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Absolute Beginners Pilates at goPhysio

Posted on 23rd July 2018 by

Absolute Beginners Pilates goPhysioHave you heard all about the benefits of Pilates but have no idea what it is or what a class entails? Are you not sure where to start? Are you keen to join a class but feel a bit daunted by it?

We’re bringing a special class to Chandlers Ford this Summer – Absolute Beginners Pilates

This special Summer Pilates class, forms part of our summer timetable. This 1 hour session is for absolute beginners to Pilates. If you’re not sure what Pilates is, what a class would involve or whether it’s for you, now’s your chance to give it a try! It will cover all the Pilates basics, help you understand more about Pilates and give you the opportunity to practice some exercises. All of this will be under the careful guidance of one of our experienced Pilates Instructors.

The classes are small and supportive, so you’ll get individual guidance and attention. Our studio is welcoming and friendly, we make the classes fun and sociable – it’s so important you enjoy exercise! You can work and develop at your own pace, so don’t worry about feeling pressure or that it’s too challenging!

Absolute beginner classes are being held on:

  • Tuesday 7th August at 10am with Chris
  •  Thursday 30th August 9.30am with Roz

The 1 hour class costs £12.50. Pre-booking is required.

Take a look at the Summer Pilates Timetable 2018 here.

If you’d like to book onto the Absolute Beginners Pialtes classes or any of our other Summer Pilates classes at goPhysio, you can find out more here.


 


The goPhysio Pilates Team

Posted on 19th July 2018 by

Specialist Clinical Pilates is one of our core (excuse the pun!) services here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford. We are unique in the area in that all of our Instructors, in addition to APPI Pilates Chandlers Fordbeing specially trained Pilates Instructors, are clinically qualified, so have a degree in Physiotherapy or Sports Therapy.

This level of qualification and specialist experience enables then to incorporate Pilates with rehabilitation and recovery of injuries, and/or using Pilates for injury prevention.

The Pilates qualifications that all of our Instructors have is from The Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI). This is the world leading provider of Pilates education.  The APPI has developed a unique modified Pilates technique. This technique has been developed specifically for rehabilitation settings. It ensures that safe and scientifically researched movement patterns are learned and taught to be part of effective Rehab, retraining of alignment, correcting posture, improving range of motion, supporting the spine and for safe sport and strength training.

Meet Our Instructors!

We are so privileged to have 5 fantastic Pilates Instructors in our team. As they all work clinically too, this helps provide seamless care if you are moving from physiotherapy or rehab to Pilates or via versa.

Roz Brawn - Physiotherapist & Level 2 APPI Pilates Instructor
Roz Brawn – Physiotherapist & Level 2 APPI Pilates Instructor

 

Hugo Carvalheiro - Physiotherapist & Level 2 APPI Pilates Instructor
Hugo Carvalheiro – Physiotherapist & Level 2 APPI Pilates Instructor

 

Kim Leith - Physiotherapist & Level 3 APPI Pilates Instructor
Kim Leith – Physiotherapist & Level 3 APPI Pilates Instructor

 

Chris Tiley - Physiotherapist & Level 2 APPI Pilates Instructor
Chris Tiley – Physiotherapist & Level 2 APPI Pilates Instructor

 

Francesca Wicker - Sports and Rehabilitation Therapist & APPI Level 3 Pilates Instructor
Francesca Wicker – Sports and Rehabilitation Therapist & APPI Level 3 Pilates Instructor

So, whether you’ve heard great things about Pilates and would like to start, are looking for small, supportive classes to help with prevention or recovery from injury or want to do Pilates as part of a regular exercise routine, look no further!

Here’s all the information you need to know about:

Clinical Pilates

Our regular timetable

How to book Pilates at goPhysio

and information about our special Summer of 2018 Drop In Pilates

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Summer Pilates Glutes Blast Express Class

Posted on 15th July 2018 by

Summer Pilates at goPhysio Chandlers Ford

This summer, we’re trying out a few ‘special’ classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford. One of which is the an express Pilates class, a 30 minute Glutes Blast!Pilates for your bum

The big Gluteal (buttock) muscles are notoriously weak in many people. This weakness can cause many common injuries, aches and pains, including hip pain, back pain and knee pain. The gluteal muscles play a crucial part in so many activities and sports. So, here’s your chance to do a targeted Pilates class, that will focus just on these important muscles. A great chance to tone and strengthen!

