Some of the major risk factors will make a lot of sense;
- previous hamstring injury
- poor strength in the hamstrings
- sporting moments where there is large load through a hamstring that is already on stretch (ie heel strike of the foot in a full sprint or landing from a jump with a relatively straight knee and bent hip).
- Imbalance in muscular strength from leg to leg of >20% puts you at 3.4x the risk of having a hamstring strain within the next season.
- Having short biceps femoris fascicle length puts you at a 4x increased risk.
So, the obvious question now is – HOW DO I DO IT?There are plenty of different eccentric focused hamstring exercises that are at different levels of difficulty. Some of these include;
- Glute bridge hamstring sliders
- Stiff leg deadlifts/ Romanian deadlifts
- Single leg Romanian deadlifts
- Nordic Hamstring curls (very difficult)
- Remember the mantra LONG & STRONG
- Train your hamstrings eccentrically to address risk factors
- Continue to eccentrically train your hamstrings once per week to maintain the changes in muscle architecture.
Exercise can reduce progression and side effects of type 2 diabetes by:• Improving glycaemic (blood glucose) control • Increasing insulin sensitivity for up to 72 hours post exercise • Resistance exercise increases muscle mass which becomes glucose storage space • Weight loss • Decreasing blood pressure • Improving self confidence • Improving cardiac function • Decreasing depression • Improving muscle strength, flexibility and balance Type of exercise • Incidental exercise: walking to work, taking the stairs etc • Low to moderate intensity: walking, exercise bike, swimming, water aerobics etc How much exercise • 30 min to 1 hour of low to moderate intensity exercise daily (i.e.- you are still able to hold a conversation but may be a little breathless). Minimum amount of exercise should be 150 min / week (3x30) at 50-70% of maximum heart rate. • Avoid resting for more than 2 days in a row • 8-10 resistance exercises exercising all the major muscle groups should be performed twice a week. Your Physiotherapist will recommend a personalized program for you to start with and progress every month or as needed. Do not exercise if you are unwell, PLEASE SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR GP BEFORE COMMENCING EXERCISE
Remedial massage and its effect on Low back painLow back pain is an extremely common symptom for many people, affecting up to 85% of the population at some point in their lives. Low back pain (LBP) can be a complicated issue, yet it can also be a rather simple biomechanical fault of imbalances in the hips.
Muscle Imbalances:A frequent cause of LBP is due to muscle imbalances. Remedial massage therapists can treat these imbalances between muscles of the hips, legs and back, which play a major role in LBP. For example weakness/under activity of the muscles at the back or side of the hip, like Gluteus Maximus or the hip abductor muscles, can cause muscles in the front of the hip like Psoas Major, to over activate and potentially pull the lumbar vertebrae and sacrum out of alignment. This misalignment can soon cause twinges or pain in the lower back and put the lumbar area at greater risk of more serious injuries if not treated.
Myofascial trigger Points:Another cause of LBP are the presence of Myofascial trigger points. These can arise in muscles for a variety of reasons; muscle overactivity, underactivity or as mentioned above can be caused by muscle imbalances. Common active Myofascial trigger points found to be associated to LBP are in muscles like Quadratus Lumborum, Psoas Major, Multifidi and the Gluteal muscles. Trigger points prevent nutrient flow and inhibit muscle function, which can lead to faulty movement patterns and pain. Remedial massage therapists can treat trigger points, bringing health back into muscles, relieving pain. Remedial massage therapy has been shown through studies to be extremely beneficial for patients with low back pain, especially when treatment is combined with exercises and education. Remedial massage can be used as part of a multi-disciplinary approach accompanied with modalities such as physiotherapy, yoga or osteopathy, or as an effective stand-alone therapy. No one wants to live with low back pain. Let your closest remedial massage therapist help you today so you can enjoy the activities you love!
