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Live Well For Longer – Focus on Back Pain

Posted on 2nd August 2018 by

Channel 4’s Live Well For Longer programme on Channel 4 this week looked at one of the most common injuries we see and British people experience – Back Pain. Live well for longer back pain

Back pain is thought to cause 30 million days of sick leave a year, costing our economy an estimated £40 billion. It is thought that up to 80% of us will suffer with back pain at some point in our lives.

The programme compared 3 ‘non-medical’ ways to manage long standing back pain; yoga, physiotherapy and osteopathy. They used a well known, standardised tool to measure levels of pain before and after 2 months of each of the interventions in groups of people who had been suffering with back pain for over a year.

In the Physiotherapy group, the physiotherapist helped to facilitate the return of normal movement and worked on strengthening the spine. It was great to see that the ethos of the physiotherapist is teaching people and giving people information and knowledge that they need to help themselves. This is absolutely fundamental in successful treatment of painful conditions such as back pain.

After 2 months, it was found that Yoga and physiotherapy both helped improve people’s pain by 30-50%. Osteopathy reduced pain by a third on average. All 3 groups of people experienced a decrease in their back pain, demonstrating that with time, investment and commitment, there can be huge improvements in pain. The programme obviously only looked at very small sample sizes, but what it demonstrated that there is a positive way to tackle back pain.

The ket message to take away for people with long term back pain, is that you can’t expect short term fixes. People looking for help with back pain need to be realistic – if you’ve had back pain for a long time, there isn’t a quick and easy fix (that so many people seek!). As the Physiotherapist said, retraining muscles can take at least 6 weeks. It’s the dedication, positive attitude and consistency in investing in your body and finding something that works for you that will often be the success!

Read More

Low Back Pain & Sciatica, the latest NICE Guidelines

Help, I’ve got back pain. What should I do?

Back pain Myths: Moving will make my back pain worse, I should avoid exercise if I have back pain, I need a scan to tell me what’s going on


 


Introducing goPhysio’s Newest Team Member

Posted on 13th July 2018 by

Chris Tiley Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Chris at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

goPhysio are delighted to welcome the 12th member of the team, our 5th Physiotherapist, Chris Tiley MCSP.

Chris has joined the Physo and Pilates team on a full time basis, working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and every other Saturday. Here’s a little introduction to Chris.

“After graduating from Coventry University in 2008, I started practicing physiotherapy in Canada. For 18 months I worked initially in the ski resort of Whistler Blackcomb and then in Vancouver before heading back to the UK.  Since my return I have worked in the Berkshire area within private hospitals and private practices and then more recently in a private practice in Bournemouth.

Throughout my career I have had a keen interest in sport and pursued this within physiotherapy and personally.  I have worked with Reading FC academy for 6 seasons which has given me invaluable experience within a large sporting organisation.  This lead to an amazing experience volunteering at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where I spent the majority of my time working within Rugby 7’s as well as covering some of the table tennis events.

I then spent 2 seasons as one of the physiotherapists for British Parasnowsport, working and travelling with elite skiers and snowboarders with varying disabilities.  This has involved travelling abroad for the training camps and competitions. One of the highlights was being part of the Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado with one of our athletes who competed in the adaptive boarder cross race.

My experiences through my various roles have given me invaluable assessment and treatment skills throughout many areas of physiotherapy including: sports injuries, back/neck pain, chronic pain and post operative physiotherapy to name a few. I have also completed level 1 and 2 APPI Pilates matwork training.

Outside of work I enjoy participating in several sports and activities.  I regularly run and have completed the London Marathon twice and multiple half marathons.  I like to cycle and have taken part in several Sportive’s including the Prudential Ride 100.  I enjoy playing racquet sports, indoor climbing and have recently taken up golf.

For further information about myself or the treatments on offer at the clinic please contact me on: chris@gophysiotherapy.co.uk or call the clinic on 023 8025 3317.”

Chris with the Parasnowsport Snowboard Team
Chris with the Parasnowsport Snowboard Team

 

Chris with the British Parasnowsport Alpine Ski Team at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships
Chris with the British Parasnowsport Alpine Ski Team at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships

 

Chris at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with the Papua New Guinea Rugby Sevens Team
Chris at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with the Papua New Guinea Rugby Sevens Team

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National Health Research Review

Posted on 13th July 2018 by

A new report from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), titled Moving Forward: Physiotherapy for Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing, has NHR Moving Forward Physio highlighted how effective physiotherapy is at improving outcomes for MSK conditions.

