Physiotherapy Train Smart


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Frequently Asked Questions

No, you do not need a referral to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are First Line Practitioners.

Our treatment/rehabilitation/training sessions are 1 hour long. If you have multiple areas requiring treatment, please let our reception staff know at the time of booking. If you are a new patient please arrive five to ten minutes prior to your appointment to complete some basic paperwork.

Yes, there is ample parking readily available directly underneath the building. There are 4 levels of parking which are very safe and secure.

Yes. We accept cash or Visa/Mastercard or alternatively EFT payments can be done.

However clients who are on maintenance programs can pay on a monthly basis via EFT.

Yes, however our home visit prices will be different to account for transport and time away from practice.

Yes but we prefer you to phone or SMS the practice at +27 (0)76 523 0065 to make your appointment. We are, however, happy to answer enquiries via email.

Bring any referral letter, reports, X-rays or scans that are relevant to your condition or injury with you. Wear or bring comfortable clothing if possible.

We do not treat IOD injuries. RAF treatments will need to be paid by yourself and claimed back from the fund.

Physiotherapy (click here for more information) – An orthopaedic and sports physiotherapist is a degreed allied health practitioner skilled in orthopaedic and neuro-musculoskeletal diagnosis, treatment and management of the client. Note that rehabilitation, manipulation and massage are in the scope of practice of the physiotherapist. However, physiotherapists vary in their skill set and approaches based on post-degree and/ or higher degree education. These practitioners are sanctioned by and required to be members of the HPSCA (Health Professional Council of South Africa) and the South African Society of Physiotherapy.

Biokinetics – A ‘bio’, as biokineticists are often called, is an allied health practitioner specialized in the rehabilitative modality of exercise. Being degreed individuals, they are educated in final phase rehabilitation and prescriptive exercise interventions for the health promotion and maintenance of special populations. The scope of practice of biokinetics does not include the manual physiotherapeutic approaches of mobilisation, manipulation, dry needling and direct soft tissue release of the musculoskeletal system. These practitioners are sanctioned by and required to be members of the HPSCA (Health Professional Council of South Africa).

Chiropractic – A chiropractor is a degreed practitioner titled a Doctor of Chiropractic. Chiropractic involves adjustments of the subluxation complex of the spine. These adjustments, when appropriately applied, are very effective when administered by a skilled Chiropractor. They are not, however, a fix-all for all spinal pain or pathology. Some chiropractors administer treatment to areas beyond the spine and may employ modalities similar to those used in physiotherapy. These practitioners are governed by the Allied Health Professional Council and not the HPSCA (Health Professional Council of South Africa).

Massage Therapy – Massage is very useful for therapeutic or relaxation purposes. Massage therapy can take several different forms. Massage therapists are certified by their institute of learning, and are not in any way educated in diagnosis or rehabilitation.

No, not necessarily. While physiotherapists are a part of a multidisciplinary team, they are exceptionally well trained in orthopaedic, musculo-skeletal and movement impairment diagnosis. The physiotherapist may refer you to specialists or to other team members pending a thorough assessment, and, of course, your response to treatment.

Dry needling is the use of acupuncture needles for treating muscle pain. It is not the same as acupuncture per se, which is applied according to certain Chinese medicine principles. Physiotherapists claiming to perform acupuncture must be registered as acupuncturists or Chinese medicine practitioners.
The concept of dry needling evolved from trigger point injection using a syringe (‘wet’ needle).The action of the needle itself was observed to have more effect on healing than the medication it administered, hence the “dry” needle. Dry needling is used to elicit a natural healing response from your body by increasing blood flow to specific muscle structures, and stimulating your body’s many natural pain inhibition systems, thus also stimulating the secretion of natural pain inhibitors. Not all conditions require dry needling! The decision to offer this rests with the therapist and the patient, together they can make an informed decision to accept this approach or not.

Patient compliance and active participation in rehabilitation are key factors that any health professional has to capitalise on. Ask if you don’t know what to do at home, or if you are unsure of exactly what you can do to contribute to your recovery. It is incredibly important to note that you have a key role to play in your recovery. Be an active participant and not a passive recipient!

Clicking or popping of spinal joints does not mean that joints were ‘out of alignment’ are put back into alignment. For example, you can look at your hand, ‘click’ your knuckles, and look at it afterwards only to see that it appears 100% the same as before, while feeling looser. We refer to the clicking of joints as manipulation, and the sound that is generated is called ‘cavitation’. This sound is likely the result of gaseous pressure change in the joint, and involves a stretch of the capsule and ligaments with a feedback message into the adjacent muscles that can cause them to relax more – in effect, loosening the joint. Manipulation is not proven to be the only method of restoration of joint mobility. True malalignment is seen in scoliosis and is not correctable by manipulation. Note that clicking one’s own spine is not advisable! The physiotherapist, after mobilising or manipulating the spine and releasing the soft tissue (muscle and fascia), will give you exercises that will strengthen the weaker muscles and lengthen any shortened muscles. In this way your muscles will be able to provide a strong pillar of support during daily activities and sport.

The disc is adhered to the adjacent two vertebrae and will not separate from the vertebrae even in severe injury such as car accidents. The disc can therefore not ‘slip’ out – this is just lay terminology. The lumbar discs are cushions between the vertebrae and assist in shock absorption and movement. A disc has an outer layer of cartilage (annulus), and a softer gel-like centre (nucleus). With ageing, trauma, overuse or misuse, small cracks can develop in the cartilage with the soft centre distorting the cartilage (like a ‘tyre bubble’) or even pushing through (like a ‘burst tyre’). Medical terms like herniation, prolapse or protrusion are used to describe the severity of the disc injury. This can cause swelling and inflammation resulting in pain, or push directly on nerve tissue causing local or limb (referred) pain. In the leg this referred pain is called ‘sciatica’. An MRI is the tool typically used to make the most accurate diagnosis as an X-ray only shows bone structure.

Manipulation is typically avoided by physiotherapists in the presence of a disc injury. Thorough assessment and solid clinical reasoning will help the physiotherapist determine what approach is to be used.

Nerves are not ‘pinched’ but can become compressed due to disc problems (see preceding FAQ) or bony osteophytes (spurs) pressing on them. If that is the case, pain (in the typical distribution of that nerve), tingling, numbness or weakness may result. It is possible to have pain and NO weakness/numbness/tingling, or weakness/numbness/tingling and NO pain, or BOTH. This depends on where the nerve is compressed. By the way, pain in the leg does not necessarily mean you have sciatica – let your practitioner make that diagnosis! Weakness and numbness are considered to be far more serious than pain and require urgent attention!!