7 Tips to reach your goals this running season

As the days are finally starting to cool down, the winter running season is fast approaching. Whether you’re a weekend park runner or training for a marathon, it’s important to prepare your body and prevent overuse injuries that could stop you running for the season. Here are Ally’s 7 top tips to help you get through the season without time out due to injury.

1. Start training early and often

It’s ideal to get out for a run at least 3 times a week if you are training for an event. Aim to do 2 shorter runs and a third longer run, increasing these distances as you get closer (and fitter) to your event.

2. Warm up

It’s important to slowly increase your heart rate and generally loosen up your joints in preparation for a long distance run. Start with a few minutes of walking progressing to easy jogs including acceleration and deceleration over 100m. Finish your warm up with dynamic stretching rather than Static stretching. Dynamic stretching has been shown to better prepare your muscles giving you more power and a lower injury rate than static stretching.

3. Stretch cool down

A stretch cool down helps to flush out lactic acid and restore normal muscle length. Conclude your run with 5 minutes of gentle aerobic exercise (fast walk, slow jog) with deep breathing to return the body to its normal resting rate. Follow this with long static stretches i.e 30 second holds, 3 repetitions. Think gluts, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calves.

4. Hydrate and get appropriate nutrition

See our dietitian Regina Tilyard to help you fuel your body appropriately pre-during-and post exercise. Always consume 2 litres of water daily, but increase this if you have exercised.

5. Take 2 rest days before the event

If anything, do a slow, very short 15min run to burn off nervous energy but definitely don’t set out for a long, hard last-minute training session. You will only fatigue your body and then underperform on race day and potentially be at risk of injury when you try to push harder.

6. Include strength and core stability training

Endurance athletes can be prone to overuse injuries of the lower limb. You can help safeguard yourself from these tendon injuries of the hip knee and foot by staying strong. Include 3 strength sessions a week of squats, lunges, heel raises, glut bridges, balance and abdominal exercises. If you are inexperienced in these types of exercises, or already suffering pain in your hip knees or feet consult one of our physiotherapists.

7. Get enough sleep

6-8 hours before exercise is ideal to allow the body to repair and prepare for exercise. Not enough sleep and you could already be fatigued before your event! This puts you at risk of a muscle tear, especially when trying to power up that hill that always seems to be in the last kilometre before the finish line!

 

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

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

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. 

 

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.

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.

 

How to use a spikey ball for massage and trigger points

7 Spikey ball exercises to help ease muscle pain

One of the best ways to maximise the benefits of your physiotherapy treatments is to do some basic exercises at home. We find foam rollers or spikey balls, used for self massage or trigger pointing, to be particularly effective at helping relieve pain from tight, sore muscles.

Using a foam roller for self massage can have several positive effects including reduced pain associated with delayed muscle soreness, reduced muscle tender spots and an acute increase in range of motion. Massage is also one of (if not the) the most effective ways of reducing delayed onset muscle soreness, such as from intense exercise.

To begin with you can lean your body against the ball on the floor or wall and use your body weight to apply pressure. To progress you can roll against the ball for 1-2 minutes. Check out this handy cheat sheet featuring 7 exercises you can do using a spikey ball.

It’s important not to cause further pain or injury when using your spikey ball. Tenderness and mild pain can be expected, but stop if you experience moderate to severe pain, pins and needles or tingling. You should still be able to breathe comfortably when using your ball. Certain areas such as bony prominences (eg kneecaps) and acute injuries (eg swollen, inflamed muscle) should also be avoided.

 

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. 
References: Behm (2017), Dupuy et al (2018)

A Guide to Acute Injury Management

THE BEST MANAGEMENT FOR ACUTE INJURIES IS PREVENTION!
Always warm up for 20-30minutes before exercise and cool down after.

WARM UP SHOULD INCLUDE:

  • Low intensity aerobic exercise such as jogging
  • Dynamic stretching of all muscle groups
  • Sport-specific drills
  • Moderate intensity aerobic exercise progressing to high intensity sprints.

COOL DOWN SHOULD INCLUDE:

  • Light aerobic exercise/running for 5min with deep breathing to return the body to resting rate.
  • Static stretches – 30sec holds, 3 repetitions
  • Rehydrate and refuel with lean protein
  • Do 20min light cycling or jogging the following day with a stretching session.
THE MAJORITY OF INJURIES IN CONTACT SPORTS INVOLVE CORKS AND STRAINS TO THE LOWER LIMBS.

IN THE FIRST 24-72 HOURS POST-INJURY, IT’S IMPORTANT TO APPLY P.R.I.C.E.R.

P – PREVENTION. The best management of an acute injury is prevention. Always be prepared for competition by training, using the right equipment, warming up and cooling down.

R – REST. Initial rest from aggravating activities is important to allow healing. Gentle movement can be helpful, but do no HARM (heat, alcohol, running, firm massage)

I – ICE. Apply ice immediately in a damp towel (never directly to the skin) to reduce swelling, bleeding and for pain relief. Apply for 20-30min every 2 hours.

