General

Home / Archive by category "General"
How can we prevent dance injuries ?

How can we prevent dance injuries ?

One of the most common questions I get asked as a physiotherapist with a special interest in dance rehabilitation and injury prevention is, “How can we prevent dance injuries?”.

GOOD QUESTION!

It’s a very valid question considering:

  • the rate of injury in young and adolescent dancers is higher than that reported in young soccer players or gymnasts
  • the injury rate of dancers aged between 9 -18 years is even higher than that of professional ballet and contemporary dancers!4,7

Why do dance injuries occur?

First, let’s take a look at why dance injuries happen.

The reason for young dancers reporting more injuries than their counterparts in other sports is partly due to growth spurts in this age group, coupled with the high physical demands of dance. There are also numerous other factors that have been identified as risks for injury. Some are intrinsic – related to the individual such as growth, hormones or previous injuries1 – and others are extrinsic or external, such as environmental factors like dance floors, equipment or training load.2 Research on both intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors, and their relationship to dance injuries is a growing area of research and hence, more information will continue to emerge.

There does seem to be a growing consensus that the majority of dance injuries in ballet dancers is due to overuse3,6,9. Dancers are familiar with the repetitive nature of dance training – having to repeat a move over and over again in order to learn and perfect a new skill or piece of choreography. This can prove somewhat tricky to manage among aspiring young dancers. In addition to this, the rigors of dance can increase at particular times of the year4, and we certainly see more injured dancers here in clinic around exam and performance periods.

What are the most common injuries for dancers?

In young dancers of ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, ballroom and Irish dancing, it may be no surprise that the lower limb (leg) is most commonly injured. This includes the knee, ankle and foot – with rate of occurrence in that order – followed by the hip and spine. Ligaments tend to be the most commonly injured soft tissue, with muscles and tendons making up about 30% of injuries, while bone injuries make up around 20% of all injuries.5

Acute versus chronic dance injuries

Traumatic injuries are usually referred to as acute injuries, while injuries relating to overuse are often longer lasting or slowly developing injuries, referred to as chronic injuries. Research has shown that the majority of injuries sustained by young ballet dancers are of the ‘overuse’ type, with more than three quarters of all injuries falling into this category.6 With overuse-type injuries, the dancer is usually unable to pinpoint exactly what caused the injury and often reports pain increasing over time. Tendinopathy and bone stress reaction/stress fractures are examples of this type of injury, typically caused by repetitive stress and/or overloading.  Other causes of chronic injuries can be structural or genetic in nature, such as hyperextended knees usually seen in the hypermobile population.

Acute injuries are usually a result of an “accident”. Examples of an acute injury are a slip on the floor or landing poorly from a jump, resulting in a muscle strain or ankle sprain.

So, what can we do to help prevent dance injuries?

Accidents do happen, however the majority of dance injuries can be prevented, and there are ways of reducing a dancer’s risk of injury.15 Some of the ways we can help reduce the risk of dance injuries are:

Dance Screenings or Dance Profiles

Dance screenings have long been performed by qualified physiotherapists to identify areas of weakness or concern, with the aim being to prevent dance injuries. Pre-pointe assessments or pre-pointe profiling (a term we prefer) is a good example. Although there is not a great consensus as to what elements and tests can accurately predict who is more likely to be injured, it is highly beneficial in identifying possible risk factors and facilitating improvements in strength and technique.

Screening dancers should not be limited to girls wishing to progress onto pointe. Research shows male dancers sustain dance injuries at the same rate as females, and as they mature, male dancers require higher levels of dance strength and flexibility. It is therefore a logical course of action that, during the important period of growth and adolescence, young men undertake a dance profile to identify any potential injury risks and develop appropriate and individualised training goals.

A good time of year to undertake a screening is during the school holidays. During this period, the student usually has more time to address any strength or flexibility deficits that may have been identified by the physiotherapist. They can use the extra time over the holidays to focus on these areas and begin the year a step ahead.

Check out the dance environment for potential injury risks

Acute injuries are sometimes a result of an environmental factor, and are therefore preventable. For example, purpose-built dance floors are an extremely important factor for keeping a dancer safe. Checking the floors for spills or items that may cause injury is another way of preventing accidents. Wearing properly fitting clothing and professionally fitted shoes appropriate to the style of dance can also help prevent environment-related injuries.

Always warm up before dancing

It is vital that dancers warm up before class, rehearsal or performance – skipping a warm up can lead to injury. The goal of a warm up is to raise the heartrate, warm up the muscles and mobilise the joints. This should be a gradual process conducted in phases. First a light sweat should be achieved by raising the heartrate and getting the big muscles working, for example, jogging, skipping or lunges. Then, dynamic stretches should be done.

It’s important, especially for young dancers, to understand that static stretches should not be done in early warm up. Static stretches should instead be left for the end of class, during cool-down.

Keep your body Dance-Fit with an individualized dance conditioning and exercise program

Individualized conditioning programs have been shown to reduce the rate of injury in professional dancers.7 These types of programs are created using information obtained during the dance profile, and takes into consideration the dancer’s history and previous injuries. Historically, supplementary strength and conditioning programs were avoided by ballet dancers,  who were concerned that this type of training would result in reduced flexibility or a non-aesthetic physique. There is, however, little evidence supporting this theory, and this opinion has now mostly been replaced by integrating elements from sports research showing the benefit of such programs8 with a dance-specific approach. Physiotherapists, especially those with extensive dance knowledge, are perfectly placed to guide  young dancers in their supplemental training.

Get enough rest and monitor your loading to help prevent dance injuries 

Finally, and of great importance to young dancers, is rest and load management. Since research shows ‘overuse’ as the main cause of injury in young dancers, monitoring their loading is of paramount importance.9-10 Young athletes who train in the same sport for more hours per week than their age (in years), were shown to have 70 percent more overuse injuries13. Furthermore, a 2014 study showed that young athletes who had less than 8 hours of sleep each night were more likely to sustain injuries than those who slept 8 hours or more.14

 

So, a short answer to the question of how to prevent dance injuries is….

Ensure the young dancer has a healthy dance schedule, has been screened for deficits and potential injury risks, and has an individualised conditioning program.

The dancer, as well as their family, dance teachers and health professionals, all need to work together to help the young dancer remain as injury-free and healthy as possible!

For more information about PhysioTec’s Dance Physiotherapy services, including dance screenings and pre-point profiling, injury rehabilitiation or dance-specific strength and conditioning, click here or call 3342 4384 to book an appointment with Joanne Manning.

