We are proud to present our new sports therapy and injury rehabilitation clinic within Thanet Wanderers Rugby Club. This newly refurbished clinic offers brand new state of the art equipment in a warm and friendly environment.
Even if you’re not normally a soccer fan, you may well be asked to get outside and have a kickabout now the evenings are getting longer and days are warmer.
It’s our national sport and has the power to bring together people from all walks of life. Football is almost an international language with a staggering 270 million people playing in games around the world.
Injuries Occur – Prevent Them!
But football can come with some consequence as football injuries are all too common.
Muscle injuries occur frequently through sudden bursts of acceleration, sprinting, sudden stopping, lunging, sliding or a high kick.
Ankle and knee are the most common when ligaments are strained, during twisting, jumping, turning and tackling.
And don’t forget groin pain with 20% of players getting some sort of groin tweak in a typical season.
But nearly half of all injuries on the football field can be avoided.
Underlying Weakness Or Imbalance
Mostly, injuries are caused by an underlying weakness in the muscles of the leg, core or pelvis. Or an imbalance on the body makeup.
Warmup exercises and training programmes designed to address vulnerable areas during a game can reduce your risk of getting injured by a huge percentage.
Your physical fitness is the single most important factor in preventing soccer injuries.
What Do Studies Say … ?
For instance, studies have found that —
Among players who participated in pre-season training 3x a week, there were seven times fewer ACL injuries and just as big a decrease in the risk of ankle sprain.
51% of hamstring injuries can be avoided with good warmup routines.
Neuromuscular training for the knee can reduce the incidents of serious knee injury by 3.5x.
Strength training reduces injury by nearly half compared to players who do none.
Whether you are an avid player or prefer to play part-time as a pastime, injuries can be bad news. But a little knowledge and preparation can go a long way.
The Top 6 Injuries
So here is a list of the top 6 most common football injuries:
If you want to understand more about any of these aspects or you are experiencing any of these issues, get in touch with us.
We can prepare a preventative programme incorporating both strength and training can help keep you in the game. Or if you have already suffered from a injury, get in touch.
Golf might not look much like Premiership rugby – but golfers actually get injured more often than rugby players.
Fact! 62% of amateurs and 85% of professionals will get a significant injury associated with playing golf.
Plus as there are 60 million golfers of these ladies and men throughout the world – that is lots of injuries.
So What Is The Problem?
Some generalisation here but amateur golfers are not usually in great shape and most have poor swing mechanics. Lower back trauma accounts for one third of all injuries and are not specific to any age or ability.
Club-Head Speed and Spine Pressure
A good golf swing requires significant club-head speed, achieved by applying a lot of force and twisting through your lower back.
So golf puts a lot of pressure on your spine sometimes 8 times your body weight. In contrast a sport like running produces a compression load just 3 times your body weight.
What Types Of Injuries and Symptoms?
Typically golfers with low back pain issues have one of the following:
Altered Joint Mechanics or Motor Control
Muscle Strain or Ligamentous Sprain
Not Only The Back Though!
On top of this, golfers also end up with trauma to elbow, wrist, hand or shoulder and it’s helpful to understand the main causes of injury which include:
Lack of warm-up routine
Frequency of repetitive practice
Suboptimal swing mechanics
Poor overall physical conditioning
Recovery time is typically lasting 2-4 weeks, addressing the main causes of injury is well worth the effort. And often golfers ‘play through’ the pain, making it worse!
How Can You Enjoy With A Lower Risk Of Injury?
Simple answer is through targeted and routine conditioning. Work on your strength, endurance, flexibility and explosive power in order to play the game well – and not hurt yourself in the process.
Physical conditioning routines designed specifically for golfers can help you stay on the green and out of pain. And as a bonus, conditioning your body to avoid injury while playing golf also helps you improve your game.
An 11-week targeted conditioning program found participants:
Increased their clubhead speed by 7%
Improved their strength up to 56%
Improved their flexibility up to 39%
Increased their drive distance up to 15 yards with sustained accuracy
Whether you’re a casual golfer or serious about your game we can help you avoid injury and improve your skills.
