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6 Days Until Opening – Win A Computerised Foot Analysis

Posted on 13th December 2016 by

goPhysio Foot AnalysisWith 6 days to go until our opening, here’s another chance to win a free computerised foot analysis. With so much going on in your feet, and such a crucial part to play in your day to day movement – seeing what’s going on with your feet can be really insightful. You can win a 30 minute session with one of our Physio’s. They’ll take a look at your feet and carry out a computerised foot scan. They can then discuss the findings with you. You can find out more here.


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.

 


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Foot Pain: Could It Be Plantar Fasciitis?

Posted on 8th October 2016 by

We are seeing and hearing from an increasing number of people who are suffering with quite debilitating pain on the sole of their foot. This common complaint is often the result of a condition known as Plantar Fasciitis.

Interestingly, over the last week I’ve met 8 people hobbling about with this painful foot condition and not one of these people were aware of what physio could do for plantar fasciitis.

So today’s blog is to educate you about plantar fasciitis and help you banish it for good.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Fascia is connective tissue which is found all over the body in various forms for different functions. It’s most common forms are sheaths surrounding muscles and ligaments to compartmentalise and  protect these tissues or thickened fascial bands or sheets in certain areas of the body.Plantat Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a thickened sheet of fascia on the sole of the feet, running from the inside base of the heel bone and fanning out into the base of the toes. It’s elasticity gives us a spring in our step when walking or running.

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury to the fascial sheet on the sole of the foot.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is caused by

the plantar fascia being put under excessive stretch for prolonged periods of time. This can happen for example when your foot arches are too flat, so that as you push off when you’re walking or running the fascia excessively overloaded and stretched. Over time microtrauma, injury and pain result.

The foot can also be termed the “rubbish bin” of the body, where asymmetries further up the body can result in compensations in the foot. The body will compensate up to a point, but due to the excessive forces during the propulsion as you move that go through your feet, the foot may adapt by stiffening up and thickening of the plantar fascia. So sometimes, it can be something going on further up the body that may put too much stress on your foot, that will in turn cause this problem.

Symptoms

Plantar fasciitis is normally felt as a pain on the bottom of your foot, sometimes going into your heel.

Unfortunately plantar fasciitis is often confused with another foot problem called calcaneal bursitis heel pain). Without a thorough examination, most plantar foot problems are diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.

So a quick test you can do yourself to indicate whether your foot pain is plantar fasciitis or not is to see which is more painful; walking on your tip toes or your heels.

If it is painful to walk a few steps on your heels, you may have an element of calcanea bursitis. If it’s more painful too walk on tip toes (stretching plantar fascia), it’s likely you havre plantar fasciitis.

Why is it so painful 1st thing in the morning or after I’ve been sat for a while and then get up?

Plantar fasciitis is usually painful after a period of rest. The reason being is that when you’re sat for a while or asleep in bed, the fascia is off loaded and re-tightens. When you get back up on your feet, you are re-stretching the tight, painful fascia. It may ease a little as you start to move around as it effectively ‘warms up’ and stretches.

What can affect recovery?

There are many factors that will affect the speed of recovery. Seeing an expert Physiotherapist who has a wide range of experience treating lower limb overuse injuries is vital to identify all the factors and work towards removing or modifying the triggers unique to you.

The most common triggers for foot problems such as plantar fasciitis are:

Biomechanics It’s crucial to assess whether your foot and leg biomechanics (e.g. flattened arches, knocked knees etc.) are contributing to your injury and may need correcting. Here at goPhysio, our Physio’s can do this quite easily as part of your initial session by combining their physical assessment findings with performing a computerised foot screen using our cutting edge Gaitscan system.

Training Patterns and Intensity If a runner or keen walker has the condition, it’s vital to look at the historical loading of the fascia and modify their training schedule to a level that allows the condition to heal. Without breaking the cycle, the tissues won’t be able to recover. However, we like to keep people doing what they love, so rather than advise complete rest, we try wherever possible, to modify your activity or suggest alternatives in the short term that will promote recovery.

Lower Limb Stability Often muscle imbalances further up your body in your knee, hip or pelvis, will have an impact on the foot. As part of your recovery we will always address these elements too to help prevent re-occurrences.

