Have you or someone you love been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? The symptoms of this condition can range from uncomfortable to debilitating.
But the good news is that manual therapy techniques that fall under the scope of myotherapy can help to alleviate some of these symptoms.
Let’s take a look at how myotherapy can help with multiple sclerosis.
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system.
‘Sclerosis’ means ‘scars’, which occur throughout the central nervous system. These scars interfere with the nerve impulses within the brain, the spinal cord and the optic nerves.
Because the scars can occur anywhere throughout the central nervous system, different symptoms can manifest.
Over 25,000 Australians have been diagnosed with MS. Most are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but it can occur in people who are younger or older. Women are far more likely to be diagnosed with MS.
What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?
Because multiple sclerosis can occur throughout the nervous system, there is a wide range of symptoms that people with MS may experience. No two cases are the same.
However, symptoms will typically fall under five main categories:
How can myotherapy help with multiple sclerosis?
This can really depend on the primary symptoms you’re looking to manage. However, myotherapy has a diverse range of tools and techniques that may help to minimise symptoms related to motor control, fatigue and neurological issues.
Some of the symptoms myotherapy may help to relieve include:
Massage and multiple sclerosis
One of myotherapy’s tools that has some promising research to back it up is massage therapy.
There have been several small studies into the benefits of massage therapy for MS. They found that massage therapy was able to relieve pain, fatigue and quality of life.
One study found that massage was more effective at relieving symptoms compared to exercise therapy. It also suggested that combining massage with exercise therapy could have even greater benefits.
Managing multiple sclerosis symptoms with Simple Wellness Myotherapy
Here are Simple Wellness Myotherapy, we have had patient outcomes such as:
Every case of MS is unique, so we cannot guarantee that you will achieve the same results. But we can say that our practitioners are experienced when it comes to MS, and will go the extra mile to help you find as much relief as possible.
Simple Wellness Myotherapy also works as a healthcare provider for those receiving employment assistance through MS Employment Services. If you are receiving employment assistance, you can have a chat with your Occupational Therapist to see if myotherapy can be incorporated into your package.
Ready to make a booking? Click here to visit our booking page.
Have you recently been diagnosed with bursitis, but aren’t quite sure what that means? We’ve got you covered. Here are the basics you want to know about bursitis and what can be done about it.
What is bursitis?
Throughout your body, you have bursa – small fluid-filled sacs that prevent friction between your bones, tendons and muscles around your joints. Bursitis is when a bursa becomes irritated and inflamed.
Bursitis commonly occurs in the shoulder, elbow or hip. However, you can experience bursitis in any bursa.
The most common symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness of the joint. Pain will often increase during the night time, and becomes worse when you move the joint.
What can cause bursitis?
There are many factors that can cause or contribute to bursitis. Some of the most common include:
How is bursitis diagnosed?
This depends on who you see. Any health professional will take a case history and do a physical examination.
If you seek help from your doctor, they may order imaging tests to rule out other problems that might be causing your symptoms, or they may order a test of the fluid from your bursa to see if there is an infection.
How is bursitis treated?
The focus of bursitis treatment depends on what caused the problem in the first place. But it’s likely that treating your bursitis will include:
If the cause is an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to resolve the infection. A small percentage of people may be recommended surgery if other treatments have been unsuccessful.
How myotherapy can help with bursitis
When it comes to bursitis, there are a few steps that your myotherapist will take.
Firstly, we will assess the joint itself for swelling, inflammation, pain and movement. Once we know what we’re working with, we’ll put together a treatment plan to address the issues.
A treatment plan for bursitis often includes:
Another useful therapy that may be discussed is hydrotherapy – exercises and movements performed in warm water. This can reduce pressure on the joint, making therapeutic movements easier and less painful.
If you’re dealing with bursitis, the team at Simple Wellness Myotherapy are here to help. To book an appointment with one of our qualified myotherapists, click here.
Have you just had surgery, or are booked in for surgery in the near future? Wondering how to deal with the pain that you experience after the procedure is finished?
Pain management can make a big difference for your recovery and overall wellbeing. Let’s take a look at how you can manage pain after surgery.
Why is post-surgery pain management important?
Getting a good hold on your pain levels after surgery is important for your comfort. But there are a few other reasons why managing your pain is essential for recovery.
