Archive for the ‘Physiotherapy’ Category

Top tips for moving well and winter exercise 

Top tips for exercise in the colder months!

 

To avoid injury and illness during winter exercise and sport, you need a slightly different approach during the colder months than you do in summer.

 

 

 

Warm up

Warming up is essential in winter.  Your body takes longer to warm up during winter to ensure adequate blood flow to the muscles before you commence more vigorous exercise.

Warm up can consist of light jogging, dynamic warm-up exercises or a combination of both.  Allow 5-10 minutes to warm up before you commence your sport or exercise.

 

Wear warm layers

If you are exercising outside, make sure you wear warm clothing and/or layers so that you can appropriately change your layers to allow for body (and air temperature) changes.

Compression tights are a great investment for exercising in the winter months.  They enhance blood flow through the leg muscles, helping to prevent fatigue and joint stiffness.

Breathe in through your nose

Inhalation of colder air can cause your bronchial tubes to narrow. This can reduce the capacity of the mucous membranes to stay moist and is exacerbated if you breathe in through your mouth.

Breathing in through your nose gives incoming air an opportunity to be moistened and heated through the nasal mucosa and mouth.  IMPORTANT: If you are asthmatic, it is best to consult your GP regarding training in cold weather.

Cool down

Cooling down is an important part of your winter exercise program.  Cooling down exercises allow your muscles to gradually return to their optimal length-tension relationship and prevent venous pooling of blood in the lower extremities. They also allow your heart rate and breathing to return to a normal level and prevent a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.

TIP: Make sure you put your layers back on before your cool down exercises to keep your body warm.

 

Learn more

Do you suffer from lower back pain?

Lower back pain is extremely common, affecting 8 in 10 people at some stage in their life.

The majority of cases of lower back pain (90%) are not due to a serious disease or serious back problem. They fall into a category called ‘non-specific lower back pain’.

Non-specific lower back pain

The cause of non-specific lower back pain can be hard to identify but often happen after lifting a heavy load or twisting awkwardly. In some cases, you can wake up with lower back pain. The pain can be mild to severe.

Causes of lower back pain

While the cause may be hard to identify, it is usually a strain of a muscle or ligament. In some cases, it can be a minor problem with a disc that sits in between two vertebrae or the facet joint, a small joint in between two vertebrae.

These episodes can easily be treated with physiotherapy to reduce muscle tightness and pain and quickly improve your range of movement. Specific and targeted exercise management is an important part of the treatment process to help prevent a recurrence.

 

More serious back problems

A small group of back pain patients (less than 10%) may have a more serious back problem. These fall into 2 key categories.

Nerve-root-irritation

Nerve root irritation

This is where a nerve root exiting the spine becomes irritated causing pain into the buttock and down the affected leg into the foot. You may also experience pins and needles and numbness.

This is often caused by a disc in between the vertebrae prolapsing or bulging and touching the nerve root.

Physiotherapy can help milder cases of nerve root irritation. If the nerve root irritation is severe or continues you will need to see your GP and be referred to a Specialist for treatment.

Cauda equina

Cauda equina is a serious nerve root problem where the nerves at the base of the spine are pressed on causing not only lower back pain but also bladder problems (unable to urinate), numbness around the saddle area and numbness down one or both legs.

You must see your GP if you experience these symptoms as it needs to be treated urgently. Fortunately, cases of Cauda equina are rare.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation (including targeted exercise management) following an episode of lower back pain or following back surgery is important to help speed up your recovery process and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Call us on 9819 6151 can help you manage your back pain.

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