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The Elephant In The Room – MSK Conditions

Posted on 17th October 2018 by

Musculoskeletal conditions: the elephant in the room?MSK Conditions

Conditions of the bones, joints and muscles are a big problem in the UK; with over 17 million people living with a musculoskeletal condition, more people suffer with disability from musculoskeletal conditions than anything else.

Good health of bones, joints and muscles underpins living life well. Musculoskeletal conditions affect nearly everyone at some point in their life. They can cause pain, fatigue, restricted mobility and activities of daily living. They impact people’s lives, their work and even people’s other health conditions. Conditions of the bones, joints and muscles represent a significant cost to the individual, the economy and health and social care.

Acknowledging the problem

Everyone knows conditions like arthritis and back pain are common. But they are often misunderstood and ignored, like the figurative elephant in the room. The solution begins in acknowledging the problem. That’s why we need to shift our mindset and start planning and acting nationally, locally and individually for healthy bones, joints and muscles throughout life.

Large rewards

If we’re brave enough to tackle this big and growing problem, to champion lifelong good musculoskeletal health, there are large rewards! We see it day in day out here at goPhysio – poor MSK health has a huge impact on quality of life. If you invest in your MSK health, like in other areas of your health and wellbeing, you can get more out of life!

Why are MSK conditions the elephant in the room?

From our years of experience, there are many factors!

  • Firstly, MSK conditions often occur gradually or creep up on you. It starts as a niggle or minor ache or pain, that you accept as part of life. You manage it yourself or make small adjustments in your life to compensate. Over time, your pain, stiffness and limited mobility gets worse, but the impact on your life has been so gradual, you don’t really notice until the effects are huge. Suddenly you’re not walking so far, aren’t exercising, avoiding certain activities and you take a look and are shocked what affect it’s had on you.
  • MSK conditions aren’t immediately life threatening. Let’s face it, no matter how painful the condition is, there is nothing immediately at stake aside from quality of life. Subsequently, they aren’t always a high priority. However, this view is very short sighted – because over time, the impact of long standing MSK conditions can have a huge impact. Being less active and living with a painful MSK condition can cause many other issues as there will be knock on effects with mental health, cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight and all the complexities that come with health.
  • Culturally, we’ve been lead to believe the ‘wait and see’ approach is OK! How many times have you heard ‘rest’, ‘take painkillers’ ‘it’ll get better in time’? Funding cuts in the NHS has bread this culture! The truth is, if people had the support, education and correct personalised, professional advice from the early onset of an MSK condition, the issues could be reduced massively.
  • Preventing MSK conditions and the solutions aren’t easy! Everyone now wants the easy option, the quick fix! But preventing and addressing MSK conditions need investment in time and effort. If you could take a magic pill that would solve it – great. But tackling these conditions takes time, there often isn’t a miracle miracle cure. e.g. If you have back pain, there is overwhelming evidence that exercise is the best management. But what do most G.P.s do if you go and see them with back pain? They’ll often advise painkillers and rest as the first step. Take osteoarthritis of the knee. Again, exercise is a highly effective treatment for this condition. But shockingly, many people would rather have a risky operation with no guarantee of a positive outcome than commit time and effort to doing regular, prescribed, specific exercises that would help them.

This week is officially Bone and Joint Week. Hopefully, getting the message out there will help filter out awareness of these conditions, the impact they have on so many people.

World Spine Day

Physio for MSK Conditions

physio for MSK conditions hampshire

#BoneJointWeek


How to live an active lifestyle, doing the things you enjoy free from Back Pain

Posted on 8th October 2018 by

If you’re visiting this page, it’s because you or a loved one is suffering with back pain. Well rest Back Pain Report goPhysioassured, you’re not alone! 

At goPhysio, we understand if you’ve got back pain or stiffness – it’s tempting to think that it’s nothing, that it will go away on it’s own. Yet we moan about it, we tell people about it, we struggle to walk upright, we can’t sleep, it stops us doing doing the things we enjoy like golf, gardening or walking – but for some reason we just put up with it. Often hoping it will miraculously disappear by the morning.

