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Easing Post Run Soreness

Posted on 18th March 2018 by

You’ve done it, you’ve got off the couch and finished that run! Whether it’s a gentle recreational run, a 10k or a full marathon, post run soreness can be part of the journey. It’s just your muscles adapting to the additional demands placed upon them, which is good!

You can read more about post exercise pain here.

There are some tried and tested steps you can take, that help to ease post run soreness. Here’s a few from our Sports Therapist, Tom.

  1. Rest

It may seem obvious but resting from physical exertion will allow sore muscles time to rebuild. However, there is a big difference between complete rest and active recovery. Complete rest can result in decreased range of motion and prolonged soreness. Active recovery is defined by a light workout comprising of lower intensity and volume which facilitates the removal of waste products and restores normal resting length of muscles. For example, a runner with sore legs may opt for 30 minutes on a static bike at a steady pace.

  1. Sports Massage

Muscle soreness following a run can be effectively eased with sports massage. The massage techniques used will decrease exercise-induced inflammation, improve blood flow and reduce muscle tightness. Sports massage can also have an effect on the nervous system by down-regulating it to allow the muscles to relax. Manual therapy techniques can stimulate the lymphatic system which helps drain swelling and by-products of exercise out of the damaged muscles. Increased blood flow to these areas will bring new nutrient-rich blood to facilitate the repair phase following intense exercise. You can book your sports massage online here.

  1. Self-Myofascial Release

Performed using tools such as foam rollers, trigger point balls, massage sticks, etc. Similar to massage, this technique allows you to self-treat by targeting the muscles that need it most. You will be able to ease inflammation, improve blood flow and restore the normal resting length of muscles. Read more about foam rolling here. If you want to learn more, why not come along to one of our monthly foam rolling practical workshops.

  1. Food & Hydration

You can utilise a few simple nutrition strategies to restore homeostasis and facilitate muscle repair. Eat high-glycemic fruits and starchy vegetables following exercise to replenish glycogen stores in muscles. Antioxidants present in these foods can also aid tissue repair and recovery. Eating foods high in protein (such as eggs) can enhance energy production and stimulate protein synthesis, which repairs damaged muscles from intense training. Fish oils (omega 3) also contain anti-inflammatory properties which will help ease post-race soreness.

A reduction in hydration of only 2 percent is enough to have detrimental effects on maximal strength and athletic performance due to a drop in blood plasma volume. This limits the amount of nutrients and energy received by the working muscles. Drink frequently throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and reduce the risk of delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

  1. Sleep

Make sure you get between 7-8hours of sleep each night. Sleep is important as it not only restores brain function and alertness, but it also regulates growth hormone release and protein synthesis. Your muscles do all their repair work whilst you sleep, so getting enough shut-eye is crucial when training. During the restorative phase of sleep your blood pressure drops, breathing slows and blood flows to the muscles and soft tissue that need repair.

  1. Compression

Specific garments can be worn during and after intense exercise to reduce the amount of residual inflammation in working tissues. We know that muscles are damaged when we exercise, this damage causes inflammation which can also irritate nerve endings and result in prolonged pain/soreness. The idea behind compression is to limit the space available for soft tissues to swell with inflammation, thus reducing pain levels. Compression with movement will also facilitate the removal of waste products and inflammation out of working/damaged tissues.

  1. Heat

It is well established that heat can be a great pain-reliever. Applying heat to sore muscles can encourage a relaxation effect. The warmth will also vasodilate blood vessels allowing for nutrient-rich blood to be brought to the area that needs repair.

  1. Stretching

You may be surprised to hear that stretching isn’t as effective at easing muscle soreness as you may have thought. Think about it this way; the most traumatic form of muscle contraction is an eccentric one. This occurs when you contract a muscle over a period of time whilst it is lengthening, for example the lowering phase of a bicep curl. This muscle has been damaged (on a microscopic level) by a lengthening-based exercise. You are then attempting to ease that soreness by stretching the muscle, which is only lengthening it further. Also noteworthy is the role of the central nervous system, which uses pain as a protective signalling mechanism to prevent the same movement from occurring again. Stretching a painful area is likely to produce a larger nervous system response resulting in increased pain levels.

A review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2011 concludes that stretching does not ease soreness following exercise.

Herbert RD, de Noronha M, Kamper SJ. Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD004577. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004577.pub3.