The express classes are timetabled around lunch time, so are a great opportunity for you to pop out of work to get an express workout in during the day. £6.50 per class.

Take a look at the Summer Pilates Timetable 2018 here.

Glutes Blast 30 minute classes are being run on:

  • Tuesday 7th August 12.30pm with Francesca
  • Monday 13th August 12.30pm with Francesca
  • Tuesday 21st August 1pm with Hugo

If you’d like to book onto the Pilates Express Glutes Blast classes or any of our other Summer Pilates classes at goPhysio, you can find out more here.


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Taking time to be mindful

Posted on 27th June 2018 by

We often seem to live our lives at a million miles per hour and sometimes let our days fly by, almost unconscious of what we are doing or have done. Mindfulness has become ever increasingly popular, with our awareness of the importance of our mental health and wellbeing on the rise. 

So, what is mindfulness and how can you incorporate it into your busy schedule?

Mindfulness can be defined in different ways. Ultimately, it’s the ability to focus on the present moment whilst accepting ones’s feeling, thoughts and how your body feels. Alternatively defined as;

“Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis’’

(Marlatt & Kristeller, 1999).

Mindfulness and meditation can have many positive affects on the body including:

  • Higher brain functioning with boosts to the working memory
  • Lowered blood pressure 
  • Lowered anxiety levels
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Reduction in stress

So how can we put this into practice to get all the great benefits mentioned above?

Here’s a few practical ideas:

  • At breakfast: stop watching the clock, smell your food, take note of the colour, the texture the taste. 
  • Brushing your teeth:  the taste of the toothpaste, the sensation of the brush on your teeth, the texture under your feet as you stand there. 
  • Walking: put your phone or device away. What can you hear? What can you smell? How does the sunshine feel on your skin?
  • Meditation: use an app to get you started with mindfulness, we recommend Headspace or Calm, which have guided meditation and can only take ten minutes of your day. 
  • Pilates: take some time out and join a pilates class, connecting your mind and body. Yoga is also great for this.
  • Go for a walk in nature: Walking its great for taking some time out and being mindful.It helps you connect with the season and stimulates all your senses.

Take time to be mindful

by Francesca Wicker, Sports Therapist


Celebrating the Eastleigh 10k

Posted on 18th June 2018 by

The Brain Tumour Charity
If you’d like to donate to our chosen charity for your race day massage, please click here. Thank you.

Sunday 17th June finally arrived for the postponed Hendy Eastleigh 10k event. And what a fantastic event it was!

Hat’s off to Steve and his team for pulling together such a well organised event. The friendly, supportive & positive atmosphere was palpable. Seeing all of the local running clubs in their club shirts getting together for pre-race photos and supporting each other was really amazing.

goPhysio felt honoured to have been invited to be part of the event. We were on hand from 7.15am providing pre and post race massages. Our dedicated team of Physio’s, Sports Therapists and Massage Practitioners worked tirelessly and massaged over 150 runners during the morning, as well as providing lot’s of advice and injury help to those with questions or concerns.

We met so many fantastic runners and their supporters throughout the morning. Many had never had sports massage before and commented how much better they felt after it! Some came for a massage both before and after the race.

It sounded like a great run for many, in wonderful conditions, so many people came in celebrating new PB’s. For some it was their first ever 10k, such a great sense of achievement!

 Eastleigh 10k goPhysio massage  goPhysio Team shot at Eastleigh 10k 2018  

Busy goPhysio at Eastleigh 10k  Eastleigh 10k runners massage

We were delighted to be raising money at the event for our chosen charity this year, The Brain Tumour Charity. Thank you so much to all of those who kindly donated on the day. If you came along for a massage and would like to donate, you can do so here online.

Special Offers!

Just a reminder that all race pack special offers from goPhysio have been extended to 31st July. If you quote EASTLEIGH10K you can take advantage of the following:

  • 20% off Sports Therapy Assessments and Treatments (45 minute assessment normally £68 offer price £54.40 / 30 minute treatment normally £48 offer price £38.40)
  • 20% off Sports Massage (60 minutes normally £55 offer price £44 / 30 minutes normally £40 offer price £32)
  • Free Pilates 1-2-1 worth £40

You can use these offers as many times as you like, so if you’ve picked up an injury or want a niggle looked at, take advantage of seeing one of our Sports Therapists. If you’ve had taster of the benefits of sports massage, why not set some time aside for a full appointment. If you’ve heard what wonders Pilates can do for your running – now’s your chance to give it a try! You can book an appointment by calling us on 023 8025 3317 or booking directly online 24/7 here.

