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Back to the Gym!

Posted on 23rd July 2020 by

With gyms, classes and leisure centres re-opening on Saturday, it’s a but of an injury ticking time bomb!

Even if you’ve been doing regular exercise during lockdown, your body will definitely need some time to re-adjust to exercising again with a new regime.

Our 6 top tips:

  1. Build up gradually – most injuries occur after doing too much, too often, too soon. So however tempting it might seems, ease back into exercising. Don’t go and book a class or go the the gym every day next week. Your body will well and truly be in for a shock and on a. more serious note, you are putting yourself at risk of getting an injury.
  2. Have realistic expectations – it’s going to feel harder to start with. Even if you’ve been doing Zoom classes, running regularly or daily PE with Joe Wicks, you’re going to be in a different environment, with different equipment and doing something you haven’t done for months. Don’t expect too much or set yourself unrealistic expectations bu thinking you’ll get straight back into your pre-COVID routine.
  3. Start with shorter sessions / reduced frequency – think about your pre-COVD workout and give yourself a good few weeks to build up to it. Think about doing shorter sessions to start off with or twice a week the first week, then three times and build up from there. This will give your body time to adapt to what you’re asking of it which will significantly reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Start with lower weights – if you lift weights, start off with lower weights and build it up over the coming weeks. Going straight in to your usual level of weights without time to adapt will increase your risk of injury.
  5. Mix it up – try different types of exercise, mix up resistance and cardio in the gym, try a new class and build in something more gentle like yoga, Pilates or a stretch class. Use a foam roller on rest days or treat yourself to a post massage. Don’t be tempted to go to the gym and exercise the same part of your body repeatedly.
  6. Soreness vs Pain – some soreness in your muscles is to be expected when you get back to exercise, it’s nothing to worry about and should ease after a few days. If you get persistent pain in any area or in a joint and it doesn’t ease within a week to 10 days, it may be you’ve injured yourself and would benefit from coming to see one of our Physios’ or Sports Therapists. Getting a quick diagnosis and treatment plan will help give you the best chance of getting back again quickly without having to rest for weeks on end and being dragged into a cycle of injury.

As a guide, depending on how much or how little you’ve done in terms of exercise during lockdown, you should expect it to take 2 – 6 weeks to get back to to your pre-COVID level of exercise. If you’ve had Coronavirus, it may take longer and you’ll have to be a bit kinder to yourself, lower your expectations and really listen to your body. You can read more about this here.

Patience is really key here. We know how much you’re all looking forward to getting back to the gym and classes but just imagine getting back for 2 weeks and then having to stop again because of an injury, How frustrating would that be?!

So, by being sensible and not diving straight in at 110%, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of enjoying being back exercising, for the long term.

Happy exercising!



Post COVID Recovery

Posted on 3rd July 2020 by

We’re staring to see (albeit online only if appropriate), a number of people who have had and are recovering from Coronavirus.

It certainly seems to have a really significant impact on people longer term, even those who may have had milder symptoms. We’ve put together some useful tips and advice, to help you be realistic about and optimise your recovery.

Why is rehabilitation important?

While you are recovering, focusing on taking some time for your recovery and rehabilitation is really important. Rehabilitation will improve your exercise tolerance, muscle strength and help manage any breathlessness and fatigue.

You should focus on breathing, functional and physical exercises. Here at goPhysio, we can help guide you on the best types of exercises either through our online service or face to face, if it’s appropriate. We will help to put together a rehabilitation programme that is tailored exactly to you and where you are and where you want to be.

Making sure you’re suitably hydrated and nourished play a really important role in your body’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 virus. Eating well (together with the exercises) will help to rebuild your muscle strength and function.

REHABILITATION: The action of restoring someone to health or normal life through training and therapy.

What can I do to help myself?

Making sure you resume some ‘normality’ and routine is a great way to boost your recovery. Here’s a few tips:

  • Get up at a normal hour
  • Try and restart a regular morning routine e.g. wash, brush teeth, get dressed
  • Sit in a chair for meals
  • Follow advice on eating and drinking well
  • Think about keeping an exercise and activity diary

Why do I feel breathless?

