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Viewing posts categorised under: Injuries

Don’t Get into Deep Water with Swimming Injuries

10.12.19

Don’t Get into Deep Water with Swimming Injuries

Swimming 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:
  1. Muscle imbalances
  2. Stroke technique issues
Muscle Imbalances Our everyday posture, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting at desk or in a car, or generally not moving around, creates all sorts of muscle imbalances from short hamstrings, tight muscles around the neck, back and shoulders. We unconsciously adopt a curved forward upper back, round shoulders and chin poke, which not only add to shoulder problems in swimmers but neck pain too. Poor posture is the biggest culprit of short tight trapezius and pectoral muscles and weak anterior (front) neck and upper back muscles. These muscles can be painful and develop trigger points which are hyperactive spots in the muscle, commonly referring pain and causing headaches. Tight muscles may also limit your neck movements. Good posture ensures good alignment of the joints and ligaments which allows for optimal contraction of your muscles and off-loads underlying structures. Stroke Technique This a big topic to cover because it depends what stroke you’re swimming mostly with and what kind of injury you may have but issues include: a wide, swinging arm recovery which requires excessive internal rotation, causing impingement on the joint; thumb in first with hand entry, which again causes excessive internal rotation in the shoulder and a dropped elbow or straight arm pull through which creates a long lever and overloads the shoulder. What does all of this mean to you? You shouldn’t swim? You should reduce your training or change your sport? The bottom line is that the benefits of swimming - whether it’s for general fitness and physical activity, the desire to win competitions, or just to find your quiet place for stress relief - far outweigh the risk of injury.

   

Massage Therapy

14.05.19

Fact: It is estimated that 37% of the population of developed countries and 41% of developing countries, suffer from chronic pain.

It is one of the most common reasons why people visit Rosie at Pottsville and Cabarita Physio (up to 40% of visits).

Other common reasons include rehabbing sports injuries, relief of pain from accidents or muscle strains, relief of stress and as a form of preventative health care.

And also, just that good old relaxation that can only come from human touch.

What is massage therapy, exactly?

People with specific massage therapy training are highly knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology and are skilled diagnosticians with regards to chronic pain and how to treat it.

The underlying idea behind massage therapy is that a relaxed and loose muscular structure promotes the flow of energy through the body, which enables the body to maintain health and heal itself, without resorting to drugs or surgery.

Here are some common massage therapy modalities that you may encounter, ranging from simple relaxation to treatment of complex pain issues and connective tissue realignment.

Swedish Massage

This is your standard relaxation massage. Swedish massage is very popular in spa settings.

As one of the most popular types of bodywork performed today, the overarching goal of Swedish massage is the ultimate relaxation of the entire body. It is exceptional at achieving this, easing tension while promoting the release of environmental toxins stored in the body’s fat and epidermis layers while simultaneously increasing the oxygen levels in the blood.

Swedish massage has also been shown to produce significant reductions in the stress hormone, cortisol.

Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release

A trigger point is a small area of tightly bound and ‘knotted’ muscle that will produce referred pain into another part of the body when pressed upon. For example, a trigger point in the rhomboid muscle in the upper back can produce headache-like pain at the base of the skull.

Trigger points such as these are often misdiagnosed as migraines.

Trigger points range in severity from mildly annoying to completely debilitative. The affected muscle fibres are in a permanently shortened and tense state, and can even pinch nearby nerves, producing even more related symptoms, sometimes spiraling into full-blown fibromyalgia, a disorder of the connective tissues.

This is one area where massage therapy has a distinct advantage over every other form of treatment. Conventional medicine’s answer to trigger points is usually an injection of a local anesthetic or a corticosteroid injection. Both of which are temporary, unnatural treatments and in the case of the corticosteroid, actually damaging to the tissues.

Massage therapy treats these by the application of pressure directly to the trigger point, going over time from light to very deep, (usually within the same session) whereupon the trigger point will begin to release and relax.

