Index

Golf is a great sport, but the very nature of the game means hours of stress all over your body. Due to the repetitive motions required to execute the perfect swing, we see our share of common golf back injuries — among others — at West Pennant Hills Physio.

Torso injuries

If you have suffered a golf back injury, a hip, shoulder or golf rib injury, a visit to our clinic will help alleviate your discomfort through treatments that are specifically tailored to your injury. A common golf injury is side strain, while back injuries and other golf-related ailments may contribute to hip problems. You may require golf hip injury treatment, and executing the proper back treatment will help to support you as you heal. This is why we recommend you seek professional treatment, as opposed to just applying topical relief. We determine the cause of your discomfort, treating the painful area and the root cause of the injury to minimise the likelihood of recurrence.

Lower back strain

The lower back is often injured in golf due to an incorrect swing technique. The pain often gradually builds up over time, and is due to prolonged periods spend hunched over the club, accompanied by the rotational stresses you put onto your back as you swing. It is important to strengthen your core so that your spine is better supported. Having your swing technique checked by an instructor would be useful to ensure you aren’t placing unnecessary stress through your lower back.

Rotator cuff

The rotator cuff comprises of the four stabilising muscles in the shoulder. You can end up with an overuse injury such as tendinitis or bursitis, or you may end up with an impingement injury in which the inflammation takes up space in the shoulder meaning that the muscles and tendons are unable to move as freely. To prevent rotator cuff injuries, you should regularly stretch and strengthen your shoulders, and ensure you have correct from while playing. 

Golfer’s elbow

As the name suggests, golfer’s elbow is a common injury suffered by golf players. It refers to tendinitis of the tendon on the inside of the elbow. It is an overuse injury that results in pain and inflammation of the tendon. You may be required to have a break from golf to allow the tendon to heal. To prevent it from recurring you will need to strengthen the muscles in your elbows and wrists, and ensure your swing technique is not placing unnecessary stresses through your forearms. 

Knee pain

Golfer’s can also suffer from knee pain. It is due to putting excess stress and strain on the knee as you rotate your hips at the beginning of a swing. To prevent knee pain, make sure you regularly stretch your calves, hamstrings and quads before starting a round of golf. Wear supportive shoes which have a good arch support. 

A full-body sport

Due to the nature of golf, your entire body can be susceptible to injury, including your knees and golf foot injuries that require specific treatments. You may require golf elbow injury treatment or even treatment for a golf trigger finger injury. Your hands and wrists undergo considerable pressure when golfing, particularly if you misplay a ball. Treatments for this include golf wrist injury exercises to aid in the strengthening of your wrists and hands.

Tips for preventing golfing injuries

Check your swing:

The golf swing is a complex movement that involves the entire body. If performed incorrectly, it can place unnecessary strain on your muscles which can result in an overuse injury. If you are new to golf, you should seek advice from a coach and have a few lessons to ensure you have the right technique. Even if you have played golf for many years but are experiencing pain, it might be worth having a refresher lesson to check up on your form. 

Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and rotated slightly outwards, and knees should be slightly bent. Your trunk should be tilted forward, but this movement should come from the hips, rather than hunching through your lower back. The swing should be smooth and relaxed.

Warm up:

Before you get straight into a round of golf, it is important to warm up your body. Spend 10-15mins doing some stretches, going for a brisk walk, and swinging the golf club a few times slowly. 

Maintain good strength and endurance:

Strong muscles are better able to cope with the demands placed on them, meaning they are less likely to be injured. You should be performing strengthening exercises for your shoulders, lower back and wrists to help prevent injury. 

Our physiotherapists are highly qualified in the area of treating and preventing sports injuries, so you can return to the golf course — pain-free and stronger than ever before. Contact us for a consultation to discover what we can do to help you comfortably enjoy the sport you love.

If you play golf and are experiencing any niggles or pain, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au.

One of the most common causes of knee pain in runners is ITB friction syndrome (ITBS). It is a repetitive strain or overuse injury that is exacerbated by poor running biomechanics and muscular imbalances which cause the ITB to overwork and become very tight. 

