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Compression Therapy

20.02.24

Compression Therapy 

What is it?

Normatec innovative technology uses dynamic air compression to efficiently mobilise fluid to advance your circulation and reduce muscle soreness

Normatecs’ patented Pulse technology uses biomimicry to replicate the natural muscle pumps and one way valves of the legs. Trust us, your legs will thank you.

During this session you also have access to the Normatec vibration rollers to level up your fascial release.

What are the benefits?

  • Reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Flush out lactic acid
  • Increase circulation and lymphatic return
  • Faster recovery from time from exercise
  • Reduce pain and muscle soreness
  • Enhances range of motion

PLUS

  • Taking time out from your busy life – 30 minutes in our recovery zone will help you to chill out and destress

You also have access to normatec vibrating rollers in your session time

Contra-indications

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Severe Atherosclerosis or Other Ischemic Vascular Diseases
  • Acute Pulmonary Oedema
  • Acute Fractures or Dislocations
  • Open Wounds or Infections in the Area
  • Dermatological Infections: Conditions like cellulitis or fungal infections could be spread or worsened by the compression.

Super Oxygen Therapy

20.02.24

SOT (Super Oxygen Therapy): LiveO2 elevates energy, health and performance with a simple 15 minute session.

What is it?

LiveO2 Advanced SOT uses Adaptive Contrast to switch between an oxygen rich and oxygen reduced air environment. This encourages maximum blood flow and oxygenation.

The technology allows you to instantly switch between oxygen concentrated air and oxygen depleted air. This allows you to get better results in less time.

The effects of training are a result of the combination of exertion and the switchable oxygen mixture. The exertion increases the natural processes that transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissue to increase the amount of oxygen in the cells. The results are the product of the physiological activation from the exercise and the amount of oxygen delivered to the tissue.

We offer 3 protocols:

  1. Detoxification / Whole body flush: This protocol flushes metabolic waste out of tissues, reduces inflammation, re-establishes oxygenation of problematic areas and boosts whole body oxygen saturation to facilitate healing and recovery.
  2. Performance: This is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) protocol that is performance focused and designed to give maximal improvement to aerobic capacity.  Intensity is key to this protocol and it should only be done once you are comfortable with the Whole Body Flush Protocol.
  3. Recover from respiratory Illness: Reduced oxygenation during a respiratory illness inhibits immunity, decreases energy and reduces healing. This protocol enhances oxygenation of the whole body and assists in return to full lung capacity.

With all our programs you will walk or run on the treadmill or cycle on the exercise bike as you breathe in oxygen. Normal air has an oxygen concentration of about 21%.  You will alternate breathing in high oxygen (80+%) and low oxygen air (15%)  Times vary depending on the protocol

The exercise gets the heart pumping, increases blood flow and drives oxygen deep into the capillaries and cells increasing levels of oxygen in both blood plasma and tissues.  The low oxygen drives the body to make more red blood cells (this is what carries the oxygen in the blood) and expand the vascular network allowing the oxygen to rush into the body when breathing in high concentrate air.

Switching between oxygen saturation and oxygen deprivation stimulates these amazing benefits:

  • Elevate energy / Recover from fatigue
  • Reduce brain fog
  • Enhance memory / brain health / mental clarity / and processing speed
  • Boost energy, vitality and cell voltage
  • Increase circulation / Reduce inflammation
  • Detoxification
  • Improve sleep
  • Faster recovery and healing
  • Fight illness
  • Optimise immunity
  • Increase performance
  • Expediate recovery
  • Assists Covid / Influenza recovery

Contra-indications?

  • Untreated pneumothorax
  • Recent acute cardiac event
  • Unstable cardiovascular disease
  • Acute systemic infection

Learn more here:

https://youtu.be/xAgptJF2IzI?si=530l-qK-4CmDlpVm

https://youtu.be/kCiz2w5ISdM?si=6Q7r3VtCK6QxeXkY

https://youtu.be/zlzK-51BC0o?si=UPgIc5wBWIewrf7p

https://youtu.be/S6zOujS9Wzs?si=Zqz0OhwEGn2aJGav

https://youtu.be/BsAE0tPpWys?si=yPcVV8OBns7MbVmd

https://youtu.be/ttDN6JEo7w8?si=7Ws-Kw5Z6sx3EO1l

https://youtu.be/Lwj64OZTijY?si=DZdsUrA-ohMNhpvu

Understanding Blue Light

06.02.24

In the spectrum of visible light, blue light is one of the most talked-about wavelengths due to its ubiquitous presence and significant impact on our health and environment. It is everywhere, from the sun’s rays to digital screens, LED lighting, and beyond. This article delves into what blue light is, its effects on health, and strategies for managing exposure to maintain well-being.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is a portion of the visible light spectrum that can be seen by the human eye. It has a wavelength between approximately 380nm and 500nm, making it one of the shortest, highest-energy wavelengths. Sources of blue light include the sun, which is the primary natural source, and artificial sources like fluorescent and LED lighting, digital screens (TVs, computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets), and electronic devices.
The Benefits of Blue Light
Blue light isn’t all bad; it has several beneficial effects, particularly during daylight hours. It boosts alertness, helps memory and cognitive function, and elevates mood. Moreover, it regulates the circadian rhythm — our natural wake and sleep cycle. Exposure to blue light during daytime hours helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep patterns and improved daytime wakefulness.
Health Concerns Associated with Blue Light
Despite its benefits, excessive exposure to blue light, especially during evening hours, can have adverse health effects. The most notable concern is its impact on sleep. Blue light exposure in the evening can disrupt the circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep and potentially diminishing sleep quality. This disruption is because blue light inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for promoting sleep.
Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that prolonged exposure to blue light could lead to digital eye strain. Symptoms include dryness, irritation, difficulty focusing, and headaches, resulting from long periods spent looking at screens without adequate breaks.
Managing Blue Light Exposure
Given the pervasive nature of blue light and its potential impact on health, it’s important to manage exposure, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. Here are some strategies:
      •     Use Blue Light Filters: Many devices now come with settings or apps that reduce blue light exposure in the evening hours. These filters can adjust the screen’s color temperature to reduce the amount of blue light emitted.
      •     Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: To combat eye strain, every 20 minutes spent using a screen, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
      •     Enhance Your Environment: Opt for warmer light sources in home and work environments during the evening. This change can help minimize blue light exposure outside of daylight hours.
      •     Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses: These glasses can help filter out blue light from screens and indoor lighting, especially useful for those who spend a lot of time in front of screens or are sensitive to blue light.
      •     Increase Exposure to Natural Light During the Day: This can help keep your circadian rhythm in check, improving sleep and overall mood.
While blue light is a natural part of our environment, modern life has increased our exposure to it beyond daytime hours, potentially affecting our health. By understanding blue light and taking steps to manage its impact, we can mitigate the negative effects while still enjoying the benefits of our digital devices and modern lighting. Adopting a balanced approach to blue light exposure is key to maintaining our overall health and well-being.

The Connection Between Stress, Migraine, and the Nervous System

04.02.24

Migraine is not just a headache; they are complex neurological events that can be profoundly influenced by stress. Understanding the interplay between stress, the nervous system, and migraines can unlock new pathways for management and relief. As a specialist headache physiotherapist, I've observed the critical role stress plays both as a trigger and a sensitiser of the nervous system, particularly concerning the vagus nerve's function. Let's delve into how stress affects this process and explore effective strategies for mitigation.

The Connection Between Stress, Migraine, and the Nervous System

 

Stress is a well-known trigger for migraine. It initiates a cascade of physiological responses in the body, activating the "fight or flight" system. This response, while useful in acute situations, can become detrimental when constantly engaged. Chronic stress can lead to a heightened sensitivity of the nervous system, making it more reactive to migraine triggers.

The vagus nerve, a key component of the parasympathetic nervous system (the body's "rest and digest" system), plays a significant role in this context. It acts as a counterbalance to the stress response. However, when stress is persistent, the function of the vagus nerve can be compromised, leading to an imbalance that favours a more sensitised and reactive nervous system.

How Stress Sensitises the Nervous System

Stress, especially when chronic, can lead to a state of heightened neurological sensitivity, known as central sensitisation. This state means that the nervous system becomes more likely to interpret various stimuli as threats, leading to an increased frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. The sensitised nervous system can amplify pain signals, making migraine more debilitating.

The Role of the Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve is instrumental in moderating the body's stress response. It helps to control heart rate, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation by stimulating the "rest and digest" response. When the vagus nerve's function is diminished due to stress, these regulatory mechanisms are less effective, potentially leading to an increased vulnerability to migraine.

Strategies for Managing Stress and Its Impact on Migraine

As a specialist headache physiotherapist, I advocate for a multifaceted approach to managing stress and its effects on migraine:

  1. Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Simple practices such as deep, slow breathing exercises, gentle yoga, and meditation can stimulate the vagus nerve, enhancing the body's relaxation response.

  2. Regular Physical Activity: Engaging in regular, moderate exercise can help reduce stress levels and decrease the sensitivity of the nervous system. Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.

  3. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can help manage stress and reduce the frequency and severity of migraine by calming the nervous system.

  4. Lifestyle Modifications: Identifying and minimising exposure to known migraine triggers, ensuring regular sleep patterns, and maintaining a balanced diet can help manage stress and reduce migraine occurrences.

  5. Professional Support: Working with a specialist headache physiotherapist can provide tailored exercises and therapies designed to reduce muscle tension and correct postural issues that may contribute to migraine frequency.

Conclusion

Stress is a potent trigger and sensitiser for migraine, largely due to its impact on the nervous system and the vagus nerve's function. By adopting a holistic approach that includes physical therapies, lifestyle changes, and stress management techniques, individuals suffering from migraine can find significant relief. Embracing these strategies not only addresses the physiological aspects of migraine but also empowers individuals to take control of their stress and its impact on their health.

Enhancing Heart Health with Physiotherapy

04.02.24

Today, we're exploring a topic that's close to our hearts—quite literally. We're talking about heart health and the important role physiotherapy plays in keeping your heart in great shape. You might be wondering, "Physiotherapy for the heart?" Yes, indeed! Let's dive into this topic in a way that's easy-going but filled with useful insights that could make a big difference in your life.

Understanding the Heart Issue

Firstly, it's crucial to recognize that heart disease is a major health concern globally, including here in Australia. It's one of the leading causes of death, but here's the silver lining: it's largely preventable. This is where physiotherapy comes into play, not just for rehabilitating injuries or managing chronic conditions, but also for preventative care, particularly for your heart.

The Role of Physiotherapy in Heart Health

1. Exercise Prescription: Regular, moderate-intensity exercise is one of the best gifts you can give your heart. Physiotherapists excel at creating exercise programs tailored to your fitness level and health goals, ensuring your heart gets the right kind of workout without pushing too hard. 2. Lifestyle Modification Advice: Physiotherapists take a holistic approach, offering advice on lifestyle changes that boost heart health. This includes becoming more active, managing stress effectively, and improving sleep habits. 3. Managing Chronic Conditions: For those dealing with hypertension, diabetes, or other conditions that can affect the heart, physiotherapists can help manage these issues with targeted exercises and education, thereby reducing heart disease risk. 4. Cardiac Rehabilitation: Post-heart event or surgery, physiotherapy is vital for cardiac rehabilitation. It helps safely increase physical activity levels and supports a heart-healthy recovery.

Practical Tips for Heart Health

  1. Stay Active: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days. Whether it’s a walk, swim, cycle, or a customized exercise plan from your physio, movement is crucial.
  2. Eat Well: Opt for a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. It’s good for your heart and overall health.
  3. Manage Stress: Finding effective ways to reduce stress is important for heart health. Practices like mindfulness, yoga, or simple deep breathing exercises can help.
  4. Quit Smoking: Smoking is harmful to your heart. If quitting is a challenge, there are many resources available to support you.
  5. Regular Health Checks: Keeping up with check-ups can detect potential heart health issues early. Regular visits to your doctor and physiotherapist are advisable.
That's our overview of how physiotherapy, along with some lifestyle adjustments, can significantly benefit your heart health. It’s about taking proactive steps to ensure your heart stays healthy for as long as possible. Remember, starting small can lead to big changes, and it’s never too late to begin. If you have questions or need assistance getting started on a heart-healthy path, feel free to reach out. We’re here to support your journey toward a healthier heart. Here’s to your health!

Shockwave Therapy

01.02.24

Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive, state-of-the-art treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to stimulate healing and promote tissue regeneration. It's a safe and effective alternative for those seeking relief from musculoskeletal conditions. How Does it Work? The therapy works by delivering high-energy acoustic waves to targeted areas, triggering increased blood circulation, cellular repair, and the release of growth factors. This process accelerates the body's natural healing mechanisms. Shock Wave Therapy causes these specific responses to the tissue including: Physical Response – shock waves hit the tissue and generate positive pressure waves Chemical Response – the pressure waves mechanically stimulate biochemical reactions that cause our cells to become activated Biological Response – the cells receive instructions to stimulate remodeling of blood vessels, reduction of inflammation molecules and the stimulation of new and healthy tissue (muscles, ligaments and tendons) Recent research has shown Shockwave therapy to stimulate mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) growth Benefits of Shockwave Therapy: Pain Reduction: Experience quick and long-lasting pain relief. Anti-inflammatory action Improved Function: Enhance mobility and restore function. Accelerated Healing: Stimulate tissue repair and regeneration. Improved blood circulation Activates stem cells Non-Invasive: Say goodbye to surgery and long recovery times. Conditions Treated: Shockwave Therapy effectively addresses various musculoskeletal conditions, including: Plantar Fasciitis Tennis/Golfer's Elbow Frozen Shoulder Achilles Tendinopathy Gluteal tendinopathies Calcific Tendonitis (supraspinatus tendon, etc.) Patellar Tendinosis (Jumper’s Knee) Morton’s Neuroma Chronic Stress/Non-union Fractures And more!

Migraine and a good night sleep

01.02.24

Migraine can be exacerbated by irregular sleep patterns. Disruptions in the sleep-wake cycle, including insufficient sleep, irregular sleep schedules, or poor sleep quality, are recognized as potential contributors to migraine frequency and severity. The Impact of Sleep Deprivation: Inconsistent or insufficient sleep can lower the threshold for migraine triggers. Sleep deprivation may lead to increased sensitivity to environmental factors such as light, noise, and certain foods, making individuals more susceptible to migraine attacks. Quality Over Quantity: While the duration of sleep is crucial, the quality of sleep holds equal significance. Individuals with migraine often report that poor sleep quality, characterised by frequent awakenings or disruptions in sleep cycles, can act as a trigger for migraine episodes. Creating an environment conducive to restful sleep and adopting relaxation techniques can contribute to improving sleep quality. Establishing a Consistent Sleep Routine: Maintaining a consistent sleep routine is a fundamental aspect of migraine management. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate the body's internal clock, reducing the risk of migraine attacks triggered by irregular sleep patterns. The Role of Sleep Hygiene: Practicing good sleep hygiene involves adopting habits that promote healthy sleep. This includes creating a comfortable sleep environment, minimising exposure to screens before bedtime, and avoiding stimulants like caffeine close to bedtime. These measures not only contribute to better sleep but can also serve as valuable tools in managing migraines. Exploring Sleep as a Migraine Prevention Strategy:  For individuals prone to migraine attacks, establishing healthy sleep patterns may act as a preventive measure, reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. A good night's sleep may well be a key element in unlocking a more migraine-resistant future.

A Guide to Optimal Health After 50 

01.02.24

Physiotherapy goes beyond rehabilitation; it's about empowering individuals to embrace their golden years with vitality and resilience. In this guide, we'll not only share insights tailored to those aged 50 and beyond but also provide practical tips that can be implemented immediately to ensure continued mobility and well-being.

  1. Physical Activity:
    • Take Home Tip: Start with a daily 15-minute walk and gradually increase duration. Incorporate bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges for strength. Remember, consistency is key.
  2. Balance:
    • Take Home Tip: Practice balance exercises during daily activities, like standing on one leg while brushing your teeth. Engage in activities that involve reaching, bending, and twisting to enhance coordination.
  3. Cultivate Conscious Posture:
    • Take Home Tip: Set a reminder to check your posture every hour. Visualize a string pulling you up from the top of your head.
  4. Manage Chronic Pain:
    • Take Home Tip: Don't put up with pain - we can help you.
    • Incorporate deep breathing exercises during moments of discomfort to promote relaxation.
  5. Bone-Boosting Nutrition:
    • Take Home Tip: Include dairy, leafy greens, and fortified foods in your diet. .
  6. Hydration = Tissue Health:
    • Take Home Tip: Keep a water bottle within reach and aim for at least 8 glasses a day. Infuse water with fruits for added flavor and extra nutrients.
  7. Balancing Exercise with Recovery:
    • Take Home Tip: Perform a gentle cool-down routine after activities, such as stretching major muscle groups.
    • Prioritize 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
As physiotherapists, our commitment is to provide actionable advice that you can implement immediately. From incorporating short walks to maintaining proper posture and nurturing joint health, these take-home tips are simple yet impactful. Remember, the journey to optimal health after 50 is built on consistent, manageable steps. By embracing these practical tips, you're taking proactive measures towards a future of enduring mobility and well-being. We are always here to help!

What should I avoid if I have shoulder bursitis?

What should I avoid if I have shoulder bursitis?

 

What is shoulder bursitis?

Within our shoulder we have multiple bursa, which are little sacs of fluid that help to reduce any friction between the tendons and bones within the joint. However, if our shoulder is in a position for a prolonged time that is irritating the bursa (e.g. painting a house) or if we injure any of the muscles, tendons and ligaments within our shoulder, fluid can accumulate within the bursa, causing bursitis! Like if we had a blister on the back of our heel (sac of fluid) and we wore shoes that kept rubbing against it, its going to inflame the blister and make it bigger and more sensitive.    

3 main activities to avoid:

1. Avoid sleeping on the affected shoulder

  • When we sleep on our affected shoulder, you will be placing more pressure directly onto the bursa that is inflamed. In turn, this will not allow the bursa to settle and will continue to compress it, causing more pain and inflammation in the region.
  • Instead, try to sleep on your back or on the other side, propping your sore shoulder up with a pillow to avoid rolling onto the sore side.
2. Avoid repetitive overhead & across body activities
  • We need to give the bursa time to settle, and avoid doing any activities that will put our shoulder into an impinging position. Continuing to repetitively use our arm overhead or across the body will continue to irritate the bursa and not let it settle. Activities such as cleaning high windows, painting high ceilings, sweeping, vacuuming, placing objects on high shelves for a prolonged time, should try to be avoided.
                  3. Avoid long lever lifting
  • Long lever lifting is when we lift an object or small weight with a straight elbow. As the arm will be in an elongated position, it will increase the load that is placed on the shoulder joint. In turn, this will place more pressure on the bursa if the muscles aren’t strong enough to help support the joint.
  • Instead, bring the object closer to you and lift it with a bent elbow to reduce the amount of load going through the shoulder
  If you continue to have pain after avoiding the aggravating activities, manual therapy and specific exercise prescription from a Physiotherapist will help to improve your range of motion and build strength within the shoulder will help relieve bursitis pain. What should I avoid if I have shoulder bursitis? Link to Tayla's Chat on Facebook 

Keep moving with kneecap pain

Keep moving with kneecap pain

Pain in the front of the knee, around the kneecap can be a common issue in people presenting to Physiotherapy. This issue can be caused by an irritation of the patellofemoral joint, the joint between your kneecap and the base of your thigh bone. Often pain can occur in this joint when running, walking up or down stairs or during other exercise such as squatting. Pain in this area often relates to pressure on the kneecap as it articulates with the bottom of your thigh bone – your femur. The force on this joint is mainly influenced by two things: the amount of force being produced by the quadriceps muscles on the top of your thigh, and the amount of knee bend or flexion that occurs when the joint is under load.

Here are a few strategies you could implement to reduce your patellofemoral pain whilst continuing to exercise:

  1. Choose exercise activities that gradually expose the knee to greater stresses.
  There is a systematic review by Hart et al. (2022) that has looked at the average reaction force that different activities place on the patellofemoral joint in healthy individuals. Walking: 0.9x body weight Descending stairs: 2.8x body weight Ascending stairs: 3.8x body weight Running: 5.2x body weight Squatting: 1 – 18x body Looking at these averages, a good way to try and reduce the load on the patellofemoral joint could be to target start with a low loading exercise such as walking and gradually progress to stairs and then running. As you can see, there is a very large variability in the loads that are placed on the knee during squatting movements. Therefore, if you can minimise the amount of knee bend during your squats, you may be able to reduce your knee pain.
  1. Modify your current exercise program to reduce the stress on the knee joint.
  We know that the joint reaction force will increase with greater knee bend. Choosing squat variations that limit your knee from bending more than 90 degrees could allow you to maintain lower body strength whilst reducing your pain. Choosing exercises that are double-legged rather than single-legged may reduce the tendency of your knee to track inwards, which may help to settle your patellofemoral pain. If you are a runner, increasing your step rate may help you to settle your knee pain and keep you running. If you keep the same running pace, an increased step rate will reduce your stride length, which reduces the amount of knee bend through the weight-bearing portion of the running cycle. This can then reduce the reaction force in the patellofemoral joint, and it will be easier to maintain better alignment through your hips to avoid a scissoring pattern. Then once symptoms have settled you can begin gradually re-expose the knee to more loads over time so that it can get used to it. As with many areas of the body, this advice is generalised and may not be affective for individuals with varied anatomy and movement patterns. Try a few of these strategies, and if you’re still having issues with your knee pain, we’d be happy to help you here at the clinic. Reference: Hart, H. F., Patterson, B. E., Crossley, K. M., Culvenor, A. G., Khan, M. C. M., King, M. G., & Sritharan, P. (2022). May the force be with you: understanding how patellofemoral joint reaction force compares across different activities and physical interventions—a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 56(9), 521–530. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2021-104686