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Exercises Archives |

04 Sep

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Risk of Sporting Injuries

September 4, 2017 | By |

Top 5 Most Common Sports Injuries Infographic

Whilst tennis season is reaching a peak over here in Whitecraigs, the committed Squashers continue their matches all year round. And why not, with the Scottish weather being so unpredictable, at least they wont be rained off! But is it possible to have too much of a good thing? With a year-round season, continual load on the body without appropriate rest and recovery can give rise to dreaded injuries.

Overtraining , the result of too much sport-specific practice, has the potential to give rise to chronic overuse injuries. These injuries are often initially overlooked but could have the potential to be majorly troublesome in the long term. Prevenative action is the key.
One golden rule to help avoid injury is when increasing activity, is to do so by no more than 10% per week. This may be 10% further distance when running or 10% increase in weight on the leg press or 10% in the pool. This guideline is suitable for most people but if you are unfortunately prone to injury it may need to be adjusted to 3-5% increase. To help you take note of your progress, keep a detailed training log and use this to gauge your training threshold.

Additionally, to help maximise performance and reduce injury risk, incorporate some rest and recovery into your schedule. Recovery is abolutely essential to allow your muscles to regenerate and come back stronger. Remember, muscles don’t regenerate when you’re exercising; they actually repair while you’re sleeping and resting, so listen to your body.
Cross-training, which is when you train by doing a fitness workout different to your usual sport, is an excellent way to utilise different muscle groups which inevitably reduces injury risk. Swimming, cycling, Pilates or other exercise classes are amongst many options. It will not surprise you though that many athletes have negative connotations associated with cross training… they only do it after they are injured! However, cross training is a superb way to maximise sporting performance and help to keep you injury free. Perhaps you should consider incorporating it and varying your training schedule?

In the event of an injury, it is usual to maintain a certain level of activity and training. This can be very useful to enhance recovery but needs to be specifically tailored to each individual’s situation. Your Physiotherapist can advise you which intensity and type of activity is recommended at each stage of recovery.

If you have any questions on training schedules or any niggling injuries, then please call Physioflexx to book in for a consultation.

12 Dec

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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

December 12, 2016 | By |

Knee pain holds you back, there’s no doubt about it. And for keen runners or cyclists it can really get you down. Lots of people talk of “Runner’s Knee”, a common pain down the outside of the knee, possibly up the thigh or into the front of the knee. It’s sharpest on flexion of the knee, usually made worse going up and down stairs, and tends to be exacerbated by (no surprises here) running.

So what is Runner’s Knee?

itbs

image from http://www.ptaclinic.com/library_knee_75/

Technically, it is known as
(ITBS) (or ITBFS – F for friction), and it is inflammation of the ITB, a wide band of connective tissue which runs from the outside of the pelvis down to the shin. There is a bursa (a little fluid filled cushion between the band and a bony prominence of the femur) to stop the band rubbing against the femur at the lateral epicondyle, and sometimes both the band and the bursa can be irritated.

What causes ITBS?
The most common causes are altered biomechanics in the hip or foot (i.e. flat feet, or knock-knees), poor muscle strength at the gluteus muscles and other muscles of the hip, or poor endurance, particularly if there has been a sudden increase in number of miles run. Watch out for very worn and poorly supportive trainers, and if you’re a cyclist who’s recently changed your set-up, this may be a factor.

So how can we treat it?
Physiotherapy is almost always successful in the treatment of ITBS, and we use a range of techniques from stretching and strengthening exercises, to deep tissue massage and biomechanical assessments. We aim to make sure that all the symptoms are resolved, and that you understand what symptoms to look out for and how to keep on top of them to prevent the condition recurring.

How can I book?
You can call Physioflexx on 01560 483200 to make an appointment, or book in for a Runner’s Analysis to help you unlock your potential.

05 Oct

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Is your working or driving positions causing or exacerbating your pain?

