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Blog Posts (23)

  • Difference Between A Physiotherapist, Osteopath And A Chiropractor

    Chiropractor vs physiotherapist vs osteopath We’ve been asked this so many times that we decided to write a blog post about it. The answer will differ depending on who you're asking and the difference between these 3 professions will depend on a few different things: when the health practitioner was trained, where the education was done and what specialties they have done over the years. Education has changed dramatically since the start of these professions. Some 'kind of physiotherapy' has been around for over 2000 years, although it's only been used more widely since a bit less than a decade. Osteopathy and Chiropractic treatments have been around since the late 1800's. Education is obviously always changing and the quality has increased significantly in the last 20 to 30 years. Until about 30 years ago, most physiotherapy treatments comprised only massage, cold or heat application and some basic exercises. Nowadays, the specialties are endless and many health practitioners will have a more thorough understanding of the movement system than many general practitioners. Different countries also have different qualities of education and can have a different approach. While some countries and universities focus more on exercise based treatment and give a basic hands on understanding, others will dive deeper in the hands on treatment and will give a more specific knowledge and clinical reasoning. The biggest variable in what makes a health practitioner better and more unique in my opinion, is the amount of courses or specialties he or she has done over the years . The amount of experience will definitely impact the quality of the treatments, however, the amount of clinical reasoning yielded either through courses, reading articles or discussing with colleagues will determine the value of a practitioner. The most common and widely known idea of a chiropractor is someone who will only 'crack the spine'. While that can be correct, some may do a wide range of subtle techniques and maybe never do adjustments. The same can be said with osteopaths. A general answer to the above question (the difference between a physiotherapist and an osteopath or a chiro) would be: Osteopaths and chiro’s don't focus on rehabilitation (you wouldn't have osteopathy treatment if you sprained your ankle or when you return to sports after an ACL (knee ligament) surgery. They will, in general, focus more on the joints than mainstream physiotherapists. The majority of European trained osteopaths will include techniques on the skull and on the viscera, which makes them stand out from physiotherapists. Adjustments (cracking or clicking of the joints, most common in the spine), which most chiropractors are famous for, will also be done by them. To make it even more confusing: some physiotherapists do these adjustments as well. In Australia, most physiotherapists will do less manual work than the other 2 mentioned health practitioners, and will focus more on exercise based rehab. So which one is better? All three professions manage pain and stiffness in the body, but they try to achieve the same goals via different approaches. These days, you can't generalise and talk about A physio or A chiro. It really depends on the person and the experience / education / specialties they have done. At Physio K, we have practitioners from different backgrounds. We use an evidence-based approach and will combine hands-on treatment with specific exercises to get you back to doing what you love.

