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Author Archives: Sarah Johnson

Knee Arthritis Exercises
23 Sep

Knee Arthritis Exercises

Knee pain can be caused for a plethora of reasons, but one of the key causes is knee arthritis. 

This is characterised by pain, swelling and stiffness in the knee joint. This can affect anyone at any age but is seen more in women above the age of 50. You may not be able to cure arthritis but you can improve all of the symptoms. 

 

 

Treatment of symptoms for knee arthritis:

  • Warm up/Cool down before exercises
  • Stretching/improving joint range of motion
  • Increase muscle strength in all muscles surrounding the joint and lower chain
  • Improve functional abilities
  • Improve balance
  • Stay mobile
  • Low impact activities (swimming, biking, hydrotherapy)

Here are some examples of knee arthritis exercises: 

 

  • Hamstring stretch

    • Use a towel to help pull the straight leg closed;
    • 4×20 seconds for each leg

Knee arthritis exercises - Hamstring stretch

 

  • Calf stretch  

    • Hold a chair or on to the wall for balance; 
    • Press your heel towards the floor whilst bending your opposite knee;  
    • 4×20 seconds each leg.

Knee arthritis exercises - calf stretch

 

  • Straight Leg Raise

    • Raise your leg up and  down while contracting your quad; 
    • Repeat  10 times and hold for 3 seconds. 

Knee arthritis exercises - straight leg raise


 

  • Quadricep setting: 

    • Tighten your thigh and contract your quads; 
    • Repeat 10 times and hold for 5 seconds. 

Knee arthritis exercises - quadricep setting .

 

  • Pillow Squeeze: 

    • Squeeze your knees together squishing the pillow; 
    • Repeat 10 times and hold for 5 seconds. 

Knee arthritis exercises - pillow squeeze


 

  • Calf Raises: 

    • Hold the back of a chair and raise your heels off the ground; 
    • 2×10 reps. 

Knee arthritis exercises - calf raises


 

  • Sit to stand: 

    • Sit down and stand up; 
    • The lower you go  the more difficult  it is; 
    • 1×10 reps. 

Knee arthritis exercises - site to stand


 

  • One leg balance: 
    • Hold the back of the chair if needed; 
    • 2×20 sec holds.  

Knee arthritis exercises - one leg balance 


 

For most of us, exercises at home will help manage the pain, but help from a professional is always beneficial, particularly a knee pain physio.  Essentially, someone who knows that joint inside out. 

At Total Restore, we offer tailored treatment programmes to make sure that we deliver the fastest possible results and get you back to your best quickly.  If you’re based in Manchester, call to book to speak with one of our knee pain specialists on 0161 833 3008

Injury Prevention – Tips 
09 Sep

Injury Prevention – Tips 

When most people think of physiotherapy, they think it is for the treatment of injuries that have already occurred. But, that’s not strictly true. 

Physiotherapists also play a big role in preventing injuries from ever happening. 

Injury Prevention is described as an effort to reduce or prevent the severity of injuries that may be caused by external mechanisms or repetitive motions. 

So, whether it’s in sports or in daily life activities, here are a couple tips to prevent injuries from occurring:

Warm up/cool down

Here’s some more in depth info on prehab exercise to get you started. 

If you are about to take part in sports, head to the gym, or doing anything active, make sure you take an extra 5-15minutes at the beginning and end of your training to do a proper warm up and cool down. 

Incorporate some light jogging/cycling to get the blood pumping and some stretching to get your muscles ready and warmed up or to  prevent them from stiffening up post-session, causing delayed soreness.

 

Take breaks/time off 

Small breaks or a couple days off after an intense training session is always a good idea to let your muscles adapt to the stress that has been put on them.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water before, during and after. If you are going to take part in an endurance event, it is important to drink plenty of fluid, which should contain sugar and electrolytes. 

Avoid repetitive movements

If possible, at your job or in your sport make sure to take breaks when it comes to repetitive motion. It is not possible to always avoid doing such, but it is important to be aware that breaks are needed to not cause stress on joints/muscles. 

Do NOT push through pain 

Nothing good ever comes from working/playing through pain.  You’re just causing stress on an injury site that might be small and you may be turning it into a big problem. 

Use the proper technique 

The correct footwear, helmet, mouthguard, elbow pads etc, are essential in preventing injury. Depending on your sport it is important to take measurements and use the proper equipment that best suits you. 