October 5, 2016 | By |

Is your working or driving positions causing or exacerbating your pain?

evoluation

  • Are you struggling at work?
  • Are you sitting correctly?
  • Do you spend a lot of time driving?
  • Is you pain worsening or just not going away?
  • So lets get you set up correctly to help you ease and avoid these pains!

Correct desk posture

seats

  • The seat height – your hips should be at 90 degrees or slightly lower, your knees shoulder be at 90 – 110 degrees angle, with your feet flat on the ground or a footrest.
  • The chair – should be able to slide underneath your desk so you as close to your work space as possible.
  • The backrest – your hips should be as far back in the chair as possible, and the backrest should support the curve in the lower back.
  • Head and shoulders – shoulders are relaxed with upper back and neck straight and you chin tucked in.
  • Your computer screen – should be adjusted to eye level or SLIGHTLY below.
  • Keyboard and Mouse – should be close to each other on the same level with your elbows positioned at 90 degrees desirably resting on the arm rests of the chair. Your wrists should stay straight when you are typing.
  • ergonomics

IMPORTANT!
Do NOT sit longer than a couple of hours, your body was designed to move so move it!, get up walk around the office, have a quick stretch, walk to the water dispenser or coffee machine – move for 15 – 30 seconds with a couple of longer breaks through the day. This will help to make those longer seated sessions more comfortable.
To allow you body to move and function properly you body does need to be used/moved regularly to avoid tightening muscles, stiffening joints and spinal segment movement.
Correct Driving Posture

It is just as important to get your driving posture correct, as poor postures driving especially for those who have a long commute or drive for work can be putting more strain through their bodies than they need to. Sitting too close to the steering wheel can put strain though the legs and back, while sitting too far away from the steering wheel where your feet are barely reaching the pedals can put extra strain on the arms, shoulders and neck.

If you drive four or more hours a day, you’re six times more likely to develop back problems. Musculoskeletal disorders will pose a concern for long-distance drivers, particularly those who drive for a living: truck drivers, taxi drivers, even police officers on patrol.

cars

Time
If you are in the car for a prolonged time the best thing to do is to alter your position or get out for a short walk or stretch every 2 hours. However that many not always be manageable to do so there are other options to help minimize the strain on your body. Vary your working activities – switching roles from driver if possible through the journey, making small adjustments to your seats position every couple of hours to help you stay comfortable and lastly make sure you are sitting correctly in the first place.

Sitting Posture for the Driver

Research suggests to find the best position for yourself you should start with the manufacture initial set up position of:

  • The Steering wheel fully up and forward
  • Seat height at its lowest
  • Cushion tilted so that the front edge is in its lower position available
  • Backrest reclined to roughly 30 degrees from vertical
  • Lumbar adjustments completely removed
  • Seat fully set rearwards (slid fully back)

From this position you should then:

  • Raise the seat as high as comfortable until you have full vision of the road.
  • Move the seat forward until you can easily fully depress the clutch and accelerator pedals.
  • Tilt the cushion angle so that the thighs are supported along the length of the cushion – this helped to reduced pressure behind the knees.
  • Adjust the back rest so that it supports the full back and is in contact with the shoulders – this helps to reduce stress through the head and neck and allow you to stay in the correct position with the cushion/seat, otherwise you will be tempted to excessively forward bend at the head and neck if the backrest is too far back.
  • Adjust lumbar support to give you even pressure along the dip in you spine/back – no pressure points or gaps should be felt.
  • Adjust the steering wheel backwards and downwards for easy and relaxed reach – make sure thighs and knees are clear of the steering wheel while using the pedals.
  • Head restraint should be adjusted to head height.

Finally adjust all your mirrors to ensure maximum viewing without neck or upper body straining.

If you require any extra help or advice our team at physioflexx can help, if you have been in poor positions for a prolonged time we can help to rid you of those aches and pains and change your set up to help prevent them from returning.

