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Blue Monday

Posted on 14th January 2018 by

Blue MondayBlue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. This year it’s Monday 15th January 2018.

However, knowing it’s coming up, you could make a conscious effort to set out and enjoy it – in different ways perhaps, but just as much as you would enjoy a warm summer’s day. How can that be possible?

Well, it’s really is up to you whether you exist in a prison on Blue Monday, or you enjoy yourself. If you prefer the latter, our suggestion is simple: exercise.

Aerobic exercise, any steady movement you enjoy—walking, jogging, swimming, cycling—boosts endorphins, and will leave you feeling calmer and happier.

To stay healthy, adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week. If you haven’t exercised for a while, gradually introduce physical activity into your daily routine. Any exercise is better than none. Even a 15-minute walk can clear your mind and relax.

And after that, who wouldn’t like a massage? Treat yourself and add a therapeutic massage to your routine. You’ll feel, look and simply be healthier far into the future. It’ll promote a faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reducing pain and swelling as well as formation of excessive scar tissue

Make your Blue Monday the best Monday of the year!


How to Foam Roll – The Art of Self-Myofascial Release

Posted on 12th January 2018 by

Here’s a quick, no nonsense guide for runners to help improve your warm-up, performance and prevent injury with some simple foam rolling! It’s all about the fascia!

What is fascia?

Firstly, fascia is a dense connective tissue that surrounds every muscle, joint and organ in the body.

There are 3 types of fascia; superficial, deep and visceral.

  • Superficial fascia lies just beneath the skin.
  • Deep fascia penetrates and surrounds muscle tissue.
  • Visceral fascia helps keep vital organs in place.

Everything in the body is connected through fascia, but some areas are more connected than others, forming thickened sheaths and bands of fascia. These are bundled together, inseparable from the muscle tissue (myo) and it’s accompanying web of connective tissue (fascia), forming a 3D myo-fascial web throughout the body. Think of a 3D spider’s web in the shape of your body & you’re getting close!

When working optimally, this myo-fascial web helps provide support, stability, movement dynamics, force transmission and optimises sporting performance.

Why should runners foam roll?

Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller Foam rolling
We like the Grid Rollers from Trigger Point Therapy
  • For warm-up pre running, as it’s far more effective that static stretching (5)
  • To increase nutrient-rich blood flow to muscles that need it.
  • To improve the mobility and flexibility of muscles and joints (4,6,7).
  • To increase athletic performance (8,9).
  • To recover from exercise faster (1,2,3).
  • To reduce inflammation and remove toxins/chemical waste products.
  • Longer term, to break down adhesions in muscle and connective tissue.
  • You can also successfully self-treat minor injuries such as muscle strains and trigger points.

When should runners foam roll? 

  •  MB1 MB5 Trigger Point Roller Ball
    A great alternative to a foam roller is the MB1 or MB5 ball

    Before exercise: when paired with a dynamic warm up to increase blood flow to areas that may be lacking it.

  • After exercise: used within a cool-down procedure to flush out blood that has pooled in working muscles and to allow fresh nutrients and oxygen in to kick start the recovery process.

Rolling for only a few minutes can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your training session. So, if you’re stuck for time, pre-exercise rolling would provide most benefit.

How to foam roll

Remember this easy guide and apply it to each muscle group that you’re working on.

  • 4 linear rolls (to search the muscle for areas of tightness, we call these ‘hot spots’).
  • 30 second holds on each hot spot.
  • 4 joint movements (to move the muscle underneath the roller).
  1. Underside of the foot (plantar fascia)