Follow-up treatment is nearly always needed to retrain the muscle fibers to lengthen and “smooth” back out. A good massage therapist can often boast a near 100% success rate with trigger point therapy, even when other treatments have failed.

Myofascial release is a broader application of this type of therapy that seeks to restore mobility and function to the body’s underlying network of connective tissue that is present in every muscle in the body. It improves lymph circulation (keeping the blood clean) and enhances the muscle’s natural stretch reflex, keeping the body supple and strong.

It should be noted that these types of massage therapy are not the same as a relaxing Swedish massage and can sometimes be quite painful as the body relaxes, releases, and returns to normal homeostasis. It’s important to communicate to us during your treatment if you are uncomfortable at any time.

Sports Massage

As the name implies, sports massage is focused on the athlete. From the highest level of competition, to the casual weekend warrior, sports massage therapists can be found everywhere from weekend 5ks to professional locker rooms and Olympic fields.

Sports massage focuses on both pre- and post- event training and recovery.

Pre- event for example, may involve stimulating a stretch reflex in the quadriceps muscle of a runner to help lengthen her stride, with repeated treatments resulting in a faster runner who is less prone to injury.

Post-event can take the form of a light, relaxing massage to stimulate healing blood flow to an overused muscle group, enabling the athlete to recover safer and faster, and enable them to perform at the top of their game sooner than otherwise would be the case. Rather than a specific technique as in trigger point or myofascial therapies, sport massage focuses on the dual goals of athletic performance and recovery and may borrow heavily on other modalities to achieve these ends.   Rosie is our skilled masseuse and is looking forward to helping you, to book in phone 0266764000 / 0266764577 For more information click http://bit.ly/2S96ETT https://www.facebook.com/pottsvillephysiotherapy

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!

Chocolate and health benifits

29.11.18

Research shows that over 70% of us treat ourselves to chocolate at least once a week.

  Good quality dark, raw chocolate  (at least 70% cocoa) has impressive health benefits: ·         Boosts energy levels ·         Improves blood flow which is great for your cardiovascular health ·         Releases endorphins which helps with pain relief ·         Relaxes muscles due to the magnesium content ·         Tryptophan (the precursor of serotonin) boosts happiness ·         May improve cognitive performance ·         Anti-oxidants work to fight cellular and oxidative damage resulting in clearer, firmer skin  

Winter Ski Slopes Strategies

03.08.18

Winter Ski Slopes Strategies

There’s no doubt about it, snow sports are fun. Whether you’re hurtling down the side of a mountain at 40 mph, or exploring backcountry terrain; snow sports always involve excitement, adventure and exhilaration. But snow sports are much more fun when you’re physically fit. There is nothing worse than having to limp in early from the slopes because you’re tired or sore (or even worse, injured). Snow sports are major workouts and if you’re not fully prepared physically for your holiday, not only will you be exhausted for most of it, but you’re also at a much higher risk of injury, let’s face it, nobody wants to come home in a plaster cast. So, the goal of this guide is to get you as fit as possible, in the shortest time possible, and give you the best chance to have an awesome, injury-free holiday. Snow sports demand a combination of both technique as well as muscle strength and flexibility to keep stay safe on the slopes, run after run. Decent stamina (aerobic fitness) is key if you’re going to have enough energy to last the day, and anaerobic fitness is needed for the downhill bursts of activity. So, if you’re spending your hard-earned cash on a trip to the mountains, it’s just a waste if you don’t prepare. Any preparation you can do in the weeks leading up to your holiday will improve your performance and enjoyment, as well as reduce your chance of suffering an injury. Here are our top six strategies for reducing the risk of injury while on the slopes.

