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Physiotherapy For Cycling Injuries

Posted on 10th June 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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Why youngsters should play multiple sports

Posted on 9th May 2018 by

With the end of season finally upon us for many of our most popular kids sports, we’re seeing a huge spike in the number of youngsters we’re seeing in the clinic with injuries. Unfortunately, many of the most common growth related injuries (Severs, Osgoods Schlatters, Sinding Larson etc.) affect the most active and sporty children at a time they are experiencing growth spurts. Although there is a part of this that we can’t control (growth!), what we are seeing increasingly contribute to the injuries these kids are presenting with is very frequent, intense participation in single sports. We also see this across a huge spectrum of sports, so football, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, dance & more!

Our sporting culture here in the UK (and many other countries too) is to ‘pigeon hole’ children into a single sport from a very early age. Before they know it, children are training / playing / competing / performing in a single sport 5 – 7 days a week! Unfortunately, much of this early specialisation in single sports is driven by the coaches and/or teams. Parents and children fear that if they don’t specialise and fully commit to a single sport they are risking their chance and future success.

The intentions of most parents, coaches and teams is well meaning – the more they train or practice for the sport, surely the better they’ll get and the higher the chances of ‘success’ (defining what success is is a whole other topic that won’t be covered here!).

However, all the evidence points towards the opposite being true – there are many benefits to playing multiple sports and risks to early specialisation in a single sport. The title image of this blog was recently published in the Sports Business Journal, why kids shouldn’t specialise in one sport is discussed here.

The benefits of playing multiple sports

  • Improved sporting performance – studies suggest playing multiple sports at a young age will actually enhance sporting performance in the long run
  • Between the crucial development ages of 6 – 12, playing multiple sports will enhance development of fundamental movement skills
  • Increased athleticism, strength and conditioning – playing a single sport can improve skill for that particular sport, but can limit overall athletic ability
  • Increase chance of developing a lifelong love of playing sport / exercising – if enjoyment, fun and variety are the focus, children are less likely to burnout
  • Develops a more creative athlete by exposure to many skills, situations and environments

The risks to early specialisation in sport

  • Injuries – repeated movement and demands placed upon developing bodies can increase risk of injury. The more movement variety youngsters have, the less risk they have go picking up an injury.
  • Burnout (see the great infographic below on how to prevent this).
  • Social isolation – commitment in hours to training, travel and competing can have an impact on a youngsters social life.
  • Early over-professionalisation – sport is seen in an adult, commercial context with winning being the main focus.

Burnout in young athletes

The crux of it is, for the majority of youngsters, taking part in sport is a way for children to develop well physically, have fun, enjoy activity with friends and importantly install lifelong love of being physically active to help them live a healthy life!

Unfortunately for many sports, naivety from the top won’t change things, it’s very shortsighted and their well-meaning intentions don’t actually have the health and wellbeing of children as a priority. However, sports such as Hockey, do give a glimmer of hope. Their Player Pathway is an excellent example of a great framework for specialisation.

  • They don’t identify ‘talent’ until players reach 12/13
  • Their over riding aim is to “provide fun, enjoyable, learning for every player”
  • They develop close links with local clubs and schools
  • They provide an extra 6-10 hours training a season for ‘talented’ players which then leads to a very structured pathway of progression
  • Children can continue playing for their local and/or school team

So, what’s the takeaways from this:

  • Evidence suggests that children should take part in multiple sports and avoid specialisation until they reach adolescence (around 13, The American Association of Paediatrics says 15)
  • Offer lot’s of opportunities to they different sports and activities whenever you can
  • The focus should be on fun and enjoyment
  • If they do get an injury, seek professional advice. That may need specific guidance on an exercise programme, training programme and activity modification to help them

You can read another great article on the subject here.

benefits of playing multiple sports for children

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To tape or not to tape?

Posted on 26th February 2018 by

When it comes to tape, taping and strapping, things can get a little confusing due to the shear number of different tapes on the market, application methods, reported effects, when to use them, etc.