Some of the most important reasons include:
How to manage your pain post-surgery
Looking for ways to deal with your post-surgery pain? Every case is unique, but there are some simple tips you can try to relieve your pain.
Follow your surgeon’s advice
Your healthcare team will give you guidance on how long before you can do certain tasks, and how frequently to take your medication. These are given to you for a reason – to manage your pain and healing!
Make sure you follow your surgeon’s advice, and seek their consultation if you need to make any adjustments.
Find a way to relax
Pain can be taxing for the nervous system. But relaxation techniques such as guided meditation may be helpful for controlling the sensation of pain. There are plenty of free guided meditations online and on YouTube to try.
If meditation isn’t your thing, find other ways to relax such as reading or spending time in nature.
Focus on resting frequently and deeply
Your body does its best healing when it is resting. Even if you feel that it’s ‘lazy’, your body is actually hard at work when you’re taking a nap or sleeping! Make sure you prioritise rest that is both frequent and high-quality.
Aim for 8-9 hours of sleep per night as a minimum. If you’re not back at work, switch off your alarm and allow yourself to wake naturally. You might also like to make time for a nap in the afternoon, even it’s only a quick 20-minute rest.
How myotherapy can support your body post-surgery
When it comes to post-surgery pain, myotherapy can offer a variety of support techniques depending on the type of surgery and how long ago your surgery occurred.
For example, your myotherapist can:
Here at Simple Wellness Myotherapy, we are experienced in working with a variety of clients who have undergone minor and major surgeries.
Our goal is to help you on your journey back to your ‘business as usual’ – whatever that may be! To book an appointment with one of our qualified myotherapists, click here.
Does this sound familiar?
Terrible pain in your first few steps in the morning.
Pain on standing up if you’ve been sitting for a little while.
Putting weight on that foot can be agony.
You feel it strongest in the heel or arch of your foot.
Once you get moving it seems to calm down.
If you're saying yes to these symptoms, you could be dealing with a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. Its quite common, and one of the most frequent foot pains that our myotherapists help people with.
Plantar Fasciitis is a very painful condition that affects your heel and the sole of your foot. Often the mornings are the worst pain, people often explain they feel like they have to hobble about for the first few minutes of their day.
Usually it affects one foot or the other - some very unfortunate people can get both feet affected at the same time.
Symptoms include heel pain; arch pain; altered walking patterns; cramps or spasms in the sole of the foot. Usually the pain reduces after getting moving, but those first few steps can be uncomfortable through to excruciatingly painful.
What kinds of treatments work best for Plantar Fasciitis?
The techniques I've found that work the best for people with Plantar Fasciitis are:
The hands on treatment sessions are only part of the recovery plan though. Like with most pains or injuries, looking at the way you move and stretch outside of your time in the clinic is important to helping you feel better, quicker. Our therapists will show you some simple but effective movements that help you to stretch your foot and leg to reduce the pain. We can also offer you some temporary pain relief suggestions like ice bottle rolling and using spiky physio balls.
Ready to look at a plan for kicking Plantar Fasciitis?
Book a 60 Minute Initial Consultation with us. We'll assess your movement and muscle balance, give you a feel-good hands on treatment, and walk you step by step through your treatment plan.
Most people have heard of the Rotator Cuff being a big culprit of shoulder pain, but do you know what it is and how to get help?
Our Myotherapists and Remedial Massage Therapists help a lot of people with Rotator Cuff pain - its one of our most commonly treated pains!
The Rotator Cuff is a group of 4 muscles that all work together, and they have different actions. So when you come in with a Rotator Cuff injury, the first thing we’ll work out for you is which muscle is causing you to feel the pain.
The job of the Rotator Cuff group is to move and stabilise your shoulder, and it does that by making what I like to light heartedly call the Shoulderblade Sandwich. Imagine your shoulderblade bone (scapula) as the filling of the sandwich, and the Rotator Cuff muscles are the bread on either side. The muscles on the outer side work to lift your arm and rotate it outwards away from your body, and the inner muscles rotate your arm inwards.
The most common issues we see with Rotator Cuff complaints is tight muscles referring pain, or muscle tears.
