Treatment techniques in Calgary physiotherapy clinic

Below is a selection of treatment techniques I use in my NW Calgary physiotherapy clinic.  I received post-graduate training for many of these techniques.  [Education/Training]


Virtual Treatment (Tele-health)

What is Virtual Physiotherapy (Tele-health)?
Virtual physiotherapy (Tele-health) is an effective way to receive physiotherapy from your own home or work site via your computer, tablet or phone.  This may be an option for you when dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, childcare, work schedule, bad weather or travel.
Although similar to Facetime or Skype, our system is specially designed for use by healthcare practitioners - easy to use, and secure. 
After booking your virtual physiotherapy appointment, you will receive detailed instructions to prepare in advance.  [More info]
How is physiotherapy possible with no hands-on contact?
Actually, hands-on treatment techniques form only a small component of any treatment. The same effects can often be achieved with the right knowledge, very specific tailored exercise prescription, self management strategies, postural/movement advice and whatever else is need to guide you through your recovery. Virtual physiotherapy has been applied successfully for many years, ideal for patients living remotely or working in a different location  Several published studies have confirmed its effectiveness in proving physiotherapy treatments.  One of the treatment techniques I use with my patients, since 2008, is McKenzie Technique.  It is particularly well-suited for treating patients via virtual consultation.  I also use a state-of-the-art physiotherapy app which provides you with videos of your prescribed exercises and treatment strategies for you to practice at home. 

McKenzie Technique (MDT)

What is McKenzie Technique?
McKenzie Diagnosis and Treatment Technique (MDT) is an effective tool for the diagnosis and treatments of acute to chronic musculoskeletal conditions and is globally recognized as a leading treatment for the back, neck and extremities. MDT has been used since the 1950’s.  It provides a reliable assessment and treatment process for most musculoskeletal problems which can include back, neck, shoulders, elbows, knee, ankles, wrist, TMJ to fingers and toes.  Used extensively throughout Europe, NZ, Australia and the UK, it's becoming more popular in the US and Canada. MDT provides the patient with the education and ability to take control of their pain and be actively involved in their treatment without expensive equipment and the reliance on regular trips to their treating practitioner for months/years. It uses a well researched exercise-based approach of certain exercises that are prescribed to treat your condition.  You may be aware of a Mckenzies  back stretch or neck stretch, but there is a lot more to it. There are different types/combination of Mckenzies exercises for most joints in your body.  I will full assess your dysfunction to find the right combination of exercise that will address your issue.  You will also be advised on a very specific amount of the exercise you need to do over a specific period of time.  I will be keeping in touch with you regularly (by email) to check the exercise is working for you or if we need to adjust it.  You will also be advised on strategies to stop the problem re-occurring.  You will also be given a strengthening program after the pain has resolved to bring you back up to optimum level of fitness.
What are the side effects?
When carrying out your exercises you may feel a little discomfort like you have had a work out in the gym which will resolve.  If you have a sharp shooting pain or the pain travels down a limb you need to stop and let me know as we may need to adjust your exercise or technique.  Occasionally when carrying out an assessment, your symptoms may be induces which should settle quickly.  This can also be helpful as it  provides good feed back to what exercises are best for you or if Mckenzies technique is suitable or not.

Medical Accupuncture

What is Medical Accupuncture?
Medical acupuncture, also know as "Western Acupuncture", is a therapeutic evidence-based treatment technique used by licensed health care practitioners for the treatment of pain, muscle spams, anxiety and encouraging healing. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK recognizes that acupuncture works and is evidence-based.  NICE recommends it for migraine, tension headaches and lower back pain. Studies also support its effectiveness in the treatment of common musculoskeletal conditions such and knee osteoarthritis (OA), tennis elbow and other common chronic pain conditions, muscle tightness/spasms, poor sleep, stress and anxiety. [More info]
How does it work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce endorphins and oxytocin, its own pain- and stress- relieving chemicals. It promotes sleep by stimulating the release of melatonin in the body and encourages a sense of well-being by stimulating the release of serotonin. Acupuncture also stimulates nerve fibres to block out pain signals and helps to reduce the sensitivity of tender points in the body. Acupuncture is a very safe procedure when carried out by fully qualified professionals.  The needles that are used for acupuncture are the same width as human hair, much smaller than an injection needle, so having acupuncture does not feel the same as having an injection. When a needle is inserted, you may feel a temporary, sharp pricking sensation. Some patient don’t feel anything at all.  It all depends how the body is feeling when the treatment is taking place.
The needles are disposable, pre-sterilised and individually packaged. They come in guide-tubes for easy insertion which means that there is no risk of anything touching the needle during the process.
Accupuncture's side effects tend to be mild and short-lived, and patients with certain conditions may be unsuitable.  I will review these with you before any treatment.

