Physiotherapy is extremely effective in treating musculoskletal issues. Our team of experts treat many different injuries and musculosksletal conditions, taking the same dynamic approach to benefit everyone.
Here are some of the conditions we treat regularly;
Our physiotherapists are specialists in the care of Low Back Pain and can offer sensible advice and treatment. This will be tailored to your needs and based on the best evidence care. Our physiotherapists will conduct a full and thorough subjective assessment that will include:
- taking a detailed history of your pain,
- details about your medical and family history of back pain
They will then do a physical assessment to see how you move and how your muscles, nerves and joints are functioning. They will discuss with you the options available, and the best treatment programme that fits your needs. This may include a range of options such as:
- a home exercise programme for strength and mobility
- advice on pain management such as analgesia via your GP and / or acupuncture
- manual (hands-on) treatment such as soft tissue mobilisation, joint mobilisation, joint manipulation
Neck pain and whiplash
Our physiotherapists are highly skilled at treating and managing people with neck pain. They may give you hands-on treatment such as manual therapy and acupuncture. Your physio will advise you on suitable exercises and pain relief, as well as tips on how to prevent further problems.
When you see a physio, they will assess your problem and give you advice. They may give you a physical treatment. Everything you tell the physio will be completely confidential.
How can I help myself?
There are exercises that can reduce your neck pain. There are also ways to help prevent it coming back. The right sort of exercise, as advised by a physiotherapist, can make a big difference. Lifestyle changes, such as being more active and improving your posture, may help.
Tips to prevent neck pain
Check your posture, so that you hold yourself comfortably upright
Gently strengthen your neck muscles, to help support your head
Take regular breaks from desk work, driving or any activity where your neck is held in one position
Keep your neck active and mobile to prevent stiffness but avoid bending your neck back though
Practice relaxation if you are prone to stress, to reduce tension across your shoulders and neck
Shoulder injuries are common among athletes such as tennis players, golfers and cricketers who use their arm in their sporting activities. Players of contact sports like ice hockey and rugby are also susceptible to shoulder injuries. This article highlights some of the most common shoulder injuries.
Acromioclavicular joint injury (AC joint injury)
The AC joint is where the clavicle (collarbone) meets the scapula (shoulder blade). This joint can be injured by falling on the shoulder or elbow or onto an outstretched arm. AC joint sprains range from a mild sprain to a complete rupture of all AC ligaments.
Physiotherapy treatment involves acute soft tissue injury managment to help relieve pain and swelling. In only the most severe of sprains, surgical repair may be needed and this is followed by physiotherapy to help regain range of movement, strength and function.
A dislocated shoulder is a very common injury that can occur during contact sports such as football, rugby or judo. Pain accompanies the event and the person has a feeling of the shoulder 'popping out'. An x-ray should always be performed once the dislocation has been reduced to rule out any associated bony injury.
Our team work closely with specilaist orthopaedic surgeons to ensure patients reecieve the apporpriate management including MRI / MRA investigation and surgical repair and stabilisation where appropriate. A return to sport can be
Rotator cuff injury
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that work together to provide stability to the shoulder joint. Athletes such as cricketers and swimmers, whose sports require repetative overhead arm action, can be prone to rotator cuff injury. Often over use injury of the rotator cuff can result in the developemnt of subacromial impingement, either through inflammation of the rotator cuff tendon or sub acromial bursitis.
More severe rotator cuff injury usually involves tears of the rotator cuff tendons (most commonly the supraspinatus tendon). Other common ways to injure the rotator cuff are through falls, motor vehicle accidents and when the person hangs on to something to prevent a fall, all of which can result in tears.
In the most severe cases surgery may be required to repair the tendon, but more often than not conservative physiotherapy management is very effective in treating rotator cuff injuries. Our physiotherapists will perform a thorough assessment to determine the type and extent of your injury and design a treatment and rehabilitation plan accordingly. Occasionally we will recommend a Diagnostic Ultrasound or MRI to determine the extent / severity of the injury
Frozen shoulder (Adhesive capsulitis)
Frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition characterised by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. As the condition worsens, your shoulder's range of motion becomes markedly reduced.
Some patients develop the condition after a traumatic injury to the shoulder such as a motor vehicle accident or following shoulder surgery. Most often, frozen shoulder occurs with no associated injury and can develop unexpectedly. Some risk factors for developing a frozen shoulder include age and gender (middle aged women are the most susceptible), endocrine abnormalities (such as diabetes and thyroid problems), previous longstanding shoulder injury and some genetic conditions such Parkinson's disease.
Most often a frozen shoulder can be diagnosed with a physical examination. Physiotherapy treatment for frozen shoulder primarily consists of symptomatic pain relief which can include acupuncture, manual therapy and exericse. We will give you rehab exercises to help with your range of movement and maintain your strength.
