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Townsville Physio Blog

Townsville Physio Blog

Your Guide to Pilates for Lower Back Pain

Your Guide to Pilates for Lower Back Pain

Pilates is a form of exercise that can help improve posture, balance, flexibility, and strength.  Pilates aims to establish a ‘stable core’ that will provide support to the back and a strong foundation for broader movement. Pilates offers a variety of exercises at a range of adaptable levels to aid in building these critical improvements. Back pain is widespread in Australia, and many people are curious how Pilates can help with lower back pain. Each day, 15-20% of the population in Australia experience some form of back pain. Moreover, It is estimated that around 85% of the population will experience back pain at any point in their lives. This blog will help you understand the benefits of Pilates and its role in assisting with the management of back pain.  Clinical Pilates & Lower Back Pain Lower back pain can present as mild to severe and relates to pain felt in the lumbar region of your spine. There are multiple factors that can increase your risk of experiencing lower back pain. People in predominantly sedentary jobs, heavy manual labour, and conditions such as arthritis, Scoliosis are some of the few main causes of pain experienced in the lumbar spine. Age can also play are role in the occurrence of lower back pain as their chances may increase due to age related changes in the spine. With Pilates ‘Stable Core’ focus Numerous of its exercises serve as the basis for many lower back pain rehabilitation programs. Exercises that encapsulate core strength, proper posture, and body awareness are helpful in the management and/or prevention of lower back pain. Even individuals who don’t currently have lower back pain, Pilates can be a great low-impact exercise for clients wanting to perform better in their workouts, improve their form, or even increase their stamina and endurance. Pilates and your Core The benefits of Pilates for your core is well known, and this provides a vital link to why Pilates is so beneficial in managing lower back pain. Pilates involves working the whole body as one unit rather than individual muscle groups at a time. This helps to achieve a more complete and functional sense of balance and strength. In Pilates, having a good core is more than just a six-pack. It encompasses our deeper abdominal muscle the transverse abdominis, and the activation of our pelvic floor. These two muscle groups create the front wall and floor of the abdomen and are crucial muscles that support the Lower back and spine through movement. In conjunction with the deep core muscles, the lower back, glutes and hip musculature all work together in movement to a ‘functional brace’ for the lumbar spine. All movement is believed to extend from these important muscle groups; thus, working this whole area together will strengthen the muscles around your spine to aid in the prevention and management of your back pain. Pilates and your posture Good posture is important in society today due to the nature of our work and lifestyle. Many people find themselves hunched in front of a computer screen for hours every day. These sedentary positions causes your muscles to tighten and may contribute to the back pain you experience. Pilates workouts focus on aligning your spine and pelvis correctly, increasing your postural awareness. Working on these natural alignments puts your body under the least amount of stress and decreases your risk of experiencing back pain. How does Pilates workouts increase your postural awareness? It focuses on ensuring during movement the correct alignment of the spine and pelvis is maintained. To do this the deep core must be engaged to keep a neutral spine and level pelvis during an exercise or movement. It is in this positions that the body experiences the least amount of stress on its joints. In other words, it is the natural alignment of your bones, ligaments, muscles, and other tissues. Many exercises in Pilates narrow in on this concept. In turn, with better posture, Less risk of develop back pain.  Pilates and Overall Flexibility When the muscles or your lower body, including your low back, become tight, they can cause a limitation to movement which may lead to increased pain. Muscles like your hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors can all contribute to lower back pain. Extended Pilates classes will lengthen these muscles and enable you to have enough flexibility to prevent lower back pain. The exercises taught in Pilates will train your muscles to work as a cohesive unit and will help increase your range of motion.  A Word of Caution  Exercising in certain positions can make pre-existing pain worse. The team at NQ Physiotherapy Solutions are more than happy to modify exercises within clinical Pilates to accommodate the best positions that do not aggravate pre-existing pain. Check with your doctor or specialist before starting a brand-new program. Activities performed incorrectly could make your back pain worse, so it is essential that you receive dedicated instructions from a qualified professional before beginning. For those still wondering, Is Pilates Good for Lower Back Pain? The team at NQ Physiotherapy Solutions in Townsville is delighted to be able to show you all the benefits of Pilates through one of our classes. We are passionate about helping people take the necessary steps to avoid lower back pain or recover from existing lower back pain. Get in contact with us today or book an appointment online with Townsville's leading team of physios.

