Violin playing

Even something as simple and fun as arm wresting or sleeping in a poor position can cause tennis elbow. As you may notice, what these activities have in common is the continuous engagement of the forearm, which can cause the outside tendon of the elbow to flare up and cause pain.

Other Immediate Relief for Tennis Elbow 

Applying ice packs for 4-6 hours a day for at least 24-48 hours helps some people. Over-the-counter medication can free you of some of the pain but it’s not advisable in the long term. An orthotic device, a strap or a brace around the elbow an also be helpful. As an intermediate solution, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections. Cortisone is shot directly into the joints to ease down pain and inflammation. However, it also comes with certain risks and should not to be used for long. If the condition persists for more than 48 months, it is classified as chronic, and sometimes even surgery is necessary.  

Tennis Elbow Exercises You Can Do at Home

Being diagnosed with tennis elbow should not deem you powerless. To relieve pain at home, you can do tennis elbow exercises for stretching and strengthening.

Stretching Exercises

  • Wrist range of motion: Bend wrist forward and backward.
  • Pronation and supination of the forearm: Bend elbow at 90°, turn your palm upward and downward while holding in each position for 5 seconds. 
  • Elbow range of motion: Bring palm up toward your shoulder. Bend and straighten the elbow.
  • Wrist flexion stretch: Stand at a flat surface with palms down, fingers flat, and elbows straight. Lean your body weight forward.
  • Wrist extension stretch: Stand at a flat surface with palms up, fingers pointing toward your body, and elbows straight. Lean your body back.

Strengthening Exercises

  • Wrist flexion exercise: Hold a tool such as a hammer in your hand, palm facing up, bend the wrist upward and return in the initial position. Repeat as you increase weight gradually. 
  • Wrist extension exercise: Hold a tool such as a hammer in your hand, palm facing down, bend the wrist upward and release into the initial position. Repeat as you increase weight.
  • Wrist radial deviation strengthening: Put your wrist sideways with your thumb up. Grab a tool and bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching upward. Lower down and repeat. 
  • Forearm pronation and supination strengthening: Hold a tool in your hand and bend your elbow at 90°. Rotate hand side to side with your palm upward and then palm down.

Bicep curls, as well as sock, stress ball, or paper squeezing, greatly help certain patients. Do these exercises twice a day to experience results in a few weeks. If nothing else helps, you may need to schedule a further consultation. 

Physiotherapy For Knee Pain

Physio for knee pain can strengthen muscles and improve the condition of the joints around the knee. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons for patients to ask to speak to a licensed physiotherapist. If you adhere to the advice and follow through with the exercises suggested by your physical therapist, knee physio will effectively make your body feel better overall. 

Reasons to Engage in Knee Physiotherapy

Knee physio is based on a set targeted exercises and physical therapy treatments to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and ease down the pain, helping the aching knee heal faster. Reasons for knee pain are many, including:

  • ACL (anterior crucial ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries 
  • Fractures to the knee caused by an accident or a chronic disease, for example, osteoarthritis   
  • Torn meniscus, an injury to the cartilage between the shinbone and the thighbone due to disproportionate compression of the shock-absorbing tissue
  • Bursitis on the knee
  • Patellar tendinitis, an inflammation of the soft tendons that protect the outside of the knee. 
  • Mechanical problems, for instance, a dislocated kneecap, foot or hip pain, or iliotibial band syndrome, which is a common pain for long-distance runners. 
  • Arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, septic arthritis, gout, and pseudogout. 

Some knee pain is more serious than the rest, but not all of it is dangerous. Risk factors that could worsen the condition are excess weight, previous injuries, poor muscle strength or flexibility, and occupations or activities that include knee overuse, such as running or jogging. If you want to prevent knee pain, shed any extra pounds and exercise to strengthen muscles and keep them flexible. You may need to replace your regular exercise routine with knee physio exercises recommended by your therapist. 

Effective Physiotherapy for Knee Pain

Physiotherapy for knee pain is a multidimensional specialist treatment which depends on what causes the pain in the first place. It can include a combination of strength and flexibility exercises, ice, heat, and compression packs, medication, ultrasound, and nerve stimulation.

Stretches and Exercises

To relieve the pain in the knee area with targeted exercises, your physiotherapist may suggest doing patella mobs, heel slides, calf stretches with a strap, hamstring stretches in long sitting, supine hamstring and calf stretches, IT band stretches, quad stretches, butterfly stretch for the groin area, hip flexor stretches, and side lunge stretches.  Strength exercises that are typically suggested during physio for knee pain are hamstring curls, single-leg dips, step-ups, straight leg lifts, wall squats, and balancing exercises.

Taking Painkillers

Painkillers such as Advil or any other ibuprofen-based medication can help some patients, as well as rubbing in the area with numbing creams. Your doctor may also consider injecting corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, and (PRP) platelet-rich plasma, which help with softening the pain for a few months, lubricating knee joint, and promoting healing and growth respectively.   

Ice, Heat and Compression Application

Use ice pack covered in cloth or a towel to avoid direct contact with the skin. Even a bag of frozen vegetables can do the trick by numbing the area and reducing pain and inflammation. Ice pack therapy should not last longer than 20 minutes even if it feels good because it can damage the nerves and the tissue around the knee. Apply a heat pack or a hot water bottle to the affected area for temporary pain relief. Compression bands keep the knee aligned in a stable position and prevent fluid from building up in the injured tissues. When you choose a compression band, make sure it compresses the knee well, but that it doesn’t restrict circulation. Lightweight, self-adhesive bands are the preferred choice for most patients who use compression in the physiotherapy for knee pain. 

