5 Steps to reduce your headaches

Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates neck treatment by Allyson FlanaganIf you suffer from headaches or migraines, you’re certainly not alone. It is estimated that 1 in 20 people do! In many cases, the pain in the head actually stems from issues with the upper spine and neck. This is why around 80% of people are able to get headache relief through physiotherapy treatment.

We’ve chosen to train in the Watson Headache® Approach, allowing us to assess the joints of the neck and their potential involvement in head pain. Here are 5 tips from Allyson, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor, on how to reduce your headaches. You can also download this handy cheatsheet to refer to later.

1. SEE YOUR PHYSIOTHERAPIST

You might wonder why your physiotherapist is treating your neck for headaches. Research at the Watson Headache Institute has found that issues with the top 3 neck joints and very first cervical disc can impact the brainstem, leading to pain in the head. With specific assessment and treatment of these 3 joints and muscles we can desensitise the brainstem therefore reducing and even resolving many headaches.

Combined with some simple home exercises, good posture, heat or ice, dry needling or segmental needling your Physiotherapist is well equipped to help headaches and migraines.

2. CORRECT YOUR POSTURE

Sustained forward head positions or ‘poked chin’ positions commonly aggravate headaches. Have a think about the ergonomics of your workspace and how you sit throughout the day and talk to your physio if you need guidance.

3. SELF MOBILISATIONS OR PRESSURES ON THE UPPER NECK JOINTS

Sustained pressure on certain joints of the upper neck can stop a headache in its tracks. Your physio can teach you these!

4. HOME EXERCISES

We can help prescribe some appropriate at-home exercises to help. This simple exercise that can help relieve a headache.

Stand with your back against a wall, with a pillow behind your upper back.

Gently retract your chin keeping your head level. Then use the space between your thumb and index finger to apply pressure to your chin. Hold for up to 20seconds or until the headache subsides. Repeat up to 5 times in a row.

5. SEE YOUR GP FOR MEDICATION

If your headaches or migraines have been around for 3 months or more, it may be worth talking to your doctor about migraine preventative medication. These medications, if taken at the very first signs of your migraine, can stop the full attack.

DID YOU KNOW

A forward head position can increase the stress on the upper neck joints, as it increases the perceived load of the head from 5.4kg to 27.2kg! You can reduce this by:

  • Sitting with your head centred on your shoulders
  • Using a pillow under books, tablets and iPhones so you don’t have to look down
  • Correcting your workstation set up

Everything you need to know about deep vein thrombosis

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the vein, most commonly occurring in the veins in the calf. Many people will be familiar with this term in relation to long-haul flights, but there are a number of other risk factors including:

  • inactivity from injury or occupation
  • pregnancy
  • smoking
  • heart disease
  • oral contraceptive pills
  • a family history of DVTs

One key concern with a DVT is that it can result in pulmonary embolism. This is when the blood clot breaks off from the leg vein and travels up to the pulmonary artery which can cause blockage affecting the lungs.

Symptoms that you have a DVT may include:
  • pain and tenderness in the lower leg
  • pain when flexing your ankle
  • swelling in the lower leg, ankle and foot
  • red and warm skin on your leg
What should you do if you think you have a DVT?
  • A DVT is diagnosed using Doppler ultrasound
  • It is best to see you GP as soon as possible to organise this scan
  • Your physiotherapist can refer you to your GP if needed
How to minimise your risk of DVT
  • Avoid smoking
  • Minimise alcohol consumption especially when travelling
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Move about whenever possible before, during and after travelling
  • Don’t sit with your legs crossed
  • Perform leg and foot exercises while seated to encourage circulation
  • Wear compression socks when travelling or if inactive for long periods
  • See your doctor before travelling if you are worried
Circulation Exercises

Lucy has prepared this handy sheet of exercises that you can use to help prevent DVT, particularly when travelling long distances. Try to perform 10 reps of each of these exercises every hour during your trip.

Our favourite dietitian-approved recipes

An essential part of a healthy diet is enjoying a wide variety of fresh, flavoursome foods to keep our taste buds happy, help us stay on track and most importantly, provide our body with an array of important nutrients. For a sustainable approach to a healthy diet, focus on enjoying more of the right foods, rather than trying to limit the “wrong” foods. To provide some recipe inspiration and help us appreciate the nutritional value of tasty home cooking, we asked our physiotherapists here at Stafford Physio and Pilates to provide us with their recipe go-tos. Our consulting dietitian, Regina, has provided some commentary as to why the meal is a good choice.