 

References

  1. Kenny SJ, Whittaker JL, Emery CA. Risk factors for musculoskeletal injury in preprofessional dancers: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(16):997–1003.
  2. Russell JA. Preventing dance injuries: current perspectives. Open Access J Sports Med. 2013;4:199–210.
  3. Leanderson C, Leanderson J, Wykman A, Strender LE, Johansson SE, Sundquist K. Musculoskeletal injuries in young ballet dancers. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2011;19(9):1531–5.
  4. Prevention of Injuries in the Young Dancer (Contemporary Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine). Springer International Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  5. Fuller M, Moyle GM, Hunt AP, Minett GM. Injuries during transition periods across the year in pre-professional and professional ballet and contemporary dancers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phys Ther Sport. 2020 Apr 3;44:14-23.
  6. Shah S, Weiss DS, Burchette RJ. Injuries in professional modern dancers: incidence, risk factors, and management. J Dance Med Sci. 2012;16(1):17–25.
  7. Steinberg N, Aujla I, Zeev A, Redding E. Injuries among talented young dancers: findings from the U.K. Centres for advanced Training. Int J Sports Med. 2014;35(3):238–44.
  8. Faigenbaum AD, Kraemer WJ, Blimkie CJ, Jeffreys I, Micheli LJ, Nitka M, et al. Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5 Suppl):S60–79.
  9. Prevention of Injuries in the Young Dancer (Contemporary Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine). Springer International Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  10. Allen N, Nevill AM, Brooks JH, Koutedakis Y, Wyon MA. The effect of a comprehensive injury audit program on injury incidence in ballet: a 3-year prospective study. Clin J Sport Med. 2013;23(5):373–8.
  11. Ekegren CL, Quested R, Brodrick A. Injuries in pre-professional ballet dancers: incidence, characteristics and consequences. J Sci Med sport. 2014;17(3):271–5.
Reducing falls and fractures in osteoporosis

Reducing falls and fractures in osteoporosis

Good balance is vital for reducing falls and fracture in osteoporosis. Balance is particularly important for those living with osteoporosis, where the risk of fracture is much higher than for those with good bone density. Fractures in older people can also have a big impact on mobility, independence and quality of life.  There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of falls.

Factors that increase the risk of falls:

  • Older age
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Poor balance
  • Previous falls
  • Reduced ability to walk and move around with ease
  • Poor vision
  • Trip hazards, particularly at home

          (Osteoporosis Australia Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee, 2019)

While of course there is nothing we can do to change our age, there is much that can be done to improve muscle strength and balance. A history of recurrent falls needs to be investigated as the more falls you have had, the more likely you are to have further falls. Medical causes of poor balance, such as low blood pressure, inner ear problems and possible effects of some medications should be investigated by your doctor. A physiotherapist can assess muscles strength and balance. The home should also be assessed for trip hazards. Did you know that 50% of all falls occur around the home?  (Osteoporosis Australia Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee, 2019). All these potential factors need to be assessed and addressed when reducing falls and fracture in osteoporosis.

How do we minimise the risk of falls?

There are several ways we can reduce the risk of falls:

  • A targeted exercise program
  • Optimising nutritional intake
  • Addressing medical conditions and medications
  • Ensuring a safe home environment
    (Osteoporosis Australia Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee, 2019) (Australian Government, 2011)

Exercise for Bones Osteoperosis

Exercise

Physiotherapists can assist with implementing a falls prevention program. This includes a combination of balance and strength training. We will take a closer look at falls prevention programs below. Physiotherapists can also assist with managing conditions such as hip, knee and foot arthritis which may cause episodes of giving way, increasing risks of falls. Arthritis may also reduce activity levels and muscle strength, again increasing risk of falls.

Nutrition for Bones Osteoperosis

Nutrition

Nutrition is an important factor in falls and fracture prevention. A diet deficient in nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D can reduce ability to increase bone density. A nutrient rich diet is also important for falls prevention due to its effect on strength, mobility and brain function. Intake of alcohol also has effects on reaction time and steadiness.  It is therefore important to eat a well-balanced diet consisting of a variety of foods including fruit, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, and moderate intake of alcohol.

Medical for Bones Osteoperosis

Medical

There are many medical conditions that may influence balance. These include medical conditions such as blood pressure issues, arthritis or depression, as well as short term conditions or illnesses, for example the flu, infections, or recent surgery. It is important to check in with your regular doctor to address these conditions. A review of your medications is also a good idea to ensure these medications are not impacting on your balance.

Home House for Bones Osteoperosis

At Home

Minimising risk in the home is vital as half of all falls occur at home. A health professional can provide suggestions to help you with this. See some general tips below.

 

Ways to reduce the risk of falls at home:

  • Ensure your rooms are brightly lit, especially near steps or routes you may use at night
  • Installing handrails and using non-slip mats
  • Removing clutter and trip hazards (e.g. loose cords, maintaining outside pathways)
  • Replace carpets with holes or worn areas

 

Exercise for reducing falls and fracture in osteoporosis

There is mounting evidence that exercise alone can reduce the risk of falls (Sherrington, C et. al, 2011). One recent study looked at a balance training program incorporating strengthening exercises with proprioceptive (body awareness) training (Miko, I et. al., 2017). In other words it used an “inside out” approach to training – people in the study worked on improving function of the deepest muscles around their trunk and pelvis first. They then progressed to the next phase which involved maintaining good control around the trunk and pelvis while using larger, more superficial muscles during arm and leg exercises. The final, functional phase aimed to achieve automatic stabilisation of the body whilst performing higher level dynamic exercises involving greater balance challenges. The study found that there were significant improvements in measures of balance and also a reduction in falls in postmenopausal women with established osteoporosis. You can read more about the importance of osteogenic exercises for the management and prevention of osteoporosis in our previous blog.

Exercise for Osteoperosis

Because exercise is so important to bone health, confidence and overall health, Physiotec provides a unique and specialised group program based on the most current research available. It is designed to increase bone health and density through weight training, also incorporating posture and body awareness training along with balance and proprioceptive exercise aimed at reducing the risk of falls, joint overload and injury. Body – Bones – Balance (Body integration – Bone strength – Balance control) incorporates a group warm up followed by a targeted station-based exercise program that stimulates the whole body, with a special focus on improving health and strength of bones, muscles and tendons and optimising dynamic balance.

Read more information about our class here.

References

Australian Government, D. o. (2011). Don’t fall for it.

Miko, I et. al. (2017). Effectiveness of balance training programme in reducing the frequency of falling in established osteoporotic women: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation, 31(2), 217-224.

Osteoporosis Australia Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee. (2019). Osteoporosis Australia.

Sherrington, C et. al. (2011). Exercise to prevent falls in older adults: An updated meta-analysis and best practice recommendations. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 22(3-4), 78-83.

Bone Building Exercise for Osteoporosis

Bone Building Exercise for Osteoporosis

Building Bone – the foundations

Osteoporosis is a common disease in Australia. Osteoporosis affects over one million Australians, and is more common among women than men. It is a condition where the bones become weak, fragile and brittle. When bones lose minerals (such as calcium) faster than the body can replace them, this leads to a loss of bone density, which in turn, leads to an increased risk of fractures. Even a small bump or fall can cause a fracture. The most common sites for these fractures are the wrist, hip and spine (Osteoporosis Australia, 2014). Bone building exercise for osteoporosis is essential for optimising bone health.

