Musculoskeletal, Workers and Sports Rehabilitation


Joint Replacement

Joint replacement surgery is a procedure in which parts of an arthritic or degenerative joint are removed, and replaced with an artificial prosthesis (usually metal, plastic and/or ceramic components). Common joint replacement surgeries include total hip, knee or shoulder replacements, though other joints such as the wrist and ankle, can also undergo replacement.

Time frames for recovery widely vary, depending on factors including the joint, surgeon’s protocols and pre-surgery conditioning.

Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation are imperative in the recovery of joint replacement procedures. As a prosthesis is inserted into the joint, the body must re-learn how to use the joint and increase the strength around the joint to prolong the life of the new joint.

Our physiotherapists can assist in preparing people for their joint replacement surgery, working on their strength and conditioning, to optimise the effects of the surgery. They can then assist with post-surgical care, ensuring there is a gradual progression towards regaining function in the new joint, while also monitoring post-surgical effects.

Our occupational therapists can assist people with provision of assistive devices and technologies which will ease their return to home and normal functional activities.

Fracture Management

Causes of bone fracture include injury, falls, overuse such as in sports and osteoporosis which weakens bones.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, snapping sound heard when bones break and deformed appearance.

Treatment ensures that the broken bones are aligned to the right positions. This may include surgical and non-surgical methods depending on severity of injury, age and a person’s activity level.

Our physiotherapists can assist you by:

  • Fitting you with an appropriate CAMboot
  • Applying waterproof (where clinically appropriate) casts or splints or removing casts
  • Educate you on the dos and don’ts of having a cast
  • Providing you with exercises to maintain strength in proximal muscles

When you are ready to get moving again we can provide you with a comprehensive treatment program that may include mobilisation, stretches and strengthening exercises to get you back to your previous level of function

Trauma Rehabilitation

Multi-trauma describes sustained injuries commonly through motor vehicle or work-related accidents, that impacts on bones, skin and soft tissue, sometimes resulting in amputation, wounds and burns and brain injury. Due to the varied and often complex nature of such injuries, multi-trauma can also result in psychological and social impacts, requiring teamwork between health and medical professionals.

Our physiotherapy and occupational therapy service recognises this teamwork to be integral in improving outcomes for people recovering from multi-trauma by working with external health, medical and care providers to develop a rehabilitation program that is individualised and coordinated to help restore the person’s independence. For example, a physiotherapist can help provide physical training to improve range of motion, muscle strength and physical function, whereas an occupational therapist can offer assessments on home safety and recommend therapies and strategies to facilitate personal, domestic and community activities.

Post Operative Rehabilitation

Clinicians at Rehab Health and Fitness can assist with rehabilitation for various surgeries including orthopaedic, cardiac, neurological and laparoscopic surgeries.

Both physiotherapists and occupational therapists aim to improve quality of life of those whom have had their surgery to return them to a pre-morbid status. Client-centred goals can be achieved with discussion with the clinician and client to have the best outcomes.

Musculoskeletal Rehab

Back and Neck Pain

There is a reason the phrase, “it’s a pain in the neck” came about. Neck and back pain can be very frustrating for many people, and whether chronic or acute, they can cause significant limitations to an individual’s daily living, work and recreational activities.

To understand more about back and neck pain, it is important to know a little bit about the anatomy of the spine. The spine is divided into four main regions: the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (mid-back), lumbar spine (lower back) and the sacrum. Pain can occur along any of these areas, and can come from the muscles, ligaments, joints, nerves or intervertebral discs.

Despite back and neck pain being potentially debilitating for some individuals, it is not commonly due to the result of a serious injury or disease. Our physiotherapists are equipped to assess back and neck pain, and if there is any concern that the injury may be more serious, are able to refer you on to other medical professionals.

Our physiotherapists can help assess and treat your back or neck pain, aiming to reduce pain and other symptoms, improve spine and general strength and function, and work on prevention of further injuries. Our occupational therapists can assist with equipment prescription e.g. office ergonomics and adjustable beds.

Soft tissue Injuries- Muscle, Tendon and Ligaments

Soft tissue injuries are injuries to either muscles, tendons or ligaments and usually occur through traumatic mechanisms.