Allyson: Salmon Soba with Ginger and Citrus Dressing

Click here for the recipe by Jamie Oliver from Jamie Magazine

Regina says: Salmon, soba and citrus: a nutritious and flavoursome combination to add excitement to any weeknight dinner. Oily fish such as salmon are not only tasty and refreshing, but a powerhouse of important nutrients. Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3, which is an essential fatty acid that the body can’t produce on its own. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and protect against heart disease. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein, making this dish a great post-workout choice – especially when paired with soba noodles. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which is a high quality protein based on amino acid composition and digestibility. Soba noodles are also packed with fibre to keep our digestive system healthy. Lastly, the addition of citrus fruit provides us with antioxidants for reducing cell damage, including the powerful antioxidant vitamin C that assists with the synthesis of collagen, connective tissues, bones and teeth. Overall, this nourishing combination provides one serve each of wholegrains and lean meat. To boost the vegetable content to two serves, dish up each portion with a side of 100g steamed green and/or orange vegetables per portion (fresh or frozen).

 

Lucy: Sticky Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Rice Noodles and Pickled Veg

Click here for the recipe from Delicious Magazine

Regina says: When it comes to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, it’s crucial to find ways to truly enjoy the foods we’re putting on our plate. This recipe is a taste explosion providing a great example of how we can combine fresh, whole foods to maximise flavour. Chilli, lemongrass and herbs are an excellent way to flavour food without contributing additional kilojoules or sodium. However, this recipe does contain a high amount of salt and high sodium sauces, making it an occasional treat to enjoy. But for those looking to reduce their sodium intake or those with high blood pressure, there’s a few easy replacements that can be made to enjoy similar Asian recipes. Try using salt reduced soy sauce, and diluting high sodium sauces with lime juice, pineapple juice or even water. Peanut oil, chilli oil and sesame oil are also delicious, low-salt alternatives that don’t sacrifice the desired taste. Once again, this recipe is protein packed due to the contribution of pork. Red meat is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that help us build muscle amongst other functions. Red meat is also a fantastic contributor of many important nutrients including iron for carrying oxygen and making red blood cells, zinc for wound healing and cell growth, and B12 for DNA synthesis and energy production. Lastly, this recipe highlights a recent health trend of “pickled”veg. However, it’s important to keep in mind that pickling foods with vinegar such as this recipe does not have the same fermentation effects of pickling food in brine. Again, these pickled veg are a high sodium choice making this recipe a tasty treat to be enjoyed on occasion. For a low salt alternative, simply julienne or grate some fresh veg such as carrot, zucchini and cabbage. Follow these steps for this tasty, Vietnamese favourite:

 

Fun fact: Ever wondered why our population is split into those who love coriander vs. those who can’t stand it? Based on genetics, some people have highly sensitive smell receptors resulting in the perception of coriander as a soap-like taste!

 

Sandra: Baked Salmon Fishcakes

See recipe below, this one is a family favourite from Sandra’s Mum!

Regina says: Passed down from Sandra’s mum, this seafood favourite is without a doubt worth adding to your repertoire. We’ve spoken about the sensational nutritional value of salmon, which might be made more appealing to the kids and non-seafood lovers when packaged into a tasty fishcake. The Heart Foundation recommends that we consume fish or seafood 2-3 times per week for a heart-healthy diet. As an added bonus, tinned salmon is a cheaper and longer lasting alternative to salmon fillets, making this a perfect dish to whip up as a last minute dinner or to meal prep tomorrow’s lunch. Next up, we have the benefit of carbohydrates from the bread crumbs and potatoes. Despite receiving a lot of negative attention, carbohydrates are a vital part of a healthy diet to assist with chronic disease prevention, weight control, and general wellbeing. As the preferred fuel source for our brains and muscles, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of the total daily kilojoules we consume. Carbohydrates are not something to fear, containing the same amount of kilojoules per gram as protein. Carbohydrates not only provide us with energy, but assist with boosting exercise performance, maximizing post exercise recovery, and improving brain function, mood and concentration. Try swapping half of the white potato for sweet potato for the added benefit of vitamin A. Lastly, plating these fishcakes with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables will make a delicious light meal that boosts your daily vegetable servings. Try including vegetables of different colours, to incorporate a variety of different nutrients and antioxidants. Try a fresh salsa with diced tomatoes, cucumber, yellow capsicum, red onion, mint and pineapple. Did someone say delicious? This recipe definitely deserves a regular spot on your menu:

INGREDIENTS

4 brushed potatoes with skin

4 slices of whole grain bread

1 415g can of red salmon

1 free range egg, beaten

Natural yoghurt.

