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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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Osteoporosis

Posted on 25th May 2017 by

The definition of osteoporosis comes from, ‘Osteo’ – a prefix denoting bone and ‘porosis’ – implying the weakening of a structure or porous bone.

It’s the loss of boney tissue resulting in bones that are weakened and liable to fracture.

Osteoporosis

Who is at risk osteoporosis?

  • Those with low body weight
  • Maternal history of the disease
  • Smokers
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Low dietary calcium intake
  • Late puberty
  • History of eating disorders
  • Generally physically inactive
  • High caffeine intake
  • History of steroid use/treatment
  • Previous fractures, particularly after menopause

Who can be affected by osteoporosis?

Worldwide it is estimated that 200 million women suffer from osteoporosis. It is unknown how many men suffer from the disease but it is on the increase. Although it is commonly thought of as an affliction of the older population, it can affect people of all ages. It is more common amongst the white and Asian population and less so in black populations.

What potential problems arise from osteoporosis?

The bones become weakened and result in low bone mass and are, therefore, more susceptible to a fracture. In the UK there are an estimated 60,000 hip, 50,000 wrist and 40,000 spine fractures due to osteoporosis every year.

Other fragility fractures are also associated with osteoporosis e.g. pelvis and upper arm.

1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men surviving to the age of 80 will suffer a hip fracture.

What are the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis?

It is usually a silent disease until the individual suffers a fracture. However, there are many screening tests that can now be done and if you think you are at risk of osteoporosis from the risk factors above, it is advised to see your GP.

A Colles fracture is a break of the wrist and is most common among women aged between 45 and 65. It is often the first sign of osteoporosis.

Back pain can be a symptom of osteoporosis. Pain in the back can gradually creep up over time and your posture can become noticeably more flexed forwards. Over time, you can lose height too. Episodes of acute back pain which settle after a few weeks can be due to spontaneous vertebral fractures, caused by osteoporosis.

Physiotherapy and osteoporosis

Physiotherapy can have a key role to play in both the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. There are a number of ways in which we can help.

  • Education on appropriate exercise, posture, diet and lifestyle changes. This can be both to prevent osteoporosis or help minimise it’s impact of you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
  • Exercises to target vulnerable areas and help keep the bones and joints strong.
  • Core stability and muscle strengthening exercise programmes.
  • Balance exercises to help prevent falls.
  • Advice on water-based exercises to help strengthen core stability, improve range of movement and reduce pain.
  • Ongoing support in order to self-manage the disease in the long term including preventing and managing fractures.

The role of exercise in managing osteoporosis

Weight-bearing exercise is proven to have a positive effect on bone mass.  The less weight that goes through the bones, the more likely they are to weaken further, so weight bearing and resistance exercises play a crucial part. Specific exercise, as prescribed by your physiotherapist, target the vulnerable areas of the body. Through strengthening the muscles and keeping joint stiffness to a minimum, you are less likely to suffer from pain and the risk of fractures may be reduced.

Other exercise to be considered:

We offer a range of services at goPhysio to help support you if you are looking to prevent or minimise the impact of osteoporosis. If you’d like any help or advice, please give us a call.


Rehabilitation: Why it is Crucial to You and Your Performance!

Posted on 24th May 2017 by

By definition, rehabilitation is the restoration of optimal form (anatomy) and function goPhysio Rehabilitation(physiology). It is a structured process, designed and delivered by your therapist, to reduce time-loss from injury, promote recovery, and maximise your functional capacity, fitness and performance.

After sustaining an injury,  the rehabilitation process should start as soon as safely possible. It can run in parallel with the therapeutic interventions that your physiotherapist will deliver.

Should an injury require surgery, rehabilitation can also start before or immediately after to enhance your outcomes. This is well evidenced with research showing people who engaged in rehab prior to undergoing their surgery had much better outcomes than patients who only had rehab after surgery.

There is also evidence to show rehab is as beneficial as some surgeries for various shoulder, hip, knee and lower back conditions.

Rehab Planning

At the centre of the rehabilitation plan is you! Planning starts at the first appointment, and during our appointments, we will be gathering lots information about you and your activities to ensure we prepare you to return safely to the same environment in which the injury occurred. This is the perfect time to focus on not just your injury, but other aspects of your performance to ensure your ability to perform will be better than before!

When planning rehabilitation, it’s crucial to consider the injured structure involved and where you sit in relation to the body’s natural phases of healing. There are 5 overlapping stages to consider and doing so allows the appropriate load to be applied at all times to promote tissue healing. This is where our experience, training and knowledge really come into their own. If you’ve suffered an injury and just rest until it feels better and then go straight back to what you were doing before, you can really increase your risk of re-injury or other problems. If you’re serious about looking after your body, investing in long term durability so you can keeping what you love, rehabilitation is crucial.

