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How can Physiotherapy help with Arthritic Joints?

Posted on 21st March 2014 by

Arthritis care at goPhysio joints
Each week in the clinic we get new patients coming in asking for help and advice in looking after, treating and improving arthritic joints.
Here are some of the many ways we can help you or someone you know with arthritis:

Prevention
• We take a very pro-active approach to helping maintain a healthy, active life. As physio’s we are perfectly placed to advise on helping minimise the impact of some arthritis’s. For example – if you’ve suffered with an injury or pain for some time, it is no doubt going to have an impact on how you move. The adjustments your body can make to compensate can be incredible and subsequently this can cause wear & tear on other areas of the body. By making sure you move as optimally as possible during your rehabilitation, we minimise any unnecessary impact on other areas of your body, helping you move ‘normally’.
• By advising people on how best to support and look after their joints, often we can help to delay the onset of arthritis or reduce the impact it has on their daily lives. After all, prevention is always better than cure!
• We can look at joint movement, muscle strength, posture, gait and alignment and give tips on areas that are weak or may need work to stop them from developing into a more serious issue. You may benefit from a course of Physiotherapy, a home exercise programme or joining one of our Pilates classes to keep mobile.


Treatment
• If you book an appointment to see us to help resolve your arthritic pain, we’ll fully assess, diagnose and treat your symptoms, getting you back to your normal self as quickly as we can. We take into account your lifestyle, your aims & goals and are realistic with helping you work out what you can achieve.
• The initial assessment will look at movement, strength and function of the painful joint or region. We’ll also look at your posture and gait to make sure you are moving correctly. Treatment will be tailored to your needs and you’ll also get a home exercise programme to help with your recovery. Treatment could consist of the following:
• Joint Mobilisations – to loosen stiff joints and increase the range of movement available.
• Soft Tissue Work – including massage, trigger point release and myofascial release to relieve muscular spasm and tightness that could be limiting movement or causing pain.
• Ultrasound Therapy – this helps promote healing and reduces inflammation – key in arthritic joints.
• Exercise Programme – this could cover a variety of areas, including strength, mobility, flexibility, balance and proprioception.
• Acupuncture – to help with pain relief or to loosen out soft tissues that may be tight or overactive.


On Friday 23rd March, from 11am – 12pm, Chartered Physiotherapist Kim will be available at our Chandlers Ford Clinic to answer any arthritis related questions you may have. Feel free to pop in to the clinic that morning for a free chat.

If you would like to book an appointment or speak to one of our Physiotherapists about how we can help – just give the Reception team a call on 023 8025 3317.


How come my feet have grown after I’ve had a baby?

Posted on 19th March 2014 by

Why, after being a size 4 all of my adult life do I now have to buy size 5 shoes?!

All pregnant women expect to get bigger with pregnancy, but it’s not just your bump that can grow! Research has found that Relaxin, the hormone responsible for relaxing the joints, ligaments and muscles surrounding the pelvis and low back in preparation for child birth, will also act on other ligaments in the body.

A study at the University of Iowa found that on average during pregnancy, arch height decreased by between 1-5mm and foot length increased by 2-10mm, with these changes remaining at 19 weeks post-delivery.

During pregnancy, as your feet take the load of your increasing body weight (plus a growing bump), combined with gravity and the effects of Relaxin, can cause your feet to ‘grow’ in size, either in length or width. Many women find they will need to wear a larger shoe size during their pregnancy to accommodate their larger feet. This is often due to water retention and swelling in the feet and legs, causing them to look and feel bigger than they are!

Most women will find that once they have had their baby as the Relaxin levels in their body lower, their feet will return to their ‘normal’ pre-pregnancy size. However, in some cases there can be a permanent increase in shoe size. This can be due to a variety of factors – number of pregnancies, hyper-mobility (natural flexibility) of the foot and weight gain.

Foot archesThis permanent change in foot size is more common than we think! The permanent change is caused by the plantar ligaments that support the longitudinal arch of the foot becoming stretched and permanently lengthened. This in turn leads to flattened or collapsed arches, which can potentially lead to foot, ankle, knee and hip pain over time.

feet growth baby

The actress, Denise van Outen, mentioned after the birth of her daughter a few years ago, that her feet grew from a size five to six while she was pregnant, and have stayed that size since – she had to give away most of her designer shoes as they no longer fitted!

If you have noticed that your feet have permanently increased in size after you’ve had your baby, with your middle arch starting to flatten out, goPhysio could help. With our GaitScan system, we can assess your new foot position and if it would help you, provide you with a pair of custom made orthotics which will help support the arches of your foot and relieve the pressure on other structures higher up in your leg. In the future this will help prevent long-term adaptations being made by your body which can result in other problems, such as back, pelvic & hip pain. As a new Mum, with little time to rest, you’ll certainly be on your feet a lot more and this isn’t likely to change for many years to come. Looking after your body and being pro-active in preventing issues is key. If you’ve already noticed aches & pains, custom made orthotics will help reduce these.

If you have any questions about how we can help with foot pain during pregnancy, pop in to see us or give us a call!