Heat helps to relieve PAINFUL STIFF joints.
It acts to:
1. Improve circulation
2. Relax muscles
3. Reduce pain
The simplest and easiest method is to use a hot water bottle.
Wrap it in a towel
Place it on affected area
Wrap a towel/scarf round to hold bottle in place
You should feel comfortable warmth
Leave it on for 15 minutes, repeat as often as you need.
Hotter is NOT better - be careful of burns. Do NOT lie on heat.
DO NOT USE HEAT IF:
You have poor circulation
You have reduced feeling in that area
Your joint is inflamed, e.g. hot, swollen, and tender - heat will make it WORSE.
How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
Kinesiology Taping Reduces Swelling and Bruising
Kinesiology tape helps you to reduce swelling and bruising by lifting the skin away from the swollen tissue below. Essentially the elasticized properties of kinesio tape create a sub-dermal vacuum that assists your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to work more efficiently.
You can partially replicate this holding your skin and lightly pulling together your fingers. The result will be an "orange-peel" appearance, loose skin and lots of remove below your skin for the swelling drainage to occur.
Now isn't that clever!
HOW TO SIT AT A COMPUTER?
Sitting at a computer for long periods of time can take a toll on your body. By not sitting with the correct posture, it is easy to end up with back pain, neck pain, knee pains, and a tingling of the hands and fingers. Here are some tips on maintaining good ergonomics and staying comfortable at your desk during the day.
Sit up tall.
Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. Adjust the seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to or slightly lower than, your hips. Make sure that your upper and lower back is supported. If necessary, use inflatable cushions or small pillows. Adjust the armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed.
2- Sit close to your keyboard.
Position it so that it is directly in front of your body. Make sure that the keys are centered with your body.
3-Adjust the keyboard height.
Make sure your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position, and your wrists and hands are straight.
4- Adjust the tilt of your keyboard based on your sitting position.
Use the keyboard tray mechanism, or keyboard feet, to adjust the tilt.
5- Use wrist rests.
They will help maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces.
6- Position your monitor properly.
Adjust the monitor and any source or reference documents so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position.
7- Take small breaks during your workday to release some of that muscle tension.
Take short 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes. After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for at least 5-10 minutes.
Ice can be useful for relieving inflammation when joints are hot, swollen and painful.
Ice acts to:
Reduces circulation when bleeding occurring at a joint following injury.
Crushed ice in a damp towel
A bag of frozen peas
Frozen gel pack in its sleeve
The ice/cool pack should be applied for 15 minutes ONLY.
You may repeat this once every hour if necessary.
Ice may be uncomfortable initially but your body will adapt to it after 5 minutes. After applying ice it is normal for your skin to go a pink or red colour due to the increase in circulation.
Please note: ICE CAN BURN - check the skin under the ice for intense redness and/or pain. Rest after ice application as soft tissue flexibility and skin sensation can be reduced.
DO NOT USE IF:
You have sickle cell anaemia
Manual and Manipulative Therapy
Orthopedic manual therapy, which includes mobilization, can be defined as a systematic method of evaluating and treating dysfunctions of the neuromusculoskeletal system in order to relieve pain, increase or decrease mobility, and in general normalize function. Mobilization and manipulation is one of the oldest forms of physical therapy mentioned in ancient medical records.
Cyriax, a British orthopedist, believes that almost all spinal pain arises from a disruption of discs, which can be reduced by manipulation and traction. He is an enthusiastic proponent of the use of manipulation by physical therapists because of their training and expertise in understanding the musculoskeletal system.
Maitland, a physical therapist from Australia has developed a system of dealing with a client's signs and symptoms through treatment with graded oscillations, and Kaltenborn, a Norwegian physical therapist, has developed a system of mobilization utilizing arthrokinematic principles to treat musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Kaltenborn and other members of a Scandinavian group of physical therapists categorize spinal dysfunctions into two main disorders: disc degeneration and facet dysfunction. Treatment is determined by loss of mobility and the presence of pain. Mobilizations are used with minimum force in the direction of the limitation in order to normalize the movement of the joint.
What is Nerve Pain?
Nerve pain is pain that is caused by damage or disease that affects the nervous system of the body. It is also known as neuropathic pain or neuralgia. Nerve pain is a pain that comes from problems with signals from the nerves. It is different to the common type of pain that is due to an injury. This is known as nociceptive pain.
What Causes Nerve Pain?
Neuropathic pain is caused by a problem with your nerves themselves, which sends pain messages to the brain.
What are Nerve Pain Symptoms?
