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Healthy Holiday Guide

Posted on 21st July 2017 by

With schools winding down and the sun well & truly out, it’s time for many to pack their cases for that summer holiday!

You’d be surprised how many last minute panic calls we get from people desperate to see a physio before their holiday to have some help with their injury. So if you are carrying an injury and want to go away injury free so you can fully enjoy your holiday, get in touch now. Recovery can take time and you don’t want to be one of those people who say “I’ve had this months, I should have come sooner.” Which we hear all too often.

Holidays should be a time to relax and unwind. But the stress of packing and travelling can put holidaymakers at risk of picking up strains and sprains before they even hit the beach!

Holidays are about unwinding from all the stresses and strains of everyday life and undoing the sometimes harm we do to ourselves through the rest of the year,” goPhysio’s Clinical Director Paul says.

But “having to contend with masses to organise and a lengthy journey can often lead to awkward postures and doing things our bodies aren’t used to doing, which might cause or aggravate physical problems. Common holiday-related problems include back and neck injuries, as well as shoulder and wrist strains.

We forget we’re doing something out of the ordinary and that could include sitting for hours in cramped seats, queuing and lifting heavy bags. All that combined with high stress levels could mean putting our bodies under physical stresses we’re not accustomed to.”

Even the most simple holiday pleasures can create discomfort. For example, just going for a walk along the beach with bare feet or in the wrong footwear can lead to inflammation and pain in your knees, calves or feet, through over-stretched tendons and ligaments,” Paul says.

There are simple ways to avoid injury when doing activities that are not part of your usual every day routine.

Here’s some simple tips to avoid holiday injuries this year.

Packing a bag: Place your bag on a higher surface such as a bed, to avoid repeatedly bending over to pack. Break up your packing over a few weeks or days, so you’re spreading the preparation out and not rushing to do it quickly at the last minute, doing many repeated movements in a short space of time, which the body often doesn’t like.

Managing luggage: If you’re not used to lifting heavy items or your case is large or awkward, lift it with care. You can find yourself lifting a case many times on a journey (in/out of car boot, on/off luggage trolley, on/off check in and carousel etc.) which can take its’ toll. People often think of back problems associated with lifting, but we also see many people with wrist or shoulder injuries from travelling, having carted luggage and bags around. Minimise the amount of lifting you do as much as possible, choosing a case with wheels and not overpacking! If you’re travelling as part of a family, spread the load so you have more cases, with less weight in each. Try and choose light weight cases too, to lessen the burden. If you are lifting, use your powerful leg muscles to take much of the weight and keep the weight of the case close to your body – this just helps to minimise too much stress.

Standing in queues: There can be a lot of queuing when travelling. Use this opportunity to do some exercises! When standing and waiting, practise good posture. Stand up straight, with your tummy muscles pulled in and shoulders back and down. If you are standing for a very long time, stand as tall as possible and transfer weight from one leg to another to boost your circulation. Try some heel raises – going up and down on your tip toes, or mini squats. Circling your shoulders forwards and back and doing some neck stretches to ease any built up tension, can be good too.

Travelling: As well as standing in queues, you can spend a lot of time sitting down when traveling. When seated, try to sit with your buttocks pushed to the back of the seat. Make sure your lower back is well supported and you are not slumped. You can always take a small towel or lumbar roll with you if you like to have back support. If you are driving, ensure your position is as supported as possible and move the seat to make yourself comfortable. If you’re taking on a very long drive, read our guide to ‘Steering Clear of pain’ when driving. Whenever possible, break up your journey or get out of your seat and have a good walk around.

Holiday activities: Holiday’s can often be a chance to try out a new activity – whether it’s beach volleyball, extra long hikes, mountain climbing or surfing! If you’re trying something physical that’s out of the ordinary for you, start off gradually. Don’t go straight in 100% – especially if you’ve spent the last 6 months sat at a desk and the last 10 hours travelling! Having time to spend being more active is fantastic, but you don’t want to overdo it and pickup injury to spoil your holiday. Listen to your body and warm up for your activity suitably. Pace yourself and make sure you get time to rest in between too!

Most of all, whatever you have planned for this summer, enjoy yourself! If you can make some time for you and some rest and relaxation, away from the fast paced life so many of us now live.

If you do want to have an injury or niggle checked out before you go away, so you can really make the most of your time off – book in to see one of our Physio’s. Or maybe have a deep tissue sports massage before you go, so you start your holiday relaxed and tension free!

