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4 tips for pain relief when you’re stuck at home

4 tips for pain relief when you’re stuck at home

1. Manage your stress

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating worldwide. We are lucky in Australia that the spread of illness is now being well contained. However, the social distancing measures have not come without a significant cost for many businesses, their employees and our way of life. Higher levels of stress are common and in the coming weeks, parents will also be juggling home schooling and many people will experience pain working at home.

Stress has a direct and marked impact on pain levels, so if you experience pain working at home and your normal achy neck or back is worse than usual, stress may be playing a substantial role. Often one of the first things you notice when stressed, is muscle tension developing around the neck and shoulder region. You may also feel tension developing in the lower back, particularly if you are sitting rigidly on the edge of your chair. Be sure to sit back in your chair and relax, allowing the chairback to support you.

When you are feeling overwhelmed or feeling tension and pain build in your neck or back, try some relaxed deep breathing. It can work wonders!

 

2. Optimise your home working environment

Many workers have had no choice but to make a rapid transition to a home-office, with less than ideal ergonomic set up. Pain working at home can result.

Good Desk Set Up

Problem: Using a laptop or tablet for prolonged periods will mean a poor neck angle and substantial increases in loads on the joints and muscles of the neck and upper back.

Solution: Organise an external monitor and/or keyboard, to ensure you can look straight ahead at your screen. These were in very short supply but are available again now.

Problem: Your desk and/or seat height may not be suitable.

Solution: Most people won’t want to invest in a new home set up for this temporary situation. But you can improve the situation usually with pillows, back supports, footrests and even bricks to alter the height of a low desk!

Aim to avoid situations where:
a. your knees are higher than your hips
b. your elbows are bent more than 90degrees

If you need a wedge cushion, decompression cushion or a back support, you can drop by the clinic to pick one up or we can organise delivery.

One of our physiotherapists can also check out your home working environment via a Telehealth video consultation.

 

3. Continue (or start) your Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Program

Don’t let this golden opportunity pass you by! Often our patient’s lives are so busy with all the events they must attend for work or family, that their home exercise program goes by the wayside. This makes it difficult to fully overcome a persistent pain issue.

Now is the time to attend studiously to your home program and get on top of those problems once and for all. This will help control pain working at home and it’s also very important for athletes to use this time to maintain or improve conditioning to avoid injuries when returning to sport.

Our physiotherapists are now transitioning back into the clinic after a short break with COVID-19 social distancing, so you can:

  • organise a check up on your program,
  • address a problem you have been meaning to attend to for ages or
  • put a plan in place to maintain your conditioning to prevent injury when returning to sport or your regular physical activity

PhysioTec Physitrack

We can provide assistance either in the clinic or with our telehealth service.

Telehealth is a video consultation. It allows us to assess your movement, check exercise technique, and tailor an exercise program for home. If you do not have an existing diagnosis for your painful condition, we’ll take a thorough history and step you through a variety of tests. This will help us determine what the main problem is.

The telehealth consultation also includes a free app with an individualised program. These exercises have video, audio and text descriptions available. On top of this, the in-app features also include tracking so you can check off your exercises daily and a messaging system to keep in touch with your physiotherapist.

Read more about Telehealth here.

 

4. Engage in regular exercise

We already know the important benefits of exercise, some of which include:

  • Positive effects for mental health
  • Weight control
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Prevention and management of a variety of health problems
  • Physiological benefits for the body, such as improving strength and mobility, which in turn help us to maintain independence.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly right now, we know that regular physical activity decreases the risk of a person contracting a communicable disease (such as viral and bacterial infections). It enhances the ability of a person’s immune system to control itself. (Campbell & Turner 2018, Dominski & Dominski, 2020). Therefore continuing, maintaining or starting an exercise program is encouraged.

While the gyms and Pilates studies are closed, your options are to exercise outside or at home. There are many free exercise classes available online, but for those with previous injuries, be cautious. Some of these low-quality programs will not be suitable and may aggravate your condition or produce a new one.

Our physiotherapists can check your home exercise technique easily with telehealth , helping you control pain working at home. If you have gym equipment at home, Eric Huang, our strength and conditioning physiotherapist is very happy to check your lift technique and provide some ideas to vary or progress your program.

Eric Huang Telehealth Physiotec

Did you know?

Our Pilates instructors are also providing a high-quality Online Pilates service. Each class is run by one of our qualified Pilates Instructors and lasts approximately 40minutes. The classes focus on strength and conditioning exercises with the aim of keeping you moving and helping you maintain good functionality.

