Loading...

Follow Port Melbourne Physiotherapy & Pilates on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Myositis encompasses a group of rare autoimmune conditions. An autoimmune condition is one where our body’s defence system starts to mistakenly attack its own cells. Why this happens is not clearly understood. In Myositis the body’s immune system attacks muscle cells, resulting in inflammation and weakness.

Symptoms

The symptoms, including which muscles are affected, depends on the type of myositis present, but generally all forms will present with muscle weakness, poor endurance and fatigue.

The main types of Myositis are:

1. Dermatomyositis (DM) is characterised by muscle weakness around the neck, shoulders, trunk, and hips (proximal muscles). This may present as difficulty climbing stairs, getting up from a chair, reaching overhead, walking difficulties and even falls.

The key characteristic of DM is presence of a rash on the body, around the eyes, hands or feet. This is due to inflammation around small blood vessels in the muscles and skin.

Swallowing and breathing difficulties may also be present.

The gastrointestinal tract and lungs can be affected in some cases.

2. Polymyositis (PM) has similar symptoms to dermatomyositis but without the rash type symptoms. Both have also shown to have increased cancer risks.

 

3. Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) has a very distinct pattern of muscle weakness. Hand and wrist flexor weakness presents as decreased grip strength, trouble writing and picking things up. Quadricep (thigh) muscle weakness makes it difficult to get up from a chair or climb stairs. Tibialis anterior (at the front of the shin) weakness causes the foot to drop and can produce tripping and falls. IBM is more common in men and usually presents in middle to later age.

4. Necrotising Myositis (NM) (or Necrotising Autoimmune Myopathy) can have symptoms of sudden and extreme muscle weakness. The characteristics of this sub group are similar to PM, which it was previously classified under. However, findings on muscle biopsy differ (higher levels of muscle cell death) and different autoantibodies are present in blood tests, so its classification has changed. It has been associated with the use of statin medication, although this is rare.

 

5. Juvenile Myositis (JM) is found in children under the age of 18, the most common form being Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) – with skin rash symptoms often over eyelids or joints. Fatigue, irritability and complaints of stomach aches often accompany muscle weakness of the proximal muscles and legs. A hoarse sounding voice or swallowing difficulties may be present. Juvenile Polymyositis (JPM) will not have a rash present.

Diagnosis

A diagnosis of Myositis is made by a Specialist Rheumatologist or Neurologist and will include a thorough examination, blood tests (to look at muscle enzymes and antibodies) muscle biopsy and/or scans of muscles.  Nerve conduction tests may also be done.

Treatment

There is currently no cure for Myositis. It is managed with medication (such as steroids and immunosuppressive drugs), exercise and supportive therapies. Research is currently underway in Australia and overseas to better understand the condition.

Exercise

Recent studies in patients with PM and DM have shown that exercise is safe and does not increase the inflammation or CK (creatinine kinase, a muscle enzyme) in muscle tissue. It can improve muscle function, aerobic capacity and quality of life.

Exercise prescription will depend on your current physical capacity, aimed at maintaining the muscles affected by myositis and those to aid in daily living and general mobility. It is a good idea to consult with a Physiotherapist who can assess your current level of functioning and can formulate an exercise plan to suit your individual needs. You will need to start slowly and build up, monitoring fatigue levels as you go.

Reaching a diagnosis of Myositis often takes many years. Raising public awareness and health provider knowledge about Myositis and its symptoms can play a part in reducing this time. So thank you for reading!

If you would like more information on Myositis visit Myositis Australia:

https://myositis.org.au

~Sarah Jarvie

Sarah was lucky enough to attend The Third National Conference of the Myositis Association of Australia in May this year.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Adolescents lead active and energetic lives, often taking part in multiple sporting activities a week. With participation in organised sport at a peak, this has lead to an associated increase in injury.  Commonly, young athletes suffer from two types of injuries: acute traumatic and chronic overuse injuries. Adolescents suffer from similar injuries as adults, however due to their growing bodies they have a risk for injuries to growth plates, apophysis and joint surfaces. Their bones are still growing so repetitive stress or sudden large forces can cause injury to these surfaces.

Acute injuries

Acute trauma in young adolescents commonly includes fractures, dislocations, contusions, muscle strains and ligament sprains.  Adolescents have an immature skeleton with open growth plates and weaker bones, therefore skeletal injuries such as fractures are common. Fractures account for 20-30% of sports related injuries in the ED.  Dislocations commonly include the shoulder and patella. 14-18 year old female swimmers and gymnasts at the highest risk.

