How to tape your ankle
Ankle injuries are very common.
They can happen to people of all ages every day and can be very painful. The most common area of injury to the ankle is on the lateral aspect (outside of the ankle).
Here is our step-by-step guide to tape for additional basic support for the lateral aspect of the ankle.
Self-care is like brushing teeth
you need to do it every day!
Most of us agree with the age old wisdom of self-care: taking time to do things that energise and replenish ourselves physically and mentally.
But how do we practice self-care in our busy lives?
How do we develop the benefits of a happier mind, a healthier body and have a more meaningful time for ourselves?
Here, I will share a few simple and practical ideas for creating self-care as a daily habit.
While self-care is wired into our brain as a natural survival instinct for each person, it has been largely neglected in practice due to the demands of family and community – also wired into our neurology – as social creatures. This is not just a saying but indeed, science tells us that two key evolutionary advantages that enable humans to become a dominant species are our ability to create large societies, and our ability to have group beliefs in intellectual and virtual concepts (such as capitalism and religion). To thrive in societies, “self-care” and “care for others” are both vital skills.
We all have priorities to others in our lives, but to neglect self-care is to neglect both imperatives. Think about it! If you do not attend to self-care, you cannot effectively provide care for anyone else. Which means that self-care is not selfish but really something that you must do first! It is taking care of YOU before you can provide care to others. Self-care is not a luxury, it is as essential as brushing your teeth! AND how often do you brush your teeth? Self-care is something you need to practice every day – doing things that energise your body, mind and spirit – so you feel a little more calm, content, lighter or had more space in your head and so on… even bringing on a smile or two…
How to fit self-care into your daily routines? Make it a habit for yourself! Start by doing a simple activity that feels energising or just feels good for you! But do it for only TWO MINUTES! Here are a few ideas to kick off your imagination:
- Sit on the grass for a cuppa!
- Have a nice chat with your neighbour;
- Take a walk and smell the roses – Yes, actually stop to notice the fragrance!
- Look up and notice what shapes the clouds remind you of?
- Flap your arms like seagulls about to take off to the skies …
- Raise your arms in victory! (Studies actually show that this body language instantly makes a person feel more powerful!)
- Do ten push-ups!
- Lie down on your yoga mat and hold your favourite yoga pose for 2 minutes.
- Take three deep “belly” breaths by extending your abdomen with each inhalation and squeezing inwards when exhaling.
- Try a 2-minute power nap! (Close your eyes, empty your mind, and rest your body!)
- Splash some cold water on your face! (Seawater would be an amazing alternative!)
- Sing a song that makes you smile! (Extra points if you can sing and smile at the same time!)And any other activity that comes to mind that will energise you!
You get the picture? The amazing thing is that doing something for two minutes, and repeating it daily, at the same place and same time (where possible), will actually create in you a daily habit such that you will be practicing this self-care activity effortlessly with the power of routine habits – just like brushing your teeth! But there’s more – this little two minute daily habit of self-care becomes something you can then enlarge or refine – by increasing the time for enjoying the activity – to 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then an hour, etc, or by adding another step to your activity, like do three yoga poses instead of one, of 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups, or even go and enjoy a massage! etc. By steadily building upon this self-care practice habit, you will start to create and maintain a routine that will become a steady part of your daily life that will nourish you! And you will surely reap the benefits of a happier mind, a healthier body and a more meaningful life!
Want to know more? Some ideas in this blog arose from an Audible book that the wonderful Management at Physiowest have selected for team enrichment. Book title: Atomic Habits – Tiny changes, remarkable results. Author: James Clear;
Start your self-care journey with a massage with Alan today:
Many people think of massage as a luxury item, a treat and as such we often leave the periods between massages a bit too long. If we place it in the forefront of our minds, we can change our perception and better understand the physical and psychological effects it can have.
Massage has the ability to:
- boost the immune system,
- relieve tension
- reduce muscle pain.
- and increase circulation, effectively acting as a pump and aiding in the removal of metabolic waste through your system at a faster pace then what the body usually would.
But how can massage help me recover faster after exercise/sport is a question you may ask?
Massage following exercise:
- can trigger biochemical sensors that send inflammation-reducing signals to the muscles. As muscle tissues will be nutritionally depleted, stimulating blood circulation can help in supplying fresh blood to repair muscle damage and muscle nutritional needs.
