Stress – A Few Simple Tips to Help You Live a Healthier Life

Stress – A Few Simple Tips to Help You Live a Healthier Life

Life can often be overwhelming, demanding, and downright chaotic – and that’s just the good days!

Sometimes big events like moving house, starting a new job or an illness cause a major disruption in our lives. Other times it can be a multitude of little stresses that can make us feel anxious and dazed.  Little stresses such as your boss asking you to finish three reports by noon, your 6-year-old screaming for the newest fidget spinner, or dealing with a niggling back ache for days can accumulate and disrupt our mental and physical flow. So it’s important to try find ways to manage life’s stresses.

Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Relaxation techniques:

  • Take a deep breath through your nose (Count to 3), hold 1 second, and gently exhale through your mouth. Repeat 5 times. There are some great mobile apps such as Smiling Mind, Headspace & Calm, which can help you get into a great routine.

Eating a healthy and well balanced diet:

  • Small dietary changes can make a big impact on your body composition and mood!

Spend time with family and friends:

  • Research shows that quality time with friends and family help increase serotonin levels (happy hormones) and decrease cortisol (your stress hormone).

Meditation:

  • Take 5 minutes everyday to find a peaceful, private and quiet area. Practice focusing on your breathing and zone out any outside disturbances!

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule:

  • We often have hundreds of different tasks we need to accomplish by the end of the day and take sleep for granted.
  • Research shows adults need a full 7-8 hours of sleep to function optimally!

Regular Exercise routine:

  • A regular and consistent exercise routine is one of the best ways to de-stress. Even a 20 – 30 minute walk everyday can be a great way to get started. Or read our blog on how to get started here

Incorporating a few of these steps into our daily lives can have a profoundly positive effect on our overall health and wellbeing! Let’s get started today!

Have You Considered What Your Mobile Phone Usage Is Doing To Your Posture?

Next time you take a bus trip to work or you are waiting to see the doctor, look around you. Most people will be using their phones; checking e-mail, reading the news, using the internet and playing games. The common posture one would adopt would be hunched over, hands down, neck bent forward and shoulders rounded. This posture puts an enormous load on your neck and upper back causing them to ache and fatigue. These poor postures can lead to pain, muscle spasm, joint stiffness and weakness. Sitting up straight will seem like an effort once you have adapted to these postures.

We see many patients that have neck and back pain and while using their phones might not be the primary cause, it is often a contributing factor.

Here are a few ideas to improve your posture while using your phone.

Sit back. Ensure that your lower back is touching and supported by the back of the chair. Raise your chest so that it is not hunched forward.

Bring your arms up so that you can keep your neck straight rather than looking down. To support your arms, tuck your daypack or workbag under your elbows or use one arm to support the other by hugging your waist and rest your elbow on it. This will support your arms and shoulders better and allow you to look forward while looking at your phone rather than looking down.

If you are standing, stand with your feet apart, raise your chest and elbows. Bring your phone closer to eye level rather than looking down.

Take a break every 10 minutes.

Give this a try and see if you feel less achy by the time you get home after a long day at work. You could consult one of our physiotherapists if you need more input or if you need manual therapy to release those sore muscles or even some exercise advice to strengthen weak postural muscles.

WE ARE HIRING! PHYSIOTHERAPIST | FULL TIME | PRIVATE PRACTICE | MAROUBRA, EASTERN SUBURBS

14th August 2017

A new opportunity has become available for a passionate, hands on physiotherapist to join our friendly and supportive team on a full time basis. The scope of the role involves providing Physiotherapy treatment to our patients in a brand new, purpose built private practice facility located on Maroubra Road in Maroubra. We see a wide variety of private patients, workers compensation, EPC and DVA.

We offer continuing education through subsidised courses and regular in service training sessions with the practice owners.

What we are looking for:

  • Full registration with AHPRA
  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent Team player
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • 2+ years experience in private practice preferable

If you think that you fit the above criteria, we would love to hear from you! Please email your CV, together with a cover letter to psphysio@gmail.com

 

 

Are You Looking to Start An Exercise Programme? Do You Know All The Facts?

Finding for right exercise programme for you can be quite challenging. Here are a few common misconceptions to consider from our physiotherapy team to help you get on your way.

Do you want to start an exercise programme but don’t know where to begin? With so many resources available at our fingertips, it is often easy to get confused and overwhelmed by conflicting information.

There are many magazines, books and fitness gurus giving out exercise advice that may or may not be helpful! We have compiled a list of common misconceptions that are shared throughout the health and fitness industry.