What is the ITB?

The ITB is the iliotibial band. It is a long thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. It starts from the outside of the pelvis at the top of the hip and attaches to the tibia (shin bone) on the outside of the knee. It has a role in stabilising both the hip and knee joint.

What are the main symptoms?

  • Burning or sharp pain on the outside of the knee
  • Pain worsens with running or repetitive high impact activity such as jumping
  • If left untreated, it can start to interfere with everyday activities such as walking, standing up from a chair, or going up and down stairs
  • There may be swelling on the outside of the knee

Common causes of ITBS

ITBS is caused by ITB sliding over the femur at the knee when the knee is bent, creating friction, inflammation and pain. There are many factors that can contribute to this.

Poor running biomechanics

Lack of arch control in your foot affects the way your hip and knee are aligned, placing greater stress on the ITB. Poor muscle strength in your hip and knee can cause the knees to roll inwards and also affect your alignment. Ensuring you have proper footwear with a good arch support can help prevent ITBS from developing. 

Changes in training load

A sudden increase in running distance, speed, or frequency of training can place excess stress on the ITB as it is not used to coping with the increased load. Changing your running surface or including more hills in your runs also results in a higher load placed through the ITB. As it is not able to cope, it fatigues quickly and affects the alignment of your hip and knee, causing inflammation and pain.

If you are looking to progress your training load, increase by 10% max each week, and only change one parameter at a time- whether that be distance, speed, or frequency. Ensure you have a rest day after long runs.

Muscle weakness

The ITB often becomes tight due to weakness in your glute muscles. If the glute muscles aren’t strong enough to cope with the demands of your activity, the ITB kicks in and does more than it should, causing it to become very tight. Poor control in your quadriceps muscles affects the knee position when the foot strikes the ground, resulting in greater stress on the ITB. It is important to strengthen your quads and glutes, as well as stretch the ITB to correct the muscle imbalance.

How can Physiotherapy help with ITBS?

Physiotherapy is very effective in treating ITBS. We identify the underlying cause and from there can work to treat the pain, inflammation, restore knee range of motion, and correct any muscle imbalances. A personalised exercise program will be developed to target the muscles that need to be strengthened, and the muscles that need to be stretched and have more flexibility. We can assess your running technique and give running gait and footwear advice as required. If necessary, we can fit you with orthotics to help provide more arch support to help improve the alignment of your knee. 

If you are suffering from pain on the outside of the knee, or would like some more information or advice, please give us a call on 98753760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au. We would be more than happy to help!

The Achilles tendon is one of the most commonly injured tendons in the body. It is commonly injured in running, with 6-8% of all running injuries being to the Achilles.

The Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to the heel bone. It is important for many activities such as walking, running, going up and down stairs, and standing on your tip toes.

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of the Achilles tendon. It is caused by repetitive stress to the tendon. There are many risk factors that can contribute to the development of pain in the Achilles. These include:

  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Limited ankle mobility
  • Poor muscle flexibility, particularly tight calf muscles
  • Foot alignment, particularly having flat feet
  • Poor footwear
  • Obesity
  • Previous injury
  • Increased age

People can develop Achilles tendinopathy after changes in loading. For example, if you are returning to running after a long break. It is important to gradually ease back into your training load to allow for your body to adjust. Training error can also contribute to the development of Achilles tendinopathy. These include:

  • Sudden spikes in training levels
  • Changes in loading ie doing more hill running
  • Increases in training intensity or speed
  • Changes in training duration
  • Poor running technique

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition which is quite slow to recover. The tendon has a poor blood supply which makes it slow to heal.

The main symptoms involve pain and stiffness around the Achilles tendon. It often feels the worst first thing in the morning. Pain is often worse after exercise. In runners for example, they may notice pain at the beginning of their run, which eases as they continue on, but then once they stop running the pain worsens again. There may also be swelling around the tendon after increased activity, and it is often quite tender to touch.

