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goPhysio Joint Focus: The Shoulder

Posted on 25th March 2017 by

The shoulder joins the arm to the trunk and is the most mobile, yet unstable joint in the body.

The ‘shoulder complex’ is actually made up of 4 joints

  • The shoulder joint itself known as the Glenohumeral joint. This is a ball and socket type of joint between the head of the upper arm bone or humerus and the glenoid cavity of the scapula or shoulder blade.
  • The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is where the clavicle or collar bone meets the acromion of the shoulder blade.
  • The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is where the clavicle (collar bone) meets the chest bone or sternum.
  • The scapulothoracic joint is where the shoulder blade meets with the ribs at the back of the chest.

Shoulder anatomy

The shoulder joints rely on a complex, synchronised pattern of muscle and joint interaction to maintain stability and function of the whole arm.

This excessive mobility is its main weakness, causing it to become easily injured through trauma or overuse.

Common Injuries

Here are some of the most common shoulder area injuries and problems we tend to see

  • Rotator cuff injuries and tendonopathies
  • Shoulder impingement or subacromial impingement
  • Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis
  • Muscle and ligament tears
  • Tendon problems such as biceps tendonopathy
  • Traumatic shoulder dislocation
  • Recurrent shoulder dislocation
  • Fractures of the humerus or collar bone
  • Acromioclavicular joint sprains
  • Sternocalvicular joint sprains
  • Bursitis

Shoulder injuries are often associated with certain sports such as swimming or tennis, where a large degree of shoulder flexibility is required, along with repetitive and large movements. The shoulder is prone to overuse injuries.

It can also suffer a wide range of traumatic injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, sprains and tears as a result of a fall, impact or collision during sport or every day life.

There are many physiotherapy treatments that can help with shoulder problems. We always start by carrying out a thorough assessment to find out exactly what’s going on with your shoulder. Once this is established, you’ll start a comprehensive rehabilitation programme. This may be a combination of hands on treatments such as soft tissue work, taping, trigger point release, mobilisations or acupuncture and a big focus on exercises to regain strength, flexibility and endurance in your shoulder. A crucial part of recovery from a shoulder injury is making sure all the joints and muscles are working well together, a key part in preventing any future problems.

If you’ve suffered a shoulder injury or are experiencing pain in your shoulder area, give us a call or book an appointment online at our Chandlers Ford Physiotherapy Clinic in Hampshire.

 


“When things get tough, just get tougher”

Posted on 16th March 2017 by

toughI’m reading a wonderful book with my daughter, Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.

The stories are so inspirational and the illustrations beautiful. One of my favourite so far is about UAE’s first female Weight Lifter, Amna Al Haddad.

Once a self confessed overweight and unfit journalist, Amna started getting physically active and eventually became a weightlifter and even took on the quest to represent her country at Rio.

I love her ethos, that whatever your age, religion or ethnicity, sport is good for everyone.

“When things gets tough, just get tougher”

#GoodnightStoriesForRebelGirls


New Exercise Guide For People With MSK Conditions From Arthritis UK

Posted on 15th March 2017 by

A new report has been launched, ‘Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions’ by Arthritis Research UK.

The report highlights that physical activity is a key part of a public health approach to musculoskeletal conditions and it has a range of benefits for people with musculoskeletal conditions in terms of improving quality of life and supporting people to be independent.

Musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoarthritis and back pain, are the greatest cause of pain and disability in the UK. They’re the reason why so many people seek out our help at our physiotherapy clinic in Chandlers Ford day in, day out. As physiotherapists, exercise and activity has always played a key part in our treatment and recovery programmes, so it’s great to see this being highlighted and the recommendations supported.

Exercise can reduce joint and back pain by 25% while also improving sleep, managing stress and reducing depression, anxiety and dementia.

Physical activity is a broad term. It doesn’t have to be thought of as officially exercising or playing a sport. It can include all forms of activity, such as everyday walking or cycling, … active play, work-related activity, active recreation such as working out in a gym, dancing, gardening or playing active games, as well as organised and competitive sport.