  • “Exercise Builds Big Bulky Muscles”
    • Aerobic exercises (walking, jogging, swimming) will strengthen your muscles without bulking them up. Low resistance, high repetition training will tone your muscles and increase your strength. Only a very specific regime of heavy resistance, low repetition training will bulk your muscles.
  • “I’m way too big to exercise”
    • Having a tailored exercise program will ensure a fun, safe, and effective way to shed the kilos and improve your overall health. It is essential that your program is progressed gradually and meets your individual needs.
  • “If I don’t exercise at least 2 hours a day, I won’t receive any benefit!”
    • The great thing about exercise is that you can accumulate the benefits over time. Taking a 20-minute walk in the morning on the way to work and another stroll in the park at night is as beneficial as a 40-60 minute session!

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when starting an exercise program?

Start slow and progress at your own pace! It’s easy to get caught up in the next big exercise craze or try to fit in too much, or progress too quickly. This puts you at risk for injury. Listen to your body and consult your physiotherapist for advice if necessary.

If you would like to get started with an exercise programme, read our previous article to give you some ideas to get going.

Do You Want To Start Exercising? A Few Simple, Practical Steps To Get You on Your Way

 

Do You Want To Start Exercising?

If you want to start an exercise program to improve your fitness levels, strength and conditioning, it is often hard to know where to start. The gym can often seem intimidating, expensive, or time consuming. You don’t have to start there. Instead, start by making small changes to your daily habits and include more activity.

A good place to start is:

  • Avoid the lift and take the stairs! Stairs are a GREAT way to get those muscles working.
  • Park a bit further than your intended destination and get walking.
  • Walk/cycle to work.

Take the plunge and start an exercise regime! Your program doesn’t need to be done every day. It can be as simple as a 15 minute walk around the block every other day, and gradually build from there. Any amount of activity that you do in a day, no matter how small, is going to make a difference. Just think, it is more exercise than you would have done previously.

IMPORTANT CHECKLIST:

  1. Have a chat with your Doctor – Discuss your plans with your doctor to ensure you are safe to start an exercise program.
  2. Get the appropriate gear – Wear correct footwear and don’t carry heavy bags to avoid developing injuries. You can read more on our blog here
  3. Document your progress – Use an exercise diary or an app on your phone and set realistic and achievable goals for yourself.
  4. Consult your physiotherapist to prescribe an exercise program that meets your needs and sets you on the right track.

A common question is, “How much should I be exercising a week?” That depends on the individual and on your age, medical condition, and previous exercise history. It is better to start off slowly and gradually build your exercise tolerance.

Make the start today and enjoy the benefits of being more active!

Congrats on finishing your half marathon. Here is some essential advice on what to do next

Post Marathon Recovery!

Congratulations on finishing your half marathon! It’s a huge achievement! In order to maximise on all your hard work, here is some advice on what to do next…

1) Don’t stop! Although the temptation is to cross the finish line and collapse (while you kiss the ground!), try keep moving. After running for the last few hours, your muscles and your heart need time to adjust to your change in activity. That walk to the car will actually do you good!

2) Have something light to eat, and eat again later. If it’s been hot, be sure to rehydrate adequately as well. Running a marathon will deplete your body’s resources, so it’s important to refuel!

3) Cool down! As lovely as the idea of a nice warm bath might be, a quick jump in the pool or a cold shower can help reduce inflammation and help in your recovery. Compression leggings may also help.

4) Rest! Although the temptation might be to “maximise on your training ” and get out there again quickly, the marathon will have taken a huge toll on your body. You won’t lose fitness in resting for a few days, but returning to running too soon could result in an injury. One rule of thumb is your body takes a day per mile to recover. That means after a marathon, give yourself 26 days before pushing yourself again!

5) Use this time to sort out any problems you may have experienced during your training or the race itself. Have a massage or see a physiotherapist to help sort any niggling injuries. Focus on doing some core strengthening or stretches. Maybe do some  cross training  like cycling or swimming, which will keep you fit without pounding your body!

How To Prevent Neck & Back Pain. What Every New Mum Should Know..

Avoiding The Common Problems That Cause Neck And Back Pain For A New Mum

As a new mum, you may be vulnerable to experiencing low back, pelvic or neck pain.  Your body is still trying to recover from the changes it went through during your pregnancy.  These changes include fluid retention, ligament laxity, weight gain, changes to your centre of gravity and overstretching and shortening of postural muscles.

Up to 12 weeks after you have given birth you may continue to be at risk of joint hypermobility and ligament laxity due to the influence of hormones on your ligaments and connective tissue.

Tight neck and shoulder muscles and overstretched abdominal muscles combined with poor posture, interrupted sleep and increased lifting, loading and repetitive activities may put you at risk for developing neck and back problems.

