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Emma James Physio Blog

Chartered Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates

4 facts to look after your back!

In aid of Back Awareness week here’s 4 facts to help you look after your back!

 

1. Your back is stronger than you may think

Most people all over the world will experience back pain during their life. It can be disabling and worrying but it is very common and rarely dangerous.
The spine is a strong, stable structure and not easily damaged so in most instances it is a simple sprain or strain. In these cases, 98 per cent, (according to research data) people recover reasonably quickly. Let your physio guide your recovery.

You rarely need a scan and it can do more harm than good. This is because seeing perfectly normal changes to their spine can cause people to avoid the activities they should be doing to get better, such as exercise and movement in general.

2. You should not fear bending or lifting

Bending and lifting are often portrayed as causes of back pain and while an injury can occur if something is picked up in an awkward or unaccustomed way, it’s most likely to just be a sprain or strain. The important thing is to practice and get your body used to carrying different loads and weights in a way we find comfortable and efficient.

Exercise and activity reduce and prevent back pain.

Exercise is shown to be very helpful for tackling back pain and is also the most effective strategy to prevent future episodes.

3. Painkillers will not speed up your recovery

There is no strong evidence on the benefits of painkillers and they do not speed up recovery.

They should only be used in conjunction with other measures, such as exercise, and even then just as a short-term option as they can bring side effects.

Exercise, guided by a qualified professional, is safer and cheaper, is considered the preferred option.

4. Surgery is rarely needed

On average, the results for back surgery are no better in the medium and long term than non-surgical interventions, such as exercise.

So a non-surgical option, which includes exercise and activity, should always come first.
Physiotherapists provide expert advice, guidance and treatment for back pain.

This is to help reduce your chances of future episodes, while improving your overall health and wellbeing.

Check out these links for more info:

 

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Press Ups – the benefits

What are the benefits of press ups…..

Press ups are not only great for your chest, but they do a tremendous job of defining your abs, triceps, shoulders and torso.

  • Press ups build strength – across the whole body
  • Press ups boost metabolism
  • Improve your posture
  • Prevent lower back injuries by strengthening your torso

Learn more about Personal Training at www.ejphysio.co.uk

Tips for running

Here are my 9 essential top tips you will need to get up and running!

Is my:

  1. Face and jaw relaxed
  2. Head upright, slight lean looking forwards to a point 20-40 metres away
  3. Shoulders in a relaxed and comfortable position
  4. Natural curves of the spine
  5. Arms move in a pendulum – like movement close into the side of the body, with the movement coming from the shoulder joint
  6. Elbows bent at 90 degrees
  7. Fingers and thumbs relaxed
  8. Hips and shoulders facing forwards, with a minimum rotation
  9. Focus on keeping core strong

 

Happy Running!
Kerry
Personal Trainer & Gym Manager at Emma James Physio

Posture

Good posture, what is it? We all hear about the importance of good posture, but good posture really isn’t about standing up straight. It’s really about getting ourselves organised. We think about getting organised in our daily lives be it clearing clutter instead of sorting through it and tidying it up, stuffing it haphazardly into a closet, cabinet, or shelf. But the clutter never goes, it’s just been moved and the spot where you keep putting it will fill up.

Similarly, if you try and fix posture by lifting your chin, lifting your chest, pulling your shoulders back, sucking your belly in, or tucking your pelvis, it’s similar to moving your clutter from one place to another. By doing the latter, all you are doing is taking tension from one place and moving it somewhere else. Or we swap slumping forward to slumping backwards.

Unfortunately, these quick fixes aren’t sustainable and you may wonder how having good posture can ever feel good and be sustainable.

It Can. That’s where James Corporate Health can help you. We offer a range of Services. We can help with the ergonomics of your office space, Fatimah Parkar (Physiotherapist) will help you understand the Alexandra technique to fix your posture. The Alexandra technique, helps you eliminate tension that’s putting you wrong and establish simple routines for changing long held habits. We offer Personal Training – to strengthen those weak postural muscles. Sports massage to help relax the tensed-up muscles.

So, come along and improve your posture. Our expert team at Emma James will help you understand your body better.