Osteoporosis is likely under-reported, as many people typically have no symptoms at all until they experience a bone fracture, usually after a fall. Osteoporosis can be diagnosed with a simple and painless scan, known as a bone density test.

WHO is most at risk?

Factors that increase risk of developing Osteoporosis are:
(Osteoporosis Australia, 2014)

  • Your gender, women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men
  • Increasing age. The older you get, the higher the risk
  • Race – you are at greater risk of osteoporosis if you’re of Caucasion or Asian descent
  • Peri and post-menopausal women, due to the rapid decline in oestrogen levels during menopause
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Medical history
    • Prolonged corticosteroid use
    • Thyroid conditions
    • Coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disorder, due to malabsorption
    • Eating disorders,  severely restricted food intake and being underweight can weaken bone
    • Some medications for breast/prostate cancer, epilepsy and some antidepressants
  • Lifestyle factors
    • Smoking
    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • Dietary factors
    • Little or no physical activity
    • Weight – both ends of the spectrum (thin body build or excessive weight)

WHAT can we do about it?

There are several interventions for osteoporosis management and prevention (outlined below).

We will focus mainly on bone building exercise for osteoporosis and the three important Bs – body, bones and balance.

Body, BONES & Balance – WHY exercise is important for bone density

Exercise is vital for both the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Regular, ongoing, physical activity and exercise has been shown to help maintain and improve bone mineral density (Osteoporosis Australia, 2014) (Sözen, T et al., 2017).

Bone is living tissue and this means it responds to exercise by getting stronger, as muscles do (NIH, 2019). Even when we are young, the exercise we do contributes to peak bone mass and therefore the more active we are, the higher the peak bone mass (NIH, 2019), (Sözen, T et al., 2017). Sometime during our 30s, this bone mass peaks and then we can begin to lose bone (NIH, 2019). Regular weightbearing exercise can help build your bone stock in your youth and prevent bone loss and maintain muscle strength and balance throughout your life. Exercise is especially important for someone diagnosed with osteoporosis.

There are specific exercises that are better bone building exercise for osteoporosis . These are called osteogenic exercises. These exercises help to improve bone strength due to a certain amount of impact or strain placed on them. Generally these exercises include resistance based or weight bearing exercises – exercises where your feet are on the ground and gravity is adding to the load through your bones. Swimming for example, would not be the best choice as an exercise to improve bone density, as there is very little gravitation loading or weight placed on your bones. Your bones react to the weight on them by building themselves up and getting stronger. Exercise examples include, but are not limited to, weighted squats and lunges, jumping, landing and stamping (Montgomery, G., et al., 2019). Impact loading can be tailored to the individual and gradually progressed from simple, safe landing techniques, to more challenging tasks once good skill and confidence in early tasks has been achieved.

It’s never too late to start a bone-building exercise program, even if you already have osteoporosis. You may worry that a bone building program may cause or aggravate a problem you may have, like back or knee pain. A professionally designed exercise program, customised to your individual circumstances, will allow you to strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your balance and coordination while minimising risks of aggravating pre-existing pain or injuries. In most cases, a customised program will have the added benefit of assisting you with these additional musculoskeletal problems.

So, no time like the present! Time to move that body and build those bones!

 

PhysioTec provides a unique and specialised group program based on the most current research available. It is designed to increase bone health and density through weight training. Our program incorporates posture and body awareness training along with balance and proprioceptive exercise aimed at reducing the risk of falls, joint overload and injury. Body – Bones – Balance (Body integration – Bone strength – Balance control) incorporates a group warm up followed by a targeted station-based exercise program that stimulates the whole body, with a special focus on improving health and strength of bones, muscles and tendons and optimising dynamic balance. Before entry into the program, you will have a detailed assessment with a physiotherapist who will individualise your starting program.

Read more information about our class here.

TeleHealth Physiotherapy- Here to Stay

TeleHealth Physiotherapy- Here to Stay

COVID-19 brought plenty of changes to our lives in 2020, including the way we deliver physiotherapy at PhysioTec. Telehealth allowed our physiotherapists to continue providing tailored treatments and essential support during the lockdown period, via online video consultations. If you are new to Telehealth and would like to learn more, click here.

The uptake of TeleHealth was quick, with many people appreciating the flexibility and convenience of online healthcare. This is why we believe that, at PhysioTec, Telehealth has a continuing role to play in the future of physiotherapy. Here are some examples of how Telehealth benefited our patients during and outside this unusual period.

*Respecting patients’ privacy, names of the cases below are not real.

Scenario 1:

John*, a 68-year-old man living in rural Queensland, had been suffering from pain in the side of his hip for a number of years. The distance from a physiotherapist, particularly someone experienced with more persistent hip pain, made it difficult for him to get the help he really needed. His pain was gradually worsening over time.

When the COVID restrictions were introduced, John wasn’t able to continue seeing his local therapist and his hip pain worsened, keeping him awake at night. John, desperate for a solution to his pain, did some research on the Internet and came across a clinic in Brisbane (Physiotec) with physiotherapists who specialise in the management of hip pain. In the past, John would never have considered accessing help in Brisbane due to the long drive, but this new Telehealth opportunity allowed him to access someone with expertise in his problem area, without having to leave his own home.

After his initial Telehealth session, John was diagnosed with gluteal tendinopathy and provided with a treatment plan, an exercise program and access to “PhysiApp”, an online platform where he was able to view his prescribed exercise videos. This allowed him to feel confident in what he needed to do and get on with a targeted and effective rehabilitation program.

 

Scenario 2:

Mary*, a 46-year-old full time office worker, had intermittent flare-ups of buttock pain due to a history of proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Mary enjoys long distance running in her spare time, and her goal was to improve her running distance, without aggravating her buttock pain.

Mary decided to give Telehealth a try as she had a very busy schedule – this way she could get professional advice without leaving her house or sitting in traffic. Through Telehealth, Mary was able to perform physical tests under the physiotherapist’s instructions; and her physio was able to identify areas of improvement for Mary. Mary was provided with tailored strengthening exercises and she noticed improvements after two TeleHealth sessions. Mary then only needed monthly TeleHealth checkups to progress her program and ensure she was achieving her goals. In between Mary’s monthly reviews, she keeps in contact with her physio via “PhysiApp” regarding her exercise progress. Telehealth allowed Mary to actively manage her condition while pursuing her running goals and minimising time spent away from home or work.

 

Scenario 3:

Vanessa, a 29-year-old new mum experienced sharp, sudden lower back pain that was exacerbated with all movements except lying down. Vanessa needed the care of a physio but found it difficult to leave the house with a 3-month-old baby. With the back pain, she would have struggled to drive and move the baby in and out of the car. Vanessa decided to use Telehealth so she could easily and conveniently access physiotherapy from home.

