- Balance and Proprioception
- Core Stability Exercises
- Exercise Therapy
- Hand Therapy
- Joint Mobilisation
- Kinesiology Taping
- Posture Correction
- Soft Tissue Treatment
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Chinese system of medicine dating back thousands of years. Chinese medicine attributes illness to an imbalance in the body’s energy called Qi. Qi runs through the body in channels and meridians that are superficial and deep.
Acupuncture promotes the free flow of this Qi to bring the body to it’s natural balance.
How can Acupuncture help you?
It can be used to treat specific disorders to relieve symptoms and reduce recurrence. It can also be used for maintenance treatment of long-term conditions.
Does it hurt?
No. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and solid, unlike injection needles, which are hollow since they are used to deliver medicine. You may feel a mild pinprick when they are inserted and a slight tingling or heaviness afterwards, this is a common and desired sign. Only sterile, individually wrapped needles are used to prevent the risk of infection and they are discarded immediately after single use.
How much treatment will you need?
This varies from person to person. Generally acute conditions need less treatment than chronic.
Chronic conditions also benefit from regular maintenance sessions.
Can everyone have acupuncture?
Generally, children under 18 are not given acupuncture and pregnant women have to be treated with caution. People with epilepsy and bleeding disorders are also not treated with acupuncture. You will be asked questions about your general health and medication to confirm suitability to have acupuncture. Feeling dizzy or faint after a session of acupuncture is fairly common, and it can occasionally cause bleeding and bruising. If you’re pregnant it’s important to discuss acupuncture with your doctor or therapist as certain acupuncture points should be avoided during pregnancy. – See more at: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/complementary-and-alternative-medicines/complementary-therapies/acupuncture.aspx#sthash.cXn3N8zM.dpuf
Can acupuncture be used in combination with modern medicine?
Yes. It does not interfere with drug therapy. In fact, a combination of medication, physiotherapy, electrotherapy and acupuncture can be used to speed up recovery time and reduce pain effectively.
What conditions does acupuncture help?
Acupuncture helps with pain relief by causing the release of certain chemicals called endorphins which are ‘feel good’ hormones. It also stimulates certain centres in the brain that control the perception of pain. It is therefore useful with chronic pain, where other conservative treatment may not have helped.
What is proprioception?
Proprioception is the ability of the body to know where a body part is, without having to look or think about it. It allows you to walk without needing to look at your feet all the time or drink from a cup without watching it.
Sensory and motor nerve endings in your skin, muscles, joints and tendons send messages to your brain. This is analyzed allowing your body to react consciously and unconsciously to changes in muscle tension and joint position.
Balance, co-ordination and agility all depend on good proprioception.
When is it affected?
Surgery, injury to a joint or muscle, or pain lasting for more than a few days can affect your proprioception.
What are balance and proprioception exercises?
Balance and proprioception exercises help to retrain the body to control the position of an injured joint.
The most common example is the use of a wobble board after an ankle sprain.
The idea is to get back to being able to control a joint without having to look or think about it.
There are specific balance and proprioception exercises whether your injury is in your shoulder, hip, knee, ankle or spine.
What is your core strength?
Core strength is the strength of the deep muscles around your lumbar spine and pelvis. Imagine a cylinder where the walls are made by the trunk muscles of your front and back, the base is made by your pelvic muscles and the lid by your diaphragm or breathing muscle. It is the action of these muscles contracting together that provides support to the lumbar spine and pelvis during movement.
Abdominal and neck exercises
There is no definitive research evidence that proves that one type of exercise is better than another. The truth is that exercise is generally good for back pain but needs to be specific to your problem and tailored to your needs. You will need an assessment to be taught specific exercises for your condition.
What is electrotherapy?
Electrotherapy uses physical energy (like heat and sound waves as well as electrical current) to cause a change in the body that is used to relieve pain and swelling.
Used appropriately it can be very effective and is usually part of a package of care used to treat the patient.
There is quite a large evidence base to prove its effectiveness.
Physiotherapists are trained in the use of electrotherapy and aware of the benefits and risks of its use.
Visit http://www.electrotherapy.org/ for more information.
What is exercise therapy?
Stretching and strengthening exercises
Having strong and flexible muscles helps to protect joints by reducing the stress on them.