Physiotec Online Pilates_2020

Those who have already started these classes with Alice or Lisa have been loving them! Each class is limited to 4 people, and exercises are adapted for every client’s condition or physical fitness. The small class sizes also allow the instructor to monitor your form and posture, thus maximising your performance and safety.

Classes are priced at $20 per session, sold in packs of 5.

Call us on (07) 3342 4284 or contact us today to book in your free class trial!

 

 

References

Campbell, J. P., & Turner, J. E. (2018). Debunking the myth of exercise-induced immune suppression: redefining the impact of exercise on immunological health across the lifespan. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 648.

Dominski, F., Dominski, B. (2020). Exercise and Infectious Diseases – Covid-19. British Journal of Sports Medicine Blog, March 17, 2020.

Physical Activity & Pregnancy

Physical Activity & Pregnancy

Physical Activity & Pregnancy

The Facts, the Figures & the False Conceptions

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy and you are unsure about the current guidelines for physical activity and what is safe, this is a must read! An excellent team of experts have appraised over 27,000 manuscripts and abstracts (Davies G & Artal R., 2019) in order to bring us the most up to date information and guidelines on physical activity during pregnancy.

THE FACTS:

Physical activity during pregnancy:

  • DOES NOT increase the risks of structural or functional birth defects which stem from in the womb (Davenport MH, et al., 2019)
  • Has a significant effect on reducing the severity of low back pain, pelvic girdle pain and lumbopelvic pain. (Davenport MH, et al., 2019)
  • Decreases the chances of using instruments during delivery (Davenport MH, et al., 2019)
  • Reduces the chances of depression during pregnancy as well as the severity of symptoms. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the post-natal period. (Davenport MH, et al., 2018)
  • Reduces the risk of excessive weight gain during pregnancy as well as weight retention postpartum. (Ruchat S, et al., 2018)
  • Results in a small increase in the mother’s body temperature which is safe for the baby. (Davenport MH, et al, 2019)
  • Effectively reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus, gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia. (Davenport MH, et al., 2018)
  • Reduces the odds of having abnormally large babies (Davenport MH, et al., 2018)

Additionally…

  • There is no association between physical activity during pregnancy and increased risk of miscarriage or perinatal mortality (stillbirth or deaths in the first week of life) (Davenport MH, et al., 2019)
  • There is not enough evidence to inform us if lying on our back to exercise is safe or if it should be avoided altogether during pregnancy (Mottola MF, et al., 2019)
  • There was no association found between exercise during pregnancy and complications with the newborn baby or harmful childhood outcomes (Davenport MH, et al., 2018)

THE FIGURES & RECOMMENDATIONS

(Mottola MF, et al., 2018)

  • An accumulation of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week is recommended in order to achieve the health benefits and reduce risks of pregnancy complications
  • Exercise over a minimum of 3 days per week, however daily exercise is encouraged
  • Variety is key in order to achieve greater benefits
  • Pelvic floor muscle training can be performed daily in order to reduce risk of urinary incontinence
  • Exercising flat on the back should be modified if the pregnant women is experiencing light headedness, nausea or feeling unwell
  • TAKE HOME MESSAGE: All women WITHOUT contraindications should be participating in physical activity during pregnancy

THE FALSE CONCEPTIONS

  • Exercise will harm the baby. The evidence has shown that there are no increased risks of miscarriage or a small baby when undertaking physical activity during pregnancy
  • Heart rate should be below 140 beats per minute. This is an outdated guideline from the 80s and there was no evidence to even support this guideline, it was based on expert opinion.
  • Exercise needs to be at a gym or with group fitness. Lots of studies that were looked at were walking programmes. Additionally, moderate intensity physical activity can include gardening, mowing the lawns and some household chores.

Other considerations for physical activity & pregnancy

There are other considerations specific to the mother during pregnancy and physical activity. These include, but are not limited to, the pelvic floor and risk of overload/prolapse as well as pelvic pain. If you are planning a pregnancy/already pregnant and have a history of pelvic pain or pelvic floor concerns, it is important to see your physiotherapist before commencing physical activity. Here at Physiotec, your women’s health physiotherapist can assess your pelvic floor muscles to ensure you are using them correctly, assess and address other areas of concern such as low back pain or pelvic pain and advise you on the safest exercises during pregnancy as well as into the post-natal period. You might also like to join one of our Pilates classes to stay strong or build strength and control before, during or after your pregnancy.