Strains occur when the muscle is overloaded resulting in disruption or tearing of muscle fibres. Most will resolve completely, however hamstring strains in adolescents can lead to disability at an older age if left untreated. Physiotherapy to improve flexibility and strength of the hamstring can help with symptom resolution. Ligament injuries such as sprains and tears can range from lateral ankle rolls to ACL injuries.

Common acute injuries include:
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Muscle strains
  • Ligament sprains
Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries involve repetitive microtrauma on the musculoskeletal system without enough recovery. These types of injuries commonly arise after rapid increases in training load. They also occur in athletes training at consistently high levels.

Common overuse injuries include apophysitis, chronic anterior knee pain, stress fractures and tendonitis. Tendonitis is less commonly seen in children due to the attachment site of the tendon to bone being weaker than the tendon itself. Instead, apophysitis will occur. Apophysitis results from chronic traction of a tendon at its insertion, leading to inflammation and irritation at the site. This usually occurs during periods of rapid growth in childhood and adolescents. It’s a self limiting condition which is treated conservatively. Sites apophysitis can occur include, the hip, knee, heel and elbow.

Common overuse injuries include:
  • Osgood-Schlatters disease (knee)
  • Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome (knee)
  • Sever’s disease (heel)
  • Little league elbow
  • Shin splints
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Stress fractures

 

Risk Factors for injury in adolescents
  • Increased training loads
  • Rapid growth spurt
  • Reduced recovery periods
  • Lack of sleep
  • Inadequate shoes/ equipment
  • Training the same muscles all year round
How long do these Injuries take to improve?

Every case is different depending on severity and type. Overuse injuries could take as little as 1-2 weeks to settle and up to months for more acute traumatic injuries.

How can a physiotherapist help?

Management of acute niggles and the rehabilitation of injuries are just as important in childhood as they are in adults. Management at a young age helps prevent lifelong troubles with musculoskeletal injury. A Physiotherapist can assess, diagnose and help manage sports injuries.

Most children play multiple sports and have multiple training sessions for each. Physiotherapists can help to modify training loads and ensure overtraining or burnout doesn’t take place. Some injuries will need treatment from a physiotherapist to help aid recovery and prevent reoccurance. We can also assess and identify any strength or flexibility deficits which may put a child at higher risk of injury.

Preventing injuries in adolescents

50% of sporting injuries to adolescents are preventable. Preventative efforts must be made to ensure that an adequate warm up and warm down is done. Warm ups/ down should include a mix of cardio, stretching, flexibility and strength work.

Fatigue can play a major role in causing injuries so it’s important to have adequate rest and recovery. Getting a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night can help in the prevention of chronic and overuse injuries. Allowing the body to recover, sleep is needed to avoid overtraining and decrease the risk of injury.

Nutrition and hydration also play an important role in recovery. This allows the growing body to replenish and refuel.  Wearing appropriate protective wear and supportive athletic shoes also help to prevent injuries. Playing multiple sports, at different times of the year, also helps by giving some muscles and joints a chance to rest.

Early intervention and treatment of adolescent injuries can have a big impact on reducing the amount of time missed from the sporting field. A physio can help to identify any overuse or acute injuries and help modify training loads for quick recovery.

~Alex

Check out Alex’s profile here

GymnastPotential spinal injury in gymnast
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Cancer rehabilitation is a relatively new area of Physiotherapy and one that I have been fortunate enough to undergo post-graduate training in. As an increasing number of people are treated for various forms of cancer, the need for Physiotherapy-based rehabilitation has become very apparent.
Who can benefit?

The majority of clients (but certainly not limited to) that I’ve treated have had breast cancer. Clients have often had breast surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy as part of their medical treatment. These women can be left with secondary issues that, if left unaddressed, can cause further pain/discomfort and functional limitations. Some examples of such secondary issues include:

  • poor shoulder range of movement
  • lymphoedema
  • loss of muscle tone/strength
  • lowered bone density
  • reduced cardiovascular fitness
  • poor posture
  • fatigue

I can work with clients who are at any stage of their cancer journey. From first diagnosed, during treatment, post-treatment/post-operative, right through to clients who have achieved full cancer remission.

