What a weekend!

 It was amazing to watch The Lions beat the Wallabies to win the test series and then to watch Andy Murray win Wimbledon really topped things off on another incredible weekend for British sport. After watching the BBC documentary on how hard Andy Murray works on his conditioning there are a lot of lessons even amateurs and weekend warriors can take.

Sports injuries are part and parcel of an active lifestyle but managing injuries is something that should always take seriously.  Rehabilitation plays a major role in the road to recovery and insuring that the risk of future injury is minimised.

Injuries to any part of the body can often be attributed to poor function of the muscles that should stabilise that region- and unfortunately, once injury occurs this poor function only gets worse.

This is where musculoskeletal rehabilitation can help. By improving faulty movement patterns and engaging learning to engage the correct muscles at the right time anyone can reduce the likelihood of future injuries.

If you would like to discuss rehab or “prehab”- or have any questions about conditioning for the sort you play, please feel free to email info@ringwoodchiropractic.co.uk

Exercise of the week!

This week it’s all about hip mobility. A lot of things we do in life reduce the mobility of our hip joints and a lot of things we do in life require good hip range of motion- so how can we improve it? As well as general lifestyle tips such as not sitting down for too long during the day I am going to share with you a really great hip mobility exercise that works both hips in most directions. It’s a stretch so it can be done every day and even more if you have the time for it- you get out what you put in.

The Spiderman Lunge.

Start in a press up position but with your hands directly below your chest so that they are quite close together. Starting with your left leg, bring your foot as close to your left hand as you can so that you are in a lunge position. From here you can put more weight through your left leg to really stretch out the left groin, or, you can rotate your torso to the right so that your right shoulder is pointing to the ceiling. Hold the stretches in the different positions for around ten seconds each. Repeat two or three repetitions on either side every day. A pretty good video of the initial position is available here.

What is Kinesiology Tape?

KINESIOLOGY TAPING was invented in Japan in the 1970s. To-day Kinesiology tapes are used by chiropractors, physios, medical practitioners and athletes in Japan, the United States, Europe, South America, Australia, and Asia. The method of Kinesiology taping relies just as much on the technique of its application as it does on the properties of the tape itself. You can’t use any old tape!

Kinesiology tape comes in different colours, depending on what effect is needed for each individual. The tape is not rigid like strapping tape; it’s flexible, comfortable and functional, allowing and encouraging full range of movement. It can be used up to five days without changing, is water resistant and can expand up to about 40 percent of its actual size!

 

MUSCLE RELAXATION Vs MUSCLE FACILITATION

The tape is used in sport and rehabilitation for muscle relaxation or muscle facilitation. For muscle relaxation, the tape is applied from the end of the muscle to the beginning (Insertion to Origin). This creates the muscle to reduce in tension (relaxation) and used in treatments. For muscle facilitation, the tape is applied from the beginning of the muscle to the end (Origin to Insertion). This stimulates tired or underused muscles and mostly used in Rehabilitation

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The wave pattern found on the tape’s adhesive has a lifting effect on the skin which can reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation and reduce pain by taking pressure off pain receptor. The therapist uses the tape over and around muscles in order to assist and give support or to prevent over-contraction. It is applied with a stretch to the tape or to the target area in order to create space under the skin and create the desired effect on the musculature. This affect causes changes in deeper layers of fascia by manipulating the skin and muscle, creating space underneath the skin to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage.

WHO USES IT?

The popularity of elastic therapeutic tape in the United States surged after 50,000 rolls were donated and the tape was seen on Olympic athletes in the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. Of these athletes, the most notable was Kerri Walsh who used the tape in competition following surgery on her rotator cuff. Serena Williams has also used therapeutic tapes during competition. Lance Armstrong, 7-time winner of the Tour de France, talks about using tape in his book, where he describes the effectiveness of the treatment for his sore muscles. David Beckham was seen clearly using Kinesiology tape on his ribcage during matches.

WHO WILL BENEFIT?

Kinesiology Taping is greatly effective in therapy since it has the ability to relax overused and overextended muscles, as well as rehabilitating muscular injuries. It can also be used to reduce the inflammation or the swelling by not blocking or hindering circulation, hence reducing pain. By utilising a number of corrective techniques, the Therapist can promote correct muscle and joint function, as well as pain relief by targeting the pain and the source of the pain. Applications of the tape involve utilising single “I” strips or modifications in the shape of an “X,” “Y” or other specialized shapes. A study of the effect of Kinesiology Taping on changes in the tone of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric contractions found an increase in muscle tone 24 hours after application.

