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Your first step to recovery

EASY STRETCHES DESK STRETCHES

Sitting at a desk working, studying or surfing the net for long hours at a time makes it extremely difficult to maintain proper posture. That’s because our bodies are not designed for hours of idle sitting. So as the clock gets ticking many of us have the tendency lean forward, slouch our shoulders and hunch our backs.

Unfortunately, this increases pressure on multiple areas in your body. This explains why most of us experience pain and stiffness in our neck, shoulders, back and in some cases your tailbone!

So what do I need to do you ask?

The answer is simple, STAND, MOVE AND STRETCH!

It sure does sound easier said than done, especially if you are pressed with time to complete set work tasks. BUT the good news is that stretching or moving is a buildable habit that can be easily implement as you work. It doesn’t take long!

For starters set an alarm to take micro 2–3-minute break for every 20-30 minutes. Use this time to stand up, walk over to a colleague, go for a toilet break, drink water or make yourself tea or a coffee.

Or try out these simple easy stretches while you sit or stand at your desk

So let’s get started!

SPINAL TWIST:

  • Sit up tall, relax your shoulders
  • Cross one leg over the other, then place your opposite elbow on your top thigh.
  • Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly twist your body (not your neck) and look over your shoulder.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Slowly return to resting position and repeat on the other side.

BACK ARCHES

  •  Sit tall, set your feet flat on the ground hip-width apart.
  • Rest your hands behind your hips, then slowly arch your back as you gently tilt your head back.
  • If you experience pain or discomfort in your neck or tingling in your arms – do this stretch without head tilt.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, return to start and repeat

ARM REACHES 

  • Sit up tall with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Interlace your fingers and stretch your arms straight as you turn your palms up to the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat

SHOULDER CIRCLES

  • Sit or stand up tall, feet hip width apart
  • Relax your arms and shoulder, begin by rolling your shoulder backward in a circular motion.
  • Do this 5 times, repeat forward circles

NECK CIRCLES

  • Sit or stand up tall, with feet planted flat on floor
  • Slowly begin to roll your head in a clockwise position
  • Do this 20 seconds, then repeat in a counterclockwise direction

CHEST STRETCH

 

  • Stand close to wall or a door frame
  • Place your forearm in a 90-degree angle at shoulder height.
  • Take one step forward on the leg closest to the wall and slowly rotate your chest away until you feel a stretch across your chest.
  • Do not hunch or round your shoulders.
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, repeat
  • Do this both for both sides

BACK EXTENSIONS

  • Stand with your legs at hip width apart and straight.
  • Place your hands on your hips.
  • Lean your body backwards, trying to arch in the lower back as much as you can, lifting your chest up towards the ceiling.
  • Try to avoid allowing your hips to swing forwards too far.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds, return to start position & repeat 5 times.

 FLOOR REACHES

  • Sit on a chair with upright posture
  • Slowly bend forward to plant your hands on the floor.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, return to start

SHOULDER BLADE SQUEEZE

  • Start in an upright position.
  • Practice bringing your shoulder blades back and down.
  • Picture gently drawing your shoulder blades towards the centre of your lower back.
  • This is a subtle movement, ensure you do not over strain your shoulder blades when performing this action.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, repeat 3-5 times

SHOULDER BLADE STRETCH

  • Clasp your hands together and hold them in front of your body.
  • Push your arms as far forward as you can whilst rounding your shoulder blades.
  • Gently drop your chin down to your chest.
  • Hold this position while you feel a stretch between your shoulder blades.

 WRIST STRETCHES

  • Stretch out your arm straight in front of you with your palm facing away
  • Use your opposite hand to gently pull your palm back
  • Hold for 5 seconds, repeat with your palm facing your body

Stay safe, Stay fit

Our daily routine has been forced to change during the lockdown and it has never been more important to focus on your physical and mental health. The current situation we’re facing is strange, stressful, emotionally exhausting and there is no surprise that the motivation to keep fit has been a bit of a struggle. It is in these disquieting times that exercise can provide much-needed solace.

Research shows that being physically active helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Physical activity also maintains mass and bone density, reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis (loss of bone density), Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass), and helps boost one’s immune system, as it flushes bacteria from the lungs and airways, increases white blood cell circulation and raises body temperature, all of which help the body fight infection.

How much Activity is Recommended?

Be active every day, in as many ways as possible. Aim for at least 2 ½ hours of moderate (or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous physical activity) spread throughout the week. The Ministry of Health outlines how much physical activity New Zealanders need to stay healthy https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/food-activity-and-sleep/physical-activity/how-much-activity-recommended.

