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Runners – We Need Your Help!

Posted on 27th February 2018 by

We are trying to find out more about what injured runners do to get back to pain-free running, and would love to hear from you! If you’re interested in helping us out, please take a few moments to answer a couple of questions by clicking here. Many thanks.

The Injured Runner Project

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Overuse Injuries

Posted on 12th February 2018 by

What is an overuse injury?

An overuse injury is normally a chronic injury that gradually occurs over a period of time, rather than a sudden acute traumatic injury. Repetitive trauma to a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon such as a tendinopathy or stress fracture are just a couple of examples of overuse injuries.

What causes overuse injuries?

Overuse injuries are often linked to training overload in athletes, or sudden changes in activities that put stress through the body which they are not used to and therefore overload the soft tissue or bone. When we take up a new hobby, sport or activity or increase training levels/load this will put increased stress onto our body, this will lead the body having to adapt. However, if the body is not given time to adapt and the body is overloaded then this can, in some cases, lead to repetitive ‘microtrauma’ to the tissues. This can be unnoticed for a long time, or thought to be just a muscle ache. Some causes of this include:

  • Poor Technique
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Training overload/level
  • Biomechanics of your foot

What might it feel like?

Depending on the affected tissue or body part will depend on how it will feel. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain that starts initially during a warm up that then eases of and returns at the end of your sport or activity
  • Consistent pinching or sharp pain on specific movements
  • Constant dull ache

How do the symptoms progress?

Overuse injuries can be slow in developing and last a long time. The longer the problem is ignored the worse or more frequent the symptoms can become. This may lead to pain every time you engage in your sport or activity and may also lead to pain/swelling afterwards.

How is it diagnosed?

If you think you may be suffering with an overuse injury, it is important to get an assessment by a physiotherapist or sports therapist. The key to effective management of an overuse injury is accurately identifying exactly what’s causing it and addressing this. This will help to prevent any of those niggles turning into a bigger problem and possibly preventing you doing the sport of activity that you love.

What is the best treatment for overuse injuries?

There are lots of treatments that can be used to help, depending on the injury. Treatment will often start with easing the symptoms of the injury, such as pain and inflammation. In parallel to this, addressing the underlying cause and working on strength and stability to prevent reoccurence is key. Treatments may include:

Outlook

When the underlying issue is addressed and appropriate changes are made, overuse injuries can be solved. They can often be a very frustrating injury, as they inevitably need a bit of rest and trial and error to work out exactly what’s causing the issue. That’s where we come in, seeing an expert can guide you through the puzzle of injury and help get you back doing what you love as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Read More 

Achilles Injuries

Running injuries – The basic principles

Treatment of calf pain in runners

Runners knee (patellofemoral pain)

What’s physiotherapy got to do with a dripping tap?


 


Principles To Managing Running Injuries

Posted on 2nd February 2018 by

This is a great infographic, summarising the key principles that play a part in running injuries, from Physio Edge.

Running Injuries Recommendations

What is load tolerance?

In running terms, a load can be defined as a demand placed upon your body – so this can be training intensity, frequency, distance, duration, terrain etc. All of these parameters, in varying combinations, demand your body to be able to cope with them. These are all external factors.

Tissue capacity is your body’s ability to cope with the demands placed upon it. So that’s how well your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints can tolerate the running loads. This is dependant on your own natural physicality, your biomechanics, strength, flexibility, movement efficiency etc. These are all internal factors.

Load tolerance is the interplay between these 2 factors. So, if your tissue capacity matches the loading, no worries! However, if the loads that you are subjecting your body to in terms of your training exceed your tissue capacity, this is when your body starts to complain. It basically can’t cope with the demands.

So, what can you do to manage running injuries?

Manage your load well

  • Train appropriately for your level
  • Progress loads gradually
  • Vary your training
  • Be realistic
  • Have rest days

Optimise your tissue capacity

  • Incorporate strength and conditioning work into your training
  • Cross train – swimming, cycling and Pilates are great examples
  • Have your running style analysed and take professional advice
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Have a biomechanics assessment if you think that there may be issues with your foot position
The Injured Runner Project
We are trying to find out more about what injured runners do to get back to pain-free running, and would love to hear from you! If you’re interested in helping us out, please take a few moments to answer a couple of questions by clicking on this image. Many thanks.