Treating Achilles Tendinopathy

Rest

Initially it is important to rest from your aggravating activities. You should stop any high impact activities or sports, such as running. As your pain improves you can gradually return to your exercise. Your Physiotherapist will be able to guide you as to how soon you can return and how to build back up to your pre-injury levels. They may suggest doing more low impact exercise such as cycling, swimming, or elliptical, to help maintain your fitness while reducing the load on the tendon to allow it to heal.

Painkillers

Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories can help to relieve the pain. Anti-inflammatories should not be taken in the long term as you can start to develop other side effects. Chat to your GP about other medication options if you need to take something more long term.

Heat packs

Applying heat to the tendon helps to increase blood flow to the area which helps to speed up the healing process. Place a heat pack on the Achilles for 20 minutes.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can help with Achilles tendinopathy. Hands-on manual therapy techniques can be used to relieve the pain and promote blood flow to the area. Ultrasound and TENS can also be used for pain relief. Your Physio will take a thorough history from you to help determine the cause of injury. They will be able to offer advice on how to modify your training load. They can assess your running technique and check your foot alignment. They may recommend and fit you with orthotics if deemed appropriate.

Exercises

It is important to stretch and strengthen your Achilles tendon to help improve your flexibility and strength. By strengthening the tendon and surrounding muscles, the Achilles is better able to cope with the load of high impact activities such as running. Your Physiotherapist will design an exercise program tailored specifically for you to help you get back to the activities that you love doing.

If you are suffering from Achilles pain and would like some more information on physiotherapy treatment, we would be more than happy to help. Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au.

Tennis is a great sport that requires speed, power, endurance, balance, and coordination. However it can cause injury to many parts of the body due to the high speed of racquet impact, as well as repetition and use of your dominant arm. The frequent stopping, pivoting and jarring can also contribute to lower limb injuries in your knees, ankles or hips. Back injuries can also occur due to the frequent rotation required during groundstrokes. In this blog we will talk about some of the most common tennis injuries.

Types of Tennis Injuries

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition of the outside of the elbow. It is often caused by overuse of the muscles, which become inflamed and in some cases you can get microtears. This condition is quite slow to heal as the tendon has a poor blood supply. Symptoms develop gradually, and can worsen over weeks and months.

Physiotherapy treatment can help by promoting blood flow to the area with soft tissue massage to the muscles and tendon. Ultrasound, hot or cold packs, and TENS can also be used for pain relief. They will give you an exercise program to help strengthen your forearm muscles so that they can better cope with the demands of tennis. You should also have your coach analyse your swing technique to ensure your wrist is stable and that you have minimal pressure on the extensor tendons. If appropriate, you may be advised to wear an elbow guard in the short term to help take the pressure off the affected area. Your physio can fit you with the brace and advise you on when you should be wearing it.

Shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries are common in tennis, often due to the forceful motion of serves or smashes. Performing a tennis serve can overload various structures around the shoulder, particularly if there is tightness or weakness causing muscle imbalances. This can occur with a muscle strain, or during growth spurts in children when the muscles become tight as the bones are lengthening. Frequent overuse of the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder can also cause impingement of the bursa which can lead to inflammation and pain.

To reduce the risk of injury, a thorough assessment should be performed to identify any muscle imbalances or weaknesses. A physiotherapist can then prescribe you with an individually tailored exercise program to target your strength deficits as well as work on flexibility, stability, and endurance. They can also provide advice on training your training load. Any increases in the amount of training or competition must be gradual to avoid overloading the shoulder. Physiotherapy can also help to reduce pain and swelling with gentle massage and joint mobilisations, ultrasound, heat and TENS. The shoulder can also be taped if deemed appropriate.

Knee injuries

Tennis players can be affected by patella tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee. Knee pain in tennis players most commonly occurs at the front of the knee, due to inflammation of the patellar tendon with repetitive jumping and stop/start motions. Landing on hard surfaces can also contribute to this injury.

