Saturday 30 November 2013

Pilates and its Benefits

The 6 benefits of Pilates

Pilates targets the muscles of the abdominals,back,hips,pelvis and shoulders and helps to make them strong yet flexible; balanced with good tone;  it helps to give them endurance and helps you cope with stress. Pilates focuses on precise body movements to target different parts of the body and it also helps you develop good breathing techniques, better posture with strength, balance and flexibility.


Through its tailored exercise programme Pilates can help use your own body weight to provide resistance and help increase strength


It can help your muscles to do more for longer as you work through using specific exercises


Tight muscles decrease mobility and can lead to tension and aches and pain. Flexibility is essential for overall fitness and Pilates allows you to achieve this. It will help to improve the mobility of joints and so help in long term maintenance of your body fitness


Pilates helps make you think about ideal posture which can take off unnecessary stress and strain on joints, ligaments and muscles and so help in the long term to prevent pain

Shape and tone

It can help to improve your muscles "resting tone", Muscles respond quickly to exercise so over time Pilates will help to increase the resting tone of your muscles so that they will feel firmer and look firmer.

Relief of tension

Exercise causes the release of hormones  that improve your  mood and help reduce other hormones that cause stress. Pilates helps with breathing techniques which can lead to enhanced feelings of calm and Pilates will help take you from feelings of stress and anxiety to ones of well-being

To find out more about the physiotherapy services we can offer to help you with  Pilates please contact us today for more information and to book an appointment.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Cyclists beware because what you wear does not reduce the danger. However its much better for your health to cycle than fear to

A new study from the University of Bath and Brunel University suggests that no matter what clothing a cyclist wears, around 1-2% of drivers will pass dangerously close when overtaking.

This suggests there is little a rider can do, by altering their outfit or donning a high-visibility jacket, to prevent the most dangerous overtakes from happening. Instead, the researchers suggest, if we want to make cyclists safer, it is our roads, or driver behaviour, that need to change. 

 The solution to stopping cyclists being hurt by overtaking vehicles has to lie outside the cyclist. Cycling is not made safer by telling cyclists what they should wear. Perhaps by building high-quality separate cycle paths, by encouraging gentler roads with less stop-start traffic, or by making drivers more aware of how it feels to cycle on our roads and the consequences of impatient overtaking may make the difference for safety for the cyclist

Although there are cyclists hurt on our roads, it is important to remember that cycling carries major health benefits from providing regular exercise. This means that, on balance, it is much better for people’s health that they cycle than that they not cycle for fear of injury.

The research team are all regular cyclists. Dr Ian Walker and Dr Ian Garrard cycled together from Land’s End to John o’ Groats this summer.

read more in  Accident Analysis and Prevention:

Thursday 21 November 2013

Get active as soon as you retire. Don't wait until tomorrow

Retirement may present a critical window for encouraging older adults to be more physically active new research has shown. 
People tend to spend more time being active and less time sitting after retirement. But the older they get, the more they slow down again
It has been found in new research that people at retirement spent about 7% of their time being active and walking around, compared to about 6% among employed people.
And retired participants spent 75% of the week sitting or lying down, compared to 78% for those still working.
One in five older adults met physical activity recommendations by being active for two and a half hours per week, in segments at least 10 minutes long. Retired and employed people were equally likely to meet the recommendations.
"Engaging with community or peer led activity groups (walking clubs, outdoor pursuits etc) would be one simple and effective example of adopting and maintaining any desire to become more active," researchers said.
Age Ageing 2013.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

New knee ligament discovered!

New ligament discovered in the human knee

Two knee surgeons  have discovered a previously unknown ligament in the human knee. This ligament appears to play an important role in patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

Despite a successful ACL repair surgery and rehabilitation, some patients with ACL-repaired knees continue to experience so-called 'pivot shift', or episodes where the knee 'gives way' during activity. For the last four years, orthopaedic surgeons Dr Steven Claes and Professor Dr Johan Bellemans have been conducting research into serious ACL injuries in an effort to find out why. Their starting point: an 1879 article by a French surgeon that postulated the existence of an additional ligament located on the anterior of the human knee.

