SO, if like me, you’ve increased your intensity of sessions, increased volume etc..or simply don’t spend enough time on stretching, mobility and warming up properly, chances are you could do with a quick visit to see your Physiotherapist.
Paddy, from Z10 Physiotherapy on Bath Avenue reached out to me a few weeks ago to see if I needed a treatment. Of course I said yes- My back was tight for weeks, felt bruised all around my mid-back; I constantly had to crack it for relief. In fact, it t got so bad I couldn’t sleep unless it was at a certain angle. And yes, idiot here thought ‘sure I’ll just foam roll a little more often and press the tennis ball into wherever hurts’. To no avail. What I needed was professional advise from a medical professional.
I tottered down after work one evening and met Paddy at his brand new office space on Bath Avenue. Paddy is very welcoming- simple, straight-forward and enough chat to keep you feeling comfortable, relaxed and very much at-ease. I began the session talking about what issues I had, any soreness, tightness, any issues with movement etc…He asked me to do a few simple exercises and then got to work. He started with my neck and then onto my back and hips- it turns out I had a series of muscle spasms and so he recommended I got a dry needling treatment done which he did there and then. It’s a little weird and not so comfortable but, in a few short seconds the sense of relief is overwhelming and therefore worth the marginal discomfort (note- not pain!).
Throughout the whole treatment, Paddy was talking to me about he was doing and why (which I’m interested in!) so for any of you who might be a little bit nervous about what to expect it’s all very relaxed. Ok, so it’s not like a massage in a beauticians where you feel all sleepy, it’s a functional session to fix or treat an ailment but it definitely makes you feel so much better afterwards. I wore shorts and a sports bra and a light vest as this allows for the Physio to work with ease and perhaps even see any obvious issues or strains.
I asked Paddy to answer a few questions too; perfect for anyone wondering whether or not Physio should be part of their regular health routine- just as important as a dental check-up, a health check up your GP or a smear test. I have to admit, I left my issue far too long and will definitely be back much sooner to keep my body in tip top condition. I work at a desk too so I’m sure the combination of leaning over a desk coupled with heavy lifting doesn’t lend itself too well to my poor back!
Q&A with Paddy
How important is Physiotherapy to your overall health?
Physiotherapy is extremely important to overall health as pain and muscle tightness can inhibit normal muscle function and normal muscle growth. Dysfunction can put an abnormal stress on a joint causing early onset joint degeneration and arthritis. For example, weak gluteal muscles lead to destabilization of the pelvis. This causes over recruitment of the outside thigh muscle (Vastus Lateralis) which will pull the knee cap laterally (away from the mid-line) causing it to rub off the tendon and knee cartilage.
How do you know if you need treatment and should you go for a regular check-up?
You should consult with a chartered physiotherapist after any injury or pain that lasts longer than 4 days. The body is very good at getting out of pain but dysfunction may still exist after an injury. A common mistake people make is not getting an ankle sprain treated. A typical ankle sprain can cause instability of the ankle making it susceptible to a more serious injury including an ankle fracture. Also, an ankle sprain usually deceases dorsiflexion (the ability to pull the toes and foot up towards the body). Full dorisflexion is very important for normal walking and running and lack of it can cause the calf and hamstring muscles to tighten leading to all sorts of problems including calf tears, Achilles tendonopathy, knee pain and lower back pain.
Another problem we see in clinic is people taking medication to relieve lower back pain. Pain may go away but the stiffness and dysfunction may remain in the spine causing the body to move abnormally and leading to further back problems in the future.
Prevention is the best cure for any musculoskeletal problem and it is recommended that you see your chartered physiotherapist every 6-8 months to detect any problems and for exercises to combat the demands placed on the body by work, sport or hobbies.
What kind of symptoms/issues would benefit from a treatment with a physiotherapist?
Any muscle or joint that’s in pain for over 4 days or any areas that feel tight or restricted. Physiotherapists can relieve the majority of musculoskeletal conditions quickly and efficiently without causing too much discomfort. The earlier the condition is treated the quicker the patient will return to full fitness. As well as the typical injuries, physios can treat vertigo, tension headaches, wrist pain, hip and groin pain.
If you train 3-4 times per week or more, do you need to go more often or are there exercises you recommend?
If you train regularly in a sport or in the gym then you should see your physiotherapist every 4-5 months. Heavy training can lead to a release of Acetylcholine causing muscles to tighten and contain active trigger points. Treatments such as Dry Needling and massage can keep the muscle free of trigger points decreasing the risk of injury and improving muscle function and recovery time.
What happens at a session and what can people expect after one treatment typically? If a person is in pain the injury will be assessed and treated. The physio will treat the site of pain and also where he/she feels the pain is coming from which may be from a different body part. During assessment the physio will check how the body moves, the siting and standing posture, the range of movement of the joints, the soft tissue quality and muscle strength.
Treatment may include joint mobilization to improve mobility, Dry Needling to release muscle spasm, soft tissue massage to decrease pain, exercise prescription, stretches, advice on how to avoid pain on injury, strapping or taping ideas to offload a painful area or orthotic fitting.
How much is a treatment?
Each treatment costs €60 and €50 for students or medical card holders. Improvements are always expected after just 1 session with most injuries requiring 3 treatments or less.
How can people book an appointment or get in touch?
You can book an appointment online at Z10 Physiotherapy or call 085 7715481