During her TeleHealth consult, Vanessa was taken through an interview and physiotherapist-instructed self-assessments. Vanessa’s lower back pain was confirmed to be musculoskeletal in nature. She was provided with education and advice on how to best manage her pain at home. Gentle exercises were prescribed to help reduce Vanessa’s muscle spasm and optimise her movements. Vanessa’s partner expressed interest in helping her recovery. During the following Telehealth session, the physiotherapist was able to instruct on massage techniques and give real-time feedback.

These days, Vanessa alternates hands-on face to face treatments and Telehealth consults as she thinks they make a good combination for her pain management. Her exercise program has been progressed and the higher level exercises are easily checked via Telehealth, with the live video of Vanessa and her physio side-by-side providing excellent visual feedback.

 

What does the existing evidence tell us about Telehealth?

Modified physical examination, in the case of Telehealth, consists of virtual self-assessment. For hip-related conditions, research evidence has found that this form of modified examination is not inferior to the traditional in-clinic examination (Owusu-Akyaw, Evanson, Cook, Reiman, & Mather, 2019). The same result was seen in diagnosing chronic conditions in other areas, such as the lower back, knee and shoulder (Cottrell, et al., 2018). One unique benefit of Telehealth is that it allows the physiotherapist to conduct a real-time assessment within the home or work environment, where problems may be occurring. This helps in the development of very specific and meaningful strategies for each individual’s unique situation.

There is also an increasing body of research showing the effectiveness of Telehealth in the treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. One such study by Cottrell, Galea, O’Leary, Hill, & Russell (2017) showed that the treatment outcome in pain and physical function is comparable to the outcomes of conventional in-clinic treatments. Even in patients who underwent surgery like total hip replacement, evidence showed a high level of patient satisfaction with Telehealth, without compromising rehabilitation results (Nelson, Bourke, Crossley, & Russell, 2020).

 

Telehealth: Convenient online healthcare, from anywhere

Telehealth greatly improves access to physiotherapy services and expert advice. It allows clients who live in rural or regional areas, or those with mobility issues or disabilities, to receive quality care without the need for long commutes over vast distances. TeleHealth is also ideal for those who are time-poor, who have inflexible schedules or who are unable to travel due to their pain or disability.

Whether you have just developed a problem or you require ongoing support in managing an ongoing health condition, Telehealth could be a useful and convenient way of accessing physiotherapy.

Eric Huang Telehealth Physiotec

If you are interested in giving Telehealth a go, call us on 3842 4284 for more information. We are looking forward to seeing you online!

 

Bibliography

Cottrell, M. A., Galea, O. A., O’Leary, S. P., Hill, A. J., & Russell, T. G. (2017). Real-time telerehabilitation for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is effective and comparable to standard practice: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rehabilitation, 625-638.

Cottrell, M. A., O’Leary, S. P., Swete-Kelly, P., Elwell, B., Hess, S., Litchfield, M.-A., . . . Russell, T. G. (2018). Agreement between telehealth and in-person assessment of patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions presenting to an advanced-practice physiotherapy screening clinic. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 99-105.

Nelson, M., Bourke, M., Crossley, K., & Russell, T. (2020). Telerehabilitation is non-inferior to usual care following total hip replacement — a randomized controlled non-inferiority trial. Physiotherapy, 19-27.

Owusu-Akyaw, K. A., Evanson, R. J., Cook, C. E., Reiman, M., & Mather, R. C. (2019). Concurrent validity of a patient self- administered examination and a clinical examination for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome. BMJ Open Sp Ex Med.

 

 

Developed hip pain during your covid isolation? Avoid these 3 exercises!

Developed hip pain during your covid isolation? Avoid these 3 exercises!

Have you developed some new aches and pains or aggravated some old ones after following free online exercise classes? Or perhaps you have increased your normal activity level by doing more walking, running, stair or hill climbing to try and stay fit and healthy during the COVID-19 restrictions. At Physiotec, we have seen an increasing number of people who have developed or aggravated their hip pain during the covid-crisis. In fact, pain over the outer side of the hip is one of the most common problems we see. This is usually related to a condition called gluteal tendinopathy, also sometimes referred to as trochanteric bursitis.

There are some challenges with going it alone with a new exercise program. If you do have a pre-existing or new injury, how do you know:

  • which exercises or programs are the best options for you?
  • what are the correct techniques to use?
  • how do you make the exercise harder or easier if you need to?
  • how do you alter your program if you develop pain?

If you are struggling with any of these challenges, a physiotherapist can assist with either a telehealth or face-to-face consultation. For many painful conditions, good education and advice will help you stay active while minimising the risk of pain or injury.

For specific hip conditions such as gluteal tendinopathy or trochanteric bursitis, many factors influence the health of the tendons and bursae at the side of the hip. Either too much or too little stimulus may result in changes in tendon health and consequently, your ability to perform normal activities without pain. Too little load may be associated with a sedentary lifestyle where the muscles and tendons aren’t working enough. Too much load may be associated with a quick increase in activity (either a new or existing activity). Particular sustained positions or repetitive movements may also contribute to reduced tendon health or the development of pain over time.

3 Exercises to avoid when you have gluteal tendinopathy

 

So, who is most affected with this condition and why? 18% of the population aged over 50 suffers with this type of hip pain, and women are 3 times more likely to develop the condition than men. While the causes are often multifactorial, a change in hormones is thought to contribute to the development of tendon changes. A common story we hear from our patients is that there was an onset of pain associated with a combination of the following:
• Peri or post menopause and the associated hormonal changes
• Weight gain during this time, and
• A sudden increase in activity levels to counteract the weight gain

It should be said that changes in the health of tendons and bursae are not necessarily painful. Pain may develop if weakened tendons are unable to cope with their workload. Pain is often triggered by sudden increases in activity levels, where the tendons have not been given adequate time to adapt to the new loads. Examples include taking up a new sport or activity, or returning to activity after illness, injury or pregnancy. Going on holidays and walking lots of hills or stairs or for long distances along the beach may cause a problem. Sudden loads on the tendon during a slip or fall can also result in pain and injury, or a gain in weight may add more load to these tendons that support your bodyweight when standing on one leg.

How do you know if you have a gluteal tendinopathy or trochanteric bursitis?

Pain over the side of the hip due to gluteal tendinopathy or trochanteric bursitis

Do you have pain over the side of the hip with any of the following?
• Lying on your side
• Walking up hills or stairs
• Standing on one leg
• Sitting in low chairs especially with crossed legs
• Getting up from chairs and during the first steps

If you answered yes to most of these, you may have gluteal tendinopathy or trochanteric bursitis. The good news? Education and exercise provided by a physiotherapist provides an 80% success rate, with significantly better outcomes than a corticosteroid (cortisone) injection or a wait and see approach (i.e. basic advice and monitoring the condition)*. The even better news? Dr Alison Grimaldi was instrumental in the development of this successful program and all physiotherapists at Physiotec have been trained in the protocol.

