Physio

Dry Needling and Acupuncture

Dry Needling and Acupuncture

Dry Needling and Acupuncture 300 240 Ace Health Centre

Dry Needling and Acupuncture: Understanding Two Ancient Healing Techniques

Dry needling and acupuncture are two distinct therapeutic techniques that involve the use of fine needles for various health benefits. While they share some similarities, they differ in their underlying principles, applications, and the healthcare professionals who administer them.

Dry Needling

How Dry Needling Works:

1. **Targeting Trigger Points:** Dry needling is a modern therapy primarily used by physical therapists, chiropractors, and some medical doctors. It focuses on relieving muscular pain and dysfunction. Practitioners insert thin, sterile needles directly into myofascial trigger points, which are knots or tight bands of muscle fibers.

2. **Release of Muscle Tension:** The insertion of the needle into a trigger point can cause a local twitch response, a brief involuntary muscle contraction. This twitch response helps release muscle tension and improve blood circulation in the affected area.

3. **Pain Reduction:** Dry needling stimulates the nervous system, promoting the release of endorphins and other natural pain-relieving substances. This can reduce pain perception in the treated area.

Who Can Benefit from Dry Needling

Dry needling is particularly beneficial for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions such as:

**Muscle Knots and Tension:** It is effective in relieving muscle knots and tension, making it a valuable tool for athletes and individuals with chronic pain.

**Myofascial Pain Syndrome:** Dry needling is often used to address myofascial pain syndrome, a condition characterized by trigger points and muscle pain.

**Post-Surgery Rehabilitation:** Some patients use dry needling as part of their rehabilitation process to improve muscle function and reduce pain after surgery.

Acupuncture

How Acupuncture Works:

1. **Balancing Energy Flow:** Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing technique based on the concept of balancing the body’s vital energy, known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). It is administered by licensed acupuncturists who follow traditional Chinese medicine principles.

2. **Meridian Stimulation:** Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles at specific points along energy pathways, or meridians, in the body. The goal is to unblock any energy disruptions and restore the flow of Qi.

3. **Pain Management:** Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters, which can help reduce pain and improve overall well-being.

Who Can Benefit from Acupuncture

Acupuncture is known for its holistic approach to health and can be beneficial for a wide range of conditions, including:

**Pain Management:** Acupuncture is often used to manage various types of pain, including chronic pain conditions like arthritis and migraines.

**Stress and Anxiety:** It can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and balancing the body’s energy.

**Digestive Disorders:** Acupuncture may be used to address digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and nausea.

**Fertility and Women’s Health:** Some individuals seek acupuncture to support fertility and address women’s health concerns like menstrual irregularities.

Conclusion

While both dry needling and acupuncture involve the use of needles, they have distinct purposes and principles. Dry needling is primarily focused on relieving musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, often administered by physical therapists or chiropractors. In contrast, acupuncture is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, aiming to balance the body’s energy and address a wide range of physical and emotional issues, typically administered by licensed acupuncturists. The choice between these therapies depends on an individual’s specific health needs and preferences. Consulting with a qualified healthcare professional is essential to determine which approach is most suitable for one’s condition.

Book in with our physios now to see if we can help you using Dry Needling and Acupuncture

Physiotherapy in the offseason

Physiotherapy in the offseason

Physiotherapy in the offseason 1125 1034 Ace Health Centre

Physiotherapy in the offseason

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the sport’s offseason, offering athletes a structured period of rehabilitation, recovery, and preparation for the upcoming season.

Here are several key reasons highlighting the importance of physiotherapy during this downtime:

1. **Injury Rehabilitation:** Athletes often carry injuries or nagging conditions from the previous season into the offseason. Physiotherapy provides a dedicated period for comprehensive rehabilitation, ensuring injuries are fully healed and strengthening the affected areas. This sets the foundation for a healthy start to the next season.

2. **Restoration of Function:** Athletes can use the offseason to focus on restoring full functional capacity. Physiotherapists design customized exercise programs to regain strength, mobility, and flexibility, enabling athletes to return to peak performance.

3. **Preventative Care:** The offseason is an ideal time to address underlying issues that may have contributed to injuries during the previous season. Physiotherapists can identify and correct musculoskeletal imbalances, posture problems, or overuse issues to reduce the risk of future injuries.

4. **Conditioning and Strength Training:** Physiotherapists work with athletes to develop strength and conditioning programs tailored to their specific sport. This ensures that athletes build the necessary physical foundation to excel when the competitive season resumes.

