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workplaces exercises

Simple Workplace Exercises for Computer Users

The average working person spends between six and eight hours per day in front of a screen. Add to that a couple of hours of non-work-related computer activity, and it becomes clear that your wrists, hands, neck, and back will suffer at one point. 

Overuse of any body part can lead to pain, stiffness, and RMI (Repetitive Motion Injury). To prevent unwelcome events from occurring, you can perform simple sitting, standing, and stretching exercises right at your desk. Spread them in multiple short breaks or do them all during your lunch break and your body will say thank you by rewarding you with greater preparedness, flexibility, and agility.

Simple Workplace Exercises for the Whole Body

When working on a computer, hands, wrists, and fingers are exposed to the most effort. However, poor posture and mental strain can take a less obvious toll. Therefore, a full-body routine anyone can do will solve most of the unnecessary issues that show up when not paying attention. Relief from common computer-related injuries, including CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), mouse shoulder, computer back (Posterior Cervical Dorsal Syndrome), disc injuries, and lumbar sprains and strains, is at your fingertips.

Hand and Wrist Exercises

Repeat on both sides and do each motion 5 to 10 times for best results. Hold stretches for 10-15 seconds.

Hand and Wrist Shakes

Put your hands in front of you with palms facing downwards, let your wrists loose, and shake up and down several times to boost circulation and relieve stiffness. 

Wrist Flexion and Extension

Place each arm at the end of the work desk with the palm freely dangling downwards. (Add a cushion for comfort). Stretch your palm upwards and downwards by holding the stretch for 10 seconds on each side.  

Fist-to-Fan

To relieve hand muscle and joint stiffness, put your hand into a fist, extend partially with bent knuckles, hold for 3 seconds, then extend fully with fingers straight and wide apart.  

Thumb Touches 

To improve hand coordination and blood flow, hold both your palms upwards and mindfully bring each fingertip to touch the thumb. 

Head and Neck Relief

Sitting with a flat back or standing, turn your head from left to right to look over each shoulder. Hold each turn for 3-5 seconds. 

Shoulders, Back, and Trunk Exercises 

Back injuries are one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions that can be prevented by regular exercise.

Upper Back Stretch

Fold arms in front of you, holding each elbow with the opposite palm. Raise to shoulder level and push the elbows straight back to stretch the shoulder blades.

Shoulder and Chest Stretch

Grab both hands behind your back, and raise your arms upwards until you feel mild tension in the chest and the front of the shoulders.

Workplace Exercises – Leg Stretches 

Leg exercises will help you perform daily tasks, increase flexibility and range of motion, and decrease pain connected with muscle tightness.

Leg Lifts 

Stand or sit in your chair and pull the shin of your leg gently towards your chest, holding the stretch for at least five seconds. Then do the other leg.

Quadriceps Stretch

Stand behind your chair and hold the backrest for balance. Grasp one leg by the ankle and pull back and up until you feel the front of the thigh stretching. 

Hamstrings Stretch

Stand with one knee bent and the opposite leg straight in front of you. Bend forward at the waist until you feel the back of the thigh stretching. 

Ankle Stretch

Bend the knee, raise the ankle, and rotate the ankle clockwise and counterclockwise for 20 seconds.

Slow breathing workplace exercises and raising your feet on an ergonomic foot stand will help you restore mental balance and improve circulation in the legs. Irrespective of what exercises you choose to do as a computer user, remembering to get up and walk away from your desk a few times a day will help you ease aches, tackle muscle soreness, and leave you feeling energised after a long day at work. 

What is the Difference between Regular and Remedial Massage?

The confusion between regular and remedial massage arises from the fact that often people require a massage treatment that overlaps both specialties. When one is in pain or discomfort, the point of getting in touch with a massage therapist is to feel better. Feeling better can be achieved with both massage modalities. Although both remedial massage and regular massage have the patient’s wellbeing in common, they are very different in what they target. They are executed differently and ask for a different level of qualification. 

Which is which, and how to choose the one for you?

Remedial Massage vs. Regular Massage

Various massage techniques include some form of kneading and applying pressure and movement to the body. It aims to provide relaxation, relieve pain, heal injuries, and target specific body areas to help patients achieve maximum health and wellbeing. Here are the key differences between remedial and regular massage:

  • Massage goal: address particular pain points vs. promote a whole-body wellbeing
  • Technique scope: remedial massage targeted specialties such as effleurage, petrissage, deep strokes, compressions, wringing, picking up and skin rolling, vs. liberty to choose a variety of strokes and movements

It is not impossible for a regular massage therapist to know or use any of the above techniques. But a remedial massage program is goal-oriented. It contains focused and detailed strokes for solving the most painful localised issues as fast as possible. 

What is Remedial Massage?

Remedial massage, sometimes also called massage therapy, targets body ailments related to specific body areas. The examples include ligaments, muscles, tendons, and soft tissue to provide relaxation, remove pain, eliminate muscle tension, and treat injuries. 

Remedial massage is a therapeutic modality, which means that its primary goal is to heal disease (the meaning of “therapeutic” is “healing disease”).

The root of the word “remedial” itself is “medicine” so the first thing that comes to mind is a massage treatment provided by a qualified professional. 

Patients tend to mix remedial massage with deep-tissue massage. That is a common confusion especially for those who visit a massage therapist to treat muscle soreness and sports injuries. However, they are not the same. Deep-tissue massage uses forceful pressure methods to recuperate over-trained muscles, inflamed tendons and joints, and to treat chronically painful connective tissue — the fascia. It is not unusual to feel sleepy and fatigued after a deep-tissue massage.  