The knee joint is a complex structure of bones, ligaments, muscles, cartilage and the joint capsule. Knee pain is one of the most common sports injuries ranging from Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears to other ligament sprains and patella tendinopathies. Most knee injuries will require physiotherapy and an advanced rehabilitation program - our team are experts in this area.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four main ligaments in the knee. If the ACL is damaged the knee becomes unstable and may feel like it is "giving way". ACL injury can occurs in sports that involve a pivoting (twisting) action of the knee such as rugby, skiing, football, netball, basketball and gymnastics. The injury can occur without contact from another player or may result from an awkward land from a jump, pivoting at the knee or running and stopping suddenly.
Treatment for an ACL injury most often requires surgical reconstruction, however depending on your goals the managemnt can be non-surgical. If surgery is indicated, a pre-surgery physiotherapy prehab program can be implemented to help strengthen the joint and reduce swelling.
Following surgery the physiotherapy rehabilitation programme is extensive, working on a gradual return to full functional activities. As rehabilitation progresses towards the end stage it becomes more advanced and specific related to the athlete’s sport.
Patellar tendinopathy (Jumper’s knee)
Patellar tendinopathy is often referred to as Jumper’s knee because of its high rate of incidence in athletes who performing jumping activities such as volleyball players, lineout jumpers in rugby, basketball players and netball players. It is a degenerative condition that can affect the patellar tendon. Signs and symptoms of patellar tendinopathy include pain at the front of the knee which is aggravated by jumping, running or squatting.
Patellar tendinopathy can be difficult to overcome. At our Cardiff Tendon Pain clinic, we provide an accurate diagnosis which will guide personalised treatments and rehabilitation programs, driven by clinical evidence and our own experience in the field of elite sports medicine. Our Specialist team have extensive experience working with recreational and elite athletes with tendon injuries. All therapeuatic treatments and rehabilitation programs are performed in our Cardiff clinic, utilising the latest and best technology and treatments.
Ankle Ligament Sprain
The most common type of ankle injury is a ligament sprain which can occur when the ankle rolls so that the sole of the foot faces inwards. This is called an inversion sprain, it involves the lateral ligaments of the ankle and is one of the most common injuries we treat as physiotherapists.
It is important to get a professional diagnosis with every ankle sprain, since there may be damage to tendons, bones and other joint tissues in addition to the ligaments. Quite often associated fractures of the ankle bones are missed when an ankle is sprained therefore x-rays are highly recommended. Ankle sprains occur most often with sport where there is a quick change in direction or if the person lands on someone else’s feet or on an uneven surface after a jump such as rugby, netball or basketball.
Physiotherapy can help with pain management and treatment of the injury to restore your function. Once the swelling and pain are under control, proprioception and strengthening exercises can begin. Physiotherapy treatment will also involve passive joint mobilisation to regain full range of movement and specific functional exercises to help you return to and return to work or sport.
Achilles tendinopathy / tendonitis
Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the Achilles tendon that joins your heel bone to your calf muscles. There are a number of things that may lead the development of Achilles tendinopathy. Such as;
- Overuse of the Achilles tendon. This can be a problem for people who run regularly. (Achilles tendinopathy can also be a problem for dancers and for people who play a lot of running sports such as rugby or football or other sports that involve jumping.)
- Training or exercising wearing inappropriate footwear.
- Having poor training or exercising techniques - for example, a poor running technique or calf weakness.
- Making a change to your training programme - for example, rapidly increasing the intensity of your training and how often you train.
Achilles tendinopathy is also more common in people who have certain types of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis. It is also more common in people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. People who are taking medicines from a group called fluoroquinolones (for example, the antibiotics ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin) also have an increased risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy.
Do I need any investigations?
Your physiotherapist will usually diagnose Achilles tendinopathy because of your typical symptoms and from examining your Achilles tendon. However, the gold standard for diagnisis is an ultrasound scan or an MRI scan. This may sometimes be suggested by our specialist physiotherapy team if the diagnosis is not clear.
On exmainsation your physio may feel for swelling or tenderness of the tendon. They may also ask you to do some exercises to put some stress on your Achilles tendon. Your physiotherapist may also do some physical tests to make sure that there are no signs that you have torn or ruptured your Achilles tendon (For example, squeezing your calf muscles and looking at how your foot moves).
At our Tendon Pain clinic, we provide an accurate diagnosis which will guide personalised treatments and rehabilitation programs, driven by clinical evidence and our own experience in the field of elite sports medicine. Our Specialist team have extensive experience working with recreational and elite athletes with tendon injuries. All therapeuatic treatments and rehabilitation programs are performed in our Cardiff clinic, utilising the latest and best technology and treatments.