5. **Pain Management:** Athletes dealing with chronic pain or discomfort benefit from ongoing pain management strategies during the offseason. Physiotherapy includes modalities such as manual therapy, electrotherapy, and therapeutic exercises to alleviate pain and improve overall comfort.

6. **Recovery from Surgery:** Athletes who underwent surgery during the season can use the offseason for post-operative rehabilitation. Physiotherapists guide them through a structured recovery process, helping them regain strength and function after surgical procedures.

7. **Performance Enhancement:** Athletes and their physiotherapists collaborate to enhance performance. Through specialized exercises, functional assessments, and biomechanical analysis, physiotherapy can improve an athlete’s technique and efficiency, leading to better results on the field.

8. **Mental Health Support:** The offseason can be mentally challenging for athletes, as they transition from intense competition to a less demanding period. Physiotherapists often serve as a source of emotional support and motivation, helping athletes stay positive and focused on their long-term goals.

9. **Education and Injury Prevention:** Physiotherapists educate athletes on injury prevention techniques, proper warm-up and cool-down routines, and effective self-care strategies. This knowledge empowers athletes to take an active role in safeguarding their health and minimizing the risk of injuries.

10. **Return-to-Sport Assessment:** Before athletes transition back into full training and competition, physiotherapists conduct thorough assessments to ensure they are physically ready. These assessments help minimize the risk of re-injury and ensure that athletes are at their best when the season begins.

Conclusion

In conclusion, physiotherapy in the sports offseason is not only important but often essential for athletes’ long-term success and well-being. It offers a strategic period for injury recovery, rehabilitation, strength conditioning, and performance enhancement. By collaborating with physiotherapists, athletes can optimize their physical health and prepare themselves for the rigorous demands of the upcoming competitive season.

Book in with our physio’s today to get your offseason programme.

Lumbar Range of Motion 

Lumbar Range of Motion 

Lumbar Range of Motion  1200 600 Ace Health Centre

Lumbar Range of Motion

While some patients might be in a lot of pain and hesitant to move their back, having a patient move to assess the Lumbar Range of Motion is crucial to a physiotherapist. Normal amounts are –

  • Flexion (73-40 degrees) declines noted with age.
  • Lateral flexion (28-14 degrees, L&R) declined with age.
  • The extension (29-6 degrees) declined the greatest at 79% with age.
  • No decline in axial rotational (7%) way across the age spectrum.

The range of motion for the lumbar spine should be symmetrical on either side. When examining a patient’s lumbar range of motion we are not just checking if they have adequate motion, but also to make sure that range is symmetrical. A person’s range will also be dependent of the activities that they partake in. For example, somebody who just does general walking will need less range than a person who plays tennis. Therefore each patient should be assessed as an individual and not just what the textbook says is normal.

What does it Involve?

Firstly, a physiotherapist will take a good history. When diagnosing an injury, taking a complete history is one of the most important parts. Information is taken regarding their pain, pain patterns, mechanism of injury

if it has occurred in the past and if it has, what helped them, what helps to decrease the pain and what makes it worse.

The physio will then move on to the assessment. Your spine is made to move, therefore the therapist will ask the patient to bend and flex into certain key positions. They will be looking at how much movement is available in each spinal joint. They will look at what compensations you may have if one area is not moving as it should. Lastly and most importantly, how the patient feels throughout. This includes when they get pain, how much pain, and the type of pain.

Why a Lumbar Range of Motion needs to be done?

Knowing the type of pain and where the pain is throughout the assessment allows the physiotherapist to determine potential sources or causes of the patient’s pain. From just listening to what the patient says and observing how they move they can differentiate whether the injury is likely disc, bone, joint, neural or muscular in nature.

What next?

Once the history has been taken, and the range of motion assessment is complete, your physio will then develop a diagnosis and a treatment plan. This may include anything from massage, needling, shockwave, exercise, scans and more.

If you have a spine injury contact us today to book in with one of our physios.

Blog is written by our physio Lachlan.

online exercise prescription

Online exercise prescription

Online exercise prescription 1920 1009 Ace Health Centre

Online exercise prescription

One of the biggest factors to consider regarding patient rehabilitation and positive outcomes is exercise adherence. Patients no matter the condition are likely to get some form of home exercise program to continue progressing at home. It is reported as high as 50% of patients do not complete their exercise prescribed by the therapist thus limiting their rehabilitation. Often barriers to exercise adherence include lack to time, lack of understanding of exercises, forgetting how to complete the exercise or the prescription regarding sets and repetitions.

