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Warning over danger of ‘online advice’

Posted on 4th June 2020 by

Physiotherapists are calling on people to visit trusted sources online after a study highlighted alarming levels of misinformation in the most-watched back pain videos on YouTube.

With the lockdown limiting access to face to face help from suitably qualified professionals, turning to online advice has surged.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy enlisted a team of specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapists to study the 100 most highly viewed videos on YouTube when searching for ‘advice and treatment for back pain’.

 Some of the videos had millions of views but the physiotherapists found:

  • Almost half contained a myth (43%)
  • Six in 10 contained false or misleading information (60%)
  • Nearly a third had an unrealistic video demo (32%)
  • Four in 10 contained unhelpful language that was fear evoking or contradictory (42%)
  • Almost half did not state their qualifications for providing advice (45%)

Among the most egregious examples were videos that recommended applying garlic oil to the back, taking devil’s claw and avoiding ‘abnormal eating’.

Some claimed to have a ‘miracle cure’ for back pain – such as drinking lemon and salt – while others promised a ‘quick fix’.

Many pushed advice that would lead the viewer to believe their back was weak or easily damaged and movements such as bending or twisting should be avoided, myths that physio’s are trying to battle against.

The study certainly reflects what we see here at gophysio with unregulated health advice online. Even before lockdown, so many patients would come in after trying some very questionable methods of self treatment that they’d been recommend or seen online.

A snap poll of 100 physiotherapists found that nearly a third (32%) of their patients cited false or misleading information they got from the internet on a daily basis. 

Two thirds (66%) of physiotherapists said they had to treat patients whose condition had worsened because of this. 

Both during lockdown with our online virtual consultations and now we have re-opened for face to face appointments, here at goPhysio we have been seeing an increasing number of ‘isolation injuries‘. People have been doing unfamiliar exercise programmes, taking up new activities and doing lot’s of gardening, DIY and odd jobs around the house, which their body’s aren’t used to.

“So many people we see at goPhysio are really afraid after seeing some online advice and recommendations, with unhelpful beliefs and expectations of treatments that may help. They’re often really confused, having heard and read so much conflicting advice.”

Clinical Director of goPhysio, Paul

During this extremely difficult period, people are very wary of putting extra pressure on the healthcare system and are relying more on online advice. This is coupled with an increase in the familiarity of using digital channels and resources. But there is a mind-field of online advice out there and the public need to be aware that this information isn’t regulated.

With a click of your mouse you risk receiving biased, unhelpful and incomplete advice.

It’s not only articles or videos, some of the advice and comments on online forums, chat groups and social media that we see can be equally damaging and confusing. So many ‘unqualified’ people profess to having the answer

Just because someone’s had similar symptoms or has a familiar injury, doesn’t mean the advice and treatment that they had is correct for you! So many factors play a part in an injury and that’s why it’s so important to have a thorough assessment, accurate diagnosis and follow a treatment plan that’s devised for you, your injury and your lifestyle.


National Stress Awareness Day: Can Exercise Help?

Posted on 2nd November 2018 by

National Stress Awareness Day is today and it aims to make people more aware of the impact stress National Stress Awareness Daycan have on your everyday life. It also aims to help people identify ways to deal with this stress and find a way to reduce it.

Research has shown that increased stress levels can lead to an increased risk of injury.

How do stress levels impact on injury risk?

  • Stress can increase muscular tension, which can then lead to aches and pain. Neck and back muscles are particularly prone to stress related tension.
  • Increased muscular tension can also lead to muscle strains or tears as the muscle is under a greater load and is less flexible than normal.
  • Stress levels may cause you to forget an important piece of equipment when working out, such as proper running shoes or corrective orthotic insoles. This places additional strain on your body, raising the risk of injury.
  • Stress on your time management might force you to exercise at different times, for example first thing in the morning when your muscles aren’t fully warmed up or last thing in the day when you are tired. It might also cause you to rush or not take as much care when you are exercising.
  • High stress levels can also reduce your body’s immunity levels, increasing the likelihood of a poor recovery from any minor injury.
  • You may also find that stress distracts you from the activity in front of you – whether that is exercising, working or even a simple task such as crossing the road or walking up stairs. This distraction could result in a sprained joint or pulled muscle.

Research has also suggested that stress can be reduced through regular exercise and movement.

How can exercise reduce my stress levels?

