Physiotherapy in Sutherland Shire
How can Physiotherapy help me ?
Physiotherapy uses a variety of treatment solutions targeted towards your individual problem to:
- Relieve pain
- Reduce swelling
- Accelerate recovery from injury or chronic pain
- Improve strength and flexibility.
The main aim of treatment is to not only help you make a complete recovery, but to also ensure the affected area returns to its full strength and flexibility, which will prevent the problem from recurring. This is particularly appropriate in the treatment of neck and low back pain, for example, which can become long lasting recurring problems, if treated inappropriately, or worse still - not at all.
If we use chronic or recurring back pain as an example:
Common causes of back pain include poor posture, prolonged or recurrent sitting, bending, lifting, muscle and/or ligament strains, disc problems, and arthritis.
In most cases, this pain elicits the body's own protective mechanism to try and immobilise and protect the spine from further damage by causing muscle tightening, spasm, or cramp. Unfortunately, this reflex like, over-reactive protective mechanism leads to excessive vertebral joint compression, and nerve irritation causing severe pain.
To enable complete recovery, it is imperative to relieve this muscular spasm, and then restore mobility and flexibility as quickly as the pain allows.
For this reason, the vast majority of people can be significantly, and quickly relieved of their symptoms with Physiotherapy.
During the early stages of recovery, a physiotherapist can use a multitude of techniques, such as:
- massage (light and relaxing to deep tissue sports massage).
- joint mobilisation or manipulation - to increase spinal joint mobility, and relieve the pressure on pinched nerves, that can commonly cause back pain, sciatica, and if the cervical (neck) vertebrae are involved - neck pain, arm pain, or even headache.
- acupressure or trigger point therapy - an extremely effective method of turning off muscular spasm to quickly relieve symptoms, and accelerate recovery.
- ultrasound - to relax tight muscle, break up inflammation and scar tissue, and relieve pain.
- interferential therapy - artificial electrical nerve stimulation, to reduce spasm, enhance circulation to flush out inflammatory chemicals, and relieve pain.
As your symptoms settle, a personalised flexibility and strengthening program can then be introduced to ensure a complete and long lasting recovery.
As your condition improves, your Physiotherapist may also advise you to pursue other activities that will specifically help your condition – thus taking the ‘guess work’ out of what to do next? These other prescribed activities may include such things as: yoga, pilates, and gym ball exercises. Or, if more suitable, a home based exercise program can be designed for your individual problem.
Often people find the hardest thing about dealing with back pain is understanding the actual cause of their problem so that they can then do something about it (like exercise), to help themselves. This is where Physiotherapy is important.
Rather than just taking painkillers, or choosing other remedies, or exercises "to see if it helps", a physiotherapist will be able to accurately diagnose your condition, treat it – to quickly relieve symptoms, and specifically design a suitable exercise program, to set you on the road to complete recovery.
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