As physiotherapists, we treat several musculoskeletal conditions – a broad term that encompasses damage to bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Because these conditions are so wide-ranging, they may affect anyone from children (e.g. juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) to the elderly (e.g. osteoporosis) to sportsmen (e.g. muscle tears). Other conditions which fall under this heading include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, shin splints, ankle sprains, fibromyalgia and ACL ruptures to name just a few. Many patients recover their strength and ability to return to normal function as well as becoming pain-free again through physiotherapy treatment.
The overriding symptom of most conditions we see as physiotherapists is pain. Pain can occur from infection such as in osteomyelitis where a bone becomes infected. Pain can also be caused through injury to muscles, ligaments and tendons. Some conditions may cause pain by compressing a nerve such as with an intervertebral disc bulge leading to sciatica. In fibromyalgia, the pain is widespread and the locations difficult to pinpoint.
As your physiotherapist in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, our aim is to have you pain free again as soon as possible, We have many ways of treating your pain depending on your injury or illness and these techniques may include joint mobilisation, muscle stretching, massage, trigger point therapy, heat treatment, acupuncture and a host of other scientifically-based treatment techniques.
We not only treat pain but also deal with the accompanying muscle weakness, loss of muscle balance and stability and decrease in range of movement and functional use of the body part. The way we do this is through the prescription and management of individual exercise programmes for our patients. The importance of exercise in dealing with musculoskeletal conditions can never be overstated. Exercise improves flexibility, promotes movement, and increases blood flow to the area which all help to reduce pain and increase function. Strengthening exercises are just as important in restoring function and condition to weak muscles.
The best way to overcome musculoskeletal problems is to seek the advice and treatment of a physiotherapist. We are trained to provide you with the most up-to-date means of being pain-free and regaining full function. Come see us, your local physiotherapist.