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Recover from injury faster with POLICE

Posted on 30th June 2016 by

R.I.C.E. or P.R.I.C.E. principles are well known ways to help treat an acute soft tissue injury, such as a sprain, strain or bruise, in the early days. The acronym stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation.

However, what’s not so widely known is that in recent years, the R. (Rest) element has been replaced with O.L. (Optimal Loading).

Why the change? 

Some rest initially can be beneficial, immediately after suffering an injury, but only for a very short period of time. What research shows is that early mobilisation (loading) stresses tissues in the correct manner for full recovery, whereas rest can actually impair optimal recovery of soft tissue injuries. Too much rest and you’ll quickly develop joint stiffness and muscle weakness.

Some injuries may require some ‘Protection’ such as using crutches for a few days, just to take the weight off a severe ankle injury, or a splint or brace for a wrist, ankle or knee. This will help to unload the injury enough to avoid further aggravation but still allow tissue stress to help with healing. But use of such protection should be minimised as inevitably you won’t be loading the area if it’s totally protected.

The hard part of this is correctly identify what exactly constitutes ‘Optimal Loading’, as it is different for different tissues and body parts. You can often use common sense, don’t be afraid to move and use the injured area within your own limits of pain. A mild pain is to be expected but anything more and you’re probably doing too much. You need to make sure that you keep progressing what you are doing, as this will help your injury heal better and longer term help prevent re-injury.

This is where seeking help from a Physio is great. A physiotherapist will combine their knowledge of the stages of healing with what you should and shouldn’t be doing to ‘load’ your healing tissues. They will give you a tailored and progressive exercise programme to make sure the healing tissues are given the optimal chance of long term recovery.

POLICE Principle Injury Treatment

As with any injury, always seek medical advice if you are worried or concerned or want to get it checked out before starting any self directed management.

Some of the research: 

PRICE needs updating, shall we call the POLICE?

What Is the Evidence for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation Therapy in the Treatment of Ankle Sprains in Adults?


10 Ways to Keep Your Neck Pain Under Control

Posted on 29th June 2016 by

Neck pain is a very common complaint. We see dozens of people every week at our clinic in Chandlers Ford, suffering from various degrees of neck pain. Rarely is it very serious and there are very effective treatments that we can use to help resolve the problem quickly.

Whilst physiotherapy treatment can help neck pain very effectively, it is very important that you learn to help control and manage the problem yourself too or better still, take steps to help prevent it occurring in the first place.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Sustained postures can cause and re-aggravate neck pain. Learn how to maintain a good posture during common activities such as reading, watching TV, sleeping and working. This will reduce neck strain. More importantly, don’t stay in any one position for too long – shuffle and move about. It’s sustaining one position for lengthy periods of time rather than the actual position, that can cause more neck issues.
  2. Overuse can over-stress the neck structures. Performing the same activity repetitively is unwise. Try to break up and vary your activity from time to time. Examples when overuse can be a problem include painting, writing, gardening, practising your sport (e.g. tennis, golf), lifting & work activities.
  3. Poor muscle control in your neck may lead to fatigue and overuse of other muscles in the area. Strengthening your neck muscles can help you control your neck problem. We will always provide you with an exercise programme designed specifically for you to help strengthen the right muscles if needed and there’s some great, simple exercises below.
  4. Hands on and self treatment can really help if you’ve got neck pain. Arrange to see someone when problems arise or if your neck begins to deteriorate. Don’t leave it until problems become severe. Some people find a regular massage can be helpful and have it scheduled in to keep on top of the problem, rather than wait until it builds up to a painful level.
  5. Heat & massage are useful self treatment techniques. Heat & massage often helps ease muscle spasm or tension. You can use massage tools, such as massage rollers, spiky balls or foam rollers, to help massage the area yourself.
  6. Regular breaks are important. Try to divide your activities into small chunks and have breaks in between. Performing gentle stretches and range of movement exercises (as advised by your physio) can be very useful during these breaks. Also, get up and walk around regularly.
  7. Your chair is very important. Make sure you have a good chair for work, study or when at the computer. Your chair should have a good lower back support, height adjustment and adjustable arm rest. You could even think about having a height adjustable desk so that you vary your work between sitting and standing.
  8. Computer height is important. The monitor should be at eye level and not too far away. You shouldn’t have to twist your neck to use your computer. You should have a document holder, good light and the keyboard should be at elbow level. Your physio can provide specific guidelines about setting up your workstation properly.
  9. Avoid tension whilst working. When you are tense or you are over using the wrong muscles it will put increased stress on your neck. An example of this tension is when you shrug your shoulders and hold this position. You will feel the tension in your neck. When you relax from this ‘shrugged’ position and let your shoulders drop down and relax. This reduces the tension. Learn to relax those ‘shoulder-neck’ muscles.
  10. Improve your neck flexibility. Reduce neck stiffness by stretching tight neck muscles and joints. A stiff neck is less able to withstand strain and loading. Have your physio show you what exercises are best for you.

