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Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on 7th October 2020 by

At goPhysio, we are seeing and hearing from an increasing number of people who are suffering with quite debilitating pain on the sole of their foot. This common complaint is often the result of a condition known as Plantar Fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis Shockwave Therapy

Fascia is connective tissue which is found all over the body in various forms for different functions. It’s most common forms are sheaths surrounding muscles and ligaments to compartmentalise and  protect these tissues or thickened fascial bands or sheets in certain areas of the body.

The plantar fascia is a thickened sheet of fascia on the sole of the feet, running from the inside base of the heel bone and fanning out into the base of the toes. It’s elasticity gives us a spring in our step when walking or running.

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury to the fascial sheet on the sole of the foot.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is the plantar fascia being put under excessive stretch for lengthy periods of time. This can happen for example when your foot arches are too flat, so that as you walk or run, the fascia is excessively overloaded and stretched. Over time microtrauma, injury and pain result.

The foot can also be termed the “rubbish bin” of the body, where asymmetries further up the body can result in compensations in the foot. The body will compensate up to a point, but due to the excessive forces during the propulsion as you move that go through your feet, the foot may adapt by stiffening up and thickening of the plantar fascia. So sometimes, it can be something going on further up the body that may put too much stress on your foot, that will in turn cause this problem.

Symptoms

Plantar fasciitis is normally felt as a pain on the bottom of your foot, sometimes going into your heel.

Unfortunately plantar fasciitis is often confused with another foot problem called calcaneal bursitis heel pain). Without a thorough examination, most plantar foot problems are diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.

So a quick test you can do yourself to indicate whether your foot pain is plantar fasciitis or not is to see which is more painful; walking on your tip toes or your heels.

If it is painful to walk a few steps on your heels, you may have an element of calcanea bursitis. If it’s more painful too walk on tip toes (stretching plantar fascia), it’s likely you have plantar fasciitis.

Why is it so painful 1st thing in the morning or after I’ve been sat for a while and then get up?

Plantar fasciitis is usually painful after a period of rest. The reason being is that when you’re sat for a while or asleep in bed, the fascia is off loaded and re-tightens. When you get back up on your feet, you are re-stretching the tight, painful fascia. It may ease a little as you start to move around as it effectively ‘warms up’ and stretches.

What can affect recovery?

There are many factors that will affect the speed of recovery. Seeing an expert Physiotherapist who has a wide range of experience treating lower limb overuse injuries is vital to identify all the factors and work towards removing or modifying the triggers unique to you.

The most common triggers for foot problems such as plantar fasciitis are:

Biomechanics It’s crucial to assess whether your foot and leg biomechanics (e.g. flattened arches, knocked knees etc.) are contributing to your injury and may need correcting. Here at goPhysio, our Physio’s can do this quite easily as part of your recovery by combining their physical assessment findings with performing a computerised foot screen using our Gaitscan system.

Training Patterns and Intensity If a runner or keen walker has the condition, it’s vital to look at the historical loading of the fascia and modify their training schedule to a level that allows the condition to heal. Without breaking the cycle, the tissues won’t be able to recover. However, we like to keep people doing what they love, so rather than advise complete rest, we try wherever possible, to modify your activity or suggest alternatives in the short term that will promote recovery.

Lower Limb Stability Often muscle imbalances further up your body in your knee, hip or pelvis, will have an impact on the foot. As part of your recovery we will always address these elements too to help prevent re-occurrences.

Age Research suggests that older people experience more severe and more prolonged episodes of inflammation and pain. So, if you’re 40 years plus and enjoy an active lifestyle, your pain is unlikely to settle with just rest. It will be easily aggravated when you resume normal activities, as the cause and actual injury hasn’t been addressed.

Footwear Unsupportive, flat, old, worn out shoes or trainers can both contribute to causing plantar fasciitis and will inevitably prolong the condition.

Physiotherapy

At goPhysio, with a condition like plantar fasciitis, we always treat the condition as part of the bigger picture. Not only will we treat your foot itself, but we will look from the foot upwards and from the hip downwards, ensuring we leave you with no issues that will contribute to a re-occurrence.

Having identified all the factors unique to your condition, we will then address and correct them in parallel with hands-on physiotherapy treatments and education. It’s crucial to manually release the tight thickened plantar fascia with a variety of release techniques. You will also be provided with a bespoke home exercise programme for you to self treat at home and speed up your recovery in-between physio sessions.

