Returning to training post COVID-19 Lockdown

Life is slowly beginning to return to a new type of normal post COVID-19 lock down, gyms are opening and sports are beginning again. Whether you have kept up some training, had to modify your training or did not do as much training as you had hoped; there are some things to consider as you return to training.

 

In your excitement to get back into training, take a moment to think about where your current fitness level is now compared to pre COVID-19 Lockdown. Be honest with yourself. If you did a little more binge TV watching than training, that’s fine, but it means you have lost a little fitness. You need to ease back into your routine to prevent injury, but what does that really mean?

 

  • Ensure you do a proper warm up and cool down for each session. Use stretches, rollers and ice as needed to aid your recovery.
  • Drop your pre iso weight by 20-30%. Work on gradually increasing the weight over 4-8 weeks depending on your fitness levels.
  • If in doubt get your form checked by a professional to ensure you are in control.
  • If you have not been training then your muscles and tendons will have likely shrunk during iso and need time to adapt to the load.
  • Consult a physiotherapist on injury prevention; by helping with a graded return to sport training plan.

If you plan your return to sport or training correctly you can avoid injury and have a good season. However if you were already harboring a niggly injury then now is the time to seek help to ensure your return to training goes smoothly. Majority of musculoskeletal injuries will resolve themselves within 2 weeks. If your pain maintains longer than that or starts to get worse then it is time to seek some help to recover. Check out our expert team to see who can help you return to your best.

You must also be aware of the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies:

  • If your sick, don’t attend
  • Ensure Good hand hygiene
  • No sharing of drink bottles or towels, etc
  • Cleaning of shared equipment
  • Each sport will have rules and regulation specific to their code.

Click here for further guidance on COVID -19 considerations for safety.

Timeframes:

Now is the time to get an assessment and a tailored strength and return to sport training program to get you in top gear for next season. You need 6-8 weeks of a program to see improvements in your chosen sport.

Book an appointment:

Let us help you gear up for next season. Book in for your assessment and return to training program now with one of our team by calling (07) 3398 9556.

Tennis Elbow

A pain in the outside of your elbow when you lift something or twist your arm could be tennis elbow, otherwise know as Lateral Epicondylitis. Any repetitive or excessive use of the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers can result in degeneration of the muscle tendons near the elbow.

A Little Bit of Anatomy:

The most commonly affected muscle is Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, which allows you to extend your wrist. Other muscles that can be affected are Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus, Supinator (another wrist Extensors), Extensor Digitorum (extends the fingers), Extensors Digiti Minimi (extends the little finger) and Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (another wrist Extensor). This can also affect the muscles on the other side of the wrist that flex the wrist.

What’s Happening?

It was commonly thought that Tennis Elbow was an inflammatory condition. Recent research has shown that it is in fact a symptomatic degeneration of the tendon. As you load the tendon it responds by increasing cross linkages and depositing collagen. If the load or stress on the tendon is more than the tendon’s tolerance to stretch, then micro-tears form. When multiple micro-tears form this can lead to degeneration of the tendon, which is known as tendinosis.

Risk Factors:

Tennis elbow will affect between 1-3% of the population. The biggest risk factor is if you have had the tendon issue before. After that it appears to be most prevalent in the middle-aged population, with no preference to gender.

How to Fix it?

You may think that resting the injury will help it heal. While this will allow the tendon to recover and will reduce you pain, it also weakens the tendon and reduces it’s tolerance to stretch.

  • Release the tight – you need to massage the tight muscles in the forearm, both the extensor and flexors. You also need to stretch the muscle to maintain the tolerance to stretch
  • Strengthen- Tendons actually love being loaded; they just need the right kind of load to recover. Start with Isometric exercises first, that are relatively pain free.
  • Get your posture checked – often the overload on the elbow is due to poor posture elsewhere. You can do a quick posture check by reading about it here.
  • Modify you activities – to begin with you may need to modify how you are doing thing to help reduce the load on the elbow.
  • Splints and braces – sometimes it is necessary to try a tennis elbow brace or even to use a wrist splint to limit the load on the tendons. See one of our expert physiotherapists to see if this is right for you.

Timeframes:

Everyone will be different some will get almost instant relief while others will need to look at their posture and start to change that before they start to get relief. If you do nothing the research suggests that the condition is self-limiting, however it may take 12-18months to resolve.   Physiotherapy studies have shown greater improvement with stretching and strengthening than the traditional rest regime.

Book an appointment:

Elbow pain stopping you from doing what you love?   Book in for your treatment now with one of our team by calling (07) 3398 9556. 