- is capable of activating genes that send signals to muscle to create more mitochondria. What is the importance of building more mitochondria? Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. The more mitochondria our cells have, the more energy we have. They also play a vital role in healing.
The period after hard training or performance causes an accumulation of waste material and possible micro trauma and slight swelling of muscles. Massage following exercise allows athletes to have better rest and recovery, improving the overall quality and effectiveness of such rest periods. Massage after exercise enables athletes to train better at a higher stander and with higher safety.
If you are an athlete and want to discuss your recovery program, I would love to develop a plan that meets your needs. You can get in contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by making an appointment below:
Trigger Point Therapy can help relieve symptoms. Find out more below...
If you are someone who is experiencing or has previously experienced premenstrual syndrome also commonly referred to as PMS; you would be well aware of the pain and discomfort that is often associated.
But did you know; a muscle located in the inner thigh could be one of the culprits for this pelvic cramping and aching?
The adductor muscles are a group of muscles that line our inner thigh; located in between our hamstrings and quadriceps groups. Adductor magnus is just one of them and lies deep along the inside aspect; originating on the pubis, ischium and ischial tuberosity of the pelvis and inserting onto the linea aspera of the femur. Its primary function is to adduct the leg towards the body, similarly because of the size and location it often considered to be a part of the hamstring group, helping in extension of the leg.
Trigger points or muscle “knots” are sensitive spots found in soft tissue and are sometimes described as a micro cramp. Throughout the body each muscle has potential trigger points; the adductor magnus has three common ones.
Now, what causes these trigger points?
Certain events or activities may have the ability to active and reactive latent trigger points, for example; slipping on ice, running or walking uphill, sitting in a fixed position for extended periods of time, sexual intercourse and hormonal changes that are associated with PMS.
Those suffering from adductor magnus trigger points may experience pain in various areas; the groin, vagina, rectum, pelvis and the medial side of the thigh. This pain can be highlighted during sexual intercourse, PMS cramping and cause a reduced range of motion when completing active or passive movements. Sometimes pain can arise spontaneously and is usually experienced as a sharp pain.
Manual therapy can be used to help treat these trigger points and reduce discomfort associated with PMS but everyday activities and events.
If you suffer from pain associated with PMS, don't delay, book a time below.
Article written by Sharni Chapman (Remedial Massage Therapist)
References taken from: Perry, L., 2015, Healthline Media Inc,. 2005-2019, Ingraham, P., Taylor, T., 2019, Perry, L., 2015
Book an Appointment with Sharni now:
As most NBA fans know, Kevin Durant experienced another right calf injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and it is looking like an Achilles tendon tear at this stage. This means that Durant will not only be missing the remainder of the NBA Finals, but potentially a good portion of the next season.
Watch it in slow-mo here
Durant initially injured his right calf over a month ago while playing against the Houston Rockets, and hasn’t played competitively until yesterday’s game. This leads to the question; was he ready to play, and if not why was he cleared by the Golden State Warriors medical staff?
It is not always straight forward when providing clearance for sport following an injury, and it is always difficult to tell if a re-injury or a secondary injury will occur or not. The first thing that must take place after an injury is a comprehensive rehabilitation program. This not only involves exercises to increase joint movement and muscle strength, but must also include sport-specific exercises which replicate the same movements and scenarios that a player will experience when in a competitive environment.
Once a player has completed the majority of their rehabilitation program, it is time to start implementing return to sport testing, which is currently the most valid tool available to determine the risk of a re-injury. These tests are performed by health professionals such as physiotherapists and sports doctors, and involve high-level movements that can assist in determining if an athlete is ready or not. They can also help determine the mental preparedness of an athlete, which may show if an athlete is confident in their own ability to return to sport. This will also ensure that they are not rushed as was the case for Kawhi Leonard when he played for the Spurs.
At this stage it is unfair of the media and health professionals to judge the medical staff of the Golden State Warriors as we currently have no way of knowing if he was ready to return to play or not, or if he was just unlucky. Either way Kevin Durant’s career will likely be seriously affected by this injury, and we hope he bounces back and returns better than ever.
If you have recently sustained a sports injury and want to find out more about return to sport testing, come see one of our physiotherapists at PhysioWest who will work with you to get back as soon and as safely as possible.
Published by Spencer Davis, Physiotherapist.
You can book online with Spencer here
Picture this; You are working in a practice with no other physios, you’re alone, no support, no mentoring, no one to go to and share you patient wins with. There are times when as a young physio you think, ‘Gee… I would love some help with this tricky presentation’.