Nerve pain is often described as burning, stabbing, shooting, aching, or like an electric shock.
What Causes Nerve Pain?
Various conditions can affect your nerves and cause nerve pain. Common sources of nerve pain include:
Shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia). Trigeminal neuralgia.
Phantom limb pain following an amputation.
Other nerve disorders.
Nerve Pain & Nociceptive Pain
You can suffer both nerve pain and nociceptive pain simultaneously. Both pain types can be caused by the same condition.
Nerve Pain Treatment
Nerve pain is less likely than nociceptive pain to be helped by traditional painkillers such as paracetamol, anti-inflammatories and codeine.
However, other types of medicines often work well to ease the pain. Nerve pain is often eased by anti-depressant or anti-epileptic medicines. Please ask your doctor for more advice.
Use only as directed. A TENS machine and EMS machine are electronic medical devices. Always read the label and instruction manual. A TENS machine may assist you in modest short-term pain relief. Consult your doctor/healthcare professional prior to use and if symptoms persist.
What is Pain?
Put simply, pain is your built in alarm that informs you something is wrong!
Pain is your body's way of sending a warning to your brain. Your spinal cord and nerves provide the pathway for messages to travel to and from your brain and the other parts of your body. Pain travels along these nerve pathways as electrical signals to your brain for interpretation.
Receptor nerve cells in and beneath your skin sense heat, cold, light, touch, pressure, and pain. You have thousands of these receptor cells. Most sense pain. When there is an injury to your body, these tiny cells send messages along nerves into your spinal cord and then up to your brain.
In general, pain receptors are classified according to their location.
Receptors that respond to injury or noxious stimuli are termed nociceptors and are sensitive to thermal (heat), electrical, mechanical, chemical and painful stimuli. Each nociceptor is connected to a nerve that transmits an electrical impulse along its length towards the spinal cord and then, ultimately your brain.
It is your brain that informs you whether or not you are experiencing pain. Plus, your pain can plays tricks - especially when you suffer chronic pain.
Pain messages travel slower than other nerve stimulation
Nerves can also be categorized according to their diameter (width) and whether or not a myelin sheath is present.
Three types of nerves are concerned with the transmission of pain:
A beta fibers, which have a large diameter and are myelinated
A delta fibers, which have a small diameter and also have myelinated sheaths.
C fibers, which have small diameters and are non-myelinated (slowing their conduction rate) and are generally involved with the transmission of dull, aching sensations.
Nerves with a large diameter conduct impulses faster than those with a small diameter. The presence of a myelin sheath also speeds up the nerve conduction rate.
One method of easing your pain is to provide your nervous system with high speed "good feelings" such as rubbing your injured area. This is the same principle that a tens machine (pain relieving machines) utilizes to provide pain relief.
Physiotherapy & Exercise
We all know that your physiotherapist is an expert in the prescription of exercise appropriate to you and your injury or fitness level.
As a part of their physiotherapy training, your physiotherapist not only is educated in injury diagnosis but also in exercise physiology or the science of exercise. This enables your physiotherapist to not only assess and diagnose your injury but also to prescribe injury, fitness or age-appropriate exercises targeted to you at that point in time.
What Exercises Should You Do?
It is important that your exercises should not be painful. While some personal trainers believe that the more painful the better, this is not the best for your body or injury.
In fact, research does inform us that pain inhibits muscles from performing to their optimum. This argues the case that painful exercise is actually counter-productive.
You'll find that your physiotherapist will thoroughly examine you and prescribe a series of exercises suitable for you in quantities that will not injure you further. Please seek an exercise expert, such as your physiotherapist, when you are planning your rehabilitation.
What Happens When You Stop Exercises?
Without some simple exercises, we know that certain muscles can become weak. When these supporting muscles are weak, your injured structures are inadequately supported and predispose you to lingering symptoms or further injury. You can also over-activate adjacent muscles that may lead to further injury.
It is also important to understand that even if you are "in good shape," you may have important but weak localized or stability muscles. When you have an injury, you should perform specific exercises that specifically strengthen the muscles around your injury and the adjacent joints. Your physiotherapist will assess your muscle function and prescribe the right exercises specific for your needs.
Would You Stop Your Daily Prescription Drugs?
When your physiotherapist prescribes your individualized dose or exercises, they are using their professional expertise to optimize your exercise dose.
Would you just stop taking your regular blood pressure medication because you were too busy or didn't think it was working? I would hope not!
