At your initial appointment, you will be asked a number of questions so that your physiotherapist can collect a detailed history of your symptoms. They will also need to perform a physical examination based on the history you’ve provided. Please wear comfortable clothing which allows the physiotherapist to see the affected areas of your body. Once the assessment has provided a diagnosis for your symptoms, you will receive treatment and a rehabilitation programme based on the current research evidence for your condition. Your diagnosis, treatment options and management plan will be explained to you in understandable terms and you will be involved in the decision making at every step of the process. You'll then decide, in collaboration with your physiotherapist, what the most appropriate timeframe should be before your next follow-up appointment. We allow plenty of time between appointments in our clinics and initial appointments can last up to 60 minutes.
Follow-up appointments allow you to feedback to your physiotherapist about any changes in your symptoms since the initial assessment. It also gives you the opportunity to ask any further questions that you have and allows you to reflect on the impact and challenges of your rehabilitation so far. Your physiotherapist will then suggest a plan for the session, which may include some treatment and will most certainly involve progression of your rehabilitation and exercise program. Each follow-up appointment will provide the opportunity to adjust your rehabilitation plan, taking you one step closer to your exercise goals at each stage. Follow-up appointments can last from 45 minutes to an hour.
Along-side advice and education about your symptoms and your body, your Spires Physiotherapist will provide you with a tailored rehabilitation programme to match your functional goals. Your exercises will be based on the outcome of your assessment and will work towards achieving your individual aims. For example, recovering from an ankle injury involves very different exercises if you’re a cyclist compared to if you’re a dancer. The aim of rehabilitation isn’t just to get you back to pre-injury function, but to get you performing better than you were before your injury in order to prevent recurrence of your symptoms and improve your sporting performance. At Spires Physiotherapy, we use Physitrack video exercises which can be viewed online via an account set-up for you by your physiotherapist. Your exercise program can also be viewed on the Physitrack PhysiApp on your smartphone. We can also send you a PDF copy of your program if this is preferred.
Whether you are recovering from a fracture, muscle tear, ligament sprain or a tendon injury, you are likely to need to build some strength during your rehabilitation process. Most injuries require a period of rest, which ultimately leads to deconditioning and weakness. At Spires Physiotherapy, all of our physiotherapists are experts in strength and conditioning principles and stay up to date with emerging evidence. We also use handheld dynamometers to objectively measure your strength in the clinic in order to assess your strength levels at the initial assessment and track your strength gains as you recover.
Manual therapy techniques, such as deep soft tissue massage and joint manipulation, can help reduce pain and aide recovery from injury. Gone are the days when therapists tell you that manual therapy breaks down scar tissue or moves toxins (whatever they are!) around the body as scientific research evidence refutes this. Manual therapy is provided at Spires Physiotherapy as an adjunct to your rehabilitation and all our therapists are qualified in sports massage and Swedish massage. Electrotherapy such as ultrasound has been shown to be ineffective in the treatment of muscular and skeletal conditions and is not used at our clinics.
Back pain is a very common disorder that will affect almost everyone at some point in their lives. It is a leading cause of disability and sickness absence from work. Most episodes of back pain will subside with gentle movement and a course of treatment. Some people, however, suffer from chronic or recurring back pain which requires a tailored management plan and graded rehabilitation based on the individual, their body and their goals. There are many different causes of back pain, more common causes include facet joint dysfunction, intervertebral disc disease, muscle strains and ligament sprains. Fact: 50% of rowers experience an episode of back pain during the course of a season. Issues in the low back can cause symptoms in one or both legs, this is often due to an irritation of the nerves which run from the lower spine down into the legs which, if it affects the back of the legs, is usually described as Sciatica.
The technological revolution has seen a rise in the number of people experiencing episodes of neck pain, giving rise to the term “Tech Neck”. Extended time sat in front of a computer screen takes its toll on the body, particularly the postural muscles of the upper spine. On top of this, repetitive movements of the neck to one side can irritate joints and fatigue muscles. As with back pain, the causes of neck pain are many and a thorough examination is imperative to finding out the cause of your pain and getting you on the path to recovery. Whiplash Disorder is an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of force to the neck. It’s often caused by a road traffic accident but also affects many contact sports players such as rugby and American football players.
The bane of many runners’ lives, knee pain is often caused by repetitive strain. It’s often predicated by a lack of strength or stability in the hip, knee or foot and often comes on gradually. The location of your symptoms usually depends on the structures involved. For example, pain in the front of the knee is often a result of stress on the patello-femoral joint (knee cap), whereas pain on the outside of the knee usually correlates to issues with the Illio-tibial band. However, it’s not always that straight forward and a detailed assessment with a physiotherapist is strongly advised if you’re experiencing pain in your knee.
Often described as the most complex joint in the human body, the shoulder is actually made up of four joints: The gleno-humeral joint, acromio-clavicular joint, scapula-thoracic joint and sterno-clavicular joint. The joints of the shoulder are held together by strong ligaments and many different muscles, most notably, the Rotator Cuff. The Rotator Cuff is a group of four muscles which form a claw-like structure on the top of the arm, holding it in the socket of the shoulder and providing stability when you move your arm. Many shoulder issues are caused, or certainly exacerbated, by dysfunction of the rotator cuff muscles. To complicate matters, an intricate network of nerves and blood vessels supplying the arm and hand runs through the shoulder joint which must be carefully considered during a shoulder assessment.
Elbow pain is often caused by repetitive use during work, when doing DIY or when playing sports. A common cause of elbow pain is inflammation and irritation of the bony area on the outside of the elbow, often called "Tennis Elbow". This can be pretty debilitating for anyone and can develop into continuous pain and an inability to grip objects or move the wrist without pain. Even if you're sure you have Tennis Elbow, it's important to have this confirmed by a physiotherapist following a thorough assessment. They will then be able to advise you on how to gain control of your symptoms, recover well, and return to your sport or work without pain.
Pain is usually caused by stress or damage to a structure in the body. However, sometimes pain can continue after an injury has healed and the structures have been restored to a healthy state. Chronic pain is considered when symptoms last longer than 3 months and is multi-factorial in nature. It is complex, often misunderstood and can be extremely frustrating to experience. The body’s natural response to pain can sometimes cause chronic symptoms through immobility, weakness and adaptations in the nervous system. As with the pain associated with recovery from an injury, physiotherapists are well equipped to help you manage your chronic pain and help you restore function and quality of life.
Fractures can occur in any bone due to sudden trauma or repeated stress. Most will recover naturally and repair well - in fact, most healed fracture sites are stronger than before the injury. However, some fractures require surgical re-alignment and fixation in order for them to heal in the right position. Either way, you're likely to have to rest after a fracture which is ultimately going to cause weakness and often stiffness in the area. Therefore, it's important that anyone with a confirmed fracture is assessed by a physiotherapist who can devise a tailored rehabilitation program to ensure a successful return to full function and exercise is made. At Spires Physiotherapy, we objectively measure range of motion and strength using force dynamometers to ensure that we can track your improvement accurately.