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Exercise and Mental Health

08.05.20

Exercise and Mental Health

  Staying active is not only critical for maintaining physical fitness during the COVID-19 restrictions, but also for providing important mental health benefits during the current period of social isolation. Physical activity is a key factor for the prevention and management of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) and eating disorders. Physical activity, even in low doses, could lower the risk of mental illness in the community. The current Australian guidelines for exercise are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and two sessions of resistance-based exercises per week, but for mental health a little bit of activity is better than doing nothing at all. Even one session per week has been shown to have great improvements. Mental disorders are already among the leading causes of disease and disability globally. There is mounting evidence that suggests that exercise is an effective component of treatment for people living with acute and chronic mental illness. With exercise making a big difference in mood and promoting a positive mental health, whilst also helping to reduce the symptoms of mental illness, there is a significant need for exercise to be a fundamental part of mental health treatment, particularly whilst we are in isolation. While gyms and fitness classes are now shut down, exercise is still considered an essential activity. Here are some tips for maintaining or building movement into your day:
  • Keep motivated by scheduling exercise into your diary as you would for a gym class
  • Put on your favourite music and do some simple body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, and push ups
  • Make use of online exercise classes to guide your home exercise. You can find some great online Pilates classes here
  • Get outside into the fresh air if you can, take a walk along the beach or kick the football in the backyard
  • Book in for an online consultation or alternatively a one-on-one session with our Accredited Exercise Physiologist for clinical exercise advice and treatment here
It is important to remember that it’s not about what type of exercise is the best kind, but rather to find something you enjoy doing as you are more likely to stick with it and achieve the mental health benefits. The most important thing is to find time every day to move your body – even if it is a couple of laps around the block. Regular exercise will help boost your state of mind and protect your mental well-being. If you or someone you love needs help, there is always someone to talk to at Lifeline on 13 11 14

Remedial Massage Therapist Rosie

04.02.20

Rosie is our Remedial Muscle Therapist, and Swedish Relaxation Therapist.

Rosie has completed an advanced diploma in Soft Tissue Therapy at Kingscliff Tafe. These studies have laid down a solid foundation of awareness in the anatomy and functionality of the body. Rosie works with assessment and tactile massage tools to support the body. With these tools she can support you on getting out of pain, relieving tension, correcting compensation imbalances, and overall maintenance for physical and mental health.

Over the last year Rosie has also undertaken another bodywork course in Zenthai Shiatsu to help further deepen her understanding of the body and how it works/heals. This bodywork therapy looks through the lens of Ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine and Temple Thai massage, and works a lot more on the facial connective tissue (meridians) throughout the body. This modality has enabled Rosie to support others in healing that is not only physical but also psycho-emotional, nervous system balancing and stress relieving. Rosie also has studied 200hour multi-style yoga teacher training, which adds layers again onto her ability to understand the body and it’s movements, posture and alignment. Feel free to ask Rosie for some simple take-home yoga stretches/postures that will specifically support you and your body on your healing/health journey. Rosie is also happy to work hand-in-hand with your physio to obtain best results. For many cases the combination of physiotherapy and remedial massage therapy together, can accelerate your healing journey, and/or bring ease to maintaining and healthy functioning body (and mind). Call 6676 4000 to find out her availability!

 

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.  