Create a Routine

Whether you are looking to maintain an exercise regime or just stay motivated from one day to the next, as your own four walls start to make you feel a bit stir crazy, many people find that it helps to have a set routine. It portions the day into bite-size chunks and allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment as you tick off the day’s tasks.

Few of us are lucky enough to have an exercise bike/treadmill at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple exercises that you can do around the house or with household objects that will work instead. If you do not have your own weights at home there are some surprising substitutes you can utilize instead i.e bags of rice or flour, a tin of beans and bottled water can be used, if you need something heavier you can always fill a carrier bag with a few items inside.

1. Squats

Directions:

Lie on the floor and rest on your back. Ensure that your knees are bent, and your feet are touching the floor.

Put your hands behind your head and then lift both your chest and your legs slightly but leave a gap between them.

Go back to the starting position and repeat.

2. Crunches

Crunches are another important exercise for your abs to strengthen your body core.

Directions:

Widen your feet parallel to your shoulder and extend your arms in front of you.

Bend your knees and your hips slightly and then do the traditional squat position.

Push up using your heels and repeat.

3. Stationary Lunge

Directions:

Stand up straight and put your right leg forwards and your left leg backward. It should look like you’re preparing to run.

Place your hands on your hips. Bend your right leg, leaving a little gap between the floor and the knee.

Then, switch your legs and do the same.

These bodyweight exercises are a great way to start your day and get the blood pumping in your body.

 

Safety during exercise outside

If you’re working from home, getting outside for physical activity will do wonders for your physical and mental health. Regular walking, running or cycling is a great way to stay active and healthy during lockdown, but it is important to keep your distance and stay more than two metres away from others. Plan your route when you’re thinking of heading out for a cycle/jog. If possible try to think of roads, neighborhoods, and parks that will be quieter and less congested. Follow the latest advice about whether you will also need to wear a mask.

Take a Bit of You Time

Fill your own cup first…Being healthy is not just about maintaining an exercise regime and eating right, it is also about staying mentally healthy too. If you are in isolation with your family, it is easy to spend the day making sure they are happy and entertained, but don’t forget to take a bit of time for you. Do a quick meditation or yoga routine while the kids are watching TV or maybe just go into the garden and take a few deep breaths to relieve some stress!

During this time of uncertainty, something we can take control of is our health and well-being. So, whatever your situation, try to keep active, eat healthily, and stay hydrated.

Ngā mihi and stay safe

SHIN SPLINTS NO MORE

Shin splints, medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a collective term used to describe multiple conditions that cause shin pain. Therefore, it is important to establish that there is not one singular cause.

Image result for shin splints

More specifically there are two distinct types of shin splint:

Type 1:

A stress reaction occurs on the inside border of the tibia bone. A stress reaction is the stage preceding a stress fracture.

Type 2:

The inner shin bones outer surface known as the periosteum becomes irritated at the attachment sites of the Tibialis Posterior and Soleus muscles.

Symptoms: 

Shin splints is characterized by pain in the lower leg, on the front, outside or most commonly on the inside of the leg.

Image result for shin splint

The cause of this injury is thought to be due to repetitive overuse, being more common in long distance runners, dancers, and gym goers.

Did you know? 

Shin splints account for an estimated 10.7 percent of injuries in male runners and 16.8 percent of injuries in female runners. Aerobic dancers are among the worst affected and have shin splint rates of up to 22 percent (medicalnewstoday,2021)

What other factors may predispose me to shin splints?

  • A sudden increase in running distance, intensity or frequency.
  • Running on uneven terrain such as hills, concrete or uneven road.
  • Poor foot mechanics (an inability to pronate and supinate).
  • Poor footwear.
  • Weak hip muscles.
  • Poor ankle strength.
  • Short muscle length in calf or hamstrings (or too long).

Image result for running on uneven terrain 

Diagnosis

Your Physiotherapist can usually diagnose you based on a full history of your present condition, current symptoms, athletic activity and a physical examination. In some instances, further investigation may be required in the form of an x-ray or ultrasound.

Image result for physio diagnosis

Early stage rehab

If you have been diagnosed with shin splints and it is stopping you from doing what you love there is good news! Shin splints can be cured IF managed well. In the acute stages, the PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method is a good place to start. From there, one of our trusted Physiotherapists can help you on your way to full recovery.

