Well the new year is well and truly over. The excuse of holiday events is no longer in the way of starting the ‘brand new body’ that we continue to promise ourselves each year. What are the gyms telling us? Bootcamp! Problem #1. It’s the cool thing to SMASH your body to the point where you can’t get up off the toilet these days. The truth is that as a physio, all I’m seeing is that not every body shape can handle the rigorous challenges and exercises that the fitness industry throws at us. Inevitably, this adds turmoil to our already conflicted belief about exercise – I know it’s good for me, but when my body has all these aches, pains and injuries showing up everywhere, is it really that good for me? In saying this, there really are people out there who thrive on the bootcamp stye of exercise…
Scientists and health professionals know a lot more about pain than even a few years ago. It’s now known that pain is not a measure of tissue damage within our body, but is a way for the brain to protect us! When the body thinks we’re under threat, feelings such as pain are produced so that we (hopefully) change our actions and behaviour to protect our body from damage.
Pain following an injury protects us primarily by encouraging us to stop and rest – giving the body adequate time for tissue repair and healing to occur. Sometimes, however, despite adequate time for tissue recovery, pain doesn’t get better and the relationship between ‘threat, tissue damage and pain’ are altered.
Scientists now believe that the more often we have pain, the better our brain gets at construction pain. We also know that pain is a very personal experience, so things like stress, social life, family factors and feeling anxious or depressed will be reflected in the amount of pain reported – regardless of the actual severity of the injury!
Overall, pain is important to protect our body, however it can be influenced by a number of factors. Bottom line is that if you are experiencing pain, get it checked by your health professional so that you can have all the contributing factors addressed!
No longer is massage only a feel-good way to indulge yourself. On the contrary, massage with a professional can be a powerful tool to take your next step to ideal health! Whether it be as a temporary soother for chronic tension headaches or for stress relief, consider massage a part of your new health repertoire.
When your skin’s nerve cells feel pressure, they signal your brain to release feel good endorphins like dopamine and serotonin, naturally boosting your mood and giving you a natural high! In addition, massage has been linked to reducing soreness as well as dropping levels of the stress hormone cortisol. If you’re looking for research to back it up, you’ll find dozens of studies linking massage with real physical as well as psychological benefits.
So next time a headache hits, try booking a last-minute massage. They have been shown to have an immediate effect on perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches as well as the severity of potential migraines by reducing the tension through the trapezius muscle, which attaches into the base of the skull and is one of the muscular contributors to tension headaches.
Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Your professional masseuse may recommend a physiotherapy or GP appointment if they feel your muscular tension is a little more than a temporary concern.
If you’d like to try it out, book in with one of our expert professionals at PHYSIOlogical Training Physiotherapy – Remedial, Deep Tissue, Sports and Relaxation Massage available in addition to our expert Physiotherapy services. You pay so much for your private health insurance, why not put it to use with HICAPS available for all services in clinic!
I am often asked to explain the difference between Physiotherapists and Personal Trainers, so I thought I’d try and clarify it here.
Many Physiotherapists take on a presence in fitness training as an extension of their rehabilitation role. They advise clients on exercising with, and for the prevention of, certain types of injuries. They often work in close consultation with medical physicians and surgeons to plan overall healthcare strategies for patients.
Physiotherapists routinely prescribe training programs for clients outside their regular treatments. As a result, there is overlap, so it is understandable that confusion exists. A Physiotherapist is a university trained professional (4 years) that is also part of the Allied Health group. Generally, Physiotherapists are specialists in the area of musculoskeletal disorders; prevention, treatment and management.
For those who haven’t met her, Claire Sobolewski, aka ‘Physio Claire’ is the founder and principal physiotherapist for PHYSIOlogical Training Physiotherapy. Working with her small team from their clinic on Anderson Street in Port Hedland, their focus is primarily on injury prevention and management for clients to get the most out of their fitness and life in general!
Practicing in town since 2011, local awareness of Claire’s clinic has grown since their October 2018 move to the Anderson Street practice. Their exceptional health-driven team includes the talent of Kira Vikstrom, Physiotherapy Assistant and Massage Therapist, who moved from Broome to join the team in October. Kira loves working with individuals as part of 1:1 fitness training with clients, in addition to her now highly sought after massage therapy skills! Kirsty Jerrard has come all the way from London with her partner who is working with RFDS out of Hedland. She has 9 years of physiotherapy experience and is enjoying her Australian outback adventure working part-time with the PHYSIOlogical Training team. Kirsty’s infectious enthusiasm and laugh has her clients as excited about returning to ideal health as much as she is! The team also now has the added bonus of having Olivia Johnston, Remedial Massage Therapist, working with them on Saturdays.