There are three common, serious issues affecting postmenopausal women worldwide: osteoporosis, accidental falls, and stress incontinence. The remarkable thing about each of these issues is that we can stop their progression and sometimes even reverse their effects with committed, intentional action.
Osteoporosis is a reduction of bone density. It can make us weak and vulnerable to fractures. It is considered a major health threat for over 200 million people worldwide. The effects of the disease vary depending on the severity of the diagnosis; however, conditions often include —
Impaired ability to do housework, chores, gardening or lifting heavy objects
Difficulty with dressing and personal care
How to manage osteoporosis: while there is no way to reverse the disease itself, there are ways to ease the symptoms of the condition. In addition to any doctor recommended prescriptions and vitamins, the best way to manage living with osteoporosis is to commit to a healthy diet and above all – an ACTIVE, healthy lifestyle with regular exercise.
Accidental Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide, with adults over the age of 65 suffering the greatest number of fatal falls. Each year, an estimated one in three senior adults experiences an accidental fall. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five of those falls results in a significant injury like broken bones, fractures or a head injury. With the high rates of osteoporosis in women, they are more likely to experience an accidental fall, and more likely to sustain an injury from that fall.
Reducing your risk falling:
Ensure your home and exterior walkways are properly lit
Use handrails (install them if you don’t already have them)
Avoid loose carpets and cords and keep walkways free from clutter
Understand your medication and know if it makes you dizzy or lightheaded
Use a cane if you need one
Have your eyes checked
Exercise to maintain muscles for quicker reaction, and greater balance and stability
These are just some of the many things you can do to reduce your risk of falling. If you’d like to learn more, our free fall prevention advice sheets will have you covered.
Stress Incontinence is experienced by 45% of all women, typically in their postmenopausal years, though it is also often an issue for athletes. It occurs when weak pelvic floor muscles fail under sudden extra pressure. This extra pressure can be brought on by simple everyday activities like coughing, laughing or sneezing. It can also be brought on by jogging, jumping, or lifting heavy objects. The weakening of pelvic floor muscles is common and is caused by any number of things like childbirth or obesity.
How to treat stress incontinence: Stress incontinence might make you feel uneasy, but it doesn’t have to disrupt your social and personal life. Effective therapies include routine exercises to strengthen and tighten pelvic floor muscles for greater bladder control.
Regular activity is good for your overall health at any age. And it gets increasingly important as we get older.
Women, in particular, will have special needs as their hormones change during menopause and osteoporosis becomes an increased risk and with that, falls become more dangerous.
Understanding our personal level of fitness and exploring ways to live a healthy active lifestyle will help us stay fit and avoid common injuries.
Preventative care throughout our lifetimes can prepare us for an independent, full life in our retirement years. We’re happy to provide guidance to help prevent and treat these common problems.
Do you get a sharp, debilitating pain in your shoulder when you are performing tasks like brushing your hair, putting on certain clothes or showering? During these movements, where you raise your arm out to the side and then upwards over your head, do you alternate between no pain and pain? For example, during the first part of the moment you don’t feel any pain, and then suddenly your shoulder “catches” and there is sharp pain, followed by no pain again as you continue to move your arm upwards.
These are all signs of a condition called Shoulder Impingement Syndrome (SIS), where the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles that stabilise your shoulder get trapped as they pass through the shoulder joint in a narrow bony space called the sub-acromial space. Impingement means to impact or encroach on bone, and repeated pinching and irritation of these tendons and the bursa (the padding under the shoulder bone) can lead to injury and pain.
Shoulder complaints are the third most common musculoskeletal problem after back and neck disorders. The highest incidence is in women and people aged 45–64 years. Of all shoulder disorders, shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS) accounts for 36%, making it the most common shoulder injury.
You shouldn’t experience impingement with normal shoulder function. When it does happen, the rotator cuff tendon becomes inflamed and swollen, a condition called rotator cuff tendonitis. Likewise, if the bursa becomes inflamed, you could develop shoulder bursitis. You can experience these conditions either on their own, or at the same time.