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Sore Achilles After Running? Causes & Treatment

Sore Achilles After Running? Causes & Treatment

Have you ever finished a run, only to be met with a burning, tight sensation in your lower calve? You’re likely wondering, “Why is more Achilles sore after running?”.  The good news is, you’re not alone. Achilles discomfort and pain during and after a run is relatively common. Whether you’re a novice runner, an avid ParkRun-er, or an experienced marathoner, you’re likely going to experience a sore Achilles running, or after running, at one stage of your running career. NQ Physio Solutions are North Queensland’s leading sports physiotherapy team. Within our clinic, we see and treat sporting and running injuries every day – the Achilles tendon is one of the most common problem areas for those who practice activities impacting the lower legs, like running. With our expertise and daily dealings with such injuries, we’re well-positioned to answer your questions surrounding Achilles pain from running. Within this article, we’re going to outline why your Achilles might be sore after running, how to manage Achilles pain, and how you can prevent this pain from occurring in the future.  Why Is My Achilles Sore After Running? Achilles pain during or after running is likely due to an overload type injury known as Achilles Tendinopathy (sometimes otherwise referred to as Achilles Tendonitis or Achilles tendinitis). Achilles tendinopathy is an overuse injury of the tendon that connects the calf muscle at the back of the lower leg, to the heel bone (your calcaneum). Your Achilles tendon may become irritated for a number of reasons. However, if you noticed Achilles pain after a run, it has may been caused by a sudden increase in the intensity or duration of your running. Putting your Achilles under too much stress can cause the tendon to tighten, and become overworked; resulting in pain. Other things that can cause a sore Achilles include running on hard surfaces, inappropriate footwear, overpronation which forces the Achilles to twist and poor form. Achilles Tendinopathy is not isolated as a running injury – it is common in tennis and basketball players too. Sore Achilles After Running – Should I Be Worried?  First things first – is a sore Achilles something to be concerned about? That depends. If it’s a new concern with mild discomfort, it can typically be treated at home with some self-management techniques. If it is an ongoing pain or inflammation concern, you may need to speak to a physiotherapist to better understand the severity of the injury and how you can treat the injury. Achilles tendinopathy is often characterised by pain and swelling that is worse after activity.  If you are experiencing a sore Achilles after running, it’s important that you listen to your body and do not continue to run if the pain is bad and more than a mild discomfort. Over time the tendon structure may alter, losing elasticity and making the tissue less tolerant of load, stretching and compression.  Treating an Achilles Tendinopathy Treating an Achilles tendinopathy is dependent on what part of the tendon is involved, the severity of your symptoms and how long the tendinopathy has been present.. An accurate assessment and early diagnosis is key.  The faster the treatment is applied to the tendon, often the better your recovery will be.  Your Physiotherapist will be able to assist with providing advice and a management plan which may include the following: Modifying tendon load. This can be done by identifying the aggravating activities and reducing these for a short period of time.  Often it is not required to completely cease all activity.  Heel raises or shoe inserts to reduce load on the tendon Taping to unload the tendon Prescription of a progressive tendon loading exercise program to rehabilitate your tendon. This is crucial to recovering from a tendinopathy.  It can be expected that a tendon loading program may be required for up to 12 weeks or longer for chronic tendon issues. It is not common for surgery to be required to treat Achilles tendinopathy. Learn More About Achilles Pain with NQ Physio If you have injured your Achilles running or from any other form of sport, it's best to get onto treatment as soon as possible. Continuing to ‘work through' the pain will only make the injury worse and elongate your recovery. Your best course of action is to contact your local physiotherapist. If you’re based in North Queensland, turn NQ Physio solutions. Our leading team of knowledgeable physiotherapists provide leading sports injury treatment in Townsville. We will help your recovery through adequate rehabilitation exercises to get you back to running sooner. Our appointments will include providing you with tendon loading program for you to incorporate into your routines so that you can prevent further injury. So, to successfully treat that sore Achilles after running, give our team a call today on (07) 4729 0055 and book an appointment.