That postulation turned out to be correct: the Belgian doctors are the first to identify the previously unknown ligament. Their research shows that the ligament, which was given the name anterolateral ligament (ALL), is present in 97 per cent of all human knees. Subsequent research shows that pivot shift, the giving way of the knee in patients with an ACL tear, is caused by an injury in the ALL ligament.

‪Some of the conclusions were recently published in the Journal of Anatomy. The Anatomical Society praised the research as "very refreshing" and commended the researchers for reminding the medical world that, despite the emergence of advanced technology, our knowledge of the basic anatomy of the human body is not yet exhaustive.

‪The research questions current medical thinking about serious ACL injuries and could signal a breakthrough in the treatment of patients with serious ACL injuries. Dr Claes and Professor Bellemans are currently working on a surgical technique to correct ALL injuries. Those results will be ready in several years.

‪ACL tears are common among athletes in pivot-heavy sports such as soccer, basketball, skiing and football. 

To find out more about the physiotherapy services we can offer to help you with your ACL problems please contact us today for more information and to book an appointment.


Saturday 16 November 2013

Back pain and what we say to our patients has a lasting and empowering effect

Physio researchers undertook a study to find out why people have particular beliefs about low back pain and also to assess the effect of those beliefs. 
They found that although the study participants use information on back pain obtained from the Internet, as well as from family and friends, they continue to trust their physicians and use them as their primary source of information and advice.
"The current study furthers understanding of how and when various sources of information contribute to beliefs, highlighting that clinicians can have a profound and long-lasting influence," the researchers write. They add that patients' expectations regarding recovery can be strongly influenced by single, perhaps off-hand statements by their physicians. "This finding is important given that low recovery expectations are a strong predictor of poor outcome," they write.
They also note that avoidance of activities because of fear of pain has been associated with poor outcome and that physicians may inadvertently contribute to avoidance beliefs and behaviors by focusing on what patients should not do rather than what they should do.
"Participants viewed lifting techniques, postural control, and muscle strengthening as strategies to protect the back," the authors note. However, they add, evidence does not support the idea that protection prevents pain.
"Our study shows that these protection strategies may result in increased vigilance, worry, frustration, and guilt for patients with low back pain," they write.
The researchers further emphasize that information communicated to patients may influence patients for years to come, so it needs to be appropriate not only for the current episode of back pain but also for any future episodes.
"Our findings also show clear activity advice and appropriate reassurance can be empowering," they write.
They conclude, "We recommend prospective studies to investigate ways of packaging information and advice that enables people to use their back freely, potentially reducing the persistence of disability."
To find out more about dealing with pain and the physiotherapy services we can offer to help you with your back pain, please contact us today for more information and to book an appointment.
Ann Fam Med. 2013;527-534. Full text

Monday 4 November 2013

Preparing for winter sport

Some people find that the cold winter weather can play havoc with their joints and muscles, which is why it might be a good idea to visit a physiotherapist if you find yourself seizing up as the temperature drops. 

Even something as simple as shivering or the way we brace ourselves against the cold can lead to discomfort over time, so working with a physiotherapist can help you work through any cold-related pain you might be experiencing.

Physiotherapists can work with you to improve your posture and correct an unusual stance you may have developed after spending lots of time in the cold weather. When we are cold, we tend to tense our muscles to retain body heat, and this can make us more prone to sports injuries, especially if we don’t warm up correctly. 

You may need to learn techniques to warm up more efficiently and to continue playing the sports you love whilst avoiding worsening any existing injuries or creating new ones.

If you are interested in finding out more about how physiotherapy can help you continue to play your favourite sport safely throughout winter, please contact us today for more information about our physiotherapists.