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Jul 30, 2014

Yoga vs Pilates. Is one better?

I get asked this question ALL the time from my client and honestly I sometimes find myself not really knowing which to suggest as there is no straightforward absolutely correct answer. Both forms of exercise have many positives and from a clinical point of view I don’t think either is necessarily superior to the other.

Some would say it’s a head to head battle between strength & stretching BUT I tend to disagree. I’m certainly no yogi or a Pilates guru but I have done a little of both and I would say there is definitely a strength & flexibility component to both styles. The main difference I believe lies in what not only your body but your mind will get out of each session.

Yoga is one of the most widely practiced exercise forms in the world, it’s said to help with uniting the mind, body & spirit to restore balance and harmony within the body. I would say it’s somewhat therapeutic for many, if done correctly it facilitates awareness about alignment, posture and imbalances within the body. There are many styles of yoga with choice purely a matter of personal preference.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags yoga pilates stretching flexibility muscle relaxation mind body namaste wellbeing lifestyle health

Jul 14, 2014

Can high heels damage your feet?

Very excited to have a little guest blog from our friends down at PodMed in Double Bay.  We treat alot of women with foot & lower limb problems…. when discussing aspects of their rehabilitation the wearing of high heels is often a question that comes up… So we asked the podiatrists…. they are at the end of the day experts when it comes to feet!

READ THE BLOG HERE

Categories Ankle Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags feet high heels foot pain podiatry physiotherapy stretching strengthening orthotics

Jun 3, 2014

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

It’s got many names…. rotator cuff tendinitis, swimmers shoulder, throwers shoulder, subacromial impingement or subacromial bursitis. These are all smart, intelligent sounding names for pain that occurs deep in the anterolateral shoulder (anterior meaning front & lateral meaning side… so to the front and side)

Lets do a little anatomy recap: The shoulder is a ball and socket joint; likened to a golf ball on a golf tee. The humerus or upper arm bone sits against a small socket called the glenoid. It’s an inherently unstable joint which is why we are able to perform all the weird & wacky movements with our arms.

The rotator cuff are a group of 4 muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. Their role? to depress the head of the humerus essentially assisting the joint capsule and shoulder ligaments to hold it snug in its socket.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories shoulder Exercise & fitness Health and Wellbeing Tags shoulder pain rotator cuff impingement tendonitis shoulder physiotherapy strengthening stretching massage dry needling

Are you hypermobile?

As physiotherapists we spend ALOT of time working with people who have stiff joints, tight muscles, reduced movement….. All of these things present as a lack of mobility, which is, in most cases, resulting in pain (hence why they are sitting in my waiting room).

BUT sometimes we forget about the other side of the coin….. The hypermobile ones, those that have TOO much movement, their joints have more range than required, their muscles are too flexible.

This is actually a problem that exists far more commonly than one may think, often it is asymptomatic & people won’t even be aware that their body is a little more like an elastic band than their best friends, BUT in some cases joint hypermobility syndrome can cause pain.

Joint hypermobility is usually inherited; if your mum is super super flexible, chances you will be too. There is nothing you can do to change it or prevent it, unfortunately its due to a gene representation in the connective tissue (the glue that holds our bodies together) causing it to become more pliable& more stretchy allowing for excessive movement at certain joints.

People with hypermobile joints have a higher incidence of dislocation and sprains of involved joints. The hypermobility tends to decrease with age as we naturally become less flexible.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags hypermobile flexibility movement strengthening stretching physiotherapy

Aug 13, 2013

5 ways to give your sore, aching muscles some TLC

Were you one of the 85,000 Sydney siders that took to the streets yesterday to participate in one of our nation’s most famous foot races?

A windey, up and down 14km track from leafy green Hyde Park to picturesque Bondi Beach. We were blessed with a delightfully sunny winters day.. From the pro’s to the novice runner; there were superhero’s; fairies; mums and bubs; and an unusual abundance of the latest it garment the ‘onsie’! It’s one of those days where just about anything goes, and most defiantly the only day of the year topless smurfs are allowed to run a muck in Bondi’s best pub the Beach Road Hotel!

