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Complexity In A Common Ankle Sprain

Everyone has experienced some degree of ankle sprains. You might have experienced it when your walking along and just mis-stepped that small curve, running down the stairs and just lost balance or somethings playing sports you land simply land awkwardly. Having experienced it, have you ever wondered exactly what is it? Some ankle sprains take much longer to heal than others. Why is this so?

As common as the injury is, the structure of the ankle isn’t simple at all. On the outside of your ankle, it is stabilized by 3 ligaments: one in the front (anterior talofibular ligament), one in the middle (calcaneofibular ligament) and one in the back (posterior talofibular ligament). On the inside of your ankle, there are 4 ligaments that stabilize the ankle, collectively known as the deltoid ligament. There’s other bones and muscles in the ankle, but we’ll stick to the ligaments for now since we are talking about ankle sprains.

The most common ankle sprain is the inversion ankle sprain, in which the outside ligament in the front gets stretched or sometimes ripped. If it’s just stretched, it’s considered a grade 1 ankle sprain. If it’s partially ripped but still intact, it’s considered a grade 2. Lastly, the injury is considered a grade 3 when the ligament is completely ruptured. Intuitively, the healing time will vary depending on the extent of it injury.

Although the ankle sprain seems like such a common injury, the ankle itself is a complexed joint consisting of multiple tendons, ligaments, nerves and muscles. If you’ve got a bit of lingering pain, feels your ankle just isn’t normal or you’re getting recurring ankle injuries, it’s a good idea to go see a physiotherapist.

At Capital physiotherapy, we have movement experts that have much experience with ankle sprains. Our physios understand the structures around the ankle and can give some solid advice to help build strength and confidence in your ankle once again. If your in South Yarra, Footscray or Balwyn, give us a call or email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au and one of our friendly physiotherapist will help sort out your ankle worries.

Freestyle Trampoline – A Fun Way To Exercise

Jumping around on a trampoline is probably as close to flying as we can get without extremely sophisticated equipment. With just a few springs and a durable platform, you can easily soar over 3 meters high. As long as you stay within your skill level and mind others safety, this activity is a relatively safe past time and great way to workout. Along with all the fun, it can target many fitness components at the same time.

Power:

The most obvious development would be development of power, specifically in the lower limbs. It might seem as if the trampoline may be doing most of the work, but if you want to rise higher than anyone else, better put some force with the jump. The more force you use to propel yourself up, the greater development of power you with acquire especially in the calves.

Coordination and body awareness:

You‘ve probably seen gymnasts do some crazy flips mid-air and gracefully land exactly where they began. Some can refer to this as technique and skills, I prefer to call it body awareness and coordination. To be able to perform such tumbles in the air requires much training to develop body awareness in the air. Once you get the sense of where you are in the air, it takes even more practice to be able to coordinate your limbs and trunk to complete a basic 360 spin and land on the same spot.  

Cardiovascular:

Having lots of fun bouncing around also means you lose track of time. You can easily reach a good 30 minutes of bouncing and not even realize it. By the time you do notice, your likely sweating bullets, your lower limbs are pretty sore and your 

breathing is heavy. All these are signs that you’ve tapped into your cardiovascular system. What better way to get the cardio going than having fun bouncing around?

Freestyle trampoline is a great way to have fun and exercise. If you are having trouble getting motivated to start exercising, give bouncing a shot and see if you enjoy it. On the flip side, sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming when the person on the next trampoline is doing crazy twirls while you haven’t the slightest idea of how to coordinate each bounce. If bouncing you would really like to be able to do in the future, a physiotherapist will be able to start you off with some advice and exercises.

At Capital physiotherapy, we have movement specialist that can help reduce the risk of injury during your bouncing session. We perform thorough assessment to identify the missing component in your fitness and then develop the best individualized plan to target which ever component you are need improvement: ie. balance, body awareness, coordination and cardiovascular fitness.

We are located in Footscray, Balwyn and South Yarra. If you’ve got any enquiries with beginning new exercises or just want to improve your performance, contact us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au or 0401 865 333 to get one of our friendly physios to give you a few suggestions.

