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Anyone for tennis?

Posted on 29th June 2017 by

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

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

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

New to tennis?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avoid Injury

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

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

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

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

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

Read More 

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Injuries

#GoHitIt

 

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goPhysio Joint Focus: The Shoulder

Posted on 25th March 2017 by

The shoulder joins the arm to the trunk and is the most mobile, yet unstable joint in the body.

The ‘shoulder complex’ is actually made up of 4 joints

  • The shoulder joint itself known as the Glenohumeral joint. This is a ball and socket type of joint between the head of the upper arm bone or humerus and the glenoid cavity of the scapula or shoulder blade.
  • The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is where the clavicle or collar bone meets the acromion of the shoulder blade.
  • The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is where the clavicle (collar bone) meets the chest bone or sternum.
  • The scapulothoracic joint is where the shoulder blade meets with the ribs at the back of the chest.

Shoulder anatomy

The shoulder joints rely 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 or overuse.

Common Injuries

Here are some of the most common shoulder area injuries and problems we tend to see

  • Rotator cuff injuries and tendonopathies
  • Shoulder impingement or subacromial impingement
  • Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis
  • Muscle and ligament tears
  • Tendon problems such as biceps tendonopathy
  • Traumatic shoulder dislocation
  • Recurrent shoulder dislocation
  • Fractures of the humerus or collar bone
  • Acromioclavicular joint sprains
  • Sternocalvicular joint sprains
  • Bursitis

Shoulder injuries are often associated with certain sports such as swimming or tennis, where a large degree of shoulder flexibility is required, along with repetitive and large movements. The shoulder is prone to overuse injuries.

It can also suffer a wide range of traumatic injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, sprains and tears as a result of a fall, impact or collision during sport or every day life.

There are many physiotherapy treatments that can help with shoulder problems. We always start by carrying out a thorough assessment to find out exactly what’s going on with your shoulder. Once this is established, you’ll start a comprehensive rehabilitation programme. This may be a combination of hands on treatments such as soft tissue work, taping, trigger point release, mobilisations or acupuncture and a big focus on exercises to regain strength, flexibility and endurance in your shoulder. A crucial part of recovery from a shoulder injury is making sure all the joints and muscles are working well together, a key part in preventing any future problems.

If you’ve suffered a shoulder injury or are experiencing pain in your shoulder area, give us a call or book an appointment online at our Chandlers Ford Physiotherapy Clinic in Hampshire.

 


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.


Common Triathlon Injuries

Posted on 31st January 2017 by

Triathlon is a highly demanding discipline, consisting of swimming, cycling and running. It’s an endurance sport which requires suppleness, agility, flexibility and strength throughout the whole kinetic chain, all of which take their toll on the athlete.

Triathletes commonly train between 10-15 hours per week, so injury is normally due to overuse of the body. Additionally, due to the time expended training and competing, participants tend to get less time to recover or sleep as they fit in intensive training regimes around work and/or home commitments. It is particularly important, therefore, to be in the best of health. Eating a high protein diet, facilitating better recovery and building muscle mass, is a smart way to stay ahead.

Common triathlete injuries

Knee Injuries are very common in triathletes, they can be caused by:

  • The excessive forces generated from poor knee over pedal spindle position when cycling, leading to patello-femoral mal-tracking & patellar tendonopathies.
  • The excessive rotational forces through the knee caused by a poor technique in swimming, causing ligament sprains, cartlidge or meniscal problems.
  • Overuse soft tissue injuries caused by excessive heel strike or flattened foot arches, when running i.e. Achilles tendonopathies, shin pain, ilio-tibial band friction syndrome.

Tendonopathies Achilles tendonopathies are one of the most common tri-athlete injury. The achilles tendon tends to shorten on the bike and when transitioning into running, is over-stretched and over time, it becomes overloaded and injured.

Ligament Sprains Affect mainly knees and ankles, sustained through trauma when falling, twisting or landing awkwardly.

Muscle Tears These commonly occur within the explosive accelerating muscles of the lower limb. They frequently occur at the start of a speed or hill session (with inadequate warm-up) or as a runner becomes fatigued towards the end of a session.

