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Shoulder pain

1 in 4 people suffer with shoulder pain. Pain gets us down on several ways, it’s exhausting and interferes with everything we do.

As we use our arms for almost every activity and most movements, shoulder pain can be a biggy. Pain in this area can affect alignment, creating poor posture and poorly functioning movements.

Causes

After lower back and neck pain, shoulder pain is the most common complaint therapists see. It’s generally an unstable joint as due to the ball and socket joint system, the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. The shoulders are ready for reaching, throwing, lifting, pushing and all sorts of twists, turns and bending, but this leaves them primed for injury.

Rotator Cuff Injury: are the most common of all the shoulder conditions. Usually a result of repetitive movements, causing inflammation, pain and limited mobility. Rest, ice, massage and exercise all help.

Shoulder joint instability: can also occur due to trauma, and, genetic make-up. It’s important to strengthen around the shoulder to prevent this from happening.

Frozen Shoulder: just like it sounds – immovable. Treatments include massage and specific exercises. Acupuncture can also help.

Shoulder Impingement: Muscles getting pinched by bones is uncomfortable and can become painful if it becomes chronic. Exercise is the best type of treatment but massage also helps.

Bursitis: swelling of a bursa causes by repetitive motions. Treatment include rest, ice and massage.

Osteoarthritis: Degenerative joint disease is caused by the normal wear and tear of the cartilage in the joint. Treated with acupuncture and exercise.

Re-occurrence of hamstring strains?

Hamstring muscle strains are prevalent in many sports. These injuries can be debilitating and require extensive recovery time. What’s worse is that one third of hamstring injuries will recur, making these types of injuries frequent and stubborn. Commonly this occurs when the person is just getting back into training or attempting to return to their previous sport
The role of the hamstring is to pull the thigh backwards and to extend the knee. Hamstring muscles control the leg especially when kicking or changing speed while running.
So with this in mind, maybe you’re not rehabbing the muscle correctly…
Nordics are an eccentric strength exercise for the hamstrings, meaning that the muscle only “fires” as it lengthens, closely mimicking the main function of the hamstrings. This means that the Nordic hamstring exercise is an effective way to reduce chances of a hamstring injury occurring and an excellent way to ensure that the hamstring muscles are resilient to re-injury.
Five key points to consider to reduce the risk of re injuring your hamstring include:
1 Progress your hamstring through a series of exercises aiming to achieve full function before returning to sport and sport specific drills.
2 Ensure your hamstring has been rehabilitated through sport-specific tasks, when it is appropriate to do so.
3 Perform a graded, specific running programme which is best advised by a suitable therapist.
4 Return to sport gradually!
5 Listen to the muscle.

Shin splints

Ouchy shins?

Shin splints can be common with runners. The pain is usually located down the inner or medial portion of the lower leg, along the shin. Pain usually starts after running but in time can develop during the run. Research suggests that this is commonly due to overuse.

Sometimes this happens when you’re new to running, however this can also happen if there is a sudden increase in training frequency or intensity.

Other causes can be lack of calcium, running on hard surfaces, running hills, ill fitted running shoes, or severe overpronation and heel striking.

If you think you have shin splints then you need to act promptly. Use ice after running to help with pain relief. Look at your running shoes and running pattern. Flat feet or heel striking will not help.

If it persists get in touch with a medical professional.

Prehabilitation

Used to identify common injuries within a specific sport or training regime. The outcome results in an appropriate series of exercises that work toward minimising their incidence. Key joints and stability are targeting to conclude what is weak. With this proactive approach to sport and exercise, body parts with be strengthened and conditioned to the excessive amounts of strain that they undergo.

But prehabilitation is also moving out of the realm of sports science and strength and conditioning as it can be applied to regular people who train regularly or need to build strength after an injury to prevent recurrence. The emergence of prehabilitation as a proactive training method, much like warming up and warming down to reduce the onset of DOMS, is specifically geared towards preventing injuries for all individuals before they happen and strengthening muscle groups one-by-one so as to ensure that your workout will be more efficient and effective, allowing you to progress further.

Trouble Sleeping? Go through this check list…

Sleep is fascinating. Everybody does it every day! It’s very important to overall health and well being. Sleep is crucial for brain and body function. So if it’s something you’re struggling with, try this checklist to have improve your quality of it.

Make sure you are totally comfortable…

You use your bed daily, obviously, but have you thought about how good your pillows and bedding are? And what about any noises that you may be hearing at night? The basics need to be covered and with some simple changes you may be able to reboot your sleep habits.

Do you relax?

Is going on technology relaxing? Your brain is working to read what it on the screen and is adjusting to the light. Your body needs time away from this to settle for the night. Try reading a book instead Or meditating.

Are you thirsty?

Hydration helps to cool your core temperature and makes it easier for you to fall asleep faster. However, try not to drink around an hour before bedtime so it doesn’t disrupt you through the night.

Feeling hot?

Ensure tour bedroom is not too warm and that your bedding is appropriate for the season.

Hungry?

If you’re body is consuming a lot of calories it may need a light snack in the evening to keep yourself going. Ensure this is healthy and isn’t too close to bedtime.

Have you consumed stimulants before bed?

Alcohol can interrupt your sleep. Pre-bed caffeine or alcohol isn’t the way to go.

Do you really know how much sleep you need?