What Hides Behind Regular Massage?

Regular massage is the umbrella term for massage modalities that include relaxation and stress relief techniques, muscle tension removal, and methods for improved circulation, energy, and mental alertness. Shiatsu massage and Swedish massage are two massage treatments that belong to the “regular massage” group. 

Unlike remedial massage, which typically follows a stricter schedule, you can choose how often you undergo deep-tissue or regular massage. 

Massage Therapy Qualifications for Remedial and Regular Massage

Remedial therapeutic massage is performed by a qualified remedial therapist. 

A remedial therapist is certified to use advanced massage techniques to heal musculoskeletal and joint disorders that are more serious or have been dormant for some time. If you schedule an appointment for a remedial massage, the physical therapist will usually assess the level of injury or disease, create a specialised program, pick up the best massage techniques, follow progress, and adjust treatment accordingly. 

Remedial Massage Techniques

The additional weeks of training in remedial massage qualify massage therapists to ask questions and reveal what bothers the client in a more specific way. Apart from specialising in the universal massage techniques applicable for a regular massage, remedial massage therapists spend additional hours in training to learn about:

Trigger Point Therapy 

Muscle knots that trigger chronic pain are among the top three reasons clients ask for help from a remedial massage therapist. Trigger points can be located anywhere in the myofascial tissue. You can tell that you have a trigger point if you feel the tension in a certain area. The existence of a harder muscular fibrous tissue that passes through a tender spot in a shortened muscle is a clear indicator. When you apply pressure to the area, the muscle responds by a twitch or a jump. 

Painful knots in muscle tissues can make life hard, especially when left untreated for a long time.

The therapist’s task is to apply pressure to the trigger point and stretch the muscle to release tension and reduce myofascial pain. By stretching and moving the affected area, the myofascial point is softened and knot pain and surrounding pain are eliminated, or at least reduced.

Neuromuscular Techniques 

Neuromuscular techniques are used to treat muscle spasms with steady focused pressure executed with the fingers, knuckles, or elbows. The therapist holds a stable pressure level for at least ten to thirty seconds. 

The benefits of neuromuscular therapy are:

  • Improved strength and flexibility 
  • Ease of movement 
  • Better posture 
  • Tissue detoxification
  • Overall improved neuromuscular and skeletal health

The more practice hours the remedial therapist has, the better their choice of a specific neuromuscular technique will be for a speedy recovery.

Special Orthopaedic Assessment 

Orthopaedic testing is a physical examination tool for identifying musculoskeletal disorders. Your remedial massage therapist will perform a series of assessments to rule out specific orthopaedic conditions and injuries. The therapist will ask you to position your body standing and lying and perform motions with the purpose to determine the cause of the problem. By observing your performance, the therapist will design the best course forward and re-assess the success of the assigned remedial therapy at a later stage. An AROM (active range of motion) test is an example of such an assessment.  

PNF Stretching

PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching is a partner-assisted stretching that applies passive and isometric techniques for improving static muscle flexibility. Since the remedial therapist acts as your partner, they will stretch, hold, contract, and relax muscles in a series of movements. Although you can do it by yourself, PNF has better effects on the isometric (motionless) contraction when partnered. This remedial massage technique can improve passive and active range of motion.   

Physiotherapy for office workers: 10 exercises you can do at your desk

Quick take:

  • Physiotherapy can help office workers reduce the risk of both mental and physical ailments. 
  • Good posture at the office is essential to prevent pain and injury. 
  • The risks of prolonged sitting include elevated blood pressure, trouble breathing, and mental ailments including stress and anxiety. 
  • If injured or have an underlying illness, we recommend consulting with a physiotherapist to lessen the risk of injury during physical activity. 

Physiotherapy for office workers: The Facts. 

Postural, muscular, and joint problems that afflict office workers are plenty. Add to that the side effects of sedentary life, and you can understand why the average office worker often complains about back pain, problems breathing, bad circulation, and psychiatric illnesses including, depression, and anxiety. 

To understand the value of physiotherapy for office workers, we must look at the science. A study published on NCBI titled “adverse effects of prolonged sitting behaviour on the general health of office workers,” concluded: Sitting behaviour had adverse effects on office workers. Active workstations are therefore recommended to improve working conditions.”

However, many office workers do not have much control over their work environment. Meaning, the only factor you are in control of is your body. Physiotherapy can help you combat the effects of prolonged sitting. How? Find out below. 

What are the risks of sitting too much, and how can physiotherapy help?

Medical studies have found a link between office work and a cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, weakening and wasting of leg muscles, bad posture, and there is enough medical evidence to support the claim that sitting for prolonged periods may increase your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. 

These problems may also afflict long-distance drivers.

Physiotherapy is a branch of medicine concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through physical intervention, examination, diagnosis, and prognosis. Physiotherapists also provide education to patients to help prevent disease and injury. Today, we provide education to office workers, so the question is: How can physiotherapy help office workers or people who live sedentary lifestyles?

Stiffness and pain around the neck, shoulder, and sometimes in the hands is a common complaint amongst office workers. These symptoms are often the result of bad posture. What causes bad posture?

Office work requires you to sit at a computer or use electronic devices. Stemming from that situation are postural problems, including, Text Neck/Forward Head Posture, Upper Cross syndrome, and rounded shoulders. 

Office workers may also develop other posture-related problems including scoliosis, lordosis, and swayback or flat back. We have an article on How to Correct Bad Posture (LINK TO BAD POSTURE), so if that is your main affliction, you should read that after you finish this. 