On a more detailed level, as your body heals, controlled therapeutic stress is necessary to optimise collagen matrix formation, but too much stress can damage new structures.

So, choosing the level of load that neither overloads nor underlaps the healing tissue is therefore crucial to a successful rehabilitation process, and your therapist will be able to use their expert knowledge to prescribe suitable exercises throughout the process.

To do this, we ensure rehabilitation is delivered in sequential phases that has specific therapeutic and rehabilitative objectives for each phase; as well as measurable, objective criteria for progression to each subsequent phase.

Overall this acts to promote:

  • Healing of injured tissues
  • Preparation of these tissues for return to function
  • Use of proper techniques to maximise rehabilitation & re-conditioning

With all this in mind, to supplement our existing and well established physiotherapy service, we are now adding a dedicated rehabilitation service at goPhysio. Rehabilitation has always been a key part of what we do here at goPhysio. However, this has often been on an advisory basis, giving you programmes that you can take away and do at home or in your gym. The ultimate outcome of such self administered programmes can be dependent on your adherence, how well you are doing the exercises and the frequency of the programme.

With our new Rehabilitation service, you will be given the support and opportunity to take part in supervised rehabilitation sessions, either as small groups or on an individual basis. This can be done in conjunction with physiotherapy treatment or when you reach a point in your recovery when rehabilitation is all you need.

In summary, the ultimate goal of the rehabilitation process that goPhysio delivers is to limit the extent of your injury, reduce or reverse the functional loss, and prevent, correct or eliminate the problem altogether. This process is crucial to preventing re-injury and improving YOUR overall performance. We look forward to seeing you in our newly developed ‘strong room’ for your rehab sessions!

We’re very excited to be able to offer this service at goPhysio – we’ll be launching it in a few weeks, so watch this space!


New Exercise Guide For People With MSK Conditions From Arthritis UK

Posted on 15th March 2017 by

A new report has been launched, ‘Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions’ by Arthritis Research UK.

The report highlights that physical activity is a key part of a public health approach to musculoskeletal conditions and it has a range of benefits for people with musculoskeletal conditions in terms of improving quality of life and supporting people to be independent.

Musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoarthritis and back pain, are the greatest cause of pain and disability in the UK. They’re the reason why so many people seek out our help at our physiotherapy clinic in Chandlers Ford day in, day out. As physiotherapists, exercise and activity has always played a key part in our treatment and recovery programmes, so it’s great to see this being highlighted and the recommendations supported.

Exercise can reduce joint and back pain by 25% while also improving sleep, managing stress and reducing depression, anxiety and dementia.

Physical activity is a broad term. It doesn’t have to be thought of as officially exercising or playing a sport. It can include all forms of activity, such as everyday walking or cycling, … active play, work-related activity, active recreation such as working out in a gym, dancing, gardening or playing active games, as well as organised and competitive sport.

What the report does highlight, is that a one size fits all approach is not appropriate. People with different MSK conditions will have huge variations in their physical ability, levels of disability and also lifestyles. This is where a skilled health professional, such as a physiotherapist would come in, to help advise on and tailored physical activity for the best outcomes.

How can physiotherapy help with physical activity?

  • Advise on a specific exercise programme tailored to your condition and lifestyle. As part of our service we always provide a customised exercise programme, including clear explanations and videos, which we email to you.
  • Help you modify your daily activity so that you can stay physically active, balancing activity with your condition, pain levels and physical abilities.
  • Give you confidence to be physically active. With our support and knowledge we will empower you not to be afraid of being physically active.
  • Help you manage your pain so you can stay physically active. We give you the tools to help manage and work with any pain you may be experiencing, as well as using our physiotherapy skills to help ease your pain.

Read more about arthritis and how physiotherapy can help here:

An overview of arthritis

How can physiotherapy help with arthritis?

The importance of lean muscle mass

In addition to our one to one physiotherapy service, we offer a range of other services to help support your physical activity and wellbeing if you’re managing an MSK condition. This includes our specialist Physio led Pilates classes, which are a great way to exercise gently and safely under the supervision of a physiotherapist. We are also introducing clinical yoga and Positive Steps, a supervised exercise class specifically for over 60’s keen improve and stay active.

If you need any help with your MSK condition, please do give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or book an appointment online.


physical activity older adults


Joint Focus: The Shoulder & Arm

Posted on 8th February 2017 by

Shoulder injuriesThe shoulder joins the arm to the trunk and is the most mobile, yet unstable joint in the body. It relies on a complex, synchronised pattern of muscle and joint interaction to maintain stability and function of the whole arm.

This excessive mobility is its main weakness, causing it to become easily injured through trauma, overuse or the cumulative effects of poor posture.

