Our Treatment Techniques

 

Our Treatment Techniques

Joint Mobilisations & Manipulations
Sports /Deep Tissue Massage
Dry Needling
Orthotics
Myofascial Release & Foam Roller Therapy
Exercise Therapy
Electrotherapy & Ultrasound
Kinesiotape & Sports Tape
Flexibility Programmes
Physio Pilates
Physio Yoga


Joint Mobilisations & Manipulations

 

Our Chartered Physiotherapists use joint mobilisations & manipulations to restore mobility to joints and reduce pain and inflammation. The application of Manual Therapy is based upon a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology, and is used following a careful assessment of your injury. Joint mobilisations & manipulations work to re-balance the musculoskeletal system, by improving joint flexibility and releasing pressure on muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments. 

Joint mobilisations are gentle, slow movements performed on joints to reduce pain and improve flexibility. They are particularly effective in treatment of spinal pain including lower back pain and neck pain. Joint mobilisations are graded depending on your injury and severity of pain.
Joint manipulations are high speed movements usually performed on the upper or lower back. It is safely performed to reduce pain and improve flexibility.

Our Chartered Physiotherapists will use these techniques in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques to relieve your pain. You will always be shown exercises to correct imbalances so that the joint pain and/or stiffness is less likely to return.

 

Sports /Deep Tissue Massage

Our Chartered Physiotherapists often deliver an effective, high quality deep tissue or sports massage as part of your Physiotherapy session (depending on your injury) or you can book a Sports / Deep tissue Massage even is you are not currently injured or in pain. Many of our clients attend for regular deep tissue or sports massages to optimize performance and prevent pain and injury from occurring.

What is a deep tissue/sports massage?

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. Our physiotherapists will concentrate on your specific areas of tension and pain.  When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, our Chartered Physiotherapists will often use direct deep pressure or friction applied across muscle fibres. People often notice improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage. Sports massage is particularly effective for athletes with muscle overuse injuries, and before or after a big match or run/ marathon. Sports massage can be used for many different reasons but mainly in treatment of Sport Injuries and for sports preparation and recovery.

Sports/ Deep Tissue Massage can help the following conditions:

  • Pre and post marathons/matches
  • Sports Injuries e.g ITB syndrome, shin splints, recurrent calf muscle strains
  • Anxiety, stress and tension
  • Tightness in the upper/lower back
  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches of muscular origin
  • Neck pains & aches
  • Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, pelvic pain, post-op rehab) and many more

. Our Sports/ Deep Tissue Massage treatments last 45 minutes and cost €50. You can claim some of this back through your health insurance and tax relief.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is a very successful medical treatment, which uses very thin needles (a dry needle) to treat pain and dysfunction caused by muscle problems, sinus trouble, headaches, and some nerve problems. It is not Acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine, whereas Dry Needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research.

Dry needling (also known as trigger point needling) is a scientifically proven form of treatment to treat trigger points. The needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at the myofascial trigger point. A myofascial trigger point consists of multiple knots (adhesions), which are directly related to the pain cycle.

When the needle is inserted, very often a local twitch response is experienced. After a dry needling treatment the myofascial trigger point has been released, therefore reducing pain. Combining Dry Needling with other manual techniques including joint mobilisations, deep tissue massage and stretching helps to relieve pain and restore normal movement quicker. Our Chartered Physiotherapists will also provide you with postural advice and exercises to prevent these myofascial trigger points returning.

How does dry needling work?

  • A local flow of blood is promoted to the injured part for healing.
  • The neural pathway that causes pain is inhibited or 'blocked' to some extent.
  • Endorphins (the body's natural painkillers) are released to ease the pain and inhibit the pain/inflammatory cycle.

What to expect

The benefits of trigger point release through dry needling include a decrease in the tightness and the pain associated with a particular muscle. Often times an immediate improvement is noted.

Dry needling is tolerable for most, but not all people. A limited amount of muscle soreness is to be expected for 1-2 days, after which the soreness resolves. Our Chartered Physiotherapists will choose a needle length and thickness appropriate to your condition and body size and then insert it through the skin at the appropriate place. You will feel a small pin-prick. Depending on the needle chosen you may feel a muscle ache and a muscle twitch. These are all good reactions and it means that you will get good relief from your symptoms. Because of the extreme slenderness of the needle, most people compare the sensations to a mild to moderate heaviness or tingling.

Dry needling is never used as an isolated treatment; it is followed by myofascial release and soft tissue work to minimize soreness and to maximize connective tissue flexibility. Other important aspects of musculoskeletal improvement of pain and function requires addressing possible contributing factors which includes the presence of joint or spinal dysfunction, postural imbalances, poor coordination of movement and poor posture and body mechanics with activities of daily living.