Treatment should follow RICE principles (rest, ice, compression and elevation), as well as target strengthening to your quadriceps. Your physiotherapist can help devise an exercise program to suit your needs and target your weaknesses. Regular lower limb stretching is also important and can help prevent injury to your calf, Achilles, and hamstrings.

Lower back injuries

The motion of serving involves hyperextending the lower back with an added rotation and side bend. This places stress on the joints and soft tissues of the lower back. With too much repetition, this may result in a slipping forward of the vertebra (spondylolisthesis). Some cases can develop into a spondylolysis, which is a stress fracture in the pars interarticularis.

Treatment firstly involves a period of rest to allow for healing to occur. Your physiotherapist will then guide your lower back rehabilitation to help build up the strength, stability and flexibility in your muscles. This will mean your back is better supported and better able to cope with the demands of the sport. Your physio will incorporate sports specific exercises and will advise you on when you can return to training and competition.

Tips to prevent tennis injuries

  • Always remember to warm up, stretch, and cool down
  • Maintain adequate fitness
  • Ensure you have good technique. You should seek advice from a qualified coach to help develop or correct your skills
  • Avoid over-repetition of the same type of shot. You should be practising a range of strokes including groundstrokes, smashes, volleys and serves.
  • Wear appropriate footwear which have adequate foot support
  • Check that your racquet is suitable for your style of play, experience and size
  • Update your tennis balls regularly. Old or damp balls load the arm with unnecessary force

If you are suffering from a tennis injury or have any further questions, please contact us! Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au. We would be more than happy to help.

Do you get bad headaches that just won’t go away? Do they prevent you from work, study, or a good night’s sleep? Did you know that headaches can be caused by stiffness in your neck joints? Physiotherapy may be the solution to getting rid of your headaches!

How do I know if my headache is related to my neck? 

There are some common findings which often help to establish the neck as the cause of the headaches

  • You have neck and shoulder pain at the same time as the headache
  • Certain postures trigger your headache such as sitting, driving, looking down at your phone for too long, sleeping position. Sometimes the headache occurs well after being in that particular posture eg 1-2 days after.
  • The pain gets worse with fatigue such as towards the end of the day or the end of the week
  • Waking up with a headache after a bad night’s sleep, or sleeping on a different pillow or mattress
  • You had an injury to your neck such as a whiplash injury, around the time the headaches started

What are the most common types of headaches? 

Cervicogenic headaches

Cervicogenic headaches involve the three top vertebrae of the neck. When these vertebrae are stiff, they send pain signals which refer up into the head, causing headaches. The headache is often just on one side of your head, and can be triggered by neck movements.

Migraines

A migraine often involves a severe headache, along with other symptoms. These include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or smell
  • An “aura” – disturbances to vision that can include difficulty focussing, flashing lines, flickering spots

A migraine usually occurs on one side, but it is common for it to change sides. The pain is often described as throbbing or pulsating. Migraines can be triggered by certain foods, hormonal changes, stress or exercise. 

Tension headaches

Tension headaches are caused by repetitive motions or poor neck/head postures that place the neck muscles under constant strain, sending pain messages into the head. Tension headaches affect both sides of the head, and often feel like a tight band across your forehead.

How can Physiotherapy help with headaches?

Physiotherapy treatmeant for headaches firstly involves an assessment to determine what the likely cause of your headaches is. Manual therapy techniques will be used to release the stiffness in your upper cervical joints, and soft tissue massage will be used to help release the tension in any tight muscles that you may have. Ultrasound, heat packs and TENS can be used for pain relief. Your physiotherapist will give you some stretches and exercises to help relieve the pain and prevent the headaches from recurring. The exercises will address any muscle imbalances or weaknesses that may be contributing to your headaches. Your physiotherapist will also talk to you about your work station set-up, your sleeping habits, and any other aggravating activities. They will then be able to offer you advice on what you may need to change or modify to help manage and prevent your headaches.

If you are experiencing headaches and have any further questions or would like to book an appointment, feel free to contact us! Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au. We would be more than happy to help.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, and we rely on it to be able to do a number of activities such as reaching, lifting, gardening, or playing sports. Given that the shoulder is a very mobile joint, it can be easily injured.

