Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects 17% of males and 20% of females in NSW and in a significant proportion of these people, it will impact on their daily lives. Major advances have been made in our understanding of pain in the last 40 years.

It is now widely accepted that pain is a multi-dimensional experience. Major advances have revealed that not only are afferent nerve impulses modulated in the spinal cord, but by regions of the brain that regulate attention, emotion and memory. This can happen at all stages in the pain experience: acute, sub acute and chronic. In essence this means that the traditional biomedical model of pain has been replaced by the biopsychosocial model of pain.

Pain cannot always be explained or equalled to underlying pathology. The brain has plasticity, which means that it changes in response to stimuli. Pain can modulated, inhibited or excited, in response to the brain’s interpretation of a painful event.

Early identification of risk factors, patient education and early return to normal activities can minimise the risk of transition from acute to chronic pain. If a chronic pain state is identified, a multidimensional management plan should be put into place. A holistic approach is required. As well as physical factors or underlying pathology, consideration needs to be given to other contributors to pain and disability such as history of trauma, negative cognitions and emotions, expectations, social situation etc. It is advantageous that health professionals dealing with a particular case have an understanding of the nature of chronic pain to avoid a purely biomedical approach. Patients often spend time and money on unnecessary medical investigations with resultant positive findings that may then be attributed to the patients pain when in reality, they may have little clinical significance. This can also be a source of frustration for the patient and clinician and lead to unnecessary investigation.

There is still enormous progress to be made in the area of chronic pain. But the bottom line is that the management of patients in chronic pain states needs to be multidisciplinary, including pharmacological, psychological, physical and must include patient education. Exercise and education should underline any effective pain management program.

 

Meet our Chronic Pain Physiotherapists

Simone Szabo

Simone Szabo

Physiotherapist
Simone Szabo
Physiotherapist


Having worked as a physio for many years, Simone has had a wide variety of experience in both public and private physiotherapy settings, working the last 7 years in private practice. Simone has developed a special interest in treating foot and ankle injuries, running injuries, jaw pain (TMJ) and posture- related back and neck pain.

Simone has vast experience working with elite sporting teams and athletes including Premier League football, rugby, track and field, Australian baseball, and swimming.

Simone is passionate about helping people move well and stay active. She has a plenty of experience in running video analysis, and hands on manual therapy as well as dry needling / acupuncture, and helping develop and retrain ideal movement.

When not in the clinic, you will find her out running, at the beach or spending time with family and friends.

 

Darren Pivetta

Darren Pivetta

Physiotherapist
Darren Pivetta
Physiotherapist
Darren has worked as a physiotherapist for over 20 years and has a passion for helping people to move at their best.

Darren has worked as a physiotherapist for over 25 years and has a passion for helping people to move at their best.

He believes in taking a whole-person approach to assessment and injury management, taking into consideration the various factors that contribute to a person’s recovery or ability to improve their performance. He utilises specific advice, education, hands-on therapy and tailored exercises to help people achieve their goals. He is trained in dry needling (Western acupuncture) and teaches Physio Pilates.

Darren has extensive experience and training in treating all types of musculoskeletal problems, neck headaches, postural issues, chronic pain, orthopaedic and sports injury rehabilitation and athletic performance improvement.

On the weekend you will find Darren out playing on the football field, spending time with his family and friends, outside enjoying God’s creation or trying to catch that perfect wave.

 

Book Now – Asquith


 

Jacqueline Walford

Jacqueline Walford

Physiotherapist
Jacqueline Walford
Physiotherapist


Jackie trained as a physiotherapist in Birmingham, UK qualifying in 1987. She worked in London before immigrating to Australia in 1995. After working for another private practice for 7 years Jackie decided to start Berowra Physiotherapy in 2003. This was also the year she took the exam to become a credentialed McKenzie therapist.

