Returning to running after pregnancy

When is it safe to return to running after pregnancy? You ran before you got pregnant. You might have continued running during pregnancy. And now you’ve had the baby and you’re keen to get your joggers back on and hit the pavement once again. So when is it safe to do so?

There is a general lack of evidence-based research around returning to running in the postnatal period. Running is a high impact activity which places a significant load on the entire body, especially the pelvic floor muscles. The most recent guidelines* are from 2019 and suggest waiting a minimum 12 weeks after birth. The guidelines also suggest that women meet a series of criteria for adequate strength of the pelvic floor and lower body muscles before hitting the pavement again.

The first 12 weeks after birth is commonly referred to as the 4th trimester. There is still a large amount of relaxin in your body, which means the connective tissue, such as ligaments, is still more stretchy than normal. Your body is still recovering from birth during this period, especially if you had perineal tears, episiotomies, a caesarian section or any other complications. The pelvic floor muscles are weak after pregnancy and birth and you may have symptoms that indicate these muscles need strengthening.

Symptoms of pelvic floor weakness can include:

  • Incontinence – leaking, inability to control bladder and/or bowel
  • Heaviness in the vagina
  • Dragging sensation in the vagina and perineal region
  • Pelvic pain

There is strong evidence to support an individualised assessment and structured exercise program for pelvic floor rehabilitation in the management of these conditions. Sandra is qualified to undertake pelvic floor assessments and can refer you to a specialised pelvic floor physiotherapist if needed.

It is also important to be assessed by a physiotherapist if you had a rectus diastasis (abdominal muscle separation). Our physiotherapists can screen for this.

Low impact exercise such as walking is encouraged in the first 3 months (12 weeks) of the postnatal period. Following this a graded return to a running program should be implemented to build lower limb strength and gradually introduce loading again to the pelvic floor muscles.

Call us today to get started!

* Reference: Returning to Running Postnatal – guidelines for medial, health and fitness professionals managing this population. Tom Goom, Grainne Donnelly and Emma Brockwell. March 2019

 

If you’d like one of our physiotherapists to help you get running again post-pregnancy, please call or book online.

 

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

How to safely return to the gym post COVID

Now restrictions are easing and the gyms are back open, it’s really important that we transition our home workouts back into our gym routines safely, without overloading and injuring ourselves. It’s important that we restrain our excitement, for the moment, take an honest account of our loading in the past few months and plan before we return to lifting with heavier and regular weight again. Our strength will be reduced, so reduce your weight!

Warm up and cool down

Make sure you reintroduce a good 5-10 minute warm up before you commence your sessions. Try to target the area you will be training, if you are training an upper body resistance session for example, you should include some light weight or body weighted exercises targeting that area before loading up! It’s a good idea to have a dynamic stretch or use a foam roller if you have been static and sitting at work all day!

Cool downs are often neglected, however also very important now you are training again. Be sure to stretch after your sessions and grab the foam roller for a few minutes for your legs or upper back to reduce the extra tone that will build up in your muscles, just remember to wipe down after! #COVIDsafe.

Loading

If you haven’t been lifting during the past two months, your body loses strength far faster than you want to believe! Start conservative, reduce your weight to start and aim for higher reps.

Prioritise good movement patterns again first. It’s important to allow some time over the first few weeks for your stabilising muscles to remember how to lift again. If you load up too quickly these muscles can become tight leading to breakdown in movement patterns which can result in injury.

Contain your excitement; you can’t get back two months of minimal training in two weeks, so be patient! Aim for around 10-15% increase in load each week.

If you are unsure of your technique, book in a few sessions with one of our physiotherapists, or an exercise physiologist at the gym, for guidance around movement patterns. This can be much more cost effective than future dealings with an orthopaedic surgeon.

Rest

Rest is very important for any training, particularly if you are changing the loading (weight, frequency or type of training). Your body needs time to adapt and change. You most likely will experience some serious DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) during the first few weeks returning to gym. Listen to your body, it’s ok to experience these DOMS however, if you are feeling pain greater than 2 days post exercise, you should reign it in!

Space out your sessions, make sure you give the worked muscle group a solid 1-2 days recovery before loading up again. If you are training whole body workouts, have rest days between sessions, take time on these days to focus on cardio, stretching, trigger pointing and foam rolling.

