Exercise, fitness, ageing, arthritis, Lifestyle, Dublin 6

How to Exercise with Problem Health Conditions

Have you got arthritis in your knee? Too painful to exercise the way you used to? And now you are putting on weight…and the pain is getting worse?

You are in a very common cycle that you can combat smartly.

There’s always a way – if not 2 or 3!

The most obvious thing to improve arthritic joint pain is to reduce the inflammation which is the main contributing factor. In plain language, you need to stop loading up the troublesome joint.

So for the golfer who plays twice per week and is struggling with night pain after your 18 holes…why not look to getting a buggy for the next few rounds?

Moreover, there is a culture of taking anti-inflammatory tablets like smarties in arthritic patients, but certain brands can be quite corrosive on the stomach. So maybe a safer bet is to get a prescription anti-inflammatory topical gel and use in plentiful amounts on the affected area.

Movement is Key

Keep moving the joint in question – but not while weight bearing. A troublesome knee joint is usually well able to complete a full revolution on an exercise bike.

Most patients protest that exercise bikes = insufferable boredom!!!

 

Well let’s look at the benefits of cycling for 30 minutes on a static exercise bike 5 times per week – IN FRONT of the TV!!!!!

  • Increased range of motion in the troublesome joint (hip or knee). This means less stiffness after sitting in a restaurant or going to the cinema!
  • Increased circulation – lubricating the inflamed area and increasing healthy blood flow – this means your knee can have less swelling, redness and heat through those affected areas.
  • Increased strength in the surrounding muscles which support the joint – helping to unload the pressure that goes through that weight-bearing area. which means walking slopes (up or down hill) will be less problematic.
  • Weight loss – every pound of weight lost is equivalent to 4 pounds less pressure going through the affected joint – so you really only have to lose a couple of pounds to get the effect of losing a stone!!

We do exercise classes for people living with health conditions at Personal Health. These include Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Cancer and Stroke survivors, Diabetes, Cardiology patients, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

For further information please contact:

01 4964002

info@personalhealth.ie

www.personalhealth.ie

Concussion recovery Personal Health Dublin 6

Superbowl LII – Concussion rears its head again

Superbowl LII- Concussion rears its head again

Chartered Physiotherapy Dublin 6

                Concussion Signs & Symptoms

What a game last Sunday at The U.S. Bank Stadium. The New England Patriots were back in the Superbowl for their eighth appearance since 2002 whilst the Philadelphia Eagles showed up for their first appearance since 2005. A contest they lost..…to the Patriots. Much of the pre-game talk for the Patriots was about the health of tight end Rob Gronkowski, after a helmet to helmet hit from Jaguars safety, Barry Church, late in the first half of the Patriots game against Jacksonville. Gronkowski went through a detailed neurological assessment which likely included checking his alertness and cognitive ability, plus his visual system, speech capacity, balance, and movement coordination. He managed to successfully rehabilitate through his return to play protocol, having been monitored very closely by the medical team.

 

What happens to the brain when you get a blow to the head? Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. While the blow to the head may cause pain, the pathology leading to concussion occurs inside the skull in the tissues of the brain. Although the exact pathophysiology is not fully understood, current understanding suggests that the impulse to the brain causes shearing in and between the cells, which leads to changes in the finely balanced biochemistry and permeability of the blood vessels, cell walls and blood brain barrier. This leads to the initial or acute presentation of the concussion, where people can describe suffering headaches, dizziness, tinnitus and sensitivity to sound, light sensitivity, blurred vision, foggy thinking, poor concentration and variable moods or changes in their emotional regulation.

Physiotherapy and concussion in Dublin

                     Concussion Rehabilitation

How to recover from a concussion?

A concussion should be diagnosed by your primary care practitioner (i.e. Doctor, Physiotherapist etc.). Typically the first few days comprise of monitoring the symptoms, and resting. Should symptoms worsen (e.g. more intense headaches, or repeated vomiting etc) it is very important that you seek medical support at the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.

