Conditions we treat


Photo of a physiotherapist assessing the lumbar spine of a man with back pain.

Having a strong and healthy spine is important, and it can be very frustrating to experience neck or back pain. Fortunately, physiotherapy can be very helpful for both relieving pain, reducing the risk of recurrence of pain, and for establishing a progressive return to normal movement.

Most cases of back and neck pain are of a non-specific nature. A thorough assessment will help identify the nature of your pain and injury. This will help us deliver treatment and advice specifically for you so that we can get you moving as soon as possible.

Treating back and neck pain

When you see a physiotherapist for spinal pain, you will most likely receive a combined treatment approach that will include hands-on treatments like massage, mobilisations, dry needling, taping and stretching. We will explain why you may or may not require further imaging.

You will also receive education about why you are experiencing pain, and what you can do to manage your condition and recover faster. Once you are ready, your physio will give you exercises to do to help strengthen and mobilise your spine. They might also recommend you undertake a period of exercise rehabilitation classes. At the clinic we also sell hotpacks, Fisiocrem, myofoam rollers and spiky balls, all of which you can use for self management. Just ask your physio what is best for you.

Common causes of spinal pain that our physios treat include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Disc injury/sprain
  • Nerve impingement
  • Core muscle weakness and dysfunction
  • Poor posture
  • Facet joint stiffness
  • Arthritis
  • Stress fractures
  • Anklyosing Spondylitis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Overactive myofascial trigger points
  • Work / sport-related strain injuries


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Physiotherapists can provide relief for shoulder pain, as well as assess and treat problem shoulders to help you return to normal activity, sports and leisure.

Shoulder pain is a very common complaint. It can be due to a variety of factors, the majority of which are amenable through physiotherapy. Our physios can thoroughly assess your shoulder to determine the cause of your pain, and will diagnose your problem, so that you know exactly what is wrong, and what you can do to get better. When required, your physio might refer you for imaging such as MRI or ultrasound to aid diagnosis. They might also refer you to a specialist if you need surgical opinion.

Our physios manage shoulder problems with a combination of hands-on therapy, bracing and taping, and exercise rehabilitation.

Common shoulder problems we treat include:

  • Shoulder joint instability / dislocation
  • Impingement
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Muscle strain
  • Postural dysfunction
  • Labral tears
  • Fractures
  • Shoulder reconstruction / replacement
  • Bursitis
  • Acromioclavicular (AC) joint injury
  • Nerve impingement / injury
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)

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Sports person crouching and holding their left calf muscle.

Muscular aches and pains can be the result of a variety of problems. At Thompsons Road Physiotherapy, both our physiotherapists and myotherapists are well-positioned to provide targeted treatment to reduce pain and treat the underlying causes.

Common causes of muscle pain include:

  • Muscle strain/tear
  • Tendonitis
  • Stress/Tension
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Muscle weakness
  • Injuries / surgery
  • Postural dysfunction
  • Lack of appropriate exercise
  • Overtraining / physical stress
  • Obesity

We offer a range of treatment techniques to reduce muscle tension, relieve trigger points, strengthen weak muscles and stretch out shortened muscles. You can gain relief from treatment from our physios or myotherapists.

Treatment techniques include:

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Picture of woman with left elbow pain

Joint pain occurs in people of any age for a variety of reasons. Physiotherapists are experts in anatomy, and are skilled at assessing joint structure and function, as well as analysing joint movements. Our physiotherapists can help you understand the cause of your joint pain, the treatment you need, and how to manage your condition. They can provide tailored treatment to stabilise and reduce your joint pain.

Common causes of joint pain include:

  • Sports injuries
  • Ligament sprains
  • Tendon strain / tear
  • Cartilage / meniscus injury
  • Surgical intervention
  • Periods of immobilisation (splints / casts)
  • Overuse / repetitive strain
  • Poor posture
  • Altered biomechanics
  • Arthritis and rheumatological conditions
  • Fibromyalgia


Our physiotherapists will thoroughly assess your joints to determine why you have pain, using both hands-on and functional movement tests. They will explain their assessment findings to you, and where relevant may refer you for further imaging such as ultrasound, x-ray or MRI.