If you suffer from a shoulder injury, you may have pain at night and find it difficult to lie on that side to sleep. The shoulder may feel really stiff, or it may feel unstable as if it’s about to pop out of the socket. You may feel weak in the shoulder muscles, making it hard to perform everyday activities, particularly reaching behind your back or overhead activities.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

  • Lifting something too heavy at an awkward angle
  • Lifting a heavy object away from the body or above shoulder height
  • Repetitive movements that place stress on the shoulder
  • Reaching behind the backseat of the car to lift or place heavy items

1. Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles surrounding the shoulder that work to lift and rotate the arm, as well as support and stabilise the joint.

Injury to the rotator cuff can be acute such as falling onto an outstretched arm, lifting something too heavy, catching a falling object, or repetitive overhead work.

The rotator cuff can also be injured due to degenerative wear and tear. As we get older and are less active, tendons under degeneration and start to lose strength. This means they can be torn more easily. Repetitive stress on the shoulder can increase the risk of developing a tear.

Physiotherapy can help with rotator cuff injuries. Your Physiotherapist will use manual therapy techniques to help improve your range of motion and relax the muscles. You will be prescribed with a comprehensive exercise program consisting of stretches and strength work. The stretches will help to improve your flexibility and range of motion, and the strength work will help to restore function and prevent further injury. Your physiotherapist will give you advice on posture, desk setup, sleeping positions, and modifying your daily activities to minimise the stresses placed on the shoulder.

2. Shoulder Instability or Dislocations

Shoulder instability is common in young people and athletes. When the muscles and ligaments that hold the shoulder together are stretched beyond their normal limits, the shoulder can become unstable. Certain motions used in tackling, throwing, pitching or bowling can place large forces on the shoulder that can overstretch the ligaments. People describe the feeling that the shoulder is loose or feels weak. When the ligaments become too loose or completely tear, a shoulder subluxation or dislocation can occur. This is commonly caused by falling onto an outstretched hand, a violent twisting motion, or contact with arms overhead.

Physiotherapy for shoulder instability will focus heavily on restoring strength and control back into the muscles so that the shoulder is better supported. Your physiotherapist will assess your strength and biomechanics in order to design an exercise program individually tailored to your needs. The program will involve strengthening, stability, and endurance work.

3. Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder can be triggered by trauma, previous shoulder injury, post-operatively, or it can arise without warming. The joint capsule tightens and becomes inflamed, forming scar tissue and adhesions which result in a very stiff and painful shoulder. It also results in very limited range of motion.

Physiotherapy treatment aims to speed up recovery with soft tissue massage to loosen up the muscles, mobilisation of the joint itself, and exercise to help with strength and flexibility. Your physiotherapist will give you stretches to help improve your range of motion and relieve the stiffness. As your pain subsides you will then begin strengthening and endurance work.

4. Sports Injuries

Shoulder injuries can occur with many different sports, including tennis, cricket and swimming. If the muscles, ligaments or tendons are not working well together or coordinating properly, pain and inflammation can arise.

Physiotherapy is beneficial in treating sports related shoulder injuries, as well as helping to prevent them from occurring. Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment to identify any muscle imbalances or weaknesses. They can then prescribe you with an individually tailored exercise program to target your strength deficits as well as work on flexibility, stability, and endurance. Your physiotherapist will also give you advice on your training load, as any increases must be gradual to avoid overloading the shoulder. They will also be able to analyse your technique, liaise with your coach, and offer advice on what you can change to avoid placing too much stress on the shoulder.

If you are suffering from a shoulder injury and would like some help, feel free to contact us! Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au

Stress can manifest itself in many ways, including tight muscles or headaches. When we experience long term stress, our bodies can hold tension in our neck and shoulder muscles, which can lead to pain. Neck pain is a common symptom caused by persistent stress. The more stressed we are, the more tense our muscles become, causing more pain and discomfort. You may also develop tension headaches. So what can you do to help settle down the pain? Keep reading for our top tips on how to relieve neck pain from stress.