Download more information on Physical Activity during Pregnancy here

Try Torpedo Perturbation Training at PhysioTec

Try Torpedo Perturbation Training at PhysioTec

Perturbation Training

See one of our Physiotec staff, Colm Coakley, demonstrating some perturbation training using the CorMax Torpedo. Half filled with water, the Torpedo becomes an unstable load which your muscles need to figure out how to control. Consequently, it provides a great dynamic stability challenge! Also, due to the ever-changing stimulus, it keeps the nervous system guessing.  This requires the system to continually change the way muscles are stimulated to respond.

In response to pain, or sometimes due to excessive training in very rigid unvarying patterns eg like regularly holding a rigid plank for 2+minutes, the nervous system can begin to recruit muscles in very confined, ‘primitive’ patterns. This can lead to a loss of normal efficiency and load sharing-load sparing in muscle recruitment patterns. As a result, this can also potentially contribute to pain, injury and a loss of athletic performance. At Physiotec, we are always exploring and embracing strategies that can help our patients get the best out of their bodies and their lives. Come & join one of our highly qualified physio’s in an innovative and challenging workout.

When is your child safe to begin resistance training?

When is your child safe to begin resistance training?

When is it safe to begin resistance training?

It is a common misconception that resistance training in children stunts growth. Many parents and coaches remain convinced that weight training will result in short stature, due to potential damage to the growths plates (epiphyseal plate).

In actual fact, The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) have developed a position stand on youth resistance training, which is in contrast to these beliefs.

At PhysioTec, we believe there is a place for strength and condition in children. We maintain that supervision is essential, and believe that this is an ideal time to condition young developing children and adolescents to a level where there body can not only withstand, but excel in their chosen field.

Are you still unsure?

Well, if a child is ready to participate in organised and structured sports, such as cricket, football, rugby and basketball then they are generally ready to perform a supervised resistance-training program. This will allow them to handle even the most intensive sporting schedules

 

September 2017

Physiotec’s 7 laws of Strength Training

Physiotec’s 7 laws of Strength Training

 

7 laws of Strength Training

1 Train Consistently

Consistency with training is vitally important. Those who train week in and week out will experience steady improvements in fundamental lifting skills, strength and muscularity over time. Assess your weekly routine and see when you can fit in at least 2-3 30-45 minute sessions per week into your schedule

2 Warm Ups are essential:

The “RAMP” system provides a method by which warm-up activities can be classified and constructed. This system identifies three key phases of effective warm-ups.

Activities included in the ‘Raise’ section can be used to increase body temperature and blood flow. The ‘Activate and Mobilise’ section can be used to optimise strength, control and dynamic flexibility around areas central to performance in the gym. The ‘Potentiation’ section provides an ideal time to carry out activities such as speed and plyometric training in order to prepare the body to work at maximal capacity.

3 Use Good Form:

You do need to be very strict with your exercise form, and you need to learn the right type of form for your body on various lifts. This is especially important for bigger exercises like squats and deadlifts where the risk of injury is inherently higher than, say, dumbbell curls. Developing competency in the major compound lifts such as the deadlift, squat and lunge will reduce the likelihood of injury in the gym and can ensure you train consistently throughout the year and reach your goals.

4: Stimulate the muscles of the entire body:

To make a muscle grow, it must be stimulated on a regular basis. Compound exercises are designed to stimulate a lot of muscles throughout the body. For example the deadlift stimulates the forearms, traps, lats, scapular retractors, spinal extensors, glutes and hamstrings, even the core and quad muscles This helps explain why deads are such a great exercise. However, if all you did was deadlift, your pecs, delts, and biceps wouldn’t come close to reaching their full hypertrophy potential. Make sure your programs regularly incorporate enough exercises that combine to thoroughly hit the entire body.

5; Basic Strength Must Improve:

 Progressive overload is the most important aspect in the strength game. If you embark on a strength training regimen and fail to get stronger, you won’t gain much muscle. You must use heavier loads and perform more reps over time.

As you get more experienced in the gym, you should see dramatic strength progress compared to your beginning level in a squat variation, a deadlift variation, some kind of upper body press, and an upper body pull. And if you want to be your absolute best at anything, be it squats, deadlifts, bench press, power cleans, or even Turkish get-ups, then you need to perform the lifts consistently to groove the neuromuscular patterns and maximize motor learning. Failing to do so will leave unachieved progress on the table.

