Back by popular demand.
We are holding our Back Pain Seminar Saturday 4th March 2017 at 10am until 11am at our Southend-on-Sea Clinic.
This session is led by our Specialist Back Pain Physio Joe Dorne.
If you are or have been struggling with back and or leg pain and have tried everything from rest, painkillers, back braces, NHS physio and have been to see you GP countless times but are still suffering then this may just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
In this session you will learn:
- Why your back pain may not be where you think it is
- Simple steps towards decreasing your pain
- Common back pain myths and mistakes
- When surgery (is and is not) the answer
You will have a chance to ask questions on the day and speak to Joe about any concerns, worries you have about your back pain.
No-one should have to suffer any longer than they need to, which is why we want to offer you our help.
Seats are going fast and we only have 4 seats left as of Wednesday 1st March.
To book your seat please give Kim or Dan our reception team a call on 01702 613542 or email us at email@example.com
Sports Physiotherapist Joe Dorne is presenting a seminar on knee injuries and rehab covering:
- The 3 must do exercises for anyone with knee pain
- If the knee is the victim, who is the culprit?
- When surgery is (and is not) the answer.
Spaces are limited so please call our reception team on 01702 6135452 to reserve your seat.
How much does it cost to attend? Nothing! It’s FREE!
Due to popular demand we will be repeating this seminar on a weekday soon so keep a look out if you cannot make Saturday 3rd December.
Whatever You Do…Learn Something New
If we talk about learning something new as adults, most people will immediately jump to learning a new language, a photography class or creative writing.
Why don’t we think of picking up a basketball for the first time since primary school? Or learning Samba dancing? Or juggling?
According to a growing body of evidence, learning new physical skills might be better for our brains than learning about the civil war or practicing Sudoku. It can help to keep the brain young, and also releases the chemical dopamine in the brain which is why you feel good after doing something new. It’s also fantastic for our bodies.
As humans we all have physical blind spots. If we don’t access a range of movement or use a muscle enough it wastes away and we forget how to access it. A personal example would be my shoulders – As an amateur boxer I spent many years with rounded shoulders which were very stiff in certain directions. If boxing was the only sport I had ever done I might never have noticed, but in my mad obsession to learn to handstand last year (still ongoing, since you asked!) I’ve noticed the difficulty I have getting my arms over my head without arching my back and now I am working to correct it.
We see this constantly with patients in the clinic. When people get very dedicated to a certain activity or sport, their body pays the price if they don’t continue to practice other ranges of movement and skills. What’s more their brain is losing out on the creation of new pathways which helps to keep the brain active and healthy. If a weightlifter only ever lifts weights, he is forgetting to build all the muscles he would only use if he did ballet or yoga (probably a good way for him to meet some ladies too…just sayin’).
This is why I am constantly trying to challenge students in my Pilates classes to try new movements, ones they have never done before. It’s also why you should get up now and sign up for that tennis or rock climbing lesson you’ve been meaning to try. Your brain will thank me when you do!
5 Movement Crimes You Have Committed (Possibly in the Last 10 Seconds!)
Resting ‘Trying Hard Face’
Watch Usain Bolt sprint, watch Floyd Mayweather box. What do they have in common (other than being unbelievably awesome)?? They make it look easy! If you clench your jaw and screw up your face every time you exercise, firstly you are wasting energy and moving less efficiently and secondly you are sending a signal to the rest of your body that you are in ‘fight or flight’ mode. You’ll feel more stressed by your activity, whether it’s gardening, running a marathon or dead-lifting 200kg because your subconscious will interpret those signals as more effort. Next time you are doing an activity that feels hard, relax your neck, jaw, tongue and the muscles around your eyes (in that order if it helps) and notice how much easier the activity feels.
Walking like a Duck
Washing up? Cleaning your teeth? Look down. If your toes are pointing outwards, you have been demoted from human to duck. Since ducks don’t have hips, it’s ok to stand and walk with their flipper toes pointed outwards, but as a human we need our toes pointed forwards to stabilise through our hip joints and all important gluteal/bum muscles. If you walk like this, same issue. If you run like this then shoot yourself now (or maybe come to see us at The Running School)
Squat or Not?
I’ll answer that for you. Squat. If you can’t, learn how before it’s too late. We are all designed to move in this pattern. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of Bushmen in Africa squatting beautifully and with no effort at all.
