Hartphysio News

How to prevent back pain

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Back pain is a common complaint and a condition that can be debilitating, but given our lifestyles, we almost expect to feel some aches and pains the older we get. And that’s for a reason, the more we sit at desks and the less active we are, the higher our chances of experiencing the inconvenience and pain that comes with a sore back.
And while it seems like back pain is on the rise, especially as we age, one need not surrender to a life aches and pains. There are plenty of things you can do to stay ahead of the hurt.  So how do you keep yourself from having a sore back? For one, keep it strong. Exercising your lower, mid and upper back muscles with targeted movements will help reduce the frequency of pain if you’re already experiencing it, and will help prevent it in the future. Try getting on all fours and extending the opposite leg and arm, balancing on the other hand and knee, and holding the position for a count of five. Or try lying on your stomach and, using your back muscles to help, lifting your upper back and legs off the ground with your arms stretched out in front or held together behind your head. Again hold for a count of five. The more strength you build, the easier it will be for your back to stay pain free.
When it comes to strengthening for a healthy back, working your core is just as important as working your back muscles. Having a strong core allows you to sit up straight and to carry your weight in good alignment so that your spine stays straight and strong. To strengthen your core, consider getting into the habit of  completing a certain number of bridges each day, doing some in the morning and some before you go to bed.

A useful resource for our runners

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Session 19 – Managing Runners with Matt Phillips and Tom Goom

Don’t miss out on this inspiring podcast by two top class Running Physiotherapists. Really worth a listen if you are a keen runner.

Stages of inflammation

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The Three Stages of Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. Injury to soft tissues can arise from a number of sources. Physical traumas such as a strain, sprain or contusion are most common, whereas injuries can also occur from bacterial or viral infections, heat, or chemical injury. Trauma causes direct damage to cells in the immediate area of injury, causing bleeding. The bleeding initiates a cascade of events in the inflammatory process that promote healing of the injured tissue. Progression from acute to chronic inflammation can result from persistent injury or individual factors (eg. diabetes, corticosteroid use, blood disorders). How a soft tissue injury is managed is often responsible for the outcome of the injury.

Phase 1: Inflammatory Response
Healing of acute injuries begins with the acute vascular inflammatory response. The purpose of vascular changes is to increase blood flow to the local area, mobilize and transport cells to the area to initiate healing. The damaged cells are removed and the body begins to put new collagen in the area of injury. This phase is initiated immediately after injury and lasts 3-5 days.

Signs and Symptoms:
Pain, warmth, swelling, palpable tenderness, limitation in joint or muscle range of motion

Treatment focus:
Decrease pain and swelling, prevent chronic inflammation, maintain mobility and strength in adjacent areas while injured areas are rested

Phase 2: Repair and Regeneration
The second phase is characterized by new collagen formation. New collagen fibers are laid down in a disorganized manner in the form of a scar and there are weak links between each fiber. Thus, the new tissue is weak and susceptible to disruption by overly aggressive activity. This phase lasts from 2 days to 8 weeks.

Signs and Symptoms:
Less warmth and swelling, palpable tenderness decreases, pain felt with tissue resistance or stretch of the tissue

Treatment focus:
Range of motion exercises, joint mobilization, scar mobilization to produce a mobile scar, light loads to promote tissue remodel

Phase 3: Remodelling and Maturation
As healing progresses, the tissue continues to remodel, strengthen and improve its cellular organization. There is less new collagen formation, but increased organization of the collagen fibers, and stronger bonds between them. Tension becomes important because new collagen must orient along the lines of stress to best accommodate the loads required for function. The end of tissue remodelling is unknown and may take months to years for completion.

Office Work and Bad Posture

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Office Work and Bad Posture
Musculoskeletal conditions are the most common kind of work related health problem, having an effect on about 1.5 billion people yearly.

Office workers are just as likely to experience these health conditions as manual workers, despite the latter usually having even more physically demanding job. Rises in technology in recent times have seen an improving demand on workplace workers. Remaining healthy at the office is dependent upon the equilibrium between the demands of the job tasks and a persons specific capabilities. If the needs of the job (either bodily or mental) are greater than a persons capacities, stress of either a bodily or emotional nature can result. This can add to ill health.

The primary step in staying clear of discomfort and injury at the office is to embrace a great posture. Excellent posture is when the physical body is aligned with very little muscle initiative and the very least stress on joints and ligaments. (DSE customers or folks which use a computer system at the workplace, must describe the DSE tips on the HSE site to guarantee that they are resting properly whilst connecting with their devices. Normal danger analyses need to be done to make sure that workstations comply to the rules and risks to wellness are reduced).

To summarise, good working health can be kept by adopting good working poses, moving frequently and exercising. It is very important to find aid at the earliest opportunity if any kind of signs such as pains, discomforts, tingling, feeling numb establish. Early intervention has actually been shown to be a lot more effective in helping to solve signs.

Avoiding Plantar Fasciitis

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Research has shown tight calf muscles and a tight plantar fascia may be responsible in whole or in part for plantar fasciitis. As part of a comprehensive treatment program, stretching exercises are essential for relieving arch and heel pain in both the athletic and general populations. Follow these instructions to help relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

1. No barefoot walking—Not one step!
2. Wear a supportive shoe with a 2.5cm (1-in.) heel height to relax the calf muscles.
3. Wear an orthotic insole in your shoe all day.
4. To reduce the severe morning pain, step straight out of bed into a heeled house shoe or slipper, or a running shoe with your insoles inside—Do not walk to the bathroom barefoot!
5. Avoid activities you know worsen the pain—stair climbing: take the elevator for now. Avoid standing on tiptoes: use a footstool instead. You may need to change your exercise program to allow the pain to settle.
6. Complete the following stretching exercise program every day until the pain subsides
7. If the pain persists book a Physiotherapy appointment so your specific biomechanics can be addressed.