Use a sleep tracker to test your bed-time, from how long it takes you to fall asleep to whether you’re waking up at the “right” time. You may be in bed for nine hours, but if two are regularly “wasted” by thinking or rolling around, try moving to seven and see what happens.

Good luck. And sweet dreams!

Posture Police

Do you have a good or bad posture? As you are reading this, how is your posture right now? Are you sitting upright? Are you slouching your back? Have you totally sunk into your chair?

Why Have A Good Posture?

There are 5 key benefits from maintaining a good posture.
1. Aids breathing: A good posture naturally enables you to breathe properly.
2. Increases concentration and thinking ability: When you are breathing properly, you increase your thinking ability too.
3. Improve your image: People with good postures look smarter and more attractive.
4. Feel even better about yourself: When you have a good posture, it helps to make you feel more self-confident, without even doing anything else different.
5. Avoid health complications: A bad posture results in several complications over time, such as increased risks of slipped disc, back aches, back pain, pressure inside your chest, poor blood circulation.

Tips to help improve

-Stay motivated
-Set reminders to check posture
-Get a massage
-Eliminate bad habits that encourage bad postures
-Get a good quality chair that has a good support system
-Get a back cushion to support whilst sitting for prolonged periods
-Ground both your feet when standing or sitting to evenly distribute weight
-Avoid carrying heavy items which you struggle with
-Complete exercises which help strengthen your back
-Get a professional examination

Deep Tissue Massage vs. Sports Massage

With a deep tissue massage, the clue is in the title. The pressure is harder to manipulate deeper tissue layers in the body.

A sport massage is the manipulation of muscles to help injuries. A broader, more specified medical knowledge and application is needed to safely manipulate the muscles.

Sports massage therapists can identify areas in which you experience muscle tightness or determine muscle abnormalities that could potentially lead to injury if left untreated. While a deep-tissue massage can identify areas of muscle weakness, the therapist might not be targeting sport-specific injury areas.

Sports massage is dedicated to improving sports performance, boosting flexibility and handling injuries or potential injuries. A person may have more reasons for seeking out a deep-tissue massage. These include reducing toxins in the body, relieving stress, boosting circulation, reducing tension and reducing physical pain.

Top 10 reasons to run

  1. It lifts your mood
  2. Expensive equipment is not required 
  3. Top calorie burning exercise 
  4. It reduces stress
  5. It boosts self esteem 
  6. It gives you energy 
  7. You can meet new people
  8. Provides a chance to go outside and enjoy nature 
  9. It lengthens your life span 
  10. It gives you goals to work towards 

What is the role of a Sports Therapist & Rehabilitator?

We not only treat injured athletes, we also deal with many common muscular complaints such as back pain, joint pain, muscle strains, ligament sprains, postural problems and work related conditions. 

 

In sport, a Sports Therapist helps injured athletes return to full performance after injury. In the general public, Sports Therapists help diminish aches and pains and allow continue activity of daily living. The treatment varies dependent on the injury, degree, activity or sport involved.  A qualified Sports Therapist advises on prevention of injuries and can examine, assess and treat those that do occur, as well as helping with the rehabilitation process.

At the moment in the UK, Sports Therapy is unregulated. Anyone can call themselves a Sports Therapist, or Sports Masseur, without even having a qualification. Some sports therapists have a diploma and others have a degree. A Sports Therapist differs to a sports massage therapist who generally, are not trained in rehabilitation exercises or electrotherapy and may only have attended a short course.

Trochanteric Hip Bursitis

This an overuse injury which is common in runners. “Bursitis” basically means inflammation of a bursa, which are sacs of fluid found between bones and overlying soft tissues. They can become inflamed from protecting soft tissue from repetitive friction. The Trochanteric bursa sits over a body lump known as the greater trochanter. It reduces friction from the Iliotibial band (ITB) and the bone.

 

Symptoms of trochanteric hip bursitis

 

Usually, you will experience pain in this area, on the outside of the hip. This is worse after activity such as running. The pain can last for a few days after activity, depending on the severity. Pain may travel down the outside of the thigh and into the gluteal area. Palpation can reveal tenderness in this area. Other than running, climbing stairs and laying on that side may cause a problem.

 

Causes

Overuse and repeated friction are the main concerns for this condition. Studies suggest that this can be a result of faulty biomechanics in the body. Other causes include falling onto this area due to impact e.g. Skiing. 

 

Woman are at a higher risk for this injury due to having wider hips. In running, this can cause altered biomechanics causing woman to have a knock-kneed appearance known as hip adduction. As a result, woman need stronger abductors to balance this out. Weakness in this area can cause increased tension in the ITB. As noted earlier, this lies on top of the Trochanteric bursa. Increased pressure can add additional friction to the bursa, pre disposing bursitis. 

 

Factors that can contribute to the development of this condition include; overpronation, leg length differences, uneven surface running and doing too much too soon. 

 

Treatment

Rest and ice is key to reduce the inflammation. Correcting the cause of the inflammation is also essential to prevent the pain returning. Seek medical advice from a specialist to determine this. Common advice given includes:

  • Stretching and foam rollering the ITB 
  • Self soft tissue work on the gluteal area 
  • Hip abduction exercises 
  • Return to activity guidance 

 

It is important that you are pain free before you try and return to activity. Strength improvements should also be seen in hip abduction exercises. Adequate rest periods should be given to not overload the injured area. If you feel any pain, stop and go back to the rehab phase!