Coriander to garnish

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line an oven tray with baking paper.

Boil potatoes for 20 minutes until cooked. Drain and mash with skins on.

Put bread in food processor or grate it. Add to the potatoes with the salmon.

Add in the egg and mix well.

Form the mixture into little cakes.

Roll in natural yoghurt and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with coriander on top and with a green salad or steamed veges of your choice.

 

Megan: Jamie Oliver’s Veggie Enchiladas

Click here for the recipe by Jamie Oliver

Regina says: Carbohydrates, protein, fibre, plenty of nutrients from hidden veg, and a mouth watering taste combination = dietitian approved! This recipe is a perfect example of a balanced meal that provides plenty of nourishment at a low kilojoule cost. As we discussed, the carbohydrates provided by the wraps and blackbeans are the preferred fuel source for our brain and muscles, and will help us last through a busy week of work and training. Secondly, this meal is another high protein option given the protein content of beans. Although plant based proteins are not naturally complete on their own (meaning that they are lacking in one or more essential amino acids), the combination of legumes and grains in this recipe provides what’s called complimentary proteins. In short, pairing the black beans with a wholegrain wrap provides an adequate amount of each essential amino acid, resulting in a complete amino acid profile that is desirable to support health. Together, they pack a protein punch that is highly bioavailable, making them a great occasional alternative to lean meat to reduce our saturated fat intake. Beans are also high in fibre, which functions to keep our digestive system healthy and can help prevent diet-related chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Fibre has a low glycaemic index, meaning that it helps stabilise our blood sugar levels and keeps us fuller for longer to assist with weight control. Lastly, apart from providing us with melted, tasty goodness, reduced fat cheese is an important source of calcium. Calcium is important for the development and maintenance of bone, as well as proper cardiac and neuromuscular functioning. Adequate calcium and vitamin D paired with a pilates class involving weight bearing, resistance exercise is an excellent recipe for preventing osteoporosis and skeletal injury. If you’re interested in how this tasty Mexican favourite can be adapted into such a nourishing, healthy meal, here’s how you can give it a go (serves 4):

 

We hope this has given you some inspiration for some delicious new meals to introduce to your repertoire in 2019!

New Year, New You: Pilates + Dietitian Packages

Health, fitness and body shape are amongst the most common topics for new years resolutions. Most people have a goal to make positive change in one or more of these areas! This year, we’ve decided to put together some packages to help you do just that!

Our New Year, New You packages offer a strong foundation to kick off 2019 with a bang while learning sustainable exercise and diet habits with the help of our qualified team.

NEW PILATES PATIENTS PACKAGE

Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientThis package is designed for new Pilates patients. It doesn’t matter whether you have never done Pilates before, or if you’ve done loads of Pilates at other studios; we create an individualised program for you, incorporating an appropriate level of challenge and the best exercises to help you meet your goals. This package includes:

  • Initial private Pilates consultation + musculoskeletal assessment
  • Private Pilates follow up session
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 4 Pilates classes within a 4 week period (check our timetable here)

$450 (valued at $557)

Any existing physiotherapy patients will receive an additional 15% off

 

EXISTING PILATES PATIENTS PACKAGE

Clinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Sandra DayThis package is designed for patients who have done Pilates with us previously and would like to return. Perhaps you got busy, were on a budget or decided to try another type of exercise; there’s no judgement here and we’d love to see you back in the studio! This package includes:

  • Private Pilates reassessment
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 10 Pilates classes within a 12 week period (check our timetable here)

$500 (valued at $605)

 

DETAILS

Initial private Pilates consultation

In this one-on-one appointment we assess your body, including any existing or previous injuries. Before your next appointment we use this information to develop your personalised Pilates program, ensuring that it is safe and that it addresses your needs for maximum benefit.

Private Pilates follow up session / reassessment

In this one-on-one session you learn your tailored Pilates program and how to use the Pilates equipment included in your program.

Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian

Your one-on-one consultation with our consulting dietitian Regina Tilyard will involve:

  • Discussing your current dietary patterns, and other factors that relate to nutrition and health (e.g. other health conditions or health goals, budget, work, lifestyle factors, stressors or barriers).
  • Setting realistic nutrition goals related to what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. These can be focused on the scales, or may simply involve feeling healthier and less lethargic, increased confidence, or incorporating new foods/recipes for yourself and your family.

