René Matthews


in Three Rivers, Vereeniging

6 Nile Gate, Cnr Nile Drive

& General Hertzog Road,

Three Rivers, Vereeniging

016 423 6965

About Us Treatments Injuries Pain Rehabilitation FAQ's Contact us

Physiotherapy is an approach to treating physical injuries/conditions that specialises in a holistic assessment of the presenting injury/condition. It is therefore aimed at treating both the underlying cause as well as the actual problem itself. For instance, if an individual is complaining of shoulder pain (presenting problem), the real problem may be the biomechanical infrastructures of the back such as incorrect posture and gait pattern. By correcting these imbalances this can aid in the relief of pain and the treatment of the presenting problem.

Within this framework the physiotherapist will use a range of different treatment modalities to address the problem:

Physiotherapy treatment methods

General physiotherapy

Your physiotherist will use different manual techniques to treat a variety of conditions. The ultimate goal is to reduce your pain, treat your injuries, restore movement and optimize your physical functioning. The main treatment techniques used are manual therapy and exercises, but other specific techniques may be used to aid recovery.

Your treatment will be tailored according to your specific condition and needs. Initially, a full assessment will be made involving your personal history and thereafter a comprehensive assessment by therapist. And if you need a report of treatment and assessment it will be forwarded to your general Practitioner.

Thermal Therapy

Thermal therapy refers tot he use of either heat and/or cold to increase or reduce blood flow to a specific area of your body with the intention of improving the symptoms of certain conditions. Using ice or heat as a therapeutic intervention decreases pain in joints, muscle and soft tissues.

Heating of superficial tissues can be achieved using hot packs, wax baths, towels, sunlight, saunas, heat wraps, steam baths/rooms. We can also get the heat in the deeper tissues through electrotherapy, ultrasound, shockwave and infrared radiation. Cooling is achieved using ice packs, ice baths, cooling gel packs, cold air and sprays.

Your physiotherapist will apply this therapy in the clinic, and also advise you on the best self-management strategies.

Joint mobilization and manipulation (Manual Therapy)

Manual therapy is a hands on type of therapy. It targets the soft tissues structures with the use of manipulation and mobilisation in order to reduce pain and increase the range of movement within the joints. Joint mobilisation involves oscillating movements being applied to a joint over a time period, whereas joint manipulation is when a high velocity thrust is applied to a joint.

Your physiotherapist will only use the most up to date, evidence based practice treatments in order for you to receive the best form of treatment leading on to a faster recovery period.

During your first appointment your physiotherapists will assess the presenting condition and design a tailor made treatment plan to aid in the best recovery possible. During the treatment manual techniques may be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment modalities.

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a form of treatment that consists of the insertion of a fine needle into the trigger points of a particular problem area – without injecting any substance. The needle is (for example) inserted into a muscle, tendon or ligament where spasm is occurring. The insertion of a needle into these particular tissues then causes inflammation. When an area becomes inflamed blood flow to this particular area increases. Blood carries nutrients to the damaged area and removes dead cells and tissues. As a result the process of healing is promoted as well as muscle relaxation.

Dry needling can be used to treat spasm in muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as acute/chronic injuries and sports injuries. It is also extensively used by trained physiotherapists for the treatment of Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction.


Electrotherapy is an umbrella term for a variety of modalities used by physiotherapists in the treatment of a wide range of conditions. Electrotherapy works by using electrical impulses that target the nerves and muscles and aid in reducing pain whilst stimulating the repair of damaged tissue. Electrotherapy modalities are used in conjunction with other treatment such as exercises, resistant exercises, massage.

Electrotherapy incorporates the use of modalities such as ultrasound, interferential, Pulsed Short Wave, Laser, TENS, and electrical nerve stimulation. These treatments can be used to reduce swelling, spasm and pain, and to improve tissue healing and muscle activity. Studies suggest that electrotherapy promotes a faster recovery if used at a sufficient point in the healing process.

While many patients will feel the immediate benefits from electrotherapy, it is wise to think of these passive modalities as similar to pain relieving or anti-inflammatory medications. That is, electrotherapy is a method of pain relief and/or inflammation reduction that provides short-term relief and stimulation – allowing you to continue moving and functioning as comfortably as possible until the cause is fixed!