Building muscle strength takes time. The number of exercise repetitions and resistance to muscles need to be increased gradually.
You should not feel serious pain during an exercise. You might feel discomfort because you are challenging your muscles, but not pain. If an exercise hurts, stop the exercise.
You should not feel serious pain after exercise. It is typical to feel stiff or a bit sore the day after you exercise. If you feel so sore that it is difficult to move, then you have overdone your exercise.
Stretching the muscles that you strengthen is an important part of preventing injury.
Tight muscles are more prone to injury. Gentle stretching after strengthening exercise reduces muscle soreness and will keep your muscles long and flexible.
You will be given an exercise programme that is specific to your needs.
What is Hand Therapy?
Hand Therapy is a type of rehabilitation for patients that suffer from conditions affecting the hands and upper limbs. It helps patients to regain the functional use of their hands.
- Help to reduce sensitivity from nerve problems
- Provide home exercise programs to help with movement and strength of the hand
- Make splints to protect or help to prevent/improve stiffness
After surgery, hand therapists can also help with a patient’s recovery. This may include managing the scar, reducing swelling and providing a splint.
What are the common problems with joints?
Joints can be either stiff, painful or both stiff and painful
Why do joints get painful?
Joints get painful either due to injury or arthritis.
Click on this link for more information
How much joint movement is normal?
For full pain-free movement, joints need to move freely in all directions that are designed to do. Joints with increased movement are called hypermobile and can cause pain due to a lack of stability.
What is joint mobilization?
Joint mobilization techniques can be gentle or firm repeated oscillations performed to increase range of movement or reduce pain.
Joint manipulation is a quick movement at end range of a joint, commonly performed to open a locked joint. This has to be performed with care, since repeated manipulations can cause hypermobility and neck manipulation can damage sensitive structures.
Traction/distraction techniques used to stretch the joint capsule
The joint treatment method will depend on the diagnosis.
What is kinesiotaping?
The kinesiotape was invented by Dr Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. It is different from normal tape due to its elastic properties.
The UK website for Kinesio tape claims it can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance and help with rehabilitation as well as supporting muscles during a sporting event.
Most physiotherapists and sportsmen find it beneficial, though its effectiveness has not yet been scientifically confirmed.
It allows dynamic movement due to its elasticity whilst its lifting action relieves pressure on pain receptors. This lifting action can also reduce swelling. You will be shown how to tape your painful or injured joint or muscle so that you can self-treat your condition.
What is neurodynamics?
The nervous tissue and nerves in our body glide freely within their surroundings. Neurodynamics is the study of the dynamic movement of the nerves.
Treatment is specifically tailored to the problem, based on this specific assessment.
What is adverse neural tension?
When this glide is restricted due to scar tissue, a bulging disc, arthritis in the spine or muscle injury there is abnormal tension within the nerve. This is called adverse neural tension.
How does it present?
It can present as pain which is variously described as burning, shooting, tingling or electric-shock like.
How is it treated?
Physiotherapists use specific tests to assess whether there is any limitation or restriction in nerve movement. They also try and identify which nerve maybe affected and at what site. Treatment is then specifically directed to this nerve based on the assessment.
What is posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body when you sit, stand, lie down and walk. Any prolonged poor posture can cause pain.
Good posture involves holding your body in the position of least strain on your muscles, ligaments and joints.
You will be given advice to understand and change bad postural habits that affect you in daily life in order to develop good posture.
Soft tissues are different kinds of tissues that surround and support your organs and skeleton. They include muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments.
Soft tissue treatment helps to
- Relax muscles,
- increase blood circulation and lymph flow,
- improves the healing time of strained ligaments and muscular tissue,
- improves range of motion and joint flexibility,
- decreases muscle spasm
Massage is the best known example of a soft tissue technique.
Other techniques used to reduce muscle tension include
Muscle energy technique: A direct and active technique, involving active muscle contraction
Strain/ counter strain: A gentle positional technique for muscle relaxation
Trigger point release: Gentle pressure on trigger points helps to release muscle tension. Generally for recent injuries or current conditions, only a few Trigger Point Therapy treatments are needed in a short space of time.
Chronic conditions involving severe pain, or conditions that have been drawn out, may require some intense initial treatment followed by on-going treatment on a monthly or six-weekly cycle to simply maintain your improvement.