It’s important to allow this rest for your muscles to recover and continue to build strength without being overloaded. It might be worthwhile booking in a few regular remedial massages in the next few months.

The biggest risk to injury is this period of load change and building up again. Listen to your body and make sure you follow up with your physio early if you are experiencing altered movement patterns and developing niggles greater than just DOMS. If you can extinguish these niggles early, it’s likely you can continue training and avoid any further time out of the gym.

 

If you’d like one of our physiotherapists to help your injury-free return to the gym, please call or book online.

 

This post was written by Mitch Esdale, Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates. 

Everyday Exercise – Part One: Socks

With people spending much more time at home, social sports cancelled and gyms closed, we thought we would help you still get your exercise in, with a bunch of exercises you can do at home using simple items you’re almost guaranteed to have around the house! Introducing our Everyday Exercise series!

Part one: Socks

Gym closed? Can’t get hold of weights for a workout because everyone sold out weeks ago? Never fear, you can get a pretty solid workout with just a pair of socks on your polished wood floor or tiles. Check out these 12 exercises to get your body working! You can follow the video, and there are written descriptions below to assist.

1. Mountain Climbers

In a long plank position, slide your knees towards your chest, alternating legs.

2. Knee Tuck

In a long plank position, slide both knees together towards your chest and back out.

3. Cross Mountain Climber

From a long plank position, slide one knee in towards your opposite shoulder, alternating legs.

4. Plank Jack

In a long plank position slide your legs out and in again with straight legs.

5. Pike

From a long plank position, keep your legs straight and slide them in towards your hands, lifting your hips up towards the ceiling.

6. Arm Slides

On your hands and knees or plank position, alternately slide one arm forwards as far as you can. Let your chest drop but keep your support elbow straight. Lift your chest again pushing your support arm into the floor as you return.

7. Arm Circles

On your hands and knees or plank position, alternately slide one arm forwards as far as you can, letting your chest drop but keep your support elbow straight. Then circle the hand out to the side before returning to the middle as you lift your chest again pushing your support arm into the floor.

8. Thread the Needle

On your hands and knees or plank position, slide one arm underneath the other reaching through to the other side letting your upper body twist.

9.Hamstring Slideouts

On your back, knees bent up and feet on the floor. Lift your hips up into a bridge then slide both feet out as straight as you can get while keeping your hips lifted off the ground. Lower your hips to bring your meet back to start again.

10. Scooter

Standing with your weight on one leg in a mini squat, slide the other foot back keeping the stance knee pointing straight forward and your hips square.

11. Curtesy Lunge

Slide one leg across behind the other while lunging with the front leg. Alternate sides.

12. Side Lunge

Stand with your weight on one leg in a mini squat. Repetitively slide the other out to the side and back in again. Keep the stance knee pointing straight ahead.

 

If you’d like a personalised home exercise program, please call or book online to see one of our physiotherapists.

 

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

Home exercise equipment + programs

Do you want to exercise at home and need some equipment? We have full (long) rollers, short rollers, exercise balls, chi balls, sliders, exercise resistance bands (plus handles if needed), hand stress balls and exercise DVDs. We sell these!

We also have home exercise packs available:

  1. Chi ball + exercise band + sliding disc – $30
  2. Short roller + Chi ball + exercise band + sliding disc – $50
  3. Long roller + Chi ball + exercise band + sliding disc – $75

The sliding disc is used to slide your foot along a carpeted or hard surface.

The chi ball adds an extra challenge or assistance to your exercise.

If you would like us to drop them off (and live near our practice at Stafford), we can do that for free.

We already have some information on great exercises on our facebook page (and our VIP facebook page for patients), the blog on our website and our instagram. There will be much more to come soon to help you keep exercising.

If you would like an exercise program to suit your personal requirements (particularly if you have a previous or current injury, chronic pain or a particular need), we will be starting online consultations (Telehealth) in the next few weeks. We can incorporate equipment you may already have at home, or help you choose which equipment to buy.

We are happy to have a short chat to you on the phone if you have any questions. Allyson Flanagan is also doing home visits for those well people who have to stay home.

