The body can be a perplexing puzzle. And the various treatments available can be equally so.
We love quick lists in today’s fast world of immediate knowledge. So here is a speed-read list aimed at sorting some of the puzzle pieces.
1) Vertigo can be treated with physiotherapy
Dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness, imbalance, difficulty concentrating, blurry vision and nausea? An assessment with a physiotherapist trained in vestibular rehabilitation is needed. There can be many causes of dizziness and vertigo. A thorough assessment is a must.
2) Physiotherapists treat the jaw
Dentists deal with the teeth, malocclusion etc. The TMJ (temperomandibular joint) is intricately tied to this. Specifically trained TMJ physios can work on the joint, muscles, and provide extensive education in care of this delicate joint.
3) Physiotherapists can use needles
Don’t be scared! Acupuncture and dry needling/IMS require intensive training. The only similarities between the two are they both use needles. Acupuncture by a physiotherapist is primarily used as a pain modality. Dry needling gets into persistent trigger points in the muscle.
4) Hips don’t lie. Shakira was right!
If the hip is the issue, pain is felt in the front of the hip, into the groin and sometimes down the thigh, into the knee and shin. Often a problem hip will make you limp for the first few steps after sitting. Or when you wake. Those hip flexors need to be stretched. Those glutes need to be strong.
5) Piriformis is not a ‘syndrome’ all on its own
Something “tells” this muscle to go into spasm and cause issues. There usually are mechanical issues in the lower lumbar vertebrae and sacroiliac joint. A manual therapy tune-up is needed. Think like a car tune-up. The rattles, noises and rusty moving parts need some handy work.
6) Frozen shoulder is a thing
The capsule of the shoulder has folds and they can stick together. If you can’t tuck your shirt in, put your bra on or reach for dishes you may have frozen shoulder. You need to move it. Lots.
7) Pickle ball, tennis and golf all cause the same elbow injury
Overuse of the small tendons of the elbow. If you can’t pick your pint up after your game you may have a tendinitis of the elbow tendons. It’s a very stubborn injury and it needs some TLC. And sometimes even a brace.
8) Headaches can come from the neck joints
Pain at the base of your skull, radiating up into your head and even eye can be from the upper neck joints. Physio, chiro and massage can find the targets to treat. And then nag you about posture. We love the upper trap release!
9) Carpal tunnel is often misdiagnosed
The symptoms can also stem from the neck, shoulder and brachial plexus. Thorough assessment is a must here. How tight are your pecs?
10) Active rehab is the new cool word on the street
You are a key player in this puzzle! People are so much more educated about their bodies now. And they are lucky to have so many skilled professionals to help them stay active. Kinesiologists are bursting into rehab clinics now to help assemble your puzzle with your physio, chiro and massage therapist. Less Google doctoring seems to be happening now. Maybe the pandemic woke us up to the real beauty of a live human caring for you.
Dr. Google isn’t a good listener. We are!
Cheryl Witter is a physical therapist, and is the owner of Spine and Sports North End Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy in Vernon