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Aug 13, 2014

Dealing with stubborn tendon problems

Treating and managing ‘tendon’ problems one of the most frustrating group of injuries I encounter, mainly because their recovery often has no time frame, it’s never linear, instead they tend to be a 2 steps forward one step back kind of problem. If it’s frustrating for me, I can only imagine how my patients must feel.

Why?

The answer isn’t black & white (it never is in medicine). There are however a few anatomical and physiological factors that can help explain why tendon problems can be stubborn as all hell.

I’ll quickly given you a little anatomical insight as to what a tendon actually is, and no a tendon is not a ligament (I do kind of understand why people get this concept confused). Tendons are thin fibrous bands which connect a muscle to a bone. Their function is to transmit forces, essentially providing stability with no real ‘active’ work. Not all tendons function the same. Some are positional purely assisting with controlling the position of the joint (fingers) while some can actually store energy & work as springs to assist with basic movements of the body such as walking.

Tendon dysfunction is usually a result of overuse due to repetitive stress being placed through one particular area of the body. Common sites include the Achilles, the patella tendon, the rotator cuff, tennis elbow & the hamstring tendon.

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Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags tendonitis tendinosis physiotherapy inflammation overuse pain running degenerative Eastsports Physiotherapy management rest

Mar 30, 2014

Stubborn hip pain? maybe its trochanteric bursitis

What is it? Trochanteric bursitis is one of the common causes of pain on the lateral (outside) of the hip and is the result of inflammation of the superficial (& deep in severe cases) trochanteric bursa.

In some cases inflammation of these two bursae can be accompanied by local tendonitis or inflammation of the gluteal tendons & hip rotator muscles.

Why? Trochanteric bursitis can occur as an overuse injury due repetitive friction of the gluteal tendons as they pass over the greater trochanter during activities such as running and cycling. In these cases there is usually biomechanical deficiencies that need addressing. It can also be of acute onset from a direct blow or fall onto the lateral side of the hip.

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Categories hip General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags hip pain trochanteric bursitis bursitis pain buttock pain

Feb 18, 2014

Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis

Tibialis posterior dysfunction is one of the most common overuse injuries found in the foot & ankle.

The tibialis posterior muscle originates high in the shin from the back surfaces of the tibia and fibula. It tracks down along the inside border of the tibia, passes around the inside of the ankle and terminates via two attachments in the foot.  The main insertion (and that of interest to this particular injury) is into the tuberosity of the navicular.

The tibialis posterior is an extremely important stabiliser of the foot & ankle. It functions to produce inversion at the ankle and also plays a major role in maintaining and supporting the medial arch.

Why?

  • As an overuse injury through years of wear and tear associated with high impact activities such as running
  • Acutely as a result of sudden increase in training volume or intensity OR the use of inappropriate footwear

Athletes with poor foot biomechanics such as flat or pronated feet, tight calves and poor pelvic stability are at more risk of developing tibialis posterior dysfunction.

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Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags tibialis posterior tendonitis tibialis posterior foot pain shin pain overuse injury pain

What is inflammation?

It would be a fair assumption that most of us have suffered from some form of inflammation during our lives…. Whether it be an infected graze; sprained ankle or ingrown toe nail the basics of the bodies inflammatory response are exactly the same.

If I went around a room of strangers and asked everyone what they perceived was the meaning of inflammation I think 90% of responses would be something along the lines of ‘the pain and redness that you get when you hurt yourself’ and generally that’s pretty spot on. But why does this response take place? And is it harmful to the body?

Inflammation is the biological response that your body undergoes in response to a  ‘threat’ whether it be bacteria, virus, cell damage ,fungus, parasites, trauma or toxic chemicals.  In most situations this is an effective protective mechanism to eliminate the injurious stimuli and initiate the healing process.

To live a healthy balance lifestyle small amounts of inflammation in the body are essential BUT it is possible, and interestingly becoming more and more common for the inflammation process to get out of hand with the consequences ranging from fueling chronic disease to weight loss problems.

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Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags inflammation chronic disease acute inflammation swelling chronic inflammation tissue damage pain

Sep 2, 2013

The best foods to fight inflammation

Inflammation is medically defined as localised physical condition whereby a part of the body becomes painful, red, swollen and hot usually in relation to a physical injury or underlying infection of the tissues. This is acute inflammation and usually a short term completely NORMAL response by the body as it attempts to heal injured or affected tissues.

Chronic inflammation on the other hand is a different kettle of fish; this is an ongoing inflammatory response by the immune system. Your body produces a constant supply of immune cells which can be detrimental to your health in many ways. Studies have shown links to cancer, alzeimhers, arthritic conditions. Chronic inflammation in the body can be caused by an array of different things: stress, weight, smoking, lack of exercise, sleep patterns and DIET.

Diet can play a huge role in how our body harvests inflammation. Certain foods are termed inflammatory foods, they signal our immune system to create immune cells while other foods are anti-inflammatory foods. I’m not advocating you design your diet around what I am about to write….This is merely food for thought.

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Tags inflammation pain diet lifestyle food health

Why stress can be a real pain in the neck.

Sydney can, at times, be a very overwhelming place to live. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE this city and quite frankly I probably would choose it over any other place in the world especially to live my current lifestyle.

I like the hustle and bustle, the chaos, the crowds; but there are a lot of people I know who just don’t cope with the fast paced society many of us thrive on. Interestingly it’s these same people who seem to suffer ALOT with stress related problems.

The most common presentation that we get that’s driven by stress is neck / upper back pain quite often associated with headaches. So called ‘tension’ headaches are a combination of physical and emotional stress resulting in tight overactive muscles through the neck and shoulder region. This dull ache precipitates behind the eyes and feels like a tight band around the forehead can turn what you were hoping to be a productive days work into a nightmare where you literally can’t sit still and have concentration levels of a 5 year old.

 

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Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags stress headache muscle tension neck pain pain physiotherapy massage