Jackie has also completed level 2 sports course and regularly attends post graduate seminars and courses. Jackie takes a very functional approach to treatment seeing it as a partnership between therapist and patient and keeping exercises simple and manageable.

 

Book Now – Berowra

Jane Watson

Jane Watson

Physiotherapist

Jane is a physiotherapist who is dedicated to providing high quality, individualised assessment and treatment of patients presenting with pain and movement dysfunction.  This requires a thorough initial assessment which provides a reliable diagnosis.  Appropriate treatment strategies can then be applied and reassessed at subsequent visits.

The aim Jane’s treatment is to provide patients with effective self-management strategies based on education and personalised exercises and/or management advise.  This facilitates optimum results and prevention of further injuries.  Year of experience and commitment to continuing education enables Jane to provide reliable and accurate assessments and effective treatment strategies.

Extensive experience in neurological rehabilitation at Royal Prince Albert Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital has given Jane a holistic approach to movement disorders.  One of her special interests is chronic pain.  She has completed her post-graudate education through the University of Sydney (Graduate Certificate in Pain Medicine) and have attended David Butler’s Explain Pain course.  This training has enabled me to give chronic pain sufferers evidenced based and up to date assessment and treatment.  Jane is also quiet passionate about minimising the risk of transition from acute pain to a chronic pain.  Early assessment of people who have soft tissue injuries can help identify those at risk of developing a chronic pain problem (neck and low back being the most common).  Education, management advise and appropriate exercise can help prevent pain becoming chronic.

Restoring normal movement requires a keen, experienced eye and ear to detect the source of the problem or the link.  Pain and movement dysfunction can often have abnormal contribution from the central nervous system.  Jane’s background in neurology and pain medicine give her the edge on being able to include neuromuscular facilitation with exercise and functional movement programmes.

Book Now – Wahroonga
Jennie Whitaker

Jennie Whitaker

Physiotherapist
Jennie Whitaker
Physiotherapist
Jennie trained in Sydney and has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), Post Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy and a Master of Management. Jennie has almost 25 years clinical experience in the Public Hospital system. Jennie enjoys treating a range of conditions in general physiotherapy, and has several years experience in her areas of clinical special interest: hand injuries/conditions and women’s health – including pregnancy, ante and post natal education and pelvic floor management for women of all ages.

Jennie has managed the Physiotherapy Department for Nepean and Hornsby Hospitals for 12 years, has been a member and chairperson for the OH&S; Committees of Nepean and Hornsby Hospitals and has been a member of the APA council. She is delighted to be working at Berowra Physiotherapy on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

 

Book Now – Berowra

Denise Pivetta

Denise Pivetta

Physiotherapist

Denise has been practising for more than 20 years, since graduating from her Physiotherapy degree at Sydney University, in both hospital and private practice settings. She has developed a special interest in treating postural neck and back pain, shoulder injuries and foot and ankle pain, as well as rehabilitation following hip and knee surgery.


Denise experienced first-hand the benefits of improving core muscle strength and stability after having her first child, and this led to her undertaking Clinical Pilates courses.. She has since applied this knowledge widely in the clinic for the treatment and prevention of pain and poor posture, utilising the principles learned from from 15 years of practising and teaching physiotherapy- based Pilates. Denise has vast experience as an educator, teaching everything from Get Fit to Ski classes, to Physio Pilates and Prenatal Education classes. She feels great satisfaction in seeing her clients learn more about their bodies and how they can move better.

She particularly enjoys working with women during and after pregnancy to help them feel stronger and fitter, as well as those who are generally deconditioned following surgery or illness.

 

Away from the clinic, Denise loves to share a delicious meal with her family and friends, enjoy the great outdoors, get lost in an engrossing book or enjoy community at her local church.