In short. Physiotherapy for office workers aimed at fixing bad posture relies on a patient-specific approach designed to find weak muscles and imbalances. After finding the problem area, the next step is to strengthen the muscles and/or loosen stiff joints. 

Recommended exercises for bad posture:

  • Chin tucks
  • Wall angels
  • Blackburn exercises 
  • Cable rows. 

Physiotherapy for injured office workers

On the surface, working at a desk poses very little risk of suffering injuries, however, according to collected data, the most common injuries in an office environment include repetitive strain injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, fractures, and lacerations. 

How can a physiotherapist help, and what exercises are recommended? 

Most of the injuries mentioned above may result from bad posture or accidents, to lessen the risk, we recommend investing in Ergonomic Furniture. What if the damage is already done?

As mentioned, physiotherapy aims to prevent injury and rehabilitate the body post-injury. The focus is primarily on optimising strength and restoring function and movement. It is a very hands-on approach that encompasses massages, stretches, and physical activity. 

Your body tells you that there is an issue through pain, the longer you wait. The more the damage will progress and, by extension, the more pain you will experience. Consequently, if you are an office worker and are currently experiencing persistent pain in your joints, back, muscles, or any part of your body. It is essential to consult with a trained professional. It could be a physician or physiotherapist. If you have muscles or joint problems, physicians will recommend working with a physiotherapist. 

How can a physiotherapist help with office-related injuries?

Arthritis, injury, and bad posture are all possible causes of pain, especially amongst office workers. However, without proper training and without the right tools it could be impossible to find the root cause of your problem. Physiotherapists work with physicians to find underlying health issues and then design a suitable rehabilitation program. 

Taking up exercise yourself may exacerbate the problem. So, before you begin an exercise regime, we recommend consulting with a physiotherapist. 

In short, a physiotherapist can help office workers in the following ways:

  • Diagnosis
  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation.
  • Improve motion 
  • Recommend a personalized exercise regime. 

Physiotherapy treatment for office injuries 

Depending on the damage, a physiotherapist may employ any of the following treatments or a combination. 

  • Exercise therapy to increase strength and flexibility while also reducing pain. 
  • Aqua/hydrotherapy: rehabilitate joints and muscles.
  • Soft tissue techniques: pain reduction and to increase mobility. 

Recommended physiotherapy exercises for injured office workers

Note that physiotherapy for injuries is patient-specific because injuries are not the same. That means the recommended exercise regime will be based on the nature of your injury. For example, if you suffered a back injury. A physiotherapist may recommend pelvic tilts or bird dogs, whereas if it is a hamstring injury, expect hamstring curls and single-leg bridges. 

The point is, if you employ the wrong exercise routine you may cause further injury and worsen your pain. 

Physiotherapy for office workers and a cluster of conditions

As mentioned, staying seated for prolonged periods enhances the risk of several health issues. The risks include, High blood pressure, bad circulation, diabetes, and psychiatric illness. 

 

Ten physio exercises you can do at your desk

All the factors above considered, and if you are in good health, that is no aches and pains that persist for more than a week, we recommend the following preventative exercises. 

  1. Standing chest stretch: opens your chest and relaxes your shoulders, great at preventing rounded shoulders. 
  2. Thoracic extension and rotations: prevent stiffness and slouching. 
  3. Head side pulls and pull-downs: relieve stress and tension in the neck.
  4. Shoulder shrug: relieve stress and tension in the shoulders. 
  5. Upper back stretch: improve circulation in the upper body.
  6. Torso stretch: improve posture. 
  7. Neck stretches: relieve upper tension and headaches. 
  8. Inner thigh stretches: relieve tightness and tension in your lower body. 
  9. Wall press: straighten your back. 

The last exercise is Practicing good posture. Good posture will help prevent a multitude of issues. 

Method: there are plenty of tutorials on the internet, but we recommend practicing these exercises with a physiotherapist. Why? A physiotherapist understands your current physical condition and knows your limits, it is therefore safer. 

Summary

In an office environment, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and physical and mental issues is elevated. 

By taking preventative measures such as consulting with a physiotherapist, you can lower your risk of injury, and if you have suffered an injury, a specialist can help rehabilitate your body and mind in the right way. 

Physiotherapy can also help to lower your stress levels, make you more active, and it can help you relax. All these factors combine to make you healthier and improve your quality of life. If you are an employer, you can use physiotherapy to enhance employee health or motivate and increase productivity. 

In short, a physiotherapist will help you:

  • Recover from pain and aches.
  • Prevent or manage pain
  • A detailed assessment will help find the root cause of your issue.
  • A personalized exercise routine will ensure that the issue does not get worse

At Pro-Fit Physio and Allied Health Centre, our specialist physiotherapist will work with you to train your body to regain its optimal posture and manage pain. The process includes a full postural assessment that will help design a strengthening or stretching regime just for you. 

twisted vs sprained ankle

Twisted vs. Sprained Ankle: Learn the Difference to Treat it Right

When you are not a medical expert, the issue of twisted vs. sprained ankle can puzzle you because both are similar.

The key difference is the severity of the problem; a sprained ankle is akin to a twisted ankle, but the injury is greater and more painful. You are most likely suffering from a sprain if the ankle is swollen and bruised, and it causes worse pain.

It is essential to know the differences between both injuries to treat them properly. Mild injuries can be treated at home. But for more severe injuries, giving adequate professional treatment makes all the difference between healing fast or suffering years of chronic pain.

Symptoms of Twisted vs. Sprained Ankle

Twisted ankle injuries are widespread. An ankle sprain is more serious. It typically occurs during strenuous activity or athletic performance. However, it can happen rain or shine if you are not careful.