Strategy 1  - Health

Anything that gets you out of breath will be strengthening your heart, and improving your lung capacity. Walking, running, stair climber, rowing, cycling and swimming are all great ways to work your cardiovascular system. Because snow sports involve stamina as well as short-burst aerobics, the most effective preparation is a combination of high-intensity training and longer, more sustained efforts called interval training. Interval training is the best way to build cardiovascular endurance; the key to the training is to maintain a high heart rate, concentrating on short sprints. Aim for two to three, 20-30 minute interval training sessions a week, working harder to increase the heart rate for one or two minutes, then working less hard to drop it right down for 2 – 4 minutes before repeating the same sequence, throughout the session. This routine can be incorporated into any of your favourite cardio workouts from running to swimming. Remember to build up the exercise slowly and incrementally. So, if you’re starting from a relatively low fitness level, have longer rest periods in between the sprints, and shorter sprint periods, and slowly build these up. If you’re not sure where to start, a physical therapist or personal trainer will be able to help you find a training schedule that will suit you. The other reason that good fitness is a major advantage is because ski resorts are usually found at higher altitudes than where you would normally live. This means there’s less oxygen in the air, meaning you need to breathe harder to get the same oxygen levels as you would at sea level and it can take a few days to acclimatise. Being physically fit can help combat side effects of a high altitude. A SESSION MIGHT LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS: 5 MINUTE WARM UP 1-2 MINUTES SPRINT (high heart rate) 2-4 MINUTES INTERVAL (lower heart rate) 1-2 MINUTES SPRINT (high heart rate) 2-4 MINUTES INTERVAL (lower heart rate) 1-2 MINUTES SPRINT (high heart rate) 2-4 MINUTES INTERVAL (lower heart rate) 5 MINUTE WARM DOWN

Strategy 2 - Strength

Skiing and snowboarding require a strong abdomen, and powerful legs, and in the case of snowboarding, good upper body strength too. The stronger you are, the less likely you are to get tired. If fatigue creeps in, your form can start to deteriorate, making it difficult to last the day as well as increasing your risk of a fall. Stronger muscles better support your joints, and absorb the forces from impacts and vibrations, and this can also help prevent injury. The quadriceps muscles (front of thigh) work in two ways on the slopes, helping as you both bend and straighten the knees. The controlled lengthening of the quadriceps from straight to bent is called eccentric training and is fundamental to snow sports. Squats, lunges, deadlifts and plyometric jumps are all good exercises to specifically strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings (back of thighs) and glute (buttocks) muscles essential for snow sports. Good core strength (your deep abdominal muscles) is required to sustain postures for prolonged periods, maintain balance and control and support your back from injury. Planking exercises, bridging, using a Swiss ball, mountain climber and Pilates are all excellent exercises to improve core strength. Your physical therapist can give you specific skiing or snowboarding exercises to strengthen your legs and core

Strategy 3  - Balance

Balance is important in all aspects of snowboarding and skiing. Good balance will ensure better technique and efficiency when on the slopes but also help prevent falls and possible injury. Yoga and Pilates are two great forms of exercise for developing balance. Simple balancing home drills include: Stand on one leg with eyes closed for two minutes twice a day. When this gets easy, add some small movements, such as little knee bends or brushing your teeth. You can advance this by standing on something wobbly or uneven (a Bosu ball at gym or a soft pillow at home). Stand on one leg whilst swinging the other leg around with your eyes closed; or practice picking up small objects off the floor whilst balancing on one leg.

Strategy 4 - Warm up

Warming up increases blood flow through your muscles, preparing them to respond to the demands of snow sports, and reducing your risk of injury. Stretching as part of warm up also helps improve flexibility in your joints and muscles. Walking briskly, a jog, swinging your legs doing some walking lunges will all help. Warm up again following a lunch break or long wait at a ski lift when you’re out on the slopes. A cool down and light stretch helps remove lactic acid from your muscles and keeps them subtle, which will make getting out of bed the next day easier! Once you come off the slopes, before sitting at your favourite après ski spot, walk around for 5-15 minutes, and do some stretches.

