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Injury information

Select one of the links below to look through our various information guides. You can return to this list by clicking on any of the "Top of Page" links.

Sports Injuries

sports injuries

We are highly experienced in treating sporting or athletic injuries. For athletes at any level, from recreational to elite, it is important to correctly diagnose the injury and to customise a treatment and a rehabilitation programme. This enables you to return to sport safely and prevent recurring problems.

Our physiotherapists will diagnose your injury and provide clear explanations to help you understand its cause and how the treatment together with a personalised exercise programme will enable you to return to your activity in the shortest possible time frame.

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What to do after a sprain?

As soon as possible, and for 72 hours after injury, use the RICE method:

Rest
Take it easy and only move within your limit of pain.

Ice
As soon as possible, and then for 20 minutes every two hours apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped in a damp towel. This helps to control bleeding and pain and reduces secondary tissue damage.

Compression
Firmly but comfortably bandage the knee and include 5cm above and below the joint. This helps to control swelling.

Elevation
As much as possible, elevate your injured part higher than the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

 

Avoid any of the HARM factors in the first 48 hours to prevent increased swelling and help your recovery:

H eat
A lcohol
R unning
M assage

Just as many joints can be protected by accurate strapping techniques, they can be made more vulnerable to injury if the wrong type of strapping is done. If you have a joint which causes you problems, we can teach you preventative taping and management.

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Knee Injuries

knee assessment

A knee injury can put you out of action. We provide expert diagnosis advice and treatment to speed up recovery and get you active again following injury or surgery. We will discuss the injury with you and estimate the time it will take to recover - this may vary from weeks to months, depending on the severity of the injury. If left untreated your knee pain may get progressively worse. Early diagnosis and treatment will reduce any pain or swelling and result in a quicker recovery, and less pain. We will advise if you need to see a doctor or surgeon.

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Ankle Injuries

Our physiotherapists will assess your ankle to determine the severity and type of injury, and provide treatment which promotes healing and recovery. Early treatment will reduce the swelling and pain, making it easier to walk. Even one treatment and advice session can make a significant difference. Our physiotherapists will show you exercises that are important to improve strength of the calf and ankle muscles to compensate for the damaged ligament and give some protection while the ligament is healing. We can teach you how to do special ankle taping or advise you on an ankle brace so that you can return to normal activities earlier. We will also teach you how to re-train your muscles to react quickly to changes in ankle position to prevent repeated sprains.

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Pre/Post-Operative Rehabilitation

Our physiotherapists are excellent at providing treatment and exercises aimed at restoring normal function after orthopaedic surgery. They will liaise closely with your medical specialists to customise a programme that best fits your surgery and your needs. Exercises will be prescribed and supervised to ensure you are employing the correct technique and your home programme will be progressively updated to suit your changing needs.

Our physiotherapists are trained to recognise postural alignment problems and are able to work with you to determine the cause and tailor a solution. The solution may incorporate treatment, exercise or a change to your working environment.

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Back Pain

If your back hurts, don’t ignore the pain. Our physiotherapists have the training to correctly assess the problem and provide safe, effective treatment that will result in a quicker recovery. Your back pain may respond well to a full assessment and training in specific exercises to restore the balance in your body. We can teach you stretching and strengthening techniques, with emphasis on core stability and control. We can also advise on management of day-to-day activities.

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Neck Pain

neck pain

Neck injuries most often result from motor vehicle accidents (whiplash), sports or occupational accidents. Injury and postural problems are the most common causes of neck pain. Our physiotherapists will determine the source of your neck pain and treat it effectively. We will also offer you self-help advice on ways to correct the cause of neck pain, and practical tips for work and in the home such as adjusting furniture, relaxation and exercise.

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Headaches

Headaches are often caused by disorders of the neck or physical and emotional tension. We are experts in posture and human movement. Our physiotherapists will be able to determine the source of the pain and successfully treat headaches originating from the neck or soft tissues. We will also offer you self-help advice on ways to correct the cause of headaches, and practical ergonomic tips for work and in the home such as adjusting furniture, relaxation and exercise.