What does treatment involve?

Physiotherapy-based cancer rehabilitation may involve a combination of hands-on treatment and exercise prescription. Exercise programs may utilise our clinical exercise studio or involve creating a home program for the patient. Fatigue management and breathing re-education are also factors included in the rehabilitation process.

Case Study
Presentation

Mrs A presented to PMPP for cancer rehabilitation in February 2019 following a breast cancer diagnosis in September 2018. She had had a lumpectomy (a small breast lump removed), then a mastectomy (removal of the whole breast) and an axillary node dissection (removal of lymph nodes in the armpit). She then started chemotherapy late 2018, has recently commenced radiation therapy and will undergo hormone therapy soon. 

Assessment

Upon initial assessment, Mrs A complained of pain and tightness along the surgical sites. She had poor shoulder range of movement and neck pain due to altered posture following her medical treatment. She also had several significant functional impairments. These included difficulty with self-care (brushing hair, dressing etc) and reaching up into cupboards. Mrs A was suffering from fatigue and was not sure what physical exercise she was able to safely partake in during her chemotherapy. 

Treatment

I treated Mrs A with manual therapy involving neck mobilisation, soft tissue work, and release of tight shoulder muscles. I provided her with a gentle home exercise program. This included safe post-operative stretches to prevent scar tissue adhesions and postural/breathing education. I also helped Mrs A create a fatigue/energy diary by which she recorded her daily activity and the impact on her fatigue score, which she found very helpful for planning her days. 

Outcome

Mrs A has since progressed onto clinical exercise using our reformer machines. This has provided her with a safe and effective way to maintain her strength and fitness. It also allows her to keep her crucial energy reserves for her medical appointments. Mrs A has been an inspiration to work with. I hope her story helps others to see just how beneficial Physiotherapy can be for cancer rehabilitation. 

I am passionate about helping cancer survivors! I would love the opportunity to speak to anyone considering cancer rehabilitation as part of their recovery. Please get in touch with me for further information  ali@portmelbournephysiotherapy.com.au

~Ali
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We’ve all heard of muscles, ligaments and tendons. But if you’ve ever been to see a physio or remedial massage therapist you may have heard them talking about fascia. And then thought “what on earth is that”? The next question you may be asking yourself is “so why is it relevant to my injury?”

So, what is fascia?

Fascia is connective tissue that attaches, stabilizes, encloses and separates muscles, nerves, blood vessels and organs. It provides support and reduces friction during everyday movement. Essentially, it holds the body together. This thin, web like substance similar to what you would see surrounding a chicken breast, or around each segment of a mandarin.

Fascia is like ligaments and tendons in that they all have collagen as their major component. The collagen fibres are all oriented in a wavy pattern parallel to the direction of pull. Therefore, it is flexible and able to resist great unidirectional force.

A common band of fascia that many of you will know is the Iliotibial Band or ITB, that runs down the side of the leg between the hip and knee. This is often mistaken for a tendon or ligament and is notoriously tight in distance runners and cyclists. If placed under too much tension, the ITB can often be a nasty source of pain.

  Why does fascia cause pain?

When fascia becomes too stiff, loses stiffness or has decreased shearing ability, pain and loss of mobility can occur. Chronic or repetitive overload causes the fibres to thicken to protect the underlying muscle. Poor posture, repetitive movements and lack of flexibility pull fascia into poor movement patterns. Trauma and surgery can also cause fibrosis and adhesions to fascia.

All of our fascia is interconnected, interweaving through our muscles and organs. Therefore, distress or tension in one area can create symptoms and restrict movement elsewhere. Ever wondered why your physio or massage therapist is working on your neck and shoulders when it’s your elbow or hand that hurts?

 

How to release fascia
  • Remedial massage therapists use various myofascial release techniques to help mobilise connective tissue and assist with recovery.
  • Self-myofascial release techniques such as using spiky balls, foam rollers and tennis/lacrosse balls. These can be of great benefit to help loosen fascial tissue. One technique is to move the affected body part over the roller or ball. Alternatively you can hold a sustained pressure on these objects while at the same time moving a joint or limb.
  • Yin yoga, a practice which involves holding poses for longer periods (2-5 minutes) rather than flowing though poses, can also assist in releasing fascial tension. By holding stretches for longer timeframes, it allows the stretch to move beyond the superficial fascia and into the deeper layers.

