Comprehensive and specialised physiotherapy services

Evidence-Based Remedial Massage Therapy

How To Get The Best Out Of It!

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Massage therapy is the most popular complementary therapy used by the Australian public. With research in massage therapy gaining significant attention over the last 30 years, clinical evidence exists to support the efficacies of massage therapy on many health conditions, including chronic low back pain. This growing body of research supports massage to become an evidence-based practice.

As a remedial massage therapist at PhysioWest, while pursuing a higher research degree in low back pain, I often wonder what evidence-based practice means in remedial massage. Importantly, what does it mean to you: a person considering remedial massage, or already enjoying remedial massage at our clinic? Let me expand this topic to offer some practical tips to help you get the best out of it!

Evidence-based practice is described as the thoughtful use of the best current evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. In physical therapy, which includes massage and physiotherapy, the approach integrates clinical expertise and takes patient desires, values, and needs into consideration. A study published in the May 2018 volume of the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal, states that although massage therapists in Australia have very good access to apply research evidence in their practice, the majority do not. Those that do are often those that undertake continuing professional education and are members with reputable Professional Associations.

In addition to research evidence, another form of evidence, often overlooked, is experiential evidence – that is, the clinical experience gathered by the therapist as well as the experience of the person who receives the treatment. Yes, your experience reflected back to the therapist is of crucial importance to getting the best out of evidence-based treatments!

Tips to get the most out of evidence-based practice of massage are:

  • Find and use a clinic whose practices are professionally accredited (e.g. partnered by health funds)
  • Book your massage with qualified remedial massage therapists (Diploma or higher)
  • Ask your therapist what type of massage he/she is trained in? (you want someone who can clearly explain their knowledge as applicable to you)
  • Ask if he/she is a member of an established professional association for massage therapists? (e.g. Massage and Myotherapy Australia, previously AAMT, or the Australian Natural Therapists Association, ANTA)
  • If all is safe and agreeable to your standards, trial the massage and take note of your experience during and after the massage
  • Afterwards, reflect and evaluate your “experiential evidence” on how you felt following the treatment (sometimes, the treatment plan may include 3 or more treatments)
  • Reflect and answer this for yourself: Is this treatment good for me? Trust your experiential evidence
  • If Yes, book another massage with that therapist at that clinic!

What does the latest research say about treating low back pain?

Finding the right treatment for low back pain can be tricky, especially because there are so many different options from a wide range of health professionals and therapists. A recent study has
outlined which treatment methods have been shown to be effective in treating low back pain and the findings are summarised below:

1. Advice to remain active and education should always be provided regardless if the pain is acute or chronic

2. Exercise should always be prescribed, and it doesn’t matter what type of exercise it is

3. Hands-on therapies such as massage, joint mobilisation and manipulation can be used as an adjunctive treatment

4. Pain medication such as paracetamol and opioids should not be used to treat low back pain, whereas anti-inflammatories can be used as an adjunctive treatment

5. Low back pain should be addressed by primary care practitioners such as a GP or physiotherapist first who can screen for more serious pathologies

6. Imaging such as X-rays and MRIs are rarely necessary for most low back pain presentations

The bottom line is that if you are experiencing low back pain for either a short or long period of time, you should be trying to stay active as much as possible. You should also see a health professional or therapist such as a physiotherapist who can provide education on your condition and pain in general, prescribe exercises based on your individual needs, and treat your acute symptoms with hands-on therapy.

Let us help you find the right treatment for your pain. Make an appointment online today.

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Blog produced by Spencer (Physiotherapist, PhysioWest)

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Beginning in the Gym? Steps to Success

As a beginner, getting started at the gym is usually the hardest part of meeting your fitness goals. Here are a few tips for beginners to get on track to meeting your goals for the New Year and finally getting started in the gym.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
Goal setting is vital when you first start going to the gym as it gives you something to work towards. Goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.). It is a lot harder to stay motivated to reach a broad goal such as “I want to get fit” when compared to a S.M.A.R.T. goal such as “I want to be able to do 10 consecutive push-ups by the end of 3 months”. S.M.A.R.T. goals allow you to measure your progress towards reaching your goals, and make any changes to your routine or seek advice if you unsure that you’re on track.