Common shoulder and arm injuries

Injuries we often see at goPhysio to the shoulder & arm include:

If you’re suffering with shoulder or arm pain and it’s stopping you doing what you love or being as active as you need to be, our team can help you. We offer a range of services from our clinic in Chandlers Ford, which can help identify & resolve your shoulder or arm problems and also address the prevention of such injuries.

If you want any advice, please do give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or you can book an appointment online.


How goPhysio are different

Posted on 24th January 2017 by

There’s a lot of choice out there if you want to see a Physio. As a customer looking for someone to help solve your injury frustrations and get you back to enjoying an active life, it can be a bit daunting.

Unless someone has been recommended to you, you probably head straight for your computer & Google! But what do you look for?

Here’s how we’re different at goPhysio..……….

We employ all our staff

All our Physiotherapists are full time employees of goPhysio. So what you may ask? Well we think it’s a big deal. Having a team of full time employees gives us a really cohesive force. The team’s working time is fully dedicated to goPhysio – not being pulled or split between too many commitments. This means they are there to fully support you and your treatment. Our staff don’t turn up for an evening clinic having already spent a whole day working in the NHS, already exhausted!

We have a dedicated clinic, open over 60 hours a week

Our dedicated clinic is open 6 days a week, from sunrise to sunset during the week! The fact we’re open all day, every day gives you a consistent service, with appointments at a time to suit you. If you need to contact us, you can. If you need to see someone today – more often than not, you can! We’re even open on a Saturday morning if you can’t quite squeeze in an appointment during the week.

Experienced clinicians

All of our staff have a minimum of 5 years experience working as a Physiotherapist. Between us, we’ve got a combined experience of over 30 years. This experience helps get better outcomes for you, faster. The hundreds of patients they’ve seen, combined with an environment of shared knowledge creates a dynamic, progressive and problem solving environment, giving you the best possible care and service. If you come and see us at goPhysio, you won’t be seeing someone who’s recently qualified, with minimal real life experience in resolving injuries.

Range of onsite services

Whether you’re after help with an injury or being proactive about your health and physical well being, we offer a range of in-house, services all within the clinic. Our team all work very closely together, so if you want’t to carry on your rehabilitation through coming to one of our Pilates classes, the transition is seamless. If, during a sports massage, a more serious injury is picked up, you’ll be referred on to a Physio. This integrated method of care helps support you to achieve your goals.

Dedicated administration team

Our dedicated administration team are always on hand to help you. We now have over 60 hours a week of administration support at the clinic. Whether it’s booking or changing an appointment, liaising with your insurance company or sorting out a receipt for your cash back plan, they can help. It also means that our clinical staff aren’t pulled between answering the phone, booking appointments and managing diaries – they can focus on you as their patient! When our desk or phones aren’t manned, you can even book an appointment online safely and securely on our website.

Our Clinic

We’re one of the only private practices in the area that has their own, completely independent clinic and facilities. We’re not renting a room in a GP surgery or gym or reliant on third parties for long term stability. We are completely independent and in control of our facilities which gives us stability and control. We are able to continually re-invest into the clinic to offer the best facilities and experience in the area. At the end of 2016, we moved into our brand new clinic in Chandlers Ford. This is our third clinic in Chandlers Ford, each time we’ve moved we’ve doubled in size. We spent a year renovating a derelict old building and now have an amazing new space – with large, private treatment rooms, a spacious studio, rehabilitation room and air conditioning throughout for your comfort. There’s a free on site car park for your use and great local transport links. We’ve got everything you need to have a relaxed, welcoming & supported recovery.

Local, Family Business

goPhysio is a truly local, small, family business. It’s owned and managed by husband and wife team, Paul & Fiona. It was established locally back in 2001 and has grown from strength to strength ever since. Paul & Fiona not only have a business in Chandlers Ford but live here too with their 3 children, who go to school locally. They love being able to provide such a crucial and valued service in the area. You can read more about the history of goPhysio here! 

Recommendations

Over 80% of our new customers come to us through a personal recommendation. Unlike many other physio’s we don’t fill our diaries with 3rd party external referrals from high volume/low cost work (which is now commonplace in the industry). So the patients that fill our diaries are there because they value the service we offer and results we achieve, they have chosen us based on the quality of service we offer. This is the biggest compliment and endorsement we can get – personal recommendations and returning customers! We even say thank you to those who refer a friend with our ‘Refer A Friend’ Scheme.
goPhysio Chandlers FordgoPhysio SouthamptongoPhysio Physiotherapy Clinic Chandlers Ford goPhysio Studio Chandlers Ford


Low Back Pain & Sciatica – The Latest NICE Guidelines

Posted on 20th January 2017 by

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently published new guidelines on best management of low back pain. This includes both people with ‘simple’ back pain (localised to the back) and those with referred pain (sciatica) which can affect the nerves down one leg. These guidelines are based on latest evidence and expert analysis of what is the best course of action for people with low back pain.