Shoulder Injuries 60% of swimming injuries are related to the shoulder, due to repetitive excessive over-rotation and constant overloading of the joint and muscles. This causes impingement (trapping of the soft tissue against the bone), rotator cuff tendonopathies, sub-acromial bursitis, or muscle imbalance, trigger points or an unstable joint.

Neck and Shoulder Injuries With poor alignment on the bike, over-stretching and reaching can cause a build-up of tension within the neck joints and muscles, causing facet joint stiffness, myofascial trigger points, disc injuries and nerve entrapment.

Back Injuries The lumbar spine is often affected, due to the sustained, unnatural flexed position of the cyclist. Long-term overuse lumbar facet joint and disc conditions often occur, as do chronic muscle imbalances, trigger points and painful protective muscle spasm.

Foot and Ankle Injuries Poor running technique (excessive heel strike) or flattened foot arches, can result in shin pain, achilles tendonopathies, ilio-tibial band friction syndrome and back injuries.

Many of the common triathlon injuries can be prevented through education and body conditioning. Making sure you are aware of injury risks and crucially, taking steps to avoid them is the best course of action. This includes:

  • Warming up effectively
  • Being aware of any personal ‘risk’ areas i.e. tightness, weakness, imbalances – and more importantly dressing these
  • Using the right equipment, set up in the best way for you
  • Working on your technique
  • Balancing training with rest and recovery
  • Mixing up your training with other activities, such as Pilates
  • Not ignoring any niggling injuries that may build up

If you suffer with an acute injury or have developed an overuse injury, get in touch with us at goPhysio. Our team of Physio’s are well equipped to help you overcome your injury and build long term, physical durability to help stop you suffering an injury again – getting the best enjoyment from your triathlon!

Read more on cycling injuries, running injuries and runners knee.

 

 


Using Your Tablet Without Pain

Posted on 30th August 2016 by

Tablets are now an integral part of many peoples daily lives. We work, read, shop, socialise and watch TV on them. They’ve got lighter and more portable, so are easy to use single handed and for long stretches of time. But with this great device comes some inherent problems.

Using a tablet can put immense strain on your back, neck, shoulders are arms, which can cause pain and overuse injuries.

  1. Avoid staying in 1 position for long periods of time, instead, adjust positions regularly and move around a bit so that you’re neck, shoulders, arms or hands aren’t having to hold a sustained position. It’s recommended to change position at least every 15 minutes.
  2. Hold your device at eye level which helps keep your neck in a neutral position. Always looking down at your tablet overstretches the back of your neck putting you at risk or neck pain and headaches.
  3. Limit how long you’re using your tablet for. Sounds obvious, but maybe use a timer or an app which helps you time your tablet use. Before you know it you can rack up hours on a tablet which can lead to considerable stress on your body.
  4. Use a stand and key pad to optimise the set up of your device. There are lots of accessories available to use with tablets. These can be used to help you set your device up more like a desktop, where you can use ergonomic principles to help minimise the risk to your body.
  5. Balance tablet use with other activities. If you’ve been on your tablet for a while, have a break and get up and do some stretches, rotating your shoulders and stretching your neck. If you can, go for a brisk walk.

Tablets and mobile devices are likely to continue to grow in popularity, so being mindful about their use and the effects on your body is crucial.


Tennis Injuries

Posted on 2nd July 2016 by

We’re half way through the famous annual Wimbledon Tennis event. It’s such a popular event and Tennis injuries Chandlers Fordcertainly creates a buzz around the sport.

Tennis places huge physical demands on the professionals, which is understandable given the rigorous training and competition they take part in. Yet, for the novice tennis players out there, injuries can be just as problematic.

Common tennis injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears or impingement
  • Low back pain
  • Wrist sprains
  • Calf muscle injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee injuries such as ligament sprain or tendon issues
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Mild to moderate soft tissue injuries can often be well managed at home using P.O.L.I.C.E. principles. However, many tennis injuries result from ‘overuse’ – so an injury that is from a sustained, repeated action, like a tennis grip or swing. If this is the case, you may need help identifying exactly where the problem is stemming from and what changes that are needed. Physiotherapy is an effective way of resolving all of the above common injuries.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have written a summary of the common tennis injuries and how physiotherapy can help.