As your symptoms settle down and your capacities start to improve a trained practitioner can support you through the steps of your return to work/ school/ play.

It is very important that you follow your protocol closely as the brain and the central nervous system are in a vulnerable state whilst recovering from a concussion, and re-injury during this phase can lead to a protracted recovery, a more severe injury, or even death.

Gronkowski was very tightly marked during a fantastic display by The Eagles but he can look back proudly on a fantastic recovery from this serious injury!

If you have any questions about concussion, or if you have suffered a concussion and would like support whilst recovering, please give us a call :

01 496 4002 

Book a session in http://personalhealth.ie/ to see our Chartered Physiotherapist, Mark Hynes. Mark has extensive knowledge of concussion rehabilitation following a period of specialisation in Vancouver, Canada. 

Movement, Hips, Arthritis, exercise, Fitness, Dublin

Disaster at the Masters…….Before the competition even starts!!

The Masters

Golfers all over the country will be tuned in with keen interest considering the Irish representation in the US Masters today. Already there has been some notable incidents with tournament favourite Dustin Johnson suffering a fall at home and injuring his back. We’ll wait and see what emerges here but something tells me that he’ll be alright on the night!

The traditional Par 3 competition on the eve of Day 1 has been a washout and abandoned for the first time ever. Players may be forgiven for not being too upset as a winner of the Par 3 competition has never won the US Masters in the same year.

As a physio and a golf fan, the US Masters is the unofficial start of the domestic golfing season. Players all over the country begin to get the appetite for the game back coinciding with the change in the weather.

Inevitably, this brings with it a few interesting challenges. The golf swing is a complex beast no matter what a player’s handicap or ability is! Biomechanically there is a huge amount of force being created and that can have a major impact on some of the structures in the body – Just ask Tiger!

traning for golf physiotherapy

The Great Golfing Conundrum….

Recreational Golfers

In reality, the majority of recreational golfers would be really well served by committing a small amount of time and effort into a short routine performed 2-3 times per week in an effort to keep the body supple and strong.

There is a myriad of opinion on what is the best routine and exercises to focus on. I’m a firm believer that the best exercises to focus on are the ones that get done!
Designing a manageable and time efficient routine is very achievable. Small changes to a weekly routine can lead to a significant increase in both improving performance and preventing niggles and injury. Strength training and mobility exercises are largely the key ingredient in this process. Tailoring the program to either the living room floor or the squat rack in the gym depends on the individual.

As a golfing Physio, my mind is always analysing practical ways to try and help with the enjoyment of one of the best and worst games around. The fact that you can get better as you get older is a unique attraction with this game and maybe why it’s so appealing??

If you want to discuss any of your golfing ailments feel free to contact me at ronan@personalhealth.ie or you can phone the clinic on 01-4964002.

physiotherapy Dublin 6

The Golf Physio – Ronan Fallon

Ronan Fallon (MISCP) Personal Health Director of Physiotherapy

 

 

Improve your Brain Health – By Marion Slattery

Improve your Brain Health

Over the last number of years, it seems that increasingly in the media we are seeing people live with neurological conditions that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke and other disorders. At the same time there has never been so much emphasis on the benefits of regular exercise and the optimum diet for a healthy body and brain.

We are being bombarded with information written by specialists, experts, bloggers, and anyone with a social media account. Everyone has an opinion on what good health is but is there a simple one size fits all formula to follow?

Earlier this week, I attended the lecture on ‘Our Beautiful Minds: Our Brains and how they shape our lives’‘ by Professor Shane O Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research in Trinity College. I learned that maybe being healthy isn’t as complex as all the newspapers, magazines, and online media make out. The three main points I took from the lecture were simple in their own way. He highlighted the importance of exercise, sleep, and giving your brain a chance to rest. Very simple suggestions but can we actually follow through? Why should we even try?