Breathlessness is a very common symptom in some people with COVID-19. The lungs can become inflamed and the effort of breathing can increase. You may be breathing quicker and shallower, however it is important to try and stay calm. Anxiety can increase your heart rate and make your breathing rate increase further. This should improve over time. You can try some breathing control exercises to help.

Breathing control – something to help you relax

  1. Get in a comfortable position
  2. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing
  3. Breathe in and out through your nose (or mouth if you are unable to do this)
  4. Try to breathe in for the count of one, and out for count of two, working towards a longer breath out than in, to slow your breathing rate down
  5. Notice areas of tension in the body and try to release this with each breath out
  6. Gradually try to make your breaths slower and deeper

You can try various positions if you[re feeling breathless, that you may find help ease the breathlessness. Try:

  1. Lying on your side, propped up with pillows with your knees bent a little
  2. Sit upright and lean forwards over a table onto some pillow and relax
  3. Stand and lean onto a windowsill or forwards onto a wall

Mobility & Exercise

Moving little and often will help with your breathing and get your muscles working again, easing stiffness, achey joints and improve your strength and flexibility. All of this will help you get back to doing the things you’ve missed. There are different levels of mobility you should slowly work towards.

  1. Sitting on the edge of your bed
  2. Standing up from sitting
  3. Getting out of your bed and sitting in a chair
  4. Walk within a small space
  5. Walk around your home
  6. Walk around your garden
  7. Climb stairs or steps
  8. Getting outside

Exercises

It is really important to do some regular exercises that will help with:

  • Building up your muscle strength
  • Improving your muscle flexibility
  • Working on exercise stamina and endurance
  • Regaining balance
  • Improving functional activities

Exercise Diary: you may find using an exercise diary helpful. You can track your exercises and score how hard you are working using the Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE Chart).

As you progress, you can increase the number of repetitions of exercises you are doing and increase the number of exercise sessions each day. Exercises should feel ‘light’ to between ‘somewhat hard’ and ‘hard’ (RPE 3 – 5), and your breathing should allow you to maintain uninterrupted conversation throughout.

“Little and often” is the best approach.

Managing Fatigue

You may notice that your energy levels are low and and that doing simple daily activities suddenly feel like you’re doing a marathon. Fatigue is a common symptom of COVID-19. Although rest is important in recovery, unlike normal tiredness it does not improve with rest alone.

Feelings of fatigue can be made worse if you’re still experiencing episodes of breathlessness, muscle de-conditioning from having spent long periods inactive and in bed and also from stress that you may be feeling after a period of illness.

What can I do about fatigue? Fatigue can make managing your usual daily tasks more difficult. All daily tasks require the body to use energy through moving and thinking. Fatigue management can help you to understand how to make the most of your body’s available energy. This can help you to find ways to balance your physical, social and emotional needs when your energy levels are reduced.

Rating your fatigue from 1-10 will help you identify patterns of fatigue. You can discuss this with your Occupational Therapist who will support you to identify strategies to manage your fatigue.

Completing a fatigue diary and rating your fatigue before and after an activity (e.g. having a wash and dressing) can help you to understand how different activities can affect your energy levels.

How to use a fatigue diary

  • Start at the beginning of each day
  • Write down each activity including rest period you havetaken in each three hour interval
  • Use a scale of 0 – 10 (0 = no fatigue, 10 = extreme fatigue) to score how you felt at the end of this three hour period
  • Record any other factors you feel are relevant e.g. stressful events, skipping meals, over-exertion
  • Use the diary to track your progress and work out any patterns and record how you’re progressing

If you need any support or help, we are here for you. Our range of skills and services, with both online and face to face options, provides a host of ways to support your recovery.

The best place to start would be on online or face to face assessment with one of our Physio’s so we can establish where you are in your recovery journey, find out what your goals are and put together a realistic and gradual way for you to achieve this.

Our support can include a specific and progressive exercise programme, which we can monitor and develop as you recover, ways to help any areas of pain, discomfort, stiffness or tension, advice on pacing and returning to work, hobbies and sport, whatever it is you’d like to do.

Just call us on 023 8025 3317 to find out more and boost your recovery.


Mental & Physical Health

Posted on 3rd July 2020 by

Never has it been so important to look after ourselves both physically and mentally.

