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Thursday, 10 October 2019 17:53

What is Chronic Ankle Instability?

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    Chronic ankle instability, as the name implies, is a chronic condition of instability affecting the ankle and it’s surrounding structures. It usually develops after a severe ankle sprain. However, some people are born with less stable ankles; these individuals are generally extra flexible throughout their bodies. Approximately 20% of ankle sprains lead to chronic ankle instability due to the resulting changes in ligament support, strength, postural control, muscle reaction time and sensation.   What are the symptoms? As well as being more susceptible to ankle sprains, people with chronic ankle instability may notice they are extra cautious during high-intensity activities, if running on uneven surfaces or when changing directions quickly. They may experience a sense of weakness or frequent ‘giving way’ when weight-bearing.   What are the causes? The primary causes of this condition are ligament laxity, decreased muscle strength of the muscles surrounding the ankle and reduced proprioception.  Following an ankle sprain, ligaments can be stretched and slightly weaker; in severe cases, they have torn altogether, leaving the ankle structurally weaker. Without full rehabilitation, the surrounding muscles also become weaker, and studies have shown that balance and sensation of the ankle can also be reduced. This means that the ankle is more likely to be injured again, creating a vicious cycle leading to further instability.   How can physiotherapy help? Physiotherapy treatment for chronic ankle instability focuses on improving strength, control and balance with a variety of techniques. This approach can significantly improve ankle stability and reduce…
Tuesday, 03 September 2019 13:45

Tips For Exercising When You Have Pain

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One of the most challenging aspects of living with an injury or chronic pain is how it can quickly impact your exercise routine. If you have been working towards a fitness or weight goal, this can beextremely demoralizing. Here are a few tips that can help to keep you on track while you recover. Staying as active as possible during this time can mean you’re in the best position to reach your goals againonce your injury has healed.   1. Try a new activity. When injury strikes, it can be tempting to stop exercising altogether and rest while you recover. An injury can be frustrating, but it can also be an opportunity to try out a different sport.If you’re a runner with an ankle injury, you can keep up your fitness by swimming instead. Cycling can be an excellent option for people for dealing with knee pain, and if you’re a swimmer with shoulder pain, maybeswitch to running for a while. Check with your physiotherapist for some ideas to keep you moving. 2. Exercise within your limits. If you’re getting pain at 5km, this doesn’t always mean you should give up running altogether. Your physiotherapist can help you monitor your symptoms carefully and plan an exercise routine that keeps yourfitness up while reducing symptom flare-ups. Staying as active as possible throughout your recovery can also mean that you a better placed to get back to your best performance.   3. Take the opportunity to improve your footwear and equipment. Injury…
  Ankle sprains are one of the most Ankle sprains are one of the most common sporting injuries and most people have experienced one at least once in their lifetime. While they are common, this doesn’t lessen their negative impact. Surprisingly, having poor balance might be increasing your risk of ankle sprains. Here we discuss a few facts about balance and what you can do to reduce your risk of ankle injuries. Ankles are particularly vulnerable to injuries related to poor balance? Our ankles have to support our entire body weight when standing on one foot. To provide us with agility as well as stability, our ankles have the ability to move from side to side as well as back and forwards. There is a complicated process constantly operating to keepy our foot in the correct position while supporting all this weight, particularly with quick changes of direction, activities done on tiptoes, jumping and landing. If the ankle rolls excessively inwards or outwards, the ligaments on the side of the ankle can be damaged and torn. Balance is an important part of keeping the ankle in the correct alignment and not twisting too far to either side during challenging activities. A study of high school basketball players by Timothy McGuine et al. in 2010 showed that students with poor balance were up to seven times more likely to sprain their ankle than students with good balance. Other studies have shown that balance training is an effective way of preventing falls…
  For most of us, the hours we spend sleeping are simply a time for rest and recovery. However, you might be surprised to learn that your sleeping position can have a significant impact on your body, particularly if you already have an injury. When you consider that we spend approximately 40% of our lives in bed, it becomes less surprising. Ideally, your body should be held in a position of minimal stress while sleeping. This means that all your joints and muscles are resting in a neutral position. Over time, joints that are held in more extreme positions may put pressure on the surrounding structures and this may lead to a feeling of stiffness in the morning.   Back Pain For sufferers of back pain, finding a comfortable position at night can be difficult. Ideally, the natural curves of the spine should be maintained and supported throughout the night. The correct mattress will support your lower back without making you feel as though you have been sleeping on concrete all night. A mattress that is too soft might feel comfortable to begin with, but over time will let you sink too much, meaning the curve of the lower spine will be lost. Waking up with a stiff spine could be a sign that you are using the wrong mattress. For many people, sleeping on their side keeps their spine in a more natural alignment than on their back. If you sleep on your back, placing a pillow under your…
  One of the primary roles of the spine is to protect the spinal cord. This means that the spine needs to be strong while maintaining the flexibility required for a movable trunk. While the spine is very sturdy, spinal injuries do occur. Health professionals often use terms to describe and classify injuriesof the body, two of these terms that you may have heard are Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis.   What are they? Spondylolysis refers to a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis of the vertebra. This is the part of the vertebra that connects the body of the vertebra with the rest of the vertebra that surrounds the spinal cord. A separation of this fracture where the body of the vertebra is displaced forwards or backwards is called a spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis is a progression of spondylolysis and is given grades to classify its severity. Both spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis commonly affect the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae, found at the base of the lower back.   What are the causes? Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis can be a result of trauma with the spine being moved forcefully into extension, particularly in younger people. Certain sports such as gymnastics, football and weightlifting require repetitive backward movements of the spine and this can eventually lead to a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis. Growth spurts in teens have also been known to be responsible for the development of these conditions. In older adults, common causes of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis are degenerative changes in the spine…
    Looking for that last minute Christmas gift or buying for that person that has everything? At Sunbury Physiotherapy we stock a wide range of products including Archies Thongs, Pillows, Foam Rollers, Heat Packs and Massage Balls. These are great stocking fillers and are beneficial for people of all ages. They are all on display in our reception area and our staff are happy to help you with choosing the appropriate gift.  
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 16:53