Here’s how we’re putting them into practice at goPhysio

Assessment

When you come to see us with back pain we will do a thorough assessment by asking a number of questions to find out more about your pain and to rule out any ‘red flag’ conditions. These red flags can indicate serious pathology such as cancer, infection, trauma, inflammatory conditions or Cauda Equina Syndrome. Thankfully these conditions are rare but if we have any suspicion we will referral you on to the appropriate speciality for further investigations without delay.

We will do a complete back examination to assess how the joints, muscles and nerves are functioning. We know there are a number of factors that can influence your recovery both positively and negatively so our staff are undergoing further training on use of the STarT Back Risk Assessment tool. This will help us identify those who are at risk of poorer outcomes and ensure that we tailor our treatment to address these factors.

Treatment

Self-management education is a vital aspect of treatment for any patient. We help you to understand why you have pain and what steps you can take to reduce it – both during an acute flare up of pain but also long term strategies or simple changes you can make to your lifestyle which will help your back.

Your treatment will vary depending on the nature and cause of your pain, how severe it is and a variety of individual factors. Physiotherapy treatment may include manual therapy such as joint mobilisations or massage, alongside a personal exercise programme and advice on pain relief.

Research has shown that anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s) such as Ibruprofen or Naproxen are much better than paracetamol for back pain, however, for people that are unable to take NSAID’s or that find them ineffective, weak opioid medications such as Co-codamol can be recommended for simple back pain.

For acute sciatica your GP may recommend stronger ‘neuropathic’ pain medications which are much better for nerve pain (tingling/burning/shooting pain). Please note all medications have side effects and can interact with other medications you are already on or other conditions that you may have so please check with your GP or a pharmacist before taking any new medication.

What happens if you are not responding to treatment?

For acute sciatica you may be referred on to a spinal consultant, who in more severe cases can consider epidural injections or a spinal decompression surgery. However it is important to remember that this is never a first course of action as most episodes of sciatica resolve within 6-12 weeks. Your physio will help you decide when it is appropriate to be referred on depending on how you respond and recover.

Sometimes there are psychological factors affecting your rehabilitation such as depression, anxiety or other mood disorders. In this case your physio may recommend that you are referred on to a psychologist for cognitive-behavioural therapy. This is because we know that people with negative mood and health beliefs rarely respond well to usual treatment without first addressing these factors.

So if your pain is persistent or not responding to usual treatment it is important to seek professional help.

What about x-rays and scans?

X-rays are no longer routine for lower back pain unless there is the suspicion of a fracture (such as after a severe trauma or in people with osteoporosis). This is because it exposes you to radiation but does not often provide any useful information on how we should best treat your back. Likewise MRI’s are only needed to rule out serious spinal pathology or to help a consultant identify if a nerve in your back is being significantly compressed to warrant injection or surgery. The vast majority of this information your physio will be able to deduct from a thorough assessment.

Once an acute episode of back pain has eased off, we recommend continuing with exercise to help keep any further recurrences at bay. Research indicates that any form of exercise is great for people who’ve had back pain – being active and moving helps! many of our patients go on to our specialist Pilates classes. These are particularly beneficial as they are taken by our Physiotherapists, so they are well equipped to deal with any concerns or issues you may have with your back and can modify and progress the exercises for you individually. The classes are also small, so you aren’t lost in a sea of people struggling – you get individual care and attention. We run 16 classes a week, so there’s plenty of choice to fit in with your weekly commitments.

NICE back pain

If you’re suffering with back pain and want some peace of mind and reassurance that it’s nothing serious and help to get on the road to recovery, come and see one of our Physio’s at goPhysio. We make it easy for you, with appointments available 8am – 8pm and Saturday mornings, we can normally offer you an appointment within 24 hours, if not the same day. Just call one of our friendly Patient Services Team on 023 8025 3317 or book an appointment online.


Don’t soldier on in pain with niggling old injuries. Start the new year in top shape.

Posted on 9th January 2017 by

So many people just ‘soldier on’ with aches & pain, not knowing what the cause is, if they are doing the right thing about it or if they are actually making the problem worse. Sometimes, the longer you leave a problem the worse it gets and the longer it can take to get better.

Do you just accept that pain is part of your daily routine?

By leaving an injury un-treated, you can be putting yourself at risk.

  • Reduced fitness as you can’t train or work out to your full potential
  • Ongoing worry constantly niggling at the back of your mind
  • Risk of causing more damage to yourself and developing a chronic (long term) problem
  • Decreased quality of life as you can’t enjoy life to your full potential

Take action now, don’t be one of those people who just accepts pain as part of their life.

At goPhysio we can help. We provide information, education and practical support but above all we give you peace of mind by helping you understand what is actually causing your pain and what you should & shouldn’t be doing to help your recovery.

So, new year, new you? Let us help you get on the right track!