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Bentham Physiotherapy Clinic treats many different musculoskeletal conditions including:
Back pain occurs in 80% of people at some time in their lives, sometimes becoming a recurrent problem. It is not normally due to any serious disease but it can cause acute pain and you may need to reduce the provoking activities for a time. Simple pain medication can also help in the early days which your GP can advise on. We now think that resting for too long (more than a couple of days) usually does not help and may do more harm than good. Your back is designed to move and getting back to normal activities as soon as the pain allows will get you back to normal as soon as possible.
Most back pain comes from the muscles, ligaments and joints of your back, if an Xray is requested, findings most often are normal for age, indicating that the spine itself is not damaged.
Your physiotherapist can give valuable advice for acute pain along with gentle treatment possibly including massage, TENS and acupuncture. They will give you exercises and activities to get you back to full fitness as quickly as possible. Most acute back pain will settle within 6 weeks. Chronic Back Pain (>3months) may require active rehabilitation of the muscles and joints of the spine, sometimes these structures have tightened and may also benefit from stretching and mobilisation techniques to help. Your physiotherapist will be able to advise the best exercises to do at any one stage and how to progress these over the course of your treatment.
In a few cases of back pain, the fibrous disc between the vertebrae can become inflamed and sometimes protrudes so that it can put pressure on a spinal nerve giving referred pain down the leg and sometimes weakness and pins and needles. This is commonly called a “slipped disc” but in fact the disc has not moved, it protrudes out of its capsule hence the name disc prolapse. Most prolapsed discs will recover with gentle exercise and avoidance of the provoking movements, which in most cases is bending, prolonged or poor sitting posture or lifting. Your physiotherapist will be able to advise on the best exercises and pain relieving treatments, as well as education on prevention for the future.
This is the term for referred pain down the leg. It can come from pressure on spinal nerves, muscular trigger points, tight spinal joints, neural tension and many other causes. Following your assessment your physiotherapist will be able to tell you the most likely cause and offer various treatments to help.
A whiplash neck sprain occurs when your head is suddenly jolted backwards and forwards or is suddenly forcibly rotated. This can cause some neck muscles and ligaments to stretch more than normal (sprain).
The common cause is when you are in a car that is hit from behind by another car. Being in a car hit from the side or front can also cause a whiplash sprain. A fall can also cause this problem if your neck was jolted.
In the first few hours and days you may have acute pain. It may need rest from provoking activities and simple pain medication. You should try and keep the neck moving as normally as possible and gently encourage it to move in all directions, gradually increasing the range as the pain improves, do this several times a day. You should not let it 'stiffen up'. As far as possible, continue with normal activities.
Your physiotherapist can advise on appropriate exercises and offer various pain relieving techniques including: acupuncture, joint mobilisation, soft tissue massage or TENS. The goal is to encourage normal movement patterns and return to full function as soon as able.
Neck pain can be due to different conditions including muscle strain, ligament sprain (as in whiplash) or osteoarthritis (often called cervical spondylosis). Following assessment your physiotherapist will be able to advise on the best exercises and treatment techniques to improve your condition.
Cervical Headaches are headaches where the cause of the pain is due to tension in the upper neck. Often due to prolonged poor posture, muscle tension, and whiplash type disorders, they can also be affected by stress, poor sleeping position, eyesight disorders and tempero-mandibular dysfunction (jaw).
Your physiotherapist will assess the problem and be able to use different treatment techniques including deep friction therapy, upper cervical strengthening or acupuncture to help alleviate the headaches. Long term, the biggest help can be identifying the trigger to the tension and then working on ways to minimise this e.g. Posture and relaxation strategies, which your physiotherapist can advise on.
Frozen shoulder (sometimes called adhesive capsulitis) is a condition where the shoulder joint capsule stiffens up and can become very painful. Symptoms include pain with movement, pain at night, decreasing shoulder movement over a period of weeks and months. It is thought to be caused by inflammation of the capsule which then leads to adhesions and scar tissue forming. It sometimes occurs following an injury but not always. Without treatment, symptoms usually go but this may take up to 2-3 years. Various physiotherapy treatments including acupuncture, stretching and trigger point therapy may ease pain and improve the movement of the shoulder, your physiotherapist can advise on these.
Rotator cuff problems
The rotator cuff is the group of 4 muscles that blend into the shoulder joint capsule to give the shoulder joint dynamic stability, helping to control the joint during rotation. They consist of the Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus and Teres Minor muscles. Correct movement patterns around the glenohumeral joint and the scapulohumeral joints are essential for normal, painfree function of the shoulder. Pain and dysfunction can occur with overuse, poor movement patterns or trauma. Initially leading to tendonitis but if left untreated can sometimes go on to require surgery.
Symptoms often include pain and or weakness on lifting your arm above 90 degrees.
Your physiotherapist will assess your movement and be able to identify abnormal patterns and teach you the best ways to correct these. Acute pain can be treated using ultrasound, acupuncture and massage techniques.
Osteoarthritis is the term given to degeneration of the articular cartilage of the bones. It is often age related and often is due to an injury when younger. It can also be hereditary. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. It can be seen using an X ray and sometimes your GP or physiotherapist may request this. It can affect any joint in the body but some of the most common areas affected are the hips, knees, and spine. Physiotherapy treatment will depend on the joints involved and may include pain relieving treatments (e.g. massage, heat, ultrasound, acupuncture, stretching or mobilising), soft tissue stretching, strengthening of relevant muscles, and advice on long term management of the condition.
Ankle sprains occur when you “go over” on your ankle, most commonly on the outside so that it stretches the lateral ligament complex that stabilises the outside of the ankle joint. The opposite can happen if the inside of the ankle is stretched. Ligament injury can be classed as grade 1-3 depending on severity. Following assessment, your physiotherapist will be able to give you a diagnosis and prognosis for your injury. Most ankle sprains recover within 6-8 weeks. Physiotherapy will involve pain relieving treatments initially, and then an exercise programme that will progress as your injury improves, until you are back to full fitness.
Total hip or knee replacements
Following surgery to replace a hip or knee, your physiotherapist can give you advice and exercises to encourage full return of movement, strength and function in the affected side.
Following fractures or plaster removal
Physiotherapy can very helpful following fractures. Often wrists, ankles and shoulders will be stiff and weak after they come out of plaster or slings. Your physiotherapist will be able to assess any restrictions in movement and strength and give you appropriate exercises which will be progressed as you improve. Hands on treatment to mobilise tight muscles and joints can also be very beneficial.
Your physiotherapist will be able to assess your acute sports injury and give you a diagnosis and likely prognosis for recovery. Initially treatment will be aimed at relieving swelling and pain, but almost immediately gentle exercise will be advised to ensure your movement and strength are not overly compromised. These will be progressed as you improve. Longer term your physiotherapist will look at any underlying reasons that may have contributed to the injury e.g. old injuries, poor biomechanics, weakness and they will be able to advise on ways to tackle these.
Check our registration
Our physiotherapists are members of the Health Professions Council, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, Physiofirst.
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We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.
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