Physiotherapy treatment can address a wide variety of conditions that affect the body. In most cases its primary purpose is to alleviate painful symptoms and maximise your movement potential. Consequently, most people only think of physiotherapy in relation to musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries. However a physiotherapist can effectively treat paediatric, surgical and neurological conditions too, using a wide variety of therapeutic techniques.
A typical assessment with a physiotherapist would involve a detailed subjective history to understand the circumstances of the illness or injury and how it affects your lifestyle. This would be followed by a thorough physical examination, testing the client’s range of motion, muscle strength and the presence of any pain. Treatment for most conditions does not usually last more than a few sessions and a personalised treatment plan will be devised in conjunction with the client, with a strong emphasis on self-management to achieve the best long term results.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy focuses on the addressing biomechanical impairment and structural injuries that reduce an individual’s functional movement or ability. It is most commonly recognised for treating sporting injuries, but is widely used in the treatment of illness and injury to regain and maintain the best quality function and movement, so that you can resume your normal daily activity. The MSK Physiotherapist will focus more on the physical structures of the body including the bones muscle, ligaments and tendons. They will also factor in the clients interconnected systems of heart, lungs, circulation and lymphatic system.
Neurological Physiotherapy address physical dysfunction that arises from damage or impairment to the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. Treatment can speed up recovery following illness or injury, slow or halt deterioration of mobility and help children with developmental issues achieve motor function milestones. As clients with the same neurological condition can present with very different symptoms, your physiotherapist will tailor a treatment plan to address your personal needs. Some of the well evidenced treatment concepts used to rehabilitate clients include the Brunnstrom approach, the Bobath concept and the Car and Shepherd concept.
Paediatric Physiotherapy is adapted to address the full range of conditions that can affect a child’s growing body, weather the cause is physiological or neurological in nature. To ensure comfort and compliance children need specialised assessments and treatments that are engaging whilst still effective at assessing a child’s level of development. All children develop at different rates and the symptoms of their condition will present in a variety of ways, so therapists will tailor treatment to address whatever symptoms are present. Many of the major developmental milestones for childhood development occur within the first two years, so it is not unusual for babies only a few months old to see a physiotherapist. Weather the goal is rehabilitation from injury or the relief of symptoms from illness, your physiotherapist will advise family members in participating with the child’s treatment and recovery.
There are many other specialist fields of treatment are available from physiotherapists. Some of these include post-surgical rehabilitation, which involves monitoring and treating your respiration following the effects of anaesthetic. It will also speed up recovery, relieve pain and help maintain or improve mobility and strength. It would include exercise and stretching sessions, mobilisations and electrotherapies or even hydrotherapy if appropriate. There is also Vestibular Physiotherapy for balance correction and retraining following illness or injury. Massage therapy, often used pre and post sporting events to prevent injury and achieve optimal performance. Physiotherapists can also perform ergonomic assessments of your workspace to improve posture and reduce strain to limit risk of injury, perhaps with use of some adaptations.
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I didn't actually choose to see Nick - I was sent to him by my exasperated personal trainer, and now I can't thank her enough! Five weeks before the London Marathon I developed a pain in one of my glutes and did what any self-respecting idiot would do - ran on it until it was so bad it hurt just to walk, and the months of training seemed like they'd been for nothing.
Nick is wonderful. He's very professional and thorough and he has a naturally calming manner that will put you at ease. He also clearly knows his stuff - in our first session he quickly identified my problem (piriformis) explained it in terms I could understand (!) and gave me exercises to speed up recovery.
I had three more sessions and they were well worth it. As well as treating the injury he also assessed my running style for any underlying issues and correctly identified previous injury sites. With his help I was able to quickly get back into training and, by some miracle, a week before the marathon I was pain free.
I joked that, as well as fixing my injury, I expected Nick to make me run faster. Well, maybe... Just maybe... The man's a magician! I'm delighted to say I ran a pb, clocked my first sub-3 hour marathon and came 46th out of all the ladies. Thank you Nick! I cannot recommend him enough.- Ros P
A big thank you to Elaine (osteopath) at Nick Castle Osteopathy & Sports Medicine Clinics - after just 2 sessions she managed to work out some major aches and pains I'd been having daily, for over 6 months. I plan on seeing her on a regular basis to prevent any future problems. Thanks again!- Priti S
I have had 2 sports massages with Nick, one in Kensington and one in Amersham. Nick is a very approachable therapist, who spends time building a picture of the type of sports you do and the injuries you have. I have found Nick's techniques to really help improve my performance.- Jane B