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Viewing posts categorised under: Wrist and Hand

Golf: The Most Dangerous Sport?

25.07.19

Golf: The Most Dangerous Sport?

The PGA may not look like it has much in common with professional rugby - but you may be surprised to learn that golfers are actually injured more often than rugby players. It’s true. In fact, 62% of amateurs and 85% of professionals will sustain a significant injury associated with playing golf. And with a staggering 60 million golfers worldwide - that’s a whole lot of people getting injured. The problem is, amateur golfers are usually out of shape or have poor swing mechanics, and professional golfers often overuse their muscles with frequent play. Trauma to the lower back accounts for one third of all injuries and can happen to anyone regardless of age or ability. There are a couple of logical reasons for this. Firstly, a good golf swing requires significant club-head speed, which is something that is only achieved by applying a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) throughout your lower back. Secondly, compared to other sports, golf puts a lot of pressure on your spine. Consider the average golf swing produces a compression load on your back equal to 8 times your body weight, whereas a sport like running produces a compression load just 3 times your body weight.  

Golfers experiencing low back pain typically have one of the following types of injuries:

 
  • Muscle Strain or Ligamentous Sprain
  • Disc Injury
  • Altered Joint Mechanics or Motor Control
  • Degenerative Arthritis
  • Bone Fracture
  Other top golf-related injuries include trauma to the elbow, wrist/hand or shoulder. (So much for golf being a low-impact activity!)   It’s helpful to understand not only the types of injuries associated with golf but also the main causes of injury which include:
  • Frequency of repetitive practice (overworked muscles)
  • Suboptimal swing mechanics
  • Inadequate warm-up routine
  • Poor overall physical conditioning
With the average recovery time lasting 2-4 weeks, addressing the main causes of injury is well worth the effort. SO, the question is - How can you enjoy the wonderful game of golf while reducing your risk of injury? The simple answer is through targeted and routine conditioning.  Golf requires strength, endurance, flexibility and explosive power in order to play the game well - and not hurt yourself in the process. Physical conditioning routines designed specifically for golfers can help you stay on the green and out of pain. And as a bonus, conditioning your body to avoid injury while playing golf also helps you improve your game. An 11-week targeted conditioning program found participants:
  • Increased their clubhead speed by 7%
  • Improved their strength up to 56%
  • Improved their flexibility up to 39%
  • Increased their drive distance up to 15 yards with sustained accuracy
  Whether you’re a casual golfer or serious about your game we can help you avoid injury and improve your skills. That’s why we’d like to share with you fun, informative tips and tricks to help you stay injury - free  be sure to check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pottsvillephysiotherapy/ where we’re posting tips and tricks - whatever you’re doing.    

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!

Is screen time affecting more than kids minds?

29.11.18

Is screen time affecting more than kids minds?

    The increased use of screens is probably the biggest change in childhood activity patterns since the introduction of the television 50 years ago. It is likely to have a big impact on children’s health and habits now and throughout their life. The high use of devices in childhood is likely to have a knock on effect later in life with increased risk of; • Obesity • Cardio and metabolic problems • Social and psychological issues • Musculoskeletal problems especially in the neck. Spending numerous hours in a poor neck posture with very little neck movement will make children more vulnerable to neck pain later in life.   There is a lot of research emerging that neck and back problems begin in adolescence – hence the importance of exploring prevention in childhood. The strongest predictor of whether you are going to suffer from neck or back pain in the future is if you have already had it, so stopping that first occasion of pain will have a significant impact! The research also suggests: • that children will also grow up with poor gross motor skills • Children who watch more TV or devices then their peers will have weaker bones by aged 20

Surveys suggest 2/3 of children aged 0-5 are spending at least 30 min per day on devices.

Australian Department of Health guidelines for screen time suggest that children under 2 have NO screen time.

Please click on the below links for guidelines for Physical activity for 0-5 year olds and 5 - 12 year olds.

Link for guidelines for physical activity for 0- 5 5-12 year olds  

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.  

World Osteoporosis Day – know your bones

08.10.17

What is World Osteoporosis Day?

World Osteoporosis Day  takes place every year on October 20th, launching a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.
webmd_rm_photo_of_porous_bones

Normal bone to left - Osteoporosis to right

 

In Australia an estimated 1.2 million people have osteoporosis and a further 6.3 million have low bone density.

  The disease is most common on the older population with 66% of adults over 50 suffering Poor bone health can lead to minimal trauma fractures such as a minor bump or fall The most common fracture sites include: hip, wrist, spine arms and ribs Physiotherapists understand the impact of a fracture on a patient, seeing how disruptive they can be for day to day tasks and quality of life, slowing the road to recovery. Fracture prevention is complicated but studies have shown we can reduce re-fracture rates by up to 80%.   We can devise strength and balance programs specific to you type of fracture, age and level of function which result in improved mobility strength and physical performance A new online tool will assist you and your Physio.  Visit http://www.knowyourbones.org.au/ Australia’s first bone health self assessment.  The assessment provides a general risk summary report.  