  1. Ice

A golden rule to follow when considering ice vs heat for different situations is this; ice for acute, traumatic injuries to be used predominantly for pain relief and not much else. Heat is to be used for chronic, dull, achy pain such as joint stiffness or muscle tightness.

When applying ice to an injured area it can cause blood vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow to the area. We need a good blood supply for muscles to regenerate and repair. Ice also causes muscles to tighten which seems to be the opposite effect when searching for muscles relaxation and relief of soreness. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 articles published in 2015 suggests that ice (cryotherapy) provides little or no significant effect in the treatment of exercise-induced muscle soreness.

Hohenauer E, Taeymans J, Baeyens J-P, Clarys P, Clijsen R (2015) The Effect of Post-Exercise Cryotherapy on Recovery Characteristics: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0139028. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139028

If your soreness doesn’t ease after a few days or you are in pain as you think you may have picked up an injury, do get it checked out. The sooner you get an expert diagnosis of what’s going on and a specific recovery plan, the less time you’ll have off running!


Sleep: The Magic Elixir for Runners

Posted on 19th January 2018 by

I’ve just recently read a great book, titled Why We Sleep, by the neuroscientist, Matthew Waker. Why we sleep

I wanted to share a summary of the relevant sections, which I thought would be enlightening and useful for you keen, active, health conscious runners. If it sparks your interest, I would thoroughly recommend getting hold of a copy to read it in full. It really is fascinating!

Walker explains that:

“Sleep is one of the most important aspects of life, health and longevity and yet it is increasingly neglected in 21st century society”

For the active runner, adequate sleep is crucial to help in learning new motor skills, improving athletic performance and mitigating injury risk!

In the book, Walker explains that the term ‘muscle memory’ is a misnomer, muscles have no such memory, and that in fact ‘muscle memory’ is really ‘brain memory’. As humans, we learn new motor skills and movement routines through practice. For a runner it could be working on running technique, training or strengthening muscles in the gym, which can help us better execute a skilled memory routine (running). But the routine itself – the memory programme resides firmly and exclusively within the brain.

Research over the past 20 years has unequivocally demonstrated that after practicing any motor skill, your brain will continue to improve skill memories in the absence of further practice after a full night sleep. Walker concludes that in fact

“Practice does not make perfect, it is practice followed by a nights sleep that leads to perfection”

Sleep helps the brain automate the movement routines – helping them become second nature and effortless – precisely the goal of many sports coaches when perfecting the skills of their athletes.

The 100-metre sprinter superstar Usain Bolt has, on many occasions taken naps in the hours before breaking the world record and before Olympic finals in which he won gold. The author’s studies support this wisdom: day time naps that contain sufficient numbers of sleep spindles also offer significant motor skill memory improvement, together with a restoring benefit on perceived energy and reduced muscle fatigue.

“Sleep is one of the most sophisticated, potent and powerful – not to mention legal – performance enhancer’s everyone should be using fully”

The book’s findings are backed up with more than 750 scientific studies that have investigated the relationship between sleep and human performance. Anything less than 8 hours of sleep a night and especially less than 6 hours a night and the following can be experienced:

  • Time to physical exhaustion drops by 10 to 30%
  • Aerobic output is significantly reduced
  • Similar impairments are observed in power output, measured by limb extension force & vertical jump height
  • Decrease in peak and sustained muscle strength.
  • Marked impairments in cardio-vascular, metabolic and respiratory capabilities linked to a decrease in the amount of air the lungs can expire
  • The ability of the body to cool itself during physical exertion through sweating, a critical part of peak performance, is impaired

Injury Risk 

There is also a significant increase in the risk of injury with a lack of sleep.

“There is no better insurance policy to mitigate the risk of injury than sleep!”

Described in a research study of competitive young athlete’s in 2014, Walker explains that a chronic lack of sleep across a season predicted a massively higher risk of injury, as illustrated on the graph below.

 

Sleep and injury risk
Sleep after sporting performance is just as crucial for recovery. The book states that

“Post performance sleep accelerates physical recovery from common inflammation, stimulates muscle repair, and helps restock cellular energy in the form of glucose and glycogen”

What does all this mean for the local fun runner?

Regardless of running ability, sleep is equally important for anyone who is physically active. Until recently the experts thought that adequate sleep, good nutrition and exercise were the 3 fundamentals on which to live a healthy life.