Age Research suggests that older people experience more severe and more prolonged episodes of inflammation and pain. So, if you’re 40 years plus and enjoy an active lifestyle, your pain is unlikely to settle with just rest. It will be easily aggravated when you resume normal activities, as the cause and actual injury hasn’t been addressed.

Footwear Unsupportive, flat, old, worn out shoes or trainers can both contribute to causing plantar fasciitis and will inevitably prolong the condition.

Physiotherapy

At goPhysio, with a condition like plantar fasciitis, we always treat the condition as part of the bigger picture. Not only will we treat your foot itself, but we will look from the foot upwards and from the hip downwards, ensuring we leave you with no issues that will contribute to a re-occurrence.

Having identified all the factors unique to your condition, we will then address and correct them in parallel with hands-on physiotherapy treatments and education. It’s crucial to manually release the tight thickened plantar fascia with a variety of release techniques. You will also be provided with a bespoke home exercise programme for you to self treat at home and speed up your recovery in-between physio sessions.

We can also asses you to find out if you’d benefit from orthotics. In most cases of plantar fasciitis there is a biomechanics component that needs addressing. This can be achieved with orthotics. As outlined above, fattened arches will lower your body’s ability to cope with loading either from day-to-day actives or sport. At goPhysio we use a technologically advanced system called Gaitscan, which uses computer scanning to analyse your moving foot Combined with a physical assessment, the physio can identify if you’d benefit from wearing orthotics and subsequently discuss the range of options available to you to get you back on your feet a quickly.

What next?

If you think you may be suffering with plantar fasciitis or you have foot pain and aren’t sure what exactly it is, just give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or book an initial physiotherapy appointment online.

We can also offer you a free computerised foot analysis to see whether you’d benefit from orthotics. These analyses are completely free with no obligation. Call and quote Free Gaitscan to take advantage of this offer and find out whether orthotics could help you.


Growing Pains? Knee Pain in Kids and Teens

Posted on 27th September 2016 by

Growing pains?

Many children experience aches and pains as they grow which are typically written off as ‘growing pains’, told there is nothing that can be done and that they will ‘grow out of it’.

There is some truth to this; during a growth spurt the bones will lengthen first and then the muscles adapt and lengthen to keep up and there can be a period of discomfort around the joints whilst this happens.

However in young sporty children these ‘growing pains’ may well indicate a traction apophysistis (growth plate injury) that needs to be carefully managed to avoid long-term problems and ensure a quick return to sport.

What is a traction apophysitis?

This happens when the muscles are pulling on the growing part of the bone that hasn’t fully fused yet Osgoods Schlatters – like a rope pulling on cement that hasn’t hardened. If this area is overloaded by repeated, forceful muscle contractions, inflammation, pain and microtrauma to the growth plate will result.

This usually happens in very active sporty children who typically play 10+ hours of sport a week – especially kicking, sprinting and jumping activities like football, basketball and gymnastics. It always occurs during a growth spurt and is thought to affect around 20% of 9-16 year olds.

The main areas affected are the knee (Osgood-Schlatters disease) giving pain below the knee cap, or the ankle (Severs disease) giving pain above the back of the heel. Both conditions are associated with tightness of the muscles surrounding these joints pulling on their respective growth plates.

What can be done about it?

Rest, ice and anti-inflammatories can be helpful but most kids won’t want to wait months and months for their bones to stop growing before they return to sport, particularly if they are a budding athlete.

Will stretching help?

If the muscles are tight why don’t we just stretch them?

Well this actually pulls on the area where the muscle attaches to bone, potentially making it worse, not better!

So in response to this dilemma the Strickland protocol has been developed by a Physiotherapist to address the cause of the pain (tight muscles pulling on the growth plate) and to help guide return to sport and activity.

What is the Strickland Protocol?

The Strickland Protocol involves:

  • Applying a specific type of massage towards the insertion of the muscle to improve a muscle’s length and reduce its tightness, which reduces the pull on the tendon attachment – this needs to be done for a minimum of 2 minutes a day.
  • Once underlying tension is taken out of the muscle, helping it to catch up in length with the bone, the attachment site seems to repair in double quick time.
  • Once the child feels no pain in stretch position, we replace massage with stretches, safe in the knowledge that it should be able to cope with the loading of stretches.
  • Massage is continued in parallel with stretches to speed up process of elongation.
  • Rest from aggravating activities is essential – for a minimum of 3 weeks we recommend nothing more strenuous than walking, otherwise this delays healing substantially!
  • An important aspect is the involvement of the parent / guardian as the protocol cannot be done without their help & cooperation, as it will be them that performs massage on daily basis.
  • This is followed by sport-specific rehab and addressing a biomechanical or technique issues as we guide you back to sport.