Guidelines for healthy computer use • Move and stretch every hour to promote blood flow • Respond to any feeling of discomfort by changing position • Add variety to your tasks • Make sure you are sitting correctly and have your workstation set up to avoid strain Posture • Relax shoulders • Elbows at 90 degrees • Forearms level • Head upright and looking forward • Neck lengthened • Back supported by chair • Use a lumbar support • Feet fully supported on floor or footrest Work space • Place items close to your position based on how often you use them. Regularly used items should be placed within easy reach • If you are using the phone a lot look into a head set or speaker phone. Never cradle the phone between the side of your head and your shoulder. Chair • Adjust seat height so that feet or flat on floor or foot rest with your knees at or slightly below the level of your hips • With your bottom pushed into the back of the seat, adjust the back rest height so that the lumbar support is in the lumbar or curved area of your spine • Recline the back rest angle between 95-110 degrees so that both the upper and lower part of the back is supported • Adjust the armrest height so that your shoulders are not elevated Computer • The top of the monitor should be positioned at eye level • Torso must not be twisted • Keyboard and mouse should be just below elbow level • Keyboard should be centred in front of you • Adjust the keyboard tit so that your wrist is in neutral (straight) • Monitor should be about arms length away • Lighting should be even and glare free
• Hold your head up straight with your chin in. • Ensure that your earlobes are in line with the middle of your shoulders. • Keep your shoulders back. • Push your chest out, slightly. • Keep your knees straight, but not locked. • Stretch the top of your head toward the ceiling. • Engage your abdominals, but don’t suck in or tilt your pelvis. • Carry your weight equally between the balls and heels of your feet. • Breathe naturally. Ways to Improve Posture 1. Exercise Focus on stretching tightened muscles in the chest, front of the shoulders, and hip flexors (front of the hips) as well as strengthening back, abdominal, and glute muscles. 2. Foam Roll Foam rolling, or myofascial release, is becoming much more popular, and for good reason. It is essentially like a deep tissue massage for your muscles. This is important because it allows tight muscles and fascia to loosen up so that stretching those muscles becomes easier. If you have formed bad posture of years and years of bad habit, it may be very challenging to correct it without release those over worked and tight muscles. 3. Ergonomics Ergonomics involves changing your environment to support and encourage good posture. Adding lumbar support to your chair is a good example, or even invest in a standing desk. You could also modify a tool, work station, counter height, or task to improve its ergonomics. 4. Eliminate Bad Habits You must first be conscious of these bad habits, but things such as slouching in a chair or reading while lying down are some places to start. Working under dim light is also one, it results is craning your head forward to see your work better as well as slouching. Even driving your car in a bad position can help contribute to poor posture. Did you know posture affects many areas of your life: Mood Memory Confidence Digestion Bones & Muscles Content adapted from http://blog.paleohacks.com/how-to-improve-your-posture/#
Why you should be doing Pilates! Mindfulness and Stress relief: Pilates requires total focus and breath control –this activates your para-sympathetic nervous system (your rest and repair system) allowing relaxation throughout the body Core activation: The core is the foundation for every exercise in the Pilates method Pain relief: building a strong core and strong muscles will support your musculo-skeletal system and provides significant pain relief particularly to lower back pain but all joint and muscle pain Recovery from an injury with Pilates to rebuild the muscles that have been weakened through pain, injury, rest or adaptive postures Improved flexibility: Pilates incorporates a variety of stretching, flowing movements to mobilise your spine and lengthen your muscles. Improved posture: Pilates targets the deep postural muscles, and promotes elongation through the spine, allowing you to stand taller. Full-body workout: Pilates focuses on core control while training the entire body as an integrated system. Your whole body will become toned with regular Pilates. Safe and gentle: Pilates is gentle and safe for everyone from the young to the pregnant and elderly. Balance: Pilates exercises help to improve your balance which is great at all ages but especially for falls prevention in the elderly Performance Enhancement: Pilates is a great way to build strength and reinforce correct movement patterns allowing more efficient movement. This will show up as better results with your chosen sport.