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Muscle and Joint Pain

hip stretch

Many people suffer from low level muscle and joint pain which is often associated with poor posture or poor movement patterns. Our physiotherapists will assess your pain thoroughly and, with your help, diagnose the cause and source. Our physios are able to work with you to provide a solution through posture or movement correction, combined with a stretching and strengthening programme to suit your needs and your lifestyle.

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The Anterior Cruciate Ligament

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a ligamentous band which connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), and limits the forward movement of the knee joint while twisting. It is stressed during most normal daily living activities, but is essential in controlling the rotation forces which develop during side stepping, pivoting and landing.

It is commonly injured while skiing or while playing running sports - with or without contact. The knee gives way at high or low speeds and you feel a snap or crack along with pain. Often the medial ligament is also damaged, resulting in severe pain. Generally, the knee swells within the hour, but this can be modified by icing and compression. Little or no swelling can be an ominous sign of severe injury, as the swelling can leak into the soft tissues of the leg.

Initial treatment should include ice packs (20 minutes on, recover, then replace) for the first 1-2 days, compression bandages, and crutches if necessary. The knee will gradually settle and walking become easier; by four weeks it feels almost normal. On return to sport the knee feels weak or unstable and often gives way. These episodes cause multiple injuries to the cartilages and joint surfaces which will eventually lead to osteoarthritis.

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Treating the ACL injured knee

Treatment is aimed at returning you to your desired level of activity without risk of further injury, and is an individual choice.

Conservative (non-surgical) treatment through physiotherapy involves reducing swelling and inflammation, restoring full movement, and rehabilitating to full muscle power. Protective reflexes must be retrained, and injury-threatening activities must be avoided. Generally this means that social sport with avoidance of sudden direction change may be OK.

Successful conservative treatment means you must be fully committed to your rehabilitation programme.

Surgery is generally recommended for those who wish to return to competitive sports or to an occupation which demands a stable knee. Physiotherapy pre-operatively aims at settling the symptoms of the acute injury, and optimising the strength and control of knee movement. The surgery involves grafting a substitute for the ACL, commonly using part of the patient’s hamstring muscles or the patellar tendon. Your surgeon will discuss this with you, and the decision will be made based on current best-practice and your own situation.

Although ACL reconstruction surgery has a high chance of returning the knee to near-normal stability and function, the end result depends largely upon being committed to completing a rehabilitation programme, and on the presence of other damage within the joint. You will start physio immediately after the surgery with basic muscle contractions and mobility training, and then commence a more active programme within 1-2 weeks. The need for “hands-on” physio treatment varies according to your recovery rate, the demands of your lifestyle and the time you are able to commit to your home programme.

These factors can be discussed at any time with one of our experienced Sports Physiotherapists. As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications. These are not common, but should be discussed in full with your sports physician and surgeon.

After the operation

Progress is generally along the lines of:

Week 1-2
Settle pain and swelling, gently mobilize the joint and begin basic muscle control exercises. Begin weight-bearing as and when tolerated.

Week 3-6
Slowly increase exercises into more functional activities and positions, and start strength work.

Week 6-10
Consolidate strength, control and range of motion work.

Week 10-12/14
Start plyometric (jumping, hopping type activities) work preparatory to running. You will be allowed to run when your balance, control and range of motion are considered adequate and when cleared by your surgeon.

During this period you should also be guided into sports specific training so that at the right time you can start working with your team at about the 16 week mark. It may still be 6-8 weeks before you are ready to compete.

These time-lines are not rigid - many factors will influence your progress, eg healing, exercise compliance, restoration of full movement, pain, etc.

Any questions should be addressed to your sports physiotherapist or surgeon.

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Disclaimer

We do not warrant or represent that the information in this site is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use. We recommend that you seek individual advice before acting on any information in this site. We have made every effort to ensure that the information on our website is correct at the time of publication but recommend that you exercise your own skill and care with respect to its use. If you wish to purchase our services, please do not rely solely on the information in this website.

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