Our Services

Treatment & Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy helps when your movement and general function is impaired by an injury, disability, ageing or disease. Physiotherapy may also be appropriate prior to surgery to improve muscle condition and/ or after surgery for rehabilitation.

At a consultation you can expect one of our experienced Physiotherapists to assess your levels of pain, range of movement, muscle balance and function and educate you about treatment options and self management strategies.  With you they will set both long and short term treatment goals and create an appropriate treatment and rehabilitation plan designed to achieve your goals and provide a long term maintenance and future injury prevention plan.

Spinal Injuries & Back Care

The team at Churchyard are experienced in the rehabilitation of all back and neck injuries, pain and dysfunction. Treatment sessions will involve a detailed history taking so that we understand what happened to cause your problem, what may be contributing from you past history and lifestyle.

Then we will examine your back to identify the most effective course of treatment for you to achieve your goals.

Evidence supports the use of spinal mobilisation and manipulation in the treatment of spinal pain and dysfunction.

Manipulative Physiotherapy is the term used to describe the field of physiotherapy practice which relates to disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Physiotherapists who practise in this area are skilled in the assessment, diagnosis and physiotherapy management of musculoskeletal conditions. Fiona and Kathryn have post graduate qualifications in Manual and Manipulative Therapy.

Sports & Injuries

Sprains and strains, aches and pains often are part of an active sporting lifestyle. Our team is experienced in treating athletes of all levels from many sporting codes and so will incorporate sport specific exercises and rehab to help you get back to ultimate function to achieve your sporting goals
Fiona O’Connor is currently a Physiotherapist to the BlackSticks Women , the NZ Women’s Hockey Team and has attended them at many National, and International Tournaments since 2005, including the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Hockey World Cup.
Kathryn Mitchell has previously been Physiotherapist to Western Netball (1998-2004) 
Churchyard Physiotherapy is a Provider to High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ) and so looks after the Physiotherapy needs of Manawatu, Horowhenua and Wanganui based National and International athletes


Many people may suffer from cervicogenic headaches and don’t know what causes them or that they can be successfully treated with physiotherapy.  ‘Cervicogenic headache’ means coming from the neck and they are often associated with some neck pain.  Joint stiffness, muscle weakness and poor posture can contribute to pain radiating into the head.

Do you experience dull aches at the base of your skull? Tight bands across your forehead, behind the eyes, in the temples? Does your neck get stiff and sore at time also? Then you may benefit from having us assess your neck movement and function to see if there is a link.
Treatment could consist of joint mobilisation or manipulation, soft tissue massage, muscle stretches or strengthening and postural correction.

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is a term used to describe a form of Acupuncture used to treat the dysfunction of muscle tissue and trigger points.  The same needles are used as in Acupuncture, but the application can be very different.  Treatment involves needling to altered or dysfunctional tissues in order to improve, or restore function. This may include needling of Myofascial trigger points, Periosteum or other soft tissues. Dry needling is purely for pain relief and is based on recent understanding in pain science.  It is used in conjunction with manual therapy, and exercises to gain the best outcome for clients.

Fiona and Sheree practice dry needling techniques in the management of injury and dysfunction and find it can assist in the management of:

  • Acute trauma
  • Swelling
  • Sprained joints
  • Strained muscles and tendons
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Spinal dysfunction

Muscle Balance Assessments

At Churchyard Physiotherapy we pride ourselves on not just being great at treating injuries but we also take a proactive approach to sporting performance and well-being for good quality of life. In addition to injury management we offer musculoskeletal screening examinations for muscle balance and motor patterning issues – issues that often prevent you achieving your sporting and life activity goals and even predisposing you to injury.

We have developed a musculoskeletal assessment for this purpose, at the end of which we will advise you on an appropriate stretching and strengthening regime individualised just for you.


Injury Prevention Advice

As good as we are at treating injuries we also want to help you be as active as you can without injuring yourself. Injury prevention advice will form part of your treatment and rehabilitation – we will let you know what you need to do to prevent a similar thing happening again. We also offer Muscle Balance Assessments to assess your relative strengths and weaknesses, muscle lengths and joint range of movement as well as motor and movement pattern analysis – and assess if the way you move impedes your function or puts you at risk of injury.

BradCliff Breathing Method - Breathe Well to Be Well

The BradCliff Breathing Method was developed by Dinah Morrison and Tania Clifton-Smith who set up Australasia's first breathing pattern disorder clinic in 1998. They have written many books on the subject and are widely respected nationallly and internationally.

The BradCiff Method involves assessment and treatment of your breathing pattern. Faulty breathing patterns can affect many body systems and result in some frightening and confusing symptoms.

Have You Ever Experienced:

- Frequent sighing and yawning
- Breathing discomfort*
- Disturbed sleep
- Erratic heartbeats*
- Feeling anxious
- Pins and needles
- Upset gut/nausea
- Chest pains*
- Shattered confidence
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Achey muscles and joints
- Dizzy spells*or feeling ‘spaced out’
- Irritability or jumpiness
- Feelings of ‘air hunger’
These are the most common symptoms resulting from disordered breathing.


BradCliff Practitioners are Physiotherapists with advanced skills in treating patients with chronic hyperventilation syndromes and functional breathing pattern disorders. Fiona is a certified BradCliff Practitioner. For more information visit www.bradcliff.com.
Consultations range from one hour for the initial assessment and treatment and 40 minutes for followup consultations.

Contact the clinic today to arrange an appointment with Fiona if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Hand Therapy

All our Physiotherapists are skilled in treatment of all areas of the body but in our building we are also fortunate to have Manawatu Hand Therapy. Hand Therapists are either Physiotherapists or Occupational Therapists who have undertaken post graduate training in the treatment of injuries affecting the hand, wrist and elbow.  For more information check out their website www.manawatuhandtherapy.co.nz

We are centrally located just off Church Street, Palmerston North.
Offering off street parking and
disability access.

Address: 16 Ashley Street, Palmerstn North
Phone : 06 354 8008