Physiotherapy is the treatment of pain and restriction of movement. It aims to improve and restore each of these areas. This may be achieved using various modalities such as soft tissue mobilisation, joint manipulation and massage. These treatments may be complemented by the use of acupuncture, electrotherapy, rehabilitation and exercise to both treat and prevent recurrence of acute and chronic conditions. Patients seeking physiotherapy may be suffering from many different types of injuries. This may include neck and back problems, sports injuries, road traffic accidents causing whiplash and work related problems. A visit to a Physiotherapist should reveal the nature of the problem and a discussion whether treatment may help.
Massage is the practice of soft tissue manipulation carried out by a trained therapist. The treatment is given with the patient lying on a massage couch or in a sitting position. Massage is often used in conjunction with other modalities. Various depths of massage may be given dependant upon the condition being treated.
In order to fully recover from injury, sports participants require a carefully planned rehabilitation programme. These are specifically designed to incorporate sport specific movement patterns. The aims of such a programme are:
• Stretch connective tissue – such as tendons and muscles.
• Increase strength and endurance
• Improve co-ordination and balance
• Regain cardiovascular fitness
The programme will be progressive from the beginning to finally return the sports participant to full sporting ability.
Manipulation is one of the modalities used by physiotherapists in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. It can be defined as a technique used to encourage a joint to become more mobile. It is used as part of the patient’s management package rather than a total treatment. The physiotherapist will determine your suitability for this treatment.return to the top
Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment that has been successfully used by physiotherapists for 50 years to treat soft tissue injuries. Ultrasonic waves cause a high speed vibration of the cells by contact between the machine and the skin using a water based gel. The patient generally will feel nothing during treatment. This treatment is used to increase blood flow, reduce muscle pain and spasm, stimulate the production of collagen and reduce scar tissue.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) can stimulate tissue repair, reduce inflammation or have an analgesic effect. Laser Therapy is the application of red and near infra-red light over injuries or lesions to improve wound or soft tissue healing and give relief for both acute and chronic pain.
Interferential Therapy (IFT) is traditionally described as a low frequency brought about by electrical currents crossing each other. The treatment is not unpleasant and the patient experiences only a mild tingling sensation. The treatment encourages cellular changes depending upon the frequencies selected. Many conditions can be treated where inflammation and pain is present e.g. sports injuries, arthritic conditions, bruising and swelling. It can also be used to speed healing following surgery, fractures and manipulation.return to the top
Acupuncture (Western Approach)
Acupuncture has become an integral part of complementary therapy and physiotherapy in the UK. Very fine needles are inserted in or close to the affected area. This is often a pain free treatment. The outcome in most patients is a reduction in pain levels and muscle spasm. In addition, trigger points and immobilised joints can be helped.
This is quite similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. These devices are used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered, depending on the condition being treated. Electro acupuncture uses two needles at a time so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation)
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) developed by Professor Chan Gunn, who founded The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain (ISTOP) in Vancouver, Canada. It is an alternative system of diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain using dry needling.
Myofascial pain arises from an abnormally functioning peripheral nervous system. The principle cause of this is spondylosis. It is typically accompanied by neuropathic sensory, motor and autonomic manifestations. A crucial ingredient of myofascial pain is muscle shortening which not ONLY causes pain to develop within the muscle but also increased loading of soft tissue and joints. This results in many commonly seen conditions such as OA and tendonitis. Goals of treatment are therefore to address the neuropathic changes and release the shortened muscles by the use of dry needling.
IMS has typically been seen as useful in the management of chronic pain syndromes. In recent years, its potential in the management of acute injuries has been recognised and is now used in the management of elite athletes in the English Institute of Sport and several top football and rugby clubs.
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Mike Varney Physiotherapy is accredited by several of the trade associations including the Chartered Society of Physiotherpists, Physio First, the AACP and the HPC and are registered with most private medical healthcare companies.