Articles in Category: General Health

What’s the difference between a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, and an Osteopath?

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Tuesday, 17 April 2018. Posted in General Health, Chiropractic

What’s the difference between a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, and an Osteopath?

By Don Williams

B.Sc., M.Chiro., ICSSD., PG Dip. NMS Rehabilitation Cert DNS. Memb: FICS, CEA

 

One of the more common questions we get from patients is what is the difference between a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, or an Osteopath?

 

On the surface this would appear to be a simple question however the number of questions and confusion support that it evidentially is not. On the basis of the evolution of these practices it is quite common for Chiropractors to deal just with manipulation and joints, where by a Physiotherapist tends to deal more with stretching and muscles, and an Osteopath tends to do soft tissue work manipulation similar to a Chiropractor. However the evolution of these professions has blurred the boundaries considerably, it is not uncommon to see a Physiotherapist that does a lot of manipulation and it is not uncommon to see a Chiropractor that does lots of soft tissue work and stretches.

 

So where do we draw the lines?

I generally believe that anytime someone has an injury it is always a joint and a muscle involved. When you think about it, every joint in the body is crossed by at least one muscle, and every muscle in the body crosses at least one joint. So as a result, anytime you injure a muscle it will affect the joint and every time you injure a joint it will affect the muscle so we must deal with both areas simultaneously.

 

The team at Institute of Sports and Spines do a range of different treatment interventions that would commonly be more regarded as Physiotherapy techniques. The confusion is that these techniques while being used often by Physiotherapist are not specifically Physiotherapy techniques. So when we look at rehabilitation from a knee injury, sporting injury, a muscle tear, or a strain people predominately think this is a Physiotherapy only activity, however this makes up a large proportion of the injuries that the team see at Institute of Sports and Spines.

 

Generally the management of different injuries is time based surrounding milestones that are inherit in recovery of the tissue in question. What this essentially means is that a strain of a muscle will improve or repair faster than a tear of a muscle, ligament injuries take longer to repair than muscle injuries, and tendon issues can be extremely stubborn if you don’t address the underlying concern.

 

Although our treatment strategies with the Chiropractic team at Institute of Sports and Spines may confuse our patients as to the background of why we’re using a particular technique and whether it is Chiropractic or Physiotherapy we certainly deal with a wider range of complaints then most people would realise.

 

When we look at athlete injury management particularly, we would always use a combination of soft tissue work in conjunction with manipulation or adjustments when and if indicated followed by corrective exercises to address the underlying movement patterns. This tends to be the model we use with the general population as well; adjustments to relieve the irritation, soft tissue to take out tension, and exercises to re-educate the muscles and postural system.

 

I think that the only reason that Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, and Osteopathy don’t amalgamate into one profession is due more to egos and understanding in the public rather than the actual differences between the professions. I would think that if we sub-specialised into the different areas that we treat this would probably be a clearer distinction than whether it was a Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, or Osteopath problem.

 

For many conditions any of the three professions or modalities could get a great result and interestingly some people seem to respond more to a particular person or style of intervention rather than a particular profession. This doesn’t stop people from having the impression that all Physiotherapists ‘are stupid’, or all Chiropractors ‘hurt you’, or all Osteopath’s ‘don’t do anything’ these opinions are often based on hearsay and not always in reality. However there are certain cases of people who may have had an interaction with someone previously that has not gotten a good result and unfortunately this often leads them to label all of that profession as ineffective.

 

I hope this has cleared up some of your thoughts or questions in regards to Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Osteopaths. If you have any further questions, please contact us at Institute of Sports and Spines and we would be glad to help.

 

Fascial Dysfunction and Treatment

on Monday, 03 July 2017. Posted in Massage, Newsletters, General Health

Fascial Dysfunction and Treatment

By Luke Attkins

Diploma of Remedial Massage, Certificate IV of Massage Therapy

Member: AAMT, SCA, CAA, CA.

 

Fascia is commonly described as a 3D spider’s web that runs underneath a person’s skin and attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and internal organs.

http://www.fascialfreedom.com.au/resources/fascial%20tissue%203.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A common problem that arises between fascial tissues is adhesions that are caused by the shortening and tightness of the muscular units that surround that area. Fascia that surrounds muscle compartments or is in broad superficial sheets has a tendency to shorten in areas of stress, causing problems in mobility and joint function.