If you can’t perform this simple movement you’ll be constantly putting pressure through your lower back, which will be moving miles too much to compensate for the lack of movement in the hips. Use every time you have to bend down to pick something up, put the washing in the machine, get on and off the toilet as an opportunity to practice squatting with a good pattern. Your back will thank you.
So a spine can either be neutral (think good alignment) or it can be a noodle, with no stability at all and bendy bits all over the place. If you are sitting down, the easiest way to go from noodle to neutral is a) make sure your sit bones are connected to the chair (sit bones for sitting, bum for looking at), b) relaxing your shoulders back and out so they rest behind your chest, c) chin down, back of the neck long.
We have 2 sets of muscles we can use to breathe. One set are the muscles around our collar bones and upper rib cage. Evolutionarily speaking, these are designed for getting air in super quick in stress situations, such as running away from a tyrannosaurus in the jungle. The others are our diaphragm and muscles around our lower rib cage. These are our chilled out muscles for easy breathing (think rest and digest as opposed to fight or flight). If you work from a desk or drive long distances, feel constantly stressed or suffer from neck pain there’s a good chance you’re using your panic breathing too much, and your chillax muscles not enough. A simple test is to take a deep, normal breath in and watch your collarbones in the mirror. If they immediately fly upwards, you could benefit from improving your breathing pattern. Try to keep your collarbones still as you breathe and imagine filling up your abdomen with air in 3 dimensions (so out to the sides as well as forwards and backwards).
Tweaks and Twangs
You’ve been trapped in an office all day, then trapped in traffic on the way home. You feel like you’ve barely moved all day, you feel stiff and your back aches from the terrible little plastic chairs in the conference room. On the positive side, the sun is still shining when you get in and you decide to beat the blues with a run to stretch your legs (and maybe practice your new running technique)
It’s all good baby! Amazing how the office politics matter so much less when you hit the road. The wind in your hair, fresh air in your lungs. It’s like being born again.
Sorry dude. That was your hamstring, calf, your quad. That was you twisting your ankle, a tweak in your Achilles or your plantar fascia lighting up. You know it’s nothing to worry about. It’s a twinge, a minor niggle. It’s not the kind of thing you’d rush off to the doctor for or the kind of thing you’d pay to have someone (like us) fix. It is frustrating though, and it could be a few of weeks out of action easily, longer if you stick to your Injury Management Plan A, which is to bury your head in the sand and hope for the best.
Injury Management Strategy #1 (for most of us)
You’ve all heard RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, which is very vague, generic advice for handling an injury in the extremely early stages. Its questionable, there are arguments for and against the whole ‘ice’ thing for example, but its easy advice to follow and it’s not going to do any harm or break the bank. Want to go a little bit further to speed up your recovery? Here’s some stuff to try.
1) DO NOT take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. Controversial, attention grabbing start right? With acute injuries (sprains, strains, cuts etc) ibuprofen can SLOW DOWN the healing process. If you want the technical version, ibuprofen inhibits the production of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which makes a hormone called prostaglandin, which stimulates the inflammatory response. If you take ibuprofen early after a traumatic injury you are stopping your body from reabsorbing the damaged tissue, dead blood cells etc. Try paracetamol instead if you need pain relief
2) Keep it moving! It’s shocking the amount of people who take the rest thing too far following a minor muscle/ligament injury. Even on day one you should be keeping the affected area moving. It improves circulation (therefore speeding up healing) and keeps your nervous system in tune with that part of your body. One of the big problems coming back from injuries of the foot and ankle in particular is that you lose balance and awareness of the joint, making it more likely to get reinjured. Gently moving the joint or affected muscle as often as possible will help to keep normal neural feedback in the area and keep everything switched on. For bonus points gentle isometric contractions (where you tighten the muscle without actually moving, for example pushing against a wall) can also be very effective for both pain relief and healing.
