Personal health, Dublin 6

Breast Cancer & The Pink Ribbon Program at Personal Health

Pink Ribbon Programme

Breast cancer is the third most common cause of cancer in Ireland. Recent advances in science and medicine include improvements in diagnosis, new operating techniques and progressions in adjuvant therapies. The types of surgery for breast cancer vary widely depending on each individual presentation. Surgery can span from lumpectomy to radical mastectomy. Individuals may also undergo breast reconstruction where skin and fat can be used from the abdomen, the inner thigh and the back.

Often the pain associated with the surgery and loss of movement and strength in the arm is an aspect which individuals are not prepared for. Especially after exiting the supportive network that is provided in the hospital setting. Rehabilitative exercise is important at this point in returning to activities of daily living after breast surgery by targeting the previously mentioned movement restrictions and pain.

Pink Ribbon Pilates

Personal Health – 16/17 Rather Road, D6

Program for Breast Cancer survivors

At Personal Health the Pink Ribbon Program is a specifically designed gentle Pilates based exercise Program for Breast Cancer survivors. The Program is 6 weeks long and there are 2 classes a week. The Program is suitable whether your surgery was recent or several years ago. We place a strong focus on regaining shoulder mobility and strength. The exercises are specifically tailored to the contraindications and precautions of each surgery. The initial assessment performed prior to starting the classes allows us to take each individual history and examine the movement of the shoulder joint. The program is led by experienced Physiotherapists and certified breast cancer exercise specialists.

Chartered Physiotherapists specialising in Breast Cancer recovery

Pink Ribbon at Personal Health

The benefits of the program are extensive from both a physical and mental perspective:

  • Helps regain strength and mobility in the affected shoulder and arm
  • Improve functional ability and quality of life
  • Reduce pain and swelling
  • Reduce the risk of shoulder impingement and frozen shoulder
  • Improves self confidence and control
  • Improve core stability and posture
  • Improve lymphatic drainage- reduce the risk of lymphoedema
  • Helps to control weight
  • Improves sleep
  • alleviates fatigue
  • Decrease stress and anxiety

 

pink Ribbon Programme Dublin 6

Chartered Physiotherapist Dee Ryan

 

Our aim in Personal Health is to spread the awareness of this Program and to extend the invitation to welcome you into another supportive community during this recovery period. By doing so we hope to bypass the potential burden and stress than can present due to any physical limitations.

As always, we ask you to be a friend and forward on this information to anybody you feel would benefit from our Pink Ribbon Program. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic on 01 4964002.

Dietitian, Dublin 6, Caoimhe McDonald

Take control of your IBS don’t let it control you – By Caoimhe Mc Donald

Dietitian, Dublin 6, Caoimhe McDonald

“Take control of your IBS don’t let it control you”   

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and relapsing bowel disorder. It affects up to 20% of adults and adolescents as well as children. It is 1.5 times more common in women than in men.  Symptoms include:

Dietitian, Dublin 6, Caoimhe McDonald

  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • flatulence
  • poor appetite
  • indigestion

It is important to note that many conditions have symptoms that can mimic IBS. Inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease and microscopic colitis are a few. It is important that the diagnosis of IBS has been carried out, coeliac disease has been ruled-out and alarm features are absent.

Many people have had symptoms of IBS all their lives and done nothing about it. It is so often put down to having “a sensitive tummy”. As a Dietitian, I would estimate 60 – 70% of my patients suffer with IBS. It is very common for people to come to a dietitian for a different reason and drop it into conversation when discussing their diet. People wonder how it has become so much more common these days. However, when asked about their family history many report one or both of their parents have avoided a food for years as it “doesn’t agree with them”. 

Irritable Bowel, Dietitian, Rathmines

The truth is, more people feel comfortable discussing their digestive health and doing something about it. People live busy lives that can often be stressful and many are now more conscious of their diet and looking after their health. I have seen patients with such severe symptoms it has a huge impact on their quality of life. They are unable to attend work, they fear getting public transport, avoid social activities or not sleeping at night as a result. Why live with something like this when symptoms can be managed effectively?

Multifactorial

The exact cause of IBS is not known and it is thought to be multifactorial. Suggested causes may be; a previous gastrointestinal infection, prolonged antibiotic use, stress, medication, alcohol, poor diet and lifestyle factors. Two thirds of IBS patients perceive their symptoms are related to food. Symptoms can come and go and may be exacerbated in stressful situations which can make it difficult to identify the exact triggers.