We can also asses you to find out if you’d benefit from orthotics. In most cases of plantar fasciitis there is a biomechanics component that needs addressing. This can be achieved with orthotics. As outlined above, fattened arches will lower your body’s ability to cope with loading either from day-to-day actives or sport. At goPhysio we use a technologically advanced system called Gaitscan, which uses computer scanning to analyse your moving foot Combined with a physical assessment, the physio can identify if you’d benefit from wearing orthotics and subsequently discuss the range of options available to you to get you back on your feet a quickly.

What about Shockwave Therapy?

If you’ve already had a diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis and had treatment and/or tried everything you can, Shockwave Therapy should be a serious consideration. There is strong evidence to support the use of Shockwave Therapy in the effective treatment of stubborn, long term Plantar Fasciitis.

What next?

If you think you may be suffering with plantar fasciitis or you have foot pain and aren’t sure what exactly it is, just give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or book an initial physiotherapy appointment online. If we think Shockwave is the best treatment for you, we can discuss the options and get started there and then!

At goPhysio, we’d always take an approach where alongside tackling the pain, we’d also analyse and address what’s caused your Plantar Fasciitis in the first place. Without doing this, you risk getting it again. So, with our expert guidance and holistic care, we give you the best possible chance of long term, recovery. 

Read more about achilles tendon injuries here.

There are many treatment options when it comes to resolving achilles tendinopathies. These include:

  • A wait & see approach (can just leave it and hope it will get better in time, which many will do within 8 – 12 months, it just depends whether you can live with it).
  • Physiotherapy – including strengthening exercises, stretches, manual treatment techniques and taping.
  • Acupuncture (which many Physio’s will do as part of their treatment).
  • Activity modification – a crucial part of successful treatment.
  • Medication, including pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

These forms of treatment can all be very effective for a mild or fairly recent onset of achilles tendinopathies. .

More invasive treatment options for more long standing or severe cases can include:

  • Corticio-steroid injection.
  • Surgery.

Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathies

However, steroid injections and surgery really are a last resort, there is no guarantee of success with either of these treatment options. A very worthwhile alternative for more severe, long-standing cases that may have failed to get better with other treatments is Shockwave Therapy.

With Shockwave Therapy, ‘shock waves’ are passed through the skin to the affected area using a special device. It’s a non-invasive and relatively pain-free treatment. The medical name for this procedure is ‘extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory tennis elbow’. ‘Extracorporeal’ means outside the body and ‘refractory’ means that the condition does not respond to conventional treatments. The ‘shock waves’ are inaudible, high-energy sound waves. How many sessions you will need depends on the severity of your pain and how long you’ve had the problem for. However, 4 – 6 are normally recommend.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that shockwave therapy is safe, although it can cause minor side effects, including bruising and reddening of skin in the area being treated.

Research shows that shockwave therapy can help improve the pain of achilles tendinopathies in some cases. However, it may not work in all cases, and further research is needed.

What next?

If you’ve been suffering with achilles tendinopathy and want help, get in touch. You can have a free no obligation phone call to see whether it may help you.

Alternatively, book straight in to see one of our Physiotherapists. They will carry out a full assessment of your elbow and put together a recovery plan for you. If they think shockwave treatment is going to help you, they can get started straight away. Unlike many clinics. we include shockwave therapy in the cost of your appointments, with no additional charges.

Read More

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NICE Guidelines, using ECSWT to treat plantar fasciitis

How SWT got Mike back running

Hampshire Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy FAQs

Posted on 7th October 2020 by

Here at goPhysio, we are able to offer and provide Shockwave Therapy (a.k.a. Extracorpeal Shockwave Therapy or ECSWT, ESWT, SWT or Shockwave), as an integral part of your treatment plan.

Many research studies have shown that Shockwave Therapy simulates new healthy tissue growth and is among the most effective treatments available today for stubborn soft tissue injuries like Achilles Tendonopathy, Tennis Elbow and Plantar Fasciitis.

Here we answer some of your most frequently asked questions about SWT.

How does shockwave therapy work?

Shockwave Therapy is a safe, non-invasive procedure that is an effective treatment if you are suffering from tendon, muscle or joint disorders. It’s a genuine alternative to steroid injections or surgery.