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How to Avoid Swimmers Shoulder

How to Avoid Swimmers Shoulder

If you’ve recently taken up swimming and you’re wondering how to avoid swimmer’s shoulder, you’ve come to the right place. Swimmer’s shoulder is a painful condition caused by repeated overhead rotation of the shoulder and arm. It’s a condition that can successfully be managed and even prevented with proper care and education.  At NQ Physio Solutions, our physiotherapists focus treatment on healing injuries at the source and preparing patients for the specific requirements and demands of your chosen sport. Our team are passionate about injury prevention and offer customised treatment plans that allow our clients to reduce the risk of re-injury while maximising performance. Based in Townsville, our team often consult with competitive athletes, including swimmers. As such, we’re well versed in preventing, avoiding, managing, and treating the common condition through holistic physiotherapy solutions. Within this article, we’re going to break down what swimmer’s shoulder is, how to avoid swimmer’s shoulder, and how to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place. Let’s start with the basics. What is Swimmer’s Shoulder? Swimmer’s shoulder, also known as shoulder impingement syndrome, is a condition that develops from the rotator cuff repeatedly rubbing between the humeral head and the acromion of the shoulder blade. This rubbing leads to aggravation of some of the structure within the acromial space leading to symptoms such as swelling, pain, and stiffness in and around the shoulder joint. Symptoms of swimmer’s shoulder usually develop over a period of weeks or months and include shoulder pain, a limited range of motion, muscle weakness, fatigue and sometimes instability of the shoulder joint. Although colloquially termed a swimmer’s injury, shoulder impingement syndrome is common in other athletes who constantly perform overhead rotation motions like volleyballers, baseballers, and tennis players. In fact, shoulder impingement syndrome can even be an occupational hazard for professions requiring overhead work, like window cleaning and painting.  How to Prevent Swimmer’s Shoulder? If you’re wondering how to avoid swimmer’s shoulder, AKA Shoulder impingement syndrome, the best prevention is to reduce risk through planning ahead. For example, if you are a keen swimmer, it’s important to limit other activities and tasks that require the same type of movement of your shoulders. This will thereby reduce the overall stress and load continuously going through the sub acromial space. You must also make sure to rest when your shoulder feels tired and religiously stretch before and after you exercise. Most importantly, invest some time learning about good stroke techniques to ensure you engage the correct muscles when you are swimming. The health of your shoulders is a delicate balance between mobility and strength, so it’s also worth taking the time to strengthen your shoulder muscles outside of the pool to ensure that equilibrium is maintained. How to Treat Swimmer’s Shoulder? Treatment for swimmers’ shoulder can be effectively managed without the need for surgical intervention. There are several conservative treatment options available that are usually highly successful, including: Adjusting Technique Modifying your training schedule and adjusting your swimming technique can hugely benefit your shoulder health. Ensure your body is high in the water when you swim, and your arm stroke is smooth and regular. If you don’t already have a coach, investing in some one-on-one sessions to perfect your stroke mechanics, kicking rhythm, and breathing patterns may well be worth the investment. If your shoulder isn’t the result of swimming, modifying your home or office set-up to avoid excessive overhead reaching and rotation can have a similarly beneficial effect. Physiotherapy  Physiotherapy is the most critical treatment step for swimmer’s shoulder injuries. A physiotherapist can provide immediate relief from pain with a range of physical therapy exercises, stretches and manual therapy. Your physio will also advise on the most suitable at-home stretches, strength training exercises, and stabilisation exercises to help the injury heal over time. Finally, a physiotherapist can also advise you on techniques to prevent re-injury and refer you for additional treatment if necessary. Steroid Injections  Steroid injections can be beneficial for the short-term relief of inflammation and pain. The steroid solution is injected straight into the area of inflammation to provide immediate relief from symptoms. Steroid injections do not address the underlying causes of swimmer’s shoulder. However, short-term pain relief can be beneficial to start the healing process and may be ordered by your doctor. Swimmer’s Shoulder Rehab with NQ Physio Solutions If a case of swimmer’s shoulder is left untreated, you may become more at risk of secondary injuries like rotator cuff tears, ligament damage, bursitis, tendonitis, and cartilage damage. Seeking professional care for any shoulder injury is imperative to maintain a full range of motion and prevent further injuries or permanent damage.  Early intervention is the key to successfully treating sports injuries, and the team at NQ Physio aim to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Our team of physiotherapists will take the time to assess, diagnose, and formulate the best possible recovery plan for you. If you’d like to learn more about managing or how to avoid swimmers’ shoulder, contact us today to talk to one our expert physiotherapists at NQ Physio Solutions in Townsville.