Rotator Cuff referral pains can be felt locally around the shoulder, as well as further down your arm, elbow, wrist and hand.
If you've got a Rotator Cuff tear or a partial Rotator Cuff tear, you'll likely notice pain and difficulty on raising or rotating your arm.
Muscle tears can be identified on an ultrasound. If you’ve already had the ultrasound and been given the report that you have a tear, the next step for you is to rehabilitate that muscle, and we can help!
Pain from shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries usually respond well to hands on treatments like massage, cupping, or dry needling. We also like to help stabilise your shoulder using kinesiotaping.
So how do you get help if you think you might have a Rotator Cuff problem?
Firstly, book a time to come see us so we can help you find which of those 4 muscles is acting up. We’ll do some muscle testing and make a plan for reducing your pain and getting you strong again.
If we think you may need an ultrasound to check for possible muscle tears, we can refer you to Dr Waj Dib here at Together Medical Family Practice in Knoxfield. Dr Dib is a fully bulk billed GP who can send you for scans if you need them.
Whether you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, an injury can set you back when it comes to your exercise goals. How you handle an injury can make a big impact on the recovery process. If you want to speed up your recovery and minimise the risk of injury in the future, this is the guide for you.
What to do immediately after an injury
So you’re reading this right as you’ve hurt yourself. Props to you for Googling the answer!
But on a serious note, it’s good to have the injury assessed by a GP if you suspect a fracture, dislocation or muscle tear. That way, you know right away whether you will need any significant treatment such as surgery or a cast.
In the meantime, start with elevating the injured body part. This helps to reduce fluid retention in the area. It also means you’re not on it, so you’re less likely to keep injuring it!
Rest and elevation are also a good idea for minor injuries such as sprains and twisted ankles. If you have a pre-made support or brace for the injured part, you can pop it on for some stability and compression. If not, you might like to bandage it if compression feels supportive for you.
There is a bit of debate out there about whether heat or ice is best for an injury. Ice is the old-school treatment, and may be useful for reducing pain sensitivity and fluid retention. On the other hand, if there is pain without any swelling, a heat pack or warm bath might help increase blood flow to the area and reduce pain.
Once the swelling has gone down
This is the time when it’s good to see your friendly local myotherapist. We can’t really help if you’ve just done a significant injury such as a break or a muscle tear. But after the first few days, we can put together a treatment plan to get you back to your everyday life ASAP.
Some of the therapies we can offer to help you recover include:
How to support recovery and reduce risk of re-injury
Are you ready to jump back into it after an injury? Here are some tips to maximise recovery and minimise your risk of getting hurt again.
Start slow – I know you want to jump straight back in, but this is a recipe for disaster! When you’ve been injured, your body part often needs time to strengthen and get back to your pre-injury levels. Begin with low impact versions of movement such as yoga and walking, and build up over a period of 4-12 weeks depending on your injury.
Use rest and compression after exercise – if you do find your injured area aching or swelling after exercise, head home to rest and a support or brace. This can minimise the fluid retention and ease any pain you might experience.
If you experience sharp or shooting pain, stop – some aches are common as you get back into movement. But sharp, shooting or severe pain is a sign that something is not ok. Stop whatever you’re doing until your pain has been checked out by a qualified practitioner.
Eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods – even if your rehab program is perfect, your body can’t recover without the good nutrients you need for healing. Eating plenty of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and high-quality is protein is a good start, according to our nutritionist friend Samantha Gemmell.
Work with a myotherapist – a myotherapist can help you with rehab exercises to rebuild strength. But they can also keep you on track with supportive taping and addressing any muscle imbalances.
Are you dealing with an injury? Our myotherapist Emily works with people with sports injuries, particularly muscle tears, joint injuries and rehab. Her goal is to get you back to training, events and everyday life as soon as possible while minimising your risk of re-injury.
To book an appointment with Emily, head to our booking page and select ‘Emily Wells’ as your practitioner.
If you work at a desk for hours on end, you know that it can be uncomfortable at the best of times. Office workers have just as much risk of injury and chronic pain as other more physically strenuous occupations. You may be at risk of issues including back pain, neck pain, repetitive strain injury or RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome.
