The Barefoot Physiotherapy Method

We understand that when you are in pain, it can be extremely hard to function and enjoy life on a daily basis. At Barefoot Physiotherapy, our treatment plan is focused on helping you to do what you want with your body!

We use a thorough whole body assessment to work out the underlying cause of the condition. We can then treat it, teach you to treat it and together take care of your body long term – getting you back to doing what you love sooner.

Ridgway Method

At Barefoot we use a systematic testing process to assess your whole body, this assessment includes testing your:

  • nerves
  • muscles (including tendons)
  • joints (ligaments, discs, bones, cartilage) and
  • movements.

In the vast majority of sports and musculoskeletal conditions, this process leads to a rapid and full recovery. During this initial phase, you can trust that you are either going to get rapidly fixed, or a ‘Plan B’ is required.

In a small percentage of conditions, this process quickly identifies that a referral for a different management of the condition is most appropriate, i.e. ‘Plan B’ where we help you find the right path (whether that be imaging, acupuncture, medical etc.) – this is because we don’t continue treating without results.

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For the majority of cases (not a Plan B case) treatment then focusses on the underlying cause to reduce its impact on the rest of your body.

We chart your progress including how long and how many sessions will be required to achieve pain free, full function. Below is an example recovery graph.

RECOVERY_EXAMPLE

Importantly – this involves teaching you how to look after your condition to minimise recurrence. Click here for muscle retraining.

Once you are back doing what you want with your body, looking after your condition is the mainstay of treatment. We call this the ‘maintenance phase’ where your Barefoot Physiotherapist checks in on you at increasing intervals (up to 3 months).

There are three main reasons for these sessions:

1. To test and confirm your good self-management
2. Progressing your skills for achieving better performance
3. To treat any re-accumulation of strain that occurred in between sessions as a result of life’s challenges

 

We know that for each of our clients, their day to day life can be a mix of different activities. To make sure that you are able to keep doing what you love, we offer home, work and gym setups.

This allows you to:

  • Optimise motor control and postures
  • Improve progression from injured to non-injured state
  • Minimise avoidable strain placed on the body (and therefore decrease the frequency of maintenance sessions in the clinic).

Whether you love hiking, walking, rock climbing or just want to be pain free, we want to help you get back to doing what you love. Want to find out more? Click the link here.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Knee painPatellofemoral Pain Syndrome is a common knee complaint of not only the young and nimble, but also amongst the elderly. To break it down, this can be best referred to as pain felt behind your kneecap, where your patella (kneecap) joins to your thigh bone (femur). This part of your knee is referred to as your patellofemoral joint.

Causes

Your patella should glide up and down through the femoral groove during normal movement. When the patella moves to one side more than the other due to muscle imbalances or poor biomechanics it is unable to align and track smoothly on the femur, consequently rubbing against the femur and increasing pressure in the joint. Over time, poor alignment of the patella can lead to kneecap pain, joint irritation, and can eventually result in the degeneration of the surface of your patellofemoral joint.

Although aching kneecaps, especially discomfort behind the kneecap, can impact up to 25% of the population at some point in their lives, patellofemoral pain occurs commonly in athletes. This particular condition is typically found in activities that involve jumping, running and squatting. These sports may include running, tennis, basketball, football and netball. It also commonly occurs when an individual’s activity load increases, for example when starting a new sport, gym program, or with additional training before a competition.high knees

This condition is quite common during adolescence, as our ‘long bones’ tend to grow faster than the muscles, ligaments and tendons, therefore placing abnormal strain and pressure on joints. Stretching and strengthening the appropriate muscles is important to achieve optimal biomechanics throughout our lifespan.

Symptoms

The discomfort that you feel behind your kneecap normally increases gradually, rather than it being instant. For those who suffer from this type of discomfort, it is generally noticed during weight bearing activities that require bending the knee.

Movements such as climbing stairs, hopping, running, kneeling and squatting are commonly painful. As your patellofemoral pain syndrome becomes more severe, it may become painful to walk and then ultimately be painful even at rest.

Treatment

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy intervention is an effective solution both short and long term for your kneecap pain. The aim of treatment for this conditions is predominately to reduce the ache and inflammation, and to find the underlying cause of the condition to avoid it from reoccurring in the future.