Your doctor will carefully observe your ankle sprain and diagnose you based on the following symptoms:

Pain
Warmth to touch
Tenderness
Swelling
Stiffness
Bruising
Limited range of motion
Inability to bear weight

All of these symptoms will be more severe with ankle sprains. Bruises, sharp pain, instability, and discomfort while rotating your foot indicate a sprained ankle rather than a twisted ankle.

Grading Your Ankle Injury

Physiotherapists use a grading scale to diagnose the severity of the injury and place it on a scale from 1 to 3, 1 being mild, 2 being moderate, and 3 being severe ankle sprain. It takes from one to three weeks to heal a mild injury. A severe ankle sprain can take as long as six months to heal.

After grading your injury, the doctor will specify physiotherapy treatment or assign you for additional diagnostics that may include an X-ray, MRI, or a CT scan.

(Pay attention to how your ankle looks and feels: if there is a visible bone protruding, the ankle is deformed, crooked, numb, or you are in extreme pain — you have a fracture.)

Ankle Sprain: What Happens?

Twisting or spraining your ankle is an injury to the ligaments.

The ankle has three fibular ligaments: anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament, and calcaneofibular ligament, and a deltoid ligament, which keep the foot in a stable position and the ankle free from injuries.

An ankle sprain happens when you roll or move your ankle in an awkward way, causing the tough tissue band of the ligaments to twist, extend, or, in the worst case, tear mildly or more severely.

The ankle is most stable in dorsiflexion — with flexed toes and least stable in plantar-flexion — with pointed toes. Therefore, most ankle injuries occur when you step with your foot on the ground in an unsupported manner.

Inversion ankle sprains (when the foot rolls inward) tear the fibular ligaments. Eversion ankle sprains (when the foot rolls outward) tear the deltoid ligament. The prevailing reason to visit a physiotherapist with an ankle sprain is the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) injury.

Twisted Ankle Treatment

Usually, RICE (rest-ice-compress-elevate) therapy will help. Unlike a sprained ankle, a twisted ankle won’t be as painful. The injury will go away after two weeks.

Sprained Ankle Treatment

Always seek out help from a medical professional to treat ankle sprains.

If the pain doesn’t go away with REST treatment, your doctor may prescribe painkillers.

As a general rule for all moderate to severe ankle sprains, a NO HARM (no heat-alcohol-running-massage) protocol may also be advised.

Strapping can keep the ankle stable and protect the blood flow regenerate the injured area.

Surgical methods may be applied to severe injuries.

When you feel better, you can start an exercise program to restore strength, stability, and balance into your ankle and foot.

Do you feel an unexplained pain in your ankle? Let us know, and we will do our best to answer any questions about a twisted or sprained ankle!

Strapping a sprained ankle

Strapping a Sprained Ankle

Ankle strapping, also called wrapping or taping, is a common physio treatment for helping a sprained ankle heal faster and prevent further injury. Depending on the type and the severity of the injury, your doctor may suggest using ankle support products such as a bandage, kinesiology tape, or braces. Surgery is a possibility, too, in case of completely torn ligaments. 

What Causes a Sprained Ankle?

Ankle sprains happen often when you step on your foot at a wrong angle during sports activities. Running is a typical example. Because you don’t land flat on the bottom of your foot, the ligaments around your ankle sprain and cause the surrounding area to swell and hurt. 

Pain and the inability to fully step on your foot are the most common symptoms of a sprained ankle. Apart from applying all other steps from the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) program, you will need to have your foot stabilised by supporting the ligaments with sticky physio tape or another way of ankle support, including:

  • Ankle sleeves
  • Mesh ankle tape
  • Bionic and cryo ankle support
  • Lace-up or air-stirrup ankle brace
  • Elastic ankle support
  • Support splint for Ankle
  • Ankle walker

Ankle sprains are also known as low ankle injuries. They don’t they usually require using more advanced strapping equipment from the above list.

How Does Strapping a Sprained Ankle Work?

The main purpose, as well as advantage of strapping a sprained ankle, is to limit the range of motion for the affected person without causing complete immobility of the hurt ankle. 

By letting the foot exercise the range of motion it is comfortable with, it helps the ligament move within limits below pain level, encouraging faster recovery. Unlike elastic ankle support sleeves or bracing, strapping provides greater flexibility in choosing which areas will be kept in place and which ones will be left tape-free. 

Advantages of Sports Taping

Among the many patients in need of ankle strapping, athletes, both professional and recreational, frequently require sports taping. Kinesio taping is practical and quick, and hence, a preferred way to deal with less serious sprained ankles. 

One of the first time you encounter such an injury, a physiotherapist will assess how serious it is and do the initial taping. Many patients decide to do sports taping themselves, which is not recommended. It can be a first-aid measure when they can’t visit the physio clinic or need immediate pain relief. It is important to do ankle strapping properly to avoid causing greater damage and helping the injury to heal faster.

Ankle Taping: How to Do it Properly

The first thing to know about sports taping is whether your foot suffers from an inversion or eversion sprain. 

  • Inversion sprains cause the foot to turn inwards due to a sprain in the lateral (outside) ligament. Most people who require strapping a sprained ankle come to the physiotherapist with an inverted ankle sprain. 
  • Eversion sprains tear the medial (inside) ligament, thus causing the foot to evert or invert in the other direction. This is important because it will impact the direction in which the tape need to begin and roll out. 

An inverted sprained ankle must be wrapped starting from the outside while sticking the tape towards the inner foot areas. An everted sprained ankle should be taped by starting from the opposite point.  

