TBI Health is pleased to announce the launch of TBI Health SpineCare – a unique service that provides early, comprehensive support and treatment for people with ongoing back or neck pain.
TBI Health SpineCare ensures you see the right person at the right time to make an optimal recovery. With support from our expert team of medical specialists, physiotherapists and allied health clinicians, you will get the support you need to get back on track.
TBI Health SpineCare can help you by:
Providing support from a team of experts.
Identifying and explaining the nature of your pain.
Developing a customised rehabilitation programme that works best for you.
Giving you the ability to manage your pain so you can remain active.
Who is TBI Health?
TBI Health has been New Zealand’s trusted provider of physiotherapy, spinal care services, rehab and pain management since 2001. We are part of an international spine pain management programme that is committed to ongoing research.
Treating over 20,000 people a year across the country, TBI Health is the preferred contracted provider to ACC, Ministry of Health and many insurance companies. This means you can be assured you will receive the best care from our dedicated team of health professionals.
Where can I access TBI Health SpineCare?
TBI Health SpineCare is available in all TBI Health clinics throughout the country, from Auckland to Invercargill. Our goal is to help as many New Zealanders as possible to recover from their injuries and lead a full and active life.
If you are not eligible for ACC funding, you may be eligible for funding from your health insurer. To discuss your individual circumstances, please contact our team.
How to make an appointment
To make an appointment with one of our SpineCare Physiotherapists, simply give us a call on 0800 824 432 or make a booking online.
As an ACC registered provider, we can lodge your injury claim and provide immediate treatment. We also welcome all GP and Specialist referrals.
It’s often said that our health is our wealth. Without good health, everyday tasks can really limit your ability to function, both at work and at home.
Here are five things you can do, to help you to prevent and manage pain, discomfort or injury at work.
1. Get back to basics
We know that the body is designed to be used in different positions and to do a variety of tasks. It is important to vary your work postures, positions and tasks throughout the day.
It’s also helpful to consider what you may be doing outside of work that could be contributing to any pain or symptoms you may be experiencing.
Reporting any pain to your employer at the onset can give you the best chance to get on top of things early.
2. Keep moving
Being mindful of your posture can require conscious effort. People who use computers tend to stare into their screen for long periods and can slowly get drawn into it. This can create strain in the spine and neck and lead to tension and pain.
If you’re often at your desk, keep moving throughout the day with the help of ourdesk exercises. And remember, the best posture is always the next one!
3. Take frequent breaks
We often want to get our work completed so we can leave the office on time. However, this does not mean that you should sit or stand for hours at a stretch and not allow yourself a break.
You may think that taking a break will waste your time, but taking a break can actually make you more productive.
Make a point to get away from what you are working on every now and again for a few minutes. The idea is to take a break and refresh yourself.
4. Learn to manage stress
Most of us lead busy lives that can get to us from time to time. Juggling several roles and responsibilities on a daily basis can often leave us exhausted.
Remember you’re only human so make time to do the things you enjoy outside of work. This can include things like spending time with your family, friends, reading books, walking or going to the gym.
The idea is to find a healthy balance by allowing yourself time to do the things you want to do.
5. Lift correctly
Poor technique when lifting can contribute to the onset of pain or injury. Check out ourtips on manual handling to help you avoid unnecessary injuries.
Body, we’ve been through the worst of it, the end is in sight … the big day! How daunting. How exciting. How ABSOLUTELY DAUNTING!
(Body) “What’s tapering? Is that what the Australians did with that cricket ball?”
(Runner) “N0! Tapering is reducing our training mileage so we are fresh and perky for the race.”
(Body) “But shouldn’t we train all the way to race day? To peak just in time?”
(Runner) “Nein! Last minute training and cramming shan’t work here my dear friend. Unlike our 1st-year University exams, running performance will not be crammed into the final days/week.”
And so we begin…
“Narrator: The Runner was right. With a well-constructed 1-2 week tapering period, you aren’t forced to relax, you are allowed to relax. It is several days for ‘you prep’. Tapering is a delicate balance between keeping the pistons primed and not blowing up pre-race. Look after the machine and it’ll run smoothly on the day.
Some common traps!
Tapering doesn’t mean kick up the legs on the couch for a 1 week, Red Bull fuelled, fortnight marathon, eating junk food (although it is tempting)!
Nor does it mean filling up your now abundant spare time taking up CrossFit or F45 gym sessions to show off your new found fitness. It’s dedicated relaxation time to look after your body and your mind.