Here is a fab infographic we came across, highlighting some great ways to boost your mental health.

  1. Mental and physical health ate both so important. The 2 can not be separated, they are so closely linked and although we may be more aware of our physical health, it is just as important to look after our mental and emotional health too.
  2. MOVE! Movement in itself is medicine, for both the body and mind. If it came in a magical pill format, it really wold be a wonder drug! Don’t worry if you’re not doing a daily online exercise video; a walk, a cycle, a play in the garden, a stretching session, gardening, DIY or just not sitting all day is good!
  3. Mindfulness doesn’t mean you have to sit and mediate. Just being aware of your surroundings, how you’re feeling and what you’re doing and making that connection to be aware is all that’s needed.
  4. Lot’s of people have used this opportunity to take up a new skill. Whether it’s sewing, volunteering, piano, gardening or home schooling! Mastering something new, however small, can really give you a boost! Anything you’d like to try but never had the chance?
  5. Give your life some meaning. Review your goals, where you want to be, what you want to be doing. What’s really important to you? Take some time to reflect and find ways, no matter how small, to bring some meaning into your life.

If you need some help supporting the physical side of your health, we’re here to help with a range of services. The emotional and mental benefits from the support we provide go hand in hand with the physical care.


Being Active at Home – A Guide for Older Adults

Posted on 31st May 2020 by

A new booklet, co-funded and developed by Sport England and Public Health England (PHE), has just been launched! It aims to help older adults keep up their activity levels while isolating due to coronavirus (Covid-19).

This is part of the Sport England Join the Movement campaign designed to provide inspiration and trusted information to the public about how to get active in and around the home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Being active is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This is why we should all try to move regularly, including exercises to help stay strong and steady. This particularly applies to those of us who have health conditions or are older. Due to coronavirus we are all spending more time within our home, so it is important that we find ways to build activity into our day, every day.

Over the next few weeks, you may have health and social care appointments cancelled or delayed. If you are waiting for treatment, being active is one of the best things you can do to look after your health, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active at a level that feels comfortable is unlikely to make your health worse; in fact it can help to manage many health conditions.

Most of us are spending much more time within our home. This can be frustrating and upsetting, and it can be harder to be active when you can’t do your normal daily activities. This guide will help you to find ways to build activity into your day. If the exercise suggested doesn’t work for you, feel free to adapt them based on what you can do.

There’s some fantastic, simple strengthening and balance exercises.

As well as lot’s of general health and wellbeing advice.

If you’re struggling with your activities, we can help with providing an online video appointment or telephone support. So, do get in touch. You can call us on 023 8025 3317.


Helping Young People during Lockdown

Posted on 11th May 2020 by

We are entering week 8 of lockdown, meaning week 8 of home schooling, kids not getting out with their friends, no formal social or sporting activities or hobbies.

How are you coping? Are the kids running you ragged? Has healthy eating and exercise gone out the window completely?

Fear not, we have a few handy ideas to kick start motivations once again!

It can be hard for our bodies and routines to adjust to such a change like the current global pandemic. It’s important, especially for younger members of the family, to introduce a new routine into daily life to keep stress levels low and energy levels high. You may be facing an increased number of stressors and tensions may be riding particularly high. In spite of this, it’s helpful for family units to come together to work through their problems. Try to be mindful of how others are feeling and to be more forgiving if they need to explode, cry or simply hide away.

When we’re feeling down, we often turn to sugary foods to help give us an energy boost. However, this can have a negative effect as the sugar rush may not last long and could potentially crash lower than we were before. Its good to look for energy in carbohydrates, especially complex carbs, such as sweet potato, wholegrain breads, lentils, parsnips or butternut squash. They have a slower release to help keep energy levels higher for longer.

One way to get younger family members eating the right foods is to include them in meal planning and preparation. They’ll have a sense of achievement and is a nice break from any home schooling also. Or, you could class it as a Food Tech class… two birds with one stone.

London Sport has an exhaustive list of ways to get kids up and active at home. Current Government advice is daily exercise to help the public get fresh air during lockdown, but we don’t always want to exercise. Their list gives you extensive areas of other ways to keep fit and healthy from the comfort of your own home; whether its alongside The Nations PE teacher, Joe Wicks, or Sport Englands campaign with Disney to create fun dance routines. 

