The Four Biggest Mistakes You Can Make After A Muscle Tear - Physio Direct NZ

The Four Biggest Mistakes You Can Make After A Muscle Tear

The Four Biggest Mistakes You Can Make After A Muscle Tear

Our muscles play an important role in the movement of our body. Without our muscles, we wouldn’t be able to bend our elbow or straighten our leg. As our muscles are soft and designed for flexibility, they are also prone to injury.

In the period following a muscle tear, there are a few common mistakes people make. These can actually make their injury worse and delay healing times. Here are a few of the most common mistakes we see.

  1. Stretching

After a muscle tear, the damaged fibres slowly begin to heal and reattach to each other. This process can be quite fragile and during the early stages, aggressive stretching of recovering tissue can impair healing or even lead to more tearing. While gentle stretching a few days after the injury can have a positive effect, you should check with your physiotherapist to ensure you’re not stretching too far and causing further damage.

  1. Applying H.A.R.M.

Most of us are aware of the acronym R.I.C.E (rest, apply ice, compress the area and elevate) as the recommended treatment in the early stages of an acute injury. The acronym H.A.R.M is less well known and is used to remember the things you shouldn’t do after an injury. This stands for applying heat, drinking alcohol, running or massage. All of these activities can increase swelling, pain and increase the damage of the injury in the first 48-72 hours.

  1. Failing to see a physiotherapist

The diagnosis of a muscle tear might seem straightforward, however, there might be more going on than you realize. Many conditions can mimic a muscle tear, or you may have suffered a tear due to an underlying weakness or pathology. Having a physiotherapist confirm your muscle tear or identify another condition is vital to ensuring you recover fully.

Your physiotherapist is also able to identify any factors that could lead to further injury and is able to help restore your tissue to its previous level.

  1. Returning to sport too early

One of the most confusing things about muscle tears is that often they become less painful while the tissues are still not completely healed. Many people suffer another tear simply because they return to sport too early. While you may feel as though your tissues are back to full strength, the muscle fibres can still be healing and vulnerable to a tear. It is important to test your injury gradually, starting with gentle exercise and building up to high-intensity activities.

Your physiotherapist is able to guide you with a full rehabilitation programme. This can help to restore strength, flexibility and control to your damaged muscle, keeping you injury free for the future.

Patellar Tendinopathy - Physio Direct NZ

Patellar Tendinopathy

What is it?

 Patellar tendinopathy, also known as jumper’s knee, is an overuse disorder characterised by pain at the base of the patella (kneecap) with activities such as squatting, sitting or going up and down stairs. The condition is known as jumpers’ knee because it commonly affects athletes involved in sports that require jumping and repetitive loading of the patella tendon, such as basketball, volleyball, football and tennis.

Landing and jumping activities put a great amount of stress on the patella tendon. This tendon is responsible for transmitting the full force of the quadriceps muscles to the lower leg and during activities such as jumping and landing, this force can actually be many times more than your body weight.

What are the symptoms?

The hallmark sign of patellar tendinopathy is sharp, localised pain in the patellar tendon just below the base of the patella. The pain is usually aggravated by activities that increase load through the quadriceps muscles such as squatting and jumping.  Pain associated with patellar tendinopathy usually occurs gradually, often when a person has been very active for a long period of time or if they have recently increased their training schedule. The pain will often start as a small niggle, gradually becoming more noticeable and there may also be a feeling of stiffness with movements of the knee or first thing in the morning.

How does it happen?

Patellar tendinopathy is not a traumatic condition rather, it usually develops gradually over time due to prolonged overloading of the tendon. Like other tissues in the body, tendons are dynamic and can adapt to be able to withstand more force with training. However, if a tendon is unable to adapt to increased load quickly enough, it can develop micro tears leading to pain and dysfunction, known as tendinopathy. The risk of developing this condition can be increased by external factors, such as the type of sports chosen, training volume and the hardness of the training surface.

Intrinsic factors such as bone structure, muscle length, diet, age, muscle strength and overall health can also affect the ability of a tendon to adapt to forces. Anything that impairs the tendon’s ability to absorb force can lead to the development of tendinopathy. In general, men are affected by this condition more often than women.

How can physiotherapy help?

