Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body to help alleviate pain. All Senior Physiotherapists who offer acupuncture treatment at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals are Health Professional Council Registered Physiotherapists with acupuncture certification. We only use disposable sterile needles and stringently follow the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists standards of care.  

Some of the conditions that acupuncture can help:

  • Sciatica
  • Neck and back pain
  • Arthritic pain
  • Muscle tension pain
  • Headache
  • TMJ disorders
  • Achilles
  • Tendinopathy
  • Tennis or golfers elbow

If you are keen to try acupuncture for pain relief then you must have a full physiotherapy assessment first. This takes 45-60 minutes. The assessment will determine if acupuncture is appropriate and safe for you.

The needles normally produce a therapeutic achy sensation after initial insertion and every effort is made to ensure that you are comfortable throughout treatment. Treatment can last anywhere from 10-30 minutes although some acupuncture techniques can involve the needles being in for just a few seconds. Your physiotherapist will discuss the most appropriate acupuncture technique and treatment time for you depending on your condition. Sometimes only 1-2 treatments are required but more often a course of 6-8 is recommended.


Testing skeletal muscle function is an important component of any screening assessment or return to function assessment post injury. Isokinetic dynamometry is utilised to test the concentric and eccentric strength of the body’s joints and the musculature around them. Our accurate and reliable Biodex 4 Pro System maintains angular velocity to measure maximum muscle strength over a number of different speeds and functions at the shoulder, knee and ankle. The System 4 applications are supported by evidence-based clinical protocols for injuries such as shoulder dysfunction, knee osteoarthritis, lateral ankle sprains, patellofemoral dysfunction and ACL injury/reconstructions.

Our isokinetic assessment, popular with elite sports, includes determination of peak torque and fatigue variables. It also includes calculation of hamstring vs quadriceps ratios, and comparisons between your data, elite performance and norms for your bodyweight – all of which can be used to an advantage in sport to reduce injury risk and increase performance. Advice, support and then a comprehensive report is then provided by our physiotherapy team for training programme progression and the meeting of clear strength targets. Future tests to re-evaluate strength can be directly compared to previous results.

Following the comprehensive isokinetic assessment, the dynamometer can also be utilised for injury rehabilitation and prevention, strengthening the muscle as required. The dynamometer will provide objective, consistent and accurate data safely to ensure the greatest outcome for our client and their individual needs throughout a rehabilitation programme. Our Biodex can also be programmed to work passively through a range to increase flexibility and aid joint ROM. The activity-specific work simulation exercises allow for assessment and rehabilitation specific to your field of work and the wide range of data collected can be utilised in industrial medicine to enhance productivity.

Clinical pilates

Clinical Pilates is suitable for those recovering from injury or for those wishing to improve their posture, flexibility and general wellbeing. The aim of the sessions is to work towards developing a stable, central core to assist with normal function. All effort is made to adapt and modify exercises to suit your needs. Participants who have not previously attended our physiotherapy department may require an initial 30 minute assessment. Classes last one hour.

All participants should note that although the physiotherapists – who are qualified to lead Clinical Pilates Classes – welcome feedback from class participants, this is not a one-to-one treatment session.

For self-funding participants the total cost of an eight week block is £115. Full payment is required to secure your place in the class.

Pilates classes are available at a variety of times throughout the week:

Shawfair Park
Monday 7.15pm - 8.15pm Intermediate / Advanced
Tuesday 6pm - 7pm Beginner
Tuesday 7pm - 8pm Beginner / Intermediate
Wednesday 11.15am - 12.15pm Mixed level

Hand therapy service

The human hand is a complex and highly sophisticated tool. It carries out a huge variety of activities in everyday life. For it to function well we require movement of the joints, strength, sensation and the absence of pain.

Problems of the hand and wrist can be wide ranging:

  • Wrist, hand or finger pain and stiffness following a fracture or soft tissue injury
  • Base of thumb pain or weakness
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendon and nerve injuries
  • Problem scars after injury or surgery
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis   
  • Post-operative rehabilitation

Hand therapy involves the assessment and management of wrist and hand conditions. Treatments include:

  • Swelling management
  • Exercises for movement and strength
  • Sensory rehabilitation
  • Scar management
  • Management of long term conditions; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Splinting; Splints can be made to measure using thermoplastic material to achieve a specific fit and function or they can be off the shelf

Nicki Cliff is a qualified physiotherapist with an interest in treating hand and wrist conditions. She is a member of the British Association of Hand Therapists. Nicki works closely with our Hand Surgeons with referrals flowing freely between consultant and therapist.

Headache service

Many people suffer from regular headaches, which can result in a substantially reduced quality of life and can cause concern for sufferers. There is evidence to support the effectiveness of physiotherapy treatment for headaches which can be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to medication.

