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Viewing posts categorised under: Lower Limb

WHAT IS AN ANKLE SPRAIN?

15.05.20

WHAT IS AN ANKLE SPRAIN?

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

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL?

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

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

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

ADVICE HANDOUT

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

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.

   

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!

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.

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.    

Osteoarthritis and supplements

08.10.17

Osteoarthritis and supplements

Osteoarthritis is a common inflammatory condition characterised by joint pain. See below example. osteoarthritis knee Osteoarthritis affects 2.1 million Australians.  The prevalence is higher in women and joint symptoms are experienced by more than 25% of people aged 65 years or older. Osteoarthritis is particularly burdensome, on individuals and on the healthcare system and is the main reason for knee replacement surgery.  This is of great concern considering the projected rise in the aging population.   In recent years, omega 3 fatty acids (from fish oil), glucosamine and chondroiten have increased in popularity. Research into these and osteoarthritis is showing some promising results, however more research is still needed.   Should you take these supplements if you have Osteoarthritis?? You can as there is some worthwhile evidence but it should form only a small part of your management plan. Score your pain on a scale of 1-10 before taking the supplement, then after 3-6 months score your pain again to see if there has been any change. If you are taking chondroitin it is recommended that you take a supplement containing 800mg such as BioOrganics glucosamine 750g and chondroitin 400mg.   There is much stronger evidence to show that dietary induced weight loss (>10% of body weight) and physical exercise such as strength training and aerobic exercise can have a moderate to large improvement in pain, function and quality of life.   In addition, learning effective pain – coping skills have been shown to have positive outcomes not only for pain but also for function, stiffness and disability.  

Why get a functional Screen?

15.09.17

Why get a functional Screen?

  Firstly to properly answer this question we must ask ourselves …

                                                                   …. WHAT IS A FUNCTIONAL SCREEN?

A functional Screen is a test (or group of tests) that assesses mobility and stability throughout the body. This will identify areas of the body that may be tight, weak or dysfunctional. It identifies asymmetries within the body. The measures obtained are compared to norms so that you know exactly where you sit in regards to others (certain variables such as height and age are taken into account)

Here at Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy some of the Functional Screening tools we use include;

  • FMS (Functional Movement Screen)
  • SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment)
  • Y balance (Upper limb / lower limb balance and Stability)                   
Caba and Ptty physio-98bestbusines   We may also use;
  • Treadmill Running assessment (With video analysis)
  • Posture Assessment (Using the latest app)
                                                                                           + Others… Caba and Ptty physio-95Caba and Ptty physio-100

This moves us on to the next question…… Why should we get a Functional Screen?

                         
  1. IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

  2. PREVENT an INJURY & PAIN

    Improve performance

If you are engaged in competitive sport (or just want to improve your personal performance), then a Functional Screen is essential to identify the weak and tight areas of your body that are impairing optimal performance. In all of our bodies, certain muscles have a tendency to become inhibited or weak and this leads other muscles to compensate. This pattern of compensation will continue indefinitely, impairing performance and is very likely to eventually lead to an injury. We will use the appropriate screening tools and photos/ videos to ensure you understand exactly what is going wrong with your body and from there we will develop a specific, individualised exercise program to recorrect these flaws. This will result in improved biomechanics and performance! It is hard to know just how well you could potentially perform without having a Functional Screen / Biomechanical assessment.  

 Prevent an Injury and Pain

If we can identify parts of the body that are tight, weak and dysfunctional, then by re-correcting these areas then we can prevent an injury from occurring in the first place. A functional Screen will tell us (and therefore you) what level of risk you have of sustaining an injury. If an injury has already occurred (even if it is subtle) then quite often it will cause us to compensate in some way. This can then increase our risk of having ANOTHER injury occur. All of a sudden we “feel like we are falling apart” and it takes us much longer to recover.                

Let massage help you through the winter Season

11.07.17

Let massage help you through the winter Season

For most of us winter means hot drinks, extra layers of clothing, more hours spent in doors and therefore less physical activity and for some a case of the winter blues as the sun sets earlier and the air gets cooler. The good news is that massage therapy can be a great tool to help you through the season.  

The benefits of massage in winter:

It will boost you immune system:

The winter months can often bring an influx of colds and flu's, so it’s extra important to have a healthy functioning immune system to fight off these viruses. Being less active in the winter months can also mean poorer lymphatic flow, which means less circulation of the body’s white blood cells. White blood cells are what help your body fight away infections and disease. Studies have shown that massage encourages the flow of your lymphatic system, and therefore white blood cells. The more white blood cells circulating, the stronger your immune system and the less likely you are to get a cold/flu this winter!

It will encourage circulation:

In cold weather muscles contract to conserve heat, which constricts blood flow and therefore delivers less oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. This also makes it more difficult for cellular waste and toxin removal. This restriction of blood flow decreases muscle health and function, and at times causes aches and stiffness. Luckily the soft tissue manipulation that is used in massage therapy is a brilliant way to increase circulation and improve your health.

It will keep away those winter blues:

For some the colder weather can bring upon stress or feelings of being ‘low’ or ‘under the weather’. One of the beauties about massage is that it releases serotonin and endorphin's, which are hormones that relieve stress/sadness and make you naturally feel happy.

Don’t let the winter blues get you down this season, feel good and get a massage today!  

Click HERE to book a massage

  Massage