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Meet Our Physiotherapist Kim McCreith

Posted on 26th July 2016 by

Kim McCreith Physio goPhysioMeet one of our physiotherapists, Kim McCreith.

I graduated in 2010, from Coventry University – since then, I’ve completed my APPI Pilates class instructor training and qualified in using Acupuncture, both of which are really useful in my work here at goPhysio!

In the last couple of years, I’ve started specialising in musculo-skeletal issues during pregnancy and post-natally. I have done some additional training with the APPI to teach Ante & Post Natal Pilates and also with the Pelvic Partnership, who do great job supporting women with SPD and PGP.

Outside of work, I love spending time in my garden and baking (then eating!) all sorts of cakes and biscuits. I also spend a lot of time on the side lines of the Rugby pitch, supporting my other half and fixing his injuries.


Paul Baker – Clinical Director goPhysio

Posted on 25th July 2016 by

Paul Baker Clinical Physiotherapy Director goPhysioHow long have you been a qualified Physiotherapist?

I’ve been a physiotherapist for nearly 20 years, qualifying in 1997 and opening goPhysio in 2001.

Why did you want to be a physio?

I was originally attracted to a career in physio for a wide variety of reasons, namely;

  • I was a keen sportsman and I participated in a wide variety of sport and exercise at school, including the Irish traditional sport of Gaelic football!
  • I was always interested in a healthcare type profession and helping people but was never keen on actually working in a hospital (hence private practice had always been my dream).
  • I wanted to have a career that used both my hands and my brain.
  • I enjoyed the fact that ‘outpatient’ physio was responsible for both the assessment and treatment of conditions and responsible for the whole patient journey from injury to recovery and involved the whole rehabilitation process.
  • My father had his own business, so I grew up around customers and business talk, so always wanted to have my own business one day.

Essentially, I was one of the lucky ones at school who always knew exactly what I wanted to do. I am very happy with my choice and creating goPhysio has realised my dream and I love being part of a profession, that 20 years later is still interesting, varied and rewarding.

So What do you do on a daily basis?

I particularly enjoy the diversity between my various clinical and non-clinical roles as Clinical Director at goPhysio. Day to day I am responsible for the clinical training of our team. I also still have a large role in continued clinical practice, and see a full list of patients every week. I am jointly responsible for the strategic business development at goPhysio and continually look at ways to improve and grow.

So ultimately my days are very varied and interesting, with many curve balls being thrown at me with the business mangement, whilst taking care of a wide range of interesting patients at different stages of their rehabilitation.

What’s your approach to patient care?

My philosophy is quite simple and is reflected in how we operate at goPhysio. Essentially we’ve setup the business to solve the day-to-day hassles of patients getting access to a quality physiotherapy service, at a moment’s notice.

We aim to be the first choice for local injured people, helping our patients achieve an active positive lifestyle, pain and injury free. This involves focusing and investing in our team, who in turn are best equipped to take care  of our patients, going the extra mile and keeping their promises in every interaction, optimising their recovery.

What hobbies or interest’s do you have outside work?

I love to keep active and enjoy taking on a new physical challenge! Over the years I’ve participated in a wide variety of sports for purely enjoyment & fitness, namely gaelic football, hurling, running, golf, soccer, Cross Fit, mountain biking, scuba diving, road cycling, kitesurfing, wake boarding and skiing, to name a few!

How can you help me?

Regardless of your background, lifestyle or sporting preference, I have a wide range of experience to help solve your injury problems and concerns and get you back to participating in the activities you enjoy.


Zany Zebras for an Active Day

Posted on 22nd July 2016 by

Zany ZebraWe had a surprisingly active start to the school holidays today, searching for Marwell’s Zany Zebras all over Southampton!

Having seen the colourful Zebras on the news and driving past a few in town, a friend suggested we take the kids on the trail. You can download or pick up a app and there’s even an app for you to log your Zebra finds. It felt a bit like ‘Pokemon Go’ but on the search for something that actually exists!!! At times, we actually crossed paths with a number of Pokemon hunters!