Eastleigh 10k Winner
A well deserved massage for the winner of the Eastleigh 10k 2018

 

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Why Pilates is great for runners

Posted on 25th January 2018 by

Pilates is a mainly mat based, body-conditioning routine designed to increase physical endurance, flexibility, posture, co-ordination, and core strength. It involves focused, controlled movements that can be modified to create different levels of difficulty.

Pilates was developed by a German, Joseph Pilates, in the early 1900’s as a form of exercise for soldiers recovering from injuries in WW1. He then adapted it for use by gymnasts and dancers. This form of Pilates is known as ‘traditional’. There are a host of other types of Pilates too, including Reformer Pilates, which utilises equipment and resistance techniques.

At goPhysio, we teach the APPI method, which is a form of clinical Pilates. The APPI Method is a research based, clinical application of improving the way a person moves and functions in their everyday life. The traditional Pilates exercises have been broken down into clearly defined levels to ensure a standard, gradual progression towards normal, functional movement. This also helps to build a strong foundation to build and progress your core strength on. The core cylinder, the focus of all Pilates movements, consists of the four abdominal groups (external oblique, internal oblique, rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis), the three lower back groups (psoas major, quadratus lumborum, spinalis) as well as the muscles of the buttocks, hips and pelvis.

The core

The ‘core’ plays a key part for any sport – in running, the main purpose is to stabilise and support the spine and trunk, providing a strong centre for the transfer of forces. It helps to make the dynamic leg movements as efficient as possible. Strong core muscles also help to maintain good posture to maximise performance and minimise injury. Reduced core stability can cause excess movement in the trunk, through over rotation. This can lead to a poor running form, which in turn leads to increased fatigue and reduced performance potential. This is due to energy being wasted in the form of excess movement and poor control.

Pilates also has many other benefits for runners

  • Helps to identify any weaknesses that inhibit your gait. It will provide you with muscular cues to help you fire and strengthen muscles that help you maintain a better running posture, which in turn will reduce the risk of injury and overuse.
  • A strong, balanced body helps you maintain proper form as you fatigue. Pilates helps you loosen your hips, legs and back, all helping you keep a fluid, long stride.
  • Pilates can decrease your recovery time after injury or a strenuous workout by increasing joint mobility, improving flexibility and body awareness.
  • Pilates breathing encourages you to use the diaphragm and control your inhalation/exhalations to assist with movement – this translates into better control during running.
  • Pilates helps to improve hip, pelvic and lumbar spine mobility & flexibility, through the movements and stretches.

We run over 20 classes a week at the clinic and even though they are aren’t targeted specifically at runners, it would be a great addition to your training regime to help with core strength, balance and improved mobility & flexibility.

Pilates Exercises for runners

Read More 

Read more about Clinical Pilates

Take a look at our latest Pilates timetable

Our top 6 Pilates exercises for runners

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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Productive healthy ageing and MSK health

Posted on 9th January 2018 by

Last month, Public Health England published new guidance, entitled Productive healthy ageing and musculoskeletal (MSK) health.

Over the last few decades, life expectancy has been steadily increasing, with the ONS estimating that by 2041, there will be an 3.2 million people aged 85 years and older in the UK.

The report highlights that older people have an abundance of skills, knowledge and experiences that benefits the wider community greatly, however, the opportunity to utilise these resources is dependent on good health as we age.

Challenge the view that retirement is about sitting more and moving less.

As life expectancy rises, we must promote the concept of productive healthy ageing. This involves many pillars including; financial security, resilience, social activities and physical health.

Productive healthy ageing

Physical Health 

MSK conditions are problems of the bones, joints, muscles and spine, and are a common cause of severe long term pain and physical disability. There are 3 groups of MSK conditions:

  • inflammatory conditions, for example rheumatoid arthritis
  • conditions of MSK pain, for example osteoarthritis, back pain
  • osteoporosis and fragility fractures, for example fracture after fall from standing height

The older a person is, the more likely they are to experience chronic diseases and disabilities such as poor MSK health.