MSK or musculoskeletal conditions, are those that affect the bones, joints and muscles of the body, like back pain, arthritis, sprains, strains and overuse injuries. These conditions have a huge impact on our daily lives and it’s what our team at goPhysio specialise in managing. Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of pain and disability in the UK, affecting more than one in four people. The evidence coming out of Moving Forward: Physiotherapy for Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing highlights the importance of physiotherapy for treating these conditions.

This review presents evidence from a range of physiotherapy-related studies. Data from these studies shows the beneficial impact physiotherapy has on a range of MSK conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, chronic knee joint pain and low back pain.

The key findings show that:

  • There is overwhelming evidence that exercise and activity are effective and should be a core treatment in musculoskeletal pain.
  • A rehabilitation programme including targeted exercise, is effective at reducing knee joint pain.
  • Investment in high quality rehabilitation adapted to individual patient needs, leads to better outcomes, reduces the need for further investigations and treatment, such as surgery or joint injections.
  • Work absences can be reduced by an average of five days when people receive advice on low back pain from physios.
  • Stretching and strengthening hand exercises can improve function for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Make exercise a core treatment

The key message from the review is that there is overwhelming evidence that exercise and activity are effective for musculoskeletal pain. This is something that is fully integrated into our care at goPhysio.

  • When you see one of our Physio’s or Sports Therapists, you will always be given a customised exercise programme to help support your recovery. This will be emailed to you along with explanatory videos and/or pictures, so that you have access to the exercises and are confident what you should be doing in between your appointments.
  • We aim to keep you as active as possible whilst you recover from your injury. We offer solutions and alternatives to balance your recovery with staying active wherever possible. We rarely advocate complete rest!
  • We offer a comprehensive, specialist rehab service. Led by our Sports Therapy team, you will have the option to come along to supervised small group rehab sessions, where evidence based exercise is used to optimise your recovery and prevent long term issues. Read more about our rehab service here.
  • We also offer a range of specialist Clinical Pilates classes, which help build long term strength, flexibility and durability. A fantastic way to help recovery, manage long term MSK conditions and ward off injuries.

Our whole ethos here at goPhysio is “Helping local people live a healthy, active, positive life, free from pain & injury”, so it’s great to hear what we are doing and the way we work is supported by the last research.

Download the full report here.

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Love activity, Hate exercise? Do more of what you love with Physio!

Posted on 12th June 2018 by

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists has launched a new campaign, Love activity, Hate Love activity hate exercsie posterexercise?

It is well documented that physical inactivity is a major public health problem. This campaign sets about to help identify barriers that prevent people from being more active. It also highlights what a positive influence as Physio’s can have in promoting and supporting physical activity at every touch point.

As a team of Physiotherapists, Pilates Instructors, Sports Therapists & Sports Massage Practitioners, we all have an important role to play in promoting physical activity. We want to maximise the opportunities to discuss the benefits of physical activity and any barriers to it with our patients, and make exercise more accessible to a wider range of people.

goPhysio’s Clinical Director, Paul, says “It doesn’t have to be ‘exercise’ per se, ‘activity’ is what is great! It’s about keeping it simple, finding things that you enjoy doing that get you moving and challenge you physically. So, gardening, walking, playing tennis with friends, marathon running, taking the stairs instead of the lift, even pushing a trolley round the supermarket, they all count! That’s what’s great about this campaign, even if the term ‘exercise’ frightens you, you don’t need to be afraid of being active!”

Do more of what you love with physio is such a great term. It’s exactly what we do – help make sure you can do more of what you love doing!

So whether that’s physio or sports therapy treatment to help you recover from an injury, Pilates to help improve and maintain your physical wellbeing or Positive Steps elderly exercise classes, we run a host of services from our clinic in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, that  help you do more of what you love.

So, what are the tips to getting started if you love activity but hate exercise?

  1. Find something you enjoy so that you’ll keep going.
  2. Set goals for yourself – big or small – to keep you motivated.
  3. Pace yourself – start slowly and gradually build up.
  4. It’s OK to ache but if pain persists, ease back and go slower.
  5. Need more motivation and support? Find someone join you!

If you need any help or support or just don’t know where to start, just get in touch. Our friendly and supportive team are here to help you.

 


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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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.