 

Professor Vladimir Janda, characterised myofascial dysfunction into two categories; upper cross and lower cross syndrome. These two syndromes are classified as postural syndromes causing shortening and weakening of specific muscles, leading to postural dysfunction. 

 

Upper-cross syndrome is described as rounding of the shoulders and forward carrying of the head. This postural syndrome shows the tightening and shortening of the pectoralis muscles and upper trapezius whilst simultaneously weakening the rhomboids (middle trapezius).

 

In lower-cross syndrome postural signs are anterior pelvic tilt and accentuated lordosis of the lumbar spine. This is caused by the tightening and shortening of these muscles: hip flexors, tensor fasciae latae (thigh) and erector spinae group whilst simultaneously weakening the abdominal and gluteal muscles.

 

Things that are associated with these two postural syndromes can lead to chronic pain through the back, legs, neck, shoulders, and chest and if left untreated it can start to affect the diaphragm causing problems with breathing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Myofascial release (MFR) is a physical therapy technique that involves applying gentle pressure into the connective fascial tissue releasing muscular shortness and tightness which in turn helps eliminate pain and help with restoring motion.

 

Techniques that are used in the release of fascial tissue are: skin rolling, fascial stretching, and fascial separation (lifting and rolling of the muscles). The benefits of this treatment are diverse.  Direct bodily effects can help improve flexibility, function, ongoing back, neck, shoulder, hip or any type of pain that is affecting an area containing soft tissue.  MFR is commonly used as an approach to work with tissue-based restrictions and their two-way interactions with movement and posture.  

 

This style of treatment usually goes for 30-60 minutes a session. Recommended amounts of treatment sessions are 4-6 but that may vary across the board as each person responds differently to treatment. 

 

If this sounds like something you may be suffering from or are finding hard to correct, give us a call and book in with Luke Attkins as he is trained in MFR treatment.

Exercise and Mental Health

on Monday, 03 July 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Training and Performance

Exercise and Mental Health

By Emily Holzberger

B.ExSS Majoring in Clinical ExPhys. Memb: ESSA

ACSA level 1 Strength and Conditioning coach, Sports Medicine Australia Sports Trainer, Level 1 Volleyball coach

 

Research has shown time and time again the significant influence exercise has on an individual’s mental health and well-being. Being physically active plays a major role in the prevention of mental health conditions.

 

Below you will see a figure demonstrating the link between physical activity and depression using the Centre of Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Individuals who performed moderate or higher levels of exercise had a much lower score than those who performed no exercise, especially for women.

For individual’s with mental health conditions, exercise is crucial in helping to manage their condition; it should go hand in hand with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. The reason for this is because of the wide range of benefits exercise and physical activity provides:

 

    • High levels of subjective well-being and improvements in mood (Biddle, 2000; Sharma 2006
    • Release of endorphins and serotonin post-exercise lead to improved mood and reduced depression and anxiety symptoms (Health Direct, 2016
    • Exercise has an ‘anti-depressant effect’ (Mutrie, 2000
    • Improves self-esteem and cognitive function (Callaghan, 2004
    • Leads to improved sleep (Sharma, 2006
    • Increases energy and stamina (Sharma, 2006
    • Reduces tiredness that can increase mental alertnesss (Sharma, 2006
    • Reduction in weight which may be necessary because of the weight gain commonly associated with anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication. (Sharma, 2006
    • Provides social interactions, and allows people to build social networks and communication skills. (Peluso, 2005)

 

The figure below clearly outlines the phenomenal effect exercise has on people with depression. The exercise group of participants had the highest rate of recovery and the lowest rate of relapse out of the three groups.

Professor Jorm, from the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, provides a good explanation of what often is the case for most individual’s with poor mental health;

"When people get a problem like depression or severe mental illness, it affects their motivation and enjoyment of life, and that can drive physical activity down. But there's also probably a reciprocal effect, in that when they exercise less, that seems to make [their mental health] matters worse."

 

This cycle can be very difficult to get out of, however by taking small steps people will be able to feel the benefits for themselves. Supervised exercise has been shown to have greater adherence rates than unsupervised sessions, especially for this population group (Courneya, et al., 2012). This may be a strategy people could use to get back into exercise.

 

Emily Holzberger, the Clinical Exercise Physiologist here at Institute of Sports and Spines has experience working with patients with mental health conditions. Through her experience Emily’s seen just how much exercise can do for a person’s mental health. If you think incorporating exercise into the management of your current condition or need help with motivation give her a call (3398 7022).