As with all conditions, the first step to effective treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Your physiotherapist will be able to correctly identify this condition and any factors that have led to its development. Treatment for any tendinopathy will involve a degree of rest and reevaluation of your training schedule. Treatment of the tendon itself has been shown to be most effective with a targeted exercise program involving isometric and eccentric muscle contractions. These types of movements have been shown to help stimulate healthy tendon tissue to increase strength and support the damaged tissue, ultimately reducing pain. Tendinopathies can be notoriously difficult to resolve without patience and commitment to a rehabilitation program guided by a physiotherapist.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.  






Roasted Carrot, Date & Almond Salad - Physio Direct NZ

Roasted Carrot, Date & Almond Salad

Roasted Carrot, Date & Almond Salad


 6 Large Fresh Carrots

6 Medjool Dates

1 Handful of Sliced Almonds

1 Garlic Clove

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Fresh Parsley for Garnish

  1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel carrots and cut into large sticks. Crush one clove of garlic and add to baking tray along with carrots. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 20 minutes, in the meantime, cut dates into quarters and add to the baking tray. Cook for a further 20 minutes before adding sliced almonds to the baking tray.
  3. Continue baking for 10 minutes more and remove from oven. Mix ingredients together gently in a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Garnish with parsley and serve when ready.

Marinated Basil and Tomato Salad - Physio Direct NZ

Marinated Basil and Tomato Salad


 3 Fresh Roma Tomatoes

1 small handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped

½ Spanish Red Onion

2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Tsp. Sugar

Salt & Pepper


  1. Finely slice Roma Tomatoes and place on a flat plate. Mix together diced basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, Olive Oil, sugar and pour over tomatoes.
  2. Allow tomatoes to sit covered in dressing for at least an hour or up to 8 hours before serving. Finely slice Spanish onions and cover tomatoes.
  3. Garnish salad with salt and pepper and fresh basil.

Serve as a side dish, accompanies grilled chicken perfectly.

Important Information About Lower Back Pain - Physio Direct NZ

Important Information About Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain (LBP) is thought to affect around 60-80% of the Western population throughout the course of their life.  Many people don’t have any preceding events to cause lower back pain, although specific injuries can also initiate their symptoms. Low back pain constitutes almost half of all chronic pain.  This has a huge effect on quality of life, as people with lower back pain tend to have more time off work and higher of medical costs than those who do not have symptoms.

What causes lower back pain

Sedentary lifestyles, increased body weight, reduced physical activity and poor postures are all contributing factors to LBP.  For example, obesity rates in the western world have never been higher. Unfortunately this is known to cause greater rates of musculoskeletal pain than ever before. LBP can strike suddenly or build up slowly over a period of time. Many people report sudden and severe onset of low back pain from a seemingly innocent movement. Others find that their back aches towards the end of the workday and follows a regular pattern. Thankfully, more and more workplaces are advocating for better ergonomic set-ups in order to pre-emptively reduce the incidence of LBP amongst employees.

Dealing with lower back pain

Dealing with LBP is complicated as there are many treatments to choose from.  Unfortunately, there is rarely a miracle cure that works for everyone. What research tells us is that effective and timely advice, thorough professional assessment and a tailored exercise program shows the best outcomes in the long term.

There are some cases where your physiotherapist or doctor will suggest that you have imaging such as an x-ray or MRI. While imaging can be helpful in ruling out serious injuries it is important to realise that if everyone was to have an MRI of their spine, it is reasonable to expect that most people would have changes in the appearance of their spines, even if they don’t have any pain or other symptoms. The take-home message is that scans do not always paint an accurate picture of what is happening within someone’s back.

The back is actually made up of a number of different structures. These together to achieve the required movements needed to perform daily activities.  With such a complex combination of tissues and joints, aches and pains can be caused by any number of structures. Keeping the muscles and joints of the spine strong and healthy can have a remarkable impact on pain levels regardless of the specific structure causing symptoms.

If you are suffering from low back pain, speak to your physiotherapist for advice on how to best manage your symptoms. While nobody can prevent back pain with 100% certainty, it’s good to keep active and take care with heavy labour. This can reduce your chances of having lower back pain.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.

Biceps Tendinopathy - Physio Direct NZ

Biceps Tendinopathy

What is it?

The biceps brachii muscle, commonly known as the biceps, sits between the shoulder and elbow. It has two parts: the long head and short heads. These come together to form the main muscle bulk, which is the “Popeye” part of your upper arm. The biceps brachii muscle runs from the top and front of the shoulder all the way down to the upper forearm. The biceps tendon is the part that attaches the muscle to the bone, both at the shoulder and the elbow.

