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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.

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.

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.

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.

physio for posture correction

Bad Posture correction: can physio correct spinal misalignment, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders, and a potbelly?

Yes, a targeted approach will help correct bad posture, spinal misalignment, and pain management. Below is everything you should know about physiotherapy-based posture correction.

QuickTake: based on medical research, physiotherapy has benefits for posture related problems including:

  • Leg length discrepancies.
  • Kyphosis: muscle imbalance caused by the exaggeration of the outward curve of the spine.
  • Lordosis: tight or weak muscles caused by the inward curve of the spine.
  • Rounded shoulders.
  • Poking chin posture, text neck, and upper cross syndrome.
  • Swayback and flat back.
  • Scoliosis: a sideways curve of the spine caused by weakened back muscles.

Can physiotherapy correct bad posture and spinal misalignment?

A Public Health Report published in 2007 titled “Computer use and Habitual Spinal Posture in Australian Adolescents, concluded that weekly use of a computer is associated with changes in habitual spinal posture. In males, the main risk is increased neck and head flexion and in females increased lumbar lordosis.

The findings of that report are vital in that they point to a problem that according to NCBI, affects 38.3% of children and nearly 80% of adults. Unlike in the past, today, most of us spend countless hours behind a desk. The consequence of that for many is bad posture and its side effects. A potbelly, rounded shoulders, joint degeneration, and spinal dysfunction are all side effects of bad posture.

Additionally, FHP (Forward Head Posture) or “text neck” is a common postural misalignment that may lead to decreased balance control, headaches, back pain, decreased range of motion, amongst other problems.

How does physiotherapy help correct bad posture/ postural misalignment?

The American Physical therapy association (APTA), defines a physiotherapist as a trained medical professional whose job is to diagnose physical abnormalities, help patients restore physical function and mobility, maintain physical function, and promote physical activity. If you have bad posture, you need one to help improve breathing, strengthen weakened neck, and back muscles, and better your circulation.

Medical research has established that physiotherapy or mechanical therapy is beneficial in posture-related pain management, postural alignment, and balance and gait. Furthermore, physiotherapy exercises help improve range of motion, joint mobility, and flexibility. There is also enough evidence to support the claim that physio reduces muscle spasms, and improves muscle strength and endurance.

On top of all that, a physiotherapist provides ergonomic advice to patients, meaning physio is not a temporary fix.

What are the signs of bad posture?

There are two types of postures. One is dynamic posture, and the other is static posture. The former refers to how you position yourself while in motion, and the latter when immobile.

Having good static and dynamic posture will lessen the probability of developing the problems mentioned above. But what if you already have these problems? How would you know?

Do people around you tell you to stand up straight or to stop slouching? Annoying, yes, but it is good advice. The issue is standing up straight is not as straightforward as it sounds. Try it. Standing or sitting straight does not feel natural, does it?

The reason for that discomfort you are experiencing while sitting up straight or standing tall is weakened back muscles.  A study published on Medicina titled “Effects of Prolonged Sitting with Slumped Posture and Trunk muscular fatigue in Adolescents with and without Lower Back Pain,” concluded that, quote:

“Results suggest that when seated in a slumped position for a long time, the discomfort in the lower back increases regardless of muscle fatigue, and adolescent patients with lower back pain are more affected by these postures”

Signs of bad posture

  • Do you experience pain across the neck or shoulders?
  • Has fatigue and tension headaches become a way of life?
  • Do you experience constant aches in your lower back or neck?
  • Do you on occasion have trouble breathing when seated?

All these problems may stem from bad posture, and they do not stop there, you may also experience increased muscle spasms, nerve pain, heavy feeling, or numbness in your arms.

Why a physio for posture assessment is important?

Bad posture does not happen overnight, meaning for most people, the problem develops in childhood and peaks in adulthood. By the time you notice, you may already have other underlying problems including, weak muscles, biomechanical abnormalities, and injury. Following a posture assessment, a physiotherapist will help you create a personalised stretching and exercise program that will strengthen muscles and improve mobility and stability. If the underlying cause of pain or bad posture has far progressed, your physiotherapist may recommend the use of postural support equipment that will balance, align, and help correct your posture.

What is an ideal posture?

Keeping your back, muscles, and joints in good condition is essential to develop and maintain a good posture.

A healthy back has three natural curves namely the lumbar curve, cervical curve, and thoracic curve. Consequently, the term good posture means keeping these curves strong and aligned. Remember: Muscles support these curves, and joints balance them.

Good posture while standing

  • Straight vertical alignment from the top of the head through the core to the bottom of the feet.
  • Viewed from the back: straight head and spine
  • Viewed from the front equal shoulder height.

Good sitting posture

  • Straighten spine and head and maintain back curves.

The position of your spine is key to good posture. Why? Gravity. Gravity compresses your spine, decreases flexibility, and may lead to poor circulation. Mechanical based therapy or physiotherapy relies on the knowledge of human anatomy and gravity to:

  • manipulate muscle positions
  • manually grade muscle or strength movement analysis.
  • help craft specific therapeutic interventions.

Why is physio for posture correction important, and how does physiotherapy help?

The long-term effects of poor posture include impaired lung function, poor circulation, incontinence, constipation, heartburn, and pain.

When it comes to posture correction, physiotherapists have plenty of options suited for different needs. For example, a physiotherapist may correct posture through massage or manual therapy, corrective exercises, stretching, joint mobilization and muscle stimulation, and exercises that increase range of motion.

Physiotherapy tips to correct bad posture

Stop slouching and slumping

Slouching is a condition that according to medical research causes heartburn, incontinence, poor circulation, back pain, and other medical complications. The reason for that is when you slouch, you add stress to your spine which in turn strains your bones, muscles, and joints.

On the inside, slumping compresses your organs making it difficult for the intestines to work, and your body may not get enough oxygen.

How can physio for posture correction help with slouching?

A physiotherapist may recommend upper back exercises to strengthen your back muscles and front stretches to open your chest. To provide postural support, a physiotherapist may recommend an upper back and shoulder posture brace.

Straighten your back

As mentioned, good posture is about maintaining the three back curves while standing, in motion, driving, or while sitting. Patient-specific exercises will help strengthen and straighten your back naturally.

Fix “text neck”

Text neck or leaning forward for prolonged periods often results in stiff/tight shoulders, decreased range of motion, nerve pain, tingling and numbness in the upper limbs, and eye pain.

Multiple studies cite physiotherapy as the most successful way of treating neck and shoulder pain. That means a personalized neck exercise regime will help improve flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and train your neck muscle memory to stop leaning forward.

Physio for posture correction and spinal dysfunction?

Habit is not the only cause of bad posture, spinal injuries and dysfunction may also contribute to pain and posture problems. Can physio help?

Spinal cord injury or SCI is for some a lifelong affliction that requires a multi-disciplinary approach. If you suffer from it, your doctor will recommend working with a physiotherapist.

What a physiotherapist will do is assess your condition then recommend a suitable exercise regime. The problem with creating an exercise regime on your own or copying from the internet is that you risk further injury or damage to your spine.

If you are experiencing posture related issues please call us to discuss all the available treatment options.

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.


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.