Conditions Treated

Back Pain

At MTP we specialise in the treatment of back and neck pain. It is reported that approximately 80% of people get back problems at some stage in their lives. These issues are predominantly not serious and can be treated and managed relatively easily.  Thankfully severe or significant spinal conditions are less prevalent. 

 

Treatment starts with an accurate and thorough assessment in order to obtain a working diagnosis. Most common back and neck issues are termed mechanical back pain and these can be addressed with a mixture of Physiotherapy, Remedial Exercise and Advice. There are lots of things that can be effective in managing back pain and there are some basic things that everyone can and should do:

 

  1. Stay active. Even when in pain. Seriously spinal pathology is rare and the body works best when it is exercised. When in severe pain this can sometimes seem impossible but even light movement such as a walk down the garden or to the end of the block is achievable to most people.
  2. Change your static positions regularly. A static position could be sitting at your desk, watching tv, standing washing up etc. We recommend trying to change your position every 20-30 minutes. Even if it’s just having a stand and a stretch.
  3. Do some basic stretching. Whatever works for you – just stretch. Do not work too far into pain but achieving a little discomfort is fine here. 
  4. If your back pain is not settling within a few days, seek the help of a physiotherapist.

Neck Pain

Neck pain is common but most cases are not caused by a serious problem.   The vast majority of cases of neck pain get better within a few weeks.  Simple self-help measures will often help to ease symptoms.  As with most Musculo-skeletal injuries, movement is important. Try to do some gentle exercise to keep the neck mobile. Use some heat or cold to help with the pain and use some pain relief where appropriate. As a guide, a short term increase in pain following exercise is acceptable, however, should your symptoms worsen and not settle within 24 hours, then you are more than likely doing too much. Try to pace yourself accordingly. Try doing some gentle shoulder shrugs and circles, turn and look to your left and to your right, drop your chin down onto your chest. A few yoga based poses such as cat/cow and childs pose are good exercises to try too.

Look for potential causes and work to overcome these. For example, office workers will spend a good portion of their day looking at a computer screen and if their work station is in a suboptimal position, this can cause undue stress on the neck and shoulders. A quick fix here is to change your positions regularly and work to get your PC setup better suited. 

Trapped Nerve/Disc Injury/Sciatic Pain

The body sometimes sustains these types of injury. They are common and most generally resolve with the correct management. Some are more persistent and need further imaging and assessment. The main thing here is to try not to panic. The pain and symptoms can be worrying but most of these initially severe symptoms can be managed by your physiotherapist. Self-management is also vitally important. You should attempt to take control of your symptoms in much the same way that you manage regular back ache. Movement is key!

Hip Pain

Hip pain is common and can be due to many different factors.  Whatever the cause, it is important to exercise and maintain a healthy weight as best as possible.  Hip can also be self-managed really effectively following some simple advice and exercises.  If you are struggling with your pain, the following initial advice should help you to get started:

Pain relief:  Basic painkillers (like paracetamol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gels (such as Ibuleve/Voltarol) are easily available over the counter without the need for prescription.  These can be very effective as they lessen your discomfort and importantly allow you to keep moving/active.  However, please check the labels for instructions/safe usage and any possible reasons why you should not use them.  If you are currently taking any form of medication it is advisable to consult your GP or Pharmacist before taking additional pain relief.

Heat or Ice: Heat is often useful for easing pain using a hot water bottle or wheat pack.  Use for 15-20 minutes at a time and repeat several times a day as necessary.  However, if you have had a recent injury or flare up you may find it more therapeutic to use an ice pack to reduce your pain/irritation.  A packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea-towel works well.  Leave in place for up to 15 minutes at a time.  Again, this can be repeated several times a day if found helpful. 

Hand/Wrist Pain

This specialist area of injury/rehabilitation should be treated by a specialist hand physiotherapist. Having undergone the British Association of Hand Therapists training, we are ideally placed to help you with any aspect of hand/wrist dysfunction whether it be pre or post surgery. Conditions such as Dupuytrens Contracture, De-Quervains Tenosynovitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Trigger Finger, Nerve Injuries or Joint contractures can all be helped by a knowledgeable physiotherapist. 

As with all joints, it is important to exercise and keep the hand/wrist moving in most cases.

Mike Tuck, MT Physio Clinic. Photography by Aaron Northcott.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is common but can be self-managed really effectively following some simple advice and exercises.  

Pain relief:  Basic painkillers (like paracetamol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gels (such as Ibuleve/Voltarol) are easily available over the counter without the need for prescription.  These can be very effective as they lessen your discomfort and importantly allow you to keep moving/active.  Remember to check the labels for instructions/safe usage and any possible reasons why you should not use them.  If you are currently taking any form of medication it is advisable to consult your GP or Pharmacist before taking additional pain relief.

Heat or Ice:  Heat is often useful for easing pain using a hot water bottle or wheat pack.  Use for 15-20 minutes at a time and repeat several times a day as necessary.  However, if you have had a recent injury or flare-up you may find it more therapeutic to use an ice pack to reduce your pain/irritation.  A packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea-towel works well.  Leave in place for up to 10-15 minutes at a time.  Again, this can be repeated several times a day if found helpful. 

Rest vs. activity:  It is usually best to carry out your normal activities, but try not to overdo it.   Let pain be your guide; short-lasting/temporary discomfort is fine but worsening or constant 24/7 pain indicates you are likely doing too much and need to take things a little easier.  You need to pace yourself to start with and try to do a bit more each few days.  You will find keeping your shoulder gently moving more comfortable than complete rest.

Scans or imaging:  Scans or imaging are rarely indicated as these often correlate very poorly with symptoms.  Most people without shoulder pain have changes on scans or imaging that doesn’t cause any symptoms at all.

Knee Pain

There are many factors that can lead to pain in the knee and surrounding tissues and if you have been struggling with knee pain for more than a week or so you should seek some professional help. If your knee is giving way or locking you should seek help immediately.

It is normal following a trauma such as a fall for the knee to swell. You should try to manage this with some ice and if indicated some painkillers/anti-inflammatories. It is very important to keep the knee moving as best you can but if swelling is evident remember to sit with the leg elevated above the height of the hip.

As with shoulders, knees very rarely require an xray or an MRI but this is something that can be explored should the knee fail to respond to conservative treatment.

Ankle Pain

Ankle pain due to injury, dysfunction or age related changes is something can affect every age group and can be debilitating. For acute injuries such as ankle sprains and muscle tears, basic first aid still applies. Ice, elevation and gentle movement if possible.

For more chronic issues such as stubborn tendinopathies or foot biomechanical issues, a thorough examination with a healthcare professional is essential. An accurate plan based on your individual needs can then be designed and implemented for best results

Post surgical ankle following trauma will need a significant post-surgical rehabilitation period and should be directed by your physiotherapist in conjunction with your consultant.

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