10 Steps to Securing a Sprained Ankle with Atheltic Tape

Here is what an inversion sports taping would look like and what the physiotherapist will do when an injured patient comes in for treatment: 

  1. Make sure the foot is clean and provides enough of an adhesive surface for the tape by cleaning it with a specialised kinesio pre-tape spray.
  2. Ask the patient to put the foot in dorsiflexion, facing the shin upwards at a 90-degree angle, and maintain that position while the taping is in progress, especially during anchoring.
  3. Protect areas of more friction, usually front and back tendons, with heel & lace pads.
  4. Apply pre-wrap athletic tape which protects the skin from getting in touch with the adhesive tape and causing rash, irritation, or allergies. Start pre-wrapping from above the ankle and below the muscle area by moving the tape around the heel, leaving the heel free. 
  5. Create anchors by circling the sports tape and allowing contact with the skin above the pre-wrap. Three anchors at the top and one anchor at the bottom are usually sufficient.
  6. Secure the foot with stirrups. Starting from the inside of the leg, tape the foot by adding a layer from the inner uppermost anchor, below the foot, and to the outside uppermost anchor. Repeat three times.
  7. Place three to four surface tape layers across stirrups to keep them in place.
  8. Apply horse-shoe-shaped tapes to stabilise the ankle as you go down.
  9. Use figure-eight strapping to surround the ankle area from all sides by angling the tape following the natural foot curve.
  10. Create heel locks by wrapping the heel in tape from both sides.

You can switch between heel locks and figure-eights if you are comfortable with the technique. Finalise the taping by checking for wrinkles or holes. Reapply if necessary. There are different widths of athletic tapes: the most common for strapping a sprained ankle is 1.5 inches wide.

Physiotherapy for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow physiotherapy is on high demand among patients who engage in activities that require repetitive movements with arms, wrists, and elbows. The painful and swollen tennis elbow, also called Lateral Epicondylitis, affects athletes and workers that do plenty of forearms muscle work, causing strain, swelling, and pain in the elbow. The pain is due to the injured extensor tendon. That is the tendon located on the outside of the elbow, which inflames under the pressure of strenuous, continuous overuse. 

Patients suffering from the condition find that physical therapy for tennis elbow effectively solves their immediate issues, such as inflammation, and benefit from a proactive stance toward healing this degenerative disease. Occasionally, the disease can be persistent, causing elbow pain to return and asking for a more comprehensive approach. Apart from devising self-helping tennis elbow exercises to reduce symptoms, your physiatrist will assign appropriate physiotherapy treatment you will need to do in a clinic.

What is the Most Successful Tennis Elbow Physiotherapy Treatment?

The first thing to instantly relieve symptoms is to rest and to avoid any activity that has caused the problem in the first place. Rest will improve blood supply to the painful area and help it heal. To conclude what type of activities to avoid, your doctor will ask you a set of questions about your lifestyle and work engagement. As a general rule, men are at greater risk, as well as people between the ages of 30 and 50. Tennis elbow encompasses the most active age group of all that actively contributes to the workforce or plays sports. 

Sports That Bear Heightened Risk

To eliminate the root cause before starting with additional tennis elbow physiotherapy treatment, you may be asked to avoid certain sports that require constant use of the forearm:

Racket sports. Tennis, table tennis, squash, and badminton engage the forearm a lot and can be especially tiresome for novices who don’t have well-developed and balanced muscle use. They are the most common casualties and among the first to ask for tennis elbow physiotherapy consultation. 

Basketball and handball. Due to the stress of throwing or dribbling the ball with the underarm, basketball and handball players are among the typical tennis elbow patients.

Throwing sports. Discus and javelin, because of the immediate impact on the forearm.

For sports pros, abstaining from the activity for a long time can be out of the question. The same goes for professionals who do these tasks for a living, such as forest workers, gardeners, builders, musicians, typists, crafts persons, or cooks. If you find yourself in any of these groups, you should look into sports physiotherapy for tennis elbow that lets you be active while removing or managing symptoms.

Manual Labour Tasks 

Tennis elbow is an occupational condition, so some people will be more prone to it and have more difficulties with avoiding it. Certain jobs are strong triggers for the condition. Keep in mind that these activities do not necessarily need to be forceful. Sometimes, the act of repetition itself is enough of a problem:

  • Using pliers, screwdrivers, and hammers
  • Painting, plumbing, and bricklaying
  • Sewing and typing
  • Weaving, raking and fishing
  • Violin playing

Even something as simple and fun as arm wresting or sleeping in a poor position can cause tennis elbow. As you may notice, what these activities have in common is the continuous engagement of the forearm, which can cause the outside tendon of the elbow to flare up and cause pain.

Other Immediate Relief for Tennis Elbow 

Applying ice packs for 4-6 hours a day for at least 24-48 hours helps some people. Over-the-counter medication can free you of some of the pain but it’s not advisable in the long term. An orthotic device, a strap or a brace around the elbow an also be helpful. As an intermediate solution, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections. Cortisone is shot directly into the joints to ease down pain and inflammation. However, it also comes with certain risks and should not to be used for long. If the condition persists for more than 48 months, it is classified as chronic, and sometimes even surgery is necessary.  

Tennis Elbow Exercises You Can Do at Home

Being diagnosed with tennis elbow should not deem you powerless. To relieve pain at home, you can do tennis elbow exercises for stretching and strengthening.

Stretching Exercises

  • Wrist range of motion: Bend wrist forward and backward.
  • Pronation and supination of the forearm: Bend elbow at 90°, turn your palm upward and downward while holding in each position for 5 seconds. 
  • Elbow range of motion: Bring palm up toward your shoulder. Bend and straighten the elbow.
  • Wrist flexion stretch: Stand at a flat surface with palms down, fingers flat, and elbows straight. Lean your body weight forward.
  • Wrist extension stretch: Stand at a flat surface with palms up, fingers pointing toward your body, and elbows straight. Lean your body back.