TrP Foot roller Foam rolling

  • Place the roller under the sole of the foot.
  • Apply pressure and roll slowly towards the heel and back to the sole of the foot, 4 times.
  • Hold pressure on any hot spots you may find.
  • Once this hot spot starts to reduce, maintain pressure and add in movement of the toes by flexing and extending them all 4 times.
  • Repeat the process 3-4 times.
  1. Calves (gastrocnemius and soleus)TrP Calf Roller
  • Zone A = achilles to mid-calf.
  • Zone B = mid-calf to just below the knee.
  • Roll zone A, followed by zone B.
  • Begin by sitting on the floor with the roller on your Achilles tendon.
  • Place your hands behind you and the other leg on top to add pressure.
  • Roll up and down searching for hot spots. If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • You can also ‘span’ the muscle by turning your foot inwards and outwards whilst maintaining pressure on a hot spot.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times before moving on to zone B.
  1. Thighs (quadriceps)
  • Zone A = front of the hip to mid-thigh.
  • Zone B = mid-thigh to just above the knee. TrP Quads
  • Roll zone A, followed by zone B.
  • Begin by lying on your front with the roller at the front of your hip just below the bone.
  • Support yourself with your elbows out in front and the other leg bent up to the side.
  • Roll up and down in search of hot spots. If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • You can also ‘span’ the muscle by turning your foot inwards and outwards whilst maintaining pressure on a hot spot.
  • Now, once on a hot spot, bend and straighten the knee 4 times.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times before moving on to zone B.
  1. Buttock (gluteals and piriformis)
  • Begin by sitting on the roller with your hands behind you for support.
  • Shift your weight onto one side as you bring that leg up and cross it over the other.
  • Aim to have the roller ‘in your back pocket’.TrP Glutes Foam Rolling
  • Roll along the length of your glute in search of hot spots. If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the process 3-4 times.
  1. Upper back (paraspinals, rhomboids, trapezius)
  • Lay on your back with the roller just below the shoulder blades.
  • Place your arms behind your head or cross them in front of your chest.TrP Upper Back Foam Rolling
  • Lift your hips off the floor and use your legs to roll up and down the spine.
  • Carefully extend your back over the roller.
  • Add in side bends to target various muscle groups.
  • Again, if any hot spots are identified, hold this pressure for 30 seconds before moving on.
  1. Chest (pectoralis major/minor)
  • Lay on your front and place the roller (or trigger point ball) just inside the shoulder joint, on the pectoralis tendon. Pec TrP
  • With the arm above the head roll up and down in search of hot spots.
  • If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • Add in arm movements to manipulate the soft tissue underneath the roller. 4 straight-arm scoops should do it.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times.
  1. Latissimus Dorsi
  • Lay on your side with one arm above your head for support.
  • Place the roller at a 45° angle just underneath your armpit.Lat Dorsi TrP
  • Shift your weight to roll up and down in search of hot spots.
  • If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • Add in straight arm movements to release the tissues further, 4 movements followed by 4 rolls.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times.

References

  1. Pearcey GP, Bradbury-Squires DJ, Kawamoto J, Drinkwater EJ, Behm DG, Button DC. Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. J Athl Train. 2015;50:5–13.
  2. Macdonald et al. (2014) Macdonald GZ, Button DC, Drinkwater EJ, Behm DG. Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2014;46(1):131–142.
  3. Rey E, Padron-Cabo A, Costa PB, Barcala-Furelos R. The effects of foam rolling as a recovery tool in professional soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;
  4. Bushell JE, Dawson SM, Webster MM. Clinical relevance of foam rolling on hip extension angle in a functional lunge position. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29:2397–403.
  5. Su H, Chang NJ, Wu WL, Guo LY, Chu IH. Acute effects of foam rolling, static stretching, and dynamic stretching during warm-ups on muscular flexibility and strength in young adults. J Sport Rehabil. 2016; 1-24.
  6. Kelly S., Beardsley C. (2016) Specific and cross-over effects of foam rolling on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 11(4), 544-551.
  7. Macdonald GZ, Penney M, Mullaley ME, Cuconato AL, Drake CD, Behm DG, Button DC. An acute bout of self-myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in muscle activation or force. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27:812–821.
  8. Peacock CA, Krein DD, Silver TA, Sanders GJ, von Carlowitz KPA. An acute bout of self-myofascial release in the form of foam rolling improves performance testing. Int J Exerc Sci. 2014;7:202-211
  9. Monteiro et al. Acute effects of different self-massage volumes on the FMS overhead deep squat performance. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017; 12(1): 94-104.
  10. Monteiro ER Correa Neto VG. Effect of different foam rolling volumes on knee extension fatigue. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016;11(7):1076‐1081.