If you do pick up a holiday injury, you can book in to get sorted as soon as you return by using our easy and secure online booking system, available to you anywhere in the world 24/7 to book physiotherapy and massage appointments.

Happy Holidays!


Andy Murray’s Trigger Point Ball 1 of our favourites too!

Posted on 13th July 2017 by

Andy Murray Trp Ball Tennis star, Andy Murray, was recently pictured with a Trigger Point ball tucked firmly under his arm.

The MB5 Massage Trigger Point ball that Andy is holding is one of our best sellers in the our clinic. A great alternative or adjunct to a foam roller, it can be used to ease off areas of tension, as part of a warm up or cool down and to help get into those painful, tight areas.

goPhysio Trigger Point Massage

Suitable for use on all the major muscle groups, we often recommend a TrP release series as part of a comprehensive warm up. We also sell the smaller MB1 ball (pictured above), which is great for smaller areas such as feet and forearms.

The good thing about these products is that they are made for a number of different layers, with multi-density, making them super long lasting and very durable , so they don’t compress and loose their efficiency over time. They also have a slip resistant surface to help stabilisation. Best of all they’re lightweight and very portable – perfect for events, work, travel and being on the road. (Can you tell we love this ball!).


Here’s a selection of the key releases,  to get to all the major parts of your body.

TrP and Ball Release

If you’d like to get yourself one of these balls, the smaller MB1 or the very popular grid roller, pop into the clinic where we have the full range in stock.

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Physical Activity Recommendations For Pregnant Women

Posted on 4th July 2017 by

The latest evidence based guidelines for physical activity for pregnant women have just been released, in a really easy to understand infographic format.

Why not try our specialist Pregnancy Pilates classes for an excellent, muscle strengthening workout with access to a Physio at every class. You can try your first class for free when you sign up.

Exercise in Pregnancy

Not already active? Pregnancy is an ideal time to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Whilst the guidelines do not differ to those for the general population, women who have been sedentary before pregnancy are recommended to follow a gradual progression of exercise, the message being, ‘not active – start gradually’.

A recommendation to pregnant women would be to begin gradually with 10 minute bouts of moderate intensity continuous exercise building up to a total of 150 minutes. This activity should be spread throughout the week and include all activities.

Already active? Pregnant women who are already active should be encouraged to maintain their physical activity levels. However, they may need to change the type of activity undertaken and adapt their activity throughout their pregnancy, for example, replacing contact sports with non- contact sport or an appropriate exercise class.

It is recommended that pregnant women take part in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity spread throughout the week. This can be performed in as little as ten minute bouts. Moderate intensity activity can easily be described as ‘activity that makes you breathe faster’ or at an intensity that increases your breathing rate whilst still being able to hold a conversation.

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Read the full details and evidence from the report here.

Pregnancy Pilates at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford

Pelvic Girdle pain in Pregnancy

Should I plank during pregnancy?

The effects of pregnancy on the body

goMummy – Post Natal Check Up

Exercising during pregnancy

 

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Anyone for tennis?

Posted on 29th June 2017 by

Wimbledon 2017With Wimbledon starting next week our attention turns to the tennis courts. Whilst you’re enjoying the obligatory Pimms, strawberrys and cream this year you may feel inspired to get on the court and try it out for yourself. In this blog we take a look at the health benefits of tennis, how it can help you get in shape this summer and importantly how to avoid injury.

Tennis is truly a full body work out; a single 1 hour game can burn as many as 600 calories and requires cardiovascular fitness, endurance, quick reaction speed, power and flexibility. The professional’s can serve a ball at over 130mph and will use both brain and brawn to defeat their opponent.

The good news is you don’t need to be super fit to get started, tennis is suitable for people of all ages and abilities so whether you’re a complete novice or a competitive club player it’s a great way of keeping in shape, developing tactical skills, as well as enjoying the social side of things off the court.

New to tennis?

If you’re new to tennis, start with a friendly game, aiming to keep the ball in play for as long as possible. This will help you learn hand-eye coordination skills and sharpen your reaction time. If you’re not used to regular exercise a doubles game means a little less running around and doesn’t require quite as much flexibility to reach the ball.

Tennis can be a great way to meet new people or get the kids more active over the summer holidays. Playing regularly can help to lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure, improve your metabolic function, reduce cholesterol and body fat, improve co-ordination and increase bone density. It can even help combat stress and anxiety.

Take a look at the following local opportunities to play tennis:

Hiltingbury Tennis Courts – Get yourself a key card for just £10. You can book courts or pop along for open access.