Orthotics

Like the foundations of a house, your feet support the weight of your whole body. When this support system is faulty (i.e poor foot posture/biomechanics), it may cause a chain reaction of adjustments in your posture and walking mechanics. These changes can put additional stresses on joints and muscles higher up in the body and lead to more severe problems such as Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles tendon pain, shin splints, knee pain or back pain.

Orthotics are devices that fit comfortably inside your shoes to help correct faulty foot posture or biomechanics.  This allows you to function more efficiently and helps reduce the forces and strain on your muscles and joints. Orthotics, along with rehabilitation exercises, restore natural walking and running patterns, and are an extremely important part in the prevention and long-term solution of many problems in the feet, legs and hips.

Orthotics are particularly effective for:

  • Metatarsalgia (Pain in the ball of the foot)
  • Tired/ Aching feet and legs
  • Hallux Abducto-Valgus (Bunions)
  • Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
  • Patello-femoral Pain (Anterior Knee Pain)
  • Medial Knee Pain
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints)
  • Flat feet
  • Lower back Pain caused by malalignment

If our Physios think you require orthotics, we will discuss the options fully with you. We will often tape your feet to support the arches. This allows us to determine whether or not your symptoms improve and if orthotics will help. If you need permanent orthotics our Chartered Physiotherapists will take a full biomechanical assessment of your feet and a foam box impression of your foot position. This information is then sent to a professional orthotic company in Cork where your individual orthotics are constructed from the customised mould of your feet. More simple problems can be addressed with off the shelf orthotics which are cost effective. We will be able to advise you on what is most suitable for your condition and your budget. 

Myofascial Release & Foam Roller Therapy


The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascial system. For various reasons (including disuse, lack of flexibility/ stretching, or previous injuries) the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility and range of motion.  All of these can lead to injury.
Deep Myofascial Release is a technique in which our Physiotherapists use gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down of scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.
Dry needling may also be used to release the Myofascial Trigger Points.  Our Physiotherapists may perform a stretch to the fascia, with gentle sustained pressure, which allows the fascia to 'unwind' itself. The gentle traction applied to the restricted fascia will result in heat and increased blood flow in the area. This allows the body's inherent ability for self correction to return, thus eliminating pain and restoring the optimum performance of the body.
Myofascial release has been shown to relieve various injuries including Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Shin Splints, as well as improving flexibility and preventing recurrence of injuries.

Our Physiotherapists will show you exercises to rehabilitate imbalances that may have led to myofascial tightness. Pilates & yoga may also be useful to balance the body and prevent future injury.

Foam Roller Therapy

Self-Myofascial Release techniques on a foam roller can improve flexibility, performance, and reduce the risk of injury.  In a nutshell, you use your own body weight to roll on the foam roller, massaging away restrictions to normal soft-tissue extensibility.  And you can perform this program at home, maximizing your recovery time and reducing the need for lots of treatment.  The foam roller helps eliminate adhesions in the muscles by sustained pressure on the tight areas. The foam roller is extremely effective for those “hard to reach” areas such as the thoracic spine, hips, scapula and glutes.  It is commonly used by runners and people who exercise regularly, but can be used by anyone to alleviate tight muscles and fascia.  

 


What are the benefits of foam rolling?
  • It can help correct muscle imbalances
  • It can increase joint range of motion
  • It can decrease muscle soreness
  • It can alleviate muscular tightness

              (a precursor to injury)

  • It can relieve joint stress

Foam Rollers are available to purchase from Blackpool Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic. A large Foam Roller costs €30 and a small Foam Roller costs €15. Our Chartered Physiotherapists will be happy to show you how to effectively use the foam roller for myofascial release.

Exercise Therapy

Exercise Therapy is the prescription of specific, individual exercises towards achieving an optimal level of painfree movement during basic and complex activities.  Our Chartered Physiotherapists have advanced knowledge in assessing and treating ideal movement patterns.  We integrate and apply our knowledge of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology through the course of a patient’s treatment, from initial consultation to discharge.  You will be shown exercises that are specific to the nature and stage of your injury, as well as your individual needs and goals.

Exercise Therapy is included in most, if not all of our client’s treatment programmes.  The cornerstone of an effective exercise therapy program is core stability.  The function of local stability muscles is disrupted with the onset of pain and inflammation.  A patient must learn how to retrain these muscles, and then must learn to recruit these muscles as part of a functional movement pattern.  Through the course of the treatment program; strength, endurance, flexibility and motor control are progressed towards your required function in sport, work, and every day activities.

