How To Get Rid Of Shin Splints

First of all, if you are experiencing shin splints on a regular basis, you should consider consulting your primary health care provider for treatment. Whenever your body experiences pain, this is a warning sign that something may be wrong. It should not be ignored. But if your shin splints only occur very rarely, there are some simple home remedies available for you so that you can get rid of shin splints quickly.
Shin splints is a relatively common painful condition and we see patients with this injury at Mt Wellington Physiotherapy on a regular basis.

Use ice on the affected area

Shin splints can occur from a variety of very simple actions, including dancing, marching, jumping, and most commonly running or jogging. The extra force that is applied to the heel of the foot often results in a type of medial tibial (shin bone) muscle stress which leads to painful shin splints. A major contributing factor is often “flat foot” syndrome which causes these muscles to inflame due to increased tension placed on these muscles. A common treatment is the application of ice or cold packs to the affected area which can help to reduce the inflammation which is causing most of the pain. It is also recommended that you should curb the activity that created the shin splints for some time until the healing process has completely taken place.

Topical creams and anti-inflammatories

Choosing an over-the-counter ointment may be a successful temporary remedy for shin splints. There are claims that topical creams that contain menthol will help to increase blood flow to the affected area, also acting as a type of natural anesthetic treatment in the process. At our Mt Wellington physiotherapy clinic we use shin muscle massage for treatment of shin splints with very good outcomes.

Prevention Techniques

There are some simple techniques that can help prevent this uncomfortable yet common condition. For those who want to learn how to get rid of shin splints once and for all, consider taking the following actions prior to your jogging or running routine.

• Warm up in advance before participating in a stressful physical activity. Do some stretching exercises first, or perhaps start out with a slow jog or brisk walk before piling on the pressure at full force.
• Proper footwear is essential. Running shoes that are perhaps too worn-out is a very common reason why runners acquire shin splints in the first place. The best treatment and prevention plan might simply be to purchase a higher quality shoe with extra cushion and shock absorption characteristics. Also make sure to replace your shoes on a regular basis.
• If you suspect you may have flat feet – don’t panic – a very high percentage of people have some degree of excessive pronation or flat-footedness. However, if you intend on doing some running or play sport that involves running make sure that you go to a specialized sports footwear store where a trained professional (at times you might even be lucky enough to see a podiatrist there) will assist you with picking a pair of shoes that will help you to address your flat-footedness.
• Don’t overdo it, especially if you are new to the activity. This is especially the case if you’re just starting a running training programme. Build up your tolerance, endurance and speed gradually over a period of time, and ensure that you cool down afterwards with some additional stretches or slow jogging. Remember, your body needs time to adjust to the new activity. Don’t surprise it with sudden huge amounts of stress that it is not used to.

Just an important word of caution: if your shin pain has been around for a while and doesn’t seem to be improving, or when you start to notice pain as soon as you start your walk or run (not later on during your run) there is a chance you may have a stress fracture. This is certainly less common then your usual inflammatory shin splints, however this is a very serious condition and requires immediate medical attention. So if you suspect that your shin pain behaves this way please see your physiotherapist or doctor as soon as possible.

The best advice for how to get rid of shin splints is to prevent them from happening in the first place by following the above advice. However, a simple ice pack treatment, some topical creams, or massage can help to provide some temporary relief. At Mt Wellington Physiotherapy we treat this common sports injury and welcome you to see us if you need help with making it go away. Call us on 09-5328942 to get a FREE no-obligation assessment.

First week at Physiotherapy Mt Wellington

Thank you for taking interest in our clinic and what we can offer to you. We have opened our doors at Mt Wellington Physiotherapy last Monday and we have already helped a couple of new patients at the new location which is so exciting. We really look forward to making a difference to your community here in Mt Wellington.

You may have recently suffered an injury or maybe you had that annoying niggle for quite some time but weren’t sure if something could be done about it. Well, here at Mt Wellington Physiotherapy we are offering free assessments to you. This way, you can find out if we can help before you commit yourself to a treatment programme.

You will always get the most up-to-date treatment available. We always try to use treatment methods that have been proven to be effective in medical and scientific research. Therefore, we will not waste your time on therapies that don’t work. If you are looking for physiotherapy in Mt Wellington – give us a call to book an appointment or get more information: 09-5328942.

Is Your Bad Sitting Posture Causing Your Back Pain?

Neck and back pain is one of the most common conditions affecting us all. A huge proportion of these problems relate directly to poor sitting habits or bad posture. This is especially common among people with sedentary or desk jobs.

correct postureHere is a checklist of things you need to ensure when you’re sitting at the computer. This will significantly lower your risk of developing posture-related discomfort.