Stats

Looking at the most recent statistics in Ireland, it is estimated that over 700,000 people in Ireland live with a neurological condition. This represents about 17% of the total population of Ireland. These conditions include acquired brain injury, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other progressive, intermittent or disabling conditions of the brain or spinal cord. While not all neurological conditions are preventable, there are certain things we can do that can reduce our risk of developing these conditions.

Poor health is never far from anyone’s door and it makes no exception to your social status, religion, race, or otherwise. Last year the infamous Billy Connolly came out to speak about his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. In the last few years the country music singer Glenn Campbell, made known for his hit ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ released the movie of his farewell tour as a result of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Last year Amy Huberman and Brian O’Driscoll  featured on the cover of the Irish ‘Parkinson’s Ireland’ Summer magazine as Amy’s father is living with Parkinson’s Disease. As we are living longer we are also living longer with and developing neurological conditions.

With increasing evidence linking exercise and diet, mindfulness and relaxation to improved health, we need to look at what we can do on a daily basis to maintain good body and brain health. Over the age of 30 on average you lose slightly less than 0.5% of your brain each year. It has now been proven that by exercising alone you can increase the size of your hippocampus, a part of the brain that makes memory.  Research also supports being socially active, it reduces your risk of dementia.

Here are some more suggestions to improve your body and brain health:

·         Exercise regularly

·         Maintain a good sleep routine

·         Give your brain a rest

·         Eat a well-balanced diet

·         Challenging your brain

  • Read a book
  • Do a crossword
  • Travel to new places

·         Learn something new

·         Keep socially active

·         Keep a check on your cholesterol/blood pressure/ weight

·         Adopt a positive attitude

Our generation are living longer. We need to ensure that we’re living Better too. Give yourself the best chance at ageing well.

Getting Back to Exercise After Having a Baby- by Mary Kate Ryan

 Tips for getting back to exercise After Having a Baby…

  • After pregnancy and labour women can neglect themselves as they can become consumed by the amazing yet chaotic word of a newborn baby. 
  • Juggling it all can be tough, most of the time something has to give and this tends to be time for yourself that is sacrificed.
  • Firstly don’t be too tough on your self, give your body time to heal. A woman’s body is amazing and you should be proud if it.  Growing and nurturing a baby is no easy feat!
  • My advice would be getting strong and mobile the right way, from inside out!
  • Remember that
    many of the physiological and morphological changes of pregnancy persist for four to six weeks after having your baby.
  • Thus, exercise routines should be resumed only gradually after pregnancy and should be individualized.  Physical activity can thus be resumed as soon as physically and medically safe.
  • This will certainly vary from one woman to another, with some being capable of engaging in an exercise routine earlier than others.

1. Rest

It is very important to rest to help with your recovery.

Rest on your back or side to

  • Minimize discomfort,
  • Reduce swelling
  • Take extra weight off your pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles.

2. Pelvic Floor Exercises

  • Pelvic Floor Exercises can be safely started 1-2 days following the delivery of your baby, provided there is no increase in your pain.
  • Deep Abdominal and Pelvic Floor exercises help you return to your pre-pregnancy shape and will help with healing of stitches

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.

3. Deep Abdominal Muscle Exercise

During pregnancy, as your baby grows, your abdominal muscles stretch and become weakened.

Abdominal muscles are important for back support and in maintaining good posture.

Deep Abdominal Activation

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet supported and hip distance apart.
  • Breathe in, let your tummy rise.  Breathe out; gently tighten your lower abdominal
    muscles (by 20%) by pulling your lower belly in towards your
    spine (as if getting into tight trousers).
  • Keep your upper abdominal muscles relaxed
    throughout the exercise and breathe normally
  • Hold the position for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 times, 3
    times a day.
  • As you get stronger do the exercise in sitting, all fours
    and standing and gradually increase the hold time up to 60 seconds.
  • Women who have undergone a caesarian section should follow all the above advice. However, because you have had an abdominal operation you may be more tired; do not expect too much too soon. You need to wait longer before engaging in more challenging exercises, always seek advice from your medical practitioner. There are several layers of stitches in your lower abdomen that will take time to heal so increase your activities gradually as you feel able.