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.                

Carly’s Birthday Blog

01.09.17

Why do you love Pilates? I love Pilates because it is a form of exercise that can be modified to suit ANYONE. The layers of challenge you can add are endless. I also love that age is no barrier, it's the practice that counts! What's the best thing about being a physio? Being able to help people reach the goals that are most important to them. No matter how big or small, it's really rewarding to be a part of that journey. I also love that physio can take you in so many directions. From the clinic to the sports field, the possibilities are endless! Why work at Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy ? I grew up in Cabarita, so it's nice to be able to come back to my roots. It's an amazing community with a great coastal vibe and being so close to the beach is always a plus. But, most importantly, the team is amazing! Best relaxation tip? A nice long walk along the beach followed by some guided meditation.  There is nothing better. Best lifestyle tip? Find something you love and do it consistently. Challenge yourself in some way each and every day. Favourite activity? Doing some high intensity interval training or boxing. It gets the heart racing and the sweat pouring. It's even better when you have some amazing people to work out with. Favourite recipe? Tacos. Need I say more? A special mention to Kai's choc chip oatmeal cookies. If you haven't tried them, you should! A typical Sunday... A nice long sleep in followed by a Pilates workout. I then like to go to one of my favourite cafes on the Coast and enjoy multiple coffees and a delicious brunch. You might catch me running around the rugby league scene in the afternoon. That's my other passion!Carly    

Balance – Falls Prevention

31.03.17

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. o 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 a fall ?

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.  

Golf Blog – Carly Jennar

27.03.17

The popularity of golf has increased substantially over the past few years with an estimated 55 million players worldwide.  With increased accessibility and participation rates, the sport of golf offers up a diversity of player profiles, ages and levels of experience. Golf is generally considered to be a moderate risk activity with respect to the development of injury.  Up to 80% of all golfing injures are due to overuse with the remainder resulting from trauma or contact. The most common areas for injuries in golfers include:

Low back and trunk

Injuries represent the highest incidence of injury affecting up to 1/3 of golfers. Due to the increased rotational forces placed on the spine during the golf swing and the asymmetric nature of the swing, the back is subject to increased forces and potential for injury.

Upper limb injuries are far more common than lower limb injuries.

 
  • Shoulder injuries are usually related to overuse and are due primarily to increased rotary forces (internal and external rotation) at the beginning and at the end of the swing. Common injuries include rotator cuff pathology, AC joint pain and shoulder instability.
  • Elbows are the second most frequently injured area. Overuse injuries to the tendons of the medial epicondyle (golfer’s elbow) and lateral epicondyle or (tennis elbow) are common.  Interestingly, tennis elbow is 5 times more common than golfer’s elbow among amateur players - likely a result of poor biomechanics such as over-swinging.
  • Wrist and hand injuries can result from blunt force with the ground or overuse. Fractures, subluxations and tenosynovitis are most commonly seen.

Lower limb injuries are much less frequent and can be attributed to both the swing as well as the walking loads between holes.

 
  • Hip injuries are often a result of the increased rotational forces placed on the hip during the swing. Soft tissue injuries to the groin and gluteals have been noted, as well as trochanteric bursitis.
  • Knee pain is often associated with meniscal injury due to the twisting moments placed on the knee during the swing. Osteoarthritis of the knee can also be aggravated during the swing or when walking.
  • Foot and Ankle pain are less common, with ankle sprains and plantar fasciopathy of note.

Risk Factors

 
  • The main risk factor associated with injury is a lower handicap (increased proficiency) likely due to the increased hours spent training and playing golf – think overuse and/or over training.
  • An age of >50 years old was also observed as in increased risk factor, primarily due to the physiological changes associated with ageing.
  • Other factors increasing risk of injury include lack of warming-up, reduced mobility/flexibility and poor physical conditioning.
  • Muscular imbalances have also been shown to increase injury risk, particularly during intense play or with high practice hours.
  • Collision injuries are most commonly related to contact with golf balls and clubs and in some instances, the golf-cart!
  • Poor swing mechanics and incorrect grip and set-up.

Prevention

 
  • Evidence exists for the implementation of a holistic training program to reduce golf-related injuries.

Programs involving: 

 
  • Flexibility with specific focus on the shoulder and hip (particularly the hip flexors);
  • Mobility particularly of the thoracic spine;
  • Core stability to support the large rotational forces of the spine during swing;
  • Balance to provide a solid foundation for the swing;
  • Resistance exercises with particular focus on large muscle groups and scapular stabilisers.
  • An adequate warm-up prior to commencing play e.g. dynamic stretching including trunk rotations and knees to chest.
  • Assessment and correction of any muscular asymmetries or range of motion deficits;
  • Optimisation of swing biomechanics by a golfing coach.
 

If you are looking to improve your golf game or you have done yourself an injury, contact Pottsville & Cabarita Physiotherapy for an assessment.  Alternatively, you come and try out our fitness Pilates circuits - they will be sure to help you hit that hole-in-one!