FAQ

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Your health is important to us. Below you will find a list of our most frequently asked questions. Please read through them for general information and if your question is not listed, get in touch by using the form below or phone us at our main practice.
What is a cervicogenic headache?
There are many types of headache of which acervicogenic headache is just one. A cervicogenic headache, unlike vascular headaches which include migraines, originates from the neck and is one of the most common types of headache. Cervicogenic headaches can occur at any age, although it is commonly seen in patients between the ages of 20 and 60.
What causes cervicogenic headaches?
The following activities may cause cervicogenic headaches:

  • Experiencing a specific trauma (e.g. whiplash or heavy lifting)
  • Enduring repetitive or prolonged activities (slouching, poor posture, or lifting or carrying goods, especially in poor posture)
  • Bending or twisting of the neck excessively
  • Working at a computer
  • Using the arms in front of the body (e.g. housework)
What are the signs and symptoms of a cervicogenic headache?
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • A gradual onset of neck pain and headache during specific activities
  • Pain and stiffness after an activity (particularly upon waking the next morning)
  • A constant dull ache at the back of the head, behind the eyes or temple region, or on top of the head, forehead or ear region
  • Neck pain, stiffness and difficulty turning the neck, in association with headaches
  • Pain, pins and needles or numbness in the upper back, shoulders, arms or hands
How can physiotherapy assist in the healing of cervicogenic headaches?
Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and decrease the likelihood of injury recurrence.

Treatment may comprise one or more of the following:

  • Joint mobilisation
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Dry needling
  • Electrotherapy
  • Postural taping
  • Recommendation of an appropriate pillow for sleeping
  • Ergonomics
  • Exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles/ posture
What does muscle spasm (myofascial pain syndrome) feel like?
Muscle spasm in the form of pain and stiffness is often felt in the neck and even the shoulder blades, either on one side or on both sides. Burning and tender areas, or knots, may form in the muscles surrounding the neck. These trigger points may also refer pain into the head, neck, shoulders or even into the arms. Symptoms usually worsen as the day progresses, and improve with rest.
What causes muscle spasm (myofascial pain syndrome)?
Muscles can take a lot of strain during day-to-day activities which cause them to tense up. As a result, the muscles may not have a chance to relax and become very painful. Causes may include:

  • Prolonged sitting (at a computer, driving long distances, etc.)
  • Poor posture
  • Psychological stress
  • A number of neck conditions (instability or low level inflammatory processes)
  • Overuse of the neck muscles (instead of also engaging the diaphragm) while breathing
In what ways can physiotherapy relieve muscle spasm (myofascial pain syndrome)?
An evaluation is done to determine the appropriate treatment plan. One or a number of the following effective treatment processes will be provided:

  • Joint and soft tissue mobilisation
  • Dry needling
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Taping
  • Traction
  • Re-education of breathing patterns
  • Relaxation techniques and assistance with stress management
  • Education on proper posture for work, and forathletic and daily activities
  • Individualised exercise programme
What is lower back pain?
Lower back pain is a rather common problem. A high percentage of people, especially over the age of 30, experience episodes of lower back pain at some stage. Symptoms can range from a chronic sense of unease to acute, debilitating pain, and can affect daily activities and lifestyle.

  • Muscle tension or sprains
  • Spinal disc problems
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fasetgewrigsindroom
  • Osteoporosis
What causes muscle spasm (myofascial pain syndrome)?
Muscles can take a lot of strain during day-to-day activities which cause them to tense up. As a result, the muscles may not have a chance to relax and become very painful. Causes may include:

  • Prolonged sitting (at a computer, driving long distances, etc.)
  • Poor posture
  • Psychological stress
  • A number of neck conditions (instability or low level inflammatory processes)
  • Overuse of the neck muscles (instead of also engaging the diaphragm) while breathing
How can physiotherapy help alleviate lower back pain?
Physiotherapists play a role in the alleviation of lower back pain, as part of a medical team, including GPs or other medical specialists. Physiotherapists are able to evaluate the situation in order to provide greater clarity on the type of back pain that is being experienced.