Matt BrackenWhy do you love pilates? In my opinion, Pilates is the gold standard in preventing and managing musculoskeletal health issues. As humans we start to develop bad habits and movement patterns and these patterns aren’t necessarily correct. We do what is easiest in regards to performing a task and over time these movement patterns are reinforced. Pilates slows everything down and breaks apart all the bad habits we have developed. It incorporates and analyses every key movement pattern and ensures that we can do them correctly. From the very basics it allows us to re-learn how to move correctly in a controlled environment and then build on it, gradually changing our poor movement habits that occur on a daily basis and reinforcing the correct ways of moving. We improve our core stability, balance, strength and flexibility. We become functionally stronger and more flexible, which allows us to be more proficient at doing things in a bio mechanically ideal manner and this helps us be injury free. What is the best thing about being a physiotherapist? Very simply;
- To be able to help others.
- To spread knowledge and address an issue, one step at a time.
- To meet several hundred faces each year and work through each issue, each injury, one at a time.
- To self-empower people with knowledge and understanding that they can have for the rest of their lives.
The most common types of headache are:1) Cervicogenic headache 2) Tension headache 3) Migraine 4) Sinus headache 5) Cluster headache.
Cervicogenic Headache:These are headaches originating from the cervical spine or other anatomical structures in the neck, such as nerves or muscle. SYMPTOMS can include neck pain and cervical muscle tenderness. CAUSES Although the syndrome can be characterised by chronic pain on one side of the head, it is often referred from either joints or muscles of the upper neck. Often these headaches can happen following a whiplash, neck injury or muscle trauma due to poor prolonged posture or severe stress Often people hold poor positions and sustain them for long periods of time, this can result in a 'poked neck' posture with an increased thoracic curve. This posture typically results in upper neck joint stiffness and related thoracic spine stiffness, contributing directly to neck dysfunction and as a result, a cervicogenic headache. Trauma to the neck as occurs with whiplash is also a very common cause of neck pain and headache. Whiplash is usually associated with car accidents, but it can happen during skiing accidents or falls from significant heights. Physiotherapy TREATMENT includes:
- Postural assessment
- Mobilisation and/or manipulation of cervical spine
- Soft tissue massage and trigger point release of the muscles and the soft tissues around the neck.
- Exercise programs, lifestyle advice and self management techniques to improve the postural control, position and strength of the neck, upper spine, lumbo-pelvic core and scapular muscles.
- Acupuncture if indicated
Tension headacheTension headaches are caused by muscle spasm over the head and neck. This can be due to stress, worry or anxiety. They tend to be afternoon headaches and feel like a tight band across the head.
MigraineMigraine is a severe throbbing headache that is often associated with nausea and vomiting, often the pain is one sided. Migraine can be caused by triggers e.g.- food, emotions, light and noise, exercise.
Sinus headachesSinus headaches are caused by increased production of mucous within the sinus, or blockage of the drainage system of the sinus. Pain is mostly frontal and often worse with bending forward or lying down.
Cluster HeadachesCluster Headaches occur in bouts, often they are short lasting, but may occur several times within a 24hr period. Severe pain occurs behind one eye or one half of the head. These can often be helped by exercise.
Take a moment to "feel" your headache;
- Is your headache caused by your neck ?
- Does your pain starts at the top of your neck and then spread around to the front of your head?
- Does moving your neck make the pain worse?
- Does prolonged sitting make your headache worse?
- Do you have light headedness or dizziness?
- Is your headache eased by pressure to the base of the skull?
- If the answer is YES to any of these questions Physiotherapy treatment will help you.
How to prevent your headaches:
- Check your posture, think tall. Your shoulders should be relaxed, your chin tucked in and your head level. Your neck should feel straight and relaxed.
- Check your sitting position, especially if you are in a sustained position for long periods. You may need to stretch frequently throughout the day.
- Check your pillow. A memory foam pillow is best for most people. Do not use more than one pillow.
- Relax: watch that you are not clenching your teeth, or hunching your shoulders. Learn to recognise when you are tense and learn how to relax. Taking deep breaths or applying a heat pack to the tense muscles may help.
- Exercise: You need to keep your muscles and joints flexible and strong. You will be prescribed an exercise program that is appropriate for you.
- Increased stress levels – causes increase muscle tension and increased blood flow
- Decreased immunity
- Dietary factors – particularly important in migraine and cluster headaches:
Here at Pottsville Physiotherapy we can successfully treat headaches and show you how to prevent the pain recurring.Melissa Macdonald has done extensive training in the management of headache and migraine and specialises in this area. Greater then 80% of all headaches (including migraine) have a cervical component and can be helped and even alleviated with skilled treatment.
