Posture

PostureThe importance of good posture cannot be stressed enough in modern times. It extends far beyond our outward appearance and aesthetics. Your posture is an indication of muscle balance and mechanical efficiency.

Physios often see cases where postural faults initiate a chain of events that results in incapacitating pain, time off work and costly medical bills. The issue is becoming more relevant as we tend to spend more time at work. However, bad posture can also be problematic at home after hours.

Your physiotherapist can provide professional assistance in achieving and maintaining good posture with

  • A personalised stretching and exercise program that is tailored specifically to you, bracing and/or taping techniques
  • Core-stability exercises
  • Ergonomic advice for your work and home environments
  • Physiotherapists will also use hands on techniques to treat joint problems by specific joint mobilisation and manipulation.

Being aware of good posture is the first step to breaking poor postural habits and reducing stress and strain on your body.

Our team of Physiotherapists is specially trained to evaluate your posture. We will make recommendations at the conclusion of your assessment so you can take control of your long-term structural health. By putting this knowledge into practice you can prevent the anatomical changes that can develop if poor posture is left uncorrected.

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.

Golf1

Golf1If you take the Physiotherapy approach, you’re in good company. Physios suggest these simple measures to help you avoid back pain or injury and improve your game:

  • Purchase equipment that fits. Don’t try to adapt your swing to the wrong clubs: A six-footer playing with irons designed for someone five inches shorter is begging for back trouble.
  • For the women in golf: If you have “inherited” your husband’s or significant other’s golf clubs, they might be difficult for you to use. Not only are the clubs often too long, but the shaft is often not flexible enough for a woman’s grip. Women typically play better with clubs that are composed of lighter, more flexible material, such as graphite.
  • For the men in golf: It is a good idea to spend some extra time performing quality stretches-before and after your game-to increase your trunk flexibility. While men are traditionally stronger than women, they usually aren’t as flexible. Men need to improve their flexibility to maintain a more even and consistent swing plane and thus improve the likelihood of more consistent performance.
  • For senior golfers: If you show some signs of arthritis in the hands, consider a larger, more specialized grip for added safety and performance.
  • For all golfers: For some, scores may not be as important as enjoying the social benefits of the game. Having clubs that are comfortable will increase the chances of playing for a long time without significant physical limitations.
  • Take lessons. Learning proper swing technique is critical. At the end of the swing, you want to be standing up straight; the back should not be twisted.
  • Warm up before each round. Stretching before and after 18 holes is the best way to reduce post-game stiffness and soreness. Take a brisk walk to get blood flowing to the muscles; then do a set of stretches. To set up a stretching and/or exercise routine, see a Physio who can evaluate your areas of tension and flexibility.
  • Pull, don’t carry, your golf bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes can cause the spine to shrink, leading to disk problems and nerve irritation. If you prefer to ride in a cart, alternate riding and walking every other hole-bouncing around in a cart can also be hard on the spine.
  • Keep your entire body involved. Every third hole, take a few practice swings with the opposite hand to keep your muscles balanced and even out stress on the back.
  • Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes early fatigue, leading you to compensate by adjusting your swing, thus increasing the risk of injury. Don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while golfing, as both cause loss of fluid.

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.

Injury-Prevention

Injury-PreventionMany people come to see us after they have suffered an injury, and we are happy to help them; but many of these injuries could have been prevented if they had come before they had the injury. A great part of the physiotherapy treatment protocol has to do with injury prevention. We will take a look at some ways we can help you prevent injury.

Proper body mechanics: Muscle strains, especially those of the back, are a frequent reason for people coming to our clinic. Many people strain their backs because they carry and move objects incorrectly.

Improved posture: Poor posture often leads to complaints of back, neck and shoulder pain, because it loads the muscles more. Poor posture may also alter your gait which can lead to back and knee pain. By correcting your posture we can help you avoid all these injuries.

Strong knees: Knee pain is usually the result of weak quadriceps muscles, tight hamstring and calf muscles and lack of flexibility in the joint. By giving you a regimen of tailored stretching and strengthening exercises, we can help you avoid injuries such as runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain syndrome, ACL injuries and others. Some of these conditions may also be due to wearing the wrong type of footwear or poor technique. You may need to wear orthotics in your shoes or to modify your technique.