Changes to DVA treatments for Allied Health

After a recent discussion with a DVA patient I realised that the changes to the allied health referrals were not well understood. The new changes came into affect on the 1st October 2019 and affect both white and Gold card holders. Only holders of a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) marked Gold Card holders are not affected.

 

Firstly this new system will not limit you to only 12 sessions. It is 12 sessions per referral or treatment cycle. If your allied health provider believes that you require further treatment, they will send a report to your GP. The GP will use this report to review the treatment progress and assess if further treatment is clinically required or whether other treatment options are needed.

 

Secondly, if you had a current referral on the 1st of October 2019, then you are covered for 12 treatment sessions or until the expiry of the referral, whichever comes first. This is regardless of whether you had a 12 month referral or an ongoing referral. Once you have completed 12 sessions or your referral expires you will need to ask you treating therapist for a report and make an appointment to see your GP for another referral.

 

Thirdly, our staff are here to help you get the most out of your treatment. We aim to work with you toward your goals, whatever they may be. Exercise can benefit you in so many ways, for more information on benefits of exercise head here.

If you have any further question please call our friendly administration team on 3398 9556.

 

Lower Limb Posture

When everything is going well we take our bodies for granted. It’s when we get pain that we start to think about our joints, bones and muscles. The alignment of our lower limb chain can affect everything from ankles and knees to the hips and lower back. Doing a quick check of your alignment, in the mirror, can help show where potential issues may be and what areas you need to work on to maintain good health and prevent injury.

A bit of biomechanics

Good Lower Limb posture begins from your feet. When standing you should have:

  • A straight line from you big toe to your heel, if you curve in or out then the alignment is not optimal.
  • Your knees should point in line with the middle of your foot.
  • From the side your hip-bone should be directly above your ankle-bone.

If your standing posture looks good, then you may need to add a little bit of load to the system by doing a squat.

How do you fix it?

1. Become aware of your posture

Begin to adjust your standing posture back to a more normal posture. Some good cues for changing your posture is to:

    1. Ensure your hips are over your ankles
    2. Weight to outside edge of the feet
    3. Symmetry when standing

You will not be able to hold this all day so aim for 5-10 second holds to begin with and repeat often throughout the day.

2. Release the tight

You need to stretch and release the tightened and overloaded muscles. If you are walking and standing in poor lower limb posture al day you need to go back the other way. You can use rollers and trigger balls to release the tight muscles or sitting Piriformis stretch.

4. Get Strong – It is essential that once you have released the tight muscles, in the pelvis, that you then strengthen the weak gluteal muscles. A good exercise for this is Crab walking.  Put  some theraband around your ankles, keep you feet parallel and step sideways.   Make sure that you can feel the muscles working in your buttocks.  If you can’t then you may need some help.

Timeframes:

This depends on a number of factors, how often you do your exercises and stretches, how often you do or don’t correct your posture and how often you overload your system. Generally speaking you will start to notice changes in 2 weeks. After 6-8 weeks your body will be stronger with the new posture and be able to maintain it for most of the day giving you the benefits of less load on your lower limbs and low back.

Book an appointment:

Do you have chronic or reoccurring ankle, knee, hip or Low back pain? Book in for your treatment now with one of our team by calling (07) 3398 9556. Read more about our team here.

What is Exercise Physiology?

Your GP gave you a referral to an Exercise Physiologist, but what exactly is it? An Exercise Physiologists (also known as ‘Ex Phys’ or ‘EP’s’) will specialise in providing you a tailored exercise program focusing on movement-related fitness. They can help you work out the best type of exercise for your stage of fitness.

Even if you don’t have a referral and just want to get back into exercise, an EP is a great place to start. They have a broad knowledge of exercises from beginners to advanced and can often introduce you to different types of exercise that you may not have experienced before. Whether you are just trying to find the right exercise for you or need help getting active or your training for a special event, an EP can help set you on the right path.

An Ex Phys’ can offer you a personalised program tailored to your needs as well as lifestyle modification programs. Our Ep’s will design and evaluate your program, while ensuring a safe and effective exercise program for people all stages of fitness and with acute, sub-acute or chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities.

Our Ex Phys’ can help you get more active even if you have a chronic condition. They stay up to date on the latest exercise research including, but not limited to; cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, musculoskeletal, cancers, kidney, respiratory/pulmonary and mental health, and any other conditions for which there is evidence that exercise can improve the client’s clinical status.

