Headaches are one of the most prevalent conditions in society! They cause missed days at work, unproductive days due to clouded judgement and thinking, irritability, low moods and most importantly they negatively affect your quality of life.
It’s common for headache sufferers to bounce between various disciplines, often struggling to get any answers or any relief. Even more commonly the person never seeks any help at all, instead masking their headaches with pain relief medications because they are unaware that there is help available for headache sufferers.
Headaches can be caused by; dehydration, neurological deficits, increased sensory input, tight muscles, and stiff neck joints. Some common headaches which can be helped quickly by physiotherapists are ‘Tension’ and ‘Cervicogenic’ headaches.
Tension headaches are usually caused by poor or prolonged postures that lead to overworked muscles in the neck and shoulders which refer pain to the head, and create tension on the fascia which makes up the majority of our scalp. These are the types of headaches that office workers & truck drivers get after hours seated in the same position.
Postural correction and strengthening is required for longer term relief, however your physiotherapist can provide short term relief from your headache with manual therapy.
Cervicogenic headaches come from the neck. These can be diagnosed very quickly by your physiotherapist. They are caused by C1-3 (top 3 vertebrae) because they share the same nerve pathways as your face and scalp. These headaches can be treated quickly and easily by your physiotherapist with manual therapy.
The message is – get checked out!! Don’t suffer in pain or mask your symptoms with pain relief. Your headache may be much easier to treat than you imagined, with the help of your physiotherapist.
Give our skilled physiotherapist’s a call on 6041 3609 or book online to have your headache assessed, diagnosed and treated.
Patellofemoral Pain (PFP) is anterior knee pain that is aggravated by activities such as jumping, landing and kicking, and is almost always alleviated with the cessation of the aggravating activity.
PFP is common, accounting for 11-17% of all knee pain presentations to general practice and it typically occurs in physically active people aged <40 years, (Crossley, et al. 2016)
It is a very debilitating condition in jumping athletes with previous research indicating that 1/3 of athletes presenting with the condition were unable to return to sport within 6 months (Malliaras, et al. 2015)
There are 4 key principles to ensure effective management:
1) PFP is a multifactorial condition requiring an individually tailored program.
2) Immediate pain relief should be a priority
3) Patient empowerment by emphasising active over passive interventions is important.
4) Good patient education and activity modification is essential.
(Barton, et al. 2015)
Education, orthotics, dry needling, and load management are essential features of PFP management while exercises to strengthen the gluteal and quadriceps musculature, manual therapy and taping possessed the strongest evidence. Hip and knee strengthening exercises combined are superior to knee exercises alone for the treatment of PFP in the short and long term (van der Heijden RA, et al. 2015).
Most people will have noticeable improvement in their pain and function within 6-12 weeks of starting a multi-modal approach, as described above, but those who are older and who have had a long history of pain will need to expect a longer recovery period.
Research shows that poor hip abductor strength was a risk factor to future PFP pain in novice runners (Ramskov D, et al. 2015). Enhance Physiotherapy’s skilled physiotherapists’ are able to thoroughly examine you for specific deficits that are causing your PFP and can implement a treatment program to get you feeling and performing better.
BOOK NOW: www.enhancephysiotherapyaw.com.au or call 6o41 3609
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) causes short, intense bouts of dizziness or vertigo associated with quick head movements, rolling over in bed, or getting up in the morning. Most people report acute episodes of nausea during or shortly after these dizziness attacks.
BPPV occurs when tiny calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) become dislodged and travel around the canals of the middle ear. These crystals stimulate the nerves that detect head rotation. The brain receives the message that the head is spinning even when the head has only moved position slightly.
BPPV can come and go for no apparent reason. It is more common in aging as there is degeneration of the vestibular system in the inner ear. 70% of people over 70 suffering from the condition at least once in their lifetime. Other causes include post head injury and during bouts of colds/flu.
The diagnosis of BPPV is based on:
The most sensitive and specific test is called the Hallpike-Dix which searches for a reproduction of symptoms and ‘jumping’ of the eyes which is known as nystagmus and is seen in cases of BPPV.
The great news is the treatment for BPPV is simple!! The Epley’s manoeuvre is a simple exercise performed by a vestibular trained physiotherapist which aims to move the crystals out of the semi-circular canals of the inner ear, into the area where they belong to no longer cause dizziness. The treatment is very successful and can often be fixed in one go!!
If you or anyone you knows suffer from dizziness, unsteadiness, or vertigo, contact the Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga team to organise a vestibular assessment. Both Nathan and Matthew are trained vestibular physiotherapists.
With footy pre-season commencing, hamstring injuries become more prevalent. It is just not the older guys that are getting injuries!
Too often we see a very basic rehabilitation for hamstring injuries. We feel this is linked to such a high reoccurrence rate. Each injury is different and requires an individualised program. A simple recipe is not going to keep you injury free!