If you’re suffering with neck problems and want to take control, get in touch with us at goPhysio – we can carry out a full assessment to help you understand your neck issues and create a bespoke recovery plan to not only relieve your symptoms but give you long lasting recovery. If you need any advice, give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or you can book an appointment online.

Here are some general neck exercises that are great to help ward off neck pain.

Neck Exercises and Tension Relief


Diastasis Recti – Separation of tummy muscles

Posted on 28th June 2016 by

We see a large number of pregnant ladies and new Mum’s at goPhysio. Physiotherapist, Kim, is specially trained to treat common conditions that occur during the ante and post natal periods. One thing that we’re seeing a lot of at the moment, is ladies suffering with separated tummy muscles, more formally known as ‘Diastasis Recti’.

What is a Diastasis Recti?

A diastasis recti is a separation of the outer layer of your superficial abdominal muscles, which can often occur in pregnancy (although non-pregnant people can get it too). Sometimes it is called an abdominal separation or tummy muscle separation.

Diastasis Recti goPhysio

The linea alba is a line of connective tissue that normally joins the two halves of your Rectus Abdominis muscles together. It doesn’t have as much stretch as the muscles around it – this means that under increasing pressure (like a growing baby), it can come apart, resulting in a separation of the muscles.

Is it common?

Around two thirds of women will have a diastasis recti after pregnancy. It can also occur in the non-pregnant population – usually due to a significant trauma or change in internal or external abdominal pressure.

Women over the age of 35, have had multiple pregnancies, large babies or multiple births, such as twins/triplets, are all at an increased risk. Shorter women can also be more at risk as they don’t always have as much space in their abdomen to accommodate the growing baby as someone taller!

You may see your tummy muscles ‘dome’ as you try and sit forwards, you may actually feel a gap in your abdominal muscles or see a hollow. All of these can be signs of a separation in your tummy muscles.

Does it cause other problems?

It can do – a weak core can put additional strain on your back muscles and might lead to back pain or stiffness. A large diastasis can also cause your abdominal contents to push forwards as they don’t have the support of the muscles to hold them in place.

Can it be fixed?

Yes! But you need to be very careful in how you address this issue – crunches, sit ups and planks will only make the problem worse. You need to slowly heal the damaged connective tissue of the Linea Alba and not over work or strain the area, as this could cause further separation of the muscles. The weaker the connective tissue and the wider the gap, the longer it is likely to take to heal. In some instances surgery is required to repair there gap, although this is very rare. The key is doing the right things to address the separation and help it heal.

It’s important to see a qualified Physiotherapist who can advise you on the severity of your diastasis and exercises to start improving and strengthening the core muscles.


Could acupuncture help you recover from injury?

Posted on 16th June 2016 by

All of our Physiotherapists are experienced at using acupuncture as part of their physiotherapy treatment. They have undertaken rigorous post graduate training and education in the safe and effective use of acupuncture. If you think acupuncture may help you, get in touch to find out more.

Acupuncture for pain relief at goPhysio


Top 10 Bike Maintenance Tips

Posted on 16th June 2016 by

A bike is a great investment and with the right tlc, can last many years. The Bike Week website has ike Week 2016written their top 10 bike maintenance tips, easy to do, not too laborious but could go a long way in extending the life of your cycle. Here’s their tips:

1. Keep it clean
If there is one thing you can do to prolong the life of your bike, it is keeping it clean. Tedious, but true. No fancy cleaning kit required – a bucket of soapy water, a sponge and an old toothbrush is all you need, though a proper degreaser will help break down the oil and grit in the chain and gear sprockets.

2. Keep your tyres inflated properly
Poorly inflated tyres are prone to punctures. Forget flimsy hand pumps – you need a standing track pump with a pressure gauge to do the job. Nice bike shops will let you borrow theirs. Look on the side of your tyre for a number followed by the letters PSI. That tells you how much air to put in.

3. Check your brake pads
Worn brake pads equal rubbish brakes. You can tell they are worn if you can hardly see the grooves any more. Fitting new brake pads is a very cheap and easy fix and any number of websites can show you how. You just need a set of Allen keys and some patience.

