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!

High Heels: How Are They Evils To Your Body And How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Many ladies love to put on a few inches on the heels for some extra glam to their look.  Elevating our heels by a few inches changes the whole biomechanics of being upright bipedals and may cost your body the price of that glam.  Here are a few of those price tags and some tricks to help from our physiotherapists at Capital physiotherapy.

1. Forefoot pain

Being on high heels shifts the centre of gravity forward.  The normal load transfer from the heel, side of foot, ball of the foot then to the big toe; is disrupted.  Instead, it puts pressure focally on the forefoot throughout the stance phase of our gait. As our forefoot is not designed to be solely taking our full body weight, it then can be overload and sore overtime.  This is worse when the heels are closed and pointed, where the shoe is too narrow for the forefoot to spread out sideways. The little muscles in the forefoot that react to loading for balance are not in the position to control the weight acceptance process.

2. Calf pain

In every gait cycle, the calf muscles lengthen when the heel strikes to store energy and shorten as we push off.  High heels keep calf muscles in a shortened position and make it difficult for the calf muscles to do its job in propelling us forward.  This can then result in tightness and fatigue in the muscles and eventually pain.

3. Knee pain

The forward shifting of the centre of gravity does not only affect the forefoot but it also puts a lot of extra loading on the knee cap.  It can cause problems with mal-tracking of the knee cap or painful knee joint simply from overloading.

4. Lower back pain

Another consequence of the anterior shift of the centre of gravity is the excessive lower back extension (arch back) in an attempt to balance our upper body on the legs.  Such posture changes how our body weight is distributed on the spine and can aggravate lower back pain.

Here are a few tips to look after your body when you wear high heels:

  1. Have frequent timeouts when wearing them.  Have a sit to stretch out your forefoot and wriggle your toes when you can.
  2. Minimise time of wearing them. For example, if you have to wear them at work. Consider wearing supportive flat footwear when getting to and from work, and only put the heels on when needed.
  3. If possible – wear lower heels instead of high heels. The amount of load on the forefoot is proportional to the height of the heels.
  4. Do frequent calf stretches (with barefoot not with heels on) – hold for 30secs in each of these positions on each side 3 times a day.

If you are experiencing any pain from wearing high heels.  Feel free to contact Capital Physiotherapy us at 0401 865 333 or email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au to speak with our friendly physiotherapists.

 

How Does Physiotherapy Prevent Common Figure Skating Injuries?

The moment a figure skater steps onto the ice, there is one dream they have in mind. Any true figure skater wants to be able to land that double salchow, that triple lutz, or the ever elusive quadruple jumps. 

Figure skating is both a highly technical sport and an art form. Not only does it involves strength, balance, control and coordination, figure skaters are require to perform with grace and elegance.

Figure skaters put their bodies through a tremendous stress.  Whether it is through their knee, hip, ankle or lower back; figure skaters know one principle in their everyday lives and that is “Practice makes perfect.”  This sport is all about repetitions.

Here are some of the most common injuries that we see for figure skaters/ Ice dancers:

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome + Jumpers Knee
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Shoulder Tendinopathy
  • Disc Bulge
  • Spondylolithesis
  • Hip tendinopathy
  • Pubic symphysis dysfunction

Figure skaters need to be conditioned not only on the ice, but off the ice as well.  Conditioning program off ice is equally important as on-ice training. Plyometric exercises, agility and dynamic stretches are vital for this sport.

At Capital Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists are trained to identify the most common injuries that comes with this sport and give conditioning program that not only treat the injured area but also strengthen our figure skaters so that we could ensure athletic longevity of the sport that they love.

We focus on the control of the hip, core, back and ankle to help ice dancers and/or figure skaters achieved their ultimate goal for this sport.

Some of the common training that we give for our figure skaters are as follow:

Box Jump:

Box jumps build explosive power to the figure skater’s legs and is vital of any jumps. Not only does it increase their leg strength but it also help with them with their overall balance and coordination for this sport.

Bosu Arabesque:

Bosu Arabesque helps figure skaters with balance and control for their core and at the same time improve their static strength for their glutes, core and back extensors. This exercise will help skaters improve their efficiency on ice which in turn improve their performance by making the movement looks effortless on ice.

Adductor Plank:

Adductor plank is also one of the more common exercises that we give our skaters as it helps with their core strength and hip adductor strength. This will help with the skater overall alignment when they are skating and help improve their balance and give their movement a graceful appearance.

The above are just a brief overview of how our physiotherapists in Capital Physiotherapy can help you to improve your skating skills and overall performance.