6 Muscle is made in the gym and built in the kitchen.

 Nutrition is key when it comes to strength development. The best training program in the world is no match for a poor diet.

If you want to develop strength and perform optimally, then you must take nutrition seriously. You need to take in the right amount of calories and the right blend of macronutrients for your goals and physiology. You don’t have to be perfect 24/7, but eating a consistent amount of carboydrates, protein and fats can help with strength and hypertrophy gains.

7 Sleep.

Some folks need more sleep than others and some can perform well with less, but you should still care about your sleep (quantity and quality) and prioritize it. Make a genuine effort to be consistent with your sleep schedule if you’re serious about getting results. Failure to do so will hinder your pursuit of strength and hypertrophy.

Regarding stress, your goal shouldn’t be to eliminate it altogether, but rather to optimize it. It’s good to be challenged in life, but there’s a fine line between eustress (positive stress, like a good workout) and distress (negative stress, like 65 hours a week at a job surrounded by toxic co-workers). Aim to stay in eustress most of the time for maximum results. Step back and analyze your life choices and habits. This is an area in which many lifters can make adjustments that lead to immediate results.

 

Resistance training for persistent pain

Resistance training for persistent pain

Resistance Training for Persistent Pain

Resistance Training

At Physiotec, we see many people with persistent hip and lower back pain. A lot of them are fearful regarding resistance training or are unsure what types of exercises are appropriate for them. There is often a misconception surrounding resistance training regarding its potential to be harmful or unsure for patients with persistent pain. At Physiotec, we aim to create an environment, which promotes strengthening in a safe and graduated way.

Benefits of resistance training

There are many benefits of resistance training including improving muscle mass and bone density, injury and falls prevention and overall movement patterns. In our new strength and conditioning gym, you have a unique opportunity to be closely monitored by a physiotherapist who combines their excellent knowledge of pain science and resistance training in the overall management of your condition.

Assessment and management programs

All our assessment and management programs are 100% individualized to suit your specific needs. Whether you are young or old or are experienced or inexperienced with resistance training, our Gymstart program offers you a new and exciting approach to the management of your presentation.

 

Saturday Acute Injury Service

Saturday Acute Injury Service

Ever hurt yourself on a Friday night or Saturday and wished you could have your injury seen to? Did you know Physiotec now offers Injury Clinic every Saturday from 11:30am-1:30pm. One of our skilled Sports Injury & Performance Physiotherapists will be on staff every Saturday to cater for the acute injuries sustained during Friday night/Saturday. The right advice and early management makes all the difference. Get treatment/advice now. Don’t wait!!!

We also have a normal clinical service and pilates on Saturday morning, but reserve places with one of Sports Injury & Performance team specifically for acute injuries that require urgent assistance.

Why Gym Start?

Why Gym Start?

Welcome to the first blog post of our strength and conditioning series. Physiotec has recently recruited physiotherapists with specific experience in strength and conditioning. We recognise the need to give people access to strength training, especially coming back from injury. However, uninjured people will also benefit from the service.

In our clinic, we see more and more people who are engaging in gym based training and this ranges from young adolescents to elderly people.  The goals for strength training for the individual may be different but the fundamentals are the same: good form and appropriate loading. It is our goal to provide this service for our clients to enjoy strength training in a safe and effective manner.

We aim to update our blog regularly and provide some easy to digest content on all things strength training. In the meantime, keep up to date with our clinic via social media:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/PhysioTec

Twitter: @PhysiotecAUS

Physiotec Updates

Physiotec Updates

END OF YEAR ROUNDUP!

2015 in Review

2015 was a year of exciting change and growth for Physiotec. The clinic expanded physically, new staff came on board, our technology advanced, our physiotherapists further expanded their already high level of knowledge and we reached out to the community with involvement in sporting events, teaching locally and abroad and with social media.

The clinic expanded upstairs this year providing another large gym space, two more treatment rooms, a second waiting area, a meeting/teaching space for our staff and a second office. We have also taken on board a Patient Liaison Coordinator, Toni Corta. You may have heard from Toni who is responsible for helping track the progress of our patients with the aim of providing the best quality service possible. We pride ourselves on providing treatment that is up to date and informed by cutting edge scientific evidence. The information Toni collects will further help us determine which treatments provide the best outcomes in our patient population. Better outcomes achieved more rapidly for our clients continues to be our primary focus.