The injury can vary from mild tendon inflammation (tendonitis), bursitis (inflamed bursa), calcific tendonitis (bone forming within the tendon) through to partial and full thickness tendon tears, which may require surgery. Over time the tendons can thicken due to repeated irritation, perpetuating the problem as the thicker tendons battle to glide through the narrow bony sub-acromial space. The tendons can even degenerate and change in microscopic structure, with decreased circulation within the tendon resulting in a chronic tendonosis.
What Causes Shoulder Impingement?
Generally, SIS is caused by repeated, overhead movement of your arm into the “impingement zone,” causing the rotator cuff to contact the outer tip of the shoulder blade (acromion). When this repeatedly occurs, the swollen tendon is trapped and pinched under the acromion. The condition is frequently called Swimmer’s Shoulder or Thrower’s Shoulder, since the injury occurs from repetitive overhead activities. Injury could also stem from simple home chores, like hanging washing on the line or a repetitive activity at work. In other cases, it can be caused by traumatic injury, like a fall.
Shoulder impingement has primary (structural) and secondary (posture & movement related) causes:
Primary Rotator Cuff Impingement is due to a structural narrowing in the space where the tendons glide. Osteoarthritis, for example, can cause the growth of bony spurs, which narrow the space. With a smaller space, you are more likely to squash and irritate the underlying soft tissues (tendons and bursa).
Secondary Rotator Cuff Impingement is due to an instability in the shoulder girdle. This means that there is a combination of excessive joint movement, ligament laxity and muscle weakness around the shoulder joint. Poor stabilisation of the shoulder blade by the surrounding muscles changes the physical position of the bones in the shoulder, which in turn increases the risk of tendon impingement. Other causes can include weakening of the rotator cuff tendons due to overuse, for example in throwing and swimming, or muscle imbalances between the shoulder muscles.
In summary, impingement usually occurs over time due to repetitive overhead activity, trauma, previous injury, poor posture or inactivity.
When your rotator cuff fails to work normally, it is unable to prevent the head of the humerus (upper arm) from riding up into the shoulder space, causing the bursa or tendons to be squashed. Failure to properly treat this instability causes the injury to recur. Poor technique or bad training habits such as training too hard is also a common cause of overuse injuries.
Over time pain can cause further dysfunction by altering your shoulder movement patterns which may lead to a frozen shoulder. For this reason, it is vitally important that shoulder impingement syndrome is rested and treated as soon as possible to avoid longer term damage and joint deterioration.
What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement?
Commonly rotator cuff impingement has the following symptoms:
An arc of shoulder pain approximately when your arm is at shoulder height and/or when your arm is overhead
Shoulder pain that can extend from the top of the shoulder down the arm to the elbow
Pain when lying on the sore shoulder, night pain and disturbed sleep
Shoulder pain at rest as your condition worsens
Muscle weakness or pain when attempting to reach or lift
Pain when putting your hand behind your back or head
Pain reaching for the seat-belt, or out of the car window for a parking ticket
Who Suffers Shoulder Impingement?
Impingement syndrome is more likely to occur in people who engage in physical activities that require repeated overhead arm movements, such as tennis, golf, swimming, weight lifting, or throwing a ball. Occupations that require repeated overhead lifting or work at or above shoulder height also increase the risk of rotator cuff impingement.
How is Shoulder Impingement Diagnosed?
Shoulder impingement can be diagnosed by your physical therapist using some specific manual tests. An ultrasound scan may be useful to detect any associated injuries such as shoulder bursitis, rotator cuff tears, calcific tendonitis or shoulder tendinopathies. An x-ray can be used to see any bony spurs that may have formed and narrowed the sub-acromial space.
What does the Treatment Involve?
There are many structures that can be injured in shoulder impingement syndrome. How the impingement occurred is the most important question to answer. This is especially important if the onset was gradual, since your static and dynamic posture, muscle strength, and flexibility all have important roles to play. Your rotator cuff is an important group of muscles that control and stabilise the shoulder joint. It is essential the muscles around the thoracic spine and shoulder blade are also assessed and treated as these too work together with the entire shoulder girdle.
To effectively rehabilitate this injury and prevent recurrence, you need to work through specific stages with your therapist.
