Check-ups

Check-upsSome people think that their condition isn’t bad enough to warrant physiotherapy treatment or just feel they do not need an occasional check-up.

We all know that regular servicing of our cars helps to ensure trouble free motoring and can save us a lot of money in repair bills. We should have the same attitude to our bodies but few people do. The difference between our cars and our bodies is that our cars cannot repair themselves. Cut yourself, tear a muscle, break a bone and the body’s self-repair mechanisms go into action. Strain your back or your neck or any of your other joints and again the body takes action to sort out the problem as best it can.

But note the words “AS BEST IT CAN“.  In many cases when we strain ourselves in accidents and falls or when lifting the body cannot sort itself out so instead it adapts itself to the strain and in doing so minimises the effects of that strain. This results in the pain diminishing and, in some cases, disappearing altogether.

Because of this many people, after injuring themselves, don’t bother to seek help but wait to see if the pain will go away on it’s own. And quite often it does. But this does not mean that the problem has been resolved, only that it has now been masked.

Then when their back or neck suddenly gets acutely painful they will say to their physio, “How could this happen, I didn’t do anything?” This is exactly right. They didn’t do anything when they had minor hurts but now, after several minor hurts that the body is coping with, it can’t cope any more.

And the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back can be as simple as bending down to pick something up or sleeping in a strange bed with a different to normal thickness of pillow.

Regular physio check-ups 4 times a year will not guarantee that you won’t hurt yourself if something fairly traumatic occurs but it will ensure that you won’t get acute consequences to minor events. And if you have regular check-ups and then have a major trauma it will be much easier to treat and you will recover much quicker.

Also, quite often when you pick up your car after a service you notice immediately how much better it is running. Because the deterioration has been slow we just don’t notice it until it’s serviced. Well it’s the same with our bodies. Patients often comment on how much better they are moving after a check-up and how much better they feel in themselves.

Most of us get into a routine of regular dental check-ups so why not establish a similar routine of regular musculoskeletal check-ups. And this should include children too.

Children’s bodies are definitely more resilient than adult ones but they are also traumatised a lot more and over time it takes its toll. Physios are often told by patients that they can remember having back pain, or neck pain or headaches right back into their childhood and in most cases they did not have any treatment when the problem started.

Many of them wouldn’t even have told their parents because they would have imagined that their aches and pains were quite natural and that everyone had them.

So again, as with teeth, give your child a good start in life by ensuring that they get regular physio tune ups to prevent long term musculoskeletal aches and pains.

A2Z Health Group helps you and your family whenever you need it, and recommends regular check-ups to help you keep fit and pain-free as well as spot any issues that might cause problems in the future.

Please call your Physiotherapist at a2z Health Group on (03) 9798 4081 or visit our clinics in Dandenong & Noble Park and Brighton Physiotherapy for more information.

Kids-Computer-Ergoomics

Kids-Computer-ErgoomicsAt least 70% of Australia’s school students use computers. As a result of this increased usage, Physiotherapists are treating more young patients suffering from the effects of working at computer stations that are either designed for adults or poorly designed for children. Many children are already suffering from repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic pain in the hands, back, neck and shoulders.

Emphasis needs to be placed on teaching children how to properly use computer workstations. Poor work habits and computer workstations that don’t fit a child’s body during the developing years can have harmful physical effects that can last a lifetime. Parents need to be just as concerned about their children’s interaction with their computer workstations as they are with any activities that may affect their children’s long-term health.

What can you do?
To reduce the possibility of your child suffering painful and possibly disabling injuries, Physiotherapists suggest the following tips:

  • If children and adults in your home share the same computer workstation make certain that the workstation can be modified for each child’s use.
  • Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below the child’s eye level. This can be accomplished by taking the computer off its base or stand, or having the child sit on firm pillows or phone books to reach the desired height.
  • Make sure the chair at the workstation fits the child correctly. An ergonomic back cushion, pillow or a rolled-up towel can be placed in the small of the child’s back for added back support. There should be two inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of the knees. The chair should have arm supports so that elbows are resting within a 70- to 135-degree angle to the computer keyboard.
  • Wrists should be held in a neutral position while typing – not angled up or down. The mousing surface should be close to the keyboard so your child doesn’t have to reach or hold the arm away from the body.
  • The child’s knees should be positioned at an approximate 90- to 120-degree angle. To accomplish this angle, feet can be placed on a foot rest, box, stool or similar object.
  • Reduce eyestrain by making sure there is adequate lighting and that there is no glare on the monitor screen. Use an antiglare screen if necessary.
  • Limit your child’s time at the computer and make sure he or she takes periodic stretch breaks during computing time.
  • Your child’s muscles need adequate hydration to work properly and avoid injury. Encourage your child to drink four 8 glasses of water a day. Carbonated beverages, juices and other sweet drinks are not a substitute.
  • Urge your child’s school to provide education on correct computer ergonomics and to install ergonomically correct workstations.

Please call your Physiotherapist at a2z Health Group on (03) 9798 4081 or visit our clinics in Dandenong & Noble Park and Brighton Physiotherapy for more information.

Sports-Injury-Rehab2

Sports-Injury-Rehab2Physiotherapy plays an integral part in the multi-disciplinary approach to the management of sports injuries. The aim of physiotherapy is to treat and fully rehabilitate the athlete post-injury, post-operatively, to prevent further injury and to return the athlete to sport in the shortest possible time.

Sports injury rehabilitation focuses on treating injuries specific to you as an athlete and your sport, so you can return to compete as well – if not better – than before your injury.

Our Physiotherapists will conduct a thorough evaluation and create a customised rehabilitation program designed to help you reach your goals. In addition to treating an injury when one occurs, our Physiotherapists will teach you how to prevent injuries in the future.

Whether you’re a weekend warrior who wants to prevent an injury or treat a current one, a child or high school student injured on the field, or a professional athlete who wants to improve your game, our sports rehabilitation program will help you reach your goals.

Goals of Treatment and Rehabilitation

  • Protect the injured tissues to allow healing and to control the early inflammatory phase.
  • Rehabilitate flexibility, strength, proprioception, and muscle imbalance, and control physical activities with the aid of taping and splinting.
  • Sport-specific activities must be tested to ensure the athlete can return to sport safely.

If proper rehabilitation is not undertaken, the athlete may be competing too soon, with residual instability, proprioceptive disturbance and muscle weakness and imbalances. Individual programmes must be planned and implemented per athlete. This would include sport-specific exercises, adaptation to new postures to correct muscle imbalance, taping and strapping and a home exercise programme.

Overtraining must be very carefully avoided in all of these phases, and training is monitored so that full activity does not occur before full recovery has taken place.

It is obvious that prevention is better than cure and your physiotherapist will always advise the patient on how to prevent recurrence of the injury on return to sport.

Helpful Tips for Athletes:

  • Never train hard when stiff from the previous effort.
  • Introduce new activities very gradually.
  • Allow lots of time for warming up and cooling off.
  • Train on different surfaces, using the right footwear.
  • Shower and change immediately after the cool down.
  • Stay away from infectious areas when training or competing very hard.
  • Be extremely fussy about hygiene in hot weather.
  • Monitor fatigue. If tired, ease off training.

Please call your Physiotherapist at a2z Health Group on (03) 9798 4081 or visit our clinics in Dandenong & Noble Park and Brighton Physiotherapy for more information.