Improvements in movement patterns are only possible with regular compliance with the Exercise Therapy program.  This means you need to do a little bit of work too!

Exercises prescribed by our Chartered Physiotherapists at Blackpool Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic incorporate a variety of techniques to improve motivation and compliance.  Yoga, Pilates, Swiss Balls, Dumbbells, Theraband, Foam Rollers and Wobble Boards are often used to keep you interested.  Variety in movement is a fundamental component in recovery and avoiding future injury.

Injured? Click here for an appointment or for some advice.

Electrotherapy & Ultrasound

Our Chartered Physiotherapists may use electrotherapy as part of your Physiotherapy session to treat disorders relating to the muscles, ligaments and/or bone.
Some of the electrotherapy treatments we use include:

Ultrasound 
Ultrasound involves using high frequency sound waves to treat musculoskeletal injuries.  Ultrasound stimulates blood circulation and cell activity, accelerating the healing process and providing pain relief by reducing inflammation. It also provides micro-massage to tissues which aids in breaking down scar tissue and helps to correctly re-align tissue fibers. Conditions with adhesions (scar tissue), pain and muscle spasm, nerve related pain can all be successfully treated with ultrasound.

Interferential Therapy
Interferential Therapy uses a medium frequency current to reduce pain, muscle spasm, inflammation and to hasten the natural healing process. It involves the placement of damp sponges on the body which deliver a mild current similar to the sensation of pins and needles.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
TENS produces pain relief by blocking pain messages to the brain. The electrodes produce a vibrating sensation in the tissues which effectively masks the pain and allows the patient to carry on with everyday life. The units are mobile and small and can be a very effective alternative to painkillers. TENS is commonly used in chronic pain (eg arthritis, low back pain, labour pain and phantom pain). Our Chartered Physiotherapists can advise you whether TENS is appropriate or not and canhelp you with rental or purchasing a TENS machine.

Kinesiotape & Sports Tape

Our Chartered Physiotherapists are skilled in taping and strapping of joints and ligaments. Strapping and taping techniques can help prevent injury as well as protect an athlete from re-injury whilst returning to sport. It can also be used to inhibit muscles spasms and promote ideal posture. The role of rigid tape is to limit the movement in an injured joint or structure to prevent aggravation of the injury. In addition it should provide support to the affected structures therefore reducing pain. 

Kinesiotape

Kinesiotape has recently become very popular among athletes and you may have seen the bright pink, blue or black Kinesiotape at a race or match.  Traditional taping methods provide excecllent support for sprained ligaments and joints, however for muscle injuries this kind of tape reduces the range of motion, compresses fascia, and restricts movement of fluid thereby inhibiting the healing process.

The popularity of Kinesio tape for muscle injuries is due to its elastic and non restrictive nature. There are specific techniques to apply the tape that allows the tape be used for multiple purposes. Its uses include:

  • Supporting weaker muscles
  • Relax tight muscles
  • Speed up the removal of swelling and bruising
  • Pain relief
  • Correcting biomechanical problems e.g. correcting muscle imbalance
  • Providing sensory feedback for postural awareness and alignment

When pain or stiffness is felt in muscles it is due to activation of pain receptors by localised inflammation. Kinesiotape works by lifting the skin which can reduce swelling, increase circulation, releasing some of the fascia, and reduce pain by taking pressure off pain receptors.
Depending on your injury, our Physiotherapists will decide whether traditional taping measures or Kinesiotape will help with your recovery.

Flexibility Programmes

Our Chartered Physiotherapists can provide a tailor made flexibility programme depending on your needs.  Flexibility training is perhaps the most undervalued component of health and well-being. Everyone can benefit from improving their flexibility.  From an office worker to a rugby player, flexibility of the muscles and joints play an integral part in injury prevention.

In general terms, flexibility has been defined as the range of motion about a joint and its surrounding muscles during a passive movement. By increasing this joint range of motion, sporting performance may be enhanced and the risk of injury reduced.  Of course, a more flexible athlete is a more mobile athlete. It allows enhanced movement around the court or field with greater ease and dexterity. Some other benefits may include an increase in body awareness and a promotion of relaxation in the muscle groups stretched - both of which may have positive implications for skill acquisition and performance.

Good flexibility also plays a role in prevention of aches and pains developing in muscles and joints e.g neck & back pain.

As well as our flexibility programmes we also run Physio Yoga Classes which incorporate whole body stretches and spinal awareness to improve overall flexibility & well being.

Injured? Click here for an appointment or for some advice