 

Did I Wreck My Radial Nerve?

There are some days that your wrist feels weak when doing everyday activities like using the screwdriver, using the spatula or picking up a jug of water. Generally speaking, it’s usually nothing serious and giving it a rest for a day or two would usually fix it. However, what if resting just isn’t cutting it? What if it’s something else?

Basic Anatomy:

Nerves are a tricky thing, so let’s go over a bit more anatomy this time. The wrist is a complex structure consisting of 29 bones and 34 muscles that complete the dexterous movements of the hand. Along with this, you have 3 major nerves that supply the front and the back of the hand. If you’ve got lingering weakness with your grip, especially during the movement of opening your palm, you might have injured one of your major nerve. The particular nerve of interest with this opening of the palm and also the bending the wrist upwards is the radial nerve.

Radial Nerve Supply:

The radial begins in the side of your neck traveling behind your upper arm then into the back of the forearm. At the forearm, it supplies the muscles of the forearm that does the movements mentioned previously: opening the palm and bending the wrist upwards. Hence, that weakness felt when opening your palms or bending your wrist upwards if the radial nerve is irritated. Not only does it supply the muscles of the arms, it also has touch sensory input on the back of your forearm hand. So if you’ve got some lingering weakness and also feel some weird different sensation on the back of your hand/forearm, it’s quite possible the radial nerve is involved.

How Does It Happen:

Since the radial nerve travels from the neck all the way to the hand, anything that irritates the nerve along its pathway can be considered radial nerve irritation. One of the silliest (but common) ways is if someone (or yourself) sleeps on your arm. Having the full weight of a head on your arm the entire night can cause compression to the nerve leading to radial nerve irritation. In activities where you have to continuously use your forearms (screwdriver, hammer, racket sports, gym training, etc.), the repetitive contraction of your forearm muscles can also compress and irritate the nerve.

Again, nerves are not the easiest things to deal with. If you’re getting lingering symptoms like change in sensations in the back of your hand and especially weakness of your forearms, it’s best to get it checked out by a professional. Physiotherapist are movement therapist and are familiar with the anatomy of the arm. We can help identify where the nerve has been irritated to specifically and effectively treat the area of irritation.

At Capital Physiotherapy, we believe in a holistic approach from pain management to return to daily activity and then return to work or hobbies. If you’ve got worries with your arms, email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au to book an appointment with us at South Yarra, Balwyn and Footscray and our friendly physiotherapist will help you find out the cause of your worries and get you back to doing what you love.

Do I Have an Unstable Shoulder?

Shoulder instability is a catch all term used to describe the inability of the body to keep the upper arm in the center of the shoulder joint. Misalignment of the shoulder joint can arise as different symptoms, but generally most complain of some sort of weakness during overhead activities.

The Shoulder Joint:

Quick anatomy class, the shoulder joint is made of the upper arm bone (Humerus) and the shoulder blade bone (scapula). Notice the connection point between the humerus and the scapula. The head of the humerus is pretty big compared to the connecting surface of the scapula. In order to keep the head of the humerus centered in on scapula surface, the ligaments, muscles and cartilage structures around the shoulder joint need to work together in coordination.

How does it happen:

Unstable shoulder can begin with a single traumatic event causing damage to the surrounding structures of the shoulder. In the sporting world, getting tackled from behind or the side with your arm reaching overhead can easily damage the ligaments of the shoulder leading to shoulder instability. If you fall with an outstretched arm directly onto your side, there is a big risk for injuring both cartilage and ligaments.

Unstable shoulder can also occur with repetitive extreme range motions. A classic example would be the baseball throw position. Due to the repetitive action of placing your shoulder in an extreme range of motion, the ligaments can get overstretched and muscles can be strained. Other notable activities with these extreme shoulder ranges include swimming, weight training and overhead related work like light fixture installation.

