THE OLD PIT PRACTICE
Physiotherapy, Manual Therapy, Massage Therapy, Podiatry/Biomechanical Evaluation, Chiropody and Podiatry, Reflexology, Counselling, Bowen Technique / nst.

Advice from the Experts

Although we have endeavoured to ensure this information is accurate and up to date, the information contained in this section is intended for your general knowledge and it is not intended to replace the advice and/or treatment from a health care professional.

The Old Pit Practice Ltd takes no liability for any consequences due to following the advice given in this section.

All advice must be used in consultation with a medically trained advisor and/or your physiotherapist. A consultation with your health care professional is the proper method to address your specific problem.

We always encourage you to consult a Chartered Physiotherapist with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

Please browse the conditions on the left for further information.


Back Pain
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Back pain can be due to several causes, which include, muscle or ligament injury, sprain, prolapsed disc or arthritis.

Current research now advises early mobilisation which has been proved to encourage a reduction in pain and loss of function and assists a return to normal capabilities. Within pain tolerance levels take short gentle walks and avoid long periods in one position. This includes remaining in bed for too long.

The use of heat or ice applied for approximately 15 minutes can help to reduce muscle spasm and pain, and this can be done several times during a 24-hour period.
Certain drugs such as non steroidal anti-inflammatories and pain killers can also be very beneficial. These drugs are available over the counter but it is important you check with your local pharmacist or doctor about taking such drugs first.

Application of local pain relieving gels can also be very beneficial at helping reduce pain.

Minimise poor postures e.g. sloppy sitting and use a lumbar support in any seating.
With most back pains it is usually not necessary to consult your GP and physiotherapy is primarily the most productive approach. Treatment such as spinal manipulation and soft tissue mobilisation linked with exercises and advice can have excellent results with many clients seeing great improvement in their symptoms. Physiotherapy also aims to help reoccurrences of back problems by teaching clients awareness of their problem and exercises and advice that may minimise future episodes.

Things that clients must be aware with regard to back pain, would include loss of sensation or pins and needles in one or both legs, and pain that does not improve after 2 or more days or worsens.

Advise at this stage would be to consult a Chartered Physiotherapist or GP.


Neck Pain

Neck pain can be due to several causes which include, arthritis, sprains or strains of soft tissue e.g. muscle, ligament, trauma to the neck via a whiplash injury, or a prolapsed disc.

Just like back pain much of the advice is the same. Early mobilisation of the neck, use of heat or ice, anti-inflammatories and pain killers, minimise poor neck postures e.g. remaining at a computer for long periods of time.

Application of local pain relieving gels can also be very beneficial at helping reduce pain.

Physiotherapy is extremely beneficial at treating and relieving pain and muscle spasm, and improving function. This can be done with several techniques including manipulation, mobilisation, massage and postural re-education.

Things that clients must be aware of would include loss of sensation or pins and needles down one or both arms, or pain that does not improve or worsens after two or more days.

Advice at this stage would be to consult a Chartered Physiotherapist or GP.

Sprains & Strains

Many of us at some point have sprained or strained part of our body. The tissues that can be involved in such an injury include, muscles and tendons, the tendons join muscles to bone, and ligaments which join bone to bone and bring stability. The most common of all of these injuries is a sprained ankle, which involves trauma to ligaments.
In the early stages of such an injury the simple rule to remember is PRICE.

PROTECTION - This should be applied as soon as possible following an injury. The type of application of protection will depend on the site and nature of injury and its severity. This may range from protection from full weight-bearing (crutches) or general support (slings) to specific support for the injured structure/s (braces, splints, taping).
If possible complete immobilisation should be avoided and it should not restrict some swelling.

REST - This should take place immediately following injury as damaged tissue loses some of its tensile strength and further stress could lead to more tissue damage

ICE - This should be applied immediately following a sprain or strain injury. Ice in the form of cubes, crushed, or ideally a flexible ice pack (see products page for Theraflex ice packs). Ice can be used with a damp towel applied to the injured area to avoid any risk of ice burn. The most effective duration of application of ice is 20 to 30 minutes, applied every two hours, with a recommended maximum of 30 minutes to avoid tissue damage. NOTE: Ice should not be used for patients who have previously developed cold-induced hypertension during cold treatment, who have allergy to cold (urticaria, joint pain), or who have Raynaud's syndrome, peripheral vascular disease or sickle cell anaemia or poor/no sensation over the injured area.

COMPRESSION - If possible some form of compression should be applied to the injured area, using such material as a bandage, taping or tubigrip. It is extremely important to apply pressure in the correct direction and this is often done by a medically qualified person.

ELEVATION - Elevate the injured part above the level of the heart as much as possible during the first 72 hours following injury and as soon as possible following the injury. Always try to keep the area supported by such things as pillows or slings.

Although this advice can help with sprains and strains injuries the most important thing to stress is a rapid referral to a Chartered Physiotherapist as we can help with the acute management of the injury and maximise your quality of rehabilitation. The Old Pit Practice has an extensive stock of strappings, supports, crutches, ice packs and advice leaflets and linked with our extensive sports injuries knowledge we are ideally placed to guide you through your injury and help you to recover.