Every case is unique in Physical therapy and every client’s needs and expectations are also unique. This section details common problems which we meet on a regular basis in our Clinics. Often we encounter a client with multiple issues like Damaged Lumber Disks and Sciatica or Tights Gluteal Muscles and Illiotibial Band Problems. If your issue doesn’t fit into any of those shown here then no need to worry , your therapist will diagnose and treat your problem with sensitivity and professionalism .
Many people develop stiff and sore necks overtime. This problem is often posture related and made worse by desk-work and stress. Your physical therapist will help you by diagnosing and treating the cause and giving you guidance on how to prevent the problem from reoccurring.
Headaches come in many forms, from once off to long term and migraine headaches. Severe headaches should initially be examined medically to rule out life-threatening issues. Your physical therapist can help you by ruling out headaches caused by tight muscles in the neck and shoulders.
Whiplash occurs when the neck is subjected to uncontrolled rapid movement. While it is commonly caused by car accidents it can also by other means, for example; as a result of a fall, a hard shoulder in a football match or a session of head banging. Whiplash should in the first instance be examined medically by a doctor in a hospital. Longterm your physical therapist will help by assisting damaged muscles in their healing and mobilising the neck to remove long term pain and stiffness.
Pain in the shoulders is common and can be difficult to fix as most shoulder injury occurs over an extended period. Other shoulder injuries happen quickly as a result of a fall or commonly a car crash where the belt runs over the shoulder. Physical therapists are well equipped to fix shoulder problems but they take time and the client has to engage in the rehabilitation exercises to gain the maximum from their treatment.
Dislocated Shoulders are commonly caused in sport or falls or car accidents. They need to be treated medically although some people who have repeated dislocations learn how to put them back in. Following relocation (reduction) of the dislocation your Physical Therapist will be able to treat the damaged muscles surrounding the joint and provide guidance on restoring strength to the shoulder to help reduce the risk of reoccurrence.
A frozen shoulder is a term used to describe a painful condition where the movement in the shoulder joint becomes very restricted. It can have a slow build up preceded with rotator cuff pain or can happen overnight and is often associated with emotional upset. Treatment for frozen shoulder can be prolonged and physical therapy is very effective at restoring the motion in the shoulder. Some frozen shoulders disappear as quickly as they arrive.
PAIN BETWEEN SHOULDER BLADES
Often caused by poor posture, office work, poor ergonomics and prolonged laptop use or keyboarding this can cause a lot of discomfort and stops us from achieving our full potential. Your physical therapist will quickly relieve the pain and then work with you to fix work patterns, poor posture and advise on poor ergonomics which are contributing to the problem.
ROTATOR CUFF INJURY
Most joints in the body have strong ligaments to hold them in place. The shoulder joint relies heavily on 4 small muscles which hold the upper arm in place and help provide stability during movement. These muscles are commonly injured by repetitive movements, poor posture, falls and bangs to the shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries can take a long time to fix and rehabilitate. You physical therapist will help you along your road to recovery.
SORE SHOULDERS WHILE SLEEPING
Sore shoulders while sleeping can often be associated with rotator cuff injuries. This can cause sleep disturbance which further debilitate the sufferer. Physical therapist are ideally placed to assist and will treat the underlying problem as well as showing the client how to limit the effects while sleeping.
Arm and hand injuries can be very limiting and prevent us prevent us from living a full and enjoyable life. Arm pain is commonly caused by repetitive strain injuries e.g. lifting heavy plates or long distance driving. Often these can have their origin posture and in neck and shoulder injuries. Physical therapists are ideally equipped to assess and treat injuries in the arms and hands
CARPEL TUNNEL SYNDROME
Carpel tunnel is a painful and debilitating condition affecting the hands and arms, commonly caused by repetitive actions such as keyboarding and using the mouse. The syndrome can also come from equipment operation, carrying loads in the arms (waitressing), and can be made worse by pregnancy. It is caused by the nerves going down the arms getting squeezed by the muscles and tendons of the forearm and wrist. Your physical therapist can be of immense assistance with Carpel tunnel Syndrome and will ease out the fore arm muscles, reduce inflammation in tendons and examine the ergonomic problems behind the issue.
Golfers elbow or pain on the inside of the elbow joint is a common and painful problem. Often having nothing to do with playing golf, it can be caused by any number of actions such as gardening, weightlifting, cycling and so forth. You physical therapist will treat the injury and examine the actions which are causing the problem to prevent reoccurrence.
PINS AND NEEDLES/BURNING SENSATION
Pins and needles in the arms, hands and fingers are symptoms which may be caused by compression of the nerves in the neck, shoulders, arms or wrists. Your Physical Therapist will be able to carry out a thorough assessment to determine what may be the cause and can help fix this using a variety of muscle, joint and nerve treatments as well as examining the possible underlying causes of the problem such as posture and Repetitive Strain Injuries.
REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY (RSI)
Repetitive Strain Injuries are increasingly common in the work place, where work has become a constant repetition of the same action. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, tennis and golfers elbow, many lower back pains and tendonitis are common representations of RSIs. They affect people’s health and livelihoods impacting on all areas of their lives. Physical Therapists deal with RSI all the time and will manage the condition as well as identifying and rectifying the underlying action which has caused the problem in the first place.
Commonly caused by a fall or sporting injury, a sprained wrist is where the ligaments of the wrist and hand have become strained or torn. Severe sprains should be examined medically to rule out broken bones. All Sprains need RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) therapy for the first 48-72 hours. Your Physical Therapist will assist in removing inflammation from the wrist, strengthening the ligaments and restoring mobility to the wrist. Untreated sprains commonly lead to injuries in other joints and muscles surrounding the sprained joint.
Tennis elbow or pain in the outside of the elbow joint is a common and painful problem. Often having nothing to do with playing tennis, it can be caused by any number of actions such as lifting heavy trays to a high oven or plastering walls. Your physical therapist will treat the injury and examine the actions which are causing the problem to prevent reoccurrence.
Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is commonly associated with poor posture, damaged ribs and excessive kyphosis (curse of the upper back). Commonly and very successfully treated by Physical Therapists who will treat the pain examine the cause and provide the exercises for long term relief from the problem.
Ribs are commonly broken in falls, car crashes and games such as rugby, hurling and Martial arts. Medical assessment is initially required to ensure the ribs are not damaging any internal organs such as the kidneys or the lungs. Long term your Physical Therapist can help deal with the muscle damage to the muscles of the ribs (intercostal muscles) to help alleviate pain and restore as much normal breathing as possible.
Kyphosis is the phrase use to describe the curve of the upper back along the rib cage. Certain medical conditions and occupations can cause this curve to become excessive which can then result in a whole host of problems from the neck to the shoulders, the upper back itself and with breathing. Physical Therapists have a range of interventions to help limit the development of excessive Kyphosis in adults and children.
Lower Back Pain
Pain in the lower back comes in many variations and forms and can vary from an irritating ache to a searing life altering pain. All pain in the lower back should be treated seriously and attended to before symptoms become intolerable. There are many different causes to lower back pain and its not uncommon for several to be present simultaneously. Your Physical Therapist has an array of exercises to assist your lower back health. It is very important to use the correct exercises, as the exercises used to treat a back injury in the later stages of an injury may be the exact opposite to those used when the injury was new. Your Physical Therapist is expert in providing you with the correct exercises for your situation.
Disks are small circuliar pads which serve as shock absorbers between the bony vertebrae of the back. They can become damaged and bulge outwards or tear. The bulging disks can press on nerves as they come out of the spine and the contents of the disks can be acidic which can further irritate nerves, resulting in pain. Treatment for this type of injury can take many weeks but can be highly successful. Disk pain is commonly associated with sciatic symptoms.
Facets are small joints at the rear of the vertebrae of the back. Poor posture, Disk problems, accidents and lack of core stability can cause the facet joints to compress against each other resulting in excruciating pain. Your physical therapist can help by addressing the underlying cause of the facet problem.
A very common cause of lower back pain are tight gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles (glutes) are the muscles which make up the bulk of your bum. Tight glutes can be very effectively dealt with and your physical therapist will have a range of exercises to help you maintain healthy glutes.
Pelvis and Hip Pain
The Sacro iliac joint is made up of your hips and pelvis, there a 3 bones which are fused together by powerful ligaments giving great structural strength and limited ability to move. Problems can arise with the Sacro Illicial joints from car accidents, imbalanced muscles and during pregnancy. Sacro Illiac pain can cause significant lower back pain and can damage disks and facets. Your Physical Therapist is ideally equipped to assess and treat the Sacro Iliac dysfunction and Sacro Iliac pain.
ILLIOTIBIAL BAND/IT BAND/ITB
Pain from the ITB commonly occurs on the outside of the hip and above and outside the knee. The ITB is a long tendon like tissue which runs along the outside of the hip to the outside of the knee. Runners commonly get conditions associated with tight ITB and this is known as runners knee. Physical therapist can tackle tight Illiotibial Bands and address the underlying conditions which cause it enabling people to run and walk pain free.
Sciatica is a painful condition where there is pain down the back of either or both legs which can go down to the toes. It can be accompanied by loss of sensation or pins and needles in the affected legs. Commonly associated with Lumber Disk problems or Facet Joint Problems, it can also be mimicked by tight gluteal muscles, tight hamstrings or tight periformus muscles which lie deep in your bum. It is essential to get a proper examination of the cause of sciatica, your Physical Therapist is the ideal professional to diagnose and treat sciatic pain.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that can cause pain and swelling in the joints. It is usually caused by wear and tear and the aging process. The weight bearing joints of the body are often affected first e.g. Knees, hips and spine. Pain and discomfort levels very much depend on the individual and the stage of their condition. Your Physical Therapist can provide you with treatments, exercise programs and advice on how to help relieve your symptoms and minimise further wear and tear where possible.