RHP Physiotherapy Blog

The latest from RHP Physiotherapy

RHP Physiotherapy is one of Brisbane’s premier physiotherapy practices. We’ve started this blog in order to provide an informed and authoritative discourse on a range of health related topics.
Our hope is that we can provide you with up to date information and events associated with a range of health topics not limited to sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems as may be associated with traditional ‘physio’ or physiotherapy.

Our sports physiotherapists are amongst the country’s elite but we have worked hard to establish a culture of excellence across a range of health related issues. Many of these topics we hope to discuss in coming blogs.


Recent posts:

Posted by admin on March 18, 2013

Finding a Physiotherapist – Part II

Find a therapist who loves what they do.  This should be conveyed by their knowledge and attitude.  Does the therapist exhibit the attributes you would like to see as a healthy person?

Look for a therapist who is also a good teacher.  They must be able to teach you to appreciate your body.  To look for the subtle signs and symptoms and to be able to manage problems for yourself, where applicable.

Find a therapist who will tell you what you need to know and not what you may want to hear.  This also means that as a patient, you need to open to listening!  Sometimes, it’s about tough love!

A good Physiotherapist should be a model and a master of the type of practice they represent.  We are all continually learning, and it may be that to ‘master’ a discipline is impossible, but, your therapist should be trying!  It doesn’t mean that your therapist has to be a master of all aspects of  hysiotherapy (there are too many!) but that they should be putting in the effort to learn in their chosen field.

Ask how the therapist practices.  How do they view what they do?  What form does it take?  How do they guide their patients?  What ancillary support is available?  What kind of practice have they set up?  What will they ask of me (the patient)?

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a good start.

Yours in health,
David Macdonald.

Posted by admin on February 22, 2013

Finding a Physiotherapist – Part I

Considering that you will be working closely with your physiotherapist over a period of time, it is worth reflecting on this important relationship.
At this point I should also mention that this process applies to people with acute injuries as well, especially if they are frequent, such as in a sporting environment.

It should also be mentioned that it is impossible to separate the physical, emotional, mental and sometimes, spiritual aspects when it comes to the ‘cause and effect’ of injuries/dysfunction. Consider these the four pillars of treatment.

With chronic pain, it often becomes necessary to take the confusion out of the situation and the sense of the ‘unknown’. It also requires a certain depth to the treatment and care given. This can be hard if someone relies on the internet, books or too many different opinions.It helps if you can find the assistance of a skillful practitioner and one who understands the four pillars.

In my next blog, I’ll talk a bit more about the process of finding the right physiotherapist for you.

Yours in Health,
David Macdonald

Posted by admin on December 12, 2012

Pain is an output of the brain

Dr. Lorimer Mosely / David Bulter in Explain Pain (Noigroup Publications) 2003.This is an interesting paradigm.  Many forms of treatment aim to “control” symptoms:  be it medication, certain forms of manual therapy, surgery, forms of psychology, and many others.

Many forms of treatment don’t allow for the natural expression of the body’s tissues.  Your body has a natural tendency to heal, much in the same fashion as cutting your finger will scar over.  Sometimes this capacity is restricted, for whatever reason.  Given the body’s natural inclinations, all it takes on many occasions is to give the restriction a ‘nudge’ in the right direction and to let the tissues do the rest.

Because the brain is the ‘big boss’, all body dysfunction will be represented here in some fashion.  It doesn’t matter if you are suffering from immune dysfunction, hormonal issues, emotional issues, pain or inflammation, you will find, at the very least, some remnants in the brain tissue.The key is finding what to ‘nudge.’  All it takes then is for time to have its effects.  Unfortunately, the healing of some tissues might take more time than is allowed, but nonetheless, the process has been started.

We have often found in our clinic that accessing the subconscious pathways leads to better results.  Most of the time, our body will organise itself around central nervous system dysfunction, but it doesn’t matter whether you are trying to improve your core stability, remove the mind-body limitations to healing, or recover from fibromyalgia – given the choice, your body (or brain) will move away from the dysfunction towards freedom.

From the time we were born, our brain and nervous systems grew through subconscious play and in response to “freedom, creativity and curiosity.”  It may help you and your therapist if you were to free yourself of some constructs and give your body its head, so to speak! Brain food for thought …

Posted by admin on October 2, 2012

The Nature of Chronic Pain – Part II

Following my previous article on Chronic Pain, I wanted to add a little more to the discussion. As mentioned previously, chronic pain deals with many adaptions, layers and body systems, all combining to produce a complex network of issues.  Because this network is complex, it is necessary to set reasonable expectations when dealing with the recovery time-frame.

By the time I get to see most people, they are at the end of their tether!  Often, the people need to get better immediately!  However, these problem ‘layers’ take time to remove.  These adaptions didn’t occur overnight and in reality, will have taken years to manifest.  In my view, if it takes 12 months to unadapt the issues that took decades to build up, this is a winning formula.

Chronic pain may or may not involve an incident or accident?  Regardless of the existence of precise injury or not, rest assured there will be many adaptions to unwind.  Pick anyone off the street and a lifetime of poor movement or postural habits, injuries and illness will have left their marks in some fashion.

Your therapist should do their best to expedite the recovery process, but the reality is there may be a process that needs to be followed.  It helps if both the therapist and the patient both understand this.

To summarise, remove the barriers that prevent your body from healing, which it will naturally do if given the chance.  You then have to let your body recover on its own terms.  As for the time frame?  Only your body knows!

Good Health!
David Macdonald

Posted by admin on September 25, 2012

The Nature of Chronic Pain

Because I see many patients with chronic pain of various causes, I wanted to detail the general nature of such conditions in order to help sufferers in their recovery.

Prior to an injury, there are often background issues that precede an accident.  These prime the body so that when the injury occurs, it often will affect the person more than someone who doesn’t have these pre-existing adaptions, or, it will take these people longer to recover.

It may also be the case that until these pre-existing adaptions is dealt with, the person finds it impossible to recover?  Hence the title, chronic pain.
These pre-existing adaptions may occur without the person’s notice.  The body has a remarkable capacity to adapt to changes, whether they be musculo-skeletal, neural, vascular or whatever.  It is when the body runs out of ways to adapt that it breaks down and pain ensues.

Often there are many layers to a problem and may include biomechanical, musculo-skeletal, physiological, biochemical, visceral, and neural amongst many others.  To help the chronic pain sufferer, it is necessary to peel back these layers until the body has enough room to express itself without pain.
It is therefore necessary to have a good team of people who specialise in each of these ‘layers’ or, a practitioner who can manage them for you whilst having access to a good and trusted network of health professionals.

It is important to find a health practitioner who understands these concepts and is capable of dealing with the many types of body systems which become involved with chronic pain.  Information on these types of systems can be found on our website: www.rhpphysiotherapy.com.au

Good Health!
David Macdonald