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Productive healthy ageing and MSK health

Posted on 9th January 2018 by

Last month, Public Health England published new guidance, entitled Productive healthy ageing and musculoskeletal (MSK) health.

Over the last few decades, life expectancy has been steadily increasing, with the ONS estimating that by 2041, there will be an 3.2 million people aged 85 years and older in the UK.

The report highlights that older people have an abundance of skills, knowledge and experiences that benefits the wider community greatly, however, the opportunity to utilise these resources is dependent on good health as we age.

Challenge the view that retirement is about sitting more and moving less.

As life expectancy rises, we must promote the concept of productive healthy ageing. This involves many pillars including; financial security, resilience, social activities and physical health.

Productive healthy ageing

Physical Health 

MSK conditions are problems of the bones, joints, muscles and spine, and are a common cause of severe long term pain and physical disability. There are 3 groups of MSK conditions:

  • inflammatory conditions, for example rheumatoid arthritis
  • conditions of MSK pain, for example osteoarthritis, back pain
  • osteoporosis and fragility fractures, for example fracture after fall from standing height

The older a person is, the more likely they are to experience chronic diseases and disabilities such as poor MSK health.

MSK conditions have a massive impact on society.

  • Lower back and neck pain were the leading causes of disability in England from 1990 to 2016.
  • Estimated levels of MSK conditions in England for 2012 also found that 18% and 11% of people aged 45 years and above have knee and hip osteoarthritis, respectively.
  • An estimated 17% of all ages have back pain.
  • Fractures, which are often a consequence of falls, are one of the most serious MSK problems seen in the older population.

There are many risk factors that can increase people’s susceptibility to MSK problems, including age, being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, and poor health habits such as smoking.

The two risk factors that often coincide are increasing age and reduced physical activity. As people age, they take part in less physical activity

In the 19 to 24 year age group 76.6% of people are physically active compared to 24.7% in individuals aged over 85 years.

Living for longer does not mean a lifetime of pain and ill-health. There are steps that we can take throughout our lives to maintain healthy productive lives, reduce the risk of developing MSK conditions and better manage our health.

Our Top Tips

As a physiotherapy, health & well being clinic, a significant number of the people we see are in the older age range. We see people with MSK conditions such as osteoarthritis, back pain and osteoporosis. We see people concerned about their reducing mobility or with balance problems that mean they are starting to loose their independence. More frequently, we are now seeing people who are really investing in their physical health – listening to the messages the Government are putting out and taking action to reduce the risk and impact of MSK conditions.

Physical activity in adults

So, what are the best ways of tackling physical health as we age?

  1. Stay as active as possible. Simply walking is fantastic, you can make it social or build it into functional tasks such as shopping. Set yourself some walking goals, to increase your distance gradually. Find a variety of physical activities that you enjoy – swimming, specialist classes, yoga or Pilates are all great ideas. It doesn’t matter what you do, the most important thing is that it’s fun and enjoyable, then you’re more likely to make it part of your routine!
  2. Sit less. Don’t be tempted to sit more. Activities such as gardening, going out shopping, looking after grandchildren and cleaning are all wonderful ways to stay active.
  3. Be health conscious. If you’re invited to check up’s at your G.P., don’t put them off. Keeping on top of your general health and managing any conditions you may have, will help with your physical health. You can also have check up’s or health MOT’s through schemes such as Health Works locally. Try and eat well, sleep well and have time for relaxation too!
  4. Keep on top of aches and pains. If you do pick up an injury or an MSK condition such as arthritis is giving you pain or limiting you, seek help. Seeing someone sooner rather than later will help make sure you can stay physically active and recover quickly, so you can continue enjoying life. “Use it or loose it” is a very apt saying as we age. If you can’t keep active due to pain or an injury, you can very quickly loose muscle strength, balance, fitness and flexibility. So it’s really important to be pro-active.