The shockwave machine, produces ‘energy waves’ which are targeted to the injured tissues, bringing about it’s beneficial effects. It is a mechanical wave, not an electric one. The mechanical waves kicks off inflammation in the area. In turn, the body responds by increasing blood flow to that area which accelerates the body’s own natural healing process. The shock waves can also break down injured tissue and calcifications.

The shockwave therapy stimulates the body’s natural self-healing process, helping you recover faster. It is particularly effective when used to treat long standing conditions, conditions that continue to re-occur or conditions that have not been successfully managed through traditional treatment methods.

What sort of people can shockwave therapy help?

  • Have you had a stubborn injury like Plantar Fasciitis, Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow or Achilles Tendonopathy pain for some time?
  • Have you tried lot’s of other things yourself, other treatments, resting or gadgets, but nothing has worked?
  • Is your issue stopping you doing lot’s of the things you’d normally enjoy?
  • Are you facing a steroid injection or maybe even surgery?

If so, shockwave therapy could be for you.

The most recognised conditions that shockwave therapy can help include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis (Read the NICE Guidelines here)
  • Achilles Tendinopathy (Read the NICE Guidelines here)
  • Golfers Elbow (medial Epicondylitis)
  • Tennis Elbow (lateral Epicondylitis) (Read the NICE Guidelines here)
  • Calcific Tendinopathy
  • Trochanteric Bursitis
  • Other tendonopathies, including patellar, biceps and rotator cuff

Is the treatment painful?

You will definitely feel the treatment. Some people experience pain but this is tolerable. Following the treatment, you may experience redness, bruising, swelling and numbness to the area. But this will improve within a few days and these are all normal reactions to the treatment.

How many sessions will I need?

The research backed protocols outline that most conditions will require 3-6 sessions of shockwave therapy. Additional sessions may be required if the condition is very long standing.

You will get most benefit if the sessions are spaced out weekly.

At goPhysio, shockwave treatment is included in your physiotherapy appointment fee (most places charge £100’s extra for this treatment). So, you get the unique benefit of ensuring your recovery is enhanced with the combined approach of SWT and physio.

What happens during a session?

Initially you will have a thorough assessment by one of our Physiotherapists to ascertain if Shockwave Therapy is the most appropriate treatment for your injury. Our unique approach means that we will combine Shockwave with other appropriate treatments to make sure you make a full recovery.

During a Shockwave treatment, your Physiotherapist will find the location of the pain by searching for painful points. Some gel is applied to the skin, which improves the contact between the skin and the hand piece, to allow the shockwaves to penetrate the body properly. 

The Shockwave therapy machine is used to deliver a series of acoustic wave pulsations directly to the site of your injury. The treatment itself can be a little painful, although this is tolerable.

The actual treatment time spent receiving the shockwave therapy is typically less than fifteen minutes. However, your treatment sessions will also include education, advice and an appropriate post treatment plan from our experienced Clinicians to further support your recovery.

Are there any side effects to be aware of?

You need to be aware that there are some potential side effects of Shockwave. You may experience:

  • Pain & discomfort – This can occur during or after treatment & usually subsides within 1-2 days.
  • Transient skin reddening and/or bruising at the treatment site.
  • Transient minor skin irritation or damage at the treatment site.
  • Temporary numbness in the area.

These are all normal reactions that indicate your natural healing process has been stimulated.

Read More

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Shockwave goPhysio

Behind The Mask: Katie

Posted on 5th October 2020 by

Behind The Mask Katie

I’m Katie, Practice Manager at goPhysio. It’s great being back at work after lockdown. It definitely was daunting at first but I’m enjoying the change in scenery after nearly 3 months at home. The sense of achievement with helping patients & booking them in for treatment as soon as possible, and restarting Pilates classes is such a positive in all the doom and gloom.


BackCare Awareness Week

Posted on 5th October 2020 by

This week is the annual Back Care Awareness week, a week brought to us by the BackCare organisation to highlight and open discussions on back pain.

Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management.

Existing evidence suggests that prevalence rates of severe and chronic low back pain increase with older age. As compared to working-age adults, older adults are more likely to develop lower back pain like osteoporotic vertebral fractures, tumors, spinal infection, and lumbar spinal stenosis.                                                                                       NCBI (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

There are many pro-active ways to both help prevent you developing back pain or tackling back pain if you do start to experience it. Here are 3 of our top tips to help you be back care aware!

