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Taking time to be mindful

Posted on 27th Jun 2018 by

We often seem to live our lives at a million miles per hour and sometimes let our days fly by, almost unconscious of what we are doing or have done. Mindfulness has become ever increasingly popular, with our awareness of the importance of our mental health and wellbeing on the rise. 

So, what is mindfulness and how can you incorporate it into your busy schedule?

Mindfulness can be defined in different ways. Ultimately, it’s the ability to focus on the present moment whilst accepting ones’s feeling, thoughts and how your body feels. Alternatively defined as;

“Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis’’

(Marlatt & Kristeller, 1999).

Mindfulness and meditation can have many positive affects on the body including:

  • Higher brain functioning with boosts to the working memory
  • Lowered blood pressure 
  • Lowered anxiety levels
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Reduction in stress

So how can we put this into practice to get all the great benefits mentioned above?

Here’s a few practical ideas:

  • At breakfast: stop watching the clock, smell your food, take note of the colour, the texture the taste. 
  • Brushing your teeth:  the taste of the toothpaste, the sensation of the brush on your teeth, the texture under your feet as you stand there. 
  • Walking: put your phone or device away. What can you hear? What can you smell? How does the sunshine feel on your skin?
  • Meditation: use an app to get you started with mindfulness, we recommend Headspace or Calm, which have guided meditation and can only take ten minutes of your day. 
  • Pilates: take some time out and join a pilates class, connecting your mind and body. Yoga is also great for this.
  • Go for a walk in nature: Walking its great for taking some time out and being mindful.It helps you connect with the season and stimulates all your senses.

Take time to be mindful

by Francesca Wicker, Sports Therapist


Love activity, Hate exercise? Do more of what you love with Physio!

Posted on 12th Jun 2018 by

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists has launched a new campaign, Love activity, Hate Love activity hate exercsie posterexercise?

It is well documented that physical inactivity is a major public health problem. This campaign sets about to help identify barriers that prevent people from being more active. It also highlights what a positive influence as Physio’s can have in promoting and supporting physical activity at every touch point.

As a team of Physiotherapists, Pilates Instructors, Sports Therapists & Sports Massage Practitioners, we all have an important role to play in promoting physical activity. We want to maximise the opportunities to discuss the benefits of physical activity and any barriers to it with our patients, and make exercise more accessible to a wider range of people.

goPhysio’s Clinical Director, Paul, says “It doesn’t have to be ‘exercise’ per se, ‘activity’ is what is great! It’s about keeping it simple, finding things that you enjoy doing that get you moving and challenge you physically. So, gardening, walking, playing tennis with friends, marathon running, taking the stairs instead of the lift, even pushing a trolley round the supermarket, they all count! That’s what’s great about this campaign, even if the term ‘exercise’ frightens you, you don’t need to be afraid of being active!”

Do more of what you love with physio is such a great term. It’s exactly what we do – help make sure you can do more of what you love doing!

So whether that’s physio or sports therapy treatment to help you recover from an injury, Pilates to help improve and maintain your physical wellbeing or Positive Steps elderly exercise classes, we run a host of services from our clinic in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, that  help you do more of what you love.

So, what are the tips to getting started if you love activity but hate exercise?

  1. Find something you enjoy so that you’ll keep going.
  2. Set goals for yourself – big or small – to keep you motivated.
  3. Pace yourself – start slowly and gradually build up.
  4. It’s OK to ache but if pain persists, ease back and go slower.
  5. Need more motivation and support? Find someone join you!

If you need any help or support or just don’t know where to start, just get in touch. Our friendly and supportive team are here to help you.

 


Physiotherapy For Cycling Injuries

Posted on 10th Jun 2018 by

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

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

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

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

Traumatic Injuries

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

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

Common traumatic cycling injuries include:

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

Overuse Injuries

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

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

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

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

Common cycling overuse injuries include:

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

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


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


 

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Walking Resources

Posted on 1st May 2018 by

May is National Walking Month, encouraging people to find their feet and pound the pavements or countryside more!

There are lot’s of initiatives, tools and groups set up to help encourage and promote more walking. Walking combined with socialising, whether it be with family of new found friends, will boost your enjoyment and also your likelihood of continuing.