We are now back in clinic for face to face consultations – if you have flared or developed hip pain (or any other pain), give us a call to book in! We are also still offering Telehealth consultations for those who are continuing to isolate or those who find it more convenient to attend an appointment ‘virtually’. You can read more about our Telehealth service here.

 

*Mellor R, Bennell K, Grimaldi A, Nicolson P, Kasza J, Hodges P, Wajswelner H, Vicenzino B., 2018. Education plus exercise versus cortico- steroid injection use versus a wait and see approach on global outcome and pain from gluteal tendinopathy: prospective, single blinded, randomised clinical trial. BMJ. May 2;361:k1662. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k1662.

4 tips for pain relief when you’re stuck at home

4 tips for pain relief when you’re stuck at home

1. Manage your stress

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating worldwide. We are lucky in Australia that the spread of illness is now being well contained. However, the social distancing measures have not come without a significant cost for many businesses, their employees and our way of life. Higher levels of stress are common and in the coming weeks, parents will also be juggling home schooling and many people will experience pain working at home.

Stress has a direct and marked impact on pain levels, so if you experience pain working at home and your normal achy neck or back is worse than usual, stress may be playing a substantial role. Often one of the first things you notice when stressed, is muscle tension developing around the neck and shoulder region. You may also feel tension developing in the lower back, particularly if you are sitting rigidly on the edge of your chair. Be sure to sit back in your chair and relax, allowing the chairback to support you.

When you are feeling overwhelmed or feeling tension and pain build in your neck or back, try some relaxed deep breathing. It can work wonders!

 

2. Optimise your home working environment

Many workers have had no choice but to make a rapid transition to a home-office, with less than ideal ergonomic set up. Pain working at home can result.

Good Desk Set Up

Problem: Using a laptop or tablet for prolonged periods will mean a poor neck angle and substantial increases in loads on the joints and muscles of the neck and upper back.

Solution: Organise an external monitor and/or keyboard, to ensure you can look straight ahead at your screen. These were in very short supply but are available again now.

Problem: Your desk and/or seat height may not be suitable.

Solution: Most people won’t want to invest in a new home set up for this temporary situation. But you can improve the situation usually with pillows, back supports, footrests and even bricks to alter the height of a low desk!

Aim to avoid situations where:
a. your knees are higher than your hips
b. your elbows are bent more than 90degrees

If you need a wedge cushion, decompression cushion or a back support, you can drop by the clinic to pick one up or we can organise delivery.

One of our physiotherapists can also check out your home working environment via a Telehealth video consultation.

 

3. Continue (or start) your Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Program

Don’t let this golden opportunity pass you by! Often our patient’s lives are so busy with all the events they must attend for work or family, that their home exercise program goes by the wayside. This makes it difficult to fully overcome a persistent pain issue.

Now is the time to attend studiously to your home program and get on top of those problems once and for all. This will help control pain working at home and it’s also very important for athletes to use this time to maintain or improve conditioning to avoid injuries when returning to sport.

Our physiotherapists are now transitioning back into the clinic after a short break with COVID-19 social distancing, so you can:

  • organise a check up on your program,
  • address a problem you have been meaning to attend to for ages or
  • put a plan in place to maintain your conditioning to prevent injury when returning to sport or your regular physical activity

PhysioTec Physitrack

We can provide assistance either in the clinic or with our telehealth service.

Telehealth is a video consultation. It allows us to assess your movement, check exercise technique, and tailor an exercise program for home. If you do not have an existing diagnosis for your painful condition, we’ll take a thorough history and step you through a variety of tests. This will help us determine what the main problem is.

The telehealth consultation also includes a free app with an individualised program. These exercises have video, audio and text descriptions available. On top of this, the in-app features also include tracking so you can check off your exercises daily and a messaging system to keep in touch with your physiotherapist.

Read more about Telehealth here.

 

4. Engage in regular exercise

We already know the important benefits of exercise, some of which include:

  • Positive effects for mental health
  • Weight control
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Prevention and management of a variety of health problems
  • Physiological benefits for the body, such as improving strength and mobility, which in turn help us to maintain independence.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly right now, we know that regular physical activity decreases the risk of a person contracting a communicable disease (such as viral and bacterial infections). It enhances the ability of a person’s immune system to control itself. (Campbell & Turner 2018, Dominski & Dominski, 2020). Therefore continuing, maintaining or starting an exercise program is encouraged.

While the gyms and Pilates studies are closed, your options are to exercise outside or at home. There are many free exercise classes available online, but for those with previous injuries, be cautious. Some of these low-quality programs will not be suitable and may aggravate your condition or produce a new one.

Our physiotherapists can check your home exercise technique easily with telehealth , helping you control pain working at home. If you have gym equipment at home, Eric Huang, our strength and conditioning physiotherapist is very happy to check your lift technique and provide some ideas to vary or progress your program.

Eric Huang Telehealth Physiotec

Did you know?

Our Pilates instructors are also providing a high-quality Online Pilates service. Each class is run by one of our qualified Pilates Instructors and lasts approximately 40minutes. The classes focus on strength and conditioning exercises with the aim of keeping you moving and helping you maintain good functionality.

Physiotec Online Pilates_2020

Those who have already started these classes with Alice or Lisa have been loving them! Each class is limited to 4 people, and exercises are adapted for every client’s condition or physical fitness. The small class sizes also allow the instructor to monitor your form and posture, thus maximising your performance and safety.

Classes are priced at $20 per session, sold in packs of 5.

Call us on (07) 3342 4284 or contact us today to book in your free class trial!

 

 

References

Campbell, J. P., & Turner, J. E. (2018). Debunking the myth of exercise-induced immune suppression: redefining the impact of exercise on immunological health across the lifespan. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 648.

Dominski, F., Dominski, B. (2020). Exercise and Infectious Diseases – Covid-19. British Journal of Sports Medicine Blog, March 17, 2020.

Our New Initiative – HipPainHelp.com

Our New Initiative – HipPainHelp.com

Today we have some exciting news about the launch of a new website – hippainhelp.com , founded by our Practice Principal, Dr Alison Grimaldi with two of our senior staff, Kirsty McNab and Sharon Hennessey. HipPainHelp has been a labour of love, developed out of a clear need to connect those in pain with high quality information. When our patients reach us, they have often picked up from non-evidence based websites, incorrect information and self-help advice that has been anything but helpful.

For this reason, we have developed a comprehensive and regularly-updated library of high-quality, evidence-informed resources for our patients and others in the community suffering with hip, groin and pelvic pain. This wealth of information is accessible in 3 easy ways – Hip Pain Explained, our Pain Locator Map and Specific Condition Pages.

