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Townsville Physio Blog

Townsville Physio Blog

Can Physio Help with Nerve Pain?

Can Physio Help with Nerve Pain?

Nerve pain or irritation affects up to one-third of the population and is commonly associated with lower back or neck injuries. If you are suffering from nerve pain, you be wondering, can physiotherapy treatment help? Nerve pain is complicated, and it can affect everyone differently. Typically, nerve fibres become irritated following long-term compression or inflammation leading to stabbing burning sensations and occasionally numbness.  Can Physio Help with Nerve Pain?  So, can physio help with nerve pain? In severe cases, an irritated nerve can be debilitating and lead to a detriment in quality of life. The good news is physiotherapy can help. At NQ Physio, we understand that everyone experience of pain is different, which is why we develop customised persistent pain management programs for each client. In this article, NQ Physio will discuss how physiotherapy can help in the management of a variety of Nerve pain symptoms including common conditions such as Sciatica or peripheral nerve entrapments (aka pinched nerve). An Overview of Sciatica In answering the question, “can physio help with nerve pain?”, the first consideration to identify is Sciatica, one of the most common types of Nerve pain. Sciatica is a condition that leads to pain in the back, hip and legs which can be debilitating in its nature for our clients. It is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve which originates at the spine in the low back and travels down the back of the leg.   Physiotherapy for Sciatica  Following a diagnosis of Sciatica from your doctor, a referral to physiotherapy is often considered for treatment and management. The aim of physiotherapy for Sciatica is to provide relief from the nerve and associated pain, and to promote healing within the nervous system and surrounding tissue. Consistent and regular treatment will also help prevent recurrences and flare-ups from occurring in the future. Physiotherapists are experts and well equipped to educate and treat clients the rehabilitative methods and management for nerve pain such as Sciatica. In conjunction with client goals, physiotherapy aims to restore movement and function, reduce pain associated with Sciatica and promote tissue healing. Physiotherapy treatment for Sciatica often includes strengthening and stretching exercises, in combination with soft tissue techniques such as massage, mobilisation and/or Dry Needling. An Overview of peripheral nerve entrapments Another important condition to consider is peripheral nerve entrapments.  A common example of this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Again, physio is able to assist in the treatment and management of this type of nerve pain. This results from excessive pressure being applied by the tissues that surround the nerves as they run through the body, such as tendons, bones, muscles, or cartilage. Excessive or prolonged pressure on the tissue surrounding the nerve can cause a decrease in nerve function, leading to weakness, numbness, pain or tingling. Whilst most peripheral nerve injuries will resolve themselves, ongoing or persistent nerve pain requires review and treatment from a medical professional, such as a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy for peripheral nerve entrapments Physiotherapy for peripheral nerve pain may vary depending on the area affected. A comprehensive physiotherapy assessment will be performed on your initial visit to determine the location of the nerve compression. Treatment techniques involved in therapy include soft tissue techniques such as massage or dry needling, joint mobilisation and manipulation, Exercise and Education. Let’s look at some of these methods in more detail. Soft Tissue Techniques (Massage or Dry Needling)Both Massage and Dry needling target the tendons and muscles surrounding the affected area. These muscles may have become tight and tender due to changes in posture or immobile resulting from pain. These soft tissue techniques aim to decrease the tension within the tissue to regain function and decrease associated pain. Joint Mobilisation & ManipulationJoint mobilisation and manipulation are common physiotherapy techniques that aim to relieve stiffness and pain within the joint. Often associated with nerve pain, joints can become stiff or inflamed due to the compression of the nerve root as it exits the spinal column. Joint mobilisation and manipulation are gentle methods that can help improve stiffness and pain in the joint to increase function and mobility in a short timeframe. Exercise for Nerve PainExercise is an important aspect of physiotherapy treatment for nerve related pain. Physiotherapists will help tailor an exercise program that best suits your goals and level of physical activity. Exercise has shown to decrease inflammation and regain strength and function that may have been lost due to nerve pain. Furthermore, it aims to promote healing in the tissue and prevent future occurrence.  Education surrounding Nerve PainPhysiotherapists have extensive knowledge and training for the assessment and treatment of nerve pain. At NQ Physio Solutions we provide patients with the knowledge they need to help better understand their condition and cause of nerve pain, and the benefits of assessments and treatments used throughout the session.     Managing Persistent Pain with NQ Physio Solutions “Can physio help with nerve pain?” Yes and we are here to help. At NQ Physio Solutions, our physiotherapists will start with a comprehensive assessment of your current condition and body function. Following, with a better understanding of your individual experience with persistent pain, we focus on an educational approach to sustainably manage flare-ups and management of your pain. To track progress, we set goals for you to achieve throughout the treatment program. As described above a combination of manual therapy and movement exercises will be incorporated in treatment to help you achieve your individual goals. If you’d like to hear more information or have more questions about nerve pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch and book an appointment with the NQ Physio team.

