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Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists play a broad role in health promotion, health education and self-care. This can extend to advising and teaching patients’, clients’ carers, other health care professionals and support workers in order to provide a coherent approach to maximising individuals’ independence and well-being.

Our physiotherapy team use manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and the application of electro-physical modalities. Through problem-solving, clinical reasoning, goal-setting, evaluation and review, they apply these approaches in response to individual need, working with patients/clients and their carers. Their assessment and evaluation of need, and potential need, includes the consideration of psychological, cultural, social and environmental factors and the impact these have on individuals' functional ability and the needs of their carers.

Patients are currently unable to self-refer, although the  team accepts referrals from:

  • GPs
  • Choose and Book
  • Consultants - mainly from orthopaedics, plastics, rheumatology and pain clinic
  • Specialist regional hand centres
  • Other physiotherapists
  • Other districts
  • Primary care occupational therapists

Paediatric physiotherapy

The paediatric physiotherapy service at the Lighthouse Child Development Centre provides a service that supports children who have a condition that affects the development of their gross motor skills.

Children with recognised difficulties/ impairment that may require support from this service include those with a neurological conditions such as:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spina Bifida

And other conditions, such as:

  • Toe walking and other gait anomalies
  • Learning difficulties
  • Developmental delay
  • Motor control difficulties

Additionally to this, we see children with respiratory condition such as Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis. Every child is offered an initial assessment which is followed by a care package as appropriate to their needs. This care package may include the following:

  • A block of individual or group-sessions
  • A home or school-programme
  • Swimming

Day-to-day physiotherapy on Neptune ward is provided by our inpatient physiotherapy team. If the ward want advice from the paediatric therapists, they will contact us directly and one of us will visit your child on the ward, which is usually on the same day during weekdays. The paediatric physiotherapy team will also see babies on our neonatal unit  if requested by a paediatrician. This usually consists of advice on handling and positioning.

Hand therapy

Our hand therapy department  provides care to patients with conditions or injuries affecting their hands or wrists. We are able to diagnose and treat soft tissue problems, and provide rehabilitation after trauma or surgery, or for arthritic conditions.  We have close links with the orthopaedic, plastic surgery and rheumatology departments in order to provide the most appropriate care at the right time.

Patients are currently unable to self-refer, although the  team accepts referrals from:

  •  GPs
  •  Hospital consultants
  •  Accident and Emergency
  •  Specialist Hand Centres
  •  Physiotherapists
  •  Primary Care Occupational Therapists
  •  Other Districts  

Treatments we may provide include:

  • Management of loss of movement
  • Splinting
  • Exercise programmes
  • Swelling management
  • Scar management
  • Wax
  • Electrotherapy
  • Activity based rehabilitation  - wrist and strengthening classes
  • Joint protection advice

Conditions assessed and treated:

  • Fractures
  • Mallet finger / injuries
  • De Quervain's Tenosynovitis 
  • Trigger Finger (locking of fingers/thumb)
  • Dupuytren's contracture (thickening of palm)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (nerve compression)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis overuse conditions
  • Sprains and strains 

You may be referred to hand therapy after treatment for:

  • Fractures - fingers or wrist, with or without surgery
  • Joint replacements / joint fusion
  • Tendon / ligament repairs
  • Soft tissue surgery / nerve injuries

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy treatment consists of supervised exercise in a smal pool with a therapist and three or four other patients. The water is heated to about 34.5 degrees celcius, warmer than normal swimming pools but about the same as children's swimming pools. The warmth of the water aids muscle relaxation and is therefore a comfortable environment in which to move. The buoyancy of the water reduces the load on joints and makes exercising easier than on land. Pushing against the water and against buoyancy can help to strengthen your muscles.

You do not have to be able to swim to have hydrotherapy. The pool is quite shallow, so you can work at a depth with which you feel comfoprtable.

Injection therapy

We manage over 14,000 patients referred with musculoskeletal problems every year. About 40% of these referrals involve soft tissue problems; the majority responding well to physiotherapy, but a proportion do benefit from cortisone (steroids) and lignocaine (anaesthetic agent) injection therapy. 

Traditionally, patients requiring injections would have been referred onto the waiting list of a hospital consultant and then referred back after the injection, but as part of our modern Physiotherapy service, we now provide an injection service in the rehabilitation department if needed, as part of your treatment.

To achieve competency in injection practice, all our  injection therapists are required to have a diploma in injection therapy, obtained from a validated post-graduate institution or the Association of Chartered Physiotherapist in Orthopaedic Medicine.

Referrals are from fellow physiotherapists, GPs and sometimes hospital consultants.

  • Patients are booked in on the same day by our receptionist and a date is given to you there and then.  
  • In some cases the injection is done on the same day.
  • A patient information leaflet is given to you to explain about injection therapy and consent for the treatment.  

Injections can be given for a whole range of muscular or other soft tissue problems in the upper and lower limbs. These are mainly inflammation of tendons, ligaments and fat pads around the body that can cause pain when injured or overused.

Your doctor or a physiotherapist will need to assess you before making any of these diagnoses.

Upper limb physiotherapy

We run an exercise programme for shoulder patients, aimed at improving movement, strength and function. This exercise is not suitable for patients who are medically unfit. The class is run by two chartered physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants.

