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Meet Your Team – Hello Francesca!

Posted on 28th October 2019 by

As our team has grown over the last year or so, we thought it would be a great time to introduce you to the team that we have to help you, re-introducing the more familiar faces and welcoming the new ones!

Today we meet Graduate Sports Therapist & Pilates Instructor, Francesca.

Francesca Wicker - Sports and Rehabilitation Therapist & APPI Level 3 Pilates Instructor
Francesca Wicker – Sports and Rehabilitation Therapist & APPI Level 3 Pilates Instructor

What are your clinical qualifications?

I studied BSc Sports Therapy at the University of Worcester and graduated in 2013. 

What areas have you previously worked in?

Since graduating I was given the opportunity to work with the GB Bobsleigh team in a voluntary Soft Tissue Therapist position . I have then worked in private injury clinics. 

I have also done lots of voluntary sports massage and first aid at different sporting events, which I always enjoy seeing people achieve their goals. 

Do you have any special areas of interest in injury management?

My biggest interest is with sports injuries and returning people to their sport or activity through hands on work alongside exercise rehab. 

Over the last couple of years, I have attended several different course based on strength and conditioning / exercise rehab, including Tom Goom’s Running Repairs and Nick Grantham’s S&C workshop. I love incorporating new knowledge into helping my patients!

I enjoy teaching classes and seeing people improve and increase their body awareness and confidence in what they can do.  I have done my APPI Pilates qualifications up to Matwork Level 3 and Reformer Pilates Level 3. 

What you’re most proud of?

Graduating and buying my first home.

What’s the best thing about being part of the goPhysio team? 

To have such a varied role, and the supportive environment to help me grow and learn as a person and as a Sports Therapist.

We asked………

If you could invite any 3 people in the world round for dinner, who would they be?

  • David Attenborough
  • Barack Obama
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill

Where in the world is top of your list to visit?

Bali

If you were going to space and could only take 1 thing, what would it be?

A Kindle, so I could read.

What’s the 1 thing that may surprise people about you? 

I am a keen baker and love baking cakes and would love to be able to make wedding/special occasion cakes.


Francesca works at goPhysio on a Monday – Thursday and Saturday. If you’d like to book an appointment to see Francesca, you can give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or book an appointment online here.


Love Your Bones – World Osteoporosis Day

Posted on 20th October 2019 by

Today is World Osteoporosis Day.World Osteoporosis day

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones, causing them to become less dense and therefore more fragile and easily broken.

We will naturally lose some bone density as we age but in some people this occurs more rapidly and is then known as osteoporosis or osteopenia (a milder form). This affects more than 3 million people in the UK and its thought 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

COULD YOU BE AT RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS & FRACTURES?

Find out whether any of these common risk factors apply to you here.

You may be at higher risk of osteoporosis if:

  • You have low body weight or history of anorexia
  • You had an early menopause or hysterectomy
  • You don’t get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet
  • You smoke or drink over the recommended limit of alcohol a week
  • You’ve had long course of steroid based medication or cancer treatment

Most people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone but it can be diagnosed by a DEXA scan which looks at your bone density.

If you have osteoporosis your GP may prescribe medications such as alendronic acid which helps slow the breakdown of bone, or calcium and vitamin D supplements which help build new bone. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet and avoid smoking and alcohol are also likely to be beneficial.

Regular weight-bearing and resistance exercises have been shown to help stimulate our bones to grow stronger. The most suitable type of exercise will depend on how much bone density you have already lost, for example younger people with reasonable bone density but several risk factors would benefit from higher impact training such as running, circuit training, tennis and football.

However, if you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis start with lower impact exercises such as walking, Pilates, tai chi, gentle dance classes and lifting light weights to build your bones up more gradually.

Our Positive Steps classes are a perfect place to start, aimed at the over 60’s we combine seated and standing resistance exercises with balance and flexibility work. We run 2 classes a week, and each class is small and friendly where in a fun and relaxed atmosphere you’ll be feeling the benefits straight away. Try a class for free, just call us on 023 8025 3317 to book a free place!

If you are unsure what’s the best type of exercise for you consult your GP or come along and see one of our Physiotherapists.

World Osteoporosis Day

Osteoporosis Fracture Risk

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Back Pain in Golf

Posted on 7th October 2019 by

Every year, the charity dedicated to supporting and helping people with back pain, BackCare, dedicates a week to highlighting a specific area of back pain. For 2019, the focus is on back pain in golfers.

Back pain in golf

There is a distinct lack of awareness regarding the prevention of back related injuries among golfers which hinder their play and performance in the sport.

Golf is a leisure sport enjoyed by more than 60 million people of all ages across the world and has reached the 4 million mark in the UK alone. It has many health and well-being benefits. It is widely known that a typical 18-hole-round amounts to 6-8 km of walking requiring 8000 to 12000 steps and a significant calorie burn.

