How We Treat
We’re a multi-disciplinary clinic and use different treatments according to the condition. Past experience plays a big part in the choice of treatment. Typically, it’s a combination of treatments that get the best results.
Spinal Joint Manipulation
This involves movements of the spinal vertebrae in a way that re-aligns the joints, enabling them to move more freely.
Some ‘stuck’ or very stiff joints causing pain will only respond to this form of treatment. Often the patient can feel and hear the release of the joints and will feel a relief in symptoms. Sometimes this treatment, plus a home exercise programme is enough to alleviate the pain or discomfort.
Many of our patients who have recurrent and chronic symptoms will usually require both manipulation and traction to address the disc problem.
Lumbar & Cervical Traction
Traction is a gentle form of decompressing the spine and we have found it often significantly improves back and spinal pain. The traction machine is one of the most important pieces of equipment in our clinic.
We use traction for problems with the back and neck, usually after joint manipulation or mobilisation. Most disc problems, even those with severe nerve symptoms, respond well to the decompression – often very quickly.
After traction symptoms can improve immediately, or more usually the following day. It is not uncommon for the symptoms to return after the initial treatment. For a more permanent relief 3-4 sessions are often required.
Chronic conditions can be managed by occasional manipulation and traction. This is probably the best form of treatment for any neck or back condition, as most of my patients will testify.
We consider traction to be a very important part of the treatment to decompress the spine and we have found significantly improves back and spinal pain.
Spinal & Soft Tissue Mobilisation
These procedures usually involve heating and gently moving/stretching joints, muscles and ligaments, enabling a more ‘normal’ movement of the body.
This treatment is used more on direct injuries or muscle/ligament tears, as it facilitates the alignment of healing tissues, allowing a more complete recovery.
Orthotics may be prescribed to you to reduce stress and strain on your body and improve your posture. If your symptoms are from weight-bearing joints (foot, knee, hip, back) you may be advised to have your gait analysed using our Gaitscan technology.
Electrotherapy, including Ultra-sound & Inter-ferrential, is used primarily as an adjunct to the manual therapy techniques. Ultra-sound can facilitate and promote the healing of damaged tissues. Its application usually improves the function and activity of ‘fibroblasts’, which are involved with the repair process of damaged tissue.
Inter-ferrential treatment can be used as a first-line treatment if pain is very severe. This is very effective for extremely acute back pain, ‘frozen shoulders’ and acute or chronic knee pain.
Rehabilitation & Ergonomic Advice
This involves a home exercise programme that will help to maintain mobility of the joints and is specifically tailored to the individual’s problem.
Once we have improved the mobility of the joints and they are moving as normally as possible, we then actively re-educate and strengthen the muscles. Muscles and ligaments provide support and stability, limiting the possibility of future injury and preventing recurrent symptoms.
The exercises given to maintain the mobility of the joint should be performed as prescribed, as joint problems tend to adopt the path of least resistance and will gradually stiffen without you noticing.
Postural advice is necessary to enable the correct use of muscles and joints, helping to prevent repetitive stress and chronic injury to all tissues.
“I never felt it whilst on holiday”, is a classic phrase we hear a lot. Holiday activities often involve more varied movements and postures than those practised at work. The former are more in-keeping with what joints, muscles and ligaments can cope with easily .
Would you like us to treat you?
Every effort will be made to offer you an immediate appointment, especially if your condition is severe.
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Harpenden Sports + Spinal