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Osteoarthritis & How Pilates Can Help You

Posted on 1st August 2019 by

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 10 million people in the UK alone. OA can cause joint pain and discomfort where the smooth surface of the joints wears away over time, often referred to as “wear and tear”. Knees and hips are 2 of the most commonly affected joints.

Pilates for arthritis

If you have pain caused by OA, you can enter a bit of a negative cycle, where your pain stops you being so active or makes you fearful of activity, you move and exercise less and your muscles become weaker and your joints stiffer. This in turn can cause your more symptoms.

However, research has shown that exercise is the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and increasing movement in patients with OA.

What this means is that it is perfectly safe and in fact, highly recommend to continue exercising and being active, even when you have pain or stiffness with your OA. If you’ve never exercised, starting activities that will strengthen your muscles will be extremely helpful.

Pilates is an excellent choice of exercise for people who have OA, as it is a gentle, low impact-based exercise, that combines weight-bearing with range of movement and strengthening exercises. Pilates can also be adapted to suit each person, tailoring the exercises to each person’s abilities within the limits of their movement and pain.

By having stronger muscles supporting the joints, you will be able to move and function more efficiently, which longer term will reduce the level of pain and discomfort you may experience. Over time, you may find that this has an impact on other activities, such as walking further or being able to climb the stairs more comfortably.

Physio and Pilates Instructor Kim, has put together some beginner level Pilates exercises you could try if you have OA in your knees or hips.

#1 Clam Level 1

  1. Lie on your side with your shoulders and hips stacked, with your underneath arm outstretched in alignment with your trunk. Ensure your back is in neutral and your centre is engaged. Bend your hips to approx.45 degrees and bend your knees to 90 degrees.
  2. INHALE to prepare.
  3. EXHALE, lift the top knee upwards keeping the feet together.
  4. INHALE, lower the top knee onto the bottom leg.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

#2 Hip Twist Level 2

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre engaged.
  2. Place your arms out to the sides just below shoulder height, palms facing upwards. Connect your legs together and hold a small block or light book between your knees.
  3. INHALE to prepare.
  4. EXHALE, roll both knees to the right, continue to roll your pelvis, waist and then lower back towards the right. Finally, roll your head and neck towards your opposite shoulder, keeping your neck long.
  5. INHALE and hold.
  6. EXHALE, roll your head and neck back to the midline. Finally, roll your lower back, waist, pelvis and then legs back towards the midline.
  7. Repeat alternating sides.

#3 One Leg Stretch Level 1

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre Engaged.
  2. INHALE to prepare.
  3. EXHALE, slide your left heel forwards along the floor.
  4. INHALE, slide your left heel back along the floor.
  5. Repeat alternating legs.

#4 Scissors Level 1

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre Engaged.
  2. INHALE to prepare.
  3. EXHALE, slide your right foot inwards towards your sitting bone and float this leg into tabletop.
  4. INHALE and hold the tabletop position.
  5. EXHALE, lower your right leg to the mat.
  6. Repeat alternating legs.

If you have OA and would like some guidance and support on exercising, getting more active and what it’s recommended you do to help you be active with OA, please give us a call on 023 8025 3317 to have a chat.


Back Pain: Britain’s Unseen Crisis

Posted on 1st March 2019 by

back pain itv

It was very refreshing to finally see some positive, mainstream media coverage about back pain on ITV last night.

For so long now, there has been much scaremongering, misinformation and fear surrounding the best way to manage back pain and unfortunately this has become ingrained in people’s minds. Professionals like ourselves, who see people with back pain day in day out, have been battling to dispel the myths surrounding back pain for so long. So, maybe the message is finally getting through!

So, what were the key messages that the programme promoted?