Progress gradually

If it is at work or in sport/gym, it is important to not start to overdo it at the beginning of the activity. Knowing your limits is essential to prevent injury. 

Make sure you always keep in mind the “FIT” rule: Frequency, Intensity and Time. Only progress one of these each week as a general principal. 

Safety 

Stick to the rules in the workplace or on the field. Rules are made for a reason and if broken it can cause injury to yourself or others. 

Strengthen muscles 

Stay fit and strong, this helps reduce stress on your joints. 

Increase flexibility

Keep you muscles nice and flexible as this can help prevent injury and muscle strains. Pilates is a great option for this. 

Reduce emotional stress 

Try to avoid too much pressure to win or do well at work as this can cloud your judgment and put you at risk of hurting yourself and pushing through pain. 

Seek help from a physiotherapist 

Your physiotherapist can help you with all of the above and create you a tailor made exercise program that reduces the risk of injury. They will provide you with hands on treatment and of course, advice and education what you should do on your own. If you want to speak to one of our specially trained physios, all based in Manchester city centre,  then call Total Restore on 0161 833 3008 for a free phone consultation. 

Arthritis in Hands Treatment
02 Sep

Arthritis in Hands Treatment

Are you experiencing constant pain in your hand and fingers? Particularly in the joints? Then there is a chance you may have developed arthritis in your hands. 

There are two types of arthritis that can happen in your hands and it is not always easy to distinguish between the two:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) – This is caused by wear and tear on the joints;  and  
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – This is caused by an inflammation of the joints and is an autoimmune condition. 

Both types of arthritis cause pain, swelling, tenderness and joint stiffness, especially in the mornings. 

OA is the most common type of arthritis and it usually comes hand-in-hand with getting older. Over time the cartilage that cushions your joints starts to degenerate causing the two bones that form a joint to rub against each other. This leads to the symptoms of pain and inflammation. 

Facts on hand arthritis:

  • More common in women than men;
  • There is no cure but symptoms can be relieved;
  • It can be genetic;
  • More common in >60 years of age;
  • OA can be caused by post-trauma in sports or car accidents.

Osteoarthritis symptoms: 

  • Bony lumps at the middle finger joints; 
  • Bony lumps at the finger joint closest to the fingernail;  
  • Pain deep under the base of the thumb; 
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning;  
  • Difficulty pinching and gripping items. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms: 

  • Pain at the wrist and finger knuckles;  
  • Deformities of the wrist and fingers (not able to straighten); 
  • Tendon ruptures (not able to straighten fingers); 
  • Unexplained fatigue; 
  • Achiness throughout the body (similar to the flu). 

Arthritis In Hands Treatment

In order to ease the pain in your hands there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Keep warm – arthritis tends to get worse during the cold season. Make sure you stay warm and wear gloves during the winter. 
  • Keep moving – Nothing makes stiff joints worse than avoiding movement. It is important to keep your wrist and fingers moving properly and keep tendons and ligaments flexible. 
  • Hand exercises – Exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist, especially an arthritis physio specialist,  can help strengthen the muscles that support the hand joints. It can also help keep the joints flexible and improve range of motion. 
    • Example of some exercises are:
      • Make a fist 
      • Finger bends
      • Thumb bends
      • Make a “C” or an “O” by curving your fingers
      • Lift fingers one-by-one off the table
      • Wrist stretches into flexion and extension with opposing hand
  • Painkillers – This will help ease the pain on those days where it feels unbearable.
  • Hot and cold therapy – ice for swollen joints and heat to help with the stiffness. 
  • Splinting – In cases that the pain is very high, sometimes splints that hold the joints still can help reduce pain.
Golfer’s Elbow Exercises
10 Apr

Golfer’s Elbow Exercises

Alongside a tailored physiotherapy treatment plan for Golfer’ Elbow, it is important to engage in rehab activities at home in order to speed up the recovery process. 

Here, we run through motion and resistance exercises to help you, as well as glides if your ulnar nerve has been affected.

Range of Motion Exercises

Active and passive Wrist extension

Active and passive Wrist extension

Description: Start with your wrist in a neutral position and slowly bring your wrist into extension, for an extra stretch assist with your other hand and pull a bit further

  • 3x8repetitions – 10 second holds

 

Radial deviation

Radial deviation

Description: Start with your wrist in a neutral position and slowly move inwards towards the thumb, for an extra stretch assist with your other hand and push your hand more in to radial deviation.