You’ll go home with:

  • Specific dietary strategies, such as introducing new foods or recipes, swapping foods or finding alternatives, and/or developing techniques to address any emotional eating or food cravings.
  • Tailored and personal dietary education to increase your knowledge of food and nutrition, including written resources and tools.
Pilates classes

After learning your customised Pilates program in your private Pilates session, you’re ready to join our small group Pilates classes. Our classes are fully-supervised by a Pilates-trained physiotherapist, with a maximum of three other people who are all doing their own Pilates program.

 

If you’re ready to book, or have any questions, please call us on 3857 5815.

 

Terms and Conditions

Full payment is required at the time of your first appointment, which must be before 28 February 2019. Pilates classes must be completed within 4 weeks (New Patients Package) or 10 weeks (Existing Pilates Patients Package). If a refund is requested, any used portion of the package will be charged at full price, with the balance being returned. Appointments subject to availability; early bookings recommended to secure your preferred date and time. 

 

5 Healthy Nutrition Habits for the New Year

It’s no surprise that one of the most commonly made New Years resolutions is to eat healthier. And for good reason – the new year is a great opportunity for a fresh start, by setting up simple and sustainable strategies to improve our nutritional status in the long term. To help you achieve and maintain your nutrition-related New Years resolutions, try incorporating some of the following healthy habits into your everyday routine.

1. Eat breakfast every day

This one seems counterintuitive – most people think that skipping a meal equates to skipping kilojoules. Unfortunately, it turns out that our bodies are smarter than this, and studies have shown that regularly skipping meals, especially breakfast, can have the following consequences:

  • Excessive hunger that leads to overeating later in the day and subsequent weight gain
  • Storage of kilojoules as body fat, as our bodies interpret missed meals as “starvation”
  • Decreased concentration, productivity and mood

To improve your metabolism, regulate blood sugar and increase energy levels, it’s best to eat regular meals including breakfast. For some nourishing breakfast options your body will thank you for, try:

  • Whole grain toast with avocado or nut butter
  • Scrambled eggs or an omelette with spinach, tomato, capsicum, or veg of your choice
  • Rolled oats with skim milk and fruit, which can be prepared and refrigerated overnight if you are time poor or tend to overuse the snooze button
  • A fruit smoothie with reduced fat milk or yoghurt is a great option for those who find it difficult to stomach a full meal in the morning
2. Ditch the fad diet

To match the influx of nutritional-related goals, the New Year often graces us with new radical and misleading diet trends. A fad diet refers to any weight loss technique that is not supported by scientific research, often promising that a pricey, restrictive “diet” is the key to weight loss. However, research shows that fad diets lead to weight regain in the long term, and put our health at risk by restricting specific foods or food groups. Instead, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is better accomplished by making small, sustainable changes that assist you to enjoy healthy foods in the long term. Be wary of any diet, product or promotion with the following warning signs:

  • The diet involves skipping meals or excluding food groups
  • The person providing dietary information is unqualified
  • The diet is expensive or involves the purchase of “revolutionary” supplements or products
  • The diet takes the enjoyment away from eating with excessive rules and restrictions
  • The diet is based on anecdotal evidence or celebrity endorsement rather than scientific research
3. Variety is the spice of life

Enjoying a wide variety of healthy foods is useful strategy for maintaining healthy habits in the long term, especially for those who become bored of repetition. Incorporating a variety of foods within each food group, especially fruits and vegetables of all colours, will also help us achieve our recommended intakes of important nutrients, antioxidants and fibre. Exploring the supermarket for new foods or undertaking a weekly “mystery ingredient” challenge are great ideas to start with. Be sure to look for mostly unprocessed foods, and check the nutrition label to limit excessive sugar, fat and salt. For some unique dinner inspiration, try searching for a recipe that incorporates:

  • Salmon, to provide a generous amount of protein and omega 3
  • Whole grain couscous, a high fibre and high protein grain that takes just minutes to prepare
  • Chinese cabbage, an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants
  • Pomegranate, an anti-inflammatory and nutrient packed summer salad favourite
4. Practice mindful eating

Every food choice we make is influenced by factors other than nutrition, including taste preferences, the social aspect of eating, stress and emotions. However, our fast paced lifestyle can make it difficult to recognise and account for these factors. Mindful eating is a helpful skill for maintaining a positive outlook on food and reducing harmful eating behaviours. Eating mindfully involves recognising our body’s signals, engaging our senses, and eating without judgement. Some mindful techniques to practice may include:

  • Rating your hunger levels from 1-10 before having a meal or snack, to help distinguish physical hunger from psychological hunger, emotional hunger or boredom
  • Take breaks when eating to re-evaluate your hunger/fullness levels, by placing your cutlery down every few minutes or taking a sip of water
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your meal by considering the taste, smell, and texture of the food
  • Finish a meal when you feel full or nourished, rather than always eating until your plate is empty. Remember that leftovers can be stored for later.
  • Eat slowly, to help tune into your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Avoid eating when standing, watching TV or working. Eating with friends or family is a great way to eat slowly and take breaks by letting the conversation flow
5. Plan, plan and plan

Taking the time to plan for potential barriers to healthy eating can help us maintain our New Years goals when the going gets tough. After identifying what personal barriers may interfere with your positive food choices, allocate some strategies that may help you overcome these. For example:

  • If you’re time poor and work long hours, try to prepare food in advance or keep spare meals in the freezer (labelled with dates of course!)
  • If you have concerns about your budget, it might be helpful to create a shopping list, purchase fruit and vegetables that are in season, and peruse the specials advertised at your local supermarket
  • If you cook for someone who’s not on board with new foods or recipes, plan how you can adapt existing recipes or improve the nutritional value of your own serving (e.g. having spaghetti bolognese with zucchini noodles rather than pasta)

Hopefully these suggestions are useful for helping you enjoy healthy foods and improve your nutrition habits throughout 2019!

This post was written by Regina Tilyard. Regina is an accredited practicing dietician and longstanding member of the Stafford Physio team.

Why your feet hurt more in summer

Ever wonder why you get arch pain or sore feet in summer? Summer brings the silly season, sunshine, sandy beach trips and more people wearing sandals and thongs, and with that we often see an increase in patients presenting with arch pain in their feet.

The most common cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick collagen structure that runs length ways along the bottom of your foot. It is an important structure for the stability and strength of your arch and foot. Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the fascia.

There are two common ways to injure the plantar fascia – compression and tension. Compression injuries result in direct trauma to the tissue. Imagine jumping off a step and landing on a hard surface. Tension injuries are often a result of overuse. The fascia and foot muscles are over stressed caused pain and inflammation.

Tips to prevent plantar fasciitis:

  • Increase your activity or training level gradually
  • Walk on the firmer sand at the beach
  • Wear appropriate footwear for the activity you are doing
  • Replace your running shoes regularly
  • Alternate between barefoot/thongs and joggers
  • If you have orthotics, wear them as much as you can
  • Stretch your feet and calf muscles after exercising
  • Include foot and calf strength exercises in your training program

Early treatment of plantar fasciitis is essential in reducing pain and limiting any secondary complications that can occur. If you suspect you might have plantar fasciitis is important to see your physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

Treatment of plantar fasciitis may involve: Allyson Flanagan | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio Brisbane North

  • Strapping with rigid or rocktape
  • Icing
  • Massage
  • Gentle pain free stretching
  • Mobilisation the foot and ankle joints
  • Strengthening exercises for your foot and arch muscles
  • Strengthening exercises for your core and hip muscles to ensure appropriate alignment of your legs
  • Orthotics
  • Training modifications and advice
Please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 

 

How to fit in exercise over the festive season

Silly season is well and truly upon us. In amongst all the festive fun, exercise often falls to the bottom of our priority list. Here are some tips to help you fit in some exercise and maintain your fitness at this busy time of year.

Focus on quality over quantity

Even a short 5-10min workout done well is better than no workout at all! Always focus on technique rather than the number of reps you do.

Snap up opportunities to get in some incidental exercise

Park further away from the shops and get some extra walking in. Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.

Use your body weight rather than gym equipment

There are plenty of body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, calf raises, push ups that can be done without needing to fit in time to actually go to the gym.

Combine play time with exercise

Get the kids involved and go cycling, walking or swimming with your kids. It’s fun AND great exercise.

Set your alarm earlier

Get up just 10 minutes earlier and go for a short walk. Mornings are the coolest time of the day and great for clearing your head.

Turn off the TV or use the ad breaks to exercise

Most TV shows have at least 15 minutes of ads within an hour of TV. Utilise this as workout time! We can give you some simple stretches and exercises that can be done in the lounge room if you’d like!

Plan ahead and make it a date!

If you know you’ll be busy in the morning, plan time in the afternoon for exercise or vice versa. Locking in a set time will help you commit.

Make your Christmas catch-up a ‘walk and talk’

Grab a coffee with your bestie and go for a walk. That’s multi-tasking at its finest!

 

We will be open over the Christmas/New Years period, with a number of Pilates classes running each day (public holidays excepted). Click here for more details or here to book online.