So what to do? Well, choose ANYTHING you love to do… and do it in moderation, like cupcakes!
Short, leg loosening runs (25-50% distance and intensity of your training runs)
Yoga and stretches to keep the body limber
Go out and eat wonderful, tasty, fresh food. FUEL THAT FIRE!
Spin classes – motivating and great cardio
Sleep in – You deserve it AND 8+ hours of sleep is a known peak running performance variable
A sports massage, mmmmmmmmmmm!
A sunny walk or hike for the soul
Shop and pick out your fashionable and stylised race outfit! We run to have fun, for the rush AND the photos!
Plan the race day: Pre-race meeting, food, drink, clothes, pace, goals.
“Dear Diary, It’s been a wonderful tapering week. Thriving off the socialist runs with friends, millennial smashed avocado on toast, and my wonderfully colourful matching racing gear. I’m ready! I’ll go relax and go snowboarding too, what’s the worst that could happen…?”
Narrator: Runner mistook the word tapering for tumbling, but it all worked out in the end!
Preparing well for your running season is crucial to ensure you perform the best you can for the race and stay injury free during training. Nobody enjoys not being able to last the distance in a race or having to have time out due to a preventable injury.
Strength training is a healthy supplement to running. It becomes even more important as the years and the miles add up. Full body training is helpful at all ages. There are loads of different exercises that can be beneficial for your strength and conditioning when it comes to running.
The legs are some of the hardest working muscles in the body. That’s why it is so important to have the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves as strong and ready as possible.
Complete these exercises in a circuit, going from one exercise to the next. Do as many as you can over 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
The basis of any decent leg workout. These can be made more challenging in a variety of ways – by adding weight, holding the squat position longer, or performing a single leg squat.
Starting with feet shoulder width apart, push hips backwards, bending knees to move into a squat position.
Ensure your knees stay over your toes throughout. If tight calves are a significant limiting factor, try putting your heels on a small book.
Ice Skaters replicate the movement while running and can be good for building significant explosive power for that last burst needed to get over the line.
Start in a comfortable stance with enough space to jump laterally.
Load your jumping side by getting into your hip, then jump explosively as far as possible to the side.
Use your arms to assist the movement.
When landing and during the ground contact time, the support knee must stay inside the foot.
Try to land softly.
These can be made more challenging in a variety of ways – by adding weight, holding the squat position longer, or performing a single leg squat.
With your feet, one in front of another at hip width, lower the back knee close to the floor
Keep your balance and lift yourself back up to the standing position.
The knees should be bent at 90° in the bottom position.
This can be progressed by added weight or by progressing to a scissor lunge. The exercise is similar to the lunge, but once in the lunge position. push and jump up and switch feet position quickly. When you land, you are in the same position, but your feet are switched.
Bulgarian split lunge
This split lunge is similar to the normal lunge but forces you to work one leg at a time. This is important as running is mainly a single leg activity.
Put the back foot on top of a swiss ball.
Flex the front foot to bring the back knee toward the ground.
Do not travel forward with the body; you should go down and up like an elevator.
Keep the torso upright at all time.
Swap legs at the end.
Single leg calf raises
A large amount of force need to push you on comes from the calf muscles while running and as mentioned above running is a single leg activity so we want to train like that.
Stand on a small step next to a chair or table.
Raise yourself onto your toes without bending your knee.
Slowly drop back down and stretch your calf by lowering your heel as far down as possible and hold the position between each lift and repeat.
Swap legs at the end
Please note: This is a program for injury-free weekend warriors with a good level of baseline fitness. If you have any questions, concerns or would like a tailored program to suit your level of fitness, please consult with your local friendly Physio.
Dehydration can be a cause of fatigue. Help yourself out by making sure you have the following in check:
Ensure that in the days leading up to the relay you are getting in enough fluid. You can gauge this by making sure you are passing pale yellow coloured urine.
On the day have plenty of fluid available. If you are doing <90mins of continuous running then water should be sufficient to keep you hydrated, and your own bodies stores will keep you fuelled. If you are doing a long leg then sports drinks can help replace those carbohydrates during the race as well as rehydrate.
Fuel yourself properly before and after
Carbohydrates are your preferred fuel during exercise. Make sure your muscle and liver reserves are full by having a carbohydrate rich meal the night before, a good breakfast, and proper meals/snacks during the day if your leg is later.