More Information:

Types of Muscle Contraction

There are two types of muscle contraction; these are Isometric and Isotonic Contractions.
A muscle will contract upon stimulation, in an attempt to bring its attachments closer together, but this does not necessarily result in the muscle shortening. If the contraction of muscle results in the muscle creating movement of some sort, the contraction is called isotonic. If no movement results in contraction then this is called isometric.

Isometric Contraction:

An Isometric contraction occurs when a muscle increases its tension, but the length of the muscle is not changed at all. For example if you were to hold a heavy weight in the hand with the elbow held stationary and bent at 90 degrees. You will find that some of our postural muscles are consistently working in an isometric contraction, such as our calf’s which stop us from falling forwards at the ankle.

Isotonic Contraction:

It is the isotonic contractions of muscle that enable us to move about. There are two types of this contraction.

Concentric Contraction:

In concentric contractions, the muscle attachments move closer together, causing movement at the joint which causes the muscle to shorten. A good example of this is when you’re holding an object in your hand, if the biceps muscle contracts concentrically (shortening), the elbow joint will flex and the hand will move towards the shoulder.

Eccentric Contraction:

An eccentric muscle contraction is a type of muscle activation that increases tension on a muscle as it lengthens. Eccentric contractions typically occur when a muscle opposes a stronger force which causes the muscle to lengthen as it contracts. Examples of this are actions such as going down stairs, running downhill, lowering weights and the downward motion of squats, push ups or pull ups. Eccentric contractions are common to many sports in which you need controlled or resisted types of movements.

Eccentric contractions are associated with the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Eccentric muscle contractions also appear to be associated with greater muscle strengthening than when using concentric contractions.

 

How we can help

massagePhysiotherapists have a vast medical and anatomical knowledge of massage and other manual techniques and these can be used to restore muscle length, reduce friction between structures and relieve pain and muscle spasm.  All of this allows normal function to be restored in the maximum time. To see how we can help, click the links below for further information and to book your place.

EJP_Book_your-Appointment-with-us-today

 

Post by Emma James – April 2016

A look at sports injuries – Cycling – Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

The most common cause of lateral knee pain is ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome).

Iliotibial-bandThe Iliotibial Band (ITB) is a thick band of tissue on the outside of the thigh. The ITB begins at the upper hip extending down the outside of the thigh connecting with the tibia (shin bone) at just below the knee. It is crucial in stabilizing the knee during excess activities and is common in runners and cyclists in the age group of 15-50.

The ITB is aggravated and irritated through excess repeated motion causing pain and inflammation. Bony anatomical prominences located on the outside of the thigh rub against this band causing friction. Often a clicking sound can result from the tight band moving over the surfaces. ITBS is aggravated during activities such as running up hills or on slanted surfaces.

Pain is typically described as on the outside of the knee or hip, exacerbated by motion and relieved during rest. ITBS can be relatively easy to treat following correct examination, such as with stretching, strengthening, reduced strenuous activity and ice.

 

Five top ways to promote quicker healing (including services at Champneys)

By creating an optimal psychological, nutritional and physiological environment, the body is able to focus purely on the job in hand – healing the particular injury/ailment.

The services provided through the Regenerate programme at Champneys Tring in Hertfordshire can help to create this ideal environment in the following ways:

  • nutritionDecrease emotional stress and distractions and ensure you are having the correct amount of rest and sleep
  • Decrease environmental stress
  • Ensure best and optimal circulation (acupuncture, kriotherapy)
  • Optimal and appropriate nutrition (nutritionist)
  • Exercising within the pain-free range and at an appropriate level for maximising healing potential (hydrotherapy, physiotherapy)

image004

Regenerate is the UK’s leading residential medical centre based within the world class Champneys Tring Health Resort in Hertfordshire. Offering a bespoke professional service for injury rehabilitation, Regenerate provides the ultimate medical expertise and treatments required to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from all aspects of injury. Clients also benefit from using Champneys many services, as well as their luxury spa facilities and treatments.