What does it feel like:

If the muscle, ligaments or cartilage around the shoulder is injured, there is a chance that the humerus will be off centered when moving your arm around, especially during overhead activity. Pain and/or weakness at the shoulder would be the most common complaint, especially when performing overhead activities like hanging clothes, reaching for high cupboards, catching ball overhead and overhand throws.

Shoulder instability can be debilitating to a point where it interferes with your hobbies. If left unchecked, it may start affecting your activities of daily living as well. Simple task like hanging clothes, reaching of high cupboards and every reaching across the table may become more and more difficult. Before it gets to this point, it’s probably a good idea to get it checked out by a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapist are movement specialist and can help manage shoulder conditions like shoulder instability. At Capital physiotherapy, we perform a thorough assessment to identify which structures of the shoulder has been compromise. This way, we can directly target the deficit to get the best results as efficient as possible. If your shoulder is giving you grief, email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au or give us a call at one of our clinics at South Yarra, Balwyn and Footscray to start a holistic tailored program.

Click! Snap! Pop! Dancers Hip

So you’ve been dancing for a while, everything is going great. Gradually, you’ve noticed there is a clicking sensation during some of the bigger movements. It doesn’t hurt or anything, so it’s probably nothing to worry about. A few months down the track, the clicking is getting more apparent and now there is pain associated with it. What’s going on?

What might be happening is a tendon flicking over a bone. No pain happens immediately because minimal irritation is occurring between the bone and tendon. However, when the tendon becomes stronger and the dance movement becomes bigger, the tendon can rub on each other stronger and that’s when the pain begins.

Dancers hip, also known as snapping hip syndrome, is characterized by a flicking or snapping sensation when the hip is in motion, especially during end range movements. A couple of muscles could be the possible culprit for this condition. If you’re getting the flicking sensation on the inside of your hip, its likely the iliopsoas tendon that’s flicking over one of the bony parts of your pelvis. If the snapping is felt on the outside of the hip, its likely the iliotibial band (IT band) flicking over the big bone on your upper leg.

Generally speaking, this condition occurs with repetitive movement of the hip. Lots and lots of big movement of the hip would cause some muscles to tighten up which may contribute to the clicking sensation. If you feel like the muscles on the inside and outside of the hip feels really stiff, try some of these stretches out and see if it helps with your hip.

Stretches are important to settle down the pain to be able to continue what you love. However, you would likely require a strengthen protocol to build a stable core/gluteal to prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. More information regarding the gluteal and core strengthening can be found in our previous post at:

https://www.capitalphysiotherapy.com.au/kim-k-workout-get-dream-bottom/

https://www.capitalphysiotherapy.com.au/importance-of-core-strengthstability/

If that hip is still giving you some annoyance, it would be worthwhile to get it checked up by a physiotherapist. Physiotherapist are movement experts who have plenty of experience with hip issues and we love seeing people return to what they love doing the most.

Whether it is dancers hip or any hip conditions, Capital Physiotherapy has experienced physiotherapist who are familiar with hip assessments. If your hips don’t seem to be performing to your standards, call us at 0401 865 333 or drop by one our clinics at Balwyn, Footscray or South Yarra and one of our friendly Physiotherapist will gladly take a look. We’ll provide you with an individualised plan to get you back to dancing safely and effectively!

The Importance of Core Strength and Control in Breakdancing

Continuing on the topic of dancing, let’s talk about breakdancing. What really sets apart breakdancing from all other dances is the flashy moves executed on their hands. Basic movements like transitioning from crab position to prone position and handstands are considered easy to breakdancers. Experienced breakdancers can spin and jump from hand to hand for a good 30 seconds when performing some of the more advanced moves.

Much like any other dance, breakdancers requires a great deal of strength, body awareness, balance, flexibility and coordination. Lack in any of these components of fitness would definitely reduce the fluidity of bboy moves. However, I would argue the most important factor for any breakdancer would be the extraordinary core strength and control.

Let’s take the beginner downrock footwork “6-step” for example:

When we break down the move, it’s basically a transition move from plank to side plank to reverse table top by stepping your legs in a circle. The planks, side plank and reverse table top all have a component of core strength. Since breakdancers transition in and out of this position regularly, they should have extremely strong core strength.