So how do people go about managing their symptoms of IBS?

Dietitian, Dublin 6, Caoimhe McDonald

  • Medical management using anti-diarrhoeals, anti-spasmodics, laxatives or low dose antidepressants
  • Self-help – 7% treat themselves with no medical supervision
  • Herbal remedies
  • Psychological guidance
  • Probiotics
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Dietary guidance

Diet assessment and adjustment by a qualified dietitian is so important in the management of IBS. Many patients prefer dietary management rather than a reliance on medication. As a dietitian specialising in digestive health, it is very rewarding to see a patients’ symptoms improve. With guidance on diet, meal pattern, lifestyle factors and stress management, people will notice improvements. Some may immediately feel better after increasing fibre in the diet, increasing fluid and introducing exercise. Others may find eliminating certain foods beneficial or the use of a probiotic.

FODMAP Diet

There is a growing interest in restriction of short chain fermentable carbohydrates called FODMAPs (fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols….a mouthful I know!) for IBS management. The low FODMAP diet is an exclusion diet specifically for patients with IBS which has been supported by 30 clinical studies. Research has shown that limiting these foods (high in FODMAPS) can alleviate the symptoms associated with IBS.  The low FODMAP diet should be done under the supervision of a dietitian as exclusion diets are at risk of nutritional inadequacy.

If you feel you could benefit from seeing a dietitian in relation to digestive health or any other dietary issue contact Caoimhe McDonald at Personal Health. Caoimhe has worked with patients with IBS for years and can help you identify the triggers for your IBS. Caoimhe will provide meal suggestions, recipes and shopping lists to make sure your diet is still balanced and you are getting all the nutrients you need.

In Conclusion, diet is not always the cause. It can be just one contributing factor to IBS. For many, stress management may be the best solution. Contact the Personal Health team to make an appointment with Consultant Dietitian Caoimhe McDonald or Psychotherapist Susan Duffy on 01 4964002.

Personal Health, Rather Road, Chronic Health intervention

Surprise Your Bones….

Exercise for Osteoporosis

Medically Led Fitness

Responsible Exercise for Osteoperosis

When I was training as a student in Cork University Hospital our lead Clinical Educator, Fiona, had a stock phrase for helping patients with Osteoporosis.

‘Surprise your Bones’ said Fiona regularly, in a gentle Scottish lilt. Whether it was her accent or it’s ‘catchiness’, the phrase seemed to stick!

Fiona was a Clinical Specialist in the area and really believed in the positive benefits of exercise for Osteoporosis. The tricky part is knowing what are the correct exercises, what are the safe ones and what needs to be avoided. The even trickier part is making a class relevant/enjoyable to a 60 year old lady. We know you would rather be on the golf course or anywhere else!

Medically Led Fitness Osteoperosis Classes

Exercise can be responsible and good fun

Personal Health Exercise Classes

At Personal Health, our Chartered Physiotherapists manage a nice happy medium in this class. We aim for the whole thing to be enjoyable, sociable and challenging enough to ‘surprise the bones’ into shape.

Typically Osteoporosis affects females far more than males, usually over the age of 55. It is diagnosed by DEXA scan which is able to measure bone density. This is usually through imaging of the hip bone.

For those managing Osteoporosis it tends to be a quiet process. There’s typically no pain, and one might only be alerted to it’s complexities when in the A&E room after something has caused a fracture.

Areas such as the base of the thumb/ wrist and hip are more vulnerable for fracture. This is based on the age and activity profile of those diagnosed with the disease. Similarly a focussed approach to improving balance and/or falls prevention can be a smart way to approach the condition.

Frequently an osteoporotic patient will be undergoing ‘medical’ management of the condition by taking prescribed tablets –  ’Calcichew’- or something similar. It has various classifications in terms of severity. Often patients opt for a sustained (but finite) period of injection therapy as treatment. These injections aim to increase the strength of cortical bone structure in addition to the focussed dietary and exercise interventions.

Personal Health Dublin 6

Chronic disease is just a definition not a life sentence

Medically Led Fitness

In Personal Health our Medically Led Fitness programmes are geared towards optimising chronic health issues. By definition, ‘chronic’ relates to time and duration – not severity.

So with a chronic diagnosis like Osteoporosis, you have the power to successfully thrive. At Personal Health, we provide a helping hand, some time and a refreshing enjoyable approach to managing your chronic health issue.