MSK conditions have a massive impact on society.

  • Lower back and neck pain were the leading causes of disability in England from 1990 to 2016.
  • Estimated levels of MSK conditions in England for 2012 also found that 18% and 11% of people aged 45 years and above have knee and hip osteoarthritis, respectively.
  • An estimated 17% of all ages have back pain.
  • Fractures, which are often a consequence of falls, are one of the most serious MSK problems seen in the older population.

There are many risk factors that can increase people’s susceptibility to MSK problems, including age, being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, and poor health habits such as smoking.

The two risk factors that often coincide are increasing age and reduced physical activity. As people age, they take part in less physical activity

In the 19 to 24 year age group 76.6% of people are physically active compared to 24.7% in individuals aged over 85 years.

Living for longer does not mean a lifetime of pain and ill-health. There are steps that we can take throughout our lives to maintain healthy productive lives, reduce the risk of developing MSK conditions and better manage our health.

Our Top Tips

As a physiotherapy, health & well being clinic, a significant number of the people we see are in the older age range. We see people with MSK conditions such as osteoarthritis, back pain and osteoporosis. We see people concerned about their reducing mobility or with balance problems that mean they are starting to loose their independence. More frequently, we are now seeing people who are really investing in their physical health – listening to the messages the Government are putting out and taking action to reduce the risk and impact of MSK conditions.

Physical activity in adults

So, what are the best ways of tackling physical health as we age?

  1. Stay as active as possible. Simply walking is fantastic, you can make it social or build it into functional tasks such as shopping. Set yourself some walking goals, to increase your distance gradually. Find a variety of physical activities that you enjoy – swimming, specialist classes, yoga or Pilates are all great ideas. It doesn’t matter what you do, the most important thing is that it’s fun and enjoyable, then you’re more likely to make it part of your routine!
  2. Sit less. Don’t be tempted to sit more. Activities such as gardening, going out shopping, looking after grandchildren and cleaning are all wonderful ways to stay active.
  3. Be health conscious. If you’re invited to check up’s at your G.P., don’t put them off. Keeping on top of your general health and managing any conditions you may have, will help with your physical health. You can also have check up’s or health MOT’s through schemes such as Health Works locally. Try and eat well, sleep well and have time for relaxation too!
  4. Keep on top of aches and pains. If you do pick up an injury or an MSK condition such as arthritis is giving you pain or limiting you, seek help. Seeing someone sooner rather than later will help make sure you can stay physically active and recover quickly, so you can continue enjoying life. “Use it or loose it” is a very apt saying as we age. If you can’t keep active due to pain or an injury, you can very quickly loose muscle strength, balance, fitness and flexibility. So it’s really important to be pro-active.

How we help 

We run a range of specialist services for the older residents of Chandlers Ford and surrounding areas of Hampshire. Our core service of physiotherapy is there for you if you want help and relief from pain or an injury. It’s also valuable if you have a diagnosis of an MSK condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis, and want to know more about the condition and be pro-active about managing it.

We also run weekly Positive Steps classes, which are specifically designed exercise classes for older people. They are a relaxed, sociable and fun way to exercise in a supportive environment, led by Clinicians who understand your exact needs and goals. You can try your first class for free, so why not get together with a friend or partner and give it a try!

We also have an extensive Pilates timetable. Our mat classes are ‘Clinical Pilates’, so adapted specifically to work on optimising physical health and run by Clinicians who understand the ageing process and the best way to exercise.

Wherever you find yourself, we’re here to help and support you. Not sure if and how we can help? Just pop in or give us a call and we can have a chat!

 

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The Benefit Of Pilates For Winter Sports

Posted on 8th January 2018 by

Winter is upon us and with that, ski and boarding seasons are in fill swing!

We get lots of enquiries at the clinic about how best to prepare for skiing holidays and how to prevent the worst from happening with injuries.

In today’s blog, we’ll look at why preparing for your ski or snow boarding holiday is important and what Pilates is – if you haven’t come across it before

Ski holidays are a big commitment, both physically and financially. They are also time limited, so most people ski around 6-8 hours a day for 5-7 days in a row. This can be a huge increase in demands on your body if you normally sit in an office all day!