4. Return to Exercise

At 6 weeks postnatal start gentle exercises:

  • Walking as pain/discomfort allows, gradually increase your distance then your speed.

  

  • Swimming when you have had 7 days in a row free from vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • Join a Post Natal Pilates or Yoga class and progress the strengthening of your deep muscle system in a supervised, safe and guided environment. 

5. High Impact Exercise (e. g weights, jumping, running)

  • At 3-4 months post natal you should check your pelvic floor strength by; coughing with a full bladder or jumping with a full bladder before attempting high impact exercises.
  • Only begin if there is no urine leakage.
  • If you have leakage, Book an Appointment with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist for an Assessment and individualised Exercise programme.

6. Lastly Exercise should be enjoyed and help relieve stress not add to it! So choose exercise that you like and always listen to your body.

How can PH help?

Book appointment with our women’s health physiotherapist Mary-Kate to get a thorough pelvic floor assessment and specifically tailored exercise programme.

Pre and postnatal Pilates and yoga

Cholesterol, heart, diet, dietitian, food, health, fitness

Lowering Your Cholesterol The Healthy Way – Caoimhe O’Leary

Have you had your cholesterol checked?

More people die in Ireland today from heart disease than any other illness. It accounts for 36% of deaths in Ireland. The positive news is that 80% of the incidence of heart disease can be prevented by improving lifestyle factors. Unfortunately, we are not in control of other risk factors such as age, gender and genetic predisposition to illness. We are however in control of modifiable risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking and if taken care of we can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked!

Cholesterol is a waxy substance of which 75% is produced by the liver and 25% can be found in certain foods.

It is essential in producing all the body’s cells and hormones, and is needed to make vitamin D and bile for digestion.  However, when your blood has too much cholesterol this can stick to the walls of arteries. A build-up of cholesterol in the arteries, narrows the arteries restricting the amount of blood flow to the brain and heart. This can eventually cause a blockage leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Lipoproteins

Cholesterol is carried in the blood attached to proteins called lipoproteins. There are two main lipoproteins: LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). Too much LDL is unhealthy therefore it is referred to as bad cholesterol and should be kept low. HDL is protective however and helps to remove LDL cholesterol. HDL is known as the good cholesterol and should be kept high.

What do the numbers mean?

One of the best ways of taking control of your cholesterol is through a healthy diet and physical activity.

Choosing a healthy diet low in saturated fat (butter, cream, cheese, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, fatty meat, processed meats, confectionary foods) is one way of reducing your cholesterol levels. Aim to consume less than 20g saturated fat per day to help to reduce your LDL cholesterol. When reading food-labels avoid anything more than 5g saturated fat per 100g.

It’s not all about cutting out the bad stuff – the good news is that there are foods you can introduce into your diet that will also help to lower your cholesterol levels.

  • Nuts – with their positive nutrient profile of fibre, falvonoids and monounsaturated fats, have been shown to lower cholesterol by 3-7.5%. They reduce the risk of heart disease by 37% . Aim for 30g unsalted almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts or peanuts per day.

 

  • Soluble fibre – found in fruit, vegetables, oats, beans and pulses. It can lower LDL cholesterol by 5-20% if you consume 15-20g per day. Increase foods containing oat beta – glucan (porridge, oatbran, oatcakes, porridge bread)  and other wholegrains, beans and pulses (aim for 80-100g per day).

 

  • Oil rich fish – a rich source of unsaturated fats especially omega 3 which have heart protective benefits. Aim to have 1-2 servings (140g) per week – salmon, sardines, mackerel, kipper, trout, anchovies, eel, pilchards, fresh tuna, sprats, whitebait, whiting. Other healthy fats include olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds.