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How Does Dry Needling Work? Dry Needling 101

How Does Dry Needling Work? Dry Needling 101

Dry needling is a practice performed by sports therapists and physiotherapists. It is a technique that predominantly treats sports injuries and muscular pain. Another common name for dry needling is intramuscular stimulation. And that’s essentially what our dry needling techniques aim to do – stimulate the muscles. But how does dry needling work? And does dry needle therapy work, really? Dry needling entails inserting a needle into the muscle; however, the needle does not deposit any liquids. Hence, the name ‘dry needling’. It targets and restores muscular function by healing tissue and restoring normal tissue function. The dry needling services on offer at NQ Physio Solutions should not be mistaken for traditional Chinese acupuncture. The dry needling here at NQ is specific, customised treatments that target myofascial trigger points. These treatments target the particular condition.  What Is Dry Needling? Let’s start with a fundamental question; what is dry needling? Dry needling is a technique that targets primarily soft muscle tissue via the use of sterile stainless-steel needles. Dry needling uses very thin, short needles of 0.16 - 0.30mm thickness to pierce the skin and stimulate the muscles. This stimulation encourages the muscle, and the tension it holds, to offer a release.   Dry needling is rarely used as a singular treatment method. Instead, dry needling is often an adjunct treatment that will accompany other efforts to restore muscular function, increase mobility and reduce pain. At NQ Physio Solutions, we ensure all of our needles are sterile before treatment and are single use for your safety.  What Does Dry Needling Do? Many of our clients ask us, “does dry needle therapy work?”. The short answer is yes! We simply wouldn’t bother treating our patients with a type of treatment that has been deemed not useful. Our client treatment plans are specific to each individual that we see, and some of those treatment plans will include dry needle therapy. We use dry needling in our treatment plans as we have seen tangible results from implementing the technique. So, what does dry needling do? Dry needling aims to target the areas of overactivity or tension in the muscle. There are numerous benefits of dry needling, which we will outline below. The Benefits of Dry Needling Reduce muscle painDry needling helps to reduce muscular pain associated with an injury. The way dry needling achieves this targets specific pressure points or sore spots and triggers our nervous system to respond with a chemical or electrical response. This response can trigger pain-relieving chemicals in the brain and therefore reduce pain. Restores muscular function and range of motionImproved mobility is often an immediate outcome of dry needling. This treatment method targets the restoration of muscle function and the release of tension within the muscle explicitly. If you are experiencing a sports injury, dry needling is a method that can help you to return to your sport quickly, by improving the range of motion. Reduces stiffnessIn addition to reducing muscular pain, dry needling reduces stiffness. Dry needles can release tension and inflammation, therefore reducing overall stiffness. How Does Dry Needling Work?   So, how does dry needling work? At NQ Physiotherapy, we understand that some patients may be wary of dry needling treatment. Our team of experienced professionals focus on keeping you calm, comfortable and feeling safe whilst administering your treatment. The way dry needling works is that the needles are inserted around 3-4mm above the trigger point or the affected area. We use superfine, 0.16 - 0.30mm thick, short, sterile stainless-steel needles to place them into the muscles’ trigger points. The needles will remain there for a short period. The timing of the needles may vary slightly depending on your practitioner and your muscular issue. Risks Associated with Dry Needling Now that we have outlined how does dry needling work, we’ll briefly describe some of the risks associated with dry needling. As is with any physical treatment, there is always a few risks involved. The most common risks associated with dry needling include bruising, haematoma formation, nausea and temporary soreness. Although dry needling is a gentle technique, some clients experience mild discomfort when the needle pierces the skin. However, most symptoms are alleviated within 24 hours.  Is Dry Needling Right for You? To find out more about how does dry needling work, check out our Dry Needling in Townsville page. Otherwise, talk to one of our leading Physiotherapists to learn more about your current injury and how dry needling may provide relief.