You love going to the APA’s PD nights, but you would also love to learn from people every day. Your room is small, possibly even without a window. You have a small area to prescribe exercises which you know your patients won’t do. You are desperate to have a Friday night drink with colleagues. You haven’t had a holiday in ages, and your new roster means you can’t play social netball, soccer, or footy. You don’t even make it to the gym most days and are starting to be the person who will need a physio themselves.
You work, work, work, without someone saying ‘Hey, good job!’, or better still, being rewarded financially. You have this burning passion for physiotherapy, the profession, the patients, and getting great outcomes, but you can feel it slowly dying…
Sounds like you, or someone you know? Don’t let the flame blow out! There are better things on the horizon in practices that are changing the physiotherapy profession for the better!
At PhysioWest we are passionate professionals with a team first mentality. That’s why we provide:
- Individual light filled treatment rooms
- 200 sqm of gym space including cardio, weights, open space and Pilates studio onsite
- Free gym access to all employees
- Discounts on remedial massage for you and your family
- Weekly PD sessions
- Weekly 1:1 mentoring sessions
- Quarterly Team Pow-Wows
- Weekly Team Huddles
- Regular social events
- Designed roster to suit your life (and no Saturdays)
- Above award salary package with an incentive package on top
- Diversity of patients and treatment models, including telehealth
- Not to mention the best first day!
Contact us now, and change your lifestyle!
08 8352 3582
0405 112 959
How To Get The Best Out Of It!
Massage therapy is the most popular complementary therapy used by the Australian public. With research in massage therapy gaining significant attention over the last 30 years, clinical evidence exists to support the efficacies of massage therapy on many health conditions, including chronic low back pain. This growing body of research supports massage to become an evidence-based practice.
As a remedial massage therapist at PhysioWest, while pursuing a higher research degree in low back pain, I often wonder what evidence-based practice means in remedial massage. Importantly, what does it mean to you: a person considering remedial massage, or already enjoying remedial massage at our clinic? Let me expand this topic to offer some practical tips to help you get the best out of it!
Evidence-based practice is described as the thoughtful use of the best current evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. In physical therapy, which includes massage and physiotherapy, the approach integrates clinical expertise and takes patient desires, values, and needs into consideration. A study published in the May 2018 volume of the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal, states that although massage therapists in Australia have very good access to apply research evidence in their practice, the majority do not. Those that do are often those that undertake continuing professional education and are members with reputable Professional Associations.
In addition to research evidence, another form of evidence, often overlooked, is experiential evidence – that is, the clinical experience gathered by the therapist as well as the experience of the person who receives the treatment. Yes, your experience reflected back to the therapist is of crucial importance to getting the best out of evidence-based treatments!
Tips to get the most out of evidence-based practice of massage are:
- Find and use a clinic whose practices are professionally accredited (e.g. partnered by health funds)
- Book your massage with qualified remedial massage therapists (Diploma or higher)
- Ask your therapist what type of massage he/she is trained in? (you want someone who can clearly explain their knowledge as applicable to you)
- Ask if he/she is a member of an established professional association for massage therapists? (e.g. Massage and Myotherapy Australia, previously AAMT, or the Australian Natural Therapists Association, ANTA)
- If all is safe and agreeable to your standards, trial the massage and take note of your experience during and after the massage
- Afterwards, reflect and evaluate your “experiential evidence” on how you felt following the treatment (sometimes, the treatment plan may include 3 or more treatments)
- Reflect and answer this for yourself: Is this treatment good for me? Trust your experiential evidence
- If Yes, book another massage with that therapist at that clinic!
Paddy is an inspirational woman who has been attending PhysioWest since Grant first opened the doors. Paddy has several health conditions including Pulmonary Fibrosis and Atrial Fibrillation but that doesn’t stop her being a very active member of the community.
Laura and all of the team at PhysioWest would like to congratulate Paddy on all her fantastic work in the PhysioWest gym and on living with such a brilliant healthy mindset and lifestyle; Paddy you are an inspiration to us all. Paddy attends the weekly Strength and Balance Class at PhysioWest; last week class we celebrated Paddy’s birthday with a balloon game and then enjoyed a lovely cake and chocolates. See photo below of Physio Laura with her awesome balance tribe on 28th March (left to right: Sandra, Audrey, Paddy, Maria, Laura and Dawn).