The site also has a directory of health professionals that have a special interest in the management of hip, pelvic and groin pain –  we call these our Hip Pain Professionals (HPP’s). At Physiotec, over 50% of all our patients have pain around the hip and pelvis, as this is a special area of focus and expertise for our whole clinic. All of our staff have undergone extensive extra training in the assessment of hip, pelvic and groin pain under the guidance of Dr Alison Grimaldi and continue to participate in regular ongoing in-house training and individual mentoring. Dr Grimaldi also keeps the Physiotec staff updated with cutting edge research completed both within her UQ team and international collaborations and from recent publications and presentations at conferences she attends all around the world. You will find all of our Physiotec physiotherapists listed on HipPainHelp.com.

If you are unable to make it to Physiotec to see one of our highly qualified staff, you can visit the Find a Hip Pain Professional directory, or you might like to tell your friends or family to visit the site to find a HPP in their area. We will be continuing to grow our directory of HPP’s which will include university-qualified healthcare practitioners of varying types such as Orthopaedic Surgeons,  Sports Medicine & Exercise Physicians, Pain Medicine Physicians, Physiotherapists and more. If there is no-one listed in your region, contact us and we can do our best to find someone in your area. The directory will be a growing global directory, so feel free to contact us if you are located anywhere around the world.

We hope to see you soon then, either at Physiotec, or at www.hippainhelp.com 

 

 

 

 

Interpreting the new PhysioTec logo

Interpreting the new PhysioTec logo

The new PhysioTec logo. What does it all mean?

PhysioTec has now been in operation for over 12 years. We thought it was time we refreshed our branding to reflect the ways in which our business continues to grow and change. The logo symbol includes two dynamic, intersecting, abstract forms, interacting with balance and stability. The underlying cross is reminiscent of a medical cross, reflective of the important role physiotherapists play in health promotion. The two intersecting forms represent a number of interactions central to our practice:

Clinical Expertise and Scientific Evidence – At Physiotec we hold a strong belief in evidence-informed practice, meaning that we keep up to date with the latest scientific evidence and integrate this with the knowledge and expertise gained from decades of combined clinical experience.

Muscle and Collagen – The two forms represent the interaction between muscle (the pink logo form) and collagen (the silver logo form), a key building block of tendon, ligaments and bone. Together these form the musculoskeletal system which is the system central to the practice of physiotherapy

Us and You – Representative of the close relationship between our staff, our clients and our referrers. We hope to enrich the lives we touch as you enrich ours.

We have chosen this colour as it has many associations to which we feel a strong affinity in the way we practice and interact with our clients:

warmth –  nurturing  –  intuition  –  sensitivity  –  hope  –  positivity  –  energy

We have also changed our clinic moto from ‘Moving with the Times’ to ‘Moving with You’ to reflect the patient-centred care we provide.  Our main aim is to work with you to provide the best possible outcomes to enable you to once again enjoy the things that are important in your lives – health, family, friends, sport, recreation and travel.

Some things never change:

The clinic is still run as passionately as ever by Dr Alison Grimaldi, our practice principal and her husband Nunzio, director. We still have staff members that have been with us from almost the very beginning, including our Administration Manager, Rebecca Rusich. We continue to provide a culture of ongoing learning and passion in all that we do. We would like to thank all who have been a part of our amazing journey so far and look forward to meeting those who will become part of our future.

 

When Should You See a Physiotherapist?

When Should You See a Physiotherapist?

When Should You See a Physiotherapist?

Seeking the advice of an experienced physiotherapist is something that many athletes consider in their training efforts.  For starters, physiotherapists play a major role in the care and performance of athletes, but how exactly can a physiotherapist support the general population?

From an athletic standpoint, the use of a physiotherapist may appear pretty obvious, but for the general adult population, is there any benefit in seeing a physiotherapist and why would you even need to see one?

Let’s take a closer look into what a physiotherapist can offer you.

 

What Services does a Physiotherapist provide?

In order to have a good grasp on when to see a physiotherapist, it is important to have an idea as to what services a physio can offer.

Your experience with a physio varies depending on where you go, but overall, a physiotherapist provides rehabilitation, education and support, performance training, as well as assisting with stress relief in many aspects of your life.  Many physios have different certifications so it is important to search around for a physiotherapist who may best be able to assist with your problem.

The best bet is to make a selection on a physio that is well qualified and experienced and has a wide range of technical skills and advanced equipment .

Listed below are 10 reasons why you should see a physiotherapist along with what they can do to help for that specific scenario.

10 Important and Common Reasons to See a Physiotherapist

 

  1. Prevention of Injuries.

    Athletes are well in-tune with their physiotherapist, but for the common adult, a physio may be foreign.  For starters here, physios specialise in injury prevention, which is the process of adjusting posture, form and movement patterns to help reduce your risk of experiencing an injury or re-injury.

    Usually, adults seek the advice of a physio for rehabilitation from an injury that may have occurred after attempting the gym, trying a new fitness routine, or due to some occupational issue that arises (such as lower back pain or repetitive injuries). A physio can guide you in your rehabilitation, help you regain your strength and understand what things you can change to minimise the chances of injuring yourself again. Prevention is always preferable to cure, so getting some advice from a physio before you start at the gym or join bootcamp is a great idea. Remember, a physio understands both your exercise goals and how to get you there safely.

    When you visit a physio for injury prevention, you will be thoroughly evaluated.  First there will be some questions to evaluate your previous history, current situation and future goals. Then the physio will do a physical assessment to get a better understanding of how you move, and identify any weaknesses that may need addressing.  Once you have a diagnosis, the physio can lay out a direct path to help you succeed in your goals and prevent injuries.

    If you are prone to injuries, it may be wise to seek out a physio to reduce the risk of injury as soon as possible. This can save you a lot of pain, money and time off work.

  2. Work on Posture.

    There are many reasons as to why you could have nagging injuries popping up here or there, but your posture is perhaps one of the most critical components to avoiding nagging pains.

    Your posture may not be something you pay close attention to throughout your work day but if pain or injuries to your back, neck, and legs start to appear, then your posture may be one factor.

    One of the most common reasons for frequent headaches in office workers is poor posture caused by improper ergonomics.  With that in mind, a physio can help you to develop better awareness of your position, advice on your work set up and improve the function of your postural muscles so that you can avoid those nagging postural pains.

    Generally, a physio will develop specific exercises to strengthen the postural muscles and will guide you throughout your healing process.

  3. Alleviate Generalised Pain.

    Perhaps you do not have a specific injury causing pain.  Widespread, generalised pain can be linked with conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Hypermobility and many systemic rheumatological diseases. But there is much a physio can do to help your pain.