Does it work?

YES! It has a 95% success rate in 3 weeks when correctly adhered to!

How can goPhysio help?

If your son or daughter is suffering with knee pain (or pain at their heel), you may have been to see your GP who has advised you that there is nothing that can be done, your child just needs to rest. However, we have found that by using this treatment protocol we can effectively help children get back to what they should be – running round, doing sports and having fun!

What we can do to help you and your child is assess the problem thoroughly to make sure we’re confident with the diagnosis. We will then advise you on the best course of action. The great part is that the treatment is pretty simple, with our guidance you can carry out the programme at home – we’re here to provide extra support and advise on progress as and when you need it.

If you want to find out more about the common injuries that growing young people experience and steps you can take to manage such issues, Physiotherapist, Sarah is running a free talk on Thursday 5th April at 5pm, titled Adolescent Injuries and Growing Pains. This is part of a series of free informative events we are hosting this year. Get your free ticket to the Adolescent Injuries and Growing Pains Seminar here.

 

 


How might orthotics help me?

Posted on 30th August 2016 by

Orthotics are prescribed and worn for a variety of reasons.

The most common reasons are:

  • Arch and heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
  • Lower leg tendonitis (Achilles tendonitis and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction)
  • Shin splints
  • Knee pain, such as chondromalacia patellae, iliotibial band syndrome and runner’s knee
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Low back pain

Orthotics work by improving foot efficiency, lower limb alignment, therefore reducing stress on the problem area resulting in pain relief.

Although some people adapt to orthotics very quickly, you should gradually adjust to them by wearing them for a few hours more each day. You should avoid using them for extended activity, including sports, until you feel fully comfortable.

They should be comfortable and used whenever you are doing the activity that would normally aggravate your condition. If you need orthotics, they can improve your overall comfort in your lower limbs and feet.


What are orthotics?

Posted on 30th August 2016 by

What are orthotics?

Orthotics, orthoses, shoe inserts, insoles……whatever name they are known by, are foot supports which fit in your shoes to help your feet move more efficiently. They are made of moulded pieces of rubber, leather, plastic, or other synthetic material that are inserted into a shoe. The aim of orthotics is to balance the foot in a neutral position and cushion the foot from too much pounding.

There are 2 types of orthoses, over the counter (OTC) orthotics and custom orthotics.

OTC or ‘Off the Shelf’ Orthotics

These give arch support to your foot. However, they are made in a generic shape and may not be suited to all. They may match some people’s arches, but for others the arch support may be too high, too low, or too far back or too far forward. OTC orthotics can work really well in some people, particularly if they already fit your foot well and any issues you may have are very minor. Prices of OTC orthotics can vary massively. Like most things, you get what you pay for. A very cheap orthotic will wear down very quickly and not provide support for any length of time, rendering it pointless! At goPhysio, if you’re not sure about whether orthotics are for you, we can often recommend OTC orthotics to give it a try. We also advise certain OTC orthotics for more minor issues. Our OTC orthotics are priced at around £65.

Custom Orthotics

These orthotics on the other hand are designed to specifically fit your feet and work more efficiently than OTC supports. They are designed specifically for an individual to balance the biomechanical inadequacies of your feet and legs. Here at goPhysio we use a Gaitscan system to measure and analyse how your foot works alongside the skill of your Physiotherapist. They will look at your feet and legs, analyse your movement, measure your foot position and put all this together in the bigger picture with your symptoms & lifestyle. This hug amount of information will enable them to prescribe the best custom orthotic for you and your lifestyle.

Here’s a little bit more about the custom made orthotics we prescribe.


Both types of inserts aim to improve foot efficiency, helping improve lower limb alignment and reduce stress on the problem area, resulting in pain relief. If you think you could benefit from orthotics or would just like a no obligation consultation to fine out more, we offer free foot assessments at our clinic in Chandlers Ford.

Just give us a call to book your free consultation on 023 8025 3317.


