FAQ'S About Colin Davies Physiotherapy & the McKenzie Method
1) Why don’t you use hot and cold packs? A hot pack made my shoulder feel a lot better.
2) My doctor said that my x-ray shows ‘arthritic changes’. Is there anything I can do about this arthritis?
3) My accident was 6 months ago but I still have pain. Does this mean that my injury has not healed yet?
4) I love to jog, hike, play golf, tennis etc. but am concerned that it will damage my back, neck, knee etc.
5) Osteoporosis runs in my family. How can I prevent it?
6) What is a good exercise for my back?
Why don’t you use hot and cold packs? A hot pack made my shoulder feel a lot better.
Passive treatments, like hot packs, cold packs, ultrasound and TENS have been studied extensively using well-controlled clinical trials. Research has not shown any benefit from this type of treatment. You may FEEL better temporarily, but these passive treatments don’t actually make you GET better. The treatments that actually work are the specific guided exercises that you do yourself.
My doctor said that my x-ray shows ‘arthritic changes’. Is there anything I can do about this arthritis?
Two points here.
- ‘Arthritic changes’ is not the same as ‘arthritis’. Almost everyone will show arthritic changes on an x-ray when they reach 60 and above. But many people have full function and never have any pain. This normal aging, as shown on the x-ray, is not necessarily the cause of your pain.
- If you do have arthritis, exercise can help to improve your range of motion and increase your strength. When you do this, the pain is often much less.
My accident was 6 months ago but I still have pain. Does this mean that my injury has not healed yet?
No. The initial healing occurs quite quickly, usually within a week. Think of a clean cut; it only takes a few days for a scar to form. Scar tissue that forms around a joint or in a muscle may shorten as it matures. When you move, the scar is pulled, which is painful. Unless you recover full movement and strength, your injury will continue to hurt. So it is not that you haven’t healed, it’s that you haven’t healed effectively. The solution is to perform the correct exercises to promote healthy, flexible scar tissue.
I love to jog, hike, play golf, tennis etc. but am concerned that it will damage my back, neck, knee etc.
I would only give up these activities if it is absolutely necessary. Usually it is better to remain as active as possible for as long as possible. It is very unusual for these types of activities to harm a joint. Remember, the pain produced by your activity may be due to a simple mechanical problem that can be treated by appropriate exercises, correcting posture, or technique.
Osteoporosis runs in my family. How can I prevent it?
It may not be possible to prevent osteoporosis but you can often reduce the risk of fracture or pain.
- See your doctor about your diet and calcium supplements. Your doctor may also recommend a bone scan that will reveal if your bones are becoming brittle.
- Try to reduce the risk of falls. Practice simple balance exercises, while remaining as active and strong as possible. Also consider wearing padding around your hips when you jog, cycle, or hike.
- Certain exercises help to maintain or improve bone density. For the long leg bones, weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, step aerobics can be beneficial. For the spine, exercises that strengthen your back extensors are vital.
- Always maintain good posture when you sit, stand and walk. Stooping puts more stress on your vertebrae often contributing to their collapse. Try to remain as tall as possible, as much as possible.
What is a good exercise for my back?
It depends what is wrong with your back. Most back pain is mechanical in nature. This means that it is caused by excessive strain of the ligaments and soft tissues that surround the joint. Exercises, movements and postures that reduce that stress are immediately beneficial and should be used to help control the pain and improve function. Once the pain is controlled, it is important to restore your full range of motion and strength to the back. For specific advice on self-treatment read “Treat Your Own Back” by Robin McKenzie.