USAIN BOLT – THE RACE FOR OLYMPIC FITNESS!! by Ronan Fallon

USAIN BOLT – THE RACE FOR OLYMPIC FITNESS!!!

Last week in Jamaica, Usain Bolt pulled out of the national finals following a second night of discomfort in his hamstring muscle. The diagnosis is a Grade 1 muscle tear. This is potentially a big problem as he needs to qualify for the Olympic Games on the 22nd of July in London. 

Usain Bolt Running out of Time, Ronan Fallon, Physiotherapy, Personal Health, D6

Will he run out of time??

Firstly, what is a Grade 1 muscle tear? Put simply, muscle injuries are clinically graded on a scale of 1-3 with 1 being the least serious and 3 being a severe rupture.

If you are dealing with an Olympic athlete, he will probably undergo an MRI to confirm what the medical team already know from their clinical examination of the presenting problem. 

Secondly, what happens next? There is a battery of treatments that an Olympic athlete will receive. Usain Bolt has flown to Germany to see a specialist for further treatment. Ultimately, these treatments are designed to speed up the healing process. These can vary depending on all sorts of issues, mainly money! However, Mother Nature’s physiological healing timeframes need to be acknowledged and respected.

Medical team, Usain Bolt, Personal Health,Ronan Fallon, Physiotherapy, Personal Health, D6

 

Muscle is like a Rope!

A reasonable analogy is that the fibres in Muscle tissue are similar to the strands of a rope. Once an injury has occurred, then the amazing human healing cycle begins. This can take weeks to fully return to somewhere close to the pre-injury condition.

Here’s the problem, the Hamstring muscle has to be fully healed and strong before you even attempt to put it through the most severe test which is flat out sprinting. 

Usain Bolt of Jamaica starts in the men's 200 metres heats during the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin, August 18, 2009. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (GERMANY)Ronan Fallon, Physiotherapy, Personal Health, D6

I am sure that Usain is being managed extremely carefully as the medical and physiotherapy team attempt to combine the tricky task of accelerating healing and loading appropriately in an effort to prepare for the ultimate test on the 22nd of July.

Elite athletes such as Usain Bolt are obviously supreme physical specimens. This generally helps shave a few days of the well-known recovery timeframes. Also, access to medical and physiotherapy services which will be babysitting him 24 hours a day is also a bonus. 

Usain Bolt, Bubble wrap, Personal Health,Ronan Fallon, Physiotherapy, Personal Health, D6

Bearing all this in mind, and considering that he is the fastest man on the planet. I am confident that he will get through the qualification stages even if he is not 100% fit. 

If you are an Olympic athlete, recreational runner or 5-a-side player, all muscle injuries are very well understood. Chartered Physiotherapy will help with grading and managing recovery.

Women's Heath Chartered Physiotherapy

2 Simple Exercises to strengthen your Pelvic Floor – Women’s Health Physiotherapy

Pelvic Floor Muscle Training

Pelvic floor muscles are very important as they:

  • Control the bladder and bowel
  • Support the pelvic organs and thus help prevent prolapse
  • Are important for sexual function
  • Support the growing uterus when pregnant
  • Work with core muscles to support the spine

 

Women's Health

The Supportive ‘Hammock’ of the Pelvic Floor

Where are they?

They attach to the pubic bone at the front and tail bone at the back and to the side of the pelvic walls.
They are the only horizontal muscle in your body and often described as a hammock that supports the pelvic organs.

 

What can weaken the Pelvic floor?
  • Regular straining to empty the bowel
  • Constant coughing
  • Weight of baby and hormones during pregnancy
  • Muscle damage and interventions used during birth
  • Work involving regular heavy lifting
  • Excessive abdominal workouts or over challenging exercise
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Hysterectomy and some pelvic surgery.
Pelvic Floor function at Personal Health, Dublin 6

The Correct Exercise is Vital

 

Pelvic floor muscles cause problems when they are….
  • Weak and not strong enough to lift when you run or sneeze
  • Tight and cannot relax
  • Over powered by excessive tightness in trunk and waist muscles
  • 1 in 3 women experience incontinence after labor due to pelvic floor dysfunction.

 

 

Benefits of Pelvic Floor Exercises:
  • Restoration of vaginal muscle tone and vaginal health
  • Recover from physical stress of childbirth
  • Prevention and treatment of stress urinary incontinence.
  • Strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
  • Increase blood supply and nerve supply to the pelvic region
  • Increases sexual stimulation and feeling

 

2 Simple Exercises to strengthen your Pelvic Floor

It is important for all women before and after birth whether they have a vaginal or cesarean delivery to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.