Eastleigh Park Sport – are running a range of tennis sessions this summer for 8 – 16 year olds for just £1 a session!

Find your nearest tennis court here, on the LTA website.

Tennis for kids gives 5 – 8 years olds an opportunity to learn the basics of tennis in a free 6 week course.

Avoid Injury

tennis racquet grip sizeTo avoid injury make sure you get the basics right first – if you have current injuries or health problems get them checked out by a physiotherapist or by your GP before you start playing.

Make sure you pick an appropriate beginners racquet with the correct grip size to avoid hand and wrist injuries. Your local sports shop should be able to help you with this but as a guide you should have a finger width of space between your thumb and fingers when gripping the racquet.

A dynamic warm up for 10 minutes before you play should include jogging, heel raises, lunges, trunk rotations and arm circles as a minimum. Make sure you stretch the major muscle groups after playing to avoid post-exercise muscle soreness.

Getting coaching on proper technique will ensure you don’t develop bad habits early on which could increase your risk of injury. It also means you learn all the skills you require to develop your game quickly.

As tennis is a relatively high impact sport make sure you alternate it with low impact exercise such as swimming or yoga to help improve muscle balance and flexibility.

Read More 

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Injuries

#GoHitIt

 

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Top tips for injured runners

Posted on 28th June 2017 by

Having an injury can be a frustrating time for a runner, particularly when you have an event looming. How do you maintain your fitness when you can’t run?

Here’s our top tips to keep your physical and mental health in tip top condition whilst you’re recovering.

  1. Can you still run at all without increasing your pain? For most people maintaining some level of running is going to be better for them than complete rest as it helps prevent deconditioning both of the muscles and of the cardiovascular system. This one will depend on your injury so its always best to seek professional advice from a physiotherapist. Try taking out hills and speed work, go back to short, gentle runs on flatter terrain – its going to be much better to keep up short frequent runs of 1-2 miles rather than nothing at all even if you’re used to doing 10miles+ as this will give you a starting point from which you can progress. The main exception to this is running on a suspected stress fracture – you will not be able to run through this pain and you WILL make it worse by continuing to run. As a guide consider your pain levels during the run, but also over the next 24 hours – if your pain eases quickly when you start running and doesn’t leave lingering pain or stiffness into the evening or next day you are generally fine to keep going at this level.

  2. Cross training such as cycling, swimming and deep water running are great ways to keep up your cardio fitness whilst not running at your usual intensity. Try to match this to your normal training schedule – for example if you would normally do 3 runs a week – perhaps a 1 hour slow run, a 30 minute tempo run and a 20 minute speed/interval session try to replicate both the time and the intensity of these sessions on a bike or in the water.

  3. Work on technique – video analysis can help to find the route cause of why you are injured and specific tailored running drills and strengthening exercises can help prevent this problem reoccurring in the future. This is also going to help improve your efficiency as a runner so when your injury is healed you’re likely to be better than ever! Think about investing in our Running Rehab service – where we will analyse your running and combine this with an in depth physical assessment to identify and target any potential troublesome areas that need some work or adjusting.

  4. Don’t neglect strength and conditioning – use the time off running to work on areas of weakness. For example if you always get achy calves at the end of a run try building strength with single leg heel raises. Or if you are getting knee pain you can often work the hip and core muscles really hard without irritating the knee. A physiotherapist will be able to assess which areas of weakness might have contributed to your injury and guide you through a specific individualised strength training programme that isn’t going to aggravate it.

  5. Beat stress! A lot of us use running as a tool to keep our mental health in check so not being able to run can lead to feeling of guilt, anxiety and depression. It’s important to find another outlet for stress – cycling, swimming, yoga and Pilates can be great alternatives. Remember not to be too hard on yourself, recovery is an important part of the training process. Take this time to restore your general wellbeing – eat healthily, drink plenty of water and make sure you are getting enough sleep – this is going to speed up your recovery.

Read More 

Running Rehab

Warming up for running

How to maximise your training time

 


How to warm up for running

Posted on 27th June 2017 by

Many runners will head straight home from the office, pulling on their running gear and hit the tarmac, going from a sedentary 8 hours or more sitting at the desk straight into their evening run without so much as a brisk walk to wake up the muscles first.

Warming up before running is essential not only to reduce risk of injury but also to help maximise our training session so that we can work harder, for longer.

A good warm up should aim to prepare the body for exercise; it needs to be dynamic, cardiovascular and involve some balance or control work.

Dynamic

This means loosening up the joints and waking up the muscles that we are going to be using in sport.