So what do we do to combat this?

We use an application called Physitrack for our online exercise prescription. Physitrack allows clinicians to prescribe individualised home exercise programs. Physitrack has multiple user-friendly features including demonstration videos with audible cues for the exercise, allowing the therapist to easily alter the repetitions, sets and resistance for each activity as well as a section for the clinician to add any specific notes for cues they want their patient to remember.

During the consult, we sit down with our clients and educate them on how to download pysitrack and view their program. We also print out the program for our patients which documents, the exercises, exercise explanations, the repetitions and more. We can also put individual notes from the physio to make sure you have everything written down and easy to understand. All these features make exercise adherence easier for the patient thus helping the patient stay on track for a speedy recovery.

Our podiatrist also uses this programme in order to give his exercise programmes. Each clinician can log in and view each person’s programme making it easier to work between practitioners and modalities. This communication between practitioners leads to much better client care.

Online consults

The use of this application also means that we can do online telehealth consultations. Over the phone, we can simply email your exercise programme to you, and know that you will have all the details you need to perform it correctly.

Book now to see our physio

Shock Wave therapy

Shock Wave therapy

Shock Wave therapy 750 502 Ace Health Centre

Shock Wave therapy

Shock wave therapy (otherwise known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy – ESWT) is a modality of treatment whereas a machine passes sound waves through the tissues in the body to promote healing. Similar to ultrasound but at a lower frequency which causes the “shocks to be felt”. This process is a non-invasive technique that is suggested to promote the formation of new blood vessels at the tendon-bone junction, stimulate tendon cells (tenocytes), increase white blood cell count and amplify growth factor and protein synthesis to promote collagen synthesis and tissue remodelling. 

How does Shock Wave feel?

This can be a tender process due to targeting sore areas of the body but the intensity of shock waves can be adjusted by the operator, to the tolerance of the individual. This allows the process to be more enjoyable without much effect to the treatment. 

What is it used for?

Shock wave therapy is primarily used in the treatment of common orthopaedic musculoskeletal conditions. These include;

  • Muscle tendinopathies of the upper or lower limb
  • Plantar fasciitis 
  • Adhesive capsulitis 
  • Non-union of long bone fractures
  • Avascular necrosis of femoral head
  • Shin splints (Medial tibial stress syndrome)
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee 

Most of the time Shock wave is best used in combination with other treatment modalities such as exercise to promote the strengthening of the tissues during the remodelling phase after new blood vessel growth and collagen synthesis. Hands-on physio massage can also help release the tight aggravated muscles to help relieve even more pain. 

So if you have had that niggly or ongoing injury that just won’t go away, then Shock wave might be the treatment for you! Best to book in with our physio or podiatrist today and start the assessment process to determine the best fit for your condition. 

Chronic / Persistent Pain

Chronic / Persistent Pain

Chronic / Persistent Pain 1000 700 Ace Health Centre

Chronic/Persistent Pain

What is chronic/persistent pain?

Why is it that some pains last much longer than we expect them to? And why is it that if we have had a similar pain in the past which went away quickly is sticking around longer this time around? If we use the example of a muscle strain which we typically see muscle strains recovering in as little as 4-6 weeks, but when it lasts for 3-6 months why does it still hurt? Or why is it that when talking to two different people about their knee osteoarthritis, one has pain and limited with their activities while the other is reporting no pain and has no limitations?

Why is my pain lasting so long?

The short answer is there are numerous factors playing a role into how we experience pain and how long it can last. The longer answer is that our body/brain are very smart and very protective to keep us functioning. The brain and body use a lot of pathways to communicate to decide on the appropriate response to a stimulus (injury or event). The brain doesn’t want to waste time processing everything that happens to us so it creates shortcuts and calls on old memories, or things we’ve seen, how people have reacted to similar situations, or our expectations, stress levels, mental health, and mood. With this being said the brain decides to react to the stimulus or decides its not important enough to react.

So what does this mean?

In a sense this means that an injury that has caused pain and has recovered, may continue to persist due to our experiences and an ongoing fear avoidance to prevent ongoing pain. As we continue to build into that fear avoidance the body becomes more sensitive to pain and more restricted leading to longer recovery times. This is not to say that you should push through pain either though as that can also increase the bodies sensitivity. Discussing with a physiotherapist can help you find the right track back to your usual activities with graded exposure.There are also a few interesting cases out there that will further show how interesting the body is in reacting to different stimuli.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/pain-explained/201911/tale-two-nails

And if you prefer TED talks instead of reading you can google “why things hurt” with Lorimer Moseley

Or contact us today to see how our physios can help you with pain management. 