So you finished the race and of course immediately, in true City 2 Surf tradition, headed straight for the nearest watering hole… and no I’m not referring to the sandy shorelines but rather the closest pub serving ice cold beer! Re-hydration is the key to recovery right?

A lot of the time muscle soreness following exercise that you are not usually accustomed too simply requires time. Unfortunately boy and girls this post exercise soreness tends to be worst 48 hours post exercise so if you are struggling today, don’t expect too feel much better tomorrow…BUT it’s all downhill from there I promise.

Despite feeling a little worse for wear today there are a few little things you can do to give those sore aching limbs some TLC. (READ FULL BLOG HERE)

Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags City2Surf recovery stretching massage sauna running magnesium

Jun 2, 2013

Do you suffer from Cramps?

Cramps have got to be one of the single most uncomfortable, uncontrollable experiences EVER, usually because they tend to arise at very INCONVENIENT times… like when there is 5 minutes to go in a crucial rugby game…or when you’re fast asleep cosy under the blankets and bang your calf goes into spasm and you’re thrust into the cold pulling your foot this way and that way to try and stretch it out. Sleep ruined.

By definition a ‘muscle cramp’ is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle. Often they can be accompanied by a visible or palpable hardening of the muscle.
Lasting for anywhere between a few seconds up to 15 minutes often one will experience multiple cramping episodes before they finally resolve.

Cramps can take on several different forms however for the purpose of this article I’m just going to focus on what are known as true cramps.

True cramps involve a muscle or group of muscles that work together to produce or bring about movement of a particular body part. These can in response to several factors.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories General Issues Tags cramps muscle spasm exercise stretching electrolytes magnesium massage

Jul 22, 2012

Why you should always make time for a warm up...

Everyone is guilty of skipping their pre exercise warm up routine... especially when time is a factor. I can safely say for me that’s several times a week!

Coaches, trainers, teachers all tell us to warm up and stretch before exercise but do any of us really know why warming up is so important?

Warming up is preparing your body for activity, gradually raising your heart rate and increasing blood flow to the muscles. Warm up generally involves a low impact exercise such as walking or jogging that is completed before stretching and strenuous vigorous exercise.

Many people assume that when advised to warm up this means stretch, however this is not entirely correct. The stretching component is only effective if completed when the muscles are already warm. There are no benefits to be gained from stretching a cold muscle.

Pre exercise stretching should be done dynamically, meaning actively moving muscles through their available range as opposed to the static stretching that you may complete at the end of the workout.

When warming up for a specific sport, some movements with in the warm up should involve those muscles or body parts that will be used in the sport. For example rugby warm up includes agility drills, speed work, ball work as well as a contact warm up with pads to prepare the body for tackling.

By increasing blood flow to muscles you are raising both the body and deep muscle temperatures, this allows for improved muscle efficiency, quicker reaction times and improved muscle flexibility. A warm up has also been shown to improve oxygen delivery to muscles and assist with flushing unwanted waste products out of the muscles.  A small amount of evidence also suggests that an adequate warm up can also prevent post exercise soreness.

Warm up not only prepares our body physically but also assists with mental preparation and helps your mind ease into your workout. Your body goes through a great deal of stress during strenuous activity, warming up the mind increases your chances of winning the mental battle during the hardest parts of your exercise routine.

What would my typical warm up be?

When I make time for my warm up it typically consists of hopping on the exercise bike or cross trainer, with minimal resistance and at a comfortable speed for around 5 minutes. By then my heart rate is elevated and I’m just beginning to sweat. I then spend a further 5 minutes dynamically warming up key muscle groups; hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, calves and lower back. Some good exercises are walking lunges, side and front hip swings, star jumps and lumbar rotations.

Next time you hit the gym, make time for a warm up. You will get more out of your workout because your muscles and your mind know what’s coming!

Categories General Issues Tags warm up exercise stretching injury prevention