Common Ailments


Tennis Elbow

EXPLANATION: Inflammation of the tendons (muscle attachments)  that extend/ move the wrist backwards. This can be due to an overuse injury, work related strain or sporting injury.


    •  Pain on the outside of the elbow

    •  Pain on moving the wrist backwards

    •  Weakness around that wrist and elbow

    •  Weakness of grip

    •  Reduced strength in arm


Golfer Elbow

EXPLANATION: Inflammation of the tendons (muscle attachments) that flex/ move the wrist forwards. This can be an overuse injury, work related strain or sporting injury.


  •  Pain on the inside of the elbow

  •  Pain on moving the wrist forwards

  •  Weakness around that wrist and elbow

  •  Weakness of grip

  •  Reduced strength in arm



  •  Soft tissue techniques and massage

  •  Ultrasound therapy

  •  Strengthening the wrist, forearm and elbow

  • Stretches to the wrist and forearm

  • Mobilisation techniques

  • Manipulation

  • Acupuncture



Shoulder Impingement

EXPLANATION: The attachment of the muscle that supports and moves the shoulder gets pinched within the shoulder joint on movement. The muscle then gets irritated and inflamed leading to pain. This can be caused by trauma, repetitive overhead movements, sport a work activity, or general poor posture.


  •  Weakness around the shoulder
  •  Pain around the front of the shoulder or side of the shoulder.
  •  Pain that is worse on reaching up, reaching out and reaching behind the back.

Frozen Shoulder

EXPLANATION: The capsule or ligament that supports the shoulder joint, stiffens and tightens up, leading to pain and restricted movement in the shoulder.  Can be caused by trauma or falling on the arm. Normal lasts for up to 6 months and will resolve eventually by itself. The condition has 3 stages the pain stage, the stiffness  stage and the resolution stage.


  •  Pain when lying on the shoulder
  •  Restricted movement in all directions.
  •  Difficulty putting hand behind back or hand behind the head.
  •  Pain around the front of the shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Tear

EXPLANATION: Over stretching of the muscle attachment (tendon) that supports and moves the shoulder joint. This can be a mild tear or a complete tear. Is normally caused by trauma, injury, or degeneration of the tendon over time.


  •  Reduced stability around the shoulder
  •  Weakness around the shoulder
  •  Pain over the front of the shoulder


  •  Strengthening around the shoulder joint.
  •  Improving muscle stability around the shoulder joint and shoulder blade.
  •  Improving quality and control of shoulder movement.
  •  Postural advice.
  •  Soft tissue techniques and massage.
  •  Joint mobilisations to the shoulder joint.
  •  Ultrasound therapy.
  •  Acupuncture
  •  Reduction of pain- advice



Meniscal Tear

EXPLANATION: The meniscus is a thick cartilage layer that lies between the knee joint. We have two menisci, one on the outside and one on the inside. The meniscus helps to support and cushion the knee joint and protect it from external forces and wear and tear.  The meniscus can get torn or pinched between the joint line of the knee which can lead to pain. This is often common in sporting injuries. Meniscal tears are often caused by twisting or turning injuries, there is normal some type of trauma. It is more common to tear your middle meniscus.


  • Pain on the inside of the knee

  • Slight swelling around the knee

  • The knee may lock.

  • The knee may give way


ACL Ligament Sprain

EXPLANATION: The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is the ligament that supports the front of the knee joint and stops the tibia from moving forwards on the femur. A overstretching or tear to the ligament often occurs in sporting injuries or tackles. If a tear occurs the ligament becomes lax and this reduced the stability of the knee. Often occurs when someone is tackled from the side when the knee is bent and the foot is on the floor.


  •  Knee feels unstable when walking and may give way

  •  Pain on the front of the knee

  •  Weakness around the knee joint

  •  Difficulty walking due to pain/ weakness


Anterior Knee Pain

EXPLANATION: Pain on the front of the knee this is caused by poor tracking of the knee cap, which can be caused by weakness of the quadriceps muscles on the inside of the knee. The knee cap tracks outwards instead of upwards, this leads to increased pressure on the outside of the knee, leading to wear and tear, inflammation and pain.


  •  Pain on the front of the knee

  •  Pain on squatting/ bending/ going down the stairs

  •  Pain on kneeling


Muscular Strain

EXPLANATION: When a muscle is overstretched this leads to a strain/ tear in the muscle fibre. This leads to inflammation, pain and muscular weakness. Common muscular strains are in the hamstrings and quadriceps.