So how can you minimise your chance of hurting yourself and stay at the top of your game? Our myotherapist Emily shares some of her tips for staying healthy and preventing pain and injury for office workers.
When you’re focused on your work, you often forget to shift position. Unfortunately, our bodies weren’t designed to stay in a position for hours at a time. That’s why the simplest tip is to stretch whenever you feel stiff, sore or fatigued.
Stretching can also help to boost blood flow to the brain, which means you are more focused and productive.
You can simply stretch at your desk if needed – stretch out your neck, shoulders and back, and do some circles with your ankles. But you can also do a standing stretch, which brings us to our next tip.
Set yourself reminders to move
Small amounts of movement throughout the day add up when it comes to preventing office injuries. But when you’re in the zone, you might forget! That’s why it’s useful to set yourself a reminder or alarm on your phone or computer.
Aim for at least 1-2 minutes per hour of movement. This might be standing and stretching, going and getting a glass of water, making yourself a coffee or tea, going to the toilet or just walking around the office to get your muscles and joints moving.
Give a sit/stand desk a try
Desks that can alternate between a seated and standing position have become popular recently. They allow you the best of both worlds – you can sit for a bit, then switch to standing as a break from sitting.
Have a chat to your employer about whether you can trial a sit-stand desk. The good thing is that many people find sit-stand desks boost productivity, so employers are often open to them.
If you work for yourself or you are the boss, you can hire sit-stand desks and other equipment before purchasing.
Make the most of lunchtime
It can be tempting to eat lunch at your desk and power through the to-dos. But your lunch and break times are an opportunity to move around and give your muscles and joints a break as well.
Get up and get moving. Head to a local park to have your lunch if it’s sunny outside. Grab a coffee from the café around the corner. You can even go for a brisk 5-minute walk around the block at the end of your break to wake up your brain and your body. That way, you’ll go back to work feeling refreshed.
Get moving before or after work
Some days you won’t get much time to move at work, so make the most of the hours outside of work. Find a way to get your body moving on a regular basis.
This doesn’t mean you need to slog away at the gym for an hour every day. You can do some yoga stretches at home, walk the dog or go to the playground with your kids.
If you do find yourself too tired to move after work, try getting up 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk around the block before work. It seems counter-intuitive, but exercise actually boosts your energy and relieves fatigue. Even a little bit each day will add up!
Get a regular remedial massage or myotherapy treatment
Your muscles and joints need care, just like every other part of you. That’s why regular treatments can help to prevent injury and pain.
Our desk worker clients find that a treatment every 2-6 weeks helps to relieve tension and pain. Many report that they have fewer headaches, lower stress levels, improved sleep and mood and greater movement in joints and muscles. So if any of those are on your wish list, regular massage and myotherapy might be the answer!
Is regular massage or myotherapy on your to-do list? Our myotherapist Emily is currently open for new clients. You can book with a session with her here.
Have you ever had a massage at a day spa before? If not, you might be wondering whether a massage at a spa is similar to a massage you receive in a clinic setting.
One of our myotherapists, Emily, has experience in both a day spa setting and a clinical setting. So today, she’s sharing with us the similarities and differences, as well as why you might opt for one over the other.
Why you seek out a treatment
For the most part, people who seek out a spa massage treatment want to feel great. They want to enjoy a massage that relaxes them, but usually aren’t looking for any other outcome.
On the other hand, people who seek out the services of a remedial massage therapist or myotherapist are looking for a specific outcome. When you book remedial massage or myotherapy, you generally want to alleviate symptoms such as pain, or at least prevent future pain and flares.
The aim of a massage treatment
As the reason for seeking treatment is different, it makes sense that the aim is also different. A spa massage therapist will aim to give you a massage treatment that feels good, relieve tension and helps you to feel more relaxed.
A remedial massage or myotherapy session in a clinic will have specific goals and outcomes. This is because you will generally come in with an aim of having pain or an injury treated, managed and/or prevented. We will put together a treatment plan based on your needs and goals, and review that regularly.
In a spa massage, there may be other treatments or tools involved such as hot stones or aromatherapy. Again, these are focused on relaxing you more and easing general stress and tension.
On the other hand, remedial massage and myotherapy can involve a whole toolbox of techniques, depending on your needs.