  • 3x8repetitions – 10 second holds

 

Supination & Pronation

Supination & Pronation

Description: Start with forearm in neutral position and alternate from rotating the palm of your up and down bringing your forearm into supination and pronation.

  • 3×10 – 3second holds

 

RESISTANCE TRAINING

 

Eccentric Wrist Flexion

Eccentric Wrist Flexion

Description: Use your other hand to bring your hand up into flexion and then slowly bring your wrist down trying to resist gravity. Use weight to make it more difficult. Increase weight when possible.

  • 3×15 reps

 

Resisted supination/pronation

Resisted supination/pronation

Description: Use a heavy object such as a weight and alternate from supination to pronation while trying to resist gravity.

  • 3x15reps

 

Resisted radial deviation

Resisted radial deviation

Description: With an elastic band placed under your foot, hold on tightly and move your wrist in to radial deviation (inwards).

  • 3x15reps

 

Gripping

Gripping

Description: With a resistance ball, work on your grip strength by squeezing the ball and holding for a couple of seconds.

  • 3×8 – 5sec holds

 

GLIDES

If your Ulnar nerve has been affected with your golfers elbow add a couple of neural gliding exercises to your exercise program.

Gliding

Description: arm at shoulder height, hand bent back, fingers straight and bend elbow in this position.

  • 10x 8second holds

Gliding - Golfers elbow

Description: Start by making the “OK” sign with your fingers, bring your elbows up and place the “O” over each one of your eyes with the other fingers resting on your face. As if, giving yourself raccoon eyes.

  • 10x8second holds

 

Acupuncture for Back Pain
10 Apr

Acupuncture for Back Pain

Back pain is a very common issue. In fact, 8 out of 10 people will complain of back pain at least once in their lifetime.

Unfortunately, back pain can quickly become a chronic condition if left untreated, impacting on your daily lives. The hope that the pain will pass is usually mis-founded.

Everyone’s back pain is different, and therefore a tailored back pain physiotherapy plan is key in order to solve the root of the problem.

One method that is proving more and more popular for relieving painful symptoms as part of an overall treatment plan is acupuncture. Acupuncture for back pain is a proven treatment methodology, backed up with substantial clinical and research evidence.

 

How Acupuncture can help Back Pain

Over 2500 years ago, the Chinese started using acupuncture as a form of pain relief.

Acupuncture basically involves inserting needles into certain areas of the body. These points are connected by, so called meridians, which are pathways through the body that create the flow of the body’s energy, known as Qi (“chee”). By stimulating these points, you can correct the imbalances in your body and improve the flow of energy.

Over the years, acupuncture has also become more and more used in Western society. Chinese acupuncture theories remain clearly present but have been developed into what is commonly referred to as Medical Acupuncture.

Medical acupuncture involves finding painful trigger points in your body and using the fine needles to stimulate them. By stimulating these areas of the body, this triggers the release of chemicals into the muscles, creating an alteration of pain and allowing a sense of well-being to be restored.

 

What is involved?

The needles are inserted either at the site of the pain, away from the pain or a combination of both.

Treatment time with acupuncture can vary depending on the type of pain and tolerance of the patient; for example from just a few minutes to up to 30 minutes.

After the needle is inserted, your physiotherapist with gently stimulate the needles by rotating them and making an in and out movement, to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

 

Benefits of Acupuncture for Back Pain

  • Pain relief
    • Muscle
    • Joint
    • Headaches
    • Nerve
    • Dental
  • Improves sleeping quality
  • Aids with stress relief
  • Promotes a general wellbeing
  • Assists with decreasing inflammation

 

How many acupuncture sessions should I have if I suffer from Back Pain?

Everybody is different so this will depend on you, your Physiotherapist, your condition and how you respond to initial treatment.

Sessions should not usually exceed 2 times a week.

 

Contraindications of Acupuncture for Back Pain

Unfortunately Acupuncture is not for everybody and some of the following conditions may prevent you from being eligible for treatment or may mean the Physiotherapist should proceed with caution:

  • If you have ever experienced a fit, seizure, faint or if you have epilepsy;
  • If you have a pacemaker or any other electrical implant;
  • If you have a bleeding disorder e.g. haemophilia;
  • If you are taking anti-coagulants or any other medication;
  • If you have damage to heart valves, or have any risk of active infections;
  • If you are pregnant or trying to conceive;
  • If you have a known metal allergy – specifically to stainless steel;
  • If you have a needle phobia;
  • If you have a known infection or poor skin condition in the area to be treated;
  • If you have a deficient or weakened immune system;
  • If you have diabetes;
  • If you have low blood pressure;
  • If you have been prescribed any medicine;
  • If you have cold/flu symptoms or feel generally unwell.