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What Is Tennis Elbow and How Do You Treat It

What Is Tennis Elbow and How Do You Treat It

If you’ve found yourself wondering, “what is tennis elbow and how do you treat it?” then in all likelihood, you’re experiencing some symptoms of this painful condition. Despite its name, tennis elbow doesn’t just affect athletes, it’s a potentially agonising and frustrating condition, impacting people from all walks of life. So, what is tennis elbow? How is it caused? And are there any ways to prevent tennis elbow? The team at NQ Physiotherapy Solutions in Townsville passionate about helping people regain full function of their limbs so they can live life to the fullest. Education is key when it comes to managing, treating, and preventing injuries like tennis elbow. Continue reading to learn more about tennis elbow, what causes the condition, how it’s treated and finally, whether or not you can cure tennis elbow.   What Is Tennis Elbow and How Do You Treat It? Tennis elbow is a painful condition that occurs when the tendons in the elbow are overloaded, causing inflammation and sometimes even small tears in the tendons. This usually happens when a person is required to repeat the same, or similar, two motions with the wrist and arm over a long period of time. Tennis elbow typically occurs in people with occupations requiring repeated use of the muscles around the elbow like plumbers, painters, cooks, butchers, gardeners, carpenters, office workers and, of course, tennis players.  The overloaded tendons in the forearm attach to the bony point on the outside of the elbow, creating pain that radiates down into the forearm and wrist which builds into a burning pain over time. Other symptoms include swelling of the area and weakness or stiffness in the forearm. Often, simple movements like shaking hands or turning a doorknob can cause pain for someone with tennis elbow. In terms of treatment, if you stop doing the action that causes the pain, the condition will usually get better on its own. Obviously, this isn’t an option if your livelihood depends on you using the affected area! So, in this case, management of the causes and symptoms is necessary. Recovery from tennis elbow can be slow, as tendons do not have their own blood supply and take longer to heal than muscles. In some cases, it can take up to two years to achieve a full recovery with proper patient cooperation. How to Treat Tennis Elbow The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) suggests that the best treatment for tennis elbow is to remain active but to avoid actions that cause significant pain like lifting heavy objects with your hands facing downwards.  Using pain relief medication (in either pill or gel form) to reduce the swelling can help, as can regularly icing the area. If these measures don’t resolve the issue, it’s advisable to seek the help of a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists can suggest exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the arm to help with the pain. Your physio can also employ manual therapy to relieve your symptoms in the short term. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, stretching and strengthening exercises provided by physiotherapists can speed up the healing process with studies showing that the pain goes away faster in patients who regularly perform these kinds of exercises. According to the studies completed so far, it’s best to do these exercises three times a day for between one and three months. The exercises can be done as soon as the pain subsides enough to allow some movement. It’s important to remember not to put too much strain on the arm as any exercises can exacerbate the problem if overdone. Treatment options also include wearing a brace or strap on your forearm to reduce stress on the area, allowing for a more rapid recovery. You may also need to be retrained to perform tasks in a different way that avoids overloading the tendons.  How to treat tennis elbow if the pain is severe and recovery is slow? Your GP may suggest pain-relief injections which are injected straight into the joint to provide short term pain relief. Usually, the active ingredient of these injections will be either a type of steroid, hyaluronic acid, or Botox. According to the research, these injections provide limited effectiveness and come with some adverse side effects. What Can You Do for Tennis Elbow? Work with a Qualified Physiotherapist The good news? If you’ve been wondering, “what is tennis elbow and how do you treat it?”, sleep soundly knowing it's a curable condition that can be fully resolved with the help of a suitably qualified physiotherapist. Manual therapy along with personalised stretches and exercises are imperative to long-term recovering and having a physio by your side to guide you through the healing phase is key. At NQ Physiotherapy Solutions, our friendly team can help you manage your injuries so you can get back to doing the things you love ASAP! We deliver exceptional general physiotherapy, sports physiotherapy; providing advice to help reduce and manage your pain, improve the way your body moves, and guide your return to work or sport after injury. Get in contact with us today or book an appointment online with Townsville's leading team of physios.

