At your Initial Consultation, your physiotherapist will perform an in-depth interview and physical assessment in order to determine the source and nature of your problem. He/she will then choose which evidence-based treatment technique they deem most appropriate for you, taking into account your current presentation and your past history of injury or treatment reactions. This choice of treatment technique, and how it will be specifically applied, will also be influenced by a number of factors, including how acute, chronic or irritable the injury is AND which structures appear to be involved. A combination of these techniques will be used in instances where the physiotherapist decides that this will maximize the recovery response.

Listed below are some commonly used physiotherapy techniques (Click title to expand):

Dry needlingDry needling involves the insertion of small, solid needles into tissues in order to assist in the reduction of muscular pain. The needles are inserted through the skin into painful muscle trigger points in an attempt to deactivate that trigger point. Dry needling is different to acupuncture in that, although it uses similar needles, dry needling is used on areas of local change in tissues and does not follow specific acupuncture points or meridians. The use of trigger point dry needling is indicated where manual therapy techniques have been unsuccessful or have produced to much post-treatment soreness. (see article on speciality physiotherapy)

Electrotherapy is a particular form of physiotherapy treatment used to repair tissues, reduce pain, stimulate muscles, improve sensation and build muscle strength. Patients often recall electrotherapy as the physiotherapist’s use of “machines” as part of their treatment. There are several different forms of electrotherapy available to physiotherapist, including ultrasound, Interferential therapy, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Laser and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS).

  •  Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to facilitate the body’s natural healing process.
  • Interferential and TENS treatments involve introducing electrical impulses into the body via electrodes. This is done with the intent of reducing pain by directly stimulating nerves in the targeted area and will be felt as a tingling sensation by the patient. In the case of Interferential therapy, the electrical impulses can also promote cellular healing.
  •  Laser therapy is a form of phototherapy which involves the application of monochromatic light over tissues to elicit stimulatory or inhibitive reactions within these tissues.
  • EMS is the use of electrical impulses to stimulate motor nerves and, subsequently, muscle contractions. This can be of assistance where there is obvious muscle wasting and weakness or in more extreme cases such motor nerve injuries.

Electrotherapy modalities are often used as an adjunct to manual therapy. Combined with the latter, the combined treatment more effective than each on its own. Ask your physiotherapist today whether electrotherapy can be of benefit to you.

Wilston Physiotherapy offers Physiotherapist led exercise classes. These classes are the best way to bridge the gap between traditional hands on treatments and returning to work, sport or the gym. We currently offer 2 different types of exercise classes, one is a more generalised exercise class. The idea of this class is for those who need general strengthening, improving your balance, maintaining bone density and improving cardiovascular fitness.

Exercise class: The idea of these exercise classes is for those who need general strengthening, improving your balance, maintaining bone density and improving cardiovascular fitness. This is  great way to exercise in a group while utilising both Pilates equipment and weights to help you to maintain and develop strength in your muscles, bones and improve your joint proprioception. This all helps you to stay in better physical health, have less injuries or pains and help slow down the sarcopenia and decreases in bone density that occur with aging. Also a great way to help prevent falls.

Clinical rehabilitation: This exercise class is an excellent way to progress the treatment and strengthening exercises that you have been given in a one on one setting into a small group class. These classes have individualised exercise programs per patient with the physiotherapist supervising to correct any bad or risky techniques and to progress you to ensure you are always progressing towards your goal. Typical patients taking part in these classes include 1) Back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain patients. 2) Patients wanting to return to a gym or Pilates type studio. 3) Patients who want to become stronger to prevent flair ups or reaggravations of their injuries.

We generally use some form of strength, proprioception/balance and movement retraining as part of our injury management plan. Whether we are looking to improve the overall functioning of your lower limbs following an ACL injury or working to improve your core stability after a period of low back pain, it is a very important to include this type of training as part of any good rehabilitation programme. At Wilston Physiotherapy we have a dedicated gym space, complete with a full Pilates and gym set up. We will provide you with the most effective training techniques for your condition. Training results will be monitored, corrected and progressed as required.

