All posts by Paul

Hit the ski slopes

Winter is here and many people will head to the snow for a well earned break.  While skiing comes naturally to some, others spend most of their time unsuccessfully negotiating the equipment and terrain.  Whatever your level of experience, skiing can be hazardous and contribute to injury.  The physiotherapists in our practice can help. We can ensure that you are prepared for the slopes by minimising your injury risk through specific exercise programmes, fitness regimes, strengthening and warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.

To avoid injury this snow season, the physiotherapists in our practice recommend you:

Be fit to ski

Begin to incorporate ski-specific exercises into your regular exercise routine at least eight weeks prior to your holiday.  This will promote use of the muscles and joints required for skiing.  Strengthen the muscles specific to snow sports (thighs, butts, core stabilisers and triceps) to reduce the risk of injury and increase your enjoyment and endurance on the slopes.  We can outline ski-specific exercises whilst prescribing a conditioning programme to improve your core stability and muscle strength.  Ultimately, your performance on the ski slopes relies on your fitness, so talk to us about how to achieve an optimal fitness level.

Look after your back

When travelling distances to reach the mountain, rest every two hours and stretch.  See one of our physiotherapists for effective stretching advice.

Warm up, stretch and cool down

Before hitting the slopes, warm up like you would with any other sporting activity.  Stretch your thigh, calf and arm muscles.  Start your day with easy runs to loosen up (make sure you also do this after each rest break.)  Once you have finished skiing for the day, remembers to cool down.  These activities will better prepare your body to avoid injury.  We can show you warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.

Ski within your capabilities

Beginners should take advantage of a ski lesson and not succumb to the pressure of keeping up with experienced skiers.  Don’t be afraid to rest when you find yourself getting tired.  Fatigue can increase your injury risk.  And remember, the more unfit you are, the more tired you will become.  Injuries often happen on that last run of the day!

To avoid injury on the snowfields this winter, consult one of our physiotherapists on how to best prepare your body and ensure your holiday is injury free!

Top

Ski

We provide injury management for everyone wanting fast, effective help to return full activities.  We spend extra time to ensure complete recovery and prevention of recurrence to keep you at peak performance so you enjoy life to the full- because your body deserves the best of care.

 We know you have a choice.  Choose us for:

  1. Perfect central city location.
  2. Experienced team to treat a full range of injuries and conditions.
  3. Easy to get appointment times to suit.
  4. Seen on time, every time.
  5. Information on your progress from visit to visit.
  6. All appointments 30 minutes.

Winter is certainly here and for those of you who injure   out in the cold remember that hopping into a      hot bath           once you get home is likely to make matters worse not  better, especially if there is acute inflammation- better to stick to the RICE program (Rest, Ice, Compression,  Elevation).

If you are waiting for your injury to go away don’t wait more than 5 days or you may end up with more problems as a result of poor healing or compensation patterns.

Always best to get some advice from one of our team of Physios- even if you only need a couple of sessions, we can tell you how to get the best resolution of the problem.        

Ensuring your body gets the best of care- so you can get the best out of life.

 Here are some tips to help ensure a successful, speedy resolution.

  • Don’t wait too long before seeking help– excess swelling and inappropriate healing (e.g. scar tissue or lack of flexibility in the injured tissue) can lead to secondary problems.

  • Make sure you get the treatment you need initially– missing sessions in the initial phase can mean the whole thing just drags  on for longer – which is frustrating for everyone!

  • Rest from you sport if need be– the injured tissue needs to heal!  Your Physio will let you know how you can stay fit doing other activities.
  •  Do your homework! Your exercises and management of the injury is vital- we only see you a very short time out of the day so what you do the rest of the time is critical!
  • Make sure any long term management issues are dealt with– e.g. underlying muscle imbalances (like a weak core/tight muscles/weak muscles), the technique you are using to do an activity or even your day to day posture.                                          

For all appointments call 04 499 3504.

Top

Core stability and back pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles.  These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace.  They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body.  The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable.  When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off.  Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem.  Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain.  Improving posture may reduce pain immediately.  Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again.  This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist.  Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further.  These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly.

Top

Computer ergonomics and physiotherapy

Does work give you a pain in the neck and back?