Claire herself has been a physiotherapist for over 13 years, moving to Hedland in 2011 after working several years in Sydney. Realising the need for individualised and professional fitness training in her new home town, she developed a passion to help local women not only get into, but also maintain their peak fitness potential with small group cardio training and Swiss Ball pilates classes. Eight years on, she has developed a strong reputation as being an exceptional therapist, motivator, trainer and speaker and has her own practice!
Claire’s emphasis in treating clients and teaching groups is always based on people understanding the basis behind pain and injury management. ‘It is through basic understanding that people can be empowered to use techniques to manage their own pain, creating for themselves a pain-free life and avoiding the need for dependence on constant health professional intervention’. Named ‘the anti-therapist’ by world-renowned author and life coach Tony Robbins (during a year-long self-development sabbatical with the entrepreneur in 2013), Claire’s passion for digging deep for the root cause of people’s pain and discomfort is the essence of her therapy technique.
It is through her own business journey that Claire has experienced the entrepreneurial challenges that face all business owners, but as a woman in particular. ‘People are still surprised to learn when they come to the clinic, or when I am doing a site visit educating a team of workers, that the company logo I have on my shirt is actually my very own creation’. ‘I believe that International Women’s Day is a well-deserved nod to the many women breaking stereotypes every single day across the world, but especially so for us where the stereotypes surrounding the roles of women in mining towns such as ours can still be so surprisingly prevalent’.
Claire strongly believes that ‘women are taking on more prominent roles business than every before and with every female standing at the front of a company, we are opening the eyes of not only our business peers, but teaching our younger generations what can be achieved! To see something done before your eyes transforms your imagination and reality of what is possible. If I can be an example of leading my own business and actively being the creator of my own success, for even just a handful of young women, I feel that my hard work is of even more value.’
Check out your posture – other’s do! It has often been said that a positive or powerful posture creates peak performance and as a health professional I definitely agree!
If you work at an office or spend any amount of your work day sitting (even in the car), read on as the information I’m sharing here can save you from expensive doctors visits and ongoing body pain.
Imagine a strong, confident person standing in front of you. What kind of posture does that person have? Undoubtedly, the person in front of you is standing tall with an open chest and head held high. It’s a person who looks ready to take on the world!
So how do people see you? Your posture actually says a lot about your personality and conveys body language to other people without you saying a word! When I’m looking a ta client, their posture says a lot to me about how their joints and muscles are working.
Posture doesn’t just create a good first impression and high performance – it’s an essential part of preventing your body from long term pain and injury. Our modern day workplaces don’t tend to help with this! In fact, according to ergonomic statistics, over 65% of employees are suffering from some sort of back, shoulder or neck pain.
As a physiotherapist assessing people’s muscle tone and strength every day, I’ve realised that so many everyday aches and pains can be traced back to poor spinal alignment and posture! Having the right core muscle control (read: strong back and abs) can play a big part in what your posture is doing.
Muscle and ligament imbalances that result from poor alignment can lead to:
• Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
• Foot, knee, hip and back injuries
• Muscle wasting and weakness
• Difficulty breathing
• Digestion issues
• Nerve impingement (pinching) and compression
Despite the importance of having good posture though, most of us don’t do anything to improve it!
For over 10 years as a professional Physiotherapist, I’ve seen first hand what a poor posture can do which is why I’m so passionate about educating people on how they can avoid pain in their life by starting with correcting their posture.
So what are the 3 keys for perfecting my posture?
1. Identify what kind of posture you have – are you rounded through the shoulders? Flat through your lumbar curve? To solve the problem of poor posture, you first need to pinpoint the cause. Most postural deviations occur because the muscles that work to hold a joint in place are out of balance. Generally speaking, one muscle group will be too tight and the opposing muscle group will be too loose or weak. For example, if I’m working at my laptop and looking/reaching down and forward for most of my workday, its likely that my pecs (chest muscles) are going to be tight. These muscles attach to the front of my shoulders, so will likely pull them forward, rounding out my upper back.
2. After identifying your tight ‘flexors’, using daily stretch routine that you can not only use at work, but also throughout your day at home will be important in gradually making the change to perfect posture – remember it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!
3. Strengthen your way to perfect posture! The most effective way to correct imbalances after stretching out the over-active muscles is to strengthen the under-active muscles. That’s where Pilates and targeted strength training comes in! Focusing on strengthening between the shoulder blades, mid back and core muscles will guarantee beautiful posture in no time!
Want to take action today? Check out the link INSERT LINK HERE to our Posture Perfect Online Program!