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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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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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Top Festive Tips From Our Team

Posted on 12th December 2017 by

We’ve got our team together and are sharing our top tips for you this festive season. To help keep you healthy and happy in the build up to Christmas.

Sports Massage Therapist, Cameron, kicks off with a little joke (we’ll let you watch that to find out what it is!!)

Fiona – a Physio by training, Fiona now focuses her time co-ordinating ‘behind the scenes’ at goPhysio. Fiona’s top tip is to try not to be tempted to do all your Christmas shopping online. Getting out into towns or Christmas markets can help build some great activity into your day, you’d be amazed at the number of steps you can clock up. Carrying bags, loading parcels in and out of the car and house are all fantastic strength building activities too!

Physio Hugo, reminds us to think about your core when you’re lifting (especially those supersize bars of Toblerone!). Sometimes over Christmas we have to lift heavy or awkward items that our body isn’t used to doing (Christmas trees or big gifts), so activating those tummy muscles can help support your back a little when doing these sorts of activities.

Sports Therapist, Francesca, advises us to stay hydrated (with water!) – something many people overlook. Lot’s of sips throughout the day is the best way. Our team like these bottles from Hydratem8 that remind you to drink plenty and regularly (a great Christmas gift too).

Physio Kim has a great tip, that whilst you’re standing around over the festive period, be it in queues, cooking, washing up, at carol services……..try some balance exercises. Simply standing on one leg is a great way to build up your balance and make use of standing time. You could also do simple heel raises (going up onto you’re tip toes) on both or one leg, to strengthen your calf muscles, or little knee bend squats to work your leg muscles.

Our Clinical Director, Paul, advises you to put yourself first. We can be so busy at this time of year that we overlook our own needs. As Paul says, we get so many panicked phone calls at the last minute with people wanting help with pain or an injury urgently. If you have an ongoing niggle or injury and want to get it sorted before Christmas, then give us a call. Equally, many people find themselves with extra time off over the Christmas period, so this is an excellent opportunity to invest in yourself and see one of our Physio’s, Sports Therapists or Massage Practitioners to see how they might be able to help you.

Physio Roz advises to make sure you don’t skip your sleep! Sleep is so important to health and wellbeing. The festive season often brings with it much socialising and late nights, so if you’ve got a night in, make the most of it and recharge your batteries by getting an early night!

And finally, Sports Therapist Tom recommends that if you’re sitting for extended, lengthy periods of time – be it in the car travelling to see people or lounging on the sofa, look after your posture. You can use a cushion, towel or specialist lumbar roll to provide some extra support in your lower back if you need it. Even better still, try not to stay in one position for too long, change position regularly, get up and move about and get out in the crisp winter air for a walk.

All of us at goPhysio wish you a very happy and healthy Christmas. If you need our help over this time, we’ll be open apart from the bank holidays or you can make a booking online here.

goPhysio Christmas opening hours 2017

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Breaking the injury cycle: Calf Tear in a Runner

Posted on 3rd November 2017 by

We were recently asked some advice from a regular recreational runner. It’s a story that we hear a lot of here at goPhysio (not always calf related, but the same principles apply), so we thought it warranted a little blog post!

The runner in question was concerned, as they’d picked up a calf injury when out for a run a few weeks previously. Nothing major, but felt a bit of a tug on the calf when they had to move suddenly during the run. The calf was painful, so they did what they thought they should and rested for a week from running. The calf then felt fine, so they went back to running. Since then, the calf pain comes and goes. They don’t only feel it when they try and run but can feel it driving, going up & down stairs and first thing in the morning.

The dilemma is……….what is the best thing to do? Carry on running (because they love it and it they were progressing so well!)? Stop running (because it’s making the injury potentially worse)? Exercise? Ice? Heat? Strapping? New trainers? Taping? See their GP? Have a sports massage? Ask a friend? Use a foam roller????????? So many questions?

