Simple exercises to do at home for heel pain and plantar fasciitis

Here is a video of some simple exercises to do at home to help with heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Do them gently and don’t exceed 4/10 on pain when doing them. If the symptoms are not getting any better then make an appointment with for a check up or with your local physio.

 

To learn more about heel pain and plantar fasciitis go here.

Should you stretch as part of your warmup for running?

hamstring-stretch-on-floorShould I Stretch or Should I Go Now?
If I don’t there will be trouble and if I do there could be double,
so come on and let me know…should I stretch or should I go?

The great stretch debate has been going on for several years now with lots of conflicting views leaving the average weekend athlete confused and unsure what to do.  It’s a question I get asked a lot as a physio.

“Should I stretch before or after exercise and what type of stretching should I do”?

This is a quick and simple guide into the benefits of stretching for warming up and cooling down during your half vbhm-sussex-beacon-runner-smmarathon training.  At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that there is no one size fits all plan, every individual is different and because of the conflicting evidence on this subject this post is partly based on research and personal experience as a runner and physio.

A study by Simic et al (2012) concluded that static stretching as a sole activity during a warm up routine should generally be avoided, as it was found to reduce power, strength and explosive performance.  However, the negative effects were only short term and generally returned to normal after 5 to 10 minutes, these negative effects were also unlikely to occur if the stretch was kept under 45 seconds.

Behm et al (2011) documented that dynamic stretching either has no effect on performance or may improve performance especially when the stretching duration is prolonged.  However, the study also went on to say that static stretching used in a separate training session could actually improve range of movement and health.

Confused?  Join the club.

Behm et al concluded that:

“Generally, a warm-up to minimize impairments and enhance performance should be composed of a submaximal intensity aerobic activity followed by large amplitude dynamic stretching and then completed with sport-specific dynamic activities. Sports that necessitate a high degree of static flexibility should use short duration static stretches with lower intensity stretches in a trained population to minimize the possibilities of impairments”.

In other words if you’re doing an activity that uses long drawn out movements such as martial arts or ballet then static stretches may be useful.  However, if you’re a runner then short low intensity aerobic exercise, followed by dynamic stretches and finished off with a few running specific dynamic exercises is likely to be more important.

In my opinion stretching is very much a personal thing, I tend to spend 10 to 15 minutes warming up with a combination of light aerobic work followed by dynamic stretches and sports specific exercises.  When it comes to static stretches this is very much dependent on how much time I’ve already had away from the wife and kids, If I can get away with it I might spend 5 minutes doing short duration (under 45 seconds) static stretches on all the major lower limb muscle groups.

So to conclude you can find lots of conflicting views and counter arguments for all types of stretches, if you want my advice do what feels good for you but don’t spend all your non-running time stretching!  In my opinion a good balance between warm up, running, cool downs and strength work is the winning formula.

James
Sundial’s Physiotherapist

VBHM logoSundial is a partner for the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon on 26th Feb 2017  providing clinical care and advice for sports injuries for the runners. If you have any niggles then give us a call and our physio’s, chiropractors and massage therapists can see you quickly. Running the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon? Call for a free Runners MOT

 

Runners MOT – Brighton Half Marathon

physio or chiropractic for PFS in BrightonRunning injuries often start with a niggle. Knee pain, muscle strain, tendon pulls, bursitis, ligament sprains and all sorts of other aches and pains are a constant reminder that marathon training and actually running it can be a hazardous business. Many people who enter for the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon will not complete it because of injury. We aim make sure you are not one of them.

For the next few weeks we are offering a free Runners MOT especially aimed at runners in the Vitality Brighton Marathon. We want you to be fit, strong and ready to run in support of the Sussex Beacon.

Our physios will check you out top to bottom concentrating on your footwear and leg and foot movements. We will check all the usual things like over-pronation but also things that often over-looked like jamming of the hinge joint of the ankle which changes stride length. We will look at knees, hips and backs too. At the end of our Runners MOT you will have an in depth risk profile of the likelihood of future running injuries and a plan for prevention. If you are having problems currently then we will give you a plan for the best recovery.

So don’t let a niggle turn into a pain, call to make an appointment.

VBHM logo

 

 

 

 

The 7 R’s – Brighton Marathon Training Tips

Jewel runs Brighton Marathon
Jewel runs Brighton Marathon

The Brighton Marathon is the highlight of our sporting calendar. We have supported Brighton runners and their charities for many years but we have noticed that many people are not getting the support and advice they need to complete the marathon injury free. One in five people who enter the marathon will not complete it because of injury. We aim to make sure you are not one of them!