Running Recovery and Injury Prevention

Running Recovery and Injury PreventionAs the ‘fun run’ season starts to get into full swing, we are seeing more and more people out hitting the pavement. While running is a great way to improve your fitness (and see the sights), people often underestimate the load it places on your body. Running is predominantly a single leg activity. That is, when running with good technique, there should be little to no time with both legs on the ground. As a result, running requires a lot of leg strength and core (trunk/pelvis) stability. Running can be a fun and rewarding form of exercise, but without the right care, it can also lead to frustrating injuries.

There are lots of steps that can be taken to help eliminate running pain and injury.

Rest and recovery

Soreness following exercise is referred to as “delayed onset muscle soreness” (DOMS). Appropriate rest and recovery strategies can help minimise the severity of DOMS. Below are some recommendations:

  • When you finish your run, do a few minutes of gentle jogging or walking before jumping in the car to head home. This allows your muscles time to cool down gradually and to clear any waste products (such as lactic acid) from your blood. It will help you to feel less stiff the next day and reduce the time needed between running sessions
  • Allowing enough rest time between running sessions. If you have not been running recently, then allow your body a few days between running sessions and only start with 1-2 days of running per week. As you build up your body’s endurance and tolerance to running, you should be able to run more days a week and with less days between
  • Watermelon juice! Studies have shown the tasty fruit juice contains high levels of L-citrulline which reduces the severity and onset of DOMS. Consuming the juice was more effective than taking a supplement of the same dosage
  • There is evidence that hot Epsom salt baths improve muscle soreness. There is also evidence for the slightly less appealing ice-baths… Everyone has their preference so test it out and see what works for you
  • Regular self-releases, massage and physio!

Releases – Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Brisbane

running injury preventionThe main ‘running muscles’, can get tight from the increased work-load of running. Regular releases of these muscles can help reduce the tightness in them and hence reduce the risk of injury. Below is a collection of muscle releases- all muscle releases should aim for 2-3 spots per muscle, with each spot being released for 60-90 secondsRunning releases recovery

  • Glutes are one of the main stabilisers of the pelvis as well as being the ‘powerhouse’ for propelling the body forward when running. As a result they can get very tight!
  • Hamstrings are also important for helping produce force for running and are also commonly ‘overloaded’ when the glute muscles are tight or underactive
  • Quadriceps and hip flexors lift your leg and control your leg when it hits the ground. Tightness in the quadriceps is often associated with knee aches and painsrunning releases
  • Calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus): calves are responsible for the ‘push off’ of your feet and also help control your foot strike when running. Overly tight calves can lead to ‘shin splints’ and Achilles tendon problems

 

 

Having an all over body assessment of your muscles, joints, nerves and movements by a running physio can help pick up on any particular areas of restriction that may become a problem.

Happy Running!

How to keep your Dentist and Physio happy!

I have been brushing my teeth morning and night since I was a child. The purpose of this was to make sure that when I saw the dentist for my check-up he would tell me my teeth are good and I don’t need any fillings. I am proud to say that 30 years later I am still filling-free!

physio toothbrush

So, then I thought – I need to do my muscle releases everyday (and maybe twice a day) to ensure that when I see my Physio for a tune-up they will tell me that my body is testing well and I don’t need any extra work. And since I have been doing my muscle releases everyday, this has been the case! (And the time in between my ‘tune-ups’ has been spaced out every session).

Calf self massage

So I wanted to share with you some ways that I have been able to fit my muscle releases into my everyday life…

  • Watching tv (that’s right – roll around on the ball/roller on the ground in the lounge room)
  • Whilst on the phone (put the ball against the wall and roll my shoulders whilst talking)
  • Waiting for the kettle to boil (easy 2 mins right there!)
  • Waiting for the toast to cook or microwave to heat lunch (easy 2-5min right there as well!)
  • Sitting at the movies/on the bus/ in the car (as a passenger) – placing the ball under my foot or under my thigh to release my hamstrings
  • In my lunchbreak
  • Talking to my housemates at home
  • Wake up 10mins earlier than normal/go to bed 10min later than normal
  • At the airport terminal waiting for a plane (& on the plane!)
  • Before my PT or Gym session (get there 10min early – do releases!)
  • Getting a massage (is this cheating? Definitely not!)

Shoulder self massage

Of course this means I carry my releasing ball with me in my handbag everywhere I go and I absolutely freak out if it’s not in there (as one may do if they forget their tooth brush on a holiday). Lucky toothbrushes are easy to buy from the shop though…