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Love Your Bones – World Osteoporosis Day

Posted on 20th October 2017 by

Today is World Osteoporosis Day.World Osteoporosis day

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones, causing them to become less dense and therefore more fragile and easily broken.

We will naturally lose some bone density as we age but in some people this occurs more rapidly and is then known as osteoporosis or osteopenia (a milder form). This affects more than 3 million people in the UK and its thought 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

You may be at higher risk of osteoporosis if:

  • You have low body weight or history of anorexia
  • You had an early menopause or hysterectomy
  • You don’t get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet
  • You smoke or drink over the recommended limit of alcohol a week
  • You’ve had long course of steroid based medication or cancer treatment

Most people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone but it can be diagnosed by a DEXA scan which looks at your bone density.

If you have osteoporosis your GP may prescribe medications such as alendronic acid which helps slow the breakdown of bone, or calcium and vitamin D supplements which help build new bone. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet and avoid smoking and alcohol are also likely to be beneficial.

Regular weight-bearing and resistance exercises have been shown to help stimulate our bones to grow stronger. The most suitable type of exercise will depend on how much bone density you have already lost, for example younger people with reasonable bone density but several risk factors would benefit from higher impact training such as running, circuit training, tennis and football.

However, if you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis start with lower impact exercises such as walking, Pilates, tai chi, gentle dance classes and lifting light weights to build your bones up more gradually.

Our Positive Steps classes are a perfect place to start, aimed at the over 60’s we combine seated and standing resistance exercises with balance and flexibility work. With 2 levels of class, small numbers and a fun and relaxed atmosphere you’ll be feeling the benefits straight away.

If you are unsure what’s the best type of exercise for you consult your GP or come along and see one of our Physiotherapists.

World Osteoporosis Day

Osteoporosis Fracture Risk

 

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Treatment of Calf Pain in Runners

Posted on 11th August 2017 by

Calf pain for runners is common complaint. Your calf muscles are used extensively and repeatedly during running, so it’s no surprise that sometimes they can become overloaded and develop pain. Here’s a great infographic from Tom Goom from the PhysioEdge series of podcasts, that highlights the recommendations for the treatment of calf pain.

So, what does it mean for you if you’re a runner with calf pain?

  1. Exercise Therapy is a crucial part of the treatment of calf pain. Exercises should be specifically targeted to increase your calf’s capacity for the demands of running. There are some great examples below. Your Physio would be able to identify exactly where any weakness may lie and subsequently advise on the most effective exercises for you. It may not only be your calf muscles that are weak, muscles around your hip and knee support the work of the calves during running, so strengthening these muscles is crucial too. Pilates is great for this! And don’t forget your feet. Working on the static strength of the muscles in your feet that bend your toes can help your running technique.
  2. Neural Mobility is how well your nerves ‘slide’ or move in your body. We all know that our joints and muscles move and stretch but our nerves also have to be able to move freely. When they don’t, this itself can cause pain and restricted flexibility. Reduced neural mobility may not be local to your calf, it could be originating from a more central source (your back/spine). Your Physio would be able to identify whether you have reduced neural mobility and advise on the best exercises to improve neural mobility. It may be that some manual therapy would help too.
  3. Training Loads, so distance, time, speed, terrain, will all have an impact on calf pain. Our aim is to always try and keep you running wherever we can (always keeps runners happy!). So, we offer customised advice in modifying your load to keep you running whilst your calf pain is addressed. This is not always possible though and there are cases where resting from running and doing some specific rehabilitation is essential to your recovery.
  4. Gait Retraining can have a massive impact on recovery and prevention of calf pain. Your running technique and style can improve your efficiency of your running and reduce demands on the structures involved in running. Here at goPhysio we offer a specialist Running Rehab service, where a biomechanical and video running analysis is carried out to guide any beneficial changes to your running technique. Small adjustments to technique can often have a massive impact on your running.

Treatment of calf pain in runners

The trap many runners fall into when they get calf pain is to stop running, rest completely until their pain is gone and then go straight back to their normal running routine. Then they’re frustrated when the pain comes back again and they repeat the cycle. When you pick up an injury, particularly an overuse injury like calf pain, it is crucial to identify and address the cause to prevent the potential long term cycle of injury.

Read More

What’s physiotherapy got do with a dripping tap? Overuse injuries explained.

Top 6 Pilates Exercises for Runners

Top Tips for Injured Runners

Running Rehab Service


New exercise class for back pain sufferers in Chandlers Ford

Posted on 17th May 2017 by

Back pain affects nearly everyone at some point in their life. After stress, back pain is the second most common reason for taking time off of work, with some 4 million working days lost through back pain every year. Unfortunately for some people, back pain can become a recurrent & persistent part of their life.

There isn’t always an obvious cause of back pain, and many factors such as poor posture, working conditions, driving and lifting can all contribute.

Research has shown though that staying physically active is the key to helping back pain. Recent guidelines from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend that regular physical activity & exercise in combination with education can help people manage their low back pain.