The Importance of Exercise

The Importance of Exercise

The Importance of Exercise 800 864 Ace Health Centre

The Importance of Exercise

 

Why exercise?

Exercise has so many benefits which go beyond just being able to lift heavier weights. Exercise has been shown to benefit mental health, energy levels, weight management, injury prevention, decrease falls risk, decrease mortality, decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, increase muscle and bone health, reduce in risk of chronic health conditions, and can even help decrease the risk of some cancers.

 

What if I don’t like going to the gym?

We typically think of exercise as going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. However, exercise can mean different things to different people. Exercise should be something you enjoy or doing something with a group of friends to make it more enjoyable. Exercise can be as simple as going for a daily walk, swimming laps in the pool, riding a bike, surfing, and of course, going to a gym. What if you don’t like the gym environment but like the idea of using weights or other gym equipment? There are plenty of ways to build up a home gym with weights and equipment if you have the space, or you can join an exercise class with others to help make it a more social event throughout the week. The important thing is that you continue to ask your body to move within your limits and gradually increase the challenge as you see fit.

How should I get started?

Finding something you will enjoy should be the main thing and something that you will want to do. A few ideas include getting 8,000-10,000 steps a day if you enjoy walking. If you do enjoy some weight lifting try to incorporate 2-4x/week to help increase muscle strength and bone health. If you find compliance difficult, start small with 10min a day and increase gradually as you make it part of your daily and weekly routine. Other tips could be after work try changing into exercise clothes so you build a habit of getting ready for exercise. You can even tell a friend or family member that if you don’t meet your exercise goal for the week you owe them a prize ($100, dinner out, picking up a house chore for them). If you’re starting small that’s great, the important part is that you’ve started. If you already do some exercise but are not sure if it’s enough, you should be trying to perform at least 150min/week of moderate-intensity exercise.

So whether you’re there already or getting there, keep up the good work and remember to continue building a habit that is sustainable so that you can enjoy more of life. And remember you can’t go wrong getting strong. Contact us today to help us prepare an exercise programme. 

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injury

Rotator cuff injury 1500 750 Ace Health Centre

Rotator cuff injury

Have you ever experienced continuing shoulder pain in the upper arm/shoulder blade? It’s more than likely related to rotator cuff injury/weakness

But what is a rotator cuff injury?

The Rotator cuff is a group of 3 muscles that help stabilise and move the shoulder. The rotator cuff is a commonly injured area resulting in tear, Tendinopathy or bursitis.

#Tear is an acute episode of overstretching the tissues until they are damaged. These injuries typically cause intense and immediate pain. Usually occurs with some sort of traumatic mechanism car accident, fall onto the shoulder, lifting heavy items etc.

#Tendinopathy is an injury caused by chronic overuse. Repetitive strain is placed on the muscles with not enough recovery time in-between. This causes the muscle to become inflamed and poor in integrity.

#Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa that helps protect structures in the shoulder (like a cushion). This can be acute or chronic. This is caused by the shoulder being too unstable, usually from rotator cuff injury/weakness.

Although the rotator cuff has individual actions its main role is shoulder stability.

The shoulder joint itself is a ball and socket joint, but with one large ball (arm) and one small socket (shoulder blade). This allows for a great range of motion but poor stability of the joint (can pop out easily). The group of muscles called the rotator cuff comes off the socket, grab the ball and pull the ball back toward the socket to increase the stability of the joint. Thus they are working most of the time in all different positions to hold the two together.

Common symptoms

Rotator cuff injury can be but is not restricted to the following;

  • weakness through shoulder
  • Loss of shoulder full range of motion 
  • Pain when lying on the effect side
  • Clicking or grinding noises 
  • Pain with overhead or lifting activities
  • Trouble reaching behind your back

Individuals at risk

  • older age groups (>40yrs)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Jobs with a repetitive shoulder strain
  • Sports with repetitive shoulder strain (throwing/gym)
  • Previous shoulder injuries

This conditioning is diagnosed either by imaging (US or MRI) or assessment by a skilled practitioner such as a physiotherapist or sports Dr. 

This article was written by our physio Christian. Call us today to book in with him if you have a shoulder injury.

Time for bone to heal?

How long for a bone to heal?

How long for a bone to heal? 600 449 Ace Health Centre

How long for a bone to heal?