Physiotherapy treatment for headache can include manual therapy to the neck and upper back, acupuncture, relaxation techniques and exercises to strengthen the deep muscles of the neck. Lifestyle factors such as stress, posture and work-station setup can also affect your headache and these will be discussed with you by your physiotherapist as part of your assessment.

Our physiotherapy headache service begins with a one-to-one consultation with a specialist physiotherapist who will provide tailored advice and treatment. If referral to a consultant neurologist is recommended by your physiotherapist, this can be arranged quickly at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals.

However, it is important to remember that the most common causes of headaches do not pose a serious threat to your health.

Hip, groin and pelvic pain

Hip, groin and pelvic pain can affect all ages. It can affect simple tasks such as getting dressed, sleeping, getting in/out of the bed or car, walking, climbing stairs and sleeping, as well as sporting activities.

Hip pain tends to refer to the groin, front of the thigh and even to the knee, but hip pain can also come from the lower back. Pelvic pain can be felt anywhere from the pelvis down into the legs whereas groin pain tends to be more central, lower abdominal or inner thigh.

Children and teenagers can complain of knee pain, but the pain actually originates from their hip. Any child who complains of hip or knee pain should have their hip joint thoroughly examined.

We can help with:

  • Hip or knee pain in children
  • Snapping or clicking hips
  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Referred pain from the lumbar spine
  • Sportsman's groin pain
  • Sacroiliac joint pain (SIJ) - ante/post natal
  • Hip impingement (FAI)
  • Hip osteoarthritis
  • Post-operative rehabilitation - hip arthroscopy, resurfacing or replacement

Whatever is causing your hip, pelvis or groin pain, our musculoskeletal physiotherapists at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals can help your recovery.

Our specialist physiotherapists are happy to receive self-referrals and GP referrals. They work closely with the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons and Physicians at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals, and onward referral can be arranged if required.

Jaw pain

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is commonly referred to as your jaw joint and can be the cause of pain in your face and head. Due to the nerve supply of this area and its connection to your facial/neck muscles it can also cause symptoms such as tinnitus, dizziness, tooth pain, earache, sinus pain and headaches.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction is a complex condition but physiotherapists can help with the assessment and treatment of it. Some of the types of treatment they may use include soft tissue work, mobilisation, acupuncture and advice/exercise.

If you would like an assessment and advice whether physiotherapy could help you then please contact us to make an appointment.

Knee pain

Do you have knee pain? Have you sustained trauma to your knee? Have you suffered a sports injury to your knee? Would you like to get back to full fitness? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then we can treat this at either of our sites.

We will assess and treat as appropriate and / or refer you on to one of our orthopaedic consultants if required.

To make an appointment call 0131 316 2530.

Neurological physiotherapy

Our specialist physiotherapists are able to provide advice and exercise for a range of conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and Stroke in order to achieve best possible function and independence from diagnosis onwards. Our specialist physiotherapists are members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology.

Osteoarthritis knee pain service

Do you have knee pain which is stopping you enjoying life? Have you been told surgery is not an option at this stage? If you have answered yes, then our comprehensive Osteoarthritis Knee Service may be able to help you. This physiotherapy led service has been developed by Spire Edinburgh Hospitals in conjunction with our Orthopaedic Consultants. The service has been designed to improve knee strength and flexibility in order to reduce the effect that knee symptoms have on you. It involves:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Exercise advice
  • Lifestyle management
  • Dietary advice
  • Dynamic bracing and podiatry
  • Patient handbook containing up-to-date advice and information about osteoarthritis of the knee

Our team of expert Chartered Physiotherapists will assess your knee and discuss the various treatment options available.

The Osteoarthritis Knee Service is available at all Spire Edinburgh Physiotherapy Clinics. For more information, please call 0131 316 2530.

Perform spine care

Perform Spine Care is available at Spire Shawfair Park Hospital. Perform Spine Care has been proven to reduce long-term and recurrent back and neck pain and improve muscle stability, flexibility, endurance and wellbeing.

Personal training

Personal Training is suitable for any level of fitness and can be used for a variety of reasons. Sessions can be tailored to your specific goals, whether they are for weight loss, to increase general fitness and wellbeing for improved day-to-day function or enhanced sport performance.

Sessions can be undertaken either as a block of sessions (fully supervised), or to arrange a programme to be done in your own time, with periodic additional sessions to progress.

Our Personal Trainers are certified Level 3 Personal Trainers with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS).

Respiratory physiotherapy

As specialist respiratory physiotherapists we can offer treatment to people with a variety of respiratory conditions. These may include long term conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Asthma and Bronchiectasis. We can also help people overcome breathing pattern disorders such as Hyperventilation Syndrome.  