How we help 

We run a range of specialist services for the older residents of Chandlers Ford and surrounding areas of Hampshire. Our core service of physiotherapy is there for you if you want help and relief from pain or an injury. It’s also valuable if you have a diagnosis of an MSK condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis, and want to know more about the condition and be pro-active about managing it.

We also run weekly Positive Steps classes, which are specifically designed exercise classes for older people. They are a relaxed, sociable and fun way to exercise in a supportive environment, led by Clinicians who understand your exact needs and goals. You can try your first class for free, so why not get together with a friend or partner and give it a try!

We also have an extensive Pilates timetable. Our mat classes are ‘Clinical Pilates’, so adapted specifically to work on optimising physical health and run by Clinicians who understand the ageing process and the best way to exercise.

Wherever you find yourself, we’re here to help and support you. Not sure if and how we can help? Just pop in or give us a call and we can have a chat!

 

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Tackling Obesity

Posted on 2nd January 2018 by

With the UK recently being branded as the most obese country in the EU it’s clear that it’s time to start making some changes. Nearly 65% of the UK’s population are overweight and almost a quarter are classified as obese.

Obesity is responsible for about one in every ten deaths in Britain and costs the NHS £5.1 billion a year. It vastly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age and leads to more than 100 amputations a week.

But how do we change it? More fad diets and ‘the best’ new exercise regimes pop up on social media every day. But what do we really need to do to get the weight off and keep it off?

Well the short answer is that we need to expend more calories through exercise than we put in through eating in order to lose weight. But not all foods are equal; some high calorie foods such as avocados and nuts, which are banned on many diets, actually contain high quantities of important vitamins and minerals which are an essential part of our diet and can even help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Meanwhile many low-calorie foods and drinks may be high in sugar instead.

The Government recommends that all healthy individuals over the age of five years eat a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and starchy foods.

The Eatwell Plate is a pictorial representation of the recommended balance of the different food groups in the diet. It aims to encourage people to choose the right balance and variety of foods to help them obtain the wide range of nutrients they need to stay healthy.

eat well

A healthy, balanced diet should:

  • include plenty of fruit and vegetables – aim for at least 5 portions a day of a variety of different types
  • include meals based on starchy foods, such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes (including high-fibre varieties where possible)
  • include moderate amounts of milk and dairy products – choosing low-fat options where possible
  • include moderate amounts of foods that are good sources of protein – such as meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils
  • be low in foods that are high in fat, especially saturated fat, high in sugar and high in salt (typically processed foods)

Exercise to lose weight needs to be a combination of cardiovascular and resistance training to be most effective. Other than that, there’s not really a right or wrong here – what exercise you chose will depend on what you enjoy and any other injuries or health problems you might have. If you’re not sure it’s always best to consult your GP or physio first. Picking an exercise that you enjoy means you are much more likely to keep it up in the long term. By joining a class or inviting a friend to join in with you, exercise becomes more of a social activity than a chore and so you’re much more likely to stick at it. Aim for 5 x 30minute sessions every week, this can be anything that gets the heart rate up – from gardening and hoovering to a gym session, bike ride or swim. If you’re interested in our group exercise classes we currently offer pilates, active backs and positive steps, as well as individualised rehab plans with one of our sports therapists.

Wherever you start, start with small changes to your diet and your exercise routine that are both achievable and sustainable.


Dry January

Posted on 1st January 2018 by

Dry January is a public health campaign promoting abstinence from alcohol for the month of Dry JanuaryJanuary.

After the excesses of the festive season, January brings a chance to turn over a new leaf and detox the body. Take a look at our top 5 benefits of giving up the booze to help keep you on track.

Save money

Last year 79% of people that completed Dry January reported that they had saved money. How much you save obviously depends on how much you drink now, but also factor in saved taxi fares and no more late night stops at the kebab shop and its surprising how quickly things add up. Instead of empty wallets and a fuzzy head try putting the money you would have spent on a night out towards something special; that new pair of shoes, trying a new activity or even putting it towards a holiday suddenly now seems much more valuable than a hangover. Check out how much money and how many calories you could save using this handy impact calculator from Alcohol Concern.

