Comprehensive and specialised physiotherapy services

Your Neck and You

 

Neck pain is a common problem that many people suffer from and can arise from many different causes. These include muscular tightness, muscular overload, joint stiffness, whiplash injuries, nerve root problems or poor postural patterns. Often episodes of neck pain last 6-8 weeks and can continue to occur if not addressed by a physiotherapist.

 

Your neck is made up of seven vertebrae, which are the bony building blocks of the spine. In between each vertebra is a tough disc full of fluid which helps your neck to move and provides protection to the more delicate structures. The spinal cord runs just behind the vertebrae and discs giving off nerve endings that power your muscles and allow you to feel the world. Surrounding all of this are various muscles that control your head movement and some even help to control your shoulders. To say the least it is a complex area anatomically and it makes sense that so many problems can arise from this area of the body.

 

It can be extremely frustrating to be suffering from recurrent episodes of neck-pain but this is the good news…

 

There are a HUGE range of treatments available to address neck pain and at PhysioWest we do it BEST. Physiotherapy has a long history of results when it comes to reducing and fixing neck-related issues. One could say it is our bread and butter and we want to help you.

 

Treatments for neck pain include:

  • Exercises (including pilates!)
  • Pain education
  • Posture assessment
  • Work-place assessment
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Joint manipulation
  • Dry needling
  • Massage
  • Heat

 

If you or anyone you know has a neck problem, consider coming to PhysioWest and we’ll get to work on finding a solution! Give us a call on 8352 3583 to book your next appointment or book online.

 

And just as a sneaky secret…

 

Did you know that your arm, elbow or shoulder pain could also be caused by your neck? The neck can cause “referral” pain down into the arms and can often be a contributor to a variety of conditions including Tennis Elbow and even shoulder pain and dysfunction (also known as Shneck pain). It can often be difficult to tell if your stubborn elbow or shoulder pain is actually due to your neck or even if your neck pain is caused by your shoulder! PhysioWest can help solve this puzzle and get you back to doing the things you love.

 

And speaking of love…

 

During these testing time for all PhysioWest extends our love and care to our clients and community. We are taking every measure to ensure the clinic is a safe-space for everyone, with incredibly rigorous hygiene procedures and a constant watchful eye on the latest news updates regarding COVID-19. You are welcome to our clinics to seek the physiotherapy treatment you need, and we are here for you. Together we will come through the darkness and into the light.

 


Headaches  – A real pain in the neck!?!

 

Most of us can say we have had a headache at least once in our life. That’s because headaches are one of the most common health conditions in Australia. Headaches can be debilitating and stop us from doing some of the daily things we love, which makes it important to understand them, address them and manage them appropriately.

Headaches are typically categorised into either a primary or secondary type headache. The main primary headaches include migraines, tension-type or cervicogenic (neck) headaches.

Although they vary in specific features, these types of headaches are typically caused from pain-sensitive structures in our heads/neck/shoulders like stiff joints or tight/tense muscles. Multiple lifestyle factors can trigger the formation of these different headaches including physical and emotional stress, sleep positions and daily/work postures.

Did you know that physiotherapist can help with some of these common headaches? Physiotherapists are trained to treat and provide preventative measures to assist you with your headaches. Some of the many techniques they can offer are:

  • Mobilisation
  • Manipulation
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Functional/postural exercises

Physiotherapist can also provide some great advice on how you can prevent your headaches, through lifestyle modification and exercise.

If you or someone you know could use some help, our team of physiotherapist and massage therapists are more than happy to assist. We cannot guarantee to fix your caffeine withdrawal headache, but we can recommend a great local coffee shop across from us which has you covered.

Give us a call on 8352 3583 to book your next appointment.


 

 

VERTIGO

Did you know that physiotherapists can treat certain types of vertigo? 

Vertigo can be defined as a sudden internal or external spinning sensation. Vertigo can have many causes; however, many of the cases seen in the clinic can be related to head movements or neck- related issues. People will often report spinning, swaying, loss of balance and unsteadiness, which may be associated with nausea and vomiting. 