The muscle functions to bend the elbow and turn the hand to face palm-up. The term “tendinopathy” is used to describe injury and pain of a tendon. This is most commonly due to overuse. Biceps tendinitis tends to affect the long head of the biceps more commonly. Both the tendon itself and the tendon sheath can be the source of pain.

How does it happen?

This condition occurs most commonly due to repeated use of the biceps over a long period of time. People with this condition often present in the later stages of tendon damage, when they begin to experience pain. This means that biceps tendinopathy is a slow-developing condition, without any symptoms until it reaches the point that the tissues become injured and painful. This is the body’s way of self-defence; it is telling you that it doesn’t like the activity you are asking it to do.

While specific tasks such as throwing sports, tennis or golf can increase the risk of developing a biceps tendinopathy, often it is simply caused by usual daily activities throughout the course of an adult’s life. With aging comes a decrease in the collagen and elastin components of tendons. This contributes to a reduced ability to sustain a high load, which can cause degeneration or inflammation over a longer period of time.

What are the symptoms?

Biceps tendinitis is painful; often aching at night and increasing in intensity when performing overhead tasks such as reaching and lifting. The pain is usually at the front of the shoulder, and can radiate downwards along the front of the arm.

People with this condition often have developed adaptations to their usual movement patterns in order to avoid aggravating this pain. This in itself can lead to other issues such as strained or overworked muscles. An example of this is hitching up the shoulder to the ear when going to use the affected side, as this will help to offload the affected muscle, allowing the biceps to be under less stress. Unfortunately, eventually this will increase the stress on the muscles of the upper neck and shoulder, leading to secondary aches and pains.

How can physiotherapy help?

Your physiotherapist will assess and diagnose this condition, which will in turn allow for a comprehensive management plan to be put in place. A combination of strengthening, stretching and muscle release is often beneficial to assist in management of this condition.

If you have developed secondary complications with changes to your normal movement patterns, your physiotherapist can assist you in addressing these and training your body to avoid causing further damage.

If further imaging or onward referral is needed, your physiotherapist can help in guiding you through this process.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls - Physio Direct NZ

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

 Spring Rolls Ingredients:

8 Spring Roll Rice Papers

3 Tbsp. Fresh Coriander

3 Tbsp. Fresh Mint Leaves

½ Fresh Lime

2 Large Carrots

200g Rice Noodles

16 Small Fresh Prawns, peeled, deveined and pan-fried

Sweet Chilli Sauce for dipping


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add rice noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Drain noodles, rinse and set aside to cool.
  2. Cut carrots into thin sticks, chop mint and coriander leaves and mix these leaves with the carrot sticks together in a small bowl and squeeze lime juice over them.
  3. Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water. Dip one rice paper into the water for one second to soften. Lay the wrapper on a clean bench and place two prawns, a small handful of noodles, some carrot, mint and coriander in a row across the center, leaving a few centimeters of the rice paper uncovered on each side.
  4. Gently wrap the sides of the wrapper over each other to create rolls.

Serves 4 people

The Surprising Truth About Osteoarthritis - Physio Direct NZ

The Surprising Truth About Osteoarthritis

Sufferers of knee pain know that nothing can kill your optimism for a recovery faster than a diagnosis of Osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis is often seen as a kind of death sentence for joints. Many people believe that if you have OA your pain will never improve and will only get worse until a joint replacement can be performed. In fact, joint replacements for hip and knee OA are some of the most common and indeed successful operations performed by orthopaedic surgeons.

At least, this has been conventional wisdom for decades. Many of us see our bodies like cars, when a part ‘wears out’ it needs replacing with a new one. The truth is much more complicated, mainly due to our bodies’ incredible ability to adapt and change.


Physiotherapists have always known that the pain and disability that comes with arthritis can be improved with a closely targeted exercise program. In some cases, the pain that is attributed to OA is actually due to another, entirely treatable cause. In other cases, strengthening the musculature around the painful joint can have a significant effect by providing the joint with extra support.

The way we move is often affected negatively by pain and this in itself can create a downward spiral. This is not to say that in some cases, surgery is the best and most effective option to improve your quality of life. Rather that there is a strong case to see a physiotherapists to seek treatment for your knee pain first.

Physiotherapists are highly skilled at identifying exactly what is causing your pain and helping you reach the highest level of function. In fact, a recent study has shown that with targeted exercises, directed by physiotherapists – many patients who were scheduled to have surgery were able to improve their quality of life dramatically, avoiding surgery and getting back to their favourite activities.