It is based on these guidelines that here at goPhysio, we have developed a new educational & exercise course called Active Backs.

Paul Baker, goPhysio’s Clinical Director, says

“So many people we see are afraid to move when they have back pain. They are scared they are going to cause more damage. As long as anything serious has been ruled out, movement is the key to helping improve your back pain in the long term.”

“All the research agrees that by being educated how to manage your back pain and learning how to exercise correctly, you will be able to gain confidence in using your back correctly. This will help you not only reduce your pain but also prevent it coming back again.”

The programme is thought to be the first one of it’s kind in the area. Classes are run every Tuesday from 11.15am – 12.15pm.

Active Backs will include both an educational element, covering weekly topics such as posture, coping strategies and relaxation. It will also include a weekly exercise circuit to help strengthen and stretch your muscles and improve your fitness. Through coming to Active Backs we aim to help you achieve your goals.

The course will be run by one of our dedicated Clinicians and numbers are limited to six, to ensure that everyone receive the individual attention they require. It is going to be held in our new ‘Strong Room’. fully equipped with resistance training, weights, balls and mats, and equipment designed to help you get the most from exercising for your spine.

For details on how to book, please take a look here. All bookings are easily managed online and you can have maximum flexibility with bookings and even combine with some yoga classes.

Read More 

Latest NICE guideline for back pain & sciatica

10 things you need to know about your back

Help I’ve got back pain, what should I do?


 


5 Tips To Survive On The Slopes This Winter

Posted on 28th December 2016 by

Many of us will be packing our bags and heading for the slopes in the new year, but how do we make sure we come back injury free?

#1: Preparation

A week on the slopes can be exciting, exhilarating, and for most of us – completely exhausting! 6-8 hours a day of aerobic exercise requiring good balance, strength and flexibility – it’s often a lot more than our office jobs demand of us! So to get the most out of your holiday start your preparation early – ideally this should begin 6-12 weeks before your fit the slopes depending on your base level of fitness. If you have any niggling injuries try to get them seen to by a physio ASAP before you go to give yourself maximum chance of recovery rather than leaving it until the week before!

Key areas to tackle in your ski-fit workout include:

Aerobic fitness – cycling, running, cross trainers or step machines are great to build up your aerobic capacity and get those legs working at the same time, if your gym has a ‘ski trainer’ machine even better!

Strength training – focus on the quads and gluts with the following exercises:

Skiing Exercises

Step downs: standing with one foot on a step facing forwards, slowing lower yourself down to tap the heel of the other foot to the floor, then bring it back on the step. Try to keep your pelvis level and your standing knee in line with your 2nd toe as you do this!

 


skiing exercises

Lateral step downs: with one foot on a step facing sideways, slowly bend your knee to tap te heel of the other foot to the ground. Try to keep your pelvis level and your standing knee in line with your 2nd toe as you do this!


ski injury prevention exercises

Backward lunges: From a standing position step back into a lunge, dropping the back knee towards the floor. Try to keep your pelvis level and your standing knee in line with your 2nd toe as you do this!


 

Bridge exerciseBridge: Laying on your back, squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips off
the ground, hold for 5 seconds then slowly lower.


Clam exercise

Clam: Lay on one side with your knees bent and feet together, make sure your hips are stacked one on top of the other then slowly lift your top knee and lower.

 


 

Flexibility – ankle and hip flexibility is essential for efficient skiing, try these stretches:

Soleus stretch: Stand with one foot in front of the other, bend both knees until you feel a stretch in the lower part of the calf on the back leg. Hold 30secs.

Soleus stretch


Glut stretch: Lay on your back, cross one foot over the other thigh to feel the stretch in your buttock, to increase this stretch pull that other thigh in towards your chest. Hold 30secs.

glute-stretch


Adductor stretch: Stand with your legs wide apart, lunge to one side taking the weight over the knee, keep both feet facing forwards. Hold 30 secs.

Adductor stretch


#2: Warm up

Preparation done, don’t ruin your hard work by forgetting to warm up before you leave the chalet. Get all your joints (ankles, knees, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders) warmed up by taking them through their full range of motion several times. Squats, lunges, heel raises and upper body twists are all great to start firing those key muscle groups. It’s worth spending a good 5-10minutes on this before you head out, then repeat a couple when you get to the top of that chair lift if it’s been a long ride!

#3: Protection

If you’re carrying an injury be sure to strap yourself up; theres a huge range of knee braces, wrist guards and back protectors on the market so ask your physio if you’re not sure. And don’t forget that helmet!

#4: On the slopes

Remember you are most likely to injure yourself when your muscles are fatigued so regular breaks, good hydration (of the non-alcoholic variety!) and knowing when to call it a day are all essentials to not ruin your holiday on day 1! Well-fitting boots are also key to prevent blisters and sores that will hamper your ski style!

