Category Archives: Conditions, Injuries & Advice

FAQ About Dry Needling

Dry needling can be an effective treatment tool to decrease pain and tightness in muscles.  The advantage is that it gets deeper into the muscle layer than massage alone.  As an example, we can target your Multifidis muscle around your lumbar spine, which if dysfunctional may not be supporting your lumbar spine, but compressing the joints and discs.  It may be a reason for your lack of movement (bending forwards or backwards), tightness in your large outer back muscles, or may be contributing to your lower back, SIJ or leg pain.  This muscle may be as deep at 6cm down, and obviously, our hands cannot reach this area from above.  Some FAQ are answered below – What is Dry Needling? Dry Needling involves multiple advances of an acupuncture-type needle into the ‘trigger point’ of the muscle. The aim is to achieve a twitch in the muscle, which is associated with reduced muscle tension and pain. What will I experience? The needles used are very thin, and you may or may not feel the needle enter your skin. If the muscle being needled is tight and/or sensitive you will feel a cramping or twitch sensation. This is very short-lasting, and patients soon learn to recognise this sensation as therapeutic as it is followed by a feeling of pain relief and muscle relaxation. Are there any side effects? The most common side effect is temporary muscle soreness after the treatment. This typically lasts for a day or two, and your clinician will instruct you on how to minimise this. There are other less common side effects such as bruising. If you have any questions about side effects, please discuss this with your clinician. How does Dry Needling help? Dry Needling helps to reduce pressure on the nerve by releasing muscle shortening. It is now well researched that the ‘twitch’ response in the muscle during dry needling is associated with the muscle relaxing and stopping the pull on adjacent areas. How often will I need treatment? Treatments are typically once a week, to allow enough recovery time between treatment sessions. However, this can vary. The number of treatments you will require will depend on many things, such as: • How long you have had your problem • The extent of your problem • How long it takes to address the contributing factors • How quickly your body can heal Are there any contraindications to Dry Needling? Prior to treatment please inform your clinician if you are pregnant, or have any of the following: • Metal allergies • Implants • Axillary or inguinal node dissection • Joint replacements • Needle phobia If you are interested in this technique or have any further questions contact us today on  55277092

Dry Needling for TMJ (jaw) Pain

Effectiveness of dry needling for the treatment of temporomandibular myofascial pain: a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled study. Dıraçoğlu D, Vural M, Karan A, Aksoy C. Source Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey. Abstract ​BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that dry needling is more effective than sham dry needling in relieving myofascial pain of the temporomandibular muscles. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Fifty-two subjects with established myofascial trigger points were randomized into two groups; study group (N: 26) and placebo group (N: 26). Dry needling was applied using acupuncture needles. Sham dry needling was applied to the placebo group. Pain pressure threshold was measured with pressure algometry, pain intensity was rated using a 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS) and the unassisted jaw opening without pain measurement was performed. Evaluations were done by a physician blinded to the data. RESULTS: Of 52 patients assigned, 50 completed the study. Mean algometric values were significantly higher in the study group when compared to the placebo group (p values being less than 0.05). There were no differences between the two groups in terms of VAS and unassisted jaw-opening without pain values. CONCLUSION: Dry needling appears to be an effective treatment method in relieving the pain and tenderness of myofascial trigger points.

TMJ (Jaw) Pain and Dysfunction

A very common source of facial pain can come from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or the jaw.  One of the most common causes of facial pain, headaches, ear related pain and abnormal clicking can come from TMJ dysfunction.  It remains one of the most untreated and poorly treated areas in the musculoskeletal system.  TMJ dysfunction can be characterized by pain the temporal and facial region, restriction in jaw movement, clicking and sometimes even locking of the joint in the jaw.  A number of reasons can be attributed  to TMJ dysfunction including stress, clenching and grinding, abnormal eating habits and malocclusions.  It can also be related to significant dental work such as extractions or ill-fitting appliances.  Recognising this particularly painful limitation or annoyance is the first step, then you need to get the right treatment.  Jeff Bridges a physiotherapist at Gold Coast Sports & Spinal Physio has been providing successful management of TMJ dysfunction for a number of years.  He is also currently studying dentistry and works closely alongside dentists, GPs, ENT and Dental Prosthetists to provide a team management approach as required.  

Headache Treatments with the Watson Headache Institue Approach

Whether you suffer from “tension” type headaches or “migraines” the diagnostic and treatment process is the same.  The method to diagnose a headache is able to be achieved safely and simply and in your first session we can determine whether this form of treatment may be beneficial in treating your type of headache or migraine.  There are 300 different types of headaches identified including migraine, tension, menstrual, hormonal, cervicogenic, sinus, cluster, chocolate etc, etc. but latest research suggests that the mechanism behind all of these headaches is the same and comes about due to a “sensitised brainstem”. Definitely there are things that may contribute to the “sensitisation” of the brainstem. People commonly report “triggers” such as stress, prolonged sitting, driving, neck stiffness, chocolate, menstrual cycle, wine, cheese, chocolate, dehydration, exercise and hunger which can cause their headaches.  But, the question needs to be asked “why do some people have headaches and others can do all of the above things and not suffer from headaches?”.  This answer is all within the brainstem or the Trigeminocervical Nucleus (TCN) to be technical.  We can help to not only explain why you get your headaches, but accurately and specifically tell you where exactly your headache may be coming from, making it a quicker and more effective approach than traditional physiotherapy techniques .  Patients often state that traditional physio can make their headaches worse.  With the Watson Headache Approach, there is no “cracking” or heavy mobilisation of the joints, which may actually aggravate people’s headache.  The treatment uses specific techniques, on specific areas with gentle sustained pressure to reproduce and reduce the headache symptoms.  If you would like to know more about this approach please call us on(07) 55277092.