INTERESTING FACT: In 1918 a terrible epidemic (Spanish Influenza) broke out worldwide, killing millions of people. Joseph Pilates (the founder of Pilates), who was German, was confined to an internment camp in England during the second world war. There were tens of thousands of deaths in England and the camps were particularly hard hit. Joseph Pilates had begun devising strengthening exercises with controlled breathing and mindful movement with equipment using springs to rehabilitate the incarcerated and bedridden with wartime diseases. None of the followers of Joseph Pilates’ exercises got the Spanish Flu!

Staying healthy and active despite the cold and coronavirus!

In the past couple of weeks, amidst the continued development of COVID-19 as well as a cooler change in weather as winter approaches, a lot of us have had our usual work, exercise and social routines disrupted. First and foremost, we must adhere to current health guidelines and take all personal hygiene measures possible. BUT, you can still stay healthy and active, whether from home or within your local community.

Check your workspace set up

If working from home (or still in the office) – make sure you maintain good postural habits. Assess your computer set up, if using a laptop make sure it is at an appropriate height for your eye level, use a lower keyboard or mouse if you are able to. Change your posture often, stand every 30-60 minutes, do some big shoulder rolls, chest and neck stretches and sit to stands. Take a look at this blog post for more tips on workspace ergonomics.

Look at ways to incorporating exercise at home

Even though it’s no longer possible to go to the gym, there are plenty of exercises you can do with minimal equipment at home. Try 3 sets of 10 – body weight mini squats, lunges, sit to stands and calf raises for your lower body. Try a 3 x 10-30 second plank or side planks (you can do these on your knees and forearms). If you have some TheraBand do some low rowing, shoulder rotation, and glute bridges with this around your thighs. Check out this blog post for some TheraBand-specific exercises. Some gentle stretching and/or foam rolling is a great addition as well. We sell a variety of exercise equipment, so feel free to contact us for advice on which equipment and exercises would be suitable for you.

Keep moving

If you are able to walk or jog and are feeling well, enjoy the vitamin D benefits of some sunshine, get some fresh air, raise your heart rate a little and keep your joints and muscles moving. If you’re confined to home, walking laps around the yard or hallway, gardening and stationary bike are other ideas.

Fuel your body

It can be tempting to raid the pantry a little too frequently when you’re home, but it’s best to keep your nutritional intake as healthy as you can – do the simple things – drink water often and eat a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Keep up your usual exercise levels and habits

If you are feeling well, come in and participate in your clinical exercise classes with us. At this stage we are running all of our usual class times so, if you’re working from home, it may be the perfect opportunity to squeeze in an extra class, or try one of our 30-minute reformer classes for something new. You can read here about the measures we’re taking to keep the practice safe for both our patients and our team.

Address any injuries or niggles

Although some upcoming fun runs, social sport and competitions have sadly been postponed, why not utilise this time to your advantage and come and see our physiotherapists to address any areas of concern. It may be the perfect time to get started with some treatment and a personal exercise program for home.

 

Please call or book online to see one of our physiotherapists.

 

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

WE’RE OPEN: COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

No doubt you’ve heard a lot about coronavirus on the news lately. We’d like to take this opportunity to assure our patients that we are very mindful of your health and safety and continue to practise high levels of hygiene in the practice. This includes frequent hand washing and cleaning of equipment, prompt replacement of linens and use of single use paper dressing towels as needed. We follow the guidelines provided by our Australian Physiotherapy Association and Queensland Health, who provide daily updates as more information on COVID-19 comes to hand.

Sandra Day | owner, physiotherapist and pilates instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre

Due to the concerns of COVID-19, we have added extra stringent precautions. Between appointments and classes we will be paying extra attention to cleaning all high touch areas including fixtures, such as door handles, and exercise equipment. You will be encouraged to wash your hands before and after your appointment or class and clean the equipment as you go. We can assist you with this and can provide gloves if required.

ALL PATIENTS AND CLASS ATTENDEES

If you are showing any signs of illness we ask that you postpone your appointment to ensure the health of our team and other patients. If you have symptoms of cough, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath we are happy to waive the applicable late fee. Similarly, our team will not be working if showing any signs of illness and, in this instance, we may need to reschedule your appointment. We appreciate your support. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

WHAT IS COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)?

COVID-19 or Coronavirus is part of a large group of viruses known as Coronavirusus. Coronaviruses can cause illnesses such as the common cold as well as more severe conditions such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue and/or shortness of breath. The virus is most likely spread through close contact with an infectious person, contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, or touching objects or surfaces that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person and then touching your mouth or face.

