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Pilates Your Partner in Managing Pain

Posted on 25 September 2018

Many of us have experienced back pain ourselves or know someone who has. It's no surprise that low back pain is one of the most prevalent conditions among Australian adults and, if managed poorly, creates a significant social and economic burden.

While the effectiveness of treatments such as medication, massage and electrotherapy have been established in the past; more recent advancements in scientific research have resulted in evidence supporting a more active approach for patients with chronic conditions.

A recent study systematically reviewed all of the available data in relation to the effectiveness of Pilates exercise in people with chronic low back pain, producing statistically significant findings in support of Pilates exercise.

Pilates exercise, named after its founder Joseph Pilates in the 1920's, focuses on activating the deep core muscles to provide stability for the spine during movement. If this sounds all too familiar to you, come along and join one of our small groups. You'll be glad you did!

Why? If you suffer from low back pain, including a Pilates exercise program, which places an emphasis on core stability, flexibility, strength and quality of movement will help speed up your recovery so you're feeling better and can return to the activities you enjoy, quicker!

So, yes, Pilates can be your partner in managing pain.

Contact Newcastle Integrated Physiotherapy staff for more information about Pilates Classes in Newcastle

Posted in: Pilates Classes Newcastle  

Sciatica Pain

Posted by Zoltan Marosszeky on 11 September 2018
Sciatica Pain

What is sciatica pain?

Sciatica pain is pain radiating along the sciatic nerve leading down one or both legs, from the lower back (lumbar spine). It can vary in intensity from a mild ache to a sharp jolt or a burning sensation similar to an electric shock. Sciatica pain can be so severe that simple movements such as walking, bending, standing, or even just sitting can be extremely uncomfortable. Sciatica is a common problem for manual workers or those with a sedentary job and sit at a desk for long periods of time. It is frequently seen in pregnancy. The pain comes from the pressure and inflammation on the nerve.

So what causes it?

There are multiple causes of sciatica pain:

  • Sometimes the piriformis muscle becomes inflamed and presses against the sciatic nerve
  • Pressure on the nerve (Sitting on a hard surface or seat causing pins and needles to your legs is a form of sciatic pain)
  • Prolapsed or 'slipped' discs tend to bulge, pressing on nerves and causing pain
  • Narrowing of the nerve tunnel between discs due to osteoarthritis
  • Spinal injury or other trauma, bone spurs or other growths
  • Tight or swollen glutes (buttock muscles)

 

Symptoms of Sciatica Pain

Some symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation to the buttocks
  • Aching pain in the buttocks, back of thigh and calf
  • Pain in the ankle or foot or both
  • Pins and needles
  • Increased pain when lifting, straining or coughing
  • Loss of power/ strength to the muscles of the leg and foot

Most cases the symptoms of sciatica will resolve by themselves within 6-12 weeks, very rarely is permanent nerve or tissue damage a result. There are many forms of treatment including pain relief, ice packs, heat packs, warm baths, traction, posture correction, stretching,epidural injections and surgery as a last resort. 

The role of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in treating sciatica pain.The Physiotherapists' main objectives are to  reduce your pain, restore your movement, strengthen weakened muscles and reduce tension.

The physiotherpist will first Diagnose the cause of your pain and then plan for your treatment. Accurate diagnosis is paramount to ensure you recover as quickly as possible. It's very important that the treatment is specific to your condition.

A treatment plan will involve a combination of techniques and can include some or all of the following:

  • A stretching program, including an at home stretching exercise plan, stretching out tight muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments
  • The mobilisation or manipulation of the spine/ joints
  • Hands on treatment  such as massage therapy, trigger point therapy and myofascial release
  • Heat therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Active Therapy, which as name suggests involves you in the treatment process. It means that you can learn ways to treat yourself rather than relying solely on pasive therapy such as hands- on treatment and medication
  • Muscle Energy techniques
  • Application of electrotherapy such as laser, ultrasound and interferental therapy

 

Call us to discuss your treatment opitons and book an appointment!

Posted in: Newcastle Physiotherapy Sports Injuries Newcastle  

Diabetes and Physical Activity

Posted by Olivia French on 4 September 2018
Diabetes and Physical Activity

How Exercise Physiology can help manage Type 2 diabetes

What is Type 2 diabetes?


Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition, characterised by elevated fasting blood glucose levels due to the body's reduced ability to produce enough, or respond to, the hormone insulin. If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can cause regular hypoglycaemic attacks, potentially leading to nerve damage, blindness and amputation.

Type 2 diabetes is treated with oral medication and sometimes insulin injection therapy. However, lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet play a huge role in everyday management.
How can physical activity help?

Regular physical activity has been scientifically shown to improve the way the body responds to insulin, which, in turn, helps regulate blood glucose levels. It also increases glucose uptake by the muscles and can reduce the amount of insulin required to manage glucose levels in the blood.
Physical activity can also assist in the management of other common conditions associated with type 2 diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

So, what exercise should I be doing?

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, it is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine that you participate in regular cardiovascular, strength and flexibility exercise.
Cardiovascular exercise should be performed for 30 minutes (which can be broken into 10 minute blocks), at a moderate intensity, on at least 5 days/week. E.g. walking, bike riding or swimming.

