With so many people working from home and ending up sitting at your screen for hours on end, it is common to be feeling a bit stiff and uncomfortable. Many people are also finding their daily step count/ activity levels have reduced, due to their commute being cut down to a few steps from your bedroom to the desk rather than a walk to work or the train etc.
Here are our top tips to help you keep active and prevent you getting too stiff and uncomfortable whilst you work:
You might be missing your regular walking commute to work, why not still include this even when working from home. Go for a 10/15 min walk before you start work and then again when you finish work.
Set a regular timer to stand up and move.
Think about standing up for any telephone calls.
Make sure you have a supportive chair and appropriate desk set up.
Try some regular seated stretches throughout the day.
Here are some simple stretches that you can try do from your chair to help reduce those aches and pains.
This patient’s story relates to a 35-year-old female, who attended goPhysio with calf pain.
When she first came to see Physio Charlotte, she described her pain as a muscular tightness in her calf, spreading up into her hamstring and buttock area.
Her pain had started within 24 hours of a weights session at the gym. She booked and attended her first appointment within 3-4 days of the pain starting.
More about her symptoms
The patient’s pain was intermittent and varied depending on certain activities. It was causing her to wake at night, and she found it difficult to get comfortable. Night-time was the most problematic time, whereas she barely noticed the pain during the day.
What was causing her pain?
At her first appointment, Charlotte carried out a full and detailed assessment and it became clear that the source of the pain into her leg was her lower back, due to an impingement of a nerve in that area. Charlotte started her treatment during that first session and the patient was also given some exercises to do at home.
By the time she came for her second appointment, four days later, she had been sleeping without a problem and had no leg pain. She was acutely aware of her lower back (the source of the problem). With subsequent treatment, we have seen a continued improvement. Treatments during the sessions have included myofascial release techniques, home exercises, soft tissue work, mobilisations, postural advice, and trigger point work.
The patient is counting to work on exercises for her lower back area to help ensure she reduces the risk of the injury returning.
goPhysio provided my treatment in a clean, welcoming environment. My physiotherapist, Charlotte, was excellent. She listened to my description of symptoms and identified the source of my pain after taking a detailed history and conducting an initial examination. During treatment she always explained what she was doing and why, which helped me to better understand my recovery goals. I am delighted with my progress to date and look forward to continuing positive progress.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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The aim of wearing orthotics is to allow your lower limbs to function in a more natural and efficient manner. This can result in improved biomechanics, improving any symptoms you may have, helping to prevent injuries and allowing you to enjoy your daily activities in comfort.
They work by giving your body information, through the receptors in your feet, facilitating your muscles & joints to work optimally, essentially training them.
It’s important to keep in mind that people will adapt at different rates and experience different effects based on a multitude of factors; namely age, fitness, body weight, specific foot mechanics, individual issues & history of injuries.
Ultimately, orthotics can only correct your foot position, biomechanics & control whilst you wear them, so please follow your physio’s advice & your specific weaning plan to maximise your results!
General day-to-day Wearing Instructions
When you initially wear your orthotics they may feel different or uncomfortable. This feeling is quite normal. Keep in mind that orthotics are designed to change the way you walk & feel. As time passes, your orthotics should feel comfortable and a pleasure to wear. The instructions below provide you with guidelines to help you become accustomed to wearing your new orthotics.
Try to wear your orthotics for one hour on the first day. Increase that time by 1 hour each day, until at the end of 2 weeks, you are wearing them all day i.e.
Day 1 – wear for 1 hour
Day 2 – wear for 2 hours
Day 3 – wear for 3 hours
Day 14 – wear for 14 hours
If your orthotics become intensely uncomfortable before the prescribed time, remove them from your shoes and stop wearing them that day. Return to wearing them the next day. Some people adjust more quickly than others to wearing orthotics. If your pain or discomfort persists over a few days, please contact us at the clinic for a free consultation review appointment.
Some people report a little discomfort when first wearing their orthotics. This discomfort can occur in the legs, knees, hips and/or lower back. This is an indication that your orthotics are working. Small changes are occurring throughout your musculoskeletal structure and it may take time to adjust to these changes. These aches are usually transitory and will disappear in time.
If the orthotics you were prescribed have a full-length top cover and the extension is too long (extends too far beyond your toes or bunches up at the end of your shoes), simply trim back a little bit of the cover until they fit your shoes properly. Your physiotherapist can do this at your fitting. Just bring a selection of shoes so s/he can get it right for all pairs. However, If your shoe has an insole that can be removed, use the length of this insole as a guide for sizing.
It is not unusual for the orthotics to slip, particularly if they have been placed in slip-on shoes. In most cases this will disappear as your foot function improves. If slipping persists, try to purchase shoes that have higher heel cup/support that will accommodate your orthotics.
Before placing your orthotics in either new or old shoes, it is important to take out all the removable manufacturer’s arch supports, rubber or felt additions or other inserts from the inside of your shoes.