If that’s happening to you, you’re not alone. We hear this type of thing all the time. In fact, lower back pain and sciatica is THE most common problem we solve at our Physiotherapy Clinic in Chandlers Ford; getting people just like you back to the activities you enjoy, pain and injury free.

5 Reason’s Why Your Back Pain Could Be Lasting Longer Than You Expect

  1. You’re confused about what do. You’re unsure of what to do or who to see about your back pain? That’s quite common in the early stages, as you’re getting conflicting advice from your friends, family and possibly your GP. 
  2. You’re hoping it will get better itself. This is often wishful thinking, fingers crossed you’ll wake up fre of pain in the morning! (Sound familiar?). Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. If your back pain has lasted for any longer than a few weeks or has recurred a few times, it’s an indication that you need some help to get to the bottom of it.
  3. You’ve been ‘resting’ for too long. Resting too much and for too long is detrimental to recovery. When you rest, your muscles will get tighter and weaker and your joints will get stiffer. This will be most noticeable to you when you try to return to the activities you enjoy. You get ‘straight back to normal’ after a period of rest, and more often than not, this is when your back pain returns and the cycle continues. 
  4. You’re doing generic exercises from ‘Dr Google’ The internet is a great source of free information. However, it’s obvioulsy very generalised. The exercises you may try are not specific for your back problem or for your personal lifestyle. In the real world, this isn’t the most effective way to quickly ease your back pain and get back to doing the hobbies and activities you enjoy!
  5. You’re tackling the symptoms but not the cause. Doing this is like using a sticky plaster. Seeking ways to just relieve your pain or tightness in the short term, like having a massage, hoping it would fix your long term, recurent problem, isn’t the solution. You need to get right to the bottom of the issue and do something about it. There are often a number of issues that have combined to cause your back pain. If they’re not addressed you risk entering that lifelong cycle of pain.

So, if any of that sounds familiar, it’s not a bad thing, in some ways it’s a good thing……… 

Firstly, it tells us what doesn’t work, so we don’t have to waste anymore time. Secondly, it tells us how much closer you are to finding a solution to your back pain and making a decision about permanently fixing it!

At goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, we help you recover from back pain and get back to the activities you enjoy, pain and injury free

What You Can Do To Start Your Recovery From Back Pain Now 

  1. Make a decision to get help. Hopefully, with this information and your free back pain guide, you’re beginning to understand more about your back pain and are closer to making the right decision and returning to the activities you enjoy. Just consider other situations when you’re not confused with your decision about what you need to do………
    1. When your hair is too long, you go to the hairdresser’s and get it cut.
    2. When you have toothache, you’d see the dentist.
    3. When your cat’s ill, you’d call the vet.
    4. If your car broke down, you’d visit the garage…………..So, when you have back pain, you should see a back pain expert to guide you quickly out of pain and disability, returning to the activities you enjoy!
  2. Actually get the right help. Once you’ve decided to get help, don’t delay! Avoid putting up any unnecessary barrier’s to your recovery! Seek out a back pain expert and get some real, expert advice, specific to your injury. You need them to devise a treatment plan aimed at getting back to the activities you enjoy! This may include some ‘hands on’ treatment to help relieve your pain and other symptoms initially, so that you can get mobile and active again in comfort, quickly. Physiotherapists are the first choice for professional sportsman and women the world over, we can also be the best first choice for you!
  3. Do the right exercises’s. Long term, most exercise is great for helping relieve and prevent recurrent back pain. But in the short term, in the early stages, it’s crucial to do the correct exercises, specific to your back pain injury. Being under professional guidance will ensure you receive the right treatment at the right time, speeding your recovery and quickly returning you to the activities you enjoy!
  4. Avoid rest and inactivity. Total rest is never a good idea, it will only delay your recovery, prolonging your injury. Instead, at goPhysio we use the term ‘selective rest’, which means to rest only from the aggravating (pain causing) activities. This is a crucial first step to a speedy recovery! So make sure you’re getting up and moving about as much as you can.