Improve your energy levels

Whilst alcohol is a sedative this doesn’t necessarily mean it will help you sleep. In fact many people find the quality of their sleep is much poorer after drinking. This is because alcohol increases the levels of the stress hormone adrenaline in our body which quickens our heart rate and stimulates our body into alertness. If you add fizzy drinks as your mixers these often contain high levels of sugar and caffeine, making the problem worse. Last year 62% of people reported that their sleep and energy levels had both improved by quitting alcohol. Try swapping the alcohol for water, soda or orange juice and wake up fresh for some morning exercise to boost those energy levels further.

Lose weight

Alcoholic drinks tend to be made from sugars and starches making them high in calories without any nutritious benefit. A pint of beer or small glass of wine is equivalent to consuming a large slice of pizza (150-200 calories). Meanwhile our craving for greasy, fatty foods are likely to increase after alcohol due to the release of a protein in our body called Galanin. To make matters worse alcohol also slows our metabolism making it harder to burn fat. So it’s no surprise that 49% of people reported they lost weight during dry January last year.

Improve your mood

Regular drinking lowers the levels of Serotonin (the happy hormone!) in our brain, making us more susceptible to emotional ups and downs. Alcohol has been strongly linked to anxiety, depression and aggressive behaviour; it’s thought that 50% of violent crime can be attributed to alcohol. Giving up alcohol helps restore the delicate balance of chemicals in our brain, keeping us on an even keel so that we can make clear-headed decisions.

Stay healthy

Alcohol is linked to more than 60 medical conditions including liver disease, heart disease, some cancers and depression. Not only this but it strongly contributes to obesity (see above), and can weaken our immune system. This means that we are more susceptible to winter colds and our capacity to heal is reduced. From a fitness point of view it alcohol consumption causes dehydration which will affect our muscle’s ability to be able to perform an activity and will also slow our reaction times, having a negative effect on nearly every sport. If we are injured alcohol will slow our recovery time as our body is using more energy to get rid of alcoholic toxins from the body and has less reserves to absorb important nutrients from our food nor to create the hormones and proteins necessary to build new muscle or repaired damaged tissue.

Feeling tempted? Why not give it a go this January!

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Transitioning from Parkrun to 10k

Posted on 1st January 2018 by

Parkrun started back in 2004 when 13 runners got together on a blustery day in Bushy Park, Teddington, UK. It is now an international family of over half a million runners (and Parkruncounting). The Saturday morning 5km is a regular event in many diaries. With the Hendy Eastleigh 10k and many other longer distance running events round the corner, having nailed a 5k, you may have your sights set on more of a challenge!

So, how do you make the leap from 5k?

When you first started running you probably followed a plan and gradually increased the distance and your body adapted to allow you to run 5km quite happily. Now you want to be able to run even further, this may seem daunting at the beginning. So why not go back to basics and follow the same principle you had when training for 5km.

  1. Set yourself a goal for when you want to be able to achieve 10km, maybe book yourself onto a 10km race, like the Hendy Eastleigh 10k, so you have a goal in mind.
  2. Once you have your goal, follow a training plan that gradually increase your distance each week. There are lots of apps that enable you to enter a date and a distance goal and work backwards and formulate a training plan for you. Just make sure it’s realistic, too much too quickly can overload your body and not give it time to adjust, which is a risk for picking up an injury.
  3. Why not join a running club or seek help from a running coach for advice, tips, and tricks to help your transition from 5km to 10km.
  4. Ensure you have varied distance and speed runs within your training. Use hills and interval training too to add different dimensions to your training.
  5. Listen to your body, if increasing the distance is too hard one week, don’t beat yourself up. Do what you can, the training plan is just a guide.
  6. Allow your body to recover, have rest days. If we don’t allow ourselves rest days, the body does not have time to repair and recover from your last run.
  7. Add in some cross training, try Pilates to improve your movement control, strength and stability, giving you a great stretch and recovery session. Why not go for a swim for some cardiovascular training without the stresses and pressures on you body.
  8. If you start to get a reoccurring niggle or injury get it assessed as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.
  9. Listen to some music, an audio book or podcast whilst you run or run with friends to keep the training fun.
  10. Ensure you cool down, stretch, or foam roll. Try using a trigger point MB5 or MB1 ball, which is a great way to release those tight muscles before and after your runs.