For more information or to book a remedial massage contact us on 96817255 or BOOK ONLINE today.

~Sal

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Part 2: Optimising sleep + Sleep and pain

If the previous sleep information hasn’t put you to sleep yet, let’s really nail it on the head now. A set of strategies to improve you sleep hygiene can make a dramatic difference to your quality of sleep.

“Sleep Hygiene” – Top tips in order to optimise our sleep naturally (5).
  1. Enhance routine: go to bed around the same time every night and rise around the same time. The effects of this will help set your “body clock” and keeping your awake vs. sleep hormones in check.
  1. Length of time in bed: aim for your age duration (or just the time that you know works for you!). Too much will lead to poorer quality and fragmented sleep habits. If you take a long time to get to sleep, try going to bed a little later.
  1. Bed is for sleeping, not entertainment: this can sometimes even include reading in bed! Say no to technology one hour before bed. Stay away for social media and the infinite scroll! Some phones have an option called ‘night-time’ that you can set for the previous hours (3-4) before bedtime. This lowers the ‘blue light’ to a more yellow light, for even less stimulation.
  1. Wind down time/relax prior: Slow things down and set aside some time for relaxation. This may be reading, reflection of the day, deep relaxed breathing techniques or guided meditation (Head Space, Mindfulness Meditation, 1 Giant Mind, Smiling mind). Sometimes it can be helpful to write a ‘Ta Da list’ listing the moments in your day that you enjoyed and your accomplishments.  If anything pops up in your thinking during an active mind episode, a great way to move on is to write it down.
  1. Exercise or alternative therapies is a great way for mental and physical release and can really help with sleeping. Mind body movement such as yoga, qi gong and tai chi have also been shown to be very effective in enhancing sleep. Other therapies can include sensory art therapies (aromatherapy, music therapy, etc.), spiritual therapies, psychoeducational interventions and hypnotherapy.
  1. Environment: comfortable, lower temperature (our core body temperature drops throughout the night) and a fan on for white noise can help to blur out other noises.
  1. Alcohol, caffeine & cigarettes: alcohol may assist getting to sleep, but can disrupt your quality of sleep. Caffeine and cigarettes have stimulative effects, so try to minimise your intake.
  1. Naps: if you need to take a nap, ensure its more than 4 hours before your normal bedtime. Naps should be for a special reason, otherwise usually aim to completely avoid napping.  A nap can interfere with normal sleeping habits and prevent a good night sleep. You are then also more likely to need a nap the following day and the annoying cycle begins.
  1. Avoid being too aware of time: avoid looking at the time to prevent worry of being able to sleep. This will take the pressure off yourself that you must fall to sleep.
  1. Light exposure during the day: it’s important to be outside for a part of the day.
  1. Avoid sleeping pills unless extreme circumstances: they are not addressing the cause of being able to sleep. It’s also easy to build a tolerance and a reliance on them.
  1. Seek professional help.  
Sleeping and Pain  

Problems with sleeping and chronic pain are often interrelated. Recent studies have found that sleep can have a more negative effect on pain than the reverse. When in pain it can both make it harder to get to sleep and to remain asleep. It is normal to wake up for a very short period between each sleep cycle, but we are often not aware of it. When in pain, we are more likely to notice these awake stages and notice our pain as our nervous system is more sensitive.

For those who sleep poorly, the day after consequences of poor sleep can also change how we feel about our pain and how we interpret it (making us more sensitive to pain). This can then continue along this vicious cycle (5).

Reframing how we think and feel when being awake when trying to get to sleep and our reactions to waking throughout the night, can dramatically change how well we sleep. Sleep hygiene strategies are even more important when in pain.

Use of Pillows

Propping with pillows can be a helpful way to offload a sore body part. For example, if lying on your side and you are experiencing hip or knee pain, it can help to have a pillow between your knees. Similarly a pillow under your knees when lying on your back can relieve pain. A pillow in front or behind your body in side-lying can help to alter the angle and be more supportive.

A commonly asked question from someone experiencing neck pain is should I have a large or small pillow. The size of the pillow is usually related to your sleeping position and the need to fill the space between your head/neck and the bed to keep your head in neutral. If you’re lying on your side, you generally require a larger pillow and significantly smaller pillow if on your back or front. Memory foam and contoured pillows can often be helpful to increase support and comfort.

