This week is Balance Awareness Week, a week to raise the awareness of the conditions that can affect one’s balance and the importance of something we all too often take for granted.
Close your eyes and stand on one foot. It’s hard right? Now imagine having that same disoriented feeling on two feet, and with your eyes open. Balance is something most of us take for granted. It’s automatically hardwired into our bodies at birth, evolving and adapting as we grow and age. While basic balance is innate, some of us are able to perfect or even master our balance through exercise and practice. We don’t often think about our balance—until of course, we lose it.
There are many different reasons why balance can be a struggle. Some are linked to our vestibular system or inner ear, some can be neurological in origin, affecting our brain and nervous system.
The key reason for loss of balance we see here at goPhysio is ageing. As we age, we often experience a loss of strength and flexibility and a decline in our ability to balance as well. All too often, these are seen as an inevitable part of ageing, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Balance is something you can train and improve.
Just like muscle strength and flexibility, you can and improve train your balance.
By improving balance, you will:
Reduce your risk of falling as you get older
Stay independent for longer
Keep enjoying being social and active
How can you improve your balance?
Do some regular exercises to train and challenge your balance safely. These can include standing on 1 leg, going up and down onto your tip toes, standing and closing your eyes, walking a ‘tightrope’ – please get in touch if you’d like more information about some great balance exercises.
Get out and about and keep mobile, walk on a variety of surfaces and terrains to challenge you!
In today’s blog, we explore these recommendations, how we implement them at goPhysio and what it means to you guys, the people with the pain or injury.
#1 Care should be patient centred This goes without saying, but you’re the one and only person that matters to us. We take time to get to know you, learn how your injury is impacting you, and work with you to understand your lifestyle, so we know what we are aiming for. Everyone and everyone’s circumstances are SO different and individual, so it’s crucial our approach to each and every person we see is individualised too.
#2 Screen for serious conditions We take this incredibly seriously and although it may go un-noticed by you, we make sure that there is nothing serious going on. If we are in any way concerned, we’ll make sure we point you in the right direction and will provide any letters, phone calls or support that you need.
#3 Assess psychological factors The body and the mind are inextricably linked. The power of the mind is incredible. You need to feel reassured, informed and have an appropriate understanding of your injury. Any doubts, fears, worries or misconceptions will really impact on your recovery. We make sure we consider any psychological factors that may be impacting you and address them appropriately.
#4 Only refer for imaging if specifically indicated It’s a commonly held myth, that a scan or an X-Ray is needed in order to diagnose an injury. In fact, referrals for imaging (X-Rays or scans) are only needed in very specific cases. Why? Because all too often, symptoms do not relate to imaging results. So, an image may not show any damage or injury, but you may be getting symptoms. Equally, you may have damage on imaging, but be symptom free and seeing the damage on imagery can cause issues in itself! If we think that there is indication for a scan or X-Ray we will make sure we assist you with this. We can even refer directly to low cost, quick, private scanning – so you don’t have to get referred by a Dr, saving you even more time.
#5 Physical examination This is our bread and butter. Using all our senses – looking, feeling, testing, questioning and putting it all together with our evaluation skills in order to explain to you exactly what’s going on.
#6 Evaluate progress Together, we will set your goals, what you want to achieve through coming to see us. That’s the most important bit. However, we will also take measurements and document certain testing, so that we can measure your progress and ensure we’re on the right track.
#7 Education We want to make sure that you fully understand what’s going on in as much detail as you need. Some people only want the basics, some want an in depth explanation. But if you can understand what’s going on and what you can do to help yourself with your recovery, you’re much more likely to succeed in achieving your goal. This may include modifying your activity or lifestyle slightly, changing a routine, adapting a training programme or work activity.
#8 Address physical activity / exercise As a team go health professionals, it’s important that we support everyone in living a healthy and active life. As part of this, we can provide the necessary support and advice you may need to start or increase your physical activity. Some people find having an injury a bit of a wake up call to make some changes and often, getting more active is one.
#9 Apply ‘manual therapy’ as an adjunct We use a huge range of treatments to help you with your recovery. Using our hands (manual therapy) is just one tool, and can be very beneficial in many ways for lot’s of different injuries and to help ease pain. It is very important though that it is used as an adjunct to more active approaches, such as exercise and education/advice. Manual therapy alone is unlikely to be a solution to your recovery, as it’s effects are often short lived – it’s the strengthening, stretching, confidence and education that makes the most impact on recovery.