We also invest in technologies that can help us achieve this goal. Physiotec invested in an additional real time ultrasound machine used for muscle and tendon assessment, rehabilitation and biofeedback. Our ViMove system (wireless accelerometers for assessing movement) has undergone considerable advances with new programmes to assess and improve ‘core control’ and neck movement as well as advances in the knee and running modules. Our second gym has been equipped with a new reformer with a tower attachment and we also added a ladder barrel allowing a host of new exercise challenges. A spine corrector, two TWS sliders, a ballet bar, balance equipment, band stations, a weights station and much more can also be found in our new exercise area.

pilates gym new

Our physiotherapists are passionate about continually increasing their expertise. Our staff have been involved as treating physiotherapists in university research trials and have attended national Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine conferences and many workshops and lectures on topics such as Hip Pain, Hamstring Injuries, Bone Health, Women’s & Men’s Health (pelvic pain and pelvic floor function), Hypermobility, Dance Medicine, Running Injuries & Rehabilitation and Tendon Pain & Rehabilitation.

Our principal physiotherapist, Dr Alison Grimaldi has also contributed to the knowledge of other physiotherapists and health professionals in Australia and overseas through multiple presentations at the recent Australian Physiotherapy Association Biennial Conference at the Gold Coast and lectures and workshops presented at Pure Sports Medicine(London), PhysioUK (London), Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, William Harvey Research Institute (London), Neath Port Talbot Hospital (Wales, UK), the Sports Surgery Clinic (Dublin, UK) and the Australian Institute of Sport (Canberra).

Dublin lecture 2

Sports Surgery Clinic, Dublin

Alison also presented weekend courses for physiotherapists in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. She has continued her research involvement into management of gluteal tendon pain and hip joint pain through the University of Queensland and University of Melbourne and has co-authored three papers in peer reviewed scientific journals such as Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical TherapyMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and Sports Medicine Journal.

Physiotec has been more connected to the world in 2015, with increased activity on Twitter and Facebook. We aim to help keep our followers up to date with the latest research in physiotherapy by providing information on useful links, blogs and tips on injury prevention.  Not only are we active on social media, but we also launched a new and easy to navigate website where you can browse our services, get to know the staff, and read more news in physiotherapy. Here is link to our new website: Physiotec

As part of our goal to get our clients more fit and active throughout their recovery, Physiotec staff and patients participated in the International Women’s Day Fun Run which raises money for Breast Cancer.

international women's day

We have also worked hard to help our patients to achieve their own activity and work related goals. Staff physiotherapist, Eric Huang, who is the founder of Brisbane-based cycling group M.I.A, helped some of our clients earn cycling medals while managing to gain podium placings himself.

MIA

mia podium eric

We have helped clients achieve lifelong goals of overseas travel and returning to work after years of disability, but it is often the everyday things that have the most impact – walking upstairs painfree for the first time in months, being able to attend family or social gatherings, achieving a good night’s sleep. We always love to see our clients overcome their difficulties and reach their personal goals.

What’s up in 2016?

In this coming year, our physiotherapists will be attending conferences and courses around the world. Alison will be attending the Low Back & Pelvic Pain Congress in Singapore and lecturing and presenting at the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists in Glasgow, UK. She will also be teaching in London, Wales, Ireland, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand, as well as her regular Australian courses. Sharon will be attending the First International Ehler-Dhanlos and Hypermobility symposium in the USA. Kirsty, will once again be working with elite tennis players at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Eric will be continuing to further his knowledge and performance in all things cycling. Megan will be furthering her expertise in Women’s Health and Tony & Louise will be sharing their knowledge with some part time tutoring at the University of Queensland.

We will also be joined by visiting psychologist, Carolyn Uhlmann, who has a focus on providing support for patients coping with acute and chronic pain, chronic illness or caring for a loved one with health problems. She can also assist those who are learning to adjust and cope with changes in health, medical events, mobility and independence.

With the new staff members, new gym, new Pilates programs, running assessments and spinal assessments, you can expect that we will be offering more at Physiotec as we continue to grow.

 

Hypermobility and Injuries: What is their relationship?

Hypermobility and Injuries: What is their relationship?

Hypermobility and Injuries

Have you been told that you are double jointed? You may have heard this term before to describe being more flexible than usual. Well, your joints are not “ double” but passive structures such as ligaments and connective tissue allow more stretch than normal.  Continue reading