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The Benefits of Hydrotherapy

The Benefits of Hydrotherapy

If you’re suffering from an injury, problems with mobility, severe arthritis or chronic illness, the benefits of hydrotherapy treatment are remarkable. Between joint mobilisation or manipulation, reduction in pain caused by chronic illness, soft tissue and growth stimulation, the benefits of hydrotherapy services are abundant. Research suggests that hydrotherapy is even proven to have a positive effect on one’s mental health. What Is Hydrotherapy Treatment?  Hydrotherapy treatment refers to the use of dedicated exercises in water as part of a treatment for particular conditions. Hydrotherapy is typically conducted in a pool; however, the exercise can be undertaken in other types of open water. As a result of your body being supported by the water mass, hydrotherapy is a low impact way to exercise that can assist individuals to recover from injuries, re-gain mobility, treat joint pain and inflammation, and strengthen weak muscles.  Why Is Hydrotherapy Used? Hydrotherapy leverages the properties of water, like buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure, to benefit the patient. Warm water encourages muscle relaxation, which can allow the individual to move freely and exercise without overbearing pain or stiffness. It can allow individuals suffering from chronic physical restrictive conditions to move into positions they wouldn’t be able to regularly.  Hydrotherapy can also reduce the severity of pain related to chronic conditions such as arthritis or injuries. The weightlessness of body mass in water is a major contributing factor for a reduction in joint, muscular or nerve pain.  The benefits of hydrotherapy can be applied to numerous conditions, including injuries causing pain, sport injuries, osteoarthritis, lymphoedema, and chronic and persistent pain management. The Purpose of Hydrotherapy The hydrotherapy purpose in physiotherapy terms is quite simple: to create a weightless, supported environment for individuals to engage in exercise they may not otherwise be capable of conducting. The condition the physiotherapist is aiming to treat will determine the hydrotherapy purpose. Typically, the goal of hydrotherapy is to increase mobility, encourage movement in stiff or immobile areas of the body, reduce pain and improve muscular strength. Health Benefits of Hydrotherapy   The health benefits of hydrotherapy may include: Reduced pain and swelling Improved mobility Increased function Faster recovery from surgery Improved fitness and strength Mental wellbeing Improved balance and coordination Reduced Pain and Swelling The benefits of hydrotherapy can include reduced pain and swelling of muscles and joints. The hydrostatic pressure in water helps to reduce swelling whilst exercising, which can cause severe pain. It also improves post exercise muscle soreness, so that clients aiming to increase mobility don’t experience severe pain as an outcome of the exercise. This is particularly beneficial for anyone suffering from chronic arthritis. Improved Mobility The buoyancy of water reduces weight bearing stress on the body, which is one of the most significant benefits of hydrotherapy. Removing that weight encourages freedom of movement, as well as range of motion whilst experiencing physiotherapy in water. The end result is improved mobility that can carry through to outside the water as well. Increased Function The warmth and buoyancy of water encourages muscles to relax when performing hydrotherapy. This optimises the functionality of the body so that throughout rehabilitation or pain management programs, individuals can get back to performing the daily lifestyle tasks that they have been prohibited from conducting due to an injury or chronic condition. Faster Recovery from Surgery If you’ve undergone any type of surgery, it is likely that the hospital will prescribe you with treatment which will align with the type of surgery that was undertaken. Hydrotherapy is commonly used as a post-operative treatment that will be a vital part of your healing and recovery, as well as assisting in reducing scar tissue and managing pain. Improved Fitness and Strength Strength and conditioning training, rehabilitation or management helps to improve posture, mobility, cardio capabilities and coordination. Improving fitness and strength is essential for those recovering from injuries to get back to their daily tasks as soon as possible. In addition, hydrotherapy is essential for elderly clients seeking to become more confident in their balance and coordination. This assists them with completing daily tasks and ultimately may prevent injury caused by falls. Mental Wellbeing Taking a holistic approach, mental wellbeing is a significant advantage of hydrotherapy. It allows otherwise immobile patients to move with more freedom and exercise with reduced pain levels. Experience the Benefits of Hydrotherapy If you’re looking for more information regarding what is hydrotherapy treatment, we recommend visiting NQ Physio Solutions discuss and discover the benefits of hydrotherapy with a qualified physiotherapist. At NQ Physio Solutions, our goal is to conduct evidence-based treatments on our clients to help you get back to doing the things you love, sooner. Ready to experience first-hand the benefits of hydrotherapy? Contact us today to book your next consultation with one of our physiotherapists.