Back Pain: The Chain of Command

26.11.19

Back Pain

The Chain of Command

Your spine is essentially the chain that forms the ‘backbone’ of your entire body. Without it you would be a blob of muscles, organs and soft tissue piled on the floor. Your spine commands respect because it is the pillar that supports your body, allows you to walk, stand and sit, as well as touch and feel; because it forms the canal connecting the nerves from your body and limbs, to your brain. While your heart may be the vital organ that keeps you alive, without your spine you wouldn’t be able to move. There are three natural curves in your spine that give it an "S" shape when viewed from the side. These curves help the spine withstand great amounts of stress by distributing your body weight. Between the bony vertebra are spongy discs that act as shock absorbers. The lumbar spine (or lower back) connects the thoracic spine to the pelvis, and bears the bulk of your body's weight. Your spine is not rigid though. It allows movement through the intervertebral joints connecting the bony vertebra. These joints allow you to twist, to bend forward and backward, and from side to side. Large groups of muscles surrounding the spine, pelvis, hips and upper body all interact to allow for movements like walking, running, jumping, and swimming. However, there are also muscles deep in your body that work constantly just to maintain your posture when you’re sitting and standing. It is essential that all elements of the spinal ‘chain’ work harmoniously together to ensure fluid movement without overloading structures resulting in injury and pain. Any link in the chain that becomes ‘stuck’ will not only affect that spinal level but also the movement and strength of the chain above and below it. If the muscles around the spine are uneven in strength and length (flexibility) this too can affect the ‘chain’, altering the alignment and motion of the links. Taking care of your spine now will help you lower the chances of experiencing back pain later. Many of the steps you can take to improve the overall health of your spine involve nothing more than practicing better body mechanics, or how you move and hold yourself, when you do daily tasks and activities.

Taking Care of Your Spine

Pay attention to early warning signs or pain. Although back pain is very common and nearly every person will experience at least one episode of back pain in a lifetime, it is essential to address any symptoms promptly. It has also been shown in studies that early treatment and rehabilitation can prevent recurrent bouts of back pain and prevent the development of chronic lower back pain which can be very debilitating, stressful and depressing. It can affect your ability to work, play sport, socialise and sleep, all of which can further compound your pain cycle. Your back pain could be due to inflamed ligaments, damaged intervertebral discs, nerve irritation, bony formations on the spine, muscle imbalances such as weakness or a lack of flexibility, leg length differences, or muscle strains, to name just a few. Even the way we move (or don’t move) at work, school or sport can all be an underlying cause to the current pain.

How Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy Can Help with Back Pain

Your physiotherapist can treat the pain or stiffness experienced from back pain using massage, soft tissue mobilisation, spinal manipulation, heat, acupuncture and other devices. It is important that you, together with your physiotherapist work through a rehabilitation program (specific exercises and stretches) to correct underlying muscle weaknesses, flexibility issues, and the  sequence in which the muscles around your spine work to provide stability.  A physiotherapist can also give you advice on correcting posture / technique for work and sport. Chat to us today about what we can do to help Ph: 0266764000 / 02667644577

Back Pain and Sleep Issues

One of the most common issues back pain sufferers experience is sleep disruption so we have put together an interactive Back Pain and Sleep Guide to help you banish those sleepless nights and wake up feeling refreshed. The guide includes:  
  • 6 Strategies for Improving Your Sleep
  • 8 bedtime stretches to relieve back pain (with video links)
  • Sleeping positions that will help relieve pain (with links to videos)
  • 7 Yoga Poses that will help cure most back pain issues
  • A morning stretch routine that will help ease pain from a restless night (with videos)
  Click this link to find out more and download the guide Disclaimer: This information is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. https://www.facebook.com/pottsvillephysiotherapy  

  Stress Management Tips

26.11.19

Stress Management Tips

1. Learn to say NO: If you have a people pleasing personality it may be hard for you to say no. The only way to get better is to start slowly and practice. The more you do it, the easier it will become. Every time you feel you should say yes take a moment and think to yourself: ‘is this something I really want to do’? If the answer isn’t a most definite yes than say ‘NO’! 2. Mindfulness It is a lovely practice to start your day by setting your intention for the day, e.g. I choose happiness, I will enjoy today no matter what, I will only look for the positive in things, I will focus on my breath, I will focus on my posture, today I will be strong etc. Throughout the day whenever anything challenges you, come back to your intention for the day. Remember, your emotions will come and go like the waves of the ocean - it is you who decides whether to let them linger: try not to get caught up in the small stuff, look at the bigger picture. The perfect day is today because that is all we have, yesterday has gone, tomorrow hasn’t come so make the most of what is here: TODAY. Learn to live in the moment! Mindfulness is not something that comes naturally to us, we are very easily distracted! Here are some tips to help you ‘learn’ to be mindful: • Start noticing what is happening around you (and accept it rather than react to it). It might be the weather, what you are eating, how other’s are acting… • Notice your thoughts and reactions. Try to keep your awareness on your thoughts but don’t judge yourself if your mind wanders off. Choose which thoughts you want to linger on and which ones are not serving you • Notice your body and it’s reactions, for example hunching your shoulders when your cold, slumping when your sad or tired… • Be aware of your waves of emotions   3. Gratitude Make a daily note of what you are thankful for, live a life of gratitude: Open your eyes and look for the good things in life, write them down, say them out load, focus on them. Give gratitude and create gratitude for others. It is great to have a gratitude diary and do this every morning to start the day and every night before bed. It will set you up for a wonderful day and a great sleep. Get your children involved with this as well, it is never too early!    

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.

Moving Beyond Cancer

29.03.19

Moving Beyond Cancer

If the effects of exercise could be purchased in a pill, it would be prescribed to every person with cancer. Even if the exercise pill had just a few of the positive health benefits that exercise provides, it would still be viewed as a miracle drug Exercise and Sports Science Australia’s (ESSA) current evidence-based guidelines recommend all people with cancer to exercise regularly to help combat cancer and cancer treatments People with cancer who exercise regularly have lower risk of dying from cancer, lower risk of the cancer coming back, and fewer and/or less treatment related adverse events  

Moving Beyond Cancer Class Information

 
  • Safe and effective exercise program specifically designed for people with cancer and cancer survivors
  • Involves individualised exercise programs in a small group (1-5 participants) delivered by an Exercise Physiologist
  • Counteracts the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment
  • Enhances both physical and mental wellbeing
  • Is based on the latest scientific research
 

Benefits of Moving Beyond Cancer:

 
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Reduced severity of anxiety and depression
  • Increased energy levels and reduced fatigue
  • Improved lung function
  • improved strength and increased muscle mass
  • maintained physical function and ease in activities of daily living
  • improved balance and reduced falls risk
  • improved state of mind and reduction in stress levels
  • improved heart function and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other forms of cancer
  • improved bone strength and joint function
  • improved quality of life

Don’t Let Yourself Be Sidelined by Tennis Injuries

01.02.19

Don’t Let Yourself Be Sidelined by Tennis Injuries

  Tennis is one of the most popular sports throughout the world, with approximately 75 million participants worldwide. It is a sport that you can play at every age and at every level. Children can start playing from the age of 4, using softer, slower balls and smaller rackets on modified courts to make the game easier and more fun, gradually progressing to regular rackets, balls and courts. Older players can start the sport at any age and can continue playing all their life. Whether you are looking for the competitive club league tennis or a more social game amongst friends, tennis is an excellent sport with loads of health benefits. Tennis is a fun and social (as well as competitive) way to add to your weekly activity goals.

Here are some amazing benefits of participating in regular activities like tennis:

1.    Increased brain power From alertness to tactical thinking, tennis enhances the neural connections in your brain. Kids who play tennis regularly get better grades at school. 2.    Better hand–eye coordination Playing tennis involves regular skills that all contribute to good hand–eye coordination. You can improve your agility, balance, coordination, reaction time and more. This can benefit you in injury prevention where improved balance and agility can help protect against rolling an ankle or tripping and falling often resulting in sprains or Colles fracture of the wrist or worse a hip fracture in older age. 3.    Reduced stress Tennis involves physical, mental, social and emotional challenges, which increase your capacity to deal with stress. Or simply running around smashing some balls may help you to blow off some stress too! 4.    Strong heart Compared with other sports, tennis players have the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease. Playing just 3 hours a week will reduce your risk of heart disease by 56%. 5.    Higher fitness levels Playing tennis on a regular basis (2–3 times/week), either singles or doubles, meets the global exercise recommendations and leads to increased fitness levels. Tennis is an excellent interval training technique - running, stopping, burst of activity then rest between points or games (which elevates and then lowers heart rate repeatedly through a match) which is proven to be hugely beneficial in improving fitness levels and in cardiovascular conditioning too. The effect is not only seen in elite players but with recreational tennis too. 6.    Leaner body Tennis is an excellent and fun way to burn calories and lose weight. An hour of singles play can burn 580–870 calories. A lower body weight has immense benefits in preventing and managing cardiovascular diseases including diabetes, and a lighter frame will reduce loading on your back and joints reducing joint pain and possible arthritis in older age. 7.    Strong bones Playing tennis on a regular basis leads to stronger, healthier bones. This effect is strongest in those who play tennis from an early age, but even if you start playing tennis later in life you can benefit from the positive effect on your bones. This is applicable to both women and men combating the development of osteoporosis a.k.a. brittle bones with ageing. 8.    Strong leg muscles Playing tennis strengthens your leg muscles, which helps maintain your mobility and independence in old age.

The Secret is Staying Injury Free

But these health benefits won’t be very fruitful is you are sitting side-lined because of injuries and while some injuries are quick to repair, others can take a couple of weeks and others may be more stubborn, taking 6 weeks or more. What’s more frustrating, and unfortunately very common, is the risk of re-injury. One of the greatest risk factors for an ankle sprain or a muscle strain (tear) is having suffered from a previous sprain or strain. Nearly 2/3rds of tennis injuries are chronic overuse injuries, many of which are caused by poor technique, incorrect equipment use and lack of physical conditioning

Acute injuries, like an ankle sprain or calf strain, although sudden and unpredictable can also be prevented with adequate preparation and appropriate conditioning. Chat to one of our friendly staff for more information on how to prevent common tennis injuries and stay in the game longer!

Balance – Are you Losing your Balance?

13.12.18

Losing some of our balance is part of the ageing process.

This can become a problem for older adults, making them more susceptible to falls and injury.

The good news?

Exercise and balance training can help to prevent falls.

Frequent falls can not only lead to injuries, but can also hinder one’s ability to live independently. Although losing our balance appears to be the number one cause of falls in older adults, we can start to have falls for a number of reasons. Some of these include:
  • Loss of lower limb strength/sensation
  • Cognitive impairments/slowed reaction times
  • Multiple medications
  • Poor eye sight
  • Poor grip strength
   Although exercise may not be able to improve things like eyesight, it can significantly improve your strength, body awareness and help improve your cognitive ability! Exercise alone has been shown to effectively prevent falls when delivered to people within the community. The amount of risk reduction and rate of falls reduction has been shown to be anywhere between 20% – 35% with the introduction of a balance and strength program. It is recommended to complete at least 2 hours of structured exercise per week for the prevention of falls. This exercise should not only include balance exercises, but also some strength training! This also doesn’t mean that 2 hours has to be done in a single session. Do what works best for you. It may be 20 minutes of training everyday of the week, 30 minutes every second day, or an hour of exercise completed twice a week. Balance training should be of a difficulty that poses a challenge and may cause one to lose their balance, but does not place them at risk of having a fall. Some balance exercises may include:
  • Standing on unstable surfaces
  • Adapting and holding difficult postures
  • Functional exercises like step taps
  A decrease in lower limb (and even upper limb) strength has been identified as a risk factor for falls. It’s therefore important to train for strength too. It’s never too late to start lifting weights! Strength training may include using your own bodyweight, bands, weights and cable machines to provide resistance. Interestingly, those people who are susceptible to falls and already have frequent falls aren’t recommended to walk as a form of exercise. Walking increases the exposure and chance that we may catch our foot on one of those sneaky cracks in the pavement and fall. Research suggests it’s best to get balanced and strong again before heading out for a stroll.

Although exercise is a fantastic way to decrease your falls risk, there are more benefits! You can improve flexibility, manage weight, and reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Regular physical activity can also improve your mental health.