Emma James Physio Blog

Chartered Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates


December 2015

Womens Health

Women’s problems and health ‘below the waist’ are often a taboo subject with many too embarrassed to seek help and advice, and others simply not knowing where they can find advice.


Obesity is a huge problem in modern society, but poses a unique issue to women’s health and that of their babies. For most adults a healthy body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9, with those with a BMI of 25+ being considered overweight. A BMI of 30-39.9 is usually considered as obese and those of 40+ severely obese.

There is a myth that a pregnant woman should ‘eat for two’ however it is not until the final trimester that additional calories are required and even then it should only be an increase of just 200-500 calories. Similarly, it is important that these calories are gained from nutrient-rich foods containing wholegrain starches, fibre and fruits and vegetables, while limiting high fats and sugary foods to special occasions.

Obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and premature birth as well as risks long term consequences for the child such as obesity, birth defects and diabetes.

A physiotherapist can help with advice on safe ways to maintain a healthy weight and body during pregnancy and advise on weight loss following pregnancy to help provide you and your babies with a healthy and happy future.


Stress incontinence is the most common form of incontinence. It is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles and means you leak urine when you increase pressure on the bladder such as when coughing and sneezing or during exercise. As it is caused by weakness, the main treatment for stress incontinence is to strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, with around 60% of cases being cured or dramatically improved by exercise alone. Those who are overweight should also try to lose weight alongside the exercises.

To engage your pelvic floor muscles you should imagine you are passing urine and trying to stop the stream. Once you are confident you are using the right muscles you should aim to hold for 5 seconds, relax and repeat 10 times these are called ‘slow kegals’. Then using the same principle, engage your pelvic floor muscles and hold for just 2 seconds, relaxing and repeating 10 times; these are called ‘fast kegals’. Aim to repeat the process of fast and slow kegals for 5 minutes or 10 sets and do this minimum of three times per day. As you become stronger you can increase the hold of the ‘fast kegals’ to 10 seconds.

A physiotherapist can help if you are struggling to perform the pelvic floor exercises.


If you are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above, please feel free to contact us to see how we can help.

Visit our Womens and Child Section for more information

Calf and Shin Injuries

Shin Splints, Achilles Tendonitis and Calf Muscle Injuries are common causes of pain in the shin and calf.

  • Achilles Paratendinopathy
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Calf Muscle Strain
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Shin Splints
  • Osgood Schlatters
  • Broken Leg
  • Tibialis Posterior Pain

‘Shin Splints’ is a catch all term for shin pain that is common during running. Sports medicine experts tend not to use the term Shin Splints, preferring Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome instead, as it more accurately describes the problem.


  • Sudden large force or pressure to the calf
  • Overuse injury common in running and jumping activities
  • Excessive acceleration from stationary and lunging
  • Insufficient warm up exercise
  • Flat feet or pronated arches
  • Improper or worn-out footwear
  • Muscular imbalances (e.g., tight calves)
  • Exercise that is too intense at the beginning of the program
  • Poor body alignment


The Calf is rested in an elevated position and a physiotherapist applies an ice pack for 20 minutes every two hours (never apply ice directly to the skin). A compression support can be applied to limit bleeding and swelling in the tissues. Electrotherapy treatment can also help during the early stages. Once the initial pain has worn off more active rehabilitation can be started, including Calf stretching and strengthening exercises.


Gait Scan at Emma James Physio



  • Always warm up well
  • Always cool down well
  • Stretch frequently
  • Strengthening exercises



How we can help

We can help with any of the injuries mentioned above. Visit us for Gait Scan or Personal Training. See our Website for details.

The Winter Ski and Snowboard season is here!

With the snow season here and mountain holidays approaching we want to ensure you enjoy your time on the slopes with some top tips and information.

Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding, and so undertaking a variety of appropriate exercises in advance will enhance your performance on the slopes and allow your snow sports holiday to be more fun, efficient and safe.


  • Key to activate your muscles before use
  • Lengthen, help them recover and increase flexibility post snow slope


  • Calves, quads, back and hip flexors


  • Interval training improves your sustained and shorter high energy activities
  • Cycling/Running/X-trainer


Compound movements targeting multi-joints and then practiced plyometrically to increase power.


  • Power muscles for the snow, hold you position and protect your knee during movements
  • Squats and lunges help react to changes in extension, are good for thick snow and changing terrains
  • Split squats and single leg dips help single leg strengthening ensures no weakness


  • Usually underactive due to over reliance on quads
  • Clams, step-ups, squat with theraband around your thighs
  • Sideway jumps replicate fast movements on steep, narrow slopes


  • Maintain your position of bent knees and promote stability along with your hamstrings
  • Calf raises, hamstring curls


  • Essential for posture on the slope and un-easy terrain
  • Russian twists, Swiss ball crunch


  • Important for being aware of your body in poor conditions and in preventing injury
  • Single leg balance with your eyes closed and adding in movements



Usually lower extremity injuries and knee ligament damage 

common ski injuries


  • Twisting movements of the upper leg, while the lower leg rotates the opposite way
  • Valgus forces from direction changes during falls

Upper extremity injuries to the thumb


  • Ski pole being caught in snow in un-easy terrain or during a fall


Usually upper-extremity injuries causing wrist fractures/sprains, elbow dislocations/contusion.  Or broken collar bones and rotator cuff injuries.

common snowboarding injuries

  • Landing on outstretched hands with force after a fall
  • Direct impact to the clavicle or shoulder

Lower extremity injuries to the knee ligaments and ankle


  • Valgus forces associated with one footed chair dismounts and falls
  • Compressive forces landing a jump/fall


ski safety clothing

  1. Have good fitness, muscle strength and flexibility
  2. Have good quality, well fitted equipment
  3. Seek advice for biomechanical deformities
  4. Complete a warm up and cool down
  5. Adhere to ski slope rules, safety rules, stay on marked trails and ski with partners
  6. Book lessons to improve you standard, knowledge and technique with a qualified instructor
  7. Snowboard to your own ability and on appropriate terrain for your level
  8. Ensure good conditions e.g. visibility, terrain, weather, snow quality
  9. Invest in safety gear e.g. wrist/elbow guards/knee pads/impact shorts/helmet


  1. Helps with injury, illness or disability.
  2. Physio also assesses the body as a whole using a variety of techniques including: personal training, sports massage, acupuncture, gait scanning and pilates.
  3. These improve health, aid relaxation, prevent injury, provide education, encourage health promotion, improve biomechanical deficits and provides expert knowledge and exercises for specific sports; perfect to enhance your time on the slopes.

If you’re interested, ring us and book an appointment to find out more or visit our website for details.

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