Sandymount Sports Injury & Physiotherapy Clinic

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Tip of the Week

Flora Mini marathon

Preparation for the Mini marathon. Make sure you have proper footwear & comfortable clothing. This may sound obvious but it is important, not only to have the right gear and footwear but to make sure you break the footwear in gradually. If you have new shoes, wear them around the house and for short walks before wearing for a run. Warm up. This is an essential part of race preparation. Whether you are a walker, a jogger or a seasoned runner, it is vital that you warm up as the first part of...

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Tips of week

Flora Mini marathon


Preparation for the Mini marathon. Make sure you have proper footwear & comfortable clothing. This may sound obvious but it is important, not only to have the right gear and footwear but to make sure you break the footwear in gradually. If you have new shoes, wear them around the house and for short walks before wearing for a run.

Warm up. This is an essential part of race preparation. Whether you are a walker, a jogger or a seasoned runner, it is vital that you warm up as the first part of your training and on race day. From jogging on the spot to arm and leg swings, just make sure that you are fully warmed up before taking on any extensive exercises. There are some good training tips available on the mini marathon site.

Post exercise "static" stretching. Unlike the dynamic stretching done during the warm up, your after exercise stretching should be sustained, holding the position of stretch for at least 20 seconds.  All major muscle groups should be stretched, being careful to stretch just to the point where the stretch sensation begins and making sure that you do not put too much stress on your body.

Start running on a gradual basis. If you are new to running, the key message is to start slowly, literally. (Check out The Guardian running blog for great tips on running for beginners.)

Set goals each time you train. Your physiotherapist can help in determining what level you are at and advise you accordingly.



Tennis Elbow


 

Exercise advice: tennis elbow

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is caused by a strain to tendons in the forearm. The tendons become inflamed where they join the bony part on the outside of your elbow joint. Any activity that involves gripping and twisting of the forearm can cause this type of strain – most cases aren’t actually related to tennis or any kind of exercise.

Golfer’s elbow is a similar condition that affects the inside of the elbow joint near the funny bone.

What are the symptoms?

File 148579Symptoms vary – you may have mild discomfort when you move your arm, or the pain may be bad enough to disturb your sleep.

The outside of your elbow will feel tender to the touch and there may be swelling.

You may also have pain further down your forearm.

Repetitive movements of the wrist will make the pain worse, especially if combined with a weight, for example if you’re lifting boxes.

What can be done to help

The first thing you can do to help is to adapt any movements that may be causing your symptoms. For example, lift objects with your palms facing upwards and elbows bent.

Medication

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may help and you should use them if you need to. It’s important that you take them regularly and at the recommended dose to help you control the pain and allow you to continue exercising. Don’t wait until your pain is severe before taking painkillers. You can
also rub anti-inflammatory cream directly onto the painful area.

You shouldn’t take ibuprofen or aspirin if you’re pregnant or have asthma, indigestion or an ulcer until you’ve spoken to your doctor or pharmacist. Medication can have side-effects so you should read the label carefully and check with your pharmacist if you have any queries.

Steroid injections

If the pain hasn’t eased over 2–4 weeks you should see your doctor or specialist physiotherapist. They may suggest a steroid injection into the tender area. One injection is probably all you’ll need, though you may still need to rest your elbow for 2–3 weeks afterwards. There’s a slight possibility that the pain will become worse for a few hours after the injection, occasionally lasting for up to 48 hours. The 

Physiotherapy

File 148581If your elbow pain is affecting your activity and is persisting, ask your GP about referral to a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. A physiotherapist can provide a variety of treatments, help you understand your problem and get you back to your normal activities. T

hey may recommend an epicondylitis clasp, which can help reduce the strain on your elbow if you need to make repetitive hand and elbow movements, for example while you’re working.

Your pain should ease within 2 weeks and you should recover over approximately a 4–6 week period.

You should carry on with the exercises overleaf for at least 6–8 weeks after the pain disappears to help prevent symptoms returning.


Simple exercises

Wrist turn

File 148588Bend your elbow at a right angle and hold out your hand, palm up.

Turn your wrist slowly so that your palm is now facing down.

Hold for 5 seconds, and then slowly release.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Wrist turn with weight

File 148591Repeat the exercise while holding a light weight (e.g. a tin of beans).

 

 

 

Wrist lift (palm up)

File 148593Bend your elbow at a right angle.

Hold a light weight (e.g. a tin of beans), palm up.

Bend your wrist slowly towards you.

Hold for 5 seconds, and then slowly release.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

 

Elbow bend

File 148596Stand up straight and lower your arm to one side.

Bend your arm slowly upwards so your hand is touching your shoulder.

Hold for 15–30 seconds.

Repeat 10 times.

 

 

 

Wrist flex

File 148597Keeping your arm straight in front with your palm facing down, gently bend your wrist down.

Use the opposite hand to press the stretching hand back towards your body and hold for 15–30 seconds.

Straighten your wrist.

Gently bend the stretching hand backwards and use the opposite hand to pull the fingers back.