However, through a large body of research over the last 20 years, Walker has highlighted that adequate sleep is the foundation on which being healthy and exercising effectively is built upon.

In other words….without adequate sleep you will not gain the full potential benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise. So, you should be aiming for between 7-8 hours of sleep each night, especially in the midst of a running training programme, to allow your body to recover and achieve the full benefits of training.

For further information, please read Why We Sleep, by Mathew Walker

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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Why ‘Massage’ should be a regular entry in your diary!

Posted on 20th November 2017 by

Sports Massage Chandlers FordThe word Massage can conjure up lots of different thoughts – from a soft, gentle, candle lit, relaxing experience to a quick ‘rub down’ at the side of a muddy pitch!

There are certainly lots of different types and styles of massage; deep tissue, aromatherapy, Sweedish, hot stone………..whatever your preference, the overall aim of massage is to spend some time focused on you, away from every day stresses, helping you feel refreshed, physically relaxed and rejuvenated!

Life can be pretty hectic and more often than not, there is another priority that rises above getting a massage. But, before you prioritise everyone and everything else, let’s explore the benefits that massage can bring you!

Massage is a great way to promote your physical and mental well-being.

Here are our Top 5 Benefits of Massage

  1. Massage Helps Relaxation – This is one of the most immediate and noticeable effects of massage. Massage helps with the release of endorphins, the body’s natural chemicals that produce feelings of calm and well-being. It can also help reduce levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. The impact of this on our general health, wellbeing and longevity can be massive.
  2. Massage Reduces Stress – Stress appears in everyone’s life to some extent. It isn’t always a negative thing, it’s a natural response to help us get through life. However, there are times that stress can become too much or overwhelming and it’s good to have strategies to both help us reduce the feeling of stress and also manage stress day to day. Massage is a fantastic way to both ease your feelings of stress and also manage stress long term. It enforces you to take time out, chill for an hour and will physically help you cope by easing any stress induced tension your muscles are holding.
  3. Massage Helps You Sleep Well – The importance of the quality of our sleep and it’s impact on our life is becoming increasingly recognised. Sleep is an ultimate way to recover and having a massage can undoubtedly help improve your quality of sleep.
  4. Massage Helps Recovery – Physically, massage is a key tool you can use to help not only tour mental but also physical recovery. If you’re training for an event, taken part in a race or competition or just exercise regularly, your body needs recovery to help it perform. The physical effects of a massage can help encourage and promote recovery and ward off injuries. Regular massages part of a training programme is a great investment as it can play a key part in helping prevent injuries and optimising your physical performance.
  5. Massage Improves Circulation – The manual techniques that are used by your massage therapist, will physically encourage circulation by moving blood through your tissues which can help flush the lactic acid through your muscles. It will also help with circulation of lymph fluid which carries metabolic waste any from muscles and internal organs. Enhancing your circulation will help promote healing as oxygen rich blood is circulated to damaged, tense muscles.

How often should I get a massage?

There’s no doubt that having a massage is good for our health and well-being. Whether you’re busy Mum, work at a desk most of the day, training for a marathon or spends hours commuting, a massage will help you feel great!

We often get asked how often people should have a massage. The frequency of a massage comes down to many factors. If you’re training intensely for a physical event, a weekly massage is ideal. If you build up tension in your neck and shoulders over time, once a month may be enough. Generally, once a fortnight is great – as it helps keep top of those stresses and strains, without them building up and becoming a problem.

Whatever works for you, if you can set aside time for a regular massage your body and mind will thank you for it!

What type of massage do you do at goPhysio?

At goPhysio, we practice Sports and Remedial Massage. This is a ‘clinically’ based massage, that involves working on deep tissues to promote recovery and ease tension. Your Therapist will always ask you a series of questions before they start, so they can tailor the experience to your exact needs and the areas you want to focus on. Appointments are available 6 days a week, as early as 8am and as late as 8pm. You can book appointments online here or give us a call on 023 8025 3317. We often have same day appointments available!

So, if you’d like to experience the benefits of regular massage, book your appointment today!

*Special Offer* Receive a 60 minute massage for the price of a 30 minute massage throughout November.

Just quote ’60 for 30′.


The Benefits of Group Physio and Rehab

Posted on 6th July 2017 by

A recent study from Canada has highlighted the benefits of attending group physiotherapy, for patients following a total knee replacement.