When we first meet you we will undertake a full assessment of your respiratory condition. This will include a comprehensive review of your medical history and current symptoms, as well as a physical assessment. We will take the time to discuss your condition and listen to how it is affecting you, as well as identifying what your goals and priorities are. We will then be able to identify the most appropriate physiotherapy interventions and develop a management plan that reflects these.

Interventions may include management plans to help minimise recurrent chest infections or worsening of your condition, Airway Clearance Techniques for excessive sputum, breathing exercises to correct disordered breathing patterns, and getting you back to physical activity and exercise safely. We can also provide advice on how to stay as well as you can.

Shoulder pain

Patients with shoulder pain, including sporting and non-specific injury, can now benefit from a weekly physiotherapy clinic.

Following initial assessment, should onward referral for consultant assessment or diagnostic imaging be required, we can do so quickly and easily on the same day to our on-site hospital facilities.

The benefits to patients include:

  • Fast access to a one-stop service
  • Appointment with physiotherapy shoulder specialist
  • Orthopaedic opinion at the time of appointment, if required

The cost of an initial appointment is £82, which excludes any diagnostic tests, such as scans, X-rays or blood tests.

Sports injury

Our sports injury service offers men and women from all levels of sporting activity a highly specialised service with expert diagnosis, advice and treatment designed to help you on the road to a full recovery. For patients that may subsequently need surgery, the clinic can provide fast access to appropriate investigations and onward referral to a surgeon if required.

We have a long history of providing physiotherapy services to major local professional sports teams, including football and rugby, and our staff have worked with elite athletes from a variety of sports.

Services include:

  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Rapid access to X-ray, ultrasound scan, MRI, joint injection and pain management
  • Referral on to other specialists where indicated
  • Isokinetic muscle assessment and rehabilitation
  • Gym and track facilities on site
  • Advice on all aspects of sports injury management

Making appointments

If you wish to make an appointment for the sports injury clinic you can self-refer by contacting us directly on 0131 316 2530, alternatively you may attend following a referral by your GP. The latter is usually essential if using insurance for payment.

UV treatment

We offer light therapy for treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Light therapy, or phototherapy, as it is often called, involves exposing the skin to Ultraviolet (UV) light on a regular basis which slows the growth of affected skin cells. UV treatment is undertaken with close medical supervision. A consultant referral is required.

The UV light therapy uses a specially designed cabinet containing fluorescent tubes to produce the ultraviolet light. This is shone on your whole body or the area of your skin that requires treatment. 

In the first few sessions, your treatment may last for less than a minute. The duration may be gradually increased in later sessions to a number of minutes, depending on your skin type and how you respond to light therapy. 

You will need to attend between two and three times a week for a course of light therapy. Most people have 20-25 treatments.

Vestibular and dizzy conditions

Our specialist physiotherapists are experienced in the treatment of dizziness and balance disorders. They will take a thorough history and detailed assessment of your condition, provide you with a tailored recovery programme and help you back to living a normal life again.

Dizziness means different things to different people. Symptoms commonly experienced include:

  • Vertigo - dizziness with a spinning sensation
  • Nausea or vomiting - particularly when symptoms start suddenly
  • Feeling light-headed or hung-over
  • Floating, feeling unsteady or off-balance
  • Sensation of moving even when you are stationary
  • Reduced hearing, tinnitus and a blocked ear(s)
  • Anxiety and loss of confidence
  • Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms as each individual episode of dizziness is unique. Often people make a full recovery, but for those who don't, vestibular rehabilitation can help to significantly improve quality of life

Conditions commonly treated include:

  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular neuritis/neuronitis
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Balance difficulties

Our specialist physiotherapists are happy to receive self-referrals and GP referrals. They work closely with the Neurologists and ENT consultants at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals, and onward referral can be arranged if required.

Women and men's health

Women and Men’s Health issues are often embarrassing and can affect your personal life, your confidence and the overall quality of your day-to-day living. At Spire, we provide a private, discreet and relaxed environment in which women and men can seek advice and treatment. Confidentiality is assured at all times.

Conditions commonly treated:

  • Bladder incontinence (Men and Women)
  • Bowel incontinence (Men and Women)
  • Overactive bladder (Men and Women)
  • Prolapse
  • Pelvic pain (Men and Women)
  • Painful intercourse (Dyspareunia)
  • Post-operative advice (Men and Women)
  • Antenatal pelvic girdle pain or low back pain

The service is run by specialist physiotherapists, highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of pelvic floor disorders and pregnancy related pain.

Your initial appointment will involve detailed assessment of your symptoms, advice and, where appropriate, assessment of your pelvic floor muscles. This normally involves an internal vaginal or rectal examination which will take place in a private setting. You will be taught how to tighten your pelvic floor muscles correctly and given a specific programme to improve muscle function. Treatment may also include use of devices such as a muscle stimulator or biofeedback.