Treatment of Joint pain

Treatment techniques are tailored to suit your needs and address the reasons for your joint pain. You might need taping and bracing to support your joint, mobilisations to reduce stiffness, or strengthening exercises to improve function and stability. Common treatment techniques physiotherapists use include:

  • Mobilisations
  • Taping / bracing
  • Recovery and rehabilitation advice
  • Ice/heat therapy
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Pain management
  • Posture correction
  • Training error correction
  • Return to sport / work planning


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There is strong evidence that physiotherapy can reduce joint pain and improve function. Physiotherapists can help you manage your arthritis and get back to your favourite activities.

Arthritis is a name for a group of conditions that cause joint pain and stiffness. Our physiotherapists can help you to understand how arthritis affects you, as well as the treatments available to you. There is strong research evidence that exercise is safe and effective for reducing arthritic joint pain and stiffness, whilst improving mobility and strength. It can also help you maintain your general health.

Hands-on therapy can provide pain relief and reduce stiffness, allowing you to engage in safe and suitable exercise to help self- management of your symptoms and maximise your everyday function.

Our physiotherapists can help you find safe and effective ways to exercise, whilst respecting your body’s needs.

Common types of arthritis that we treat at our clinic include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

If you have had a joint replacement, our physiotherapists can also help you to recover well and make the most of your new joint.

Click here to visit the Arthritis Victoria website to learn more about arthritis.


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Photo of a woman wearing a knee brace and resting during a jog to check her left knee.

Our physiotherapists can assist in diagnosing and treating sports injuries. Once they have assessed your injury, they will ensure you understand the nature of your injury and how to manage it, timelines to recovery, and when you can get back to playing sports. Our physios take a modern approach to treating and managing sports injuries, using current research to inform techniques. Using a combination on hands-on treatment and exercise rehabilitation, we focus on both recovery and prevention. We offer Exercise rehabilitation classes, supervised by our physiotherapists.

We value teamwork, and will liaise closely with your coach, surgeon or doctor to help you get back to sport as soon as possible.

Common sports injuries that we treat include:

  • Knee and ankle ligament sprains
  • Leg, back and arm muscle strains/tears
  • Tennis / Golfer’s elbow
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Lumbar strain
  • Shin splints
  • Stress fractures
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Thoracic and rib pain / fracture
  • Osteitis Pubis
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) – hip
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) – knee
  • Rotator cuff strain / tear
  • Tendonitis
  • Overuse injuries

Treatment techniques for sports injury:

  • Remedial massage
  • Dry needling
  • Cupping
  • Joint mobilisations
  • Taping and bracing
  • Ultrasound
  • Movement analysis and correction
  • Postural education
  • Exercise rehabilitation
  • Return to sport planning and advice
  • Return to gym / strength coaching
  • Exercise rehabilitation classes

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A physiotherapist assessing a man's shoulder range of motion.

Physiotherapists are experts in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation. They understand the implications of your surgery and can assist in improving your function following your surgical procedure.

If you have recently had surgery, you will most likely be referred to a physiotherapist who will help you to reduce pain, regain normal range of motion, retrain muscle strength, and help you return to your regular activities. Our physios use a combination of hands-on treatment such as massage, mobilisations, dry needling and taping to help you get moving again. They will also provide you with advice on pain management.

Once you are ready, they will develop a custom exercise programme for you to address any weakness, stiffness and postural problems. They will always follow the advice of your surgeon, and will liaise with him/her regularly so that you get the best level of care possible.

Common orthopaedic procedures we treat:

  • Knee ligament reconstruction
  • Total hip and knee replacement
  • Shoulder reconstruction
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Spinal surgery. e.g. laminectomy, fusions, discectomy
  • Tendon release (tenotomy)
  • Achilles tendon repair
  • Bone fractures
  • Arthroscopic procedures. e.g. hip, knee, shoulder
  • Hydrodilatation
  • Manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA)

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Photo of a woman suffering from dizziness or vertigo.

Spinning sensations (vertigo), feeling dizzy and off balance can all be symptoms of an impaired vestibular and balance system. Often associated with this, are nausea, vomiting and a loss of confidence with everyday movements.

Symptoms may be provoked with movements of the head such as looking up or down, rolling and getting out of bed. Other general movements that can also be affected include walking, reading endurance and climbing ladders.

What is the vestibular system?

The vestibular system provides information about the position of your head. It is located in the inner ear, with connections going to the brain, eyes and spine as these structures also play a role in your sense of balance. Conditions affecting the inner ear and its related connections can give you feelings of vertigo, dizziness and imbalance.