 

How long until you see improvements?

Again, this will vary from person to person.

Some people feel the benefits right after the session, while for others it will be a more gradual process and may take a couple more sessions before you feel any real improvement.

 

Acupuncture safety and side effects

Acupuncture is very safe if performed by those who have been trained in it, such as registered physiotherapists.

However, some side effects may be present after a treatment session. Such as:

  • Pain at insertion of needle
  • Slight bleeding or bruising when removing the needle
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration

 

 

Prehab Exercise
18 Feb

Prehab Exercise

Prehab Exercise

 

Prehab is a way to injury-proof yourself and learn how to get your body ready for the workout demands you are about to put it through.

With the summer now not so far off, a lot of people want to start getting in shape and shift those extra winter pounds.  But you can’t run before you can walk. You might have been a great athlete a couple years back and were able to lift heavy weights or run a marathon. But it doesn’t mean that you can now – you need to prepare your body, to prevent injury. And this is exactly where prehab exercise is key.

 

What is Prehab?

Prehab exercise has “recently” become a big thing amongst the general population, and all gyms should be reinforcing it.

Prehab exercises should be personalised, and form part of an individual program focused on your needs. It should be adjusted as your workout habits change and your body changes with it. It should be based on a sport specific exercise program for athletes or for those who are just looking to improve their fitness levels with classes or a new gym membership.

“The aim is to balance strength, stability, and range of motion throughout the body, matching left and right, front and back, upper and lower.” – Carly Wheatley

 

Who needs Prehab?

Everybody!

You get stuck in your daily routines, sitting at a desk for long periods, or standing on your preferred side, etc. But what happens when you have to do something differently and your body is not ready for this? What happens if you are an athlete but you just spent the summer or even just 2 weeks taking some time off? Your body compensates or gets detrained and it doesn’t take much for one jolt or one wrong twist or turn to give you an injury. Underused muscles weaken and overused ones become tight, meaning these structures become vulnerable to injury. This happens to everyone!

 

Where to get help with a Prehab Exercise Programme?

When you think of Physiotherapy, you probably think of someone who helps you after you have suffered an injury. This is true, however that is not all we do.

Our main focus is to treat and prevent further injuries from happening, but we also focus on helping you with never getting an injury in the first place.

We are firm believers that adding an extra 10-15 minutes to your workout routine of getting your body set and ready for the demands you are about to put it through is key to helping you prevent injuries.

A prehab exercise program helps you by activating, mobilizing and stabilizing joints, key muscles and unstable/weak areas you might have.

Everyone should be evaluated and screened before being given a prehab exercise program. This should include biomechanical observations, medical history; present medical health status, an objective assessment on range of motion, balance, strength and proprioception.

Besides Physiotherapists, you can get a prehab program designed for you by the following professionals:

  • Sport Rehabilitator/therapist
  • Athletic trainer/therapist
  • Personal trainer (if they have extensive knowledge in these areas)

Prehab exercise – our self-help advice:

  • Use dynamic stretches before you start your workout (e.g. single leg glute bridges, monster walks with a band to get those glutes firing, etc)

    • Static stretching after your workout if you want
  • Make sure your prehab program focuses on core strength, stabilization and balance exercises.
  • Combine your prehab with a healthy diet, good sleeping patterns and cut out bad habits that weaken your body such as, smoking, drugs, heavy drinking and unnecessary amounts of sugar.
  • There is no “one-size fits all” when it comes to Prehab. Do not copy your gym buddy’s routine, seek assistance and learn what is good for you.
  • Heavy weight session:

    • Focus on dynamic stretching for the joints and muscles you intend to be using;
    • Joint mobilizations;
    • Activate muscles and stabilizers you will be using.
  • Running:

    • Open chain activities (e.g. Leg swings);
    • Single leg dynamic stability exercises.
  • Work from the bottom up;
  • SEEK help with your tailor made Prehab program and get started the RIGHT way!