    Physios utilise ‘healing hands’ (hands-on techniques) to alleviate pain by stimulating certain nerve pathways to be less sensitive. They can also provide education on ways to cope with fatigue, how to best pace your physical activity and everyday chores and how to gradually increase your ability to do the things you need to do and most importantly, the things you love to do. A graduated exercise program can also help to reduce pain and develop more fitness, strength and stamina. A physiotherapist can make a very positive impact on your quality of life.

    While physio’s serve as pain relieving healers, it is important to understand that your pain levels do not need to be excruciating.  Lower level pains such as frequent nagging pains and dull headaches are a very common reason to see a physio. Don’t let these nagging problems drag on for months or years, when there is something you can do about it today – see a physio.

  4. Stretching & Flexibility.

    If you sit at a desk all day for work, you may think that stretching is not important since you were not active, but long periods of sitting can cause tightness in your lower back and hamstring muscle groups. Getting up and moving regularly and doing some regular simple stretches can make a big difference to work related aches and pains. Breaking your sitting with activity is also important for your general health. 

    If you spend a great amount of time typing on a computer then you should consider stretching your forearm and wrist extensor muscles throughout each day. Do you have neck aches?  Consider a stretching program to loosen the muscles that move your head.

    A physio is an expert in muscular health and wellness and they can create a detailed mobility/stretching routine. This can be provided via a free app with videos, reps, time and you can even set reminders to ensure you don’t forget to move your body regularly.  Consider this a highly beneficial commodity in your health and wellness.

    For some people however, stretching will not help a feeling of tightness or stiffness.  This may be a symptom of hypermobility (too much flexibility, sometimes called being ‘double-jointed’). If you do not have enough muscle support deep around flexible joints, the brain may signal big, superficial movement muscles to help out, working way more than they would normally. In this case, stretching will not help and may worsen the problem. A physio with expertise in this area can help ensure you are given the exercises that are right for you.

  5. Heal from a Complicated Surgical Procedure.

    One of the lesser known services a physio provides is healing from complicated surgeries. After surgery, you may be unable to be active or to exercise for quite some time. This may result in a lot of muscle weakness and a loss of physical fitness, making it much harder to return to your normal activities.

    A physio can help you to progress through a post-surgical rehab program, helping you to regain your muscle strength and fitness safely and effectively.

  6. Management of your Disease.

    There are many scenarios in which you could be diagnosed with a disease and your only option provided by your doctor is to manage the disease with medication.

    Type II diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis are all conditions in which adults are to manage their condition rather than “fix” the disease.

    A physiotherapist can take you through a suitable and appropriate exercise program to help you to manage your disease, based on your diagnosis and the findings of a detailed assessment.

    This is quite valuable because sometimes the management process with a physio is so beneficial that some clients can cut back on medications prescribed by doctors.

    If you are in a disease management process, you should always consult with your doctor about involving a qualified physio in your management plan.

  7. Manage a Physical Limitation.

    There are many conditions that people are born with that cause limitations.  Sometimes, limitations are created as you age, through car accidents, injuries, as well as new onset of debilitating diseases.

    Physiotherapists are highly skilled to work with these conditions so that you can better manage your limitation.

    Physios can help to train certain muscle groups and improve your mobility to make your daily life easier to manage, but they are also skilled at assisting with devices, braces, and various health-related accessories you may need for your condition.

  8. Recover from Hip or Knee Replacements.

    If there is any reason to ever see a physiotherapist, then perhaps this is the best reason.

    Physios work on a regular basis with clients who have been through a hip or knee replacement surgery.  There are 2 important things that a physio can do in these situations.

    Some physios offer pre-habilitation methods, which is exercising for a month or two before your surgery to help you recover from your surgery quicker.

    In addition, post-rehabilitation is essential for getting your joints working close to how they were before the surgery, but without the pain.

    You should definitely see a physiotherapist if you have a hip or knee surgery scheduled or are considering it.

  9. Receive Real-time Feedback on Movement and Muscular Usage.

    These services can help anyone from an older adult with back pain to athletes returning to sport or who want to help improve performance in some way or another.

    Some physiotherapists use certain sensor technology devices, such as the ViMove device, to monitor your movement patterns and muscular activity. Real-time ultrasound is also an incredible tool that allows the physio to see the muscles beneath your skin, to ensure they are healthy and able to activate in ways that best support and move your body.

    With this feedback, your physio is able to identify certain “weaker” spots throughout your body to aid your recovery or improve your recovery or athletic performance.

    This is valuable for any young athlete looking to elevate their performance and for any adult looking to simply improve upon weak areas in the body.

  10. Post-Partum Exercise Conditioning.

    Having a baby is a stressful situation for the body and the female body is subjected to many bodily changes during the months of pregnancy.

    For this reason, seeing a physio can help to strengthen areas that may have been stretched or weakened during pregnancy and they can help guide you on a plan to safely increase your activity level and help lose that extra baby weight as well. A Women’s Health physio can also help specifically with pelvic floor or bladder and bowel problems that may occur after childbirth.

    Seeing a physiotherapist is a safer option than a personal trainer, due to a physio’s understanding of the effects of pregnancy on the muscles, ligaments and joints and what is appropriate in the early months after having a baby. Many new mums develop problems when returning to high levels of activity too quickly or performing inappropriate exercise routines. Medical issues can also arise weeks or months after having a baby, so being under the care of a physiotherapist, who are Allied Health Professionals, is a good choice.

So Why Should You See a Physiotherapist?

After taking a look at some of the services a physio can provide across many different aspects of health, you should have a good idea as to why it is important to your overall wellness to see a physio.

Yes, a physio is an expert in healing injuries, but there is much more that a physio can offer.

Consider any or all of the reasons above to help guide you in your decision on when you should see a physiotherapist.

10 Ways That Physiotherapy Can Improve Your Lifestyle

10 Ways That Physiotherapy Can Improve Your Lifestyle

The Top 10 Ways that Physiotherapy can Improve your Life

Physiotherapy is not a relatively new area in healthcare; rather, it has been around for many centuries in some form but in Australia it was established as a formal association in 1906. With the now substantial amount of scientific research to support the profession and the high profile role that sports physiotherapists play in all forms of amateur and professional sport, physiotherapy has been gaining a considerable amount of popularity over recent times.

While many see physiotherapy as a part of healthcare that is mainly aimed at healing the injured and helping athletes to improve performance, there is so much more to this highly specialised field.

Considering that a physiotherapist holds a university degree which may range from a Bachelor to a Doctoral degree, you should expect that they can do quite a bit when it comes to recommending ways to improve your daily life.

There are clinics popping up all over, but what should you expect from physiotherapy and how can it help with your daily life?  Listed below are 10 ways that physiotherapy can improve your overall lifestyle so that you can continue with your usual activities of daily living.