Whether it’s your loop, flip, lutz, salchow or axel and/or whether it’s your scratch, one foot, sit, camel, attitude, layback, flying camel or Bielmann spin. At Capital Physiotherapy, we are the movement specialist and we can help you get there

We work closely with your coaches to help you achieved your highest level of skills and performance because your wellness is our pride!

If you do experience any aches and/or discomfort or if you simply wants to improve your skating skills please do not hesitate to contact us at 0401 865 333 or email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au.

 

Pole Dancing and Physiotherapy

We have talked about how dancing imposes completely different demands on the body compared to many other sports. Pole dancing, in particular, requires very specific set of skills that can create injuries to beginners and can be common cause of overuse injuries if the body is not conditioned well for it.

 These specific skills include:

  • Supporting body weight dynamically (e.g. when your body is moving) on your hands and wrist over minimal support on the pole
  • Significant core control to allow flow of arm and legs movement while holding body in the air (very often upside down as well)
  • Remarkable flexibility and the ability to control it at the end range of motion
  • Good mobility in mid back and lower back for great form in all those rolls and arches.
  • Coordination and balance over little contact on the pole
  • Great body awareness to understand body form presentation in the mid-air
  • Endurance in grips to allow you to flow from one trick to another and to the next and more
  • Good grippy skin for mounts and stability (you know what I mean if you do pole dance)

Physiotherapists at Capital Physiotherapy have sporting and dancing background themselves and therefore have a thorough understanding on dance related injuries.  Our therapists also strongly believe in strength and conditioning not only to prevent injuries but also improve the overall efficiency of how the dancers move during pole dancing.  

At Capital Physiotherapy, we provide a number of services that can complement your pole dance journey:

  • Rehabilitation program specific to pole dancing to assist your return to dance journey
  • Flexibility program to improve your splits, body arches and flow
  • Clinical Pilates program customized to you, targeting the areas that require a tune up in control and strengthening
  • Strength and conditioning to ensure your transition between tricks look effortlessly smooth

It is our pride that you are performing at your optimal potential in this dance and sport.  We can help you with improving your inverts, splits, climbs, body rolls, mounts, handstands and many more.

If you do experience any aches and discomfort or if you simply wants to improve your dancing skills please do not hesitate to contact us on 0401 865 333 or email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au.

 We look forward to working with you in improving your dancing and fitness!

Can I Still Dance? Common Dancer Foot Injuries and How Physiotherapy Can Help

Pain at the back of the ankle is one of the most common complaints we see in dancers. Most Physiotherapists will misdiagnose it as Achilles tendinopathy. However, that is not true for most dancers.

At Capital Physiotherapy, our therapists are all trained to efficiently and accurately diagnose posterior ankle pain injuries for dancers.

The “Pointe Position” that is an essential movement for many different types of dance, especially ballet, this position gives a nice elongation and alignment to the dancer’s legs. However, this position requires an extreme range of motion at the ankle and it also creates a high compressive force to the back of the dancer’s ankle. This position is not a “normal” position for our ankle to be in.

If done repetitively and incorrectly over time, it creates inflammation and swelling at the back of the dancer’s ankle. The back of the ankle is a pathway for many tendons, ligaments, nerve and blood supply to pass through to our foot. If the tendons that run through the back of the ankle get swollen/ inflamed, they take up more room than usual, which in turn compresses the back of the ankle even more leading to a syndrome which is known as the posterior ankle impingement.

Sign and symptoms that most dancer’s complaints are as followed:

  • Pain felt in the back of the ankle usually with full plantar flexion (pointing) of the ankle 
  • Pain with demi pointe and pointe work 
  • Left untreated the pain can start even with normal walking
  • Swelling at the back of the ankle 
  • Referred pain can be felt in the calf or foot

This particular injury is normally caused by overused or poor technique during dancing. Most dancers who suffer from this injury will complain of the ankle pain happening over a gradual period of timeframe and the pain get worse when left untreated. There are no specific trauma or injuries that they could recall of which leads to this issues.

Our physiotherapists will assess the ankle and take a holistic approach to find out what might be the underlying causes for the injuries. We look at all possible contributing factors that could lead to the development of dancer’s injuries. This not only allows our dancers to recover from their injuries but also perform at their optimal potential at the shortest time possible. We firmly believe the power of educating our dancers, allowing them to understand the underlying causes of the injuries to help them improve and also prevent future injuries.