Strategy 5 -  Equipment

Apart from physically preparing your body to cope with the demands of snow sports, some equipment can help protect it from injury. Helmets are designed to resist impact and absorb energy to minimize damage to the brain. Helmets have been shown to decrease head injury risk and severity by 2260%. Wearing a helmet really is a no brainer (pun intended!). Badly fitting bindings and rented equipment have been associated with increased injury risk. Make sure you have your bindings fitted and adjusted (even if you own your own equipment) by a certified technician. Ensure you also rent skis according to your skill level. Be realistic and don’t over estimate your ability as this may increase your risk of injury. The use of hip pads and wrist guards whilst snowboarding have been shown to be beneficial in lowering overall injury risk too.

Strategy 6 - Saftey

Experience and education are key. People with low skill levels are more likely to be injured but don’t assume that experience and skill level go hand in hand. If you’re inexperienced, lack confidence or feel a bit rusty – it’s worth taking the time to attend ski/snowboarding school or get some private instruction for the first few days of your holiday. Take time to re-familarise yourself with the snow, easing onto the green and blue runs before heading off to anything more challenging. A higher proportion of people are injured in the afternoon. This may be due to a wide range of factors, including fatigue, business on the slopes, heavy lunches, or alcohol intake, as well as changes in snow conditions. Take regular breaks through the day or carry snacks to keep your energy levels up. Ensure you stay hydrated. Just because its cold doesn’t mean you aren’t sweating from physical exertion. Dehydration can result in mental and physical fatigue. Staying hydrated can help combat the effects of high altitude. Finally, it’s your responsibility and behavior that can keep you safe on the Applying these six strategies will significantly increase your chances of returning from your snow sports holiday uninjured and intact. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more snow sports fun and advice. And have a great holiday! slopes. Most injuries can be prevented, know the snow responsibility code and follow it: the snow responsibility code and follow it: 1.STAY IN CONTROL AT ALL TIMES 2.PEOPLE BELOW YOU HAVE RIGHT OF WAY 3.OBEY THE SIGNS LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP 4.STOP WHERE ITS SAFE (ON THE SIDE OF THE PISTE),AND WHERE YOU CAN BE SEEN 5.STAY ON THE SCENE AFTER AN ACCIDENT Credit - Co -Kinetic Journal

Achilles Tendon Injuries

30.07.18

Achilles Tendon Injury

A tendon is a band of tissue that connects muscle to bone. The Achilles tendon, connects leg muscles to the heel bone, allowing you to walk and run.   Achilles tendonopathy is a common injury among runners, but may also occur in people with pronated feet, high arches, tight calf muscles and those who wear inflexible running shoes. Overuse of the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel occurs in the case of dancers, runners and walkers who exert a lot of stress on the tendon during their activities. It is a very painful condition and if one continues to put pressure on the tendon, it may snap, often with a loud popping sound. The primary symptom of an Achilles tendon injury is pain to the back of the heel, which increases with exercise and lessens when exercise stops. Achilles tendonopathy also manifests itself with warmth, swelling and tenderness at the site. Range of motion may be limited. Achilles tendonopathy can lead to small tears in the tendon, making it susceptible to rupture, however rupture may also take place without any previous Achilles tendon problems. If any of these symptoms occur, it is best to rest and elevate the leg while icing it and of course, see us or doctor as early as possible. Achilles tendon ruptures are most often seen among middle-aged people who play a sport on weekends or in their spare time.

Symptoms of Achilles tendon rupture are:

 Sudden pain in the back of the ankle which feels like a kick or a stab. It may turn into a dull ache.  Swelling between the heel and the calf.  Difficulty walking or rising up on the toes.

 

A rupture may be treated surgically or non-surgically, depending on the extent of the damage and your condition.

  Until you can get professional help, the RICE formula should be applied:  Rest. This is important as walking may cause further problems.  Ice. Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Never apply directly to the skin and leave on for twenty minutes.  Compression. Bandage the foot to prevent further swelling.  Elevate the leg at or above the level of the heart to decrease swelling. For non-surgical intervention, we (or a doctor) will recommend a brace or special insoles for your shoes, as well as physiotherapy. We will work with you to manage your pain with ice and instruct you in stretching exercises for the calf muscles. We will also help you modify your training schedule to match your recovery and advise you on wearing proper shoes to prevent further injury.  