  1. Live actively – leading an active life is one of the key ways to help make sure you minimise your risk of developing back pain. If you do develop back pain, keeping moving and active will help give you the best chance of a speedy recovery. You don’t have to do sport or organised exercise, walking, cycling, shopping, housework – anything that get’s you moving is great! 
  2. Don’t be afraid of using your back – despite all the messages you may hear “Don’t bend like that, you’ll hurt your back!”, “Be careful of your back!”, “Don’t life that, it’s too heavy and dangerous for your back!” – your back is an extremely strong part of your body, designed to move and support you.
  3. Pain doesn’t always mean harm – it can be very scary experiencing back pain, but the pain you feel doesn’t always mean that you are doing harm or that there is anything serious going on. A serious underlying condition causing pain in your back is very rare. Obviously, if you are worried, seek professional advice to put your mind at ease. But back pain is often nothing to worry about and can be overcome quickly and effectively by doing the right things.

If you’re worried about how back pain is limiting your life, please do get in touch. It can feel like nothing will help and that you have to learn to live with back pain, but that is absolutely not the case. Our team helps 100s of people every year with back pain and we have a range of ways to help you, so please call 023 8025 3317 to find out more. 

Back care Awareness Weekl

People who read this page also found the following articles useful:

Live well for longer – focus on back pain 

Low back pain and sciatica, the latest NICE guidelines

Back pain myth 1 – Moving will make my back pain worse

Back pain myth 2 – I should avoid exercising, especially weight training

Back pain myth 3 – A scan will tell me exactly what’s wrong

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

10 things you should know about your back


Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathies

Posted on 2nd October 2020 by

Achilles tendon injuries or Tendinopathies are typically not related to a specific incident or injury, but instead are a result of overloading or overusing the tendon over a period of time. Your achilles tendon basically is complaining because it can’t cope with the physical demands that are being placed upon it! 

Many people suffer from Achilles Tendinopathies. Symptoms can include waking up with stiffness in your achilles tendon accompanied by difficulty walking downstairs. It often eases with light activity or movement, but gets worse again after high level activity, such as a long walk, running or climbing lots of stairs. Often after sitting or resting it stiffens up again and the pain returns. 

Achilles Tendinopathy

Like with Plantar Fasciitis, people who suffer with Achilles Tendinopathies experience the ‘yo-yoing’ of pain, rest, pain, rest! Before you know it, you’ve limited your activities and sports to avoid the pain. And just like Plantar Fasciitis, identifying the underlying cause is crucial. It could be flattened arches, poor training habits in running, footwear, lack of flexibility in other muscles, weak areas – many issues (or a combination of issues) can lead to Achilles Tendinopathy. 

Mild cases can resolve with rest, but this is rare. Because most people take the ‘wait and see’ approach, Achilles Tendinopathy can be a long standing (chronic) condition, before you seek expert help. If this is the case or if you’ve tried other treatments with no success, SWT can be a very effective treatment to stop your pain and start your recovery.

At goPhysio, we’d always take an approach where alongside tackling the pain, we’d also analyse and address what’s caused your Achilles Tendinopathy in the first place. Without doing this, you risk getting it again. So, with our expert guidance and holistic care, we give you the best possible chance of long term, recovery. 

Read more about achilles tendon injuries here.

There are many treatment options when it comes to resolving achilles tendinopathies. These include:

  • A wait & see approach (can just leave it and hope it will get better in time, which many will do within 8 – 12 months, it just depends whether you can live with it).
  • Physiotherapy – including strengthening exercises, stretches, manual treatment techniques and taping.
  • Acupuncture (which many Physio’s will do as part of their treatment).
  • Activity modification – a crucial part of successful treatment.
  • Medication, including pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

These forms of treatment can all be very effective for a mild or fairly recent onset of achilles tendinopathies. .

More invasive treatment options for more long standing or severe cases can include:

  • Corticio-steroid injection.
  • Surgery.

Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathies

However, steroid injections and surgery really are a last resort, there is no guarantee of success with either of these treatment options. A very worthwhile alternative for more severe, long-standing cases that may have failed to get better with other treatments is Shockwave Therapy.