Strengthening Exercises

  • Wrist flexion exercise: Hold a tool such as a hammer in your hand, palm facing up, bend the wrist upward and return in the initial position. Repeat as you increase weight gradually. 
  • Wrist extension exercise: Hold a tool such as a hammer in your hand, palm facing down, bend the wrist upward and release into the initial position. Repeat as you increase weight.
  • Wrist radial deviation strengthening: Put your wrist sideways with your thumb up. Grab a tool and bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching upward. Lower down and repeat. 
  • Forearm pronation and supination strengthening: Hold a tool in your hand and bend your elbow at 90°. Rotate hand side to side with your palm upward and then palm down.

Bicep curls, as well as sock, stress ball, or paper squeezing, greatly help certain patients. Do these exercises twice a day to experience results in a few weeks. If nothing else helps, you may need to schedule a further consultation. 

Physiotherapy For Knee Pain

Physio for knee pain can strengthen muscles and improve the condition of the joints around the knee. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons for patients to ask to speak to a licensed physiotherapist. If you adhere to the advice and follow through with the exercises suggested by your physical therapist, knee physio will effectively make your body feel better overall. 

Reasons to Engage in Knee Physiotherapy

Knee physio is based on a set targeted exercises and physical therapy treatments to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and ease down the pain, helping the aching knee heal faster. Reasons for knee pain are many, including:

  • ACL (anterior crucial ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries 
  • Fractures to the knee caused by an accident or a chronic disease, for example, osteoarthritis   
  • Torn meniscus, an injury to the cartilage between the shinbone and the thighbone due to disproportionate compression of the shock-absorbing tissue
  • Bursitis on the knee
  • Patellar tendinitis, an inflammation of the soft tendons that protect the outside of the knee. 
  • Mechanical problems, for instance, a dislocated kneecap, foot or hip pain, or iliotibial band syndrome, which is a common pain for long-distance runners. 
  • Arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, septic arthritis, gout, and pseudogout. 

Some knee pain is more serious than the rest, but not all of it is dangerous. Risk factors that could worsen the condition are excess weight, previous injuries, poor muscle strength or flexibility, and occupations or activities that include knee overuse, such as running or jogging. If you want to prevent knee pain, shed any extra pounds and exercise to strengthen muscles and keep them flexible. You may need to replace your regular exercise routine with knee physio exercises recommended by your therapist. 

Effective Physiotherapy for Knee Pain

Physiotherapy for knee pain is a multidimensional specialist treatment which depends on what causes the pain in the first place. It can include a combination of strength and flexibility exercises, ice, heat, and compression packs, medication, ultrasound, and nerve stimulation.

Stretches and Exercises

To relieve the pain in the knee area with targeted exercises, your physiotherapist may suggest doing patella mobs, heel slides, calf stretches with a strap, hamstring stretches in long sitting, supine hamstring and calf stretches, IT band stretches, quad stretches, butterfly stretch for the groin area, hip flexor stretches, and side lunge stretches.  Strength exercises that are typically suggested during physio for knee pain are hamstring curls, single-leg dips, step-ups, straight leg lifts, wall squats, and balancing exercises.

Taking Painkillers

Painkillers such as Advil or any other ibuprofen-based medication can help some patients, as well as rubbing in the area with numbing creams. Your doctor may also consider injecting corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, and (PRP) platelet-rich plasma, which help with softening the pain for a few months, lubricating knee joint, and promoting healing and growth respectively.   

Ice, Heat and Compression Application

Use ice pack covered in cloth or a towel to avoid direct contact with the skin. Even a bag of frozen vegetables can do the trick by numbing the area and reducing pain and inflammation. Ice pack therapy should not last longer than 20 minutes even if it feels good because it can damage the nerves and the tissue around the knee. Apply a heat pack or a hot water bottle to the affected area for temporary pain relief. Compression bands keep the knee aligned in a stable position and prevent fluid from building up in the injured tissues. When you choose a compression band, make sure it compresses the knee well, but that it doesn’t restrict circulation. Lightweight, self-adhesive bands are the preferred choice for most patients who use compression in the physiotherapy for knee pain. 

Ultrasound Massage

Ultrasound therapy uses continuous or pulsating sound waves which vibrate to relieve pain and improve the knee function. Continuous waves produce heat. Pulsed ultrasound is recommended for acute pain or redness. Ultrasound massage is painless and you won’t be able to feel it at all because it uses extremely low frequencies. 

Electrical Nerve or Muscle Stimulation

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) uses electrical current to stimulate healing of your knee and is a typical remedy for arthritis pain. EMS includes several subsets of stimulation therapies with variation in the electrical impulse techniques:

  • Neuromuscular Electrical stimulation (NMES)
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
  • Pulsed Electrical Stimulation  (PES)
  • Interferential Current (IFC)
  • Noninvasive Interactive Neurostimulation (NIN)

Not all of them are applicable for all pain and should be administered carefully. Can not be used at all if the patient has a pacemaker or some other electrical device in the body. Certain EMS techniques stimulate body endorphin production or can be a replacement for applying medication for patients who are afraid of needles. 

Knee pain can result from a very simple injury or disease. However, it needs to be treated on time with adequate knee physio treatment programs to prevent severity and repetitiveness. Regardless of what treatments your physiotherapist suggests, you will experience greater relief if you are disciplined and dedicated during the physiotherapy. 

