Our Approach: we aim to resolve the root cause of the problem, and not to just focus on the symptoms.
Elements of our Physical Therapy Treatments
Sport or Activity Specific Assessments
When we assess a joint we aim to assess above and below that joint where applicable. We look at your general posture, we look at how the joint moves in relation to other areas of the body and also assess for muscle and joint strength and flexibility. The outcome of the assessment helps to determine the treatment and rehabilitation approach.
For example, calf, shin and knee pain is often due to muscle imbalances around the hip and pelvis which can lead to biomechanical changes in the way you walk, run or cycle. Over time this can lead to pain at the knee. For long term resolution, physical therapy treatment and sports pain rehabilitation needs to address these issues.
When assessing neck pain we also look at shoulder movement, movement of the thoracic spine (upper back), general body posture, and also which muscles you use in breathing. Muscles that support the neck region can come from the upper back, and some also help with breathing. If there are reductions in flexibility or tightness in these regions it can contribute to neck pain.
Hands On Treatment
Hands on treatment is a large part of what we do as Physical Therapists. Whether is it a deep massage, trigger point release, joint mobilisations, or various stretching techniques, we aim to put our hands on the problem and use this approach to reduce your pain and stiffness. With a reduction in pain and stiffness through hands on work, there is often a good change in symptoms and this allows you to get most of the sports pain rehabilitation exercises we prescribe for longer term relief.
Dry Needling is part of our physical therapy treatments. It is the use of fine acupuncture needles to treat areas of dysfunction in the body. It is called ‘dry’ needling as it developed from an older practice of injecting trigger points. Trigger points are knots of tight tissue that are tender to touch which cause pain and dysfunction in the body. Today the injection (wet) is not used and instead fine needles (dry) are inserted into the painful area.
The needles affect the chemical mix of the trigger point causing them release and ease out. It is very useful for treating back pain and neck pain, sports injuries, and assisting with chronic pain syndromes. Many clients find that this is a very effective treatment for releasing tightness in tender or acute areas that can be too tender for hands on treatment.
In the clinic our Physical Therapy appointments combine dry needling with manual hands on treatment, laser therapy, and rehabilitation where appropriate. However if you don’t like needles we won’t use them on you.
The Irish Times did an article on acupuncture and dry needling in their health section July 2011. They got some great feedback on the treatment from athletes like David Gillick. If you have any specific questions on dry needling please do not hesitate to contacts us.
Low Level Laser
Low level laser therapy (LLT) is the application of red and near infra-red light over injuries or lesions to improve soft tissue healing and give relief for both acute and chronic pain.
Unlike other medical laser procedures it does not have cutting or thermal mechanism. It works by using light to increase energy production in cells. This in turn results in the initiation of a cellular process that promotes proliferation of various types of cells which have a role in tissue repair and protection.
LLT was first developed in 1967. Since then over 100 randomized clinical trials and over 1,000 lab studies have been done investigating how laser therapy works. It has been shown to have positive outcomes in the treatment of conditions such as:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle pain
- Wound healing
- Nerve injuries
- Sports injuries
In the Maple Clinic we use low level laser therapy in conjunction with manual therapy and dry needling. We use it to help increase the speed and quality of tissue repair, give pain relief, resolve inflammation and improve function of damaged neurological tissue. It’s a painless and safe therapy, and most people will notice the pain relieving effects of laser immediately after it is applied. For this reason it is gaining rapid popularity with our clients who often ask specifically for it.
A hugely important part of our Physical Therapy treatments is rehabilitation. In the clinic we prescribe functional exercises i.e. exercises which support the physical requirements of your sport or daily life. We try to take a full body approach as often weakness or muscle balance in one area can be the root cause of pain in another, for example, imbalances in the muscles stabilising the leg can be cause of pain over the front of the knee or in the shin. We combine stretching, strengthening, postural and neuromuscular exercises with the aim of returning you stronger to sports / life.
Your tailored exercise plan is emailed to you after the appointment, we do not hand out generic exercise programmes.
I attended Karen weekly in the run up to my last marathon and Karen was very effective in ensuring my body was able to recover quickly from my long runs. I have no hesitation recommending the Maple Clinic – Matt
“I just wanted to let you know that I completed my ‘big’ cycle, Le Marmotte last week-end…without any aches or pains and I actually enjoyed the (long!) day. Thank you; it made a big difference.” – Deirdre