Pilates can help to prepare you for the slopes in many ways:

  • Helps to prepare the body for intense period of exercise
  • Reduces the risk of injuries
  • Improves fitness
  • Addresses muscle imbalances
  • Helps you make the most of your holiday!

Pilates is a low impact form of exercise, usually mat based, that centres around the idea of maintaining a strong ‘core’ during dynamic movement patterns. It works on improving balance, flexibility, muscle strength and posture. It incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.

So how does having a well trained ‘core’ help me on the slopes? 

There are 4 key elements that will help you during your time on the slopes – Posture, Alignment, Control & Muscle Balance.

I’m sure you’ve seen it before, some people struggle to even stay upright! During this struggle their muscles are so tense and working so hard to keep them upright, thinking about posture goes out of the window!

Posture

A crucial part of winter sports is how you stand on your skis or board.

Incorrect posture will force your body to work much harder than it needs to, which is really inefficient. So, you’ll find that some of your muscles will tire much more quickly and your body will generally fatigue.

When you’re on your skis or board, your posture needs to be stable, yet easily adaptable to the dynamic nature of snow sports.

Pilates helps posture by educating the right postural muscles for you. It teaches postural muscles to work effectively and efficiently.

Alignment

This follows on from posture. Alignment is the relationship in your body between key areas like your head, shoulders, pelvis, hips, knees & ankles. So, if you were drawing a line between these key points like a dot to dot – there will be good and not so good patterns of alignment.

Learning to align your body in its optimal position, will reduce the strain on joints and muscles. Correct alignment will improve your control and balance.

We take it for granted, thinking our body will naturally do this, but a lifetime of postural stresses, injuries, sitting at desks, driving etc. will effect our optimal alignment. We may have tight weak muscles or even some that don’t ‘switch on’ when they’re needed.

Pilates really works to optimise your alignment, teaching all those bits of your body to work efficiently in relationship to each other. Being conscious of your alignment will carry over to your time on the slopes and you will reap the benefits in efficiency, endurance and preventing injury.

Control

Being able to control your body effectively allows you to make small changes without over or under compensating. This skill is vital in skiing and boarding. Reduced control results in working harder than you need to, overstraining the body.

All the moves and exercises in Pilates will challenge and educate body control. Practising control off the slopes will help it become second nature when you’re on the slopes! Let’s face it, when you’re hurtling down a slippery mountain with an equally slippery piece of equipment attached to your feet, a bit of control is a nice thing to have!

Muscle Balance

Muscle imbalances are common throughout the body and don’t always result in a problem. But if your body is being put under greater prolonged physical stress (like a week skiing!), imbalances can become problematic. Weak muscles can be forced to use increased tone or tension to help support them, which increases their work load. Other muscles can work overtime to try and compensate. As skiing/boarding is a whole body exercise, it’s important to address any imbalances you may have.

Pilates is a great form of exercise to do this, that really works the whole body. When practising Pilates exercises you can quickly find out which areas are weak or tight!! It will really teach those ares to work and address any compensations your body is making.

So, how exactly can Pilates can help prevent injuries and keep me safe during my trip!

All of the points above are vital injury prevention tips – correct posture and alignment, better control and well balanced muscles will all reduce the risk of injury.

Any area of the body can be injured when skiing, as it’s a whole body sport. This includes joints, bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons. An injury can vary from a minor muscle strain to a major bone/joint injury such as fracture or dislocation.

Pilates specifically can help you:

  • Maintain control
  • Improve balance – reducing the risk of falling
  • Distribute the load evenly throughout your body – reducing the risk of overworked muscles
  • Increase your flexibility – helping you maintain the correct posture and stance
  • Improve your dynamic movement control – allowing you to adapt to your terrain

Pilates will give you the skills needed to have a safe and enjoyable time away – plus it’s a great form of exercise all year round! The benefits are transferrable to everyday life and exercise too, not just extreme winter sports.

If you’re interested in experiencing for yourself how Pilates can benefit you, come and join one of our classes. We run an extensive timetable of classes, including daytime, evening and Saturday mornings – with a range of levels to suit all.

The goPhysio Team also have some top tips to help reduce the risk of injury on the slopes

Fiona – Listen to your body! Don’t keep going if you feel like you need a break.

