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The Dos and Don’ts of Recovery

A man experiences knee pain at the gym

Muscle injuries can take the form of a sprain, a tear or a pull and whichever you are affected by it can be a painful occurrence and cause frustration when you want to get back to your usual fitness regime. This type of injury is usually caused by a sudden trauma, and can manifest itself visibly with swelling, inflammation or bruising, or be detected through muscle tightness or weakness.

When muscle injury occurs we naturally want to recover as quickly as possible. This means less use of pain medication, a speedier return to usual routine and a reduced likelihood of future recurrence.  Follow our list of dos and don’ts below to help get back to full strength as soon as possible.

What You Should Do

·         P.R.I.C.E – protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Follow these basic steps immediately after your injury to get recovery underway. Protection means preventing further pain by removing yourself from the situation and discontinuing the activity that caused the injury. Ice should be applied to the affected area as soon as possible to manage the inflammation, and gentle compression can provide support. If possible elevate the injured muscle above your heart to let gravity help reduce the swelling.

·         Seek Advice – from your physiotherapist for a full assessment of muscle function so that together you can formulate a rehabilitation program adapted to your lifestyle and sporting needs.

·         Reduce Training – to a level where you feel no pain from your injury. It is important to keep exercising during recovery as this will speed up the process, but you will need to modify your usual fitness routine to avoid causing any further harm to the injured muscle. Do not attempt to ‘work through the pain’ as this can cause further damage and long-term injury. 

·         Use Remedial Massage – to ensure scar tissue doesn’t clump, and to speed up your rehabilitation. Massage therapy supports and enhances the body’s own repair systems, reduces pain and prevents reoccurrence of the injury.

·         Get Enough Sleep – as this is your body’s chance to secrete immune-supportive hormones, giving you the strength and energy necessary for a quick recovery. Sleep is vital to the regenerative process after injury, giving your muscle cells the time to rebuild and repair.

What to Avoid

·         Applying Heat – until any inflammation is reduced as it encourages swelling and can cause more pain.

·         Resting Too Long – as this can cause other problems to develop. Whilst it is important to rest for the first couple of days after injury, you can start the healing process with very low intensity movement in the affected area to maintain blood flow, and resume training with non-affected muscle groups.

·         Ignoring It – it can be tempting to ignore what seems like a minor pain when you are working towards a fitness goal, but if an injury is ignored this will drastically increase recovery time and can result in long term muscle weakness, joint stiffness and the formation of abnormal scar tissue.

Whilst following our tips above remember that nothing can help your return to strength more than a positive outlook. Working with your physiotherapist and maintaining an optimistic attitude is undoubtedly the fastest way to recovery.

To learn more about our physiotherapy services in Auckland, contact us online or call +64 9 273 6089 to speak with one of our friendly team members.

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Identifying & Correcting Muscle Imbalance for Optimal Daily Function

Muscle imbalance can affect anyone regardless of how active they are. When our muscles are functioning correctly there is a balance in tone, strength and length in the muscular pairs we rely on to support our skeleton in everyday activities and exercise. If one muscle becomes stronger or more flexible than its opposing pair then an imbalance develops, and over time this can become a serious issue.

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How Physiotherapy Can Relieve Headaches

We’ve all suffered from a headache at some point, but for many people this pain can become so frequent that it is disruptive to their daily lives. The instinct for many sufferers is to turn to prescription medication to relieve the symptoms and remove the inconvenience. Although drugs can provide temporary relief, they are not a long-term solution to the problem.

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Our Guide to Tendinitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon - the tissue connecting bone to muscle. This condition can affect anyone but is most common among adults who regularly take part in sports. A mild case of tendinitis can last only a few days, while a more severe episode could cause difficulties for a number of months.

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Warm Up and Cool Down for Winter Exercise

Man skiing down mountain in sunshine

The winter season is fast approaching, and it’s almost time to hit the slopes. We are all aware that taking risks while skiing or snowboarding can result in serious injuries, but even while skiing responsibly you can sustain small injuries to muscle tissue and ligaments if you neglect to prepare your body properly for the activity.

Why not book in for a remedial massage with us before the season starts, to release any existing muscular tensions you may have?

Why Warm Up?

An effective warm up will prepare your muscles and joints for activity as well as encouraging circulation. This is especially important in snow sports as you will often be feeling cold and tense in the winter conditions before you begin, especially after a lengthy lift ride to the top.

Check out our blog post on tips to avoid training injuries in winter for general advice on cold-weather exercise.