C – COMPRESSION. Wear compression garments like Skins or use a compression bandage to help limit bleeding and swelling.

E – ELEVATION. Elevate the injured part above the level of the heart to reduce pooling of blood and fluid in the injured area.

R – REFERRAL. It may be appropriate to see a health care professional such as a physiotherapist. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation to get back on the field as soon as possible.

Your physiotherapist can also provide strapping or braces for return to sport or refer you to other health professionals should imaging or specialist input be required.

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

12 Simple stretches you can do at your desk

A huge number of today’s jobs require people to be sitting at a desk all day, however we all know that sitting down too much isn’t good for our posture or our health. Read on for our suggested stretches that you can easily fit into your day in the office.

If you spend a lot of your day working at a desk, it’s best to take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Try the following ideas to help you remember:

  • Set a timer on your phone
  • Put a reminder program on your computer
  • Leave your water bottle on another desk or use a small glass of water so that you need to walk to the kitchen to refill it frequently

 

 

Some workplaces now offer the option of a sit/stand desk which is wonderful and we recommend you take advantage of this if your workplace offers it!

It’s also great to leave the office at lunch time – maybe go outside and look at the sky and get some fresh air or go for a short walk if you can.

However, if you can’t do this, we’ve devised some simple stretches and exercises that you can do at your desk. Even better – stand up and do your stretches to give your body a break from sitting! Encourage your workmates to join you; we promise you’ll all feel better for it!

We’ve even created this PDF cheatsheet so you can print it out and stick it up at your desk as a reference and reminder.

Excellent desk exercises:

See PDF cheatsheet for images of all stretches

  1. NECK ROTATION
    Gently turn your head from side to side. Repeat 5 times each side.
  2. NECK SIDE FLEXION
    Gently tilt your head from side to side. Repeat 5 times each side.
  3. NECK FLEXION
    Gently bring your chin towards your chest. Repeat 5 times.
  4. NECK EXTENSION
    Gently look up towards the ceiling. Repeat 5 times.
  5. SHOULDER ROLLS
    Gently roll your shoulders forwards. Repeat 5 times, then repeat backwards 5 times.
  6. HEAD NODS
    Gently nod your chin (like making a double chin). Hold 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
  7. CHEST STRETCH
    Clasp your hands together and reach behind your back. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  8. TRICEPS STRETCH
    Gently pull on raised elbow with other hand to feel stretch down back of arm. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per arm.
  9. SHOULDER STRETCH
    Gently pull arm forward across body to feel stretch across back of shoulder. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per arm.
  10. SIDE BENDING (pictured)
    Clasp your hands together above your head. Gently lean to one side. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per side.
  11. TRUNK ROTATION
    Reach across body and grasp back of chair. Gently look over shoulder. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per side.
  12. SHOULDER BLADE SQUEEZES
    Keep elbows bent. Gently squeeze shoulder blades together. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

No stretches or exercises should cause you pain. If you do experience pain or discomfort please stop the exercises. Our Physiotherapists are here to help you with any postural related issues or spinal pain you may be experiencing.

 

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. 

Basic Exercises for Tight Hip Flexors or Sore Hips – Part Two

We see lots of people who are experiencing tight hip flexors or other hip pain. Last week I wrote about the importance of flexible hip muscles including the hip flexors, hip rotators and hip extensors. That post also included a number of stretches and activation drills to help keep your hip muscles healthy and free from injury.

This week I’ll show you some exercise to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the hips. Remember, when doing these exercises you may feel a mild to moderate stretch but should not experience pain.

Strengthening

Strengthening the hip is important, as this joint is required for many of our daily activities such as walking, going up/down stairs, squatting, getting up from chairs and rolling over in bed.

The exercises below are basic and intended to begin the strengthening process. Initially, your focus should be on the quality of movement not the quantity. Once you feel comfortable performing these exercises, you can increase your repetitions and progress to more advanced exercises.

Bridging
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat (shoulder width apart)
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Roll your pelvis backwards and squeeze your bottom to lift up your hips so they are in line with your shoulders

 

Leg slides
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat (shoulder width apart)
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Straighten 1 leg away from your body keeping your back and pelvis still
  • Bring the leg back to starting position and repeat with other leg

 

Dropouts
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat (shoulder width apart)
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Rotate leg away from body to about 45 degrees keeping other leg still
  • Bring the leg back to starting position and repeat with other leg
Leg Lifts in Sitting 
  • Sitting on chair with feet flat on floor
  • Gentle activate TA (see above)
  • Lift 1 foot off the floor keeping back still
  • Try not to push down with arms for support
  • Bring the leg back to starting position and repeat with other leg
 
Mini squats
  • Standing with feet shoulder width apart, arms out at shoulder level
  • Bend at the hips first – sticking out your bottom
  • Then bend at the knees to continue to squat about 45 degrees down
  • Push up through heels squeezing bottom to stand upright again

 

Got sore hips or tight hip flexors, glutes or hamstrings? Book a physio appointment today.

Some of these exercises can be difficult – if you have any questions or concerns, please come and see our experienced physiotherapists for a detailed assessment and tailored exercise plan. 

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