We’re often bombarded by negative messages or thoughts from tabloids and social media, so its important to look for ways to keep spirits high from all the technology we have at our disposal. Zoom quizzes have been very popular in recent weeks, and are a great way to catch up with friends of family. You can also find a whole host of online games and entertainment which loved ones can participate in with you across the internet. They’ll introduce enjoyment and pleasure back to this ‘new normal’ and give younger people another element to a daily routine.

Here’s some great ideas:

Weird & wonderful ways to get through lockdown

Free online, boredom-busting resources!

Don’t forget yourself too!

But, lockdown isn’t always about looking after others before yourself. You still need to make time for you. Listen to a podcast, read a book, enjoy the sun; make time for yourself to relax and reflect on the current situation. Self care is so important in order to look after others. Some of the our favourite podcasts are:

Happy Place – Fearne Cotton

Food for Thought – Rhiannon Lambert

Run Pod – Jenni Falconer

That Peter Crouch Podcast – BBC Sounds

Give me Strength – Alice Living

Castaway – Laura Whitmore

When thinking about your current situation it’s helpful to:

  1. Acknowledge and accept that this is how things are at the moment (this is your new ‘normal’ and you can’t push it away or make it disappear). Think about what’s in your control and what is outside of your control.
  2. Find a way to allow yourself to feel all the things that this new normal brings up (it’s OK to feel cross, frustrated, sad, angry and any other associated emotion).
  3. Find ways to do your best within the situation (are there any positives for example, are you getting to do anything which you wouldn’t normally be able to do?).
  4. Stay in the moment rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future. We will be thinking more about this process in the next Step.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a sense of normality soon be connect with loved ones properly. There are of course, further online guides on how to cope during lockdown. Support wesbites such as Mind, Family Lives and Young Minds are charities that offer support, knowledge and advice so if you are struggling, please speak to someone. 



Walk This May

Posted on 1st May 2020 by

May is National Walking Month. A month to promote and celebrate the joys, benefits and health effects of walking! Who’d have ever thought we needed to raise awareness of such a simple activity?! Yet, with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the impact of this on our nation’s health, the simple task of walking needs some extra support! This year, Walk This May, may have extra importance. For some, it’s one of the only activity they may get to do that provides a break from isolation and some time out and about. For others, the physical activity of walking is crucial for physical and mental health.

So, what’s the big deal with walking?

Not only is walking as a mode of transport great for our environment, walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 20-30 minutes walking a day can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.

Did you know, physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.

What are the health benefits of walking?

Walking is a weight bearing exercise, as you are carrying your own body weight when you walk. There are lot’s of health benefits associated with walking more. Some of the benefits of walking include:

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • reduced risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases
  • helps manage and improve conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol
  • helps with joint and muscular pain or stiffness and long standing conditions such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis
  • stronger bones and improved balance
  • increased muscle strength and endurance
  • reduced body fat
  • improved psychological and mental health
  • stress relief

How much walking?

As a recommended guideline, to get the health benefits, you should try to walk for at least 20 – 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly.

The 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at one time, it can be broken up into smaller chunks, like 3 x 10 minute walks if this fits better with your lifestyle or you can’t manage 30 minutes in 1 go. Although, this may not be advisable in the current climate with our 1 activity a day restriction.

Building walking into your daily life is the most effective way to maintain activity levels. Take a look at the ‘Try 20’ Challenge below. There’s lot’s of ways and simple ideas for you to get 20 minutes of walking into your day.

Make walking part of your daily life

If you can build waling into your daily life, you are more likely to maintain it longer term. Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
  • Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
  • Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
  • Make walking part of your routine, maybe the same time every day scheduled into your diary.

Progress and challenge yourself

Over time, our bodies will tend to get used to physical activity. So if you’re starting to walk more and more, try to increase the intensity of your walking as your fitness levels improve. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:

  • walking up hills
  • walking with hand weights
  • increasing your walking speed gradually by including some quick walking
  • increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate walking pace
  • walking for longer

Keep it interesting!