Muscles are soft, contractile tissues made up of stretchy fibres. Tendons are more fibrous connective tissues that attach a muscle to bone. Ligaments are bands of tougher, fibrous connective tissue which connect bones to bones. There is a spectrum of injuries that can occur to muscles, tendons and ligaments. Generally speaking, muscles can tear, tendons are likely to become overloaded or ruptured and ligaments can be sprained or ruptured. Common soft tissue injuries include:

  • Ankle sprains
  • ACL, MCL, LCL and/or PCL ruptures/sprains
  • Tendinopathy of the patellar, achilles and rotator cuff tendons
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Hamstring, quadriceps and calf strains

Treatment approaches range from conservative to surgical measures depending on the injured tissue/s, location on/in the body and functional goals. Our physiotherapists link evidence-based rehabilitation protocols with your condition and goals, and work through the different stages of healing of an injury, to create a customised treatment plan to help get you back on track.

Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis is a word which we may come across often, signifying how common it can be across the population. Arthritis is an umbrella term for a range of conditions which affect the joints, causing pain in the joints and potentially other symptoms like stiffness and swelling.

Some forms of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Gouty arthritis (gout)

Osteoarthritis is by far the most common form of arthritis. It is a condition which affects the whole joint, including the bone, cartilage and ligaments and is thought to be a result of a joint working overly hard to repair itself.

In a normal healthy joint, cartilage provides a cushioning between two joints, allowing a smooth gliding surface for joint motion.  In osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down resulting in the bones rubbing against one another.

Osteoarthritis tends to be more prevalent in the hips, knees, lower back and neck, the fingers and the base of the thumb and big toe, although it can affect any joint in the body.

The risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include a previous, significant injury to the joint, being overweight or obese, repetitive movements with loading on the joint such as those associated with an occupation, and gender, with females more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis.

The management for osteoarthritis is based on taking a holistic approach, with involvement from various health professionals. Our physiotherapists aim to assist with osteoarthritis by:

  • Providing education and self-management strategies
  • Prescribing an exercise program to help strengthen the muscles around the knee and effectively keeping the body conditioned without stressing the joints
  • Modifying activities to reduce pain
  • Providing advice regarding weight management
  • Providing advice about supportive equipment e.g. braces

Our occupational therapists can assist by:

  • Prescribing mobility and assistive aids
  • Conducting an ergonomic assessment and activity modifications at home, work etc
  • Prescribing joint protection strategies

Sports Rehabilitation

Sports rehab is the restoration of optimal form and function following a sports injury. For older athletes in particular, it can be the key to living a fulfilling life.  Whether the weekend warrior or high-level athlete, saftely and quickly returning to the sport you love is important for preventing future injuries.

Recreational physical activities and competitive athletics account for a significant amount of injuries.  Musculoskeletal injuries are therefore an inevitable result of sport participation. Tissue injuries from sports can be classified as either macro-traumatic or micro-traumatic.

  • Marco-traumatic are usually due to a strong force such as a fall, collision or laceration.  They are most common in contact sports.  The injuries can be primary (due to direct tissue damage) or secondary(due to transmission of forces or release of inflammatory mediators).
  • Micro-traumatic are chronic injuries that result from overuse of a structure such as a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon.

The process of rehabilitation should start as soon as possible after an injury.  It can also start before or immediately after surgery when an injury requires surgical intervention.

The rehabilitation plan should take into account that the objective of the athlete is to return to the same activity / environment that the injury occurred.  Their functional capacity should be the same if not better than before the injury.  This means progressing the athlete through the stages of recovery for the injury as well as preventing the rest of the body from becoming deconditioned.  Treating the whole athlete rather than just rehabilitating the injured area will better prepare them physically and psychologically for return to sport when they are ready.

Workplace Assessment

Workplace injuries are found in every occupation. Common examples may include:

  • stiff neck from prolonged computer work
  • shoulder pain from excessive overhead work
  • lower back pain from repetitive lifting tasks
  • knee pain from a slip on the floor
  • ankle sprain from jumping out of a truck

Following an injury at work, your physiotherapist will closely work with you and relevant parties (return to work coordinator, employer, nominated treating doctor, rehabilitation consultant etc.) to establish a suitable duties plan for you to make a progressive return to your usual duties.

Your physiotherapist will try to understand your pre-injury roles to the best of their ability, and attempt to replicate tasks within the clinic, to practice and prepare you for returning to your workplace. However, in some circumstances, it may be suitable for your physiotherapist to attend your workplace to view the tasks performed in real-time. This allows your physiotherapist to better understand your job, including:

  • the positions your body may commonly be exposed to
  • the machinery or equipment you are required to utilise
  • the workstation setup
  • the loads you are required to lift, carry, push or pull
  • the rate and repetitiveness of such work.

From here, your physiotherapist can establish a more accurate rehabilitation plan to aid your recovery, and  provide you with the knowledge of how to reduce the likelihood of sustaining another injury in the future.