This blog aims to shed some light on four of the most common tapes out there by describing what they are, why you’d use each them and at what times to use them.

First up, Leukotape Leukotape at goPhysio Taping

  • Used for stabilising joints following injury or during rehabilitation to prevent reoccurrences.
  • Also used to offload painful structures such as irritate knees or hips.
  • This is a non-stretchy, 100% rigid tape that will cause a decrease in range of motion when applied correctly.
  • It has a high adhesive strength which allows it to stick well to skin, and even better to hyperfix (white underlay).
  • It’s 100% cotton which makes it skin-friendly, handy for hikers or runners looking to avoid blisters.
  • Drawbacks: non-elastic and range limiting.

Zinc Oxide Tape Zinc Oxide Tape goPhysio Taping

  • Similar to Leukotape, this white tape offers a little more comfort but with the same rigid properties.
  • Used to protect and stabilise joints for injury prevention.
  • Lighter and less bulky than a brace, this tape will conform to the shape of a joint to provide support.
  • Very popular in climbers to protect the joints of the hand and fingers.
  • Drawbacks: restrictive, range limiting and ineffective if used on oily or sweaty skin.

Kinesiology Tape (K Tape)

  • A popular cotton-based, water-resistant tape with various effects on the applied tissues.
  • This is the colourful tape you often see on athletes or sports people. K Tape goPhysio Taping
  • Lymphatic effects: creates a vertical lift from underlying tissues which decompresses the space between the skin and the muscles. This facilitates blood flow, fluid drainage (management of bruising) and the removal of pain-provoking chemicals from injured tissues.
  • Mechanical effects: longitudinal stretch of up to 180% provides stability and elastic resistance to muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • Neurological effects: creates a stimulus on the skin that reduces pain signals received by the brain (pain-relief). The vertical lift will also reduce pressure on free nerve endings to help reduce pain levels.
  • Drawbacks: can cause skin irritation if applied incorrectly. Can occasionally cause allergic skin reactions. Application can be complex. Research on the effectiveness of this tape is inconclusive.

Dynamic Tape 

  • A synthetic material (nylon and lyrca) with 4-way stretch.
  • Strong elastic properties make this the ultimate biomechanical tape, with stretch capabilities of up to 200% of it’s resting length.
  • Great adhesion means it will last longer, even when worn during vigorous exercise or in the shower.Dynamic Tape goPhysio Taping
  • When applied correctly this tape will offload injured tissues and offer elastic resistance when performing exercise.
  • This purely biomechanical, load-absorbing tape reduces the force on injured tissues, assists weak muscles, provides support during eccentric loading and improves movement patterns.
  • This tape can also lift the skin if applied accordingly, to facilitate the removal of bruises or relieve tension on underlying structures.
  • Drawbacks: can cause skin irritation and the stronger dynamic tape (eco tape) can reduce mobility quite considerably.

So, in a nutshell……

  • Opt for Leukotape or Zinc Oxide to immobilise and protect joints, the latter offering slightly more comfort but being less durable.
  • Choose K Tape for its range of potential effects, but remember that it lacks strong elastic properties to facilitate movement with any real support.
  • If you need strong, elastic support choose Dynamic Tape. It can be applied in a number of ways to work just as muscles do, which supports tissues and improves movement patterns.

If you have any doubt on the application or desired effects of taping, make an appointment to see one of our team at our clinic in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire. Just give us a call on 023 8025 3317.

 

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Cut out the middle man

Posted on 1st February 2018 by

In a recent survey we carried out of the people attending our clinic, we found their key frustrations when dealing with health care providers wasPhysiotherapy self referral

  1. Having to wait for an appointment
  2. Availability of appointments

Thankfully, there’s a way forward. Self referral. With physiotherapist being the experts in effectively diagnosing and treating a huge range of painful conditions; from back pain to calf tears, post surgical recovery to sports injuries, arthritis to growing pains. For musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries, a physiotherapist is your best first point of call. Regulated medical practitioners in their own right, you don’t need to be referred by a middle man – you can refer yourself.