Chronic Pain

28.06.18

Chronic Pain

Pain is NORMAL. It is the body’s way of alerting us to what it thinks is DANGER. The interesting thing about pain is that we don’t actually experience pain until our brain interprets a signal from the body as being pain. It is important to accept that YOUR PAIN IS REAL – IT IS NOT IN YOUR HEAD!! There are many things that contribute toward the brain signalling pain:  Thoughts  Fears  Past experiences  Family issues; My mother has cancer could this be what is happening to me?, Who will look after the family?  Work issues; Will I have to have time off? , How much money will I lose?  Anxiety/stress can increase the sensitivity of the nervous system  Exercise can help turn down pain signals by releasing chemicals that help to quieten the nervous system. All of these things make a difference as to whether or not your brain will interpret the signals from the body as pain. The important thing to understand is that the brain can still signal pain long after the original injury in the tissues has healed. When you initially have an injury, signals are sent to the brain to alert it to danger. The brain then interprets the signal, remember factors mentioned above will play a role in the brain interpreting the signal, and this is where the pain experience starts. This is all necessary so that you don’t go and do anything which may injure you further. However these messages can persist and lead to chronic pain.

Chronic pain is when you continue to experience pain long after the original injury has healed

This is due to central sensitisation. This is when the brain sends chemicals to the spinal cord to meet the signals coming from the tissues. These chemicals can be excitatory, which means they multiply the signals coming from the tissues and therefore send a much stronger signal to the brain then the original signal from the tissues. The brain can also send messages to the tissues to release more inflammatory substances – the body thinks it can heals faster this way, but doesn’t know when to turn off this inflammatory process. This type of inflammation is not helped by medication and explains why there can still be inflammation present many months later. This causes the nerves to become hypersensitive and send earlier and more signals to the brain, again this is an over sensitivity of the nervous system. Over time, the cycle continues which results in increasing sensitivity of the brain and therefore more and more pain. Pain can become a habit – your body anticipates and remembers it and it takes very little to trigger it, sometimes when things are really bad even thinking about moving can trigger the pain. The brain has lost its ability to differentiate between painful and non painful input, so just to be safe it triggers everything as pain. The brain has also lost its ability to distinguish between body parts so you may find your pain spreading or moving. The good news here is there is no damage in the tissues causing the pain, it is just that the brain is so used to feeling the pain that it continues to signal even though the damage has healed. It is the sensitivity of the nervous system that is causing this. The important things to understand is that PAIN DOES NOT EQUAL DAMAGE!! The solution is to make the brain understand that there is no longer any damage in the tissues and it is time to desensitise. We can do this through a graduated return to normal activity.

TAKE CONTROL

1. Any new injury or disease requires a prompt medical examination. 2. Understand any prescribed help. Ask for appropriate scientific evidence supporting what is offered to you. 3. Make goals that both you and your clinician understand. Aim for physical, social and work goals, which allow your progress to be measured.

Falls Prevention – Balance

19.03.18

Falls Prevention – Balance

What is a fall?

 
  • The World Health Organisation defines a fall as "inadvertently coming to rest on the ground, floor or lower level, excluding intentional change in position to rest in furniture, wall or other objects". Falls in older people cover a wide range of events, including:
  • trips on raised obstacles (eg. loose rugs, cords, mats) or uneven surfaces (eg. footpaths, roads)
  • slipping on wet or highly polished surfaces
  • tumbles and stumbles down steps or stairs
  • falling off a ladder or stepladder
  • falling over in a shopping centre or while using public transport.

What a fall is not:

 
  • Falls in older people are not accidents. Similarly, falls are not an inevitable or unavoidable part of life. The causes of a fall can usually be identified and the sequence of events leading up to the fall can be predicted and therefore can be prevented.
  • Unintentional falls continue to be the leading cause of injuries requiring hospitalisation in Australia.