Exercise when prescribed by an expert such as your physiotherapist should be treated as your mandatory dose as prescribed by your physiotherapist. Just like when you don’t take your blood pressure medication, you can't expect the drugs to work of you don't take it as prescribed by your health professional!
So, next time you skip your "exercise dose" just remember that you are not putting your health first.
Proprioception & Balance Exercises
What is Proprioception?
Proprioception is the sense of knowing where your body part is in space.
This can be a difficult concept to grasp until you lose it, because so much proprioception occurs subconsciously.
Your proprioception capabilities can be impaired when joints are injured, such as with ligament sprains. When you lose proprioception of your joint after a sprain, you may experience an unstable sensation of the joint. Your joint may even give-out.
The most common symptom of reduced proprioception is poor balance. In this respect, most people can understand the concept that poor balance can be a result of poor proprioception. However, even your spinal posture has a proprioception component telling you whether or not you are sitting or standing upright. Good posture, for example, could be thought of as perfect spinal balance!
Every injury has the potential to decrease your proprioception and subsequently your balance. However, you can quickly improve both your proprioception and balance with proprioception and balance exercises. That's where your physiotherapist is an expert and can help you.
What are Proprioception / Balance Exercises?
Proprioceptive and balance exercises teach your body to control the position of a deficient or an injured joint. An common example of a proprioceptive or balance exercise is the use of a balance or wobble board after an ankle sprain>
The unpredictable movements of the balance board re-educates your body to quickly react to the wobbly movements without having to think about these movements.
That is, your natural balance and proprioceptive reactions that we are attempting to retrain make the transition from a conscious to a subconscious state. A quality subconscious proprioception and balance system is important in everyday life and particularly in sport.
Elite athletes are not thinking about how to stay balanced as they pass or kick a ball. That all happens automatically behind the scenes. The best athletes can then elevate their performance by focusing on what they plan to do with the ball and performing that match winning skill rather than wasting their mental power on just staying upright.
How Does Your Proprioception or Balance Improve?
Proprioception exercises are designed to improve your proprioception feedback circle. Image In simple terms, your brain sends electrical contract or relax messages to your muscles. Your joint movement response is detected by your sensory nervous system and reported back to your brain for fine tuning and improvement with repetition of the process.
The Shoulder is a common source of pain and in our bodies. Problems can result from repetitive tasks, poor postures, sporting injuries and degeneration in the joint. There are a number of
structures in the shoulder which may be the cause of pain; however the source of pain is sometimes referred from other regions, especially the neck. Physiotherapy can be extremely beneficial in
diagnosing and treating shoulder pain.
Common causes of shoulder pain:
The tendons of the rotator cuff muscles form a strong supportive structure around the shoulder joint. These tendons can become damaged with repetitive tasks, playing sport and doing heavy
lifting, among other things. When the tendons are damaged it is termed tendinosis.
Pain from this condition is often felt when performing specific movements, such as reaching up high, putting a jacket or belt on or performing DIY. If the damaged tendons are inflamed, they may
compress on the bone at the top of the shoulder joint on certain movements; this is called impingement.
Bursae are found all over the body. They are fluid filled sacks that protect structures from rubbing against the bone. The bursae in the shoulder can be irritated with repetitive actions. This can lead to
impingement. You may experience problems with lying on the affected side at night, reaching the arm in certain directions, and in severe cases it may even cause pain when the arm is resting by your side.
The capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint is made up of strong fibrous tissue. For no apparent reason it can contract and thicken.
There are 3 main stages to frozen shoulder:
1. Painful stage- gradually increasing pain
2. Frozen stage- increasing stiffness, with the pain gradually lessening
3. Thawing stage- the stiffness gradually eases
These phases can last between 18-24 months. Most people make a full recovery.
Self help options
Pain relief- They can help ease the pain, and allow your muscles to relax.
Movement- try to keep the arm moving within your tolerance of pain. Gentle movement is important, but do not overstretch. See our Exercises for Shoulder pain sheet for more information
Heat or cold- These can help with pain relief and relaxing muscle tension. Speak to your physiotherapist about what is the best option for you
Posture- Look after you posture; try not to slouch when sitting and try to relax
Irritating movements- Try to avoid activities, movements and positions that may be irritating your symptoms
Contact your physiotherapist for advice and treatment
How physiotherapy can help
After an initial consultation your physiotherapist will be able to identify the source of your shoulder pain, and explain the reasons behind why the symptoms have developed. They will help with the
rehabilitation of your problem by applying a variety of treatment techniques, giving advice on how you use your shoulder and prescribing exercises to help with the recovery.