Pre-Training/Training Tips

Before you begin marathon training, you should be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping. Distance is not important right now. You just need to get your body used to running.
Combinations of runs/walks are great to use during pre-training because they ease your body into the exercise and minimize the chance of experiencing a running injury. Follow a set schedule or rota of training leading up to the event, so that you can set yourself small goals to work towards on a weekly basis.

Recovery Tips

Take recovery days equally as serious as your running days.
You should not run every day as your body needs to rest between runs, so it can recover from one run to the next, getting stronger between each run.
Use your non-running days to rehabilitate and to refuel with the right foods.  Ice any soreness, particularly in your knees or shins, four times per day for 15-20 minutes.  Stretch all the muscle groups in your legs, spine and upper body as you use them all!

Injury prevention

Never run through an injury, get it checked out by a professional!  Most of us are aware to use the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) principle if we sustain an acute injury such as an ankle sprain or shin splints but there are other, less acute pains to be aware of, that may turn from a niggle into a strain.
Wear the correct footwear.  Your trainers should be no more than 6 months old or have been subjected to 500 miles of running.  Older shoes lose shock absorbing ability and increase the risk of injury. Check the soles of your trainers for abnormal wear as this could indicate a biomechanical problem elsewhere.  When choosing new running shoes go to a running shop staffed by experienced runners who can advise you on the correct shoes for your foot and running style.

The 7 R’s for marathon training

Run for 30 minutes before starting specific training
Rota – set up a schedule of training with goals
Rest is important because your body builds muscle, strength and stamina in this recovery phase
Refuel – improve your diet with our video program to get the right building blocks for recovery
Rehabilitate – stretch all over and ice any injury
Replace worn out running shoes
Runners MOT – this free check up is available to all Brighton Marathon runners – don’t let a niggle turn into a pain
Our physios and chiropractors support Brighton marathon runners with the offer of our Runners MOT at either of our Brighton clinics.  So if you have an injury or just a niggle, call and get it checked out!

Top Tips – neck and shoulder problems in hairdressers

Neck and Shoulder Pain in Hairdressers

Hairdressers get much more neck and shoulder pain and problems in their forearms and wrists than average.  Standing up for long periods, holding your arms up in the air while doing intricate repetitive movements can cause aches and pains. In fact, over half of hairdressers get neck and shoulder pain and nearly 2/3 get back pain. If you’re a hairdresser what can you do about it?

Typically, neck and shoulder pain in hairdressers is caused by muscle tension and locking of the joints of the spine. This may lead to Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome. Here the joints of the neck becomes stiff and inflamed and can lead to nerve irritation. Some nerves coming out of the neck go down the arms to control the muscles in the wrist and hand. Problems in the neck can cause muscle weakness, pins and needles and pain.

The muscles of the shoulders and arms are not designed to contract for long periods. Instead, they’re much better at short periods of intense activity followed by a break. Holding your arms up with the muscles tensed, decreases the blood flow and may lead to tissue damage. It is thought that this is one potential mechanism for repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Top tips for preventing neck, shoulder and arm pain

  1. Get to work early. If you arrive in a rush, puffed out from running up the street, your muscles will be tense before you even start work. If you’re calm and relaxed, your muscles will be too. Also, you will have time to do Tip 2.
  2. Do a few simple stretches before you start work. Go here to download our free sheet – Exercises for Hairdressers.
  3. Take a mini break every few minutes. Every few minutes. Let your hands drop your sides and shake loose to relax the muscles.
  4. In between clients do a couple of the stretching exercises again and massage your neck, shoulder and forearm muscles.
  5. Perch on a high stool when you can. This eases the pressure on your lower back and feet.
  6. Avoid raising your arms up so high by lowering the clients chair or standing on a platform.
  7. Keep your wrists straight. If your wrists are held at odd angles you are straining your forearm muscles.
  8. Breathe deeply. This improves the oxygen supply to your muscles and helps keep them relaxed. If you’re tense and breathing shallowly your muscles are more likely to go into spasm.
  9. Don’t smoke. People who smoke get more aches and pains in their muscles and joints. If you drink, take it easy. Some of the chemicals in alcoholic drinks increase inflammation.
  10. At the end of the work day do the simple stretches again.

If you’re still getting aches and pains come and see us at Sundial. Our chiropractors, physio’s and massage therapists can help you.

 

Reference:

Neck and Shoulder Pain in Hairdressers, Brighton

Self-reported work-related symptoms in hairdressers. L. Bradshaw, J. Harris-Roberts, J. Bowen, S. Rahman and D. Fishwick. Occup Med (Lond) (2011) 61 (5):328-334.