2. Consult with a health professional
Seeking advice from a health professional prior to getting started at the gym is important, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition that may be affected by exercise. A health professional such as a physiotherapist can offer advice on how to prevent injury if you have not been in a gym environment before.

3. Have someone look at your form
This step is particularly important if you would like to start lifting weights. It is always a good idea to seek advice from a trained professional such as a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or a personal trainer at your gym. These professionals can offer you advice on how to perform exercises correctly, and how to prevent injury.

4. Don’t go too hard too quickly
When starting out, a big mistake that a lot of beginners make is lifting too much weight or going too hard too early. It is vital that you gradually increase the weight you lift, the time spent on the treadmill, and the amount of repetitions that you perform. This is to prevent an avoidable injury from occurring from doing too much too soon.

5. Have fun!
A great way to stay motivated for your fitness goals when first starting out is to find an exercise routine that you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to mix up your gym routine with exercises including cardio, resistance training, pilates, Tai Chi, yoga and anything else that you can think of.

If you would like a physiotherapist to set you up for success with a winning gym routine, book an appointment at PhysioWest online or by calling 8352 3582 and get on track to achieving your goals!

Physio West | Core Exercise Class | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.Physio West | Stretch Exercise Class | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.Physio West | Mile End Clinic | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Written by Spencer Davis

Physio West | Headaches and Migraines | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

How’s your heart?

Why your physiotherapist wants to talk about your general health and blood pressure

I went to the GP the other day and they told that my blood pressure went up (luckily only a little bit). I had no symptoms; there was nothing to let me know that was the case. I then started thinking about what affects blood pressure; I know there are several things that can cause high blood pressure including lack of physical activity, eating lots of salt, drinking lots of alcohol, family history and stress.

Blood pressure is a measurement of how much pressure there is in your arteries when your heart is at maximal contraction (systole) over relaxation (diastole). Blood pressure of 120/80 is considered normal. Blood pressure of 120/80 up to 139/89 is considered high-normal (where I was the other day), anything over this is considered to be a condition called hypertension (high blood pressure).

When you come in to see me, no matter why you are here, I will always ask about your general health. This will include asking you about your heart. Why? Because I am treating  you as a whole person, not just your back or your ankle. Also, because some physiotherapy treatments are contraindicated (not allowed) if you are taking certain medications or if you have a pacemaker.

Having high blood pressure puts you at risk of cardiac disease, kidney conditions or stroke. What can you do to prevent high blood pressure? One thing is commence a healthy level of exercise: that is where your physiotherapist is most excited to help! Having a healthy diet, ceasing smoking and reducing alcohol intake are all important too, and we are happy to chat to you about this and refer you on to other health professionals if you need.

If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, if you haven’t had a medical assessment, I recommend you contact your GP and get started. Your GP will chat to you about any medical options available, particularly if you do have very high or low blood pressure. GP’s will often refer you to us physios to get started or improve your current level of exercise. A recent study found that Physiotherapists are a GP’s most recommended Health Professional.

While we do treat ankle strains and back pain, physiotherapy does more than this.

There is a great website where you can find out more information on how physiotherapy may help your condition – whether it’s getting your musculoskeletal or neurological condition managed, or just getting healthier! See https://choose.physio/

Physio West | Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Treatment | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Blog Prepared by Laura Hundertmark (Physiotherapist)

Do you suffer from chronic neck stiffness and pain?

Yes?

Many of us do,  but you don’t need to suffer any longer!

