Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs are snippets of information - facts and myths - about pain, injury and physiotherapy. You need a credible source of information. Googling elsewhere without a clear diagnosis can lead to "Googlitis" and confusion.

Dynamic Physiotherapy-based solutions are available for your aches and pains, or arthritis and injury. But I need to diagnose your problem first so I can use an optimal treatment approach.

If you want to ask me about neck or back pain, headaches, migraines, injuries, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, or patello-femoral dysfunction, I can answer them by email. Or you can view my pages for answers.


Lots of FAQ coming soon! Or check my Blog Page.

Treatment of back pain will only be effective if you choose the treatment technique based on the most accurate diagnosis.

A proportion of people with acute back pain episodes will respond well to the McKenzie approach. We choose a movement direction based on our assessment and monitor how the pain moves and reduces.

A large benefit of this approach is that once you are shown what to do, much of your recovery will be in your hands to do at home.

Other types of back pain may be seriously aggravated by this approach. During my initial consultation with you I will match what your tell me about your history of back pain, your usual activities and the behavior of pain with what I find on a careful examination. We can then discuss what the best research based approach will suit your presentation.

Pain is not just a sensation. It is a complex response to something you feel and interpret. Our brains respond to acute pain but mistakenly sometimes use these same strategies for chronic or persistent pain.

We all know that the brain is powerful in leading us to exaggerate or minimize thoughts and events. A simple example: If your parent died of bowel cancer, you will be concerned when you get any abdominal upset. Someone else may just think that they ate too much.

Lack of understanding of the problem, added to fear and anxiety and tend to increase ongoing pain. I believe that providing you with accurate up to date information is a vital part of a physiotherapy consultation at my clinic.

We can use the brain’s neuroplasticity to turn these negative stories into more positive action.

I will also use look at how your posture and poor movement patterns, lack of strength, endurance and fitness are contributing to your pain experience and how you can improve these to become active again.

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As a Specialist Physiotherapist, one of my main areas of expertise is in finding the source of your headache and the factors contributing to it. Only then can we develop a rationale effective approach to treating and managing it. 

There are multiple types of headaches with some needing medical assessment but most needing more simple approaches. High quality research from clinical studies demonstrates the physiotherapy is effective in reducing the severity, frequency and duration of headaches related to the neck.

I am also able to help you to understand other types of headaches, such as migraine and chronic daily headaches that may be coexisting. I use headache diaries and specific migraine questionnaires so that we can both monitor change.

With better information and understanding or options, you can then have a more informed discussion with your general practitioner.

Vertigo is a description of a dizziness sensation accompanied by nausea, tinnitus and a feeling of imbalance. There are many causes and patterns of vertigo.


Back Pain reponse to heat packs (wheat or lupin bags) and ice packs FlexEze or Hotteze)

The Cochrane Research Foundation found moderate evidence to support the use of low-level continuous warmth (longer than one hour) rather than ice, to ease acute low back pain. Heat is also more beneficial than Paracetamol or Anti-inflammatory medication for some people. The study compared overnight stick on heat (FlexEze or Hotteze) lasting 8-12 hours with wheat or lupin hot packs that need reheating.

A further benefit of a wrap around heat pack is that it helps you to stay up and moving, before resting and and then reapplying the pack.

Why does heat help back pain?

  • Heat is a positive feeling and counteracts some of the pain you are sensing
  • It inhibits nociceptive temperature sensitive nerve cells in the pathways to the brain
  • Warmth relaxes tense muscles
  • Superficial Heat does not penetrate your deep tissues so is not increasing pahtology temperature 
  • What we percieve as pain is really changes in sensation and how your brain reacts to that feel (i.e. your “Thought Viruses” that may be saying). THe faster you ge some relief the less time you have for negative thought viruses to multiple and catastorphise. 


When should I use ice for an injury?

Ice is useful for actue injuries where tissue is trramatised and damaged. wo that blood vessel leakage occurs.Ice is therefore the treatment of choice for sprains and bruising for the first 24 to 48 hours. Ice contracts the blood vessels and limits the reactive swelling.

Reference: A Cochrane review of superficial heat or cold for low back pain. Spine 2006 31(9)

Don’t ignore niggles of pain ……………

but don’t give up on finding a solution

Avoid checking Dr Google;

instead consult a professional as soon as you suspect an injury.

Pain often refers from another area.

A physiotherapist is skilled in identifying, then explaining to you, where an injury is coming from, and how to care for it to facilitate recovery. APA

Australian Physiotherapy Association – Equal Physiotherapy access for all

Promote no limitations for physiotherapy access

Everyone has a right to access physiotherapy despite socio-economic limitations. Medicare should allow physiotherapy for evidence based treatment which is demonstrated to achieve optimal rates at less cost to the tax payer than surgery or other medical investigations when unecessary. Please use any opportunity to you have to speak to your state and federal politicians to explain this.
Health Funds also need to improve their lowest rebate levels. In many cases the rebate is set at a level of over 22 years ago. There has been NO increase in rebates despite around 50% increase in fees.
Meanwhile Allied Health Professionals massive increases in rents, rates, expenses and staff costs. The situation is unfair for you as a consumer. Please speak to your health fund if you agree. Thank You Helen Potter FACP.
Womens’ and mens’ incontinence treatment has proven superior to surgery in many cases. Pre and post rehabilitation post surgery also improves outcomes. See APA references

Physiotherapy Access means no limitations

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