Here are some great walking resources

Walk Unlimited is a fab resource that delivers walking advice and projects. Their aim is to reduce barriers to walking and to ensure that the public have free access to high quality information.

Walks With Buggies has some routes and free information for those wanting to find buggy friendly walks.

National Parks has a huge range of walks, easily categorised by walker or interest. They also do guided walks.

Health Walks are run by Eastleigh Borough Council. The walks take about 1 hour and and are a great way to socialise and get some exercise. They take place frequently throughout the week, covering different areas. They also offer a gentler walk too.

Eastleigh Ramblers are another fantastic resource, take a look at their regular walks.

Nordic Walking is another alternative way of getting out and about and exercising through walking.

Read More 

The ‘Magic’ 10,000 Steps A Day

10 Steps To An Active You

#NationalWalkingMonth


The London Marathon 2018 – Reflections As A Spectator

Posted on 23rd Apr 2018 by

WOW! What an experience it was, going to London to watch my Sister Helen, in her first London Marathon yesterday! I’m still buzzing from the energy and excitement of the day.

The London Marathon is one of the biggest and most popular mass participation events in the world! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the day. Given that I like to be prepared, I did a fair bit of research so that we would see Helen at a few points, whilst keeping our travel efficient and manageable. Here’s how our day panned out!

Setting Off

We were traveling up from Winchester & Southampton, so decided to park at Westfield, where day charges are pretty reasonable, there are good tube links and we were the right side of London for getting home at the end of the day. It was an early (7am) start, so we could make sure we got parked and allowed enough time for traveling to our first viewing point.

Stop 1

From Westfield, we took the Central Line from Shepherd’s Bush to Bank. And from Bank we took the DLR (thankfully the industrial action strike was called off) to the Cutty Sark. We had originally planned to get off at Greenwich DLR, which on reflection I think we should have done, as the Cutty Sark station and area was very busy – but it worked out OK.

London Marathon Mile 6From the Cutty Sark DLR station we walked past the Cutty Sark, through the University of Greenwich gardens, to Romney Road – directly opposite the National Maritime Museum. This point was just after Mile 6. We arrived there in ample time, by around 10am. At this point we had great, unobstructed views of the route. We were right near a drinks station for the Elite men. Referring to the really handy Pace Guide (from the Marathon website) we timed our arrival so that we’d see the Elite men pass, which they did at around 10.28am.

It was amazing watching these athletes speed past us – great to see and it really got the crowds going, ready for the masses.

The masses started coming through 10 or 15 minutes later. Such a sight! The cheering and encouragement was infectious and we were soon carried away, calling out the names on the shirts of passing runners, ‘high fiving’ those on our side and clapping away! The heat really was intense and some runners were already struggling at mile 6.

The Marathon App was fantastic. You could enter the race numbers of those you wanted to see and track their location real time – this was absolutely invaluable. With so many runners, it was difficult to spot people, so if you knew to expect them coming, you were much less likely to miss them.

We also made some flags and had them on extendable flag poles (a fantastic find – light and collapsed down to fit in my bag!). Just bought plain flags from eBay and used iron on transfer paper for our personal message – very cheap and effective!

Having the flags meant our runner could easily spot us in amongst the spectators. We had also told Helen where to expect to see us and she wrote the miles on her arm, so she had a quick reference to refer to so she’d know when to look out. These 2 things she said really helped – without the flags, it would have been very hard for her to have seen us.

So, our plans all worked out and we were beyond excited to see Helen run towards us still looking fresh and full of energy at Mile 6. A quick passing high 5 and some encouraging cheers, and she was on her way!

 London Marathon Mile 6 spectators  London Marathon Mile 6 Runner Jesus at Marathon Cutty Sark Marathon Greenwich Marathon

Stop 2

And so were we! From here, we walked back through the University Gardens, past the Cutty Sark and went under the Thames via the Greenwich foot tunnel to the Isle of Dogs. There was a very short wait to access the tunnel but it was very well managed. It was only open 1 way, so you couldn’t have accessed it to get the other direction.