Our Exercise Physiologists are registered with Medicare, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, WorkCover and is recognised by most private health insurers.  Find out about our team.

Book an appointment:

Need to see a Exercise Physiologist? Book in for your session now with one of our experienced team by calling (07) 3398 9556.

Active Ageing

I’ve lost count of the number of older patients that come to see me, and think that pain is just “part of the ageing process”. While physiotherapy and exercise may not be able to completely remove the pain it can certainly make you more functional, improve your energy levels and often reduce the pain.

 

It important to stay active as we age.

Keeping active at any age is good for us, however staying active as we age is vital. With 1 in 3 older Australians having a fall in any given year; and 7 in 10 being over weight or obese and 8 in 10 having a chronic condition, exercise can play a role in managing all of these issues. A recent patient commented that he “felt like getting up a doing things now” after starting a Pilates-informed class just 2 months ago.

What are the benefits?

Recent research is pointing toward exercise being beneficial to assist with reducing risk of falls, helping to maintain or reduce weight, reduce likelihood of developing chronic diseases such as type II Diabetes and heart disease. Exercise can improve your mood and increase your endurance to keep up with the grandchildren or improve at your chosen sport.

How do I do “Active Ageing”?

The type of exercise you do really depends on your personality and budget. If you need to be held accountable then join a class or exercise with a friend so that you keep going. If you don’t like classes then go for a walk or for a swim. Even seeing a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist and get some body weight exercises to do at home.

The key is to make exercise part of your routine. Start small and gradually build up and in no time you will start to feel the benefits of regular exercise. If you need help getting into exercise call our team on 07 3398 9556 and we can get you started.

Women’s Health

Women's Health and Exercise

The term “Women’s Health” covers health concerns for women from adolescences to menopause. While some concerns such as incontinence, breast cancer and post-natal depression may require a specialist or Women’s Health Physiotherapist, this is not always the case. The majority of physiotherapists can still assist you with common Women’s Health problems such as incontinence and pelvic floor, and if your particular issue requires further assistance they will refer you on.

1 in 4 women over 65 years of age, and just under 1 in 2 woman aged 18-64 are getting the recommend amount of exercise.

Did you know that 1 in 2 Australian women have a chronic disease?  Exercise has been well documented to help with mental health, protecting you against chronic conditions and supporting you as you age by keeping your bones strong.  It is currently recommended that women do at least 150min of moderate activity or 75min of vigorous activity per week.  It is also recommended to do 2 sessions of strength training per week.  Strength training does not have to mean hitting the gym.  You can do simple body weight exercises at home or at the park such as planks, squats and bridges.

Physiotherapy 

Physiotherapists can help with pain and reduced range of motion or strength for many Women’s Health issues.  You do not need a referral to see a physiotherapist.  It is important to address any injuries or issues before starting any exercise program.  Read more about our expert physiotherapists to find the right Physio for you.  Ensure that you give your physiotherapist a good detailed description of your problem, include your functional difficulties and your goals of what you want to be able to do.  Once you start to get improvement you can look at doing exercise that might interest you.

Exercise Physiology

If you feel that you really just need to get a bit fitter, then find a good Exercise Physiologist to help get your exercise regime back on track.  Our Exercise Physiologist run a number of different classes from group strength, core fusion, which blends pilates-informed exercises with mat work strengthening.  There is something for every age group and fitness level.  We tailor the program to suit your level.  See our current timetable for some ideas. 

Tips for staying active

Exercise with a friend:

Exercising with your partner, friends or family increases the likelihood that you’ll stick to your new exercise routine. Grab a buddy and get moving! Being held accountable for exercising with someone, and supporting each other’s goals is proven to increase the amount of exercise you do.

Make time:

The most common reasons for not exercising, is lack of time. It’s all about planning and prioritising. Your health is what’s most important. Even if it’s a 10-20 minute walk in your lunch break each day – something is better than nothing.

 

Have fun:

Exercise isn’t supposed to be a chore. Hate the gym? Don’t go! Find an exercise that you enjoy and you are more likely to stick with it. If you find yourself getting bored, change up your exercise routine, take it to the park or do something different.

Every bit counts:

Don’t forget to make the most of incidental exercise. Take the stairs. Park your car further away from work or the shops. Opt for standing instead of sitting. It all adds up and every little bit counts.

It’s never too late to start, and a little bit of exercise is better than none.

How Long Should I Stretch For?