Now consider the basic power move “flare”:

This is a move where both legs are off the ground for the duration of the move, which means the breakdancer will only be on their hands. Arm strength is definitely required for the move, but it is more important to be able to bring your body high enough to allow your legs to clear the ground. In other words, you need that core strength to elevate the body up.

With that said, core strength sets up a solid foundation to execute various moves in breakdancing. If your foundation is weak, the entire move would crumble. Check out one of our previous blogs for more information on core strength and stability: https://www.capitalphysiotherapy.com.au/importance-of-core-strengthstability/

If you seem to be you’ve been in the bboy scene for a while and seem to have plateaued despite the number of hours spent practicing in the studio, it might be worthwhile to get thorough analysis completed by a physiotherapist. As movement experts, we can pick up on subtle muscle deficiency that may be the reason why you’ve plateaued. We can incorporating an individualized strengthening program can greatly complement breakdancing.

It’s also common for breakdancers to be hiding their aches and pains to continue dancing away. If you’re looking for an alternative to improving your dance or have some muscle issue that you are unwilling to share with your fellow dancers, come talk to one of us at Capital physiotherapy. Contact us by phone 0401 865 333 or email info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au and one of our holistic friendly physiotherapist will help you stay on top of breaking.

A Physio’s Perspective On Gaming Hands

The rise in technology comes with increase popularity with Video games. Gaming was originally designed as a casual activity to relax, escape the world for a bit or just as something to do when hanging out with mates. While the vast majority of gamers tend to be as described, things can still get quite competitive in casual gaming. I mean, the goal is to win in any game and it’s no fun to keep on losing.

If you’ve got that winning mindset, you are likely to spend more time on practicing your game plays, reaction speed and experimenting different strategies. Practice makes perfect after all.

However, that means more time on a chair or couch and in front of a computer or TV. Constantly clicking away on the keyboard/controller can also have an effect on your wrist, thumb and fingers. It’s really important to take 5-10 minute break in between each round to give your hands and fingers a chance to rest. During the break, try some of these stretches to keep them nice and limber.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

Wrist Extensor Stretch      Index Stretch

 

Thumb Adductor Stretch

Thumb extensor Stretch

 

 

 

 

Hopefully these stretches would ease the ache and you won’t need any further treatment.

However, it might be a good idea to seek professional help if you’ve got lingering aches and soreness. Physiotherapists can give a holistic analysis of your gaming posture and help relieve those achy symptoms. We can also give some essential advice for posture, wrist alignment and strengthening exercises to allow you to game longer and harder.

If you’re in the neighborhood of Balwyn, Footscray or South Yarra, Capital physiotherapy is around to help relieve your symptoms. Give us a call at 0401 865 333 or email info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au and let’s figure out a way to let you play without soreness!

Physiotherapy and Sciatica

The term sciatica is becoming commonly used. Some use it to describe lower back pain that radiates down the leg, other believe it starts that the bottom muscle and tingles to the back of the heel. What exactly is this sciatica thing?

What is Sciatica?

A quick anatomy lesson, there is a long nerve that runs from your back all the way down to the heel called the sciatic nerve. Nerves carry sensations such as pain and touch from the muscles and skin. Sciatica is a broad term used to describe any pressure placed onto this nerve which may causes numbness, tingling, pain and/or paresthesia along the lines of where the nerve innervates. Various parts of the body can cause these symptoms not limited to tight muscles, inflammation and disc bulge.

Am I at risk of getting Sciatica?

Sciatic is seen more often between the age of 30 and 50. Some occupations may be more prone to this condition as well, especially ones that involve heavy lifting and twisting and also prolonged hours of sitting.

How do I fix Sciatica?

Unfortunately, this is not a simple answer because it depends on where is the sciatic nerve getting pushed. You probably want to see a physiotherapist for a better analysis, but try some of these stretches to see if it relieves your symptoms for now:

Lumbar Rocks
Cat Camel

 

 

Child’s Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piriformis Stretch

 

Again, do see a physiotherapist for a full diagnosis for a complete treatment plan. If you are near Balwyn, South Yarra or Footscray, drop by Capital physiotherapy to see one of our friendly physiotherapists who are experienced with treating Sciatica.

