Muscle Strains & Tears
A muscle strain or tear can be caused by over-stretching the muscle tissue. This could be during sporting activity or something as simple as walking the dog. You will immediately feel pain if you strain a muscle and there may be some swelling or bruising if it is a severe tear. The muscle will be painful to contract and may be tender to touch.
Knee Ligament & Cartilage Injuries
Knee injuries often occur during traumatic incidents such as falling over or sporting activities. This often results in straining or tearing of the ligaments and the shock absorbing tissue in the knee known as the meniscus or cartilage. Similar to muscular injuries, you may notice swelling and bruising after these sorts of injuries and the knee might feel wobbly and unstable. The knee might also feel painful to move and might get stuck in one position or give way when walking.
Shoulder problems can arise for a variety of reasons. Tears to the muscles surrounding the shoulder known as the rotator cuff can occur during activities stressing or overstretching the muscles. Also, repetitive overuse of the rotator cuff can lead to wear and tear of the tendons (where the muscle attaches into the bone) known as a tendinopathy. This can also cause a narrowing of the space where the tendons pass through the shoulder called an impingement. Symptoms of a tendionopathy or impingement include pain in the shoulder after activity or in the morning, not necessarily during activity and reduced range of movement.
Tennis Elbow / Golfers Elbow
Also known as lateral and medial epicondylitis, these are also tendinopathies but involve the wrist muscles where they attach to the inside or outside of the elbow. Again, they arise as a result of overuse and not always from golf or tennis! Tennis and golfer’s elbow characteristically aches on either side of the elbow after an activity using the wrist muscles and is eased by rest.
Achillies Tendon Injuries
Injuries of the Achilles tendon are either traumatic in nature resulting in a tear or due to over use resulting in a tendinopathy. If a tear occurs, there is normally a lot of swelling and you will have difficulty standing on your toes on the affected side. Interestingly, there is not always a lot of pain. Achilles tendinopathy usually swells and is noticeably thicker in comparison to the non-affected side. If the injury worsens, it is painful during activity as well as after it.
Shin Splints are a common complaint during running or high intensity activity. They are characterized by pain felt in the lower part of the leg along the edge of the bone (Tibia) between the knee and the ankle and usually occur during and after long distance activity. Shoes with sufficient shock-absorbing soles can reduce forces through the legs and orthotics can also help with the treatment of Shin Splints.
Ankle sprains occur in activities requiring rapid changes of direction, uneven surfaces or jumping onto an obstruction (eg. another player’s foot). Ligament injuries of the ankle require ice treatment immediately after incidence to reduce swelling and bruising.
Diagnosis and Treatment
We employ a wide variety of treatment techniques for the injuries detailed above. All treatment is tailored to the patient and the condition. These normally include: joint mobilisations and manipulation, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, interferential therapy, ultrasound and shockwave therapy. We also provide you with a home exercise plan to complete in between sessions which is printed out or emailed to you using our state-of-the art PhysioTec software.