Like anything, if you enjoy doing it, you’ll be more likely to stick to it and make it part of your life. The same applies to walking. There are lot’s of ideas to keep your daily walk more interesting:

  • Pick different routes so you don’t get tired of seeing the same sights, explore places you’ve never ventured to before in your local area.
  • Walk at different times of the day. Fresh morning walks will be a very different experience to a dusk walk.
  • Put on a podcast or playlist to listen to whilst you walk.

Here’s some advice on walking within social distancing guidance.

Here’s a few ideas from Living Streets too.

And when our lockdown restrictions are lifted, here’s some more ideas…..

  • Drive to different places to walk, park the car and enjoy the views and scenery while you walk.
  • Find one or more friends or family members to walk with, walk instead of (or at least on the way to or before!) having a coffee.
  • Explore what’s going on around you, notice the sky, the people, the sounds. Be mindful.
  • Think about local walking groups that might offer additional support. Here’s some ideas.
  • Walk the dog (or your neighbour’s dog or look at sites like ‘Borrow My Doggy‘). Getting a dog can be a great way of encouraging you to exercise regularly if you can take on the commitment.
  • Meet friends for a social walk instead of going for a coffee.

#WalkThisMay #Try20


Working Out at Home, Injury Free

Posted on 29th April 2020 by

“Now more than ever, it’s important we look after ourselves.” This is the message we’re being given and great advice. Alongside following social distancing and isolation guidelines, looking after ourselves is absolutely key.

One of the main ways in which we can do this is by taking part in regular exercise and activity.

But, for many, this is such a big change in routine and habits, we may be finding ourselves doing something totally new. And this can take it’s toll on the human body.

Whether you’re doing Joe Wicks’ daily PE, running lot’s more to make the most of your ‘daily exercise’ or trying a new dance class online, you need to be just as careful!

So, what steps can you take to make sure you stay injury free?

  1. Start anything new gradually. You may be buzzing to do Joe Wicks 9am PE session every day, but if you’re not used to doing a 30 minute exercise session daily, you need to give your body some time to adapt.
  2. Pace yourself. Try and start with a spaced out schedule and build it up gradually. Your body really needs to be able to adapt gradually to the demands placed upon it
  3. Vary your activities. By all means, try a few online video home workouts, but mix it up by going for a walk or cycle (following latest social distancing rules), a bit or gardening, kick around with the kids or some spring cleaning!
  4. Listen to your body! The same principles to preventing injuries still apply! Lot’s of the exercise videos online are very heavy on the knees and hips, with lot’s of body weight exercises such as squats. lunges, high impact activities. These can really cause issues if you aren’t used to doing this type of exercise or do too many or too often.
  5. Don’t binge! Overall, as we’re not out and about so much, we are naturally moving less throughout the day. So, don’t be tempted to sit all day for hours on end and then suddenly jump up and do a 30 minute workout! It’s a good habit to move regularly throughout the day, so you’re keeping lightly active on a regular basis.

If you do find yourself with a new injury, a persistent ache or pain, then we’re still here for you. We can offer online video physio consultations – read more about these here.

If you’ve always thought about trying Pilates but never had the chance or are finding yourself with a bit more time, we also have a new Pilates Online service, with 4 new classes published every week and access to a whole library of Pilates classes. You can sign up here.

#StayHomeWorkOut


How to Foam Roll – The Art of Self-Myofascial Release

Posted on 19th April 2020 by

You may be feeling the effects of either doing too much exercise during lockdown, from tackling daily workouts at home without face to face guidance or tackling exercises your body isn’t used to. Or, it may be the opposite, and the lack of activity from not getting out and about so much is taking its toll. Maybe you’re just missing your regular massage!

The good news is, a foam roller could be your new best friend!

Here’s a quick, no nonsense guide to help ease any tight, achey areas and improve your warm-up, performance and prevent injury with some simple foam rolling! It’s all about the fascia!

What is fascia?

Firstly, fascia is a dense connective tissue that surrounds every muscle, joint and organ in the body.

There are 3 types of fascia; superficial, deep and visceral.

  • Superficial fascia lies just beneath the skin.
  • Deep fascia penetrates and surrounds muscle tissue.
  • Visceral fascia helps keep vital organs in place.