Zany Zebra app

There are 198 Zebras to find all over Southampton & at Marwell Zoo, some life size and also some mini ones inside shops, cafes & restaurants.

The trail took us all over Southampton and we clocked up over 11,000 steps! What a great way to get active, entertain the kids and discover Southampton! The app (on the right) can link to your smartphone activity monitor to track exactly how many steps you do searching for the Zebras – so if you’re aiming to reach the governments 10,000 steps a day target, it’ll certainly tick that box!

What struck us most, was how blessed Southampton is with parks and green space. We were taken through areas we haven’t often ventured before and particularly on such a gorgeous sunny day, the parks and open spaces were beautiful. We vowed to return to some of the spaces and managed a stop at Houndwell Park en-route for some extra exercise!

Zany Zebra Southampton       Zany Zebra Southampton


The Effects of Pregnancy on the Body

Posted on 19th July 2016 by

We all know the obvious changes that your body goes through during pregnancy, but there are some less know changes that occur, sometimes without you even realising!

Almost all the systems in the body will undergo changes to help prepare you for the arrival of your new baby:

Soft Tissue Changes

  • The hormone Relaxin starts to be produced 2 weeks after conception and peaks at 12 weeks. It continues to be produced throughout pregnancy and the effects can last up to 3-6 months after delivery.
  • Relaxed muscles and ligaments are at an increased risk of injury, with an increased possibility of sprains and strains.
  • Conditions such as Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction (SPD) and Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) are also more common due to the increased elasticity of the joints, muscles and ligaments.
  • Muscles undergo adaptive length changes, to accommodate your increasing bump – with Rectus Abdominis (your tummy muscles) increasing by up to 50cm in length.
  • Due to the increased length, muscles can develop a ‘stretch weakness’ – putting you at a higher risk of injury.

Postural Changes

  • Pregnancy postural changesAs your baby grows, it causes your centre of gravity to shift forwards. To compensate and keep you balanced, your spinal posture will change.
  • As the image here shows, your thoracic spine will become more kyphotic or rounded. This leads to an increased lordosis or curve in your lumbar spine. This causes increased tension in your paraspinal muscles and reduced activity & strength of the gluteal muscles.

Circulatory System

  • Blood volume will increase to prepare for any loss during delivery and your heart rate will increase by 20 beats per minute (BPM) in the first trimester and by up to 50 BPM in the third trimester.
  • Blood vessels will increase in diameter to accommodate the additional blood volume, leading to low blood pressure. Lying flat on your back and changing position too quickly may also cause dizziness and feeling light headed.

Fluid Retention

  • In early pregnancy, this will show as increased weight, but will come increasingly more noticeable throughout the pregnancy. Hands, feet, ankles and lower legs tend to be most affected by fluid retention.
  • Fluid retention in the hands and arms can cause compression of the median nerve, leading to carpal tunnel symptoms.
  • Swollen feet and ankles may restrict your mobility – calf raises, ankle mobility and support/compression stockings can help.

Digestive System

  • Relaxin, a hormone to relax your ligaments for labour, causes a reduction in smooth muscle activity. This can lead to issues such as reflux, indigestion and heartburn. It can also slow your digestive tract down, leading to constipation.
  • Eating little and often may help, as well as staying hydrated and eating a high fibre diet.

physical changes to body

How Can Exercise Help?

First Trimester

This trimester is important for development of your baby, so gentle exercise focusing on activating your pelvic floor and core abdominal muscles is key. If you start off with good habits and postures, it will help the whole way through your pregnancy. Often, women can suffer quite badly with morning sickness, tiredness and a lack of energy at this stage of their pregnancy. Gentle exercise may help to improve mood, aid with sleep and keep your joints & muscles flexible.