With the huge reliance on technology in the workplace an increasing number of people are working for long hours in relatively fixed positions, performing repetitive movements while working hard to meet deadlines.  Common problems are aching felt in the neck, shoulder, upper and lower back, wrist and elbow joints and in some cases pain, numbness and pins and needles felt in the arm and/or hands.  These symptoms can signal the onset of OOS (Occupational Overuse Syndrome) also called Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), which may include damage to tendons, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues from repeated physical movements over time.

Make sure you pay attention to your posture both at home and at work, especially when using your computer.

Physiotherapy Can Help!

A physiotherapist with knowledge in ergonomics and work related conditions can perform an individual work station assessment.  Recommendations will be given such as the correct seating and workspace layout to prevent such conditions happening.  Risks will be identified and advice given on correct posture, height of the desk and chair, position of screen, mouse and keyboard.

Guidelines for healthy computer use

Start Moving and Stretching:  Get up from your work station for a short stretch or walk around to promote blood flow to fatigued muscles every hour.

Variety:  Add variety to your tasks.  Take every break as an opportunity to go for a short walk, exercise and relax.  Try to vary your tasks.

Reduce Strain:  Make sure you are sitting correctly with your back supported.  Speak to us about ways to ensure you are sitting in the best possible position.

Talk to your physiotherapist:  This pain and discomfort can be prevented, but if symptoms do occur, early intervention is the best form of treatment.  If you are experiencing regular or increasing discomfort while sitting at your computer, take early corrective action.  A physiotherapist will listen to your problems and concerns, and will enquire about your activities and life style.  They will then examine you, and discuss these findings with you.  Following this, together you will work out a plan of exercises and stretches, and importantly look at changes that can be made to prevent the problems, especially to avoid recurrence.

Top

CINDERELLA’S GLASS SLIPPER

As in the fairy tale, the same shoe does not fit all feet. Shoe size is of course critical, but there are a number of other factors that need to be considered when purchasing shoes. In this article I will discuss the function of the foot, problems that may occur, and how choosing the right type of shoe can make all thedifference to normal foot function.

Most people are familiar with the terms “flat” and” high arched” feet.  In medical terms the flat foot is generally known as a pronated foot and the high arched foot as a supinated foot. Variance in degrees of pronation and supination is common between people and may occur from one foot to the other. The terms pronation and supination also describe the variable position the foot travels through with normal weightbearing. As we walk the foot moves through varying degrees of pronation and supination to allow our feet to adapt to changes in terrain, and the position required as the foot moves from striking the heel on ground contact to pushing off with our toes as we take a step. Pronation allows the body to absorb shock when it lands. When running, the heel takes the equivalent of five times your body weight on heel strike. This force is dissipated throughout the body. Supination is required to lock the foot when pushing off. This provides power in order to walk and run faster.

Most people can adapt for minor differences from the ‘ídeal’ foot posture but from time to time we all

get sore, achy, tired feet. There are a number of factors that can cause pain around our feet.

Changes in foot wear, the surfaces we stand or run on and activity levels are common factors seen when reviewing problem feet. An excessively pronated foot means that various tissues within the foot may be placed under greater stress with resultant pain in the arch, heel or into the achilles area and may be a factor in the development of a “bunion”. Likewise an excessively supinated foot is less able to absorb load and may be a factor in foot pain. Our foot posture can also influence a number of other areas in our body.  Shin, knee, hip and spinal pain can result from alterations in foot posture and function.

Correct choice of footwear is important. As there are many so different types of shoes on the market today it can be very confusing when deciding on which shoe to choose. Sports shoes are available in control and neutral designs to accommodate different foot needs. It is important to get the right shoe for your foot posture to ensure the maximum support for your foot.  Talk to your Physiotherapist or sports shoe retailer about issues you may have, and get advice on which shoe is right for you. In some cases an additional insert or orthotic may be required to assist with alteration in foot posture.

Selecting the right shoe does not always mean you have to buy the most expensive model .Generally the

more expensive models tend to have more stability control which will make a significant difference if your foot requires that control. Shoes are also designed for different function and it is important that you use the correct shoe type for your activity. Running shoes need to provide control and stability in a different plane than a court or squash shoe. Your sports shoe retailer will be able to advise you on what shoe is best suited for your needs. If you experience foot or leg problems, seek advice from your physiotherapist or a good sports shoe retailer before selecting your next pair of shoes.