#5: Apres-ski

Stretching for a few minutes before you head to the bar is going to make your next day’s skiing a lot more comfortable, (see stretches above) and remember that alcohol is likely to affect you more at altitude, particularly after a full days exercise, so take it easy!


Self Care Week – helping people take care of themselves

Posted on 14th November 2016 by

This week is Self Care Week. Self Care Week is an annual national awareness week that focuses on Self care week 2016establishing support for self care across communities, families and generations.

More needs to be done to support people to better look after their own health. Empowering individuals to self care has many benefits for their short term and long term health and this is important since people are living longer.

Helping people to look after their own health, and their family’s health also helps to manage demand on health services.

As physio’s we play a key role in helping people manage their health and wellbeing. An integral part of our care is educating people about their injury or condition. This greater understanding and the tailored advice we provide helps people stay active, maintains their independence and helps them take care of themselves. We also incorporate exercise programmes into each and every recovery programme, so you take an active part in your recovery and have tools to help yourself.

Aside from the expert advice and support we give people to manage and resolve their condition, physiotherapy also enables people to take care of themselves better. By tackling painful conditions and injuries, we minimise any periods of prolonged inactivity and help people stay active and become more active – which in turn helps optimise health and wellbeing.

The Self Care Forum have published a couple of informational fact sheets for common ailments that help highlight what you can do to help yourself. These include ones for Sprains and strains & Low back pain.

#selfcareweek #selfcareforlife


Fall-Proof – Exercises for Older People

Posted on 1st October 2016 by

Falls affect one in three people over the age of 65 and one in two people over 80. However that’s not to Older Exercisessay falls are an inevitable part of aging; theres plenty of simple measures that can be taken to prevent or minimise the risk of falling.

Causes of falls can include loss of muscle strength, flexibility and slowed balance reactions which are all associated with ageing (but are all at least partially reversible with a bit of training!). However people also fall for other reasons… medical issues such as blood pressure problems, eyesight problems, dehydration, or simply tripping over in a cluttered house or not switching the light on when you get up to the toilet in the night are all things that can be addressed!

Consequences of falls can vary from bruises and knocked confidence to fractures and loss of independence, so let’s take a look at some common risk factors.

The biggest risk factor is a previous fall, so regardless of whether or not you injured yourself it worth mentioning it at your next GP or physiotherapy appointment so that steps can be taken to prevent it happening again.

Reducing the risk

Simple balance exercises can improve our reaction speed, helping us stay upright when reaching out or up for something. Try practicing your balance in the kitchen by standing on one leg each time you’re waiting for the kettle to boil – holding onto the kitchen worktop for support if you need to.

Strengthening exercises and regular physical activity help counteract muscle loss associated with aging which can be a whopping 30% decline between the age of 50 and 70! The government recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 x week (although this can be broken into smaller chunks if needed). Activities like gardening, housework and brisk walking all count!

Improve your bone density with weight bearing exercises, vitamin D supplements and a healthy balanced diet to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures if you do fall.

Get your GP to review your prescribed medications at least once a year. Some medications can cause dizziness or drops in blood pressure which can increase your risk of falling so talk to your GP if you think you are experiencing any of these side effects. Never stop a medication suddenly without discussing it with your GP first.

Eye sight can deteriorate with age, making it harder to spot any potential trip hazards so having an eye test once a year will ensure you have the correct lens prescription. The optician will also check for glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Eye tests are also free for the over 60’s, so no excuses!

Limit your alcohol intake! It’s well known that alcohol makes you unsteady on your feet at any age but it becomes harder for our bodies to metabolise alcohol as we age, increasing the risk of falling.

Switch the lights on if you are getting up to go to the loo in the night and try and keep your house free of clutter, tacking down loose rugs to minimise trip hazards.

Install grab rails in the bathroom and by any outdoor steps to give you more confidence getting in and out.

Use walking aids such as a stick, rollator frame or even a hiking pole to help with balance when you’re out and about and ensure that you have comfortable well-fitting shoes or slippers.

Top 5 simple exercises to prevent falls

  1. Heel raises – Hold onto a support and push up onto your tiptoes then lower back down. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Toe raises – Hold onto a support and lift your toes off the floor, without sticking your bottom out! Repeat 10 times.
  3. Sit to stand – Sit on the edge of a chair and try to stand up without using your arms. Sit back down slowly, make sure you can feel the chair behind you. Repeat 10 times.
  4. One leg stand – practice your balance on each leg, hold onto a support if you need to. Hold for 10secs and repeat on both legs 3 times.
  5. Side stepping – hold onto a support and take a step to the side and then back to the middle and step to the other side. Repeat 10 times in each direction.

You can have a look at these exercises in a special booklet produced by Saga & The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists – Get Up & Go Exercises, 6 exercises to help you stay steady. There is also another great informative booklet which helps educate about and prevent falls – Get Up & Go, A Guide To Staying Steady. If you’f like a copy of this or the exercises, just pop into the clinic.