Second Trimester

When you reach your second trimester, things will ease up – morning sickness will reduce and you will have more energy. Your body will now start to show physical signs of changing, with a bump becoming visible and you may find that your breasts are increasing in size – which may lead to tension and strain in the upper back. It is vital to keep exercising at this stage, continuing to strengthen your core and pelvic floor as your bump grows. Exercise will also help to reduce fluid retention, keep muscles stretched and make the most of your new found energy!

Third Trimester

Final stretch now! You may find that you feel tired and breathless now, with most women carrying an extra 12kg of weight. Continuing gentle exercise will help keep you moving and prepare you for delivery and the arrival of your new baby. Ensuring the core and pelvic floor muscles remain strengthened will help support your uterus and will also aid in your post natal recovery.

Pilates is a great way to stay active during your pregnancy. It is safe, low impact and helps to strengthen all the key core and pelvic floor muscles, along with strengthening your arms & legs to help prepare your body for carrying, lifting and holding your new arrival – plus the car seat, pushchair, nappy bag…!

Here at goPhysio, we run a range of Clinical Pilates classes. One of our Pilates Instructors and Physio’s is Kim, who has undertaken specialist ante & post natal training to help make sure you exercise safely and effectively during and after your pregnancy. She is able to tailor the exercises within the classes appropriately.

If you’d like more information about our Pilates classes, take a look at our website, or call our team on 023 8035 2217.


Help! I’ve got back pain – what should I do?

Posted on 16th July 2016 by

Sudden onset of back pain is not uncommon, we see dozens of people a month at goPhysio who come in with quite severe pain in their back. Often this has come on suddenly without any warning.

It can be quite a scary experience, especially when it comes on quite quickly and is quite an intense pain. However, in the majority of cases back pain isn’t anything too serious and when handled in the right way will resolve quickly.

So, if you wake up with back pain or suddenly suffer with pain in your back, what should you do?

  1. Try and keep moving. Even though moving may make the pain worse, it’s very important to keep moving. If you’re afraid to move and just stay in 1 position this will actually make your problem worse. Moving will help reduce muscle spasm and help act as a natural painkiller by de-sensitising the injured area.
  2. Use a heat pack or hot water bottle on your back. This will help reduce muscle spasm, relieve pain and make it easier to move about. 10-15 minutes every couple of hours is good.
  3. Try and do some back exercises every couple of hours (after you’ve used heat above is a good time).
  4. Take painkillers. Speak to your pharmacist about the best ones to take for you, but painkillers are worth taking as they will help ease the pain which will make moving easier.
  5. As the pain eases, build up what you are doing. When the pain is quite severe, you may have to modify what you do day to day to minimise aggravating your pain, but try and get back to ‘normal’ ASAP.
  6. If your pain isn’t easing after 3-5 days or is getting worse, come and see one of our Physio’s. We’ll do a full assessment to get to the bottom of what’s causing your problem and start a penalised recovery plan to get it better and stop it coming back too.

These simple exercises are a great way to gently get your back moving and help ease pain and tension.

Pelvic Tilt – lying on your back, gently tilt your pelvis backward and forwards, so you’re alternately arching and flattening your lower back. You can also try this in sitting or standing.

Exercises for back painBack pain exercise

Lumbar Rotations – lying on your back, gently rotate your knees from side to side as far as you feel comfortable.

Spinal rotation exercisesExercise for back pain

Back Stretch – lying on your back, gently bend one leg up towards you with your hands round your knee. Repeat with the other leg.

back stretch

What if it doesn’t get better? Back pain will often ease off over a few days. If you find your pain isn’t improving or is getting worse, you’d benefit from coming to see one of our Physiotherapists. They’ll be able to work with you to provide relief from your back pain. Just give us a call on 023 8025 3317. You can also book an appointment online.

There are many common myths surrounding back pain. These include ‘Moving Will Make My Back Pain Worse’, ‘Should I Avoid Exercise?’ and ‘Do I Need A Scan?’, which you can read more about on our other blogs. We’ve also written about the latest NICE Guidelines on the management of back pain.