Massage (as a therapeutic technique) is a range of manual therapy techniques which can be effective in treating various soft tissue injuries. These techniques include trigger point massage and myofacial release techniques which help to stimulate blood flow to areas of tension within the muscles and facilitate tissue healing.

Gait analysis and assessment

Gait analysis is the assessment of your walking pattern. Amazingly, with injury or illness, your gait pattern can be very different from normal. It only takes a small injury resulting in mild pain, stiffness or weakness to affect the way you walk or run. And poor walking or running gait is not only inefficient, it can also cause injuries. For example, an injured knee that affects your gait can cause foot, hip or back pain.

A normal walking pattern is even more important when you start to run, which increases any abnormal stress forces into your joints and muscles. Poor habits may become long-term, which can predispose you to other injuries or arthritis.

Your physiotherapist is an expert in gait analysis. They can quickly assess your gait and provide treatment, exercises or tips to quickly normalise how you walk to improve your pain, movement and lifestyle. Plus, if you need a walking aide they can advise you on the safest walking aide for you in your home and out and about.

Core stability training

Good balance is an essential part of everyday living. It is also  important during all functional movements such as sitting, standing, walking and reaching. To balance we use our 3 core stability muscles to extend the vertebral column, to rotate the trunk to the same side and to flex the vertebral column and the internal obliques. When these muscles work effectively they hold the spine and pelvis in a neutral position. This stabilises the trunk to take up the weight during activities so that movements can be initiated and controlled more effectively. If an individual's balance has been impaired he or she will experience difficulty in carrying out functional tasks and may be at risk of falling.

When you (for example) suffer back pain, your deep core stability muscles automatically turn off! This leaves your spine vulnerable to further injury and persisting chronic pain.

Your core strength can be tested by an experienced Physiotherapist who has undertaken core stability retraining. And (when needed) she can provide you with treatment aimed at strengthening your core stability, i.e. in order to improve your static balance as well as your balance when moving around. Your physiotherapist will provide you with an exercise program aimed at strengthening the 3 core stability muscles as well as advising you on appropriate exercise equipment and starting positions.

Postural correction/re-education

Whether a heavy bag, studying, working at a computer, or up a ladder. The position we hold our body in affects the load we put on it and the amount of work it has to do. Usually the more load, the more likely injury is to occur. Bad posture can result in other problems such as back pain, shoulder impingements, headaches and hip joint pain. Postural re-education is a method of treatment which aims are directed at the realignment of bad posture which can or has led to detrimental effects of everyday living.

Your physiotherapist will initially conduct a thorough assessment to determine the underlying issue that is causing the incorrect posture. Following this assessment (and the information provided by you of contributing factors such as occupation, driving positioning, etc.) evidence based practice treatments can be performed to help realign your posture in relation to the activities that are performed by yourself.

Treatment may involve manual techniques, initial positioning, progressive stretches, breathing techniques, educational advice, scapular setting and manipulations.

Taping and strapping

Taping and strapping is used as a method of treatment, especially to prevent possible injuries or to stop them reoccurring in the future. In this method of treatment taping and strapping is applied to an area of the body with the purpose of limiting movement whilst stabilising the area to prevent injury and limit any further injury to an area.

Taping and strapping limits swelling; aids in biomechanical reinforcements; stabilises joints; enhances proprioception awareness and protects soft tissue structures.

Taping and strapping is frequently applied to conditions such as ankle and wrist sprains and shoulder injuries. The most frequently taped joint is the ankle as this joint can become unstable due to the impact it endures on a daily basis. Evidence suggests that through taping and strapping it can help to avoid and prevent injury.

Kinesiology taping (or kinesio taping) is the application of a thin, stretchy, cotton-based therapeutic tape that can benefit a wide variety of injuries and inflammatory conditions. It is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows it to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of movement.

Kinesiology tape differs from other types of strapping tape in both its form and function. Most types of strapping tape are non-elastic, and are wrapped tightly around an injured joint or muscle to provide rigid support and restrict movement. They can only be worn for short periods of time, after which they must be removed to restore movement and circulation.