#10 Discuss non-surgical approaches (unless surgery indicated) Unfortunately, people still remain entrenched in the ‘medical model’ of belief, thinking that medicine and/or surgery are the only answer. They often want quick fixes and magic cures! Much of the evidence is now very clear on when surgery is indicated and it’s not as often as you may think! Physiotherapy and physical treatments are often much more effective than surgery when given the chance in many conditions. Obviously, there are cases when surgery is absolutely the right decision. In these cases, our Clinicians will help with referrals and work very closely with many local Consultants to ensure you receive the most appropriate care. We can also closely liaise with your GP to facilitate this.
#11 Facilitate continuation or return to work Staying at work or returning to work ASAP when you’ve had an injury is crucially important for your recovery. We can help advise on modifying your activities so this is possible. It may seem a bit daunting, especially if you’ve had to take time off work because of your injury. But remaining in work helps in so many ways.
If you’ve got an injury and want the best possible care, then do give us a call on 023 8025 3317 and see if we can help you.
Helping local people live a healthy, active, positive life, pain and injury free.
If you’ve ever experienced dizziness, you know how awful it can be. It can have an impact on everything you do and become very distressing, frustrating and limiting.
There can be many reasons why you might experience dizziness and nausea. Some of these may be medical and need medication, specialist tests and interventions.
However, there is a particularly common cause of dizziness that is very easily treated with physiotherapy.
That condition is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV for short.
What is BPPV?
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (referred to as BPPV for the rest of this article) is a condition related to the inner ear.
The ear has small organs that can sense the movement of crystals within them. This gives you the ability to sense your heads position related to gravity. Connected to these organs are small canals which are lined with fine hair-like sensors that feel for movement of fluid within the canal. This allows us to monitor the rotation or twisting of our head.
BPPV occurs when the crystals contained within the organs become dislodged and make their way into the canals. This makes the canals sensitive to movements that would they would not normally be sensitive to.
This can result in the following symptoms:
Vertigo (feeling like the room is spinning)
A loss of balance and unsteadiness
How do I know if I have BPPV?
The following are some of the general pattern of the above symptoms that you might expect with BPPV:
Brought on by a change in position of your head
Can take up to 20 seconds to start after movement of head
Last up to 1 minute at a time before settling
Possible issues with balance when walking or standing
If you have any of the following symptoms then it is unlikely that you have BPPV and go should see your GP for further investigation:
Weakness of your arms of legs.
Loss of vision or double vision.
Pins and needles or numbness
Loss of consciousness
How can physiotherapy help BPPV?
Our physiotherapists at goPhysio are able to treat BPPV using a specialist technique called the Epley manoeuvre.
Before carrying out the procedure, on of our physiotherapists will carry out a test called the Dix-Hallpike Manoeuvre. This is used to distinguish if your dizziness is caused by BPPV and if so, which ear is affected. (BPPV tends to affect one ear rather than both).
The test is a simple movement where you move from a seated position on the plinth to laying on your back whilst your therapist will support and guide your head to one side. The therapist will look to see if your symptoms are reproduced as well as looking out to see if your eyes begin to flicker (nystagmus). This would indicate BPPV as the likely cause of your symptoms. If it is found to be the cause of your symptoms, then we can use a simple treatment technique called The Epley Manoeuvre.
What is the Epley manoeuvre?
The Epley manoeuvre is a series of movements of your head, guided by the therapist. The result of the Dix-Hallpike Manoeuvre determines which ear the Epley Manoeuvre is aimed at treating. Each position is performed laying or sitting on the treatment couch. These positions are then held for 30 seconds or until your symptoms settle, before moving onto the next. The Epley Manoeuvre generally takes less than 5 minutes to perform once started and is fully guided by the physiotherapist.
The precise series of movements of your head utilise gravity and the shape of the canals to move the crystals. With each movement the crystals move along to the next part of the canal until they move back into the organs that they are normally contained within.
How many sessions of physio will I need?
We have seen some fantastic results of patients report their symptoms have fully settled after one session. However it can take up to 3 session for symptoms to fully resolve as some crystals may not make back to the organs within the first couple of attempts.
If you think you might have BPPV and you would like to speak to one of our physiotherapists, or if you have any other question then please call into the clinic on 023 8025 3317.
As you get older, the risk of falling and fall-related injuries, such as fractures, increases. Falls are a common and serious health issue faced by older people in England. The impact of falling can be huge. Falls can cause distress, pain, injury, hospital stays, loss of confidence, isolation and loss of independence.
Around 24% of men and 30% of women aged 50 years old and over report having fallen in the previous 2 years, with 7% of men and 11% of women aged 50 years and over reporting having had a fall that required medical attention. In 2017/18 there were 220,160 falls-related emergency hospital admissions among patients aged 65 and older.