So many people still see their GPs as the ‘gate keepers’ to their care, and in many instances this still holds true. But with MSK injuries, this in’t always the best way. If you have an MSK pain or injury, seeing your GP first will only result in the following:

  1. Waiting time to see your GP, which can be weeks if it’s not urgent
  2. Taking time off work to see your GP during their opening hours
  3. A brief consultation with your GP, who will often recommend resting and/or medication as a first line of action
  4. Possibly referral to an NHS Physiotherapist, which again can be weeks if not months

So, whats the alternative if you’ve got an MSK injury? You can pick up the phone from 8am 6 days a week (until 8pm Monday – Thursday) or hop onto your computer 24/7 and book online to see one of our specialists.

The result

  • You’ll get an appointment to see one of our experts, normally within 24 hours if not the same day
  • You’ll come away with a diagnosis and pro-active treatment plan to resolve your individual injury tailored around your lifestyle
  • You’ll be back doing what you love doing, free from pain, quickly

So, not only does this save you lot’s of angst, worry, waiting and frustration, it significantly helps reduce the burden on the NHS, freeing up their resources to help ‘sick’ people. Your GP does not have to be the ‘middle man’, you can refer yourself directly to physiotherapy.

“GP’s are not hands on when making a diagnosis and lack expertise in different areas – no reflection on GPs, but they are not the experts”

Mrs P, goPhysio Patient, January 2018

 

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Should I run through pain?

Posted on 22nd January 2018 by

In my experience, I’ve found many runner’s to have a high pain threshold, which can be a help when you’re a runner. However, deciding whether to run through pain is a dark art and filled with many pitfalls!

So, in this blog, I’d like to help you avoid unnecessary injuries and share with you some insider information built up over a lifetime of clinical practice treating runners, offering you some clarity and debunking these myths related to running through pain:

Pain is weakness leaving the body!

Pain is a sensation and all sensations are pleasurable, so enjoy the pain!

No pain no gain!

So, “should I run through pain?” Well, in a nutshell it depends on what type of pain you’re experiencing. Broadly speaking there are 2 types of pain related to running and it’s crucial to be able to distinguish between the main 2 types.

1. Delayed onset of muscle soreness, also known as DOMS for short, which is a normal part of any successful exercise training programme. It’s often described as “heavy legs” and in runners is mostly felt as a broad, dull, heavy, ache in the large propulsion muscles of the leg i.e. gluteals, quadriceps or claves.

DOMS is often experienced the day after a run, when you’ve increased the mileage or done a hard hill or speed session, when you are doing day-to-day tasks that work those muscles, such as getting out of a chair or walking downstairs. It’s entirely normal and desired for the training effect.

Physiologically, one way to describe what’s happening within the muscle in DOMS is that during the harder exercise session, you get microscopic tears within the exercised muscle. The body is then in a phase where it’s laying down new muscle fibres, increasing muscle cross sectional area (getting larger) and increasing strength and endurance, hence the desired “training effect”. It normally peaks day two after the exercise session and then subsides. Read more about DOMS here.

2. Pain as a result of injury This type of pain is undesirable as any part of a training programme. Unless there is a definite memorable traumatic incident whilst out running either a slip, trip or fall (which you would be able to remember), all other running injuries can be classified as overuse injuries.

By their very nature, overuse injuries, will start gradually and mostly occur when there is a perfect storm of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Intrinsic (Internal) Injury Factors

These are factor internal to your body, namely:

  • A recent increase in body weight
  • Your running technique
  • Poor or altered foot & lower limb biomechanics
  • Long term muscle imbalance
  • Muscle strength & control
  • Muscle flexibility

Extrinsic (External) Injury Factors

These are factors that are external to your body and focus generally around your training parameters, namely:

  • Running volume – frequency, duration or distance
  • Running intensity and speed
  • Running terrain – hilly or flat, road or off-road
  • Inadequate warm-up
  • Running footwear

When we assess runners at goPhysio we will often find a unique mix of these factors. When combined together, they lower their body’s loading capacity or ability to cope with the demands that are being placed on their body. This results in the body complaining, often with a sharper, more niggling pain, where injury has occurred. An important part of our job as physiotherapist’s is to prioritise which factors, if addressed, will give the quickest, best outcome i.e. return to running symptom free long term.

