Importance of Shoulder Exercises
Trying to turn those shoulders into boulders, but heavy weights are causing you pain? The rotator cuff is the primary muscle complex involved in stabilizing your shoulder. Dysfunction and weakness in these muscles could be limiting your training and shoulder development. Studies have shown rotator cuff dysfunction is predictive of Injury and sporting performance. Issues with the rotator cuff aren’t just limited to the gym. Throwing and upper limb sports such as cricket, tennis and golf can also cause impingement and irritation of the rotator cuff tendons as well as hard physical jobs. All of which will slow your progress toward global sporting domination or beating your mate round 9 holes at the weekend.
Here are a couple of Basic rotator cuff strengthening exercises that can easily be done at home:
- External rotation: holding a theraband, start with your arm positioned across your body and locked in by your side with your elbow at 90 degrees. Rotate band away from body till your hand points directly in front of you.
- Internal rotation: same instructions as with external rotation however the starting point is reversed. You would start with you hand pointing directly ahead, and rotate inwards finishing with your hand across your chest.
If addressed early, issues like this can be resolved quickly, so don’t let it wait. Visit us at Active Physio Health and let us check yourselves, before you wreck yourselves.
To learn more about shoulder exercises, please contact Jack Active Physio Health on ph. 4972 5155, or request an appointment today!
Should You Exercise Through Pain?
Pain is complex, and deciding whether a pain is ‘bad’ enough to get something done about it can be tough. Exercising can be a pain but can also cause pain. Contrary to popular belief pain is not always ‘bad’, as pain and tissue damage are poorly correlated. For example, migraines and muscle cramps can be painful but are not due to tissue damage/trauma.
There are certain things I ask my patients to determine whether they should be exercising through the pain, or resting. These include:
- Are there signs of severe injury such as swelling, bruising, locking, giving way?
- Can you easily modify the pain – does slowing down a little, taping or wearing different shoes change it?
- What is the pain response – how bad is the pain, does it go away immediately, does it last overnight? The longer it lasts and more intense it is usually a sign of a ‘bad’ pain.
- What is the pain producing structure? Different tissues respond differently to exercising.
Pain during an event can be different. Some would say “the pain of failing stays longer than the pain of injury!”
It’s always your decision whether to exercise through pain. However, as a general rule, if it’s more than 5/10 and is getting worse each time you do exercise, it’s probably time to get it checked out by a professional.
Dull pain in your neck and shoulders, feels good over the weekend but made worse by being at work or driving long hours? You may have Monday morning syndrome. We can’t fix that. However, disc irritations in your neck we can. Irritations of the cervical discs (in your neck) sound frightening but in reality are a very common injury amongst desk workers, drivers and manual workers. It can cause pain in the neck, shoulders and in some cases down the arm. The primary cause for this is posture. You’re all slouches, but it’s okay, we are too. The difference is we know how to minimise and prevent it. Let us share the knowledge. If left that dull ache can become something nastier than that bar tab you forgot you started, don’t leave it that long.
Here are a couple of easy ways to improve your posture:
Deep Neck flexor exercise: or the ‘Chin tuck’, is an exercise that helps maintain good head position. Standing against a wall, retract your head backs, toward the wall, trying to flatten your neck against the wall and pull your chin in.
Good sitting posture can prevent and reduce postural pain, ensure your workspace is set up as the diagram shows.
To learn more about neck pain, please contact Jack at Active Physio Health on ph. 4972 5155, or request an appointment today!
Got that new job you were looking for but the heavy lifting is taking its toll? Pain in the backside that you just can’t shift, even when you’ve gotten out the way of the kids and the boss? Lumbar disc irritations are the leading cause of lower back pain as well as referred pain to the buttock and thigh. Lumbar discs are irritated by positions of prolonged, repeated or loaded flexion. For example sitting, bending, lifting, this causes an inflammation in the disc which can often, when left, irritate a local nerve. Nerve irritation can lead to unusual and persistent pain or numbness into the buttock or leg. So that general back ache that you moan is old age, may be more than just the sum of your years. Get it looked at, get it sorted, one less pain in the ass to deal with.
Here are a couple of easy ways to prevent lower back pain:
- Knee rolls: lying on your back, relax your back muscles and let your knees roll out to one side then to the other. This helps loosen the joints of your lower back and stretch the muscles.
- Lumbar Roll: using a lumbar roll when driving or sitting at work helps maintain the natural curve of your back, reducing stress on your joints.
To learn more about lower back pain, please contact Jack at Active Physio Health on ph. 4972 5155, or request an appointment today!
Benefits of Running and Jogging
Jogging or running is a popular form of physical activity. About one in five Australians try running (or jogging) at some stage in their life. Running is an appealing exercise because it doesn’t cost a lot to take part and you can run at any time that suits you.
Health benefits of running and jogging…
Regular running or jogging offers many health benefits. Running can:
- help to build strong bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise
- strengthen muscles
- improve cardiovascular fitness
- burn plenty of kilojoules
- help maintain a healthy weight.
