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Physiotherapy

Why physiotherapy?

You may have seen a physio, osteopath or chiropractor before you come to see us – many of our patients have seen multiple therapists before they come to us, without success.  This doesn’t mean that physiotherapy doesn’t work, or can’t work for you – it may simply be that the particular therapist in question wasn’t the right one for you.  So, don’t give up before you’ve been to see us!

We want to help you get better, whatever that means for you.  Our patients are a real mixture.  Some have been in pain for many years, others have recently had an accident.  Some are planning to have (or are hoping to avoid!) surgery; others have had an operation before they start working with us.  Some have just one area of pain; others have complex, extensive issues affecting multiple body parts.  Some know exactly how and when their issues started; others really aren’t sure, because it’s just crept up on them.  For some people, the bit that hurts is the only problem; for most of the patients we see, the painful area is sore because it’s compensating for another body part that’s not working.  Some people just want to be able to walk to the shops; others want to compete in sports at international level.  Many are in pain of some sort, but others just feel wonky and out of sorts and aren’t able to do the activities they want to do, at the level they want to do them.

 

So why Victory?

Many patients come to us initially because of our convenient location, right between Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.  But they stay because of the quality of our care!

Recommended by London’s top surgeons and physicians, the Victory team are trusted by some of the world’s best athletes and performers when they need to be at the top of their game, as well as professionals from all over the globe.

We pride ourselves on the amount of time we spend with our patients.  Where most therapists will look at you for no longer than 15-45 minutes, our initial assessment is 90 minutes, and our follow-up sessions are an hour.  This means we can get a lot more done in each session.  No matter who you see, you’ll spend the first 5-10 minutes of each session checking in to see how you’ve got on since the last session, and the last 5-10 minutes wrapping up and writing notes.  So if you’ve only got a 30-minute slot, you’ll probably spend 10-15 minutes of that having actual treatment, whereas with us it’s closer to 45 minutes.  Not only is this better value, but it allows your nervous system time to relax deeper into the session, and makes sure that neither you nor your therapist feels rushed.

We offer a different approach to physiotherapy and injury treatment. For example, a patient might come to see us with lower back pain that’s often worse after walking long distances. For many therapists, the impulse is to go for symptom relief – to provide some manual therapy on the muscles around the lower back that are sore, or prescribe some stretches and exercises for the lower back. And this will sometimes give relief to the problem, at least temporarily – but it doesn’t look at why the area is sore. So here at Victory, one of our team will start with a 90-minute assessment. During this time they’ll be looking at your basic underlying health (your sleep, stress, hydration and nutrition) before looking into the injury in question. In this case, the patient’s lower back is the ‘victim’ – it’s certainly feeling pain, but why? The problem gets worse after walking, so there might be something slightly dysfunctional about the way the patient is walking which might put stress on the lower back – or it could have something to do with the alignment of their feet, or their pelvis. We call the part that’s causing the injury the ‘driver’ – and once we’ve worked out what the underlying cause of the pain is, that’s the part of you we’ll treat.

     

    What types of physiotherapy do you offer?

    Our physios are trained to a high level in many different types of treatment. These include:

    • The Sarah Key Method (SKM): Nell is the only therapist in central London who is trained to not only practise but also teach the SKM, which is mainly for back pain. This may involve using her feet to treat your back, plus the use of Sarah’s special pressure-change exercises.
    • The Integrated Systems Model (ISM): developed by Canadian physiotherapist Diane Lee, the ISM framework allows therapist to analyse the underlying cause of an injury rather than just looking at the bit that hurts, through functional movement analysis. Nell, Nikki and Helen have all been trained by Diane.
    • Visceral Manipulation (VM): developed by French osteopath Jean-Pierre Barral, VM involves working with the viscera (such as the intestine, liver and lungs) to treat issues such as back, knee, hip and shoulder pain. Nikki is our specialist VM therapist, though Nell and Helen have also done some training.
    • Upledger Craniosacral Therapy (CST): developed by American osteopathic physician Dr John Upledger, Nell uses this very gentle hands-on therapy to calm and mobilise the central nervous system, which can be affected by traumatic, postural and emotional issues.
    • Western acupuncture (dry needling): Helen may use fine acupuncture needles to stimulate underactive muscles, or calm muscles that are in spasm.
    • All physiotherapists are also trained in techniques such as joint mobilisation, soft tissue release, and rehabilitation of the core muscles.
    Why packages? Can’t I come in ‘as and when’? Most physio clinics will offer a ‘pay as you go’ approach to physiotherapy where you can pop in for sessions when you need them, even if that means one-off sessions. However, after your assessment with us, we’ll recommend a course of treatment for you rather than individual sessions. Single sessions are great for things like massage, where you just need some muscle release work, but for physiotherapy we want to make long term changes in your nervous system, which normally takes a while for the changes to really become permanent. Think of it as a course of antibiotics – you may start to feel better after a few days of taking the tablets, but unless you finish the course of treatment the problem might come back. You also get our support throughout the whole package – which means that if you forget your exercises or have any extra questions, you can always get in touch; and if you need to see a consultant or have an operation, we’ll get involved (in fact, if we can, we’ll come along and watch, so that we know exactly what the surgeon did!)
    Do you just work with sports injuries? Not at all. We love working with sports injuries, and have helped a lot of athletes get back on track, but we work with all sorts of injuries. These can range from acute injuries (such as fractures, dislocations, sprains and ruptures) to more chronic injuries – these are often things like long term back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain. We’ve successfully helped patients who have been in pain for many years by helping them find the underlying source of their pain – and in many cases, we’ve helped them to avoid surgery.