How to manage neck pain from stress:

1. Physiotherapy and Massage therapy

Soft tissue massage can help to release tight and overworked muscles, reduce spasms and assist in tissue regeneration. Physiotherapy or remedial massage has a great effect on stress reduction. It can promote a decrease in cortisol, which is the hormone produced when we are stressed and in pain. Massage also promotes increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, to improve your mood, encourage relaxation and relieve your pain.

2. Heat

Heat works to increase blood flow and relax muscles, to help reduce the tension. If you have a hot pack at home, apply it to your neck and shoulders for approximately 20 minutes before you go to bed. A hot bath or shower also works well and is soothing for tense neck muscles.

3. Stretching

Gentle neck stretches can help improve your flexibility and range of motion. They also help to loosen up the tightness in your neck muscles. When we are stressed we tend to hunch our shoulders and carry extra tension in the muscles. Doing regular stretches can help prevent the muscles from tightening to the point where they cause pain.

4. Strengthening exercises

Strengthening your upper body muscles is essential in preventing neck pain. When we are weak between the shoulder blades, the muscles at the top of your shoulders (trapezius) and in your neck become overactive. This means they overcompensate and become very tight and sore. By strengthening your upper back muscles, your neck will be better supported. The overactive muscles will learn to switch off and not carry as much of the load. If you go to the gym, doing exercises such as rows or lat pull downs work really well. Otherwise, there are exercises at home you can do using small hand weights or theraband. Speak to a physio about what exercises would be best for you.

5. Go for a walk

Sometimes we just need some time out. Step away from your desk and go for a walk to clear your head and have a break from all the stresses in your life. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the hormones that make us feel good. Make time to go for a walk every day. You might also like to listen to music or podcasts while you walk to shift your focus to something different.

6. Sleep

Our body repairs itself while we sleep. Some of the questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Do you have good sleeping habits?
  • Are you getting enough sleep each night?
  • Are you spending too long looking at your phone or computer before going to bed?
  • Are you having caffeinated drinks in the evening?

If you suffer from poor sleep, perhaps consider what other lifestyle aspects may be contributing. You may also want to think about whether you have a good pillow that supports your neck properly. Your physiotherapist can help advise you on the best pillow to support your neck and best mattress for your spine.

7. See a Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy treatment is really effective in relieving neck pain. Your physiotherapist will use hands on manual therapy techniques to relieve muscle tightness and joint stiffness. They can also use ultrasound, heat packs and TENS for pain relief. They will prescribe you with an exercise program including stretches and strength work which will be specifically tailored to your condition to help speed up your recovery. They can also give you advice on how to set up your workstation and improve your posture, as well as give you tips on how to manage the pain.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer both Physiotherapy and remedial massage services. Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au.

The winter sporting season is typically our busiest time of year, with netball and soccer being the main culprits of injury. For many players, injury occurs towards the beginning of the season due to inadequate preseason training and preparation. This often means they miss out on playing a large part of the season. For others, injury occurs towards the end of the season as they start to get tired and fatigued, and they can miss out on playing the important final games.

So what can you do to get through the season without injuring yourself?

First let’s talk about the common causes of sporting injuries

  • Differences in strength and flexibility on one side of your body, causing muscle imbalances and asymmetries
  • Sudden spikes in training- including duration, frequency, and intensity
  • Inadequate aerobic fitness
  • Sports specific injury risks eg contact vs no contact sports
  • Gender based risks
  • Poor techniques and biomechanics

Tips for avoiding injury

1. Pacing

With last year’s sport all over the place, we understand that everyone just wants to get out and play. Although you may want to jump straight in and go as hard as you can each training session and game, this is not ideal for your body! If you overload your muscles without adequate recovery, they can’t cope with the demands that your body is placing on them, resulting in injury. Pacing your activity is therefore very important with a gradual increase in training intensity and frequency.

2. Recovery

Your body needs time to recover after training and competition. Recovery is often as important as the workout itself. You should be including a cool down after training to allow for gradual recovery of your pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. You should also stretch all the major muscle groups that you used to prevent you from developing tightness which can predispose you to injury.