 

7 Top Tips for Tummy Time for Babies

Baby Lola 5Tummy time is important for achieving a baby’s development milestones. When babies are on their tummies they start lifting their head up to look at what is in front of them. As they start to look around they push themselves up on their hands and this develops strong arm muscles too.

The next stage in development sees them push themselves up to their knees as they prepare to crawl. If they cannot get to this stage they may skip the crawling stage altogether which may not be helpful from a development perspective.

Many parents notice that their baby likes to roll from their back to their tummy. If your baby likes doing this then encourage it as it helps co-ordination too. If your baby rolls from tummy to back then this can also be useful as long as it doesn’t limit tummy time.

Top Tips for Tummy Time

  1. Start early – even newborns can spend some time on their tummy. Start with a few seconds and build up to a minute or so a couple of times a day. Lying face down on your chest is a good way to do it at first.
  2. Bounce older babies gently on your lap whilst they are lying face down.
  3. Get down on the floor with with them with a toy.
  4. Place them on a bean bag on their tummy. It can be more comfortable to get used to tummy time this way.
  5. If you have hard floor rather than carpeted ones, get a thick rug or an exercise mat to start tummy time.
  6. Gradually build – as your baby gets older gradually increase tummy time by a few minutes each week. Do lots of short sessions rather than one big one. Aim to reach a total of 80 minutes a day by 16 weeks old. For some babies this may be too much – so go with what they can cope with and gradually increase it as they get used to it.
  7. Make it fun for you both. If it becomes a chore then you won’t do it enough

Baby Lola 2Baby Lola 4Baby Lola 3

 

 

 

 

Note:- It is important to supervise babies when they are on their tummies, especially when they are very young.

The hidden dangers of Christmas: Top Tips to avoid back pain

Never mind the feeling of being more stuffed than the Christmas turkey there are other hidden dangers lurking around the Christmas tree. Turkey Lifters Back, Shoppers Shoulder, TV Remote Thumb may not be well known but they stalk the unwary festival reveler just the same.

Ok maybe some of those names are made up but Brighton chiropractor Matthew Bennett says “We do notice a marked increase in patients coming in with aches and pains directly related to the Christmas holidays. Probably the biggest increase is in back pain associated with spending more time doing very little. We sit around watching television, eating and drinking and sometimes even a fair bit of stress.”

Tree Mayhem for Backs

Bending and lifting awkwardly is well known to cause back pain. Lugging the Christmas in and trying to get it straight has its own hazard but also bending, stretching and twisting to put on the fairy lights and baubles start the strain.  Add in traipsing around the shops buying gifts and bending over on the floor wrapping them up pile on the pressure on your back joints and muscles.

Turkey Lifters Back

Who would have thought that a turkey could be so menacing. The benign bird becomes 25lbs of sizzling danger when bending over to get it out of a hot oven. The other option of several manageable pre-sliced fillets somehow doesn’t conjure up the same feelings of festive cheer though.

No-one wants to be a killjoy but alcohol is a factor in many of the injuries we see. There is the obvious “PFO” (Pissed and Fell Over) to the more insidious pro-inflammatory effects of booze over several days. On the plus side there is a muscle relaxation effect of moderate alcohol intake but after 2 or 3 drinks this doesn’t work anymore.

Adrenal Stress and Back Pain

Loads of sugar can affect your back too amazingly. Sugar stimulates your adrenal glands amongst other things and this combined with alcohol, caffeine and stress can over-work your adrenal glands leading to adrenal fatigue. Not only can this leave you feeling very tired but your adrenal glands produce anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. Without this chemical any injury is likely to be more painful.

You made it into the afternoon on Christmas Day uninjured. You may have been working in the kitchen on your feet for hours and your back or shoulders may be tightening up but now it is time to relax. You slump down into the sofa and watch a bit of TV. It seems like you stay there until the end of Boxing Day and by the time it is all over you feel like your back is shouting.

Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain this Christmas

  1. Take regular breaks when doing housework or cooking
  2. Use a table rather than standing up for some food preparation like peeling spuds
  3. Get help lifting awkward items
  4. Bend over by going down on one knee when pick up light stuff
  5. Bend your knees and stick your bottom out when lifting heavy stuff
  6. Use a step ladder rather than stretching when putting up decorations
  7. Get out for a regular walk over the holidays
  8. If you don’t go for a walk, do some squats
  9. If you don’t do squats or go for a walk vary the seat you seat in, possibly putting a cushion in the small of your back
  10. Take it easy on the alcohol and sugar

We hope you don’t have need of us but be assured that if you do, we are here between Christmas and New Year.

Happy Christmas from us all at Sundial.