 

  • As always recommended, increase your fruit and vegetables to 5-7 portions per day. A portion is approximately 80g per day. Consumption of at least 400g fruit and vegetables per day has been associated with lower incidence of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer and obesity. They are low in calories, high in phytonutrients, soluble fibre, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.

 

  • Plant stanols or sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and are naturally found in a wide range of foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. They mimic cholesterol and compete with it for absorption. Most diets provide a small amount of plant stanols/sterols (approx 300mg for average person, or 600mg for those on vegetarian diets) however an intake of 1.5-2.4g per day has been shown to reduce cholesterol by 7-10% over 2-3 weeks. Always check with your GP if you are taking medication for your cholesterol.

 

  • Soya foods – consumption of 15g-25g soya protein daily has been scientifically proven to lower LDL cholesterol by 4-10%. Include more soya products in the diet such as soya beans, soya yoghurts, soya  milk, tofu, edamame beans.

 

For further information on cholesterol and diet why not attend a cholesterol workshop at Personal Health Rathmines carried out by Consultant Dietitian Caoimhe McDonald where she will provide you with practical tips on a cholesterol lowering diet in a supportive environment.

Next Cholesterol Workshop Date: Wednesday 12th April 7-8pm

Book your place now at 01-4964002

Personal Health – GP Education Evening

GP Education Evening

On Feb 02, 2016 the Medical Advisory Board of Personal Health convened for and education evening to discuss our unique project. Our Chairman – Professor Michael Brennan (Mayo Clinic, USA) – cited the Lifestyle Health program in Mayo Clinic as a template to give us direction and purpose.

Despite the numerous hurdles to innovation in Irish healthcare, one year later we have a flourishing clinic. Our dynamic team of healthcare professionals are making a real difference for patients in South Dublin. 

To celebrate our 1st birthday we invited Dublin based GPs to an education evening. Hosted by Professor Donal O’Shea and Professor Michael Brennan, an interactive discussion highlighted the many support resources our clinic provides. These include our Exercise and Dietary Programmes for people with Chronic conditions. Classes up and running so far cover Diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, Pink Ribbon and Tai Chi. Over the coming weeks, classes for osteoporosis and stroke patients will begin.

Local GPs have started to refer patients for our programmes, particularly in the area of chronic health management. This has provided a great boost in morale among our fellow health professionals in South Dublin. The collegiate atmosphere has helped to provide best support for relevant patients. 

💞Women’s Health at Personal Health💞

Women’s Health

A little extra care for our Ladies

At Personal Health Physiotherapy  we go one step further and give a little extra care for our ladies. We provide solutions and management programmes for the main problems women deal with in their life-time. Whether it is pregnancy related concerns, incontinence issues or care after Breast Cancer, our Women’s Health Specialist physiotherapist Mary Kate Ryan has the experience and knowledge to help you all.

womens-health

Pregnancy issues

Experiencing the joy of giving birth is a miraculous event. It can however physically damage and injure your body if you do not prepare your body through this life changing event. Back pain, sciatica, neck pain, headaches, tingling in the hands, incontinence, pelvic pain are all common conditions that you should not have to experience.

Our physiotherapists will provide solutions and management programs to protect you body from potential permanent injuries by:

  • Assessing the threats in your body that will cause you harm
  • Pre-natal and Post-natal management programs
  • Guided exercises to strengthen you pelvic floor to help incontinence and sexual discomfort

Mary Kate will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you and your child
have the safest delivery possible, and ensuring your health, body, and lifestyle are maintained throughout pregnancy. This is all done in a safe, confidential and professional environment.

womens-health1

Incontinence issues

Mary Kate has the skills and knowledge to combat your incontinence issues. With over 30% of females suffering from a weak bladder or bowel, our goal is to markedly reduce this problem you are faced with.