What the report does highlight, is that a one size fits all approach is not appropriate. People with different MSK conditions will have huge variations in their physical ability, levels of disability and also lifestyles. This is where a skilled health professional, such as a physiotherapist would come in, to help advise on and tailored physical activity for the best outcomes.

How can physiotherapy help with physical activity?

  • Advise on a specific exercise programme tailored to your condition and lifestyle. As part of our service we always provide a customised exercise programme, including clear explanations and videos, which we email to you.
  • Help you modify your daily activity so that you can stay physically active, balancing activity with your condition, pain levels and physical abilities.
  • Give you confidence to be physically active. With our support and knowledge we will empower you not to be afraid of being physically active.
  • Help you manage your pain so you can stay physically active. We give you the tools to help manage and work with any pain you may be experiencing, as well as using our physiotherapy skills to help ease your pain.

Read more about arthritis and how physiotherapy can help here:

An overview of arthritis

How can physiotherapy help with arthritis?

The importance of lean muscle mass

In addition to our one to one physiotherapy service, we offer a range of other services to help support your physical activity and wellbeing if you’re managing an MSK condition. This includes our specialist Physio led Pilates classes, which are a great way to exercise gently and safely under the supervision of a physiotherapist. We are also introducing clinical yoga and Positive Steps, a supervised exercise class specifically for over 60’s keen improve and stay active.

If you need any help with your MSK condition, please do give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or book an appointment online.


physical activity older adults


The Decline In Physical Activity In Children

Posted on 14th March 2017 by

It was previously thought that physical activity in young people started to decline during adolescence, however, a new study in The British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that physical activity levels actually begin to decline by 6-7 years of age. This correlates with children starting school.

With overwhelming evidence of the importance of physical activity for children, this is really a frightening thought.

Why the decline? There are many factors that are contributing to this problem. Top of my list would be screen time. The amount of time that young people (and adults for that matter) are now spending on screens is central to much of the inactivity. If you want to read more about this, get hold of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked Hardcover by Adam Alter. There are some hard hitting and worrying facts and figures in this.

Other factors include our busy lifestyles not allowing time for activity, stretched resources in school and the subsequent impact on PE, working parents meaning that school runs have to be done in the car, fears over safety in letting kids get out and explore independently and also financial pressures.

Physical activity and sport are such a fundamental part of a child’s development for so many reasons. It’s crucial we try and get our children moving! Take a look at a previous blog we wrote with some simple ideas how to achieve this. Childhood is the opportunity for individuals to build habits for a lifetime.

Why is sport important for children?


Acupuncture Myth #3 I’ll be covered in plasters!

Posted on 9th March 2017 by

Acupuncture Myth I’ll be covered in plasters after my acupuncture session

Reality Very rarely do you bleed after having acupuncture – the needles are so fine and your skin is so elastic, the point where the needle has been closes up with no need for a plaster! You probably won’t even see where the needles have been.

#AcupunctureAwarenessWeek


Acupuncture Myth #2 “I can’t give blood if I’ve had acupuncture”

Posted on 8th March 2017 by

Myth: I can’t give blood if I have acupuncture

Reality: If you have had acupuncture by a qualified healthcare professional registered with a statutory body (such as the AACP), you are safe to give blood. If the acupuncturist is not registered then you can’t give blood for 4 months. You may need to ask your acupuncturist for their registration number to take when you give blood.

#AcupunctureAwarenessWeek


Top Tips From The Team: Health & Wellbeing Apps

Posted on 7th March 2017 by

Top Tips Health Apps

In the first of our new series of blog posts, we’re sharing some tried and tested Apple apps that we are loving here at goPhysio.

All of these apps have been designed to help support and encourage a healthy, positive lifestyle.