Achilles Tendon Tears

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Achilles Tendon Tears What is it?   The Achilles tendon is a band of fibrous tissue located at the back of the ankle. Its main role is to connect the calf muscles to the heel of the foot. This tendon is the largest tendon in the body and when it tightens, as the calf muscles contract, it pulls the heel allowing you to stand on tiptoe or to point your foot. Achilles tendon tears commonly occur in athletes, however, this injury can affect anyone and surprisingly, a complete tear is actually more common than a partial tear. These tears are commonly located at the part of the tendon where there is poor blood flow approximately 6cm above its attachment to the heel. Since there is poor blood supply, this part of the tendon is both vulnerable to injury and slow to heal. What are the Symptoms?   Primarily, an Achilles tendon tear will cause difficulty in activities such as walking, running and jumping. Other signs and symptoms of an Achilles tendon tear include: A loud pop or snap is heard Sudden and severe pain at the back of the calf or ankle Feeling of having been kicked in the calf There is a gap between the tendon and the heel (about 2 inches above the heel) Swelling and stiffness followed by weakness and bruising Difficulty walking particularly during push off Standing on tiptoe may be impossible What Causes It?   Anyone can tear their Achilles tendon if the tendon is…
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 16:29

Facts About Osteoporosis

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Facts About Osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by very low bone mass or density. This is caused by the body either losing too much bone, not making enough or both. Osteoporotic bones become weak and fragile and can break from small forces that would normally be harmless. In osteoporotic bones, as well as loss of bone density and mass, there may also be abnormal changes to the structure of the bone matrix, which further contributes to the bone weakness. Osteoporosis is an extremely common bone disease and women are more affected than men. As it is a progressive disorder that worsens with age, while the disease process might begin earlier, the effects are usually only noticed and diagnosed in people who are 50 years and older. What are the Signs and Symptoms?   Often called a silent disease, many people with osteoporosis will have no idea that they have the disease, as there are no obvious symptoms. In fact, sometimes the first sign that an individual has osteoporosis is when the first bone is broken. Along with fractures, which are the most serious signs of this disease, osteoporosis can cause the upper back to become excessively hunched (itself often a result of spinal wedge fractures) and there maybe widespread pain as bony tissue is increasingly unable to withstand normal forces. Fractures are a serious problem, especially in the elderly population. Bone breaks due to osteoporosis occur most frequently in the wrist, spine or hip. When the spine is affected…
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 16:28

Lumbar Disc Degeneration

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Lumbar Disc Degeneration What is it?   The discs of the spine sit between the vertebral bodies and act as shock absorbers for the spine. In the lumbar spine the outer part of the disc is made up of thick fibrous rings called the annulus fibrosus and the inner part is a soft jelly like substance called the nucleus pulposus. The discs in the spine also move to allow flexibility and movement of the spine, particularly in the lumbar spine where they are the largest. As we age, our discs begin to dehydrate, losing height, elasticity, and flexibility. The result is a spine that can feel stiffer, less flexible and a bit sore with certain movements. While almost everyone will have some degree of degeneration into their later years, not everyone will experience symptoms.   What are the Symptoms? The most commonly felt symptoms of disc degeneration are stiffness and pain in the lower back. The pain is usually felt over the spine where the disc degeneration has occurred, but also often radiates into the buttock region. In severe cases of disc degeneration, increased wear and tear can cause bony spurs to develop on the vertebral body. These spurs can cause muscle weakness, numbness and tingling sensations in the leg and foot if they place pressure on the nerves around the spine. How does this happen?   Disc degeneration usually affects people over the age of 50, however symptoms can begin in your 30s. As we age, all of our…
Tips For Helping Kids of Today Stay Active Research shows that many children today are struggling to meet their daily-recommended targets for physical activity. We know that inactivity is a risk factor for a multitude of chronic diseases and many of the habits that shape our adult lives are set in childhood. Physical activity is important for a growing body as movement and weight bearing have a large impact on bone strength, muscle and tendon health. Here are some tips to make sure your child is staying as active as possible. Find an activity that suits your child’s personality and abilities. Children who are very coordinated and excel in competition may find team sports both increase their self-esteem as well as keep them fit. For other children, being a part of a team can cause embarrassment and they may say they dislike exercise, when in fact what they dislike is feeling like a failure and letting down the team. These children may prefer a sport where success measured by improving on their own performance, rather than being compared to other children. Surfing, yoga, martial arts, dancing or gymnastics may be activities that suit your child if competitive and team sports cause them to be discouraged.   Do get injuries checked out by a professional and invest in proper rehabilitation.   While children do bounce back quickly from injuries, they also may have difficulty expressing themselves and their worries when they have pain. A niggling pain that won’t go away may…
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