These stages may include:
Early Injury: Protection, Pain Relief & Anti-inflammatory Treatment
Regain Full Shoulder Range of Motion
Restore Scapular Control and Scapulohumeral Rhythm
Restore Normal Neck-Scapulo-Thoracic-Shoulder Function, including posture correction
Restore Rotator Cuff Strength
Restore High Speed, Power, Proprioception and Agility Exercises
Return to Sport or Work
The early stages of treatment will involve manual therapy, including massage to relieve pain and release tight structures as well as mobilisation techniques to restore normal shoulder movement. Strapping/taping has been shown to be helpful in reducing pain as well as ultrasound and laser therapy. As you move through the other stages of treatment your therapist will prescribe rehabilitation exercises specific to your shoulder, posture, sport and/or work demands.
Corticosteroid injections can be useful in the initial pain relieving stage if conservative (non-surgical) methods fail to reduce the pain and inflammation. It is important to note that once your pain settles, it is important to assess your strength, flexibility, neck and thoracic spine involvement to ensure that your shoulder impingement does not return once your injection has worn off.
Some shoulder impingements will respond positively and quickly to treatment; however many others can be incredibly stubborn and frustrating, taking between 3-6 months to resolve. There is no specific time frame for when to progress from each stage to the next. It is also important to note that each progression must be carefully monitored as attempting to progress too soon to the next level can lead to re-injury and frustration. For more specific advice about your shoulder impingement, contact your local physical therapist.
The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case.
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments with the hands. There are many different types of massage, which can range from light stroking or kneading to deep pressure. Regardless of technique, regular massage can improve your quality of life.
Stress is universal, and it’s not always bad. When you lunge to catch a falling glass, feel especially energetic before an important meeting, or swerve in time to avoid a car accident, stress is doing its job. The adrenaline and cortisol released during moments of stress boosts your heart rate and blood sugar, while diverting energy away from your digestive system and immune responses. These prehistoric reactions are part of human survival.
Do you dream of being that runner where every step of every mile is 100% pain free? No aches, no twinges or niggles, no lingering soreness from yesterday’s session. Well, you are not alone; research shows that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year. Stop. Think about that number for a moment; nearly 8 out of every 10 runners you see at your next race have been or will be injured sometime that year.
Think of running pains in terms of a spectrum. At one end you have severe, full-blown injuries, we’ll name that the red zone, which includes stress fractures that require time off. The other end, where you’re in top form, is the green zone. Mild, transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next sit closer to the green end. Unfortunately, many runners get stuck in the middle, in the not-quite-injured but not-quite-healthy yellow zone. Your ability to stay in the green zone depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain.
Don’t Overwork Yourself
Often a little rest now, or reduction in training mileage and intensity, with some treatment, can prevent a lot of time off later. Developing a proactive long-term injury-prevention strategy, such as strength training, stretching, regular massage and foam-rolling can help keep you in the ‘green.’ Physical therapy is a lot like homework, not all of us like having to do it, but if you don’t do it, you’re sure to get in trouble at some stage!
Sacroiliac joint pain is a very common cause of low back pain, and sometimes also leg pain and is often misdiagnosed as a problem with the discs in the spine, or the spine itself. Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain can affect one or both sides of your lower back and the pain can travel from the sacroiliac joint into the buttocks, hips and even the groin area. The pain may also have a dramatic impact on your daily activities as well as your ability to work and exercise.
There is a lot of confusion about the benefits and risks of barefoot running. By discussing the most prominent running injuries and their associated risk factors, this article allows you to understand why they occur, as well as how barefoot running may alter load to the tissues most commonly affected. The article will show you how to identify the patients who will be most likely to benefit from barefoot running, which can be used to initiate gait retraining.
Practical recommendations for transitioning to barefoot running are provided, which will help you to create a safe barefoot running training programme for your clients.
DOES BAREFOOT RUNNING PREVENT INJURY? WHY HASN’T IT TAKEN OFF?
These are some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis by researchers, clinicians and coaches. The questions themselves perhaps highlight the error in our thinking – or lack thereof – when we attempt to follow an evidence-based model.
Follow the right individuals on social media and it is not uncommon to find clinicians waving research articles at one another in the midst of a heated exchange. One paper says it works, the other says it doesn’t. What is the clinician to do? I try to use a concept-based logic rather than seek out a definitive answer.