1. ESCAPE-Pain: Enabling management of arthritic pain

ESCAPE-pain is an innovative, award-winning rehabilitation programme for people with long standing knee and hip joint pain. This programme is delivered in the NHS in some areas and approved by NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

This app was developed in conjunction with physiotherapists from the Health Innovation Network in London to bring the ESCAPE-Pain programme to more people.

During 12 sessions, over 6 weeks the app will provide:

  • Engaging animations giving simple advice and information that help you learn what is good and bad for you, so that you can help yourself cope better with the effects of joint pain.
  • Short, quality HD videos show you how to perform simple exercises, removing the guesswork of whether you are doing the exercises correctly, and help you become more active.
  • Plot your progress to see how you are improving.

2. Headspace

This is a really well known app, but definitely deserves a mention. It is well known that meditation can help improve your focus, exercise mindful awareness, relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

The aim of Headspace is ‘Meditation made simple’. It provides guided meditations suitable for all levels.

Whether you just want to take some time out for yourself, if you’re suffering with pain and want to try some alternative coping mechanisms, or want to address issues sleeping – meditation can be very powerful.

3. Blinkist

I’ve mentioned this app before. If you like self improvement or motivational books but don’t always get the time to read, this app is perfect.

Blinkist distills the key insights of 1,500+ bestselling nonfiction books into powerful 15-minute reads or listens. Boost your knowledge and gain new perspectives to become a better, smarter you.

This app will help you:

  • Sharpen your professional skills with the best business books in your field.
  • Explore your many-sided self with the most impactful self-improvement titles.
  • Discover new perspectives on the world with bestsellers on economics, science, history & culture.
  • Stay on top of the latest trends and ideas in your professional field.

4. Moment

We use our hand held devices so much nowadays. The full extent on the impact of such heavy device use is still unknown. Besides the obvious neck, shoulder, hand and wrist problems that are developing due to long term device us, there are huge potential social and psychological impacts. (Have a read of this book if you’re interested in finding out more.)

So, do you really know how long you’ve used your device for in a day? What else could you spend that precious time doing? I’m sure the true amount of time spent on devices may shock some people.

Moment is an iOS app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. If you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit.

This is a fantastic app to bring some transparency to device us, particularly great for younger members of the family.

5. Stand Up! The work break timer

We’ve all heard the media and research suggests that sitting for long periods of time isn’t great for us. If you’re a desk based worker or sit for long periods of time, it’s recommended to stand up and move about regularly and vary your working positions. However, it’s not always easy to do this when you’re engrossed in a task.

Stand Up! is a fun, flexible work break timer app. It’s also great for RSI or work related upper limb sufferers, or anyone that needs to take regular breaks.

6. NHS 24 MSK Help

This fairly simplistic app gives advice on common muscle, back & joint problems. Although it only provides simple information, it is a great starting point if you’ve suffered an injury or are in pain and looking for some general advice.

 


Acupuncture Awareness Week Myth 1 ‘Acupuncture is painful’

Posted on 7th March 2017 by

This week is acupuncture awareness week and so we’re dispelling some commonly held myths about this treatment technique.

Myth Acupuncture treatment is painful

Reality Acupuncture isn’t always completely pain-free, but it’s not as bad as you might think! Acupuncture is less painful than having blood taken or an injection, as the needles are so fine. You may feel a tiny ‘sting’ as the needle goes in, but many people don’t feel anything. The discomfort you tend to experience with acupuncture while the needles are in place is a deep dull aching, known as ‘De Qi’. According to traditional Chinese practice is the stimulation of energy at that point and is a good sign the needles are doing their job.

#AcupunctureAwarenessWeek


Acupuncture Awareness Week – Getting To The Point

Posted on 6th March 2017 by

This week is acupuncture awareness week – but what is acupuncture and how does it work?

