3 November 2021

Updates & Communications
November 2021

  • What's New This Month:
  • Arthritis Seminar for OT Australia
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) Device
  • Rotator Cuff Related Shoulder Pain
  • Muscle Strength Testing Device
  • MHT Now in Hawthorn East


Recently two of our hand therapists Jennifer Mathias and Kate Rayner presented to postgraduate Occupational Therapists about "Assessing and Treating Arthritis in the Upper Limb" for OT Australia. The two-hour presentation focused on both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It included the assessment and treatment of patients including splinting, exercises, and joint protection strategies.

Melbourne Hand Therapy has more presentations to OT Australia in the coming months, including:

  • Introduction to Hand therapy and Splinting techniques
  • Wrist Rehabilitation
  • Pain Management of the Upper Limb

More information can be found in the CPD and Events section at


Last month, Melbourne Hand Therapy introduced a new Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) device at our practice in response to the requests from our valuable patients and therapists. The NMES device elicits muscle contractions using electrical impulses. These impulses are generated by the device and delivered through the electrodes on the skin near to the muscles or nerves being stimulated.

The NMES could be used in various conditions and rehabilitation protocols. Examples include:

  • Rehabilitation techniques to prevent muscles atrophy due to inactivity or nerve damage
  • Improving muscle strength or muscle balance after an operation
  • Evaluating the neural or muscle function

Our therapists can help you if you are interested in NMES or have any questions.


Kimberley McCall

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint that is an extremely dynamic and therefore unstable joint. It relies on multiple structures to allow for its vast range of motion and stability. The rotator cuff muscles are one of the most important dynamic stabilisers of the shoulder complex.

The rotator cuff (RC) is made up of 4 muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. The RC tendons all fuse together at their distal insertions. They allow the arm to move in multiple directions, while also working together to centralise the ball in the socket during shoulder movements.

Injuries to the RC muscles can happen as a result of a trauma or they can have a gradual onset which worsens over time. When there is an imbalance to the RC through injury or weakness, it can result in migration of the humeral head through shoulder range of motion, which leads to further stress and pain on the tissues.

Conservative management through physiotherapy can be effective in over 80% of people with rotator cuff related shoulder pain. Physiotherapy aims to reduce symptoms associated with tissue damage and allow the tendons to tolerate loads and demands placed on them during function.

This is achieved by a progressive treatment plan including:

  • Rehabilitation exercises
  • Education
  • Activity modification
  • Pain management (with hands on treatment when indicated)
  • Addressing associated impairments (e.g. stiffness in the thoracic spine)

Therapy also aims to reduce pain, avoid the development of compensation and commence appropriate loading of the shoulder. For better outcomes, early referral to physiotherapy for shoulder pain is highly recommended. Contact us to make an appointment today.


Rose Alibazi

At Melbourne Hand Therapy, the level of care we provide to our valuable patients is very important to us, therefore we constantly invest in new techniques and equipment. This month we have a new device that enables our therapists to measure muscle strength more precisely.

Muscles around a joint become weaker after an injury (e.g. bone fracture), operation or even conditions such as arthritis. Consequently, these muscles which normally move and protect the joint do not work properly. Therefore, one of the key elements of the rehabilitation program is strengthening exercises. The exercises aim to regain muscle strength gradually and return to normal functioning.

At Melbourne Hand Therapy, your therapist can measure the strength of the muscles around the affected areas (e.g. shoulder, elbow and wrist areas).

With our very reliable wireless muscle testing device, we can accurately quantify deficits in muscle strength to prescribe an appropriate and tailored exercise program, and monitor your progression throughout the rehabilitation process.

If you have any concerns about muscle weakness, talk to one of our therapists at Melbourne Hand Therapy.


Melbourne Hand Therapy has expanded and is now offering our services in Hawthorn East. Hand Therapy appointments are available every Thursday at the Rathmines Clinic, located at 211 Rathmines Road.

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