I have plantar fasciitis what do I do?

Plantar fasciitis which we know refer to as Plantar Heel Pain is a common condition that can cause pain at the bottom of the foot and heel. It Is typically caused due to the irritation of the plantar fascia which is a long and thin ligament which lies directly underneath the skin at the bottom of the foot.Plantar heel pain can be debilitating due to the increased amount of discomfort when going for walks or going up and down stairs.

Fortunately physiotherapy can help alleviate the symptoms that are associated with plantar heel pain and this can be done by either therapeutic taping, footwear advice, strengthening exercises and physical activity management advice.

A common question that we get hear at the clinic is should I see a podiatrist or should I see a physiotherapist for this?

The answer is either or both.

Physiotherapists are well equipped to provide you with some basic pain management and physical activity management advice as well as provide the best exercises to assist you during your recovery.Podiatrists on the other hand are fantastic at providing footwear advice suitable to your problem and potentially arranging some orthotics depending on your requirements.

If you or anyone that you know suffers from Plantar Heel Pain please feel free to contact us here at Physiologic and we will be more than happy to help you out.

Chris PearsonPhysiotherapist.

What can I do for my LOW BACK PAIN?

Low back pain is a common condition experienced by 80% of people at least once in their lifetime. For up to 30% of people, their pain may become persistent (lasting for longer than 12 weeks) and interfere with many aspects of their life. This can look like having trouble doing usual day to day activities, exercise, work and difficulty being involved in social activities and hobbies which you enjoy.

Very similar to our general health, the health of the structures of our lower back is maintained through regular movement, keeping the back, trunk and legs strong, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, caring for our mental health, regularly sleeping well, and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol.

It’s very important to understand that back pain usually improves with the right treatment even if you have had it for many years. Our Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Hayley, has a special interest in managing low back pain. She can help you to understand why you have pain, and get you back moving, active and living again. Call our friendly team for assistance today.

References

Hartvigsen, J., M. Hancock, A. Kongsted, et al., What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention. The Lancet, 2018.

O’Sullivan, P.B., J. Caneiro, K. O’Sullivan, et al., Back to basics: 10 facts every person should know about back pain. 2020, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Hayley Thomson | B.Ex Sci, M Phty, M Msk Phty, M Med ResAPA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist | Physiologic

COVID and Physio

As this current wave of COVID spreads through the eastern states of Australia we know that in the vast majority of cases people recover well after the initial onset of respiratory symptoms. However, since early on in the pandemic some patient reported experiencing secondary symptoms that were lasting weeks or months after initial infection. This has been termed ‘Long-COVID’ and it affects our body in many ways.

Once patients are out of hospital or the initial COVID recovery phase, physiotherapists can play a significant role to play in the management of Long COVID. Some of the main symptoms experienced include shortness of breath, significant fatigue, altered sleep and reduced cognitive function. These symptoms have a big impact of being able to carry out normal daily living.

Returning to daily living and/or exercise needs to be closely monitored in patients with long covid, as symptoms can worsen with excessive physical, cognitive or emotional activity similar to those with chronic fatigue syndrome. Physiotherapists can advise on how to pace your daily activities and more specific testing can be done to determine at what heart rate intensities you should be working at throughout the day or when exercising. Here at Physiologic we are one of only a few practices in South East QLD with the ability to accurately test your metabolic function via a Metabolic Efficiency testing and we have experience in assisting those with chronic fatigue syndrome set suitable training programs in order to optimize their function.

Many patients are reporting significant difficulties in controlling their breath long after the initial infection. Breathing is usually something that comes naturally to us. However, many patients with Long COVID are reporting “it feels like I have forgotten how to breath correctly”. Physiotherapists can assist with relearning correct breathing patterns and ensuring the correct muscles are being used.

If you or someone you know if struggling with Long-COVID your primary contact should be your GP. Contact us here at Physiologic to discuss how we can help you return to your optimal level of function, in a shorter time frame than just a wait and see approach.

 

Adam Shaw

Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Working from home – How to set up the desk

Due to an increase in the amount of people who currently work at home because of the pandemic there has been an inherent increase in the amount of injuries when working. In particular, due to the increased amount of time spent at our desk. Problems like neck pain and lower back pain may become more prevalent. 

The purpose of this blog is to provide you with some basic tips in regards to setting up your desk at home and hopefully with this advice it can help prevent these potential problems. 

Firstly I would like to express that the single most important thing to do is to make sure you take frequent breaks throughout the day to change your general position. What we are starting to realise now is that its not the particular posture that is the problem, but its the time that you spend in that posture. 

Remember “Your next posture is your best posture!”

To combat this you can set a reminder on your phone every 30-45 minutes to get up have a quick stretch or a quick walk up and down the hallway. 

Now the question is how do we set up our desk and to answer that we will go from top to bottom:

  1. Make sure you have your feet flat on the floor or alternatively have a foot rest – You can use a small step stool if you don’t have a foot rest at home
  2. .90/90 rule – Try to keep your knees at 90 degrees and your hips at 90 degrees.
  3. Try to avoid chairs that have arm rests if possibleHaving arm rests will reduce the capacity to be able to push your chair in so that you are a suitable distance away from your screen 
  4. Try to keep your screen about an arms length away from your eyes.
  5. Try to raise your screen height to minimise the amount of slouching that you are doing – A basic rule of thumb: if you look forward your eyes should be able to see two thirds of your screen without looking up and down. You can once again raise your screen height by using a an old text book or step stool.
  6. Try to relax your arms when typing and keep your elbows at 90 degrees  – Laptops can be particularly problematic with this because you will be unable to raise the screen height and keep your elbows at 90 degrees, therefore, a desktop is preferred.
  7. Try to remain comfortable and relaxed when sitting – Find a neutral position in your seat that you find relaxed and comfortable, contrary to popular belief by keeping yourself rigid and sitting up tall can actually cause you to become stiff and sore.

