For going on five years I’ve had this weird thing happening with my left knee. Every time I bend it to climb stairs or squat down in any way, it makes this horrendous crunching sound. There’s no pain accompanying the sound, but it’s very unnerving to hear I can assure you! What have I done about it? Well to tell you the truth my solution thus far has been to turn up the headphones, talk a little louder, or simply just ignore it. Not the most proactive approach.
Now that I’m a bit older and wiser I thought I should probably get it looked at, and hope like hell that I haven’t caused years of irreversible damage by leaving it so long. So off I went to visit Lauren Rigg at Mallorca Physiotherapy to see what the prognosis was.
Physiotherapy was my therapy of choice in this instance because (after a few injuries in my youth) I know physios are highly qualified to treat acute and chronic conditions. Years of study means they have an incredibly in-depth understanding of the workings of the human body, and I felt sure a physio would know exactly what was going on with my dodgy knee.
Mallorca Physiotherapy is based out of the British Medical Centre in Palmanova. When I reached the clinic I was surprised to find it tucked down some back streets in a quiet residential area, and not on the main drag as expected. At least the chances of injured and inebriated Palmanova tourists wandering in from the beach were significantly diminished! Sharing the centre with a GP is also very handy if you need prescriptions, x-rays etc. as part of your treatment.
Lauren had me stand naturally so she could see what was going on with my posture and balance, and take a look at the positioning of my knees. Straightaway she saw the issue. Apparently I had ‘poor patellar tracking’. In a nutshell my kneecap wasn’t sitting in its designated groove and therefore couldn’t move as designed. The crunching was the kneecap grinding against the cartilage – not nice!
Without hesitation Lauren explains that my issue is the result of my somewhat lazy inner thigh muscles and a tight IT Band (the band of fibres on the outside of the knee). Apparently this isn’t uncommon. I can work to pull the kneecap back in its rightful position by adding some simple exercises into my workout regime. As long as I do my homework I should be on the road to a noise-free knee!
With a five-year problem solved in approximately 15 minutes I thought I would take advantage and see if Lauren could take a look at my niggly back and neck while she was at it. I lay face down on the massage table and Lauren set to work tending to my tight trapezius muscles and working out the knots. For a small woman she sure does have some strong hands! I wonder how she can manage dealing with so many clients and their tight backs without developing carpal tunnel. Luckily, she tells me, acupuncture works amazingly on the really tight muscles so she doesn’t have to rely solely on her own brute force. Lauren regularly uses acupuncture in her treatment repertoire with much success.
Getting long term results
The techniques a physiotherapist employs are fantastic at relieving pain and can have you leaving the clinic with a spring in your step feeling like a new person. But Lauren explains, “What use is that if you’re back in a few weeks time presenting the same symptoms and discomfort?” As she’s kneading out the knots in my shoulders with manual manipulation and trigger point therapy I can see her point. It feels lovely as the tension dissolves, but how do I stop it coming back? Clearly my lifestyle and behaviours brought the issue on in the first place. That’s where a physiotherapist’s complex knowledge of the body and what causes specific issues is so valuable.
Lauren tells me my tight neck and shoulders can be rectified if I work on my posture. Sure, everyone knows to sit up straight with your shoulders back, but what does this actually look like? I thought I knew but evidently I didn’t. I need to stop my chin poking out and embrace the double chin vibe! I’m told to look straight ahead but tuck my chin in without tilting my head. Lauren guides me through various exercises to perform while still maintaining this ‘chin tucked’ position. At the same time I’m instructed to gently pull my shoulder blades together and down until I feel a slight stretch down the back of my neck. Now I am in a great postural position that’s drastically reduced the strain on my neck and shoulders.
Lauren gives me a few more exercises I can do to target and strengthen those sleepy inner back muscles and relieve my poor trapezius muscles from working overtime. I silently vow to consciously adopt this posture as often as possible, and keep up the exercises after I leave.
Is physiotherapy for you?
Pain in its many forms is usually the main reason people choose to have physiotherapy. Whether it be a sore neck from a car accident, a sprained ankle during a game of tennis, or back pain you’ve had as long as you can remember, if it’s affecting your life negatively you need to do something about it. Physiotherapy can help you manage, mitigate or even eliminate the pain so that you can get back to enjoying your physical activities and reduce your dependency on painkillers.
Depending on your injury, illness or disability, your physiotherapist will take the time to show you how to properly move to correct imbalances and avoid stress on your body. This isn’t only rehabilitative but doubles as a preventative measure against future issues and injuries occurring.
Lauren is a highly experienced physiotherapist and when you receive treatment from her you can be assured you are in the best hands. She treats a huge range of issues but her specialities are neurological rehabilitation, post-operative orthopaedic rehabilitation, and sports Injury prevention and treatment. Although Lauren is based out of the British Medical Centre in Palmanova she also operates her business mobily, visiting patients at their homes, or providing her services onboard to yachts.
As an aside, regardless of qualifications there’s a lot to be said for feeling at ease with your practicioner. Lauren is such a friendly and calm person you feel immediatley relaxed in her presence. She exudes the kind of confidence that can only come from years of experience, and didn’t skip a beat when diagnosing and treating my ailments. Her treatment was so comfortable, streamlined and effective that I honestly felt foolish for not getting myself seen to sooner!
Special Deal for Nourish Readers
If you would like to book in for physiotherapy with Lauren simply quote ‘Nourish the Guide’ to receive a 10% discount on the advertised price of clinic based treatment sessions.
Carrer les Planes, 7
07181 Palmanova, Calvia
+34 971 558 832
Written by Ché Miller
About the author
Ché has always had a passion for hospitality having completed a conjoint Bachelors Degree in International Business and Hospitality Management. She has spent the last 15 years working in the hospitality industry. This passion led her to working in a premier health retreat in Australia in her twenties. There she found the knowledge she gained there inspired her to start living a healthier life.
Now Ché loves to combine her two favourite things, hospitality and wellbeing. She scours the island for the best nourishing restaurants, products and services. Ché has been living in Mallorca since early 2017, having moved from her home in New Zealand. She absolutely loves the energy of the island and everything it has to offer.
Ché’s other interests include ashtanga yoga, boxing, reading, writing, and really good coffee.