4. Silence squeaky brakes
Screeching brakes are often dirty brakes, or at least dirty wheel rims. Clean and dry both properly and 50% of the time, you’ve solved the problem. If that doesn’t work, they might need adjusting.

5. Tighten saggy brakes
Britain’s Biggest Bike Fix. If your brakes have become sluggish and lacklustre – i.e. if you squeeze the brake lever and it moves more than halfway towards the handlebars – you need to tighten them up. The easiest way to do this is twiddle the barrel adjuster by the brake lever. If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to get your Allen keys out and free the brake cable by opening the brake nut, pulling it taut and closing the nut again. Again, let the internet be your teacher.

6. Get a professional service
Once a year should be fine, ideally at the start of spring if you’ve been brave enough to cycle though winter. There is no shame in getting the pros in. Think of it as your bicycle MOT. Or why not bring your bike to your local Bike Week and have a Dr Bike check up?

7. Lubrication, lubrication, lubrication
Buy some bike-specific lubricant and use it sparingly on any parts of your bike where metal touches metal. There is no point oiling your chain unless you have cleaned it properly first – you’ll make matters worse.

8. Check if your wheel is “true”
Turn your bike upside down and spin your wheels. Do they wobble a little from side to side? If so, they need “truing”. This is a quick fix, but not one for an amateur, as you need special equipment. A bike shop will do this for a small fee.

9. Get your saddle perfect
If you are prone to SBS (sore bum syndrome), experiment a little with your saddle, raising or tilting it slightly to suit your riding style. If you get sore knees while cycling, you might have your saddle too low. When you pedal, your legs should be almost straight on the downwards revolution.

10. Buy some latex gloves
Bike oil is a nightmare to get out from under your nails. If it’s too late for that, scrub your hands with washing up liquid and sugar, only adding water right at the end.


Teaching Your Child to Ride A Bike in 30 Minutes

Posted on 13th June 2016 by

Learning to ride a bike is a huge childhood milestone. By the time we were on our third child, we’d nailed it! But teaching our first and second were quite a challenge at times. Given that this week is Bike Week, I thought I’d share my own tips and this great little video, which certainly echoes my positive experience teaching my third child to ride a bike.

My Top Tips

  • Get them on a balance bike as soon as they’re ready – they’ll learn how to balance and stay upright on 2 wheels, without having to think about pedals.
  • Encourage them to use the balance bike little and often, short bursts going from A to B are great. They’ll pick it up in no time.
  • Don’t use stabilisers, the positioning of the bike isn’t the same as without, which is confusing with little ones when you try and get rid of them.
  • Get a lightweight bike that’s proportioned to the child. I absolutely rave about Isla Bikes and have also heard good things about Frog bikes.
  • Lead by example, start family bike rides early (with baby in a bike seat) and cycling will just become a normal part of their life.
  • Choose flat, smooth surfaces to first try with a pedal bike. St James Park in Shirley has a great looping path, as does Southampton Common. But there are many options in the area.

From my experience, it literally took less than 10 minutes to go from a balance bike to a pedal cycle with my third when she was about 4 and she’d been on a balance bike since she was 2. It was such a simple, natural transition and a pleasure and joy to watch!

Cycling is a great family activity, and one that you can get even the youngest family members involved in from quite early on. While I’m on the subject of family cycling, I thought I’d also share my child bike seat recommendation. Again, you’ve learnt by the third time round! We found the Weeride bike seat, which sits between the handle bars and cyclist (rather than behind the cyclist), to be amazing. When they’re stuck at the back, the bike often feels heavy and unbalanced and you have no interaction with them. Using the Weeride, the bike feels so much more stable and you can involve them in your cycle and chat to them as you go. They can also see what’s going on really well. We used this right up until our 3rd child was about 4 and it was a great experience.

#BikeWeekUK


Why Is Clinical Pilates different to other Pilates Classes?

Posted on 12th June 2016 by

Pilates classes are a big part of what we offer here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford. However, the Pilates classes we run at goPhysio are a little different to others you may experience in the area. Our Pilates is in essence ‘Clinical Pilates’.

Clinical Pilates is different to a traditional class you may attend at the gym or local hall.

Physio Pilates Chandlers FordClinical (or Rehabilitation) Pilates has been specifically developed for use by clinically trained professionals, so physiotherapists or Sports Therapists.  All of our instructors are either Charted Physiotherapists or Graduate Sports Therapists and are trained by the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI), which is the world leader in clinical Pilates.