Duncan Drew is a Physiotherapist at the Oamaru Physiotherapy Clinic .He is a credentialed McKenzie Physiotherapist and has a special interest in Sports injuries and Spinal conditions. He has played Cricket at National level and was a member of the successful North Otago Team who recently secured the Hawk Cup 

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

Top

Big toe – Trouble

The big toe is a critical part of the forefoot that allows us to walk, run, climb and balance.  It bears more weight than any of the other toes and plays a very important role in propulsion.

The base of the big toe is made up of a joint between the metatarsal and phalanges (toe) bones.  One disorder affecting this joint is a condition called Hallux Rigidus.

Hallus Rigidus is a degenerative condition mostly seen in middle age.  As the name suggests stiffness and pain are the major signs of this condition.  Sufferers find that both the stiffness and pain restrict any activity involving movement at the big toe.  Walking, running, squatting and climbing may get progressively more difficult as the condition progresses.

The most common cause of Hallus Rigidus is osteoarthritic change in the joint.  Poor foot biomechanics, previous joint trauma and family history may be some of the factors involved in its development.

In normal walking the big toe must extend prior to push off to assist with propulsion of the foot.  In the presence of Hallux Rigidus this is not possible affecting the efficiency of foot function and a shortening of the stride length.  As the degeneration progresses the joint will stiffen further and bony thickening around the joint margins may develop.

Apart from Orthopaedic intervention there are a number of management tools available to your physiotherapist experienced in dealing with this area of the foot.

A thorough examination of the foot function will be undertaken and your physiotherapist will discuss these findings with you.

An X-Ray may be indicated to determine the extent of any bony and joint changes.

Early intervention using very specific joint mobilising techniques can help maintain joint motion by reducing ligament contracture.  This helps keep the joint mobile and should reduce the pain associated with joint stiffness.

Orthotics may be prescribed to help normalise foot function which may be a contributing factor to developing the condition.  Footwear advice may include the use of stiff soled or rocker shoes to reduce the load on this joint during push off.

It should be noted that this conservative management will not cure the condition but should help to prolong the useful life of the joint and make walking more comfortable.

Mike Stewart

Mike Stewart is a Physiotherapist at the Oamaru Physiotherapy Clinic.  He has post graduate qualifications in Manipulative Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine and is a Registered Physiotherapy Acupuncturist.

He toured as a Physiotherapist with the Maori All Blacks for 14 years up until 2008.

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

Top

Avoiding Sports Injuries

Why you should warm up:

  • Raises your heart rate to prepare your body for physical exertion
  • Speeds up nerve impulses which improves your reflexes
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Sends oxygenated blood to your muscles
  • Reduces your risk of injury and prevents tissue damage
  • Increases your flexibility and joint mobility

Why you should cool down:

  • Helps to gently return your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure to normal
  •  Improves your flexibility
  •  Reduces your risk of injury
  •  Removes naturally occurring waste products from muscles and helps reduce your risk of soreness

 

Top

Winter is here

We provide injury management for everyone wanting fast, effective help to return full activities.  We spend extra time to ensure complete recovery and prevention of recurrence to keep you at peak performance so you enjoy life to the full- because your body deserves the best of care.

 We know you have a choice.  Choose us for:

  1. Perfect central city location.
  2. Experienced team to treat a full range of injuries and conditions.
  3. Easy to get appointment times to suit.
  4. Seen on time, every time.
  5. Information on your progress from visit to visit.
  6. All appointments 30 minutes.

 

Winter is certainly here and for those of you who injure        out in the cold remember that hopping into a hot bath once you get home is likely to make matters worse not        better, especially if there is acute inflammation- better to stick to the RICE program (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

If you are waiting for your injury to go away don’t wait more than 5 days             or you may end up with more problems as a result of poor healing or   compensation patterns.

Always best to get some advice from one of our team of Physios- even if you only need a couple of sessions, we can tell you how to get the best resolution of the    problem.        

Ensuring your body gets the best of care- so you can get the best out of life.

 Here are some tips to help ensure a successful, speedy resolution.