At Enhance Physiotherapy we use a modified program from the Australian Institute of Sport and adjust it to benefit each individual case. A brief overview includes:
If you have sustained a hamstring injury or have a history of repetitive hamstring niggles, it’s time to book a thorough assessment at Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga.
Our team at Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga are highly skilled in the management of running injuries. Being runners ourselves, we know the full effect injury has on our physical and mental health.
We find that most people are taught to kick a football, or swing a golf club, but not many are taught a correct running style for their body. Maybe this is why 80% of runners will suffer a running injury each year. Some people have a reasonable technique, however their joint range of motion or strength is not sufficient to achieve their running goals. Other people have great strength and endurance, however their technique needs some work! From the recreational runner to the elite, come and do a running screening at Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga.
What does the assessment involve:
What do I need to bring?
How long will it take?
How do I book a running assessment?
Welcome to the first on many blogs from the team at Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga. The first topic we would like to discuss is our involvement with the Australian Defence Force.
Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga provides quality service to the team at the Blamey Barrocks in Kapooka. This base is the initial training base for the army. The recruits have a 12-week program where they go from being an everyday civilian to a soldier. The program is extremely fast paced with recruits going through a series of physical and mental challenges to prepare them for their future employment training.
Given the extremely physical nature of the training program there are injuries that must be managed and addressed. That is where we come in! The majority of injuries are overuse injuries (recruits do not get a day off in 12 weeks!) including:
We work closely with the recruits, staff, sports doctors to get the best outcome for the recruits to continue their successful training. Facilitating and managing the rehabilitation has helped us become experts in the field of overuse injuries and will help our Albury Wodonga clients. If you have an injury that is just not responding to current management, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Please remember ‘rest is not always best’.
We look forward to providing you with further information in our future blog series.
MENS HEALTH: Male Incontinence – an issue to be talked about
Welcome to Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga! My name is Matt Lewington and I am Enhance Physiotherapy’s Men’s Health physio.
With Men’s Health in the spotlight throughout November with initiatives such as Movember, what better time to discuss Men’s Health!
Yes men do suffer from urinary incontinence and in many ways it is more catastrophic than it is for women. BUT… there are strategies that can be used to reduce or stop incontinence.
The male pelvic floor is different from the female pelvic floor in that it has a mechanical advantage created by the longer urethra in men which allows the pelvic floor muscles to sit in a more effective position.
So how do we find our pelvic floor muscles?
TECHNIQUE 1: CONTROLLING THE FLOW
When you go to the toilet try stopping the flow of your urine mid flow. If you can do this then you are using the right muscles. BUT… DO NOT DO THIS REPETITIVELY!! This is not an exercise, just a way to identify your pelvic floor muscles. If you have troubles performing this step you may need to see me at Enhance Physiotherapy to retrain your pelvic floor muscles.
TECHNIQUE 2: VISUALISATION
Stand in front of a mirror with your clothes off. If you are tightening the right muscles you should see the base of the penis draw inwards and the scrotum lift upwards. Coincidently the rectum will tighten as well but this is not the focus of the exercise.
GETTING THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE
Correct technique is the MOST IMPORTANT when doing pelvic floor exercises. You should feel a ‘’lift & squeeze’’ in your pelvis and you should keep breathing normally with your abdominal muscles relaxed. Once you master the correct technique it’s time to progress…
EXERCISING YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES
Once you have mastered the correct technique you should aim to hold your contraction for 10 seconds. Once you can achieve this you should aim to complete 10 repetitions, eventually progressing to 3 times daily. Make sure you continue to breathe!! You should start the exercises while lying down and then progress to sitting, standing, walking and other functional activities as you are ready.
Some recent research by the University of Queensland found that “shorten your penis’’ was the best cue for getting correct pelvic floor contraction.
PRE-OP PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES:
Due to the nature of prostate cancer and the urgency to have the prostate removed it is not always possible to see a physiotherapist prior to your operation. If you do however have the time it is hugely beneficial to your post op recovery. Research shows that men who can effectively contract their pelvic floor prior to surgery will regain continence more quickly than men who are unable to contract their pelvic floor preoperatively.
POST-OP BLADDER DIARY:
Keeping this diary will allow you to see how well your bladder is storing after your surgery and will also allow your physiotherapist to identify specific causes of your incontinence (caffeine, alcohol, increased intake, constipation).
Hopefully there are plenty of men out there who have found this blog helpful. If you or anyone you know is effected by incontinence and wish to discuss anything further please feel free to call me on (02) 6041 3609 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can make an appointment online at our website www.enhancephysiotherapyaw.com.au
All consultations and discussions are 100% confidential. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you to enhance your quality of life!