If injury’s stopping you from enjoying a game of tennis, then get is touch with us at goPhysio. We’ll provide an accurate diagnosis of your injury and a treatment programme that works to get you back in the game.

 


Physiotherapy For Cycling Injuries

Posted on 11th June 2016 by

Bike Week 2016This 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.


 


Drivers – Steer Clear of Pain Behind the Wheel

Posted on 12th February 2016 by

Drivers steer clear of painWe seem to spend more and more hours behind the wheel, driving long distances for work, travelling or ferrying the kids around! Poor ergonomics and sitting in the same position behind the wheel for long periods of time can lead to much discomfort. Back, neck, shoulder and leg pain are all too common complaints.


Top Tips To Avoid Pain
1 – When choosing a new car, take several long test drives before you make your decision. People and cars are different shapes, so you need to find one that fits you best. The seat should be firm and well contoured to suit you. Fabric seats are better at helping you maintain the correct posture than leather.
2 – Set up your driving position to minimise the strain on your body (see below). Remember, if you share the car, adjust the position when the drivers change.
3 – Take regular breaks when you can if you’re doing a long drive. The Highway Code recommends at least a 15 minute break every 2 hours. When you do break, get out, have a walk and do some stretches. Circle your shoulders, rotate your neck and stretch your legs.
4 – Make sure your headrest is adjusted correctly. The top of your headrest should be aligned with the top of your head. This is crucial to minimise any injury to your neck in the event of an accident.
5 – Whilst you are driving, fidget in your seat a little every few minutes. Even some movement helps relieves built up tension.
6 – Keep a symmetrical position. Avoid twisting or bending to the side, habits we easily fall into that put extra strain on the body.


How to set up your driving position
• Start with your seat in the factory position with the steering wheel fully up and forward and your seat set at it’s lowest position with the cushion tilted down.
• Recline the back rest approximately 30 degrees from vertical and the seat positioned right back.
• Now start making the adjustments. First raise your seat as high as comfortable to give maximum vision of the road and adequate head clearance from the roof.
• Move the seat forwards until you can fully depress the foot pedals. Knees should be slightly bent with your left knee remaining bent when clutching.
• Elbows should be bent around 30-40 degrees when your hands are in the ’10 to 2’position.
• Adjust the cushion tilt angle so your thighs are fully supported and there is no pressure behind your knees.
• Recline your seat very slightly so your back is fully supported. If there is a built in lumbar support, adjust this so it provides support in the natural hollow of your back. It may be necessary to use additional lumbar support like a specialist lumbar roll.


Any activity that involves prolonged positions, no matter how good your posture is, can cause excessive strain on the body, that over time can lead to pain or injury. Make sure you take part in a range of physical activities and follow advice to balance out any impact.


If you are suffering with discomfort and you think your driving is playing a part, we can offer individualised guidance and support, including a car assessment to check your driving set up. Just give us a call.


Hypermobility Syndrome

Posted on 30th June 2014 by

Also known as being ‘double-jointed’, hypermobility affects approximately 3 in 10 people. Women are more likely to be affected than men and it is also relatively common in children. Hypermobile joints have a much larger range of movement available than ‘normal’ joints. In some cases, this is an advantage – particularly for gymnasts, dancers and swimmers who need to be super-flexible.

The Beighton Score is a test that can be carried out by a Physiotherapist to determine whether or not someone has hypermobile joints. A score of 4+ out of 9 indicates that an individual may have hyper mobility when combined with other signs & symptoms.Hypermobility syndrome

1- One point if while standing forward bending you can place palms on the ground wit
h legs straight2- One point for each elbow that bends backwards
3- One point for each knee that bends backwards
4- One point for each thumb that touches the forearm when bent backwards
5- One point for each little finger that bends backwards beyond 90 degrees
The majority of people with hypermobile joints experience no issues and are able to continue with life as normal. However, for some people, this additional movement can lead to:

  • Joint pain
  • Dislocated joints
  • Soft tissue injuries – affecting muscles, tendons and ligaments

If this is the case, they may have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS), a connective tissue disorder that often runs in families. People with JHS may also have issues with their autonomic nervous system, leading to fainting, heart palpitations and increased risks of anxiety.