Physiotherapy provides relief from symptoms by using a number of treatment methods, including:

  • Soft tissue mobilisation
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Laser
  • Ultrasound
  • Interference
  • Professional advice/ exercises for pain relief/ reduction of long-term problems
What is proprioception?
Proprioceptionis a sense of how our bodies are positionedand is essential for balance and function. It is affected by many factors (injury, fatigue, ageing, surgery, immobility/disuse and ligament laxity). It is important to re-educate proprioception to prevent injury, re-injury and enhance performance.
How is proprioception restored with physiotherapy?
Our team of physiotherapists has produced a very effective and user-friendly assessment tool to score both your flexibility and strength.  This tool clearly shows which areas are tight and which are weak.

This information can then be used either to prevent future injuries or to accurately address a present injury. We will guide you through the rehabilitation process by addressing the following components:

  • Active – muscular
  • Passive – joint
  • Neural – proprioception (position sense) and neuromotor control
What is sinusitis?
The air passages of the nose, sinuses and lungs are all lined with a mucous membrane. This has a rich blood supply which enables it to warm and moisten air that is inhaled.

Swelling of the mucous membrane can easily obstruct drainage of secretions from the sinuses and may cause sinusitis. This causes a build-up of pressure which leads to pain.

Acute sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and the patient may have a fever, a headache, and pain in the face with localised tenderness over the forehead or cheekbones. A secondary bacterial infection may occur producing a thick discoloured nasal discharge.

How can physiotherapy help relieve sinusitis?
Sinusitis may be relieved using various physiotherapy techniques:

  • Inhalation via a nebuliser
  • Laser treatment
  • Ultrasound
  • Mobilisation of the first cervical vertebra
  • Mobilisation of the cranial sutures (joints)
  • Dry needling
What is shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is essentially radial pressure sound waves, generated from a specialised treatment head, that travel through the skin and produce a responsive effect on the underlying target tissues.Both the pressure and speedof the sound wavesare specifically controlled according to the desired effect.

The benefits of using shockwave therapy include:

  • Pain relief
  • Improved circulation
  • Decreased muscle tension
  • Enhanced metabolism and micro-circulation
  • Revascularisation
  • Dissolution of calcified fibroblasts
  • Increased collagen production
  • Enhanced elimination of substance P – analgesic effect
What conditions are treated with the Grucox Eccentric Trainer?
We have seen success in treating the following ailments with the Grucox Eccentric Trainer:

  • Knee and ankle ligament sprains
  • PatellofemoralPain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)
  • Patellar Tendinopathy(Jumper’s Knee)
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Post-op rehabilitation of the lower limb
  • Hip and knee replacements
  • Lower limb dysfunctions and weakness
What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a western technique that involves the use of very thin needles, without any medication, to treat pain and dysfunction caused by a number of ailments such as muscle problems, sinusitis, headaches and some nerve problems.
How does dry needling alleviate pain?
The appropriate length and thickness of the needle is selected by your physiotherapist based on the condition being treated and your body size. The needles are then inserted through the skin at the area being treated. Your body responds to this sensation by changing the way it senses pain (neurological effect) and enhancing the healing process of stubborn muscle spasm associated with trigger points (myofascial effect). It is essential that you follow the exercise tips and advice that your physiotherapist provides in conjunction with the dry needling treatment for optimal recovery.
What conditions are treated with the Grucox Eccentric Trainer?
We have seen success in treating the following ailments with the Grucox Eccentric Trainer:

  • Knee and ankle ligament sprains
  • PatellofemoralPain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)
  • Patellar Tendinopathy(Jumper’s Knee)
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Post-op rehabilitation of the lower limb
  • Hip and knee replacements
  • Lower limb dysfunctions and weakness

7 Roslyn Street
Brackenfell

Main Practice
Tel: 021 982 5416 / 021 981 9933

Satellite Practice
Tel: 021 981 3640 / 021 981 5779

E-mail: 
info@ccpt.co.za