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Common Triathlon Injuries

Posted on 31st January 2017 by

Triathlon is a highly demanding discipline, consisting of swimming, cycling and running. It’s an endurance sport which requires suppleness, agility, flexibility and strength throughout the whole kinetic chain, all of which take their toll on the athlete.

Triathletes commonly train between 10-15 hours per week, so injury is normally due to overuse of the body. Additionally, due to the time expended training and competing, participants tend to get less time to recover or sleep as they fit in intensive training regimes around work and/or home commitments. It is particularly important, therefore, to be in the best of health. Eating a high protein diet, facilitating better recovery and building muscle mass, is a smart way to stay ahead.

Common triathlete injuries

Knee Injuries are very common in triathletes, they can be caused by:

  • The excessive forces generated from poor knee over pedal spindle position when cycling, leading to patello-femoral mal-tracking & patellar tendonopathies.
  • The excessive rotational forces through the knee caused by a poor technique in swimming, causing ligament sprains, cartlidge or meniscal problems.
  • Overuse soft tissue injuries caused by excessive heel strike or flattened foot arches, when running i.e. Achilles tendonopathies, shin pain, ilio-tibial band friction syndrome.

Tendonopathies Achilles tendonopathies are one of the most common tri-athlete injury. The achilles tendon tends to shorten on the bike and when transitioning into running, is over-stretched and over time, it becomes overloaded and injured.

Ligament Sprains Affect mainly knees and ankles, sustained through trauma when falling, twisting or landing awkwardly.

Muscle Tears These commonly occur within the explosive accelerating muscles of the lower limb. They frequently occur at the start of a speed or hill session (with inadequate warm-up) or as a runner becomes fatigued towards the end of a session.

Shoulder Injuries 60% of swimming injuries are related to the shoulder, due to repetitive excessive over-rotation and constant overloading of the joint and muscles. This causes impingement (trapping of the soft tissue against the bone), rotator cuff tendonopathies, sub-acromial bursitis, or muscle imbalance, trigger points or an unstable joint.

Neck and Shoulder Injuries With poor alignment on the bike, over-stretching and reaching can cause a build-up of tension within the neck joints and muscles, causing facet joint stiffness, myofascial trigger points, disc injuries and nerve entrapment.

Back Injuries The lumbar spine is often affected, due to the sustained, unnatural flexed position of the cyclist. Long-term overuse lumbar facet joint and disc conditions often occur, as do chronic muscle imbalances, trigger points and painful protective muscle spasm.

Foot and Ankle Injuries Poor running technique (excessive heel strike) or flattened foot arches, can result in shin pain, achilles tendonopathies, ilio-tibial band friction syndrome and back injuries.

Many of the common triathlon injuries can be prevented through education and body conditioning. Making sure you are aware of injury risks and crucially, taking steps to avoid them is the best course of action. This includes:

  • Warming up effectively
  • Being aware of any personal ‘risk’ areas i.e. tightness, weakness, imbalances – and more importantly dressing these
  • Using the right equipment, set up in the best way for you
  • Working on your technique
  • Balancing training with rest and recovery
  • Mixing up your training with other activities, such as Pilates
  • Not ignoring any niggling injuries that may build up

If you suffer with an acute injury or have developed an overuse injury, get in touch with us at goPhysio. Our team of Physio’s are well equipped to help you overcome your injury and build long term, physical durability to help stop you suffering an injury again – getting the best enjoyment from your triathlon!

Read more on cycling injuries, running injuries and runners knee.

 

 


How goPhysio are different

Posted on 24th January 2017 by

There’s a lot of choice out there if you want to see a Physio. As a customer looking for someone to help solve your injury frustrations and get you back to enjoying an active life, it can be a bit daunting.

Unless someone has been recommended to you, you probably head straight for your computer & Google! But what do you look for?

Here’s how we’re different at goPhysio..……….

We employ all our staff

All our Physiotherapists are full time employees of goPhysio. So what you may ask? Well we think it’s a big deal. Having a team of full time employees gives us a really cohesive force. The team’s working time is fully dedicated to goPhysio – not being pulled or split between too many commitments. This means they are there to fully support you and your treatment. Our staff don’t turn up for an evening clinic having already spent a whole day working in the NHS, already exhausted!

We have a dedicated clinic, open over 60 hours a week

Our dedicated clinic is open 6 days a week, from sunrise to sunset during the week! The fact we’re open all day, every day gives you a consistent service, with appointments at a time to suit you. If you need to contact us, you can. If you need to see someone today – more often than not, you can! We’re even open on a Saturday morning if you can’t quite squeeze in an appointment during the week.

