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WHAT IS AN ANKLE SPRAIN?

15.05.20

WHAT IS AN ANKLE SPRAIN?

An ankle sprain is a stretch or tear in one or more of the lateral (outside) ligaments of the ankle. Ankle ligaments are slightly elastic bands of tissue that keep the ankle bones in place. Because the ankle is responsible for both weight-bearing and mobility, it is particularly susceptible to injury. The relatively small joint has to withstand large forces exerted when walking, running and jumping, especially if the surface is uneven. Most ankle sprains happen when the ankle twists or rolls suddenly, usually a rapid and uncontrolled movement. The most common injuries happen when the foot rolls onto the outside of the ankle, straining the outside ligaments of the ankle joint. Symptoms of a sprained ankle include; pain, tenderness and swelling, bruising, trouble moving the ankle, and sometimes an inability to put your full weight on the ankle.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL?

Most people recover completely from mild sprains within two to six weeks. More severe sprains can take up to six months before you can return to full activity, or sport. Once a significant sprain occurs, without good rehabilitation the joint may never be as strong as it was before the injury. It is not surprising therefore that many people have a history of repeated ankle sprains. With the correct rehabilitation however, you can help your ankle become even stronger than it was before the injury.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Tissue injury usually involves damage to small blood vessels that results in bleeding at the site of injury. This bleeding leads to inflammation, part of the natural healing process. However, the body tends to overreact to sudden traumatic injury and as a result excess inflammatory fluid accumulates which can result in ‘scar’ tissue production. Too much scar tissue may prevent normal function with reduced flexibility and increased risk of re-injury. It is important to get medical advice to gain a positive diagnosis and

ADVICE HANDOUT

Follow the PRICE guidelines immediately after injury and for at least 3 days afterwards before doing anything else. Your local physio therapist as well as most massage therapists can assist you with this: PROTECT - Protect the injured tissue from undue stress and avoid ALL movements in the same direction as when the injury occurred.  REST – Unload the joint (take the weight off it) as much as you can in the first 72 hours after injury. Try and avoid walking on the joint as much as possible. ICE – Ice is an amazing natural healer and a great short-term pain reducer. It is also believed to have a beneficial effect in reducing swelling and promoting healing. The optimal amount of time to apply ice is around 10-15 minutes in bony areas such as the ankle. It can be applied as often as desired to achieve pain relief, ideally every 1-2 hours. COMPRESSION - This is advised for the first 72 hours, but only while your foot isn’t elevated. The compression can be firm if it doesn’t cause pins and needles or any loss of feeling around the joint. ELEVATION - Reduces the flow of blood to the area which helps reduce swelling. Elevation is recommended in the first 72 hours after injury. However, remove any compression while your foot is elevated unless you are wearing just a light compression bandage. When following PRICE it is also important to avoid HARM, hence the saying: ‘Give PRICE and avoid HARM’. HARM is an acronym for Heat, Alcohol, Running, Massage. Following this acute management phase, your physical therapist will start some ‘hands-on’ treatment to mobilise and strengthen the joint. This phase of treatment is crucial to ensure you return to full function and prevent future injury. Adequate preparation for activity is key and weight-bearing should progress gently. Drastic changes in activity level and performing unpractised skills expose your ankle to re-injury. Gradually build up your fitness level. Your ankle, and the rest of your body, will thank you for it!   WHY IMMEDIATE TREATMENT IS IMPORTANT The success of injury healing can be boosted by appropriate, effective and timely action particularly in the early stages of an injury (ie. the first 72 hours). Any ‘soft-tissue’ is subject to injury including ligaments (which join bones to bones), tendons (which join muscles to bones) and to muscles themselves. The immediate reaction of the body to injury is similar irrespective of the soft tissue structure and is known as an inflammatory reaction. Injuries can be caused by overstretching, bruising or crushing. A strain describes overstretching of a muscle, while a sprain describes overstretching of a ligament or tendon. THE INFLAMMATORY REACTION Tissue injury usually involves damage to small blood vessels that results in bleeding at the site of injury. This bleeding leads to the four main signs of inflammation:
  1. Heat – chemicals released from the damaged tissue causes dilation of surrounding blood vessels to bring healing agents to the area. The result is more blood and therefore heat
  2. Redness – is due to the increase in blood to the area
  3. Pain – is caused by the chemicals released from the injured tissues as well as the increased tissue pressure from the fluid acting on nearby nerve endings
  4.  Swelling – is the result of this accumulation of extra fluid.
This inflammatory reaction is necessary as it is part of the natural healing process. However the body tends to overreact to sudden traumatic injury and as a result more inflammatory fluid accumulates than is necessary for healing. This fluid contains a protein that turns into replacement ‘scar’ tissue. If too much can form it may prevent the structure returning to normal function with reduced flexibility and increased risk of re-injury.