Ultrasound Massage

Ultrasound therapy uses continuous or pulsating sound waves which vibrate to relieve pain and improve the knee function. Continuous waves produce heat. Pulsed ultrasound is recommended for acute pain or redness. Ultrasound massage is painless and you won’t be able to feel it at all because it uses extremely low frequencies. 

Electrical Nerve or Muscle Stimulation

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) uses electrical current to stimulate healing of your knee and is a typical remedy for arthritis pain. EMS includes several subsets of stimulation therapies with variation in the electrical impulse techniques:

  • Neuromuscular Electrical stimulation (NMES)
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
  • Pulsed Electrical Stimulation  (PES)
  • Interferential Current (IFC)
  • Noninvasive Interactive Neurostimulation (NIN)

Not all of them are applicable for all pain and should be administered carefully. Can not be used at all if the patient has a pacemaker or some other electrical device in the body. Certain EMS techniques stimulate body endorphin production or can be a replacement for applying medication for patients who are afraid of needles. 

Knee pain can result from a very simple injury or disease. However, it needs to be treated on time with adequate knee physio treatment programs to prevent severity and repetitiveness. Regardless of what treatments your physiotherapist suggests, you will experience greater relief if you are disciplined and dedicated during the physiotherapy. 

Physiotherapy For Shin Splints

Physiotherapy for shin splints helps joggers, dancers, and athletes who put constant pressure on the lower part of the legs – knees, shin, and feet, to ease down the discomfort and heal the injury that’s showed up due to overuse. Runners that run on hard concrete surfaces or members of the military who train under a strict and harsh regimen are especially prone to shin splints accompanied by knee pain. Shin splints are medically known as “medial (anterior) tibial stress syndrome” or “posterior tibial stress syndrome”, depending on whether they occur in the front or the back of the lower half of the leg. 

Shin Splints Physio: Causes and Diagnosis Before Treatment

Shin splints are a typical overuse injury and often occur due to excessive use of the foot flexors. Due to the constant repetitive stress of a single physical activity, the tibia bone that’s below the knee at the front of the leg suffers tiny fractures, causing pain for the person in question. 

It’s not only the bone that’s affected. Muscles can also suffer, as well as the tenoperiosteum – the outside shell that covers the bone and connects it to the tendons, causing tenoperiostitis or tendon inflammation.

Other common causes for patients who feel shin and knee pain to seek shin splints treatment include:

  • Starting exercise without warming up and stretching beforehand 
  • Overtraining or overextending one’s physical limits too early
  • Insufficient rest between exercises
  • Inadequate footwear
  • A weak core, buttocks muscles, or quadriceps
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Anatomical or biomechanical built or coordination in the lower part of the body, including hip-knee-leg control, overpronated or oversupinated feet, and inflexible ankle joints 

Taking a full-body medical before starting any exercise program can help you learn about your body strengths, as well as identify any potential weak spots which can weaken further if overused. 

To diagnose shin splints and assign appropriate shin splints treatment, a doctor may need to use a variety of diagnostics tools:

  • Physical examination
  • X-ray
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Ultrasound testing
  • Electromyographical testing (EMG) 

By asking about your medical history, and your habit and lifestyle, the orthopedic specialist will asses the severity of the injury, develop a well-rounded opinion and assign shin splints exercises and additional aids you can use to improve your condition.

Effective Physiotherapy for Shin Splints

Shin splints physio encompasses exercise programs, supportive medical wear and appropriate footwear, as well as taking painkillers and leaving enough recovery time between exercises. The best way to avoid shin splints pain is to prevent it. 

Preventative Physio for Shin Splints

When living in urban areas, running on hard surfaces is often unavoidable. Therefore, wear well-padded shoes and shock-absorbing footwear if running or jumping on concrete, especially if you have flat feet. Don’t forget to replace old sports shoes when their time runs out. 

Always warm-up and stretch before workouts and don’t forget to stop immediately if you feel pain. Learn to distinguish between good pain – the one that occurs due to building muscle strength, and bad pain – the one that occurs due to injury. 

Neoprene sleeves are a good support to warm up the lower leg. 

Losing weight can help you ease the load on the shin, as well as the knee and hip, and relieve pain.

Shin Splints Exercises for Stretching

Stretching is an effective measure for most physical injuries, both as preventative and restorative shin splints treatment. To reduce pain and inflammation, a physiotherapy specialist will advise a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises, including:  

  • Seated and bent knee ankle dorsiflexion and calf stretch
  • Straight knee and bent knee calf wall stretch
  • Toe and heel walking for stretching and strengthening
  • Standing ankle dorsiflexion stretch
  • Wall toe raises 
  • Footstep holds 

Your exercise program may variate in frequency. The doctor can also suggest modified exercise versions, so don’t forget to mention all shin splints symptoms you feel to your doctor to create a more effective and targeted set of exercises.

Shin splints don’t necessarily mean you need to stop exercising. Unless you’re in an advanced phase of shin splints, you can usually continue exercising moderately. 

A trained physiotherapist will propose activity modification, advising against overly using your lower body part, including less stressful cardio exercises for the shin bones such as swimming or cycling. Increased range of motion (IRM) exercises can also be part of the physio for shin splints

At its worst, painful shins may require comprehensive physiotherapy for shin splints, including manual therapy and kinesio taping to treat acute pain and swelling. You will need to self-support with RICE recovery, too (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Gait and footwear analysis helps diagnose walking patterns and recommend medical footwear. 

This combined approach to shin splints treatment is particularly effective for athletes who must return to their sports as soon as possible. By consulting with a physiotherapist, you can devise a gradual regiment to go back to your regular activities without causing more serious injuries or pain.