  • Don’t wait too long before seeking help– excess swelling and inappropriate healing (e.g. scar tissue or lack of flexibility in the injured tissue) can lead to secondary problems.
  • Make sure you get the treatment you need initially– missing sessions in the initial phase can mean the whole thing just drags  on for longer – which is frustrating for everyone!
  • Rest from you sport if need be– the injured tissue needs to heal!  Your Physio will let you know how you can stay fit doing other activities.
  •  Do your homework! Your exercises and management of the injury is vital- we only see you a very short time out of the day so what you do the rest of the time is critical!

For all appointments call 04 499 3504.

Top

Are you sitting down?

How many hours do you sit for each day? We spend more time sitting than doing anything else and it is detrimental to our health. It has long being known and publicised that we all need to do more physical activity but have you ever considered that the time you spend being sedentary has a greater impact on you health status? One in three New Zealander adults is overweight and one in four is obese. In children, one in five is overweight, and one in twelve obese. What is worse is that these statistics are growing, exponentially.

How many hours a week do you spend watching TV or at the computer, driving, and sitting at work? Too many is the answer for most of us. If you are spending 4 or more hours each week watching TV you are putting yourself at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, hypertension, high cholesterol.. the list goes on. What we really need to do is get up! Stand and walk for as much of the day as you can, park further away from work, or don’t take the car at all! Go for a walk in your lunch break or after dinner, it’ll all help decrease your sedentary time and increase your physical activity levels.  School and high school children should be encouraged to walk or bike to school, take part in extracurricular activities and sports at school and play outside during their spare time, not sit watching TV or playing the computer.

Physical activity recommendations include 30mins of moderate intensity activity performed on five days of the week. This includes a brisk walk, cycling, aerobics, swimming or other aqua activities. Or you can do 20 minutes of vigorous activity. The more the better! And if you are overweight, 60 minutes of moderate exercise on five days per week is recommended. This can be accumulated in 10 minutes bouts during the day. Include lots of breaks during your sedentary time, this has been proven to help reduce your waist circumference, body mass index and trigylceride levels in your blood. The more you get up and be active, the better it is for you health, mowing the lawns, doing the garden and taking out the trash are all going to be better than sitting down for that time.  Sit less and stand more!

Philippa King is a physiotherapist at the Oamaru Physiotherapy clinic.  She is undertaking postgraduate study in Sports & Exercise Medicine and Acupuncture.   Philippa is actively involved with North Otago Rugby, providing physiotherapy services for the Heartland team.

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

Top

Headache or neck pain

Is Your Headache Really a Neck Ache?

For many people, headaches start as pain or tension at the top of the neck. As the pain worsens, it may spread to the back of the head, the temples, forehead or behind the eyes. This happens because the nerves in the upper part of your neck are connected to the nerves in your head and face. A disorder of the upper neck or muscles can cause referred pain to your head.

Does this sound like you?

  • Pain radiates from the back to the front of your head?
  • Headache with dizziness or light-headedness?
  • Headache  brought on or worsened by neck movement of staying in the same position for a long time?
  • Headache which always feels worse on the same side of your head?
  • Headache eased by pressure to the back of your skull?
  • Headache which persists after your doctor has checked for other causes?

How Physiotherapy Can Help:

  1. Mobilisation                                        5.  Functional and rehabilitative exercise
  2. Manipulation                                      6.  Encouraging normal activity
  3. Massage                                              7.  Postural assessment, correction and advice
  4. Relaxation therapy                             8.  Muscle activation and re-education

We Want Your Headache!

Your physiotherapist can also offer you self-help advice on ways to correct the cause of headaches, such as practical ergonomic tips for work and in the home; adjusting furniture, relaxation, sleeping positions, posture and exercise.

Treatment:     Postural neck ache can usually easily be treated with some gentle mobilisations by a    physiotherapist and a stretching programme to prevent recurrence. Headaches are often caused by disorders of the neck or physical and emotional tension. Physiotherapists can successfully treat headaches originating from the neck or soft tissues and show you how to prevent the pain from occurring. – Even if you think your headache doesn’t come from your neck we can often help to reduce the intensity. At Central City Physio the therapists have had special up-skilling to give them ‘the edge’ to take away your headache!

 

For all appointments call 04 499 3504.

Top
1 2 3 4 5 Page 2 of 5