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.

 

De quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Qeuervain’s Tenosynovitis is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the side of your thumb and wrist. This condition affects two tendons (Abductor Pollicis Longus and the Extensor Pollicis brevis) that arises from your forearm. These two tendons are very close together and they pass through a structure called the synovium before inserting at the base of the thumb.

This type of injury usually occurs due to several factors, one of which is repetitive movement. This can be seen when you use a mouse or a pen for a prolonged period of time, as well as the use of a screwdriver or hammering. Another common time this occurs is during and after pregnancies in women. This could be related to the lifting technique of the new born, as well as the usually quick gains in weight. This increase in pressure puts stress along the tendons, causing the pains.

Pain is generally quite general and achy in nature at the start. However, ongoing physical activity will result in the pain becoming sharper and localised on the side of your wrist (thumb side). Some swelling may also be observed.

It is imperative that you get your wrist looked after if you suspect a De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Prolonged use of the injured area will result in further aggravation and potentially may require surgical intervention. When caught early, conservative treatment would usually suffice. There are multiple ways that our physios at Capital Physiotherapy can look after you.

Depending on the person, treatment may include a combination of friction massage, electrotherapy, taping as well as exercises. Dry needling may also be done. The specific advice will differ per person, and at Capital Physiotherapy, we are well equipped to fully assess your specific situation to give you a tailored treatment program.

So don’t wait any longer, give Capital Physiotherapy a call and we will get you back to your best again!

Shoulder Blades Sticking Out? Is it Bad?- Ask a Physio

What is scapula winging?

Scapula winging is when the borders of the scapula (shoulder blade) stick out away from the ribcage. Normally the scapula is meant to lie flat against the rib-cage. Scapula winging usually results from muscle imbalances of the muscles attaching to the scapula. Imbalances commonly occur between the pectoralis minor, upper trapezius, lower trapezius and serratus anterior muscles.

Consequences of scapula winging:

Scapula winging can result in inefficient movement of the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint. The scapula and shoulder joint are connected. If the resting position and movements of the scapula are not in optimum position, it can lead to restricted movements of the shoulder joint. This in turn can lead to impingement of the rotator cuff tendons and associated pain and dysfunction.

Weakness of the cervicothoracic postural muscles and subsequent scapula winging can also lead cause increased tension and pain in the muscles between the shoulder blades and the muscles attaching from the scapula to the neck. This in turn can lead to joint stiffness and potentially tension-headaches in more severe cases.

How can Capital Physiotherapy help reduce scapula winging?

After thorough assessment to determine which muscles are contributing to the winging scapula, our physiotherapists may use a variety of different treatment to try and relieve symptoms associated with scapula winging and reduce the winging itself.

Treatment options include:

  • Postural education and correction
  • Postural taping
  • Massage to relieve tension of tight muscles
  • Dry needling to relieve muscle pain and tightness
  • Muscle strengthening and re-training to correct muscle-imbalances causing the winging
  • EMG activation prior to strengthening to help activate muscles that have difficulty firing due to altered neuromuscular activation patterns

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HOW TO FIX GROIN/HIP PAIN? TIGHT HIP FLEXOR!

HIP FLEXOR TIGHTNESS

The role of the hip flexors:

The hip flexor muscles include the iliacus and psoas major. Together these muscles act to lift the thigh up closer to the abdomen, which is the movement known as hip flexion. Excessive tightness of the hip flexor muscles is more likely to occur in certain people. It can lead to biomechanical abnormalities and be a source of pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People that are more prone to hip flexor tightness:

People that have occupations that involve prolonged periods of sitting are prone to hip flexor tightness as the hips are in a sustained flexed position during sitting. People that engage in regular exercise such as running and cycling are also more prone to tight hip flexors. Sportspeople playing kicking sports such as soccer and football are also more likely to experience excessive flexor tightness as the kicking motion involves repetitive hip flexion movements.

The consequences of tight hip flexors:

Tight hip flexors can be a local source of pain around the hip joint which can be present during prolonged periods of sitting or during sporting activities that utilise the hip flexor muscles. Excessive tightness of the hip flexors can change lumbo-pelvic posture as it pulls the pelvis into an anteriorly tilted position. Increased anterior pelvic tilt increases the curve within the lumbar spine (lordosis) which in turn can cause the facet joint of the lumbar spine to be compressed more and tighten up surrounding back extensor muscles such as the erector spinae; this can lead to associated lower back pain.

Tight hip flexors and altered alignment of the pelvis can also lead to over-activity of the hip flexor muscles and altered neuromuscular activity of the gluteal and core muscles which can further be a source of hip pain.

What can we do to reduce hip flexor tightness?

Our experienced physiotherapists at Capital Physiotherapy can help to reduce hip flexor tightness and associated aches and pains through various treatment options which include:

  • Massage and trigger point release
  • Gluteal and core strengthening to improve lumbo-pelvic stability
  • Neuromuscular training
  • Stretches

What can you do to reduce hip flexor tightness?

