Specialist in Neck, Back & Sports Injuries

Do you suffer from RSI?

What is RSI?

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a general term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse.

It’s also known as work-related upper limb disorder, or non-specific upper limb pain.

The condition mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as the:

  • forearms and elbows
  • wrists and hands
  • neck and shoulders

We will focus on the wrist on this post.

Symptoms of RSI

The symptoms of RSI can range from mild to severe and usually develop gradually. They often include:

  • pain, aching or tenderness
  • stiffness
  • throbbing
  • tingling or numbness
  • weakness
  • cramp

At first, you might only notice symptoms when you’re carrying out a particular repetitive action.

But without treatment, the symptoms of RSI may eventually become constant and cause longer periods of pain. You may also get swelling in the affected area, which can last for several

What causes RSI?

RSI is related to the overuse of muscles and tendons in the upper body.

Certain things are thought to increase the risk of RSI, including:

  • repetitive activities
  • doing a high-intensity activity for a long time without rest
  • poor posture or activities that involve working in an awkward position

Cold temperatures and vibrating equipment are also thought to increase the risk of getting RSI and can make the symptoms worse. Stress can also be a contributing factor.

If you feel you have RSI, book in for an initial consultation by calling us at Rainham physiotherapy centre on 01634 377 638.

Do you suffer from Dupuytren’s Contracture?

What is Dupuytrens Contracture?

Dupuytren’s contracture is when 1 or more fingers bend in towards your palm. There’s no cure, but your fingers can be straightened if it’s severe.

Dupuytren’s contracture mainly affects the ring and little fingers. You can have it in both hands at the same time.

It tends to get slowly worse over many months or years. Treatment can’t usually help in the early stages.

Treatments for Dupuytren’s contracture

You can speak to a surgeon about the options, what the benefits and risks are, and what to expect afterwards.

Your finger may not be completely straight after treatment, and might not be as strong and flexible as it used to be.

The contracture could also come back after a few years.

What to expect after treatment

Recovery and aftercare can vary.

You may:

have a cast or support (splint) on your hand for a few days

have some pain, stiffness, bruising and swelling for a few weeks

need to wear a splint while sleeping for 3 to 6 months

be advised to do hand exercises for up to 6 months – you might see a physiotherapist

You can often start using your hand again after a few days, but it may be a few weeks before you can return to all your activities.

Causes and preventing Dupuytren’s contracture

Dupuytren’s contracture happens when the tissue under the skin near your fingers becomes thicker and less flexible.

The exact cause is unknown, but it’s been linked to:

having a family history of the condition

smoking

drinking lots of alcohol

having diabetes or epilepsy

It’s not known if you can prevent it or stop it coming back.

If you wish to book in for an initial consultation, call us at Rainham physiotherapy centre on 01634 377 638.

Do you suffer from a Tarlov Cyst?

DO YOU HAVE A TARLOV CYST?!

Tarlov cysts are fluid-filled nerve root cysts found most commonly at the sacral level of the spine – the vertebrae at the base of the spine. These cysts typically occur along the posterior nerve roots. Cysts can be valved or nonvalved. The main feature that distinguishes Tarlov cysts from other spinal lesions is the presence of spinal nerve root fibers within the cyst wall or in the cyst cavity itself.

Due to the close proximity to the lower pelvic region, patients may be misdiagnosed with herniated lumbar discs, arachnoiditis and in females, gynecological conditions. An accurate diagnosis may be further complicated if the patient has another condition that affects the same region.

Although the exact cause is unknown, there are theories as to what may cause an asymptomatic Tarlov cyst to produce symptoms. In several documented cases, accidents or falls involving the tailbone area of the spine caused previously undiagnosed Tarlov cysts to flare up.

Any of the following may be present in patients that have symptomatic Tarlov cysts:

  • Pain in the area of the nerves affected by the cysts, especially the buttocks
  • Weakness of muscles
  • Difficulty sitting for prolonged periods
  • Loss of sensation on the skin
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Changes in bowel function, such as constipation
  • Changes in bladder function, including increased frequency or incontinence

Tarlov cysts may be discovered when patients with low back pain or sciatica have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed. Follow-up radiological studies, in particular, computed tomographic (CT) myelography are usually recommended.

If you feel you may be suffering from a Tarlov Cyst, book in with us here at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre by calling 01644 377638 and arrange an initial consultation! 

Do you suffer from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

DO YOU SUFFER FROM THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME?

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers.