Kim – Get any pre-exisiting injuries treated BEFORE you go – don’t leave it until the last minute! You really wouldn’t believe the number of people we see at the clinic a few days before they’re due to go skiing, who’ve had an injury for ages and call us in desperation (normally looking for a knee brace to solve their problem!). Think ahead!!

Paul – Pace yourself throughout the day and have regular breaks to top up energy levels with a hot chocolate!

Francesca – Just in case……make sure you have some insurance to cover any injuries or illnesses while you’re away.

We hope you have a safe & happy holiday!

p.s. Obviously, some injuries are totally unavoidable. So if you do find yourself heading home not quite in one piece, we’re here to help you recover too. You can book an appointment online or give us a call. We aim to offer you an appointment within 24 hours, if not the same day so you can get sorted without delay. All our team are keen skiers or boarders, so know exactly what you’re talking about.


6 Arthritis Myths

Posted on 12th October 2017 by

Today is World Arthritis Day, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and World arthritis day access to timely, evidence based treatment of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are commonly classified into inflammatory and non-inflammatory types:

Common non-inflammatory RMDs consist of degenerative spine diseases, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.

Common inflammatory RMDs consist of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, connective tissue diseases and polymyalgia rheumatica.

There are many myths surrounding these conditions and to shed some light on these, Physiotherapist Gemma has explored them further.

Myth 1: There’s only one type of arthritis

There are several types of arthritis with very different causes, symptoms and treatments. Osteoarthritis is the most common form and is our normal wear and tear as we age. This can give symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and thickening around the joint and typically affects the knees, hips or spine in people over the age of 50. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that typically starts in younger adults and cause redness, heat, swelling and pain often in the small joints of the hands and feet. There are many other forms including juvenile arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. If you are unsure about your symptoms check with your GP or physiotherapist.

Myth 2: My parents had arthritis so I will get it too

Whilst genetics do play a role in the development of arthritis, lifestyle has a much bigger influence. For example, if you are overweight, with a poor diet and a heavy occupation you may be more likely to develop arthritis than a sibling that is a healthy weight and has good strength in the muscles which help to support their joints.

Myth 3: You shouldn’t exercise if you have arthritis

It’s a common belief that if osteoarthritis is wear and tear in the joint, then further exercise will wear it out more. However, the reverse is actually true. By exercising we are mobilising the joint which helps to relieve stiffness, and we are strengthening the muscles around the joints which can help to support and offload the painful area. Low weight-bearing exercises such as cycling or swimming can be a great place to start if your joints are painful enough to limit the type of exercise you are able to do. Specialist classes such as clinical Pilates or our Positive Steps classes for older people are a perfect way to exercise with the right support and guidance.

Myth 4: Arthritis is always painful and will get worse as I get older

If you start noticing the symptoms of osteoarthritis there’s a lot of things you can do to help relieve and even abolish the pain yourself. Start simply by using a heat pack such as a hot water bottle or microwavable wheat pack to help ease stiffness and aches. Then begin gentle stretches of the affected joints, you need to do these little and often to be effective, but don’t push into pain.

Consider your diet and exercise levels, extra body weight puts a lot of extra stress and strain on our joints so shedding even a few pounds can help. A physiotherapist can give you personalised advice, hands-on treatment such as joint mobilisations, soft tissue massage, acupuncture and a tailored exercise prescription have all been shown to be effective in relieving the pain of arthritis. We see many patients who remain pain-free and active for years with these simple solutions.

Myth 5: If I have arthritis I will need a joint replacement

Joint replacement surgery is a major operation and always considered a last resort rather than a quick fix. Start by following the tips above and if you still find you are struggling with everyday activities seek advice from your GP. They will be able to organise an x-ray to assess the degree of wear and tear in your affected joint and ask you questions about the types of activities you are struggling with and if you have tried modifying lifestyle factors such as diet, weight and exercise. Remember some unaffected joints may show equal or even worse wear on x-ray but be completely asymptomatic. Therefore, there is no need to undergo the risks of surgery if it is not causing you any pain.

Myth 6: Supplements help

A lot of research has been conducted into supplements such as glucosamine and chrondroitin which are thought to help rebuild damage cartilage in arthritic joints. However, the vast amount of the research in this area is flawed or bias (i.e. research conducted on animals rather than humans, or conducted by the company’s manufacturing the product with a vested interest in positive results). The more recent unbiased research shows these supplements to be no better than a placebo. That said, some people do feel they get some benefit from supplements so consider trying them for up to 3 months to weigh up the cost versus the benefit yourself.