With Shockwave Therapy, ‘shock waves’ are passed through the skin to the affected area using a special device. It’s a non-invasive and relatively pain-free treatment. The medical name for this procedure is ‘extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory tennis elbow’. ‘Extracorporeal’ means outside the body and ‘refractory’ means that the condition does not respond to conventional treatments. The ‘shock waves’ are inaudible, high-energy sound waves. How many sessions you will need depends on the severity of your pain and how long you’ve had the problem for. However, 4 – 6 are normally recommend.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that shockwave therapy is safe, although it can cause minor side effects, including bruising and reddening of skin in the area being treated.

Research shows that shockwave therapy can help improve the pain of achilles tendinopathies in some cases. However, it may not work in all cases, and further research is needed.

What next?

If you’ve been suffering with achilles tendinopathy and want help, get in touch. You can have a free no obligation phone call to see whether it may help you.

Alternatively, book straight in to see one of our Physiotherapists. They will carry out a full assessment of your elbow and put together a recovery plan for you. If they think shockwave treatment is going to help you, they can get started straight away. Unlike many clinics. we include shockwave therapy in the cost of your appointments, with no additional charges.

Read More

Achilles Tendon Injuries

Lower Limb Tendon Pain: What shouldn’t you be doing?

Overuse injuries

Hampshire Shockwave Therapy

Behind The Mask: Beverley

Posted on 2nd October 2020 by

Lockdown came on so quick for us all, which I found quite hard to take in.  At first it was like a holiday, but as the weeks turned to months I found that i missed my routine, I also missed my work colleagues and not forgetting the lovely patients . I’ve worked here for a number of years and some of the patients have now become friends, so it’s lovely to be back in some sort of capacity. 

Here we are 6 months down the line and we are beginning to see some sort of normality return. 


goPhysio Focus: Exercise Rehabilitation

Posted on 1st October 2020 by

Exercise Rehab is such an important part of what we do here at goPhysio.

Rehabilitation, by definition, means “To make fit again” – and that’s exactly what our rehab service helps you with!

From our dedicated Strong Room, our team of graduate Sports & Rehabilitation Therapists, will take you beyond the treatment room and help you recover stronger and more confident.

Many people might be a bit wary of exercise rehab, going into an equipped exercise space, with weights and lot’s of equipment and being pushed a little outside the comfort zone. So, we thought we’d answer a few questions or concerns that might be on your mind!

Why would I need to do exercise rehabilitation?

Gone are the days of lying on a treatment couch and being a passive recipient of ‘treatment’ for weeks on end. Getting active and getting moving is such an important part of recovery from an injury. Yes, the treatment room has a part to play, but to fully recover from most injuries, you need to get stronger, more mobile and more flexible. It takes hard work and investment but it’s not easy. Where do you start? What do you do? That’s where we come in!

Our team of sports and exercise rehab therapists will put together a bespoke exercise program just for you, your injury and your lifestyle. They take into account all the important factors in your life and work with you, making sure we carefully balance the challenge and support we offer. We then guide you through your rehab journey, ‘holding your hand’ as little or as much as you need, giving you the confidence and tools to progress.

I’ve never been in a ‘gym’ before, surely it’s not for me?

Don’t worry – that’s the benefit of what we offer! Whether you’re a regular gym goer or have never even stepped foot inside a gym, because it’s a bespoke and 1-2-1 service, you’ll feel at ease.

It’s almost like ‘Clinical Personal Training’ so you get the results of exercise based training, but with the Clinical expertise, taking into account your injury, the stage of healing and what you realistically need to achieve.

The fact it’s 1-2-1 means you get the some attention of the Therapist.

I don’t think I’d be able to do the exercises!

Our team at goPhysio work closely together. It’s often the case that treatment with your Physio or Sports Therapist will reach a point when it’s really important to focus more on exercise based therapy. If that’s the direction you’d like to take, your Physio or Sports Therapist will complete a comprehensive referral into the rehab service, so your injury and where you are in your recovery path is established. This provides a great starting point for your rehab.

Your program will be fully bespoke and can be adjusted at any time.

I’ve got an injury, won’t it make it worse?

The latest scientific evidence supports and advocates the use of exercise as one of the best ways to manage and recover from most injuries. It really is magic! But you need to do the right exercises at the right time, too much, too soon can make an injury worse, too little or targeting the wrong areas won’t help your recovery. That’s where our expertise comes in.

Can’t I just do the exercises myself?