  • Top of computer screen at eye level;
  • Elbows at about 90 degrees;
  • Ergonomic chair must have lumbar support (or a little curve that helps to support your lower back);
  • Keyboard is kept at about elbow height;
  • Wrists are straight when typing;
  • Feet flat on the floor or foot rest;
  • Never sit on the edge of your chair.

For further advice regarding prevention of back pain and correct sitting posture please contact our friendly team at our physiotherapy in Mt Wellington.

Low Back Pain And What Causes It

Around 80 – 90% of adults complain of having some sort of back pain in their lifetime, an indication that low back pain, felt at the base of the back, is very common.  Lower back pain, unfortunately is often difficult to diagnose. Nevertheless, ligament and muscle strains in the lower back and less frequently disc injuries have been identified as typical contributing factors.

Although low back pain can affect almost any person, workers involved in physically demanding activities or manual handling, are at a higher risk. Manual handling, defined as any task that requires pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying of a range of objects, occurs in almost all working environments. Unfortunately, it may lead to musculoskeletal disorders such as work-related low back pain and injuries. Complicating factors may include load being difficult or awkward to grasp, too heavy, large or unstable. Other contributing factors include a slippery or congested working environment or one with uneven or unstable floors. This leads to gradual and cumulative wear and tear of the musculoskeletal system of the body (tendons, muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves and joints) leading to lower back pain.

Work-related lower back pain may have serious consequences for the workers and may prevent them from undertaking a wide range of work and leisure activities for the remainder of their lives. Prevention, therefore, is vital.

 

Excessive heavy lifting causes disc herniations and sciatica

Excessive and frequent lifting has long been identified as a risk factor for lower back pain in general as well as disc herniations in particular1. Intervertebral discs serve as little cushions in-between the vertebra in your spine. The discs are made up of tough fibrocartilage on the outside and jelly-like nucleus on the inside. With age the ability of these discs to absorb water reduces. This affects their ability to absorb impact when you walk, run, jump, etc. This and other factors predispose discs to tearing and possible herniation. Lumbar disc herniation is basically bulging out of the jelly-like nucleus through the tear in the outer layer of the disc (a toothpaste-like effect). This often happens because of undue pressure on the discs often associated with repetitive heavy lifting. In severe cases this bulge can squash the spinal nerve roots giving excruciating pain and weakness down one of the legs.

If you are employed in environments requiring heavy lifting, you can prevent sciatica by learning to lift properly. Also, avoid overburdening or overusing your back and discontinue the activity if it causes back pain.

Prevention

Some preventative measures include proper lifting techniques and controlling weight. Obesity is another factor that contributes to lower back problems.

Additionally, health care providers may recommend a back brace. A brace helps prevent injuries in people who lift heavy objects at work by helping support the spine. Unfortunately, using these devices in excess could worsen the problem as they can weaken the muscles supporting the spine.

A well-known New Zealand physiotherapist Robin McKenzie recommended performing back extension exercises immediately before and after performing a lift to minimize the risk of damaging spinal discs.
See how to do these back extension exercises here. Please consult with your health practitioner before starting to do these exercises as there is a chance they may not suit your type of b

Correct handling techniques

Lifting

Employ good body mechanics when moving or lifting objects. Do not use your back; let your leg muscles do most of the work instead.  This can be achieved by bending your knees and keeping your back straight instead of bending over at the waist to pick things up. Have a good grip on the load, and lift and carry the load with straight arms. Additionally, you should know the direction to the destination, and ensure the area is free from obstacles or anything that could make you slip. If the weight seems a bit too much for you to lift do not take risks and ask another person to help you. No point trying to be a hero and then suffering for the rest of your life and missing out on all the great activities life has to offer.

Pulling / pushing

Pushing and pulling is a strenuous task. To prevent straining the back, shoulders and arms, use the body’s own weight when pulling or pushing, that is; lean backward when pulling or lean forward when pushing. The floor should be hard and even; this ensures you have enough grip on the floor thus helping you lean forward/backward without falling. Additionally, ensure the handle height is between the waist and the shoulder. This helps you push/pull in an appropriate posture.

If you have to engage in heavy lifting activities, stretch throughout the day (we recommend McKenzie back-care method above) and ensure you take regular breaks.

If possible, manual handling should be avoided as much as possible. You can use automation, mechanisation, hoists and other equipment such as cranes, trolleys, or conveyors to lift and transport a load.

 

References:
1. Bejia I, Younes M, Jamila HB, Khalfallah T, Ben Salem K, Touzi M, Akrout M, Bergaoui N. (2005). Prevalence and factors associated to low back pain among hospital staff. Joint Bone Spine, 72(3):254-9.

Are you doing the right thing for your calf injury?