How Deciding To See Us At goPhysio Can Help You 

How can choosing to see a Physiotherapist at goPhysio help you get rid of your back pain in the next few days?

Here’s just a few of the things we can do for you to ease your back pain in the next few days………

  1. Hassle free access to expert Physiotherapists No waiting list’s, convenient early and late appointments, free parking, no referral needed from your GP – you can book by just giving us a call. 
  2. Same day appointments We’ll offer you an appointment within 24hrs of you getting in touch, often on the same day. Once you’ve made the decision to see us, we’ll ensure there are no barrier’s to your recovery.
  3. We can quickly ease your pain and stiffness We can help you find out what’s really going on, and get to the root cause of your back pain once and for all. We know that you want to have some relief from your pain, so will use a range of techniques to make sure we help with this.
  4. We’ll help you get a good nights sleep Trouble sleepin often goes hand in hand with back pain. If you’re having trouble sleeping, we’ll teach you how to position yourself comfortably in bed, to help you sleep much better.
  5. We’ll teach you how to help yourself. It’s all well and good use helping you during your appointments, but its crucial that you are doing everytjing you can do to help yourself the rest of the time. We’ll teach you the best postures, position’s and exercises to ease your pain and stiffness in-between sessions.
  6. Get to the root of YOUR problem We make sure we spend time finding out exactly what’s causing your back pain. We lsiten to your story, what you love to do (and want to get back to). You’ll leave your first session with a bespoke, written personal recovery plan, outlining your treatment program and expected timescales, helping to reassure you with the right information, that’s relevent to you.
  7. We’ll show you how to keep active We’ll make sure from your first to last visit, you clearly understand what you should and shouldn’t be doing, returning you back to more and more activities as you improve, ensuring you stay as active and mobile possible throughout your recovery to the activities you enjoy.
  8. We’re totally focused on you Our care is focused on solving the injury problems and concerns of importance to you, ensuring you achieve your goals, returning to the activities you enjoy!

How Pilates at goPhysio has helped me, by Jill G

Next Steps

Hopefully we’ve answerd some of your questions and concerns and addressed the worries you may be having about your back pain. 

If you have read the information above and think that seeing a Physiotherapist is the best step to take to help you recover from your back pain and our team at goPhysio are the ones to help you, you can book an appointment. 

If you want to know more, you can request a FREE special injury report here.

There are a few options if you’d like to book an appointment:

  1. Call our friendly, helpful Patient Services Team on 023 8025 3317 (we’re open from 8am – 8pm Mon – Thurs, 8am – 6pm Friday & 8am – 12pm Saturday) 
  2. Book an appointment safely and securely online here 24/7
  3. Pop in to see us if you’re in the Chandlers Ford area
  4. Drop us an email or chat to us via our ‘Live Chat’ facility online

If you’re still not sure whether we can help, we’re more than happy to arrange a free telephone consultation. Just drop us an email to fiona@gophysiotherapy.co.uk to request this and we’ll be in touch. 

Don’t forget to request the free special injury report 8 quick, easy ways to live a healthy, active, positive life, free from back pain here, for more advice and information about back pain. Request my free special injury report.


 


BackCare Awareness Week 2018 – Back Pain in Older Adults

Posted on 6th October 2018 by

This week is the annual Back Care Awareness week, a week brought to us by the BackCare Back Pain older peopleorganisation to highlight and open discussions on back pain.

This year, the theme is back pain in older adults.

Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management.

Existing evidence suggests that prevalence rates of severe and chronic low back pain increase with older age. As compared to working-age adults, older adults are more likely to develop lower back pain like osteoporotic vertebral fractures, tumors, spinal infection, and lumbar spinal stenosis.                                                                                       NCBI (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

There are many pro-active ways to both help prevent you developing back pain or tackling back pain if you do start to experience it. Here are 3 of our top tips to help you be back care aware!

