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  • Physio K difference with dry needling

    Have you heard of dry-needling? Perhaps you’ve even experienced it for yourself! We have discussed dry-needling on the website before, (catch up here if you missed it!) but given we get asked a lot about the specifics, we wanted to go into a little more detail! In this post we’ll be discussing the important differences between dry-needling and its arguably better-known cousin; acupuncture. Whilst the needles used for acupuncture are quite similar to the ones used for dry needling, there are distinct differences between the two modalities. Let’s sum up the 5 biggest differences between the two: 1. Positioning Acupuncturists position needles in anatomical spots which aim to alter the energy flow or ‘chi’. These spots are the same in every human body and have to be memorised. With dry needling, we will search for a trigger point (points in the muscle that can cause local or referred pain). These are different with everyone and depend on your pain pattern. Dry needling will be tailored to the specific needs of each patient. We focus on the clinical reasoning and will do needling in muscles that cause your pain, not necessarily in the muscles that are giving you symptoms. 2. Depth In acupuncture, the needles will only just puncture through the skin, generally quite superficially. With dry needling, we will search for the trigger point. This can either be superficial or deep in the muscle, depending on your individual issue. We use needles produced by GEMt; a Melbourne-based business which conducts professional training in dry-needling world-wide. The design of the needle itself has been refined and perfected after repeated clinical testing, and these are the best available on the market at present. Our fully qualified physiotherapists have completed certified GEMt training courses, ensuring they have the most up-to-date training and experience. Of course, safety and hygiene are of the utmost importance in any treatment of this nature. To ensure this, our therapists also disinfect their gloves before starting each procedure, and needles are safely disposed of following treatment; NEVER re-used. 3. Duration Where an acupuncture treatment can take 20 or 30 mins with the needles inserted, whereas with dry needling at Physio K, we use efficient and effective techniques for stimulating the neuromuscular system that takes only about 10 seconds per targeted area. This means we’ll be with you the entire time, rather than leaving you for longer, as is often the case with acupuncture. 4. Reaction With acupuncture, you normally don’t feel much of what’s happening. In dry needling, we will search for a twitch response, which will feel like a short spasm of the muscle. This is a quick contraction followed by a release of the muscle fibres, which will have a beneficial effect on the tissue and will normalise the tone of the muscle. Some ‘dormant’ muscles can get activated by this process, other ‘overactive’ muscles will relax. The end result will be a better functioning muscle. 5. Results Contrary to acupuncture, you’ll feel or see immediate results with dry needling. It is very easy to assess and reassess the effectiveness of the treatment. It’s very common to have an immediate increase in range of motion in the joint or a release of tension in the muscle. We often use dry needling as a treatment modality in combination with other techniques and we do not charge extra for it! Let us know if you’re interested in this very effective method in order to get you moving pain free again! To book online: click here

  • Sciatica physiotherapy treatment - Latest research!