Vertigo / Concussion Therapy

What is Vertigo / Concussion Therapy?
Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise and manual therapy evidence-based program, used by physiotherapists, to improve the symptoms of BPPV and Vertigo that may include reduced balance, dizziness and nausea.  Symptoms can originate from the Vestibular system which is part of the inner ear and  brain that control your balance and eye movements. Symptoms can develop for a number of reasons, including BPPV, viruses, concussions, medications, Labyrinthis, Menieres disease, acoustic neuromas, vestibular neuritis or can be benign. Physiotherapy management will start with a thorough assessment of your vestibular, occulomotor, balance, cognitive and musculoskeletal systems. Depending on assessment findings, treatment may include very specific maneuvers of the head, hands-on/soft tissue work and strengthening for your neck muscles, habituation exercises for motion/visual sensitivity or exercises to improve your balance. [More info - Vertigo] [More info - Concussion]
How will I react?
You may find the initial assessment provokes your symptoms, so try to book an appointment when you don’t have a busy day.  You may also want to bring someone with you to drive you home.  This is a normal reaction to the assessment and it has not made you worse.  Depending on the assessment findings and how you are feeling some treatments may take place or will be started on a follow up session when things have settled.  I will also equip you with a number of strategies to cope better with your symptoms until they improve.  All exercises will be provided to you in a state-of-the art app and education materials. They can also be printed out if you are unable to cope with looking at a computer screen.

Manual Therapy / Massage

What is Manual Therapy / Massage?
Manual therapy used by physiotherapists are a variety of hands-on manually applied mobilization techniques used in treatment of the joints and soft tissues to treat musculoskeletal disfunction and pain.  It’s a form of physical therapy that has been used for centuries across the world. After carrying out a comprehensive assessment, I may locate a stiff joints or segment in your spine.  Here I may apply a joint mobilization if appropriate which may include a rhythmic back and forth movement or a sustained pressure on the joint.  I may also apply a pull on the joint or joints, (traction) to help relieve tightness and pressure.  The movement may vary in force depending on your stage of injury, your medical history and assessment findings.  Mobilizations can help loosen up tight tissues connected to a joint and decrease pain in the area.  This also help improve alignment, joint nutrition and increase flexibility in the area. Soft tissue mobilizations - Sports and Remedial Massage therapy is the hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of your body, specifically the muscles, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments to aid optimization of your movement and well-being.  It has a long history and was one of the earliest tools that people used to try to relieve pain.
How does Massage  and Manual Therapy work?
Sports and remedial massage techniques may be used during your treatment, massage can help me to locate the specific areas that may be tight, inflamed or in spasm.  Once located I will use various techniques that focus on the specific injured area and surrounding tissue to help release them and increase blood flow in the area.  Trigger pointing, cupping, frictions, myofascial release and specific stretching may also be incorporated into your treatment depending on assessment findings. Manual therapy is thought to have a number of effects on your body and your pain.  Pain relieve may result from the blocking of pain signals, “pain gate theory” and the release of certain chemical in your body which relax you and suppress your pain.  It is also thought to increase blood flow to the area which will bring in nutrients and chemicals to help repair the area quicker.  The bodies reaction to pain often is to tense up, this is why you may feel stiff and sore.  Manual therapy can help to relax these areas off to increase your mobility and reduce your pain. During the applications of manual therapy, you may feel some discomfort, this is normal and is usually experienced when I find inconsistencies in your tissues.  This is described by some as a “good hurt” as it can feel good but also painful at the same time.  Pressure will be adjusted to what you are comfortable with during treatment.

Dry Needling / IMS

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is a treatment technique applied into a muscle with a sterile, single-use, fine filament needle (acupuncture needle).   The needle is inserted into specific points, detected by the therapist known as myofascial trigger points (knots in the muscle) that are instantly released restoring function.  

The needles are much smaller than an injection needle, so having dry needling does not feel the same as having an injection. When a needle is inserted, for a very brief period of time, you may feel a temporary, sharp pricking sensation, and occasionally feel like the muscle is jumping. Some patient don’t feel anything at all.  It all depends how the bodies tissues are feeling when the treatment is taking place. They come in guide-tubes for easy insertion which means that there is no risk of anything touching the needle during the process. Your skin will be sanitized in the area being treated and I will be wearing gloves.  [More info]
What are the side effects?

Any side effects tend to be mild and short-lived. They may include: fatigue, light headedness, bruising, localized bleeding or soreness or redness or mottling of the skin around the needle sites. If you continue to feel tired after a treatment, it is recommended that you do not drive or operate machinery.  It is also advisable not to work out the same day after you have dry needling.

It is always a good idea to have something to eat before your treatment as this can reduce the chance of feeling light headed and less fatigued.  If you have any flu like symptoms you should cancel your appointment until feeling better.