Physiotherapy For Shin Splints

Physiotherapy for shin splints helps joggers, dancers, and athletes who put constant pressure on the lower part of the legs – knees, shin, and feet, to ease down the discomfort and heal the injury that’s showed up due to overuse. Runners that run on hard concrete surfaces or members of the military who train under a strict and harsh regimen are especially prone to shin splints accompanied by knee pain. Shin splints are medically known as “medial (anterior) tibial stress syndrome” or “posterior tibial stress syndrome”, depending on whether they occur in the front or the back of the lower half of the leg. 

Shin Splints Physio: Causes and Diagnosis Before Treatment

Shin splints are a typical overuse injury and often occur due to excessive use of the foot flexors. Due to the constant repetitive stress of a single physical activity, the tibia bone that’s below the knee at the front of the leg suffers tiny fractures, causing pain for the person in question. 

It’s not only the bone that’s affected. Muscles can also suffer, as well as the tenoperiosteum – the outside shell that covers the bone and connects it to the tendons, causing tenoperiostitis or tendon inflammation.

Other common causes for patients who feel shin and knee pain to seek shin splints treatment include:

  • Starting exercise without warming up and stretching beforehand 
  • Overtraining or overextending one’s physical limits too early
  • Insufficient rest between exercises
  • Inadequate footwear
  • A weak core, buttocks muscles, or quadriceps
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Anatomical or biomechanical built or coordination in the lower part of the body, including hip-knee-leg control, overpronated or oversupinated feet, and inflexible ankle joints 

Taking a full-body medical before starting any exercise program can help you learn about your body strengths, as well as identify any potential weak spots which can weaken further if overused. 

To diagnose shin splints and assign appropriate shin splints treatment, a doctor may need to use a variety of diagnostics tools:

  • Physical examination
  • X-ray
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Ultrasound testing
  • Electromyographical testing (EMG) 

By asking about your medical history, and your habit and lifestyle, the orthopedic specialist will asses the severity of the injury, develop a well-rounded opinion and assign shin splints exercises and additional aids you can use to improve your condition.

Effective Physiotherapy for Shin Splints

Shin splints physio encompasses exercise programs, supportive medical wear and appropriate footwear, as well as taking painkillers and leaving enough recovery time between exercises. The best way to avoid shin splints pain is to prevent it. 

Preventative Physio for Shin Splints

When living in urban areas, running on hard surfaces is often unavoidable. Therefore, wear well-padded shoes and shock-absorbing footwear if running or jumping on concrete, especially if you have flat feet. Don’t forget to replace old sports shoes when their time runs out. 

Always warm-up and stretch before workouts and don’t forget to stop immediately if you feel pain. Learn to distinguish between good pain – the one that occurs due to building muscle strength, and bad pain – the one that occurs due to injury. 

Neoprene sleeves are a good support to warm up the lower leg. 

Losing weight can help you ease the load on the shin, as well as the knee and hip, and relieve pain.

Shin Splints Exercises for Stretching

Stretching is an effective measure for most physical injuries, both as preventative and restorative shin splints treatment. To reduce pain and inflammation, a physiotherapy specialist will advise a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises, including:  

  • Seated and bent knee ankle dorsiflexion and calf stretch
  • Straight knee and bent knee calf wall stretch
  • Toe and heel walking for stretching and strengthening
  • Standing ankle dorsiflexion stretch
  • Wall toe raises 
  • Footstep holds 

Your exercise program may variate in frequency. The doctor can also suggest modified exercise versions, so don’t forget to mention all shin splints symptoms you feel to your doctor to create a more effective and targeted set of exercises.

Shin splints don’t necessarily mean you need to stop exercising. Unless you’re in an advanced phase of shin splints, you can usually continue exercising moderately. 

A trained physiotherapist will propose activity modification, advising against overly using your lower body part, including less stressful cardio exercises for the shin bones such as swimming or cycling. Increased range of motion (IRM) exercises can also be part of the physio for shin splints

At its worst, painful shins may require comprehensive physiotherapy for shin splints, including manual therapy and kinesio taping to treat acute pain and swelling. You will need to self-support with RICE recovery, too (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Gait and footwear analysis helps diagnose walking patterns and recommend medical footwear. 

This combined approach to shin splints treatment is particularly effective for athletes who must return to their sports as soon as possible. By consulting with a physiotherapist, you can devise a gradual regiment to go back to your regular activities without causing more serious injuries or pain.

exercise pain

Should You Exercise Through Pain?

Athletes and people who do recreational exercise often end up with joint and muscle pain. Therefore, they often wonder if it is okay to work out with sore muscles and like to know how to push through the pain of exercise. But sports or another strenuous physical activity is not the only cause of joint, tendon, muscle and soft tissue pain. Chronic illness, injuries such as fractures, strains and sprains, bursitis, arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and other traumatic conditions are among the common factors that cause pain in the body. If you need to incorporate an exercise plan to treat an injury or a disease of the bones, muscles, and tendons, the best person to lead you through pain management is your physiotherapist.   

The Difference between Good and Bad Exercise Pain

There is no one right answer that solves the issue for all painful conditions during exercise. Generally speaking, however, you should learn how to distinguish between “good” and “bad” pain. Athletes, for example, experience good pain as a result of microtrauma – microtears to the muscles. Muscles tear up due to the stress of exercising popularly called “muscle burn”. To some extent, muscle burn is a good thing – it is the reason that improves athletes’ physical condition. That is how muscles are trained to perform better. 