Aim to do 30 secs – 1 min of each exercise.

Examples

Heel raise exercise

Heel raises

Knee lift exercise

Knee Raises

Heel flick exercise

Heel Flicks

Hacky Sacks Exercise

Hacky Sacks

Standing active trunk rotation exercise

Trunk rotations

Cardiovascular

By gradually increasing our heart rate and breathing rate we are pumping more blood and therefore more oxygen to our muscles to fuel them for the aerobic demands of our sport.

Examples

  • Brisk walk 1-2mins
  • Jog 1-2 mins
  • 5 x 100m ‘pick-ups’ – short bursts of increasing pace with 60secs rest in between

Motor-control

Exercises that stimulate our balance receptors to help prevent ligament sprains. Aim to do 20 of each exercise on both legs.

Walking Lunge Exercise

Walking lunges

Side shuffles Exercise

Side shuffles

Note: Static stretching is not recommended prior to exercise as it reduces the force output of our muscles and delays the activity of our balance receptors – actually making injury risk higher and performance lower. However it’s great to do these static stretches after running to cool down and prevent muscle soreness the next day.

Read More

Running Rehab Service

Warming Up For Sport

Running Injuries – The basic Principles

How to maximise your training time

Top tips for injured runners

 

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Runners – How to maximise your training time!

Posted on 26th June 2017 by

A lot of runners get stuck into a rut of running the same route at the same pace week in, week out. Whilst this is a fine way of maintaining our current fitness level it is not going to be enough to help us run further or faster. Even just adding the miles at our habitual comfortable pace will only lead to modest improvements in our endurance.

To really get the most out of our training we need to add variety. This challenges both our muscles and our energy systems in new ways to increase the rate at which they adapt to our training. Not only that but it has the added psychological bonus of experimenting with new routes and new training regimes to help keep us motivated and reduce risk of injury.

If you’re short on time the great news is that you don’t need to spend hours pounding away on the tarmac to achieve significant changes in your speed and endurance – you’re likely to get more benefit from a 30 minute higher intensity interval session than from a 1.5 hour run, although they both have their place!

There are 4 main types of training every runner should have in their programme:

  • Long slow run (LSR)
  • Tempo run
  • Speed/hill/interval session
  • Cross training

Long slow run

The LSR should be your longest (and slowest!) run of the week, the one which you gradually add miles to. This steady state sub-maximal training helps to build capillary density and increases number of mitochondria in your muscle cells which are an important part of our aerobic energy system. By doing this we increase the endurance and efficiency of both our cardiovascular system and our muscles. It also primes our tendons and bones to increase their stiffness to cope with gradually increases distances.

Tempo run

Tempo pace is described as ‘comfortably hard’. It is the maximum pace that we can sustain for approximately 1 hour. You should not be able to talk in full sentences but also not gasping for air if you are working in tempo zone.

Training in the ‘tempo zone’ means you are working at or just below your lactate threshold i.e. the point where the bodies ability to remove lactate from the blood is overtaken by the amount of lactate being produced.

As lactate levels increase the body begins to feel fatigued. Therefore by training just below our threshold we gradually increase it – this means we delay the onset of fatigue, helping us run further and faster.

Tempo runs should start with a 10 min warm up then aim to run for 20 minutes at the fastest pace you could sustain for 1 hour. As this gets easier you can gradually increase the time in the tempo zone up to 60 minutes.

Speed/hill/interval session

There are thousands of different ways to do interval sessions. These are the work outs that are going to increase your overall speed and power. They need to be short but hard – if you aren’t out of breath at the end you didn’t do it right! Don’t try to add intervals to your long runs, you won’t be able to work maximally and so you won’t get the full benefit. These sessions should last about 30 minutes in total, allowing 5-10 minutes for warm up and some recovery time in the middle. The fitter you are the shorter the recovery periods you’ll need between intervals and the more sets you can add.

Here’s a few ideas:

Intervals

Begin with: 10 min warm up, run 1 min mod-hard effort: 1 min easy jogging x 5
Progress to: 10 min warm up, 1 min max effort with 90 secs recovery x 10

Hill training

Begin with: 10 min warm up, 3 x 30 secs moderate effort uphill, walking back down
Progress to: 5 x 1min hard effort uphill, jogging back down with 30-60secs rest in between sets
Start with smaller hills then progress to steeper ones!

Cross training

Cross training means doing something other than running! This allows ‘active rest’ – working different muscle groups to running which prevents muscle imbalance but also training our running muscles in different ways to allows greater strength adaptations without overloading the tendons and joints.