Image result for rice method for shin splints

What may Physiotherapy look like for me?

You can be sure that with us, you are in good hands. Here are some ways our physiotherapist may choose to help you get back on track.

  • Gait & run analysis: To examine your running technique to see if there are any biomechanical causes.
  • Addressing lower limb muscle imbalances with muscle strengthening, coordination, stretching and mobility exercises.
  • Soft tissue massage to reduce pain, tension and improve blood circulation.
  • Application of tape to improve muscle function, reduce pain, swelling and fatigue.
  • Provision of an appropriate return to run program with incremental increase in frequency, intensity, and time.
  • Activity modification: balance of maintaining cardiovascular fitness without aggravating the shins.
  • A referral to our acupuncturist for treatments such as Periosteal acupuncturepecking: Tapping on the surface of the shin bone with acupuncture to stimulate healing.
  • A referral out to an podiatrist if the condition is foot related.

Image result for rehab for shin splints

References:

  1. medicalnewstoday.(2021)allyouneedtoknowaboutshinsplints. Available: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-running-shoes#product-list. Last accessed 16/02/2021.

5 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PHYSIOTHERAPISTS- PART 1

Myth 1: ‘’Physiotherapy is just massage’’

This is a common phrase people use to describe a physiotherapists role. It is true that as a profession we like to work ‘hands on’. This is because our profession is directly affiliated with the anatomy of our clients and by using touch we can more accurately assess, locate and treat any dysfunctional motions within your body. Our physiotherapists like to use massage as it is a great way reduce pain and improve bodily function but their skill set is much more extensive than this.

Did you know?

There are well over 20 different treatment approaches commonly used by physiotherapists.  These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Exercise prescription.
  • Joint mobilization.
  • Joint manipulation.
  • Instrument mobilization.
  • Muscle energy techniques (improves muscle and joint function).
  • Neurodynamics (mobilization of the nervous system).
  • Taping.
  • Dry needling.
  • Acupuncture.

Myth 2: Always sit up straight! Slouching is bad.

In fact, forcing yourself to adhere to the traditional ‘good posture’ (back straight and shoulders back) may be putting unnecessary tension on your body. That isn’t to say being upright is bad either, but in life we must always find a balance. To reduce stress on your body whilst seated, ensure your back is supported and your feet firmly on the ground. To prevent and reduce the likelihood of back pain we must look to vary our posture frequently throughout the day and ensure we take short breaks to stretch, stand and walk.


Myth 3: Physiotherapy sessions are painful

Physiotherapists aim to help you reduce pain and get you back to doing what you love! Whether your injury is acute or chronic our physios always ensure they work within your pain threshold to help you regain lost movement and function.

Myth 4: I need a referral to see a Physiotherapist’

We have got you covered!

Remember, physios are registered health care professionals. Physio Fusion is a registered ACC provider. This means that if you have had a recent injury (within one year), you can see us directly and we can help you lodge an injury claim directly with ACC. You do not need a referral for your doctor.


Myth 5: Lower back pain …. surgery is my only option

Around 70-90% of the total world population will experience lower back pain during the course of a life time. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can either last for short or long periods or remain constant. Back pain can be very debilitating and when the pain does not resolve as soon as anticipated many fear that surgery may be the only option. In few cases surgery may be necessary, but for the majority there’s often nothing to fear, and with time and a gradual loading or exercise program, you can make a full recovery.

Did you know ?

Back pain is not always a sign of injury or damage. Each individuals back pain story will be different, and for many non-physical factors play a huge part in their story. These factors can be:

Psychological –

  • Stress.
  • Fear of movement.
  • Depression.

Health related –

  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Physical inactivity.
  • Smoking (nicotine decreases blood flow to your back).
  • Overweight.

Physio Fusions top recommendations for keeping back pain away:

  • Keep active – regular exercise nourishes joints, strengthens muscles, increases blood flow and improves your mood.
  • Sleep well.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by ensuring you maintain proper nutrition and diet.
  • Sit in a chair with good lower back support.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Ensure that when you lift or pick up objects you do so in a safe manner. This is something one of our physiotherapists can guide you with.

See a doctor urgently if you have the following symptoms:

  • Numbness in the groin or buttocks.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Redness or swelling on your back.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Constant pain, especially at night.
  • Pain that is getting much worse, or spreading up your spine.
  • Numbness or pins and needles in both legs.
  • Feeling unwell with your back pain, such as a fever or significant sweating that wakes you from sleep.