Conditions may be acute or chronic. Whilst vertigo is an obvious sensation, many people also find their symptoms are vague and difficult to describe, often reporting feeling less “sharp” and less balanced with movements of their head and/ or body.

Common conditions physiotherapists treat:

  • BPPV
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular neuronitis
  • Vestibular hypofunction
  • Cervicogenic (neck related) dizziness
  • Central vertigo/ vestibular problems
  • Vestibular migraine

How can physiotherapy help?

The first step is a comprehensive assessment. We ask you about your symptoms and aim to identify what may be causing and contributing to your symptoms and physical limitations. Prior to commencing with us, you may have had medical assessment with your general practitioner or medical specialist.

  • Based on our assessment we design and implement a specific rehabilitation to address your symptoms and movement difficulties.
  • We explain our findings and treatment plan so you understand your condition and why completing any treatment and rehabilitation is beneficial.
  • We work as part of your broader health team including your general practitioner, other medical specialists and fitness professionals to help achieve your movement goals.

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Photo of a woman suffering a headache, holding both of her hands to her temples.

Headaches are a common complaint that physiotherapists treat. They can occur due to a variety of conditions. There are different types of headaches and often, different types of headaches can co-exist. A thorough history and examination is an important starting point to help identify the type of headache you may have, its contributing factors and the role of Physiotherapy in your headache management plan.

Common causes of headache:

  • Neck and shoulder muscles tension
  • Cervical spine joint stiffness
  • TMJ (jaw) problems
  • Arthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive strain from work or sport
  • Stress

To treat headache, your physiotherapist will use a range of treatments to alleviate pain and restore movement. They will then analyse the underlying causes of your headache to help you understand how to avoid triggering a headache, and how to manage your symptoms. If required they will refer you to a medical practitioner.

Common treatment techniques include:

  • Remedial massage
  • Joint mobilisations
  • TMJ assessment and treatment
  • Dry needling
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Postural assessment and exercises
  • Ergonomic advice
  • Pillow /sleeping advice
  • Hotpacks


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Woman with jaw pain holding her cheek and frowning.

Temporomandibular disorders collectively describes a range problems that primarily affect the jaw joint (TMJ), the muscles that move the jaw and the many associated structures in this region.

We use our jaw throughout the day in activities such as speaking, singing, eating and yawning.

The jaw joint is a connection between two bones (the temporal bone and mandible) and is moved by muscles which are controlled by nerves and like all the other parts of the musculoskeletal system the jaw can also develop issues with movement. Your head and neck posture also affects how well your jaw moves. This part of the body is also prone to “collecting tension” and can become symptomatic at times of increased stress.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain – in the jaw, face and or neck
  • Restricted movement of the jaw affecting mouth opening and movement in eating, yawning, speaking and singing
  • Jaw clicking or popping sounds
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Headaches
  • Ear ache
  • Tinnitus
  • Altered bite

Physiotherapists can help treat these symptoms. Our approach includes a thorough assessment – we need to first understand your symptoms, their duration and your affected activities followed by physical examination of your posture, neck and jaw movements and the various associated muscles.

Treatment may include:

  • Manual therapy (hands-on) to joints and muscles in this region
  • Exercise rehabilitation to improve the way you move or hold your jaw, head and neck
  • Education and advice to help you understand your injury and ways to help manage this yourself
  • Teamwork. We work with you and often with your dentist, specialist or general practitioner to manage your injury holistically.

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Photo of a person's legs on a treadmill walking, with graphic designed bones superimposed onto the left leg.

Sometimes injuries are complex and require a thorough and in-depth approach. Injuries and other painful conditions can lead to secondary problems due to compensatory movement patterns, lifestyle changes or physical motion restrictions. At other times multiple concurrent issues can complicate assessment, treatment and recovery. Ongoing systemic health issues can also affect the musculoskeletal system.

Our Approach

At Thompsons Road Physiotherapy our physiotherapy team is experienced and qualified in assessing, treating and managing complex musculoskeletal cases. We take time to understand your history, set goals, and work with you each step of the way along your recovery journey. Our approach is dynamic and tailored to each individual, addressing each facet of your health to help get you moving again.