Most important of all is to enjoy your training, monitor your progress and don’t panic if you are slightly behind your training schedule remember that is only a guide to help you progress.

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Christmas Shopping Survival Guide!

Posted on 9th December 2017 by

Fiona’s top tip earlier in the week was to try and get out and do some Christmas shopping rather than be tempted to do to do it all online. Christmas shopping Christmas shopping survival guide can be a great way of getting some activity into your week, but it can also be quite physically demanding. This weekend is surely set to be a busy one for Christmas shopping, so here’s a few pointers to help you get the most of it!

Take a back pack – this is a great way of carrying shopping without straining your neck, shoulders and arms. It spreads the loads easily and keeps your hands free for extras!

Wear good footwear – you can really rack up the steps when you’re out shopping, plus you’ll potentially have lots of standing round in queues and carrying extra weight. Wear something comfortable and supportive, that is cushioned for some shock absorbency. Also, given the icy weather we’ve woken up to, something non-slip is a great idea.

Break up your day – takes lots of breaks to give yourself a bit of a rest. Take a few minutes to have a seat, check off your shopping list and plan the rest of your day. A great excuse for a lovely coffee too!

Do it in small chunks – if you can, plan a few smaller shopping trips rather than one huge spree. Breaking it up will take less of a toll on your physically (and mentally!). It’s also nice variety to go to different towns or shopping centres.

Keep well hydrated – particularly important if you’re in and out of warm shops, inside and outside. Carry a bottle of water with you and sip it regularly throughout the day, as well as making regular refreshment stops to recharge.

Spread the load across smaller bags – in addition  to a backpack, take a few smaller bags so that you can carry your shopping evenly. Try and think symmetry so you carry even loads on each side.

Go with someone to share the load – this is really helpful to share carrying the bags and also a nice social way to shop!

Order bigger, bulkier items online – if you’ve seen something big in store, think about ordering it online so you don’t have to struggle with carrying it. Some shops also offer a collection service too, so you can pick it up after you have finished your shopping.

Happy shopping! 

 

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Personal Training For Your Pelvic Floor

Posted on 22nd November 2017 by

Many women who develop continence issues following childbirth are suffering in silence because of embarrassment over the condition.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Royal College of Midwives are launching a joint initiative to prevent and reduce incontinence among women following pregnancy and birth.

In this film you can learn from a patient, physio and midwife about how pelvic floor exercises can maintain muscle strength following pregnancy and birth.

In the video above you can hear from a patient, physio and midwife about how pelvic floor exercises can maintain muscle strength following pregnancy and birth

One of the less obvious consequences of pregnancy and birth is the impact it can have on your pelvic floor muscles.

Throughout pregnancy, your baby is supported in the pelvis by your pelvic floor muscles. During delivery, the same muscles become very stretched, which can then cause many common pelvic floor problems including loss of bladder and/or bowel control, pelvic organ prolapse and reduced sensation or satisfaction during sex.

Exercising the pelvic floor muscles during and after pregnancy can help to protect you from these problems, both in the short and long term.

And the good news is that pelvic floor muscle exercises are easy to perform and can be done anywhere.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic Floor physio

Read More

Pregnancy related incontinence

goMummy – Post Natal Check Up

Pregnancy Pilates

 


Universal Children’s Day

Posted on 20th November 2017 by

Established by the United Nations in 1954, the 20th November is Universal Children’s Day; a time to celebrate the future generation and promote well-being among children.

Here at goPhysio we remember that children aren’t just mini-adults but have a completely different physiology (let alone psychology!) to adults. This means they will experience different injuries to adults and will need different rehabilitation strategies to get better. All our Physio’s and Sports Therapists have experience treating children and undergo child protection training.

One of the most common problems we are increasingly seeing in children is back and neck pain linked to inactivity and poor posture. As the evenings get darker playing outside is swapped for ipads and movies, meanwhile there’s an increasing pile of homework to be done at a computer as the new school term gets underway. This increase in sitting still, often in slouched positions can lead to aches and pains in the short term but also lead to poor habits as we get older.

