How we help you

Assessment

Following the initial examination, more extensive biomechanical and ergonomic assessments are sometimes required. These can provide better understanding of the possible causes of your problem and how to manage pain and injury risk best. We have therapists with special interests in these areas ready to help you or your club/team. Our staff are able to do onsite screening / assessments for elite, sub elite and junior groups.

KangaTech is a hallmark of our clinic. Our Founder Steve Saunders developed this technology while working for the North Melbourne Kangaroos. It is now used widely in elite sporting organisations around the world from the AFL, NBA, NFL, EPL, MLB, and many more. The testing unit allows accurate and reliable measurement of isolated muscle strength, endurance and control. The software analytics allow athlete profiling to understand injury risk and guide appropriate interventions.  Access to this cutting edge technology means we take the same high end elite sports approach to you and your problems. Read more.

Saunders Physiotherapy has been utilising Real Time Ultrasound since the late 1990’s and is one of the world’s pioneering clinics in the implementation of this technology in muscle recruitment assessment and re-training.  Areas commonly assessed are the muscles surrounding the trunk and hip.  Real Time Ultrasound is able to accurately demonstrate abnormal recruitment patterns of deep stabilising muscles associated with poor biomechanics and increased injury risk.  Following this evaluation, an exercise regime is implemented to re-train these muscles. Failing to address these muscle imbalances can lead to ongoing pain and recurrent injury.

At Saunders we use high definition cameras with slow motion for the assessment of many issues. This is often used in the rehabilitation process to slow down fast movements to educate patients about important components to their movement; this improves understanding and engagement with our specific interventions. We have software that can accurately calculate vertical jump and approximate important measures of force development. This is commonly used to assess runners and jumpers to optimise technique and discover deficiencies important to performance and injury risk.

Postural related pain and injuries are common with long working hours at computers. Neck and shoulder pain, headaches, as well as lower back and hip pain can be attributed to sustained postures and poor ergonomic setups. Being located centrally in the CBD the Saunders’s team have been providing ergonomic assessment and interventions to local businesses for years. This involves a Physio attending the workplace to assess the working environment, educate the clients about strategies to reduce pain and improve workflow and comfort. Following the assessment and advice for changes and detailed report is provided to the workplace.

COVID-19 prompted the development of new ways to help our clients. We offer phone or video calls to help clients who can’t attend the clinic. Anything you would usually see a physiotherapist for can be assessed and treated via telehealth. Some things aren’t the same as in person but we take the time to advise you, develop exercise programs and teach you how you can treat your own injury.

Sometimes all you may need is some reassurance, advice and progressions to your continued recovery. Telehealth has become an empowering tool in physiotherapy which gives individuals the ability to take control of their recovery with limited time and travel commitments.

Golf assessments utilise the Titleist Performance Institute body swing assessment and KangaTech.  Physical restrictions and deficits within the body are identified to explain reasons for injury and flaws / inconsistencies in your golf swing.  Following your assessment, mobility and strengthening exercises combined with swing drills can be implemented to not only reduce injury but also improve your game.

Treatments

At Saunders Physiotherapy, technology such as real-time ultrasound, KangaTech, and video analysis are used to identify muscular weakness and poor movement patterns.  The exercise interventions prescribed at Saunders Physiotherapy have been shown to greatly reduce pain, improve function and athletic performance whilst minimising the likelihood of injury recurrence.

Saunders Physiotherapy is widely considered as a world-leading centre in the area of therapeutic exercise prescription.  Prescribed exercises aim to improve the control, strength, and endurance of abdominal, back, pelvic, lower limb, neck and/or upper limb muscles.  Your Physiotherapist will educate you as to why these exercises have been prescribed and ensure that you are performing them properly as both affect how much you are likely to benefit from exercise therapy.

Whether you want to improve sporting performance, reduce the risk of injury or recover from injury, resistance training is a necessary addition to maximise performance and health.  It is also possible that you may benefit from a general exercise program that aims to improve your aerobic / cardiovascular conditioning as well as strength and flexibility.