Treatment may include:
Exercises to get your arm moving more efficiently
Manual therapy techniques such as massage and gentle manipulation to release the joint and surrounding tissues
Ultrasound & Acupuncture
Advice on activity and sport
Postural advice at home and at work
Relaxation techniques to help reduce muscle tension
What is Good Posture ؟
What is Posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or laying down. Good posture involves training the body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.
Good Posture makes you look great, feel more energetic and project confidence. It also helps prevent injury and reduce pain.
We all want good posture... but it can be so hard to achieve if you have poor posture. That's because acquiring good posture involves not only learning new movements and positions, but changing life-long habits as well.
How to Correct Your Posture
Just knowing how to correct your posture is not enough to achieve a change in your actual habit. Our body uses learnt motor patterns to perform everyday activities. When we sit, stand, walk or move - our body follows previously learnt motor patterns. If your body has learned to slouch - that's what it will do.
The first step to discovering how to correct your posture is to have your posture type assessed. Your physiotherapist is an expert at posture assessment.
To achieve good posture you need to have:
Normal Joint Range of Motion. If you have stiff spinal joints they will need to be loosened to allow you achieve good posture alignment.
Normal Muscle Length. If your muscles are too tight you won't be able to attain a normal posture. Your muscles will need to be stretched and relaxed.
Good Muscle Strength. Your muscle needs to be able to pull you into the correct posture.
Excellent Muscle Endurance. Your muscles need to able to work for hours on end. Poor endurance is a major factor in habitual poor posture.
Normal Nerve Extensibilty. Yes. Your neural tissue needs enough length to allow for normal posture.
Good Spatial Awareness. You need to know where you are in space. If you are not sure "how you should feel" with good posture, what hope have you got for achieving it? This is where your physiotherapist can provide you with verbal and visual feedback. Plus they can asset you at home with postural taping or a postural brace.
Perfect Posture Habits. The hardest part is the initial change. After that, you are merely reinforcing the correct habit which will become your normal perfect posture.
Who Can Help You Achieve Good Posture?
Your physiotherapist is the ideal health professional to identify your posture style and provide you with hands-on treatment, posture correction exercises and helpful home products for you to achieve great posture again! And… you're never too old to start. It just gets harder to change your old ways.
If you need posture correction advice, please contact your physiotherapist.
What is the Correct Posture Standing?
Standing with the correct posture not only looks and feels better but it's healthy for your muscles, joints, circulation and self-esteem.
What is Good Posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body. The most common postures described relate to holding your spine upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. You could also refer to this as your spinal posture, back or neck posture.
However, good posture can actually relate to any body part and how you hold it in space.
Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.
Benefits of Good Posture
Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
Keeps your bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used efficiently and properly.
Helps minimalise joint stress.
Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
Prevents strain or overuse problems.
Prevents backache and muscular pain.
Contributes to enhanced confidence and a good appearance!
Standing comfortably with good posture should feel natural and energy efficient. However, we are all creatures of habit and a change of posture may initially feel uncomfortable or tiresome as your joints realign, ligaments stretch and postural muscles start working. The good news is that if you keep at maintaining a good posture your body will quickly adapt and you'll feel more comfortable and strong in your new normal posture.
Plus... the up side is that not only will you be less likely to suffer pain, you'll look confident andfeel fantastic too!
How to Improve Your Standing Posture:
If we had to give you one tip about great standing posture it would be to "stand tall"! All the muscles that you need to push you taller are the same ones that improve your posture.
Hold your head up straight with your chin in. Do not tilt your head forward, backward or sideways.
Keep your earlobes in line with the middle of your shoulders.
Keep your shoulders back, your knees straight and your back straight.
Let arms hang naturally down the sides of the body
Lightly draw in your core stomach muscles. Do not tilt your pelvis forward.
Avoid locking the knees
Ensure your feet arches are in a neutral (not flat) position.
Stand with weight mostly on the balls of the feet, not with weight on the heels.
Keep feet slightly apart, about shoulder-width
If standing for a long period of time, shift weight from one foot to the other, or rock from heels to toes.
How to Quickly Check Your Standing Posture
Stand against a wall with shoulders and bottom touching wall. In this position, the back of the head should also touch the wall - if it does not, the head is carried to far forward (anterior head carriage).
Do You Need Help to Correct Your Posture?
If can't comfortably correct your posture, you may have some restriction of joint, ligament or muscular movement. All of these problems can be quickly assessed and quickly improved by your physiotherapist.