Everything in the body is connected through fascia, but some areas are more connected than others, forming thickened sheaths and bands of fascia. These are bundled together, inseparable from the muscle tissue (myo) and it’s accompanying web of connective tissue (fascia), forming a 3D myo-fascial web throughout the body. Think of a 3D spider’s web in the shape of your body & you’re getting close!

When working optimally, this myo-fascial web helps provide support, stability, movement dynamics, force transmission and optimises sporting performance.

Why should I foam roll?

Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller Foam rolling
We like the Grid Rollers from Trigger Point Therapy

  • For warm-up pre running, as it’s far more effective that static stretching (5)
  • To increase nutrient-rich blood flow to muscles that need it.
  • To improve the mobility and flexibility of muscles and joints (4,6,7).
  • To increase athletic performance (8,9).
  • To recover from exercise faster (1,2,3).
  • To reduce inflammation and remove toxins/chemical waste products.
  • Longer term, to break down adhesions in muscle and connective tissue.
  • You can also successfully self-treat minor injuries such as muscle strains and trigger points.

When should I foam roll? 

  •  MB1 MB5 Trigger Point Roller Ball
    A great alternative to a foam roller is the MB1 or MB5 ball

    Before exercise: when paired with a dynamic warm up to increase blood flow to areas that may be lacking it.

  • After exercise: used within a cool-down procedure to flush out blood that has pooled in working muscles and to allow fresh nutrients and oxygen in to kick start the recovery process.

If you’re used to getting ‘hands on’ treatment but the lockdown means this is no longer possible, this can be a great alternative.

Rolling for only a few minutes can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your training session. So, if you’re stuck for time, pre-exercise rolling would provide most benefit.

How to foam roll

Remember this easy guide and apply it to each muscle group that you’re working on.

  • 4 linear rolls (to search the muscle for areas of tightness, we call these ‘hot spots’).
  • 30 second holds on each hot spot.
  • 4 joint movements (to move the muscle underneath the roller).
  1. Underside of the foot (plantar fascia)

TrP Foot roller Foam rolling

  • Place the roller under the sole of the foot.
  • Apply pressure and roll slowly towards the heel and back to the sole of the foot, 4 times.
  • Hold pressure on any hot spots you may find.
  • Once this hot spot starts to reduce, maintain pressure and add in movement of the toes by flexing and extending them all 4 times.
  • Repeat the process 3-4 times.
  1. Calves (gastrocnemius and soleus)TrP Calf Roller
  • Zone A = achilles to mid-calf.
  • Zone B = mid-calf to just below the knee.
  • Roll zone A, followed by zone B.
  • Begin by sitting on the floor with the roller on your Achilles tendon.
  • Place your hands behind you and the other leg on top to add pressure.
  • Roll up and down searching for hot spots. If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • You can also ‘span’ the muscle by turning your foot inwards and outwards whilst maintaining pressure on a hot spot.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times before moving on to zone B.
  1. Thighs (quadriceps)
  • Zone A = front of the hip to mid-thigh.
  • Zone B = mid-thigh to just above the knee. TrP Quads
  • Roll zone A, followed by zone B.
  • Begin by lying on your front with the roller at the front of your hip just below the bone.
  • Support yourself with your elbows out in front and the other leg bent up to the side.
  • Roll up and down in search of hot spots. If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • You can also ‘span’ the muscle by turning your foot inwards and outwards whilst maintaining pressure on a hot spot.
  • Now, once on a hot spot, bend and straighten the knee 4 times.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times before moving on to zone B.
  1. Buttock (gluteals and piriformis)
  • Begin by sitting on the roller with your hands behind you for support.
  • Shift your weight onto one side as you bring that leg up and cross it over the other.
  • Aim to have the roller ‘in your back pocket’.TrP Glutes Foam Rolling
  • Roll along the length of your glute in search of hot spots. If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the process 3-4 times.
  1. Upper back (paraspinals, rhomboids, trapezius)
  • Lay on your back with the roller just below the shoulder blades.
  • Place your arms behind your head or cross them in front of your chest.TrP Upper Back Foam Rolling
  • Lift your hips off the floor and use your legs to roll up and down the spine.
  • Carefully extend your back over the roller.
  • Add in side bends to target various muscle groups.
  • Again, if any hot spots are identified, hold this pressure for 30 seconds before moving on.
  1. Chest (pectoralis major/minor)
  • Lay on your front and place the roller (or trigger point ball) just inside the shoulder joint, on the pectoralis tendon. Pec TrP
  • With the arm above the head roll up and down in search of hot spots.
  • If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • Add in arm movements to manipulate the soft tissue underneath the roller. 4 straight-arm scoops should do it.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times.
  1. Latissimus Dorsi
  • Lay on your side with one arm above your head for support.
  • Place the roller at a 45° angle just underneath your armpit.Lat Dorsi TrP
  • Shift your weight to roll up and down in search of hot spots.
  • If any are found, hold this pressure for 30 seconds.
  • Add in straight arm movements to release the tissues further, 4 movements followed by 4 rolls.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 times.