  1. Live actively – leading an active life is one of the key ways to help make sure you minimise your risk of developing back pain. If you do develop back pain, keeping moving and active will help give you the best chance of a speedy recovery.
  2. Don’t be afraid of using your back – despite all the messages you may hear “Don’t bend like that, you’ll hurt your back!”, “Be careful of your back!”, “Don’t life that, it’s too heavy and dangerous for your back!” – your back is an extremely strong part of your body, designed to move and support you.
  3. Pain doesn’t always mean harm – it can be very scary experiencing back pain, but the pain you feel doesn’t always mean that you are doing harm or that there is anything serious going on. A serious underlying condition causing pain in your back is very rare. Obviously, if you are worried, seek professional advice to put your mind at ease. But back pain is often nothing to worry about and can be overcome quickly and effectively by doing the right things.

Back care Awareness Weekl

People who read this page also found the following articles useful:

Live well for longer – focus on back pain 

Low back pain and sciatica, the latest NICE guidelines

Back pain myth 1 – Moving will make my back pain worse

Back pain myth 2 – I should avoid exercising, especially weight training

Back pain myth 3 – A scan will tell me exactly what’s wrong

Help, I’ve got back pain! What should I do?

10 things you should know about your back


 

 

 

 


goPhysio FAQs: What conditions can you help?

Posted on 31st August 2018 by

goPhysio FAQHere at goPhysio we understand that choosing to see a someone if you’re injured or in pain may be a bit daunting? Lots of questions may go through your mind before you decide to make an appointment……….“What will they ask me? Will it hurt? Will I have to get undressed? How do I know it’s going to help?”

We aim to provide a very caring, comfortable and professional environment for you to come and get your problem resolved.

To help answer some of the thoughts you may have if you’re unsure about picking up the phone to make an appointment, we’d like to address some of the questions you may want to ask.


What conditions can you help?

As Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists at goPhysio, our  specialist area of expertise is in assessing, diagnosing and resolving musculoskeletal issues. Musculo = muscles, Skeletal = skeleton (bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, tendons). So, most conditions affecting those areas, we can help.

Here’s a (not exhaustive) list of some of the most common conditions we help resolve here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford.

Back

Neck

Hip Problems

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hip impingement
  • Gilmore’s groin
  • Groin strain
  • Total hip replacement
  • ITB issues
  • Piriformis syndrome

Knee Problems

  • Anterior knee pain
  • Ligament injuries (Anterior, posterior, medial & lateral cruciate ligaments)
  • Cartilage (meniscus) injuries
  • Hamstring strain
  • Runners knee
  • Muscle strain or tear (quadriceps, hamstrings)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osgoods Schlatters 
  • ITB syndrome

Ankle & Foot

Shoulder

Elbow, Wrist & Hand

And not forgetting……..

If you are suffering with an injury and want help to guide you through the frustrating maze, please get in touch. We aim to offer you an appointment within 24 hours, often the same day.

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Live Well For Longer – Focus on Back Pain

Posted on 2nd August 2018 by

Channel 4’s Live Well For Longer programme on Channel 4 this week looked at one of the most common injuries we see and British people experience – Back Pain. Live well for longer back pain

Back pain is thought to cause 30 million days of sick leave a year, costing our economy an estimated £40 billion. It is thought that up to 80% of us will suffer with back pain at some point in our lives.

The programme compared 3 ‘non-medical’ ways to manage long standing back pain; yoga, physiotherapy and osteopathy. They used a well known, standardised tool to measure levels of pain before and after 2 months of each of the interventions in groups of people who had been suffering with back pain for over a year.

In the Physiotherapy group, the physiotherapist helped to facilitate the return of normal movement and worked on strengthening the spine. It was great to see that the ethos of the physiotherapist is teaching people and giving people information and knowledge that they need to help themselves. This is absolutely fundamental in successful treatment of painful conditions such as back pain.

After 2 months, it was found that Yoga and physiotherapy both helped improve people’s pain by 30-50%. Osteopathy reduced pain by a third on average. All 3 groups of people experienced a decrease in their back pain, demonstrating that with time, investment and commitment, there can be huge improvements in pain. The programme obviously only looked at very small sample sizes, but what it demonstrated that there is a positive way to tackle back pain.