 

Get in touch

If you’re looking to become more active, or are an athlete that has taken a break for whatever reason, then get in touch with us to create you a prehab exercise programme that will stop you from getting injured by pushing your body too hard without making sure that it is ready. Call 0161 833 3008 or email info@totalrestore.co.uk.

Tennis Elbow Treatment
02 Dec

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Tennis Elbow Symptoms and Treatment

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is usually the result of every day activity, and you don’t have to play tennis to suffer from it. Tennis elbow or in medical terminology, Lateral Epicondylitis, is a tendinopathy, which means it affects the tendons of your forearm that extend your wrist and fingers. The cause of tennis elbow isn’t exactly known. Most experts believe it is due to small tears that develop in the wrist extensors tendons that can be caused from repetitive movements and overuse. A sudden movement or poor technique in a sport can also cause it, most commonly in racket sports

 

Tennis Elbow Facts

  • 1-3 people get tennis elbow in every 100 people
  • More common in ages 40-50
  • Most common in your dominant arm
  • It can last between 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity and if left untreated
  • If you have had it once you are more likely to get it again later on in life.

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow and down the muscles in the forearm
  • Pain worse when gripping objects or shaking someone’s hand
  • Pain when lifting objects or extending your wrist
  • Weak grip
  • Stiff & swollen elbow

How can Physiotherapy help tennis elbow?

Physiotherapy can help you in multiple ways to overcome this elbow pain that is interfering with your work or sport. Physiotherapists can help ease your mind by giving you the proper diagnosis and giving you some education on the pathology and advice on how you can get better.

Tennis Elbow PHYSIO Treatments

  • Soft/Deep tissue release to the wrist extensors
  • Acupuncture to these structures
  • Home exercise program focused on stretching and strengthening
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Taping techniques for pain relief

Tennis Elbow Self-Help Advice

  • Rest, but not fully as you do not want your elbow to stiffen
  • Avoid repetitive movements that cause pain
  • If it is not possible to avoid a movement, take regular breaks
  • Avoid gripping and lifting objects

    • If not possible, lift with palm facing up
  • Hot and cold packs

    • Hot for stiffness
    • Cold for inflammation and pain
  • Give yourself a massage in the painful area
  • Keep moving
  • Take painkillers if necessary
  • Stretching and strengthening  exercises for your wrist extensors
How To Prevent Muscle And Joint Pain In The Winter
22 Nov

How To Prevent Muscle And Joint Pain In The Winter

We detail 13 ways to prevent muscle and joint pain in the winter when temperatures drop.

It is that time of year again where you just want to cozy up by the fireplace while sipping on some hot coco and spending some time with the family. However, for those of you who suffer from joint and muscle pain, this cold season can really be difficult and aggravate those aches while making you feel not so jolly.

If you are someone who suffers from arthritis you are not crazy to think it gets worse when the temperature drops. There is a real reason for why this happens. Besides the fact that it is harder to stay active and physically motivated during the cold periods there is a scientific reason for your worsening joint and muscle pain. According to a medical Professor from the University of Harvard, Robert Jamison, this can be explained not necessarily by the cold, rain or snow but a change in the barometric pressure.

What is the barometric pressure you are probably asking?

This is the atmospheric pressure. In other words, this is the force exerted onto a surface by the weight of the atmosphere. High barometric pressure pushes against the body externally, preventing internal tissues from expanding. This is what happens in warm temperatures. When the temperature drops the barometric pressure drops with it and the tissues tend to expand, which allows them to put pressure on our nerves that control our pain signals. This triggers the pain and makes these wintery days feel unbearable on our joints and muscles.

So here are 13 tips to keep your aches and pains from getting worse during the Holidays:

1. STAY WARM: especially head, hands and feet

2. Beat the winter blues and STAY active inside
a. Walk indoors
b. Swim indoors/Hydrotherapy
c. Pick up some weights

3. AVOID strenuous activity

4. Go to a Yoga or Pilates class or stretch while watching your favorite Christmas movie

5. Use the stairs instead of the elevator

6. Stay Hydrated

7. Try not to gain those extra holiday pounds and STICK to your DIET

8. Stock up on bubbles and enjoy a nice warm bath

9. Get yourself some Vitamin D supplements

10. Invest in a good pair of winter boots so you do not slip and fall during this icy period

11. Fish Oil tablets have been shown to reduce inflammation

12. Treat yourself to a nice massage

13. AND do not miss any of your physiotherapy appointments!!