Physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic treatment can help treat sports injuries, back problems, stiff necks and many other health issues too. We talk to some of the best clinics in Singapore about what they do, popular misconceptions of their practices and what they love about their jobs.
City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy
This holistic healthcare centre in Singapore has branches at Raffles Place, Bukit Timah and Novena. The experienced team includes osteopaths, physiotherapists and naturopathic doctors, as well as sports massage and lymphatic drainage therapists, a health and nutrition coach, and a women’s health therapist. They work together to provide care for patients of all ages.
In response to COVID-19, City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy is currently also offering virtual consultations to help with existing pain or new injuries. Of course, a hands-on session is different than an in-person consultation. However, the City team can still identify issues effectively through video calls to determine the underlying cause of the problem, and give appropriate advice for guided treatment at home.
An online session normally involves discussing symptoms and taking a thorough history, analysing movements to assess a patient’s limitations, education about the condition and a management plan, along with specific exercises to facilitate healing, and self-myofascial release techniques. They can even conduct an ergonomic assessment of your home workstation to help you create a better work environment!
Hear from Jenny Mullen (18 years of experience working as an osteopath and sports rehabilitation therapist, specialising in post-operative lower limb injuries and sports injury rehabilitation):
“As an osteopath, I treat holistically. I aim to find the root cause of the problem rather than just treat the symptoms. Each individual is treated uniquely according to his or her needs; this makes my job interesting, as every day is completely different. You have no idea who’ll walk through the door and what they’ll be suffering from! From babies as young as four days old to teenagers, and adults up to 90 years and over, I work with a wide range of people. The biggest misconception about osteopathy is that osteopaths only treat the spine. In fact, we treat the entire body from head to toe – from ankle sprains, meniscus injuries of the knee and frozen shoulder to lower back pain, neck pain and headaches, among other conditions.”
The Osteopathic Centre
This holistic family healthcare practise has three locations in Singapore: the CBD (#06-05 The Arcade), East Coast (#01-02 Bowmont Centre) and Park Avenue Rochester (31 Rochester Drive, Level 24). For over 12 years, founder Dr Paul Bell and his international team of osteopaths have been helping individuals to improve their quality of life and their sense of wellbeing with cranial, visceral, pre- and post-natal and paediatric osteopathy, biomechanical assessments, stress management, ergonomic assessments, nutritional advice, dry needling, exercise prescription, pre- and post-surgery rehabilitation, and mat and reformer Pilates.
Although osteopathy is all about the physical touch of manual therapy, The Osteopathic Centre’s team of practitioners have a ton of knowledge that can be shared via video or phone consultations. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Osteopathic Centre team has found virtual consolations to be very effective, particularly for those families with newborn babies who need support. Additionally, the team has had much success helping those patients suffering from acute injuries where immediate advice is needed to help reduce the pain.
Hear from Dr Paul Bell (professional doctorate in health, and over 23 years of experience in pain and injury treatment):
“Often, the assumption is that osteopaths only treat the spine. In fact, we treat the whole body and consider other factors that may be affecting daily life. It’s important to recognise that pain and injury may have many causes, and that lifestyle and emotional factors can play an important role in the ability to manage and improve symptoms. Our aim is not only to address biomechanical, postural and musculoskeletal issues. We also help identify other factors that can be addressed to reduce pain and increase function. In addition, we provide coping strategies to help deal with the effects that physical and psychological stress have on the body.”
Academy of Chiropractic Clinic
Chiropractor Dr William Choi has been in practice for 13 years, opening the Academy of Chiropractic Clinic in Singapore in 2010. It remains the only chiropractic office here that practices the Gonstead Method. This unique system conducts a thorough analysis of the spine using five specific criteria to detect the presence of vertebral subluxation complex (a misalignment of the spinal column that leads to certain symptoms and health problems). These include visualisation, feeling the patient’s spine in both static and dynamic positions, x-ray analysis, and the use of an instrument called a Nervoscope, which can uncover signs of inflammation.
Hear from Dr Choi:
“The Gonstead Method represents the ultimate standard in ‘hands on’ spinal adjusting. It remains the leader in chiropractic techniques. The first examination includes a complete patient history, full spine x-ray analysis and instrumentation of the spinal column; only then will spinal adjustments be made. For me, it’s rewarding to locate a patient’s problem, correct it and watch it improve over time. Chiropractic isn’t just for spinal pain or back pain. It encompasses the whole body; it’s for men, women and children, and it should be a part of your healthy lifestyle.”
The specialists at Heartland Physio are dedicated to increasing quality of life through mobility and exercise, and providing the best experience possible for sports, orthopaedics and spine rehabilitation. Though Heartland has physical locations at Orchard (2 Orchard Link, SCAPE #02-15) and Queenstown (11 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-4454), patients can also opt for at-home therapy sessions or tele-rehab physiotherapy. Of course, right now, it’s all about tele-rehab appointments! Heartland has seen great results treating patients with such conditions as lower back pain, neck pain, jaw pain and clicking, shoulder and rotator cuff conditions, hip pain, knee pain, ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis.
At Heartland, each session starts with a detailed interview to help identify the root cause of the pain, and the contributing factors. Once an individualised treatment plan is designed, the patient will be guided through an exercise programme and manual techniques like dry needling, soft tissue mobilisation, joint mobilisation or electro physical agents, if necessary. Videos are sent to clients via email so that they can continue their exercise programmes at home.
Hear from Gareth Chew Zhixiang, director and principal musculoskeletal physiotherapist:
“When someone walks in with pain in the neck or lower back, and walks out feeling new again, that makes all the effort worthwhile. Often, it’s the simple correction of certain movement patterns or activation of muscles that makes the difference for the patient. For post-operation clients, I particularly enjoy being part of the team to maximise their joint health and muscles, allowing for a better quality of life after the procedure.
As physiotherapists, we are ‘knowledge brokers’ when it comes to treatment of pain – meaning that it’s more than just the physical contact that helps; helping you gain knowledge of your body and how to recover is half the battle won.”
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Physio Down Under
Physio Down Under is the first dedicated women’s health physiotherapy practice in Singapore. It treats everything from urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction and sexual pain to rectus diastasis (abdominal muscle separation), bowel conditions (constipation, faecal incontinence), pregnancy and post-natal conditions such as pelvic girdle pain, wrist conditions and blocked milk ducts. Founders Monica Donaldson and Tamara Gerdis combine their physiotherapy experience with evidence-based practice to create individualised treatment plans, with the main focus on their patients’ goals.
Currently, Physio Down Under is offering tele-health consultations and virtual Pilates sessions, as well as in-person visits three days a week for urgent cases.
Hear from Monica and Tamara (over 30 years of combined experience in women’s health physiotherapy):
“As university graduates in women’s health physiotherapy, we’ve always been passionate about women’s health. We’ve had some excellent mentors and access to world-class women’s health university courses over the years. This, alongside our individual 15 years of women’s health physiotherapy experience, allows us to effectively diagnose and treat what are often extremely personal and distressing conditions for women. We believe that every woman should be able to have access to professional care in a safe and supportive environment for these conditions. In addition, preventative care plays a huge role in what we do. A postnatal check, six to eight weeks post-delivery, can help guide a woman safely back into exercise and pick up any potential problems early on.”
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