Frequently Asked Physio Questions

As the years go by, we get asked a multitude of questions by clients, and some pop up far more frequently than others. So, what are the most common? Keep reading!

1. Is dry needling and acupuncture the same thing?

The practise of both techniques is essentially the same, however the intended outcomes, research and thinking behind it is different. Dry needling is a relatively new concept compared to Acupuncture. The latter being a form of Chinese Medicine that has been said to be used over hundreds of years. A Physio will use dry needling in order to increase joint range of motion, reduce muscle tension and pain.

2. Should I be using a back or shoulder brace for my posture?

As with any bracing, you need to be careful that you don’t become reliant on it. The brace should be an adjunct to a set of exercises that are designed to strengthen the areas that are being supported and engaged by the brace itself. The long term goal should always be to wean off the brace and become self-supporting and not relying on a passive, exogenous structure.

3. What is this clicking/popping noise coming from my joints?

One of the more commonly asked questions for physiotherapists. Within your joints is a substance called ‘synovial fluid’ which is a lubricant for movement, and this liquid can have air bubbles in it. When the joint is moved in a sudden force it releases these air bubbles and the result is a noise likened to that of a ‘pop’ or ‘snap.’ Unless there is an associated pain with the noise or the joint is in a vulnerable position than there is no need to worry, however if there is, you need to seek an assessment.

4. Why am I not better after one session?

Unfortunately, with a lot of injuries there is no quick fix. It would be an awesome result if you walked out of a session with any medical practitioner feeling 100% but the reality is that when you injure yourself, the healing process takes time! An injury generally requires a change in strength, mobility or movement patterns to ensure that it firstly fixed but then secondly ensuring it isn’t going to repeat itself. With any change, whether that be body composition, strength, habits etc. it requires time so expect that your injury will need to be worked on and managed over time. As physio's we are here to guide that recovery and push it in the right direction.

5. It hurts when I do HIIT style exercise, should I stop or keep going?

At present the HIIT style workouts are extremely popular and continue to gain more and more traction because it is efficient in raising the heart rate in a relatively short period of time. In an attempt to squeeze out those repetitions or meet the time limits the body can become really fatigued which places it at risk of being injured. If the pain itself is being switched on by a specific exercise then I would recommend stopping that and modifying your workouts, however if it is low level pain across the workout and you are doing some mobility/strength work specific to the injury on the side, then often it can be beneficial to continue to load the body. I stress though, that this needs to be done under the guidance of a physio, chiropractic or your trainer!

6. What footwear is the best to use when I exercise?

It is a really interesting question and one that I am passionate about. Each person has their own requirements so it is hard to generalise here, however there are a couple of general principles that I try to follow by. Firstly, if you are young, or it is your child, please go barefoot and/or wear minimalist/low support footwear so that the muscles of the lower limb are given the chance to develop natural strength from an early age. If you have always been wearing shoes, and particularly shoes with ‘arch support’ or have inserts like orthotics then it is probably best to maintain wearing that type of shoe. Also if you have had a significant ankle or foot injury which has weakened the structures around the area than wearing some supportive footwear may be beneficial but again with a strength program to match. Overall I firmly believe that being as minimal as possible with support and even being barefoot is the best way to approach things, however it can take time to develop the right strength if you have always worn shoes/inserts so you need to tread lightly with this… so to speak.

Do you have any aches or pains that you want to get checked out? Book in online here to see one of our Physio's today, or call us (08) 9448 2994.

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