The ket message to take away for people with long term back pain, is that you can’t expect short term fixes. People looking for help with back pain need to be realistic – if you’ve had back pain for a long time, there isn’t a quick and easy fix (that so many people seek!). As the Physiotherapist said, retraining muscles can take at least 6 weeks. It’s the dedication, positive attitude and consistency in investing in your body and finding something that works for you that will often be the success!

Read More

Low Back Pain & Sciatica, the latest NICE Guidelines

Help, I’ve got back pain. What should I do?

Back pain Myths: Moving will make my back pain worse, I should avoid exercise if I have back pain, I need a scan to tell me what’s going on


 


Physiotherapy For Cycling Injuries

Posted on 10th June 2018 by

Bike Week 2018 This week is Bike Week, which aims to inspire more people to take to 2 wheels.

Cycling is a wonderful way to exercise, whatever your level or age. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and has a host of health benefits.

It’s a safe form of exercise and is often a great way to start fit if you need to maintain your fitness with a lower impact activity. It’s also a fab way to incorporate exercise into a mode of travel!

However, like many forms of exercise, cycling can become a source of injuries. Cycling injuries tend to fall into 2 camps, either a traumatic injury or an overuse injury.

Traumatic Injuries

These are caused by some sort of trauma. This is normally a fall or collision and can be very minor to severe. Traumatic injuries are often accidents that can’t be avoided, but you can take precautions. These include:

  • Wearing appropriate protective clothing such as a helmet
  • Being up to date with bike maintenance to make sure you bike is in top working order
  • Knowing and reading the weather conditions and environment to make sure they fit with your plans
  • Understanding your personal limitations and being realistic with your ability. Many accidents occur when people are pushing themselves unrealistically.

Common traumatic cycling injuries include:

  • Fractures – often the clavicle (collar bone) or scaphoid (wrist) as you put your arm out to protect you as you fall.
  • Bruising – to the muscle and/or bone. This is as a result of falling directly onto the area, often a prominent bony area such as the outside of the hip.

Overuse Injuries

As the name implies, are caused when a part of the body is being ‘overused’ and can’t cope with the physical demands being placed upon it. Cycling is a very repetitive activity, an average cyclist might perform well over 5,000 revolutions an hour. The human body has a threshold of what it will tolerate and sometimes it just can’t cope with prolonged repetitive demands being placed on it. This is when an overuse injury rears it’s head.

The problem with overuse injuries is that they often start gradually as a tiny niggle that you ignore. Before you know it that niggle is a regular occurrence but you think it will just go away just as it appeared. Then it eventually becomes really annoying and can actually becomes so severe it stops you doing the things you love and that may have caused it in the first place, which is even more of a pain!

You can take steps to avoid or minimise the impact of cycling overuse injuries. These include:

  • Make sure your bike is set up correctly. This is crucial given the repetitive nature of cycling. Very small adjustments such as saddle and handlebar height can make a huge difference.
  • Increase your cycling gradually. Whether its speed, distance or hills – don’t do too much all at once. You need to give your body time to adapt and adjust to the demands being placed upon it.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel a little niggle, hold back a bit until it eases off to give your body chance to recover.
  • Seek advice at the right time. If a niggle is becoming more than that, it’s better to come and see us sooner rather than later. Overuse injuries that are ignored can often become long term problems and then they’re much harder to resolve and take longer to recover.

Common cycling overuse injuries include:

  • Back pain – which is often related to your posture on the bike and easily resolved by changing your bike set up.
  • Neck pain – again, this is often posture related and being more aware of your posture and position on the bike can be really helpful.
  • Knee pain – including tendonopathies, patellofemoral pain (front of knee) or ITB problems (side of knee).
  • Foot or ankle problems – such as achilles tendonopathy or forefoot pain from the pressure of peddling.