One of the most effects ways of preventing falls and fractures is regular strength and balance exercises.
The World Health Organisation notes that physical activity is the key element to support healthy ageing. Physical activity and exercise is an essential requirement for maintaining mobility and independent living during later life.
Muscle mass (the physical size of your muscle) reduces by 0.5% to 1% per year after 50 years of age and 2% to 4% after 75 years of age.
Loss of physical strength can be 2- to 5-times faster due to muscle quality.
Bone density (the amount of minerals in your bones which relates to their strength) decreases by around 0.5% per year from age 40.
Following menopause, women lose 2% to 3% bone density per year.
Older adults can experience problems with balance due to decline in the nervous system and changes in nerves throughout the body.
Guidelines recommend that older adults should undertake activities aimed at improving muscle strength and balance on at least 2 (preferably non-consecutive) days a week.
New guidance has just been published by Public Health England, which aims to improve the quality of strength and balance exercise programmes for people in the community.
The guidelines state that effective muscle strengthening and balance improvement programmes aimed at preventing falls should consist of a programme of one-to-one or group balance and task training exercises, plus resistance exercises delivered by an appropriately qualified instructor.
The timing of this new guidance is perfect, given that we are just expanding our exercise classes for older people, Positive Steps.
These classes in Chandlers Ford incorporate balance and strength exercises in a supportive, friendly and caring environment, with the added bonus of being social and fun! (The laughter duding the classes can often be heard through the clinic!).
Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing. Older people can take positive steps to prevent them
We came across this fab infographic this week from The Strength Continuum, clearly summarising some research carried out into the most effective way in reducing your risk of injury.
You still see it, day in day out. People obsessively stretching before and after exercising and in between exercise sessions. But the evidence is quite clear, stretching before or after exercise isn’t going to play a significant part in reducing your risk of injury, when compared to other measures.
If you’re a regular exerciser, the risk of picking up injury can often feature in the back of your mind. So what are the best steps to take to reduce the risk of picking up an injury?
According to this research, having a varied exercise programme (multiple exposure), training your proprioception (so balance and co-ordination) and working on your strength will help reduce your risk of injury. In fact, strength training reduced sports injuries to less than a third and the risk of picking up an overuse injury was halved.
Although there isn’t a magic way to totally prevent injury, taking the right steps can certainly play a big part in minimising the risk of injury.
That’s why here at goPhysio, we incorporate strength training into your recovery through a range of services. We’re extremely privileged to have an onsite facility, our STRONG ROOM! Having access to this amazing space enables us to make sure we can teach, guide and support people to work on their strength as part of their recovery process and beyond.
If you’d like some support with your injury, interested in getting started with getting strong but don’t know where to start, get in touch!
When we created our new clinic space in 2016, we were very clear that we wanted to create a specific space for rehabilitation, supervised exercise and strength & conditioning training. All the evidence and latest research into the best outcomes with training and recovery points towards strength training being the gold standard for outcomes and long term physical durability.
So, when you visit us at goPhysio. You’ll find this dedicated space, aptly named THE STRONG ROOM!
Why The Strong Room?
As many local residents may recall, 11 Bournemouth Road, Chandlers Ford, was once a National Westminster Bank. What does every bank need? A vaulted safe room, of course, AKA a strong room. When we purchased the property, the original strong room was still in situ.
The heavily re-enforced walls and roof no longer served their purpose and to fit in with our grand plans, this area of the building was demolished. (Not an easy task I can add!). If you’re interested you can see the demolition and building works here or you may have seen our photo journal if you’ve been to the clinic!
In it’s place, a new space was created, to house our rehabilitation service. As an adage to what once stood there, we decided to name this space The Strong Room. Why? Because this space focuses on improving strength (amongst other things!).
What is rehabilitation?
Physiotherapy and sports therapy for people with aches, pains, musculoskeletal and sports injuries, unless you were a high level athlete with access to such facilities, traditionally consisted of treatment based around a treatment couch. Such treatments were often pretty passive, and accompanied by a programme of exercises for the injured person to complete in their own time at home. These exercises are generally progressed at the next physiotherapy session until the patient felt ‘better’ and able to resume normal activities.
However, the outcome and success of treatment often falls on adherence to exercise, the correct exercise technique and the type, timing and progression of the exercises linked to tissue healing and functional goals.
With instant access to both the facilities that offer a huge range of exercise programmes and onsite support of our specialist Graduate Sports & Rehabilitation Therapy team to augment our Physiotherapy team, this space is a great asset to what we can offer you at goPhysio.