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What Does Pilates Do for the Body?

What Does Pilates Do for the Body?

Pilates refers to a type of physical activity that challenges the core's strength and stretches major muscle groups. A low-impact type of exercise, Pilates and clinical Pilates can benefit almost anyone. Whether you're recovering from an injury, you're losing mobility, you're recovering from giving birth, or you just want to improve your strength and flexibility, Pilates is an excellent opportunity to benefit your body. But what does Pilates do for the body? While we all know someone that raves about the benefits of Pilates, if you've never been to a class, you may not fully understand what Pilates actually does for the body. Believe it or not, Pilates is not just the newest fad or health-trend. Engaging in Pilates or clinical Pilates can provide a range of benefits – from improved strength to rehabilitation of injury and increased mobility. When combined with physiotherapy, clinical Pilates goes hand in hand with injury recovery treatments and muscle rehabilitation. Why Do People Do Pilates? You don't have to be injured to start Pilates – in fact; there are seems to be an abundance of Pilates studios popping up around Australia as more people learn the benefits of engaging in the exercise for general fitness. If you're wondering "why do people do Pilates?", the main reasons for doing so include: Injury rehabilitation Postnatal strength Back problems Fitness & toning Strength & conditioning Improve mobility & flexibility What Does Pilates Do for the Body? The benefits of Pilates for your body are plentiful. Pilates incorporates strength, stability, movement and flexibility. Pilates works by stretching and lengthening all major muscle groups in a balanced fashion. Pilates' exercises generally create muscular exertion and can be adapted to provide either gentle strength training for rehabilitation or a strenuous workout for athletes. Pilates centres on controlled, stable movements, working on alignment, posture, mobility, whole-body strength and coordination of the muscles. As a low impact type of exercise, Pilates can: Increase body awareness Retrain motor control Correct posture Strengthen muscles Improve stability Improve joint mobility and flexibility  What Does Pilates Do for the Body When Combined with Physio?  When combined with physiotherapy, clinical Pilates is frequently used as a rehabilitation treatment for an injury or chronic pain. Working with a trained physiotherapist, Pilates can provide a solution for injury, movement dysfunction, or physical weakness. Pilates requires a lot of pf control and precision, so your physio will be able to identify any weaknesses, and tailor a Pilates program to strengthen and improve mobility of your weakened muscles. As Pilates can be tailored to each individual, exercises for physio rehabilitation are generally low-impact and gentle. If you're attending regular Pilates sessions with a physiotherapist, you will soon see improvements in strength, flexibility and mobility and overall rehabilitation of your illness or injury. What Are the Benefits of Pilates?  As well as the aforementioned reasons for partaking in Pilates, there are also a number of holistic benefits that come with regularly doing Pilates. Some of the other benefits of Pilates include: Less back pain Better performance in other workouts Relaxation of your neck, back and shoulders Stress management and relaxation Improved concentration Relieved tension Improved core strength Strengthened pelvic floor What Does Pilates Do for the Body After Giving Birth?  Getting back into exercise after having a baby can be tough. Postnatal Pilates is a great way to get back into gentle exercise and help your body to recover from the stress that it has been put under. Postnatal Pilates can target and strengthen the muscles most affected by pregnancy and birth and increase overall whole-body strength and fitness. The main benefits of postnatal Pilates include: The Benefits of Postnatal Pilates Retraining your pelvic floor Reducing abdominal separation Core strengthening Improve diastasis recti Prevent back pain Strengthen and energise the whole body  Want to Learn More About Clinical Pilates? NQ Physio Solutions are Townsville's leading team of physiotherapists, providing both one-on-one sessions and group Pilates classes. Our physiotherapists at NQ Physio Solutions are trained in clinical Pilates, and regularly integrate the style of exercise into rehabilitation treatment programs. Our clinical Pilates services add an additional element of clinical knowledge to all Pilates exercises; ensuring that you and your body's requirements are in safe hands. At NQ Physio, we centre our treatment on what your body needs. Whether you've suffered from injury or just want to improve strength and mobility, we can tailor our clinical Pilates sessions to meet your needs. The leading experts in rehabilitation treatment in Townsville, check out our Pilates class timetable and book in for a private Pilates session or group class online or on (07) 4729 0055 today.   