I hope this short blog provides you with some basic tips on how to set up your workstation at home and as always if you would like to find out more on basic ergonomics and injury prevention please feel free to contact the team here at physiologic. 

Chris Pearson Physiotherapist Physiologic 

SOCCER SPECIFIC: STRENGTH TRAINING

Strength training is an integral part of a successful soccer players routine. It has two main benefits: injury prevention and to improve athletic performance.

WHAT SHOULD IT INCLUDE?

The strength training should focus on the main muscle groups used during soccer: hamstring, quads, calves, gluts and core. The session should take into account the skills required (speed, acceleration, agility) and be individualized to each athlete. Strength training can include the use of machine weights, free weights, resistance bands, plyometric exercises and body weight drills. There are multiple benefits to strength training besides muscle strength including an improvement in bone density and self-esteem. Some examples of common exercises as part of a soccer specific strength program:

-Bulgarian split squat: targets gluts and quads which are important with speed and acceleration

-Copenhagen adductor exercise: good for prevention of groin strains

-Lateral hurdle jumps: plyometric exercise aimed to improve agility with change of direction

HOW LONG SHOULD IT RUN FOR?

Each session should always start with a 5-10 minute warm up and finish with a 5-10 minute cool down and aim to include 6-8 exercises. The frequency of sessions will depend of the point of the season, the athlete’s previous strength training experience and goals of the athlete. Sessions should be completed once per week during the season (to avoid overloading the athlete) and increased to 2-3 sessions per week during the off-season/pre-season. An increase of strength by 30-50% has been reported after 8-12 weeks of a well-designed exercise program.

CAN IT BE DONE AT HOME OR DOES IT HAVE TO BE AT A GYM?

Strength training doesn’t have to be completed in a gym setting. It could be done at home using body weight, resistance bands and some objects around the house. It could also be done in a group setting. This often improves the motivation of the athletes (and the likelihood of some friendly banter!) and reduces the cost too. Our physio’s Chris and Tim will be starting Young Athlete Development Strength and Conditioning sessions here at the clinic soon which would be perfect for a small group of team mates looking to introduce strength training into their routine. Most sport excellence programs have gym facilities so it can be incorporated into your school-based sessions if you choose.

HOW DO I GET STARTED ON A STRENGTH PROGRAM?

Jess has a special interest in soccer injuries and performance and has a lot of experience designing soccer specific programs. She will have a discussion with you about your playing position, previous injuries, goals for strength training and then set you up with a program to work on. For someone who hasn’t had a lot of experience with gym training, it might be beneficial to begin supervised sessions to ensure your technique is correct and then transition to an independent program with updates as needed. Physiologic has a fully equipped clinic gym to use for supervised sessions. If group training is more your thing, then Jess can transition you to the Young Athlete development squad with Tim & Chris or work with you to find something suitable.

Jess Norton

Senior Physiotherapist

Keeping low back pain at bay during lockdown: Four quick tips to get you through!

Dr Mark Hancock, Professor of Physiotherapy, and Tash Pocovi, PhD candidate, Macquarie University
If your low back is playing up during lockdown, you’re not alone. Low back pain is a common condition experienced by 80 per cent of people at least once in their lifetime. While most episodes settle relatively quickly, approximately 70 per cent of people will experience a recurrence over the next 12 months.  Exercise is a common way that people manage low back pain, and research shows that popular forms of exercise such as pilates and yoga can be effective in managing and preventing low back pain. But with COVID-19 restrictions and subsequent lockdowns, what can one do when gyms, pools and studios are shut for the foreseeable future?
Here are some tips to help keep your back healthy and prevent low back pain during this time:
1. Change positions often

Think about what postures you spend most of your day in, and what movements make your low back pain better or worse. If like most people you have a desk job and sit for long periods of time, make a plan to stand, stretch and have a quick walk regularly throughout the day. Some people find using an alarm that goes off every hour or two helps them to remember to change positions when they are focused on work or house duties.

2. Make exercise a part of your daily routine

Make an “appointment” with yourself to exercise daily: even consider blocking off time in your diary to ensure you make time for you physical and mental wellbeing. For example, you could set 10 to 10.30am as your time to go for a walk.

Researchers at Macquarie University are studying whether an individualised walking and education program may assist Australians with preventing low back pain (for more information visit the WalkBack HYPERLINK “https://www.walkbacktrial.com/” Trial website).

3. Buddy up

Exercising can be more fun when you have company! Get accountable and ask your partner or family member to be your exercise buddy and you can do it together. If you live alone or cannot leave home due to social distancing restrictions, think creatively, perhaps exercise together over video conferencing platforms such as FaceTime or Zoom.

4. Get help if pain does not improve

Most back pain settles well and can be self-managed using simple strategies like those mentioned above. However, if you have ongoing pain, it’s helpful to seek care from a physiotherapist. Our physiotherapist, Hayley, has a special interest in managing low back pain.

Give our clinic a call on (07) 5578 7155 to see Hayley.

 

References – Hartvigsen, J., M. Hancock, A. Kongsted, et al., What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention. The Lancet, 2018.O’Sullivan, P.B., J. Caneiro, K. O’Sullivan, et al., Back to basics: 10 facts every person should know about back pain. 2020, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.