3. Stretching

Stretching is important to allow your joints to move through their full range of motion, and keep the muscles flexible and adequate length. Performing dynamic stretches prior to exercise has been shown to prepare your muscles for activity, and may also help to improve your performance. Static stretching works well after sport as part of your cool down.

4. Strengthening

Strength training is important to build muscle strength to ensure your muscles are strong enough to cope with the loads placed on them, and can help improve your performance. It also is important in addressing any muscle imbalances or biomechanics that need correcting. You should be targeting the main muscle groups that are required for your sport.

5. Cardiovascular fitness and endurance

Improving your fitness in essential in sports that require lots of running such as soccer or rugby. Cardiovascular training involves exercises that get your heart pumping and increase your breathing rate such as running, cycling, swimming or stair climbing. Endurance training can protect athletes from injury as your muscles will be trained to work at the required intensity for longer. This means they are less likely to fatigue and cause injury.

6. Sport specific training drills

Training is very specific and there is not much crossover between activities. You need to ensure that what you train aligns with the requirements of your sport. For example if you need to perform quick changes of direction you will need to do speed and agility drills. Whereas if your position involves more running, you need to focus on increasing your fitness and endurance. The type of running also is important ie sprinting vs long distance. It is important to train the type of running required in your sport.

How can physiotherapy help you avoid injury?

If you had a niggling injury that was bothering you last season and is still troubling you, it is time to seek professional advice as soon as possible. Ignoring your pain and trying to push through it can result in further injury that will take longer to recover.

Physiotherapists are highly trained in assessing your muscle function, strength, flexibility, range of motion, stability and biomechanics. By assessing how you move, we can address any deficits such as muscle imbalances, weakness or poor motor control. An exercise program can then be developed specifically for your needs and help you become fitter, stronger and well equipped to tackle all the demands of your sport. We can also give you injury prevention advice and help adjust your training load if you are easing back into sport after an injury.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au. We would be more than happy to help!

We’re all aware of how important a good desk set-up is. Your workstation needs to be set up to encourage a well-aligned posture. Now with a lot of us continuing to be working from home more long term, your home set-up is just as important. We commonly see people straining their neck to look at a computer monitor that is too far away, too low or too high. Sitting for prolonged periods of time increases your risk of developing lower back or neck pain.

In this blog we will summarise what your workstation should look like, what chair you should be sitting on, and what healthy working habits you should adopt as part of your working day.

What sort of chair should I be sitting on?

  • No arm rests. This allows you to sit further under the table and stops you from propping your arms on the arm rests which can cause slouching
  • Good lumbar support which is adjustable so its sits in just the right spot for your lower back
  • Back support for your upper back so that you can lean back into it to rest your back muscles
  • Adjustable seat which can be tilted slightly, so that your hips are slightly higher than your knees
  • Adjustable height of the chair so that you can make sure your feet are comfortably flat on the floor. You may need a foot stool if your desk or table is too high.

Sitting desk set-up

  1. Top of the monitor should be at eye level
  2. Feet flat on the floor
  3. Thighs parallel to the floor with knee and hip bend between 90-120 degrees
  4. Relaxed shoulders with elbows bent at 90 degrees and then forearms down at a 30 degree angle. Wrists in a neutral position

How about standing desks?

Standing desks are a great way to ensure you don’t spend the whole day sitting down. However, what people don’t realise is that standing for long periods of time is also not beneficial. When standing, your heart has to work harder to pump the blood around the body, as the muscle pumps of the calf muscles are not activated when standing still. When we begin to fatigue with standing, we tend to lean to one side which can affect your hips or knees. Therefore, we want a good balance of both sitting and standing. We recommend sitting for 40 minutes, then standing for 20 minutes. Alternate in this pattern every hour.

Standing desk set-up

  1. Top of the monitor should be at eye level
  2. Elbows bent at 90 degrees and then down at a 30 degree angle
  3. Head, neck and torso are in line
  4. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart
  5. Weight should be distributed evenly across both legs

Healthy Working Habits!