Common causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include physical trauma from a car accident, repetitive injuries from job- or sports-related activities, certain anatomical defects (such as having an extra rib), and pregnancy. Sometimes doctors can’t determine the cause of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms can vary, depending on which structures are compressed. When nerves are compressed, signs and symptoms of neurological thoracic outlet syndrome include:

  • Muscle wasting in the fleshy base of your thumb (Gilliatt-Sumner hand)
  • Numbness or tingling in your arm or fingers
  • Pain or aches in your neck, shoulder or hand
  • Weakening grip

Signs and symptoms of vascular thoracic outlet syndrome can include:

  • Discoloration of your hand (bluish color)
  • Arm pain and swelling, possibly due to blood clots
  • Lack of color (pallor) in one or more of your fingers or your entire hand
  • Weak or no pulse in the affected arm
  • Cold fingers, hands or arms
  • Arm fatigue with activity
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers
  • Weakness of arm or neck
  • Throbbing lump near your collarbone

If you experience some or all of these symptoms and would like to get booked in for a consultation, book in with us at Rainham physiotherapy centre by calling 01634 377638 and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Office Mobility Workout

Today’s Fit tip is for anyone who sits a lot during their work day, whether it be at a desk or in a car.

If this is you and you feel like your back and shoulders get stiff, try to perform these stretches every 30 minutes or so, and try to get up and walk during that time too if possible.

Give these a try and let us know how you get on, on our facebook and instagram pages! (@rainhamphysiotherapycentre)

Do you suffer from spinal stenosis?!

DO YOU SUFFER FROM SPINAL STENOSIS?

Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the canal in the spine that contains the spinal cord and nerve roots becomes narrowed or restricted. Spinal stenosis can compress the nerves and the spinal cord and can lead to pain in the lower back and legs or in the neck, arms, and hands, depending on where the narrowing is located.

Spinal stenosis is common and is usually caused by osteoarthritis of the spinal column. People suffering from spinal stenosis may have trouble walking long distances and may need to sit down frequently or lean over to relieve the pain. Sometimes patients experience tingling, pain, or numbness that runs down their arm and into the hand.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis can vary in different cases. There may be no symptoms at all, since narrowing of the canal in the vertebrae does not always compress the spinal cord or nerves.

There is no cure for spinal stenosis, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can ease swelling and pain. Your doctor may also recommend cortisone injections. This anti-inflammatory drug is injected directly into the area of the spinal stenosis. Cortisone can significantly ease inflammation and pain. Its effects may be temporary, however, and you shouldn’t have more than three injections in a single year.

You might feel as though you’re in too much pain to exercise, but movement is crucial to your overall health. Try to perform some stretching exercises several times a day. In the video on our instagram page (@rainhamphysiotherapysentre) we demonstrate some stretches which will help. Focus on spinal flexion but do not extend the spine when finishing each rep, come back to a neutral straight spine.

If you feel you need more supervision and guidance, feel free to call us at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre on 01634 377638 and book in a consultation.

Spondylolisthesis rehabilitation.

DO YOU SUFFER FROM SPONDYLOLISTHESIS?!

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Spondylolisthesis is where one of the bones in your spine, known as a vertebra, slips out of position.

It’s most common in the lower back, but it can also happen in the mid to upper back or at the top of the spine at the back of your neck.

Spondylolisthesis is not the same as a slipped disc. A slipped disc is when a disc (the tissue between the bones in your spine) moves out of place.

Many people may not realise they have spondylolisthesis because it does not always cause symptoms.

Symptoms can include:

  • lower back pain – which is usually worse when you’re active or when you’re standing, and is often relieved by lying down
  • pain, numbness or a tingling feeling spreading from your lower back down your legs (sciatica) – this happens if the bone in the spine presses on a nerve
  • tight hamstring muscles
  • stiffness or tenderness in your back
  • curvature of the spine (kyphosis)

Initial treatments for spondylolisthesis may include:

  • a short period of rest
  • anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, or stronger painkillers available on prescription
  • physiotherapy – simple stretching and strengthening exercises may help increase the range of motion in your lower back and hamstrings
  • if you have pain, numbness and tingling in your legs, corticosteroid injections around the compressed nerve and into the centre of your spine may be recommended

If you feel you suffer from Spondylolisthesis try the exercise on our instagram @rainhamphysiotherapycentre or call us at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre on 01634 377638 and book in for a consultation.

Facet Joint Arthropathy rehabilitation.

DO YOU SUFFER FROM FACET JOINT ARTHROPATHY?!

