Deep Oscillation - "Looking After Your Legs" by Nikki Thurston DipCFHP MPS Pract FPS Pract. Dr Vodder MLDuk

PhysioPod invited Nikki a Foot Health Practitioner in Cambridgshire to blog on Deep Oscillation in leg care. Nikki is also a Vodder Certified Decongestive Lymphatic Therapist and Complementary Therapist and a Neal’s Yard Remedies Independent Consultant. PhysioPod have added links where Deep Oscillation has also been demonstrated to confirm Nikki's findings with full references at foot of article (pardon the pun)! It makes for a very interesting read and it also includes Nikki's Top 10 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Legs and Feet. Put your feet up, enjoy the read!


Nikki Thurston

DipCFHP MPS Pract FPS Pract. Dr Vodder MLDuk

"Deep Oscillation works very well in conjunction with Vodder Manual Lymphatic Drainage to reduce scarring and fibrosis. It is often used in combination with skin care, compression garments, specific exercises, and multi-layer bandaging - particularly when treating Lymphoedema. 

It was the discovery of Deep Oscillation that led me to train in manual lymphatic drainage in 2017. I am now fully qualified in the Vodder Method of Manual Lymphatic Drainage(MLD/DLT) and able to work on others with compromised lymphatic systems. I have been very happy to help other Lymphoedema sufferers, reducing volume and associated pain. Having a background as a Foot Health Practitioner, I was delighted to have been asked by PhysioPod to share my experience of using Deep Oscillation to treat lower limbs. 

When applying Deep Oscillation, I usually use my gloved hands to treat clients, unless their sensitivity requires that I use the paddles. I find that using my hands provides a better contact and I am able to feel contours and differences in tissue and tissue viability. It tends to be more relaxing for the client. It is fantastic used along-side MLD or as a stand-alone treatment. It improves fibrosis, lymphatic flow, pain and wound healing by permeating a depth of 8cm into the tissue. From my point of view, as a therapist for over 35yrs, it relieves the pressure on my own hands, and I get a free treatment every time I use it on my clients.

Most of my clients are over 60, and these session times are the minimum I would recommend. Many of them have a lower tolerance to treatment than younger clients. Although I recommend a series of treatments, not all clients are able to complete a full series. Despite this, they are able to feel and see a marked improvement even after a few treatments. Where required, I work in conjunction with medical practitioners and other healthcare professionals.

These are just some of the lower limb conditions I regularly treat using Deep Oscillation:

Achilles Tendonitis

This condition can normally take some time to heal and can make it hard to walk and be very painful, causing stiffness and swelling. Deep oscillation aids in healing and reduces stiffness, pain and swelling when it is used three or four times a week for the first four weeks, with treatments gradually reduced. (Read Martin's story: Achilles Tendonitis Resolved - British Masters Track and Field Championships Completed - Thanks to Deep Oscillation)

Mortons' Neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around the nerves leading to the toes. This can cause a sharp burning pain in the ball of the foot.  Toes may sting, burn or feel numb. The condition results from compression and irritation of the nerve. Left untreated it may cause permanent damage to the nerve. For Golfers who have developed Morton's Neuroma, it has been beneficial in reducing pain enough to enable play and has delayed the inevitable operation for a client of mine in his eighties. Treatment helps to soften the tissue and reduce swelling and pain. (Read Simon's story who used on his own Morton's Neuroma)

Plantar fasciitis (commonly known as 'heel pain')

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation and thickening of the tissue that joins the heel bones to the toes. This can cause intense heel pain. People who suffer with this may be exercising on hard surfaces, wearing shoes with insufficient arch support, be overweight, or have Lymphoedema or Lipoedema. I have commonly treated plantar fasciitis in ladies who have worn high heels for years, and in people who do repetitive twisting motions of the foot or spend a lot of time on their toes or with toes bent at an angle, like footballers, golf players, electricians, plumbers and roofers. (Read Report On The Treatment Method DEEP OSCILLATION® In The Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis, Physiotherapist Alexander Weiss)


A bunion is a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe, where the big toe points towards the other toes on the same foot, which may force the foot bone attached to it to stick outwards. When bunions become swollen and painful deep oscillation provides quick easy relief from pain and swelling. 

Pre and Post-operative care for Hip and Knee replacements

Physiopod treatment has helped my clients to delay surgery, as well as cope with postponed surgery.  Treatment reduced pain and inflammation, which provided longer times between painful episodes while waiting for surgery. It is safe to use Deep Oscillation post-surgery to help support rapid wound healing. I have also found it useful on clients with historic surgical scars for reducing tissue density and pain.

My protocol for treating these conditions is generally 30 minute treatments (per foot/knee/hip) with Physiopod combined with MLD, three sessions in the first week, and two sessions for the next five weeks. Length of each treatment can be reduced or lengthened depending on the client’s tolerance. (Read "OUR EXPERIENCE WITH USING DEEP OSCILLATION IN EARLY REHABILITATION OF PATIENTS WITH ARTHOPLASTY OF THE KNEE JOINT" - Vladeva et al 2018)

Burns and Burn Scars 

Deep Oscillation can accelerate healing, even on old scars. I have an ancient burn scar on my foot, where I was self-conscious about wearing sandals. I used the PhysioPod daily for ten days to treat myself, and it now is very faint. (Watch video 'Observation of deep oscillation usage and its effectiveness on burn scars – case report Pogorzelska 2017).

Chronic Conditions

I have used Deep Oscillation on clients with chronic conditions including Lymphoedema, Lipoedema, Fibromyalgia and MS (Horn A., Mischler B. (2015). Treatments need to be tailored to each individual client in terms of duration and frequency. One Lymphoedema client started with me twice a week for four weeks and has now dropped to once every three weeks for maintenance, such were the results achieved. She is also doing the prescribed exercises at home I gave her. I used it on a lady with MS prior to training in MLD and again great results. Physiopod works quickly, and it has helped with stiffness and pain in arthritis.  

Nikki's Top 10 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Legs and Feet..

1. Pay attention to diet and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle

2. Carry out targeted exercises as taught and at a suitable level for you, however small a movement

3. Do not use swollen area excessively

4. Carry out simple lymphatic drainage as instructed

5. Keep regular checks on the viability of skin tissue 

6. Follow skin care guidance to prevent infection

7. Wear prescribed compression

8 Keep up to date with prescribed medication and attend appointments as advised

9 Report any changes in colour, sensation, temperature or swelling

10. Have feet done professionally, especially if diabetic

Most importantly, attend follow-up appointments. The encouragement you will receive will help you to keep motivated to continue with your treatment. Also, any potential problems can be picked up in the early stages"


Nikki is a Vodder certified Decongestive Lymphatic Therapist – CDT/DLT, Complementary Therapist, Foot Health Practitioner and a Neal’s Yard Remedies Independent Consultant in Cambridgeshire.

You can read more about Nikki and her treatments here:

Nikki has expertise in the following areas:

  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Detox & stress relief
  • Swollen ankles from pregnancy
  • Pain, swelling and bruising reduction from medical & cosmetic surgery
  • Foot Health
  • Anti-ageing facials
  • Hands & feet beauty