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Chartered Physiotherapist - MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon Coghlan holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the...
Chartered Physiotherapist - MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon Coghlan holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the integration of medical acupuncture techniques with manual therapy and therapeutic exercise for the treatment of musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction.

Pain Management in Children

As a physiotherapist, I treat many children with different pain conditions, so when I came across a journal article published in the journal Nursing Children and Young People titled "Factors Influencing Pain Management in Children", I was keen to have a read. The article discusses an essential aspect of paediatric care, which is the management of pain in children. 

Every child will experience an ankle or knee injury sustained while playing sports quite differently. Although the diagnosis or type of injury may be the same, each child may present with very different levels of pain and dysfunction. As such, all healthcare providers must understand what factors can impact how a child feels after an injury and how this may affect their treatment and recovery. 

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Physiotherapy or Exercise Physiology?

My patients often ask me the differences between a Physiotherapist and an Exercise Physiologist (EP).

Many are unsure which type of health professional would best help them with their particular physical problem and when to seek treatment.
In some cases, a GP may help with the decision; at other times, it is down to the patient to decide where to start their therapy journey. 
Let’s take someone with low back pain and stiffness as an example.
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Running Injuries due to Wear and Tear

A runner's body is subject to much wear and tear: The longer and faster the runs, the greater the wear and tear over time.

Our muscles seem to deal with most of the wear and tear, which over time, can lead to muscle imbalance, pain and reduced running efficiency.

An example of muscle imbalance may start with a weak gluteus medius resulting in overactivity of the upper gluteus maximus, tensor fasciae latae, and lateral quadriceps muscles. Such muscle imbalance may lead to knee pain (patellofemoral pain syndrome) and possibly patellar tendinopathy. The overactive muscles themselves may also become painful due to the development of myofascial trigger points.

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Experiencing Elbow Pain

Last week I was lifting something heavy and awkward and felt a tweak just below my right elbow. Over the next few hours, I experienced pain and weakness on lifting and gripping activities involving my right hand as well as tenderness over the muscle which runs from just above the outer elbow to the back of the hand, the extensor carpi radialis longus.

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Boost your Brain with Food!

What you eat has a massive impact on your brain’s health. Good dietary choices can protect you against severe neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. But eating well doesn’t just help improve your long-term health – it can also make you sharper, more balanced and happier.

Author Max Lugavere has developed The Genius Plan, which starts with a 14-day period in which you focus on eliminating brain-toxic foods like sugar, processed oils and grain products. Reducing your consumption of these types of foods will reduce long-term brain inflammation.

Brain inflammation can cause all sorts of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s, anxiety, depression, lethargy and reduced cognitive functioning.

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Support for those with Long-Covid

In recent weeks many of our clients have mentioned they know of friends or family members struggling with the symptoms of what is being referred to as Long-Covid. Many are unsure which healthcare providers are best able to provide support. 
What is Long-Covid?
Most people who experience Covid-19 will have symptoms that resolve within approximately 12 weeks. The majority of those who develop COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms followed by a period of tiredness or fatigue for several weeks before making a full recovery. 
Unfortunately, some will experience either prolonged symptoms or, after beginning to recover, develop a recurrence of symptoms approximately six weeks after their initial infection. If symptoms persist for longer than 12 weeks, this may be referred to as Long-Covid.
The umbrella term of Long-Covid describes the cluster of signs and symptoms which may develop or persist after the acute phase of the infection.
Examples of Symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of Breath (dyspnoea)
  • Headaches, confusion, or seizures
  • Reduced concentration or "brain fog."
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Chest Pain or tightness
  • Cough
  • Loss of Smell (anosmia)
Alongside doctors and nurses, physiotherapists have played a key role in caring for and treating Covid-19 patients in hospitals and at home. The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) has recently launched a campaign to highlight the role of physiotherapists in managing not only acute Covid-19 symptoms but also the symptoms associated with Long-Covid.
Here at Mount Merrion Physiotherapy & Health, we offer courses of treatment to support and facilitate the recovery of those with Long-Covid symptoms.
Treatment may include a combination of the following techniques:
  • Corrective breathing techniques and home exercises 
  • Activity pacing 
  • Cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility exercise programmes
  • Diet and nutrition information and education resources
  • Medical acupuncture to support the function and recovery of the immune system and help ease muscle and joint pain. For more information, please click here
  • Manual therapy to help alleviate muscle tension and assist in improving joint mobility
ISCP & Long-Covid in the News
Here is some of the recent coverage.
If you or a friend or family member is struggling with Long-Covid, please get in touch and book an initial assessment with physiotherapists Katie, Rachael or Sadhbh by calling us on 01-2834303.
In good health.
Simon Coghlan.
Practice Principal

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Can Manual Therapy provide Sustainable Pain Relief?

Manual therapy is a term used to describe most techniques Chartered Physiotherapists do mainly with their hands. These are techniques physiotherapists learn at university and requires a lot of practice to perform correctly and effectively.

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Why too much CARDIO exercise is a problem?

You are doing high-intensity spinning classes, three to four times a week, you feel pretty good afterwards. Why?...because you have triggered a physically induced stress response, you have taken your body into the red zone, the fight or flight state. Your body releases adrenaline, cortisol, endorphins and insulin which, like some magic mix cocktail, leave you you might after having outrun a sabre-toothed tiger with eyes on you for lunch.

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What is Dry Needling & How does it Work?

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (known as trigger points) causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain. This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension. While nearly everyone has experienced muscle tension pain, the discomfort associated with myofascial pain syndrome persists or worsens.
According to the British Medical Acupuncture Society, a trigger point is a hyperirritable locus within a taut band of skeletal muscle or its associated fascia. It is painful on compression and can evoke a characteristic referral pattern of pain or autonomic dysfunction.
Various therapeutic techniques have been proposed to treat trigger points and associated myofascial pain syndrome. Nonpharmacological approaches, such as Dry Needling, are now more widely used and generally preferred over pharmacological ones as they are generally better tolerated and have safer adverse event profiles.
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Fixing the Frozen Shoulder

We treat many cases of adhesive capsulitis, a.k.a 'frozen shoulder' each year. It is an unpleasant, painful and tricky condition but usually responds very well to an integrated physiotherapy treatment approach.

The stiff and painful frozen shoulder is usually due to an inflammatory reaction of the sub-synovial tissue that results in capsular (the elastic tissue that holds the top of the arm bone in the shoulder socket) and synovial thickening and often accompanied by rotator cuff tendon inflammation (1). Women over the age of 50 years are more likely to develop this condition (2).

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