    WHAT IS SCIATICA? Sciatica is a term that tends to get thrown around quite a lot especially in reference to any nerve related pain in the lower extremity. Yet despite its common diagnosis, there are many misconceptions surrounding what it really is. It is a vague term used to describe pain that is associated with the compression or irritation of a nerve root located in the lumbosacral region of the spine (lower back). Now grasping that this pain originates from the lower back can be a touch more complicated, especially when factoring in that most symptoms are felt down the leg. However, this begins to make more sense when looking into the major anatomical structures involved. Sciatica derives its name from the condition’s involvement of the sciatic nerve which is the largest and longest nerve in the human body. Starting in the buttock and travelling down to the lower leg, this nerve is formed by a cluster of smaller nerve roots that can be traced back to the sacral plexus within the lower back. If these nerve roots are irritated in any way it can manifest in referring pain down the nerves pathway which can include the buttock, thigh, calf, and foot. HOW CAN THESE NERVE ROOTS BE IRRITATED? To understand how the nerve roots can be irritated we need to look at where these nerve roots are and what structures can influence them. As can be seen in the image below, the nerve roots are the yellow cords exiting either side of the spinal cord. These nerves send and receive information from the brain all the way down to the tips of the toes and are therefore a very important travel route for sensory (feeling) and motor (muscular) control. Another important structure to consider is the discs, depicted as the blue semi-circles. When it comes to nerve root pain there are two primary types: mechanical pressure and chemical irritation. The concept of mechanical pressure is relatively straightforward. It postulates that when a nerve root experiences compression, as can be seen in the image above on the right, this can limit the amount of blood flow to the nerve. Without the appropriate blood flow there is reduced oxygen being delivered meaning the nerve will not be able to perform its functions properly. Furthermore, if this reduced blood supply is prolonged it can lead to nerve degeneration and the development of abnormal impulses within the nerve. This is what can often be experienced as the burning, pins and needles or electric shock type of sensations down the leg. The chemical irritation system is slightly more complicated and has two additional schools of thought. The first is that the discs contain powerful chemicals that when spilled onto the nerve can lead to inflammation making the nerve angry and dysfunctional. Discs are very active tissues within the body. They are constantly laying down new cells and breaking down the old ones to ensure they are always healthy and functional. For the discs to be able to break down old cells they need to have powerful enzymes that can damage and discard them. Therefore, if a disc herniates and some of the chemicals spill onto the nerve roots, they can irritate the nerve and start an inflammatory response from the body. The second is that the disc can cause an autoimmune response which will often catch the nerve in the crossfire. Whilst it is very rare that a tissue in the human body has no nerve or blood supply, this is the case for the discs after the first few months of life (like the inside of the eyeballs!). As a result, the discs are quite foreign to the body’s immune system, to the point where it is unrecognizable. Therefore, when a disc herniates the immune system reacts to this as it would a foreign body, such as an infection or a virus. This means it attacks the disc tissue resulting in an inflammatory reaction which will end up affecting the nerve root given its proximity to the disc. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SCIATICA, WHO DOES IT AFFECT AND FOR HOW LONG? The most common symptoms associated with Sciatica is pain travelling down the back of the leg. Key areas include the buttocks, back of the thigh, calf, and foot. Some people can experience a burning, electric shock or pins and needles type pain or in rare cases a sensation of cold water running down the leg that may be associated with numbness or muscle weakness. The intensity of the symptoms can be quite broad ranging from mild, barely noticeable pain to severe pain, likened in some cases to childbirth. Sciatica can affect people of every age however it is mostly seen in the forties and fifties. Expected timeframes for recovery from a sciatica diagnosis can vary greatly however the pain is generally the worst for the first 2-4 weeks. At the 12-week mark 50% of those with sciatica will have nearly a complete resolution of initial symptoms. For a small group of people, pain may not improve at the rate normally expected however by the 12-month milestone over 75% of patients are asymptomatic. HOW TO MANAGE SCIATICA? When it comes to the management of Sciatica there are a range of treatment options available, including physiotherapy. The most important factor in most of these is allowing the appropriate amount of time for recovery. Other common non-surgical treatments include adjusting lifestyle factors such as smoking cessation and weight loss as well as introducing general exercises or specific spinal/ nerve movements targeted at mobilising the sciatic nerve. In extreme cases medications, specialist nerve injections or surgery may be used as a last resort however for most this is certainly avoidable! If you are unsure about what may work best for you then book an appointment with your health professional who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and a suitable treatment plan that is built around you and your lifestyle! References Dower, A., Davies, M., & Ghahreman, A. (2019). Pathologic Basis of Lumbar Radicular Pain. World Neurosurgery, 128, 114-121. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.04.147 Goldsmith, R., Williams, N., & Wood, F. (2019). Understanding sciatica: illness and treatment beliefs in a lumbar radicular pain population. A qualitative interview study. BJGP Open, 3(3), bjgpopen19X101654. doi: 10.3399/bjgpopen19x101654 Jesson, T., Runge, N., & Schmid, A. (2020). Physiotherapy for people with painful peripheral neuropathies: a narrative review of its efficacy and safety. PAIN Reports, 5(5), 1-e834. doi: 10.1097/pr9.0000000000000834 Schmid, A., Hailey, L., & Tampin, B. (2018). Entrapment Neuropathies: Challenging Common Beliefs With Novel Evidence. Journal Of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 48(2), 58-62. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2018.0603. Background photo created by jcomp - www.freepik.com

  • IT Band syndrome: how to [effectively] get rid of your knee pain?