As Physio’s we’re highly skilled at identifying and resolving all the injury issues that may arise from cycling. Many of our team are keen cyclists themselves, so can truly identify with what you’re experiencing. If you are suffering with an injury as a result of cycling, give us a call to see how we can help you and get you back on your bike! #BikeWeekUK


Read more about Physiotherapy for Cycling Injuries on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists website.


 

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Cauda Equina Syndrome

Posted on 17th November 2017 by

As trained, healthcare professionals, an absolutely crucial part of the role we play in assessing and treating people who come to see us, is identifying when people need to be referred on for additional tests and care.

If we’re not happy with something you’re presenting with or want a second opinion, we make sure we point you in the right direction, armed with information to help you in the best possible way.

Thankfully, serious conditions are very rarely seen in the clinic, although they do sometimes occur. Our team are highly trained to spot any worrying signs or symptoms. One such condition, that we may pick up on when people come to us with back pain, is Cauda Equina Syndrome.

What is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

The spinal cord extends from the brain down through a canal inside the vertebral column. At each level of the spine nerves branch off from your spinal cord (nerve roots) and are responsible for sending signals to and from the muscles and other structures throughout your body. The spinal cord finishes just above your waist, below this is the group of nerves called the Cauda Equina. The nerves of the Cauda Equina supply the muscles that control the bladder, bowel and the legs. Cauda Equina Syndrome is the symptoms which occur when the nerves of the Cauda Equina are compressed.

What causes Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Numerous causes of Cauda Equina syndrome have been reported, the most common being, very large disc prolapse or spinal stenosis (a narrow spinal canal). Less common causes include tumour, infection, or trauma. Cauda Equina syndrome is rare but when it does occur it tends to be in adults of any age.

How is it diagnosed?

Initially the diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome is made from the information that you tell the clinician who assesses you. The examination findings are useful in that they give an indication of how urgently the problem needs treatment.

Treatment

If Cauda Equina Syndrome is confirmed on the scan, urgent spinal surgery is indicated, to prevent permanent damage to the nerves which supply the bladder and bowel.

Symptoms

Cauda Equina Syndrome presents as one or a combination of the following symptoms. Most commonly these symptoms develop suddenly and may worsen rapidly, within hours or days. However, some people develop symptoms gradually.

  • Saddle Anaesthesia

    Saddle anaesthesia
    Saddle Anaesthesia
  • Loss of feeling between the legs
  • Numbness in or around the back passage and/or genitals
  • Inability to feel the toilet paper when wiping
  • Bladder disturbance
  • Inability to urinate (pass water)
  • Difficulty initiating urination (urinary hesitancy)
  • Loss of sensation when you pass urine
  • Inability to stop or control urination (incontinence)
  • Loss of the full bladder sensation
  • Bowel disturbance
  • Inability to stop a bowel movement (incontinence)
  • Constipation
  • Loss of sensation when passing a bowel motion.
  • Sexual problems
  • Inability to achieve an erection or ejaculate (Males)
  • Loss of sensation during intercourse

If you suddenly develop any of the above symptoms then it is strongly recommended that you contact your GP as an emergency or an accident and emergency department.


Back Care Awareness Week – Back Pain in Education

Posted on 2nd October 2017 by

The annual Back Care Awareness Week, run by BackCare, the UK’s leading charity for those impacted by back or neck pain, is to take place between 2 and 6 October. The theme this year is Back Pain in Education.

Back pain is one of the top common causes of absence from work throughout the country. It costs the UK economy around £15 billion every year as over four million working days are lost as a result of the condition. Furthermore, about 80% of the UK population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.

BackCare decided it was important to run a campaign targeted at children and young people as many of the back and neck pain problems experienced by adults are due to them not looking after their backs during childhood and teenage years.

Back pain
The image here, that BackPain have promoted has the message ‘Don’t pick up heavy things’. There’s nothing wrong with picking up something heavy! In all our years as Physiotherapists, I don’t recall we’ve ever seen a young patient who’s injured their back by picking up something too heavy!

Dr Brian Hammond, the Chair of BackCare said: “Early teaching of children and young people of the importance of taking care of their backs is bound to have a positive effect on the health of their backs as adults.”

