Frequently Asked Questions
Appointment Related Questions
How long should I allow for an appointment?
Approximately 30 minutes for the initial consultation and 20 minutes for subsequent visits.
How soon can I get in?
If it is very urgent, we will get you an appointment the same day of your call, otherwise usually within a day or two. Also leave your name & number for the receptionist to call you if there has been a cancellation.
Do you have after hours appointments?
Yes, Monday to Thursday till 7pm and Saturday mornings until 12 noon.
Can you issue a sick certificate for my employer?
Can you issue a sick certificate for my employer?
What does "hands-on" treatment mean?
When physiotherapist talk about "hands-on" treatment they mean that they use techniques such as joint mobilisation and manipulation; massage; trigger point therapy and myofascial release. The purpose of "hands-on" treatment is to restore pain-free movement in your joints, muscles and soft tissue. Hands-on treatment for neck and back problems can be very effective.
bASIC DIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENT QUESTIONS
Why do joints make popping and cracking noises?
Joints make many different noises, some can be serious and many are not. Some people learn how to 'crack their knuckles', which is the action of pushing or pulling a joint in a certain way. An air bubble can suddenly appear in the joint and can be heard with a 'pop'. Once the bubble is there the joint cannot be popped again until the air has been reabsorbed.
Some joints 'crack' as the ligaments and tendons that pass over them slide past bumps on the bones. This is how people can 'crack their neck'.
Other joints lock up intermittently, often with a loud pop because something gets caught in between the joint surfaces. A torn cartilage in the knee or a loose piece of bone or cartilage in the joint can do this. Arthritic joints may also crack and grind.
These noises usually occur each time the joint is moved. This noise is due to the roughness of the joint surface due to the loss of the smooth cartilage.
After an injury is it better to rest or to stay active?
Early mobilisation, within the limits of pain, after injury helps patients return to work earlier; decreases pain, swelling and stiffness; and it helps avoid joints stiffening up.
Physiotherapists play a vital role in helping people overcome injury and regaining normal function as quickly as possible. If you injure yourself, apply first aid and have your physiotherapist or family doctor assess you as soon as possible. Commence physiotherapy straight away for best results.
Can physiotherapy help tennis elbow?
A tennis elbow is damage and pain in the tendon attaching to the outside of one's elbow. It can be very difficult to overcome. Early intervention is very important. Ultrasound and interferential physiotherapy can help, so too can stretching and local massage. Special strengthening exercises are also very important in overcoming tennis elbow.
What is a funny bone?
In human anatomy, the funny bone is the ulnar nerve. It is a nerve that runs from the shoulder to the hand, at one part running near the ulna bone. The nerve controls feeling in your fourth and fifth fingers and is one of the nerves that controls the movement of the wrist. When you bump the the ulnar nerve it may cause it to compress suddenly, which causes the mild pain and tingling throughout the forearm. This is why it is sometimes called the funny bone. Another reason is that the humerus - the long bone between the shoulder and the elbow - is similar to the word 'humorous'.
What is Pilates?
There has been an explosion of interest in the Pilates method in recent times. The Pilates (pronounced pi-Lah-tees) method was developed over 80 years ago in the UK by German-born physical trainer Joseph Pilates.
Essentially, Pilates is a form of exercise that has been accepted by physiotherapists as a way of improving core stability, that is, the strength and stability of the lower back and abdominal regions. There are various ways to perform Pilates' exercises. One is at home with a floor mat or swiss ball. Another uses a specially sprung bench or 'reformer' in a studio to work upper and lower parts of the back. Pilates can help to overcome injuries and improve muscle balance, flexibility and coordination. Physiotherapists in Australia are leading the way in using Pilates as a treatment method.
Why do I need a massage?
There a mainly two categories of massage as explained.
Massage relaxes your muscles. Stress in work or life, all can build tension which we tend to hold in our muscles. This can lead to shoulder pain, neck pain or just general tightness and soreness. Having a massage will assist in relaxing these muscles as well as relaxing your mind. Massage puts you in touch with your body and gives you a precious time-out which is hard to find these days.
When you have a musculo-skeletal injury your bodies natural response is to protect the injured area. It does this by tightening up the muscles surrounding the site.
Once the area has started to heal, massage can assist by;
- activating the lymphatic system to clear the area of oedema (swelling), bruising and debris from the injury.
- relaxing the muscles which will assist these muscles to regain their full strength and range of movement.
For good healthy muscles it is usually recommended to have a massage once a month. This will keep you in touch with your body and muscle tone, alerting you ahead of tightness and possible impending injury.
If there are problems with tight muscles causing pain and impeding movement, a weekly massage may assist in a quicker recovery.
Why do I get pain in my neck, shoulder blade and arm on one side - worse after a day at the office?
Ergonomics are very important in any desk job. This includes desk and chair height, position of the computer screen and keyboard, and especially the mouse/mousepad.
As physiotherapists we can advise you about all of these aspects of your workstation, as well as providing pain relieving treatment for your discomfort.
Postural awareness and self-management programmes consisting of muscle stretches and strengthing exercises are also excellent. These therapeutic solutions can be individually tailored by your professionally trained physiotherapist.
I suffer from headaches. They are pretty constant but they increase when I use a computer or do any desk work. Can physiotherapy help?
Headaches can arise from problems in the joints of the upper neck or the surrounding tissue. If your doctor has ruled out a more serious problem, you should try a course of physiotherapy to see if your neck is responsible. Treatment aimed at mobilising the joints and tissue in the neck combined with specific strengthening exercises can be very beneficial. Correcting your posture, especially when you are sitting at your desk, can also be of benefit.
On recommendation from a friend, I have changed over to seeing a physio for my back problems. In the past I needed to get my back 'put back in' every few weeks. Will I be doing the same with my physio?
Generally you will only need a short course of treatment if you get back pain. A research study suggested that, on average, patients are at least 85% better after 5 visits when seeing a physiotherapist for low back pain.
Physiotherapists generally try to teach patients to become independent, once symptoms have settled and function has been restored. This is usually achieved by doing home maintenance exercises. If, however, you respond well to treatment, but get recurring episodes of trouble, then you may need an ongoing maintenance session on a monthly basis.
You should ask your physiotherapist about this.
Please note that these are recommendations for treatment, and un-propper use could cause injury. We are not accountable for injuries attained from the advice given. If serious injuries or conditions are present, seek medical advice immediately.