Category Archives: Staff

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Vestibular Assessment at Milltown Physiotherapy

Here is Laura Fitzpatrick our physiotherapist with a special interest in Vestibular Assessment giving us the low down on BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), one of the most common causes of dizziness/spinning/vertigo.
It is a condition that she treats regularly at the clinic with great outcomes. Vestibular assessment is a special interest area of physiotherapy. It deals with dizziness and balance issues primarily.

What is BPPV?

BPPV is a condition arising in the inner ear. It is a sudden but short-lived sensation of spinning when your head is in a certain position, for eg. turning in bed or going from sitting to lying.
The dizziness can range from being mild to severe and there is normally a sudden onset of symptoms- one day you have no dizziness and the next you do.

Signs that you may have BPPV.

Nausea with or without vomiting associated with your spinning
Mild to severe spinning when you have your head in certain positions
A feeling of unsteadiness
Difficulty with balance

The spinning/dizzy sensation normally only lasts for a few seconds but sometimes can continue while your head remains in a certain position.

BPPV is not normally a serious condition, however it can be very worrying, so do seek treatment if you are concerned.

More women than men are affected by BPPV and having had a head injury can make you more susceptible to BPPV.

What causes BPPV?

Very often there is no known cause for your symptoms arising. This is known as idiopathic BPPV. Sometimes it coincides with an episode of illness, like a viral infection. It can also be caused by having your head in unusual positions like on the dentist chair.

Our ears play a major role in BPPV. We have 3 small canals in each of our ears, these are called semi-circular canals. These canals monitor the rotation of our head and help to tell us what way our head is positioned.

We also have tiny crystals in our inner ears which help make our bodies sensitive to gravity.
These crystals can become dislodged and end up in our semi-circular canals. This is what causes your spinning/dizziness. The canals have now become sensitive to movements that they would not normally respond to.

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Diagnosis and treatment

When you come for your assessment your physiotherapist will first take a complete history of your symptoms. They may ask about your cardiac history and about things like migraines, headaches and your hearing. This is to help rule out any other reason for your dizziness. If you have results of recent investigations like a brain CT or MRI, make sure to bring them with you to your assessment.

Then a number of tests will be performed on you to ascertain whether or not you have BPPV.

Once you have been diagnosed with BPPV your physiotherapist will then perform a repositioning manoeuvre. The aim of this is to reposition the crystals so that your semi-circular canals are no longer over sensitive to normal movements.This repositioning involves a number of specific head movements held for a certain amount of time. You should notice that your symptoms are much better with the re-test that will be carried out at the end of your assessment.

We do ask that you bring someone along with you to your assessment.

BPPV is just one of many vestibular conditions that can be treated with vestibular physiotherapy. Please ring the clinic if you would like any further information or to book an appointment.

Occupational Therapy at Milltown Physiotherapy

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We are delighted to welcome Laura O’Donnell (BSc Hons OT)  to Milltown Physiotherapy. Laura is an experienced Occupational Therapist who will be available here on Saturdays.  She graduated from Trinity College in 2009 with an honours degree in Occupational Therapy.

Laura has extensive experience working with adults with acute and chronic conditions across a wide range of clinical areas. These include Neurology (e.g. Stroke, Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, neuropathies), Frail Elderly (e.g. falls, mild cognitive impairments, Dementia), Chronic Pain and pulmonary, cardiac, endocrinology (e.g. diabetes) and orthopaedic conditions. She specialises in Stroke/Neurological rehabilitation and Chronic Pain management.

 

The Stress of Should – Michael Comyn at Milltown Physiotherapy

Milltown SOS

We were delighted to host an in-service on “The Stress of Should” by Michael Comyn. It was a very enjoyable Friday evening speaking about resilience and giving the staff here lots of tips that hopefully we can pass on to patients in the coming months.

Michael advises to become more resilient we are required to work on sleep, exercise, nutrition, reality checking and meditiation.

