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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?


 


Pelvic Pain Awareness Month

Posted on 12th May 2017 by

Pelvic pain Awareness MonthMay is International Pelvic pain Awareness Month, a time when various organisations work to raise public awareness of issues in the area of chronic pelvic pain.

One of the most common types of pelvic pain we see here at goPhysio, is pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain.

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is an umbrella term used to describe pain felt in the hip, back & pelvic area during pregnancy. It can affect 1 in 5 pregnancies, normally from the second trimester, but can start from very early on in pregnancy.

It used to be thought that it was caused by changes in the ligaments during pregnancy but latest research has found that this only plays a small part. It is thought now that the biomechanical changes that occur during pregnancy in your back and pelvis are the more likely cause.

PGP can be very mild or it can be seriously debilitating, interrupting sleep, causing problems walking, sitting and gong up and down stairs. It can have a major impact on your life and pregnancy. The earlier it is diagnosed and the earlier treatment is sought, the better.

Physiotherapy is key to helping Mums to be with PGP. A Physio will carry out a thorough assessment of your back and pelvis to find out exactly what is going on and where the problem is coming from. This will guide an appropriate treatment and management programme with the aim of easing the pain, stopping it worsening and helping you to cope and stay active. There are many treatments that a Physio can use. These include manual therapy, specific exercises and lots of advice. The sooner you seek expert advice if you think you may be suffering with PGP the better.

At goPhysio, we have a specialist Physio, Kim, who is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of PGP in pregnancy. We also offer specialist Pregnancy Pilates Classes that are run by a Physio. These small and supportive classes are a really pro-active way to help prevent PGP by optimising your physical health during pregnancy. If you’re suffering with PGP the exercises can offer much relief. Plus you’ve got on hand Physio for advice when you need it!

Once you’ve had your baby, the good news is that PGP often resolves quite quickly. If it doesn’t or you’re concerned about your recovery, you can book in for a goMummy Post Natal Check Up. This 1 hour session will help identify any issues and give you a positive action plan and tailored exercise programme to help ease and improve your pelvic issues.

If you’d like further information about PGP, the Pelvic Partnership is a great online resource.

If you are suffering with PGP, our specialist Physiotherapist, Kim, would be happy to chat to you to see whether she can help. Just give us a call on 023 8025 3317.

Read More 

goMummy Post Natal Check Up 

Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy

Should I plank pregnant?

Effects of pregnancy on the body

 

 


10 Things You Need To Know About Your Back

Posted on 4th May 2017 by

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) have today launched a great new campaign, ’10 Things You Need To Know About Your Back’.

Back pain research constantly gives new insights into previously held beliefs. Their new guide reflects these advances to give clear, simple advice on how to manage your pain and prevent future episodes.

Here’s the latest advice from the CSP:

  1. Your back is stronger than you may think Most people worldwide will experience back pain during their lifetime. It can be disabling and worrying but it is very common and rarely dangerous. The spine is a strong, stable structure and not easily damaged so in most instances it is a simple sprain or strain. In these cases – 98 per cent, according to research – people recover reasonably quickly, and many do so without treatment. Some people experience repeat episodes, which can be distressing, but again these are rarely dangerous.
  2. You rarely need a scan and it can do more harm than good
    This is because seeing perfectly normal changes to their spine can cause people to avoid the activities they should be doing to get better, such as exercise and movement in general. In very rare cases, there may be something more serious or underlying that requires medical advice. A scan may help with your diagnosis and symptoms to be aware of are at the bottom of this page. However, these account for just two per cent of cases so if your physio or GP does not send you for one, you should take it as a good sign that there is nothing concerning going on.
  3. Avoid bed rest, stay in work and gradually resume normal activities
    Scientific studies now indicate prolonged rest and avoidance of activity for people with low back pain actually leads to higher levels of pain, greater disability, poorer recovery and longer absence from work. In the first few days of a new episode of low back pain, avoiding aggravating activities may help to relive pain. However, staying as active as possible and returning to all usual activities gradually is actually important in aiding recovery – this includes staying in work where possible. While it is normal to move differently and more slowly in the first few days of having back pain, this altered movement can be unhealthy if continued in the long-term.
  4. You should not fear bending or lifting
    Bending and lifting are often portrayed as causes of back pain and while an injury can occur if something is picked up in an awkward or unaccustomed way, it’s most likely to just be a sprain or strain. The important thing is to practice and get your body used to carrying different loads and weights in a way we find comfortable and efficient. We all run differently, and it’s perfectly normal for us to find our own technique for lifting.
  5. Exercise and activity reduce and prevent back pain
    Exercise is shown to be very helpful for tackling back pain and is also the most effective strategy to prevent future episodes. Start slowly and build up both the amount and intensity of what you do and don’t worry if it’s sore to begin with – you won’t be damaging your back. No one type of exercise is proven to be more effective than others so just pick an exercise you enjoy, that you can afford to maintain in the long-term and that fits in with your daily schedule.
  6. Painkillers will not speed up your recovery
    There is no strong evidence on the benefits of painkillers and they do not speed up recovery. They should only be used in conjunction with other measures, such as exercise, and even then just as a short-term option as they can bring side effects. Exercise, which is safer and cheaper, is considered the preferred option.
  7. Surgery is rarely needed
    There are some uncommon back conditions where there is pressure on the nerves that supply the legs and the patient gets leg symptoms, such as pain, pins and needles or numbness. For these conditions, surgery can help the leg symptoms but it is important to understand that it is not always required. You also need to know that on average, the results for back surgery are no better in the medium and long term than non-surgical interventions, such as exercise. So a non-surgical option, which includes exercise and activity, should always come first.
  8. Get good quality sleep
    The importance of sleep in tackling back pain has become increasingly clear in recent years. This is because it reduces stress and improves your overall feeling of wellbeing, making you less susceptible to the triggers of pain in the first instance and helping you to cope when it does occur. Aim for 7.5-8 hours a night and try to aim for a regular routine, as far as possible. It is also very important to know that there is no best position or type of mattress – whatever feels most comfortable for you is best.
  9. You can have back pain without any damage or injury
    Many physical or psychological factors can cause back pain and often a combination of these are involved. Many factors can cause back pain and often a combination of these are involved. They could be– Physical factors, such as ‘protecting’ the back and avoiding movements, or a simple strain.
    – Psychological factors, including a fear of damage or not getting better, feeling down or being stressed.
    – More general health and lifestyle factors, like being tired and rundown, not getting enough good quality sleep, being overweight or not getting enough physical activity
    – Social triggers, such as difficult relationships at work or home, low job satisfaction or stressful life events, like a family death or illness. Crucially, it’s important to know that all pain is 100 per cent real and never ‘all in your head’, even when factors like stress or mood are involved. Each of the factors can turn up the volume on your pain and gaining a greater understanding of when that can happen puts you in a stronger position to recognise them and learn how to turn down the dial again.
  10. If it doesn’t clear up, seek help but don’t worry Physiotherapists provide expert advice, guidance and treatment for back pain. This is to help reduce your chances of future episodes, while improving your overall health and well-being.

At goPhysio, we offer a range of services to help you manage your back pain. 

Physiotherapy – If you want reassurance and help to become more confident with your back, physiotherapy can help. We can provide expert guidance and treatment for your back pain, tailored to you and your lifestyle. You can book an appointment online or give us a call on 023 8025 3317.

Clinical Pilates – Our specialist Pilates classes are a great way to keep you strong and active. They focus on building strength and flexibility and being able to move well. The classes are small and you will be under the close supervision of one of our Therapists at all times. We run 17 classes a week, including evenings and weekends, at a variety of levels, so it’s easy to find a class to suit you. Have a look at our latest timetable.

Yoga Classes – Our onsite Yoga classes are another great way to get you moving. We offer a range of different styles of yoga, including a gentle and restorative class for beginners to a more challenging Himalayan Hatha class. Bookings are made easily online, you can find out more about booking here.

Active Backs – Our Active Backs classes are supervised exercise classes, specially designed for people who have or have had back pain. The classes will help build your confidence in exercising and are combined with education and advice to empower you. These classes can be booked online.