From a management and treatment perspective, ensuring the joints are well supported with either external supports or keeping the surrounding muscle groups strong, can help to reduce the risk of over-stretching the joint and surrounding soft tissue.

If you suffer from hypermobile joints, seeing a Physiotherapist may be beneficial, as they will able to guide you on how to safely exercise and train. They will also be able to prescribe a set of home exercises to strengthen and support the joints more effectively, without damaging them and advise you how to care for your joints.

Read more about hyper mobility syndrome & how physios can help


An Arthritis Overview

Posted on 19th May 2014 by

Arthritis means joint inflammation – arthro = joint and itis = inflammation. It’s an umbrella term used to cover many different types of joint inflammation.

Many people know they have arthritis or have heard of arthritis, but sometimes aren’t sure which one they have or what the different types are. This blog will cover the 4 most common types of arthritis and give you more information on what it is, which joints are affected and how it can be treated.

Physiotherapy has a crucial role in helping all types of arthritis by helping to maximise muscle strength, joint mobility and flexibility and supporting functional independence, so helping you to keep doing the things you enjoy.

Osteoarthritis

This is the most common type of arthritis and tends to develop gradually over time.

What Happens?

The cartilage at the joint becomes worn and rough, sometimes wearing out completely. This leads to osteophytes, or small bony growths, forming at the edges of the joint to try and replace the cartilage. The joint space becomes narrowed and tissues surrounding the joint can thicken. Often, there is inflammation making the joint stiff and painful to move.

Which Joints?

Osteoarthritis is most common in the hands, knees, hips, feet and spine.

How Is It Treated?

Medication: Analgesics for pain relief, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories for reducing inflammation and pain & steroids to reduce severe inflammation.

Surgery: Arthroscopy – to clean out the joint and remove any irritants & in more severe cases, joint replacements – most common in hips and knees.

What Can You Do To Help?

  • Keep mobile
  •  Strengthen muscles to help support joints
  • Learn to pace activities

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is an inflammatory disease, affecting joints and tendons. It tends to present with episodes of ‘flare ups’.

What Happens?

Inflammation usually helps to heal the body, but with Rheumatoid Arthritis, prolonged inflammation causes damage. The immune system starts to attack joints, causing the prolonged inflammation. The joint capsule also becomes inflamed, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.

Which Joints?

Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in the neck, hands and feet.

How Is It Treated?

Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to reduce inflammation and slow the damage being caused. Steroids may be used in severe cases of inflammation.

Surgery: Joint replacement surgery if joint function is lost or at risk.

What Can You Do To Help?

  • Learn to pace yourself and accept help on difficult tasks
  • Speak to an Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist for help with activities of daily living.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This is another form of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine. Ankylosing means stiffening and spondylitis means inflammation of the spine.

What Happens?

The joints in the lower part of the spine become painful and inflamed, where the sacrum joins the pelvis. This inflammation then starts to travel up the spine, affecting vertebra at higher levels. The inflammation causes scar tissue to form in the joint spaces between the vertebra, reducing movement. Over time, the scar tissue may become calcified – turning into a bony-like tissue, which fuses the joints together and limits the available movement in the spine.

Which Joints?

Ankylosing Spondylitis mainly affects the spine, but can also affect the hips and shoulders.

How Is It Treated?

Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to reduce inflammation and slow the damage being caused. Steroids may be used in severe cases of inflammation.

What Can You Do To Help?

  • Keep active
  • Give up smoking – AS can lead to restrictions in rib movements and smoking will reduce lung function further

Gout

This type of arthritis responds well to treatment and further joint damage can be avoided with effective treatment.

What Happens?

Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid crystals building up in the joints. This happens when levels of uric acid are too high in the body – either because more is produced or not being effectively removed as a waste substance. Once the uric acid forms crystals around the joints, there may move into the joint space – this is when the pain, swelling and inflammation starts. It tends to last a few days and then settle, letting the joint return to normal.

Which Joints?

Most commonly affects the big toe joint, but can also affect the ankles, knees, hands, wrists and elbows.

How Is It Treated?

Severe acute attacks will be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For people affected regularly, preventative medication like allopurinol or febuxostat may be given to stop uric acid build up in the body.

What Can You Do To Help?

Drink plenty of water Avoid alcohol and red meat – these can increase uric acid levels