  • Exercise gives you something to focus on away from the cause of your stress.
    It helps to boost your mood by increasing self confidence, improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety.
  • Any form of exercise will help – even a short walk at lunch time or getting off the bus a stop early allows you to get some fresh air and takes your mind away from stressful thoughts.
  • A flexibility based exercise, such as Pilates or Yoga, will help to reduce muscle tension and can help ease aching related to this.
  • Scheduling some time specifically for exercising may also help as it will give your day structure and breaks up time spent sat in front of the computer!
  • If you exercise with friends, colleagues or family, the social element of this will again boost your mood and reduce stress levels.
  • Find a new sport or something fun to do – there are lots of different things out there to try!

Many people find a regular, professional sports or deep tissue massage can be a really great way to relieve the build up of stress and tension physically. It also gives you time to yourself to unwind.

Here are the top 10 steps to stress free living from International Stress Management Association UK.

National Stress Awareness Day

#NationalStressAwarenessDay


goPhysio FAQs: What conditions can you help?

Posted on 31st August 2018 by

goPhysio FAQHere at goPhysio we understand that choosing to see a someone if you’re injured or in pain may be a bit daunting? Lots of questions may go through your mind before you decide to make an appointment……….“What will they ask me? Will it hurt? Will I have to get undressed? How do I know it’s going to help?”

We aim to provide a very caring, comfortable and professional environment for you to come and get your problem resolved.

To help answer some of the thoughts you may have if you’re unsure about picking up the phone to make an appointment, we’d like to address some of the questions you may want to ask.


What conditions can you help?

As Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists at goPhysio, our  specialist area of expertise is in assessing, diagnosing and resolving musculoskeletal issues. Musculo = muscles, Skeletal = skeleton (bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, tendons). So, most conditions affecting those areas, we can help.

Here’s a (not exhaustive) list of some of the most common conditions we help resolve here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford.

Back

Neck

Hip Problems

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hip impingement
  • Gilmore’s groin
  • Groin strain
  • Total hip replacement
  • ITB issues
  • Piriformis syndrome

Knee Problems

  • Anterior knee pain
  • Ligament injuries (Anterior, posterior, medial & lateral cruciate ligaments)
  • Cartilage (meniscus) injuries
  • Hamstring strain
  • Runners knee
  • Muscle strain or tear (quadriceps, hamstrings)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osgoods Schlatters 
  • ITB syndrome

Ankle & Foot

Shoulder

Elbow, Wrist & Hand

And not forgetting……..

If you are suffering with an injury and want help to guide you through the frustrating maze, please get in touch. We aim to offer you an appointment within 24 hours, often the same day.

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Don’t soldier on in pain with niggling old injuries. Start the new year in top shape.

Posted on 9th January 2017 by

So many people just ‘soldier on’ with aches & pain, not knowing what the cause is, if they are doing the right thing about it or if they are actually making the problem worse. Sometimes, the longer you leave a problem the worse it gets and the longer it can take to get better.

Do you just accept that pain is part of your daily routine?

By leaving an injury un-treated, you can be putting yourself at risk.

  • Reduced fitness as you can’t train or work out to your full potential
  • Ongoing worry constantly niggling at the back of your mind
  • Risk of causing more damage to yourself and developing a chronic (long term) problem
  • Decreased quality of life as you can’t enjoy life to your full potential

Take action now, don’t be one of those people who just accepts pain as part of their life.

At goPhysio we can help. We provide information, education and practical support but above all we give you peace of mind by helping you understand what is actually causing your pain and what you should & shouldn’t be doing to help your recovery.

So, new year, new you? Let us help you get on the right track!


Driving Home For Christmas

Posted on 22nd December 2016 by

As the festive season is upon us many will find themselves with long car journeys ahead to visit loved ones. However, hours spent in the car in 1 position, coupled with the stress and anxiety of traffic jams, can leave us getting out the car feeling 10 years older!

We can’t do much about the traffic (sorry!) but getting your car set up well and following a few simple tips can make the journey much more pleasant, leaving you pain-free to enjoy the festivities.

Car Set Up 

The degree of adjustment available to you in your car will depend on it’s make, model and year but most modern vehicles will have an array of buttons and levers to play with.