Experienced clinicians

All of our staff have a minimum of 5 years experience working as a Physiotherapist. Between us, we’ve got a combined experience of over 30 years. This experience helps get better outcomes for you, faster. The hundreds of patients they’ve seen, combined with an environment of shared knowledge creates a dynamic, progressive and problem solving environment, giving you the best possible care and service. If you come and see us at goPhysio, you won’t be seeing someone who’s recently qualified, with minimal real life experience in resolving injuries.

Range of onsite services

Whether you’re after help with an injury or being proactive about your health and physical well being, we offer a range of in-house, services all within the clinic. Our team all work very closely together, so if you want’t to carry on your rehabilitation through coming to one of our Pilates classes, the transition is seamless. If, during a sports massage, a more serious injury is picked up, you’ll be referred on to a Physio. This integrated method of care helps support you to achieve your goals.

Dedicated administration team

Our dedicated administration team are always on hand to help you. We now have over 60 hours a week of administration support at the clinic. Whether it’s booking or changing an appointment, liaising with your insurance company or sorting out a receipt for your cash back plan, they can help. It also means that our clinical staff aren’t pulled between answering the phone, booking appointments and managing diaries – they can focus on you as their patient! When our desk or phones aren’t manned, you can even book an appointment online safely and securely on our website.

Our Clinic

We’re one of the only private practices in the area that has their own, completely independent clinic and facilities. We’re not renting a room in a GP surgery or gym or reliant on third parties for long term stability. We are completely independent and in control of our facilities which gives us stability and control. We are able to continually re-invest into the clinic to offer the best facilities and experience in the area. At the end of 2016, we moved into our brand new clinic in Chandlers Ford. This is our third clinic in Chandlers Ford, each time we’ve moved we’ve doubled in size. We spent a year renovating a derelict old building and now have an amazing new space – with large, private treatment rooms, a spacious studio, rehabilitation room and air conditioning throughout for your comfort. There’s a free on site car park for your use and great local transport links. We’ve got everything you need to have a relaxed, welcoming & supported recovery.

Local, Family Business

goPhysio is a truly local, small, family business. It’s owned and managed by husband and wife team, Paul & Fiona. It was established locally back in 2001 and has grown from strength to strength ever since. Paul & Fiona not only have a business in Chandlers Ford but live here too with their 3 children, who go to school locally. They love being able to provide such a crucial and valued service in the area. You can read more about the history of goPhysio here! 

Recommendations

Over 80% of our new customers come to us through a personal recommendation. Unlike many other physio’s we don’t fill our diaries with 3rd party external referrals from high volume/low cost work (which is now commonplace in the industry). So the patients that fill our diaries are there because they value the service we offer and results we achieve, they have chosen us based on the quality of service we offer. This is the biggest compliment and endorsement we can get – personal recommendations and returning customers! We even say thank you to those who refer a friend with our ‘Refer A Friend’ Scheme.
goPhysio Chandlers FordgoPhysio SouthamptongoPhysio Physiotherapy Clinic Chandlers Ford goPhysio Studio Chandlers Ford


Low Back Pain & Sciatica – The Latest NICE Guidelines

Posted on 20th January 2017 by

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently published new guidelines on best management of low back pain. This includes both people with ‘simple’ back pain (localised to the back) and those with referred pain (sciatica) which can affect the nerves down one leg. These guidelines are based on latest evidence and expert analysis of what is the best course of action for people with low back pain.

Here’s how we’re putting them into practice at goPhysio

Assessment

When you come to see us with back pain we will do a thorough assessment by asking a number of questions to find out more about your pain and to rule out any ‘red flag’ conditions. These red flags can indicate serious pathology such as cancer, infection, trauma, inflammatory conditions or Cauda Equina Syndrome. Thankfully these conditions are rare but if we have any suspicion we will referral you on to the appropriate speciality for further investigations without delay.

We will do a complete back examination to assess how the joints, muscles and nerves are functioning. We know there are a number of factors that can influence your recovery both positively and negatively so our staff are undergoing further training on use of the STarT Back Risk Assessment tool. This will help us identify those who are at risk of poorer outcomes and ensure that we tailor our treatment to address these factors.

Treatment

Self-management education is a vital aspect of treatment for any patient. We help you to understand why you have pain and what steps you can take to reduce it – both during an acute flare up of pain but also long term strategies or simple changes you can make to your lifestyle which will help your back.

Your treatment will vary depending on the nature and cause of your pain, how severe it is and a variety of individual factors. Physiotherapy treatment may include manual therapy such as joint mobilisations or massage, alongside a personal exercise programme and advice on pain relief.

