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Physios are able to help with a wide range of ailments and physical problems. There are four main areas that they work on: musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory. Musculoskeletal refers to the bones, joints and soft tissue in the body. Neuromuscular is the brain and the nervous system, cardiovascular is the heart and blood circulation, and respiratory refers to any part of the body which are used to help you to breathe, such as the windpipe and lungs. Some physio clinics in Katong are able to help in these areas:
• Mental health
• Intensive care
• Long-term conditions
• Orthopaedics and trauma
• Workplace health
• Elderly care
• Education and health care promotion
• Womens problems
Once the physiotherapist has seen the effects of repeated movements on your pain picture and tested the neurological status of your affected body part they will have a more detailed idea of which structures need more detailed examination to clarify the exact nature of the problem. It is time for the individual muscles, joints and ligaments to be stressed to assess their reaction and add to the understanding of what is going on. The physio may just feel and grip the area firmly first to get an idea of the state of the tissues. Are they very sensitive? Is there muscle spasm, thickened tissues, or pain?
During your physiotherapy session the therapist will often put you on your side and move your spine backwards and forwards as they feel the movement occurring between the individual spinal levels. After this you may be placed on your front as the physiotherapist palpates (prods and pokes) your spinal levels with varying degrees of force but often quite firmly to see if any particular level reacts by bringing on the pain you normally complain of. All the tests for pain in your neck, back, elbow, knee or ankles will help diagnose the issue.
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Golfer's elbow, more technically called medial epicondylitis, is a similar type of condition to tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, but is less common. Since there is little or no inflammation present in these syndromes, they are known as tendinopathies, where degeneration of the tendon occurs and gives symptoms. Typical aggravating factors are racquet sports, golf and sports which involve throwing, although other sports people may be affected such as weight lifters, archers and cricket bowlers.
The muscles which flex and rotate the forearm originate over the medial epicondyle, the bony prominence on the inside of the elbow, with the tendon anchored into the bone by the tendinous insertion. The pain occurs close to this and may be due to a degenerative process occurring in the tendon, as little inflammation has been noted in these cases.
High stresses occur in the cocking phase of a throw and during the subsequent acceleration, and in the golf swing from high backswing down to near the ball strike. Golfers are more likely to have their dominant hand affected and tennis players who use heavy topspin in their forehands are also more at risk.
Golfer's elbow is not as common as tennis elbow but is the commonest cause of medial elbow pain with about half as many women affected as men. The third to fifth decades of life are the commonest periods for pain onset and 60% of golfer's elbow occurs in the dominant hand. An acute onset of pain is reported in a third of patients, with the other two-thirds developing over a period of time.
Patients complain of aching pain over the front of the inner epicondyle, worse with repeated wrist flexion and better with rest. Pain can occur in the shoulder, elbow, forearm or hand, with weakness in the lower arm and hand also. The physiotherapist will examine the bony areas and joints of the elbow, check the muscles and their tendinous insertions. The physio palpates the ulnar nerve in the groove behind the elbow, called the "funny bone" when it's hit. The nerve can give pins and needles or weakness in the forearm and a neurological examination excludes other causes of pain or weakness.
The main treatment of golfer's elbow is conservative, including anti-inflammatories, wrist and forearm splinting, corticosteroid injection and physiotherapy. Modifying the provoking activity is a first line of management, making patient education about the condition and the eliciting factors vital. An example is modifying the golf swing mechanics to avoid setting the problem off continually. The patient is taught to avoid aggravating positions and activities, such as leaning on the elbow if there is nerve involvement.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used in the initial acute phase to reduce pain and inflammation along with avoiding painful movements, use of ice, gentle stretches, friction massage and ultrasound. As the problem settles and becomes sub acute the aims change to improving flexibility by stretching, increasing strength and normal activities. A forearm brace may also be used or a wrist brace to rest the wrist muscles. Once the problem is chronic the programme continues with reduced use of the splint and re-introduction of sporting activities.
Scientific work shows that steroid injections can be useful in the early stages of golfer's elbow to reduce pain and the time to recovery, but they are also used in chronic situations. There is no evidence that shockwave or laser therapy has any effectiveness and surgery is contemplated when a significant period of physiotherapy has been attempted without success. The surgeon removes the abnormal tendinous tissue and if the ulnar nerve is involved may move it around to the front of the elbow from its posterior groove.
Correction of sporting technique, such as the golf swing, is best achieved by engaging a professional instructor who can also advise on stretches, fitness work and muscle strengthening. Athletes should warm up well before sport and stretch effectively afterwards, choosing good technique and selection of appropriate equipment. Doctors and therapists may need to monitor patients, especially athletes, very carefully as they tend to continue to perform through the pain.
Physiotherapy, many people have discovered, is great when it comes to healing or managing a variety of bodily aches and pains. Increasingly more athletes are also using the services of sports physiotherapists nowadays. Given the rise in the number of appearances sports stars have to make these days, as well as the tough competition, many succumb to injuries often. Here are some benefits to be derived from seeing a physiotherapist specializing in dealing with sports injuries.
First of all, these are individuals highly knowledgeable and skilled as far as the body in motion is concerned. Anyone that's physically active on a daily basis increases the chances of picking up injuries, even if it's the odd twisted ankle or pulled hamstring. So, seeing such a professional is apt to help sports people especially adopt lifestyles that are healthier, given the new awareness of posture and movement.
These specialist physical therapists are ideal to assist coaches and trainers in taking care of athletes. The expertise of the body's mechanics as it involves movement is something coaching staff would do well to make use of. So, aside from helping to manage injuries, information on how to leverage gravity and posture in improving performance and staying injury-free are priceless.
These are also the best people to consult with on how to avoid bodily injuries. Sometimes the wrong approach to warm-up exercises contributes to the pulling of ligaments and bruising of muscles during training or performance. Consulting a sports physiotherapist for advice about such routines might help to avoid such incidences.
It's advisable to make an appointment with these individuals prior to picking up an injury. It is perfectly legitimate and wise to go for such consultation, without having to wait for a painful body to justify a visit. This is an excellent way to stay injury-free.
Everyone, no matter what age, that's physically active stands to benefit from these visits. Coaches and trainers of various sporting codes would do well to call on the expertise of these professionals from time to time. The fresh and new perspectives physical therapists bring to the job are likely to benefit everyone involved.
Being proactive about steering clear of actions that might contribute to bodily harm is a wise approach to adopt. At times one might be troubled by injuries from the past, and wouldn't know where it comes from or where exactly the trouble is internally located. Some of the people best able to offer expert diagnosis and advice in such cases would be sports physiotherapists.
Developments in the field are taking place rapidly, and the findings of new research are added to existing expertise. This in turn benefits the daily practice, as well as the clients coming for consultation. The best thing any physically active person can do is to make an appointment to see a sports physiotherapist as soon as possible. There is much to be learned about how best to take care of the body and draw benefit from the power of its movements.