Hold for 15–30 seconds. Do 3 sets with each wrist.

Summary

 



School Bags


The return to school is suddenly upon us. Families will have shopped for those expensive school books unless your school is one of the lucky ones providing tablets to students.

Unfortunately sometimes even young children are required to carry heavy books to school. To reduce the load on growing spines and to protect the back the school bag should either be a ruck sac carried over both shoulders or a smart wheelie bag

Sometimes the child percieves that it is not 'cool' to put the bag on correctly and slings it over one shoulder. This should be discouraged as it throws an asymmetrical load on the spine.

If the school provides a locker this should be used to minimise the amount of books carried on any given day.

Getting to school on a bicycle with a back-carrier is a sensible way of both keeping healthy and reducing the direct load of carrying the bag.



Running: lower limb flexibility


If you are starting to run there are important stages to work gradually through. It is crucialy important to warm up before you start your run with some dynamic stretches (short stretches of the major muscle groups, just 5 second hold)

Gradually build up your running time and distance and finish off with static stretches to maintain muscle length. Unlike the dynamic stretching done during the warm up, your after exercise stretching should be sustained, holding the position of stretch for at least 20 seconds.  All major muscle groups should be stretched, being careful to stretch just to the point where the stretch sensation begins and making sure that you do not put too much stress on your body.The following post run static stretches will be of help. It is important to hold each position of stretch for a count of 30

STATIC STRETCHES

  1.  Calf (back of lower leg) stretches
  2.  Hamstring (back of thigh) stretches
  3.  Quadriceps (front of thigh) stretches
  4.  Illio Psoas (front of hip)
    • Static Gastroc stretch

    •  

      Static Stretching Quad

    •  

      Static Iliopsoas stretch

    •  

      Static Hamstring stretch



Exercise and low back pain


File 148018

What causes back pain?

Sprains and strains

Back pain isn’t usually a sign of a serious medical condition – it’s much more likely that an awkward movement has pulled a muscle or sprained a ligament. Simple cases often improve within 4–6 weeks. Staying active and getting on with normal activities is one of the best ways to deal with back pain, but you can take painkillers if you need to. It’s very important to exercise the affected muscle to improve its strength, although you should rest if the muscle is in spasm. Unless you’re in severe pain you probably won’t need to see a doctor.

Sciatica

Back pain is sometimes linked with pains in the leg which are called sciatica. It affects the sciatic nerve that runs from the spine to the leg. The pain is felt anywhere from the buttock to the big toe. Other symptoms
include numbness and tingling in the legs and feet.

Sciatica is caused by an irritation of the sciatic nerve – there’s nothing wrong with the leg itself. If you notice weakness of the muscles in your leg, especially if you can’t pull your foot up towards you, or if you lose bladder or bowel control, you should see your doctor urgently.

What can be done to help?

Exercise

Exercise is the most important way that you can:

  • ease stiffness and pain
  • build up muscle strength and stamina
  • improve your flexibility and general fitness.

If your back pain lasts a while, lack of movement can cause the muscles to become weak. This makes it more likely that you’ll strain them in future. It’s important that you don’t rest for too long and keep moving.

Medication

Painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen may help and you should use them if you need to. Take them regularly and at the recommended dose to help you control pain and allow you to continue exercising. Don’t wait until your pain is severe before taking painkillers.

You shouldn’t take ibuprofen or aspirin if you’re pregnant or have asthma, indigestion or an ulcer until you’ve spoken to your doctor or pharmacist. Medication can have side-effects so you should read the label carefully and check with your pharmacist if you have any queries.

Physiotherapy

If your back pain is affecting your activity and is persisting, ask your GP about referral to a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. A physiotherapist can provide a variety of treatments, help you understand your problem and get you back to your normal activities. They can also give advice on how you can prevent symptoms returning in the future, for example by teaching the correct way to lift heavy objects.

Simple exercises

Back stretch

File 148020Lie on your back, hands above your head.

Bend your knees and roll them slowly to one side, keeping your feet on the floor.



Applying Ice for Injuries


Ice is an effective natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory.

Whenever you experience swelling, redness, aching or throbbing pain it is generally considered best to apply ice during the first 24 – 48 hours of your injury.

Rest (R) in combination with ice (I), compression (C) and elevation (E) i.e. RICE, is the recommended first aid treatmenr for all acute injuries.

Place ice cubes in a plastic bag and crush them or use frozen peas etc.

Wrap the ice in a damp face cloth or tea towel and place on the injured area for about 10 minutes and repeat after 10 minutes for 3 times. Apply the ice pack every 2 hours or as indicated by your Physiotherapist.

                                     _____________________________



GOLF WITHOUT INJURY


Many golfing-related injuries are a result of poor mechanics or overuse, particularly in golfers who are new to the game or play infrequently. Although golf isn't a contact sport, it puts significant demands on your body — which can easily lead to golf injuries. Follow these tips to stay in shape on the course.