Low impact options are great so try swimming or cycling for cardio. Pilates helps to build up your core postural muscles, making you more efficient when you run, and resistance training using relatively light weights and high repetitions allows you to strengthen and tone muscles without gaining muscle mass.

If you’ve got a race coming up, like the Winchester Half Marathon, which is particularly hilly, mixing up your training is crucial.

Read More

Running Injuries – The Basic Principles

Running Rehab Service

 

 


New report shows health benefits of swimming

Posted on 22nd June 2017 by

A new report has just been published, that outlines the health benefits of swimming.

Based on significant evidence and research, the report summarises that:

“As one of the most popular modes of physical activity, swimming/aquatic exercise confers significant physical health benefits for both healthy individuals and those with disease. Furthermore, these health benefits extend across the entire life-course – from foetus through to the frail elderly.”

As physiotherapist, we often recommend swimming to our patients. Water is an excellent environment for exercising in, not only as a regular, low impact form of exercise but also if you’re recovering from an injury. The buoyancy of water helps promote freedom of movement, increasing joint mobility and easing pain and stiffness. You don’t have to go to a pool and swim lengths! We often give people exercises to do in the water, that they wouldn’t always be able to do on dry land. It is also a fantastic way of maintaining fitness if you aren’t able to take part in your normal high impact exercise (such as running) due to an injury. Swimming can be a way to maintain cardiovascular fitness and endurance, whilst your injury heals and progress is being made at gradually returning you to your normal exercise.

A recent example of a young patient we’ve had at goPhysio, where swimming has been excellent. An 11 year old keen footballer with Severs (heel pain related to growth), Unable to play or attend football training more than twice a week due to heel pain, this young boy was becoming increasingly frustrated, starting to gain weight and loose cardiovascular fitness. Part of the management of Severs is to modify activity and treatments are limited, with time and normal growth rate  being a key part of symptom reduction. So, he was advised to start swimming regularly and his progress has been amazing. He’s felt more positive, been able to maintain and improve fitness and has gradually increased his time on the pitch, without aggravating his pain. Swimming has paid a key part in helping his endurance, strength, muscle flexibility and psychological wellbeing.

The report summarises that  for musculoskeletal health “evidence suggests that aquatic exercise has positive effects for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, favourably influencing pain, function and, for some, quality of life. The nature of the aquatic environment is ideally suited to individuals with MSK problems, given the reduced compressive joint force secondary to buoyancy.”

Health Benefits of Swimming

Source: The health & wellbeing benefits of swimming. Commissioned by Swim England’s Swimming and Health Commission, chaired by Professor Ian Cumming, Produced June 2017

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Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

Posted on 21st June 2017 by

Anyone familiar with music from the 1990s must remember ‘Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’ – Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of an article originally written by Mary Schmich for a column in the Chicago Tribune.

As I was driving earlier this morning, the song was playing on the radio. Almost a decade and a half since I first listened to the song, the words all seemed to be more poignant and have much more significance in my life. There was a particular line in the song that struck a chord with me (around 2 minutes 48 into the song):

“Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.”

Having recently been spending a lot of time working on what our core values are at goPhysio, this line really encompasses everything we are & everything we do.

Enjoy your body – we are here to help make sure you can enjoy the amazing things your body is engineered to do. Walk, run, jump, ski, sit & move, whatever it is we help to make sure you can do these things without pain or injury, in the best way physically possible.

Use it every way you can – make the most of your physical abilities by staying pain & injury free. Have the confidence to try new things and push your body to find your own limitations.

It is the greatest instrument you’ll ever own – the daily advances in technology really do blow me away. But stop & think just for a moment how amazing the human body is and what we rely on it to do for us day in, day out! I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but having heard that line, it really did make me think how precious & great the body is and how privileged we are every day to be able to help people take care of their most precious instrument! You can buy the latest iPod or computer, replace & update it, but we really do need to take care of our body and appreciate what it can and does do for us every day.

If you want a little trip down memory lane (or if you’ve never heard the song & words before) you can watch the video here on You Tube – enjoy!

p.s. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

The featured image was part of some work completed by Coventry University.

 

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Beware of the Flip Flop!

Posted on 16th June 2017 by

Today, 16th June 2017, sees National Flip Flop Day! (Yes, that really is a national day!!) With the wonderful weather this week and set to be beautiful over the weekend, flip flops are are common footwear of voice!

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.

#NationalFlipFlopDay


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Achilles teninopathies

Plantar Fasciitis

Custom Orthotics

 

 

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