Time for bone to heal? So, you’ve just broken a bone. Not only having to deal with the pain associated with it, you have to wear a cast and potentially may need surgery. We are given general time frames as to when the bone will heal. But what does this process entail and why are we told 6-8 weeks for bone healing? Bone healing occurs over 5 phases. Initially we will see tissue destruction and haematoma formation (blood clot). Followed by inflammation. Soft bone formation. Hard bone formation, and finally a remodelling phase.

Haematoma formation and inflammation

Within the first week following a broken bone the body will respond by creating a blood clot. This is to provide the bone with increased blood supply and nutrients. Within the blood other responses occur to help begin clearing out dead bone fragments. As well we will see growth factors influence the bone to begin bone healing. Furthermore we will also see increased formation of blood vessels within the blood clot to help supply the area with the needed nutrients.  Similar to tissue healing this is the beginning of the healing phase, and starts from the beginning of injury and may overlap with the next stages of recovery.  This phase can last up to a week before moving on to the next phase.

Soft and hard bone formation

Now following the initial phase and the cleaning of dead bone fragments, the body will begin to form a connection between the two bone ends.  It does this by creating a soft bone made of cartilage in order to help stabilise the break.  From this increased stability the bone is able to continue with the healing process, and will continue to use the methods used in phase one and two to progress to a healthy bone.  As the process continues the soft or cartilaginous bone shifts to a harder bone (trabecular).  This bone will now be evident on imaging and appear swollen with respect to the rest of the bone.  These phases of the healing process can last up to 3 months.  Within this stage you may be given the all clear from your doctor to remove any casts and begin using the affected area again.

Remodelling phase of bone healing

Within the remodelling phase you may have been given the go ahead from your doctor already to start using the area again in a safe manner.  This phase can be simply put as a use it to improve it principle.  As bone is formed around the injury, it constantly reshapes itself to provide more support where its needed.  This phase can last up to 2 years.  This length of time will not prevent you from doing the things you enjoy. Although it is important to understand that although we are back to activity, the bone is still recovering.

It is important to note that with bone healing you should always listen to the advice of your doctor as to when you can return to activity.  Furthermore, it is important to work with physiotherapists to help prevent other complications. Complications may arise, as well as maintain movement in the surrounding areas.

 

Following this a physiotherapist can begin to progress exercises to further strengthen the area and mobility following the prolonged time of inactivity. Contact us today and see how we can help you.

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Gold Coast Women’s Health Physiotherapist

Gold Coast Women’s Health Physiotherapist 1000 667 Ace Health Centre

Gold Coast women’s health physiotherapy

At Ace health center on the Gold Coast, we are lucky to have a women’s health physiotherapist. Heres some of the most common women’s health conditions that can be treated by women’s health physiotherapy –

  • urinary incontinence
  • frequency
  • fecal incontinence
  • pre and post-pregnancy musculoskeletal pains and rehabilitation.

Unlike the muscles that we use to walk or to carry things throughout the day. the pelvic floor is therefore not a group muscle that we exercise regularly. For most parts of our lives, we neglect it. Often it isn’t until during pregnancy or after pregnancy, we start to find incontinence symptoms or prolapse symptoms.

Symptoms

There are many different symptoms women’s health physiotherapy can help. These include –

  • pee leakage during laughing
  • coughing or sneezing
  • urgency when we have to rush to the toilet quickly
  • empty our bladder multiple times during the day
  • heaviness and dragging sensations

Therefore these troublesome symptoms commonly persist even after menopause. It often seems that it is a taboo subject to talk about. We need to keep in mind that common does not mean it is normal. Common does not mean that there is nothing that can be done to treat it. For more info click here

Factors

Many factors can come into play that women’s health physiotherapy deal with. Incontinence including lifestyle factors such as fluid intake, bladder irritants, and bowel management. It can also include the need for behavior retraining, trigger retraining, and bladder retraining.

In addition, a further internal assessment may be warranted to gather a more complete picture of your condition. Internal assessment is often performed to determine structural changes. These changes could be contributing to the symptoms.

  • A women’s health physio will look at your
  • pelvic floor contraction technique
  • strength
  • co-ordination
  • pain
  • any indication of overactivity

Book Now For Gold Coast women’s health physiotherapy

In conclusion, if you have any of these symptoms or conditions then contact a women’s health physiotherapist. In other words, you don’t have to live with these problems. It can be helped. Please call today and book an appointment. We promise you won’t be disappointed.