Your spine is essentially the chain that forms the ‘backbone’ of your entire body. Without it you would be a blob of muscles, organs and soft tissue piled on the floor.
Your spine commands respect because it is the pillar that supports your body, allows you to walk, stand and sit, as well as touch and feel; because it forms the canal connecting the nerves from your body and limbs, to your brain. While your heart may be the vital organ that keeps you alive, without your spine you wouldn’t be able to move.
There are three natural curves in your spine that give it an “S” shape when viewed from the side. These curves help the spine withstand great amounts of stress by distributing your body weight. Between the bony vertebra are spongy discs that act as shock absorbers. The lumbar spine (or lower back) connects the thoracic spine to the pelvis, and bears the bulk of your body’s weight.
Your spine is not rigid though. It allows movement through the intervertebral joints connecting the bony vertebra. These joints allow you to twist, to bend forward and backward, and from side to side. Large groups of muscles surrounding the spine, pelvis, hips and upper body all interact to allow for movements like walking, running, jumping, and swimming.
However, there are also muscles deep in your body that work constantly just to maintain your posture when you’re sitting and standing. It is essential that all elements of the spinal ‘chain’ work harmoniously together to ensure fluid movement without overloading structures resulting in injury and pain.
Any link in the chain that becomes ‘stuck’ will not only affect that spinal level but also the movement and strength of the chain above and below it. If the muscles around the spine are uneven in strength and length (flexibility) this too can affect the ‘chain’, altering the alignment and motion of the links.
Taking care of your spine now will help you lower the chances of experiencing back pain later. Many of the steps you can take to improve the overall health of your spine involve nothing more than practicing better body mechanics, or how you move and hold yourself, when you do daily tasks and activities.
Taking Care of Your Spine
Pay attention to early warning signs or pain. Although back pain is very common and nearly every person will experience at least one episode of back pain in a lifetime, it is essential to address any symptoms promptly.
It has also been shown in studies that early treatment and rehabilitation can prevent recurrent bouts of back pain and prevent the development of chronic lower back pain which can be very debilitating, stressful and depressing. It can affect your ability to work, play sport, socialise and sleep, all of which can further compound your pain cycle.
Your back pain could be due to inflamed ligaments, damaged intervertebral discs, nerve irritation, bony formations on the spine, muscle imbalances such as weakness or a lack of flexibility, leg length differences, or muscle strains, to name just a few. Even the way we move (or don’t move) at work, school or sport can all be an underlying cause to the current pain.
How Massage Can Help with Back Pain
A massage therapist can treat both the pain and stiffness experienced from back pain.
Massage can promote healing through increased blood circulation to the area, bringing with it oxygen and nutrients essential for tissue repair. This increased circulation also helps to reduce inflammation.
Targeted massage can release tight shortened muscles and improve flexibility and muscle balance.
The increase in endorphin levels is one of the biggest benefits of massage. This can help relieve anxiety and depression associated with lower back pain and improve sleep, which in turn will reduce the stress of managing lower back pain.
Should you need referral to another professional your massage therapist will also be able to help with this, for example, a dietician to counsel on a meal plan to achieve a healthy body weight.
Being active can help prevent back pain and losing weight can often go a long way to relieving pain.
Chat to us today about what we can do to help.
Back Pain and Sleep Issues
One of the most common issues back pain sufferers experience is sleep disruption so we have put together an interactive Back Pain and Sleep Guide to help you banish those sleepless nights and wake up feeling refreshed.
The guide includes:
6 Strategies for Improving Your Sleep
8 bedtime stretches to relieve back pain (with video links)
Sleeping positions that will help relieve pain (with links to videos)
7 Yoga Poses that will help cure most back pain issues
A morning stretch routine that will help ease pain from a restless night (with videos)
Unless you fall off, cycling is a sport blessed by its body friendliness! In fact, riding big miles is more likely to get you ﬁt than fractured. But, like any endurance sport, cycling can produce a catalogue of niggling aches and pains, which if left untreated can become more serious. To give your pain a name and point you down the right road to recovery, we’ve listed the 8 most common cycling ailments, their most likely causes, and how to go about ﬁxing them.