Regular sleep is essential.
Sleep is just as important as food and water but unfortunately most of us don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is when our body rests and revitalizes. It is when healing and growth occur. Many important bodily functions occur when you are asleep: regulating hormones, stimulating the immune system, detoxification, tissue repair, reducing inflammation. Aim for 7-10 hours / night Chronic sleep deprivation, even just losing 1 hour per night can wreak havoc on your body. Not only that we often struggle to wake up, have an afternoon slump and then sometimes we are wide awake when we need to be going to sleep. Some of us have the misfortune of suffering insomnia.
The stress of modern life is often the cause, not enough hours in the day to get everything done, our cortisol levels are continuously high affecting our bodies adrenal glands and making the problem worse. It is a vicious cycle that you need to break A.S.A.P.
What happens when you don’t get enough sleep?
• Lowered immunity
• Cognitive performance declines with fewer than eight hours of sleep.
• Adverse affect on affect brain function.
• Sleep deprivation disrupts hormones that regulate glucose metabolism and appetite. The association between sleep deprivation and obesity appears to be strongest in young and middle-age adults.
Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
1. Set your body clock by maintaining a regular bedtime schedule, including weekends: go to sleep and wake at the same time everyday no matter what. 10pm – 6am is a good starting point to aim for.
2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine (warm bath, reading (not a backlit screen), meditation, candle, aromatherapy or soothing music).
3. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
4. Avoid over stimulating your senses prior to bed. Turn off electronics, better still have a ‘no gadgets in the bedroom’ rule for you and the kids, avoid watching TV especially violent, stressful shows prior to bed. Avoid loud music with a fast beat. Dim the lights whilst getting ready for bed: bright lights interfere with melatonin the sleep hormone.
5. Sleep on a comfortable mattress at a comfortable temperature, the optimal temperature is 22 degrees Celsius.
6. Use only 1 pillow so your neck is not overly flexed, a memory foam contour pillow is best.
7. Use your bedroom as a bedroom only, not an office.
8. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. This means no food after 7pm
9. Exercise regularly, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime. Include as much incidental movement and dynamic activity as well as scheduled exercise in your day.
10. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. Caffeine can take up to 8 hours to get out of your system so avoid all caffeine after 2pm. Drink calming caffeine free herbal teas like chamomile tea.
11. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime or best to avoid it altogether
12. Slow your breathing and practice meditation before bedtime. This will help slow your heart beat, slow down your brain and help you to unwind before sleep. Start simple with taking 5 deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth and focusing on making the expiration as long as possible. There are some fantastic apps you can download if you have trouble doing this on your own.
13. In the morning when you wake, get straight up, no snoozing, snuggling or lingering. Have a large glass of filtered water and get moving preferably outside to enjoy some sunlight exposure.
14. Avoid naps as they can put your body clock out of synch
15. Avoid sleeping pills as they can be highly addictive and don’t solve the problem. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and has been shown to help.
16. Still having trouble you need to look at the STRESS LEVELS in your life, it is also worth speaking to your G.P.
MAGNESIUM Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. Magnesium is also involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body. One of the roles of magnesium is a calcium channel blocker which means it helps muscles to relax. A deficiency in magnesium can lead to many problems but what concerns us as Physiotherapists is it can lead to muscle spasms, muscle pain, muscle fatigue, cramps, restless legs and trigger points as well as migraines and osteoporosis. Signs of deficiency include (but are not limited to) headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, muscle weakness and fatigue. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, PMS, heart palpitations, frequent constipation, anxiety and depression, numb/tingling skin, teeth grinding, and difficulty falling asleep. Conversely, consuming too much magnesium typically causes diarrhoea as the body attempts to excrete the excess. What can I eat to boost my magnesium levels
- Green leafy vegetables (silver beet, spinach and broccoli), nuts and seeds (including brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower and sesame seeds) it is also found in grains like brown rice, rye and wheat and fruits such as figs and apricots.