It’s no secret that many runners find themselves hampered by injury when training for races or just jogging to keep the pounds off. Understanding why injuries occur is a complex topic with many variables, but how can you expect to be able to identify the cause of an injury when we can’t recall the distance, hills ran, fatigue score for each run, weights in gym sessions, and most importantly how much rest we are getting during a block of training.
Fitness takes a long time to build, and the research shows 18 weeks of steady training helps us to stay injury free. By logging your jogging, your running history is revealed and you can see how quick (or slow!) progressions are made. You may be thinking “that seems like so much effort”, but download a good smartphone app and all the work can be done for you.
Through identification of the cause of injury, rehabilitation to better than your past best is much more realistic and achievable.
Start LOGGING YOUR JOGGING and give yourself the best chance of staying injury free!
Knee Pain Problem
Knee pain can be caused by a sudden injury, an overuse injury, or by an underlying condition, such as arthritis. Treatment will vary depending on the cause. Symptoms of knee injury can include pain, swelling, and stiffness.
I often hear this phrase when I am treating patients, and it’s one that particularly gets on my British nerves. Commonly a doctor or consultant has told them this, due to a problem with their knees. Often it is said after knee surgery, or scans have revealed cartilage damage or osteo arthritis (OA). Clearly there are certain situations where running could be detrimental, but I find this phrase is branded around way too often. As with any structure in the body, repetitive loading cause damage, and if not given enough recovery time, will eventually lead to failure. It would therefore seem logical that long term participation in running will be detrimental to the knees. However, studies have shown that this is not the case – if it was, wouldn’t all runners get OA?
Runners actually benefit from lower pain and disability levels when compared to sedentary controls, and elite runners have the lowest risk of knee disability of all athlete categories.
Not only this, running helps with psychological disorders such as stress and anxiety. There is a poor correlation between x-ray findings and joint pain, so just because a scan shows damage it doesn’t mean it is the end of the road. Consulting with a physiotherapist allows identification of obstacles and strategies to overcome them.
So let’s beat the stigma that running causes long term damage, and reap the rewards running has to offer.
Headache and Toothache Problem
Waking up with persistent headaches? Tooth and jaw pain you just can’t shift no matter how many sugary sacrifices you make? The Temporomandibular joint, otherwise known as your Jaw, can be the source of unremitting and frustrating pain. Dysfunctions of both the muscles of the jaw and the joint itself can cause radiating pain into your teeth as well as into your head, especially if your symptoms aren’t always related to eating. Some of the common causes for this are stress and grinding your teeth during sleep. Jaw and tooth pain is not something most people normally associate with physiotherapy, however we are here to help! If left untreated it can become more than just a sore tooth, seriously getting in the way of your gossip!
This is a map of pain patterns referring from your jaw and associated muscles.
Using your index and middle finger, apply circular massage pressure to the sides of your head. This helps release the temporalis muscle which will tighten when you suffer jaw pain.
To learn more about Jaw pain, please contact Jack at Active Physio Health on ph. 4972 5155, or schedule an appointment today!
Wrist or Hand Pain Explained
Hand pain can happen for many reasons, from accidents to conditions that are ongoing. It can often be treated so that your symptoms ease up.
Do you find your hand and wrist sore at the end of the working day? Strange sensations in your fingers, weakness or numbness? Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition that often affects manual workers and people with desk based occupations. It is caused by repetitive movements and positions that result in a tightening of a sheath across the palm side of your wrist. This compresses a nerve and can result in pain and numbness to the fingers as well gripping weakness in some cases. A period of physiotherapy will in most cases resolve the problem. However in the minority of cases surgical release may be required. Carpal Tunnel can become a long standing a debilitating condition if left untreated. Get it fixed, get it sorted!
Some easy tips to help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Typing is a key risk factor for the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Have a look at these illustrations and the importance of hand position and prevent carpal tunnel from affecting you.
To learn more about Wrist pain, please contact Jack at Active Physio Health on ph. 4972 5155, or request and appointment.
The Blame Lies At Your Feet
Running long distances, but your joints are giving out before your lungs? Pounding the pavement but being hindered by pain in your hips, knees or ankles? The biomechanics of your feet may be to blame. The position of your foot as you stand, walk and run is integral to the function and health of the joints in your lower limb and lower back. Abnormalities in your foot position when running for example, can cause excessive loading of the inside of your knees and outside of your hips. This may lead to the development of a variety of injuries. You could fix the injury, but if you didn’t address the source of the problem; your feet, give it a few months and expect feelings of déjà vu. At Active Physio Health we use specialised Gaitscan software to highlight abnormalities in your feet, and use this information to make custom orthotics to correct these issues.
Things to think about to see if your feet are potentially to blame for your pain.
Pronation, were your foot rolls inwards, is the most common abnormality. Do any of these 5 signs of pronation sound familiar?
Shoes: have you tried completing your training in a different pair of shoes?
To learn more about the Gaitscan and Biomechanics, please contact Jack at Active Physio Health on ph. 4972 5155, or request and appointment.