18 Jul

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Kinetic Chain Release

July 18, 2016 | By |

Kinetic chain release (KCR) is a sequence of mobilisations and stretches to help regain balance in the body. The process begins at the feet and works towards the jaw and down through the upper limbs. It was established by a Physiotherapist called Hugh Gilbert who has now trained many individuals the art of KCR. There are relatively few contraindications and a quick test before commencing will indicate whether the treatment is able to be conducted safely. KCR has proved to help many different patient groups including chronic back pain, knee pain, tendinopathies of the elbow, migraines & headaches, recurrent soft tissue sprains and strains, fatigue & fibromyalgia. The list goes on and it paves the way to positive change in individual’s who suffer from pain. It has also been known to assist athletes in improving their performance. It is a relatively gentle, non-invasive treatment and can assist anyone and everyone to feel more energised with a greater sense of balance. Below are some pictures of the technique being carried out in our clinic. If you are interested to find out more we have leaflets or please enquire by calling 01560 483200. KCR

07 Jun

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Stretching Blog

June 7, 2016 | By |

Should you? Shouldn’t you? When should you? How should you? How long should you?…. the list goes on and on when it comes to uncertainties about stretching. So in this blog we are going to try and simplify things as much as we can for you. (NOTE: Stretching, particularly for a specific injury or sport, should be individualised & you should seek advice from your therapist re: this specific stretching).

• Stretching- what does it do and why do we do it?
The primary aims of stretching are to decrease tension within a muscle and to try increase the length of a muscle. Through decreasing the tension and increasing the length of a muscle this helps to:
Improve overall flexibility
Increase joint range of movement
Decrease restriction of movements
Decrease the likeliness of injury- this is due to the reduced risk of over stretching a muscle as a gentle stretch has already been applied to encourage an increase in length

All of the effects gained from stretching as mentioned above are beneficial to patients, either for daily exercises/activities or for specific sporting events.

• The Science bit!
When we stretch a muscle (and depending on how we stretch it) there are 3 reflexes that can occur within the muscle:
1. Stretch Reflex
2. Autogenic inhibition
3. Reciprocal innervation
So let’s try and explain what happens when these reflexes occur-

stretching
1. When a stretch is applied to a muscle, fibres within the muscle detect this and send this information to the spinal cord. The spinal cord (as a protective mechanism in response to this stretch) instructs the external fibres of the same muscle to contract in the opposite action of the stretch that was applied. To enable this contraction to occur relaxation of the antagonist muscle group has to occur, making these muscle groups easier to stretch.
2. When a stretch is applied to the muscle, this stretches the muscle spindle. If this stretch last longer than 6 seconds, another part of the muscle (GTO) registers this change in muscle length and tension and causes the muscle to relax. This again is a protective function, allowing the stretch to occur so as to prevent damage to the muscle.
3. When a muscle is placed into a stretched position, the patient can then be asked to contract this muscle (against a resistance and without movement). When the patient relaxes from this contraction there is a 10 second interval where the resting levels of muscle tone are reduced, and during this period a greater stretch can be applied. (Hoffman’s/ “H” reflex).

How to stretch
When it comes to stretching there are 5 different types:
1. Static stretching- during static stretching a muscle is stretched to the point of discomfort and maintained there for a set period. As the stretch is held the initial discomfort should ease and the tension felt within the muscle should decrease. From research it has been found that a static stretch should be held for:

30 seconds and repeated 4-5 times

2. Ballistic stretching- this is when a muscle is stretched to end of range and, whilst remaining at this range, “bouncing” movements are carried out repetitively. There is some consideration that this may not be safe to carry out on an already stretched muscle; however it has been shown that as long as the range and velocity is added progressively, ballistic stretching can reduce a muscles resistance to stretch. Ballistic stretch should be carried out AFTER a warm up and AFTER static stretching.
3-5 reps of end of range pulsing

3. Active stretching- a limb is pulled into inner range. This place a contraction on the shortened muscle, which then causes the opposite muscle to relax and stretch. This type of stretching is most effective when muscle imbalances are apparent.