Research has shown that anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s) such as Ibruprofen or Naproxen are much better than paracetamol for back pain, however, for people that are unable to take NSAID’s or that find them ineffective, weak opioid medications such as Co-codamol can be recommended for simple back pain.

For acute sciatica your GP may recommend stronger ‘neuropathic’ pain medications which are much better for nerve pain (tingling/burning/shooting pain). Please note all medications have side effects and can interact with other medications you are already on or other conditions that you may have so please check with your GP or a pharmacist before taking any new medication.

What happens if you are not responding to treatment?

For acute sciatica you may be referred on to a spinal consultant, who in more severe cases can consider epidural injections or a spinal decompression surgery. However it is important to remember that this is never a first course of action as most episodes of sciatica resolve within 6-12 weeks. Your physio will help you decide when it is appropriate to be referred on depending on how you respond and recover.

Sometimes there are psychological factors affecting your rehabilitation such as depression, anxiety or other mood disorders. In this case your physio may recommend that you are referred on to a psychologist for cognitive-behavioural therapy. This is because we know that people with negative mood and health beliefs rarely respond well to usual treatment without first addressing these factors.

So if your pain is persistent or not responding to usual treatment it is important to seek professional help.

What about x-rays and scans?

X-rays are no longer routine for lower back pain unless there is the suspicion of a fracture (such as after a severe trauma or in people with osteoporosis). This is because it exposes you to radiation but does not often provide any useful information on how we should best treat your back. Likewise MRI’s are only needed to rule out serious spinal pathology or to help a consultant identify if a nerve in your back is being significantly compressed to warrant injection or surgery. The vast majority of this information your physio will be able to deduct from a thorough assessment.

Once an acute episode of back pain has eased off, we recommend continuing with exercise to help keep any further recurrences at bay. Research indicates that any form of exercise is great for people who’ve had back pain – being active and moving helps! many of our patients go on to our specialist Pilates classes. These are particularly beneficial as they are taken by our Physiotherapists, so they are well equipped to deal with any concerns or issues you may have with your back and can modify and progress the exercises for you individually. The classes are also small, so you aren’t lost in a sea of people struggling – you get individual care and attention. We run 16 classes a week, so there’s plenty of choice to fit in with your weekly commitments.

NICE back pain

If you’re suffering with back pain and want some peace of mind and reassurance that it’s nothing serious and help to get on the road to recovery, come and see one of our Physio’s at goPhysio. We make it easy for you, with appointments available 8am – 8pm and Saturday mornings, we can normally offer you an appointment within 24 hours, if not the same day. Just call one of our friendly Patient Services Team on 023 8025 3317 or book an appointment online.


The Benefit Of Pilates For Winter Sports

Posted on 16th January 2017 by

Winter is upon us and with that, ski and boarding seasons are in fill swing!

We get lots of enquiries at the clinic about how best to prepare for skiing holidays and how to prevent the worst from happening with injuries.

In today’s blog, we’ll look at why preparing for your ski or snow boarding holiday is important and what Pilates is – if you haven’t come across it before

Ski holidays are a big commitment, both physically and financially. They are also time limited, so most people ski around 6-8 hours a day for 5-7 days in a row. This can be a huge increase in demands on your body if you normally sit in an office all day!

Pilates can help to prepare you for the slopes in many ways:

  • Helps to prepare the body for intense period of exercise
  • Reduces the risk of injuries
  • Improves fitness
  • Addresses muscle imbalances
  • Helps you make the most of your holiday!

Pilates is a low impact form of exercise, usually mat based, that centres around the idea of maintaining a strong ‘core’ during dynamic movement patterns. It works on improving balance, flexibility, muscle strength and posture. It incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.

So how does having a well trained ‘core’ help me on the slopes? 

There are 4 key elements that will help you during your time on the slopes – Posture, Alignment, Control & Muscle Balance.

I’m sure you’ve seen it before, some people struggle to even stay upright! During this struggle their muscles are so tense and working so hard to keep them upright, thinking about posture goes out of the window!

Posture

A crucial part of winter sports is how you stand on your skis or board.

Incorrect posture will force your body to work much harder than it needs to, which is really inefficient. So, you’ll find that some of your muscles will tire much more quickly and your body will generally fatigue.

When you’re on your skis or board, your posture needs to be stable, yet easily adaptable to the dynamic nature of snow sports.

Pilates helps posture by educating the right postural muscles for you. It teaches postural muscles to work effectively and efficiently.

Alignment

This follows on from posture. Alignment is the relationship in your body between key areas like your head, shoulders, pelvis, hips, knees & ankles. So, if you were drawing a line between these key points like a dot to dot – there will be good and not so good patterns of alignment.