Regenerate provides the highest standards and employs leading professionals in the medical fields under the Directorate of Champneys Medical Director, Dr Michael Curtin MB ChB Dip Med Ac. MF HOM. Regenerates multidisciplinary team includes: Doctor, Acupuncturists, Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Movement Therapists, Nutritionists, Personal Trainers, and Motivational and Mental Skills Coaches. They will conduct comprehensive examinations and diagnostic testing, and provide appropriate treatment which may include physiotherapy, acupuncture, clinical pilates, kriotherapy, nutritional therapy, exercise and rehabilitation programmes, sports massage, vibrogym therapy and altitude training, amongst others.

More Information

Blog Post by Emma James March 2016

A look at sports injuries – Football – Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear

The ACL is one of four main ligaments in the knee and the most common to be injured of the four. The ACL gives stability during motion preventing the Tibia (shin bone) moving too far forward on the Femur (thigh bone). Most ACL tears occur during athletic activity. Activities which make fast cut movements such as planting the foot and twisting the body above, changing direction, or straight knee landing such as in football, gymnastics or basketball are common.

norm-acltorn-acl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symptoms following an injury can include pain along the joint line, swelling, loss of movement and pain on weight bearing. A tear to the ACL primarily results in an unstable knee, and a common complaint is of the knee giving way. Damage can also occur to the two menisci cartilages which act as shock absorbers between the Femur and Tibia, or on the smooth articular cartilage lining the bones in the joint. Luckily an ACL injury is not necessarily career threatening. Rehabilitation is dependent on the extent of the injury, whether there is a partial or complete tear and does not require always require surgery.

 

Five top ways to promote quicker healing (including services at Champneys)

By creating an optimal psychological, nutritional and physiological environment, the body is able to focus purely on the job in hand – healing the particular injury/ailment.

The services provided through the Regenerate programme at Champneys Tring in Hertfordshire can help to create this ideal environment in the following ways:

 

  • nutritionDecrease emotional stress and distractions and ensure you are having the correct amount of rest and sleep
  • Decrease environmental stress
  • Ensure best and optimal circulation (acupuncture, kriotherapy)
  • Optimal and appropriate nutrition (nutritionist)
  • Exercising within the pain-free range and at an appropriate level for maximising healing potential (hydrotherapy, physiotherapy)

image004

Regenerate is the UK’s leading residential medical centre based within the world class Champneys Tring Health Resort in Hertfordshire. Offering a bespoke professional service for injury rehabilitation, Regenerate provides the ultimate medical expertise and treatments required to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from all aspects of injury. Clients also benefit from using Champneys many services, as well as their luxury spa facilities and treatments.

Regenerate provides the highest standards and employs leading professionals in the medical fields under the Directorate of Champneys Medical Director, Dr Michael Curtin MB ChB Dip Med Ac. MF HOM. Regenerates multidisciplinary team includes: Doctor, Acupuncturists, Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Movement Therapists, Nutritionists, Personal Trainers, and Motivational and Mental Skills Coaches. They will conduct comprehensive examinations and diagnostic testing, and provide appropriate treatment which may include physiotherapy, acupuncture, clinical pilates, kriotherapy, nutritional therapy, exercise and rehabilitation programmes, sports massage, vibrogym therapy and altitude training, amongst others.

More Information

Blog Post by Emma James Feb 2016

A look at sports injuries – Basketball (Jumpers Knee)

Patella tendinopathy or ‘jumpers knee’ is one of the more common tendinopathies affecting skeletally mature athletes, occurring in as many as 20% of jumping athletes. Jumper’s knee is believed to be caused by repetitive stress placed on the patella tendon during jumping, and therefore is specific to athletes participating in jumping sports such as basketball.

 

Description of condition in laymans terms

shutterstock_75045415The patella tendon is a structure that attaches the quadriceps muscle group to the tibia (shin bone) via the patella. This tendon comes under a large amount of stress with repeated jumping movements. With repeated strain, micro-tears as well as collagen degeneration may occur in the tendon, causing pain and dysfunction. The main symptoms of ‘jumpers knee’ are: pain at the bottom and front of the kneecap, especially on palpation; aching and stiffness after exertion; pain when you contract the quadriceps muscle; and the affected tendon may appear thickened in comparison to the unaffected side. The key to fully recovering from Patellar Tendinopathy is in trying to elicit a healing response without overloading the tendon.

