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Emma James Physio Blog

Chartered Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates

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health

Stretching – why is it so important?

It’s the one thing we should all do before and after exercise but the one phase everyone tends to skip… I think maybe because it’s boring, we are always pushed for time and it’s not perceived as being that important.

Stretching is so important at the start of a work out, as it gives your muscles the opportunity to warm up and become more elastic, which means you will be able to perform better when you start your main set or workout.

Stretching will help prevent injury as cold muscles are more likely to be torn or strained. It is always best to start your work out with 5 minutes of cardio of your choice then dynamic stretching – stretching while moving as it will help increase blood flow and muscle temperature.

At the end of the workout your muscles will be warm and maybe sore depending on what you have been doing.

pippa-2a

There are many reasons why you should stretch after exercising:

  • It will help maintain elasticity within the muscles, improve strength and keep them healthy. This is so important to keep the flexibility up as it will help in turn with joint movement which will have an impact on your overall performance of working out and everyday life activities.
  • When your muscles are warm and you hold a stretch for longer, 45 seconds it will improve the elasticity of that muscle making you more flexible.
  • Decrease the risk of injury
  • Enable your muscles to work more effectively
  • Help keep a healthy body and mind. Stretching can also be really relaxing and help your mind switch off, decreasing stress.
  • It helps relieve the stress on muscles after a hard work out, your muscles can often get tight and stiff, stretching will slow down the process of aches and pains.
  • It can help improve your posture, stretching your lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your body in better alignment.
  • Reduces lower back, better flexibility in your hamstrings, hip flexors and other muscles around your pelvis helps relieve stress on the lower lumber. This is especially good for those who have desk jobs.

pippaHappy Stretching!

Pippa
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Blog Post by Pippa
FCO Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

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Don’t be scared of eating good fats…..

Good fat is found in foods like:

  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Seafood
  • Oils
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Nuts

Why you ask?

  1. Good fat helps you from overeating because it tells your brain to stop eating
  2. Fat slows the rate at which sugar hits your bloodstream, and this allows your blood sugar levels to remain steady
  3. Most importantly, keeping your hunger and cravings at bay

More information & health advice:

kerry-gym-managerHappy, healthy eating Buddies!
Kerry
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Kerry
Personal Trainer & Group Gym Manager

Ralf – My Apos Story

I have been an amateur runner throughout my life. However I hadn’t actually participated in races up to about 5 years ago. Approaching my 70th birthday also saw me running 10 km and even a semi-marathon in 2017.

In November 2017, training for my first dash of a full marathon I experienced terrible pain on my left knee. It did not come about suddenly but gradually grew over a few days. I stopped running since I was unable to make even a few hundred meters without feeling atrocious stabbings on my lower leg. Even walking became horribly difficult.
Not only my running life seems to have ended but daily chores involving my legs would preoccupy my thoughts for years to come.

The conclusion was evident: left knee arthritis. ‘’You have to alter your whole lifestyle. If you feel that this state affects only a quarter of your daily activity you are not ready for knee surgery. However a few more years of lowered energy and you definitely need one’’.

I was against surgery as I had heard of many cases of unsuccessful results. In May 2018, my sister, who is also a runner but definitely better than me, advised me to look into AposTherapy. She had witnessed the positive results in many of her friends who came back to run after years of forced inactivity.

The therapy started in May and went throughout the summer months, growing from 30 to 60 minutes a day. Some days when I did not find time to walk, I just put the computer on a high table and wrote standing.

In October my first baby runs took place: Only half kilometer or so. I was rejoiced by the fact that the pounding reduced although it came back after some distance. I continued every day with the therapy, even going out to the supermarket with my Apos shoes.
In November my weekly runs were up to 6 km although excruciatingly slow, taking me 1 hour when during that period previously I would have run a full 10 km.
My clearest objective for a nice start to the New Year was a Parkrun. These 5 km courses on Saturdays in parks all around Britain are great introductions for people of any age, who want to change their lifestyles by short runs.
I consistently delayed my first parkrun since even the slowest runner will finish in 45 minutes (9 minutes/km) and I was not sure the volunteers will wait for me, at about 50 – 55 minutes.

Therefore I was astounded when my first Parkrun was completed in 35 minutes. The 400 participants had probably created a magnetic field that just carried me to the end.
This was the most worthwhile gift for the New Year. I could run, respectfully. Of course there still was slight pain afterwards but the progress was evident.

It was nothing short of miraculous for me. I have to admit that Apos was not alone in this marvel. The open sea swims in summer and weekly strength exercises in my local gym were evidently helpful in reinforcing body and legs.

However first award goes to Apos. I am thoroughly happy and naturally reflect it on family and friends.

Blog post by Ralf
Apos Therapy customer

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Post Pregnancy exercise

Hi,

Being a mum I know the importance of exercise after having kids so heres my Top Tips on why Post Pregnancy exercise is so important to your wellbeing.

Regular exercise after pregnancy can:

  • Promote Weight loss, especially when combined with reduced calorie intake
  • Improve your cardiovascular fitness
  • Strengthen and tone abdominal muscles
  • Help enhance your mood
  • Improve flexibility
  • Reduce the heavy postnatal depression with a healthy mind

 

Why not try our Post Pregnancy exercise classes at Emma James Physio:

  • Bespoke luxury personal training and physio studio
  • Specialist care for hypermobility, bladder issues, complicated biomechanics
  • Fitness studio for every women and people wanting to get back into exercise, we are almost the luxury stepping stone back to the gym
  • Rehab gym
  • You are not just a number in a class, our studio has a more personal feel
  • Exercise in a friendly and fun environment
  • Small group classes

Further Information:

Post by Emma James – October 2018

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

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)

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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

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.

STRETCHING

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

MUSCLES

  • Calves, quads, back and hip flexors

CARDIO

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

STRENGTH

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

Quads:

  • 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

Gluts:

  • 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

Calves/Hamstrings:

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

BALANCE AND CORE STABILITY

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

PROPRIOCEPTION

  • 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

 

COMMON SKI INJURIES:

Usually lower extremity injuries and knee ligament damage 

common ski injuries

Causes

  • 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

Causes

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

COMMON SNOWBOARD INJURIES:

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

common snowboarding injuries
Causes

  • 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

Causes

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

STRATEGIES TO PREVENT INJURIES

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

PHYSIOTHERAPY
pilates

  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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