3) Take Cissus Quadrangularis. This hard to pronounce little fella is a supplement made from a plant that grows in Africa and India. It has been used for centuries as an analgesic and to promote healing, and in ancient times was particularly used to help fracture healing. Today it is widely used in bodybuilding circles to decrease post-exercise soreness and help to heal soft tissue injuries. The evidence isn’t fantastic, but the same could be said for a lot of things and subjectively with our own patients we’ve had some good outcomes reported. You can take 100-500mg daily depending on the strength of the version you buy. This is the brand we generally recommend but I’m sure they are all pretty similar
4) Heat it up – After the 72 hour inflammatory period where heat would do more harm than good, get a heat pack or hot water bottle and heat that sore hamstring or bicep as often as you can. 20 minutes 2-3 times a day is a good start. The idea of this is to decrease any protective tightness in the muscles and increase blood supply to the damaged tissue. Fresh, oxygenated blood will allow your body to heal the injury quicker and more effectively
5) Foam Roll that badboy. Seriously. If you haven’t got one of these drop everything you are doing and run/hobble to the nearest sports equipment shop and get one. They are a fantastic self-massage tool that work for most body parts (apart from smaller ones like ankles and wrists). There are hundreds of youtuber videos of this one, so I’m not going to make another. Just Search foam roll + body part on youtube and you’ll see 100 people teetering on top of these things releasing off the tight, irritated tissue.
The best way to use them is to follow a simple test-retest system. Find a movement that makes your injury feel sore (for example a squat, calf raise or press-up). Use the foam roller for 1-2 minutes, then retest. If improved then continue, if not then you may need to change technique or move the roller slightly. It should feel pretty sore while you’re using it, but it generally eases off quickly.
6) Phase back in graadduaallllyyy. After a couple of weeks laid up with an injury DON’T expect to go back to running, boxing, playing football again instantly. Professional players don’t go from being injured on the bench to playing 90 minutes straight away and neither should you. Start with low impact activity such as swimming, cross trainer or static cycling to get the muscle working without too much impact, then gradually progress back to your normal level of activity, distances and speed.
Enjoy! Any questions or future topic requests please leave them in the comments or facebook us at WDC physiotherapy. Remember these are just simple steps you can take to start addressing your own problems. That’s not to say everything is self-treatable and you should always go and see a qualified professional if you are unsure or struggling
3 Common Types of Headaches and what you can do About Them
Important Public Service Announcement – Before we get into talking about some of the different types of headaches that you can attempt to self-treat, it’s really important that you are able to identify the ones that you can’t. If your headache is;
- Worse than any other headache you’ve ever experienced
- Changing quickly in either frequency, duration or character (for example you often get a slight, dull headache at the back of your head when sitting for too long, then over the course of a few weeks your headache is sharp, has moved to a different part of your head and is there all the time)
- Comes alongside any neurological symptoms (e.g. seizures, confusion, difficulty swallowing or speaking)
- Getting progressively worse
Please, please DON’T try to self-treat. Speak to your doctor immediately and let them know your symptoms
Ok now that’s out of the way, on to the good stuff. There are many types of headaches, not all of which will respond to a particular treatment so it’s important that we try to identify the type before launching into treatment. If any of the descriptions sound familiar though, the solutions are easy to try and results are often surprisingly quick.
Clusters are really unpleasant. Often considered to be one of the more painful types of headache, they centre around one eye and the temple, have a sharp quality and as the name suggests, they come in clusters. Whilst a visit to your GP wouldn’t be a bad idea (there are medications that can help) there are some other interesting things you can try to improve your symptoms and even address the condition itself.
One of the really interesting things about these types of headaches is that they are often found in people with poor sleep patterns. The lack of or poor timing of melatonin production (hormone related to sleep) is normally found in cluster headache suffers. Two potential solutions to this are to take a melatonin supplement or food containing melatonin in the evening (cherries, almonds or turkey are supposed to be good) or alternatively you could try a 10 minute ice bath in the evening 1 hour before bed, which is supposedly a natural way to increase melatonin production. Turning off phones, televisions and computers an hour before sleep may also help.
Occasionally misdiagnosed by people who should know better. They can be hereditary, and tend to affect women more often than men, migraines can be life limiting at worst and really annoying at best. If you get a few headaches a month, they are one sided and tend to throb or pulse at the front or side of your head you may be a migraine sufferer. Auras, which are like little migraine predictors (some sufferers get a strange taste in their mouth or see bright lights or swirly patterns) are also a common indicator of migraine as opposed to other headaches.
I’ll preface this by saying that it is definitely not a cure-all for everyone with migraine (I have had patients to whom I have given this advice and have had both good and bad outcomes) but it is definitely worth a try. There is really strong evidence that migraine sufferers have a reduced level of magnesium compared to a healthy control group. There could be loads of reasons why you’d be magnesium deficient, from dietary issues to a genetic inability to absorb it. In any case it could be a simple fix. Experiment with eating a magnesium rich diet (pulses, nuts, leafy greens) and taking a chelated magnesium supplement. If neither work for you, you may have difficulty absorbing magnesium through diet and another solution is to try epsom salt baths. Epsom salt is a special kind of salt which is high in magnesium and is easily absorbed through the skin when dissolved in hot water. If nothing else it’s an excuse to take more baths which can’t be bad, right?