From the other side of the Thames, we made our way through Millwall Park up to East Ferry Road (near the Mudchute DLR). This took us about half an hour or so.

We found a great spot to watch just after Mile 17. There were lots of grassy banks to rest on and have some much needed refreshments. Again the app was fab, as we could see exactly when to look out for Helen.

At Mile 17 she was still looking amazing – lots of smiles and full of energy!

As we left this point and walked up towards mile 18, there were lots of runners walking and stopping at the side of the road. Not sure if people hit a bit of a wall at this point, but we definitely saw some struggling.

Our plan from here was to walk up to Westferry DLR Station and see Mile 20 but we realised this was unrealistic and so we amended our plans.

Stop 3

Instead we walked to Canary Wharf DLR station. It took a while to get over the footbridge to Canary Wharf, so this slowed us down quite a bit (it may have been easier to try and get on the DLR at Crossharbour or South Quay). From Canary Wharf, we took the Jubilee line toLondon Waterloo. This tube was BUSY (and hot & sweaty, nice!). The driver advised the passengers that it was unlikely they were going to stop at Westminster due to congestion, so advised people to get off at Waterloo. We’d already hear it wasn’t advised to try and access the end via Westminster, so had already planned to get off at Waterloo – which was a wise move.

From Waterloo, we headed straight to Waterloo Bridge (again avoiding Westminster Bridge). Tracking Helen on the app, it was a race against time as she was running along Victoria Embankment towards the bridge as we were in the bridge! So, we literally had to run to see her! We successfully spotted her between miles 24 and 25 as she ran under the bridge – with a great view from the bridge.

Had we known that timing would have been so tight, we would have tried to move faster from our previous stop. We would then have had time to get down to Victoria Embankment to see her from the ground.

The End

From Waterloo Bridge, we walked up towards Trafalgar Square, up The Mall and under Admiralty Arch to the meeting point. Meeting points were labelled according to finishers surname. They weren’t easy to find given the sheer volume of people, but the official helpers were great at pointing us in the right direction. Checking the app, we could see that she’d finished and should be on her way.

4 hours 10 minutes – brilliant! 

We spotted Helen walking to the meeting point and it was congratulatory hugs and celebrations all round! She was full of smiles and had an amazing run.

It was pretty overwhelming seeing all these runners celebrating their achievements with their medals proudly hung round their necks, wearing their finishers T Shirts. We even saw a marriage proposal!

 

From here we all headed for a much needed cool drink and finally made our way home.

This spectator route certainly needed some level of fitness! We clocked up over 20,000 steps and covered almost 15km! But we certainly couldn’t complain about our sore feet & legs having witnessed the extremes the runners pushed themselves to!

This plan was based on timing for a 4 hour marathon, so could obviously be adjusted accordingly for different times.

Alternative Plan

Our alternative (less ambitious plan or had the DLR strike gone ahead) was to have travelled from Westfield to Tower Hill and watched at Mile 13/14 The Highway and then again at Mile 22 The Highway. Some of Helen’s other supporters chose this option, which worked really well. The added bonus of this for the runner was that they saw some familiar faces at 4 points during the race, which was a real motivator!

Top Tips

Having reflected on the day and our plans, it all worked out great! Here are our top tips!

  • Take plenty of food and drink. The schedule was pretty tight and everywhere was so busy, that there wasn’t much time for stopping off for refreshments. We did find an Asda at Mile 17, but the lunch time food selection was already sold out by the time we got there, so we had to be creative!
  • Download the app to track your runners – absolutely invaluable.
  • Take some flags or similar accessory and make your runner(s) aware of it. It will really help them find you amongst the crowds.
  • Get the runners to write on their arm which miles to expect to see you. This will really help motivate them and remind them to look out for you.
  • Prepare for the weather adequately! On reflection, we needed sun hats, sun screen and flip flops given the unprecedented heat this year. However, we could have just as likely needed rain coats & hoodies – it’s a long day out in the open, so do bring the right clothing.
  • If you want to go for something to eat and/or drink after the event, think about booking somewhere. Everywhere is, unsurprisingly, extremely busy. Make sure you allow enough time to get there from your meeting point too, the crowds definitely slow everything down!
  • Have fun – it really is a fantastic day!