You might be surprised to hear that more injuries occur in golf than in rugby! Golf with other leisure sports have an injury rate of 1.8 per thousand persons per year as opposed to 1.5 per thousand persons per year in rugby and other team sports according to the National Centre for Health Statistics.

What are the most common golfing injuries?

Low back injuries are the most common complaint from golfers. They account for 15.2% to 34% of all golf injuries, followed by injuries to the elbow (7% to 27%), shoulder (4% to 19%) and wrist 10%. Golf is a repetitive sport – With an average of 300 swings per golf-playing-day. So the type of injuries a golfer often picks up are overuse injuries.

How common are golf injuries?

Between 15.8% to 40.9% of amateur golfers report an injury (or injuries) every year; among professionals, the incidence ranges between 31% to 90% annually.

How does the swing affect the back?

Back problems are mainly attributed to how the golf swing of present-day professionals, such as Tiger Woods (the ‘modern swing’/‘the X-factor swing’) differs from that of golf legends like Jack Nicklaus (‘classic swing’). The modern swing is more powerful and exerts a greater compressive force toward the anatomy of the spine, which can be a contributory factor in back issues.

‘A long swing with passive wrists and light grip pressure can prevent back issues’ – US Golfer Phil Mickelson. At 45, Mickelson has played without any of the serious back pain unlike most of the major champions like Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. Back injuries have sidelined the careers of former champions Tiger Woods and Fred Couples several times!

Want to know more about preventing back pain in golf, here’s a great little fact sheet ‘Swing Clever‘ that highlights the different factors associated with the classic and modern swing.

If back pain or any other injury is stopping you from enjoying your golf, then do get in touch. Our team can help!


Strong, Steady & Straight – Benefit of Pilates for Osteoporosis

Posted on 1st October 2019 by

Osteoporosis, although a well known condition, comes with much worry and fear surrounding it about physical activity and exercise. A diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia (reduced bone density on a less severe scale than osteoporosis), can often conjure up thoughts of being fragile and fearful of doing too much or exercises that might be harmful.

So, it’s great to see some updated guidance around exercise and physical activity for osteoporosis. The guidance is structured around 3 important themes:

  1. STRONG – the types and amount of exercise and physical activity needed to promote bone strength.
  2. STEADY – the importance of including exercise and physical activity to reduce falls and resulting fractures.
  3. STRAIGHT – a focus on ‘spine care’, keeping the back straight. A positive approach to bending, moving and lifting safely to reduce the risk of vertebral fracture, improve posture and relieve pain after vertebral fracture.

The key principles of the guidance include some important messages:

  • Physical activity and exercise has an important role in the management of osteoporosis – promoting bone strength, reducing falls risk and managing symptoms.
  • People with osteoporosis should be encouraged to do more rather than less. This should be supported with a positive and encouraging approach – ‘how to’ rather than ‘don’t do’.
  • Physical activity and exercise is not associated with significant harm – though some caution is advised, the benefits of physical activity and exercise outweigh the risks. Seek specialist support and advice to help you exercise in the most beneficial way.
Physical activity and exercise for osteoporosis

This makes Pilates a fantastic option as the main aims of Pilates are: 

  • Strengthen your muscles
  • Improve your balance
  • Improve you posture.  

Notice any similarities?!

Not only that, Pilates doesn’t involve any sudden impact so further reduces the risks of fractures associated to osteoporosis.

The added benefit of Pilates at goPhysio is that our classes are taken by a rehab professional with experience of treating patients with osteoporosis amongst other common conditions.

You can find out more about our Pilates classes here.

Read More

Love Your Bones – World Osteoporosis Day

More about Osteoporosis



More Pilates Exercises In Standing

Posted on 1st October 2019 by

Mat based Pilates exercise are carried out in a variety of positions, including lying on your back, front or side, sitting and kneeling on hands and knees. In addition to these positions, there are many popular Pilates exercises you can do in standing.

Here’s a few of our Pilate’s teams favourites!

#1 Mermaid Standing

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Imagine your head is a helium balloon to lengthen your spine. Imagine your pelvis as a bowl resting upright to align your pelvis in the neutral position. Gently set your centre. Glide your shoulder blades downwards towards your waist. Place your hands on the brim of your pelvic bowl.
  2. INHALE and lift the left arm to the side and overhead.
  3. EXHALE and lengthen the curve of the spine to the right while maintaining the neutral position.
  4. INHALE and return back to upright starting position.