Christmas Trading Hours + Pilates Timetable

Stafford Physiotherapy Centre will be open between Christmas and the new year (except for public holidays).

CHRISTMAS TRADING HOURS

Monday 24th December: 8am – 4pm

Tuesday 25th December: CLOSED

Wednesday 26th December: CLOSED

Thursday 27th December: 7am – 6pm

Friday 28th December: 7am – 4pm

Saturday 29th December: 8am – 12.30pm

Sunday 30th December: CLOSED

Monday 31st December: 8am – 6.30pm

Tuesday 1st January: CLOSED

Back to normal hours from Wednesday 2nd January 2019. Click here to see our full opening hours. 

CHRISTMAS PILATES SCHEDULE

MONDAY 24TH THURSDAY 27TH FRIDAY 28TH SATURDAY 29TH MONDAY 31ST WEDNESDAY 2ND
7am
Lucy
8am
Lucy
8am
Lucy
Normal classes resume
9.30am
Lucy
9am
Sandra
View Pilates timetable
10am
Megan
10am
Megan
11am
Megan
11am
Megan
11am
Sandra
3pm
Megan

 2pm
Megan

5pm
Sandra
6pm
Sandra

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our valued clients a wonderful and safe Christmas. We look forward to seeing you in the new year! 

12 days of Christmas gift ideas

…Gifts for a fit, healthy and pain free 2019

The countdown to Christmas is most certainly on but, if you’re like us, you’re still scrambling to finish the Christmas shopping. We’ve pulled together a list of perhaps unexpected, but very useful, gift ideas that we have available at Stafford Physio. We’ve got a number of budget-friendly options suited to secret Santa gifts too!

 

Day 1: Wheat bags and stick on heat patches

Using heat is one of the best ways to relax tight muscles, reduce joint stiffness and improve flexibility! Applying heat promotes healing by increasing blood flow to an area, and reduces pain by soothing sensory pain receptors and blocking pain signals to the brain. Our microwaveable wheat bags come in a great range of colours and sizes for neck (rectangle), back (square) and shoulders (wrap over shoulders and cover upper back). Heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes (depending on your microwave strength) and mould to your sore area for 10-15 minutes for instant relief. Our physiotherapists commonly recommend using heat for sore necks, stiff backs and relieving tight muscles. A great gift idea for mum or nanna, any students or hard-working relatives!

Sizes available: Neck $25; Back $39; Shoulders $58

Sitting in the car for long holiday trips? Try one of our stick on our heat patches for longer lasting heat ($2.50, single use)

Day 2: Rock tape

Need an idea for that hard to buy sibling, tennis-mad uncle or injury-prone dad?

Rock tape is a type of kinesiology tape, or elastic strapping tape, that has the ability to stretch lengthways. We often use this tape within our physiotherapy treatments to provide joint and muscle support, encourage normal and full range of movement, and improve flow of fluid or swelling, which is great for all types of injuries! Rock tape is comfortable to wear, allows you to move freely and lasts up to 5 days. It comes in a great range of colours and sizes, so you can match your team uniform or Christmas day outfit!

Drop in to purchase a roll ($22) and ask one of our physiotherapists about how to apply safely.

Day 3: Theraband

Gift your love ones the ability to be strong for Christmas! Theraband is a type of resistance band used for strengthening a wide range of muscle groups, and can be used for general exercise, post injury and rehabilitation, sport specific and Pilates type exercises. We stock a range of colours which vary in resistance, so drop in and ask one of our physiotherapists which colour would be appropriate for you or your secret Santa’s goals. We can also give you some exercises to go with it!

Resistance difficulty ranges from yellow (lightest) to red, green, blue and black (most difficult).

$5 per meter, or purchase a pack with each colour for $20

Day 4: Spikey balls and pocket physios

Can you think of someone who is always tight? Loves to exercise? This is the gift for them!

Spikey balls and pocket physios are perfect tools for doing self-massage or trigger point release, which is a great way to relieve pain from tight, sore muscles. Trigger point release involves applying a sustained pressure to, or gently rolling over a tight band or “knot” within a muscle. This helps to reduce pain, improve flexibility, and increase blood flow to the muscle. This can be very effective for a wide range of muscle groups, including hamstrings, gluteal muscles, shoulder, lower back and calves. At Stafford Physio we have exercise sheets to guide you with getting the most effective and safe use out of your spikey ball or pocket physio.

At just $10 for a range of sizes and colours, this is the perfect stocking filler!

Day 5: Pad pods

Is there someone in your family who is always on their phone, ipad, kindle or has their head in a book? Gift them the gift of good posture (and a pain free neck!) this Christmas, with one of our Padpods.