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Hydrotherapy Indications and Contraindications

Hydrotherapy Indications and Contraindications

Hydrotherapy is a popular water-based form of injury and rehabilitation therapy. Here at NQ Physio Solutions Townsville, we regularly practice hydrotherapy with several our clients. It is safe and beneficial for most, but before you dive into the pool, we’re going to shed some light on the indications and contraindications of hydrotherapy so that you can consider whether it is the right fit for you. Principles of Hydrotherapy  Hydrotherapy, or aquatic therapy, utilises the properties of water for therapeutic benefit. These principles include: Buoyancy  Buoyancy is the upwards force of pressure that brings objects to the surface. When submerged in the water, the buoyant pressure supports your body weight allowing safe and free movement as you exercise. It is advantageous for your joints as the sense of weightlessness can relieve pain, increase your range of function and instil confidence in those who struggle with balance on land. Hydrostatic Pressure Hydrostatic pressure is the force exerted by the water against the body and increases with the depth of the water. This creates a compressive effect on the body that is particularly beneficial for patients suffering from Lymphedema, Oedema, swelling, and fluid retention.  Viscosity Refers to the density of the body of water. The denser, or viscose, the water is the harder it is to move through. Water is denser than air and thus makes it more challenging to walk through compared to air on land. This resistance is particularly useful for patients or athletes aiming to improve their strength and maintain their function during rehabilitation exercise.   Surface Tension Due to surface tension, it can be challenging for patients to lift a limb out of the water. This phenomenon is due to cohesion which is strongest at the surface of the water. Exercises that require the patient to lift a limb out of the water are more intense and strengthen specific muscle groups.  Turbulence The irregular movement of water can aid in recovery. Caused by jets, ourselves, other objects, and people, it challenges a patient’s strength, balance, control and can improve mobility over time.   Temperature  Hydrotherapy pools are much warmer than regular swimming pools, kept at a regulated temperature of 33-36 degrees Celsius. The warmth relaxes your muscles, reduces pain and spasms, aids with blood circulation, and can reduce swelling. Not to mention, the warmer temperature can make the water much more enticing for patients to hop in!  Is Hydrotherapy Right for You? The indications of hydrotherapy are abundant. It reduces load-bearing on your joints, helps with muscle aches and pain, and is a great stress reliever. Not only is it beneficial for your overall strength and fitness, it can assist with a variety of conditions, including (but not limited to):  Back pain Arthritis (osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis)  Shoulder pain (persistent pain and post-op rehabilitation)  Injuries with weight-bearing or loading restrictions  Sports injuries where cross-training is required to maintain fitness (for example, deep water running) Lymphoedema  Oedema Fibromyalgia  Mobility and balance retraining  Chronic pain  Chronic fatigue Multiple sclerosis (MS) Parkinson’s disease Pregnancy-related pain (pelvic and back) Please note that this list is extensive but not conclusive. If you feel you have a condition that could benefit from hydrotherapy that is not listed here, give the NQ Physio Solutions team a call on (07) 4729 0055. We can suggest the best physical therapy solution for you. Hydrotherapy Contraindications: When Should Hydrotherapy Be Avoided? Hydrotherapy is accessible, safe, and enjoyable for the most part. However, while it is incredibly beneficial for most, there are contraindications and precautions to consider before entering the pool. Always consult a health care professional such as our team at NQ Physio Solutions before commencing hydrotherapy. Serious contraindications include:  Infections Cardiovascular disease Skin conditions Illness, including common colds and fevers Aquaphobia  Labyrinthitis Absolute contraindications include:   Incontinence Contagious diseases Severe epilepsy Recent surgery Open wounds Urinary tract infection Tracheotomy Recent chemotherapy Some patients may be hesitant to commence a hydrotherapy session out of fear or inability to swim. Your therapist will be with you every step of the way and will only encourage you to exercise at a deeper end of the pool when you feel comfortable and only if it is necessary to your recovery.    Book In for a Hydrotherapy Session Today! Now that we've outlined hydrotherapy indications and contraindications, it’s time for you to dive into the pool (figuratively speaking, of course)! Hydrotherapy services at NQ Physio Solutions in Townsville are available by appointment.  If you are ready to embark on a journey to a functioning, pain-free you, give us a call on (07) 4729 0055. Our friendly team of expert physiotherapists will conduct a thorough assessment of your medical history and your current condition. Once you have received the all-clear, we will customise a hydrotherapy program to get you on the road to recovery!