A really nice website that we were recommended to look at for further information was www.sixdayreset.com

 

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Milltown Physiotherapy goes to the 1st UK Pelvic Floor Summit

Telford in Birmingham was the venue for the UKCS and Pelvic Floor Society first Pelvic Floor Summit. Presentations included sexual function, urogynae, urology and colorectal they were varied and most informative. We headed over for the conference as the African heatwave hit Birmingham.

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In the photo from left to right Sarah Mullins, Helen MacDevitt, Grainne Wall, Sharon McNally and Maeve Whelan. Eimear Murphy not in the photo was also at the conference.

Probably the most topical and frequently appearing at the conference was the question of mesh which appears in the media so often at the moment. There was reassuring information on the safety through the data on mid-urethral sling (MUS) procedures for stress incontinence where other mesh procedures for pelvic organ prolapse are falling in number. It varies from country to country whether mesh for prolapse is allowed and it is still allowed in England and Ireland but not in Scotland. Gynaecologist and Urologists now fear that a surgery for stress incontinence which should be beneficial where conservative treatment has failed will be banned because of lack of knowledge and fear rather than on data that is collected by the profession and on the recommended guidance. The profession is now watching what happens at a political level to see what is going to happen going forward.
In the meantime, physiotherapy gains more recognition for its role in chronic pelvic pain and theories for chronic pain continue to be researched.
Sexual health is promoted and never better than by physiotherapist and comedienne Elaine Miller who through Twitter has get up #pelvicroar to promote better awareness of pelvic floor problems as a barrier to optimal sexual health.
For more information on mesh see https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/news/rcog-response-to-nice-guidance-on-transvaginal-mesh-repair-for-prolapse/

A golf-specific warm up improves performance and reduces injury

We were delighted to be asked to present to the members of Milltown Golf Club on Thursday evening. Our specialised sports physio Frank spoke about the importance of a golf-specific warm up on reducing injury risk and improving performance.

There are so many resources out there on improving golf performance and reducing injury, it is very difficult for patients to know what to trust. Have a look at the Titleist Performance Institute who have a great website on golf science.

 

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http://www.mytpi.com/articles/fitness/the_science_behind_a_golf_warm_up

See some nice simple golf-specific exercises here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4uqj0AwFzk

 

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Our Winter Olympian and physiotherapist in the news

With the Winter Olympics ongoing in South Korea, it was great to see our own Winter Olympian, and Milltown physiotherapist in a lovely article on The42.ie.

Kirsty McGarry represented Ireland in not one but two Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy and Vancouver Canada.

All Kirsty’s patients in Milltown will be familiar with her passion for the job and wishing to help her patients. Kirsty sums it up nicely here,

“Even when I was working, I wanted to be the best physio. I wanted to keep learning, I wanted to do courses. I find I’m quite empathetic as well, so I really want to do the best for each patient and person. Even when I was in college and doing exams, [my competitiveness] definitely came into everyday life.”

 

http://www.the42.ie/kirsty-mcgarry-interview-3849940-Feb2018/

Emily Power Smith starts her clinic in Milltown Physiotherapy

Milltown Physiotherapy is delighted to announce that the renowned sexologist Emily Power Smith has started clinic at Milltown Physiotherapy. Emily Power Smith is the only clinical sexologist in Ireland and as such has a unique skill-set and knowledge base. Emily runs a busy private practice in Dun Laoghaire as well as attending clinic in Milltown Physiotherapy.

Emily has a Masters Degree in Sexology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Art Psychotherapy, with years of experience as a facilitator, educator and trainer. She teaches at third and post graduate levels, trains, writes, runs seminars and is a regular contributor to Irish National Press, radio and TV. Emily’s mission is to normalise sexuality and to create informed, mature and non-judgmental dialogue around all aspects of sexuality (a sex positive approach). She is consultant and advisor for clients attending Milltown Physiotherapy who may wish to follow up with more intensive therapy.

 

Listen to Emily Power Smith and Maeve Whelan in interview with Irish Times Women’s Podcast.

 

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