“Warming up before sport: Why you’re probably doing it all wrong!”

If you want to perform at your best — on the court, on the field or on the pitch– you need to know how to get your body ready for intense activity. Yet most people, even many high level sports people, don’t understand the basics of a good warm up. 

So how do you warm up best? With some slow, sustained general body stretches, right?

Wrong!

Most studies show little or no benefit in a generalised, non-specific stretching program to prevent injury.

Scientific evidence indicates that active warm-up, as opposed to slow passive stretching, is the best injury preventative.  In other words, get moving!  So the puppy in the photograph could probably be doing things a little better!

dog stretching

You will also need to do some core muscle activation, and some sports-specific drills.

An example of an active warm-up that focuses on the leg muscles might include the following activities:

  • A slow 400 metre jog to start the process
  • Next, do a few minutes of light movements.  These should concentrate on (a) relaxed gentle movement (b) all the way to the end of range (c)  in each direction (d) for all your joints. Make sure that you move your spine and neck  as well as your limbs.  If you have any specific muscle imbalances or physio-prescribed exercises/stretches, now is an ideal time to work on them.
  • Now perform some exercises to activate your core muscles (if you know how … if you’re unsure than please contact us directly). This is an important step to awaken them for the task ahead, which is unfortunately often omitted.
  • Now move to an active phase. Start with half a dozen 40-60m runs at 50% pace, walking back in between. Slowly increase your stride length with each repetition.  Activate your core muscles as you run.
  • Add another half a dozen “run through” sprints of 40-60 metres, beginning at 50% pace, and increasing by 10% each repetition.
  • Perform 3-5 backwards jogs over 20 metres, and then a similar set of sideways runs.
  • Finally, add sports-specific skills (e.g. kicking: start at 20m, then increase to full strength over 20 kicks.)

By the time you have completed  this warm up, your muscles and joints will be loose, your core muscles activated and ready to protect your joints, and your cardiovascular system will be ready to go.  You’ll hit the playing field in peak condition, and not only will you help to prevent injuries – both short and long term – but you’ll be ready to fire from the first whistle.

 

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What is Bursitis? How do I cure bursitis?

What is bursitis?

A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac inside your body. It can be thought of as a self-contained bag with a lubricant and no air inside. If you imagine rubbing this bag between your hands; movement of your hands would be smooth and effort-less. That is what a bursa is meant to do; offer a smooth, slippery surface between two moving objects. Bursae are found where muscles and tendons glide over bones. Without the bursa between these surfaces, movements would be painful due to friction.

bursitis picture

Bursitis can cause pain in many areas, such as the shoulder, knee, hip and elbow.

When a bursa becomes inflamed, the bursa loses its gliding capabilities, and becomes more and more irritated and painful when it is moved. The added bulk of the swollen bursa causes more friction within an already confined space.

What Causes Bursitis?

  • Repetitive Irritation

Bursitis usually results from a repetitive movement or due to prolonged and excessive pressure. For example, people who have weak hip muscles and tend to sway as they walk can develop hip (trochanteric) bursitis. Similarly in other parts of the body, repetitive use or frequent pressure can irritate a bursa and cause inflammation.

  • Traumatic Injury

Another cause of bursitis is a traumatic injury. Following trauma, such as a car accident or fall, a patient may de-velop bursitis. Usually a contusion causes swelling within the bursa. The bursa, which had functioned normally up until that point, now begins to develop inflammation, and bursitis results. Once the bursa is inflamed, normal move-ments and activities can become painful.

  • Systemic Diseases

Systemic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may also lead to bursitis. These types of condi-tions can make patients susceptible to developing bursitis.

How is Bursitis Treated?

Bursitis is a symptom caused by many other factors that if you don’t solve, will render you vulnerable to recurrences. Your physiotherapist is highly trained in identifying the biomechanical causes of bursitis. With the correct joint alignment and muscle balance, the bursitis can usually be cured permanently.

“Arthritis: the causes, symptoms, and a miracle cure”

Arthritis is a group of musculoskeletal conditions in which there is wearing and inflammation of the joints causing chronic pain, swelling and stiffness. Nearly 3.3 million Australians have a disability due to arthritis and related conditions, and more than half of these have chronic or recurrent pain.

The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but they are very different. RA is a disease, that can be detected via a blood test. In the RA disease process, the patient’s own immune system attacks the lining of their joints, causing pain, swelling and eventual deformity. Typically, it causes problems in the small joint such as the fingers.

Drug therapy, gentle exercise and occasional splinting are the best treatments. Joint replacement is some-times used. Thankfully, RA is rare.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Conversely, OA is wear-and-tear, like rust in your joints. It typically effects large, weight bearing joints such as hips and knees. OA is far more common than RA—almost everyone of advancing years suffers some form of OA—our bodies simply weren’t designed to last that long!

arthritis

Osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis: the differences

The Role of Exercise

Moderate, regular exercise has been proven to aid in the prevention of arthritis, and offers a host of benefits to sufferers. Exercise can reduce joint pain and stiff-ness, builds strong muscles around the joints and in-creases flexibility and endurance.