The low down on Hip Replacement

25.02.20

The low down on Hip Replacement

The current state of affairs

Hip replacements are becoming increasingly common. Currently 1.3 people in every 1,000 will undergo a hip replacement operation, and more than 1.2 million are carried out each year worldwide. The biggest risk factors for needing a hip replacement are age and arthritis, with 85% of people having a hip replacement, also having osteoarthritis. In terms of gender, women have a higher risk of needing a hip replacement (58%) compared with men (42%). Hip replacement surgery in patients aged 45-54 has also doubled in the past 10 years.

What can we do, to reduce the risk of needing a hip replacement?

Physical activity helps. Running decreases your risk of developing osteoarthritis by 18% and as osteoarthritis is present in 85% of people who undergo a hip replacement, this has a knock-on effect in reducing your risk of needing a hip replacement by 35-50%. And if you’re not up for running that’s OK, walking can also reduce the risk of needing hip surgery, although by a smaller percentage (23%). Almost half of the protective effective of being physically active comes from weight control. The higher your BMI, the greater your risk of needing a hip replacement.  

And what can you do if you’re already experiencing hip pain?

If you need a hip replacement then the sooner you have it, the better the outcome is likely to be and the quicker you will recover from your operation. This is because the more pain you suffer prior to having surgery, the more compensations and adaptations the muscles and soft tissues will have made around the joint, in an effort to try and protect it and you from that pain, and the harder that will be to re-train once you’ve had the operation. That’s not to say it can’t be done, it will just take a bit longer and need a bit more of an investment in your time and energy. The good news is that outcomes from hip replacements are very good. Developments in materials and surgical techniques, mean that the artificial hips are lasting longer, and success rates are very good, with more than 80% of people experiencing pain relief and functional improvement, meaning their daily lives become easier and they’re able to do more.  

We hope you find this information helpful and if you have any questions or queries, please feel free to get in contact with us 6676 4000 or 6676 4577.

We are running the GLA:D program as a preventative for surgery for hips and knees with osteoarthritis.

Follow this link to read more - GLA:D program Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy.

 

What is an exercise physiologist?

20.01.20

What is an exercise physiologist?

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) is a university qualified allied health professional who specialises in the delivery of exercise and lifestyle programs for healthy individuals and those with chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities.   AEPs possess extensive knowledge, skills and experience in clinical exercise delivery. They provide health modification counselling for people with chronic disease and injury with a strong focus on behavioural change.   Working across a variety of areas in health, exercise and sport, services delivered by an AEP are also claimable under compensable schemes such as Medicare and covered by most private health insurers. When it comes to the prescription of exercise, they are the most qualified professionals in Australia.   What makes AEPs different to other exercise professionals?
  • They are university qualified
  • They undertake strict accreditation requirements with Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA)
  • They are eligible to register with Medicare Australia, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and WorkCover, and are recognised by most private health insurers
  • They can treat and work with all people. From those who want to improve their health and well-being, to those with, or at risk of developing a chronic illness
Why should you see an AEP? AEPs are the experts in prescribing the right exercise to help you prevent/manage your chronic disease, help you recover faster from surgery or an injury, or help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.   AEPs can help treat and/or manage:
  • Diabetes and pre-diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Chronic respiratory disease and asthma
  • Depression and mental health conditions
  • Different forms of cancer
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Obesity
  • And much more!
    What makes AEPs even more special is they know how to set goals and maintain motivation, these are two aspects that will most commonly see people fail at exercise. What to expect when seeing an AEP?   During an initial consultation with your AEP, you will undertake a comprehensive assessment in order to develop an exercise plan based on your unique requirements. This session will likely be a fair few questions about your health and history. A lot of people are concerned about what to wear to this appointment. We always say wear comfortable clothing as you may be asked to do a range of movements and bring some comfortable walking shoes as you may need to complete an aerobic assessment. After this session, you will be provided with a plan of action. Working with an AEP can be a truly rewarding process and they can make a hugely positive impact to your life. Our AEP, Sammy, has special interests in the areas of Cancer and Exercise, Osteoporosis and Clinical Pilates. To make a booking with Sammy our AEP  please call 6676 4000 or 6676 4577.  

Exercising for Bone Health – What type of exercise and how much should you be doing?

24.10.19

 

Exercising for Bone Health – What type of exercise and how much should you be doing?