Risk factors for falls

 

Physical inactivity

 
  • Physical activity has been shown to be the most promising falls prevention strategy, both as a single intervention and as a part of a multi-factorial approach.
  • Research shows that specific exercises such as Tai Chi, balance, gait training and strength building group classes or individualised in-home programs reduce falls risk by 12% and the number of falls by 19%.
  • These interventions can also increase the time before a person falls for the first time. A physical activity program should be specific for individuals and include exercise that challenges balance at a moderate to high extent with a attendance twice weekly.

What you can do to prevent this

Physical activity is key to preventing falls and improving well being!  A holistic program including:
  • Proprioceptive retraining – challenging your body on unstable surfaces such as wobble discs and bosu balls helps to retrain your ability to recognise where your body is in space.
  • Strengthening – a full body strength program including lower limb, upper limb and core strengthening will help to mitigate the loss of muscle mass common in the older population. Exercises such as squats, bridges, push ups and calf raises are useful examples of this.

Other modifiable risk factors for falls

Incontinence
  • Problems with bowel and bladder control can impact on an older person's ability to stay active, healthy and independent.
  • Incontinence, urinary frequency and assisted toileting have been identified as falls risk factors for residents in residential aged care facilities.
  • Physiotherapy can assist with incontinence.
Feet/footwear
  • Sore, aching or tired feet make it difficult for an older person to stay active and independent, and can affect the way they walk.
  • Some types of footwear such as slippers, thongs or scuffs, and wearing socks without shoes can increase the risk of falls.
Low vision
  • Low vision, impaired vision, a change to vision or vision affected by medication can increase the risk of an older person falling. Vision impairment ranks sixth in the world's major causes of loss of wellbeing, and the prevalence of vision loss increases with age.
Medication
  • There is strong evidence that falls risk is increased by medications which act on the central nervous system, such as those used to treat depression, sleep disorders and anxiety.
  • For those using these medications to assist with sleep disorders and anxiety related health issues, there is a need for longer term support and use of non-pharmacological alternatives such as relaxation, reducing caffeine intake, increasing physical activity and meditation in the first instance.
Home safety
  • The relative risk of falls can be reduced by 20% in those with a history of falling by an occupational therapist conducting a thorough home risk assessment and arranging the recommended modifications.
  • Tidying up behind you and not leaving objects on the floor can also help to prevent falls.
Nutrition
  • Nutrition is an important factor in falls prevention, as frailty results from a loss of muscle mass and strength, neuromuscular impairment, immobilisation and malnutrition.
  • Older Australians are at risk of developing nutritional health problems due to reduced energy needs and a decreased ability to absorb nutrients.

Falls can be prevented!  Staying healthy and active, maintaining strength and balance, identifying falls risk factors and improving home safety will help to minimise the risk of falling.

Talk to your physiotherapist today about minimising your falls risk factors or join our fit for life program.

 