 While exercise is a very powerful treatment, it’s not that any exercise will take away any pain. To be effective, you will need to have a full assessment, with a personalised treatment programme from your physiotherapist. This can involve identifying weak muscles, limitations in flexibility, finding painful trigger points, restoring movement to stiff joints and providing bio-mechanical assessment to make a combination of changes that can make a large difference to your pain and activity levels.

Your physiotherapist can also identify any external factors that may be contributing to your pain. This could be something as simple as unsupportive footwear or workplace set up etc. Talk to us to see how we can help you manage your osteoarthritis.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition. 

Hamstring Tears - Physio Direct NZ

Hamstring Tears

What are hamstring tears?

The hamstrings are a large group of muscles found at the back of the thigh. The primary role of these muscles is to bend the knee and collectively, these muscles are some of the strongest in the body. Despite their strength, the hamstrings are very prone to injury especially when overworked or undertrained. Hamstring strains and tears are quite common in sports that involving sprinting, jumping and sudden changes in speed. Football and soccer players are some of the athletes most commonly affected by hamstring tears.

Hamstring strains are categorized into three grades, these are:

Grade 1 (mild) – A few muscle fibers are either damaged or ruptured; there may be pain a day after the injury but no loss of movement.

Grade 2 (moderate) – Roughly half of the muscle fibres are torn; there may be acute pain and mild loss of function; walking may be affected. Grade 3 (severe) – More than half of the muscle fibres are ruptured and there is immense pain and swelling; definite muscle weakness and loss of function.

Grade 3 (severe) – More than half of the muscle fibres are ruptured and there is immense pain and swelling; definite muscle weakness and loss of function.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of a hamstring tear depend on the severity of the injury. Common symptoms include pain at the back of the thigh – which could range from mild to severe, swelling, bruising, loss of knee motion, tenderness at the back of the thigh, reduced length and muscle weakness of the hamstring. In some cases, tingling, numbness and weakness of the structures below the knee are seen. However, these are rare.

What are the causes?

A single cause of hamstring tears can be difficult to determine however, it is thought that a lack of coordination between the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles during sudden changes of speed or when kicking can cause the hamstrings to contract excessively or become overstretched, causing a tear.

There are also recognised risk factors, that increase the possibility of hamstring tears including increased age, fatigue, strength imbalance, previous injury of the hamstrings, poor core stability, poor hamstrings flexibility and tight hip flexors.

How can they be prevented?

Understandably, trying to prevent hamstring tears is important business. Research has consistently shown that the most important factor in preventing hamstring tears is having high eccentric strength in the hamstrings. Eccentric muscle contractions occur when a muscle is contracting while also lengthening. For example, when you lower your straightened leg slowly to the ground, your quadriceps muscle will be working eccentrically.

Your physiotherapists is able to show you some exercises that can target eccentric muscle strength specifically as well as identifying any risk factors that may be contributing to you individual risk.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.

Sweet Potato & Cheese Fritters - Physio Direct NZ

Sweet Potato & Cheese Fritters


2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese

2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten

1 clove of crushed Garlic

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

½ Tbsp. Cumin Powder

1 Tbsp. Salt & Pepper

1 Tbsp. fresh chives

Tomato salsa for dipping

  1. Peel sweet potatoes and grate them into small pieces. Preheat the oven to 200 °C and line a baking tray with foil and spray.
  2. Place grated sweet potatoes and cheddar cheese in a bowl along with eggs, salt, garlic and pepper and mix together gently.
  3. When mixed thoroughly, use a tablespoon to scoop out small amounts and roll into to small balls.
  4. Place the balls onto the baking tray and brush over or spray with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Garnish with chives and add salsa for dipping.

Serve while still warm.

Ankle Sprains - Physio Direct NZ

Ankle Sprains

What is an Ankle Sprain?

Almost everyone has twisted their ankle at some in their life; in fact, it is one of the most common reasons for people to visit an emergency department. Technically an ankle sprain has occurred when an ankle twists, causing damage to one of it’s supporting ligaments. The ligaments can be overstretched, partially torn or completely ruptured, depending on the force of the injury. The ligament that is most often involved is the ATFL. ATFL stands for the anterior-talofibular ligament, located on the outside of the ankle.