He added: “There are simple things children and young people can do, such as sitting properly and not for too long, exercising regularly, stretching and lifting correctly. They also need to know how to carry their school books and equipment in a way that does not harm their back or neck.”

Why we somewhat disagree with this years message!

However, leading Physiotherapists and the latest research will tend to disagree with some of the points raised in this campaign. Although we agree that education and empowering people with understanding and knowledge of taking care of their bodies from a young age is crucial, implying that they can damage their spines by doing normal, everyday tasks like carrying a school bag, is a myth. These messages can lead to an unnecessary fear, which can then progress into adulthood.

Research is suggesting that there isn’t a ‘perfect posture’ or ‘best way to carry a bag’. So implying that young children can ‘harm’ their back or neck in these ways isn’t a positive message to put across.

This image sums up perfectly how children should be caring for their backs – not focusing on correct postures or harmful habits – moving regularly!

Kids perfect posture

So what messages should we be sharing?

  • Exercise and movement is the key – youngsters should be encouraged and supported to take part in a wide variety of exercise, sport and activities that encourage regular, whole body movement that they enjoy! It doesn’t really matter what it is, but enjoyment and instilling a lifelong, love of being active is the best way to prevent developing any back problems.
  • Move regularly – our bodies aren’t designed to be still. It’s not the posture that’s the problem, but staying in single positions for too long that can lead to issues. So, when you read about issues such as ‘text neck’, it tends to be the duration that people are using their devices in, in a single, sustained position that can cause issues. If you held a so called ‘perfect posture’ for any sustained length of time, this could cause issues!
  • Don’t be afraid of pain – aches and pains can be a normal everyday occurrence. We can all feel a bit of stiffness, aching, muscle soreness etc. But pain doesn’t always equal damage. Particularly with back pain, being afraid of the pain tends to lead to us being overly protective, not moving as much, which in turn can cause more pain. It’s a vicious circle. As long as there are no indications to be concerned that something more serious is going on to cause the pain (trauma, pins & needles or numbness, problems going to the toilet, pain at night for example – if any of these are present, it’s advised to see your GP ASAP), then we need to install the confidence that the pain is OK.
  • Be careful with the language we use – particularly with children, the words we use if they’re in pain can be very influential. Negative words like harm, damage, out of place, torn, can all create very negative messages. We need to focus on positive messages like strong and active. Being overly focused on carrying things correctly at a young age, will install a fear that their backs aren’t designed to cope with such a normal, everyday, task – which ins’t true.

There are obviously times and instances when children do develop back or neck pain. This can be caused by sustained postures (often technology related) and a lack of exercise of general movement. In these cases, specific education and increasing their awareness is a key part of helping them overcome any pain they are experiencing. Postural education may be a part of this.

It’s great that BackCare are are raising awareness of back issues in this campaign, but let’s keep the messages positive and not install a fear into young people that their backs might not be fit for the job!

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Osteoporosis

Posted on 25th May 2017 by

The definition of osteoporosis comes from, ‘Osteo’ – a prefix denoting bone and ‘porosis’ – implying the weakening of a structure or porous bone.

It’s the loss of boney tissue resulting in bones that are weakened and liable to fracture.

Osteoporosis

Who is at risk osteoporosis?

  • Those with low body weight
  • Maternal history of the disease
  • Smokers
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Low dietary calcium intake
  • Late puberty
  • History of eating disorders
  • Generally physically inactive
  • High caffeine intake
  • History of steroid use/treatment
  • Previous fractures, particularly after menopause

Who can be affected by osteoporosis?

Worldwide it is estimated that 200 million women suffer from osteoporosis. It is unknown how many men suffer from the disease but it is on the increase. Although it is commonly thought of as an affliction of the older population, it can affect people of all ages. It is more common amongst the white and Asian population and less so in black populations.

What potential problems arise from osteoporosis?

The bones become weakened and result in low bone mass and are, therefore, more susceptible to a fracture. In the UK there are an estimated 60,000 hip, 50,000 wrist and 40,000 spine fractures due to osteoporosis every year.