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Pilates for Prostate Health: Rehabilitation After Surgery

Pilates for Prostate Health: Rehabilitation After Surgery

Surgery is a common choice for treating prostate cancer, preventing the spread of the disease to other parts of the body. But removing the prostate comes with several side effects. You’ll likely experience urinary incontinence (i.e., leaking urine) and erectile dysfunction after the operation. Although symptoms are likely to gradually improve in the first year after surgery, rehabilitation can help to speed up the process or improve outcomes. Physiotherapy is a large part of post-prostate surgery rehab, which strengthens and retrains the pelvic floor and deep core muscles. The right kind of exercise can help the patient recover more quickly after the operation and return to the activities they enjoy.  Men’s health physiotherapy, which deals with post-prostate surgery recovery, often prescribes Pilates based exercises. It is a low-impact exercise that targets the deep muscles supporting posture and movement. Physiotherapists adopt Pilates programmes to accommodate any health or mobility concerns, including the side effects of prostate surgery. Pilates for Urinary Incontinence Many men experience urinary incontinence post prostatectomy. Often they leak urine with coughing, sneezing and movements such as standing from a chair, bending and lifting objects. The muscles of the pelvic floor act like a sling that supports the organs within the pelvis, including the bladder and can help to prevent urine leaking when there is a rise in intra-abdominal pressure. When your pelvic floor is strong, you’re able to contract the muscles to prevent or control your urine flow. But when your pelvic floor is weak or your deep core muscles aren’t functioning well, you may not be able to control your urine, so it leaks out. The pelvic floor is one of the deep core muscles, which is why Pilates is the perfect rehab option for strengthening. Pilates exercises activate your deep muscles, helping you relearn how to contract and relax your pelvic floor and improve breathing to control rises in intra-abdominal pressure. With progressive therapy sessions, you’ll be able to manage your symptoms so you can get back to the activities you enjoy. Pilates for Erectile Dysfunction Nearly all men experience erectile dysfunction initially after prostate cancer treatment. The length of time to regain erectile function after surgery can vary and can depends on a number of factors. This side effect of treatment can affect a person’s self-esteem and romantic relationships. Pelvic floor muscles help sustain blood flow to the penis during an erection, helping to maintain the erection. Therefore, improving pelvic floor muscle function can assist with regaining erectile function. Erectile dysfunction can also be associated with a number of factors including: Age Other medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes and certain medications Lifestyle factors such as smoking or limited exercise Psychological factors including stress, anxiety and depression Your primary doctor will assess your overall health and consider these factors. They’ll discuss your chances of regaining spontaneous erections after the operation. They are likely to suggest pelvic floor muscle exercises, and because Pilates compliments pelvic floor muscle training, it may help you recover from impotence faster. Other options for regaining erectile function postoperatively include medication and other devices so you can enjoy a healthy sex life. Other than post-prostatectomy rehabilitation, Pilates also offers many benefits for men’s health. This exercise helps improve your posture, develops neglected muscle groups, and enhances your flexibility and mobility. You can continue doing Pilates even after you’ve recovered from your surgery, boosting your overall health. Physiotherapy for Men’s Health NQ Physio Solutions is a trusted provider of physiotherapy and clinical Pilates services. We offer men’s health physiotherapy, focusing on pre- and post-surgery rehabilitation and injury prevention and recovery. Our physiotherapists will help you regain optimal function of your muscles, so you can go back to doing the things you love. Contact us to know more about pilates, physiotherapy and post-prostate surgery recovery.