Falls Prevention with Strength & Balance Training at PhysioWest
Falls happen to one third of people over 65 years of age living in the community each year (Gillespie et al 2012). Worldwide we have an ageing population; a World Health Organisation report predicted that by 2050, the number of people aged over 80 will exceed those aged under 14 years for the first time in history (WHO, 2002). This emphasises the increasing importance on geriatric health care. Active Ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age (WHO, 2002); basically staying happy and healthy as you get older.
Falls may have serious consequences requiring hospitalisation including hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and upper limb fractures. Physiotherapy can help rehabilitation of these injuries, but you might not know how important physiotherapy can be in prevention of falls – stopping them before they happen!
Importantly, there are several risk factors which can be modified including;
- Environmental risk factors; this means the shoes you wear, the rugs you have in your house, the lighting and flooring everywhere you go
- Behavioural risk factors, like diet and exercise… This is where physiotherapy may be able to help you out
Laura, Physio, is passionate about Active Ageing and Falls Prevention. Every Wednesday at 1pm, Laura runs the Strength and Balance Class at PhysioWest. The Strength & Balance Class is evidence-based (includes interventions which are shown to be effective in the research literature). As shown by a massive Systematic Review in 2012 (included 159 trials with 79,193 participants!), multiple-component group exercise significantly reduces rate of falls and risk of falling.
Okay, now you know exercise is important to prevent falls, especially in those over 65 years old. But what exercise specifically?
Here’s exactly what will you do in the Strength & Balance Class:
- Balance training – including exercises standing on uneven surfaces (such as air discs and wobble discs) with multi-tasking and sometimes even little pushes from Laura – Perturbation training is shown to be effective in preventing falls (Papadimitriou et al 2017)
- Muscle strengthening exercises, using mini weights, therabands, gym balls and steps. Laura specialises in whole body strengthening and stretching exercises and can cater these exercises for all mobility levels.
- Pilates – in the clinic it is clear that use of the Pilates equipment (reformers and trapeze table) has been great for older people, particularly those with low back pain. A low quality study in Spain supported this (Cruz-Diaz et al 2015). Physio Laura has experience and training in using Pilates for a range of neurological conditions.
- Yoga – modified seated and standing poses with the environmental supports to challenge balance have been shown to be effective (Youkhana et al 2016)
- Tai Chi – studies have shown Tai Chi does significantly reduce risk of falling. Laura is trained in modified Yang style Tai Chi for falls prevention and exercises may include movements sitting in chairs or standing up which will challenge muscle strength, endurance and balance.
If you, or someone you know, is over 65 years old and not exercising, let them know! A individualised assessment with Laura is how you can get started coming to a Strength & Balance Class.
Not keen on group exercise? Laura can set you up on an individualised home exercise program and see you periodically in the PhysioWest gym to refine your skills. Laura can also give you education on how you can modify environmental risk factors around your house, and also address any musculoskeletal problems you might have… For example, that really stiff ankle or arthritic knee which might be a risk factor for you losing your balance.
Call us today on 8352 3582 to make an appointment, get started in class or have a chat with Laura about exercises for Strength & Balance.
Cruz-Diaz D, Martinez-Amat A, de la Torre-Cruz MJ, Casuso RA, de Guevara NML, Hita-Contreras F, Effects of a six-week Pilates intervention on balance and fear of falling in women aged over 65 with chronic low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Maturitas 2015 Dec;82(4):371-376
Gillespie LD, Robertson MC, Gillespie WJ, Sherrington C, Gates S, Clemson LM, Lamb SE. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD007146. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007146.pub3.
Papadimitriou A, Perry M, A systematic review of the effects of perturbation training on preventing falls. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 2017 Mar;45(1):31-49
WHO Global report on falls prevention in older age, 2007
Youkhana S, Dean CM, Wolff M, Sherrington C, Tiedemann A, Yoga-based exercise improves balance and mobility in people aged 60 and over: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Age and Ageing 2016 Jan;45(1):21-29
Finding the right treatment for low back pain can be tricky, especially because there are so many different options from a wide range of health professionals and therapists. A recent study has
outlined which treatment methods have been shown to be effective in treating low back pain and the findings are summarised below:
1. Advice to remain active and education should always be provided regardless if the pain is acute or chronic
2. Exercise should always be prescribed, and it doesn’t matter what type of exercise it is
3. Hands-on therapies such as massage, joint mobilisation and manipulation can be used as an adjunctive treatment
4. Pain medication such as paracetamol and opioids should not be used to treat low back pain, whereas anti-inflammatories can be used as an adjunctive treatment
5. Low back pain should be addressed by primary care practitioners such as a GP or physiotherapist first who can screen for more serious pathologies
6. Imaging such as X-rays and MRIs are rarely necessary for most low back pain presentations
The bottom line is that if you are experiencing low back pain for either a short or long period of time, you should be trying to stay active as much as possible. You should also see a health professional or therapist such as a physiotherapist who can provide education on your condition and pain in general, prescribe exercises based on your individual needs, and treat your acute symptoms with hands-on therapy.