Wearing Orthotics During Sports Activities
Start wearing your orthotics in your sports shoes for walking only. Wear them for a period of two to four hours, for two consecutive days. If they are reasonably comfortable, wear your orthotics for your sports activities using the following example as a guide:
For the first two days, wear your orthotics for 1/4 of your total activity time i.e. if you run for 1 hour wear them for 15 mins.
If you are comfortable, add another 15mins of wearing time every 3 days.
After a week and a half you should aim to be wearing your orthotics for the entire duration of your sporting activity.
This information only suggests general guidelines. Your specific situation may well be different based on a wide range of factors. Your Physio will discuss your specific weaning plan with you during your fitting appointment.
Over the following 6-8 weeks, your custom orthotics will be gently correcting your foot position, easing pressure, aches & pains, helping you return to activities you enjoy.
You should book your free follow up consultation for 6-8 weeks after your initial fitting. This is to check how you are getting on with your new orthotics and a chance for you to ask any questions. Please bring your orthotics along with you to this appointment.
Caring for your Orthotics
Cleaning Instructions: To clean your orthotics, take a damp cloth with mild soap and water and gently wipe them down. Let the orthotics dry naturally. Do not use direct heat such as a hair dryer as it can damage the adhesive.
If your orthotics are exposed to wet environments, remove them from your shoes and allow them to air dry naturally.
Placing a small amount of Talcum Powder on your orthotics can control odour.
Refund and Exchange Policy
Your Orthotics are individually manufactured based upon your prescription. In the event that you are not completely satisfied with the fit, comfort or quality of your orthotic device, we will work with you to make adjustments and modifications until you are entirely satisfied.
Orthotic Shell – The 3/4 length orthotic hard shell comes with a lifetime warranty against factory defects, breakage or cracking. This is the crucial part of the orthotic, that corrects your foot position. Top Cover – The original top cover in which the working orthotic shell is sandwiched, comes with a 6-month warranty on delamination, tearing and abnormal breakdown. New top covers requested within 6 months of the original order due to delamination, tearing and abnormal breakdown will be free of charge. New top covers requested after the 6 month warranty period, will incur a £45 charge. If the top cover needs replacing, please return to goPhysio & we will send your orthotic to Gaitscan for it to be replaced.
If you have any further questions, regarding the use or care of your orthotic please do not hesitate to give us a call on 023 8025 3317 The goPhysio team!
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!).
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.
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.
Invest in your future self this Self Care Week (18 – 24 November) by making small changes that can make a big difference.
Think Self Care for Life is about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.
Follow these small steps to a healthier you:
Get active; advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by ditching the car and walking to work, or walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs! It doesn’t have to be going to a gym or exercise class!
Eat well. We all know that healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
Make positive changes! Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
Rest. A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night!
Stop! These days we lead such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.
‘’It’s never too early or too late to begin to make small, simple changes that will enhance and protect your health now and, in the future, and often, one small change will make a big difference to your wellbeing.
“For instance, choosing to become more active will not only improve your physical health, it will also boost your mood, particularly if you choose to exercise outdoors in the fresh air.”
Self Care Week is also about safely managing long term conditions and, understanding how to self-treat those common disturbances to normal good health, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, back pain etc.
When we see people at goPhysio, a huge part of our input is educating people about their injury and steps and changes they can make so that they are empowered to invest in themselves and have an active part to play in their recovery and future preventing of injury.
Every year, the charity dedicated to supporting and helping people with back pain, BackCare, dedicates a week to highlighting a specific area of back pain. For 2019, the focus is on back pain in golfers.
There is a distinct lack of awareness regarding the prevention of back related injuries among golfers which hinder their play and performance in the sport.
Golf is a leisure sport enjoyed by more than 60 million people of all ages across the world and has reached the 4 million mark in the UK alone. It has many health and well-being benefits. It is widely known that a typical 18-hole-round amounts to 6-8 km of walking requiring 8000 to 12000 steps and a significant calorie burn.
You might be surprised to hear that more injuries occur in golf than in rugby! Golf with other leisure sports have an injury rate of 1.8 per thousand persons per year as opposed to 1.5 per thousand persons per year in rugby and other team sports according to the National Centre for Health Statistics.
What are the most common golfing injuries?
Low back injuries are the most common complaint from golfers. They account for 15.2% to 34% of all golf injuries, followed by injuries to the elbow (7% to 27%), shoulder (4% to 19%) and wrist 10%. Golf is a repetitive sport – With an average of 300 swings per golf-playing-day. So the type of injuries a golfer often picks up are overuse injuries.
How common are golf injuries?
Between 15.8% to 40.9% of amateur golfers report an injury (or injuries) every year; among professionals, the incidence ranges between 31% to 90% annually.
How does the swing affect the back?
Back problems are mainly attributed to how the golf swing of present-day professionals, such as Tiger Woods (the ‘modern swing’/‘the X-factor swing’) differs from that of golf legends like Jack Nicklaus (‘classic swing’). The modern swing is more powerful and exerts a greater compressive force toward the anatomy of the spine, which can be a contributory factor in back issues.