At Capital Physiotherapy, we are the dance physio specialist and we can help you get to your goal. We work closely with your coaches to help you achieved your highest level of skills and performance because your wellness is our pride!

If you do experience any aches and discomfort or if you simply wants to improve your dancing skills please do not hesitate to contact us on 0401 865 333 or email us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au.

Pregnancy and Physiotherapy

Women go through a lot of changes in their bodies during and after pregnancy. The hormonal and biomechanical changes can increase load on the pelvic floor muscles, abdominal muscles as well as lower back structures. Such increase load, when not managed, can result in pain and aches that can persist as post-natal issue. Here are the common conditions pregnant ladies encountered and how physiotherapists can assist with preventing and managing its occurrence.

1. Lower back pain/ sacroiliac joint pain

Hormonal changes in the body relaxes ligaments to allow joints to loosen up in preparation for childbirth. The stability of joints, particularly in the lower back and pelvis, is compromised. As the baby grow, the weight of your tummy increases, shifting the centre of gravity and changes your posture. These lead to instability as well as back and pelvic pain.

2. Incontinence

The weight of a growing baby will continually press on the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor muscles need to be strong enough to support the baby weight otherwise it will not be able to withstand the pressure and will result in urine leakage, particularly when extra stress is added such as when coughing, sneezing and laughing.

3. Diastasis Recti (abdominal muscle separation)

To make room for the growing size of a baby, your abdominal muscles are stretched and sometimes separation can occur where a gap can be felt. It is called diastasis recti and is commonly an issue later in pregnancy in the third trimester. Diastasis recti can reduce core strength postnatally which tends to rehab to assist recovery and regain strength.

4. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Fluid retention is another common problem during pregnancy. When fluid is retained on the peripherals of the arms, it can compress on nerve in the carpal tunnel, causing hand pain, tingling and numbness.

Our physiotherapists at Capital Physiotherapy are trained to assess and treat pregnancy related pain and issues. We can assist in managing your pregnancy by:

– Providing education regarding posture

– Assess and prescribe exercises according to your fitness level, with consideration of

your pain if there’s any, to strengthen your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles. – Tape or advise on equipments (e.g. pregnancy belts) to support your lower back – Treatment to alleviate pain results from pregnancy related changes. – Advise on modifications to your activities to keep you active during pregnancy

Call us or make a booking online if you are experience pain or would like to condition for having a baby. Our friendly physios are trained in clinical pilates to look after pregnant lady during and post-pregnancy.

Sports Physiotherapy: Pros and Cons of Bracing and Taping

Professional athletes and everyday recreational sportsmen are often out of action when injuries happen.  Bracing and taping are great tools to assist recovery of the damaged structures, or to support movement in certain positions so we can continue to exercise.  Some also use them as an injury prevention measure. There is an extensive variety of braces and many different taping techniques sports physios use. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons you know when to use either of these tools.

Bracing

Bracing is an external device applied to a joint by restricting movement and hence stabilising the joint.  It comes in different sizes. A well-fitted brace can reduce pain by keeping the injured structures out of the painful range of motion. There are also different materials of braces available depending on the stability required: the fabric ones are softer, permitting more movement while the other ones are more rigid.   

Pros

  • Easy application and removal
  • Re-usable and cost effective
  • Provides significant support for return to play/ assist recovery/ pain relief

Cons

  • Requires regular cleaning especially when being worn for long hours
  • Bulky when compared to taping, especially for larger joints
  • Long term application can result in muscle weakness when injured structures rely on braces for stability

 

Taping

There are broadly two types of tape that are widely used by sports physio: rigid and kinesio tape.  Rigid tape, as the name suggests, enhances rigidity of joints. It stabilises joints by being applied to weakened injured structures such as a sprained ligament.  Kinesiotape is stretchy and it facilitates muscle movement to rehabilitate for injuries.

Pros

  • Not as bulky as braces and is easier to move around/ play sports with
  • Cheaper than braces
  • No sizing required and gives very customised fit to provide optimal support when applied appropriately
  • Kinesiotape tape can facilitate muscle activation

Cons

  • Material and glue may irritate skin
  • Needs frequent re-application if long term support is required
  • Non-reusable therefore if required for long term can be costly
  • Requires someone else (e.g. a sports physio) to apply for you (unless you have practised a dozen times although will still be awkward)
  • Can be painful to remove and may leave glue marks (and hairless patches for the hairy ones)

If you suffer from any acute or old injuries and would like to explore the options of taping or bracing to get yourself active and moving, feel free to contact our friendly team at Capital Physiotherapy.