Post-race it is a good idea to try and get in a mixture of protein and high GI carbohydrate to replenish stores and repair muscles. Aim to get this in around 30mins after you finish. If it is near a mealtime just eat your normal meal, otherwise try yoghurt and fruit, tuna and crackers, flavoured milk or a smoothie.
Timing and types of meals make a difference
Timing of meals is important. Aim for a balanced meal 3-4 hours prior to your leg and a small snack 1-2 hours before, if you need it. This gives your body some ready to go energy, but also time to digest some of the food so that it sits better in your tummy.
Make the main meal complete with wholegrain carbohydrate, protein and veg/fruit. Good ideas are a wrap/sandwich with protein and salad, chicken and vegie pasta salad, beef stir fry with rice, or bircher muesli, yoghurt and fruit.
The snack should be lighter on the digestive track but still have some carbohydrate and protein – try peanut butter or hummus on rice crackers, yoghurt and a little bit of muesli/oats or yoghurt with fruit salad. If you have trouble with food pre-race, try smoothies, flavoured milk, or other more liquid based items.
If you are doing multiple legs with minimal time between them, then smaller snacks more often may a better option. Try muesli bars, yoghurts, fruit, nut mix, crackers and cheese, or plain sandwiches.
Try out your food prior to the big day
Everyone has a digestive system that is a little different; some people have no problems with full meals and snacks prior to an event, others may find it makes them sluggish or have them running to the bathroom.
If you are new to an event like the Taranaki Around the Mountain Relay, try some test meals and drinks during your training runs to make sure that you know what to expect on the day.
Low back pain can be extremely debilitating and distressing. However, it is very rarely a result of a serious medical cause. The vast majority of pain is what we call “mechanical pain”. This basically means that people’s low back pain will be either eased or aggravated with movement or certain positions.
The good news about mechanical low back pain is that it normally can be managed simply. Research shows that most acute low back pain resolves within 4-6 weeks.
For those with persistent back pain, the best approach is based on lifestyle change, movement and exercise.
Other important aspects of managing low back pain are getting enough sleep, building a support network to help you, and looking for professional help if the pain does not improve.
Activity guide for managing low back pain
Work through the following tips to develop a management plan if you have persistent low back pain. Always seek professional advice if you don’t feel your pain is improving or you are worried about any other symptoms.
Getting support for persistent low back pain
To help keep on top of the problem, it is important to take a holistic approach and involve your family and friends in helping you to develop a plan to manage the problem. It can also be helpful to access a team of trusted health professionals for additional support when you need it.
To help keep on top of the problem, it is important to take a holistic approach. It can help to involve your family and friends in helping you to develop a plan to manage the problem. It can also be helpful to access a team of trusted health professionals for additional support when you need it.
If you would like to find out more about TBI Health Spine Care, and/or book an appointment – just call us on 0800 824 432, or find a clinic near you.
Times to get help
There are two symptoms associated with low back pain that require high caution and urgent attention. The first is a loss of control of your bladder and bowel, the second is constant, severe pain that does not change in any position. For both of these symptoms, we strongly recommend seeking immediate medical advice.
There are other times when it is appropriate to seek non-urgent help. These are below:
Constant severe leg pain.
When pain is interfering with your work, sleep and/or general quality of life.
Following a high force injury.
If your pain is not resolving or is getting worse.
Set small and achievable goals
People with pain can often find themselves in a downward spiral and over time your mobility, activity and ability to work can slowly reduce. It is important to recognise the areas in your life that are impacted by pain. Writing a list can be useful and then choose a few activities that you would like to improve. It may be something as simple as walking around the block to the shops or going to watch a sports event.
Many people with ongoing pain make huge gains by slowly and steadily progressing their activity over time, despite their pain. Remember to take your time as it can take a while for your body to adjust and you should expect the occasional setback. It is also important to recognise when you have made some progress and celebrate your milestones as you achieve them!
As said before most low back pain is mechanical in nature meaning that certain movements will either ease or aggravate your pain. Try the three exercise below. If you feel better after completing ten (in a row) of one of the exercises, you should try to do them regularly during the day to help control the pain.
Knees to chest
Try something different
It is also important to think about activities you can no longer participate in and then identify another alternative that can give you similar benefits and enjoyment. For example, if pain is preventing you from doing your full duties at work you should always talk to your employer, to see if there are any different duties you would be able to do if you cannot do your usual tasks.
Finding alternative activities that can help you feel more satisfied without aggravating your symptoms will help reduce the natural frustration that comes with low back pain.