To manage tight hip flexors stretch the hip flexors daily, try and stand up every 30-60 minutes to avoid sitting for prolonged periods.

Drop down into lunge position. Tilt pelvis backwards to activate glutes. Then lean forward at the hips, keeping the back in a neutral position. A stretch should be felt near the groin/front of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat up to 4 times a day. Stretch at least once a day.

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What people don’t tell you about PLANK/PUSH UP/SQUAT

Correct Exercise Technique

Correct technique is crucial to ensuring the correct muscles are recruited during specific exercises. Poor technique leads to increased risk of injuries.

Correct Squat Technique:

  • Straight back
  • Knees behind the toes
  • Stick the bottom out
  • Keep heels on the ground

Common mistakes performing squats:

  • Not sticking the bottom out far enough
  • Arching the lower back
  • Slouching the upper back
  • Knees going over the toes
  • Heels coming off the ground
  • Weight on the toes rather than the heels

Correct push-up technique:

  • The head, back and bottom are aligned to form a straight line
  • When going down towards the ground, the chest should move forwards so that it lies in front of the shoulders
  • The shoulder blades should be stabilised before descending so that they don’t stick out relative to the upper back

Common mistakes performing push-ups:

  • Arching the lower back
  • Dropping the head down towards the ground
  • Shoulder blades sticking out
  • Chest going straight towards the ground rather than moving forward as the body descends

Correct plank technique:

  • Head, back and glutes should be aligned to form a horizontal line
  • Glutes and core should be engaged
  • Shoulder blades should be in line with the upper back

Common mistakes performing planks:

  • Arching the lower back
  • Head/neck drop down towards the ground
  • Shoulder blades sticking out

At Capital Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists can create a personalised workout program just for you. Capital Physiotherapy will tailor to individual needs and wants. We will make sure that the program is challenging yet safe to do.

All our therapist are highly trained, prevention is always better than cure! Get fit? Start today 🙂
Hope that through this video, viewer can gain a better understanding on tips to improve your exercise technique. If you like our video please do like, subscribe and share 🙂

5 Steps to Fixing Tennis Elbow Pain

Tennis Elbow/Lateral Epicondylitis

One of the most common causes of elbow pain is the dreaded tennis elbow or, as it’s formally known, Lateral Epicondylitis. Tennis elbow affects predominantly the wrist and finger extensors that is located on the outside part of your forearm; specifically the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis and Longus). These muscles originates from the small bone bump on the outside of your elbow, and attaches to different parts of your hands.

The usual cause of a tennis elbow is usually due to a repetitive movement; specifically gripping activities. This is the reason why it’s called tennis elbow, this involves gripping a racquet. However, there usually is an issue with the person’s hitting technique. A common mistake is to use wrist extension to hit the ball. Your physio at Capital Physiotherapy can assess you in this regard.

Other common ways you can get tennis elbow are: prolonged computer work (typing), home renovations (hammering, painting) as well as carrying/lifting objects. In some cases, tennis elbow may also be as a result of some neck issues, including stiffness and nerve root irritation.

As you can see, it is important that you seek professional help when you have elbow pain. Inappropriate care will result in worsening of your symptoms as well as delayed healing. This may result in you requiring corticosteroid injections.

Your physio at Capital Physiotherapy is well equipped to look after you. They will spend the time that it takes to ensure you are cared for and get the results you need. They will make sure all contributing factors are considered and assessed. A thorough assessment is required so that you receive the correct treatment to get you back to your activities quickly!

Hope that through this video, viewer can gain a better understanding on tips to help with your tennis elbow pain. If you like our video please do like, subscribe and share 🙂

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Essential Stretches For Runners and Cyclists

Stretches and foam rolling to maintain muscles length is crucial to optimise performance.

When our muscles is too tight, it is impossible to contract your muscles to create force and power to run or cycle. It is vital that all cyclist and runners have a regular stretch and foam rolling routine to help keep their lower leg muscles loose and injury free.

In Capital Physiotherapy, we have created a simple and easy to follow stretch/ foam rolling routine that we gave to all our runners and cyclist clients. This routine when done on a regular basis have shown significant improvement to their performance.

Studies have shown that foam rolling after exercises can significantly increase joint range of motion and reduce muscles soreness after a intense workout.

Feeling tight is related to muscle tone, while actually being tight is related to your muscle tissues physically becoming shorter.

In this video we like to show all viewer on how to stretch all 6 muscles group that are vital for activities such as running and cycling. These muscles are mainly lower leg muscles such as the:
1) Calves muscles
2) Shin muscles
3) Quads muscles
4) IT band
5) Gluteals muscles (glute muscles)
6) Hamstring muscles

Hope that through this video, viewer can gain a better understanding on the importance of regular stretches and foam rolling to prevent potential injuries and allowing them the keep up with the activities that they love doing 🙂

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