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Pelvic Physiotherapy: What's Involved?

Pelvic Physiotherapy: What's Involved?

Pelvic Physiotherapy is targeted and assisted exercise that aims to improve the performance of your pelvic floor. Childbirth, injuries you might have incurred, chronic constipation, and aging are some of the many contributing factors to pelvic floor dysfunction. This may result in a number of disorders that can be treated with pelvic physiotherapy.  At NQ Physio Solutions in Townsville, our physiotherapists are experts in pelvic floor physiotherapy. We will work with you to measure and treat the functioning of your pelvic floor muscles concerned with your urinary, bowel, and sexual health. We focus on advice, education, exercises, and manual therapy that is delivered with hands, rather than a device or a machine. With our pelvic floor physical therapy, we want to ensure you understand the nature of your injury so that you feel well informed about each step towards your recovery. How Can a Physiotherapy Help with Pelvic Floor? Pelvic physiotherapy is tailored to your pelvic floor. Physiotherapy sessions work to strengthen your core and improve the tone of relevant muscles that support healthy pelvic floor functioning. Your treatment plan will depend on the nature of your symptoms and condition. For example, if we assess that your pelvic floor is weak, we’ll work to strengthen it. If it is tight, we’ll implement exercises and stretches to relax it. This will, in turn, improve the symptoms of your specific disorder.  There are several therapies our physiotherapists will use to manage your pelvic condition: Education about your condition, providing you with self-management strategies and exercises. Manual pelvic physiotherapy offers a hands-on approach, employing various techniques to address pain and loss of pelvic function. Other tools such as, clinical pilates and hydrotherapy may be deemed helpful to improve your functioning, mobility, and strength.  Our pelvic rehabilitation services are directed towards your:  pelvic floor; hips; lumbar spine; abdominal region; sacroiliac joints; pubic symphysis central nervous system. Each can contribute to pelvic pain and discomfort if they are failing to function optimally.  When Should You Seek Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?   At the first sign of pelvic pain or discomfort, it is likely time to get started on your pelvic floor physical therapy treatment. Men and women of all ages can benefit from pelvic physiotherapy so it is never too soon to start. Pelvic floor physiotherapy aims to intervene before corrective surgery is necessary.   When your core and pelvic floor muscles are weakened and/or dysfunctional, you may experience symptoms such as: prolapse; urinary incontinence, urgency, and frequency; constipation or painful bowel movements; painful intercourse; erectile dysfunction; lower back pain; hip pain; pelvic pain;

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What Is Hamstring Tendinopathy?

What Is Hamstring Tendinopathy?

