The Physiotherapy Clinic, Welwyn Garden City, Herts
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Discover our wide range of treatments for physical conditions and sports injuries.

Poor Posture

While many people are aware that their posture is poor they simply don’t know how to deal with it, meaning that often it is not addressed until it starts to give us pain.

Our posture is defined by our habitual positions - “You are what you do”.

We recommend taking a good look at your work station, even if it has been checked; be honest about whether its current set-up is working for you. If when sitting perched on the edge of your chair your feet are reaching the floor that is a clear sign that the set-up is not working for you.

At the Physiotherapy Clinic we can assess and check whether the increased pain is being generated by an old injury or by an underlying problem. We can treat the pain whilst showing you a daily routine that will strengthen your postural muscles. As a result, over a period of weeks, you will notice the difference in the way in you hold yourself.

Here are some simple tips that you can do yourself to start improving your posture:

  1. Take regular breaks, stand up and move around.
  2. Gently roll your shoulders.
  3. Make sure that your lower back and feet are supported, and you are sitting facing forward.
  4. Ask your employer to carry out a Work Station Assessment
Muscle Tension

Tension around the neck and shoulders can often be put down to stress, while it is true that feeling stressed can manifest itself as increased tension, there are many other causes which can cause tension in this area. For example, working on a computer or watching TV for prolonged periods of time can put a strain on your neck.

The right guidance can get to the root of these causes, helping you to manage the symptoms more effectively, without depending on prescription drugs or regular massage. 

Your physiotherapist will carry out an in-depth examination to ascertain whether the muscles are tight and whether there is underlying joint stiffness. After they have relieved your pain they will guide you through simple stretches and movements which you can do yourself to manage the pain.

Get ready to say goodbye to pain!

Shoulder Impingement

Impingement syndrome occurs when tendons of the rotator cuff muscles and the sub acromial bursa (a fluid-filled sac that separates the bones of the shoulder joint) are compressed between the bones of the shoulder.

Doing work with the arms outstretched or overhead can cause shoulder soreness but does not necessarily cause impingement. Shoulder impingement syndrome is only diagnosed when symptoms persist and interfere with normal daily activity.

Chronic impingement may lead to bursitis, rotator cuff-inflammation, if left untreated it can result in thinning or tearing of the rotator cuff tendons.

On a positive note, shoulder impingements respond extremely well to Physiotherapy, which greatly improves the chance of recovery. Treatment typically includes stretching and strengthening exercises, modifying aggravating activities and improving posture. 

Your physiotherapist can also provide modalities of pain relief such as acupuncture to loosen the surrounding areas.

If you have shoulder impingements then it is extremely important that you LIMIT YOUR ACTIVITY!! We recommend the following restrictions:

  • Eliminate high arm lifting. 
  • Restrict over-the-shoulder positions and reaching until your symptoms have resolved. 
  • Avoid reaching across the chest, lifting, leaning on the elbows, and sleeping directly on the shoulder.
  • Only lift objects close to the body.
  • Only lift light weights below shoulder level.
  • Throw balls underhand or sidearm.
  • Do not serve overhand in tennis or volleyball
  • Maintain good posture with writing, computer and assembly work, etc.
Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff wraps around the shoulder joint and is most frequently injured by those who play sports which involve over head arm activities. Repetitive overhead movement combined with very high loads during the acceleration and deceleration phase of the arm movement contribute to the cause.

It is essential that the factors which led to the injury are identified quickly to bring about recovery. For younger players the cause is often muscle weakness in and around the shoulder, combined with laxity in the joint capsule. Physiotherapy treatment along with a programme of exercises can restore muscle control. We are happy to liaise with your coach or trainer.

Unfortunately for older players it’s a different story. Commonly, the rotator cuff can become painful and inflamed by encroachment from the bones or ligaments that form the top of the shoulder joint, and in some cases, this can develop into a tear. See Shoulder Impingement Syndrome for more information. 

Certain postures can predispose you to injury and as we get older and less flexible we can become vulnerable.  Shoulder examination and test procedures are very reliable today and our experienced physiotherapists will be able to tell you whether you can be treated effectively or whether you need to see a doctor.

As with younger players, muscle imbalance can also contribute to the symptoms. By assessing the strength in the rotator cuff, we can ascertain whether you are training the muscles which keep the head of the arm in a good position rather than riding up and creating damage at the top of the shoulder.

Never ignore pain, it is there to warn you that something is not quite right.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder conditions are associated with acute pain, a marked loss of movement and often an unexplained onset. The term frozen shoulder is frequently used to describe a painful, stiff shoulder.

Your physiotherapist will be able to correctly diagnose and advise you how to manage the pain so as to recover as much movement as possible.

Please note that recovery from frozen shoulder can take up to 18 months.

Whiplash

Whiplash injury has proved a controversial topic due to many insurance claims from people involved in car accidents. 

The symptoms of pain associated with whiplash can be prolonged, and pain is often felt in the head, neck and arms, because of damaged structures within the cervical spine including the deep musculature. Up to 75% of people injured with whiplash complain of dizziness which can be attributed to weakness in the neck muscles. This weakness is thought to contribute to the sensation of the neck feeling unstable as well as disturbance to eye movement control.

