When somebody is affected by a health condition or an injury, Physiotherapy aims to reduce the pain and symptoms of the problematic area and helps to restore movement and function of the body. In simple terms, a Physiotherapist is a mechanic for the human body! At Mav Movements, we have several methods which we use to achieve the this, including:
- Soft tissue techniques
- Deep tissue release / Trigger point release
- Manual therapy (this includes using methods to mobilise and manipulate your joints or spine)
- Exercise and rehabilitation
- One to one Pilates
- Posture Education
- Ergonomics advice
Mav Movements maintains health for people of all ages and ailments. Whether you are an athlete with a muscle strain, or if you struggle to walk due to painful arthritic joints, we ensure that we tailor the treatment programme to suit your specific needs. As well as being “hands-on” in your care, we will also empower you with exercises and advice so that you can appropriately manage your symptoms at home.
Whether you are sitting at a desk, using a computer all day or trying to participate in a new hobby or sport, or even if you are just looking for some maintenance treatment to look after your body, we can help you. At Mav Movements, there are a number of conditions that we see and treat including:
- Neck Pain
- Upper Back Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Sciatica / Referred Pain
- Whiplash Injuries
- Shoulder Pain
- Elbow and Arm Pain
- Hand and Wrist Pain
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Shin Pain
- Foot and Ankle Pain
- Sports Injuries
- Postural Problems
- Work-related Disorders i.e. Repetitive Strain Injury
- Joint Stiffness
- Pre and Post-operative Rehabilitation
- Balance Issues and Falls
- Paediatric Issues
- Chronic Pain
- Women’s Health Care
- Strengthening for Optimal Wellbeing
- Exercise Prescription
- Maintenance Treatment for General Wellbeing
Acupuncture is used within Physiotherapy, to assist in the management of pain and inflammation. Our acupuncture treatments are based on Western scientific research and evidence combined with many Eastern principles. There are two different methods within acupuncture:
Conventional Acupuncture involves the use of needles which insert into the skin at specific points. The needles used are a variety of sizes and are designed for single-use only and are pre-sterilised. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the acupuncture points, based upon your symptoms. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and the duration of acupuncture can range from 5 to 20 minutes depending on your body’s response.
Trigger Point Acupuncture or ‘Dry Needling’ may be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma or as a means to increase the length of the injured muscle in order to improve stretch and rehabilitation. Here the single-use needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. The duration of trigger point needling is much quicker than that of conventional acupuncture and can take 5 to 10 minutes.
Acupuncture was originally derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), first recorded in the stone age. It was thought that the body has many complex lines of energy and areas called ‘Meridians’. The use of acupuncture following the Eastern theory, is that acupuncture unblocks these Meridians where excess energy has become stagnant, and it enhances energy flow into areas where it is lacking, thus restoring the body’s equilibrium.
There is a wealth of research behind acupuncture for pain relief, however there is no conclusive evidence on exactly HOW it works in Western medicine. It is thought to work in three ways:
The brain – By inserting a needle into the muscle, the nerves will carry a stimulus along pathways to higher centres within the brain. This ‘nerve communication’ results in a natural chemical response as the brain releases pain-relieving hormones such as endorphins, dopamines and serotonin (our natural ‘feel good chemicals’). This promotes general well-being and has an analgesic effect on the body. The brain also releases a chemical called melatonin which promotes sleep.
The spine – By inserting a needle into an affected area, the nerves of that area will automatically send signals to the part of the spinal cord which is responsible for that particular area. These signals will then block the original pain signals from reaching the same spinal cord segment which causes our body to interpret pain. This is known as the ‘pain-gating theory’, similar to when you rub your toe after you have stubbed it on something.
Locally - By inserting the needle into a muscle, it increases blood flow to the area of pain and releases chemicals, causing a local inflammatory response. This optimises the injured tissue to heal and allows the body to recover from the injury.
The sterile single-use needles vary in length from 30mm – 50mm and are usually 0.25-0.30mm in diameter. As the needles are so fine and delicate, they are usually pain free when inserted. When in situ, it is normal to feel a dull, heavy or aching sensation, but this should not be an unpleasant feeling and settles within 24 hours.
If you feel that you have had an adverse reaction from acupuncture then please let your therapist know.
At Mav Movements, acupuncture is used alongside a combination of other treatments. It is often used to reduce pain levels so that the underlying mechanical cause of the problem can then be addressed with hands on techniques, movement re-education and exercises.
Pilates is a popular exercise system which focusses on re-training the body’s correct movement patterns and strengthening both core and global muscles in the body. This is important because pain inhibits our core muscles from working properly and can eventually alter the way which we move and function. These muscles need to be woken up again in order for us to recover properly. Studies show that approximately 94% of the population experience an incidence of low back pain at some point in their lives. Subsequently, the risk of recurrence within 3 – 12 months of low back pain symptoms is high. Pilates aims to strengthen the body’s deep stabilising muscles as well as the global functional muscles, resulting in a significant reduction in the recurrence of low back pain symptoms.
Pain also has a connection with our emotions and can make us feel negative as there is a close link between our mental and physical health. Pilates aims to restore the body’s positive emotions by incorporating breathing patterns during the exercises which helps us to concentrate on the movement, thus reducing anxiety levels and promoting ‘normal’ pain-free movement in a positive environment.
As well as changing your movement patterns, helping your posture, reducing pain levels and restoring positive emotions, Pilates helps to change your outlook on a healthy lifestyle.
Usually Pilates exercises are done on a mat. Special equipment can also be used which your therapist can introduce as appropriate.
Pilates and yoga both develop strength, flexibility, posture and a good breathing technique. The main differences between the two are:
- Pilates exercises are commonly done on the floor throughout the entire session, whereas in Yoga you are required to get on and off the floor more often during the session.
- Yoga aims to improve your range of movement before developing your strength, whilst Pilates focusses on improving range of movement gradually, whilst simultaneously developing your muscle control and strength.
- Pilates carries out more repetitions per exercises therefore the exercise sessions do not move as swiftly as they do in Yoga.
If you are interested in having an assessment then let your therapist know. Following your assessment, you can then book one-to-one Pilates sessions with the lead Physiotherapist.
All you need to wear or bring with you is comfortable clothing. Shorts or tracksuit bottoms, and a t-shirt tends to work well.