    Have you ever had recurring knee pain when walking, running or squatting? You're not alone: Thousands of people are suffering from the dreaded IT Band syndrome. We see and treat people with this kind of knee pain all the time, and have been able to get them back to the activities they love. In this article we'll guide you with the information you need to get rid of this annoying pain. What is an IT Band? ITB is short for iliotibial band. It's a thick band of fascia structure on the outside of your upper leg. It originates from a muscle on the side of your pelvis (the TFL or Tensor Fasciae Latae and some fibres of the gluteus maximus) and inserts just below your knee. It flexes and extends the hip and helps with rotation of the leg as well, and plays an important role in knee stabilisation. One of the most common and dreaded injuries associated with the ITB is called IT band syndrome What causes ITB tightness - what causes pain on the outside of the knee? IT band syndrome occurs when the IT band becomes painful due to irritation and overuse: flexing and bending the knee repetitively. When we repeatedly engage in a movement; like bending and extending the knee, this can cause friction and irritation of the area. This almost always happens when the IT band is too tight and causes friction on the outside of your knee. This can result in pain and / or inflammation and is very common in active people. When will you experience the most pain? The discomfort, irritation or pain from this issue will most likely be when moving: running, walking or squatting (with or without weights) will usually offset the symptoms due to the friction on the outside of the knee. Resting will normally ease these symptoms, although it may take a while before this annoying feeling disappears. Why does the IT band get tight? This is the most important question to answer in order to get the right treatment in place. In many cases, we see a biomechanical issue that's a big contributing part. It could be an issue with foot mechanics or lower leg dysfunction; where one of the bones in the lower leg isn't moving well. It could also be higher up the leg, or even in the lower back. When one of the lower vertebrae in your spine is stiff or when there is tightness in one of the muscles in the pelvis, this can cause the pelvis to tilt. Even if this tilt is slight, it will result in more tension in the IT band. The discomfort, irritation or pain from this issue will most likely be when moving. Running, walking or squatting (with or without weights) will usually offset the symptoms due to the friction on the outside of the knee. Resting will normally ease these symptoms, though it may take a while before this annoying feeling disappears. You’ll need one of these if you want to roll your IT band! :-) How to treat ITB pain? Let's start with explaining what will NOT resolve your problem. Many health practitioners focus on the symptoms and will give treatment on the painful spot: somewhere around the knee. This is unlikely to solve your issue because although this is the spot where your pain or tightness is, it is not necessarily the cause of the problem. Another unhelpful treatment option: foam rolling your ITB! We see so many active people foam rolling their ITB in the gym. Let me tell you: you cannot release your IT band with a foam roller. Whilst a foam roller is an amazing tool that can be used to release muscle tightness all over your body, the IT band is not one of them. Because the IT band is very strong connective tissue and not muscle, you would require far more pressure than you could generate with a foam roller to make the necessary impact. Foam rolling the gluteus maximus and the TFL muscle to ease IT band tightness The clue with treatment is finding out what is moving well in the body and what is not moving well. Foam rolling your glutes and TFL muscle can be a good start (find out how to do this correctly here ), but a proper assessment of the biomechanics at play is needed to address the underlying cause of your pain. At Physio K, we are experienced in finding and addressing the root cause of your problem and guiding you in your rehab, so you can get back to doing what you love. To book an appointment with one of our experienced practitioners: click here

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  • Physio K: Quality Hands On Physiotherapy | Bondi Junction