‘A long swing with passive wrists and light grip pressure can prevent back issues’ – US Golfer Phil Mickelson. At 45, Mickelson has played without any of the serious back pain unlike most of the major champions like Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. Back injuries have sidelined the careers of former champions Tiger Woods and Fred Couples several times!
Want to know more about preventing back pain in golf, here’s a great little fact sheet ‘Swing Clever‘ that highlights the different factors associated with the classic and modern swing.
If back pain or any other injury is stopping you from enjoying your golf, then do get in touch. Our team can help!
It was very refreshing to finally see some positive, mainstream media coverage about back pain on ITV last night.
For so long now, there has been much scaremongering, misinformation and fear surrounding the best way to manage back pain and unfortunately this has become ingrained in people’s minds. Professionals like ourselves, who see people with back pain day in day out, have been battling to dispel the myths surrounding back pain for so long. So, maybe the message is finally getting through!
So, what were the key messages that the programme promoted?
Surgery is often not the answer. For the vast majority of people it’s about rehab getting active and getting fit. Less than 1% of people with back pain might be considered for surgery.
1 in 5 people who have an X-ray or scan for back pain do so unnecessarily. Having a scan when you don’t need it may actually make things worse, as normal signs of ageing can be misinterpreted. An MRI scan is not always needed to find out what’s going on, it’s not a picture of pain, it’s a picture of normal ageing changes.
It’s not easy to uncover what causes back pain.
There isn’t a quick fix solution.
Painkillers and rest are no longer recommended treatments for back pain.
Our progressive lack of movement and activity are a key factor in our back pain epidemic.
Spines LOVE movement!
We need to incorporate movement throughout the day into our lives, NOT just in intensive bursts of exercise like going to the gym, for a run or an exercise class.
The back is a strong and robust structure, we need to trust it and not be afraid of pain.
Sedentary lifestyles must be tackled in childhood to create her;thy lifelong habits and help prevent back pain. Keeping fit and healthy at an early age might be a way of future proofing our backs.
Some Back Pain Facts:
There are almost 10 million people in the UK suffering with lower back pain
It’s one of there most common reasons for days taken off work
Back pain accounts for over 30 million lost working days a year
Back pain affects up to 80% of us
You can watch ITV’s Tonight – Back Pain: Britain’s Unseen Crisis here until the end of March 2019.
There’s no denying it, we’re sitting more and moving less and this is causing havoc on our health and wellbeing.
Things have to change, attitudes have to change, understanding has to change, workplace cultures have to change and lifestyles have to change.
That’s why, since it started, we’ve promoted and supported On Your Feet Britain and their #SitLess #Move More campaign.
Take a look and see whether you can get your workplace involved?
Awareness of the “Sitting Disease” has rocket up in recent years. Surely it’s time your workplace joined in our fun event to take James Brown at his word.
Join 2 million office workers #SitLess and #MoveMore by signing up your workplace to a free event and see a different aspect of your colleagues. Find out who is The Wiggler, The Wag- gler, The Mover or The Groover.
On 26th April 2019 we’re challenging the nation again to get On Your Feet. Take part in our fifth national day when 2 million workers across Britain will sit less & move more.
Instead of emailing the person oppo- site, do something revolutionary – walk over & talk face to face. It’s a good way to do business & it’ll do you good.
Ditch your usual lunch ‘al desko’ and take a stroll outside. You’ll get a spring in your step and feel better for it.
Make phone calls standing up. You’ll feel more confident and burn more calories than sitting.
Why not take it on as an office chal- lange & free yourself from the office chair for the day. Find fun & easy ideas online to take part.
The Pelvic Partnership has just launched a new campaign, the ‘Stickmum’ campaign, to raise awareness of pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP).
What is PGP?
a condition which affects 1 in 5 pregnant women
pain and stiffness in the pelvic joints
asymmetry of movement, joint irritation and pain when walking, climbing stairs and turning over in bed
in some cases, long-term pain and dysfunction after giving birth which can persist for months or years without treatment
Can PGP be treated?
In short, yes! But treatments can often be poorly understood, with many people thinking that pelvic pain is just a ‘normal’ and acceptable part of pregnancy.
PGP can be treated with manual therapy
If you’re suffering with PGP you don’t even need a referral. You can just give us a call and book an appointment for an assessment and treatment of the pelvic joints and soft tissues by our specialist pelvic Physiotherapist, Kim.
Pain and function should improve after each treatment session
When can PGP be treated?
Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to full resolution or reduction in symptoms during pregnancy, so try and get help ASAP if you think you are staring to feel PGP
It is safe to treat at any stage during or after pregnancy, even if there is very severe pain
If you think you’re suffering with PGP, please call 023 8025 3317 to book an appointment with our specialist Physiotherapist, Kim. We aim to be able to offer you an appointment within 24 – 48 hours.
Download some really useful information about the PGP and the benefits of treatment here.