Physiotherapy is one of the most popular and research-based forms of conservative management for a variety of conditions. It is a broad, far-reaching profession which tackles pain management through various modalities.
Our physiotherapists are specialized at assessing and diagnosing the source of your pain and providing an adequate treatment plan, patient-orientated advice and education. The initial assessment is an essential part of the physiotherapy process and ensures that nothing is missed out during subsequent sessions.
Following an in-depth assessment, your physiotherapist will explain your condition to you, discuss your prognosis and set a number of achievable goals.
How To Prepare for your Physiotherapy Appointment
To make the most of your time with the physiotherapist, here are some things to think about before attending your appointment:
- Spend some time trying to recall the history of your current issue, perhaps take down a few notes which you want your physiotherapist to know about.
- Consider taking a friend of family member along for your appointment. They will help to remind you of things your physiotherapist has told you during the session.
- Feel free to prepare a set of questions to ask your physiotherapist, they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your condition.
- Wear comfortable, adequate attire. Your physiotherapist will need to physically assess you and watch you move, as well as prescribe exercise.
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
Physiotherapy could be the key to getting yourself out of pain! Whether as a stand-alone treatment or as part of a broader approach, physiotherapy can help with a wide range of conditions.
– Musculoskeletal Pain:
Physiotherapy is an extremely popular modality in the remit of musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. MSK issues refer to problems of the muscle, tendon, bone, ligaments, etc. within the body.
Apart from diagnosing the exact source of your pain, a physiotherapist will help get you pain-free through the use of modalities such as manual therapy, exercise therapy, acupuncture and taping.
If you are at a loss regarding your pain or are considering surgical options for any sort of MSK issue, always consult with a physiotherapist first. They will be able to guide you towards the best route for solving your issue!
– Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
CRPS is a persistent pain state which occurs following an injury, stroke, surgery or heart attack. The pain experienced is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury . The syndrome is characterized by hyperalgesia (excessive response to a normally painful stimulus) and allodynia (a painful response to a normally non-painful stimulus) in the effected body part. It is also associated with oedema (swelling) and abnormal blood flow to the skin in the area.
The purpose of therapy for CRPS is to alleviate pain and return the individual to normal function. Treatment protocols will change depending on the patient and their goals but numerous conservative modalities are available.
– Neuropathic pain and Phantom Limb Pain:
Neuropathic pain is a complex, persistent pain state that is usually accompanied by tissue injury. With neuropathic pain, the nerve fibers themselves may be damaged, dysfunctional, or injured. These damaged nerve fibres send incorrect signals to other pain centres. The impact of nerve fibre injury includes a change in nerve function both at the site of injury and areas around the injury. This can result in widespread pain at varying locations which does not fit in with normal pain patterns.
Phantom limb pain is a phenomenon which often occurs following the amputation of a limb. Although the limb is no longer physically present, the individual may still experience pain from the site. This often occurs soon after surgery and may persist for months to years.
Conservative management for varying types of neuropathic pain states include a number of techniques such as desensitization, mirror box therapy and motor imagery.
Fibromyalgia is treated in a multidisciplinary manner at The Pain Clinic. Physiotherapy is a part of the approach towards the management of Fibromyalgia and its symptoms. Your physiotherapist will assess you and suggest a management plan including modalities such as exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, manual therapy and acupuncture.
Treatment plans are formed with the individual patient in mind and patient goals and expectations are discussed to ensure the best possible management of your condition.
– Back and Neck Pain:
Back and Neck Pain, both acute (short period of time) or persistent (longer than 3 months) are extremely common ailments. Research shows that up to 91% of us will experience back or neck pain at some point in our lives.
Back and neck pain can be extremely worrying and costly if not addressed quickly and correctly. Your physiotherapist will assess you to exclude any serious issues and advise you on the correct management strategy to be pain-free as quickly as possible. This will often include the correct exercise strategy.
You physiotherapist will also help you to prevent future occurrences of back and neck pain through ergonomic advice and exercise prescription.
– Reduced Mobility:
As we get older, we tend to reduce the amount of physical exercise we complete. This can have serious consequences and, in some cases, even result in people becoming housebound and unable to complete activities of daily living. Your physiotherapist can guide you towards safe and effective exercise strategies to get you moving and often pain free.
Remember, if exercise were a pill we would all be rushing to take it! The health benefits from movement, even the most simple exercise, are incredible.
Modalities Offered by our Physiotherapy Team:
Exercise therapy – the use of exercise by means of strength training, range of motion exercises, stretching etc.… aimed to improve painful conditions caused by muscular imbalances and poor joint and muscle control.
IASTM Therapy – A form of manual therapy which allows the manipulation of soft tissue with using custom made instruments and devices.
Orthotic Prescription – the prescription, moulding and advice regarding the use of insoles. These are used to correct abnormalities within the foot and leg complex that may be causing a number of abnormalities throughout the body
Shoe prescription – assessment and prescription of correct footwear for both everyday use and sports use
Postural assessment and correction – correction of poor posture with a number of approaches aimed to offload muscular stress throughout the body. Postural correction helps improve everyday function and reduce mechanical types of pain
Core Stability training – core muscle strengthening aimed to recruit trunk musculature and learn to control the position of the spine during movements. Core stability training aims to prevent future pain and helps manage pre-existing pain such as mechanical back pain and neck pain
Motor Imagery and Graded Motor Imagery – A fundamental principal in the restoration of pain-free movement. This is a mind-body approach which helps to reduce ‘central sensitivity’ which is essential for reducing persistent, wide-spread pain. Graded motor imagery is an evidence-based approach with increasing success in clinical trials with conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome and phantom limb pain.
The Role of Physiotherapy in Pain Management:
Physiotherapy has a vital role in the management of many acute and persistent painful conditions. A physiotherapist, who is a movement specialist, “maximizes activity, improves quality of life and promotes self-management” for people with painful conditions.
A physiotherapist will take the time to discuss your condition with you, educate you on what is happening and why you are experiencing pain. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed (SMART) goals are set with every patient, giving the individual targets to achieve and a ‘road-map’ to better pain management.
The physiotherapist is able to recognize reasons for lack of pain reduction and comes up with strategies to address these barriers which include the management of fear avoidance, the management of unhelpful patterns of over and/or under activity and so on.
The number of physiotherapy services mentioned above may be utilized alone or in conjunction with each other to manage a number of painful conditions. The emphasis at The Pain Clinic is on working in an interdisciplinary team, cases are regularly discussed between practitioners guaranteeing the best possible strategies for pain management.
Managing your pain may often seem like a difficult task, so pick the correct team to get you on your way!