If you’re experiencing back pain and also have symptoms that affect you going to the toilet, having pins and needles or numbness around your seat area or pain or pins and needles in your leg, these may be signs of something more serious going on. If this is the case, it is advisable to go and see your GP.


Mechanism of Injury – How can a physio help?

Posted on 11th July 2016 by

Anyone who watched lasts nights Euro’s 2016 Final would have seen that Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo had to be stretchered off following an earlier knee injury.
Ronaldo Euro knee injuryWhen you come for a physiotherapy assessment having suffered an injury, you’ll find the Physio will spend time asking you lots of questions about your injury. What exactly you were doing, how you think it happened, how it felt immediately afterwards?………The reason for this is that  the ‘mechanism of injury’ can give a lot of clues as to what exactly may be injured and it will guide the physical part of the assessment.

Obviously, a live football match has the benefit of being filmed, so it is very clear what the mechanism of injury was in Ronaldo’s case. His left foot is firmly fixed to the ground and his leg is rotated, with his opponent exerting a force with his knee onto the outside of Ronaldo’s knee. The potential consequence of this is overstitching of the medial (inside part of his knee), compression of the lateral (outside part of his knee) combined with the rotation – this combination could mean damage to his medial collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and/or damage to his meniscus (cartilage). It could be a nasty injury, as yet there is no word.

So, our job involves a fair bit of detective work! It’s not always easy, as these things happen very quickly. But having a really good think about what may have happened to cause of contribute to your injury can be really helpful.


Running Injuries: The Basic Principles

Posted on 8th July 2016 by

There are 2 main types of running injuries that we commonly see at goPhysio:

  1. Traumatic injuries
  2. Overuse injuries

Traumatic injuries are caused by an accident or ‘traumatic event’ for example tripping over when you’re running or having a fall.

These type of injuries usually happen unexpectedly and are therefore difficult to prevent, however there are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of these types of injuries.

  • Invest in good quality running shoes that are suitable for the type of running (trail, road etc.).
  • Wear the correct shoes and clothing for the weather conditions.
  • Warm up well to help prevent injuries that may be caused by sudden movements.
  • Listen to your body – if you’re not feeling 100%, are overly tired or recovering from an injury, you’ll be more at risk of having an accident.

If you suffer a mild to moderate traumatic injury, the best course of action is to follow the P.O.L.I.C.E. acute injury management programme. This will give you the best chance of a speedy recovery and return to running.

It’s important to remember that even if you need to rest from running, try and stay as active as you can and find alternative forms of exercise like swimming or cycling, where you can maintain your fitness, strength and flexibility but still allow your injury to recover.

It’s also very important to do specific exercises to work your injured are to recover strength and flexibility. This is particularly important to help prevent any re-injury once you’re back to running.

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive movements that build up over time, that eventually your body can’t cope with. Given the repetitive and high impact nature of running, overuse injuries in runners are extremely common.

There are 2 main causes of overuse injuries:

Extrinsic Causes

These relate to external factors such as:

  • Footwear – wearing the wrong type of shoe for you or a shoe that’s worn out.
  • Running surfaces – repeated running on overly hard surfaces or on a certain camber.
  • Your training programme – normally overtraining, so increasing speed or distances too quickly and not allowing adequate recovery time.

Intrinsic Causes

These are related to your physical build and design. These include:

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Lack of flexibility or even over flexibility
  • Running technique
  • Biomechanics
  • Your own skeletal design

It can often be a cumulative combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that lead to an injury. You can read more about overuse injuries on another one of our blogs.