Clinical Pilates exercises work to target the deep postural muscles of the tummy and spine. They also help improve spinal mobility, increase flexibility of the key trunk and leg muscle groups and improve body and postural awareness. The classes help increase awareness of your body and improve your movement quality and control. This type of Pilates is particularly suitable for you if you suffer with back or neck pain or have suffered a specific injury or have a long standing condition such as arthritis. It is also a great way of preventing injuries or preparing for sport.

People who come along to our Pilates classes tend to fall into one of 5 categories:

  1. They’ve had an injury and have been seeing us for Physiotherapy or Sports Therapy. Once they are nearing recovery, they start with Pilates to both continue their recovery and help improve their physical ability to stop the injury coming back.
  2. They have been advised to start Pilates by another health care practitioner (e.g. Consultant or GP) and want to join a specialist Clinically led class to make sure they have the right support in the class and adequately experienced Instructor, who is specifically trained and qualified to manage a health related condition.
  3. They’ve suffered with back or neck pain (or other injuries) on and off for years and have heard Pilates is great to stop it re-occurring (which it definitely is!).
  4. They’ve been to another Pilates class elsewhere but felt that the class size was too big and they weren’t getting enough attention or support from the instructor. We even have people who’ve picked up an injury at other classes from doing Pilates incorrectly or without the right support.
  5. They’ve just heard wonderful things about Pilates and want to experience the benefits too in a friendly, supportive environment!

As our instructors are also Physiotherapist or Graduate Sports Therapists, you always have ‘on hand’ expertise ready to share their knowledge and advice at every class. They have such an extensive knowledge of the human body and also injury, so can tailor each class to the individual needs and make sure you really get the most out of it for you. The classes only ever have a maximum of 11 participants, so you are always under the watchful eye to make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly and be progressed when needed.

There is a real skill in getting the Pilates exercises right and this needs concentration, guidance and attention.

Take a look at our class timetable to see the classes we run at goPhysio.

Questions we’re often asked about our classes

How many people come to the Pilates classes? The numbers for each class are strictly limited to a maximum of 11, however the classes are often smaller than this. This is to ensure that we maintain a high quality class, with the instructor being able to give sufficient attention & support to each individual.

How do I book onto a Pilates class? You can find out all you need to know about joining our Pilates classes here. Alternatively, If you are currently attending goPhysio, chat to your Clinician or our Reception team, who can provide further information for you.

How much do the classes cost? We offer different options for classes, including a regular guaranteed class membership and a flexible PAYG option. Take a look here for more details.

Why do I need a 1-2-1 before I start Pilates? We do advocate that if you haven’t seen us at goPhysio before you have a 30 minute 1-to-1 pilates session, before joining a class. This will enable our Pilates Instructor to help you to get 110% out of your Pilates! This is normal procedure for anyone starting a Clinical Pilates course and are free to those looking to join our classes. This is free of charge, so just call us on 023 8025 3317 to book this or you can book it online here.

Pilates Classes Chandlers Ford


What’s Physiotherapy got to do with a dripping tap?!

Posted on 2nd June 2016 by

Dripping tap and overuse injuriesI recently read a very interesting analogy about physiotherapy for overuse injuries and & a dripping tap! I thought it was an interesting way to look at physio and made real sense.

If you’ve got a dripping tap, you’ve got a couple of options.

Firstly you may put a bucket under the drip to collect the water or you can keep mopping it up. This is a great short term solution. The damage is contained and it doesn’t cost too much. But this isn’t great longer term. You’re just managing the problem without a long term solution. Like an injury, this is treating the symptoms of the problem.

But, as well as mopping up the leak, what you really need to do is find out why the tap is leaking and get it fixed, finding the cause of the problem and tackling it. Without doing this, you’ll be forever ‘mopping up’ and it will get pretty expensive with wasted water bills.

Overuse injuries can be looked at in a similar way. Pain is the dripping tap. You can take painkillers, you can rest – but this isn’t really tackling the problem of why you developed the injury in the first place. If all you’re doing is mopping up, you’re not actually fixing the leak. With overuse injuries, you need someone to look holistically at whats happening, identify the cause and offer solutions to rectify it and stop it happening again.

Overuse injuries occur because you’re doing something regularly and you body can’t cope with it, the demands you’re physically placing on your body are exceeding your body’s threshold to cope. So, if you’re suffering with an ongoing or long term overuse injury – do you want to be forever mopping up or do you want to get to the bottom of it and get it fixed? If you want a solution then give us a call. We get to the root of your problem, help relieve your symptoms but also address what’s really happening.