Physiotherapists are equipped with the skills to assess and treat certain types of vertigo. Other types may require medical management. If you have these symptoms, visit your physiotherapist for a thorough assessment and to set up a plan to help manage your vertigo. 

The two types of vertigo commonly managed conditions seen in the clinic are ‘Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo’ (BPPV) and ‘Cervicogenic Dizziness’. 

  1. BPPV – BPPV is a type of vertigo that is caused by change in the position of the head with respect to gravity. It is caused by a dysfunction of the vestibular system (inner ear) where calcium crystals become dislodged in the incorrect area of your inner ear. These dislodged crystals result in a mismatch of information being sent from your left and right inner ear to your brain. The mismatch of information then results in the (not so nice) symptoms of vertigo.
  2. Cervicogenic Dizziness – Cervicogenic dizziness on the other hand can be defined as dizziness and unsteadiness associated with neck pain. To diagnose cervicogenic dizziness, a thorough assessment will be conducted to rule out other causes of vertigo.

Assessment and Management 

A physiotherapy assessment of vertigo will often include a thorough discussion to help us understand the issue as well as a number of tests which include: neck/head movements, eye tests, balance assessment and specialised tests to determine the cause of vertigo and rule-out more serious issues. Management will vary depending on the cause of vertigo and may include specialised manoeuvres, manual therapy, exercise therapy as well as advice regarding best management. 

If you or someone that you know has suffered from this debilitating condition, we would love to see if we can help, so please give us a call on 8352 3582 to organise an assessment. 


Dealing with DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

It’s now the beginning of March and pre-season is in full swing.. well, for your teammates that is!

Your mates have been on your back all summer about getting out to a training, but in your mind, training doesn’t start until round 1 when the post-game beers are back.

You finally run out of weak excuses and make it out to your first training – much to your disgust! After lagging behind the pack all training, you regret those extra servings of Christmas pud and wish you’d gotten off the couch earlier.

The next day, you feel like a train wreck! Your legs are stiff, your butt aches and your whole body seems to hate you. Getting out of bed seems impossible and sitting on the toilet becomes a feat of it’s own.

You, my friend, are experiencing DOMS! (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

What is DOMS?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is, as the name suggests, soreness of the muscles following vigorous or unaccustomed exercise. Mechanical stress from exercise can often cause micro-tears in your muscle fibres. In response, your body starts an inflammatory process which helps clean up and rebuild the damaged tissue. The micro-tearing and repairing of the muscle tissue is a normal process of the body and is essential inorder to build muscular strength and size.

Why does it hurt?

As you would expect, this inflammatory process is great for muscle repair, however, it comes with some unpleasant side effects such as muscle soreness, tenderness and aching. The inflammatory response increases your nerves sensitivity to stimuli and is why your muscles are often sore to touch and feel painful during movement. Essentially, it’s your body’s way of protecting the tissue to allow it to repair and is not necessarily a sign of serious muscle injury.

What are the signs?

DOMS can occur with any exercise, particularly if you’re unaccustomed to training or are increasing your intensity. DOMS is commonly associated with stiffness, aching and swelling of the muscle, reduced range of motion, muscle fatigue and even temporary loss of muscle strength. Muscle soreness typically begins 12-24 hours after exercise and can last anywhere between 1 to 5 days after you exercise.

What can I do to recover?

The symptoms of DOMS generally ease after a few days, but there are a number of things you can do to help reduce your suffering;

1. Massage
2. Gentle movement and stretching
3. Drink plenty of water
4. Good nutrition
5. Hot/cold therapy

How can I prevent DOMS?

An appropriate warm up and cool down, before and after training, can help reduce the likelihood of DOMS. It’s recommended that you gradually build your training intensity slowly to avoid overloading your muscles too early – as they say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Staying hydrated, particularly in warm conditions, and good nutrition are also essential to give your body what it needs to repair.

If you’re suffering from the unpleasant symptoms associated with DOMS, our team of Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists are here to help! You can call us on 8352 3582 to book an appointment.

 


Article Written by: Jordan Campbell (Physiotherapist)