People of all ages and all levels of activity suffer from muscle and joint pain – or general aches and pains. There are many causes for such pain. Sudden or overuse injuries, for example, can come with overdoing it in the garden after months of doing nothing.
We treat patients who exhibit poor posture or techniques at work – manual, sedentary or office-based workers. We also treat patients who may be experiencing pain as a result of systemic disease.
In some circumstances, you muscle or joint pain can be experienced at the site of the problem, but in other instances, it can be what we call ‘referred pain’, which means that the pain actually originates in another part of the body.
The problem can arise from any of the following:
Joints – any joint can be affected by pain. Fractures (broken bones), sprains and arthritis (such as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis) are common causes of stiff, painful joints.
Muscles – direct impact injury, over-stretching, strains or overuse can cause muscle pain.
Tendons – tendons join muscles to bones and are a common source of pain. Examples of tendon problems are tennis elbow and Achilles tendinitis.
Ligaments – injuries to ligaments (sprains) are the result of over-stretching or twisting of a joint.
What will your Physiotherapist do for you?
First of all, your Physiotherapist will carry out a detailed assessment of your condition. This will include taking a detailed history of your symptoms, along with a physical examination.
Following your assessment, you will receive a diagnosis of the problem, including the underlying causes.
And finally, you will be given a treatment plan that takes into account your particular condition and needs.
Your Physiotherapist will monitor your symptoms at each visit, and will progress or amend your treatment programme depending on your condition is responding.
When appropriate, your physiotherapist will liaise with your doctor, hospital consultant or other health care professional, making sure that you receive seamless and integrated healthcare.
You will be advised on when to return to work, when to resume sport, how to return to your daily activities – and how to prevent a recurrence of your pain.
No two patients are the same and your treatment plan will be completely bespoke, but the following list outlines some of the most common treatments you're likely to encounter:
Manual techniques – manipulation, traction or mobilisation of the affected joints to restore movement.
Soft tissue techniques – massage, frictions, trigger point therapy, acupressure and stretching.
Stretching, strengthening or postural exercises – which you may be advised to continue at home
Electrotherapy – ultrasound, interferential, TENS, laser or electrical stimulation therapy may help speed up healing and reduce pain.
Biomechanical assessment and prescription – of orthotics (customised insoles, aides or orthotics).
Assess and give advice – on ergonomics (working postures) to offload injured structures
Application of hot or cold therapy – to help pain and healing, and advice on home use.
Prescription and fitting – of supports, braces and walking aids.