Accounts for about 20ish% of headaches (depending on which study you read). They normally hang out at the back of the head and neck, often come alongside neck pain and sustained positions such as sitting down or driving for long periods. If this is you then listen up – as physios we see lots of these, and whilst they are not easy to treat we often have great success with them. Here’s a couple of things to try in lovely video form. Comments and questions on facebook if you need any extra help with headaches!
Joe comes to us with a wealth of experience and knowledge having been a Clinical Lead Physiotherapist for a nationwide physiotherapy service to private healthcare providers (BUPA, AXA etc), employers and the NHS.
Alongside working here at WDC Physiotherapy Joe will continue to work part time for Tottenham Hotspur FC in their academy set-up.
Joe is fascinated by all aspects of optimising human health. His aim to optimise his clients lifestyles, nutrition, microbiome, mental health and sleep alongside more traditional, evidence-based physiotherapy interventions (manual therapy, acupunture, pilates, movement pattern training).
To book an appt with Joe please call the clinic on 01702 613542.
As a special introductory offer for you to experience Joe’s skills we are giving anyone who books a New Physiotherapy Assessment appointment between Tuesday 19th July and Tuesday 2nd August 2016 a 25% discount*. Please quote websiteJDoffer when booking.
*This offer does not apply to anyone using health insurance to pay for their physiotherapy appointments as we have specific contracts with all health insurance providers*
Are you self motivated?
Want to work hard and be financially rewarded for this?
If you answer YES to the questions above please read on.
We are looking for Physiotherapists to join our team. We require physiotherapists who are self driven to hit targets and see a good number of new and follow up musculoskeletal clients each week.
We see clients not just from the local area but attract clients from north Essex and London boroughs who are happy to commute to come see us as we have a good reputation for providing good quality physiotherapy. We have also just secured a contract through the local council.
Having a qualification in Pilates would be an advantage but not an absolute must.
We have had a few star performers in our time who have left to relocate countries and we are looking for more hard working, self motivated star performers to join us. If you work hard and are happy to sell you will have the potential to have a very successful career with us.
We have a sister company called The Running School Southend-on-Sea where we specialise in video analysis of running biomechanics and running technique coaching so we see quite a few running clients.
We also have good links with local dancers and theatre performers so see quite a few arts clients. The caseload will be varied from kids to older clients, sports to non-sports.
If you want a new challenge and a forward thinking clinic to work at then please send your CV to Wendy McCloud (Clinic Owner) at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have full time and part time positions available.
As an expanding practice we are always looking for new staff to join our team.
We are always on the look out for new Physiotherapists, Pilates Instructors, Massage therapists, CHEK exercise coaches and clerical staff.
So if you think you may like to come and join our team please send you CV to Rebecca Stacey (Clinic Manager) at email@example.com
Every year we work with hundreds of recreational and experienced runners and Triathletes helping them achieve their marathon, half marathon or 10K goals and in many cases patching them up to get round the race. In this time we have seen a lot people attempt training programmes that were not designed for them as an individual which in many cases has led to injury.
We will develop your bespoke training programme for you, guide you, coach you and motivate you to get you around your chosen challenge and help you achieve your objective.
If this is your First Marathon we will develop a programme for you based on your current level of fitness and your target time whether that is three four or five hours or just getting round.
If you have run one or more marathons before, and your times are not improving, and you want to run faster, we will design a coaching programme around your strengths and weaknesses and guide you through it.
If your sport is triathlon – Ironman, 70.3 or Olympic distance we can develop a speed programme for you for to get you faster while taking into account all the other training you are doing.
At the Marathon School we will work on running technique, speed training, strength training and individual programme design – helping you through niggles, coaching you through hard sessions and answering all your training questions.
The Marathon School has three bespoke packages to help you achieve your goals for whatever your target is. We can hold your hand every step of the way or just advice and coach you throughout the process, you decide what best suits your training style.
The Key Features of our Marathon School are:
Designed by Running Coaches for runners
20 week day by day marathon programme based on your ability and speed
Strength and muscle activation exercises
Video Biomechanical analysis
Advice and guidance through out
Call us now on 01702 613542 or book online via this website or The Running School main website www.runningschool.co.uk