Here are a few tips to help you prevent these issues from occurring:

When breastfeeding:

  • Always make sure you are sitting in a good supportive chair.
  • Make sure your back is supported.
  • Support your elbows on arm-rests or a pillow.
  • Maintain a neutral spine position for your neck and upper back while feeding.  Don’t bend your neck for prolonged periods. You could take regular breaks by looking at your baby’s reflection in the mirror.
  • Use a footrest if your feet don’t touch the ground.
  • Always look after your posture, especially during night feeding when you are exhausted.  Feeding in side lying may help.

When bathing your baby:

  • Look after your back and neck by kneeling rather than bending over the bath.
  • If you are using a portable baby bath, ensure that it is the correct height for you.
  • Use bath chairs to support your baby.

Most important of all, look after your mind and body by sleeping when the baby sleeps. Give yourself time to do exercise and stretches.  Your physiotherapist can advise you on the best exercises to do and help you with your posture.

Happy Mothers Day from the team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.

 

Are You Thinking About Buying New Shoes For Running Or Sport? Here Is Some Good Advice:

What Shoe Should I Wear?

Are you thinking of picking up a sport or maybe some running? It is really important to consider your footwear. The sport shoe serves as a structural and functional extension of your foot. A poorly chosen shoe can affect your walking/running patterns, which can then lead to injury. The best designed shoes in the world will not do their job if they do not fit properly.

Your foot is designed for stability and shock absorption. The chosen shoe should enhance these qualities. It is also important to know that most people DO NOT have perfect biomechanics! Suboptimal biomechanics can be corrected with the correct footwear.

Avoid foot problems by following these simple guidelines:

  • Have your feet measured to fit instead of going by what ‘size’ you are
  • Although your feet may not smell like roses after a workout, try to visit a shoe store at the end of the workout when your feet are the largest
  • Wear the sock you normally wear when working out
  • There should be at least one thumbs breadth of space from the longest toe to the end of the toe box
  • If you have bunions or hammertoes, your best bet is a wide toe box to let your fore foot breathe

Are you starting to feel some foot or lower limb pain while running or exercising? Book an appointment with a qualified physiotherapist today.

Is Osteoarthritis Affecting Your Life?

Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints.

OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in the knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

In normal joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint.

Strengthening exercises build muscles around OA-affected joints, easing the burden on those joints and reducing pain. Range-of-motion exercise helps maintain and improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness.

Physiotherapy can help relieve your pain by showing you specific exercises designed to correct muscular imbalances.

Here are just a few exercise guidelines to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle!

  • Concentrate on quality rather than quantity with your exercises.
  • Move your joints smoothly and slowly. Always maintain good posture.
  • Be aware of pain and swelling.
  • If pain lasts more than 2 hours, you have overdone it! Ease off during the next session.
  • Do not continue with an exercise that causes pain.
  • If you have had surgery, or if your joint pain or swelling is not responding to rest, seek professional advice from your surgeon or physiotherapist.

 

 

Back Pain

Back Pain – Common Misconceptions

Just over 80% of the population will experience back pain at some stage of their lives and most people don’t take the correct steps to manage their pain. There is a sea of information out there regarding back pain and navigating the waters is both daunting and intimidating. Here are some common misconceptions about your low back pain.

1. Resting Is Good For Me

Lying in bed or on the couch will cause your muscles and joints to stiffen, resulting in prolonged and possible persistent pain! It is important to keep moving muscles and joints as tolerated. A qualified physiotherapist will help you manage your symptoms and provide appropriate gentle stretches and exercises to help get you moving.

2. My Pain Is Tolerable, It Will Go Away If I Leave It

Pain is your brain telling you that something isn’t quite right. Sometimes pain is not indicative of the severity of the issue. The pain may increase over the course of days, weeks, or months. It is essential that you get checked out if you feel any pain that doesn’t readily settle.

The body always follows the path of least resistance. When you’re in pain, you may adopt alternate postures to protect your back, and you engage muscles and joints in a way they were not designed to be used, thus overloading them and causing further pain and dysfunction in other areas. This may cause you to present with a much more global picture of pain affecting multiple joints and muscles , than if you had addressed the problem sooner.

3. My MRI And XRAY Show Disc Damage Which Is Contributing To My Pain

Disc degeneration, prolapses, disc bulges and annular tears are highly prevalent in the pain free population. They are not strongly predictive of future low back pain and correlate poorly with levels of pain and disability. These changes are similar to getting grey hairs, a natural part of aging.  Therefore the findings on these investigative scans are only relevant if they correlate with your actual symptoms. The spine is one of the strongest and most robust structures in the body, and is designed to move!

 

Common Misconceptions About Your Low Back Pain