New back treatment equipment at Physiofusion

Burnley-based Physiofusion has introduced Theraflex power assisted micro manipulation.

Back pain is one of the most common patient complaints seen in clinical practice; 97% of these cases being mechanical in nature (Chien and Bajwa, 2008). Physiotherapists often utilise manual joint mobilisation techniques to treat mechanical spinal disorders and increase flexibility and alignment.

The PAMM is essentially a ‘mechanical mobiliser’ which stimulates and stretches more effectively than the human hand. It is a set of pistons which are set to a specific depth and a trained physiotherapist utilises this to produce mobilisations at individual sections of the spine, at significantly higher in speed and quantity than in a standard ‘hands on’ treatment. This treatment is not just applied to the segment with pain but each spine segment (i.e. the whole spine).

If you are having treatment with PAMM alone most clients require five sessions initially. But PAMM is most often used for visits every now and again to maintain the spine following injury (like a disc bulge or sciatica) or chronic conditions (like spondylosis/ ‘wear and tear’).

Treatment with the bionic hand feels like being massaged and manipulated by someone with really strong digits; at its lightest pressure and fastest speed, it’s a bit like having your spine drummed on with teaspoons; while at its slowest and strongest, it feels like there’s a robot walking up your spine.

Following treatment it’s common to be sore for a day or so; remember the treatment is loosening up joints which have probably been stiff for quite some time, but this is usually only after the first session. Ice can be used to prevent any bruising or soreness, but the therapist should be able to gauge the amount of pressure so that any muscle soreness feels no worse than that of a tough workout. The Theraflex machine is available at Physiofusion's Bolton and Burnley clinics. Appointments last 30 minutes.