While there are many ligaments surrounding and supporting the ankle, this ligament is the most vulnerable as it stops the ankle from rolling inwards. This is the way that most ankles are injured. Athletes who jump while moving in different directions, such as basketball players, are actually the most prone to this injury. They often land on their foot when it is not completely flat, twisting it and injuring the ligaments.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Most people won’t have any problem diagnosing that they have a sprained ankle. The symptoms are pain, swelling and tenderness over the area of damage, usually the outside of the ankle. Depending on the severity of the injury, there many be bruising, reduced range of movement, instability and pain with weight bearing. In more severe injuries there may even be a loss of function, where you are unable to walk on the ankle and numbness and/or a feeling of coldness in the foot.

Why should I see a physiotherapist?

Twisted ankles can also cause a fracture of the ankle, not just ligament damage. Oftentimes a bad sprain and a fracture cannot be told apart without proper medical assessment and an X-ray. Your physiotherapist is able to identify if your sprain is severe enough to need further investigation to rule out a fracture. They will also classify the severity of the sprain, providing you with a clear course of treatment. There are many factors that can lead someone to be more prone to fractures, including general hyper flexibility, unsupportive footwear and anatomical structure, however by far the most common reason for an ankle sprain is the existence of a previous sprain without complete rehabilitation.

This is because following an ankle sprain, many people are left with weakness, instability or stiffness, reduced balance and proprioception – which is a sense of where your body is positioned. These things can mean that the next time your ankle is in a vulnerable position you don’t have the strength, awareness of position, balance or structural control to ensure it is in the correct position before putting all your weight through it, causing another injury.

As well as helping you reduce and recover from the pain and swelling of the injury in the early days, your Physiotherapist is trained to identify which issues are likely to affect you in the future and assist you with a personalised rehabilitation programme to ensure your ankle is as strong and stable as possible to prevent future injuries.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.

Where is your pain really coming from? - Physio Direct NZ

Where is your pain really coming from?

Have you ever been to see a physiotherapist for pain in one part of your body and when they treated you, they focused on a completely different area? While this can be a strange experience, it can be even more puzzling when the treatment actually works. So what is going on, shouldn’t pain be treated where it is being felt?

When pain is felt at a different location from where the pain is being caused, this is called ‘referred pain’ and is actually more common than you think. Exactly why this happens is a little complicated, and in fact, we don’t yet understand everything about the way that pain is processed.

Pain is usually felt when something causes damage to the body, sending an electrical impulse to the brain. The brain receives this information and processes it to make sense of which part of the body the signal is coming from and what kind of pain it is. When the brain thinks that the pain is coming from a different area than where the damage or signal is actually coming from, this creates the phenomenon of referred pain.

Sometimes referred pain is easy to explain, such as when a nerve becomes injured or irritated, causing the pain to be felt along the length of the nerve. This often feels like a sharp, burning pain that runs in a strip, along the skin. Other examples of referred pain are more difficult to explain and in some cases seem to defy explanation. Perhaps you have heard about the strange phenomenon of phantom pain where amputees continue to feel pain as though it was in the place where their limbs used to be.

Muscular trigger points can also cause referred pain. The mechanism behind this is a bit trickier to understand, but is thought to be explained by tight bands of muscle tissues that cause pain to be felt in predictable patterns around the body.

Adding to this, we know that other tissues of the body can cause pain to be felt in a different location, including discs of the spine and internal organs. Many times the internal organs can refer pain in peculiar patterns and this can actually lead to serious illnesses being mistaken for muscular aches and pains. Kidney pain can be felt in the lower back and tragically, some people fail to recognize that they are having a heart attack because they feel pain in their neck and arm, not in their chest.

We also know that not understanding or being afraid of pain can make pain feel stronger. In rare cases, people who have pain in one hand can feel pain just by seeing their other hand moving in a mirror. There are many other fascinating aspects to pain, and understanding how it works is an important part of managing your symptoms.

To understand how referred pain may be affecting you, chat to your physiotherapist who can help with any questions.

Grilled Avocado Guacamole - Physio Direct NZ

Grilled Avocado Guacamole


 4 Avocados

3 Roma Tomatoes

1 Small Red Onion

2 Limes

¼ cup Coriander, chopped

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

¼ tsp. Cumin

¼ tsp. Paprika

  1. Lightly grease a grill or pan with olive oil and place on medium-high heat
  2. Cut avocados in half, remove the seed, keeping the skin intact. Place avocados face down on the grill for a few minutes, allowing them to brown slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cut tomatoes into halves and grill face down for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan and allow them to cool. Cut onions into large rings and place on grill for 2 to 3 minutes, each side. Repeat this process with halved limes, grilling for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Once cooled, remove the skins of the avocados. Cut all vegetables into small pieces and mix into a bowl. Mash the ingredients together, adding chopped coriander, seasonings and the juice of the grilled limes, until completely combined.