  1. Holistic Healing.

    One of the basic things that physiotherapy can do, is to help with healing, but in a holistic way.
    Holistic healing is an approach to healing illness, injury, or a way to improve health by considering physical, psychological and social impacts on your health. Physiotherapist do not prescribe medication but work with your body and mind to promote healing and health. Many people tend to enjoy this perk and seek out the healing approaches of physiotherapy as a result.

    So what can a physiotherapist help with when it comes to holistic healing?  For starters, physiotherapists can help to alleviate pain, improve your body mechanics to reduce pain, aid in injury rehabilitation, prevent and decrease headaches, and help to improve blood circulation, decrease blood pressure, and promote overall wellness.  Not bad considering physiotherapists do not prescribe medications for the healing process.

  2. Physiotherapy Can Prevent Surgery.

    One common way physiotherapy can improve your lifestyle is by avoiding surgery.  Surgery is a critical part of healthcare and while it is needed in many aspects, there are certain situations when physiotherapy may be a better approach than surgery.  If you consistently have pain in your body and it is caused by some variable (let’s say lower back pain as an example), many adults tend to go the surgical route as a way to “fix” the issue.

    Sometimes this works and it is the best method of healing for the patient, but would you still do the surgery if there were options that a physiotherapist could help with?

    For starters, physiotherapists are able to find the issues that could be causing your lower back pain and can recommend and guide you through a series of exercises, stretches and postural activities.  Some techniques and advice can provide immediate pain relief and in other situations positive results develop over the course of a few sessions.  This is only one example, but if you are considering surgery for something that a physiotherapist can look at, why not give it a try?

  3. Improve your Athletic Performance.

    Not everyone who sees a physiotherapist needs some sort of healing.  In fact, many athletes (professional and amateur) seek the assistance of physiotherapy to help improve performance.  After all, physiotherapists are experts on muscles and body mechanics, so this would be the best source of any fitness “guru.”

    Physiotherapy uses technologically advanced machines, gadgets, and tools to find the best way to utilise muscles in the body.  Some clinics may use biofeedback devices and have their own gym facilities.  Consider physiotherapy as an effective method for improving your athletic ability and for improving your active lifestyle.

  4. Manage a Disease.

    When you are newly diagnosed with a disease, it can be a bit scary to face it in the eye immediately after leaving the doctor’s office.  There typically are many questions that are left unanswered and many are unable to be answered for that matter.  However, there are certain diseases that physiotherapy can help with while you go through the treatment process.

    For starters, physiotherapy is a great option for diabetics and for patients with poor blood circulation (which is often caused by diabetes).  Typically, physiotherapists use exercise as a way to manage diabetes and help to improve blood flow to certain parts of the body.  In addition to diabetes, physiotherapy is a great choice for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

    Chemotherapy is known for decreasing energy levels in adults and shredding away endurance, not to mention it is quite challenging on the mind.  For this reason, physiotherapy can help to manage weakness and lethargy associated with cancer treatments, and your physio may be a great source of motivation throughout your entire treatment process.  Also, physiotherapists may be able to assist with some of the pain associated with certain cancers.

    There are many diseases that physiotherapists are faced with on a regular basis and seeking the advice within physiotherapy can be a holistic way to improve your life when living with an illness.

  5. Improve Balance.

    Older adults are at great risk of balance-related issues and balance tends to diminish with older age.  Throughout the aging process, reduction in bone density, muscle strength and balance can lead to falls and osteoporotic fracture for the older adult.

    Falls are a major cause of hip fractures, hip pain, broken bones, as well as head injuries, so finding any way possible to maintain proper balance is vital to health and wellness.  Physiotherapists commonly work with patients in falls prevention programs.  For starters, the physiotherapist may ask you about your home set-up, to help identify things that can place you at risk of a fall (such as loose rugs, pets, and bath mats).  In addition, physiotherapists will assess your balance, which usually you receive a score or a grade as a way to establish your starting point.

    Once you are assessed, the physiotherapist may guide you through a series of exercises and programs designed to maintain or improve your balance.  The older adult can certainly benefit from physiotherapy so if you are worried about your balance, consider this an option.

  6. Treat Incontinence.

    Incontinence can be an extremely embarrassing and distressing problem. So much so, that some women are fearful of attending social functions and stop participating in physical activity which is very negative for health and wellbeing. A Women’s Health physiotherapist is able to help with improving control of pelvic floor muscles and deal with other related bladder and bowel issues. Pelvic floor exercises are considered the first-line treatment for incontinence and are best provided by a trained health professional, your local Women’s Health Physiotherapist. Managing incontinence effectively can be life changing.

  7. Manage Arthritis.

    Arthritis is one of the most common conditions that affect your muscles, joints, and connective tissue and it can be quite burdensome on your daily life.  Treatment usually involves managing the symptoms, but one common way to help manage your pain due to arthritis is with physical activity.

    Physiotherapy can definitely help with arthritis and many patients are directed by a physiotherapist on how to safely and properly exercise with arthritis.  The use of physiotherapy can also be a holistic way to manage pain without the use of pain-relieving medications, which have side effects.

  8. Assist in the Management of Blood Pressure.

    Physiotherapy is surprisingly a great method for decreasing your blood pressure, or at least a method for managing it.

    As part of their practice, physiotherapists instruct patients and clients on how to recognise physical signs of stress that can increase blood pressure, and ways to address this. Relaxation exercises and deep breathing can be quite effective for this and your physiotherapist should be able to direct you through deep breathing programs.  Losing weight and exercising regularly are also important ways to reduce your blood pressure. You may not be exercising because of pain or an injury, lack of confidence or lack of know-how. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start if you are not used to regular exercise. A physiotherapist can safely prescribe an exercise program or activity schedule that is suitable for your level of fitness and fits with the things you like to do. Consider asking your physiotherapist for guidance on how they can assist you in managing your blood pressure.

  9. Improve your Quality of Life.

    Your quality of life may not be what it should be for a number of different reasons – health and mobility issues are often a large factor. You may not be able to participate in sport, recreational activities or social events due to pain or a lack of physical capacity. Your mental health may be suffering due to these issues or due to excess weight or other health issues that can be improved markedly with a well directed exercise or activity program.

    Sometimes you know you are not in a good place, but are not really sure where to start with looking for help. A physiotherapist is an excellent option to guide you through the process of regaining your quality of life.

  10. Prevent Injuries from Occurring.

    Injuries are an inevitable part of life, to an extent.  Being physically active has its perks, but an active lifestyle has a greater risk of injury as well.  Physiotherapy can definitely help to prevent injuries from occurring; however, it should be known that not all injuries can be prevented.

    With the use of technology-driven devices, physiotherapists are able to identify problems with muscle strength, coordination, balance, flexibility and your training regime to gain a better picture as to the risk of an injury.  Consider seeking the advice of physiotherapy to see if you can prevent or decrease your risk of injuries with your active lifestyle.