 

Neck pain is a significant health problem with 1 in 2 people experiencing neck pain at least once in their lifetime, according to a 2016 worldwide review.  Neck pain is often recurrent and of non-specific in nature. With most of us gazing at computers or staring down at our smart devices most of the day, it’s safe to say that stiff and painful necks are not going to go away.

 

So what can you do about it?

Here are three easy things you can do that will help:

  1. Put your computer monitor at eye level and sit up straight to avoid tilting and twisting your head down or to the side while you are on the computer.
  2. When looking at your smart device, be sure to take frequent breaks and avoid having your neck bent in any one position for long periods of time
  3. The key to relief for a stiff neck is proper and regular stretching. So try doing these simple exercises as often as you can:
    • Roll your shoulders backwards and down, hold for 10 seconds, relax, repeat 5 times
    • Squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for 10 seconds, relax, repeat 5 times
    • Push your head backwards into car head rest or hands, hold 10 seconds, repeat 5 times
    • Bring your ear to your shoulder, hold for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times.
    • Book a head and shoulders massage and feel the relief

We would love to help you get to the bottom of your neck pain. Book online today or call 8352 3582 and make an appointment.

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Blog prepared by: Alan Quek (Remedial Massage Therapist)

Is your car seat driving you up the wall?

When achey pains and niggles pop up, you often find yourself hunting for answers as to what could be causing the problem. One thing that is often missed, particularly with spinal pain, is the importance of your seating position while driving your car.

Driving is something that most people do every day, anywhere from 5 minutes to the local shops, to an hours commute to work. Our body loves to be kept moving, and the longer it’s left in once position, the stiffer things become. If you are poorly set up in the car, this may speed the rate at which those areas tighten up, predisposing you to picking up injuries with simple day to day tasks.

So what to look for? Here are a couple of simple tips to consider in relation to your position while sitting in your car.

  1. Adjust your wheel position
    Reaching for the wheel or sitting to close, can both alter your sitting posture in the car. Have your hands just below shoulder height, with a small bend in your elbows as you place your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock on the wheel. Your shoulder blades should sit comfortably against the backrest of the seat.

 

  1. Adjust your reach to the pedals
    Sitting too close to the pedals can cause your hips and knees to be too flexed, while reaching for them can force you to strain to get there. Similar to the arms, position your legs so they rest in a slightly flexed position, such that your knees and hips are kept roughly level.

 

  1. Adjust the seat angle
    Once again, too far in either direction can create discomfort. Too much recline will encourage your upper back and neck to poke forwards. Sitting too upright will feel rigid and restrictive. Allow a small recline enough that you can keep your shoulder blades against the chair with your bottom in the back of the seat.

 

  1. Lumbar support
    Different backs will need different degrees of support above the pelvis. Play around with the feeling of a rolled up towel in the small of your back to avoid slumping, and giving your back extra support while sitting.

 

Car Assessments are undertaken at both our Salisbury and Mile End clinics. Mention this to reception when making a booking.

 

Physio West | Workplace Injuries & Motor Vehicle Accidents | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Blog prepared by Matt Nowosilskyj (Physiotherapist)

Is your Smart Phone killing you?

We all worry about EMF radiation from phones but this could be the least of your concerns!

As our new phones get smarter, faster and larger than ever before so too has our desire to use our phones and be in constant contact with others. More than ever we are becoming addicted to our phones.

We are spending a greater period of our day looking, using, researching and communicating on social media, phones are no longer a way just call someone.  If you look at any large building in the city at lunch time you see hundreds of people bent forward looking at their phones.

We get stressed when we send a text or message to someone and they don’t answer straight away. In our grandparent’s day, you would send a letter to someone and if you got a reply in a week you were impressed.

 

We go to the Gym to get fit and exercise but these days you see people doing one 30 second rep on a machine and then will sit and look at their phone for the next few mins and then do another rep of exercise. We need time in our day when we are Phone free and move freely not bent over looking at our Phones.