The study demonstrated that patients who participated in group-based physiotherapy after joint replacement surgery achieved statistically and clinically important improvements in mobility and function, and with similar satisfaction levels as patients who receive one-on-one therapy.

It’s not only following surgery that people can benefit from physio and rehab in a group setting, anyone recovering from an injury can reap the rewards!

Having our group rehab sessions now in full swing at goPhysio – here’s some thoughts as to why group physio can have such a positive impact!

  • Connection with other people – Often, when you’ve had an injury or a recovering from surgery, it can be a very lonely time. In a group situation, you can gain positive connections with others, working towards a common goal and helping support each other.
  • Amalgamating social and exercise – Sharing an experience with others brings a social context to rehab. This can help increase enjoyment and motivation, key indicators in longer term success and outcomes.
  • Context – Everyone has days they may struggle or relapse slightly, but you’re not alone. Sharing stories or experiences with other people helps give context and perspective to your recovery and helps ‘normailse’ things. You will also get words of encouragement when others notice how well you are doing (when it may feel to you that progress is slow).
  • Commitment and motivation – Exercising as part of a group helps you commit to your goals, you are more likely to help support your peers and be motivated to continue.

And if group rehab isn’t your thing, we also offer a 1-2-1 rehab service so you can be provided with a structured rehab programme to go and do in your own time at home or in the gym.

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Group Rehab Chandlers Ford Rehabilitation Southampton

Group Rehab Chandlers Ford Group Rehab Southampton

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Group Rehabilitation at goPhysio

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Rehabilitation: Why it’s crucial to you and your performance

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Post Marathon Recovery Tips

Posted on 23rd April 2017 by

Whatever your running challenge, whether you’ve run a full 26.2 miles at The London Marathon, ABP Southampton Marathon, the 13.1 miles ABP Half or taken part in a 10k or 5k run, these events can take their toll on your body and mind.

What you do post race plays an important part in your recovery, just like your training and race preparation.

Here’s our top tips to maximise your recovery

  1. Keep hydrated, drink plenty of fluids following the race and in the days after.
  2. Take a bath in Epsom salts and alternate this with a contrasting cool bath or shower to really stimulate circulation.
  3. Make sure you keep moving. However tempting it is to just collapse in an exhausted heap and have a few relaxing days, if you can keep your body lightly active it will help your recovery. Doing some gentle alternative exercise such as swimming or yoga can really help in the week or so after an event. It can take about 2 weeks post marathon for your muscles to return to full strength, so ease back into running gradually.
  4. Increase your protein intake following the event to aid the recovery process.
  5. Invest in a post event sports massage. This will help ease any muscle stiffness and soreness, and improve recovery rate. The best timing for a light massage is 1 to 3 days post event, or 3 to 5 days post event for a deeper tissue massage. You can also use a foam roller, massage stick or massage ball to ease up and loosen out tight areas.

Read More: Exercise Pain – What you need to know about DOMS

#ABPMarathon #ABPHalfand10K #SouthamptonMarathon #10k #5K #LondonMarathon


How goPhysio are different

Posted on 24th January 2017 by

There’s a lot of choice out there if you want to see a Physio. As a customer looking for someone to help solve your injury frustrations and get you back to enjoying an active life, it can be a bit daunting.

Unless someone has been recommended to you, you probably head straight for your computer & Google! But what do you look for?

Here’s how we’re different at goPhysio..……….

We employ all our staff

All our Physiotherapists are full time employees of goPhysio. So what you may ask? Well we think it’s a big deal. Having a team of full time employees gives us a really cohesive force. The team’s working time is fully dedicated to goPhysio – not being pulled or split between too many commitments. This means they are there to fully support you and your treatment. Our staff don’t turn up for an evening clinic having already spent a whole day working in the NHS, already exhausted!

We have a dedicated clinic, open over 60 hours a week

Our dedicated clinic is open 6 days a week, from sunrise to sunset during the week! The fact we’re open all day, every day gives you a consistent service, with appointments at a time to suit you. If you need to contact us, you can. If you need to see someone today – more often than not, you can! We’re even open on a Saturday morning if you can’t quite squeeze in an appointment during the week.

