Our physiotherapists are independent practitioners, who provide services in association to the Adelaide Chronic Pain Clinic
Bret has been a physiotherapist since graduating from University of Otago (NZ) in 2006. He has always had an interest in complex or chronic pain presentations and has been working at Adelaide Chronic Pain Clinic (formerly Complex Injury Group) since 2016. Here is how he describes his approach to physiotherapy:
‘Physiotherapy for chronic pain starts with discussion, investigation and education. Persistent pain can be confusing, particularly with so much information around to sort through. We start by addressing questions and concerns and move towards increasing understanding of pain and its interaction with physical function. Pain is a complex thing but a solid understanding of pain is vital to progress so we start with this.
Attention is paid to any difficulties with physical function, often caused by a combination of injury and pain resulting in a mixture of stiffness/tightness/weakness. We methodically develop simple activity and exercise programmes which are also reviewed and progressed regularly.
Many patients experience fear of certain movements or activities, often avoiding activities they used to enjoy. It makes sense to avoid or to be apprehensive about things that have been painful in the past but pain can cause us to become overprotective. We address this as well with education and progressive experimentation.
As we move forward with exercise, it is often appropriate to introduce pool and/or gym-based exercise. Education is provided and exercises prescribed at the outset and progress is reviewed regularly. By this stage, patients have a good understanding of their pain, how their symptoms respond to activity and exercise and how safe they are to perform exercises so the pool or gym sessions are soon independent. We regularly review progress in the clinic (or at the pool/gym if appropriate) and agree on progression of existing exercises or introducing new ones.
Everything we try is informed by research and experience but some things work better for some than for others so we do what I like to call ‘Small, low-risk experiments’ to determine the best program. We use these experiments to discover what works based on evidence from the patient’s own experience of trying the exercises and activities. We then progress or introduce new experiments. As this cycle is carried out we see improved understanding and independence and improvements in function and activity.
The overall aim is to help patients to improve their physical function and reduce the impact of pain on well-being in all areas of work and life.
Bachelor Applied Science
Master of Physiotherapy (GE)
Master of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
David is a senior physiotherapist who has undertaken further post graduate studies completing a Master in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, allowing David to be a Titled APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist.
David has a special interest in management and treatment of persistent pain and complex injuries including back and neck pain and headaches. David is experienced in the treatment of low back pain (LBP). LBP affects 90% of the adult population-making it a very common complaint. However, the diagnosis and treatment can vary between every person. When you see David he will be able to provide you with a specific diagnosis, explanation of the injury and treatment to help you recover.
David attends regular courses and conferences which further develops his physiotherapy skills. Most recently David completed the level 1-Watson Headache Approach, enabling David to successfully treat some forms of headache. Other courses include Manipulation and mobilisation of the spine, certificate in Spinal manual therapy, Mulligan techniques, dry needling/acupuncture, Sports level 1 & 2 and a lot of Pain topics!
David has previously worked at the Complex Injury Group (now Adelaide Chronic Pain Centre) with Pain Physician Dr Wright.
Outside of work David enjoys cooking and spending time with his family!
Physioactive / The Injury Hub