This is a really common story that we hear a lot in physio. A simple calf tear should take 3-6 weeks to repair itself, however its easy to get stuck in a cycle of tear, rest, repair, tear again, making the recovery much longer and much more frustrating.

How do we break this cycle?

Whilst rest is important it is not enough to adequately repair our damaged muscle to take the strain of running again, which is why it keeps being re-irritated. If we continue to do this we cause a lot of scar tissue to form in the healing muscle. Scar tissue is neither as strong nor as flexible as normal muscle fibres which make it easy to re-tear when stressed by anything more than day to day activities.

In the early stages of recovery from an injury, relative rest is important to help with healing. What that means is avoiding any activity which aggravates the injury, but trying to do alternative activities or modified activities so that you aren’t resting totally.

However, the important thing is to rehabilitate the calf muscle during the ‘rest’ period – gently stressing it with progressive strengthening exercises and stretches to regain its normal strength and elasticity. Ready to run again!

Physiotherapists are experts at guiding you through this process, making sure you are exercising at the optimal level for your stage of healing. They will make sure you are doing the right exercises (technique, loading, reps etc. all carefully worked out) and that you progress them at the right stage – all tailored to you individually and your own goals.

A programme for a minor calf tear for an ultra marathon runner would look very different to a programme for a severe tear in a Saturday morning Park Runner. There isn’t a one size fits all approach and although ‘Dr Google’ or Joe Bloggs at running club who also had a calf injury can be useful resources, relying on such information won’t always give the best long term outcome!

In addition to a specific exercise programme, Physio’s can also carry out a range of other treatments such as hands-on therapy, ultrasound and taping which can help to speed up your recovery. They an also advise on treatments you can do at home, such as foam rolling. A crucial part of your recovery is obviously returning to running at the right time. We know taking time out of running can be very frustrating, so we limit this as much as possible, guiding you with your return programme so you don’t do too much too soon and risk re-injury. If you have a specific event or race coming up, this is factored in.

So, if you love running and are worried about a calf injury, don’t hang about, book in to see an expert to guide you out of the injury cycle and back to running!

Here are two great simple exercises for a calf tear

Calf raise exercise Heel raises – standing on both feet, slowly rise up onto your tip toes then lower back to the ground. If you can manage 20 or more of these try doing it just on the injured leg, holding onto a support for a little balance, remember slow and controlled is key!


Calf stretch – stand in a long stride position with the injured Calf stretch exercise leg behind. Bend the front knee and gently press the back heel down towards the ground until you feel a stretch in your calf. Take it to where you feel a mild to moderate stretch (but not pain!) then hold for 30secs.


More information

Treatment of calf pain in runners

Top Pilates exercises for runners

Top tips for injured runners

Get your running back on track

How to warm up for running 

 


Osteoarthritis

Posted on 12th October 2017 by

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints, causing pain and stiffness. It’s by far the most common form of joint disease, affecting people all over the world and at least 8 million people in the UK.

What causes Osteoarthritis?

Almost anyone can get osteoarthritis but certain factors can increase your risk, for example if you’re in your late 40’s or older, you’re overweight or you’re female (for most joints, especially the knees and hands, osteoarthritis is more common and more severe in women).

What might Osteoarthritis feel like?

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are:

Pain – The pain tends to be worse when you move your joint or at the end of the day. If you have severe osteoarthritis, you may feel pain more often.

Stiffness – Your joints may feel stiff after rest, but this usually wears off as you get moving.

A grating or grinding sensation (crepitus) – Your joint may creak or crunch as you move.

Swelling – The swelling may be hard (caused by osteophytes) or soft (caused by synovial thickening and extra fluid), and the muscles around your joint may look thin or wasted.

Not being able to use your joint normally – Your joint may not move as freely or as far as normal. Sometimes it may give way because your muscles have weakened or your joint has become less stable. Exercises to strengthen your muscles can help to prevent this.

Your symptoms will often vary for no clear reason. Some people find that changes in the weather make the pain worse, especially damp weather along with falling atmospheric pressure. Others find the pain varies depending on how active they’ve been. In more severe cases, the pain might not go away. It might stop you sleeping and cause difficulties in your daily activities.