    Going beyond your symptoms with physiotherapy that is driven by results. BOOK AN APPOINTMENT QUALITY PHYSIOTHERAPY IN BONDI JUNCTION OUR PHYSIO TREATMENTS PROCESS When you visit Physio K at our clinic in Bondi Junction, you are in safe hands. Our depth of expertise is matched by our ability to understand your pain. We take the time to assess your unique situation so that we can first get to the root cause of the pain and then tailor the treatment to suit your needs FIND THE PROBLEM ​ We deep dive into the diagnosis of the problem and apply our anatomical knowledge, and clinical reasoning and experience to get to the root cause of the pain. TREAT THE CAUSE ​ We treat the cause, not the symptom. Our thorough approach aims to set you on the path to recovery. We provide ongoing support plans to ensure you stay on track with your recovery. INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES ​ We are highly skilled and experienced practitioners and use innovative techniques such as dry needling alongside traditional hands-on manual therapy. OUR SERVICES QUALITY TREATMENT At Physio K, we have a simple but fundamental philosophy; to provide you with the very best of care. The aim is to give you elite level treatment in a professional and welcoming environment. We tailor all treatments to your individual needs and pride ourselves on a high level of care, a wealth of knowledge and quality results without overtreatment. Read More SPORTS AND REMEDIAL MASSAGE Sports and remedial massage: Massage and fascia techniques are often used to release tight muscles and free up areas of the musculoskeletal system. When these are used in combination with other techniques in the movement system, they will almost always give better results than only massage. MANUAL THERAPY The therapists at Physio K will use their extensive knowledge and expertise in the musculoskeletal system to get you pain free again. A combination of hands-on treatment with specific exercises will be used to get you back to the things you love. Read More HOLISTIC TREATMENT At Physio K, symptoms are never seen as isolated issues, but as a part of a dysfunction in a physiological chain. We believe in holistic physiotherapy and will identify and address the underlying cause of your pain rather than just treating the symptoms. Other aspects in health, such as diet , exercise, stress and habits will play a role and should be addressed in the treatment process. DRY NEEDLING The management team at Physio K is teaching at GEMt (global education of manual therapists), where the skill of dry needling is taught to manual therapists across the globe. Read More POST-OPERATIVE REHABILITATION TREATMENT Post operative rehabilitation treatment: To regain your strength, flexibility and functional fitness after an orthopaedic surgery, it will be essential to get specific physiotherapy treatment. To ensure optimal recovery and to avoid compensation patterns in the future, a tailored treatment plan will be offered to you. At Physio K, we are experienced in post operative rehabilitation to get you back to what you love. Did you know... Using our HICAPS system, we can swipe your health fund card at the time of your appointment. This means you only have to pay the gap and won't have to make any further claims to your health fund. Contact We’re here for you when you need us! Book in online, call us to schedule an appointment, or send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Address: Suite 801 / 3 Waverley St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022 NEW LOCATION Email: info@physiok.co m.au Phone: 02 7902 1408

  • Shoulder mobility exercises

    Shoulder mobility exercises In the above video, Kenny from Physio K runs you through an exercise program to increase the mobility of your shoulders. 1. Arm swings This one is great in the initial stages of shoulder rehab or after shoulder surgery. Standing up and bending forward with the other (non-affected) hand and arm on a table below you. Make sure you put your body weight on that other arm, so you don't have any pressure in your lower back. From here we'll start swinging, try to swing your arm up and down. Imagine having a small weight in your hand, you could even have a little weight in your hand and let it swing like a pendulum up and down. Small movements are fine, try not to control the movement, just let your arm swing. Do that for about a minute. The next one is swinging left and right for a minute and then making circles and swinging clockwise and anti-clockwise. Try to do those one minute each so that's about four minutes in total. 2. Crawling up the wall Start with facing a wall and touch the wall with your toes and your nose. Now put one hand up against the wall about shoulder height and start crawling up with your fingers. Try to crawl as high as you can, hold for a few seconds before sliding down until the beginning position. Repeat this for about 15 times. 3. Stick exercises With a broomstick in your hands, shoulder width apart, moving up and down behind your head. Try to extend your elbows all the way and come back down behind the head. Then, try to make circles in the air, forward and backwards. Do this for about 10 to 15 times each. Lastly, the most challenging one is called shoulder dislocations (don’t try this if you have dislocated your shoulder in the past). Hold the stick as wide as you can over your head and try to go backwards behind your head, keeping your elbows extended. Try to go until you touch your lower back, and then come back up. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

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