New GLA:D® Program for hip and/or knee osteoarthritis coming soon!

Juhi, Matt and Sandra recently undertook the GLA:D® – “Good Life with osteoArthritis: Denmark” course and are now certified GLA:D® physiotherapists. We will soon be launching our in-house GLA:D® Program – a 6 week program of education and exercise designed to help reduce the symptoms of hip and/or knee osteoarthritis. Over the 6 weeks patients will attend 2 education sessions and 12 supervised exercise sessions, each of about 60 minutes.

GLA:D® is an evidence-based approach shown to help people of all ages with mild, moderate and severe osteoarthritis by reducing pain, increasing mobility and enhancing quality of life. Often surgery such as joint replacement can be avoided and, if having a total knee joint or hip replacement, completing the GLA:D® program prior can lead to a quicker recovery.

The GLA:D® exercises can be personalised to each individual participant, continued at home and repeated as and when you feel you may benefit from them.

 

Click here to read more about our upcoming GLA:D® Program.

 

Click here to express your interest in our GLA:D® Program and we will contact you once it has launched. You can also call us on 3857 5815.

 

 

7 EXERCISES TO HELP A STIFF BACK

Does your back feel stiff? Read on to find out how you can improve your thoracic mobility…

Our daily habits make us very prone to stiffness in the thoracic spine, which often makes it hard to stretch, bend or flex your spine, and can lead to back pain and tension. We spend a great deal of time through the day in thoracic flexion (forward bending) e.g. when showering, sitting at a desk, looking at our phone, preparing food, eating, doing housework, etc. 

Unfortunately, our usual daily routines rarely require us to extend our thoracic spine so, unless we go out of our way to do otherwise, we are often stuck in a forward position. Over time this leads to a fixed flexion posture and can be hard to reverse. It becomes especially hard to reverse as we age and, if not addressed, often leads to a great deal of debilitation in later life. 

Poor thoracic mobility can also have flow-on affects into the neck, shoulders and lower back. With our thoracic spine in a flexed position, we are more likely to overload the neck muscles, impinge the shoulder joints and place more pressure on our lower back, especially when sitting through the day. Natural movement, combined with joint mobilising exercises for the thoracic spine can help offset poor habits and help us to improve overall posture and prevent movement restriction later in life.

The following exercises can almost all be done with no equipment, with a couple of exercises only requiring a foam roller and a broomstick.

1. Cobra pose

Start lying face down with toes pointed and hands on the floor underneath your shoulders. Push up through your arms and extend spine as far as you can, ensuring you also lift your head and look straight ahead. You can lock out your elbows if able, otherwise if this feels too extreme you can rest on your forearms. Hold this position for 10 seconds before returning to the starting position. The aim here is to get as much extension through the spine as possible. Repeat 5 times and remember to keep breathing as you stretch.

 

2. Archer stretch 

Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent to 90 degrees, keep your knees together as you arc your top arm up towards the ceiling and continue all the way around onto the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times. The aim here is to get as much rotation through the spine as possible. Do the same lying on the other side. 

 

3. Child’s pose 

Get on your hands and knees, drop your bottom back onto your heels while keeping your palms firmly planted on the floor. Let your head drop between your arms and push your chest to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. You can get a wider stretch by pushing your knees out to the sides so your legs form a V.

 

 

4. Cat cow stretch

Get on all-fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and knees directly below your hips. Alternate between arching and curling the spine. The aim here is to move your spine through its full range of motion in each direction. Repeat 10 times in each direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Roller Thoracic extension 

Lying down on a foam roller, with the roller sideways underneath your body, extend back over the roller as far as your feel comfortable. Roll up and down trying to extend the spinal segment above the roller as much as possible. If this feels too intense or uncomfortable you may want to work on the cobra stretch more until you gain more mobility. 

 

6. Thoracic rotation with stick 

Rest broomstick on shoulders and place hands on top of stick at each end. Rotate the spine to the side as far as possible, trying to point the stick to 12 o’clock if able, hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times in each direction.

 

 

7. Thoracic side bends with stick 

Rest broomstick on shoulders and place hands on top of stick at each end. Bent to the side through the spine, trying to point the stick down towards the floor as far as possible, hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times in each direction.

If you’re struggling with back pain, stiffness or just want to help your body grow stronger and healthier, call or book online to have an appointment with a member of our team today.

 

This post was written by Greg Holmes, Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates. 

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.