You may have recently injured your calf playing some form of high impact sport. If you’re a regular sports player then it’s most likely you’ve experienced some form of calf or muscle injury before. For example you may have been playing a game of football when all of a sudden you feel a snap and you can’t move forward any more, this can be extremely painful and it’s of the utmost importance you keep your calf correctly treated to reduce the impact of this injury. Here is some essential calf injury treatment advice to keep you fit and healthy.

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
This is standard in all first aid and medical aid training and is often referred to as RICE. First and foremost make sure you are resting the injured leg, do not exert any form of pressure on the injury as this may cause it to become worse. Second is ice, apply some form of cold application to the injured area. Make sure you wrap the ice in a wet towel before applying it onto your calf. Applying ice straight onto your skin may cause ice burns. Compression, make sure that the affect area has cold compressions, so in other words you hold the ice tightly against the affected calf. Alternatively, you can use elastic sports bandages applied firmly to the calf area. This helps to minimise swelling. Lastly, make sure your leg is elevated as this reduces swelling.

Lifts
It’s imperative that you take all pressure off you calf and heel, you can do this by purchasing heel lifts from your local sports store, these are a great help to ease the strain on your muscles. Mild calf injuries may not always need this.

After care
Once the swelling has started to subside you then need to look at some form of after care for your injury. You can wrap the calf muscle with a special calf support that will help to support the muscle and keep the area warm and comfortable. This helps to keep the heat in and keeps the muscles from cramping up again which can cause severe after pain. It’s important that your leg is comfortable at all times, so if you feel to much pressure or pain then loosen the dressing. Remember you need to avoid applying heat to the area for at least 72 hours following the injury.
You may then need to start a specially designed exercise programme to stretch and strengthen the calf muscle. This is best done under a supervision of a fully qualified physiotherapist.

Prescription Drugs
We advise you consult with your doctor regarding taking any anti-inflammatory or pain medication.

Physiotherapy
calf injury physiotherapyIt may be necessary for you at some point to have physiotherapy for your injury, this is highly recommended especially if you’re a regular sports player or you have a serious calf injury. BodyFit Physio in Howick offer a full 100% outstanding level of service or money back guarantee on physiotherapy services. You can also have a chat with us on our facebook page – use private messaging for privacy reasons.
We wish you all the best with getting your injury fixed and hope you can get back to your fitness routine or sports field soon.

Check out our other blogs on health related topics with essential information that you may find very interesting:
http://bodyfitphysio.blog.co.nz/
http://physiotherapyupdate.blogspot.co.nz
www.physiotherapyhowick.wordpress.com

http://alexblajevski.thoughts.com/posts/tennis-elbow-what-is-it-and-how-to-make-it-go-away

Knee Pain: Can You Touch Your Toes?

With the Auckland Marathon still very fresh in our memories I can’t help but notice how many runners with knee pain that I have seen in the clinic over the last 2 weeks had really tight hamstrings. I mean, really tight… not even close to being able to touch your toes. Hamstring tightness is one of the major factors causing knee problems, in particular a common debilitating condition known as “runner’s knee” or termed by us “patellofemoral pain syndrome”.1

Hamstring stiffness is probably one of the easiest problems to address and fix. All you need to do is stretch regularly, preferable every day aiming gradually to be able to comfortably touch your toes while you are sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front. This will lower your risk of getting knee pain and other running injuries.

Some of you often ask me: “How long do I hold a stretch for?”. Current clinical studies do not give a definitive answer, however we recommend to hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat it twice daily. What we do know is that static stretching (when you hold a stretch) is more effective than dynamic stretching when you do a bouncing motion.2

This will only take about a minute of your time a day but if you’re serious about your running or simply staying fit and healthy this may save you from that annoying knee pain!

Download your file with instructions on how to do your hamstring stretches from here.

To get your FREE report “Do you make these 5 mistakes with your running?” please click on this link.

 

1. Waryasz GRMcDermott AY. (2008). Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS): a systematic review of anatomy and potential risk factors. Dynamic Medicine, Jun 26; 7:9.

2. Covert CAAlexander MPPetronis JJDavis DS. (2010). Comparison of ballistic and static stretching on hamstring muscle length using an equal stretching dose. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Nov; 24(11):3008-14.

Well done!

Well done to all the brave runners who pushed through the pain to reach your goal and finish the Auckland Marathon. You are amazing and should be 100% proud of your achievement. To those of you who did not manage to do it this time due to injury or other reasons: I am sure your determination will flow over to the next event and motivate you to train harder and fulfill your new bigger goals! Hey… there is always a next one
Please remember we are here to help if you need any assistance with any of those after-event niggles

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Mt Wellington Physiotherapy Located at
CLM Fitness, 45C Mt Wellington Highway, Mt Wellington, Auckland.
Phone: 09-5328942