Jonathan Callen – Podiatrist

Posted on 25th July 2016 by

Jon Callen Chiropodist and Podiatrist goPhysioI initially achieved my state registration in 1985 and added my BSc (Hons) degree in Podiatry in 2001 from Plymouth university. I continue to be involved in ongoing training and innovation in Podiatry as Chairman of the Hampshire Branch of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.

I have worked in the NHS (1985-2015) and private sector (1996 onwards) and have experience of many kinds of patient and conditions including those with high risk conditions such as Diabetes, minor surgery for ingrowing toe nails and provision of foot orthoses.

I understand that some patients are anxious or unsure on their initial visit and I aim to put everyone at ease and to explain treatment options carefully. Podiatry will cure some patients of their problem, others will seek ongoing care to ensure their feet are comfortable to enable them to stay active. Both categories of patients are welcome.

Outside the Podiatry clinic I am a keen walker and enjoy beautiful countryside in which I experiment with my basic photography skills. I am a member of Eastleigh Baptist Church and a long suffering supporter of Plymouth Argyle. I keep in touch with most sports and current affairs in Britain and around the world.

If you’d like Jon’s help to take care of your feet or sort out a specific problem you can call the clinic on 023 8025 3317 to make an appointment or book your appointment online here.


Running Injuries: The Basic Principles

Posted on 8th July 2016 by

There are 2 main types of running injuries that we commonly see at goPhysio:

  1. Traumatic injuries
  2. Overuse injuries

Traumatic injuries are caused by an accident or ‘traumatic event’ for example tripping over when you’re running or having a fall.

These type of injuries usually happen unexpectedly and are therefore difficult to prevent, however there are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of these types of injuries.

  • Invest in good quality running shoes that are suitable for the type of running (trail, road etc.).
  • Wear the correct shoes and clothing for the weather conditions.
  • Warm up well to help prevent injuries that may be caused by sudden movements.
  • Listen to your body – if you’re not feeling 100%, are overly tired or recovering from an injury, you’ll be more at risk of having an accident.

If you suffer a mild to moderate traumatic injury, the best course of action is to follow the P.O.L.I.C.E. acute injury management programme. This will give you the best chance of a speedy recovery and return to running.

It’s important to remember that even if you need to rest from running, try and stay as active as you can and find alternative forms of exercise like swimming or cycling, where you can maintain your fitness, strength and flexibility but still allow your injury to recover.

It’s also very important to do specific exercises to work your injured are to recover strength and flexibility. This is particularly important to help prevent any re-injury once you’re back to running.

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive movements that build up over time, that eventually your body can’t cope with. Given the repetitive and high impact nature of running, overuse injuries in runners are extremely common.

There are 2 main causes of overuse injuries:

Extrinsic Causes

These relate to external factors such as:

  • Footwear – wearing the wrong type of shoe for you or a shoe that’s worn out.
  • Running surfaces – repeated running on overly hard surfaces or on a certain camber.
  • Your training programme – normally overtraining, so increasing speed or distances too quickly and not allowing adequate recovery time.

Intrinsic Causes

These are related to your physical build and design. These include:

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Lack of flexibility or even over flexibility
  • Running technique
  • Biomechanics
  • Your own skeletal design

It can often be a cumulative combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that lead to an injury. You can read more about overuse injuries on another one of our blogs.

 


Physiotherapy For Cycling Injuries

Posted on 11th June 2016 by

Bike Week 2016This 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.


 


Beware of the Flip Flop!

Posted on 19th June 2015 by

Today, 19th June 2015, sees National Flip Flop Day! (Yes, that really is a national day!!)

Flip flops are great for chucking on to get from the car to the beach and walking around the pool. But this footwear is playing havoc with our feet!

In the summer months we see so many people coming into the clinic with foot and ankle problems such as achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. In many of the people with knee, hip & back problems that come to see us, we also find that a sudden increase in wearing flip flops for long periods of time has played a part in their problem.

Flip flops provide no support for your feet, they are often made of very flexible rubber with little additional structure to hold your foot in place. This causes considerable stress to your feet as you rely on your toes to grip with every step and the additional stress placed on your plantar fascia, achilles tendon and other structures in your foot.

National Flip Flop DaySo, if you’re going for a longer walk or going to be on your feet all day, ditch the flip flop and wear something more supportive. If you’ve noticed you’re suddenly getting pain in your foot ankle or other part of your leg or back and have been wearing flip flops more now the sun is out, try reducing how much you wear them and see if this makes a difference.