If you are having difficulty maintaining a normal upright posture your are likely to have muscle endurance or strength deficits. Your physiotherapist is an expert in prescribing the right exercises for you in a stage-appropriate manner to help your improve your posture without causing unnecessary pain or injury.
Contact your physiotherapist for posture advice specific to you and your needs.
What to do when you suffer back pain?
You probably already know that back pain has a nasty habit of returning within a few months of the initial injury. Research has shown that you have an 80% chance of recurring back pain within 12 months of the first episode. The good news is that you can reduce your chances significantly if you do the right thing early.
What Should You Do When You Suffer Back Pain?
The latest research recommends that you only spend a day or two resting in bed. Longer periods cause muscle weakness which ultimately makes repeat back pain more likely.
Ice or Heat?
We recommend ice treatment for 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours for the first 48 hours. The ice should help reduce your pain, swelling and back spasms. After a few days, you are safe to use heat packs. We normally recommend avoiding heat (and heat rubs) in the first 48 hours. The heat encourages bleeding, which could be detrimental if used too early.
Should You Use a Back Brace?
A back brace can help you to get back on your feet or allow you to return to work sooner. We don't encourage long-term use because research has shown that your stomach and back muscles will weaken as you become reliant on the brace.
What Medication Should You Use?
Your Doctor or Pharmacist may recommend pain relief in the form of paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory. You are best seeking their advice as certain drugs can interfere with other health conditions.
When Should You Commence Physiotherapy?
In severe cases, when the slightest movement causes unbelievable pain or spasm, it is best to wait a day or two to start treatment. This will allow the majority of swelling to settle. Slight niggles or "my back feels out" sufferers can usually commence treatment (and may be fixed) on the day of injury. If you are not sure what to do, please call us for advice. We'll happily guide you in your time of need.
What about Core Stability Training?
The current vogue in physiotherapy and fitness training is 'core stability training' (back and abdominal muscle control).
What if You Do Nothing?
Research tells us that symptoms lasting longer than three months become habitual and are much harder to solve. The sooner you get on top of your symptoms the better your outcome and the quicker you'll get back to living your life."Back pain is something you could be suffering needlessly".
What Results Should You Expect from Physiotherapy?
Not only will your physio diagnose the cause of your pain and give you the "peace of mind" associated, they'll also help you to:
* relieve your pain quicker
* cope better with your pain using proven strategies and tips
* get you back to work and play quicker through faster healing rates
* loosen and strengthen your back with individually prescribed exercises
* prevent future bouts of back pain via our holistic back pain management approach
Think about it... Back Pain is Something You Could be Suffering Needlessly.
Please use our expert advice to guide you out of pain quicker and for a lot longer.
If you have any questions regarding your back pain (or any other condition), please call us now to discuss your condition. You'll find our friendly staff happy to point you in the right direction.
Why do your Joints Click?
Are You Tired of Your Joints Clicking?
We Can Help You Be Click Free...
Would you love your joints not to crack? Have you ever wondered what really makes your bones moan and groan in the first place? Despite many myths, here are three real and different reasons as to why your joints persist to click...
Your tendons may be simply slipping over some bumps on your bones so that when the tendon slips over the bump it clicks. But don't worry this isn't usually a problem. Occasionally it is due to poor joint positioning or ligament damage. Easy remedies include simple alignment or stabilisation exercises. Ask your helpful physio if you have any doubts.
When joints click this could indicate arthritic problems. Joints are held under tight compression that results in the two bone surfaces grating back and forth, over the top of each other. Sounds as unpleasant as running your fingernails down a blackboard doesn't it? However this can usually be easily fixed through some simple physiotherapy treatment and sticking to an exercise program that improves your joint alignment, muscle strength and flexibility. But don't procrastinate ... the problem can rapidly deteriorate if left unattended.
The third main reason is gas, that normally builds up within a joint, suddenly popping out of the joint, when the joint is forcibly stretched or compressed. It's just like bursting a balloon, but much quieter. You'll know the guilty people. Those who regularly crack their knuckles, neck, back or toes. You can achieve the same result with less long-term harm by gentle joint stretching and mobility techniques to gradually loosen stiff joints. You'll probably also require some simple strength exercises to control the newly gained movement. Ultimately, these conservative methods are preferable in the long term, as repeat manipulation or cracking destroys the supportive ligaments and eventually the joints fall out of position much easier! And the looser your joints the quicker they develop degenerative arthritis and subsequent pain. Grandma was right - excessive knuckle cracking can cause arthritis.
By performing specific exercises and stretches and following the advice of your physio you can wake up, stand or sit up - click free!