Preventing foot injuries: Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and other foot injuries are usually due to overuse or overtraining that puts stress on the tendons and ligaments, leading to pain and injury. Calluses under the feet, leg-length discrepancy, tight calf and hamstring muscles, over-pronation or over-supination can all signal the onset of these injuries. Physiotherapy can help with specially tailored exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles involved and advise you on proper footwear and technique.

Preventing shin splints: At the first sign of pain along the inside of the lower leg you should take a few days off exercise. You can cross train during this time while we teach you how to stretch and strengthen your calves and shin muscles. You may also need to replace your running shoes.

Just like there are many different types of injuries, there are many ways to avoid them. As the old adage reminds us that prevention is better than cure, 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.

Golf1

Golf1The golf swing is a complex series of movements, and many golfers are limited by their physical capabilities to perform these movements, whether it is due to poor coordination of their body segments, lack of adequate flexibility, or lack of appropriate control and strength. Physiotherapists can identify these physical restrictions and implement an appropriate program to address these. By eliminating these physical restrictions you will improve your capability to swing the club better.

The way we posture and move ourselves on a daily basis can affect the ability for our bodies to work optimally in a golf swing.  Key muscle imbalances develop when we use our bodies poorly over the years.  Poor movement habits develop as we compensate for old injuries.  New injuries occur as we compensate for poor postures, poor movement habits and old injuries. And all these can manifest in your golf swing.

If players have a strong left side, they tend to continue using it more and more until the right becomes a lot weaker. If your left side is excessively strong it can eventually get damaged too because it’s doing too much work. The body has to be symmetrical and plum-line. It’s a bit like baggage handlers who have to keep swapping the loads from side to side because eventually the strain on one side is too much. It’s about corrective exercises rather than generic workouts. The way forward is to get properly screened by a physiotherapist, to get a better understanding of the functions of the golf swing. Everyone has their clubs custom-fitted these days, now you can custom-fit your body as well.

 Aims of physiotherapy treatment for golfers

  • Optimize performance
  • Prevent injury
  • Recover from existing injury

Good trunk rotation is a key part of the golf swing. In particular the thoracic spine (the section of the spine that has ribs attached) is responsible for the majority of the trunks overall movement. Restrictions here can lead to excessive strain being placed on the lower back and neck; this can shorten the length of the overall swing and reduce efficiency of the swing. Other joints may try to compensate for this lack of movement by becoming more mobile.

The lower back is one of the most common injury sites in golfers. The golf swing ends with extension of the lower back. Good control and strength of the abdominal muscles is required to prevent hypertension of the lower back which can cause disk and facet joint injuries.

Good rotation of the hips, in particular good internal rotation of the lead hip, is important in a good follow through of the swing. Restriction in this area will lead to extra strains and stresses being place on the lower back and on the lead knee making them vulnerable to injury.

The golfer needs good neck rotation and stability to enable good eye-to-ball contact, during the golf swing. Restrictions within individual joints will disturb the overall movement of the neck.

Some golfers find it difficult to avoid hunching the back during their stance phase. This slumped movement prevents full rotation of the spine during both the back and forward swing. With the appropriate cues the golfer is able to learn how to hold the spine in a neutral forward/backward position and increase the range of movement and power, and this lower the risk of injury.

Physiotherapy treatment

A range of techniques that can be used include:

  • Joint manipulation
  • Soft tissue manipulation/massage
  • Trigger point release
  • Progressive stretching
  • Exercise prescription – strength, stretching, balance, proprioception (sense of position and movement), functional control, and core stability

Whether you’re a professional, an amateur or just a recreational golfer, your body deserves the necessary preparation to avoid injury.

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.

Headaches

HeadachesAlmost every one experiences one form of headache from time to time, most simply take a painkiller for quick relief. But what if your headaches are persistent and almost daily occurrences – how do you manage then?

Some of the physio treatment techniques that may be used are:

  • Mobilisation of stiff joints
  • Soft tissue release of tight muscles
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening for weak muscles
  • Heat treatment
  • Acupuncture or dry needling
  • Relaxation methods to help with stress management

Your Physiotherapist will also provide postural and ergonomic advice if this is outlined to be a contributing factor. Discussion of correct pillow and workstation setup may also be provided as well as other preventative measure.

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.