In this article, we take a look at some common ways acupuncture is used in physiotherapy.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy which involves inserting very fine needles into the body to help remedy a huge variety of conditions. With a 2,500 year history and a growing body of medical research confirming its effectiveness, acupuncture has now been widely accepted by western healthcare. Although acupuncture is often sought out as a last resort after all ‘normal’ treatments have failed it is fast becoming one of the most popular complementary therapies in the UK with 2.3 million acupuncture treatments carried out each year. Have a look at some of the conditions acupuncture can be beneficial for in these fact sheets. 

What can acupuncture help?

Traditional acupuncture can treat a huge range of conditions from infertility to anxiety. In physiotherapy we commonly use it to treat pain such as back pain, headaches, muscle and Acupuncture Chandlers Fordtendon problems and osteoarthritis of the knee, as these conditions have all been shown to have some evidence that they respond to acupuncture. Because acupuncture is a calming treatment it can also help promote a feeling of general relaxation and well-being, aiding sleep which is useful in many long term pain conditions.

Acupuncture usually works best with combined with other treatments such as exercise or hands on therapy, therefore it’s rarely used as a stand-alone treatment by physiotherapists.

Is acupuncture the right treatment for me?

Your therapist will ask you a series of questions to help determine whether acupuncture is right for you. These include asking about your medical history and of course about any phobia of needles! A few reasons we might not use acupuncture include a history of epilepsy, blood clotting disorders, infection or if you are pregnant. As physiotherapists we have many treatment options for all conditions so if acupuncture is likely to help your condition your physio will recommend it but if you’re not a fan of needles that’s fine too – we have plenty of other options!

How does it work?

There are many different theories – in ancient Chinese medicine they believe that acupuncture helps clear your energy channels (meridians) and restore your natural balance of energy coming in and leaving the body (yin and yang). In western medicine research has shown that acupuncture can help to ‘switch off’ the body’s pain response by giving it an alternative sensation which blocks out the barrage of pain signals to the brain. It also releases chemicals such as endorphins and natural opioids which are both pain-relieving substances as well as improving circulation to the healing area. Acupuncture is known to promote relaxation of tight knots (trigger points) in the muscles and has a general calming effect on the central nervous system by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.

How long are the sessions and how many will I need?

Acupuncture can be included in your normal physiotherapy treatment session, so depending on what your therapist is treating you for they may leave the needles in for anything from 5 – 30 minutes. Your first session of acupuncture is usually slightly shorter to see how you respond but the length of treatment and number of needles used may be increased as you get used to the sensation. Most people respond to acupuncture in 4-6 sessions, however this is individual and depends on your condition.

Are they any side effects?

Acupuncture is a very safe treatment – the needles used are sterile and single use, surprisingly much narrower than injection needles. The smallest are around 0.13mm wide (about the thickness of a human hair) so most people don’t feel the needles go in. It is common to get a mild tingling, warmth or heavy feeling in the area whilst the needles are in. The most common side effect is mild bruising, however some people can feel a little light-headed or drowsy after treatment.

The risk of serious harm with acupuncture is incredibly low – a study in 2006 reviewed 4 million acupuncture treatments and found only 11 serious adverse events and zero fatalities. This makes it far safer than the majority of household medicines. Looking for an acupuncturist that has trained through an accredited organisation such as the British Acupuncture Council or the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists is the best way to minimise you risk as you can be sure the practitioner has undergone rigorous training.

Is there anything I should I do before/after acupuncture?

Try and eat a couple hours before your treatment, particularly if you have a condition such as diabetes where you could be more at risk of feeling faint if your blood sugar is low.

After treatment make sure you have time to sit and drink a glass of water before rushing off. You may also want to avoid driving after your first appointment in case you feel dizzy or drowsy.

Try not to plan anything strenuous such as vigorous exercise after an acupuncture session and avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol for the rest of the day to enhance the feeling of relaxation from acupuncture.

If you think you could benefit from the combine approach of physiotherapy and acupuncture to help your recovery from a painful condition or injury, then give us a call or book an appointment online.

Read more about how acupuncture helped ease Martin’s neck pain.

#AcupunctureAwarenessWeek