  • Surgery is often not the answer. For the vast majority of people it’s about rehab getting active and getting fit. Less than 1% of people with back pain might be considered for surgery.
  • 1 in 5 people who have an X-ray or scan for back pain do so unnecessarily. Having a scan when you don’t need it may actually make things worse, as normal signs of ageing can be misinterpreted. An MRI scan is not always needed to find out what’s going on, it’s not a picture of pain, it’s a picture of normal ageing changes.
  • It’s not easy to uncover what causes back pain.
  • There isn’t a quick fix solution.
  • Painkillers and rest are no longer recommended treatments for back pain.
  • Our progressive lack of movement and activity are a key factor in our back pain epidemic.
  • Spines LOVE movement!
  • We need to incorporate movement throughout the day into our lives, NOT just in intensive bursts of exercise like going to the gym, for a run or an exercise class.
  • The back is a strong and robust structure, we need to trust it and not be afraid of pain.
  • Sedentary lifestyles must be tackled in childhood to create her;thy lifelong habits and help prevent back pain. Keeping fit and healthy at an early age might be a way of future proofing our backs.

Some Back Pain Facts:

  • There are almost 10 million people in the UK suffering with lower back pain
  • It’s one of there most common reasons for days taken off work
  • Back pain accounts for over 30 million lost working days a year
  • Back pain affects up to 80% of us

You can watch ITV’s Tonight – Back Pain: Britain’s Unseen Crisis here until the end of March 2019.

Read more about back pain

Low back pain & sciatica, the latest NICE guidelines

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

How to live an active, healthy lifestyle free from back pain



Can exercise help reduce migraines?

Posted on 3rd September 2018 by

Migraines are very common and research suggests that 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day for Exercise migraine goPhysioeach million of the general population. This equates to over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK.

More than three quarters of migraineurs experience at least one attack each month, and more than half experience severe impairment during attacks

The cause for Migraines is not yet clear, it is thought there may be a link to genetics. Migraine is ranked globally as the seventh most disabling disease among all diseases (responsible for 2.9% of all years of life lost to disability (YLDs) and the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders.

Some of the most common symptoms alongside headache are nausea, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and disability.

Recently, data from the research has been suggesting that moderate regular exercise can be an effective way to reduce the frequency of the attacks.

One of the reasons why it is thought that exercise may help sufferers of migraine, is because exercise stimulates your body to release natural pain controlling chemicals called endorphins and natural anti-depressant chemicals called enkephalins. Engaging in a well-planned, regular exercise program could help you to reduce your migraine medication needs, particularly medication taken daily to prevent migraine.

Krøll et all (2018) concluded that aerobic exercise consisting of bike/cross-trainer/brisk walking for 45 minutes, three times/week significantly reduced the impact of tension-type headache and neck pain. It helped reducing migraine frequency, pain intensity and duration.

Migraines are a very complex subject that requires a multifactorial approach in order to understand what is triggering the symptoms, how the symptoms behave and what’s the best treatment to reduce them/prevent them from happening. Exercise for some people can be a trigger for migraines, so embark on any new routes gradually and carefully. Read more about this here.

If you’d like some support in starting exercise or increasing your exercise levels, do get in touch. We offer a range of ways to support and help you on your journey.

References

Lotte Skytte Krøllet all (2018) – Theeffects of aerobic exercise for persons with migraine and co-existing tension-type headache and neck pain. A randomized, controlled, clinical trial

H. Hanssenet all (2017) – Effects of different endurance exercise modalities on migraine days and cerebrovascular health in episodic migraineurs: A randomized controlled trial

 

 

 

 

 


The Common Sense Guide to Exercise & Movement

Posted on 24th August 2018 by

The benefits of exercising, moving more and being active are undeniable. We must hear and see articles, posts and headlines about this on a daily basis. But sometimes it can all seem a bit daunting – what’s best to do, how often, why, is it enough, is it too much….???? So many questions! It’s sometimes so overwhelming that it seems easier not to do anything.

So, when we saw this great Common Sense Guide to Exercise & Movement from Cor-Kinetic, it was too good not to share with you. 20 fantastic, simple and easy to follow tips to help guide you to being more active!


Common Sense Movement Exercise Guidelines

If you need any help, guidance or support in your health & wellbeing journey, you can access our wide range of specialist services. These include:

Physiotherapy or Sports Therapy to help you recover from an injury to make sure you can exercise or be as active as you want to be!

Rehabilitation to work on getting you back to your pre-injury condition.

Pilates classes to build your strength, stability and body condition.

Active Ageing Classes, specially designed to help older people gain confidence in exercising in a safe, supported environment.

Please do get in touch to find out more!