Sports specific conditioning catering to elite and recreational athletes is also available for injuries requiring high-level training. The team at Saunders Physiotherapy have varied backgrounds with each of us bringing expertise from different sporting and injury interests. Each week we get together for an hour to exchange thoughts on various topics and teach one another about interesting cases.  As a result each Physiotherapist is comprehensively trained and ideally placed to assist you in safely rehabilitating your injury.  Our detailed approach incorporating biomechanics and screening assessments, in combination with manual and exercise therapies, moves beyond injury rehabilitation to optimising athletic and sporting performance.

Using acupuncture needles, dry needling is often combined with deep tissue massage to treat and disengage trigger points in muscle that can contribute to acute and chronic pain as well as biomechanical issues. Dry needling is a powerful adjunct to exercise and massage therapy that when used appropriately can help more stubborn areas. Our Physiotherapists are trained in the application of dry needling and are able to use it effectively as part of an overall management plan for each patient if it is deemed beneficial to use.

Shockwave is an adjunct therapy used at Saunders physiotherapy in conjunction with a considered strength and conditioning program. The treatment is a non-invasive high frequency sound wave used to promote healing and pain relief. It is believed that the shockwaves stimulate the release of growth factors and increases blood supply to the area to facilitate healing. Shockwave modulates pain and can produce significant short term change to pain to allow important strengthening to occur.

It is important to note that shockwave is not a standalone treatment. It is used to help settle pain and promote healing to allow progressive exercise and conditioning to be completed more effectively. This is often a second option rather than a first line of attack for more stubborn issues.

Shockwave is effectively used for tendon pain, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, muscle strains and calcific tendonitis. Shockwave also has some applications in the stimulation of bone healing. Speak to your physiotherapist about shockwave and if it may be useful for you.

We see a lot of complex neck injuries including motor vehicle accident related whiplash. Important sensors of joint position (proprioceptors) are located in the ligaments of the neck, during high speed injuries these ligaments can be stretched and damaged limiting the awareness of joint position. This can relate to increased muscle tightness as the sensors of joint position are not as proficient at warning the brain that the neck is approaching end of range. Restoring the function of this system is extremely important for both pain and achieving normal function for activities of daily living.

At the clinic we use a headband mounted laser and target practice to accurately measure this system and also train it. The use of the laser allows patients to see exactly where they lack control and body awareness and the real time feedback helps with the retraining of this sense. The neck is a common area where we apply this technology but it can be applied to similar losses of joint position control with hip and lumbar injuries as well as other ligament injuries like knee and ankle sprains. Speak to your physiotherapist about whether this treatment is appropriate for you.

In the management of many lower limb injuries a detailed and proper assessment of the foot can be the missing component to a timely recovery. Not only does the Saunders team place an emphasis on biomechanics of the foot but we are also trained in the fitting and fabrication of custom soft fit orthotics. These customisable orthotics can help address a variety of biomechanical problems at the foot. Used in conjunction with a strengthening and treatment program the orthotics can be adjusted over time as the foot becomes better adapted to the activities you want to do.

Massage

Hands on therapy is an integral part of the package of therapy that you can expect from the team at Saunders. We place a big emphasis on the restorative qualities different massage techniques offer to address a variety of musculoskeletal problems.

Each therapist is proficient in a number of techniques and will use them at their discretion to combat muscle tightness and pain. Techniques used at the clinic include deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release,  and remedial massage.

Designed to relieve tension in the superficial and deep layers of muscle, connective tissue, and fascia. A dedicated set of techniques and strokes are used to ease musculoskeletal disorders and complaints.

Trigger point therapy – involves treatment to trigger points that may cause local pain or referred pain and other sensations in other parts of the body, such as headaches. Manual pressure is applied to these points to deactivate them and relieve myofascial pain.

Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunctions that result in pain and restricted movement. The release of myofascial tissues is achieved by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and by stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.

Remedial massage utilises deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy to create conditions for the body’s return to normal health after injury. Remedial massage typically treats pain and discomfort caused from overuse, an acute injury, or poor posture. Remedial therapists are specially trained in physiology and have an understanding of the body’s mechanics to provide a more thorough massage than those for relaxation and stress relief.