At Simple Wellness Myotherapy, we use dry needling, cupping, joint mobilisation, trigger point therapy, rehabilitation exercises and taping. Not everyone will need all of these in their treatment plan, but we can tailor your plan to your needs and goals.
What to expect in a 60 minute spa massage
Here is how a typical spa massage will run:
What to expect in a 60 minute clinic massage
This is how a massage or myotherapy treatment runs at Simple Wellness:
Which is better – spa massage or clinical massage?
It’s not really a competition because they are so different! If you’re just looking to treat yourself and enjoy a relaxing massage, there’s nothing wrong with a sneaky spa massage. Spa massage may also be preferable if you’re looking to have other beauty treatments.
But if you’re dealing with pain, injury or significant tension, a clinical massage from a remedial massage therapist or myotherapist is best. Clinical massage is also better for preventing injuries and flare-ups of previous injuries and pain.
Looking for a clinical massage? At Simple Wellness Myotherapy, we offer both remedial massage with our therapist Helvi and myotherapy with Emily and Mel. You can book an appointment with one of our practitioners here.
Have you ever wondered about flame cupping? Flame cupping sounds scarier than what it really is. Let’s have a look at the facts around flame cupping, and how it might be beneficial for you.
What is flame cupping?
Flame cupping is a form of dry cupping that uses fire to cause a vacuum in a cup. The cup is then placed on the area of skin being treated.
What is flame cupping good for?
Flame cupping is great for relieving muscle tension, especially tension that isn’t responding quickly to hands-on techniques.
The best part about flame cupping? It is applied and left on while your practitioner continues to work on another area of the body. So if you have a sore shoulder and tight lower back, they can cup the shoulder and massage the lower back or vice versa.
Is flame cupping going to burn me?
It shouldn’t if it’s applied by a qualified flame cupping therapist. A qualified therapist who has training in flame cups knows how long to heat each cup before applying it to the skin.
If you’re worried, ask your practitioner about their training in flame cups before agreeing to treatment.
Who can’t have flame cupping?
As useful as flame cupping is, there are a few contraindications to keep in mind.
Flame cupping is not recommended for those with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or those using medications such as warfarin.
Flame cupping cannot be safely applied over wounds. However, it can be used over fully healed scar tissue.
Does flame cupping detoxify the body?
Not really. Flame cups can’t detoxify you – that’s the job of your liver and other detox organs. But in a way, they can support the natural detoxification process.
It increases blood flow to the area, which improves the exchange of oxygen and waste products in that area. The waste products are then transported to the liver and detox organs and excreted from the body.
I have dark marks after flame cupping – is this a bad thing?
Cupping marks are normal after a treatment. They aren’t bruises or a sign of tissue damage.
Eastern medicine practitioners such as acupuncturists believe that cupping marks are a sign of what is happening in the body. For example, darker marks are signs of how stagnant the energy or ‘chi’ is.
For myotherapists, they are bruise-like marks caused by surface capillaries that break during the suction.
Either way, they are nothing to worry about – they will fade over the period of 3-7 days for most people. If your cupping marks remain dark or tender for a prolonged period, contact your therapist directly for a check-in.
How can I try out flame cupping?
By booking an appointment with our flame cupping myotherapist Emily! Emily loves to work with flame cupping, because she can work on two areas of tension at once.
To book a session with Emily, head to our booking page and select ‘Emily Wells’ for your practitioner.
Did you know I'm upgrading my qualification?
I'm currently studying my Bachelor of Health Science (Myotherapy) at Endeavour College of Natural Health!
The Bachelor of Health Science gives me more advanced techniques, including mobilisation, assessments, pathology and clinical sciences, pain neuroscience, foundations of human nutrition, further corrective exercise prescription, and lots more!
Any of you who know me, know I'm a total nerd about this stuff, and I'm very excited to bring new skills week by week back into my clinic.
I start on campus classes in March 2018. I'll be studying all day from 8am through til 6pm on Thursdays.
My available clinic hours from March 2018 will be:
Monday - 9am-7pm
Tuesday - 9am-7pm
Wednesday - 9am-7pm
Thursday - closed
Friday - 9am-7pm
Saturday - closed
Sunday - closed
Want to book your next appointment? I look forward to seeing you soon!
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.