We often feel aches and pains during and after exercise, especially when starting something new or upping the ante. But at what point do these aches and pains become something that a physiotherapist should assess and/or treat? A common injury that we see here at NQ Physio Solutions is hamstring tendinopathy. Tendinopathy injuries often occur after a prolonged period of rest from exercise, a sudden increase in training intensity or tendons regularly used under high loads. Unlike muscle tears or other soft tissue injuries, the onset of pain and associated symptoms develop gradually or insidiously, often worse before and/or after exercise.   What Is Hamstring Tendinopathy? Tendons are an elastic tissue that provides structure and transmission of load between muscles and bone. Some well-known examples include the Patella tendon which connects your quadricep muscles to the tibia for movement of the knee; The Achilles tendon which attaches your calf muscles to the heel of your foot. Tendons transmit force from our muscle to the bone, one of the essential processes for movement. The hamstrings muscle group consist of the semimembranosus whose muscle belly sits most medially, the semitendinosus which sits centrally and the biceps femoris with a long and short head that is most lateral in the posterior thigh. The tendons for these muscles originate from the pelvis on the ischial tuberosity and insert into the posterior aspect of the tibia via a long cord like tendon.  What Causes Tendinopathy? Tendinopathy injuries can result from overuse or overload of the tendon. The increased load to the tendon initiates an inflammatory response in the injured tissue. As most hamstring injuries occur during sprinting or other explosive movements, athletes involved in high speed running and jumping sports are more at risk of a tendinopathy injury. A Tendinopathy can also occur during a stretch type injury such as high kicking or split movements where the knee is extended, and maximum load is at the hip joint. These Acute proximal tendon injuries or chronic hamstring tendinopathies occur most commonly in the semimembranosus. Most commonly a tendinopathy occurs when individuals return to sport after prolonged rest or significant time off. Additionally, the condition can be caused by:  Ageing, especially for middle-aged people Auto-immune disorders (type 1 and 2 diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis) Obesity A sudden change in training load or exercise (e.g., a sudden increase in running distance or intensity) Weak glute muscles Post-Menopausal Females What Does Chronic Hamstring Tendinopathy Feel Like?  Dull and deep aching pain Muscle Weakness at the Hip and knee Joint Stiffness through the hip Swelling and inflammation Hamstring tendinopathy is literally a pain in the butt! Most patients will feel the above symptoms deep in their buttocks and high in the back of their thigh, especially when sitting, driving, or walking for extended periods. Pain is generally felt after activity or even in the days following. With a tendinopathy, most people feel pain and stiffness improve or subside after warming up and during activity, but soon after exercise is ceased it returns once cooled down. Some individuals train with an asymptomatic tendinopathy in its early stages. However, as it gets worse, the pain increases, and it will generally force the individual to take a break from the activity.   How to Heal Hamstring Tendinopathy? When it comes to chronic hamstring tendinopathy, rest is essential. Almost as essential as a tailored management plan that will progressively load your hamstring and allow the tendon to heal and cope with future exercise loads. Hands-on treatment, stretching, and progressive strengthening of the hamstring are always part of a good rehabilitation program. Depending on the extent of your tendinopathy, the rest you need, and the length of rehabilitation could range between weeks and months. If you want to resolve your tendinopathy completely, it is essential to follow a gradual tendon strengthening program and other exercises to improve your hip movement and core strength.  Can You Run With Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy? It is possible to continue running with this injury, however, an altered training regime and intensity is recommended. Provocative exercises, running uphill or stair work will put increased load on the hamstrings and increase the risk of further injury. Runners can successfully train with adjustments to the load and intensity of their schedule. For the best advice, it is essential to consult with a qualified physiotherapist who will advise on the management and treatment of your injury. If you struggle with aches, pains or stiffness, and want to improve your movement, consult with a qualified physiotherapist. They will help to accurately diagnose what is causing your pain and develop an individualised rehabilitation program to improve your symptoms and quality of movement. At NQ Physiotherapy Solutions, we complete detailed assessments for every individual we treat and develop tailored injury management plans to treat the symptoms and ensure long term results. Our expert physios will have you back at your best, providing you with the skills and knowledge to reduce your risk of recurring injury. Contact our team today for more information on our services such as general physiotherapy, sports physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and dry needling.

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How to Activate Glutes: 3 Exercises for Glute Activation