Exercise is important for bone health and osteoporosis - whatever your age or wellness and whether you have broken bones in the past or not. Being physically active and exercising will help you in so many ways and is very unlikely to cause you a fracture. The main thing is to remember is that the worst thing you can do is nothing. After a diagnosis of osteoporosis or if you have risk factors, you should do more exercise rather than less. If you have spinal fractures or other broken bones you may need to modify some exercises to be on the safe side, but generally exercise won’t cause you to have a fracture. For exercise to be most effective at keeping bones strong you need to combine weight-bearing exercises with impact and resistance exercises. What is weight bearing exercise with impact? You are weight bearing when you are standing, with the weight of your whole body pulling down on your skeleton. Weight bearing exercise with impact involves being on your feet and adding an additional force or jolt through your skeleton – anything from walking to star jumps.   What is resistance exercise? Resistance training increases muscle strength by making your muscles work against a weight or force, placing stress on the muscle and related bones. You can use different forms of resistance including free weights, weight machines or body weight.  It is best to target specific muscle groups around areas that are susceptible to osteoporotic fractures, including the hips and the spine. How much and how often should I exercise to promote bone and muscle strength?
Osteoporosis - no fractures Osteoporosis – after a fracture has occurred Osteoporosis – Frail and elderly
Weight bearing exercise with impact About 50 moderate impacts on most days (jumps, skips, jogs, hops etc) 20 minutes lower impact exercise on most days (brisk, walking, marching stair climbing, gentle heel drops) Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity. Stand up for a few minutes every hour
Resistance exercise ·         On 2-3 days of the week (non-consecutive days) ·         Aim for 20-30 minutes of muscle resistance exercise working on exercises that target legs, arms and spine ·         Exercises should progress in intensity and weight over time, and exercise routines should be varied
    Leisure walking on its own is not recommended as an adequate strategy for bone health, although it has benefits for general health and fitness. Swimming and cycling are also considered low impact sports that are not specifically beneficial for bone health. If you have or know any-one who has Osteoporosis or has risk factors, we currently run an exercise program specifically designed to improve bone health and reduce fracture risk. Better Bones and Balance is run by our Exercise Physiologist who is trained in prescribing individual exercises for improving and maintaining optimal bone health. For further information call Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy on (02) 6676 4000 or (02) 6676 4577.  

Postmenopausal Women: Are You At Risk?

14.05.19

 

There are three common, serious issues affecting postmenopausal women worldwide: osteoporosis, accidental falls, and stress incontinence. The remarkable thing about each of these issues is that we can stop their progression and sometimes even reverse their effects with committed, intentional action.

  Osteoporosis is a reduction of bone density. It can make us weak and vulnerable to fractures. It is considered a major health threat for over 200 million people worldwide. The effects of the disease vary depending on the severity of the diagnosis; however, conditions often include --  
  • Long-term pain
  • Impaired ability to do housework, chores, gardening or lifting heavy objects
  • Difficulty with dressing and personal care
  • Disability
  How to manage osteoporosis: while there is no way to reverse the disease itself, there are ways to ease the symptoms of the condition. In addition to any doctor recommended prescriptions and vitamins, the best way to manage living with osteoporosis is to commit to a healthy diet and above all - an ACTIVE, healthy lifestyle with regular exercise. An excellent way to get started on the right track to managing or preventing osteoporosis is with our free advice sheets which you can download right here. http://bit.ly/2Ak73fc   Accidental Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide, with adults over the age of 65 suffering the greatest number of fatal falls. Each year, an estimated one in three senior adults experiences an accidental fall. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five of those falls results in a significant injury like broken bones, fractures or a head injury. With the high rates of osteoporosis in women, they are more likely to experience an accidental fall, and more likely to sustain an injury from that fall.   How to reduce your risk falling:  
  • Ensure your home and exterior walkways are properly lit
  • Use handrails (install them if you don’t already have them)
  • Avoid loose carpets and cords and keep walkways free from clutter
  • Understand your medication and know if it makes you dizzy or lightheaded
  • Use a cane if you need one
  • Have your eyes checked
  • Exercise to maintain muscles for quicker reaction, and greater balance and stability
  These are just some of the many things you can do to reduce your risk of falling. If you’d like to learn more, our free fall prevention advice sheets will have you covered. You can download it here. http://bit.ly/2Ak73fc Stress Incontinence is experienced by 45% of all women, typically in their postmenopausal years, though it is also often an issue for athletes. It occurs when weak pelvic floor muscles fail under sudden extra pressure. This extra pressure can be brought on by simple everyday activities like coughing, laughing or sneezing. It can also be brought on by jogging, jumping, or lifting heavy objects. The weakening of pelvic floor muscles is common and is caused by any number of things like childbirth or obesity.   How to treat stress incontinence: Stress incontinence might make you feel uneasy, but it doesn’t have to disrupt your social and personal life. Effective therapies include routine exercises to strengthen and tighten pelvic floor muscles for greater bladder control. Learn the specific exercise you can do to significantly reduce instances of stress incontinence in our complimentary advice sheets, yours to download for free right here. http://bit.ly/2Ak73fc Regular activity is good for your overall health at any age. And it gets increasingly important as we get older.   Women, in particular, will have special needs as their hormones change during menopause and osteoporosis becomes an increased risk and with that, falls become more dangerous.   Understanding our personal level of fitness and exploring ways to live a healthy active lifestyle will help us stay fit and avoid common injuries.   Preventative care throughout our lifetimes can prepare us for an independent, full life in our retirement years. We’re happy to provide guidance to help prevent and treat these common problems. Stay healthy and in the know with our free prevention advice sheets -  Click here. And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pottsvillephysiotherapy

where we’re posting fun, informative tips and tricks to help you stay injury-free - whatever you’re doing.