Serve with tortillas or corn chips.


Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) - Physio Direct NZ

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

What is it?

When the two surfaces of the hip joint move over each other, they usually move freely without any friction. If there is an alteration to either the socket part of the joint (the acetabulum) or the ball (the head of the femur), irritation may occur as the two surfaces move over each other. This is known as Femoroacetabular impingement, a common disorder of the hip, characterized by pain and stiffness.

Femoroacetabular impingement can be classified as cam, pincer or mixed. A cam FAI occurs when the femoral head junction is flattened or a small bump is present. Pincer type of impingement occurs when the acetabular rim extends slightly, causing the femur to be impacted. Cam impingement is more common in men while pincer impingement is more common in women. However, most cases of FAI (about 85%) are mixed, meaning they both have cam and pincer types of impingement.

 What are the symptoms?

 The most common symptom of FAI is pain located in the hip or groin when resting in certain positions of with specific movements. Some patients also report pain in the back, buttock or thigh. Other symptoms include stiffness, loss of movement range (particularly of the hip), locking, clicking or a feeling that the hip is about to give way.

Activities that cause the incongruous surfaces to move over each other repeatedly are naturally the main culprits for causing symptoms. These can include prolonged sitting, twisting, sitting with crossed legs, squatting and climbing stairs can all aggravate the pain caused by femoroacetabular impingement.

 What are the causes?

 There are many factors that may cause an individual to develop femoroacetabular impingement including;

  • Hip dysplasia or malformation during infancy/childhood
  • Repetitive stress on the hip
  • A femoral neck fracture that did not heal properly (malunion)
  • Small bony growths around the joint called osteophytes.
  • Normal anatomical variation

How can physiotherapy help?

 Femoroacetabular impingement is a complex condition and researchers are still determining the best possible treatment. It is thought that untreated FAI can lead to osteoarthritis of the hip down the track and there are both surgical and non-surgical options for treatment.  Conservative (non- surgical) management for FAI involves core stability training, strengthening exercises for the lower limb specifically the hip and postural balance exercises. This program aims to improve the hip’s neuromuscular function. A hydrotherapy program can also helpful as it reduces weight through the joint, making movements more comfortable. Lastly, a home exercise program is made for patients, so they can continue treatment at home. For many people, physiotherapy is enough to resolve their symptoms and prevent future problems, however other may require surgery.


What does a physiotherapist do? - Physio Direct NZ

What does a physiotherapist do?

Many people know the value that physiotherapy brings to their life and some have even been visiting their physiotherapist since childhood. However, for those who have never been to see a physiotherapist before, there can be a question mark over exactly what it is that physiotherapists do. In fact, this is one of the most common questions physiotherapists are asked.

What does a physiotherapist do?

The answer is tricky, because physiotherapists do so much. Primarily, we might be described as pain management experts, as we work to reduce the pain of our patients, from those who have suffered a new injury, to those who have had pain for several years. We first identify the cause of the pain and then provide manual therapy techniques, education and management strategies to help our patient understand, manage and reduce their pain.

While pain is usually the first thing that brings patients to see a physiotherapist, this pain has often caused patients to give up activities that they love and can even be getting in the way of everyday tasks. Many of us reduce our activity levels to reduce pain without even realizing it. Physiotherapists are able to identify which areas you are struggling in and why this is occurring. By identifying the cause of your symptoms, we can help to get you back to full function. Physiotherapists are able to do this for everyone including elite athletes and those dealing with serious disabilities.

In fact, physiotherapists have a role to play at practically every stage of life.  We can assess infants to monitor their motor skills development and as they grow we help them deal with the pains and vulnerabilities of a growing body. Among other things, we can help improve the function of athletes, assist in preventing injuries, help those with pelvic floor dysfunction and work to prevent falls in the elderly.

Not just exercises and massage.

Physiotherapists offer a range of treatments, from targeted stretches, manual therapies, dry needling, exercises and massage. Physiotherapists are also committed educators and take our role as such seriously.

A huge part of recovering from pain and injury comes from understanding what is happening and how to best manage these issues. Rather than create a dependency on their therapist, we aim to empower our patients to improve their health independently as much as possible.

 Physiotherapists aim, to improve your quality of life and remove any barriers to full participation, whether these barriers are due to pain, weakness or stiffness.