Tennis Elbow

Posted on 4th July 2016 by

Tennis elbow is one of the most well known tennis injuries, yet it’s name is deceiving. This common elbow problem probably affects as many non-tennis players as it does tennis players.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is caused by a strain to tendons in the forearm. The tendons become inflamed where they Tennis elbow treatmentjoin the bony part on the outside of your elbow joint. Any activity that involves gripping and twisting of the forearm can cause this type of strain – most cases aren’t actually related to tennis or any kind of exercise. Golfer’s elbow is a similar condition that affects the inside of the elbow joint near the funny bone.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary – you may have mild discomfort when you move your arm, or the pain may be bad enough to disturb your sleep. The outside of your elbow will feel tender to the touch and there may be swelling. You may also have pain further down your forearm. Repetitive movements of the wrist will make the pain worse, especially if combined with a weight, for example if you’re lifting boxes.

What can be done to help?

Simple self-help treatments can often be enough to clear up a mild case of tennis elbow. Most cases will ease within about 2 weeks. The first thing you can do to help is to identify and adapt any movements that may be causing your symptoms. So, if you feel your pain when you do something, try and find a different way of doing it. For example, lift objects with your palms facing upwards and elbows bent.

Medication

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may help. It’s important that you take them regularly and at the recommended dose to help you control the pain and allow you to continue exercising. Don’t wait until your pain is severe before taking painkillers. You can also rub anti-in ammatory cream directly onto the painful area.

You shouldn’t take ibuprofen or aspirin if you’re pregnant or have asthma, indigestion or an ulcer until you’ve spoken to your doctor or pharmacist. Medication can have side-effects so you should read the label carefully and check with your pharmacist if you have any queries. Always seek medical advice if needed before taking medication.

Physiotherapy

If your elbow pain is affecting your activity and is persisting, you would benefit from seeing a Tennis elbow clasp physiotherapist. Here at goPhysio, we can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. Importantly, we will help you identify what exactly has caused the problem and find ways to modify what you do to prevent it happening again. Tennis elbow is an overuse injury, so if you don’t address the root of the problem, it can become a long term issue.

We can use a variety of treatments – including acupuncture, ultrasound, hands on techniques and tailored exercises. We will help you understand your problem and get you back doing what you love to do. We may recommend an epicondylitis clasp, which can help reduce the strain on your elbow if you need to make repetitive hand and elbow movements, for example while you’re working. This can ease the discomfort in your forearm.

Shockwave Therapy

For long standing, persistent tennis elbow, or tennis elbow that has failed to respond to other treatments, Shockwave Therapy can be highly effective. We now offer this service at goPhysio – read more about it here.

Steroid injections

If your pain persists and doesn’t respond to treatment, your physio  may suggest a steroid injection into the tender area. One injection is probably all you’ll need, though you may still need to rest your elbow for 2–3 weeks afterwards. There’s a slight possibility that the pain will become worse for a few hours after the injection, occasionally lasting for up to 48 hours. Your physio can help with referring you on for a steroid injection if they think you would benefit from this and also discuss the pros and cons with you.

Here are some simple exercises that can help if you’re suffering with tennis elbow.

Tennis elbow physiotherapy



Tennis Injuries

Posted on 2nd July 2016 by

We’re half way through the famous annual Wimbledon Tennis event. It’s such a popular event and Tennis injuries Chandlers Fordcertainly creates a buzz around the sport.

Tennis places huge physical demands on the professionals, which is understandable given the rigorous training and competition they take part in. Yet, for the novice tennis players out there, injuries can be just as problematic.

Common tennis injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears or impingement
  • Low back pain
  • Wrist sprains
  • Calf muscle injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee injuries such as ligament sprain or tendon issues
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Mild to moderate soft tissue injuries can often be well managed at home using P.O.L.I.C.E. principles. However, many tennis injuries result from ‘overuse’ – so an injury that is from a sustained, repeated action, like a tennis grip or swing. If this is the case, you may need help identifying exactly where the problem is stemming from and what changes that are needed. Physiotherapy is an effective way of resolving all of the above common injuries.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have written a summary of the common tennis injuries and how physiotherapy can help.

If injury’s stopping you from enjoying a game of tennis, then get is touch with us at goPhysio. We’ll provide an accurate diagnosis of your injury and a treatment programme that works to get you back in the game.