4. PNF- (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) Contract-relax:

A muscle is placed into a comfortable stretch for 30 seconds. The muscle is then contracted against a resistance (so that the limb doesn’t move) for a set time. The muscle is then relaxed by the patient and a further stretch is applied, this stretch should allow slightly more range than the previous stretch.

30 second stretch, 10 second hold, 30 second stretch- repeat 3 times

PNF- Contract-relax-antagonist-contract- the same method described above is used. However once the secondary stretch has been applied the antagonist muscle to this is then contracted (causing movement of a limb) to cause a further stretch on the muscle being stretched.

30 second stretch, 10 second hold, 30 second stretch- contract opposite muscle- repeat 3 times.

When it comes to evidence regarding stretching unfortunately there is no definite answer. Overall it is concluded that a thorough assessment should be carried out prior to advising any stretching for an individual. To increase range of movement throughout joints, all types of stretching are effective, however:

• for an immediate response to stretching PNF stretching appears to be most effective
• Dynamic stretches are recommended as part of a warm up where strength and performance cannot be compromised
• For elderly patients, static stretching appears to be effective when used as part of an exercise programme
In conclusion, stretching is a beneficial technique to help increase flexibility and range of movement, whether for exercise or day to day activities. All of the techniques discussed above have their benefits, if you would like to find out more or receive advice from one of our therapist contact us today!

04 Mar

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Non-specific Low Back Pain

March 4, 2016 | By |

What exactly is non-specific low back pain?

The short answer is that nobody actually knows. There are thoughts around issues with posture, inactivity, general poor health, low mood and stress but no firm reason as to why this type of back pain develops has been found. What is known is that non-specific low back pain is a very common problem worldwide and it affects multiple aspects of life including work, sleep, hobbies and day to day activities.

 As with every pain there are different stages: acute, sub-acute and chronic. It is very important that any interventions that you look for are carried out sooner rather than later to prevent chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 3 months) developing as this then becomes far more difficult to treat.

 What is likely to be done for me?

 Commonly analgesics and anti-inflammatories will be prescribed to you by your doctor. There is some evidence that supports this method of treatment and it is recommended by Governing Bodies to prescribe however recent studies have shown that there is little to no improvement in symptoms by this alone.

 So what else can help?

 Physiotherapy is highly supported and your doctor may recommend this to you. Physiotherapists are specialists in movement dysfunction and have expert knowledge in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and exercise prescription. Your Physiotherapist can help by loosening off tight tissues which in turn improves flexibility; providing strengthening programmes to assist in improving core strength and endurance; mobilising any stiff joints to improve movement; correcting awkward postures; providing advice on improving activity levels as well as giving a plan as to how to go about this alongside much much more.

 Acupuncture has also been shown to decrease the effects of non-specific low back pain. Acupuncture helps by increasing the blood flow to the area but also by promoting endorphin release – the happy hormone! This will lessen the pain that is experienced and allow you to make the most of the pain free period doing the things that you enjoy.

 Pilates will also help to decrease the symptoms that you may experience with low back pain. Pilates helps by performing low amplitude movements to strengthen the core. The benefits of coming along to a Pilates class – other than decreasing your pain and strengthening up – are that you aren’t alone! You will be working alongside others who can help to motivate you and keep you on track to alleviating your pain. Our classes are ran by fully Chartered Physiotherapists so you’re in good hands too!

Pilates for back pain

Pilates

There we have it! A very quick, brief run through of non-specific low back pain. If there are any questions that you may have, or indeed you think you may benefit from some of the options detailed, give Physioflexx a call on 01560 483 200 and speak to one of our Physiotherapists who will be able to give you some sound advice.

 

Thanks for reading!

23 Feb

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Glutes bridge/Spine curl

February 23, 2016 | By |

An all round excellent exercise and one of our favorites in pilates! This exercise works on the segmental control of your spine Thus helping to release tension, improve flexibility and strengthen those all important glutes, as well as the hamstrings, the abdominals and the core muscles. The exercise can be progressed by raising the heels, raising the toes or extending a leg. The pelvis must stay level throughout and try to move each vertebra as individually as possible!