1. Long Hold:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet supported but apart.
Squeeze and lift around all 3 openings in your pelvic 
floor. These being your back passage vagina and bladder. Like you are 
trying to stop yourself passing wind and urine.
Hold for 6-10 seconds, keep your abdominal, buttock and 
thigh muscles relaxed and continue to breathe 
normally.
Relax for 3 seconds.
Repeat this exercise another 5 times
Repeat 3 times a day.
As your pelvic floor muscles get stronger, practice in 
sitting and standing.
Gradually increase the hold time and number of repetitions until you can do a 10 second hold 10 times.
Remember…Always stop exercising when the muscle fatigues.
2. Quick holds
Tighten the pelvic floor muscles as above but only hold for a second before letting go fully.
Repeat 5 times in a row.
Repeat 3 times a day.
Gradually increase your repetitions until you can do 20 
quick squeezes in a row, it may take a few months to be able to do this.

 

 

How can Personal Health help?

Book an appointment with our Women’s Health Chartered Physiotherapist Mary-Kate Ryan to get a thorough pelvic floor assessment and specifically tailored exercise programme.

Please book an appointment online or Call 01 4964002

Women's Health Physiotherapy Dublin 6

It’s as easy as that!!!!

Football, Physio, sport, Physiotherapy, Fitness

Will Jonathan Walters be fit for Saturday ? by Ronan Fallon

Well is he going to be fit to continue?

Last night’s match in Paris saw the boys in green put in a great performance on the European stage. It’s fair to say that we could have easily taken all three points. Unfortunately, this result did have an impact on Jonathan Walters.

It is well known that he has been struggling with an Achilles tendon problem for the last few weeks. The Achilles tendon is the common tendon from the calf muscles into the heel bone.
It is a notoriously tricky problem for anyone from an international footballer to a mid-week 5-a-side social footballer or tag rugby player. As such, it was not a good sign that Jonathan Walters reported last night that he was struggling with this issue from the very first minute!

Achilles tendon
As you can see from the image, pretty much all activity on the football pitch requires load to go from the calf muscle and through your Achilles tendon. This allows the athlete to propel forward to run & jump.

 

MANAGEMENT

Chartered Physiotherapy Dublin 6

Decisions Decisions…..

There is no doubt that the Irish medical team are using all of the resources at their disposal in an effort to get Jonathan fit for Saturday. This is a very quick turnaround for an injured achilles such as this one.
I suspect that they will be using a battery of treatments including anti-inflammatories, Icing, Soft tissue for the calf muscles and most importantly rest.
The crucial component in this management strategy is controlling loading. Thai is the weight that he takes through that inflamed tendon. He should be on crutches for 48 hours. This would allow the Achilles to recover without the stress of his bodyweight on every step.

Medical Team

This is a tricky conundrum for the medical team today. How long can they afford to rest Jonathan from team training in preparation for the Belgium match? Martin O’Neill and his team will have  already discussed this and may have even made a decision on ruling him out.
It’s very difficult to see how Jonathan Walters will be fit for Saturday. An MRI scan will show the true extent of the damage. As a result all we can work off are the soundbites from Management and player alike.

In conclusion, we’re all hoping for a speedy recovery and that his removal from the game early might just give him a chance for the big game on Saturday.

COYBIG !

Ronan

Prenatal yoga, midwife, Dublin 6

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga – by Cathy O’Grady

PRENATAL YOGA

 

Pregnancy Yoga girl, Dublin 6

Having a baby is probably one of the most wonderful, yet anxiety-provoking events that can happen in one’s life. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to prepare for this event by helping you to remain active & fit throughout your pregnancy, whilst preparing you for the birth of your baby & the early days beyond.

 

BENEFITS OF DOING PRENATAL YOGA?

CREATE SPACE:

Prenatal yoga encourages you to create space in both body and mind in preparation for the birth of your baby. Movements in our prenatal classes are gentle. They are designed to release tension & tightness, increase circulation and build strength & stamina. We move to increase flexibility, whilst easing your body towards opening and releasing, in preparation for the birth of your baby.

 

Create mind space during pregnancy,

 

IMPROVE POSTURE:

We focus on exercises to target specific areas in the body that are going through great changes. Chest opening exercises to accommodate growing breasts. Shoulder & pelvic stabilisation to encourage good posture, accommodating an ever expanding bump. We also focus on postures that are useful in the latter weeks of pregnancy, to ease your baby into an optimal birthing position & postures for use from early labour to delivery.

