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Physiotherapy Techniques


Physiotherapists use a range of different treatment techniques to relieve pain, promote healing and encourage a return to normal function. In treatment, physiotherapists rarely use one treatment method and instead combined a range of modalities that are specifically targeted to treat the issue of each individual.

Joint mobilisations/manipulations

The two main joint problems are joint pain and joint stiffness. Joint mobilisation techniques focus on restoring an area to full, pain free joint motion.

Our physiotherapists assess for any abnormalities in joint movement and apply an appropriate pressure into the direction required to best promote a restoration to normal joint mobility.

Joint mobilisations are commonly used in patients that experience neck and back pain, headaches, locked movement along joints such as shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.

Soft tissue therapy (trigger point release, myofascial release, PNF techniques)

Soft tissue therapy is an inclusive term that covers several different techniques (named above). They aim to decrease muscle and fascia pain while increasing elasticity.

Soft tissue therapy is used mainly in conditions of acute muscle pain, muscle spasms, and reduced range of motion. This is applied over areas such as pre/post-surgery, sporting injuries, every day aches and spasms along with some headaches.

Dry needling

Dry Needling techniques use solid needles to assist in the relief and reduction of muscular pain and tightness, generally in patients who have weak muscles, tight muscles or are experiencing muscle spasms.

The needles are inserted through the skin into muscle trigger points (or areas of thickened tissue) in order to restore it to its normal function while reducing the pain experienced in that muscle. Dry needling is never the sole treatment technique and is most commonly used in conjunction with other treatment techniques.

Dry needling is not acupuncture and focuses on causing targeted, local tissue change rather than following specific acupuncture points or meridians.

Our physiotherapists who offer Dry Needling have all completed a professional course accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).

Taping (Kinesio taping, rigid strapping)

Taping techniques are used by physiotherapists to provide longer lasting effects of treatment outside the normal treatment hours. The two most common tapes used are Rigid tape and Kinesio tape.

Rigid tape is used mainly in conditions of ligament, tendon or muscle tears/sprains. The tape provides an extra external layer of support to limit the joint movement into potentially damaging directions. This tape is also used as part of swelling management and posture correction treatments.

Kinesio tape is more elastic than rigid tape. This tape does offer some level of external support for injured muscles, ligaments, tendons or joints while also providing an extra layer of feedback to the individual. This allows them to more easily monitor when the injured area is moving into painful directions.

Exercise prescription (home & gym based)

In almost every physiotherapy treatment, exercises of some sort, be they aimed at strengthening or stretching will be prescribed. Depending on the individual’s condition exercise may be an at home program, hydrotherapy program or monitored gym program.

Exercise prescription is used to correct muscle, joint or postural imbalances that either cause or contribute to the individuals pain. There are large amounts of evidence to support the use of exercise prescription in the rehabilitation of surgical patients, sporting injuries, joint sprains/dislocations, back pain and some headaches.

Prescribed exercises are not only aimed at decreasing the current pain an individual is experiencing, but also at future prevention of those injuries while reducing the risk of other injuries occurring.

Electrotherapy (Ultrasound, IFT)

Electrotherapy is a terms combined treatments that aim to reduce pain, manage swelling and promote healing. The electrotherapy treatments offered by our physiotherapists include ultrasound and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS machines.

Ultrasound works by sending vibrating waves into the local soft tissue. The main aims of ultrasound are to stimulate an increased blood flow to the affected area to manage swelling and at higher vibration frequencies, to cause scar tissue breakdown. Ultrasound is mainly used on patients who have joint sprains, tendonitis, swelling conditions or muscle and ligaments tears.

TENS machines are a predominantly pain management device. It sends electrical impulses to the area where the electrodes are applied and, depending on the settings, either stimulates the release of endorphins (natural pain relief hormones) to the painful area or blocks the pain signals sent to the brain by stimulating non-pain nerve fibres. TENS machines are most useful for chronic pain conditions, muscle spasms or acute pain injuries.

All electrotherapy devices that are used by our physiotherapists have large amounts of evidence supporting their use and are made by reputable medical supply companies.


Physiotherapy Techniques at Maddington | Messenger Chiropractic- part of Complete Care Health | (08) 6161 2793