1. How do I make and Appointment?
Phone the Ashburton Clinic on 03 308 3004 seven days a week and Methven on 03 3028 205 Monday to Friday. See clinic opening times for details or leave a message and we will call you back. You can also email us from the Contact Physio website.
2. How do I claim on ACC?
If you have had an injury which was a one off incident then you can apply to ACC to subsidise your physiotherapy treatment. Forms can be completed at the physiotherapy clinic. Come to your appointment a few minutes early to complete your application.
3. Should I see my doctor or a physiotherapist?
You can come direct to Contact Physiotherapy for a diagnosis, treatment and advice for a muscular or skeletal injury. A Doctor can refer you for physiotherapy and if your physiotherapist thinks you should see your GP she can make that appointment.
4. What do I need to bring?
For a clinic appointment you may choose to wear comfortable clothing that keeps you modest and allows access to the injured area. However we will always use towels and robes to keep you comfortable. If you have a gym appointment, bring a towel, water and sports shoes.
5. How can I pay?
We have Eftpos, cheque and cash facilities for payment and offer a $5 discount for payment on the day of appointment.
6. What should I do following an injury?
You can contact us immediately, make an appointment and complete an ACC form.
Assess for pain severity and disability. If you are in extreme pain or unable to move you should discuss with your GP or practice nurse. Check out our section on managing acute injuries- RICE. You can contact us immediately, make an appointment and complete an ACC form. DO NOT have a hot spa, drink alcohol excessively or continue to work or train without a review.
After a minor sports injury:
If you have a fall or blow during sport one of the most important things you can do is manage it correctly straight away.
If you have had a head injury, dizziness or memory loss DO NOT PLAY ON and seek medical attention.
If you have moderate pain, swelling or bruising DO NOT PLAY ON and seek medical attention.
Go to a safe area and follow the RICE procedure. REST- do not weight bear or move around. ICE- to reduce swelling and bleeding for 20 minutes every 2 hours for the first 48 hours. At night try keeping some ice in a chilli bin by your bed and apply if you wake up sore. COMPRESSION- firm bandaging or a tubigrip helps to reduce swelling however it is vital to maintain adequate circulation. You should not feel increased pain, pins and needles or numbness. ELEVATION- to be effective the injured area must be relatively straight and elevated above the level of your heart. A sprained ankle on a foot stool is not effective. Lie flat with your leg supported on pillows.
If you are unable to put weight through your leg or move your limb and pain has not significantly reduced after the first 12 hours then seek advice from your GP or physiotherapist. If you are not sure who to see discuss with your physio and they will be able to point you in the right direction.
Discuss pain relief with your pharmacist- there are no benefits to being sore- it reduces a muscle’s ability to work and stops you sleeping.
Your physiotherapist can help you during this phase by assessing the severity of your injury; advising the need for a GP visit, crutches or slings, strapping and giving good advice.
Play on. This can cause further damage and delay recovery in the long term
Heat it up. Spas and hot packs can increase bleeding and bruising and delay recovery in the long term.
Drink. Socialising after an injury generally means you are not following the above advice! It reduces judgement, feelings of pain, delays healing and increases swelling and bruising
Massage. For the first 3 days after an acute muscle or ligament injury this may cause increased blood flow therefor more swelling and bruising. It depends on the severity of the injury- go cautiously and seek professional advice.
Before Returning to Sport
It is important to make sure you are fit to return to sport. Many people ignore the signs of a minor strain, return too early and have another, larger injury.
A contact physiotherapist will assess you and help achieve the earliest possible return to sport . They will be looking to see if you have a full range of motion, have achieved pre-injury strength, endurance, balance and stability. Fitness and confidence are also important for those who have been out of action for a while.
7. What exactly is Acupuncture and is it safe?
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Acupuncture has been used in China for several thousand years. Studies in Western medicine and they have found some physiological explanations for the results seen in China.
At Contact Physiotherapy we use acupuncture to provide pain relief, assist in the resolution of inflammation, restore normal function and autonomic nervous system activity. Routinely it is used as an addition to other physiotherapy modalities- up to 6 sessions over 3-4 weeks can give optimal results. Needles are left in for 20-30 minutes and may be stimulated manually or by electrical stimulation. After treatment avoid caffeine, drink water, if drowsy avoid driving and if necessary have a rest.
Acupuncture is the insertion of thin needles into specific points. These points have been found to have a lower skin resistance than surrounding tissue which means they are often pain free or barely perceptible during insertion. Needles aid the body to release endorphins and serotonin, the body’s natural pain killers and have a similar effect to morphine. They are transported through the nervous system and thus points can effect locally and areas of the body far from the point.
Acupuncture is safe for most people. It is not indicated for those who have an allergy to the steel of the needles, infections, haemophilia or anticoagulant medication and must be used with caution in those pregnant. Please advice your practitioner of these conditions.
Side effects- Some people may experience bruising, itchiness or temporary aggravation of symptoms after acupuncture. These are normal and will settle. Please contact your therapist if you are concerned. Other people may feel very sleepy or drained- this is the body addressing balance.
All needles are sterile, single use and disposable. Techniques are used to ensure to make sure there is no cross contamination of bodily fluids. Those who donate blood will be required to say that they have had acupuncture in the last 6 months. Contact Physiotherapy is registered as approved acupuncturists with the Blood Donors Association.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a practice and qualification all of its own. Contact Physiotherapy treat musculoskeletal injuries using acupuncture points but do not practice the complex model of TCM. Not all acupuncture is the same and we are happy to advise you of local practitioners who do.