  • Start with seat height – make sure you’ve got maximum vision of the road over the steering wheel but not so high your heads touching the roof!
  • Move the seat forward so that you can fully depress the clutch and accelerator without overstretching the legs.
  • Adjust the seat tilt so that your thighs are supported but you don’t feel pressure behind the knees.
  • Adjust the backrest so that you have contact right from the lower back up to shoulder height – try to make sure you are quite upright so that you don’t end up slouched in the seat with your neck craning forwards.
  • Adjust the steering wheel height so that your arms are in a relaxed position.
  • Adjust the head rest so that its level with the back of the head.

You may need to re-adjust your position as you move other things so play around with it until you feel comfortable and supported. It’s worth spending 5-10minutes doing this before a long journey to prevent hours of pain at the other end! Don’t forget to re-adjust your mirrors to suit once you are happy with your set up.

Here’s a great little guide with some handy tips on how you can set up your car in the best way!

Drive Clear Of Pain

Lumbar support

If your car doesn’t have adequate lumbar support consider purchasing an addition lumbar roll to Lumbar rollsupport your lower back. Place this in the small of your back, just above your pelvis. You can also use a rolled up hand towel for this. We stock a range of lumbar supports at the clinic and can advise which style or shape is best for you.

Driving time

Make sure you stop at least every 2 hours – more frequently if you already suffer with neck or back problems.

When you stop, make sure you get out of your car and walk around for a few minutes. Stretch out your neck, roll your shoulders and gently rotate your trunk from side to side. Reach up above your head, enjoying a full body stitch and take some really big breaths in and out to expand your lungs and rib cage and get the oxygen into your system!

Whilst driving, you can use natural pauses such as red traffic lights to gently stretch out the neck or tilt the pelvis back and forth to relieve any tension that might be building up.

Listen 

There is so many choices of things to listen to now when we’re tackling long journeys, that can certainly help keep us relaxed and less stressed. Whether it’s a podcast or a favourite playlist, having something to listen to can really help pass the time and keep stress levels reduced.

When you arrive

Stretch when you get out the car, try to move around for a while or go for a walk rather than swapping the car seat straight for the sofa. But try to avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise immediately after getting out the car until you’ve loosened up a bit.

Above all, stay safe!


17 Days To Go! goPhysio’s Daily Countdown Giveaway – Biofreeze Cooling Gel

Posted on 2nd December 2016 by

goPhysio moving dateOn day 2 of our giveaway, you could be in with a chance of winning some pain relieving, Biofreeze cooling gel.

Biofreeze is a topical analgesic that uses the cooling effect of menthol, a natural pain reliever, to soothe minor muscle and joint pain. It penetrates quickly, offering relief through cold therapy.

If you’re in pain, Biofreeze is a great way to ease this, helping your recovery.

To be in with a chance to win, like or follow us and don’t forget to share the post on social media. The winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow!


The magic ‘6 weeks’ – does it exist? What does it mean?

Posted on 19th February 2016 by

Magic 6 weeksWe hear this day in day out.

“I’ve been to see my GP about my injury and the GP has told me to just rest for 6 weeks & take painkillers, isn’t that enough?”

Our response is: “Do you want to rest for 6 weeks? Can you afford to rest for 6 weeks?”

Yes, some injuries will just improve by themselves with a bit of rest and some painkillers. But what constitutes ‘rest’? What if it’s not getting better in 6 weeks? What effect will ‘rest’ have on the rest of my body?

This advice can often throw up more questions than solutions.

By seeking expert guidance and advice at the early stages of an injury, you are more likely to:

  • Keep being able to do the things you physically enjoy doing
  • Prevent any secondary problems developing from enforced rest or not moving properly
  • Speed up your recovery
  • Prevent future reoccurrence of your injury

At goPhysio, we will be able to reassure you what you should & shouldn’t be doing to help your recovery. We spend a long time with you 1-2-1 to fully understand your problem & answer all your questions. You’ll go away knowing exactly what is wrong with you & exactly how to help it get better. NOW – NOT IN 6 WEEKS!

The result is – a speedier recovery, getting back to what you want to be doing quicker & without the worry of the unknown.

There’s nothing worse than sitting around worrying about what may be wrong & whether you’re doing the right thing, we’ll alleviate your fears. Something has obviously caused your pain or injury and that needs to be addressed to help you longer term.

Our Physio and Sports Therapy service is direct referral, that means you can just give us a call and book your appointment with one of our experts, without having to wait and see your GP.

You can do this online now here 24/7, so whenever you make the decision, you can act on it.

If you’re not sure whether we can help, do get in touch. We’re more than happy to chat through your individual case and point you in the right direction.

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