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Hello, and welcome to the Pure Form Physio Blog! The goals for this blog are to share interesting health and fitness news and research, let you know about local sports events Pure Form Physio is involved with and last, but not least, to let you know more about Pure Form Physio.
Let’s start with physiotherapy. I broadly define physiotherapy as a profession dedicated to assisting people to move well and to be healthy throughout their life span. It is scientifically proven that people that can move efficiently and comfortably, and move their bodies often, live longer and are less likely to develop many of the most common lifestyle diseases. In a clinical setting like Pure Form Physio, the main obstacle to people moving well is musculo-skeletal pain and joint dysfunction. What does that mean? It could mean a 35 year-old runner that can’t stick to their running program because of a sore Achilles tendon. It could mean a 68 year old gardener that is missing out on the pleasure of working in their garden because of back pain.
There is a series of steps we take whenever we meet a new patient. We initially have to find out where their pain is and what makes it worse, and what makes it better. A key question at this point is simply, “What is your goal in coming here today?” . Some people just want information, some people want their pain to be gone, and some people just want a few corrective exercises they can do at home. This is followed by a comprehensive physical assessment to figure out what tissues are sore and if there is any related dysfunction (e.g. weakness, muscle imbalance, tightness, excessive joint movement … the list goes on). The next step is explaining our findings to the patient so that they can become empowered to be involved in their rehabilitation. It may sound selfish, but after 14 years as a physio, I am not interested in trying to assist people that don’t want to be involved in their own recovery. The reason for this is that a person that is only passively involved is less likely to receive any benefits from physiotherapy. That is not to say they can’t get better, but if they do, it’s not because of anything that I did!
To get any job done, you need the right tools. Some modern physiotherapy techniques that we use at Pure Form are manual (hands-on) therapy, acupuncture and dry needling, rehab exercise prescription and education. Manual therapy includes moving and stretching tight and restricted tissues to reduce pain and normalise movement. This can include gentle stretches for pain reduction, firm steady oscillations to improve joint glide, and joint manipulations to rapidly and safely improve joint movement. Traditional acupuncture can be used to relax the body and reduce pain. A more modern acupuncture technique calledIntra-muscular Stimulation (IMS) or dry needling, can rapidly relax tight muscles to help take pressure off of irritated spinal discs and nerves. We use exercise prescription and education with every patient we treat. This is where the patient gets truly involved to help themselves.
The dental profession has educated us all to brush and floss twice a day (right?!) for our entire lives. I think it is my profession’s job to teach people to do a few simple exercises and change a few bad movement habits while they are recovering from an injury. Usually after this time period, the old habits and muscle imbalances are corrected. We ask our patients to stick with the few exercises and to do them daily (i.e. right after you brush your teeth in the morning!). If this sounds like a reasonable approach to fixing people up, and you need some fixing, give Pure Form Physio a call or email!