Archive for November, 2012

Get Fit

Made a promise to yourself to get fit this year? If you did you’re not alone. Many of our patients make this same promise to themselves but find it hard to get motivated. The physiotherapists in this practice can help!

We can recommend exercises that are designed specifically for you to achieve your desired level of fitness. The more you repeat and become aware of an activity, the easier it becomes. Our practice looks at types of exercises /activities, specific workloads durations of activities, sessions and intensity guidelines and can devise a plan to help you achieve your target fitness level.

To help we have six tips to help you become motivated  and fit this year.

Tip 1)              Start slow

If you’ve been inactive for some time it’s important to start slowly and gradually build up. Begin with low impact activities such as walking, swimming or using an exercise bike. We can help suggest an appropriate level to start at based on your current fitness.

Tip 2)              Know yourself

Talk to us about your medical history or any problematic areas which may affect your choice of activity. We can help make exercise safer.

Tip 3)                          Warm up

Remember to warm up, warm down and stretch before and after gentle activity minimise muscle soreness. If you’re not sure we can show you some warm up techniques.

Tip 4)              Come prepared

Make sure you have appropriate footwear for your activity and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

Tip 5)              Venues

Gyms are great places to get active but you must ensure that

you are well supervised. Not a gym person? –

Then try some else, – go bush walking or go for a bike ride!

Even simply take the stairs, walk to the station or local shops!

Better still see us for regular assessment and instruction.

Tip 6)              Record your progress

Keep a diary or log of your progress it will serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come and give you encouragement if you’re feeling disheartened. Reward yourself which something healthy when you achieve mini goals.

For all appointments call 04 499 3504.


50 Reasons to exercise

When your physiotherapist suggests that some exercise would be good for you, have you ever stopped to consider why?

Consider no longer; listed below are the many benefits gained by some regular exercise.  If you are unsure as to how to start, or what to do, your physiotherapist can help advise you.

 50 Reasons to exercise                     

  1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
  2. Reduces the risk of developing hypertension and helps control the blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure
  3. Helps in weight reduction
  4. Increases circulating levels of ‘good’ cholesterol
  5. Improves the likelihood of survival of a myocardial infarction  (heart attack)
  6. Improves the circulation to your heart
  7. Reduces the circulating levels of triglycerides in your blood
  8. Helps to alleviate low back pain
  9. Helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis

10. Helps reduce the long term  risk of obesity

11. Reduces medical and health care expenses

12. Helps maintain weight loss, unlike dieting alone

13. Increases muscle strength

14. Improves your ability to recover from physical activity

15. Lowers you heart rate in response to submaximal activity

16. Increased the density and breaking strength of ligaments and tendons

17. Can help relieve the pain from tension headaches

18. Helps reduce and prevent the immediate symptoms of menopause

19. Assists in efforts to stop smoking

20. Helps to combat substance abuse

21. Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer

22. Helps relieve constipation

23. Reduces the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

24. Helps preserve lean body tissue (especially important in older people)

25. Improves mental cognition in older people

26. Improves balance and coordination

27. Helps retard bone loss as you age

28. Helps older people maintain an independent lifestyle

29. Slows the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis

30. Maintains or improves joint flexibility

31. Improves pain tolerance and mood in those who suffer osteoarthritis

32. Helps to resist upper respiratory tract infections

33. Improves respiratory muscle strength and endurance which is especially important in asthmatics

34. Helps to boost creativity

35. Improves your decision making abilities

36. In kids, increases the density and breaking strength of bones

37. Helps relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy

38. Reduces the risk of endometriosis

39. Reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer

40. Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer

41. Helps speed up recovery from chemotherapy

42. Helps to increase the tissue responses to insulin, for better control of blood sugar in diabetes

43. Enhances sexual functions

44. Helps you to more effectively manage stress

45. Reduces anxiety levels

46. Helps alleviate depression

47. Improves you mood

48. Improves the function of your immune system

49. Gives you more energy to meet the demands of daily life

50. Improves your overall quality of life

So get up and get active! It doesn’t have to be hard, walking is great. Try get to the stage where you are a bit puffed but can still hold a conversation, and if you can do more than that, that’s fantastic. It’s a great time to get outdoors and make the most of the longer days heading into summer.


Philippa King is a physiotherapist at the Oamaru Physiotherapy clinic.  She has a postgraduate diploma in Sports & Exercise Medicine.  Philippa was the physiotherapist for the champion 2010 Heartland Rugby Team.

Source:  Oamaru Physiotherapy Clinic written by Mike Stewart and Michelle Sintmaartensdyk


Holiday Season

Fast, Effective Injury Management

Helpful hints for the holiday season

Back and neck pain are common problems experienced when travelling or staying away from home- so here are some ideas to help you enjoy a more comfortable Christmas and summer break.

In the car

  • Make sure you sit with good posture- if your car doesn’t have enough low back support use a rolled up towel (pick the right size!) or buy a purpose-designed lumbar roll from us.
  • Don’t allow your chin to poke forwards as you peer out the windscreen- especially at night! – this is a very common habit and can result in a stiff and sore neck. The back of your head should be just touching the headrest support and your chin should be tucked towards your Adam’s apple.
  • Take breaks – get out and walk about every hour or so even if just for a few minutes.

On the plane

If you are headed to Aussie or further afield don’t fall asleep in an awkward position- try and keep your back in its normal alignment (again a small lumbar roll can help with this) and use a horse shoe shaped neck support to help stop your neck kinking into the wrong position.

Remember sustained positioning when your joints are not in neutral alignment can cause damage and pain – so avoid it.

If on a long flight- get up and walk every 2 hours.  This will also help your circulation.

In bed

Lots of people suffer as a result of sleeping in a strange bed- while there’s not a lot you can do about the bed itself you can alter the pillows (or take your own).

The pillow’s purpose is to fill the space between the head and neck and the mattress.  If you sleep on your back your pillow should be fairly flat.  If you’re on your side that pillow should fill the space between your shoulder and head to ensure your neck is held straight and doesn’t drop down toward the mattress (too flat pillows)  or is pushed away (too many pillows)-it should be ‘just right’.

And remember we will be open between Christmas and New Year to help ease any aches and pains.

Have a safe and happy Christmas and an Injury Free New Year.

For all appointments call 04 499 3504.


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