We take a holistic treatment approach, including:

  • Assessment of injury / problems
  • Explanation of assessment findings
  • Education about your condition
  • Advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Pain management education
  • Goal setting
  • Supervised exercise classes
  • Independent exercise programmes
  • Regular correspondence with your doctor / specialist

Common complex conditions we treat include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Rheumatoid / arthritic conditions
  • Degenerative conditions. eg. multiple sclerosis
  • Multiple orthopaedic injuries eg. car accident
  • Acute injury on background of chronic disease

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Respiratory physiotherapy is a field of physiotherapy that specialises in the management of patients with cardiac and lung conditions. There is very good evidence that physiotherapy can be effective in dealing with many of the symptoms of cardiac and lung diseases including increased sputum production, shortness of breath, and reduced exercise tolerance. Respiratory physiotherapy can help improve the quality of life of patients living with lung disease.

Common conditions treated by respiratory physiotherapists include:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Acute Respiratory Infections (eg pneumonia)
  • Rehabilitation following heart attack

How can physiotherapy help?

Our specialist respiratory physiotherapist will perform a comprehensive respiratory assessment. She will then tailor a treatment programme for your specific needs. Depending on what is required, treatment will consist of any of the following:

  • Airway clearance techniques
  • Exercise prescription
  • Education
  • Techniques for management of shortness of breath

What to bring to your appointment:

  • Referral letter from your specialist or General Practioner
  • Any x-rays or scans and/or their reports
  • A list of medications that you are taking
  • Results of lung function tests
  • Any puffers/ inhalers that you are using

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Woman Lymphatic Illustration Half Body

Lymphoedema is a chronic condition that involves swelling of body regions due to the excessive accumulation of protein rich fluid in the body. It occurs when the body’s internal drainage system – the lymphatic system – cannot sufficiently manage fluid build up. It most commonly occurs in limbs, but can also affect the torso, genital area, neck and head.

Lymphoedema is most often seen in patients following cancer treatments, which can sometimes damage the lymphatics. It has other less common causes as well. Sometimes people are born with lymphoedema.

Once established, lymphoedema cannot be cured, but the good news is that early detection can minimise progression, and treatment can reduce swelling and discomfort, as well as allow for effective management so that quality of life is optimised.

Common treatment methods include:

Our lymphoedema physiotherapist, Megan Howard can provide assessment, surveillance and treatment for lymphoedema, including compression garment prescription, as well as provide advice about lifestyle and living to your best with the condition. She is an accredited ALA Lymphoedema Practitioner and can help you at any stage of your lymphoedema journey.

If you’d like to know more about our lymphoedema services, or to find out how Megan can help you, please call our clinic or send us an email using the button below. Ph. (03)9850 4437.

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Chronic diseases can affect wellbeing, reduce function and cause pain. Physiotherapy can help with chronic disease.

Chronic disease affects many Australians, and is a leading cause of pain and disability. Most types of chronic disease benefit from exercise as well as other physiotherapy treatments. At Thompsons Road Physiotherapy we provide a supportive and caring environment for people with chronic diseases, with a range of services including physiotherapy, remedial massage, and exercise rehabilitation classes. We work closely with your doctor and specialist to make sure we provide the most appropriate care.

Common conditions we treat include:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis

Treatment approaches include:

  • Manual therapy
  • Physical assessment and movement analysis
  • Manual therapy – massage and mobilisations
  • Dry needling
  • Ultrasound
  • Exercise rehabilitation
  • Pain education
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pillow / sleep advice
  • Lifestyle advice

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Photo of a man with neck pain sitting at a desk holding his left neck region.

One in five Australians, including adolescents and children, live with chronic pain. This prevalence rises to one in three of the older (over 65) age group – Blyth et al., 2001.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the time expected for healing healing following surgery or trauma or other painful condition. It is commonly described as lasting more than three months in duration, and it can have lasting effects on movement, health, physical activity and quality of life. Chronic pain can lead to changes in the neural networks of the brain that require specific and caring treatment.

Our Approach

At Thompsons Road Physiotherapy we aim to provide a holistic approach that takes the whole person and their pain into consideration, and we develop a treatment plan that is comprehensive and personalised. Our emphasis is on education and empowerment, so that our patients feel confident that they understand their condition and how best to manage themselves. We aim to provide supportive and caring treatment, and take a “teamwork” approach, working with doctors, specialists and other healthcare providers to optimise care.