Shoes for Walking

Which shoes are good for walking?  If I had a dollar for everytime I was asked which are the best walking shoes….Well you know how it goes!  Basically there are so many shoes on the market and most of them are good shoes, just some are better than others in the way of walking.  It also depends on the type of foot you have; are you an over pronator or do you over supinate?  Is your foot wide or narrow and do you have any pain in your feet?  It is important to be comfortable in any footwear you buy.  They also need to fit the budget.  There is no point going out and buying the best running shoe on the market and spending a lot of money if you are not a runner and only wear your shoes a few times a week to go for a walk along the esplanade to keep fit.  Whilst cushioning is important so is the support.  The shoe needs to have a good heel counter to support the heel of the foot (you can test this by squeezing the heel of the shoe – it should be firm).  The shoe should have good support and not twist in the middle of the shoe (test this by twisting the shoe, like you would wring out a towel) and finally the shoe should not flex a lot in the middle of the shoe, but it should bend at the toes, to allow for normal walking.  If the shoe is too rigid it can also cause problems.  There are lots of different things to look for in a shoe apart from the nice colours or the trendy brands.  If you have any further questions or need an assessment of your foot posture call us today. By Melanie Roberts

Bulk Billed Physiotherapy

Don’t forget you may qualify for physiotherapy through the Medicare EPC program.  Speak to your doctor for more information and see if you qualify.  We bulk bill these services so that there is no out of pocket cost for you.

Pre-Employent Assessments

Did you know that you can do Pre-Employment assessments with your staff to cut down on potential Workcover claims and injuries?  At GCS&SP we do assessments including drug and visual testing, joint range of movement and strength tests, as well as testing for back strength and manual handling technique to see if your potential staff are likely to injure themselves on the job.  We can do this and write a report back to you with a summary of our findings within a 24 hour period.  Please call to find out more -55277092.

Training and Shin Splints

Firstly, what are shin splints?  Shin splints refers to pain along the medial border of the tibia or the inner border of the shin bone.  It is common amongst sports that involve running or jumping.  Why do people get shin splints?  It is due to an overloading of the lower leg due to biomechanical irregularities.  It can be due to over-pronation (over-rolling of the foot when it hits the ground), poor or unsupportive footwear, running on unsupportive surfaces (such as beach running), poor running style (such as position of heel strike or too long of a stride length), over-training or running too far too quickly, too much hill work and/or  weakness around the hip/pelvis.  The physios job is to analyse all of these things in combination to correct the problem long term – it may be a combination of all of these things that causes the dysfunction.  It is very important to have the hip/pelvic stability assessed as this is commonly missed and one of the biggest causes of shin splints.  If you have any questions regarding this matter give us a call or come in to get an assessment done. By Melanie Roberts.

How to Avoid Lower Back Pain in Golfers

Low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal reason that golfers stop playing.  It is estimated that up to one third of golfers have to limit their playing due to back pain.  It may be due to poor conditioning, poor swing pattern or in the more elite golfer, like in many sports, overuse.  Swinging a golf club puts enormous forces through your spine and if you have a poor swing this will increase the problem.  It is important to get some lessons to not only maximise your golfing ability but also to correct these biomechanical issues that may be loading your spine.  Keep up your fitness levels and flexibility, as this will help your overall conditioning so that you don’t get tired on the back 9 and lose more technique.  Fatigue in any sport is a huge risk factor in injury.  Don’t over-practice, period, but especially with your long clubs, which increase the lever arm and hence the load esp through your back and shoulders.  Start with some chips and pitches and as you warm up then pick up your driver.  Play within your capabilities and build up to that “bigger game”.  With better technique you will improve your game naturally.  Finally, if you have pain, get it evaluated so that you can correct the problem in the long-term and enjoy your golf more.  It may be that you have some stiffness in your thoracic spine (middle back) which needs to be mobilised.  Your spine does not rotate in the lumbar spine (lower back) only the thoracic and lumbosacral spine (lower part of the lower back).  Therefore, stiffness in the thoracic spine will cause more load through the lumbosacral spine as your body “takes the least path of resistance” and will move at a more “mobile” segment.  This overloads this area and causes pain.  You may need some regular massage and physiotherapy to correct this problem.  Also, you may have tightness in your hip joints (esp with arthritis) or in your shoulder muscles/capsule which may also inhibit your swing.  An evaluation of these areas is important so that you don’t overload areas and cause pain and further reduction in technique.  If you would like further advice on this matter, call us for an appointment and we can help you improve your game and get that handicap down once and for all!!  Enjoy your golf. By Melanie Roberts

Choosing the Correct Mattress

We spend about a third of our lives in bed sleeping, so choosing the correct mattress is very important.  What is the correct mattress you ask?  Well, a mattress needs to support your spine and all of your joints but still offer you comfort.  A mattress that is too soft will fail to offer correct support and one which is too hard will not only be uncomfortable but could lead to more pain if pressure is added across your joints and tendons etc (such as in Gluteus Medius tendinopathy in your lateral hip).  As your mattress gets older it may offer less support and therefore need to be changed, especially if you find you are waking up in the morning with more pain or discomfort.  Sometimes sleeping in a “newer” bed in the house can give you this information too.  Also, as you get older your needs may change too. You may have liked a firmer bed when you were younger and now if you have some painful joints you may like a pillow top on the bed (or an overlay like an eggshell), or a slightly softer feel – but not too soft as you need the support remember?! It is important to invest in a good quality mattress (the best you can afford) as it does not only allow for a better sleep but supports your spine and joints, which otherwise can lead to pain and dysfunction. Plus, it will last longer, so in the long term will be a better investment not only financially but into your health.  The mattress should be changed about every 10 years if it is a good quality one. By Melanie Roberts