Shockwave is not a new treatment modality; it has been around since the 1980s where it was initially used to treat kidney stones. Its use in lower limb injuries, is more recent (since the 1990s) where there are several conditions where it has been used effectively and, in some instances, is a legitimate alternative to injections and even surgery.1 A shockwave is a form of an acoustic wave that carries energy and can propagate through tissues causing a biological response.  

When referring to this treatment modality, shockwave is more of an abbreviation with the correct term being extracorporeal shockwave therapy. There are a few different types of shockwave therapy that can be used to treat musculoskeletal conditions. The most common for lower limb injuries is extracorporeal radial shockwave therapy; less common is extracorporeal focused shockwave therapy.  

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One in five Australians now lives with persistent pain. Persistent pain (or chronic pain) can be defined as pain that persists beyond 3-months. In some instances, the pain may be a result of a specific injury such as a fracture or a sprain, but the pain will persist beyond normal healing time (i.e., 6-8 weeks). However, in many other instances, pain may be present without a specific injury occurring. For example, pain may arise at a time of stress, fatigue or lack of sleep. Persistent pain can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, affecting physical, emotional and social well-being. 

Very similar to our general health, the health of the structures in our bodies is maintained through:

  • regular movement
  • keeping strong
  • exercising regularly
  • maintaining a healthy body weight
  • caring for our mental health
  • regularly sleeping well
  • remaining social, and 
  • not smoking or drinking too much alcohol. 

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Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are two of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. Although they share similar symptoms, they are distinct conditions with different underlying causes and treatment approaches. In this blog post, we will discuss the key differences between OA and RA and explain how a physiotherapist can help manage the symptoms of both conditions.

What is osteoarthritis (OA)?
Osteoarthritis affects the entire joint, particularly the articular cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. The cartilage changes over time due to factors such as genetics, age-related changes, and mechanical stress on the joint. The capacity of the cartilage to tolerate normal loads may change, resulting in joint discomfort and stiffness. This condition typically affects weight-bearing joints like the hips, knees, and spine. Over time, the cartilage providing a smooth surface for the joint to glide on thins and becomes less resilient. Consequently, the joint may not function as smoothly, resulting in discomfort and limited mobility. Read more

What does “whiplash” mean?

Whiplash describes the acceleration-deceleration forces placed on the neck which may occur in motor vehicle collisions.1 These forces can cause injury to the structures around the neck and other parts of the spine and can be likened to an ankle sprain. Like ankle sprains, there can be pain and stiffness soon after the injury. Unlike an ankle sprain, where you might see swelling or bruising, a whiplash injury cannot be seen from the surface which can feel frustrating. Whiplash can also be associated with headaches, dizziness and sometime pins and needles and/or numbness down the arms. Some people are quite worried about their symptoms, but it is important to understand that most symptoms are mild and will improve, although time frames vary from individual to individual. No two whiplash injuries are the same, which is why individualised treatment is essential.

What happens when you have had a whiplash injury?

If you have recently sustained a whiplash injury, it can be an overwhelming and stressful time as you deal with insurance companies, car repairs and pain. In the early days after injury, managing pain and stress are important. Your local physio will discuss strategies that can help reduce your pain and techniques to maintain some gentle physical activity. Read more

Osteoarthritis is the most quickly growing cause of disability in the world. Although it is more common in older adults, osteoarthritis can also affect Australia’s working age population i.e., those aged between 15-64 years. Osteoarthritis is commonly found in the hip and knee and can result in pain, impact on daily activities and reduce quality of life. It is important to note that the impact of osteoarthritis varies significantly between individuals. For some, it may cause mild discomfort, while others may experience more persistent, severe pain.

While you may worry that exercising with osteoarthritis could harm your joints and cause more pain, high quality research shows that people can, and should, exercise when they have osteoarthritis. In fact, current national and international clinical guidelines recommend education, exercise and weight loss as first line treatment for people with osteoarthritis. Read more

A woman’s life is typically marked by several unique life stages such as, menarche, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. These stages are exclusive to women, and as such can provide specific challenges to a woman’s quality of life. One area of the body commonly impacted by these life stages, and the changes that come with them, is the pelvic floor. A group of small, but very important muscles, found at the base of the pelvis, the pelvic floor has a huge role to play throughout a woman’s life and is often overlooked. Pelvic floor dysfunction has been found to impact at least 25% of women at some stage of their life before they turn 80, and even doubles after this. Read more