Everyone (not just sports people)! Kinesiology tape is hypoallergenic, latex free and the adhesive compound is designed for sensitive skin. The tape works well on all ages from children to the elderly. Whether the injury is related to sport, work or poor posture Kinesiology Tape is an ideal treatment option to get you client back to exercise, training, sport and general day-to-day activities faster and more effectively.

Application of the tape comes with a full assessment of your posture and biomechanics to find the source of the problem, then applying the tape for instant effect and incorporating specific exercises for maximum rehabilitation results.

High Heels (Again) Linked to Flat Feet

A new study by the University of East Anglia cites high heels as one possible cause of flat feet.
This comes as no surprise, wearing high heels can increase the curvature in the bottom of the spine and the amount of shoe that actually takes the weight of the wearer on the ground is so small that all the weight is concentrated to the ball of the foot.

Good footwear is an essential. Our feet carry all of our weight and the shoes we chose have a lot to do with the way we walk and the pressure we put on the rest of the body. Feet need a surface which allows them to bend, grip and roll as you walk, which is difficult to do when constantly wearing heels. You don’t have to say goodbye to high heels, as should be safe to wear in moderation, but you need to make sure they fit properly and take extra care when walking.

Wearing the right shoes can improve posture. If the shoe supports your foot and allows you to use your foot properly, you can do as you please. If buying a pair of heels, make sure the shoe isn’t too tight, short or solid, otherwise you will restrict movement and you won’t be able to use your foot properly.

For more information and links to the research mentioned, please contact us.

Sick of Pain?

A new report, released by the Office of National Statistics, has found that around 131 million working days were lost to sickness absence in 2011. This represented a fall since a survey done in 1993, with the amount of time lost per worker in 2011 being four and a half days, down from just over seven days in 1993.

Although the most common reason given for sickness absence was minor ailments such as coughs and colds, the greatest number of working days (34.4 million) were lost due to musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain and upper limb problems.

Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association, said: “The incidence of back pain continues to take it’s toll on the working and leisure life of people in the UK. It is important for people to seek appropriate help for their back pain and, according to the NICE Guidelines issued in May 2009, chiropractic treatment is one way that people receive help with their back pain.”

To see more information on the Office of National Statistics report, click here.

Functional Training

If you have persistent back pain, the chances are that you will have functional deficits throughout vital muscle groups in the affected area. Functional weakness can affect any area of the body from the ankle to the neck. Changes in muscle function during painful episodes can result in long lasting changes in the way your body works and can leave you more prone to injury in the future. There are two main areas to consider when we talk about muscle function and rehabilitation.

The first aspect is muscle endurance. A muscle may contract when it should but it may not have the strength to sustain a contraction for prolonged periods. This is often why we get pain when performing tasks over a period of time such as gardening or sitting at a computer. If a certain muscle that should contract during a task is unable to, other muscles around the area will have to be recruited to “help” the weakened muscle. Unfortunately, if this misuse continues over time, imbalances in muscles can occur which can have profound on bodily function and posture.

The second area is movement patterns. This is the order in which a certain group of muscles contract in order to move or stabilise a joint. There is always an ideal order in which this will occur. Numerous studies have shown that persistant pain or injury can change the order in which muscle groups fire. This can result in a worsening of the condition and increase the chances of injury relapse.

At Avon View Chiropractic our assessments always include a detailed examination into the major movement patterns that occur throughout the body enabling us to identify problems that lead to a higher risk of recurrence. As well as the manual therapy options we employ (manipulation, acupuncture and soft tissue therapy) we also prescribe specific exercises to address functional deficits and encourage correct movement.

Over the next few months we will be posting about the major muscle groups that go wrong and how rehabilitative exercise can help restore proper function and reduce the risk of pain coming back in conjunction with chiropractic care.

To find out more about functional training and movement patterns, please contact us.

How to beat…….

Great programme on this week on the BBC about how to beat pain- some silly experiments but the ideas behind the need for effective exercise for chronic back pain and the role of ice and compression in the treatment of acute sports injuries are really well explained. Well worth a watch.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01jhwtv/How_to_Beat_Pain/

“Advice for gardeners” ..don’t over do it with the trowel!

The nation’s gardeners will be coming out of the woodwork this spring as the gardening season sets in. With everyone in a rush to get those jobs done in the garden, there is a risk that gardeners may injure themselves. In an attempt to keep everyone healthy enough to actually enjoy sitting in their garden come summer time, Avon View Chiropractic has identified some tips to help you get through those garden tasks safely.