More Info

  • You can sponsor Helen (who ran for Sense) here.
  • Read Helen’s marathon blog here.

#SpiritOfLondon #VirginLondonMarathon

 

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Science & Exercise – getting you the best results!

Posted on 28th Mar 2018 by

When we are putting together an exercise based rehab programme for you as part of your recovery, there’s a lot that goes on behind it. To get you the best possible results and outcome, we want you to be working on the right things in the right way, not only helping you recover from your injury but helloing you building term, physical durability.

At goPhysio your bespoke programme will be constructed and tailored specifically to you using evidence-based research.

Here you can see an example of the top five exercises proven to target the glutes and hamstrings most effectively.

Hamstring Muscle activation

Gluteus Medius muscle activation

Gluteus maximus muscle activation

So, if you want an effective recovery plan from your injury, read more about our bespoke small group rehabilitation here.


National Bed Month

Posted on 1st Mar 2018 by

This month reminds us of how important a good nights’ sleep really is and how it benefits our health, as it’s National Bed Month! 

So what’s so important about sleep?!

 Sleep and the Brain

  • Sleep enhances your learning and problem-solving skills and helps you pay attention, make decisions and be creative.
  • Sleep deficiency can make it difficult to control your emotions and behaviour or cope with change. It has also been linked to depression and risk-taking behaviour.
  • Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Without it, there is an increased risk of heart/kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
  • Deep sleep triggers the release of hormones that promote healthy growth and development. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells.

Sleep and Athletic Performance

  • Sleep deprivation negatively effects athletic performance, especially in submaximal, prolonged exercise.
  • Compromised sleep can influence learning, memory, cognition, pain perception, immunity and inflammation.
  • Changes in glucose metabolism and neuroendocrine function as a result of chronic, partial sleep deprivation can result in alterations in carbohydrate metabolism, appetite, food intake and protein synthesis.

Sleep and Weight Loss

  • Sleep is crucial in retaining energy and stamina throughout the day.
  • There are two key hormones released when you sleep; ghrelin and leptin.
  • Ghrelin enhances your appetite and leptin suppresses it. A lack of sleep disturbs this natural hormonal balance and can lead to weight gain (or a lack of weight loss).
  • Growth hormone, released in abundance when we sleep, is responsible for facilitating muscle growth and increasing your metabolism which means energy is burned more efficiently and can lead to weight loss.
  • Adequate sleep lowers the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Higher cortisol = lower metabolism. More sleep = less cortisol, better weight loss.

Morning Mobility Routine

Laying horizontally for an extended period of time can cause your joints and muscles to feel achy or stiff in the morning. Getting into a morning routine will increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness associated pain and boost the longevity of your global joint health.

  1. After a warm shower, take each major joint through its full, pain-free range of motion.
  2. Gently stretch those achy muscles.
  3. Use a foam roller or tiggerpoint ball to target the areas that need some extra attention.
  4. Perform daily to assist in retaining your range of motion.

6 Tips for a Better Kip

  1. Bedroom – clean, peaceful & welcoming. Achieve complete darkness with blackout blinds. Ideal temperature 16-18° Avoid televisions, computers and any distractions if you can’t nod off. Limit the bedroom for sleep only, it shouldn’t be used for work, watching TV, eating, even talking on the phone.
  2. Bed – comfortable! If you regularly wake up with aches and pains, it may be time to change your mattress. You should consider changing your bed after 7 years.
  3. Lifestyle – today’s typically fast-paced and chaotic lifestyle provides non-stop stimulation from the moment we wake up. Reduce the intensity of artificial light, maintain a regular bed time routine, avoid alcohol/caffeine before bed, switch off your tech, and empty your bladder before sleeping.
  4. Stress & worry – scientific evidence has shown a direct link between anxiety and rhythm of sleep. An alert mind produces beta waves, preventing sleep. To relax, breathe in deeply for 4 seconds and then breathe out slowly. Repeat until you feel your heart rate slowing.
  5. Diet – you are what you eat! Food and drink can have a drastic effect on your sleep. Choose milk, cherries, chicken and rice. Avoid fatty meat, curry and alcohol after 6pm.
  6. Exercise – promote sleep by working out effectively. Don’t work out too aggressively, this will be counterproductive by increasing your alertness. Yoga is renowned for its relaxation and sleep benefits.