If you need any help or support then please do get in touch. Our team of Clinicians and range of services can really help educate and inform you about your condition and find ways for you to help live with your condition positively.


Back Care Awareness Week – Back Pain in Education

Posted on 2nd October 2017 by

The annual Back Care Awareness Week, run by BackCare, the UK’s leading charity for those impacted by back or neck pain, is to take place between 2 and 6 October. The theme this year is Back Pain in Education.

Back pain is one of the top common causes of absence from work throughout the country. It costs the UK economy around £15 billion every year as over four million working days are lost as a result of the condition. Furthermore, about 80% of the UK population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.

BackCare decided it was important to run a campaign targeted at children and young people as many of the back and neck pain problems experienced by adults are due to them not looking after their backs during childhood and teenage years.

Back pain
The image here, that BackPain have promoted has the message ‘Don’t pick up heavy things’. There’s nothing wrong with picking up something heavy! In all our years as Physiotherapists, I don’t recall we’ve ever seen a young patient who’s injured their back by picking up something too heavy!

Dr Brian Hammond, the Chair of BackCare said: “Early teaching of children and young people of the importance of taking care of their backs is bound to have a positive effect on the health of their backs as adults.”

He added: “There are simple things children and young people can do, such as sitting properly and not for too long, exercising regularly, stretching and lifting correctly. They also need to know how to carry their school books and equipment in a way that does not harm their back or neck.”

Why we somewhat disagree with this years message!

However, leading Physiotherapists and the latest research will tend to disagree with some of the points raised in this campaign. Although we agree that education and empowering people with understanding and knowledge of taking care of their bodies from a young age is crucial, implying that they can damage their spines by doing normal, everyday tasks like carrying a school bag, is a myth. These messages can lead to an unnecessary fear, which can then progress into adulthood.

Research is suggesting that there isn’t a ‘perfect posture’ or ‘best way to carry a bag’. So implying that young children can ‘harm’ their back or neck in these ways isn’t a positive message to put across.

This image sums up perfectly how children should be caring for their backs – not focusing on correct postures or harmful habits – moving regularly!

Kids perfect posture

So what messages should we be sharing?

  • Exercise and movement is the key – youngsters should be encouraged and supported to take part in a wide variety of exercise, sport and activities that encourage regular, whole body movement that they enjoy! It doesn’t really matter what it is, but enjoyment and instilling a lifelong, love of being active is the best way to prevent developing any back problems.
  • Move regularly – our bodies aren’t designed to be still. It’s not the posture that’s the problem, but staying in single positions for too long that can lead to issues. So, when you read about issues such as ‘text neck’, it tends to be the duration that people are using their devices in, in a single, sustained position that can cause issues. If you held a so called ‘perfect posture’ for any sustained length of time, this could cause issues!
  • Don’t be afraid of pain – aches and pains can be a normal everyday occurrence. We can all feel a bit of stiffness, aching, muscle soreness etc. But pain doesn’t always equal damage. Particularly with back pain, being afraid of the pain tends to lead to us being overly protective, not moving as much, which in turn can cause more pain. It’s a vicious circle. As long as there are no indications to be concerned that something more serious is going on to cause the pain (trauma, pins & needles or numbness, problems going to the toilet, pain at night for example – if any of these are present, it’s advised to see your GP ASAP), then we need to install the confidence that the pain is OK.
  • Be careful with the language we use – particularly with children, the words we use if they’re in pain can be very influential. Negative words like harm, damage, out of place, torn, can all create very negative messages. We need to focus on positive messages like strong and active. Being overly focused on carrying things correctly at a young age, will install a fear that their backs aren’t designed to cope with such a normal, everyday, task – which ins’t true.

There are obviously times and instances when children do develop back or neck pain. This can be caused by sustained postures (often technology related) and a lack of exercise of general movement. In these cases, specific education and increasing their awareness is a key part of helping them overcome any pain they are experiencing. Postural education may be a part of this.

It’s great that BackCare are are raising awareness of back issues in this campaign, but let’s keep the messages positive and not install a fear into young people that their backs might not be fit for the job!

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