The space is used for both 1-2-1 rehabilitation during physio or sports therapy sessions and also regular small group rehab and specialist young rehab for under 16’s. What’s great about it is that it isn’t an intimidating or scare environment. You receive full support, from a team of friendly, clinically trained specialists – a wonderful combination of facilities and expertise, all under one roof!
If you’re in the clinic, let us show you the great facilities we have on offer and find out more about how it could help you.
We appreciate you guys don’t want to get bogged down with the science, research or evidence behind the ways we help you – you just want us to help you recover from your injury, quickly!
But to us, the science and latest evidence is important, it helps us get the best results for you in the best way. So we always get a little bit excited when we see or read what the latest evidence is saying (especially when it’s presented in a fab infographic!).
LOADING is currently a bit of a ‘buzz’ word in the physio & rehab circles. And with good reason. In recovery terms, rest isn’t often the best way forwards but progressive loading is! As the infographic above summarises, many of the body’s tissues will get stronger if they are subject to loading.
So, what exactly is loading?
The definition of load is………..
A weight or source of pressure borne by someone or something.
In exercise or rehab terms, loading means working with some weight or resistance to place greater demands on your body. So, that can be using just your body weight, some light resistance, like bands or machines, or using weights. So, running is loading – you’re loading all the structures in your legs (bones, muscles, joints, tendons & ligaments) through the repeated pressure between your foot striking the surface with every step. A press up loads the structures around your shoulder and arms, just as a squat loads your hips and knees. Now, if you add holding a weight whilst you squat, you are increasing the load.
What is important is that loading is gradually progressed. You don’t want to demand too much of your body too quickly (or too often), especially if you’re recovering from an injury, as this will be counterproductive. It’s a careful balance.
The ultimate result of all this loading is that you will have a stronger and more resilient body. It will cope better with the demands placed upon it, making you less prone to picking up injuries, helping you enjoy an active lifestyle and potentially preventing longterm conditions such as osteoporosis.
Put simply, your tissues will adapt to the demands you place upon them.
If you think you would benefit from some guidance on realising the benefits of loading, then do get in touch. Our fully equipped Strong Room and experienced team offer that unique combination of being able to guide you on progressive loading within your own limits. We consider your ‘whole picture’ – where you are now, any injuries or conditions that affect you, what you love (or would love) to do and most importantly where you want to be. We then use our knowledge, experience and skills to tailor a programme just for you and support you as much or as little as you need.
Skiing and snowboarding are a fantastic form of exercise, challenging both our muscles and our cardio vascular system in an extremely enjoyable way. Both require a significant amount of strength and endurance to stay on the slopes for the duration of holiday.Unfortunately, most of us have not prepared enough in advance to meet the demands of what is required.
Most of the injuries we see in the clinic throughout the year are not as a result of a sudden traumatic injury, like a big fall leading to a broken bone.Instead, the most common injuries are a result of an imbalance between the loads/stresses we put through our body versus their ability to tolerate that load.The level of tolerance we have is variable and is constantly changing in adaption to our current activity levels.For example, a marathon runner training to do a marathon can gradually adapt to slowly building their weekly mileage over the training program so that they can tolerate the full 26.2 miles.If they then don’t run for a few months they wouldn’t be able to run another marathon again without have to train again as their level of tolerance would slowly ebb away leaving them prone to an injury.
Exactly the same applies to skiing and boarding injuries.
Now unfortunately, the UK doesn’t have many mountains to get some regular practice on!This means that skiing/snowboarding tends to be something we don’t do all year then suddenly we go away and are on the mountain for 5 hours or so for 6 days a week straight.That is a dramatic and sudden change in the load and demands we put through our body.This increase in demand can cause the tissues to become sensitive and painful.This then causes them to lose tolerance (their ability to cope) and can mean that everyday activities can start to aggravate them further (more commonly known as an overuse injury). Such injuries then tend to become a vicious cycle of pain, rest, recover, start exercising again, pain, rest………a cycle that needs to be broken to avoid you having to limit what you do and have a life impacted by recurrent pain.
The good news is, you can do a lot to prevent getting such an injury on the slopes.
Whilst it is difficult to practice skiing/snowboarding in advance of going (there are indoor slopes and dry skiing slopes around, which we encourage you to visit in advance to get used to the demands) you can still take measures to reduce the risks of such overuse injuries.By training your body in another way, we can help give it the ability to deal with the demands that we are likely to put through it over the course of the holiday.
Over the course of a week, just imagine what physical demands are placed on your body during such a physical task such as skiing or snowboarding?!
To prepare for this, you can increase your body’s ability to cope with those increased demands by strengthening and conditioning your body, which will increase it’s tolerance levels.The best way of doing this is through doing specific strengthening exercises.Whilst bodyweight exercises are a good start, the ideal method would be through resistance training using weights or resistance machines.
