Services at David Bolwell Physio

David Bolwell Physio

All our Physiotherapist have Bachelor of Science Honours Degrees (BSc Hons) and have undertaken extensive postgraduate training in advanced physiotherapy techniques and many years of hands on treatment experience. All are members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and of the Health Professional Council.


Acupuncture has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 3000 years. It is believed that all illness and pain canbe caused by an imbalance in the body’s energy or ‘Qi’. This energy has two complementary opposites Ying which is calm energy and Yang, vigorous energy. To harmonise the body’s Qi, fine needles are inserted into acupuncture points found on ‘meridians’. These channels emanate from the bodies organs such as bladder, heart, liver to name a few. By placing needles in these different meridians the organ it relates too can be either stimulate or suppressed, thus rebalancing Qi.

Recent research and clinical evidence has shown that acupuncture can stimulate the brain and spinal cord to produce natural painkillers such as endorphins and enkepholins, melatonin, which promotes sleep and serotonin, which is the body’s happy hormone. By stimulating the release of these hormones we are able to improve pain and inflammation.

Acupuncture can also be used to relax muscles by placing needles in ‘Trigger Points’. Muscles can become tight following injury or due to repeated postures or activities. This causes knots or Myofascial Trigger Points to form in the muscles. By placing acupuncture needle into these Trigger Points the muscles relax and lengthens, thus reducing pain and assisting with rehabilitation.

Not all physiotherapists are qualified in acupuncture. However our team can use acupuncture as part of an integrated approach, combing it with manual techniques and exercises to promote healing following recent injury or long term musclo-skeletal conditions such as chronic back pain, sciatica, neck pain, headaches and arthritic conditions.


Some patients may not be suitable for acupuncture due to underlying medical conditions or may have a needle phobia. In these situations out team may use Acupressure. By using hands on techniques our physiotherapists can apply the right amount of pressure to Trigger Points to relax muscles or acupuncture points to influence the bodies Qi.


Ultrasound is often used for soft tissue injuries such and ligament sprains and muscles / tendon strains and for both recent (acute) injuries and long standing (chronic) conditions.

Ultrasound works by sending high frequency sound waves into the tissues. This causes vibration at a cellular level otherwise known as micro – massage. The effect is twofold. Firstly it has a gentle heating effect which helps flexibility of soft tissue and decrease joint stiffness. Secondly it excites the cells which in turn increases it activity, thereby increase the blood supply and the bodies healing cells to the area, thus speeding up the healing process.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

TENS machines work by producing a tingling sensation, this sensation moves quicker along the nerves to the spinal cord than the sensation of pain. The spinal cord can only deal with a certain amount of information at any one time. Therefore as the tingling moving quicker, it blocks the sensation of pain entering the spinal cord. This is known as ‘pain gating’. We often do this instinctively, eg rubbing an area that you’ve bumped. By altering the setting that produce the tingling, TENS can also stimulate the brain to produce the body’s own nature pain killers call endorphins and enkephalins which reduce the sensation of pain further.

Although TENS machines do not cure the causes of pain, they are portable and can be easily carrying in a pocket, thereby enabling you to continue with your daily activities whilst your pain is kept under control

Mobilisation / Manipulation

Most people are aware that Chiropractor and Osteopathy’s use treatment techniques that ‘click’ the spine or joints. However Physiotherapists have been using these mobilisation and manipulation techniques for many years.

Mobilisation of a joint stretches soft tissues and lubricates the joint. By improving the joint mobility it helps ease muscle spasm thus reducing pain. A manipulation is used if a joint is particularly stiff. By applying a small, quick movement it open up the joint which decreases the intra articular pressure, thus increasing movement and reducing muscle spasm. The ‘clicking’ associated with a manipulation is caused by gases bubbles within the synovial fluid bursting as the pressure changes and is known as ‘cavitation’.

Sports / Soft Tissue Injuries

With sports injuries the first 48 – 72 hours is known as the acute stage. During this period bleeding and swelling are at its worse. The focus during this period is to minimise this bleeding and swelling thereby preventing damage to surrounding tissues. This is achieved by following RICE protocol

  • Rest – avoid exercise and limit daily activities if able. Use elbow crutches to take weight off leg injuries.
  • Ice – helps to keep swelling to a minimum. Wrapping a bag of frozen peas in a towel and apply for approximately 20 minutes. Prolonged use of ice however can have a detrimental effect on the injury.
  • Compression – use of a compression bandage helps to minimalize swelling
  • Elevation – whenever possible keep the injured area above the level of the heart

The ‘NO HARM’ advice should also be followed –

No Heat, No Alcohol, No Running /Activity, No Massage

After the acute stage, the body moves into the repair or sub-acute phase– As the bleeding stops new capillaries and scar tissue are laid down to replace damaged muscle / ligament fibres. Management in this stage is critical. Physiotherapy intervention with be aimed at

  • Decreasing pain and swelling
  • Restoring muscle /joint flexibility
  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Maintaining cardiovascular fitness
  • Improving proprioception / balance
  • Introduction sports specific activities / drills

Our specialised physiotherapy team will tailor the rehabilitation program, gradually progressing your specific exercises / drills to ensure your recovery and a return to activities is achieved as soon possible and just as importantly, to minimise the chance of re-injury.


Sports Massage aims ease the stress and tension that builds up in the bodies’ soft tissue during sporting and every day activities. This is achieved by break down muscle lesions that form at the site of an injury or due to sustained or repetitive postures.

Regular Sports Massage can maintain and often improve range of motion and flexibility in the muscles to help prevent niggling injuries that often effect performance at all levels of competition. It has also been recognised that Sports Massage can aid the healing process of both acute and chronic injuries.

As mentioned you do not have to participate in sport to benefit from Sports Massage. Anyone who is experiencing muscle ache after sustained postures of repetitive movements can benefit from Sports Massage by targeting tension that is often held deep postural muscles.

Massage device being used on the knee


All our Physiotherapists have BSc Hons along with advanced qualifications. All treatment techniques are based on the most recent research and clinical effectiveness ensuring we improve your symptoms as quickly as possible.

Our Services
Skeleton x-ray showing the joints within the body

Conditions we treat

Our physiotherapy team have extensive experience in muscle, soft tissues and joint conditions along with sports injuries and post surgery rehabilitation.

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Woman using a stretch band whilst receiving a shoulder massage

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Just call us on 02921 660455 / mob 07985 158808 or send us a message via contact form

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