Learning to align your body in its optimal position, will reduce the strain on joints and muscles. Correct alignment will improve your control and balance.

We take it for granted, thinking our body will naturally do this, but a lifetime of postural stresses, injuries, sitting at desks, driving etc. will effect our optimal alignment. We may have tight weak muscles or even some that don’t ‘switch on’ when they’re needed.

Pilates really works to optimise your alignment, teaching all those bits of your body to work efficiently in relationship to each other. Being conscious of your alignment will carry over to your time on the slopes and you will reap the benefits in efficiency, endurance and preventing injury.

Control

Being able to control your body effectively allows you to make small changes without over or under compensating. This skill is vital in skiing and boarding. Reduced control results in working harder than you need to, overstraining the body.

All the moves and exercises in Pilates will challenge and educate body control. Practising control off the slopes will help it become second nature when you’re on the slopes! Let’s face it, when you’re hurtling down a slippery mountain with an equally slippery piece of equipment attached to your feet, a bit of control is a nice thing to have!

Muscle Balance

Muscle imbalances are common throughout the body and don’t always result in a problem. But if your body is being put under greater prolonged physical stress (like a week skiing!), imbalances can become problematic. Weak muscles can be forced to use increased tone or tension to help support them, which increases their work load. Other muscles can work overtime to try and compensate. As skiing/boarding is a whole body exercise, it’s important to address any imbalances you may have.

Pilates is a great form of exercise to do this, that really works the whole body. When practising Pilates exercises you can quickly find out which areas are weak or tight!! It will really teach those ares to work and address any compensations your body is making.

So, how exactly can Pilates can help prevent injuries and keep me safe during my trip!

All of the points above are vital injury prevention tips – correct posture and alignment, better control and well balanced muscles will all reduce the risk of injury.

Any area of the body can be injured when skiing, as it’s a whole body sport. This includes joints, bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons. An injury can vary from a minor muscle strain to a major bone/joint injury such as fracture or dislocation.

Pilates specifically can help you:

  • Maintain control
  • Improve balance – reducing the risk of falling
  • Distribute the load evenly throughout your body – reducing the risk of overworked muscles
  • Increase your flexibility – helping you maintain the correct posture and stance
  • Improve your dynamic movement control – allowing you to adapt to your terrain

Pilates will give you the skills needed to have a safe and enjoyable time away – plus it’s a great form of exercise all year round! The benefits are transferrable to everyday life and exercise too, not just extreme winter sports.

If you’re interested in experiencing for yourself how Pilates can benefit you, come and join one of our classes. We run an extensive timetable of classes, including daytime, evening and Saturday mornings – with a range of levels to suit all.

The goPhysio Team also have some top tips to help reduce the risk of injury on the slopes

Fiona – Listen to your body! Don’t keep going if you feel like you need a break.

Kim – Get any pre-exisiting injuries treated BEFORE you go – don’t leave it until the last minute! You really wouldn’t believe the number of people we see at the clinic a few days before they’re due to go skiing, who’ve had an injury for ages and call us in desperation (normally looking for a knee brace to solve their problem!). Think ahead!!

Paul – Pace yourself throughout the day and have regular breaks to top up energy levels with a hot chocolate!

Sarah – Just in case……make sure you have some insurance to cover any injuries or illnesses while you’re away.

We hope you have a safe & happy holiday!

p.s. Obviously, some injuries are totally unavoidable. So if you do find yourself heading home not quite in one piece, we’re here to help you recover too. You can book an appointment online or give us a call. We aim to offer you an appointment within 24 hours, if not the same day so you can get sorted without delay. All our team are keen skiers or boarders, so know exactly what you’re talking about.


Don’t soldier on in pain with niggling old injuries. Start the new year in top shape.

Posted on 9th January 2017 by

So many people just ‘soldier on’ with aches & pain, not knowing what the cause is, if they are doing the right thing about it or if they are actually making the problem worse. Sometimes, the longer you leave a problem the worse it gets and the longer it can take to get better.

Do you just accept that pain is part of your daily routine?

By leaving an injury un-treated, you can be putting yourself at risk.

  • Reduced fitness as you can’t train or work out to your full potential
  • Ongoing worry constantly niggling at the back of your mind
  • Risk of causing more damage to yourself and developing a chronic (long term) problem
  • Decreased quality of life as you can’t enjoy life to your full potential

Take action now, don’t be one of those people who just accepts pain as part of their life.

At goPhysio we can help. We provide information, education and practical support but above all we give you peace of mind by helping you understand what is actually causing your pain and what you should & shouldn’t be doing to help your recovery.

So, new year, new you? Let us help you get on the right track!