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The Health Benefits of Clinical Pilates

The Health Benefits of Clinical Pilates

Pilates has recently gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts. Many have taken to practising the low-impact exercise as an alternative or complimentary to other types of workouts. The fitness system uses slow and precise movements to improve the body’s posture, core, flexibility and stability. Clinical Pilates combines these exercises with physiotherapy to treat different types of injuries. This type of Pilates has gained its own following. Many people take part in clinical Pilates classes even when they’re not injured. Its popularity is mostly due to the health benefits it provides. How Clinical Pilates Improves Physical Health By incorporating physiotherapy into workouts, people who practice clinical Pilates acquire more health benefits. Aside from keeping them active and helping them stay fit, these additions allow them to learn more about their bodies. Discover the health benefits of clinical Pilates to see if it’s the workout for you. Clinical Pilates Corrects Posture Your posture plays a role in your health, from improving your strength to preventing injuries. As an exercise that focuses on stability, control and balance, clinical Pilates can effectively correct your posture. The physiotherapist will identify what’s causing your bad posture and address them during your workouts. Clinical Pilates Enhances Flexibility Most people lead sedentary lifestyles these days, which leads to poor flexibility and weak muscles. Clinical Pilates addresses these by working out your joints and muscles. Over time, you will gain better flexibility while building your strength and endurance. Clinical Pilates Strengthens the Pelvic Floor A weak pelvic floor may lead to health problems in the future, such as incontinence, hernias, and musculoskeletal problems. Additionally, improving pelvic floor function can make delivery easier for pregnant women. The exercises involved in clinical Pilates effectively address these problems. This workout will improve the function of your pelvic floor and improve your body’s core over time. Clinical Pilates Promotes Awareness Completing the different exercises in clinical Pilates requires you to concentrate on each movement. This heightened awareness is something you will eventually carry outside of the classroom. Soon you will be able to identify injuries, or imbalances that may lead to injury and determine if you need to book a doctor’s appointment. Clinical Pilates Improves Stability The exercises in clinical Pilates focus on your hips, shoulders and ankles. By strengthening these areas, the workout improves your body’s overall stability and balance. As mentioned, this can prevent injuries as it can prevent falls and improve the body’s biomechanics. In addition, clinical Pilates improves your core strength. It will make sitting and walking easier, preventing muscle strain and other musculoskeletal problems. Join a Clinical Pilates Class to Experience Its Benefits Firsthand Clinical Pilates provides several health benefits, whether you’re rehabilitating from an injury or trying to stay more active. Experience these for yourself when you join a class. NQ Physio Solutions provides clinical Pilates classes in Townsville. Headed by our trained physiotherapists, each class is focused on helping you gain better awareness and control of your body. Our team is mindful of old and existing injuries, customising the workouts to prevent additional strain.  Learn more about this workout and how it helps your overall health when you get in touch with us.