  • 4 Tips On How To Prevent A Stiff Neck

    Have you ever woken up with a stiff neck, where you can hardly turn your head and everything feels tight? At Physio K, this is something we see very often. We know this can be quite debilitating and it can have a huge impact on your day, so let's have a look at a few things to prevent this annoying issue. How to prevent a stiff neck? Causes of neck problems Most times, it is a combination of circumstances that causes problems in the body. It is no different with this type of issue, although 1 factor can contribute a lot more than others and can be the tipping point to give you the unwanted symptoms. Let's have a look at the most common causes of neck problems: 1. Stress It is still debatable if stress is a cause or a trigger of many issues in the body. Nevertheless, it can contribute massively to the building up of a problem. Everyone will have some weak links in the body or at least some areas which are more prone to react to stressful events. Sometimes it's the lower back, sometimes it's the tummy, many times it's the neck or the cervical spine which will be impacted. The area between the neck and the shoulder is a very common area to stiffen up or actually cramp up altogether. The muscle you’ll feel in many cases is the upper trapezius. A single stressful event can cause the muscles in the neck and shoulder area to tense up suddenly and hence reduce your mobility and cause pain. 2. Cold Muscles don't like to be exposed to the cold, especially not if it's a local cold or wind, like air conditioning or wind from one direction. Sitting in an office with the aircon from a specific angle, driving a car with the window open for a period of time or sleeping with the window open when there's a breeze can cause your neck to stiffen up in a short time. We've seen this hundred of times, when people come into the practice, unable to turn their head with muscle cramps after being exposed to a local cold. Be wary of that and try to cover the exposed parts before it's too late. 3. Sleeping position It is well known (or at least it should be) that sleeping on the tummy is not the ideal position for your spine, especially not for the neck. The reason for that is that the discs in between the vertebrae will not be able to recover enough during the night. Discs are filled with liquid; during the day we will gradually put some strain and pressure on our discs. That's no big deal and they are designed to handle these forces, as long as they can recover enough during the night. With sleeping on the tummy, your head will constantly be rotated to one side, which makes it hard or near impossible to have a good recovery for those discs. So, do yourself a favour and, if you haven't already, change your sleeping position to either the side (left or right, it doesn't matter) or your back. Most people will turn quite often during the night, which is great, but we recommend to not lay on your tummy (or in another strange twisted position) for long periods of time. 4. Posture 1 of the more common (and easy to fix) problems we see in our practice, is people who have a desk job and are set up with 2 computer screens. It obviously depends on how long you will watch at each screen. When the ratio is 90/10, then it makes sense to have 1 screen straight ahead of you and the other one either to your left or right. It is a good idea to change that side screen every now and then, in order to prevent neck rotations to the same side all the time. This becomes a lot more important when the ratio becomes closer to 50/50. When 1 screen is in front of you and the other to the side, you will have a constant rotation to the same side, causing an imbalance in the neck muscles and fascia. Although this is a minor stress to the body, repetition over time can, slowly but surely, build up tension and contribute to neck pain. A screen slightly to the left and the other to the right is an easy fix for this and will balance the rotations to either side, causing more symmetry in your movements and hence less stress to the body with fewer risks for injury! There are obviously other causing factors for neck pain, such as trauma, whiplash and a few others. In this post, we simply wanted to talk about non-traumatic factors which contribute to neck pain and stiffness, more specifically the ones we see very often in our practice. Please be aware of these common contributors to neck stiffness and know that small changes can make a significant difference. If you do end up with neck or shoulder pain, do not hesitate to contact us; we’ll happily help you recover and relieve your pain! If you want to read more about neck pain treatment, click here.

  • I Have A Bulging Disc On My Back. Do I Need Surgery?