Having more time in your day taken up sitting or walking while looking down using your phone, means there is less time to be active. In a society where Obesity is at epidemic levels and is causing more medical problems such as Diabetes and Heart disease, the extra time we spend not being active and playing on our phones is a slow silent killer.

There should be an app designed that tells people how much shorter there life is calculated on the hours you spend on your phone.

So, if you find that at the end of you day you have tired shoulders, arms hurting, stiff neck and a head ache it may not be your job but your addiction / love affair for your phone.  As with people who work at work stations all day they need breaks and to do exercises to free up their tight and tired muscles and joints. The same can be said for extended use of your smart phones.

Physiotherapist’s are able to assist people to set a stretching and strengthening program in place to help with issues around using your Smart Phones. And you can even book online using your Smart Phone!

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by Glenn Watson, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest

Should I get an x-ray?

Do I need an X-ray for my lower back?

If you’ve ever had lower back pain before, you’ve probably thought about getting an xray. At the time it may seem reasonable given how severe lower back pain can feel in the first few days. The truth is that having imaging of your lower back may be doing more harm than good, and in most cases is entirely unnecessary.

 

If you have imaging such as an X-ray or MRI of your lower back, it is likely that the results will come back with scary words such as disc bulge or joint degeneration. Seeing these phrases can result in harmful behaviours such as avoiding movement in fear of further “damaging” your lower back. This will more than likely increase the level of pain that you are experiencing.

 

The reality is that these age-related changes are completely normal, and can be found in more than a third of people from 20-40 years old, and more than half of people over 40.That means that if I went and had an X-ray of my lower back, there is a good chance that the results would come back with some form of disc bulge or degeneration, even though I don’t have back pain!

 

So what should I do?

Lower back pain is usually very painful in the first few days, but the most important thing to do is to get up and get moving. The worst thing you can do is lie in bed or sit on the couch all day, thinking only about how sore your back is.

 

At PhysioWest, a thorough assessment of your lower back will be performed by a physiotherapist to determine the cause of your back pain, and will refer you for imaging if necessary. Imaging is usually only indicated if we suspect a more serious cause, or if your back pain is caused by trauma.

 

If you are experiencing lower back pain, book an appointment with a physiotherapist at PhysioWest who will be able to offer you some relief and get you up and moving. Book online or by calling 8352 3582.

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by Spencer Davis, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest

 

 

How to prevent injuries during netball finals

September is just around the corner, and we all know what that means…

FINALS TIME!

 

For those of you that belong to a sporting club or team, September can be one of the most exciting times of the year. Whether you’re a player gearing up for your chance at victory, a coach finalising your team strategies for the win, or a spectator making arrangements to support your favourite team, it can be a month full of determination, anxiety, optimism and hopefully joy and excitement when your team wins!

 

For me, finals are coming up in a couple weeks, and I’m seeking my second grand final win in a row for the Moonta Netball Club. The only thing more motivating than reminiscing about last years victory would have to be the recent under 21 Netball World youth cup, with Australia dominating throughout the tournament only to be defeated by the arch nemesis New Zealand by 3 goals!! The disappointment felt for these girls only makes me more determined to win.

 

One of the most disheartening events during finals time is injuring yourself in one of the final games of the round or even worse, the semi-final! The rate of injury for netballers is 14 injuries per 1,000 hours played with the most common being knee and ankle injuries. I have been unlucky enough to have sustained ankle injuries in more than one semi- final, and reluctantly had to sit on the bench to watch my team win the grand final without me. I wouldn’t wish this on any player, which is why I have come up with a few tips and tricks to help prevent injuries in the most important games of the season!