However, the weights area of a gym can be a daunting place if you’ve never used weights before, and even if you have, what are the best exercises to do? What muscles or areas should you target for skiing or boarding? How many repetitions? How many sets? It can all be very confusing!
Let us help you!
Here at goPhysio we’ve set up a specialist exercise programme aimed at getting you prepared for skiing/snowboarding and giving you an introduction into strength training in a friendly, supportive and knowledgeable environment.
If you’re interested in getting the most out of your holiday, now’s the time to start! (You’d be shocked to hear how many people come in 5 days before their holiday with a knee injury they’ve had for 6 months, wanting us to wave a magic wand!!)
Your first session will be a 1-2-1 Snow Start Up Session. In this practical 1 hour session, Physio Chris will find out more about you and your skiing or boarding level, any injuries or concerns, your fitness and holiday plans. From this he will create a bespoke, guided exercise programme for you to do at goPhysio over the following weeks. This session will be led by Physio Chris, who has previously worked with British ParaSnowSport, bringing his experience into selecting the most suitable exercises to getting you ready for the slopes.
5 x 1 hour Practical Sessions During each of your 5 following 1 hour practical sessions, you will work on your program alongside 2 other attendees, in our fully equipped Strong Room. This will be under the guidance and supervision of one of our Sports & Rehabilitation Therapists, who will be on hand to adjust your exercises, add new challenges and monitor your progress. You can do 1 session a week or 2 sessions a week – we can be flexible to accommodate your timings!
Review Once you’ve come to the end of your 5 sessions, Physio Chris will carry out a review of your progress, and support you with your goals from there!
This package costs £210 (payable in advance) and you can book your Snow Start Up by calling 023 8025 3317.
Want to read more about skiing or snowboarding injuries? Take a look at these other articles:
The extra free time over the summer holidays creates a perfect window of time to get you child started in our Young Rehabilitation sessions in our Strong Room at goPhysio.
These sessions are a great way to get the kids away from screens and to develop their strength and durability to take them into next their next season of sport. This can help to reduce the risk of future injuries as well as recovery from existing injuries and niggles. As well as this, it can generally increase their confidence in movement and teach them another form of exercise that they continue with.
The young rehab classes start with a 45 mins session with one of our Sports and Rehab Therapists where participants are set a bespoke programme tailored to their specific goals and sport. The remaining 4 sessions are run in groups of up to 3 people under direct supervision.
Sessions are booked as blocks of 5 sessions lasting 45 minutes which includes the initial 1-2-1 session. Each block costs £150. These could be taken as one per week taking them up to the end of the summer holidays or could also be taken more regularly to gain some momentum and maximise what they get from the sessions.
We understand that you may be going away at some point over Summer and that other plans will come up. For that reason we are flexible and classes can be booked in at various times each week or moved forward to another week to work around your plans.* Sessions can be booked throughout the week, including Saturday mornings and right up until 8pm during the week.
Who might benefit from Young Rehab?
Kids and teens often go through some big changes between the ages of 10 – 14 as they experience a high rate of growth. Combined with lot’s of sports and physical activities, the growing body can sometimes struggle and pain and injury rears it’s head. This can be highly frustrating, as G.P.s will often advise these youngsters to just rest – but try telling that to a competitive teenager who loves sport! Young Rehab provides a great way to support these kids in staying active and getting back to their sport as quick as possible.
We’ve had many kids experience the benefit of of Young Rehab here at goPhysio.
We’ve seen a large number of young gymnasts and dancers. These athletes often have wonderful flexibility but can lack stability, strength and movement control in key areas. This in turn can lead to some common injuries such as knee pain.
Kids who participate in sports with lots of repeated movements also frequently seek our help. Kicking a football, swimming and tennis are great examples. These youngsters are often training or competing many times a week and sometimes their growing bodies just can’t cope.
It’s not only for the very sporty kids – growing children by the very nature of growing can experience aches and pains that can be effectively managed by learning some key exercises.
If you are interested in booking your child in, or you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact the clinic on 023 8025 3317. We can get started immediately!
*A 24 hour cancellation policy applies. All sessions must be used within 3 months of the 1st appointment.
When we are putting together an exercise based rehab programme for you as part of your recovery, there’s a lot that goes on behind it. To get you the best possible results and outcome, we want you to be working on the right things in the right way, not only helping you recover from your injury but helloing you building term, physical durability.
At goPhysio your bespoke programme will be constructed and tailored specifically to you using evidence-based research.
Here you can see an example of the top five exercises proven to target the glutes and hamstrings most effectively.