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Monthly Archives

September 2018

What is Myotherapy

myotherapy

Myotherapy, or Musculoskeletal Therapy, is a method of hands-on exercise therapy to treat musculoskeletal pain and associated conditions such as:

  • Neck and shoulder pain or stiffness
  • Lower back pain and discomfort
  • Hip pain
  • Sports, stress, and work-related tightness.

 

What can I expect

Our Myotherapists have completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Myotherapy) and use varied evidence-based assessment and treatment techniques, which are tailored to each presenting condition. Our Myotherapists’ approach will typically involve an assessment, treatment and re-assessment format, where we will discuss a suggested treatment plan depending on your symptoms, as well as self-management education to ensure a successful outcome.

 

Assessment

Assessment will take a few minutes at the start of the appointment and involves a discussion – listening to your description; discussing your symptoms, as well as any injuries or surgeries that may contribute to them, and how you are affected by them. This will be followed by an assessment of how you are moving, to see where you may be restricted, experiencing discomfort, or lacking stability – this will often involve assessment of nearby joints, muscles and tissues also. Additionally, we will feel the texture and quality of the affected muscles or structures to gain a further understanding of what is causing the symptoms. Taking time to do a thorough, holistic assessment is integral for informing a quality, effective treatment.

 

myotherapy

Treatment

The aim of each myotherapy treatment is to reduce the severity and intensity of your symptoms, help you understand what is happening in your body and why these symptoms have occurred, and to get you feeling and moving better.

 

Our Myotherapists may use a variety of treatment techniques including:

  • deep tissue and pin and stretch massage
  • joint mobilisation
  • neural mobilisation such as flossing
  • trigger point therapy
  • dry needling
  • electro-stimulation dry needling
  • specific stretch techniques such as MET (Muscle Energy Technique) and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation)
  • myofascial techniques, including cupping

 

Myotherapy can be helpful in filling the gap between remedial massage and physiotherapy. If you would like to book an appointment, please contact our friendly admin team on 07 3358 3915.

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Written by Sarah Holloway

Pilates for Neurological conditions

Neurological conditions

Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) disrupt normal neural system function and create significant challenges to movement and day to day functioning. Pilates provides an excellent environment to retrain movement and create new neural pathways.

Parkinson’s Disease and MS are both degenerative conditions, whereas stroke and traumatic brain injury occur due to an injury to the brain. For people with neurological conditions, there is a blockage in normal transmission of neural signals from the brain to the rest of the body. This can be due to the lack of a neurotransmitter (dopamine) as in Parkinson’s, problems with conduction of neural signals due to demyelination of neurons with MS or neural cell death which occurs in stroke and TBI.

Thankfully, the brain has the capacity to learn and build new neural pathways in a phenomenon called neuroplasticity. A nice way to think of it is when there is an accident on the freeway and you need to take a detour through the back streets to reach your destination. Blockages opposing normal movement may involve weakness, spasticity (heightened stretch reflex), rigidity and problems with coordination and motor planning. Treatment and exercise need to be targeted towards each symptom and in a specific order for new neural pathways to develop.

For those with neurological conditions, it is imperative to start treatment and exercise sooner rather than later. It is essential to improve function and strengthen weakened muscles to delay the progression of symptoms. Pilates provides an excellent form of exercise due to the supportive nature and the ability to challenge balance, coordination and strength.

parkinson's disease rehab Neurological conditions

How can The Body Refinery help you?

At The Body Refinery, we believe in commencing your rehabilitation as soon as a diagnosis is made. If you have Parkinson’s or MS and feel like your symptoms are very minimal and not yet giving you great difficulty, we encourage you to start your Pilates journey as early as possible to ensure you are able to keep doing what you love for as long as possible. For Stroke and TBI, the rehabilitation process does not stop once you leave hospital or outpatient rehab, it continues until you are either back to functioning at the pre-injury level or able to do the things you’d like.

All our physiotherapists at The Body Refinery undertake specific training in neurological conditions during their university study. Two of our physiotherapists Luiseach Walsh and Kristen Eales undertook further advanced Pilates training specifically for MS, Parkinson’s Disease and Stroke.

As with all conditions, no one case is the same and everyone presents with a different set of challenges and goals. We, therefore, recommend one on one sessions as well as diligence with a home exercise program set by your physiotherapist to alleviate symptoms and maintain progressions made in the studio. For more information on how The Body Refinery team can help you, please contact our reception team to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.

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Seeing a Women’s Health Physiotherapist after giving birth should be the norm

women’s health physiotherapist

In Australia, seeing a women’s health or pelvic floor physiotherapist isn’t a standard course of recovery. But it should be.  Most women will only see a women’s health physiotherapist if they have obvious symptoms, however, there are good reasons why all women should visit a women’s health physiotherapist at least once after giving birth.

A brief check-up with a midwife or obstetrician six weeks after giving birth isn’t sufficient for postpartum care. Generally, this type of check-up only involves a quick look at the uterus, a few quick questions on depression and how feeding is going.

Most women have some degree of pelvic floor or core muscle dysfunction after giving birth. A brief check-up typically doesn’t allow sufficient time to address all the questions surrounding any issues and the risks involved in not rehabilitating fully. Obstetricians and midwives’ main focus is on pregnancy, the birth and also recovery following the birth, however, they’re main focus doesn’t generally extend to the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor and core muscle control.

 

Childbirth and pregnancy place a huge strain on the body.  

In Pregnancy ligaments become lax, posture changes due to a shift in the centre of mass, and organs are pushed to the side by the rapidly growing uterus. Along with pregnancy, there is also the birth itself.  Regardless of the method of delivery, it involves a baby passing through a relatively small opening or layers of abdominal tissue. After the trauma that is often experienced during pregnancy and birth, returning the mother’s body to normal function and alignment is an important step.

Women place so much pressure on themselves to get back their “pre-baby body” that in many cases this goal is pursued at the expense of their own health, without any awareness of the damage they may be doing… and often under the guidance of a trainer that has no training in postnatal health. Just because a trainer has had a baby, or because a training session is called “mums and bubs” does not mean the trainer knows how to train a postnatal body. Make sure you research your trainer and ensure you have a postnatal check-up with a women’s health physiotherapy prior to exercising. An insufficient postnatal assessment followed by exercise under the guidance of an under-qualified trainer can be dangerous and has the potential to lead to long-term damage.

Your health is important, so make sure you do your research, let your health professional know of any issues you are experiencing, and don’t be afraid to ask your personal trainer, Pilates instructor or physiotherapist what qualifications or formal training they have in postnatal exercise.

Many postmenopausal women present to women’s health physiotherapist with a prolapse that has occurred because they didn’t sufficiently rehabilitate their pelvic floor and core after childbirth, or because they started running too soon after birth.  The body can remain in a postpartum state for around 30 years, so it’s not uncommon for a postmenopausal woman to experience a prolapse after picking up a grandchild or moving some furniture, because their bodies have not returned to full health after childbirth.

 

Postnatal symptoms that may be experienced include, but are not limited to:

  • pelvic pain
  • low back pain>
  • thoracic back pain
  • incontinence (urinary or faecal)
  • increased urinary frequency
  • pain during sex
  • pain sitting
  • pain walking
  • a sensation of heaviness
  • organ prolapse

 

Most of these symptoms are due to a breakdown in pelvic floor function and can be relatively easily treated. If you are postnatal, whether it has been 3 months or 40 years since you gave birth, book yourself in to see a women’s health physiotherapist or a pelvic floor physiotherapist – it could be the answer to any of the symptoms listed above, including the niggling back pain you have been putting up with for years.