  •  Muscular pain and aching

  •  Muscular weakness

  •  Muscular tightness

  •  Pain on touching the muscle



  •  Muscular strengthening programs

  •  Joint mobilisation

  •  Patella mobilisation

  •  Soft tissue mobilisation techniques

  •  Stretches

  •  Proprioception and balance retraining

  •  Gym programs

  •  Ultrasound therapy

  •  Acupuncture

  •  Techniques to reduce swelling

  •  ACL rehabilitation programs



Achilles tendon tear

EXPLANATION: A tear or overstretching to the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is a very strong tendon which is important in pushing off the floor when walking. Often caused by trauma during sport. Can be very painful, very bad strains may require surgery.


  • Pain on the Achilles tendon/ bottom of the calf

  • Pain on walking or weight bearing

  • Reduced ability to go up onto toes

  • Reduced ability to push up onto foot when walking

  • Tightness around the ankle especially on bringing the foot up towards you

  • Swelling around the bottom of the calf



EXPLANATION: Gout is an inflammatory disorder often occurring in the big toe. It is due to build up of uric acid crystals in the joints. These can be due to poor diet or excessive alcohol intake. The crystal build up leads to inflammation, redness and swelling in the joint that leads to pain.


  • Pain in the big toe

  • Often sudden in onset

  • Inflammation and redness and swelling in the big toe

  • Pain and difficult on walking

  • Pain is throbbing and unremitting


Lateral Ligament Sprain

EXPLANATION: Sprains of the ligament on the outside of the ankle are often caused by trauma or a fall in which the foot is twisted outwards and the person rolls onto the outside of the foot. This overstretches the ligament that supports the outside of the ankle joint leading to inflammation, swelling and pain.


  • Pain on the outside of the ankle

  • Ankle feels weak and may feel like it is going to give way

  • Repetitive going over on the ankle

  • Weakness of the calf and shin.

  • Swelling of the ankle, may be bruising and redness around the ankle.


Plantar Fasciitis

EXPLANATION: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the soft tissue on the bottom of the foot that attaches to the heel. Often caused by excessive walking or excessive weight continuous placed on the heel. The plantar fascia gets overstretched at it’s attachment at the heel overtime micro trauma and stresses build up into an inflammatory response and pain.


  • Pain in the heel.
  • Tightness in the calf.
  • Pain worse in the mornings.
  • Weakness of the calf and feet muscles.


Tibialis Posterior Syndrome

EXPLANATION: Irritation of the tibialis posterior muscle which runs along the inside of your shin. This muscle is important for stabilising the middle arch of the foot and pointing the foot downwards. Irritation of this muscle is common in runners who are continuous putting strain through this muscle.


  • Pain on the inside of the ankle.
  • Weakness of the muscles around the ankle.
  • Pain on running/ playing sports.
  • Pain on palpation of the inside of the ankle.
  • Weakness of the calf and shin Reduced balance.
  • Muscular tightness around the ankle .


Shin Splints

EXPLANATION: Inflammation/ irritation of the muscles in the anterior compartment of the leg. Often common in runners, or after vigorous activity to the legs. Can be caused by postural or positional stress on the front of the leg.


  • Pain on the inner border of the leg during exercise or rest.
  • Sometimes may be swelling.
  • Redness over the shin.
  • Pain when the toes or the foot is bent.
  • Muscular weakness of the shin.



  • Strengthening exercises.
  • Soft tissue techniques.
  • Oedematous massage.
  • Balance retraining.
  • Stretches.
  • Return to sport programs.
  • Joint mobilisation techniques.
  • Ultrasound therapy.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Ice.
  • Taping


Wrist Ligament Sprain

EXPLANATION: Often caused by trauma, or falling onto an outstretched hand. The ligament that supports the wrist, becomes over stretched and strained, this leads to inflammation and pain.


  • Pain on the inside or out side of the wrist
  • Pain on movement, reduced on rest
  • Weakness of the wrist muscles
  • May be some swelling of the wrist
    Stiffness of the wrist develops.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

EXPLANATION: Compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. This is the area on the back of the wrist just before the hand starts. Thickening of the muscles in this area and reduced space leads to irritation and compression of the nerve which leads to pain.


  • Numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers
  • Feeling of uselessness/clumsiness in the fingers and hands.
  • Loss of strength in the fingers
  • Frequently dropping objects
  • Pain, tingling and burning in the hands.
  • Pain at night, difficulty sleeping.
  • A feeling of swelling, but none is present.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Can be caused by overuse of the hand, arthritis or repetitive tasks. This is when the tendon sheath that surrounds the insertion of a muscle thickens and swells. This swelling thickens and encloses the tendon, and increases in size. There is reduced movement and thickening of the muscle this leads to stiffness and pain.


  • Pain and swelling over the base of the thumb
  • Weakness of the hand and thumb
  • Creaking on movement
  • Pins and needles over the thumb area


  • Strengthening exercises
  • Soft tissue techniques
  • Oedematous massage
  • Stretches
  • Joint mobilisation techniques
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Ice
  • Grip strengthening