Good pain accompanied by post-exercise fatigue should leave your body within three to seven days, depending on your fitness level, age, and the activity you engage in. However, you should be careful with pain and fatigue that lasts longer than that and causes an overall decline of your wellbeing. This type of pain won’t go with the release of good hormones and enzymes from your next workout. Many athletes tend to overtrain to achieve better results and end up with bad pain. Generally, you should be careful with pain that won’t go away 24 to 48 hours after working out.

What Happens to Muscles, Tendons, Bones, and Joints When You Overexert Yourself?

Overextended muscles, joints, tendons, and cartilage, can suffer permanent damage and cause lessened performance over time. 

Muscles can swell and hurt to touch, even release damaging proteins and hurt kidney health

Bones strengthen when exposed to repetitive activity in one area, but if you overtrain, the bone will weaken and become prone to fractures. 

Similarly, tendons get inflamed, causing tendonitis and other overuse injuries. The common denominator for all overuse injuries is excessive remodelling. Remodelling is the process which happens when old tissue gets broken and repaired with exercise. When the damage is stronger than the repair, overuse injuries can happen.    

Cartilage, the soft white tissue at the end of the bones that enables smooth bone movement can suffer rapid wear and tear if you train over your limits. 

With all that pressure to the muscles, the bones, and the cartilage, joints suffer from overexertion, too. They are strong, but they do have their limits. For instance, if you work with heavyweights, jump too strong on hard surfaces, or suddenly overexert your body in any other way, your joints may get hurt and suffer long-term damage. 

Should You Push through Muscle Soreness? 

You should take sufficient amount of rest to let your body restore and get rid of the bad stress accumulated in all of these areas. With age, you might need to dedicate more time to rest and less time to exercise. 

As a general rule, you shouldn’t do anything painful unless it is the typical muscle burn. You should pay attention to any pain lasts longer than usual after training. Localized pain should be immediately attended. Overall weakness is also a bad sign because physical activity should leave you refreshed and invigorated. 

Usually, recreational athletes find it easier to follow this advice as they don’t need to compete. Professionals are more prone to overextending themselves and causing injuries as a result. 

Pain after exercise is called DOMS or delayed-onset muscle soreness. Effective ways for dealing with DOMS to maintain stamina are stretching and light cardio activities such as swimming or cycling. Core strength exercises are also useful to maintain form unless the pain is located in that area. As they work out more, athletes tend to know their bodies better and should be able to tell if something is wrong before it gets out of hand.

dry needling

10 Benefits of Dry Needling

Dry needling may sound scary for people that have fear of needles, but it is a pain-free method for improving acute or chronic painful conditions, providing additional benefits for the full-body physical performance. 

Although it bears similarities to acupuncture, dry needling isn’t based on energy flow across body meridians. It is a science-based physiotherapy treatment which uses ultra-thin needles to stimulate trigger points in muscle tissues, provoking their faster healing. 

The benefits can be felt almost immediately, in the first 24 hours after treatment. As a general rule, several dry needling treatments spread across 2 or 3 weeks are needed to bring a lasting positive effect. Due to the triggering of your body natural capacity to heal you may feel some temporary pain, discomfort, tiredness, or tingling when you begin treatments. However, the numerous benefits of dry needling by far surpass these passing nuisances. Common dry needling benefits are:  

1. Relieves myofascial pain and stiffness.

Fascia is the connective tissue that covers the muscles. Dry needling provides relief to this tissue either in a single muscle or muscle groups and can, therefore, reduce muscular pain, inflammation, and stiffness.  

2. Improves flexibility and range of motion.

Dry needles inserted below the skin trigger the healing reaction, which in turn, helps the muscle become more flexible and improve range of motion.

3. Improves blood flow and oxygen circulation.

Tight muscles can cause pain that translates to other body areas. By triggering the healing of key pain points with dry needles, the blood flow and the oxygenation of the whole body improve, muscles relax, which soothes the complete body wellbeing. 

4. Releases neurotransmitters.

Thin dry needles stimulate the body response to fight pain by releasing opiate neurotransmitters, such as beta-endorphins, enkephalins, and dynorphins. Neurotransmitters work by blocking pain information which comes from the inflamed point to reach the brain. 

5. Can be applied to a wide range of symptoms.

Dry needling treatments improve the symptoms of a variety of musculoskeletal diseases, including headaches, neck pain, knee or low-back pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.

6. Eases fibromyalgia pain.

Although fibromyalgia patients typically feel pain all over, the worst pain is located in certain areas around the neck, knees, back, shoulders, and hips. Needles can be placed at the most painful body points to target them specifically and ease symptoms across the body.

7. Comforts both chronic and acute pain.

Unlike many other physiotherapy treatments that require an isolated application, dry needling benefits both acute pain, for example, post-surgical ailments and chronic conditions, for example, sciatica.  

8. Targets precise pain points.

The physical therapist specialised in dry needling knows the map of pain points in a persons’ body and targets these areas by placing the needles nearby, after doing an extensive assessment of your muscular condition and finding your tight spots.

9. It can be used alongside other treatments.

Dry needling can be used on its own, as well as a supplemental treatment in a comprehensive physiotherapy plan, thus helping many patients travel faster on the road to recovery.  

10. Helps with sports injuries and athletic performance.

Athletes, dancers, and other professionals who expose themselves to prolonged physical strain need relief from what their bodies go through daily. Treating acute pains and microtears arising from overuse, as well as more serious sports injuries can be done with dry needling, helping active professionals maintain stamina and improve performance as they heal. 

Don’t be surprised if you feel tired like you’ve had a workout at the gym or another strenuous physical activity after you complete a dry needling session. It is a common consequence which usually goes away after a day or two. The benefits of dry needling will last much longer.