If we can instil good habits in children when they are young we can ensure these issues don’t follow them into adulthood. With childhood obesity also on the rise the message to get active is more pertinent than ever.

Here’s our 5 top tips to prevent postural back and neck pain and get your children moving this autumn.

Limit IT time

It’s estimated that teenagers spend an average of 6.5hours a day in front of a screen. Whilst technology can be a great learning tool these sustained periods can have a detrimental effect on both mental and physical health. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that we limit screen time to 2 hours a day. As a parent try to lead by example and set boundaries such as a technology free night or tech-free rooms in the house, particularly bedrooms and meal times.

Get set up

There are times when using a computer or laptop is necessary for homework and other tasks. Get a good set up at home by sitting at a proper table or desk in a straight-backed chair (not on the sofa!) and aim to get the screen to eye-level. This might mean using a laptop stand or placing the screen onto a thick book to make it higher. Remove other distractions and take a short break every 30-60minutes. Not only will this improve concentration, but it will allow time to stretch and move around so our muscles don’t get tired and achy from being in one position too long.

Try new activities

Allowing your children to experience new activities can be an important confidence booster. Not everyone is going to be great at school sports such as athletics and football, but the more opportunities children have the more likely they find a sport that suits them and that they are good at. Therefore, they will be far more likely to participate in regular exercise. The NHS recommends kids should be doing at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. Think outside the box – rock climbing, ice skating, martial arts, watersports…you never know what you could be good at until you try! NHS choices has a great search tool for activities in your local area.

Explore the outdoors

Autumn is a great time to wrap up warm and go and kick up some autumn leaves. We are lucky to live in an area with so much beautiful countryside with the New Forest, South Downs and Farley Mount on our doorstep so get outside and get exploring! You might even try building a den or tree house!

Make small changes

Getting more active often doesn’t need a radical change in lifestyle, instead start with small changes. For example, try walking or cycling to school at least once a week, or getting off the bus one or two stops earlier. Before you know it, you might be signing up for you first Park Run (5k) or Junior Park Run (2k), which happen in Southampton, Eastleigh and Winchester every Saturday morning.

All these small changes could make a big difference overall to your child’s health.


Self Care Week 2017

Posted on 12th November 2017 by

Self Care Week is an annual national awareness week that focuses on establishing support for self care across communities, families and Self Care Week 2017 generations.

More needs to be done to support people to better look after their own health. Empowering individuals to self care has many benefits for their short term and long term health and this is important since people are living longer.

Embracing Self Care for Life is about living well and being healthy. Being active, eating healthily and learning when to self treat common ailments are all ways to embrace self care.

Many long term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are avoidable. However, numbers are still increasing. It is important to embrace self care, making healthy life choices now in order to look after ourselves in the future.

There are some really simple changes you can make to help avoid getting a long term condition.

  • Move more! If going to the gym isn’t for you, try walking part of the way to work, taking the stairs or having a dance to your favourite songs! This is something at goPhysio we continually encourage and support – it’s the core of what we do!
  • Stop smoking! One of the best things you can do for your health is to stop smoking. Ask your local pharmacist about stop smoking services.
  • Sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential to good physical and mental health so don’t burn the candle at both ends, make sure you get at least 7 hours sleep a night!
  • Eat well. It is vitally important that we get the nutrients we need and avoid excessive amounts of salt, fat and sugar. Try swapping chocolate and crisps to nuts and fruit for healthy snack options. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Relax. We have such busy lives that we sometimes forget to take time out to relax, but it is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. Find time in the day to be still and quieten your mind. Consider mindfulness or yoga as these can be helpful.

During Self Care Week, and always, make time to think about the positive steps you can take to embrace Self Care for Life. Let’s make Self Care a life long habit.

When we see people at goPhysio, a huge part of our input is educating people about their injury and steps and changes they can make so that they are empowered to invest in themselves and have an active part to play in their recovery and future preventing of injury.

Read a recent blog we wrote on the principles of being well.

Be well goPhysio