Hester Laughlin B.Phty M.MuscPhty MCSP SRP
What seems to be troubling you?
Physiotherapy can help with a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, including many you may not realise. Common problems such as low back pain, 'sciatica', neck pain, neck-related headaches, osteoarthritis, sporting injuries (like ligament sprains or tendinopathy/tendonitis), or trauma following a road traffic collision - all these things can be treated well, and often best, through physiotherapy. Sometimes patients wait to see if 'things will just get better on their own', whereas early assessment and appropriate treatment/advice can lead to improved healing times and outcomes (and ultimately, less expense!).
What's brought you here is a pain for you, but for me, it's a puzzle to be solved! My aim is to get you back to full function as quickly as possible! People often ask me "what do you do for neck pain?" (or low back pain or...), and I'm afraid there is no one answer to that. It depends on what's causing your particular pain. Every person is different, and the same applies to injuries and pain. So what works for one person, may not for another (in fact, it may even be harmful!). I tailor all my treatments to meet your individual needs and expectations; and, as I reassess at every session, we can explore the most effective approach for you.
I work closely with the GP partners in primary care, however, you don't need a referral to come and see me. Often, due to the demands placed on GPs and the broad spectrum of conditions that they need to deal with, they are not experts in diagnosing your aches/pains or injuries and may not know the best approach for managing them. Also, the best way to treat a particular condition can change according to the latest research, and it can be difficult to keep abreast of this as a GP. As a specialist in musculoskeletal health, however, I make sure I keep up to date with the latest knowledge as much as possible.
Getting an accurate diagnosis and then knowing what to do (or what not to do!) about the problem can offer not only pain relief, but great piece of mind as well! That's what I'm here to help you with!
Where's the problem?
- Upper Limb
- Head and Neck
- Upper/Mid Pack Pain
- Lower Back and Pelvis
- Buttock/Hip Pain
- Thigh Pain
- Knee Pain
- Lower Leg and Foot
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer's Elbow
- Ligament Sprains
- Referred Pain from the Neck or Thoracic Spine
Some pains in the hand and arm can arise from local structures, such as the joints, ligaments or muscles, but quite often pain is referred from the neck or thoracic spine. If this is the case, you may experience symptoms such as pins and needles, numbness, or weakness, although this can also arise from compression of a nerve at the wrist (such as which occurs with carpal tunnel syndrome).
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
- Frozen Shoulder
- Rehabilitation Following Surgery (eg after shoulder dislocation or SLAP lesion repairs)
- Acromioclavicular Joint Problems
- Referred Pain from the Neck
The shoulder is a highly complex joint - it has a very large range of movement and this requires the coordinated action of many different muscles. As such any number of things can go wrong. The neck often also becomes involved and can refer pain to the shoulder. Frozen shoulder is a painful and restrictive condition caused by an irritation of the ligaments surrounding the shoulder joint.
Head and Neck
- Neck Pain
Headaches and neck pain are very common conditions which originate from a range of structures, such as the vertebral joints of the neck (including the discs), ligaments, and muscles. The pain can travel down the back, into the head, into the shoulder, or even down the arm. If there is nerve involvement, this can cause strange symptoms like numbness, pins and needles, or weakness.
- Thoracic Spine Pain
- Rib Problems
- Chest Pain
- Breathing Problems (such as pain with breathing or coughing)
Pain in the chest or ribs can be a local problem (such as in the muscles or joints) but can also arise from problems in the thoracic spine. With nerve involvement, you sometimes experience areas of pins and needles or numbness.
Lower Back and Pelvis
- Low Back Pain
- Disc Problems
- Facet Joint Problems
- Muscle Spasm
- Pelvic Girdle Problems
- Sacroiliac Joint Disorders
- Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction
Low back pain is a highly common complaint that around 80% of the population will experience at some point in their lives. The low back/pelvis/hip area is one of my specialist areas and frequently implicated in other problems such as those involving the lower limb.
Pain in the low back can have a range of causes from poor postural habits or repetitive loading, to more traumatic events such as a sporting injury or car accident. 'Sciatica' is a common problem where the Sciatic Nerve causes symptoms into the buttock and/or leg (often not just pain but also pins and needles or numbness, or a feeling of weakness).
Pelvic pain associated with pregnancy is an area of special interest. Many people with PGP (pelvic girdle pain) believe that little can be done until after the birth of the baby, however this is untrue. Early diagnosis and treatment can provide significant relief and control of pain, as well as preventing ongoing problems after the baby arrives.
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
- Hip Problems
- Hip 'Wear and Tear' (including Arthritis)
- Groin Pain
- Pain Referred from the Low Back
Pain in the buttock can originate from a number of areas such as local structures (eg muscles like the Piriformis), but also commonly from the hip, sacroiliac joints, or even the low back. As such, a full assessment of all these areas is vital in diagnosis and for directing treatment. The pain can be local but may also refer down into the leg.
Groin pain may have causes such as a muscle strain, tendon injury (tendinopathy or tendinitis), or conditions such as 'Osteitis Pubis'. The causes of these are always multifactorial – that is, not just a local problem.
- Hamstring Strain
- Quadriceps Strain
- Referred Pain from the Back and Sciatica
Pain the hamstring may result from an injury (strain), but can also stem from the low back. A correct diagnosis ...
- Ligament damage (such as anterior or posterior cruciate, or medial or lateral collateral)
- Meniscal Injuries
- Patellofemoral Pain
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Patellar or Quadriceps Tendinopathy (Tendinitis)
- Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dysfunction
- Knee Athritis or 'Wear and Tear'
The knee is a much more complex joint than it appears, with many a structure that can cause pain! Some injuries are traumatic, such as ligament injuries, but for others, the pain can come on gradually and niggle on for some time - in these cases, the knee is often the victim between dysfunction lower down (usually the foot) or higher up (such as in the hip), not just a local problem. The whole lower limb and even the low back need to be assessed in order to get a clear picture of the root cause of the problem.
Lower Leg and Foot
- Anterior Tibial Pain ('Shin Splints' and Tibial Stress Fractures)
- Ankle Sprains and Instability
- Calf Strains
- Achilles Tendinopathy (Tendinitis)
- Plantar Fasciitis
Achilles Tendinopathy is a common problem in sportspeople and can take months to resolve. The good news is, however, that there are a number of things that can be done to help, and knowing how the person can help themselves is vital in recovery. Plantar fasciitis is also relatively common, and not just in the sporting population. Although the pain commonly derives from local structures, the dysfunction often lies not only in the foot, but higher up.