There are some great resources on the Arthritis UK website, where these images are from. 

How do the symptoms of Osteoarthritis progress?

Symptoms of OA can vary. That may start severe but settle down or pain and stiffness can progress and worsen. What you do and how you manage your OA can really impact on the progression of symptoms. Keeping active and taking part in regular exercise is one of the best ways of helping your OA.

Possible complications of osteoarthritis include an increased risk of developing gout and chondrocalcinosis.

Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis, which is caused by high levels of urate that lead to sodium urate crystals forming in and around your joints. The changes that osteoarthritis causes in cartilage can encourage crystals to form within your joint. If you have both osteoarthritis and a high level of urate in your blood, you’re at an increased risk of developing gout.

Chondrocalcinosis or calcification is the formation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in your cartilage. It can happen in any joint, with or without osteoarthritis, but it’s most likely to occur in a knee already affected by osteoarthritis, especially in older people.

How is Osteoarthritis diagnosed?

Osteoarthritis is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms and the physical signs that your doctor finds when examining your joints. this can include:

  • joint tenderness
  • creaking or grating (crepitus) sounds
  • bony swelling
  • excess fluid
  • reduced movement
  • joint instability
  • muscle thinning

X-rays are the most useful test to confirm osteoarthritis, although you probably won’t need one. They can’t really show how much pain or disability osteoarthritis is likely to cause. Some people have a lot of pain from fairly minor joint damage, while others have little pain from more severe damage.

Rarely, an MRI scan of your knee can be helpful. This will show the soft tissues (cartilage, tendons, muscles) and changes in your bone that can’t be seen on a standard x-ray

What is the best treatment for Osteoarthritis

Besides painkillers, steroid injections or surgery (when causing severe pain or mobility problems), the best treatment, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is exercise.

NICE recommendations include:

  • advising patients to participate in exercise as a ‘core treatment’
  • offering weight loss interventions for patients who are obese or overweight
  • providing patients with holistic assessments

Exercise can help to manage some of the symptoms of arthritis. As Physiotherapists we provide advice and education on exercise, pain relief and ways to manage your condition. We can teach you how to improve your joint movement and your walking, as well as how to strengthen your muscles.

When you see us at goPhysio, we will assess your problem and give you tailored advice and a treatment programme. This may include some hands on treatments, an exercise programme and modifications to your lifestyle.

Prognosis for Osteoarthritis

It’s impossible to predict how osteoarthritis will develop for any one person. It can sometimes develop over just a year or two and cause a lot of damage to your joint, which may then cause some deformity or disability. But more often osteoarthritis is a slow process that develops over many years and results in fairly small changes in just part of your joint. This doesn’t mean it won’t be painful, but it’s less likely to cause severe deformity or disability. Sometimes the condition reaches a peak a few years after the symptoms start and then remains the same, or it may even improve.

Read more

6 Arthritis myths

Arthritis – an overview

New exercise guide for people with arthritis

How can physiotherapy help arthritis?

 


Open Day Success!

Posted on 19th September 2017 by

We had a fantastic day on Saturday, as we welcomed so many people through our doors to experience many of the different services we have on offer here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, meet our team and find out more about our lifesaving defibrillator.

Visitors on the day took part in Pilates classes, our Active Backs classes for people who want to gain confidence again exercising with back pain, Positive Steps classes for the later years of life and Yoga with Marianne.

We were also delighted to offer free sports massage taster sessions, free injury advice clinics with our Physiotherapists & Sports Therapists and carried out lots of computerised foot analyses.

Linda, a local community first responder, kindly offered some basic CPR training and dispelled many myths about using a public access defibrillator.

It was wonderful meeting so many local people. Thank you for your support!

goPhysio Chandlers Ford Open Day goPhysio Chandlers Ford Open Day

goPhysio Chandlers Ford Open Day goPhysio Chandlers Ford Open Day

goPhysio Chandlers Ford Open DaygoPhysio Chandlers Ford Open Day

goPhysio Chandlers Ford Open Day

goPhysio Chandlers Ford Open Day

 

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