From treating sports injuries like slipped discs and knee pain, to rehabilitating spine issues such as scoliosis, and helping to fight diseases, there are specialists aplenty who can diagnose, rehabilitate and restore the normal functions of our bones, joints and other body parts. Here, we speak to experts specialising in physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic care and more about the treatments they offer, popular misconceptions, and what they love about their areas of expertise.
City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy
This holistic healthcare centre has branches at Raffles Place, Bukit Timah and Novena with a team of experienced 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, who work together to provide care for patients of all ages.
Hear from osteopath Jenny Mullen, who has 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, aiming to find the root cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. Each individual is treated uniquely according to his or her needs, which makes my job interesting. Every day is completely different, as you have no idea who will walk through the door and what they will 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.”
Hear from experienced physiotherapist Shoban Rahulapaskaran, who specialises in knees, feet and ankles:
“I’ve been working as a physiotherapist for over seven years and, as cliché as it sounds, no day is ever the same. Most people think physiotherapists just give massages or TheraBand exercises, but the core principles of our profession are to promote health and educate our patients so that they won’t need to see us again.
Each session can range from 45 to 60 minutes, and consists of education, manual therapy and time allocated in our rehab/exercise area, where I usually teach and review exercises that help to solve the underlying issues creating pain or dysfunction.
All physiotherapists have to be inquisitive and creative. We love working with patients who have specific goals, and tailor our rehab programmes to help patients return to their best. We don’t just prescribe the same exercise to every back-pain patient, as each individual aim, goal or ability is different. At the same time, we don’t just work with athletes; I’m fortunate to work with and help a broad range of individuals who all have the same aim: to be healthy again.”
Physio Down Under
Physio Down Under is Singapore’s first dedicated women’s health physiotherapy practice, treating 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 being on their patients’ goals.
Hear from Monica and Tamara, who have over 30 years of combined experience in women’s health physiotherapy:
“As university graduates in women’s health physiotherapy, we have always been passionate about women’s health. We have been fortunate to have 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.”
Academy of Chiropractic Clinic
Chiropractor Dr William Choi, who has been in practice for 13 years, opened the Academy of Chiropractic Clinic in 2010, and it remains the only chiropractic office in Singapore that practices the Gonstead Method, a unique system in which a thorough analysis of the spine is conducted 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 any signs of inflammation.
Hear from Dr Choi:
“The Gonstead Method represents the ultimate standard in ‘hands on’ spinal adjusting, and 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 be able to locate the patient’s problem, correct it and watch as the patient improves over time. Chiropractic is not just for spinal pain or back pain only. It encompasses the whole body; it’s for men, women and children, and it should be a part of your healthy lifestyle.”
Elite Spine Centres
Elite Spine Centres combines hands-on chiropractic care with the latest therapeutic techniques, manual soft tissue therapies and customised rehabilitation exercises to ensure that every patient’s pain is treated and managed in the best possible way. American chiropractor Dr Michael Bryant (affectionately known as “Dr Mike” to his patients) has worked with thousands of expats and Singaporeans to overcome an array of conditions and improve the quality of their lives. His educational background and professional experience led to him creating a unique system of care called Functional Correction Method (FCM), a total-body therapeutic approach designed to restore proper function of the spine, joints and soft tissues all at once, as opposed to focusing only on one area of correction.
Hear from Dr Bryant, who has been practicing in Singapore for more than eight years:
“Experience has shown me that the majority of people need a multifaceted approach to their treatment in order to achieve the best results. Most importantly, a doctor who not only understands the complex nature of the human body, but also knows how to employ various methods as needed and educate their patients on how to care for themselves over the long-term, is key. We strive to continually reshape expectations and pre-conceived notions of others about what quality, modern chiropractic care is all about. So frequently we hear from our patients that we have helped them gain a much deeper and more complete understanding of their condition than they ever had before.”
From preventive screenings and vaccinations to rehabilitative and specialist services, this healthcare organisation treats over 200,000 patients across its nine medical centres (Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay, Jurong, Potong Pasir, Sengkang, Tampines, Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands), and through its mobile medical services: Mobile X-Ray units, Mammo-On-Wheels (mobile mammography service) and Doctor-On-Wheels.
Key to keeping our bones healthy is bone mineral densitometry (BMD), a painless, non-invasive procedure done to measure a patient’s bone mineral density. This is important in evaluating a person’s risk of sustaining a bone fracture and is crucial to helping detect osteoporosis – a condition that affects bone strength by making bones more fragile and prone to fractures. The BMD test results are assessed by a doctor and, if the scan shows evidence of osteoporosis, advice or treatment will be offered to help strengthen the patient’s bones.
Hear from radiographer Joel Chaves Carpio, who has 23 years of experience as a radiographer and eight years of experience handling BMD tests:
“During a BMD session, the patient lays on the surface of the machine and can expect the machine to move back and forth above his or her body when it is adjusting to a designated point. Patients are required to remain still while the scanning is in process. The BMD result is then reviewed by our doctor, who will discuss potential lifestyle changes and treatments with the patient. One of the misconceptions is the high radiation risk from BMD scan. In fact, BMD scan is relatively safe and produces a much lower dose of radiation compared to a chest x-ray.”
BMD scans are available at SATA CommHealth’s Uttamram (Bedok) Medical Centre. To make an appointment, or for more information, call 6244 6688.
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