However, if you continue to mindlessly run on this type of sharper pain without addressing the predisposing factors, it will likely worsen in severity and frequency, being felt earlier into a run and to a greater severity, eventually limiting your ability to run.

At this stage, what is usually happening physiologically, is the DOMS described above has developed into pain from injury. The micro-trauma, if left unaddressed, becomes inflammation, pain and eventually an injury.

So, if you think you’re experiencing these worsening, sharper symptoms over 2-3 runs in a week to 10 day period, stop and seek an expert physiotherapy assessment to identify, modify and remove all the predisposing factors getting you back to painfree running quickly!

Happy Running and don’t enjoy the pain!

By Paul Baker, Clinical Director of goPhysio


Running injury? When to get help and who to see!

Posted on 18th January 2018 by

Injuries are part and parcel of sport, exercise and running. But when is it OK to manage the injury yourself and when do you need to get help?

Firstly, our bodies are designed to heal naturally from injury over a period of a few weeks, depending on the severity of the injury and nature of the condition.

However, being sensible is the key. If we fall and suddenly we have a swollen, painful, red/bruised limb, then we should seek immediate attention in A&E or a walk in centre. If you’re unsure which to use, calling 111 to get a healthcare professional to help you with all your enquiries.

However, if you’re suffering with a less severe or ongoing overuse injury in your soft tissues (muscle, tendon, ligaments) or joints, which is taking a long time to settle i.e. lower back pain, knee pain, or a sports injury,  then seeing your G.P. or a Physiotherapist, is your best option.

Unfortunately, the reality waiting to see your GP if you’ve got an injury only serves to delay your recovery. Most will advise rest in the first instance and maybe painkillers, and ask you to come back in 6 weeks if it isn’t better (sound familiar?). Have a look at a previous blog post we wrote ‘The magic 6 weeks‘.

Eventually they may refer you to an NHS physio, and there’ll be more waiting for an appointment, which can be up to 18 weeks or more locally! That’s 6 months plus of potential pain, suffering and not doing some of the things you enjoy.

However, most private Physio’s accept direct referrals, minimising any hold ups in your treatment, giving you peace of mind and a positive action plan, without any delays. Clinically, physiotherapy is justified from day 1 of an injury – competitive and elite sports men and women will have immediate physio.

However, for the general population, the ideal time to see a physiotherapist will depend on the severity and nature of your condition and your aims and goals.

If you have a severe painful injury that stops you from running (or exercising) and you’re due to run a marathon event in 4 weeks – immediate Physio is crucial.

If an injury stops you from going to work and you’re self employed – immediate physio is highly cost effective! We see so many people that can’t work because of an injury and if they aren’t getting paid, the cost of private treatment to get them back to work quicker is actually very cost effective.

If you have minor injury that is improving steadily, you can avoid the aggravating factors and don’t mind not being so active for a while, then you could attempt to self treat your injury. However, with this comes the potential risk of re-injury when you return to the causative activities.

If your injury isn’t improving and you want to get back to a high level of activity, i.e. golf x 2 weekly or gardening, then Physio is important to help you return to your activities and prevent re-injury.

There’s an old, well known saying “time is the best healer”, but where injury is concerned, this is a myth!

Essentially, if your injury is not improving within 5-7 days, you need to see an adequately qualified and experienced physiotherapist. The longer you delay seeing someone, taking the ‘wait & see approach’, the longer it will take you to get better and the more it will cost you in pain, effort, time, money and frustration at not doing the things you enjoy.

Who to see?