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Pilates as Physiotherapy: Why You Should Try It

Pilates as Physiotherapy: Why You Should Try It

Physiotherapy is the assessment and treatment of injury, chronic disease, persistent pain and can assist in the maintenance of your general health and well-being.  There are many different treatment techniques including therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, soft tissue mobilisation (massage) and dry needling.  Of these techniques, exercise is one of the most utilised modalities by physiotherapists.  Exercise can be used to strengthen your body, improve mobility and retrain your muscles to assist your recovery from injury and to optimise your general function. Pilates is a gentle style of exercise that Physiotherapists often prescribe.  There are benefits both for the rehabilitation of injury, but also to help assist the prevention of injury occurring in the future. What Is Pilates? Motion is lotion!  Getting the body moving is one of the best things you can do to balance the demands of our modern lifestyle. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that can improve quality of movement, strength and flexibility.  It is an exercise that is suitable to be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.  Your physiotherapist can adapt your Pilates program to accommodate any health or mobility concerns.  Pilates particularly good option for pre and post-natal exercise, older adults and rehabilitation post cancer treatment. Pilates can assist with: Posture Core stability Balance and coordination Flexibility Alignment Breathing patterns Movement Persistent Pain As a regular exercise, Pilates can improve general health and wellbeing through increased body awareness, posture control and a stronger, more mobile body. Pilates Into Physiotherapy: Is It Effective? There have been several clinical studies and research on the effects of Pilates on patients in need of physiotherapy, particularly among those who are experiencing chronic back pain. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science concluded that Pilates exercises do offer relief and functional enhancement among patients with chronic lower back pain.  A more recent published review (Cíntia Domingues de Freitas, 2020) has concluded that Pilates can help to reduce the fear of movement that often results as a consequence of low back pain.  Improving confidence with movement can significantly reduce the disability associated with persistent back pain and will help to get you back to doing the things you love.  Although there’s more room for research and recommendations for Pilates as physiotherapy, rest assured that we prescribe safe and effective programs at NQ Physio Solutions. All of our pilates programs are carefully planned and calibrated to give you maximum benefits and to supplement any ongoing medical treatment or therapy. Our physiotherapy clinic in Townsville, Queensland, welcomes walk-ins and referrals for clinical Pilates. Is Pilates Safe for Everyone? A common question that we get from people who’re interested in doing Pilates for the first time is whether it’s safe for them to do a wide range of exercises when they’re experiencing pain or are recovering from an injury.  Generally, when adapted to your individual needs, pilates is a safe and gentle exercise suitable for most people.  Our pilates trained physiotherapists will complete a thorough assessment of your individual needs to ensure that pilates is an appropriate exercise for you. If you have any further questions or are interested in starting Pilates, Get in touch with NQ Physio Solutions today. View our Pilates Class Timetable Cíntia Domingues de Freitas, D. A. (2020). Effects of the pilates method on Kinesiophobia with chronic non-specific low back pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 300-306.