WHO IS MOST AT RISK OF CONTRACTING COVID-19?

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have recently travelled to or transited through China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and those in close contact with them.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF?

To help protect yourself from contracting or spreading COVID-19 and other viruses such as the cold and flu, be sure to practice GOOD HYGIENE. This means:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water. (Follow this hand washing technique).
  • Covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the tissue immediately.
  • Maintaining at least 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Viruses from your hands can enter your body through these and make you sick.

Most importantly, stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing contact your usual medical centre for advice on seeking medical attention. If you have been diagnosed with Coronavirus, isolate yourself in your home and wear a surgical mask to protect others if you need to leave home to seek medical attention.

Check the following sources for up-to-date information:

Australian Government Department of Health
World Health Organisation

5 tips to perfect your workspace setup + ergonomics

The average work day being 8 hours each day and the average work location being at a computer or desk means you need to be ensuring that your workspace is set up effectively. Here are our top five tips to helping prevent neck, shoulder and back as well as reducing sedentary time whilst at work.

Sit to stand desks

Sit to stand desks help minimise long periods of time spent sitting. Through reducing this you are minimising your risk of musculoskeletal injuries, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and poor mental health. It is recommended that you spend no more than 20 minutes sitting at your desk, so try breaking up your seated time by alternating between 10 minutes standing then 20 sitting. From here you can work your way up to standing for longer than you are sitting. Another hot tip is to leave your desk in standing at the end of the work day so that you can begin the next day in standing position to set your standard for the day.

Chair

Office chairs should have height and back rest adjustability to help reduce lower back pain. The backrest height needs to be set-up so that the curve of the back rest sits in the curve of your lower back and should be tilted forward 100-120 degrees for good spinal posture.

Computer

The top of the computer screen should be set at eye level, approximately one arm’s length away to help reduce visual fatigue and a poked neck posture. If you use more than one computer screen, have the main screen in front and the second screen off to one side. If you find yourself consistently turning to use the second screen it would be beneficial to move your chair to have it facing the main screen. This will prevent excessive twisting movement of the body and neck and help to avoid aching and stiffness.

Elbows

Forearms should be rested on the desk with elbows at a 90-degree angle. The G/H keys of the keyboard need to be in in the centre of your body and the mouse sitting at the same level of the G/H keys to the right or left. If using a laptop, try using a separate keyboard to ensure appropriate elbow posture.

Flooring

If using a stand-up desk, it’s not ideal to be standing on concrete or hard flooring. A simple way to address this is by using a mat, however it is important that it isn’t too soft or too hard. A mat needs to be a balance of soft yet supportive material. The ideal mat will compress slightly when standing on it but bounce back to shape when off it. A supportive floor will aid in comforting the arch of the foot, reduce loading through your feet help with shock absorption.

 

This post was written by Laura Wade, 4th year physiotherapist student from Australian Catholic University. 

Surf’s up! How to prep your body for a surf

Summer is definitely here and there is something magical about being in the ocean first thing in the morning, especially on our beautiful Queensland beaches. Surfing is an excellent form of exercise. It requires both upper body and lower body strength as well as core stability and balance.

So before you strap on your leggie, don’t forget to limber up. Try this quick routine to get your whole body moving well and ready to tackle the next epic set. Check out the video, with detailed instructions below.

1. Cat/cow

On your hands and knees. Take a slow deep breath while you arch your back up as far as you can, tucking your head. Then slowly breath out looking up to the sky, dropping your chest down towards the sand. Continue for 30seconds.

2. Down dog to cobra

Standing, reach over and touch your toes, then walk your hands out to down dog position. Push your chest down to the sand and your heels down to extend this stretch for one breath. Then lower your hips to plank position, hold for 3 seconds before lowering your whole body down to lie on your tummy. Push your shoulders up off the sand arching your back keeping your hips on the sand for a nice deep breath. Lastly push your hips back up again to press into down dog. Continue through this flow for about a minute

3. Lunges with side bend

Standing, elevate both arms up above your head. Deep lunge forward on one leg, then while you are in a lunge side bend to the side of your front foot. Return to standing again then repeat on the other side. Continue changing legs for about a minute.

4. Lumbar pendulum

Lie on your back with your knees elevated up in table top position, arms out to the side. Slowly roll both knees to one side controlling with your abdominals, then bring them up and over to the other side. Continue slowly for 30sec.