One of the most common cyclist knee complaints is pain in the kneecap. This is most likely to be patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). PFPS is often worse when walking up and down hills/stairs or sitting for long periods of time. It may include wasting of the quadriceps (thigh) muscles if the injury is an old one, and tight muscles around the knee joint.
PFPS occurs when the patella (kneecap) rubs on the femur (thigh) bone underneath. It is believed that incorrect tracking (gliding) of the patella over the femur is a signifi cant factor and results in damage to the cartilage underneath the patella. The cause may be from external factors like an increase in training, the seat being too low or riding too long in big gears. Internal factors such as poor patella tracking may result from excessive pronation (fl at foot), rotation of the lower leg and tight or weak muscles around the thigh and pelvis.
After knees, the back is probably one of the biggest causes of pain for cyclists, with lack of flexibility and bad posture generally the cause. Hunching forward on your bike, and probably also at work, places strain on your spine, loading structures for prolonged periods of time.
Cyclists’ back pain is often due to mechanical factors. Have your bike properly fitted to your body, then look at your body. Lack of flexibility, such as excessive hamstring and hip flexor tightness can contribute to low back pain. Differences in leg length are common mechanical problems leading to imbalances in the spine. Core strength is very important to avoid low back pain. Core strength comes from a collection of deep muscles both big and small that work together to give you core lumbar and pelvic stability.
Neck pain from cycling usually stems from poor posture and weak muscles. Pain caused by neck hyper extension is made worse by positional issues on the bike, combined with lack of flexibility. Just as you have core stabilisers around your lower back, you have stabiliser muscles called deep neck flexors around your neck to hold your head up.
When your neck stabilisers are weak or fatigue quickly it is left to the trapezius muscle (that goes from the base of your skull to the tip of the shoulder) to support your head as you lean forward. And when these ‘stand-in’ muscles fatigue you can aren’t pushed all the way forward towards the toe will help to even out what muscles you’re using to pedal
Iliotibial Band (ITB) Pain
While it is more commonly known as “runner’s knee”, ITB syndrome is another common cycling injury. ITB pain is typically associated with prolonged, repetitive activity. Symptoms include pain on the outside of the knee, tenderness and sometimes swelling. In some cases, pain is felt simply walking or going up and down stairs. You may feel stiff or tight after periods of inactivity.
The ITB is a tendinous fascial band that originates on the iliac crest (hipbone) and attaches to the outside of the knee. As your knee bends and straightens repeatedly, the band can become inflamed by rubbing over bony condyles. Other contributing factors may include tightness of thigh, hip and buttock muscles as well as weak pelvic stabilising muscles.
Achilles Tendon Pain
The Achilles tendon is the tendon at the back of the ankle, connecting the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle to the heel. If your Achilles is sore during or after riding you may have Achilles tendinopathy.
Inflammation, micro-tears or compromised blood flow, often caused by overuse, could put a stop to your riding season. There is a whole host of stretching and strengthening options available from your therapist.
Possible causes of hip pain in cyclists include bursitis, snapping hip syndrome, impingement syndrome, labral tears or piriformis syndrome. Although the diagnoses may vary, the causes of cycling hip injuries are usually similar and involve over-training, pushing excessively high gears and muscle imbalances. For example, piriformis syndrome is caused by overuse of the gluteal (buttock) muscles, which results in a weak, tight piriformis muscle that can cause sciatica.
‘Handlebar Palsy’ is a name given to a condition suffered by cyclists caused by compression of the ulnar nerve at the wrist against the handlebar. It often comes on after long rides, and is not just due to the pressure from your weight but also the transmission of road ‘buzz’ and vibration through the bars.
Symptoms include numbness, tingling and weakness over the outside of the hand, little finger and outer half of the ring finger. A feeling of clumsiness in the hand is often reported and pain may be present when moving the wrist.
Painful burning of the ball of the foot (a.k.a. “hot foot” or metatarsalgia) is usually a result of hot weather and/or poorly fitting shoes on long, hilly rides. Pressure can pinch nerves in one or both feet.
If you would like to find out more information about cycling injuries, signs & symptoms, common causes and tips then please feel free to download our cheat sheet.