Here’s a handy videos you can watch to help demonstrate some foam rolling techniques.

Check out our YouTube Channel for more videos.

We also have a handy little download for you here: goPhysio Foam Rolling Super Six

If you haven’t got a foam roller, we recommend the TrP Rollers and balls. We can deliver same day to anywhere in the SO53 postcode during this lockdown period, so take a look here for more details.


References

  1. Pearcey GP, Bradbury-Squires DJ, Kawamoto J, Drinkwater EJ, Behm DG, Button DC. Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. J Athl Train. 2015;50:5–13.
  2. Macdonald et al. (2014) Macdonald GZ, Button DC, Drinkwater EJ, Behm DG. Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2014;46(1):131–142.
  3. Rey E, Padron-Cabo A, Costa PB, Barcala-Furelos R. The effects of foam rolling as a recovery tool in professional soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;
  4. Bushell JE, Dawson SM, Webster MM. Clinical relevance of foam rolling on hip extension angle in a functional lunge position. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29:2397–403.
  5. Su H, Chang NJ, Wu WL, Guo LY, Chu IH. Acute effects of foam rolling, static stretching, and dynamic stretching during warm-ups on muscular flexibility and strength in young adults. J Sport Rehabil. 2016; 1-24.
  6. Kelly S., Beardsley C. (2016) Specific and cross-over effects of foam rolling on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 11(4), 544-551.
  7. Macdonald GZ, Penney M, Mullaley ME, Cuconato AL, Drake CD, Behm DG, Button DC. An acute bout of self-myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in muscle activation or force. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27:812–821.
  8. Peacock CA, Krein DD, Silver TA, Sanders GJ, von Carlowitz KPA. An acute bout of self-myofascial release in the form of foam rolling improves performance testing. Int J Exerc Sci. 2014;7:202-211
  9. Monteiro et al. Acute effects of different self-massage volumes on the FMS overhead deep squat performance. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017; 12(1): 94-104.
  10. Monteiro ER Correa Neto VG. Effect of different foam rolling volumes on knee extension fatigue. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016;11(7):1076‐1081.

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Staying Active During Isolation

Posted on 17th April 2020 by

As the coronavirus has spread across the World and lockdown continues, many more individuals are being asked to stay at home in order to protect themselves and others. Gyms, parks and other fitness/health facilities are closed for the time being. All of the sudden, everyone’s level of activity has been reduced, which can pose a significant challenge for our mental and physical well-being. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality”. 

Everyone, whether, they were active or not before the quarantine, needs to avoid this sudden sedentarism as much as possible. 

How much activity should I do? 

The recommendations are very simple: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both (WHO). Read more here.

That means you only need to do:

  • 3 x 50 min sessions a week or;
  • 5 x 30 min sessions a week or;
  • 7 x 22 min sessions a week 

in order to stay active, healthy and reduce your risk of mortality. 

What activities should I do?

There is plenty of activities you can do at home to keep yourself active:

  • Gardening: The Spring is coming; it is time to show off your gardening skills! Read more about gardening injury free here.
  • Walking: get up every 30 minutes, walk around the house, around the garden or up and down the stairs. Give your sofa a rest! Take inspiration from the legend Captain Tom!
  • Dancing: why not? The clubs are closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at home. Get the whole family moving in a dance off competition!
  • Cleaning: now it’s your opportunity to finally get your garage or loft cleaned and organised. You’d be amazed at how much exercise a bit of cleaning actually involves.
  • Try an online exercise class or challenge: there is plenty of information online. You can look for videos on YouTube or sign up for online classes. You can also follow us on our Pilates Facebook Group or goPhysio Facebook Community Group, where we have been uploading exercises you can do at home, challenges and tips on how to manage your health during this quarantine. We’ve also just launched an online Pilates video platform, where you can have access to 16 new Pilates classes a month for just £29 with a FREE 7 day trial. Subscribe now here.