Read more about the 4 pillars of a healthy life and ‘being well’ on a previous blog.

Why sleeps the magic elixir for runners.

 


National Longevity Day

Posted on 19th Feb 2018 by

Today is National Longevity Day – and with our purpose here at goPhysio being……

Helping local people live a healthy, active, positive life pain and injury free

…….we couldn’t let the day pass us by without acknowledgement!

The message of the day is to get more people thinking about their health and living a longer and happier life. The day acts as a reminder for you to look after your body and think about how your lifestyle and choices impact now can affect your body in later life.

As a Physiotherapy, Health & Wellbeing Clinic, we play a fundamental part in helping people live a long and happy life. How? 

  • By helping people overcome their injuries, we help keep people physically active, doing the sports and activities they love to do.
  • We ease the worry and stress surrounding an injury, when people often think there’s no way out, we guide them through the injury maze, providing support and relieving the fear and uncertainty. We help you do something positive about your injury.
  • We relieve people’s pain, helping them feel better and relieving the anxiety and distress that pain often brings with it.
  • We encourage people to be physically active, providing fully supported, specialist exercise based sessions, that are accessible to people who may not think exercise is possible. This includes our Clinical Pilates, Active Backs and Positive Steps classes.

Being physically active is a crucial part of living a long, healthy, life – so, if you need help, we’re here for you.

Read More 

Productive healthy ageing and MSK health

Be well

 

 


Overuse Injuries

Posted on 12th Feb 2018 by

What is an overuse injury?

An overuse injury is normally a chronic injury that gradually occurs over a period of time, rather than a sudden acute traumatic injury. Repetitive trauma to a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon such as a tendinopathy or stress fracture are just a couple of examples of overuse injuries.

What causes overuse injuries?

Overuse injuries are often linked to training overload in athletes, or sudden changes in activities that put stress through the body which they are not used to and therefore overload the soft tissue or bone. When we take up a new hobby, sport or activity or increase training levels/load this will put increased stress onto our body, this will lead the body having to adapt. However, if the body is not given time to adapt and the body is overloaded then this can, in some cases, lead to repetitive ‘microtrauma’ to the tissues. This can be unnoticed for a long time, or thought to be just a muscle ache. Some causes of this include:

  • Poor Technique
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Training overload/level
  • Biomechanics of your foot

What might it feel like?

Depending on the affected tissue or body part will depend on how it will feel. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain that starts initially during a warm up that then eases of and returns at the end of your sport or activity
  • Consistent pinching or sharp pain on specific movements
  • Constant dull ache

How do the symptoms progress?

Overuse injuries can be slow in developing and last a long time. The longer the problem is ignored the worse or more frequent the symptoms can become. This may lead to pain every time you engage in your sport or activity and may also lead to pain/swelling afterwards.

How is it diagnosed?

If you think you may be suffering with an overuse injury, it is important to get an assessment by a physiotherapist or sports therapist. The key to effective management of an overuse injury is accurately identifying exactly what’s causing it and addressing this. This will help to prevent any of those niggles turning into a bigger problem and possibly preventing you doing the sport of activity that you love.

What is the best treatment for overuse injuries?

There are lots of treatments that can be used to help, depending on the injury. Treatment will often start with easing the symptoms of the injury, such as pain and inflammation. In parallel to this, addressing the underlying cause and working on strength and stability to prevent reoccurence is key. Treatments may include:

Outlook

When the underlying issue is addressed and appropriate changes are made, overuse injuries can be solved. They can often be a very frustrating injury, as they inevitably need a bit of rest and trial and error to work out exactly what’s causing the issue. That’s where we come in, seeing an expert can guide you through the puzzle of injury and help get you back doing what you love as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Read More 

Achilles Injuries

Running injuries – The basic principles

Treatment of calf pain in runners

Runners knee (patellofemoral pain)

What’s physiotherapy got to do with a dripping tap?