#2 Corckscrew Warm Up Move

  1. Standing upright, back of the neck long, shoulder blades set, neutral spinal position, knees soft, weight placed evenly through the feet. Arms resting long beside the body. Centre set.
  2. Inhale, circle the arms outwards and upwards overhead. Keep the arms within your peripheral vision and the shoulder blades set, so pulled back and down.
  3. Exhale, fold the arms and place the hands at the base of the head. Keep the back of the neck long.
  4. Inhale, glide the shoulder blades upwards. Keep the collarbones wide.
  5. Exhale, glide the shoulder blades downwards. Keep the collarbones wide.
  6. Inhale, reach the arms overhead. Keep the arms within the peripheral vision and the scapulae set.
  7. Exhale, circle the arms outwards and downwards to return to the starting position.

#3 One Leg Circle

  1. Start in a natural standing posture. Hands on your waist.
  2. Put your feet and heels together. Keeping your heels together, turn your feet outwards slightly.
  3. Inhale, slide your right leg forwards keeping the toes on the mat.
  4. Exhale, circle your right leg outwards, placing your foot directly behind your right hip. Keep the toes in contact with the mat.
  5. Inhale, slide your right leg forwards, placing your floor directly in front of your right hip. Keep the toes in contact with the mat.
  6. Repeat up to ten times in this direction and then reverse the direction of your leg circles on both sides.

#4 Clam Level 3

  1. Start in a natural standing position.
  2. Bend your right hip 45 and the knee to 90 degrees, keeping your legs a hip distance apart.
  3. Put your hands on your waist. Inhale to prepare.
  4. Exhale, rotate your right hip outwards, keeping your pelvis stable.
  5. Inhale, rotate your right hip back to the middle, keeping the pelvis stable.
  6. Repeat up to ten times on the right leg and then repeat on the opposite side.

#5 Roll Down

  1. Stand in a natural standing position. Engage your core.
  2. Inhale to prepare.
  3. Exhale, lengthen the back of the neck and curl the head and neck forwards. Continue to curl the body forwards, one bone at a time. Wheel the pelvis forwards and continue to roll the body downwards as far as comfortable. Allow the head and arms to relax forwards with gravity and keep the knees soft.
  4. Inhale and hold the roll down position.
  5. Exhale, draw the tailbone downwards and wheel the pelvis upwards. Continue to roll the spine upwards one bone at a time. Lengthen the upper body upwards and widen the collarbones to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 3 5 times.

Read More 

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with mat Pilates.

Read More

Top 3 Pilates exercises in standing


Older People’s Day on October 1st!

Posted on 1st October 2019 by

Older People’s Day takes place on 1st October and this year celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and the economy.

With age comes wisdom and life experience that is invaluable when passed on to younger generations. From looking after the grandchildren to volunteering at a local church group or running a community art class, life rarely slows down after retirement nowadays!

People are living longer than ever before with average life expectancy in the UK rising to 79.4 years, but how can we make sure we stay active and continue to enjoy good quality of life into our golden years?

If you don’t use it you lose it!

By keeping active we maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility, as well as keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control to reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Exercise can also help with weight loss and improve mood and mental wellbeing too…bonus!

Am I too old to exercise?

No! Its never too late.. check out these inspiring examples…………..

Fauna Singh tao Lynch Yoga

Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest yoga teacher has just turned 98 and Fauja Singh; the 104 year old marathon runner who only took up running in his 80’s!

Where do I start?

If you haven’t exercised for years, start slowly – older joints will have a tendency to be stiffer, particularly in the mornings and in cold weather.

A physiotherapist can help by assessing your muscle strength, flexibility and balance and create a tailored individual exercise programme to address these as well as treating any aches and pains you may have.

A gentle stretching routine every morning might be all that’s needed to keep you supple enough to chase after those grandchildren!

Ideas for staying active

  • Walking
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Table tennis
  • Falls prevention classes/Chair based exercise classes – why not try our specialist Positive Steps classes. Held twice a week they are specifically designed to help maintain and improve strength, balance, flexibility and fitness for those 60+, in a friendly, social and caring environment.
  • Dancing – did you know dancing has been shown to reverse signs of aging in the brain and improve mental and physical wellbeing in an older population, it’s even being used to help treat Parkinson’s disease!

How long do I need to keep it up for?

The key is to find something you enjoy, that makes you feel good so that it doesn’t feel like hard work to keep it up indefinitely. Whether that’s a Pilates class, dancing or gardening the most important thing is that you’re getting out there and getting moving!

It often doesn’t take any fancy equipment and there are no requirements for lycra or leotards but all you need is a healthy disregard for the stereotype of age and a little bit of motivation to stay youthful!

Here are some very simple exercises you can do to help maintain strength and balance.

Read More

Positive Steps Exercise Classes in Chandlers Ford

Why lean muscle mass is so important

Fall Proof – Exercises for older people

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