Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

By Healthweb | March 28, 2023

What is the meaning of musculoskeletal?

Musculoskeletal refers to muscle, tendon, fascia, joint, ligament and nerve tissue. Injuries to these soft tissues can result in one or more of the following occurring:

  • Muscle fibre and tendon tears
  • Joint inflammation and ligament strain
  • Pinching or pressure on nerves

Symptoms of pain, swelling, numbness, pins and needles and weakness may be experienced in the soft tissues injured. The symptoms may also be referred to other parts of the body some distance from the site of tissue upset. What follows is loss of function in one or many parts of the musculoskeletal system.

What does musculoskeletal physiotherapy involve?

The physiotherapist will begin by asking you a number of questions related to your symptoms, physical activity, type of work, general health, pain level and how and when your pain or other symptoms began.

A clinical assessment will then occur with the physio examining your range of movement, feeling muscle, joint and nerve tissue to get an idea on what the musculoskeletal diagnosis could be. This may not always be straight forward when your condition has been going on for some time and/or involves large areas of your body.

Based on examination findings, your treatment plan will be discussed with you. The skills of the physiotherapist will determine the first course of treatment action that is right for you. They will explain how the treatments should be progressed to get you back to optimal health, gain the return of functional movement and be symptom free. Your involvement in the treatment plan is very important and will assist you in managing your condition during the specified treatment time and beyond.

What are the musculoskeletal physio treatment options?

Firstly, manual therapy or hands on treatment by the physio may include a variety of massage techniques, along with joint and soft tissue mobilisation to regain flexibility of tight tissues and reduce pain and stiffness.

Prescribing specific exercises for the home, gym or work situation is often a vital treatment option, with the exercise/s being trialled in the clinic setting, along with instructions given.

Further treatment options may be therapeutic ultrasound, dry needling, taping and fitting or recommending splints, braces and SRC support garments.

The physiotherapist will also help a woman improve her awareness of movement and postural patterns relevant to her home, work, gym or sport activity. This gain in awareness will assist a healthy return of function that is appropriate for each woman.

Commencing a combined mat and equipment exercise program in the Physio Exercise Clinic may be the final treatment option for specific women. These women are keen to enhance their core activation with selected and safe loading activity, whilst improving their general body strength and flexibility.

What are the common musculoskeletal conditions treated in the physio clinic?

At Physiotherapy for Women, our physiotherapists have developed the skills to assess and treat a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions presenting in any stage of a woman’s life.

Examples of these many conditions are listed as follows:

  • Neck pain/stiffness, headaches, wry neck, whiplash and associated arm symptoms
  • Tennis and Golfers elbow (epicondylitis)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist and finger pain/tingling/numbness
  • Thumb/wrist pain, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Shoulder blade pain, mid back (thoracic) pain/stiffness, rib pain
  • Shoulder pain/stiffness/arthritis, rotator cuff pain and muscle tears
  • Low back (lumbar) pain/stiffness, lumbar disc bulges, sciatica, pelvic girdle pain, sacroiliac joint pain, pubic symphysis pain/diastasis, coccyx pain/coccydynia
  • Hip joint/groin/thigh pain/stiffness/arthritis, buttock muscle/gluteal pain,
  • Knee pain/stiffness/arthritis, patellofemoral (kneecap) pain/arthritis, hamstring cramps/pain, Baker’s cyst pain
  • Heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis), foot/ankle sprains, calf cramps
  • Rectus abdominis diastasis (DRAM)
  • Weak core and pelvic floor muscles

In providing over 20 years of musculoskeletal physiotherapy to women, we have years of clinical experience and training to be able to relieve your discomfort safely and efficiently.