 

 

  1. Make sure you warm up properly

There’s nothing worse than admitting to your physio that you skipped the warm up at training or a game, right before you injured yourself. Heading towards the end of the season, players and coaches often move through the warm up quickly, or skip it all together in order to spend more time on “important” things like game play and tactics. A good warm up should consist of exercises and drills that target the four key elements associated with an increased risk of injuries in netball – take off, landing, deceleration and change of direction. If you’’re not sure what exercises or drills are best for injury prevention, Netball Australia’s Knee Injury prevention for Netballers to Enhance performance and Extend play (KNEE program) was developed to provide education and specific warm up drills and exercises to prevent lower limb injuries, in particular – the dreaded ACL injury! Speak to your physiotherapist to find out more information about the KNEE program, and how to implement it into your teams warm up.

 

  1. Hold off from buying new shoes for netball finals

I know some players or parents of players that have a tradition of buying new netball shoes right before finals. It can be motivating for the player, and yes – it may feel like you can run faster and jump higher with your brand new shoes, BUT… there is evidence to suggest that >50% of players injured whilst playing netball were wearing brand new shoes, or relatively new shoes. New shoes can decrease your body’s awareness of where the foot is, and therefore reduce your ability to correct your foot position to prevent injury. If possible, try to wear your new shoes to a few trainings first to wear them in before wearing them in a game, or save your purchase for next season!

 

 

 

  1. Wear appropriate ankle supports for training AND game

Physio West | Sports Physiotherapy | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in Netball. You may have already sprained your ankle once or twice before. Having a history of ankle sprains or instability can increase your risk of re-injury. Wearing an ankle brace or taping your ankles can assist in preventing sprains in Netball. If you already tape your ankles or wear a brace, finals time should be no different – even if you have felt confident throughout the season. Better to be safe than sorry! If you are unsure about how to tape your ankle properly, speak to your physio. When it comes to tape vs brace… it comes down to personal preference as both have been shown as effective.

 

  1. See your physio about any niggling pain or injuries

If you have any ongoing pain or injuries that you have been pushing through, or trying to manage during the season, come and speak to us! We want you to play finals as much as you do, and can offer advice or hands on treatment to help you improve your performance and finish your season to the best of your ability. Seeking prompt treatment for injuries will not only enable you to start your rehab sooner, it will ensure you reach your full potential and ultimately make sure your team gets the win!

 

If you are about to embark on a finals campaign come and see us at PhysioWest at our Mile End or Salisbury clinics

Published by Megan Jones, Physiotherapist, PhysioWest

Physio West | Back Pain | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

My back is out… Where did it go?

As physio’s, we hear some really strong and scary language when it comes to describing injuries.

“I’ve thrown my back out”

 “My knee is gone”

“It’s grinding bone on bone”

“I have a pinched nerve”

“My back is out of whack – you need to realign it”

“I was told my nerve is being crushed by a huge buldging disc”

Maybe you’ve been told these things by a medical professional, or maybe you are just describing the way it feels because it really, really hurts. Either way, there are some pretty scary thoughts there. Pinching, grinding, crushing – Makes me sore just thinking about it. As nasty as they may sound, how realistic are they?

 

Pain science research is growing at the speed of knots, with some real shifts in the way we think about pain. One thing is clear:

Pain does not always equal damage.

Pain is our body’s protection mechanism to threat or danger.

When our brain detects a perceived threat, it will send out a pain response to that area as a warning signal. This will cause us to move and behave differently to look after that spot, minimising the risk of damage. So as much as pain sucks, you can see it is actually a very important protective response.

 

Tricky to get your head around, I know.

 

I’m not saying your pain isn’t real, or that it is all in your head, but the power of language cannot be under-estimated, as it often feeds the pain response and reinforces those negative images. Scary language can add to the threat of an injury, increasing your pain.

 

As physiotherapists, we can help you unravel some of those more threatening thoughts like your back being out, to dampen down the threat, leading to less pain.

 

If you are having trouble with pain that you can’t get on top of, come in for an assessment with one of our physiotherapists who will help determine the source of your symptoms, and help you understand them better to assist your recovery.

 

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

Published by Matt Nowosilkyj

Physiotherapist, PhysioWest

All products available for pickup at Mile End Clinic only. (Salisbury on Request) Dismiss