The facet joints are found between the vertebrae of each segment of your spinal column. Osteoarthritis can develop in these joints and may be called facet arthropathy or facet joint osteoarthritis.

Facet arthropathy is degenerative arthritis which affects the facet joints of the spine.

Healthy Facet joints help keep the normal alignment of the vertebrae and limit motion.

Causes

Arthritis in the facet joints can develop from:

  • Wear and tear that decreases space between vertebrae causing facet joints to rub together
  • A previous back injury
  • Fractures
  • Torn ligaments
  • Disc problems

Due to the additional stress caused by these circumstances affecting the facet joints, bone spurs (also known as osteophytes) can develop and cartilage can deteriorate.

Symptoms

Pain is the main symptom associated with facet arthropathy. The pain is typically worse following sleep or rest. Pain associated with facet arthropathy may be exacerbated by twisting or bending backward. Low back pain is the most frequent complaint but it does not typically radiate down the legs or buttocks unless spinal stenosis also is involved.

Facet arthropathy Treatments

Oral medication may be prescribed including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Corticosteroids

Other treatment options include:

  • Traction
  • Strengthening and aerobic exercise
  • Spinal manipulation

When it comes to strengthening exercises, Go to our instagram page @rainhamphysiotherapycentre for more information.

Scoliosis rehabilitation.

WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?!

Scoliosis is where the spine twists and curves to the side.

It can affect people of any age, from babies to adults, but most often starts in children aged 10 to 15.

Scoliosis doesn’t normally improve without treatment, but it isn’t usually a sign of anything serious and treatment isn’t always needed if it’s mild.

Signs of scoliosis include:

  • a visibly curved spine
  • leaning to one side
  • uneven shoulders
  • one shoulder or hip sticking out
  • the ribs sticking out on one side
  • clothes not fitting well

Some people with scoliosis may also have back pain. This tends to be more common in adults with the condition.

Treatment for scoliosis depends on your age, how severe the curve is, and whether it’s likely to get worse with time.

Many people won’t need any treatment and only a small number will need to have surgery on their spine.

  • Babies and toddlers may not need treatment as the curve might improve over time. A plaster cast or plastic brace may be fitted to their back to stop the curve getting worse as they grow.
  • Older children may wear a back brace to stop the curve getting worse until they stop growing. Sometimes surgery may be needed.
  • Adults may need treatment to relieve pain, such as painkillers, exercises, spinal injections and, very occasionally, surgery.

In around 8 in every 10 cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. This is called idiopathic scoliosis.

scoliosis may also be caused by:

  • the bones in the spine not forming properly in the womb – this is called congenital scoliosis and is present from birth
  • an underlying nerve or muscle condition, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy – this is called neuromuscular scoliosis
  • wear and tear of the spine with age – this is called degenerative scoliosis, which affects older adults

If you feel you have scoliosis, feel free to call us at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre on 01634 377 638 and book in to see one of our physiotherapists.

Lordosis rehabilitation.

WHAT IS LORDOSIS?!

Everyone’s spine curves a little in your neck, upper back, and lower back. These curves, which create your spine’s S shape, are called the lordotic (neck and lower back) and kyphotic (upper back). They help your body:

* absorb shock

* support the weight of the head

* align your head over your pelvis

* stabilize and maintain its structure

* move and bend flexibly

If your lumbar curve arches too far inward, it’s called lordosis, or swayback. This can lead to excess pressure on the spine, causing pain and discomfort. It can affect your ability to move if it’s severe and left untreated. There’s little medical concern if your lower back curve reverses itself when you bend forward. You can probably manage your condition with daily exercises.

You should seek physiotherapy help if the curve remains the same when you bend forward.

The easiest way to check for Lordosis is to lie on your back on a flat surface. You should be able to slide your hand under your lower back, with little space to spare.

Someone with lordosis will have extra space between their back and the surface. If they have an extreme curve, there’ll be a visible C-like arch when they stand. And from the side view, their abdomen and buttocks will stick out.

The most common symptom of lordosis is muscle pain. When your spine curves abnormally, your muscles get pulled in different directions, causing them to tighten or spasm. You may also experience limited movement.

 

Make an appointment with your Physio if you are experiencing other symptoms, such as:

* numbness

* tingling

* electric shock pains

* weak bladder control

* weakness

* difficulty maintaining muscle control

 

Treatment for lordosis will depend on how severe your curve is and the presence of other symptoms.

Treatment options include:

* medication, to reduce pain and swelling

* physical therapy, to strengthen muscles and range of motion

* weight loss, to help posture

* surgery, in severe cases with neurological concerns