LEARN TO LISTEN AND TRUST YOUR BODY:

During pregnancy your body goes through +/- 40 weeks of changes. Prenatal yoga encourages you to listen to your body & to trust your body. This enables you to adopt a gentle, easy practice on the days when you are lacking energy & a more energetic practice on the days you feel like more.

Prenatal yoga, Dublin6

 

LEARN BREATHING & RELAXATION TECHNIQUES:

During pregnancy it is common to experience interrupted sleep and restlessness (mother nature preparing you for your new-born??). We teach our Mommas-to-be breathing & relaxation techniques to soothe both body & mind, encouraging deep rest.

FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT LABOUR & BIRTH:

Having spent many years working in a busy labour ward, it was always easy to spot the “yoga mommas”. They always seemed more calm and in control. Personal Health’s Prenatal yoga classes will equip you on your journey, from early labour, delivery and to those early weeks of motherhood. All of our classes finish with a deep relaxation. This allows you the time and space to completely relax, release and let go.

newborn, yoga, labour, childbirth, relaxing pregnancy

 

Contact us on 

Phone: 01 496 4002

Email: info@personalhealth.ie

Website: www.personalhealth.ie

 

16/17 Rathgar Road

Dublin 6

Balanced approach to your Personal Health

Redress the Balance……By Susan Duffy Counselling Psychotherapist

As a counselling psychotherapist I meet a lot of people who are struggling with the balancing act of life; workload, children, ageing parents, relationship and friends are among the many responsibilities we try to juggle daily. All of this juggling on a regular basis before even thinking about ourselves, our diet, fitness and general health.

Media and social media can appear full of ‘successful’ people. Supposedly  ‘just like us’ but with perfectly toned bodies, a stellar career and beautifully turned out children. They run marathons before breakfast and roll out a Nigella style roast for 20 close friends at lunch. If we compare ourselves it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed.

  • Are we coming up short….?
  • Or could these images be constructed with ‘perfection’ styling before we clap eyes on the finished product?
Dublin 6 mental health services

As resilient as a bubble or……

feeling tired and depressed

….A spent force?

 

Impacts on our Health

All of the above add to feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and just not being enough. When we are spinning plates and have such high expectations of ourselves, something’s got to give. Usually because we are busy with work and trying to live up to the perceived expectations of others, the first thing to give is our health and our self-care.

If we are tired, feeling depleted and ragged, it shows in our work and relationships. We can feel demotivated and under-appreciated in work. Anger and resentment can be directed towards loved ones taking us for granted. The basic concept of caring for ourselves in a healthy way underpins how well and whole-heartedly we can care for others, and do our jobs to the best of our abilities.

Surely the correlation between stressed, overworked individuals who strive for perfection and their incidence of back pain, is too high to be a coincidence?

Could it be possible that our tired unsupported bodies are screaming at us to look after them. Sometimes the physical pain we feel can be a symptom of something deeper emotionally. Ironically, lower backs (lumbar spinal) often seem to ‘go’ around stressful landmark life events, when we feel least ‘supported’.

Pausing to ask what your body feels like in this moment, could be the first step in your journey to appropriate self care.

  • What do you truly need right now? (as opposed to what you ‘should’ be doing).
Counselling for Health

What’s going on in there..

It could be deciding to talk to someone about the stressors in your life. What impacts on your relationships and general health?

It could mean taking a step towards a stronger healthier body through exercise, diet or relaxation.

Regardless of detail, pursuing something suitable, exclusively for you, can help positive change.

Come and ask Personal Health how we can help……it’s time to redress your Personal Health balance….

Thanks,

Susan

pain, chronic pain, exercise, physio, physiotherapy

Do you really understand your pain? by Dee Ryan, Chartered Physiotherapist

Pain is often misunderstood, and as a result can cause fear. This fear and confusion can drive our pain experience. This blog explores the true meaning of pain with you. It might facilitate a different approach to your pain management, and hopefully can improve your coping strategies.

Pain is the body’s alarm system. It is designed to be a helpful response to protect you. This alarm system is assisted by your vision, hearing, smell and taste. For example, at halloween you see a bonfire, hear the wood crackling, smell/taste the smoke and feel the warmth. These sensory cues are helping your brain decide how best to respond to a given situation.

FireBeachPain
A key point to understand about pain is that once the brain decides you’re in danger, you will feel pain with or without the presence of tissue damage.