Symptoms to be aware of:

These symptoms are very rare but you should contact a doctor if you experience any of them:

  • Difficulty passing urine or having the sensation to pass water that is not there
  • Numbness/tingling in your genitals or buttocks area
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Impaired sexual function, such as loss of sensation during intercourse
  • Loss of power in your legs
  • Feeling unwell with your back pain, such as a fever or significant sweating that wakes you from sleep

Read More:

Low back pain and sciatica, the latest NICE guidelines

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

Back Pain Myths

 

 


Avoid Bank Holiday Gardening Pains

Posted on 10th April 2017 by

With the 4 day Easter weekend upon us and coinciding with National Gardening Week, it’s that time of year to get out in that garden, tackle those Avoid gardening painweeds and start to prepare for the nicer weather – whether it’s out of choice or because someone has nagged you to do it!

Here are our top tips to avoid injury, whether you’re gardening, painting the shed or washing the patio!

Warm up before starting

You wouldn’t go for a run or start a gym workout without warming up your body – so make sure you do the same before you start work. Go for a brisk walk around the garden, get the blood circulating round your body & do a few gentle stretches to loosen your muscles before you start that weeding!

Cool down when you finish

Same as tip number one – make sure you wind down to a stop and do some more gentle stretches when you finish to stop your muscles stiffening up after your activity. Don’t just sit down and admire your hard work (as tempting as it might be!).

Pace yourself!

With a 4 day weekend, it’s tempting to do all the work in one day to keep the rest of your time free – but this could lead to overworked and over strained muscles and joints. Spread your jobs out evenly over the weekend and build up to the harder jobs.

Variety is key

Try to avoid spending time in prolonged positions – by varying your tasks, you will limit the strain you put on each body part. For example, do 30 minutes of weeding, 30 minutes of digging and then 30 minutes of mowing the lawn. Put some mini breaks in between each job to have a rest, stretch and drink.

Avoid twisting

Keep your feet facing the same way as your hips and shoulders – this stops any rotational strain through your body. Stand straight as you mow the lawn or push a wheelbarrow and keep everything you need close by to avoid twisting to reach it.

Keep everything at the correct height

If you are working at a bench, make sure you don’t have to crouch or stretch to reach it – this could put extra strain on your back. If you’re working at a height, use a ladder or step to stop straining your neck by looking up for long periods.

Lift with your knees, not your back

When lifting heavy objects, make sure to bend your hips and knees to help support your back. Holding the object closer to your body will also help reduce any extra strain – so make sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty!

If you do injur yourself – don’t panic! Have a look back at our previous blogs on using heat vs ice and the ‘POLICE’ method of self treatment. If in doubt, give our friendly Patient Care Team a call and book an appointment with one of Physiotherapists at goPhysio. We’ll be able to assess, diagnose and treat any injury and give you the best advice on how to treat and prevent another episode!

You can also book an appointment online over the bank holiday.


 


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


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.

 

 


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.


Technology Pains

Posted on 23rd December 2016 by

With consumers set to shell out billions of pounds on gadgets such as smart phones, tablets and games consoles this this Christmas, how do you make sure your gift doesn’t turn into a pain in the neck?

Technology has revolutionised every aspect of modern life from how we communicate to how we do our shopping. However recent research has suggested we now spend as long as 5-8hours a day on our smart phones and tablets! These devices are designed mainly with portability in mind so many of us will be familiar with the stiff thumbs from tapping away on games consoles, the burning neck pain from looking down at your ipad for a couple hours and the achy back from curling up on your sofa with your laptop on your knees.

Here our top 3 tips to avoid these pains

  1. Limit technology time – set some simple boundaries like no gadgets at the dining table, switching off an hour before bed or no more than an hour at a time in front of a screen. Think about what you’re actually going online for – to complete a certain task or just as a distraction?
  2. Think about your posture – your head is the heaviest part of your body so looking down at a tablet for hours on end is sure to give you a sore neck. Instead try a laptop or tablet stand, ideally with an external keyboard to bring your screen up to eye level. For smart phones straighten your back and hold the phone higher.
  3. Stretch out after use – if you’ve over done it stretch out your neck muscles by gently rotating your head left and right and tilting it side to side several times, roll your shoulders and rotate your trunk left and right too. Use a heat pack or microwavable wheat bag to ease the tension and pain.

technology pain


16 Days To Go – Spiky Ball Countdown Giveaway & Some Great Exercises!

Posted on 3rd December 2016 by

Today we are giving away one of our favourites – a spiky ball! This ball can work wonders for easing off tight, sore muscles and areas of tension.