Great resources for sleep:

https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au (general)

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/pain-and-sleep (pain)

https://painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au/pain-module/sleep-and-pain/ (pain)

http://www.themotionmechanic.com/2018/09/28/blog-post-2/ (exercise)

~ Lucy Bowden

References:

  1. Bergman, S. (2007). Management of musculoskeletal pain. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 21(1), 153-166. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2006.10.001
  2. Ezenwanne E. (2011). Current concepts in the neurophysiologic basis of sleep; a review. Annals of medical and health sciences research, 1(2), 173–179.
  3. Neuendorf, R., Wahbeh, H., Chamine, I., Yu, J., Hutchison, K., & Oken, B. (2015). The Effects of Mind-Body Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Systematic Review. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/902708
  4. Pain and Sleep | National Sleep Foundation. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/pain-and-sleep
  5. (2019). Retrieved from https://painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au/pain-module/sleep-and-pain/
  6. S Assefa, S., Diaz-Abad, M., M Wickwire, E., & M Scharf, S. (2015). The Functions of Sleep. AIMS Neuroscience, 2(3), 155-171. doi: 10.3934/neuroscience.2015.3.155
  7. Sleep Health Foundation – Australia’s Leading Advocate for Healthy Sleep. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Sleep: Part 1

We all know how it feels to get a terrible night’s sleep and the aftermath of how it is to function the following day. It can then potentially impact on how we sleep the following night, for good or for worse. Around 25% of adults report being dissatisfied with their sleep, 10-15% have insomnia symptoms related to daytime activities and 6-10% have insomnia (3). Whether it is at work, academia, when exercising or other daily activities, sleep can really compromise how we perform and feel. It can also extend to affect our families (3). So, does this overtime, have short-term and long-term effects on our health? And if so, how can we best optimise our sleep?

A great researcher Allen Rechtschaffen stated that “if sleep does not serve an absolute vital function, then it is the biggest mistake the evolutionary process ever made.”(6).

Why & how do we sleep?

Why we sleep is still not fully understood. The consequences of no sleep has aided researchers to theorise why. It was previously believed that sleep was a time when our bodies would shut down. However, now it is considered as an active state of mind. Interestingly it has been shown that our minds sometimes use more oxygen and glucose while asleep than awake. The frontal cortex (the part in the brain involved with planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision-making, and altering social behaviour) has also been shown to be used more during sleep (2).

Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythm is an internal body clock system that regulates 24hr pattern of sleep and wake. It is slightly longer than 24 hours, but is reset each morning when first exposed to light. This stops melatonin secretion into the body, with the hormone adenosine replaces it during the day. Melatonin controls the urge of sleep.  Levels are highest during night and start to climb during the afternoon to prepare the body for rest, as it begins to grow darker (2).

Sleep Theories   1. Restorative theory:
  • Sleep is a behavioural state to save energy and for the body to metabolise
  • Highly valued REM sleep for memory retention and consolidation
  • A way of filtering and storing memories
  • Replenish brain cells
2. Developmental theory:
  • Highly values the development of the brain
  • The brain stimulates sensory, motor & visual areas of brain to increase function and enhance connections
3. Preservation theory:
  • An essential aspect of living
  • Prolonged deprivation can result in stress-related death
  • Evolutionary way to avoid danger, amplified by natural selection
Stages of sleep

During sleep the mind actively cycles through 5 different stages of consciousness. In a typical night we usually cycle through repeatedly the altering stages of sleep 4-6 times. At the start of the night we spend more time in the lighter stages, with more dreaming at the later end of the cycle. Each stage has a different focus and overall the body is actively working to refuel, repair and organize the mind and the brain (2).

Stages 1-4 NREM (non-rapid eye movement)

  • Stage 1-2 light stages of sleeping
  • The deeper the stage, to harder to be awakened and the lower the consciousness

Stage 5 REM (rapid eye movement)

  • Dreaming stage
  • Paralysis
How much sleep do we need?

According to the National Sleep foundation:

Some people require more rest than others and the above is the average for each age group. Unfortunately, some can cope much more with a poor sleep than others, so know what you can work with.