While it’s important to have your desk set-up correct, it’s just as important to have healthy working habits. Sitting or standing in front of a screen non-stop all day is not good for you. Here are some health working habits for you:

  • Get up every hour. Either go for a short walk down the hallway or stand up for a minute before sitting back down.
  • Regular stretching of your neck, back, shoulders and wrists
  • Ensure your room has adequate lighting to avoid straining your eyes
  • Look away from the computer every 30mins. Look out the window for 20-30 seconds to give your eyes a rest from staring at a screen all day
  • Maintain regular physical activity. You should be aiming for at least 30 mins of exercise per day.
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night. Aim for 8 hours.

If you have any other questions about how to best optimise your work station, let us know. If you are suffering from neck or lower back pain from a poor desk setup or too much sitting, give us a call to make an appointment. In addition to physiotherapy, we also offer remedial massage to help relieve your muscle tension and help with your pain. Our number is 9875 3760 or you can email info@wphphysio.com.au.

Do you spend most of the day sitting down at your desk in front of the computer? Do you find yourself really tired by the end of the day? You may be wondering why you are so tired just from sitting.

Sitting pushes the ribcage into the abdomen/stomach. This limits expansion of diaphragm which sits at the base of the rib cage. Over time the lack of diaphragm movement stiffens the rib cage and we end up breathing only in the upper lungs. This is called shallow breathing. Shallow breathing leads to less oxygen around the body and fatigue over the course of the day.

The way you breathe can impact your whole body. The normal breathing rate for the average adult is 12-16 breaths per minute. For many of us who have busy schedules and spend most of the working day sitting at a desk, our breathing pattern becomes shallow. Over time, this weakens the strength of our respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm. Shallow breathing relies on your upper body muscles to do most of the work to allow you to breathe. This creates tension and tightness at the top of your shoulders, between your shoulder blades, and at the front of your chest. This can affect our posture throughout the day.

What causes shallow breathing?

Several factors can cause us to become shallow breathers. Chronic pain or stress can impair your breathing rate. Poor posture can impair our breathing pattern. Rounded shoulders and a forward head posture causes the muscles around the chest to tighten. This limits the ability of the ribcage to expand, causing you to take more rapid and shallow breaths. This shallow breathing pattern in combination with poor posture can affect the function of your upper body muscles. The tightness of the muscles in the front of the chest and top of the shoulders causes them to become overactive. This then inhibits and weakens the muscles in your back between your shoulder blades which help maintain an upright posture.

Practicing deep breathing can help reinforce proper body mechanics to help reduce muscle tension. It also has multiple other health benefits such as reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Deep breathing involves inhaling slowly and deeply through the nose, to allow your lungs to fill with air. You should feel your abdomen expand as you breathe in. The diaphragm is the primary muscle that allows you to inhale. It is located inside the lower ribs at the base of your chest. As you breathe in, the diaphragm contracts to create space for your lungs to expand in the chest cavity. We also have muscle between each of our ribs, called the intercostals, which assists the diaphragm by elevating the rib cage to allow more air into the lungs.

A steady breathing pattern enhances core stability and improves tolerance to high-intensity exercise.

How to practice deep breathing:

  • Take a deep breath in, count to four, then release a deep breath out to the same count
  • Place your palm against your stomach. You should feel your stomach expand outwards against your hand as you breathe in
  • Avoid elevating your shoulders as you breathe as this promotes a shallow breathing pattern

Tips for reducing fatigue at the end of the day

  • Get up every hour and move around. You can either go for a short walk up and down the office or hallway, or even just stand for a minute or so. As long as you are breaking up the long periods of sitting!
  • Set time through the day to practice deep breathing. Perhaps every time you get up from sitting, do 3 deep breaths.
  • Stretch your hands above your head. This helps to stretch the rib cage.
  • Stomp your feet. This helps stimulate lymphatic movement and increases circulation around the body

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email info@wphphysio.com.au

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