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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 West Coast 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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Cervical spine pain and disability is one of the commonest problems for which people consult a physiotherapist. The first part of the examination is to find out the cause of onset of the pain and how it has behaved since then. The cause of the pain is clear in about half of all cases but the rest can give no good idea why the pain came on. Where the pain is and how it behaves gives indications to the physio about where the underlying pathology might be found and what treatment approach might be
The first investigation of the physiotherapist will be into the location and kind of pain. It is vital to understand if the pain is specific to one spot or whether it also affects other parts of the body. For example, if the pain is intense and specific the physiotherapist would surmise that the cause may be poor posture or a kind of degenerative problem; on the other hand, a referred pain may suggest a pinched nerve or a problem elsewhere.
Because neck pain could be an indicator of various pathologies the physio will ask all the special questions such as general health, past medical history, weight loss, bladder and bowel control, quality of appetite and sleep and medication usage. The objective examination begins by getting the patient to take their upper body clothes off and looking at the posture of the trunk, neck, shoulders and arms. A humped thoracic spine with rounded shoulders and a poking chin are a common postural abnormality which can lead to pain.
Cervical ranges of movement are tested to elicit important information about what is going on in the neck. The response to movement testing will help the physio understand the kind of neck pain problem and how to start treating it. Cervical rotation, flexion, extension, side flexion and retraction are all assessed to try to pinpoint the problem. Muscle strength, sensation and reflexes are tested to ascertain that the nerve conduction to the arms is working well.
Manual therapists such as physiotherapists learn mobilization techniques and to assess the spinal joints manual palpation of the cervical spine is used. Using their thumbs or the heel of the hand, the physio presses down on the spinal processes or side joints of the cervical spine. This allows some specific conclusions to be drawn when the pain symptoms come on at one particular spinal level and not another. Treatment will be aimed at these levels.
Mobilization techniques are a core manual skill for physiotherapists and abnormal joint mechanics, known as dysfunctions, can be identified by palpation of the main spinal and facet joints by the physio. Treatment can use repetitive small movements to relieve pain an encourage normal motion, to more forceful manipulations which take the joints beyond their typical ranges and restore movement. Any increases in movement gained by treatment is maintained by home exercises.
Typical physio treatments are exercise programmes, nerve mobilizing techniques, correction of poor posture, pacing technique, trunk segmental mobilization and strengthening of the deep flexor muscles of the cervical spine. Nerve root compression of a cervical nerve root can cause severe arm pain, loss of sleep and distress from a cervical slipped disc. Cervical traction can decrease the pressure on the affected segment and reduce pain enough to allow recovery to start, either by physio treatment or autotraction from a home traction kit.
A comforting way to achieve self myofascial release is to use a foam roller. Being constructed from synthetic foam rubber this physio roller has become a popular self massage tool. In fact, these soft rollers are quickly becoming the number one way to get a thorough massage without leaving the comfort of home.
Using the foam roller myofascial release technique easily relieves pain and tension by stretching the tendons and muscles in the body. Using this roller has more benefits than giving a deep tissue massage. When using a myofascial release tool the blood flow is increased to the tissues and trigger points are relieved as well.
Self myofascial release foam rollers happen to be one of the easiest home remedies available for a stiff and sore body. Using the roller correctly may take some practice, but is well worth the time spent. By learning how to use this tool properly an individual can easily treat pain and stiffness within a few minutes of their time.
The best way to use this massage tool is to find an open space that allows room for movement. A foam roller uses the weight of the body to create the type of pressure that will provide a deep tissue massage. This pressure aids in relieving the tightness of fascia while easing the tenseness of tightened muscles.
The human body has soft connective tissue known as fascia, this tissue basically connects all of the muscles together. Located directly under the skin, fascia can easily become stiff and uncooperative through excessive movement, lack of movement, and injuries. A foam roller gently works this connective tissue and releases the tightness as the body places pressure upon this massage tool and rolls upon it.
This phenomenal tool works when an individual asserts the correct amount of pressure upon it and rolls the body on it. It is beneficial and advised to often switch positions so that an entire muscle can be worked out. When using the roller on the legs and butt an individual needs to place the roller under the soft portion of the buttocks and roll gently back and forth.
For working the quad muscles an individual needs to lay upon the roller and use their hands for balancing the body.The rolling motion for this set of muscles should start at the hip and end in the knee area. As with all exercise equipment it is wise to seek medical approval before using the foam roller. Upon approval, the first sessions of self myofascial release should be kept short to prevent injury. Plenty of water should be consumed beforehand for proper hydration and maximum results.