Winter Warm-Ups

Here are a few simple exercises you can do to target the key muscle groups used in skiing and snowboarding. For each exercise, repeat for 20 reps or until the muscle group feels warm and without tension.

1.      Leg Lift – start by engaging your abs to keep your core still, then using your poles for stability, gently swing your leg forward and backward, making sure to use your glutes and quads to keep the movement going, rather than relying on momentum.

2.      Side Leg Lift – take the same stance, this time lift each leg out to the side and swing it across your other leg.

3.      Hamstring Stretch – standing up straight, reach down and touch your boots whilst keeping your legs as straight as you can. This will stretch your hamstrings and also help your body to adjust to the new height gained in your ski or board boots which will require an adjustment to how your leg muscles usually operate.

4.      Arm Rotation – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your arms and circle them in both directions – warming up your triceps and biceps is especially important in mogul or powder skiing where you’ll be using your poles heavily for turning.

Cooling Down

At the end of your day on the slopes it’s equally important to help your body to cool down properly to assist your heart in gradually returning to normal, and to help prevent muscle soreness.

The best way to begin a cool down session on the mountain is to take a long, easy slope as your last run. Before you return to the lodge, make sure to do some static exercises focusing on your hard-worked leg muscles with calf, hamstring and Achilles stretches.

You would never go for a run or attempt an intense gym session without a warm up, so why should taking part in winter sports be any different? Before you head out to the slopes this winter, make sure you contact us for all the professional support you need to make sure your body is in the optimum condition to tackle those hills!

To learn more about our physiotherapy services in Auckland, contact us online or call +64 9 273 6089 to speak with one of our friendly team members.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rehabilitation Following Reconstructive ACL Surgery

Have you recently undergone reconstructive knee surgery or are preparing for ACL surgery? A key factor to your recovery will be your understanding of the importance of rehabilitation.

The ACL ligament is responsible for stabilising your knee and it is one of the most important parts of your knee joint. Tearing or rupturing the ligament can occur if the knee twists the wrong way. Because of this, ACL injuries are very common in footballers and skiers.

These injuries result in your knee giving way and collapsing and generally require surgery and extensive physical rehabilitation. Today we’ll look at the process of ACL rehabilitation. We’ll also examine how exercise programs and physiotherapy are essential components in your recovery.

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The Importance of Post-Operative Physiotherapy

If you’ve recently had surgery, such as a hip replacement, knee reconstruction or an operation on your wrist, ankle or shoulder, physiotherapy is a very important part of your recovery.

 Recovery focused physiotherapy can help you to heal faster, allowing your body to regain normal functionality, strength and movement.

Let’s take a look at how post-operative physiotherapy can assist you.

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Treating and Healing Muscle Tissue

Have you recently sustained a sports or work injury? Perhaps you’ve been told that you’ve injured your ‘muscle tissue’ and are wondering exactly what this means?

It’s obviously best to follow the guidelines and advice of your doctor, but it can also be useful to gain some knowledge of your injury yourself, to help in your recovery.

Today we’ll provide you with some helpful information about muscle tissue injury to give you a better understanding of how the muscle healing process occurs. We’ll also talk about what treatments are available to get you back in shape in the quickest time possible.

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The Importance of Prehabilitation Before Surgery

If you’ve been scheduled for surgery to treat an existing injury, your medical practitioner may discuss prehabilitation options with you.

While rehabilitation aims to assist in your recovery post-surgery, prehabilitation acknowledges the importance of properly preparing your body for surgery. This aims to reduce post-operative complications and speed up the recovery process. 

Prehabilitation also refers to preventative training. Physiotherapists use preventative training to assist athletes in preventing injuries during their training sessions and matches.

Let’s look more closely at prehabilitation and how it can help you prepare for surgery, as well as prevent the need for surgery in the first place. 

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5 Tips to Avoid Training Injuries in Winter

Sticking to your exercise routine can become difficult in winter and it may seem far more tempting to stay rugged up on the couch.  This is especially true when your training sessions are outside!

Cold weather isn’t the only winter risk, though. You can also be at more risk of training injuries during this time. This can occur if you rush your routines, skip your usual warm up or warm down, or simply fail to listen to your body.

We’ve put together 5 top tips to help you avoid training injuries this winter, allowing you to take good care of yourself and your body during the cooler months. 

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How to Prevent Common Sporting Injuries

Unfortunately, injuries are a very common aspect and a reality of exercise, with many athletes and sporting careers affected by the wrong twist of a limb or a sudden impact to their body.

Read on for some information on some of the most common sports injuries and helpful ways you can avoid or prevent them. 

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