Wouldn’t it feel fantastic to gain control of your pelvic floor so that you don’t have to worry about accidents with your bladder or bowel? So many females after attending Personal Health have successfully gained control over their incontinence issues, and gained their lifestyles back! We can help whether you suffer from:

  • Bladder and bowel incontinence
  • Stress incontinence
  • Urge incontinence
  • Mixed incontinence
  • Prolapses
  • Over active bladder symptoms
  • Pregnancy related incontinence

You will expect your care to be done in a safe, confidential and professional environment.

 

womens-health2

 

Post Breast Cancer Care

 

Chartered Physiotherapists specialising in Breast Cancer recovery

Pink Ribbon at Personal Health

At Personal Health, the Pink Ribbon Programme is led by experienced physiotherapists and breast cancer exercise specialists, Mary-Kate Ryan and Deirdre Ryan.

The Pink Ribbon Programme will help stretch and strengthen the shoulders, chest, back, and abdominal muscles, allowing you to regain full range of motion to those areas affected by breast cancer surgery while also focusing on core stability to give your body a strong foundation on which to move.  It supports the physical and emotional recovery from breast cancer surgery and promotes a positive body image.

Benefits of the Pink Ribbon Programme:

  • Regain Strength and Mobility in the Affected Arm and Shoulder
  • Promotes Lymphatic Drainage, helping to prevent lymphedema
  • Improves Functional Ability and Quality of life
  • Decreases Stress and Anxiety
  • Improves Exercise tolerance
  • Alleviates Pain & Swelling
  • Assists in restoring posture
  • Enhances physical and mental well-being

The Pink Ribbon consists of a six-week gentle and staged exercise programme consisting of a 30-minute class twice a week along with an initial consultation. A book and band are included with the course to ensure progress continues between the classes.

For more information on our Women’s Health Care Services contact us on 01 4964002 or info@personalhealth.ie

Pelvic Girdle Pain During Pregnancy- By Mary Kate Ryan

Pelvic Girdle Pain During Pregnancy

What is it?

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis. 

It is not harmful to your baby, but it can cause severe pain around your pelvic area and make it difficult for you to get around.

Around 20% of women suffer from Pelvic girdle pain.

Different women have different symptoms, and PGP is worse for some women than others.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain over the pubic bone at the front in the center
  • Pain across one or both sides of your lower back
  • Pain in the area between your vagina and anus (perineum)
  • Pain in your buttocks.

Pain can also radiate to your thighs, and some women feel or hear a clicking or grinding in the pelvic area.

          

   

The pain can be most noticeable when you are:

  • Turning in Bed
  • Going upstairs
  • Walking
  • Standing on one leg (e.g. getting dressed)
  • Getting out of car
  • Standing up

What Causes PGP:

Sometimes there is no obvious explanation for the cause of PGP.

Usually, there is a combination of factors causing PGP.

Relaxin: During pregnancy, the placenta produces a hormone called relaxin, which softens your ligaments to loosen up your joints. Relaxin is very important as by loosening the joints it allows your baby to pass through more easily during childbirth however it can lead to the pelvic girdle becoming less stable and therefore painful during pregnancy.

Occasionally the position of the baby may also produce symptoms related to PGP.

With PGP the degree of discomfort you are feeling may vary from being intermittent and irritating to being very wearing and upsetting.

  

Treatment

Physiotherapy: Advice, Education, Exercises and Manual techniques can help!

The sooner it is identified and assessed the better it can be managed which may help to speed up your recovery, reducing the impact of PGP on your life.

If you have symptoms that do not improve within a week or two, or interfere with your normal day-to-day life, you may have PGP and should ask for help from your midwife, GP, physiotherapist or other health carer.