Physiotherapy and Non-contact Martial Art

We’ve talked about full-contact mixed martial arts, now let’s talk about some non-contact based martial arts. All martial arts was traditionally designed for combat or self-defense. Before learning to strike, many martial arts begin with a set routine are designed to refine techniques, stances and build overall foundation. Nowadays, there are practitioners that specialize in these routines and are used to compete in a non-contact point based system.

Since these routines are non-contact in nature, this section of martial arts have evolved to incorporate fluidity and grace to make techniques more attractive to the eye. What better to be able to beat people up and look good at the same time?

Although martial arts routines or foams are non-contact based, many technique within the foam can be quite demanding on the body. These include:

  • Coordination: Much like the left-right-hook of boxing, linking various techniques together require great body awareness to coordinate hands and feet to complete execute the technique.
  • Agility: Forms are designed to mimic real-life scenarios. The mindset of striking techniques are to hit without getting hit; thus, there is a heavy emphasis on making the speed and agility of the kick and punches faster.
  • Balance: With a wide variety of stances that are imbedded into these forms, much balance is required to keep upright. The speed required for upper limb techniques would easily throw an amateur off balance.
  • Power: In many advanced forms, airborne techniques are added into to increase the difficult of the foam and also to earn more points on the point based system. Your legs would need much power to get enough airtime to complete the movement.

Lacking in any of these demands can compromise performance in a competition. If continuous drilling of techniques just doesn’t seem to be improving your performance, it might be a good idea to get some input from a physiotherapist.

At Capital physiotherapy, our physiotherapist are experts in human movement and can help identify factors that can improve your performance. We can help development a holistic program to target these deficient factors and boost your performance.

We have clinics located in South Yarra, Balwyn and Footscray. If you’re around the area, give us a call and we’ll help you achieve develop a program to help place more points in your competition.

 

Physiotherapy and Common Injuries in Mixed Martial Arts

With the conclusion of UFC 234, Melbourne is experiencing a spike in interests the world of mixed martial arts. Although the sport has been around for decades, fighting athletes like Conor McGregor, Rona Ramsay and Robert Whittaker has increased attention towards mixed martial arts and attracted new participants to this full contact pastime.

When you just starting mixed martial arts training, hitting the mitts and learning submissions can feel great. The rush of adrenaline when landing a shot on your partner or making them tap out is a real thriller. All the fun aside, you should probably note there are injuries associated with this sport.

The goal of any fighting sport is to knock the other person out or make them tap. That being said, receiving kicks and punches can result in collisions type injuries. If you aren’t use to striking, there is also a risk that you can injure your own arm and leg. This can include:

  • Concussions: commonly associated with receiving a heavy strike to the head from kicks, punches or thrown directly to the head
  • Contusions: bruising that commonly occur when you get hit in any part of your body either from a direct strike or blocking a strike
  • Dislocation and Subluxation: occur usually when the joint of the body is being taken past its end range of motion ie. during an armbar
  • Fractures: generally occur as a result from a high impact strike to anywhere of the body with less muscle protection, for example the shin and arm
  • Muscle strains: occur anywhere in the body if that particular area have not been conditioned enough to withstand the activity ie. quadriceps strain
  • Ligament sprains: typically occur when you are fatigued and similar forgot to brace for a movement like a kick. Ligament injury is also common during dislocation or subluxation. 

If you do run into trouble with these injuries, a physiotherapist can help identify which structures have been injured and create an individualized rehabilitation program to get you back to hitting mitts. At Capital Physiotherapy, we have experienced physiotherapist with various sporting and martial arts backgrounds that can thoroughly assess your condition and help you return to doing what you love.

You can find us at South Yarra, Balwyn and Footscray. Drop by or email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au or contact us at 0401 865 333 if you’ve got anything discomfort or just want to improve your performance!