Musculoskeletal physiotherapy simply refers to the treatment of muscle and joint conditions. In your initial assessment, a Movement Improvement physiotherapist will be able to diagnose, treat and give you the tools to rehabilitate or prevent your condition. Spinal conditions (lower, middle and upper back and neck pain) are the most common musculoskeletal conditions that Movement Improvement treat. Other conditions that are very commonly treated within this specialisation at Movement Improvement include:
- Pelvic/hip pain
- Knee pain
- Foot/Ankle pain
- Shoulder pain and
- Elbow pain
Sports physiotherapy is essentially a component of musculoskeletal physiotherapy that specifically deals with injuries and issues related to sports. The assessment, diagnosis and treatment process can vary greatly within this specialisation. Movement Improvement often have sportspeople presenting with either an acute injury (for example, muscle or ligament tear from an incorrect/accidental movement), sportspeople that have ongoing pain due to poor technique or overuse of a movement or those athletes who are looking to improve the efficiency, speed or power provoking aspects of their sports.
The key to Movement Improvement’s success within this stream is the ability to identify, plan and correct any dysfunctional movement. This scope can extend from identifying why a swimmer is unable to generate adequate power at the top of the stroke, to a cyclist that cannot generate equal force throughout the pedal stroke. The ability to recognise that each athlete is different, and although may present with a very common problem, is essential to identifying, correcting and improving the dysfunctional aspect of their sports performance.
Movement Improvement has many years of experience within the Central Queensland Mining and associated industries. The scope of practice has included on-site rehabilitation and prevention programs, education and evaluation of task variables and the development of new standards of care. At the core of this experience is a thorough understanding of movement mechanics and how that relates to a specific job description. This can include ideal truck driving seat/cabin setup, to improving the ability of a diesel fitter to identify inappropriate positioning or loading when working.
The rehabilitation work that is done within one treatment session must be complemented with a worker’s performance/movement mechanics during their day-to-day tasks. It is this integration, education and body awareness processes that sets Movement Improvement apart within Occupational Physiotherapy.
Headaches & Migraines
If you suffer from headaches and/or migraines, Movement Improvement can help. Unfortunately, there are many causes of headaches and migraines. However, a Movement Improvement physiotherapist will be able to identify the primary cause to allow for a significant if not complete reduction of your symptoms.
The latest evidence suggests that a headache or migraine (of a musculoskeletal origin) will be caused by any of the structures surrounding the middle to upper neck region. However, there are numerous factors involved in determining why the structures in this region may be causing the pain you feel. A thorough assessment of your entire musculoskeletal system will be conducted in order to evaluate the primary cause that is leading to these middle and upper neck structures to produce a pain response. More often than not these structures are at the end of a chain of many dysfunctional aspects.
If upon examination limited musculoskeletal factors can be found or if you report specific information that may relate to a source that is not musculoskeletal, then our physiotherapists have the skills to refer you to the correct health professional for further examination of your pain.
Chronic & Persistent Pain
Movement Improvement physiotherapy treat numerous people complaining of chronic and/or persistent pain. A chronic state of pain is typically defined as pain that has been present for at least three months. However, many of the chronic or persistent pain sufferers that we treat suggest that they have been in pain for years.
The longer you are in pain, the harder it is to change. Acute (short-term) pain is necessary for us to function. It informs us of a painful area or movement and allows the brain to make a calculated decision about how to avoid this sensation. Chronic pain on the other hand is pathological pain, that is, the pain response described above does not follow the same process.
Processing chronic pain stimulates adverse changes in both the peripheral (usually the initial injury site/s) and central nervous (brain and spinal cord) systems. In the periphery, the pain receptors that recognise pain become more excitable and therefore, send a signal to the central nervous system that the area is painful, even if it is not being aggravated. In the central nervous system, the natural opioid (pain-reliever) hormones that are released in response to a peripheral signal becomes less and less. Over time, this response has the effect of amplifying the pain response even further.
A Movement Improvement physiotherapist has the knowledge and the skills to assist with your pain management. This can be done by identifying other musculoskeletal causes of your pain, thorough education about nervous system changes and appropriate referrals to other health professionals as necessary.