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The Pelvic Floor

The Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor's role in your core and more.... The pelvic floor muscles run from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to your tailbone at the base of your spine and extends out to your sitting bones either side. Picture it like a hammock supporting your pelvic organs – bladder, uterus (in females) and bowel. Therefore, you can imagine that there is an underlying level of activity in these muscles throughout the day until you lie down and the weight of our organs and gravity is no longer on this area These muscles also work closely with our deepest abdominal muscle (transverse abdominus), small muscles supporting spinal segments (multifidus) and our diaphragm. This group of muscles form our ‘deep core’ which provides support to our spine and pelvis. When working effectively the pelvic floor also contributes to: Maintaining continence of our bladder and bowel Sexual function Relaxing to allow us to empty our bladder and bowel Relaxing to allow women to birth a baby during labour Unfortunately there are times when the pelvic floor isn’t working optimally. In some people these muscles weaken due to a number of possible reasons including excessive weight gain, straining to empty bowels or trauma during pregnancy or childbirth. This can lead to symptoms such as incontinence, back and pelvic pain or pelvic organ prolapse. In some people we see that these muscles are actually holding too much tension, such as when our shoulders and neck tense up during times of stress. In this scenario, pelvic floor muscle strengthening could potentially worsen symptoms such as pelvic pain, poor emptying of bladder or bowels or sexual dysfunction. Therefore, it is important that you are able to contract and relax your pelvic floor well. If you’d like to know more about whether your pelvic floor function could be contributing to your back pain, or bladder/bowel symptoms we are here to help! See below for a short video about the pelvic floor from the Continence Foundation of Australia.

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Foam rolling – is it worth the pain?

Foam rolling – is it worth the pain?

There has been an explosion of foam rollers into the market over recent years, and I am sure that you have a family member touting their benefits. BUT, are they really worthy all that pain and discomfort? Well there has been numerous studies of late investigating the value of the foam roller use over the last decade with mixed results. An extensive literature review by Schroeder & Best (2015) examined the current evidence for the use of foam roller self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques highlighted mixed results on pre-exercise, maintenance and recovery. Results showed that there was benefit increased range of motion across most of the studies, and increased function physical testing across several studies and a notable decrease in reported post exercise muscular soreness. However, most importantly, no negative effects were observed throughout the literature review. “How long do I have to do this for?!” - The most common question yelled at me whilst patients are enjoying their first roller experience. Unfortunately, the jury is out. However, the good news is that across all of the articles reviewed, the most consistent timing appeared to be blocks of 1 minute x 3 repetitions (with 30 second breaks in between). On the studies whose protocols involved sessions routines of under 30 seconds and over 10 minutes showed decreased benefits in comparison. This timing instruction might not be perfect just yet, but it’s a start. So, the takeaway message is that there is benefits in exercise performance and recovery, with no negative impacts despite the initial pain, for a routine that only needs to last for 3 minutes. So maybe don’t give up on that roller just yet and slowly introduce it into your pre-exercise and recovery sessions to help you stay active and healthier for longer. References:Schroeder, A., & Best, T. (2015). Is Self Myofascial Release an Effective Preexercise and Recovery Strategy? A Literature Review. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 14(3), 200-208.

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Pain

Pain

Pain is a truly interesting concept. Like emotions, it is purely individual to a person. It can be hard to describe at times and everyone will have a unique experience, even if they have a similar injury. But, why is that? There have been great leaps forward in pain science over the last decade and we are beginning to understand its mechanisms more than ever. We now know that pain is signal that is designed to alert our bodies to potential tissue damage but there is no direct link to the amount of pain we can experience to the amount of damage that may occur. Imagine a papercut. It is extremely painful but there is only minor damage to your body, but you can also break bones and not experience any significant pain initially. Our bodies are constantly deciphering information to assess if it could harm us and how we each experience pain is controlled by several factors. Our body structures, immune systems, environments and even our emotions contrite to the pain experience. There are even conditions which you can develop where you experience quite a lot of pain from something that shouldn’t normally cause pain. So next time you roll your ankle or feel a “twinge” in your back, just remember that you may not have hurt yourself as bad as you may think. Also, if you have been dealing with an area of pain for a long time, popping pills and resting on the couch can be doing you more harm then good! So, make an appointment with one of our great Physio’s to find how to better manage your pain and get back to doing the things you love.

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