Consequences of not enough sleep:

Physically:

  • Decreased physical performance power, speed, strength, accuracy, load etc
  • Productivity
  • Neurons start to malfunction, electrical and chemical activity altering normal brain functioning
  • Lower immune system

Mentally:

  • Sluggish, foggy, heavy, lack of concentration, low mood, motivation, irritability, decreased total performance output for study or work, memory, quality of life

Lifestyle:

  • less likely to exercise, eat well, social interactions, weight gain
  • Life threatening problems associated with human errors (e.g motor vehicle accidents)

Disorders:

  • Sleep deprivation problems among other low mental and physical states can be an early aspect of chronic pain development and may contribute to the process (1).
  • Sleep related disorders also co-occur with medical or psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse (3).
  • It may ↑ risk for cognitive impairment and dementia (3).

Part 2 of Lucy’s post coming up soon!!

If you’re suffering with poor sleep check out our blog post on Magnesium Oil spray to see if this may benefit you.

~Lucy Bowden

References:

  1. Bergman, S. (2007). Management of musculoskeletal pain. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 21(1), 153-166. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2006.10.001
  2. Ezenwanne E. (2011). Current concepts in the neurophysiologic basis of sleep; a review. Annals of medical and health sciences research, 1(2), 173–179.
  3. Neuendorf, R., Wahbeh, H., Chamine, I., Yu, J., Hutchison, K., & Oken, B. (2015). The Effects of Mind-Body Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Systematic Review. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/902708
  4. Pain and Sleep | National Sleep Foundation. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/pain-and-sleep
  5. (2019). Retrieved from https://painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au/pain-module/sleep-and-pain/
  6. S Assefa, S., Diaz-Abad, M., M Wickwire, E., & M Scharf, S. (2015). The Functions of Sleep. AIMS Neuroscience, 2(3), 155-171. doi: 10.3934/neuroscience.2015.3.155
  7. Sleep Health Foundation – Australia’s Leading Advocate for Healthy Sleep. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

There’s so many reasons why you may not get to do the exercise you want or need to do for your body. Travel for work, young kids to look after, long work hours, transport difficulties, the list goes on. The following workout is designed for people with busy lives who still need to work on their glute muscle strength.

What are your glute muscles?

Essentially they are your butt muscles! The glutes are made up of several big muscles (gluteal maximus and medius) and lots of smaller stabilising muscles (gluteal minimus, piriformis, the gemelli, and quadratus femoris). They work to hold us upright, keep our hip stable and help us walk and run.

Why work on Glute Strength?

Perhaps you’ve lost some glute muscle bulk post-pregnancy, or maybe you’ve had a hip, knee or lower back injury that has led to some muscle wastage in the glutes. Perhaps you just sit too long at work, or maybe you just want to have a perkier butt! There are many reasons to work on glute muscle activation and strength. Ask your physio for advice if you’re unsure about commencing the workout.

Equipment 

All you need for this workout is a loop exercise resistance band. You can buy these from sports stores or online. A mat will make you more comfortable, but is not necessary.

Perform the workout with the exercise band looped around your legs just above your knees (some pictures do not depict the band). For the standing leg abduction and extension have the band just above your ankles for an extra challenge. If you’re a newbie to exercise you may prefer to start off without using the band, and slowly build up to it.

The workout

Ensure you maintain a neutral spine throughout the workout and gently engage your core muscles. Remember to continue to breathe throughout the exercise. Start with ten repetitions of each exercise, building to 20 repetitions. Repeat the circuit 3 times.

4 point kneel leg extension – extend your leg straight out behind you and then pull the knee in towards you. Repeat on the other leg.

4 point kneel heel lifts – with a bent knee extend your heel towards the ceiling, ensuring you do not arch your lower back. Repeat on the other side.

Side-lying clams – lie on your side knees bent. Keeping your ankles together raise your top knee. Repeat on the other side.

 

Side-lying bent knee lifts – lie on your side with knees bent. Raise your top leg, keeping your ankle and knee in alignment. Repeat on the other side.

Squats  – stand with your feet a little further than hip width apart and bend your knees. Keep your spine long and knees behind your toes.

Crab walks – in a squat position walk forward 15 steps and backwards 15 steps.

Standing hip abduction – standing tall move your leg out to the side. Ensure your body stays upright and you don’t tip at the waist. Repeat on the other side.

Standing hip extension – standing tall move your leg behind you. Ensure it stays straight and you don’t tip your body forward. Repeat on the other leg.

If you experience any discomfort or pain while performing any of these exercises stop and check in with your physio to ensure the exercise is right for you or to correct your technique.

