Exercise and Mental HealthStaying 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
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?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
- 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
- And much more!
Don’t Get into Deep Water with Swimming InjuriesSwimming is one of the most popular sports in the world. We swim in the sea, pools, lakes, streams, rivers and even ponds. And given 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, we’re not short of opportunities. And while swimming is considered a ‘low-impact’ sport due to the fact that the water supports a large percentage of, more than 84% of regular swimmers suffer from some type of overuse type injury caused by swimming. Why? The main reason is the high repetition number and forceful nature of the shoulder revolutions which takes our shoulder joint through its full range of motion (which is one of the greatest of all our joints), against resistance, over and over again. And as 50-90% of the power generated to propel you forward comes from the shoulders, you can see why they are the most frequently injured joint. However, swimming also puts stress on your back, to hold you level in the water; on the neck when raising your head out of the water to breathe and if you favour breaststroke as a stroke, there’s added pressure from the unnatural twisting motion on the knees. So, despite it seeming to be a low-impact sport, swimming actually carries a surprisingly high risk of injury. Let’s take a look at those injuries, why they happen and what you can do about them. Swimming injuries generally stem from two sources, and often these sources will combine:
- Muscle imbalances
- Stroke technique issues
Festive Follies Survival StrategiesForget boot camp, with shopping mayhem and rampaging relatives, financial stress, late nights, too much TV and over-indulging – the festive season can be the most grueling event on the calendar. It’s no wonder that nearly every one of us emerges from it with a New Year’s resolution of detoxing, getting fit and losing weight! Surviving is all about preparation. The festive season is usually particularly problematic for those of us who take their nutrition and exercise seriously or even for those who just want to come out of the other side, with any luck, not worse off than when they started. Whether it’s the big high calorie meals, the parties, alcohol or general lack of structure in your week, it’s very easy to lose your way in December which is why we put together some resources to help you minimise the festive ‘damage’ and help you maintain your physique and health, while still enjoying the party season. Our newsletter looks at three things:
- What you can do to keep your eating on track
- What you can do to keep your fitness on track
- What you can do to keep your alcohol intake on track
- Booze Busters explores the impact of alcohol on your body and how you can reduce the toll it takes on you physically
- Hangover Food Super-Heroes looks at how to replenish lost nourishment the day after a heavy night
- Hangover-Smashing Smoothies – three specially concocted smoothies to help get you back on your feet, the morning after the night before.
The Chain of CommandYour 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 SpinePay 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 PainYour 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 IssuesOne 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)
Stress Management Tips1. 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?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|
Is Osteoarthritis causing you hip or knee pain? GLA:D Evidence based treatment for hip and knee arthritis
Is Osteoarthritis causing you hip or knee pain?
GLA:D Evidence based treatment for hip and knee arthritisGLA:D®, or Good Life with Arthritis: Denmark, is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms.
What does GLA:DTM involve?This education and exercise program reflects the latest evidence in osteoarthritis (OA) research. It also includes feedback from people with OA and trainers on what works in the real world to help patients manage OA symptoms.
GLA:DTM Australia training consists of:
- A first appointment explaining the program and collecting data on your current functional ability
- Two education sessions which teach you about OA, how the GLA:D™ Australia exercises improve joint stability, and how to retain this improved joint stability outside of the program
- Group neuromuscular training sessions twice a week for six weeks to improve muscle control of the joint which leads to reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life
Can I Participate in GLA:DTM Australia?GLA:D™ Australia is a program for all individuals who experience any hip and/or knee osteoarthritis symptoms, regardless of severity. You may participate in the GLA:D™ Australia program if you have a hip or knee joint problem that resulted in visiting a health care provider.
You may not be able to participate in the GLA:D™ Australia program if:
- You have other reasons for your hip and/or knee pain, including; tumor, inflammatory joint disease, result of hip fracture, soft tissue or connective tissue problems
- You have other symptoms that are more pronounced than the osteoarthritis problems (for example chronic generalized pain or fibromyalgia)
- You are unable to understand and communicate in English
OA Treatment in AustraliaOA is the most common lifestyle disease in individuals 65 year of age and older, but can also affect individuals as young as 30 years of age. Current national and international clinical guidelines recommend patient education, exercise and weight loss as first line treatment for osteoarthritis. GLA:DTM Australia program offers a proven and effective exercise and education based framework for the treatment of hip and knee OA.
Background of the GLA:D® ProgramResearch from the GLA:D® program in Denmark found symptom progression reduces by 32%. Other outcomes include a less pain, reduced use of joint related pain killers, and less people on sick leave. GLA:D® participants also reported high levels of satisfaction with the program and increased levels of physical activity 12 months after starting the program.
This program is unique in that the education and exercises provided can be applied to everyday activities. By strengthening and correcting daily movement patterns, participants will train their bodies to move properly, prevent symptom progression and reduce pain.
- GLA:D has been proven to have dramatic effects in reducing pain of OA hip and knee by an average of 32%
- The program is open to anyone with hip or knee OA, even if it is severe.
- GLA:D has been shown to be far superior to other treatments such as anti-inflammatories, injections and arthroscopic surgery
Find out more about GLA:DTMPottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy P: 02 6676 4000 E: email@example.com W: www.pottsvillephysio.com.au
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondyalgia)If you have tennis elbow you can experience pain when performing gripping tasks or resisted wrist/finger extension. Pain can also be present when your forearm muscles are stretched. There is probably tenderness directly over the lateral epicondyle, the bony bump on the outside of the elbow, and tender points (trigger points) in the forearm muscles. In some cases, you may also experience neck stiffness and tenderness, and possibly also signs of nerve irritation like numbness and tingling. Most elbow movements are pain-free despite the surrounding area being painful.
WHO IS AFFECTED?You don’t have to be a tennis player to suffer from tennis elbow. It is caused by the repetitive movements and the gripping actions common in tennis hence the term ‘tennis’ elbow. However, it may also occur in other activities requiring repetitive gripping actions. Tennis elbow can therefore stem from daily activities such as using scissors, cutting meat, carrying grocery bags, gardening, manual work that involves repetitive turning or lifting of the wrist, such as plumbing, or bricklaying, and typing.
ACUTE VS CHRONICAcute tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is an injury to structures involved in extending (straightening) the wrist and fingers at the site where the forearm muscles attach to the bone via the extensor tendon. It occurs when more force is applied to that area than the normal healthy tissue can handle. For example:
- Unaccustomed hand use such as starting the tennis season,or increasing the frequency or amount of time playing tennis too quickly. Sometimes just a weekend of home DIY may trigger it
- Excessive gripping or wringing activities, possibly a new racket or different grip size
- Poor forearm muscle strength or tight muscles
- Poor technique (this may be a poor tennis shot).
TREATMENTTennis elbow should be diagnosed by a physiotherapist or doctor. A history is taken, and tests performed. Referred pain from the neck and reduced nerve mobility can mimic tennis elbow. The physical therapist must check your neck and clear it from any involvement in your elbow pain. An ultrasound scan or MRI are the best tests to identify tendon damage,but are often not necessary. Physical or manual therapy treatments than can help include:
- Massage therapy to relieve pain and stretch tight muscles and structures
- Manual therapy can mobilise joints in the elbow and around the neck to ensure normal function
- Taping and braces are beneficial in reducing pain in the elbow and supporting the muscles when you return to sport n Ice and ultrasound therapy may be used to reduce inflammation.
- Dry needling can also be effective for pain relief, releasing trigger points in the muscle and promoting tissue healing
- Exercise therapy should be prescribed to strengthen and balance the muscles of the forearm. While stretches help to lengthen tight muscles.