Falls prevention programs are specifically designed to reduce the risk of falls in the elderly population and a very effective in doing so. The program is entirely exercise based and primarily aims to improve the clients’ strength and balance. The physiotherapists are experienced in tailoring a program to suit your needs.
All of our physiotherapists are able to competently assess your gait (walking, jogging or running). If a poor or inefficient gait technique is contributing to your presenting complaint, we are able to identify which aspects of the gait pattern may need to be corrected or “tweaked”. Our physiotherapists may also choose to assess your foot biomechanics in order to ascertain whether something there may be “driving” the problem. Subsequently, they will prescribe specific exercises to address any contributing muscle imbalances and they will provide you with advice and cues that will help you focus on establishing and maintaining a more efficient gait pattern. In some instances, physiotherapists will utilise taping techniques, foam shoe inserts or off-the-shelf orthotics to further compliment your gait retraining. They may even refer you on to a trusted podiatrist if they feel you require prescription orthotics to correct more complicated biomechanical problems.
(NB. We tend to refer our patients to specialist hydrotherapy physiotherapists when we feel that this form of rehabilitation would be beneficial to recovery) Hydrotherapy is exercise based treatment performed in a heated swimming pool. It is usually not just swimming but more specific water-based exercises, individually tailored to the patient and their presenting condition. This form of exercise can assist in the rehabilitation of specific complaints where land-based programmes are limited or too stressful. We tend to refer our patients to specialist hydrotherapy physiotherapists when we feel this form of rehabilitation would be beneficial to recovery.

Manual therapy consists of a variety of hands-on intervention techniques. These include mobilisations of soft tissue, joints and neural tissue. In some cases, joint manipulations can be utilised. Overall, manual therapy is a highly effective treatment method that can provide excellent pain relief, improve range of movement and improving physical functioning.

Soft Tissue Mobilisation (including Massage)

Physiotherapists use various techniques to have an effect on soft tissue (including muscles, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue/fascia). Deep tissue massage, frictioning, myofascial releases and trigger point therapy are techniques employed by our therapists to improve the extensibility, elasticity and tone of soft tissues, promote the formation of “good” scar tissue, enhance circulation and encourage fluid drainage. Soft tissue mobilisation techniques can be applied at different depths, depending on which tissues are being targeted and, obviously, patient tolerance. Physiotherapists can use their hands, forearms and elbows to alter the strength of the massage.

Joint Mobilisation

The mobilisation techniques most commonly used by our physiotherapists are derived from Maitland and Mulligan teachings. Varying degrees of passive, mechanical pressure is directed at a particular joint, encouraging a specific movement in a specific direction. The gentle movement aims to improve joint mechanics and/or correct joint positional faults. It also stimulates mechanoreceptors, which helps to reduce pain. Because of their knowledge of joint kinematics, physiotherapists are able to facilitate small movement gains at implicated joints which then can lead to significant improvements in the overall range of movement of that body segment.

Joint Manipulation

Joint manipulation is characteristically associated with the production of an audible ‘clicking’ or ‘popping’ sound. This sound is believed to be the result of a phenomenon known as cavitation occurring within the synovial fluid of the joint (the rapid release of trapped gases in a high pressure environment, similar to uncorking champagne bottle). Maitland has classified a manipulation as a joint manoeuvre of high velocity and low amplitude. This rapid and forceful end-of-range movement is complex and is associated with a degree of risk, especially when it involves the spine. Hence, this technique is only performed by experienced and qualified physiotherapists who are required to perform a pre-screening of the client to ensure safe, effective and appropriate application of technique. The technique involved should always be explained to the patient and all risks outlined clearly. The patient’s informed, written consent must always gained before administering this technique.

Poor posture is a common contributing factor to both back and neck pain and cervical headache. Physiotherapists will assess your posture and prescribe specific correctional exercises, supports and equipment/furniture to help you to make and maintain the necessary posture adjustments. Ergonomic changes and improved posture awareness can hugely facilitate your recovery from certain conditions.

If you have sustained an injury that has compromised the stability of a joint, we are able to apply tape to the affected area, or supply you with the appropriate brace, in order to provide the additional support required. Taping and bracing increases stability and reduces unwanted movement at an acutely injured joint. This, in turn, can help to control pain, provide relief to spasming muscles and reduce the risk of further injury. Our physiotherapists are experienced in the application of both rigid and kinesiology tapes for acute injury management, postural correction and movement biofeedback, and sports injury prevention. Please talk to your physiotherapist today about which tape will suit you.

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