Being healthy is not only about physical activity. Mental health is very important and there’s plenty of ways you can exercise your mind:

  • Establish a routine: whether you’re still working from home or not, keep a routine. The disruption of your normal routine can leave you feeling lost, trying to figure out how to fill all the hours in the day. If you’re at home with the kids, try to plan out activities that will keep everyone busy so you can get some work done. Plan your day, make up your own routine to save you from the monotony. 
  • Be physically active: healthy body, healthy mind.
  • Communicate: time to catch up with old friends and family. Reach out to others. We are all going through the same, we all appreciate some talking. If you’re at home with the family, try to have your meals together and talk. No TV or phones allowed.
  • Relax: time to catch up with all the reading you wanted to do on holiday. Give meditation a try. Have you ever tried Yoga or Tai Chi? Now you’ve got the time, use it!
  • Practice mindfulness: use this time of enforced isolation to slow down and be mindful. We normally live such a fast paced life, we don’t have that luxury, so now’s a great time to give it a try! Read more here.
  • Laugh: time to watch you favourite comedy shows or movies, get the whole family together and play some board games, watch some funny videos and “memes” online. As Eric Idle once sang “Always look on the bright side of life”.

We are all in this together and soon we’ll be back to normality. 

Until then enjoy the gift of time. Use it wisely and stay active. 


Staying active whilst in isolation

Avoid Gardening Pains

Posted on 2nd April 2020 by

Spring is upon us and it’s that time of year to get out in that garden, tackle those weeds and start to prepare for the nicer weather – whether it’s out of choice or because someone has nagged you to do it!

Here are our top tips to avoid injury, whether you’re gardening, painting the shed or washing the patio!

Warm up before starting

You wouldn’t go for a run or start a gym workout without warming up your body – so make sure you do the same before you start work. Go for a brisk walk around the garden, get the blood circulating round your body & do a few gentle stretches to loosen your muscles before you start that weeding!

Cool down when you finish

Same as tip number one – make sure you wind down to a stop and do some more gentle stretches when you finish to stop your muscles stiffening up after your activity. Don’t just sit down and admire your hard work (as tempting as it might be!).

Pace yourself!

With the longer days, bank holiday weekends and nicer weather, it’s tempting to do all the work in one day to keep the rest of your time free or keep going for long periods – but this could lead to overworked and over strained muscles and joints. Spread your jobs out evenly over the days, evenings and weekend and build up to the harder jobs.

Variety is key

Try to avoid spending time in prolonged positions – by varying your tasks, you will limit the strain you put on each body part. For example, do 30 minutes of weeding, 30 minutes of digging and then 30 minutes of mowing the lawn. Put some mini breaks in between each job to have a rest, stretch and drink.

Avoid twisting

Keep your feet facing the same way as your hips and shoulders – this stops any rotational strain through your body. Stand straight as you mow the lawn or push a wheelbarrow and keep everything you need close by to avoid twisting to reach it.

Keep everything at the correct height

If you are working at a bench, make sure you don’t have to crouch or stretch to reach it – this could put extra strain on your back. If you’re working at a height, use a ladder or step to stop straining your neck by looking up for long periods.

Lift with your knees, not your back

When lifting heavy objects, make sure to bend your hips and knees to help support your back. Holding the object closer to your body will also help reduce any extra strain – so make sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty!

If you do injure yourself – don’t panic! Have a look back at our previous blogs on using heat vs ice and the ‘POLICE’ method of self treatment. If in doubt, give our friendly Patient Care Team a call and book an appointment with one of Physiotherapists at goPhysio. We’ll be able to assess, diagnose and treat any injury and give you the best advice on how to treat and prevent another episode!

You can also book an appointment online 24/7 here