5. Single leg glute bridge

Lie on your back, one leg bent up, the other elevated off the ground. Squeezing your glutes lift your hips up off the ground as far as you can, then lower. Repeating slowly about 10 times each side. Remember you can do this with 2 feet if you’re unable to do them on 1 leg.

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

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! To help you achieve these goals we’ve put together some packages covering off both diet and exercise.

Our New Year, New You packages offer a strong foundation to kick off 2020 with a bang while learning sustainable exercise and diet habits with the help of our qualified team.

 

REFORMER PILATES PACKAGE

This package is a great way to get a taste of our studio, physiotherapists/dietitian and reformer Pilates. This package includes:

  • 3 x reformer Pilates classes
  • Private initial consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • Private review consultation with accredited practicing dietitian

$230 (valued at $265)

Any existing physiotherapy patients will receive an additional 15% off

 

NEW PHYSIO EXERCISE SESSION PATIENTS PACKAGE

Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientThis package is designed for new physiotherapy exercise session 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 consultation + musculoskeletal assessment
  • One-on-one follow up session
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 4 physiotherapy exercise sessions 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/PHYSIO EXERCISE SESSION PATIENTS PACKAGE

Clinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Sandra DayThis package is designed for patients who have done Pilates or physiotherapy exercise sessions 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:

  • One-on-one reassessment
  • One-on-one consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 10 physiotherapy exercise classes within a 12 week period (check our timetable here)

$500 (valued at $605)

 

DETAILS

Initial consultation + musculoskeletal assessment

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 physiotherapy exercise session program, ensuring that it is safe and that it addresses your needs for maximum benefit.

One-on-one follow up session / reassessment

In this private session you learn your tailored physiotherapy exercise program and how to use the Pilates and other studio 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.
Physiotherapy exercise classes

After learning your customised physiotherapy exercise program in your private sessions, you’re ready to join our small group physiotherapy exercise classes. Our classes are fully-supervised by a Pilates-trained physiotherapist, with a maximum of three other people who are all doing their own 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 2020. 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. 

 

girl in sunflower field

6 ways to get exercise without actually exercising!

Our lives are getting busier and busier and setting time aside to go get to the gym or go for a run or walk is getting harder and harder. Incidental exercise is a great way to exercise in your day-to-day life without even realising. Incidental exercise is a term for activities that you can undertake in small bursts throughout your day that ultimately increase your overall daily exercise. Oftentimes you won’t even realise that you are in fact exercising!

Here are 6 ways that you can add incidental exercise into your day:

Take the stairs

Of course it is often easier to take the lift or use the elevator but, more often than not, it can actually end up taking more time to wait for the lift than to use the stairs. Taking the stairs, rather than waiting for this lift, can increase your exercise and efficiency. It’s a win win!

Complete 2 x sit to stand every time you get up from your seat

One easy way to add a little more exercise to your day is when you stand up from your chair, to sit back down and then stand up again. You may look a little crazy, but sit to stand is a great exercise to strengthen all of your lower limb muscles. Doubling your reps is a great way to add more exercise throughout your day and build leg strength.

Park further away from the shops or work

Rather than seeking the closest possible carpark, parking a block or two away from your destination will give you an opportunity for a brisk walk to and from work or the shops without even noticing. Public transport users can give this one a go by getting off one stop earlier, or walking to a further away stop to start your journey.

Drink from a cup rather than a water bottle

If you drink from a cup rather than a large water bottle you will be required to stand up and walk to the tap more frequently to fill up the cup. Think about how much incidental exercise you could build up if you drink the recommended 2L of water during your day. Even better if you do a double sit to stand every time you get up for a refill!

Leave your phone in another room

Leaving your phone in another room will mean that if you want to keep updated with your social media or text messages then you will need to walk to your phone to keep up to date. Added bonus – it can help you stay focussed and maximise your productivity!

Get your coffee/tea takeaway

Instead of sitting down with your friends to drink your hot beverage and socialise, get it takeaway and go for a walk with your friends. Walk, talk and drink all at the same time whilst burning calories.

 

Incidental exercise is a perfect way to exercise every day without having to worry about time which is often the biggest barrier to exercising.

 

This post was written by Laura Wade, 4th year physiotherapist student from Australian Catholic University.