Other fragility fractures are also associated with osteoporosis e.g. pelvis and upper arm.

1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men surviving to the age of 80 will suffer a hip fracture.

What are the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis?

It is usually a silent disease until the individual suffers a fracture. However, there are many screening tests that can now be done and if you think you are at risk of osteoporosis from the risk factors above, it is advised to see your GP.

A Colles fracture is a break of the wrist and is most common among women aged between 45 and 65. It is often the first sign of osteoporosis.

Back pain can be a symptom of osteoporosis. Pain in the back can gradually creep up over time and your posture can become noticeably more flexed forwards. Over time, you can lose height too. Episodes of acute back pain which settle after a few weeks can be due to spontaneous vertebral fractures, caused by osteoporosis.

Physiotherapy and osteoporosis

Physiotherapy can have a key role to play in both the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. There are a number of ways in which we can help.

  • Education on appropriate exercise, posture, diet and lifestyle changes. This can be both to prevent osteoporosis or help minimise it’s impact of you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
  • Exercises to target vulnerable areas and help keep the bones and joints strong.
  • Core stability and muscle strengthening exercise programmes.
  • Balance exercises to help prevent falls.
  • Advice on water-based exercises to help strengthen core stability, improve range of movement and reduce pain.
  • Ongoing support in order to self-manage the disease in the long term including preventing and managing fractures.

The role of exercise in managing osteoporosis

Weight-bearing exercise is proven to have a positive effect on bone mass.  The less weight that goes through the bones, the more likely they are to weaken further, so weight bearing and resistance exercises play a crucial part. Specific exercise, as prescribed by your physiotherapist, target the vulnerable areas of the body. Through strengthening the muscles and keeping joint stiffness to a minimum, you are less likely to suffer from pain and the risk of fractures may be reduced.

Other exercise to be considered:

We offer a range of services at goPhysio to help support you if you are looking to prevent or minimise the impact of osteoporosis. If you’d like any help or advice, please give us a call.


New exercise class for back pain sufferers in Chandlers Ford

Posted on 17th May 2017 by

Back pain affects nearly everyone at some point in their life. After stress, back pain is the second most common reason for taking time off of work, with some 4 million working days lost through back pain every year. Unfortunately for some people, back pain can become a recurrent & persistent part of their life.

There isn’t always an obvious cause of back pain, and many factors such as poor posture, working conditions, driving and lifting can all contribute.

Research has shown though that staying physically active is the key to helping back pain. Recent guidelines from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend that regular physical activity & exercise in combination with education can help people manage their low back pain.

It is based on these guidelines that here at goPhysio, we have developed a new educational & exercise course called Active Backs.

Paul Baker, goPhysio’s Clinical Director, says

“So many people we see are afraid to move when they have back pain. They are scared they are going to cause more damage. As long as anything serious has been ruled out, movement is the key to helping improve your back pain in the long term.”

“All the research agrees that by being educated how to manage your back pain and learning how to exercise correctly, you will be able to gain confidence in using your back correctly. This will help you not only reduce your pain but also prevent it coming back again.”

The programme is thought to be the first one of it’s kind in the area. Classes are run every Tuesday from 11.15am – 12.15pm.

Active Backs will include both an educational element, covering weekly topics such as posture, coping strategies and relaxation. It will also include a weekly exercise circuit to help strengthen and stretch your muscles and improve your fitness. Through coming to Active Backs we aim to help you achieve your goals.

The course will be run by one of our dedicated Clinicians and numbers are limited to six, to ensure that everyone receive the individual attention they require. It is going to be held in our new ‘Strong Room’. fully equipped with resistance training, weights, balls and mats, and equipment designed to help you get the most from exercising for your spine.

For details on how to book, please take a look here. All bookings are easily managed online and you can have maximum flexibility with bookings and even combine with some yoga classes.

Read More 

Latest NICE guideline for back pain & sciatica

10 things you need to know about your back

Help I’ve got back pain, what should I do?