Book Now – Wahroonga

Binal Vather

Binal Vather

Physiotherapist
Binal Vather
Physiotherapist
Binal graduated from the Australian Catholic University and has had diverse experience in private practice, musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy, chronic disease management and surgical rehabilitation.
Binal is passionate about all types of physiotherapy, striving to empower patients to overcome limitations to achieve optimal function and purse what they enjoy doing whether is be returning to work, sport or spending time with family.
She ensures holistic physiotherapy management for all patients with individualised treatment techniques including education about the condition and management strategies, manual therapy and tailored exercises specific for you.
When not volunteering for charity organisations, rehabilitation hospitals or leading Yoga classes as an Instructor, Binal enjoys playing tennis, dance, going to the beach or going on adventurous walking trails.


 


Rob Kerferd

Rob Kerferd

Physiotherapist

Rob became interested in anatomy, exercise, and the human body when he began going to the gym in high school. He began researching and managing his own injuries with exercise and from that point, physiotherapy stood out as a career for him.

Rob developed his skills and gained experience in private practice, musculoskeletal, sports physiotherapy and post-surgical rehabilitation at the Australian Catholic University where he completed his Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Rob believes in managing patients with a combination of hands-on techniques and exercise. He aims to involve the patient in the decision-making process to optimise results such as reducing pain and increasing function in work, sport, or day-to-day living.

Outside of physiotherapy, Rob enjoys living an active life including cycling and regularly going to the gym and outdoors with friends and family.

 

Betty Zhang

Betty Zhang

Physiotherapist
Betty Zhang
Physiotherapist


Betty’s passion to become a physiotherapist began in her early teens, when she visited the physio tent at netball for advice after having injured herself skateboarding. Now her passion has evolved into helping people find ways to move better and stay active.

Having graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and Masters of Physiotherapy, Betty has developed a great understanding of how the body moves and how to use exercise to help others improve their health and wellbeing. Betty’s passion for exercise and sports injury rehabilitation is reflected in her experiences working as a physiotherapist with National Premier League football teams, as well as AFL and rugby teams. Betty enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities to find the right treatments to help them achieve their healthiest selves.

In her spare time, Betty likes eating, going to the gym, and lives and breathes all things netball. She also plays football/soccer and enjoys watching the English Premier League (come on you Spurs!). During the holidays, you may find Betty going camping or hitting the beach with friends and family.


Stephanie Hudson

Stephanie Hudson

Physiotherapist

Steph has always loved sport and exercise and was heavily involved in athletics for over a decade. She also played hockey and touch football for many years. This love of physical activity and sport combined with a deep care for people turned into a career as a physiotherapist, helping restore people from injury or pain to ensure they continue doing what they enjoy.

Steph graduated from a Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Sports Science) in 2011, and a Doctor of Physiotherapy degree at Macquarie University in 2015. While studying, Steph conducted research with physiotherapists at the Australian Institute of Sport looking at predicting and preventing injuries in elite athletes. For the past 7 years Steph has worked with a range of sporting, musculoskeletal and women’s health conditions and has trained extensively in the treatment of chronic lower back pain.

Steph loves being outdoors, anything from hiking up a mountain to relaxing at the beach. She loves a hard CrossFit workout, going for a run or working out in the home gym. Most of all she loves spending quality time with her husband and two little boys

Book Now – Asquith
Carlita Casey

Carlita Casey

Physiotherapist

Carlita has been a physiotherapist since 2011, where she graduated from The University of Sydney. She is passionate about life, health and fitness and loves teaching people move better and understand how their bodies work.

She has helped many people to reduce aches and pains for a range of different conditions. She has a particular interest in headaches, migraines, neck and back pain, and also enjoys helping people with post-operation rehab, sports injuries, shoulder pain, knee and hip joint pain.

Carlita uses a range of treatment techniques and likes to do a combination of hands on therapy, dry needling and exercise to achieve the best results. Pilates and other specific strengthening and rehab programs are regularly used in her treatment programs.

When she’s not working she loves spending time with her husband and kids, catching up with friends at church, running and mountain biking.

 

Book Now – Wahroonga

 

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