As part of all our Physio and Sports Therapy appointments, we’ll always provide a bespoke exercise programme for you to do in between appointments. This will be emailed to you with pictures and videos and full instructions, so you can carry on progress in your own time. Many people struggle with doing exercises themselves. It may be you don’t have time, don’t feel confident or are wary of what to do.

Having that 1-2-1 support and a session scheduled, this is a great way to build your confidence and make progress. We also have lot’s of equipment to hand so we can do a wider range of exercises and push you with your recovery a little more.

How much does rehab cost and how do I book in?

Sessions can be booked at any time. Each 1-2-1 session lasts 45 minutes and costs £59. You can purchase a block of 6 for a reduced cost of £295, so you get 1 session free. To book your session, just call us on 023 8025 3317 or speak to your Physio or Sports Therapist.


Why ‘Lean Muscle Mass’ Is So Important

Posted on 1st October 2020 by

As it’s International Day For Older People, it’s a good chance to focus on what helps people stay fit, healthy and active into the later years. We all know that it’s important to eat well, stay active, avoid too much alcohol, not smoke and to try and maintain a good body weight.

However, although there’s a big focus on body weight, what doesn’t get much attention is how much lean muscle mass you have or should have.

What is lean muscle mass?

Lean Muscle Mass Lean muscle mass is the amount of muscle that makes up your body composition. So you could have 2 people who look fairly similar from the outside or weigh the same, however, if you analysed the muscle mass of both people, one could have a much larger muscle mass and one a lower muscle mass underneath the skin.

Take a look at the images on the left. In the middle picture is the cross section of the leg of a sedentary 74 year old. You will see their thigh bone in the centre, surrounded by their quadriceps muscles (thigh muscles) and then the outer layer is fatty tissue. In the bottom picture, you can see that a 70 year old triathlete has in contrast a huge proportion of muscle mass (almost similar to that of the 40 year old in the top picture) and minimal fatty tissue.

Why does it matter? 

The amount of lean muscle mass that you have contributes to your overall lean body mass. Lean body mass is very important. It’s not just about looking great or being stronger, sufficient amounts of lean body mass are actually critical for building a healthy life over the long-term.

  • Lean body mass is associated with your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the amount of calories you burn at rest. The greater amount of Lean Body Mass you have, the greater your BMR will be. This means that people with greater amounts of Lean Body Mass will have a greater energy expenditure while doing nothing, helping to avoid calorie imbalances, and ultimately, obesity.
  • If you become ill or are stressed, your body’s nutritional demands increase as your immune system gets to work. An essential part of your immune system working well is protein. All this protein can’t come from food alone, so your immune system also relies on your protein reserves or your lean body mass. So, in short if you have a better lean body mass your body will find it easier to fight illness, infection or stress.
  • Having a good lean body or muscle mass more specifically, helps protect against bones becoming weaker or thinner. Osteoporosis and frailty in later life put older people at great risk as they lead to falls and fractures. What is beneficial about optimising muscle mass is that you can increase bone strength and density.

In the medical field, loss of muscle mass is known as Sarcopenia. This is defined as the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and is a well-established factor associated with decreases in muscle strength and impaired mobility. The potential consequences of sarcopenia are frailty, physical disability, loss of independence and the depression that can accompany this; and the reduced ability to cope with major illnesses.

Subsequently, preventing the loss of or building lean muscle mass is a really crucial part of looking after your body.

What can I do to improve lean body mass?

The earlier you can start developing or optimising your lean muscle mass the better, because as you age, it gets harder to improve muscle mass. However, the good news is, it’s never too late to start!

Diet

Diet plays a huge part. It’s outside the scope of this blog to explore the dietary factors, but if you want to look into this further, this website is a great resource and also has a database of professionals.

Movement & exercise!

There’s no easy way to improve lean body or muscle mass, it needs investment. Although cardio exercise like running, walking or swimming are great for improving and maintaining the health of your heart, lungs and circulation, to improve lean muscle mass you have to include specific types of exercise or activity to your routine. The best thing to do is some form of resistance training, so using light weights to exercise your muscle and build up strength and lean muscle mass. You can also do things like cycling, Pilates or yoga. Everyday activities like gardening, housework, shopping and childcare can also be pretty strenuous and will help too.

If you’re a little older and are worried about hitting the gym or starting exercises on your own, maybe think about seeing one of our Rehab Therapists for some individual guidance and support to help you get stronger and feel confident with exercising. 

You can read more about Rehabilitation here