To aid you in being prepared for your treatment, we have assembled an outline of our assessment approach and treatment methods.
On your visit with us you can expect:
- exclusive time with the physiotherapist
- careful and thorough assessment
- an explanation of your injury
- a treatment plan
- hands-on treatment
- advice on how you can aid recovery
To adequately assess your injury we may need to ask you to remove certain articles of clothing. Our practitioners take care to cover you with towels or provide loose shorts or a singlet top. Please feel free to bring your own.
Assessing your injury
Your physiotherapist will need to ask you questions regarding the circumstances of your injury, your general health, any relevant investigations and previous treatment you may have had, and identify your treatment goals. Please be sure to bring any X-rays or scans with reports to your first visit.
Your thorough assessment will involve observation of your posture and movement, and specific strength or balance tests. The nature of your injury will be explained to you using pictures or models. We will then work with you to develop a treatment plan to suit your particular needs.
Expect the unexpected
For those with recurrent or complex injuries that have failed previous treatment, a different approach is often required. At Joint health we utilse two different systems we refer to as our “powertools” to find the source of the problem and resolve these issues once and for all. These are the Integrated Systems Model (ISM) developed by Canadian Physiotherapists Drs Diane Lee and LJ Lee and the Ridgway Method (RM) developed by Brisbane based Physiotherapist Michael Ridgway. Both of these approaches have as their premise that the source of a dysfunction can be from anywhere in the body and employ a systematic approach to determine the source of the problem or the “ driver”. In both approaches identification of the driver is accompanied by the “wow factor” where a previously restricted or impaired movement improves instantaneously. Senior physios are always “blown away” by the surprising and seemingly miraculous changes that can occur and the location of the source of the problem often being contrary to our expectations. In both systems both neurological and mechanical processes are working together at a complex level. We can also use these systems to tune up the body and recommend having a quarterly tune up.
If you don’t feel you are making progress with an ongoing problem then please book in to see Robyn Gant or Paula Luke who are trained in these methods.
Below is further information regarding how these approaches are performed with reference and links to their founders. See also, What we’ve been learning.
Integrated Systems Model
The system used in ISM assesses for non-optimal movement patterns and areas of failed load transfer within the body based on a thorough understanding of optimal joint biomechanics and careful palpation whilst the client performs specific screening tests that relate to the task they are having difficulty with. This system trains us to test how corrections in one part of the body affect the specific task the client is having difficulty with. The emphasis is on finding “the driver” for the dysfunction which is often quite remote from the area of symptoms. For example a client may have a lost the ability to bear load effectively through their hips and pelvis making weight bearing tasks difficult and the driver (the source of the problem) may be in the thorax (rib cage). It could just as easily be in their foot or neck. When “the driver” is located there is an immediate and obvious change in the specific task affected. To see and learn more about this approach and its founders follow the links below:
RM utilises a systematic approach to screen the whole body’s nerve, joint and muscle systems for the source of a movement restriction. Any nerve tension in the arms and legs is cleared first using a series of gentle spinal mobilisations in the neck or back. Nerve tension indicates that the nervous system is not free to glide and slide as it needs to for optimal movement and can create random areas of muscle tension in the body which affect how we feel and move. Areas of restricted range of motion of the body are then identified. Joint mobility of the whole body is checked and any areas of restriction noted. The body is then screened for hypertonic muscles that feel ropey when touched, as opposed to soft which they should be at rest. The joint restrictions and hypertonic muscles are recorded as “Asterisc signs” and used to test their effect of the restricted ranges of movement. A Primary contributing factor ( PCF) is identified when a significant and immediate change in the movement is achieved ( > 50%) and at least 4 other asterisk signs have also changed. The PCF is then the focus of continued treatment. Once again both client and therapist are often astounded as to the source of the problem for example a jaw muscle may improve the range of ankle movement or thorax rotation. To learn more about RM please follow the link below:
Treating your injury
We can work with you to select from a range of effective treatment options that will best suit you to achieve a full recovery. Our “hands-on” approach means we use a range of manual therapy skills to mobilise specific joint and soft tissue structures.
Soft tissue mobilisation
Soft tissue massage applied specifically to restore mobility to the connective tissues of the body. You may experience some discomfort with these techniques but they should not be painful. They may cause a red mark on the skin or a mild bruise which lasts 1-2 days.
A soft tissue mobilisation technique adapted from Chinese medicine that is used to treat more resistant tissues and is performed using the edge of a Chinese soup spoon. This techniques should not be painful!
Trigger point therapy
Trigger points are localised tender spots in muscle that can become a source of pain sometimes at a remote site, for example and trigger point in your trunk muscles may cause hip or buttock pain. Trigger points may develop from a sudden or repeated stretch or contraction of the muscle. Trigger points can be treated with low-level laser, acupuncture (dry needling), or guided relaxation techniques.
A form of acupuncture used in Western medicine to treat irritable trigger points in muscle or restricted soft tissues. Dry needling can be more comfortable and achieve faster results than massage-based techniques. You might expect to feel a momentary ache or twitch upon insertion of the needle but this should settle quickly and the treatment should not be uncomfortable. We understand this doesn’t suit everyone; laser or guided relaxation techniques are alternatives. Only disposable needles are used.
Low level laser
Also known as cold laser because no heat is produced, low-level laser is a safe, effective and painless treatment to reduce sensitivity in the soft tissues prior to other soft tissue techniques. It is also an alternative to dry needling the treatment of trigger points. The laser is known as the “magic wand” in our practice for its immediate and soothing effects. See out article on the HandyCure laser.
Joint mobilisation involves controlled gliding movements at various joint positions to restore normal joint motion. With effective joint and soft tissue mobilisation, patients rarely require more forceful joint manipulation, where a crack or pop is elicited from the joint.
Involves specific combinations of movements to restore nerve mobility where nerves have become entrapped in the soft tissues. It is usually used in combination with soft tissue mobilisation and laser to desensitise the irritable nerve.
Exercise is often critical to achieving a successful treatment outcome. We will devise a specific exercise program to augment your treatment in a way that is achievable for you. We can also recommend a suitable class for you to attend or liase with your exercise therapist.
The right advice on how to assist recovery and prevent recurrence of your injury can be just as important as the treatment. We can advise you on your work set-up or habits, how to exercise safely, and on or your pillow or bedding.