The Role of Physiotherapy

Patients with OA may benefit from joint mobilization, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy and muscle strengthening exercises. Localized, specific massage techniques can also break up the ’rust’ from the joint, greatly reducing the pain. Physiotherapy can reduce arthritic pain and reliance on drug therapy. Unlike pharmaceuticals, physiotherapy has few side effects or contraindications.

Although arthritis is a chronic disease, treatment and management techniques can control and reduce the effects of the condition, and prevent further deterioration. Almost like a miracle cure.

To read more about arthritis and its cures, see http://www.physioworks.com.au/Default.aspx?PageID=619824&A=SearchResult&SearchID=5389194&ObjectID=619824&ObjectType=1

Or visit us directly at http://www.physioworks.com.au/Bulimba/bulimba.htm or http://www.physioworks.com.au/Mansfield/mansfield.htm

 

“How to avoid and treat running injuries”

Although one of the most popular and convenient ways to stay fit, running is also one of the easiest ways for you to develop an injury. The impact and stress of running can be hard on your muscles and joints, commonly resulting in injuries to your hips, knees, ankles, and feet.

How to Avoid Running Injuries?

There are several simple techniques to help you avoid running injuries.

  • Perform a Warm Up & Cool Down. You may have specific stretches that have been prescribed by your physio—your warm up/down is an ideal time to per-form them. However, general static stretching is not as effective as once thought. A better method of warming up is to start very gently—perhaps with a walk—and gradually increase your pace.
  • Wear appropriate footwear suitable to your foot structure. Recent research indicates that softer, pad-ded footwear may actually be worse for your joint than a harder sole. Keep this in mind when buying your next pair of shoes.
  • If your foot has biomechanical problems, you would probably benefit from orthotics, which can be fitted on-the-spot at either of our PhysioWorks clinics.
  • Avoid over training – ask us for advice. As a general rule, do not increase your training by more than 10% each week. Do not try to beat your previous times every day! Take it easy, enjoy yourself, and gradually get into the habit of running.
    running injuries
    Common running injuries

Early Warning Signs of Impending Injury

If an ache or pain develops, do not ignore the early warning signs. While some injuries can be immediately evident, others slowly and progressively get worse, making it even more important to act early before chronic problems develop. So what are the early warning signs you should look for?

  • Joint pain: Pain that lasts longer than 48 hours needs physiotherapy diagnosis.
  • Tenderness: If pressing your finger into a specific point causes pain, and the same pain is not produced on the opposite side of the body, please ask for advice.
  • Swelling: Usually obvious, swelling often co-exists with pain and heat. The area will feel “full”.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Compare with opposite side of body.
  • Weakness: Perform tasks on both sides of body to identify weakness.

Other warning signs that you have overtrained include

  1. Pain that does not go away when you warm up
  2. Aching that persists for more than 30 minutes after you have cooled down, or
  3. Stiffness and pain the following morning.

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, please give us a call. We will save you months of pain and frustration. We’ll have you back jogging pain free again in no time!

For more information on running injuries, please see http://www.physioworks.com.au/Injuries-Conditions/Activities/running-injuries or visit us directly at http://www.physioworks.com.au/Bulimba/bulimba.htm or http://www.physioworks.com.au/Mansfield/mansfield.htm

 

 

“Hip pain: what goes wrong and how to fix it”

The hip is a large weight-bearing joints. It consists of two main parts: a ball at the top of your thighbone that fits into a rounded socket in your pelvis. The bone surfaces of your ball and socket have a smooth durable cover of articular cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones and enables them to move easily.

hip joint

The hip joint

Bands of tissue called ligaments connect the ball to the socket and provide stability to the joint.The hip joint is also covered by a thin, smooth tissue called synovial membrane. In a healthy hip, this membrane makes fluid that lubricates your hip joint.

What Goes Wrong?

The main injury that affects your hip is arthritis. This commonly occurs in the form of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis usually occurs after age 50, and often in an individual with a family history of arthritis. In this form of the disease, the articular cartilage cushioning the bones of the hip wears away and the bones rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness. Eventually even rest will no longer relieve the pain in your hip.

Sometimes the bones to rub directly against each other, resulting in hard bumps, called bone spurs, that reduce motion and cause pain.

Physiotherapy techniques to improve hip mobility, strength, and how you move, have been shown to ease the pain associated with hip arthritis. Special exercises to make the hip and pelvis more stable can also help.

bridging exercsie

Some exercises, such as this bridging manouvre, can help to strengthen and stabilise the hip joint.

Failing a successful physiotherapy-based rehabilitation, major surgery to replace the hip may be required.