Remedial Massage and its effects on Fascia

Remedial Massage and its effects on Fascia

What is fascia? Fascia is a type of connective tissue that essentially holds us together. It is composed of mostly collagen and elastin.  The fibres of collagen are the longest and strongest form of protein molecules found within body, they can hold up to ten thousand times their weight.  Collagen provides the tensile strength and structural integrity of the connective tissue. Whereas the elastin fibres allows the connective tissue to stretch, providing flexibility and the capability to absorb shock. These fascial fibres sit in an extremely receptive transparent fluid base that is interwoven in many directions all over the body.     Types of Fascia:
  1. Compartment fascia – surrounds individual muscle fibres, muscles, and muscle groups.
  2. Superficial Fascia – the fascia that lies just under the surface of the skin.
  3. Fascial sheaths – Superficial fascia that covers joints providing support and stability.
  4. Visceral fascia – surrounds each organ.
  5. Myofascial meridians/slings – bilateral systems of receptive connective tissue. These fascial slings relate to how we sense ourselves and how we move through life.
  Fascia and the systems of the body: Fascia incorporates all of the systems, with blood, lymph, nerves and meridians all passing through the fascial network. Fascia has particular connection to the muscular, nervous and endocrine systems. It is continuously reacting to these systems, responding to our emotions, movement and awareness.   Fascial Imbalances: Just like how muscles in the body can become imbalanced, fascial slings can get out of balance too. These imbalances are usually from lifestyle activities such as your job, sport and emotional/mental state. A good example of imbalance within the Fascial slings is between the Anterior Functional Line - which is a functional fascial sling that runs along the fibres of the Pectoralis Major, along the abs like rectus abdominis and the external oblique, down to the pubis, then continuing along the Adductor Longus muscle to the femur/thigh bone. And the Posterior Functional Line - a functional Fascial sling travelling along Latissimus Dorsi and the sacrolumbar fascia, and then connecting to the fibres of Gluteus Maximus on the opposite side, then along the ITB and Vastus Lateralis, ending at the sub patella tendon. A common scenario of fascial imbalance is when the Anterior Functional Line becomes short and tight and therefore medially rotates the shoulder drawing it forward. This shortening results in the Posterior Functional Line activating and lengthening. This is an intelligent response between the fascial slings as they adapt to change and try to maintain centre of gravity. However if these slings stay imbalanced for long periods of time it can have a negative affect on other structures within the body and cause pain e.g. to the spine and shoulder joint, as well as associated muscles. Fascial imbalances affect overall strength, flexibility and stability.   How Massage can help: Remedial massage therapist can help with these fascial imbalances by using Myofascial release techniques (MFR) to lengthen and open the tight/stuck fascial sling, in turn allowing the opposing sling to return back to its healthy functional length. As well as muscular and structural imbalances, it is important for Remedial therapists to look into fascial imbalances when treating pain and postural dysfunctions. At times muscles won’t release properly or structural corrections won’t hold if the associated fascia has not been treated. When MFR is performed on tight fascia, clients notice great freedom and openness; it is a very effective technique.   Talk to your Remedial massage therapist today, and see if fascial work could benefit you!     Rosie Rayner Dip. RMT Ad. Dip. STT

Patellofemoral pain

06.11.17

Experiencing knee pain while walking, running, squatting, kneeling, going up or down stairs or slopes?

You may have a condition known as Patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common knee complaints of both the young active sportsperson and the elderly. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is the medical term for pain felt behind your kneecap, where your patella (kneecap) articulates with your thigh bone (femur). This joint is known as your patellofemoral joint Patellofemoral pain syndrome, is mainly due to excessive patellofemoral joint pressure from poor kneecap alignment, which in time, affects the joint surface behind the kneecap (retropatellar joint). Physiotherapy inventions help strengthen one’s quadriceps and hips, which subsequently aids in restoring the biomechanics of the patellofemoral joint. Physiotherapists are able to advise and design customised exercise programs to improve the strength of your knee and leg muscles and help you maintain good general fitness. If you are experiencing patellofemoral pain, or any pain in your knee and joints, it is important to have your condition assessed by a physiotherapist. Patellofemoral pain typically develops because of 1 of 3 different reasons 1. Excessive pronation of the foot (flattening of the arch). It doesn't matter if you have high arches or flat feet, it depends on how much your arch flattens from non-weight baring to weight baring. This can be addressed in the short term with the use of orthotics but a strengthening program of the muscles that support your arch is recommended. 2. Weak quadriceps (weak thigh muscles). The quads are the largest muscle group in the body that we use to extend our knee. Important for walking, running, squatting, and climbing stairs. We can test your maximum isometric contraction and compare it to your unaffected side to see if this is a contributing factor and address any deficit with an appropriate strengthening program. 3. Weak hip abductors (gluteal muscles). Gluteus medius and minimus help to keep our pelvis level while walking and running. If your opposite hip dips then the knee you are standing on will drift inwards causing poor alignment of the patellofemoral joint. This deficit can be picked up with good observation skills and strength testing.