Once referred to the class, you will normally be contacted by telephone or letter to arrange the start date of your sessions. The class runs for a maximum 12 sessions over 6 weeks.You will have an initial assessment and exercises that are tailored to you.  During the 12 sessions you will be reviewed on a regular basis. Your exercises progess will be managed by the physiotherapists as appropriate.

Staff running the classes will always endeavour to answer any concerns that you have during the course of your sessions. On completion of the sessions you can either be discharged from physiotherapy or sent back to your physiotherapist.

Lower limb physiotherapy

Our lower limb rehab class is designed for patients with disorders or injuries of the lower limb, such as:

  • osteoarthritis
  • post-fractures
  • post-surgery
  • post-ligament sprains
  • post-muscle tears
  • anterior knee pain

The aim of the service is to provide a course of supervised and individual exercises appropriate to your needs and may include: 

  • Muscle strengthening
  • Stretching
  • Improving balance / Proprioception 
  • Improving general mobility / function
  • Assistance in returning to job, hobby or sport

This is achieved by:

  • full gym programme supervised by a chartered physiotherapist suitable for your problem
  • empowering you 
  • motivation
  • progression of exercises
  • evidence-basedprotocols and pathways, linking in withother servicessuch as podiatry or orthopaedics as necessary, and ensuring appropriate patient care at point of access

Audits have shown this class to have a very high patient satisfaction level (>97%) and can help reduce the need for surgery or surgical opinions (eg in osteoarthritis, managing ACL injuries conservatively).

All patients who attend this class can also be referred on, if required, to other services direct (eg podiatry, orthopaedics, rheumatology etc) without the need for a return visit to the GP.

The class also incorporates the use of a Biodex isokinetic machine which allows accurate measurement of muscle imbalance and therefore the correct administration of a suitable exercise program.

The class is run in gym 1 in our physiotherapy department. The gym is suitably equipped to run this service with the appropriate equipment.

Foot clinic

Our multi-disciplinary specialist foot and ankle clinic is led by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle disorders. He is supported by our clinical specialist physiotherapist and a specialist podiatrist. Your GP can refer you directly to any of the specialities in the clinic.

Spinal service

The service offers an innovative pathway of care integrating physiotherapy with orthopaedics, pain management, and in urgent cases accident and emergency.  You can be referred into the spinal service from the GP and other hospital consultants. Routine referrals made by the GP will be triaged by physiotherapists. You will normally undergo an initial assessment by a physiotherapist to assess where your care may be best managed. The decision is based on the available evidence, best practice guidelines, agreements between the specialities involved and your requirements.
 
Many patients do not need to see a doctor. If necessary, the physiotherapist is able to order further tests (e.g. x-rays or scans) and quickly refer on to a specialist. This way you have your test results when you see the specialist.

Back Advice Session (BAS)

Current evidence suggests that non-specific low back pain is most likely to respond well to a combination of education and generalised aerobic exercise. Once it is decided that a patient needs to be seen in the physiotherapy department, consideration is given to whether he/she may benefit from this approach, or whether specific treatment is indicated. For many patients, expert opinion and reassurance is sufficient. However, for some, this needs to be followed up with an education session, while others need an exercise programme as well.

BAS is a one-hour audio-visual presentation with the opportunity for patients to ask questions. It cannot replace your patient-specific information and advice, but it can reinforce and expand it. The session takes place most Fridays from 13.30 to 14.30 in gym 1, and patients are offered the HMSO Back Book for sale at the end of the session for a cost of £1.

BAS covers the following topics:

  • Low back pain - general information, causes, investigations
  • Pain mechanisms and management of pain
  • General activity, exercise
  • Prevention, posture, flare-ups
  • Stress and anxiety

Women's health

We offer a comprehensive service to women during pregnancy and after delivery.  This includes self-referral to the out-patient service for assessment and treatment of pregnancy related joint and muscle problems.

Women are routinely seen after delivery whilst on the ward for post-natal advice.  We have close links with the midwifery team and are involved in community ante-natal classes. Before and after major gynaecology and breast surgery, women are assessed and given advice and exercises to aid recovery. They are also encouraged to contact us for further treatment after discharge if necessary.

The team is also experienced in treating continence problems relating to both bladder and bowel, with self-referral being available to this service.

Physiotherapy satellite team

Our physiotherapy outpatient services are provided both at the hospital and in your local communities. This allows you to have much easier access to physiotherapy assessment and treatment, without the need to visit the hospital. Our satellite team currently has clinics based in Rayleigh, Benfleet, Leigh, Rochford, Eastwood and Canvey Island. Future plans include another satellite clinic in the Shoebury area. You will be offered an appointment at the clinic most local to your home address, but you have the option of requesting one of our other clinics if this best suits your circumstances, or you may even chose to receive your care at the hospital.

Each of the Satellite clinics accepts referrals from GPs, hospital consultants and private consultants. We also accept referrals from other hospitals such as Basildon Hospital or the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, or other clinics such as podiatry or A&E. The physiotherapists at each of the satellite clinics will complete a detailed assessment of the condition for which you have been referred. Although the following list is not exhaustive, it shows the common conditions that are seen within our clinics:

  • Spinal pain
  • Upper limb pain
  • Lower limb pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Post-operative orthopaedic conditions

Our satellite physiotherapists also have access to the consultants at our hospital for further advice and opinions if necessary.

Contact us

Physiotherapy appointments line:             01702 385244

Paediatric physiotherapy:                              01702 508180

Hand therapy:                                                     01702 435555 ext 6707