Experienced clinicians

All of our staff have a minimum of 5 years experience working as a Physiotherapist. Between us, we’ve got a combined experience of over 30 years. This experience helps get better outcomes for you, faster. The hundreds of patients they’ve seen, combined with an environment of shared knowledge creates a dynamic, progressive and problem solving environment, giving you the best possible care and service. If you come and see us at goPhysio, you won’t be seeing someone who’s recently qualified, with minimal real life experience in resolving injuries.

Range of onsite services

Whether you’re after help with an injury or being proactive about your health and physical well being, we offer a range of in-house, services all within the clinic. Our team all work very closely together, so if you want’t to carry on your rehabilitation through coming to one of our Pilates classes, the transition is seamless. If, during a sports massage, a more serious injury is picked up, you’ll be referred on to a Physio. This integrated method of care helps support you to achieve your goals.

Dedicated administration team

Our dedicated administration team are always on hand to help you. We now have over 60 hours a week of administration support at the clinic. Whether it’s booking or changing an appointment, liaising with your insurance company or sorting out a receipt for your cash back plan, they can help. It also means that our clinical staff aren’t pulled between answering the phone, booking appointments and managing diaries – they can focus on you as their patient! When our desk or phones aren’t manned, you can even book an appointment online safely and securely on our website.

Our Clinic

We’re one of the only private practices in the area that has their own, completely independent clinic and facilities. We’re not renting a room in a GP surgery or gym or reliant on third parties for long term stability. We are completely independent and in control of our facilities which gives us stability and control. We are able to continually re-invest into the clinic to offer the best facilities and experience in the area. At the end of 2016, we moved into our brand new clinic in Chandlers Ford. This is our third clinic in Chandlers Ford, each time we’ve moved we’ve doubled in size. We spent a year renovating a derelict old building and now have an amazing new space – with large, private treatment rooms, a spacious studio, rehabilitation room and air conditioning throughout for your comfort. There’s a free on site car park for your use and great local transport links. We’ve got everything you need to have a relaxed, welcoming & supported recovery.

Local, Family Business

goPhysio is a truly local, small, family business. It’s owned and managed by husband and wife team, Paul & Fiona. It was established locally back in 2001 and has grown from strength to strength ever since. Paul & Fiona not only have a business in Chandlers Ford but live here too with their 3 children, who go to school locally. They love being able to provide such a crucial and valued service in the area. You can read more about the history of goPhysio here! 

Recommendations

Over 80% of our new customers come to us through a personal recommendation. Unlike many other physio’s we don’t fill our diaries with 3rd party external referrals from high volume/low cost work (which is now commonplace in the industry). So the patients that fill our diaries are there because they value the service we offer and results we achieve, they have chosen us based on the quality of service we offer. This is the biggest compliment and endorsement we can get – personal recommendations and returning customers! We even say thank you to those who refer a friend with our ‘Refer A Friend’ Scheme.
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goPhysio FAQs: How long will my treatment last?

Posted on 12th October 2016 by

goPhysio FAQHere at goPhysio we understand that coming to see a Physiotherapist may be a bit daunting? Lots of questions may go through your mind before you decide to make an appointment……….“What will they ask me? Will it hurt? Will I have to get undressed? How do I know it’s going to help?”

We aim to provide a very caring, comfortable and professional environment for you to come and get your problem resolved.

To help answer some of the thoughts you may have if you’re unsure about picking up the phone to make an appointment, in this new blog series, we address some of the questions you may want to ask.


How long will my treatment last?

This will be determined by many factors. These can include how severe your problem is, how long you’ve had it, if you’ve developed lots of compensations, what level of activity you want to get back to……

Treatment at goPhysio will start at your first appointment. So, you’ll leave that first session already starting your recovery and armed with lots of knowledge and tools as part of your treatment programme. At this first appointment, your Physio will be able to give you an indication of how many sessions you’re likely to need. The average number of sessions that people need with us at goPhysio is 5 – 6 appointments.

Our treatment sessions are normally half hour appointments, although sometimes we recommend 45 minutes for more complex or multiple problems.

How long your recovery takes will depend on your individual progress, how you respond to treatment and also whether you follow our advice, recommendations and your home programme – all these factors will significantly influence your recovery.

If at any point you aren’t progressing as we’d expect you to or we think physiotherapy isn’t going to help, we will explain this to you and most importantly help you find someone who can. We are able to refer on to Consultants or additional tests such as MRI scans, should we think you need this. We are here to support you however we can, and often this will involve writing a comprehensive letter for you or making some calls – this is all part of our service.