To read more about hip arthritis and other hip injuries, please see http://www.physioworks.com.au/Injuries-Conditions/Regions/hip-pain-joint-injury  or visit our practices directly at http://www.physioworks.com.au/Bulimba/bulimba.htm or http://www.physioworks.com.au/Mansfield/mansfield.htm

A new approach to workplace fitness

From the Courier Mail, Brisbane, Friday 22 February 2012

TREADMILLS in the office, seats that beep after 30 minutes of use and adjustable standing-sitting desks are the latest weapons being deployed in the battle of the bulge.

With the negative health effects of prolonged sitting making it the smoking of our generation, bosses are now encouraging walking meetings and even installing treadmills in offices to get their staff literally thinking on their feet.

Treadmill

National treadmill distributor Workout World Camperdown general manager, Steven To, said there have been a number of companies calling on them to install treadmills in office spaces.

“We have found it is law firms and offices located next to industrial sites that have asked for them,” he said.

“Most of the time they are asking for two treadmills at a time instead of just the single ones.”

A range of studies has found sitting for prolonged periods increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer because of increased blood pressure and sugar, excessive body fat and abnormal cholesterol levels.

 Employers are also becoming increasingly aware of links between better health and wellbeing and improved productivity.

Australian company Get the World Moving, which runs the Global Corporate Challenge to get sedentary office workers off their backsides, last month installed two office treadmills facing each other so employees can have walking meetings.

Appliance giants Miele Australia are another company conducting some of their meetings while walking.

Global Corporate Challenge marketing manager Jayne Foot said they are already seeing the benefits.

“We decided to install the treadmills to cater for bad weather and facilitate the opportunity for staff to take a walking meeting, rain, hail or shine,” she said.

“It’s also great for individual employees who want a quick energy charge, as they can jump on and get active whenever they feel like it.

“We find walking meetings especially helpful for brainstorming sessions or meetings later in the afternoon, when energy levels can naturally slump.”

The University of Queensland late last year developed a device dubbed the “sitting pad”, which emits a loud beep when its occupant should get up and move around.

Google, Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie Bank are also providing workers with both sitting and standing desks.

For more information on walking for fitness, see our previous blog post https://mansfieldphysioworks.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/an-easy-way-to-keep-your-aches-and-pains-at-bay/ or visit us at http://physioworks.com.au/Bulimba/bulimba.htm or  http://physioworks.com.au/Mansfield/mansfield.htm

Golf: How to prevent injuries, lower your scores, and increase your enjoyment

Golf is a wonderful sport that offers many great benefits, including increased fitness, more social interaction, and, of course, the enjoyment that comes from whacking a long drive down the centre of the fairway. PhysioWorks can offer a lot to golfers; we not only help you prevent injuries, but also to improve your scores, and increase your enjoyment of the game.golf shot

So how do you do this? We have four main suggestions:

(1)   Improve your fitness and general conditioning.  This strategy will also help improve your performance.  if your body cannot move properly, you cannot develop a good swing. For example, if you have poor spinal flexibility, this may prevent you from turning adequately during your golf swing, leading to reduced power and accuracy. The same theory applies to tight neck and shoulder muscles, or worn-out hips and knees.

(2)   Have your physio screen you to evaluate your muscle balance. Your body has many deep muscles that help to stabilise your limbs and trunk during movement. If these muscles weaken, your movements will be less controlled, even though you still feel strong.  A thorough program of stability muscle exercises, aiming at your trunk, shoulders, hips and knees, will provide a massive boost to your movement control, and take many strokes off your handicap.

(3)   Make sure your equipment is correct.  Ask a professional to evaluate your clubs; technology in this area is improving all the time. Also, put some thought into your shoes. Are they flexible enough? Do you need orthotics to support your foot arches over 18 long holes?  Check your bag – can you clear out some clutter, and thus reduce its weight? Plenty of golfers have hurt their back, simply retrieving the clubs from the boot of the car.

(4)   Warm up before you play. A good warm up will not only prepare you for your game, but it also helps prevent injuries.  If you have a previous trouble spot, spend more time warming this up, e.g. an old back injury.  Do some full-range movements for your back, arms and legs. Your physio can help with some suggestions. Hit a bucket of balls on the practice fairway or nets, but don’t use maximum effort straight away. Start with a gentle swing of a short club, and build up to your driver.  Do about 5-10 minutes of putting.

Using these tips, you will not only reduce your chance of injury, but you will also improve your performance, and heighten your enjoyment of the game. Now all that’s left is to hit the fairways. Fore!

To read more specific information on golf injuries, go to http://physioworks.com.au/Injuries-Conditions/Activities/golf-injuries

Or visit us directly at http://physioworks.com.au/Bulimba/bulimba.htm or http://physioworks.com.au/Mansfield/mansfield.htm