We understand there’s an overwhelming choice of healthcare providers and it can be a stressful experience choosing which therapy or clinic is best for you. The lines between different therapies are merging, making your choice of therapy and clinic more complex as Chiropractor’s give exercises, Physio’s do manipulations and Personal Trainers do rehabilitation.

From your perspective we’re all the same – you just want to see someone who can get you better! A good clue when deciding which profession to see, is to consider who the professionals use to look after their bodies? In professional sports, from cycling to football, rugby to the Olympics, it’s a Chartered Physiotherapist that is trusted to sort out injuries, they’re the ones you’ll see run out onto the pitch. There’s obviously a good reason for this. Physiotherapy is also the 3rd largest health profession in the UK after Doctors and Nurses.

Physiotherapy is a proven strategy for in the first instance, easing the worries and concerns of people suffering from aches, pain and stiffness. And then helping that person move freely again, bending further, stretching easier, feeling healthier and stronger and living an active, fulfilled lifestyle into their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond.

Here at goPhysio we will offer you an appointment within 24 hours of you getting in touch. It’s YOU that matters and for that reason our care is focused on listening to you, solving your injury problems and achieving your goals.

The sooner you take the time and effort to invest in your health and wellbeing with physiotherapy, you’ll be back doing all the things you enjoy.

If you need a solution to your running injury, don’t delay – you can book your appointment online here now.


 


Hot OR cold?

Posted on 16th January 2018 by

It’s a common dilemma, you’ve picked up an injury but aren’t sure whether to put ice on it or use heat? Both can be great at relieving pain from an injury, but in some instances it’s better to use heat and in others cold.

So, take a look at our quick reference to guide you!

Hot or cold for injury

This article provides general advice and does not replace individual medical advice. Before you treat an injury yourself, if you are concerned about your symptoms or have specific questions, please seek appropriate medical attention.

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Physiotherapist or Sports Therapist?

Posted on 29th September 2017 by

Being able to offer a range of services and solutions to your injury problems all under one roof, is The Chartered Society of physiotherapists something we’re very proud to offer here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford.

This means a range of professionals who are best placed to help you with your injury concerns. We have a great team on board here and we often get asked;

“Who’s there best person to see? A Physiotherapist or Sports Therapist?

The short answer is, that both professionals are highly trained and experienced to treat your injury. The types of injuries people come to see us for here at goPhysio are called musculoskeletal (MSK) problems. So those issues affecting bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments etc. such as back pain, sports injuries, whiplash, overuse injuries and such. There are some key similarities and differences in their training and approach.

In this article we aim to explain more about these 2 professions, to help guide you to seeing the most appropriate person to get you back doing what you love.

Physio’s and Sports Therapists have both had to complete a degree or masters qualification at University, so are highly educated in assessing MSK problems and applying a wide range of treatments to effectively resolve your pain and injury. Both focus on restoring, maintaining and maximising movement alongside relieving the pain of your injury and optimising your quality of life.

Both Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Assess and diagnose your MSK injury
  • Formulate and deliver customised and effective treatment and rehabilitation plans to optimise your recovery from injury
  • Use a variety of treatment techniques to relieve your pain and help resolve your injury
  • Educate and advise people on management of long term MSK conditions
  • Support you with getting active and staying fit and well
  • Get you back doing what you love, free from pain or injury
  • Help you improve physical performance
  • Prevent injury or recurring injuries

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy are both protected titles, so individuals have to have completed an approved degree or masters course and meet and maintain strict standards set out by the HCPC in order to use this title.

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. Physiotherapists help people of all ages affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists

During their training, Physiotherapists will learn how to manage a variety of different conditions associated with different systems of the body and different client groups. This includes orthopaedics, neurology, cardiovascular, respiratory, elderly, children and women’s health. Once they are qualified, they may choose to specialise in any one of these areas and work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, sports clubs, private clinics and industry. Subsequently, they have a very wide and varied knowledge base and experience.

Sports Therapy

Sports Therapists are experts in musculoskeletal disorders. Their degree course focuses on the musculoskeletal system and treating pain and injury throughs hands on treatments and rehabilitation.

Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. It utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work. The Society of Sports Therapists 

Despite the name, Sports Therapists don’t just see people with sports injuries. At the end of the day, an injury is an injury, however you’ve suffered it. Whether you’ve sprained your ankle out shopping or playing football, a Sports Therapist is well equipped to help you.

In Summary

  • Both Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists are trained to a high level to expertly assess, diagnose and help with your injury recovery.
  • Physiotherapists have a broad based training, so if you have a more complex history or other medical conditions, that need to be considered, they may be the better person to see.
  • Sports Therapists will be well equipped to support your full return to sport, focusing very much on rehabilitation and high level exercise if this is your goal.

Both professions will have taken different paths after graduating, so you may find a Sports Therapist who’s taken a less ‘sporty’ path in their profession, just as you may find a Physio who’s specialised in sports. So, be guided by your needs and the individual experience of the clinicians available to see.

The important thing is, that your form a good relationship with your Clinician, you can communicate with them well and you feel the benefit from their treatment programme and plan.

If you’d like further advice who to see for your injury, then please do get in touch.

 

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World Physical Therapy Day 2017

Posted on 8th September 2017 by

Today, 8th September is World Physical Therapy Day. The day is an opportunity for Physiotherapists from all over the world to raise awareness about the crucial contribution the profession makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.

The overarching theme for World Physical Therapy Day each year is ‘Movement for Health’. This year, the message is “Physical activity for life”, highlighting the important role that physiotherapists play in healthy ageing.

There are well evidenced guidelines for the amount of recommended physical activity for adults aged 18–64. Physical activity includes leisure time physical activity (for example: walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming), transportation (e.g. walking or cycling), occupational (i.e. work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities.

In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, reduce the risk of NCDs and depression:

  • Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  • Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  • For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

Why do Physiotherapists play such an important role in supporting physical activity?

We play a crucial role in both keeping and improving people’s activity levels. “If you’re injured or in pain, the first thing people tend to do is rest” says goPhysio’s Clinical Director, Paul Baker. “GP’s often use this as their first line of advice. But rest isn’t always the best way to recover from an injury. We aim to help people stay as active as they can whilst they recover – be it alternative activities or modifications.”

“People often get scared to move if they’re in pain, so we reassure people and give them the confidence that movement is OK. When this is done early on, it prevents so many potential secondary issues evolving.”

“We also help and encourage people to try things that they may not think possible, particularly the older section of patients we see.”

Our Positive Steps classes for example are specifically designed for over 60’s, so they can gain confidence exercising in a friendly, supportive environment. We also offer a range of Clinical Pilates classes, great for improving strength and balance. Everything we offer at goPhysio is led by clinical experts, so they are in the unique position of bering able to focus not only on fitness and wellbeing but also combining this with knowledge and expertise in injury and health conditions.Physical activity guide

 

If you’d like to improve your physical activities, but are limited by pain, injury or confidence, then please do get in touch to find out how we could help you.

#Worldptday

 


Sever’s Disease

Posted on 13th August 2017 by

What is Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s isn’t really a ‘disease’ as such. Sever’s is an inflammation of the growth plate at the back of the heel, which occurs in growing, adolescent children.

What causes Sever’s?

As children go through their ‘growth spurts’, bones will grow faster than muscles and tendons. Because of this, in Sever’s, the tendon at the back of the heel (Achilles tendon) pulls at the heel bone. Thus, due to repetitive stress, it is particularly common in active children.

Sever's Disease How is Sever’s diagnosed?

Sever’s is pretty easy to diagnose through a thorough assessment. The history, your symptoms and the pattern of the problem will paint a picture that leads to the diagnosis. A thorough assessment involves matching the symptoms reported to a physical examination of the heels, alongside discussing activity level and participation in sports.

What might Sever’s feel like?

Sever’s presents as pain in the back of the heel, often present in day to day activities such as walking, and made worse during or after physical activity – especially sports involving running and jumping.

How do the symptoms of Sever’s progress?