    First, what is a Disc? An intervertebral disc is a soft piece of tissue that sits between the vertebrae in the spine acting as a shock absorber and gives the spine flexibility. The two main parts of a disc are the annulus fibrosus (the outer part) and the nucleus pulposus (the inner part). The annulus fibrosus is the tough outer layer and the nucleus pulposus is the core of the disc and consists of a gel-like fluid with some fibrous structure. The intervertebral disc is also highly innervated and vascularised meaning it gets good blood supply and has lots of sensation. Is a bulging disc the same as a herniated disc? What’s the difference? A herniated disc (ruptured disc) is when the nucleus pulposus of the disc pushes out of the annulus fibrosus and can put pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord. This may lead to pain, numbness, pins & needles and/or weakness in parts of the body supplied by the nerve that is being compressed. A bulging disc occurs when the outer layer of the disc (annulus fibrosus) is weakened or damaged and expands outwards, but the core of the disc remains within. The symptoms of a bulging disc are somewhat like a herniated disc but usually less severe. What does it feel like to have a disc injury? The most common symptom of a disc injury is pain. This pain can be felt at the site of the injured disc (most commonly the lower back or neck) but also in the arms or legs depending on which nerves are affected. Another common symptom is a sensation of pins and needles or numbness in the arms or legs. Other more serious signs of a disc injury include weakness of muscles that are controlled by the affected nerve, abnormality in the reflexes in a limb and loss of bowel and bladder control. The common mechanisms that lead to disc injury include age related degeneration, repetitive strain, or acute trauma. How do you know if you have a bulging disc? A physiotherapist can make a clinical diagnosis of disc related injury by taking a detailed history, conducting a thorough physical examination, and observing and monitoring the progression of your symptoms. Imaging is not usually required unless the signs of severe neurological compromise are present such as progressive weakness and loss of bowel and bladder control. Generally imaging is not recommended unless physiotherapy has not improved symptoms after 6 weeks or the signs and symptoms of disc injury are progressively worsening. Why do we wait so long to request imaging? It is proven that many people without any back pain have evidence of disc degeneration, herniation and bulging and display no clinical signs or symptoms. Due to this fact, imaging is only used to confirm a clinical diagnosis or to investigate if conservative back pain treatments are failing to improve pain. Imaging too early can muddy the waters and cause clinicians and patients to focus on something that may really have little to no effect on a person’s pain, delaying recovery and possibly increasing a patient’s stress. Common myths and misconceptions: You cannot ‘slip’ a disc: Although this term gets thrown around a lot, it is impossible to ‘slip’ a disc. The disc is secured to the vertebrae by very strong, thick ligaments. Bulging discs always cause pain: False. Up to 60% of people who have a bulging disc have no pain or symptoms. Bulging discs always require surgery: False. For most people, physiotherapy is effective for treating disc injuries. Surgery is indicated if conservative therapies fail or there is significant nerve compression. Herniated discs do not heal: False. The recovery rate of herniated discs is quite high. Herniated discs can only be treated surgically: False. A large proportion of people with herniated discs can improve their condition with physiotherapy tailored to their specific condition and some adjunct therapies such as anti-inflammatory medications and injections. Herniated discs mean you are in a lot of trouble: Not always. If your imaging shows you have a herniated disc it doesn’t necessarily point to the source of your pain. Discs degenerate as we age and have some degeneration is not a disaster, it's expected. Most people would have some degree of disc herniation somewhere in the later stages of life, although only a small percentage have pain. What options do you have for treatment? Physiotherapy With adherence to a physiotherapy program including specific exercises, manual therapy, and activity modification most people will show improvement in symptoms within a few weeks to a few months. Those who seek treatment earlier are more likely to recover quickly. Corticosteroid injections: Corticosteroid injections can provide short-term pain relief for some people with herniated or bulging discs. Corticosteroid injections provide moderate pain relief for up to 6 weeks, but they aren’t without risks. Some risks associated with Corticosteroid injections include infection, nerve damage and blood sugar complications in those people with diabetes. The benefits of these injections decrease over time with no benefit lasting beyond 3 months. Repeated use of these injections can lead to weight gain, osteoporosis/ fractures, high blood pressure/ heart disease and impaired wound healing amongst other things. Corticosteroids can be a good option for people with herniated or bulging discs, but their use should not be the first line of treatment. Surgery Surgery should be reserved for when conservative therapy has been tried and failed or when there are significant neurological symptoms. Having surgery does not always relieve all the symptoms a person may have and doesn’t prevent the injury from happening again. Surgery should be a last resort as it carries a substantial financial cost and exposes you to risk of infection, nerve damage or other side effects of sedatives, antibiotics and analgesics. If the vertebrae are fused in the process of repairing the disc injury, you will also lose range of motion through the fused levels as well as increase the likelihood of degeneration of the discs above and below the fusion site.

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  • Careers | Join Our Team | Physio K

    WORK WITH US we are passionate about what we do CAREER WITH PHYSIO K We are always looking for excellent Physiotherapists! If you feel like you have the skills, passion and expertise and would like to join the Physio K team and work with like-minded people, then we would love to hear from you! ​ "AT PHYSIO K, WE ARE COMMITTED TO HAVING THE BEST PRACTITIONERS PROVIDING THE BEST POSSIBLE SERVICES. ​ Why Work With Physio K Weekly training Friendly environment Meetings with Belgian beers We value your opinion If we don't have an immediate position, and you are a perfect fit for our team and sensational at what you do, we'll try to make a position available for you - we just want to work with great people, and are really fussy and strict on who joins our team! For all employment inquiries and expressions of interest at Physio K, please email your CV to and we will notify you when a suitable position arises. We have an employment mailing list, sent out when jobs become available. If you would like to be placed on this list, please email the clinic, asking to be placed on the 'upcoming jobs list'. ​ ​ Current positions available:

  • Book Your Appointment Online Today! | Physio K

    Book online: Welcome GOING BEYOND YOUR SYMPTOMS INITIAL APPOINTMENTS: New patients or new injuries FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS: Existing clients with existing injuries WORKER'S COMPENSATION / CTP INSURANCE: Patients covered by insurance OPEN MONDAY TO FRIDAY 7AM TO 7PM BY APPOINTMENT ONLY 02 7902 1408

  • Dry Needling Bondi Junction | Physio K

    WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING? Dry needling is a fast and effective treatment proven to relieve pain and advance recovery. It involves inserting and advancing a fine filament needle into the muscle in the region of a “Trigger Point’. The aim of Dry Needling is to achieve a local twitch response to release muscle tension and pain. Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin with very few side effects. This technique is unequalled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits. The needle used is very thin and normally you won’t even feel it penetrating the skin. Healthy muscles won’t feel much or any discomfort when inserting this needle. However, when the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the patient may feel a sensation like a muscle cramp -‘the twitch response’, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Deactivating these trigger points results in reducing your pain and restoring normal muscle function. WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH DRY NEEDLING? ​ Dry needling can be very beneficial to reduce neck pain, back pain, shoulder issues, knee pain, tennis elbow or any sports injuries. Strained muscles react very well to dry needling and it can significantly reduce the time of rehabilitation. In combination with other forms of physiotherapy, dry needling can be very effective in treating these conditions. Dry Needling Bondi Junction BOOK YOUR INITIAL DRY NEEDLING SESSION HERE HOW DOES OUR DRY NEEDLING DIFFER FROM MOST OTHER PRACTICES? ​ ​ 1. We don’t leave needles in the body and walk away. At Physio K, we always combine manual treatment, exercise prescription, education, assessment and any other form of treatment that could be of benefit for you with dry needling. When we do dry needling, we will insert the needle and do some movements (up to 10 seconds) and then take the needle out. The whole process of needling normally doesn’t take longer than a couple of minutes. 2. We make sure our patients respond to our manual intervention. We will do a thorough clinical assessment, followed by the intervention of dry needling and then reassess to see how much you have responded to the needling. We will work with you to find the cause of the problem and not just do some needling in the area where you feel the symptoms. 3. We are trained with GEMt, which is one of the leading global dry needling companies. We value high standards and make safety our top priority. The management team at Physio K is involved in teaching dry needling with this company to other manual therapists across the globe. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRY NEEDLING AND ACUPUNCTURE ​ Both acupuncture and dry needling use a fine filament needle which is inserted into the skin in order to treat pain, but that is where the similarity stops. Acupuncture is Chinese medicine, which focuses on energy levels (meridians). It is a more superficial treatment and the needles are inserted into specific parts of the body in order to focus on restoring energy or “Qi”. With dry needling, we are focussing on trigger points (a term which was first described in 1942 by Dr. Janet Travell). These are painful spots in the body that can cause local and / or referred pain. The aim with dry needling is to deactivate and desensitise a myofascial trigger point which should stimulate a healing response in that tissue and reduce the biomechanical stress of the muscle treated. DRY NEEDLING BENEFITS 1. FAST AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENT ​ Treatment outcomes can be achieved faster, allowing the practitioner to do more in the same session. 2. RESEARCHED BENEFITS ​ The research has proven that the ‘twitch’ response in the muscle during dry needling is associated with muscle relaxing. This will be beneficial to muscles, tendons and joints in the body! 3. PROVEN TECHNIQUES Dry needling treatment is an extremely effective method for treating acute and chronic pain, and it has very few side effects. As well as standard physiotherapy and manual therapy, Physio K also offers dry needling treatments to patients we believe would benefit from it. In combination with other forms of treatment, trigger point dry needling is a quick and effective way to treat neuromuscular dysfunction to greatly reduce pain and discomfort. DRY NEEDLING COST The good news is that we don't charge any extra for dry needling at Physio K, it is part of the service. We use it in combination with other techniques to give you the best outcome during your treatment. Our practice provides sports physio in our clinic, located in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. Our studio is located in Bondi Junction. Physio K services the surrounding suburbs as well, such as Bondi Beach, Waverley, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, Randwick, Woollahra, Paddington, Darlinghurst, Bellevue Hill, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Dover Heights and Vaucluse.

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