A Padpod is a pyramid-shaped beanbag designed to hold your phone or ipad while you are operating it, which helps to keep the screen at a comfortable angle. This effectively improves the user’s posture and alignment, reducing incidence of neck pain and injury. Padpods can be used in a range of positions, whether sitting on your lap, lying in bed, or placed on a table or desk, which means they can be used anywhere too! Perfect for work or home, or those with longer car or plane trips planned over the holidays. The Padpod holds all devices, including your phone, ipad, cookbook or novel, making it great for all ages. In a range of great colours (hence reducing fights over whose belongs to who) come in and grab one for yourself, and your loved ones.

Padpods are $29

Day 6: Pilates socks

Does someone in your family love Pilates? They will love you for gifting them a pair of our fabulous Pilates grip socks!

We currently have a great range of sizes and designs, ranging from animal print to stripes and spots as well as neutral colours, in sizes small, medium and large. These socks have non-slip grip which is perfect for safe exercise on our equipment, or any exercise where you are in bare feet, even for floor mopping days! Plus you can never have too many pairs (to match all of your active wear outfits, of course!).

Drop in and pick up a pair or two for $17 each

Day 7: Foam rollers

Need a gift for someone that loves to run, ride, swim, gym or, well, exercise in general really?! We guarantee they will appreciate the gift of a foam roller!

An essential piece of home workout and cool down equipment, foam rollers are basically foam cylinders that can be used to slowly roll over a particular muscle group or area, such as the calves, quadriceps, gluteal muscles, or upper back. This is a great way to perform self-myofascial release (or give yourself a deep tissue massage), which breaks up scar tissue or adhesions between muscle and fascial layers. After a big run or training session at the gym, this helps to speed up recovery and reduces risk of injury. In addition, foam rollers are great tools for mobilising your upper back, stretching your chest, as well as a huge range of core strengthening and stability exercises. Pop in and see our physiotherapists for some examples of exercises and to pick up one for you and one for a mate!

We currently have a range of colours and sizes in stock: Short $20; Long $45

Day 8: Chi balls

Chi balls are soft, inflatable balls used in many of our Pilates and rehabilitation-based exercises. The small 15cm balls are infused with an aromatherapy fragrance corresponding to its colour. Using a chi ball is a great way to challenge your core muscle strength and control, improve mobility and provide spinal support, all with a range of exercises. Great little stocking fillers, your physiotherapist is happy to give exercises for any specific injuries or gentle general exercises you can incorporate into your home program.

Chi balls come in a range of colours and have instructions and tools for inflating, $20 each  

Day 9: Pilates program 10 packs

Is someone in your family a regular attendee at our Pilates classes or has always wanted to get started? Or are you looking for the perfect way to improve movement, increase strength, start exercising safely and just feel better? If so, one of our Pilates 10 packs is the ideal gift for a loved one, or a great hint to drop to your loved ones!

Stafford Physiotherapy Centre has been offering clinical Pilates for the past 7 years, with all of our physiotherapists trained in both Pilates assessment and teaching. We run small group 60 minute classes (maximum of 4 participants) 3-5 times a day from early morning (7am), mid-morning/afternoon, and evening classes, as well as Saturday mornings. We do an ensure an initial assessment and follow up one-on-one appointments prior to joining the classes, which allows us to assess any injuries, imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility, joint mobility, balance and core strength, as well as teach you how to effectively engage your core muscles. From this information we prescribe each person an individual program which we go through with you in the follow up session, and is then performed in a group class when you feel comfortable. The majority of the program involves exercising using a range of equipment, including our reformers, trapeze table, wunda chair, ladder barrel as well as smaller apparatus like swiss balls and foam rollers, with each participant in the class doing their own prescribed program. Click here for more information on Pilates.

We tailor your individual Pilates program to all ages, levels of fitness, injuries and areas of tightness or acute to chronic pain, and would love to chat to you about your exercise and health goals!

Pilates program 10 packs are currently $380 for existing patients, or $450 for patients new to the practice.

Initial assessment is $140 and follow up session $135.

Most private health funds will cover our Pilates appointments and group sessions.

Day 10: Anti-flamme massage cream

One of our most loved, long standing products is the anti-flamme cream. This cream has natural arnica oil with anti-inflammatory properties useful for massaging most muscle aches and pains. We often use anti-flamme within our treatments as it smells of lovely peppermint oil, and is a great consistency to massage with. Great for general joint aches and tight muscles on a daily basis or for specific sports injuries.