The answer to that question will depend on the reason you are stretching. The main reason we stretch is to lengthen a muscle and thus increase range of movement (ROM), but a muscle can become tight or shortened for a number of reasons. Once you discover why you need to stretch, then you can work out how long and what type of stretching you should be doing.

Why are you stretching?

Are your muscles shortened due to habitual postural positioning (such as sitting for long periods) or scar tissue from surgery or an injury; are your muscles tight due to spasm or contractures. Or are you stretching as a warm up or cool down for a particular sport?

 

Types of Stretches

Generally there are three types of stretches static, dynamic and pre-contraction stretching.

  • Static is the most common type of stretching where you hold a position for a set amount of time.
  • Dynamic stretching is active and generally involves taking a limb to end of range multiple times.
  • Pre-contraction stretching involves a type of muscle contraction prior to relaxing the muscle. There are a number of techniques for this. Some of these techniques include Contract Relax, post-isometric relaxation (PIR), and muscle energy techniques.

Which stretch is for me?

General Exercise Program

  • STATIC stretching for 15-30sec, 2-4 reps at least 2-3 times per week.
  • Older adults – there is some evidence to suggest that longer holds of 60sec are required for changes.

Note: Stretching the muscle can reduce the tension that it can exert and therefore may decreased overall strength and possibly performance.

Warm up for Sport

  • STATIC stretching is more beneficial for those sports that require flexibility.
  • DYNAMIC stretching has been shown to increased AROM and have no lose in strength or performance.

Rehabilitation

  • A Muscles strains responds better to STATIC stretching
  • Recovering from an Orthopedic surgery such as total knee replacement will respond to any type of stretching is beneficial.
  • People with chronic muscle pain can see an increase in tolerance to stretching in 3 weeks and a decrease in trigger point pain using the PIR technique
  • Contractures – there is no evidence that stretching improves contractures.
  • Neurological patients – stretching on its own has no benefit for neurological conditions.

Overall stretching will increase your ROM, regardless of the technique. You need to think carefully about why you are stretching and what you are aiming to achieve through stretching. Talking with your physiotherapist can help you optimise your stretching program for your specific issue.

Book an appointment:

Feel like your current stretch program isn’t working for you? Book in for your treatment now with one of our team by calling (07) 3398 9556. Read more about our team here.

Benefits of Exercise

You only have to turn on the TV or your social media to see lifestyle is a major cause of ill health all across the world, and Australia’s no exception. Obesity rates are rising globally, and there’s a whole lot of people who aren’t obese but are carrying enough extra weight to be putting their health at risk. Eating processed food and snacks high in sugar, fat, and salt is considered normal, and healthier food choices don’t appeal to a lot of people. Add in smoking, drinking, and stress, and it’s no wonder so many people have lifestyle-related health issues. What can you do if you know you need to exercise more, but the lure of the latest TV show is too hard to resist?

Why do I need to exercise?

You can lose weight without exercising if you consistently eat fewer calories per day than your body needs, however this makes you thinner, but not fitter or stronger. Having weak muscles because of your inactivity makes it hard to enjoy physical pursuits, and even worse, as your heart is a muscle it needs to be strong to keep you going, and that means exercise.

Exercise has many positive benefits, including:

  • Increasing oxygen concentration in the blood.
  • Toning your muscles for a better figure.
  • Helping to keep you feeling younger
  • Helping with weight loss.
  • Keeping blood pressure down.
  • Preventing disease such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes
  • Increasing energy and stamina.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Improving mood.

Improve you fitness and you will feel better; it’s as simple as that.

How do I get over barriers like illness and injury?

Barriers are those things that crop up and can stop you in your tracks. Injury and illness are common problems, but you can manage them with the right approach. For example, if you sustain an injury, call out expert team and get an assessment now.  Undergoing expert treatment ensures you heal more quickly and don’t make the problem worse. If you are ill, get your doctors advise on starting an exercise program and make sure you’re rested and recovered before your begin.

How do I find the motivation to exercise?

If all the positive benefit of exercise doesn’t make you rush to your next exercise session, it’s likely that you just haven’t found the right kind of exercise. If you don’t enjoy being physical for the sake of it, then the gym is probably not for you.

Sometime simple things like taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator and parking further from the shopping centre entrance can give you a little more exercise in your day without really trying.

Or you could just walk into town, or to see a friend. Anything that you enjoy, take the emphasis off exercise and make it about doing what makes you happy.

Try a few different tricks or activities to find what works for you. Remember that something is better than nothing and it’s never too late to start.  There will be something that gets you enjoying your exercise, so don’t give up.

Happy Exercising

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