 

Five top ways to promote quicker healing (including services at Champneys)

By creating an optimal psychological, nutritional and physiological environment, the body is able to focus purely on the job in hand – healing the particular injury/ailment.

The services provided through the Regenerate programme at Champneys Tring in Hertfordshire can help to create this ideal environment in the following ways:

  • Decrease emotional stress and distractions and ensure you are having the correct amount of rest and sleep
  • Decrease environmental stress
  • Ensure best and optimal circulation (acupuncture, kriotherapy)
  • Optimal and appropriate nutrition (nutritionist)
  • Exercising within the pain-free range and at an appropriate level for maximising healing potential (hydrotherapy, physiotherapy)

image004

Regenerate is the UK’s leading residential medical centre based within the world class Champneys Tring Health Resort in Hertfordshire. Offering a bespoke professional service for injury rehabilitation, Regenerate provides the ultimate medical expertise and treatments required to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from all aspects of injury. Clients also benefit from using Champneys many services, as well as their luxury spa facilities and treatments.

Regenerate provides the highest standards and employs leading professionals in the medical fields under the Directorate of Champneys Medical Director, Dr Michael Curtin MB ChB Dip Med Ac. MF HOM. Regenerates multidisciplinary team includes: Doctor, Acupuncturists, Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Movement Therapists, Nutritionists, Personal Trainers, and Motivational and Mental Skills Coaches. They will conduct comprehensive examinations and diagnostic testing, and provide appropriate treatment which may include physiotherapy, acupuncture, clinical pilates, kriotherapy, nutritional therapy, exercise and rehabilitation programmes, sports massage, vibrogym therapy and altitude training, amongst others.

More Information

Blog Post by Emma James Feb 2016

A look at sports injuries – Spondylolisthesis in gymnasts

Spondylolisthesis is the slipping of all or part of one vertebra forward on another vertebra. It is most common in children 5-8 years old and it occurs in about 5% of the population. For gymnasts, it is thought that the slippage occurs as a result of repetitive hyperextension activities (bending backwards).

Description of condition in laymans terms

Spondylolisthesis is a forward shift of one vertebrae on the other, usually L5-S1, which is towards the bottom of the spine. The typical presentation is one of mild low back pain that occasionally radiates into the buttocks and posterior thighs, especially during high levels of activity.

Five top ways to promote quicker healing (including services at Champneys)

By creating an optimal psychological, nutritional and physiological environment, the body is able to focus purely on the job in hand – healing the particular injury/ailment.

 

The services provided through the Regenerate programme at Champneys Tring in Hertfordshire can help to create this ideal environment in the following ways:

acupuncture-enews

  • Decrease emotional stress and distractions and ensure you are having the correct amount of rest and sleep
  • Decrease environmental stress
  • Ensure best and optimal circulation (acupuncture, kriotherapy)
  • Optimal and appropriate nutrition (nutritionist)
  • Exercising within the pain-free range and at an appropriate level for maximising healing potential (hydrotherapy, physiotherapy)

 

image004

Regenerate is the UK’s leading residential medical centre based within the world class Champneys Tring Health Resort in Hertfordshire. Offering a bespoke professional service for injury rehabilitation, Regenerate provides the ultimate medical expertise and treatments required to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from all aspects of injury. Clients also benefit from using Champneys many services, as well as their luxury spa facilities and treatments.

Regenerate provides the highest standards and employs leading professionals in the medical fields under the Directorate of Champneys Medical Director, Dr Michael Curtin MB ChB Dip Med Ac. MF HOM. Regenerates multidisciplinary team includes: Doctor, Acupuncturists, Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Movement Therapists, Nutritionists, Personal Trainers, and Motivational and Mental Skills Coaches. They will conduct comprehensive examinations and diagnostic testing, and provide appropriate treatment which may include physiotherapy, acupuncture, clinical pilates, kriotherapy, nutritional therapy, exercise and rehabilitation programmes, sports massage, vibrogym therapy and altitude training, amongst others.

More Information

Blog Post by Emma James Feb 2016

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