Strength training should incorporate the major muscle groups and be performed on 2-3 days per week, with a day off in between training days.

Stretching should be performed every day, but especially after performing any physical activity, to ensure muscle and joint health.
It is important to firstly get the all clear from your GP to commence a physical activity program. Then, talk to an Exercise Physiologist who will design a program with you specific to your diabetes.

Your Exercise Physiologist will discuss with you any other condition or injuries you may be experiencing, and educate you on how to be safe during your physical activity program. For example, checking your blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise to ensure you are not at risk of hyper/hypoglycaemia, ensuring you have appropriate footwear to reduce risk of ulcers and neuropathies, and that you are carrying carbohydrates with you.

Your Exercise Physiologist will also advise on the appropriate times of day to be active and ensure that your program starts at a manageable level, so that's it is enjoyable and becomes a sustainable part of your every-day life. Your Exercise Physiologist will work with you, setting you up to achieve your longer-term goals.

To book an appointment with our Exercise Physiologist Olivia French phone us on 4957 2961 today.

Posted in: Newcastle Physiotherapy Exercise Physiology Newcastle Women's Health Physiotherapy Newcastle mobility newcastle  

What Is Frozen Shoulder? Newcastle Physiotherapy

Posted on 27 August 2018

Frozen shoulder (or adhesive capsulitis) is a common clinical condition. While it has been extensively discussed over the years, there is still little known about why it occurs.frozen-shoulder-newcastle-physiotherapy

It has been proposed that frozen shoulder will affect 8.2% of men and 10% of women of working age. Although most cases have no known cause, there does appear to be a correlation between frozen shoulder ,rotator cuff tears and post shoulder surgery. It also occurs in people with diabetes and thyroid dysfunction.

A person with frozen shoulder will often experience three distinct phases of the condition.

  1. An initial 'freezing' phase pain as adhesions form in the shoulder capsule, reduced range of movement.
  2. A relatively pain-free 'frozen' phase characterised by severe restriction of movement.
  3. Finally a 'thawing' phase where movement returns.

Even though frozen shoulder is a self-limiting condition and the person will eventually recover, this process can take more than two years, resulting in significant reduction in function in the meantime.

A new trend in treatment combines physiotherapy, guided exercises and passive movement with 'hydrodilatation' where the joint capsule is injected with a saline/steroid compound to stretch and ultimately tear adhesions.
This treatment provides an alternative to invasive surgery, improving both function and pain.

Studies focused on physiotherapy and surgery have shown that completing physiotherapy exercises in the initial stage can help minimise the amount of movement lost. Surgery to 'release' the shoulder capsule has varied results in terms of both pain and function.
If you have recently been diagnosed with a frozen shoulder please call us to see how we can help you return to regular activities quicker!

For further information and physio treatment for Frozen Shoulder contact Newcastle Integrated Physiotherapy on (02) 4957 2961

Posted in: Frozen Shoulder Newcastle Newcastle Physiotherapy  

Are You Feeling Hamstrung?

Posted by Zoltan Marosszeky on 13 August 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You don't need to be an elite athlete to sustain a hamstring injury. It's one of the most common injuries in sports like football, soccer and basketball, which require a high level of power, agility and speed.  It's important to know how to best avoid injury as well as how to manage if you do sustain a strain.

Put simply, the hamstrings are a muscle group made up of three individual muscles, which perform slightly different roles. Crossing both the hip and knee joint, they provide strength in the hip and support the position of the knee when running.

The hamstrings have three jobs to do during a typical running cycle:

  1. To decelerate the leg during the swing phase of running
  2. To stabilise the knee and extend the hip during the support phase
  3. To assist the calf muscles by pulling the knee into extension during take off

Tears often occur either during the swing phase where the hamstrings attempt to counteract the contraction of the quadriceps. If there isn't enough power generated by the gluteal muscles at the heel strike the hamstrings need to work harder and can become overloaded and tight, leading to a strain. This tightness can also lead to other issues such as lower back pain, SI (Sacroiliac) Joint pain and pressure under the kneecap.

The good news is, there are things you can do to help prevent injuries, which are well known but not as well performed:

Stretching is always is the best way to prepare for any form of rigorous exercise, but don't forget to take the time to stretch afterwards as well.
Warming up to increase body temperature will help your body get the most out of exercise and assist in avoiding injury.
Posted in: Newcastle Physiotherapy Exercise Physiology Newcastle Sports Injuries Newcastle Pilates Classes Newcastle mobility newcastle  
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Recent news

Pilates Your Partner in Managing Pain

Sep 25 2018
Many of us have experienced back pain ourselves or know someone who has. It's no surprise that low back pain is one of the most prevalent co...

Sciatica Pain

Sep 11 2018
What is sciatica pain? Sciatica pain is pain radiating along the sciatic nerve leading down one or both legs, from the lower back (lumbar sp...

Diabetes and Physical Activity

Sep 04 2018
How Exercise Physiology can help manage Type 2 diabetes What is Type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition, characterise...
Read more news
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