Musculoskeletal
Conditions Treated

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neck-and-back-pain

A large percentage of people will suffer back or neck pain at some stage in their life.

It may be muscular, joint, or nerve related (for example sciatica or pain radiating to the leg)

Pain and restricted movement of the spine can result from sporting injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work injuries or just from everyday activities of living.

After thorough assessment, treatment may include:-

  • Joint mobilization which is graded to the level of pain
  • Massage, muscle release/stretching
  • Pain relief with electrotherapy devices such as Interferential or Ultrasound
  • A graduated exercise programme for the supporting muscles of the spine or the ‘core’ muscles – Real time Ultrasound may be used to help in understanding this specific muscle activation
  • A Pilates exercise programme
  • Modification of sporting techniques, work-place posture advice and a graduated return to full activities.

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headaches

There are several types of head-aches, including migraines, tension head-aches, cervicogenic head-aches (originating from the cervical spine), and head-aches arising from the jaw joint (TMJ).

Once again Physiotherapy has a role to play in easing pain, regaining joint mobility and restoring muscle control.

Treatment may include:-

  • Joint mobilization, most commonly of the upper cervical joints, but sometimes also of the upper to mid Thoracic spine or the TMJ
  • Massage
  • Gentle release of tight muscles of the neck and shoulder-blade region
  • Pain relief using electrotherapy – Ultrasound or Interferential
  • Re-education of the support muscles, particularly of the upper neck but also the upper back and shoulder-blade (scapular)area
  • A Pilates exercise programme
  • Advice and correction of neck /back posture, particularly in sitting

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temporomandibular-joint-dysfunction

The jaw joint or TMJ can be a source of pain, restriction, clicking or locking.

Its dysfunction can interfere with biting, chewing, yawning, perhaps singing. It can also be related to head-aches, neck and shoulder pain.

It is important that this condition is assessed and treated early. The Physiotherapist looks at the range of movement of the jaw, the muscles of the jaw, and may also assess and treat the neck.

Joint mobilisation, stretches for tight ligaments and muscles, and a home exercise programme can prove very effective in resolving this distressing condition.

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shoulder-pain

The shoulder is a very mobile joint and can be prone to strain. Most commonly the rotator cuff muscles are affected at their attachments to the shoulder. This can occur as an acute strain or as a result of prolonged low grade stress of the rotator cuff tendons.

Early intervention to correct muscle imbalance and poor movement patterns can avert long-term problems.

Of course other conditions occur such as dislocation, fractures, degenerative changes of the joint or pain referred from the cervical spine to the shoulder, all of which benefit from rehabilitation.

Treatment may involve:-

  • Pain relief with ice, Interferential, rest from aggravating activities
  • Re-establishing movement with joint mobilization
  • A graded exercise programme that addresses scapular (shoulder blade) control in particular
  • General upper limb strengthening
  • A Pilates exercise programme
  • Possibly treatment of the cervical spine
  • Gradual return to usual activities, sports.

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elbow-and-arm-pain

A well-functioning elbow is essential for activities of the upper limb. Very commonly lateral elbow pain or ‘tennis elbow’ occurs as a result of over-use of the forearm muscles, in non-tennis players more often than actual tennis players.

Other conditions of the elbow include medial elbow pain or ‘golfers elbow’, bursitis, posterior impingement, fractures around the elbow such as radius and ulna fractures, referred pain from the cervical spine.

Again Physiotherapy will involve:-

  • Management of pain
  • Mobilization of restricted joint movement
  • A graduated programme of muscle re-education
  • Perhaps bracing to help with painful activities
  • Treatment of the cervical spine if it is implicated
  • A graded return to work/sporting activities.

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hip-pain

As a major weight-bearing joint, the hip can be a site of wear or degenerative change. It can be prone to bursitis, to tendinopathies of the gluteal muscles, or the adductor or iliopsoas muscles of the groin. There can also be referred pain to the hip region from a low back problem.

Physiotherapy involves:-

  • Management of pain
  • Stretching/release of tight muscles
  • Gradual strengthening of weak muscles to improve the stability of the hip joint during weight-bearing
  • Mobilization of the hip joint, and in some cases the lumbar spine
  • ‘Core’ muscle training and Pilates exercises to regain lumbo-pelvic stability
  • An Aquatic exercise programme.

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knee-pain-injuries

The knee is often injured during activities or sports where there are twisting movements and sudden direction changes.

There can be ligament disruptions, such as ACL tears, cartilage or meniscal tears and muscle strains to name a few.

The knee is also often a site of degenerative changes. The wear of the joint(s) of the knee is often the result of abnormal biomechanics of the lower limb. Patella-femoral (kneecap) pain can be one outcome of this.

Physiotherapy may involve:-

  • Pain management with ice or Interferential
  • Joint mobilization for the knee, or Lumbar spine in the case of referred lumbar pain
  • Specific muscle re-education/strengthening for knee, hip and also ‘core’ muscles
  • Perhaps patella-femoral joint taping
  • Application of orthotics or referral to a Podiatrist for custom-made orthotics
  • An aquatic exercise programme for low load exercises
  • A Pilates exercise programme
  • Gait training
  • Graduated return to sport/work activities.

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ankle-and-foot-pain-injury

A common ankle injury is a lateral ligament strain where the ankle ‘rolls inwards’ during sport or as a result of a fall. There are other problems of the foot and ankle associated with biomechanical faults which give rise to pain, such as the over–pronating foot causing plantar fasciitis or heel pain.

In fact there are many joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves that could be a source of pain in and around the foot and ankle. Your Physiotherapist is able to differentiate these and develop a suitable treatment programme.

This could Involve:-

  • Management of pain and swelling
  • Mobilization of the joints of the ankle or foot
  • Taping to support healing ligaments and ease pain
  • Exercises to improve movement and muscle control of the ankle
  • Instruction in core stability, hip and knee muscle control
  • Balance exercises
  • A Pilates exercise programme
  • An aquatic exercise programme
  • A gradual return to activities – walking, running , sports

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