Let us help you find the right treatment for your pain. Make an appointment online today.
Blog produced by Spencer (Physiotherapist, PhysioWest)
As a beginner, getting started at the gym is usually the hardest part of meeting your fitness goals. Here are a few tips for beginners to get on track to meeting your goals for the New Year and finally getting started in the gym.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
Goal setting is vital when you first start going to the gym as it gives you something to work towards. Goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.). It is a lot harder to stay motivated to reach a broad goal such as “I want to get fit” when compared to a S.M.A.R.T. goal such as “I want to be able to do 10 consecutive push-ups by the end of 3 months”. S.M.A.R.T. goals allow you to measure your progress towards reaching your goals, and make any changes to your routine or seek advice if you unsure that you’re on track.
2. Consult with a health professional
Seeking advice from a health professional prior to getting started at the gym is important, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition that may be affected by exercise. A health professional such as a physiotherapist can offer advice on how to prevent injury if you have not been in a gym environment before.
3. Have someone look at your form
This step is particularly important if you would like to start lifting weights. It is always a good idea to seek advice from a trained professional such as a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or a personal trainer at your gym. These professionals can offer you advice on how to perform exercises correctly, and how to prevent injury.
4. Don’t go too hard too quickly
When starting out, a big mistake that a lot of beginners make is lifting too much weight or going too hard too early. It is vital that you gradually increase the weight you lift, the time spent on the treadmill, and the amount of repetitions that you perform. This is to prevent an avoidable injury from occurring from doing too much too soon.
5. Have fun!
A great way to stay motivated for your fitness goals when first starting out is to find an exercise routine that you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to mix up your gym routine with exercises including cardio, resistance training, pilates, Tai Chi, yoga and anything else that you can think of.
If you would like a physiotherapist to set you up for success with a winning gym routine, book an appointment at PhysioWest online or by calling 8352 3582 and get on track to achieving your goals!
Written by Spencer Davis
Why your physiotherapist wants to talk about your general health and blood pressure
I went to the GP the other day and they told that my blood pressure went up (luckily only a little bit). I had no symptoms; there was nothing to let me know that was the case. I then started thinking about what affects blood pressure; I know there are several things that can cause high blood pressure including lack of physical activity, eating lots of salt, drinking lots of alcohol, family history and stress.
Blood pressure is a measurement of how much pressure there is in your arteries when your heart is at maximal contraction (systole) over relaxation (diastole). Blood pressure of 120/80 is considered normal. Blood pressure of 120/80 up to 139/89 is considered high-normal (where I was the other day), anything over this is considered to be a condition called hypertension (high blood pressure).
When you come in to see me, no matter why you are here, I will always ask about your general health. This will include asking you about your heart. Why? Because I am treating you as a whole person, not just your back or your ankle. Also, because some physiotherapy treatments are contraindicated (not allowed) if you are taking certain medications or if you have a pacemaker.
Having high blood pressure puts you at risk of cardiac disease, kidney conditions or stroke. What can you do to prevent high blood pressure? One thing is commence a healthy level of exercise: that is where your physiotherapist is most excited to help! Having a healthy diet, ceasing smoking and reducing alcohol intake are all important too, and we are happy to chat to you about this and refer you on to other health professionals if you need.
If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, if you haven’t had a medical assessment, I recommend you contact your GP and get started. Your GP will chat to you about any medical options available, particularly if you do have very high or low blood pressure. GP’s will often refer you to us physios to get started or improve your current level of exercise. A recent study found that Physiotherapists are a GP’s most recommended Health Professional.
While we do treat ankle strains and back pain, physiotherapy does more than this.
There is a great website where you can find out more information on how physiotherapy may help your condition – whether it’s getting your musculoskeletal or neurological condition managed, or just getting healthier! See https://choose.physio/
Blog Prepared by Laura Hundertmark (Physiotherapist)