Adjust your swing: 

Understanding the mechanics behind your golf swing can help you prevent golf injuries:

Use proper posture. Think about your posture before and during your swing. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and distribute your weight equally on both feet. Avoid hunching over the ball, which may contribute to neck and back strain.

Stay smooth. The power of a golf swing comes from force transferred smoothly through all the muscle groups, from your ankles to your wrists. If you depend on one part of your body for your hitting power, you may be more prone to injuries. For example, overemphasizing your wrists during your swing can lead to golfer's elbow — a strain of the muscles on the inside of the forearm.

Don't overswing. If you swing the club too hard or too fast, you may stress your joints. Relax and take a nice, easy swing at the ball. The best golfers have consistent — not necessarily fast — swing tempos.

If you want to reduce the risk of golf injuries, consider taking lessons. What you learn about your golf swing may even help you shave strokes from your score.

Other tips to keep you on the course:

 Warm up. Before you practice your golf swing or play a round of golf, warm up with a brisk walk or a set of jumping jacks. Stretch your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, spine and pelvis. Swing your golf club a few times, gradually increasing your range of motion.

Start slowly. You might practice your swing for hours, believing it's helping your game — but if your body isn't conditioned for the strain, practicing your golf swing may do more harm than good. Work up to your desired level of activity instead.

Strengthen your muscles. You don't need bulging muscles to hit a long drive — but the stronger your muscles, the greater your club speed. Better yet, stronger muscles are less prone to golf injuries. For best results, do strength training exercises year-round.

Focus on flexibility. Regular stretching can improve your range of motion and lead to a more fluid golf swing.

Build up your endurance. Regular aerobic activity can give you staying power on the course. Try walking, jogging, bicycling or swimming.

Lift and carry clubs carefully. Golfers who carry their own bags have higher rates of shoulder and back injuries than do other golfers. If you jerk heavy clubs out of the trunk of your car, you could injure yourself before you reach the first tee. Use proper lifting technique: Keep your back straight and use the strength of your legs to lift.

Choose proper footwear. Dress for comfort and protection from the elements. Wear golf shoes with short cleats. Long cleats dig into the sod and hold your feet planted as you swing, which may strain your knees or ankles.

 

 

 



Pilates


Autumn resolutions....Take up Pilates for core strength and movement control.

Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing.

What are the benefits of Pilates classes?

Whole-Body Workout.

Adaptable to varying fitness levels and requirements.

Creates Strength but not bulk.

Increases Flexibility.

Promotes Leaner Muscle and Tones Muscles.

Increases Energy.

Improves Posture.

Prevention of injuries

Aiding rehabilitation

Improved overall body tone and fitness

Core strength involves the deep muscles of the abdomen and back working together to provide more strength to the body and also extra support for the spine.

Clinical Pilates is often used in conjunction with physiotherapy as a means of treating a variety of injuries, particularly those of the neck and back. If you are interested in commencing Pilates for an injury, it is advisable to have a review with one of our physiotherapists to assess the suitability of a core stability program for you.

About our Clinical Pilates Classes

Our Clinical Pilates classes are small, 5 people max, and led by Chartered Physiotherapists who specialise in Pilates as a form of rehabilitation, injury prevention and as a general fitness to improve body tone and strength.



Strong Bones


We accrue most of our bone mass in our late teens and early 20's. Poor bone mass can lead to Osteoporosis in later life . Poor bone density leads to bone fragility and is associated with increased risk of fractures. Calcium, Vitamin D and Exercise are important in building and preserving healthy bones.

It is in and from our teenage years that we need to eat food rich in calcium and vitamin D. So Mum's, it is particularly important to encourage your figure conscious teenagers to eat chesse, yoghurt or drink a cup of milk daily.The skin makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight so getting outside even in winter is important.  Weight Bearing Exercise is vital in promoting bone healh and recent studies now tell us that walking alone is not enough.

Bone health is mistakenly considered to be an issue for women at menopause but bone health applies to everyone across our whole lifespan. Men lose bones later in life but women can lose 15% of bone density in 10 years around the menopause.

Calcium and Vitamin D 

 Recommended Calcium intake; Adults under 50 need 1000mg of calcium daily, Adults over 50 need 1200mg daily.

It is better to get your calcium through food rather than solely from suppliments.Dairy productaand fortified soy beverages are rich sources of calcium.
 
Three choices from the list below gives you 900mg of Calcium  
 
 - 250ml (1cup) of milk or fortified soy drink
 -175 ml of plain yoghurt or 250 ml of fruit flavoured yoghurt  (low fat is ok)
 - 1.5 ozs of hard cheese eg. cheddar/ edam
 - 2 ozs of soft cheese eg. mozzarella /brie
 

Vitamin D allows calcium to be taken to the bone. Vitamin D is in very few foods and the amount of sunshine to which our skin is exposed to in Ireland may not be enough so many people may need a supplement all year long.

Adults need 800-2000 IU per day so check the strenght of  any multivitamins you take or check with your doctor.