Priced at $20 for 90g tub, or $35 for 450g tub for true anti-flamme fans, this gift will be very well received!

Day 11: Flex-Ice packs

The freezer essential for all families, weekend warriors, elite athletes, and just Queenslanders in general is our flex-ice pack! Available in 2 sizes, these gel ice packs are easily mouldable and the best way to treat any acute pain or swollen area.

Applying ice (cryotherapy) works by reducing blood flow to an area, which is a great way to reduce swelling and inflammation and relieve nasty pain. Perfect to apply for any ankle sprains, swollen knees or after an acute muscle tear, we recommend wrapping the ice pack in a wet cloth/pillow case, and applying with the area elevated above the level of the heart if possible for 10-15minutes. Also useful to help cool down in 30degree+ Queensland weather!

Drop in to ask our physiotherapists any specific questions and grab one to take home today!

Small Flex-Ice $10; Large $16

Day 12: Lumbar rolls

If you are travelling anywhere this Christmas, your lower back will thank you for the support of a lumbar roll! The most popular is our D-shaped lumbar rolls which have Velcro straps, meaning they can be fastened nicely to your desk chair as well as are portable for car and plane trips. The rolls work by fitting in the small of your lower back, or lumbar curve, supporting the muscles in this area and also propping you up into sitting in a neutral spinal posture. If you have a sore lower back or history of back pain or injury, we recommend you try one of these for any longer duration sitting. And remember that breaking up your journeys (in particular breaking up your sitting time), in addition to stretching and gentle exercise will almost always be a great help, ensuring you are ready for that backyard cricket match Christmas day!

D-roll shaped lumbar support $22

This post was written by Megan Tilyard, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 

Slope ready: 6 exercises to prep for skiing

Are you escaping the heat and skiing overseas this summer? If so, now’s the time to get ski-fit!

We find that lots of people have ski trips planned for Japan and Canada over the summer months. And unfortunately a couple come back to us in March with injuries from their holiday. Now is the perfect time to get ready for your summer skiing so that you can make the most of it and escape injury-free.

Not to worry if you’re not hitting the slopes; these exercises will help tone up your legs ready for your summer beach trip!

Strengthening your legs prior to your ski trip is the best way to prevent injury and make the most of your time skiing. You might not be surprised to hear that knee injuries are the most common skiing injury. Here are a few exercises to strengthen those legs and prepare your knees for what’s about to hit them! Pilates is also great at building strength and we can customise your program to help get you ready for the slopes. If you need further help, personalised exercises or would like to try Pilates, come and see our experienced physiotherapists.

bridging | bridge holds | best exercises for skiing BRIDGE HOLDS
  • Heels close towards bottom, squeeze bottom muscles and lift hips towards the ceiling.
  • Be careful not to arch your back.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds
  • Do 10-1 2reps
  • 2 sets

 

wall squat | best exercises for skiing | ski stretchesWALL SQUAT
  • Leaning with your back supported on the wall, feet out in front and even weight in both feet.
  • Slowly slide down the wall into a squat (knees bent about 60 degrees or less if knee pain).
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, and then push up through your heels with spine along the wall into standing.
  • Repeat 10-12 reps

 

 

squat exercise for skiing | best exercises to prepare to skiSQUATS
  • With even weight in both feet, slowly bend knees, stick bottom out like sitting back on a chair.
  • Keep your chest up tall. Knees bent no more than 90degrees. Watch knees don’t come forward over your toes.
  • Push up through your heels back into standing.
  • Do 10-12 reps
  • 2 sets

 

 

LUNGES
  • Standing with one foot forwards and one back
  • Both toes facing forwards
  • Lunge by lowering your back knee towards the ground then return.
  • Keeps hips square
  • Make sure front knee stays vertical and in line with your second toe.
  • Do 10-15 reps

 

 

 

single leg squat | ski exercises | stretches for skiing

SINGLE LEG SQUAT
  • Standing on one leg.
  • Keep hips square and level
  • Squat with bottom going backwards and chest forwards (like sitting on a chair).
  • Push up through your heels back into a standing position.
  • Do 10-12 reps

 

 

WALL STANDWall stand exercise for skiing | ski stretches
  • Standing tall on one leg, gently turn out other knee to push into the wall.
  • Raise this foot if you are able to.
  • Hold pressure at wall for 5-10-15 seconds.
  • Do 10-12reps

* You should feel this in the glute on your standing leg

 

 

 

 

If you have questions, or would like personalised exercises to help you prepare for your holidays, please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.