Ball Back Release 

This is a great exercise if you sit at a desk or drive a lot. It really helps to loosen up a stiff back and counteract the affects of being hunched over.

  1. ball-releaseSit at the wall with the ball at the bottom of the stiff upper back curve, feet planted firmly on the ground. Place your hands on your breastbone to guide the lift.
  2. Keeping the chin tucked, lift up with the breastbone to lever up over the ball. The head should move towards the wall ball-relesae-2because of the lift, but not because the neck has arched back.
  3. You can use a bit of a push up through the feet to encourage the lift.
  4. After loosening one level, move the tennis balls up a level and repeat. You can continue up to the top level of the upper back, but not into the low neck.

Plantar Fasciitis Ball Massage 

We often recommend self massage for the common foot complaint, plantar fasciitis. It really helps release the tightness and ease discomfort. Heres how:

planatr-fascia-ball

  1. Stand up and step on a hard ball with the foot.
  2.  Move the ball under your foot to find tender spots.
  3. Once you are on a tender spot, hold the position while applying pressure. You can hold the position as recommended to release the trigger point.
  4. Next, move to another tender area.

 


For your chance to win a very useful spiky ball, like or follow us on social media and share this post!


Clear Your Leaves with Care: Top Tips for Autumnal Gardening

Posted on 28th October 2016 by

Clear your leaves with careIt’s that time of year and you can’t avoid the carpet of leaves that covers our paths, gardens and walks. Many of the areas of fallen leaves can look beautiful and are an enjoyable part of this season. But inevitably they may need to be dealt with or cleared.

Over recent weeks on my travels in and around the very leafy suburb of Chandlers Ford, I’ve seen people mid leaf clearing. On more than one occasion my natural physio though process has screamed inside my head ‘caution – injury risk’!!

With the weekend upon us, I thought it may be wise to share some tips on how to protect your body and minimise any risk of picking up an injury if you’re planning on taking part in leaf clearing this weekend.

Tackle it in short bursts.

Don’t go out and try and clear large areas all in one go, Set a time limit, clear what you can and then go and do another activity for a while to take a break. Then return to it and do another short burst. Keep on top of the job over the autumn so you’re not clearing such a huge amount in one go.

Avoid bending forwards.

Postures like this place an immense amount of strain on your back, particularly if it’s repeated over and over again in a repetitive, lengthy task like picking up leaves.

Get help.

Share the task if you can, get the kids or grandchildren involved to get the job done quicker and share the physical burden.

Use the right tools.

A rake or broom is probably the simplest way or clearing leaves, moving the leaves into large piles and then using a shovel to lift into a wheelbarrow or bin for disposal.. Again, this is easier if you can have help to share the load. This technique is OK for small areas but if you have large areas to clear there are lots of other gadgets that can help. Leaf blowers are often seen being used. These can be great if you can blow them into an area like a compost that they won’t need to be moved or picked up. But if you still have to pick them up once they’re piled, you need to take care. Leaf blowers can be light weight but it’s still better to tackle in sort bursts to minimise any injury risk. You can also get lawn vacuums now, that will collect the leaves efficiently.

Think about your posture. 

If you do have to physically handle the leaves, it’s good to have in mind how a small child would naturally approach the task. They will instinctively crouch down, using their knees to bend to get close to the ground. As long as you haven’t got hip or knee issues, using the power of the large muscles in your legs to crouch down and collect the leaves will help protect your back.

Listen to your body. 

If you start to get a little niggle, your body will be feeling the physical strain of the task you are doing. Take a rest and give your body chance to recover. Don’t ignore pain, it’s a warning sign. Tackle the job again when the pain subsides. If you pick up more of a serious injury that does’t ease, seek professional advice. Gardening is a great form of activity but it can be very physically demanding.

Approach it like you would a sporting activity, ease in gradually, warm up for the task and don’t overdo it. Meanwhile, enjoy this beautiful season!