  • Don’t start with heavy-duty gardening – start with the lighter jobs, like mowing the lawn, and then move on. If you are pruning, use long handled secateurs and get as close to the plants as you can!
    • Don’t twist again – if you have to use a ladder to reach trees, hedges, large shrubs or fences– treat it like a dancing partner, always face it and move the ladder regularly. Always keep your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction. Also, make sure the ladder is firmly and safely planted in position and, wherever possible, have someone else standing at the base to keep an eye on things!
  • If laying a patio, keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees. It is sometimes better to bend one knee rather two as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength.
  • Dress appropriately – don’t wear tight, constricting clothes.
  • Vary your activity; spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and take regular breaks.
  • If you are planning a trip to the garden centre and buying heavy items like bags of compost or pebbles – buy more small bags, rather than one big bag. Smaller items are easier and safer to carry. If there is no other option, ask someone else to help carry it to the car and then when you get home, shovel out smaller quantities straight from the car and put it in to small containers.
  • Treat gardening like normal exercise; you need to warm up and warm down
  • Pain is a warning sign do not ignore it – if you start to ache then stop what you are doing.

For more information: Call Avon View Chiropractic on 01425 474046 or visit our website at www.ringwoodchiropractic.co.uk

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Hip strengthening for knee pain- a new study.

A recent study has indicated that exercises to strengthen the gluteal muscles can help to reduce pain and dysfunction in Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). PFPS is a very common knee condition, which usually presents as pain behind the kneecap (patella). It is often worsened by movements that increase load on the knee such as climbing stairs, squatting and sitting for prolonged periods.

There has been growing evidence that the cause of PFPS can be due to mechanical problems in other regions- usually the hip. The study design reasoned that by strengthening the hip that knee pain could be reduced. The participants (all women) were split into two groups one, a control group, were given nutritional supplements and the exercise group were given two exercises to strengthen the hip. The exercise group were moved to higher resistance exercises where necessary during the study.

The results were quite encouraging. They suggested that after the study, the exercise group were suffering with considerably less pain and perhaps more encouragingly the results were still present six months after the study finished. The study suggests that hip strengthening can be useful in the management of PFPS. Although other studies have suggested that improving hip function and movement can be equally as important as hip strengthening.

For more information on hip strengthening exercises and how they could help you, please call 01425 474046 or email info@ringwoodchiropractic.co.uk.

Ice or Heat?

Whilst sitting with an ice pack on my shoulder after another rugby injury at the weekend, I was reminded of a question a lot of patients ask me, “Do I use ice or heat?” So I thought I would take the time to outline the uses of ice and heat in pain management.

It is best to try to identify the type of injury someone has before working out how to treat it and generally speaking injuries are characterised as acute or chronic. An acute injury is a short-lived injury with a rapid onset, which is usually accompanied by intense pain. They are often accompanied by warmth and redness in the affected areas, although, these are not always present.

Chronic injuries are usually ones that develop over time and often will have no specific trigger. The pain involved may worsen slowly and is often due to poor posture and postural control over a long period. An acute injury that does not heal by itself will over time take more characteristics of a chronic injury.

Cold therapy
Cold therapy with ice is the best immediate treatment for acute injuries because it reduces swelling and pain. Ice is a vaso-constrictor (it causes the blood vessels to narrow) and it limits internal bleeding at the injury site.

To ice an injury, wrap ice in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. Allow the skin temperature to return to normal before icing a second or third time. You can ice an acute injury several times a day for up to three days.

Cold therapy is also helpful in treating some overuse injuries or chronic pain in athletes. An athlete who has chronic knee pain that increases after running may want to ice the injured area after each run to reduce or prevent inflammation.

A great tip for athletes with persistent injury sites is to freeze water in plastic cups. When showering after exercise, use the blocks of ice to massage the injury site for 2-3 minutes to help prevent inflammation.

Heat Therapy
Heat is generally used for chronic injuries or injuries that have no inflammation or swelling. Sore, stiff, nagging muscle or joint pain is ideal for the use of heat therapy. Don’t apply heat after exercise. After a workout, ice is the better choice on a chronic injury.

Because heat increases circulation and raises skin temperature, you should not apply heat to acute injuries or injuries that show signs of inflammation. Safely apply heat to an injury 15 to 20 minutes at a time and use enough layers between your skin and the heating source to prevent burns.

Moist heat is best, so you could try using a hot wet towel. You can buy special athletic hot packs or heating pads if you use heat often. Never leave heat pads on for more than 20 minutes at a time or while sleeping.

For more information on using ice or heat, or, if your injury persists, call us on 01425 474046 to discuss your injury.