Common treatment techniques for chronic pain include:

  • Physical assessment and movement analysis
  • Manual therapy – massage and mobilisations
  • Dry needling
  • Exercise rehabilitation
  • Pain education
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pillow / sleep advice
  • Lifestyle advice

We understand that chronic pain is a complex and difficult condition that can be frustrating and confusing. Our physiotherapists are always happy to speak with you about your condition and how we can help you. Please call the clinic to find out more.

Useful Reading

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Photo of a physiotherapist demonstrating the anatomy of the spine with a 3D model.

At Thompsons Road Physiotherapy we aim to educate and empower our patients. We believe that knowledge is power, and that people will experience better health outcomes when equipped with the right facts and a good understanding of their own health needs.

We aim to provide ongoing education to our patients across all our services, so that they understand their condition, what treatment they need and how it works. After assessment we explain what we have found and what it means. We encourage our patients to ask questions during consultations and exercise classes, and we are always happy to suggest further reading and resources to patients so they can continue learning independently.

After seeing our physiotherapists your should have a clear understanding of:

  • Anatomy – where your problem is and the body structures affected
  • Nature of the condition – what the problem is and how long it will take to recover
  • Treatment options – manual therapy, exercises and other interventions
  • Exercises – independent and class based to help your condition
  • Self management strategies – to reduce pain, and prevent further injury
  • Recovery outcomes – how long it will take to get better, and realistic expectations
  • Return to work / sport – timeline and plans for safe return to activity

We believe it is important to play an active role in a successful recovery journey, and we are always happy to provide education and information to our clients to ensure that they feel confident they know what they need to do to get better and achieve their movement goals.


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Photo of a mature man running and mature woman riding a bike together in a park.

Physiotherapy is not just about recovering from injury, it is also about identifying causes of injury and working to prevent recurrence. We can help you discover a better sense of “normal”.

Physiotherapists are experts in anatomy and movement, and are well positioned to assess your body and physical activities in order to understand why you have been injured, or if you are at risk of becoming injured. Our physiotherapists are qualified to work with sporting populations, and also understand workplace ergonomics. They can help you identify risk factors for injury, and help you put together a prevention strategy so that you stay healthy and active.

What we can help with:

  • Workplace health assessments
  • Postural analysis
  • Strength assessment
  • Sports performance analysis
  • Movement assessment
  • Lifestyle / general health consultation
  • Assessment previous injuries / clearance for sport
  • Chronic disease management
  • Identification of underlying issues

Prevention treatment and strategies include:

  • Strengthening programmes
  • Postural correction
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Education
  • Advice on braces and orthotics
  • Training and ergonomic advice
  • Exercise rehaebilitation
  • Referral to relevant practitioners


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Picture of physiotherapist assisting a woman to improve her posture.

What is good posture?

Maintaining good posture is important for overall health as well as physical performance. Contrary to common belief, good posture isn’t simply sitting up straight, but rather is about maintaining appropriate and stable alignment of the body both in static and dynamic activities, i.e when sitting or standing still, and also during movement.

Why is good posture important?

Our posture can influence our health, energy levels, and of course our risk of injury, particularly in physical activity and repetitive tasks. Good posture is key to:

  • Maintain efficient functioning of the body
  • Prevent muscular imbalances that can lead to spinal, pelvic and migraine issues
  • Ensure children grow into adults with a healthy, strong and balanced body
  • Having confidence and presence in your chosen activities
  • Good body awareness which can improve strength and physical performance
  • Keep you doing the things you love later into life

What causes poor posture (postural imbalance)?

Poor posture is normally a result of a combination of factors that lead to imbalance in your body structure and function. Many of the causes of poor posture can be addressed through physiotherapy treatment to address contributing factors such as:

  • Stiff joints
  • Tight and shortened muscles / fascia
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor body awareness (kinaesthetics)
  • Repetitive and static movements (eg. long sitting)
  • Lack of exercise

Physiotherapy treatments for developing and maintaining good posture include:

  • Physical body and movement analysis to assess imbalances
  • Identification of work, sport and lifestyle factors affecting your posture
  • Education and advice tailored to your needs
  • Manual therapy to relieve pain and address imbalances
  • Graduated exercises to address contributing factors and correct imbalances
  • Taping and visual feedback to assist kinaesthetic awareness


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