Happy Glute Strengthening!!

~Sal

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Every woman will experience pregnancy differently, from how you carry your baby (or babies), to the pain or sickness you can  feel. Your body goes through many growing pains and changes during this time.  Unfortunately the reality is that it’s not all “peaches and cream”……but that is where pregnancy massage can help.

REDUCTION OF ANXIETY
One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. Pregnancy can be stressful for a lot of women due to the unknown and changes in the body, but massage treatments increases blood flow to areas of the brain associated with mood and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
MUSCLE PAIN
Massage relieves everyday discomfort such as a sore back and neck, leg cramps and headaches. Remedial techniques soothe muscle aches and relax spots that have tightened up from the changes the body goes through during pregnancy. Massage can also assist with improving sleep, as the mind is calmer and muscle aches and pains are reduced.
SWELLING
Massage improves blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Increased circulation helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells and reduces oedema or swelling. It is very common during pregnancy to develop swelling in the ankles and feet, and remedial massage is a great way to relieve this.
Pregnancy Massage can also help assist with:
    • Cramping
    • Fatigue
    • Constipation
    • Insomnia
    • Headaches/migraines
    • Nerve pain
Post-Natal Massage
Once you have met your little one try to make time to look after yourself as well as your new bub. Breastfeeding, lack of sleep and even more hormonal changes can cause tension, particularly in the upper back, neck and shoulders. At PMPP we love babies, so you are always welcome to bring your bub in with you while having a treatment.
Before having a remedial massage it is always recommended to check with your doctor, particularly if you have any other medical conditions.  For more information refer to our remedial massage page or book an appointment online here
~Cassie
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Within the past few years we have seen a drastic increase in group fitness classes. Between Les Mills, CrossFit, F45, and Body Fit clearly there’s something to this trend of group classes. With a new trend of course comes critics claiming “F45 causes back injuries” or “CrossFit is bad for your shoulders”.

As a health professional who has spent time in many of these group fitness environments only one thing has become clear: nebulous generalizations about any form of fitness is not helpful. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 60-85% of the population worldwide is sedentary. Making physical inactivity the fourth leading risk factor for mortality.

Physical Inactivity Risks
  • Increase risks for certain cancer
  • May contribute to anxiety & depression
  • Risk factor for cardiovascular disease
  • Decreased skeletal muscle mass

The above just names a few associated risks of sedentary lifestyle. Yet with these risks in mind, I am disheartened when I hear someone try to convince others that their exercise choice is dangerous. Often the allure of these group classes is the supportive environment. Individuals usually attend the same time daily. This creates bonds and a sense of accountability to stay consistent on their fitness journey.

As a health professional, I do understand the criticism and inherent risk of these group fitness classes. I have been to 20 + gyms each one operating under their own standard when it comes to trainers, programming and even atmosphere. Typically, it is not the exercise itself that hurts people but rather the technique. Injuries usually come from doing too much too soon, moving with poor mechanics, not warming up, or letting your ego dictate your training. There are things you can be mindful of in order to decrease risks mentioned above!  

Tips to get the best experience from group fitness:

1. Learn to listen to your body

I actually think this one is more important than anything else but it’s also the most abstract and difficult to master. There are so many factors that go into how your body feels day to day aside from muscle soreness. Working longer hours, sitting all day, reduced sleep, dehydration the list could go on. Each one of these may drastically impact what you’re able to do that day. You need to be able to detect that and move at an intensity that suits you, even if the 22 year old university student is working at 100% intensity next to you.

2. Leave your ego

Initially everyone joins the gym for personal reasons but sometimes the group setting can cloud that motive. It takes discipline to learn to move well first before trying to lift as much as or “keep up” with others. Doing too much too quickly will feed your ego with quick results but eventually may result in injury.

3. Consult with a physio and find a good gym

Consulting with your physiotherapist will allow you to understand which movements may flair you. If your physiotherapist is familiar with the program they also should be able to give you alternative movements that you could sub them out for. This makes it much easier on the trainers at your gym.  Finding a good gym has little to do with the fancy equipment and more to do with the coaches/trainers. It is not up to your coach to advise around your injury, but if you come in knowing what movements you can do, you need to find a trainer who will be happy to accommodate you.

To discuss your group fitness class or check in to see what exercises would be suitable for your injury or condition, book online to see one of our physios today.

~Ashley

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview