What is physiotherapy ?
"Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by an injury, illness or disability" according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. Physiotherapy has a scientific foundation and at Achilles Heel Clinic we use up-to-date and evidence-based treatments so that you will receive the most appropriate and effective treatment for your condition.
Our team of physiotherapists are all highly trained and passionate about what they do and are committed to ongoing continuing professional development through learning and research. All our physiotherapists are Chartered and State Registered - this guarantees that their qualification is properly recognised, and they are governed by a professional Code of Conduct and covered by professional liability insurance.
What to expect on your first physio visit?
At your first appointment your physiotherapist will perform an initial assessment taking a detailed history of your condition together with any relevant past medical history. A physical assessment will then be undertaken in order to determine a clinical diagnosis of your problem which will be explained to you by your clinician.
From this your physiotherapist will work with you to formulate an appropriate personalised treatment plan. By formulating a tailored treatment plan the physiotherapist can ensure that you achieve the maximum rate of recovery and you correct the dysfunction thereby avoiding a reoccurrence of the injury. Your physiotherapist will discuss how many treatments you are likely to need and will modify the treatment plan as you progress.
Each appointment lasts 45 minutes. You may be asked to remove outer layers of clothing so that the problem can be fully assessed and it may therefore be helpful if you brought some shorts or leggings along with you including any relevant equipment such as running shoes. Our clinicians are always mindful of your dignity at all times.
Throughout the appointment your physiotherapist will encourage you to ask questions about your condition and provide advice regarding the management and prevention in future. Having identified your treatment plan the physiotherapist will then administer the agreed treatment program, tailored to your needs, in order to help correct the condition and alleviate any pain.
A physiotherapists greatest tool are their hands! Manual therapy may involve joint mobilisations to reduce pain, muscle spasm and improve mobility. Alternatively joint manipulation may be applied to restore normal range of movement. They may also use muscle energy techniques which involve gentle isometric muscle contractions to also restore normal movement to restricted joints.
Your physiotherapist will provide a personalised home exercise programme tailored to your needs. Having undergone a thorough assessment with your physiotherapist they will select the appropriate exercises in order to help strengthen weak muscles and/or stretch tight muscles.
Deep Tissue Massage / Myofascial Release
Another form of hands on treatment often used by our physiotherapists is deep tissue massge and is often used to work on areas of muscle tightness or thickening. Myofascial release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure in the myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine which is used by physiotherapists to provide pain reflief. Trigger point release and intra-muscular stimulation can help to release areas of soft tissues which have become tight and inflexible. This results in increased blood flow and ultimately good healing.
Research shows that acupuncture needles release endorphins which are the body's natural pain relieving chemicals stored in the brain. These chemicals provide pain relief and are also involved in the healing process. Your physiotherapist may choose to use acupunture in isolation or it may be used in combination with a range of other treatment techniques.
All our physiotherapists practicing acupuncture have completed a validated post graduation course in acupuncture theory and practice.
Muscle Imbalance / Core Stability Re-education
Physiotherapists are experts in human movement. Following your initial assessment they will be able to identify specific areas of muscle weakness or tightness and then devise an appropriate exercise program to address this imbalance.
We have electrotherapy equipment available in the clinic including ultrasound and laser therapy both of which aim to assist in promoting tissue healing and providing pain relief.
Ergonomic & Postural Advice
We are all told how important good posture is but do we actually know what this means? Over time many of us adopt habits or postures that we repeat many times a day and eventually it becomes habitual for us to stand or sit or walk that way. Over time these abnormal postures can cause musculoskeletal pain and injury. Working with one of our physiotherapists you will be advised on maintaining good posture and shown how to do this to prevent aches and pains. Your physiotherapist will discuss appropriate seating, desk position and computer alignment to prevent injury.