Tips:

  • Continue to be as active as your can within your pain limits, and avoid activities that make your pain worse.
  • Ensure your back is well supported while you sit down. This can be achieved by placing a towel between the curve of your back and the chair.
  • Wear flat, supportive shoes and avoid standing for long periods.
  • Get help with household chores from friends, partner, and family.
  • Rest when you can.
  • Sit down to get dressed-e.g. Don’t stand on one leg when putting on jeans.
  • Try and make sure any weight you carry is evenly distributed- this means no shoulder bags, and try nit to left your toddler up onto your hip.
  • Be careful and take your time doing any activities that may put strain on your pelvis i.e. getting out of a car- keep your knees together and squeeze your buttocks.
  • Sleep with a pillow between your legs
  • Squeeze your buttocks and keep your knees together when turning in bed.
  • Take the stairs one at a time, leading with the less painful leg.

Avoid:

  • Standing on one leg
  • Bending and twisting to lift
  • Carrying a baby on one hip
  • Crossing your legs
  • Sitting on the floor or in a twisted position
  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Lifting or pushing heavy objects such as shopping bags, supermarket trolley.
  • Carrying anything in one hand (try using a small back pack).

Physiotherapy

It is important if you pain is not manageable with general advise to book into a physiotherapist. Treatment includes:

  • Assessment
  • Exercises to specifically retrain and strengthen stomach, back, pelvic floor and hip muscles
  • Manual therapy to ensure your spinal, pelvic and hip joints are moving normally or to correct their movement.
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercises in water.
  • Provision of equipment e.g. pelvic girdle support belts, crutches

To Book an appointment with our Women’s Health Physiotherapist Mary-Kate call Personal Health at 01 4964002 or email info@personalhealth.ie.

Back pain,

Preventative Exercises for Santa this Christmas- By Dee Ryan

  Preventative Exercises for Santa this Christmas!

It is well-known to all that Santa has a very busy night ahead on Christmas Eve. We do not doubt that Santa is in top physical shape but we wanted to provide him with a few tips to ensure his risk of injury is at an all- time low to allow him to do what he does best. In order to be specific I am going to focus on the position which Santa will have to adopt for long periods of time  ….. driving his sleigh!

santa1

Santa will spend a lot of time sitting in his sleigh. As with any amount of prolonged sitting there lies the risk of developing low back pain. To ensure he does not stiffen we recommend pelvic tilts in sitting. This will allow Santa to mobilise his low back and to provide a relative stretch to the muscles positioned parallel to his low back. This exercise is simple and straightforward it involves rolling forwards and backwards off the sit-bones in a slow and controlled manner.   His back will be grateful for this movement little and often throughout the night. We feel Santa will find it easier to get on and off the sleigh as a result of keeping his back mobile, especially when considering how cold it will be that high up in the sky.

Sitting at desk

Physio Rathmines

Secondly as Santa is driving his team of superb reindeer he will be holding the reins out in front of his body. This can commonly cause us to allow our shoulders to move forward and to round our upper back. I recommend Santa does shoulder retraction exercises throughout the night. This involves moving the shoulder blades back and down. By doing so he will be enforcing correct alignment of his shoulders and will be opening up through his chest muscles.

shoulder-retraction

    

The third exercise we recommend is seated thoracic rotation- this will mobilise Santa’s upper back. We recommend that Santa continues to hold the reins throughout this exercise and that he hips his hips forwards to further bias his upper back.

Other tips for the night:

When placing the presents under the tree we recommend Santa should bend down onto his knees and keeps the presents in close to his body until he is close to the ground – this will prevent excessively loading his low back.

santa-3

Similarly, when going down the chimney Santa should try keep in arms in close to his body to ensure his shoulders are not stretched beyond their capacity.

Back pain,

Our Team at Personal Health are in complete agreement with Theresa Mannion- we do not condone unnecessary journeys on our roads- particularly over the Christmas period when the weather can be treacherous. However, should you find yourself driving for a prolonged period of time we recommend the top 3 exercises on our list for Santa.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from the Team at Personal Health!