The pain caused by Sever’s tends to be directly linked to activity levels. What’s most frustrating about this is that it’s often the most active kids that suffer with it, so limiting their activity can be quite distressing.

The condition may get worse and may be more difficult to treat if you ignore the symptoms and carry on high levels of activity through it. Therefore, without the correct management, the symptoms of Severs can persist until growth stops. Whilst there is no direct treatment that can stop the pathology of Severs, there are many things physiotherapy can do to help relieve and manage the symptoms.

What is the best treatment for Sever’s?

One we have a diagnosis of Severs, we will really focus on helping your child manage the condition.

This can include:

  • Advice on pain relief and managing the symptoms
  • Guidance on sport and activity modification, a term we call ‘relative rest’
  • Exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles in the lower limb, foam rolling can be great
  • Shoe modifications, such as heel pads that cushion the heel as it strikes the ground, heel lifts that reduce strain on the Achilles tendon by raising the heel, or arch supports that hold the heel in an ideal position

The outlook for Sever’s 

The sooner Sever’s is managed, the quicker recovery can be, and with correct management, the condition usually goes away within a few months. The problem does not cause problems later in life.

Related injuries

Severs in very similar in nature to Osgood Schlatter’s of the knee. However, other conditions we consider when children present with heel pain include:

Severs Case Study 

11 year old Joe came to see us complaining of a 3 month history or worsening heel pain. Joe was an extremely enthusiastic grass roots football player, training and playing 4 times a week. He’d recently started trampolining, which he loved! However, his heel pain was starting to get so severe, it was limiting his ability to play football, with him often limping off the pitch after 30 minutes.

When he came to see us, we found he had:

  • A significant tender spot on both heels
  • Naturally flattened arches in his feet
  • Very tight, painful and tense calf muscles

Joe’s Management 

The first steps we took, were to educate and reassure Joe about his condition. Sometimes this reassurance and understanding can be a turning point in recovery – it isn’t anything serious and it will get better!

We taught Joe’s parents a treatment protocol, called The Strickland Protocol. This is a set and timed programme of rest, muscle release and re-introducing activity and stretching.

Joe was advised a short period of complete rest from any impact activity (with the reassurance of the long term gains of this) with a gradual re-introduction. In Joe’s case, he was advised to stop trampolining and football completely for a few weeks, to try and help settle his symptoms as they were so severe. He started a daily treatment programme at home that his parents could help with – the aim of this was to reduce tension of calf muscles and start to reduce the pull on his heel bone. He also used ice on his heels and painkillers when necessary to ease the pain.

As his symptoms eased, stretching and foam rolling of his calf muscles was started and activity was carefully re-introduced.

It was concluded that trampolining was likely to have been one of the main triggers of his problem. Given that returning to football was his upmost priority, it was decided in conjunction with his parents that returning to trampolining was not advisable. Instead, Joe started swimming regularly. The benefits of this were that swimming would help maintain and improve his fitness, whilst being low impact and not irritating his heel pain. He gradually increased his football playing time, using pain levels as a guide and building on time gradually.

We also guided him on his choice of footwear – to wear supportive and cushioned trainers and school shoes and a really good, supportive football boot. Many of the football shoes that are now on the market look great but offer absolutely no cushioning or support. Particularly astro boots, which are like running around on a piece of cardboard! Joe opted for a traditional leather boot, which offered much more support. He was advised to minimise playing in astro boots as much as possible.

It has taken almost a year of guided management for Joe to return fully to normal activity free from pain. What has reassured Joe and his parents is that they understand what’s going on, have made the right informed choices to help recovery and enabled Joe to get back to doing what he loves, playing football! Much of this management was advice and education and Joe doing a regular programme of exercises himself at home.

Had he not had the right advice, Joe could have gone down a route of spiralling inactivity and developed secondary issues – not only physical but also psychological, if he couldn’t play football.

If you’d like some advice on managing Sever’s or any other growing pains, give us a call on 023 8025 3317. 


 

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