YOUR BRAIN DRIVES YOUR PAIN

Pain can be straight forward. But like most things in life, it can also be a complex process requiring some patience. Pain from direct tissue damage is clearly understood – an ankle sprain for example, see our Rory McIlroy blog:

Here, for example, the ligaments are sprained and in an attempt to protect you (how loving!) your brain decides the ligaments are at risk and need healing. Subsequently pain is felt in order to allow ligament repair and remodelling.
Pain can also be reflective of behaviour, emotions, memories, belief systems and what the pain means to you. A nice analogy for this is to imagine the ingredients of emotion, stress, memory, belief and behaviour are mixed together and make up the batter to a special kind of cake called pain. This cake is cooked in a particular oven called the brain. How the cake of pain turns out is very much so dependent on the oven – what temperature it is cooked at, how long it is cooked for etc. So it is clear the brain directly influences the end product- the pain cake.

 

pain management Personal Health Dublin 6

Is your pain getting out of hand?

Regardless of analogies, there is a proven science to this…..

Our body house these incredible sensors which continuously send messages to the brain via electrical impulses (neural pathways). Some sensors report on temperature, some respond to mechanical change, others to chemical change. There is a certain type of wire called a nociceptor which delivers messages of danger to your brain. They respond to any form of stimulus which is considered a threat. Remember nociception is just the delivery postman of the message, not the message itself.
Not every message being delivered from the sensors reach the brain. At the level of the spinal cord there is a sorting process, and the number of messages being passed is under control. Similar to a bouncer manning a nightclub. The danger messages can sometimes be granted access and are delivered to the brain. Here the brain has to make a decision how best to react to all this information it has been given.

Dee Ryan Chartered Physiotherapist in Dublin 6 discusses the complexity of pain

Those shoes are quite nice mate…..

Next week

Next week I will discuss the various systems which the brain calls upon in its response to these issues. Similarly I will expand on the effects of pain over a prolonged period of time- known as ‘chronic pain’.
Be a friend and tag a friend who you feel will benefit from further understanding the processes involved in the pain experience!

And now my parting gift to you until next week….a superb video which explains pain in less than 5 minutes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWMKucuejIs

 

Cycling, physio, physiotherapist, movement, fitness, health

Summer, Sunshine & Spandex by Tim Ahern, Chartered Physiotherapist

We cyclists call it Lycra and there is a lot of it about lately. Here on Rathgar road we see hundreds of commuters and leisure cyclists pass by our clinic on their way to and from work every morning. This is great to see. All sorts of people are cycling now on all sorts of machines. Some new, some old and many ill-fitting.

IMG_1189

New to Cycling?

For those of you who are new to cycling and training for that first triathlon, charity cycle or are just beginning in the sport, bike fit is important. The usual hotspots of discomfort for the beginner include the lower back and the back-side. This is a normal and temporary phenomenon. But often times pain and discomfort in these areas persists. Knee, neck and wrist pain are also common. Therefore having a bike that is comfortable and suitably set-up for your requirements is a must in order to minimise or indeed prevent such injuries. Appropriate bike set-up is key to enjoying injury free cycling and this becomes more pertinent as time in the saddle increases. Despite the myriad of different bike designs and new technologies available, a bicycle remains a bicycle.

IMG_1551

Rider and bike have 5 contact points, both hands, both feet and the one bottom! The bike is a symmetrical machine. Many of us are not. Parameters such as handlebar reach, handlebar type and angle, the degree of knee flexion in pedal stroke, shoe cleat position and saddle position are the main interfaces between the rider and the bike. That results in a huge number of possible position permutations. Many people are now measured and fitted for their bikes before they purchase them. This is very useful. As with clothes, not everyone can buy “off the peg”.

MLF cycling

 

Assessment

Personal Health offer an individualised assessment of the individual’s anatomy and injury history. We take into account the type, the intensity and the volume of cycling of each client. We don’t try to make radical changes to set-up or position, rather we look at making micro adjustments to the bike set-up. This may stave off injury and reduce discomfort based on our physical assessment of the body first, and then the bike.

Based on our findings, we will provide a relevant exercise programme for the body. This is a bespoke service and some clients require more focus on the physical and others require more attention on the bike set-up. Most often though, it is a combination of the two.

Tim Ahern is a Chartered Physiotherapist, an Exercise Physiologist, and a hugely passionate cyclist. He is an integral part of Personal Health, providing a valuable link between our clinical expertise and the practical aspects of exercise prescription.