Your physiotherapist will work to aid recovery and prevent reoccurrence by delivering treatments that focus on relieving the pain and restoring movement within the damaged tissues. Patient specific exercises can be prescribed to retrain the weakened muscles and improve visual disturbances. Another treatment which we recommend is the use of pressure biofeedback units, which can be loaned out for use at home, to strengthen the affected muscles.

Research has shown that this approach markedly decreases the risk of chronic neck pain, reduces the use of medication and helps to prevent recurrences.

Sporting Shoulder

The rotator cuff wraps around the shoulder joint and is most frequently injured by those who play sports which involve over head arm activities. Repetitive overhead movement combined with very high loads during the acceleration and deceleration phase of the arm movement contribute to the cause.

It is essential that the factors which led to the injury are identified quickly to bring about recovery. For younger players the cause is often muscle weakness in and around the shoulder, combined with laxity in the joint capsule. Physiotherapy treatment along with a programme of exercises can restore muscle control. We are happy to liaise with your coach or trainer.

Unfortunately for older players it’s a different story. Commonly, the rotator cuff can become painful and inflamed by encroachment from the bones or ligaments that form the top of the shoulder joint, and in some cases, this can develop into a tear. See Shoulder Impingement Syndrome for more information.

Certain postures can predispose you to injury and as we get older and less flexible we can become vulnerable. Shoulder examination and test procedures are very reliable today and our experienced physiotherapists will be able to tell you whether you can be treated effectively or whether you need to see a doctor.

As with younger players, muscle imbalance can also contribute to the symptoms. By assessing the strength in the rotator cuff, we can ascertain whether you are training the muscles which keep the head of the arm in a good position rather than riding up and creating damage at the top of the shoulder.

Never ignore pain, it is there to warn you that something is not quite right.

Tennis Elbow

The term tennis elbow refers to pain experienced on the outside aspect of the elbow, although named tennis elbow only 5-10% of racquet players are affected by it. In the UK around 3% of the population experience tennis elbow and they are generally between the ages of 40 and 50.

The pain is usually related to activity involving combined loading of the wrist and elbow. The pain could be caused by a significant incident i.e. pain after hitting a late backhand tennis stroke. More commonly however it is an overuse injury due to repeated grasping, lifting or holding objects with the elbow straight. For example, using a mouse with the elbow straight, changing into first or third gear, or painting.

These activities can result in damage to the tendon as the muscle pulls your wrist back.

To begin with physiotherapy can alleviate the symptoms by directly treating the local inflammation. There are a variety of ways to do this, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Electroacupuncture
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Kinesio taping techniques

Most importantly your physiotherapist can work out what are the causative factors and work out ways that you can avoid or reduce them, as well as advising you on ways to strengthen the forearm.

We recommend:

  • Purchasing a tennis elbow strap from a sport shop to provide additional support
  • Reducing any activity which irritates the condition
  • Take anti-inflammatories if the pain is constant and try to rest as much as possible

A tennis elbow can be slow to settle but 70 to 80% of cases settle within 1 year.

Muscle Tears

If you are experiencing persistent cramp type pain or niggles in a muscle then this could be indicative of a minor tear rather than simple muscle soreness. Following heavy exercise muscle soreness will settle however with a tear the discomfort will persist and worsen if you continue to exercise.

Muscle tears can be graded by severity. The type that pulls you up sharply and makes it impossible to continue is likely to be more severe involving the tearing of several bands of muscle fibres. These, more severe, tears take longer to heal and therefore create more time to decondition and develop adaptive changes both to the muscle itself and neighbouring structures.

A physio will be able to assess the degree of injury which will enable them to both treat and advise you on the necessary progression back to full fitness. As with a simple injury early reduction in load and activities combined with the RICE approach(link to RICE page), will help to manage the pain.

Getting back into exercise and a progression of loading can start as soon as the pain settles but with more severe injuries this may need to wait until 5 to 10 days after injury. Your physio can treat you by grading the level of activity specifically, resulting in you making a quicker recovery

What will your physio do?

  • Assess the degree of injury
  • Alleviate pain through physiotherapy techniques such as electro acupuncture, ultrasound, manual hands on treatment and kinesio taping
  • Start you on a level of activity suitable to your current level of recovery
  • Advise you on when and how to stretch - to help promote good healing within the damaged muscle fibres
  • Progress you with a bespoke exercise programme at the various stages of recovery.
  • Liaise with coaching staff or your GP.

If indications dictate a very severe problem, your physio will refer you to the most appropriate local consultant to scan and assess the degree of damage.

Arthritis & Osteoarthritis

Arthritis and Osteoarthritis isn’t a condition that you should fear, because in the right hands you will be able to manage and maintain an active life. A recent article published by the British Medical Journal found that exercise is an effective way to control pain and improve function – especially with lower-limb arthritis.

Our team of physios treat this condition daily, so wherever it affects you in the body we’re able to treat the pain, advise you whether it’s best to rest or whether you are ready to exercise.

Your physio can assess and supply joint supports where it is beneficial. If you need any advice, then please do not hesitate to give us a ring.

There is plenty to read about this condition on the internet, a very good reference is arthritisresearchuk.org

Contact a specialist now

If your case is urgent please call the clinic on 01707 329910 alternatively you can fill out the form below and we will call you back.

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