Kinesiology tape differs. It has unique elastic properties that allows the kinesiology tape to provide dynamic support. This provides an almost second skin that protects your joints and muscles. Plus, due to its amazing elastic properties, kinesiology tape allows full motion of your body parts.

Kinesiology tape can be worn during intense exercise, in the shower or even swimming.

Neurological Rehabilitation

Neurological physiotherapy looks at conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord resulting in a number of possible symptoms such as pain, weakness and reduced function. The help that your physiotherapist can provide is usually specific to the neurological condition you have i.e. stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Dementia and Dispraxia. After carefully assessing the extent to which the condition is affecting your normal functioning your physiotherapist will design a treatment plan for your unique situation.

Pain management

Chronic or persistent pain is pain that has been present daily for more than 3 months. This type of pain generally requires a particular approach which involves the physiotherapist and patient to focus a little less on the tissues which may have been initially injured, and to use a more holistic approach.

Treatment of Respiratory conditions

Occasionally (due to illness or disease) we can develop difficulties managing secretions within our lungs or lose the ability to have a normal breathing pattern. Examples of these are: hyperventilation syndrome, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and cystic fibrosis. It also includes a wide range of conditions that impact the respiratory system, such as general surgery and severe illness requiring intensive care.

In times like these your physiotherapist will carry out a comprehensive assessment of you, understanding how the condition affects you, and then develop a personalised treatment program including breathing retraining, education, advice on posture and therapeutic exercises. She will enable you to optimise your lung function and regulate your breathing pattern.

Advice and education

We see it as a requirement to educate our clients on their conditions by providing a detailed explanation of what their condition is, how their condition has occurred and how it can be improved and prevented..

We will give you professional advice on exercises and precautions which are specific to your current stage of recovery. We will also advise you on effective exercise and training regimes to be carried out between physiotherapy sessions. We will also educate you on preventative measures to reduce the risk of future injury in order for you to return to full physical function.

Physiotherapy Exercise programs

Physiotherapists have been trained in the use of exercise therapy to strengthen your muscles and improve your function. Physiotherapy exercises have been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective ways that you can solve or prevent pain and injury.

Your physiotherapist is an expert in the prescription of the "best exercises" for you and the most appropriate "exercise dose" for you depending on your rehabilitation status. Your physiotherapist will incorporate essential components to provide you with the best result.

Post-op rehabilitation

The aim is to encourage a speedy post-op recovery by restoring movement, strength and function. This is achieved by the use of graded exercises and manual therapy. The physiotherapist will liaise with your surgeon to determine the best exercise protocol for your particular surgery.

For those people who have planned orthopaedic surgery for a joint replacement, reconstruction or arthroscopy there may be a few weeks prior to the surgery to have a physiotherapy appointment for advice on what to expect after the surgery, the exercises that would be beneficial for their recovery and , if it is leg surgery, how to manage crutches. Starting the exercises before the surgery enables you to have a good concept of how to carry out the exercises correctly.

Following the surgery you may be seen by a physiotherapist before leaving hospital and given advice and exercises for the first 5 to 10 days. Having a good understanding of these exercises is an important part of the rehabilitation and will enable you to have a good outcome. Over time the exercises should be changed to more challenging exercises and progressing the number of repetitions will also build the muscle strength and improve the range of movement. The early post operative exercises generally are not sufficient on their own beyond the first 2 weeks but the injury will not tolerate more difficult exercises too early. This is where your physiotherapist can guide and assist you as to how quickly to progress the home routine for rehabilitation. Your physiotherapist can also contact your surgeon to check if he or she has any specific requirements for the post operative phase.

General Physiotherapy advice

Sometimes we can become concerned about new aches and pains that seem to have appeared for no apparent reason. Although there is no specific injury, these types of aches can still be worrying. If you have a non-specific problem and want to come to discuss how best to improve it, we are happy to assess and give some advice. This may be advice on posture correction, exercise planning, pilates or just reassurance that what you are doing is not harmful.

Appropriate referrals

Whenever it is appropriate we will refer to GPs, specialist medical practitioners, and other allied health professionals (such as podiatry or occupational therapy). Imaging referrals such as x-rays and MRIs can also be arranged when required.