How to Activate Glutes: 3 Exercises for Glute Activation

Knowing how to activate glutes is essential for athletic performance and everyday activities.   Weak glutes can occur for several reasons; the primary cause is an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. With many people sitting down for large portions of their day, glute activation is reduced, and these muscles become weaker than they should be. For more active people, reduced glute strength and poor activation can result from an over-reliance on other muscles during athletic or everyday movements. For these reasons, it is important to learn how to how to activate your glutes, build strength in these muscles and establish a mind-muscle connection so they can fully activate when needed. The Importance of Knowing How to Activate Glutes Learning how to activate glutes is the first step to strengthening your muscles and improving overall movement. Glute muscles play a central role in nearly every bodily movement. They not only help to move our legs but stabilise our pelvis and spine when in a single-legged position. Tight and weak glutes are also a significant factor contributing to lower back discomfort; as such, strong and well-functioning glutes are a key part of a happy and healthy body. Without your glutes firing correctly, you may notice a few issues, including:  Calf pain or tightness Issues with pelvic alignment when on one foot Knees drifting inwards when running or in squatting positions The body favouring a particular side when walking or running Poor glute function can also lead to further issues in the hip, knee, foot, calf and back. How to Activate Your Glutes If you find yourself asking, "how to activate my glutes?" there are a number of methods you can use to activate and strengthen these muscles. When working with a qualified physiotherapist, your therapist will be able to choose certain tailored exercises to improve your glute activation and strength. Here are a few of the easiest, most effective glute activation exercises that we prescribe to our clients: Glute Activation Exercises If you're frantically Googling 'How to activate my glutes at home', we've got you covered. All you will need for the following exercises is a resistance band. Clam Exercises If you are looking to activate your glute muscles more regularly, clams are going to become your bread and butter. Clams can be done anywhere and require minimal equipment. Loop a resistance band around your lower thighs, just above your knees. Next, lie down on your side with your hips stacked and knees bent slightly in front of you. Your feet should be together and in line with your glutes. Squeeze your glutes and slowly drive your top knee away from the ground, pushing up against the resistance band. Once you reach the top of your range, slowly bring your knee back to the starting position. Complete 10 repetitions on each side. Resistance Band Crab Walk Another great exercise for engaging the glutes with a resistance band is the crab walk:  Loop a resistance band on your lower thigh, just above your knee. Start by standing up with your feet hip-distance apart. Move into a half squat position with your knees in line with your toes. Your back should be in a comfortable upright position. Maintaining this position and facing forward, keep your left foot planted and step your right foot out away from the side of your body, so it extends beyond the width of your shoulder. After this, step your left foot towards your body, so your feet return to their original hip distance width. Complete 10 reps on each side.  Glute Bridge With a resistance band looped just above your knees, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet firmly on the ground. Rest your arms by your side and ensure your feet are a hip-distance apart. Press your feet into the ground, squeeze your glutes and drive your hip up into the air until your body is in a straight line from knee to head. In this top position, maintain the tension in your glutes and slowly lower your hips back to the starting position. Throughout this movement, your knees may want to roll in; it is important to focus on squeezing your glutes and driving your knees out against the resistance band. This will give you a nice burn and is an awesome exercise for activating your glutes and developing strength in your hips. Work with a Qualified Physiotherapist Working with a qualified physiotherapist, you'll get personalised exercises and guidelines on how to build long-term strength in your glutes. Having a physio on-side also means having an expert to coach you through the correct form for each exercise to ensure you're getting the most out of the exercise. If you are looking for a qualified physiotherapist who can help with Sports Injury Treatment in Townsville, look no further than NQ physio. Our friendly team have a wealth of experience in sports physiotherapy and assisting athletes to perform at their best. Get in contact with us today to book an appointment with Townsville's leading team of physios at NQ Physio Solutions.

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What Are the Causes of Sports Injuries

What Are the Causes of Sports Injuries

What Are the Common Causes of Sports Injuries? Different sports injuries happen all the time – injuries are part and parcel of being a sports player. So, what are the main causes of sports injuries, and how do we reduce the risk of them? When considering “what are the causes of sports injuries?”, it is important to note that common sports injuries are more likely to occur if you haven’t been regularly active, you haven’t warmed up properly or you play a high contact sport. However, it should be said that whether it’s soccer, tennis or rugby, different sports injuries depend on the mechanics of the game and the surrounding environment. Therefore, to have a better chance of avoiding common sports injuries, NQ Physio Solutions will run you through just what are the causes of sports injuries. What Are the Causes of Sports Injuries? Some sports injuries are acute injuries, meaning the result of a sudden event that causes very noticeable symptoms almost instantly. Other sports injuries arise from overuse and improper recovery, eventually developing into a painful problem. Sports players are vulnerable to common sports injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures due to the stress placed on joints and muscles from regular sporting movements such as jumping, turning, sprinting, fast changes of direction and heavy impact. That’s just the nature of it. Other than this typical susceptibility, what are the main causes of sports injuries? Lack of Conditioning and Poor Training These risks are increased if you do not maintain healthy conditioning or prepare your body properly for physical activity. A lack of conditioning can result in muscle imbalances and will generally weaken your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. When considering, “what are the causes of sports injuries?”, it is clear that poor training methods are a frequent commonality seen in common sports injuries. Ensure that all muscle groups are worked on equally to avoid imbalance. Also, training should not be at full intensity all the time, as this will develop wear and tear in your muscles and ligaments. Regular stretching and effective warmups are needed so that your body can gradually prepare itself for increased intensity in tension and movement. Moreover, you need to give your body time to rest! Taking breaks helps athletes break through plateaus in training and decreases the risk of overuse injury. Overtraining  In contrast, overtraining can lead to injury, and as such, it is important to regularly engage in effective rehabilitation to give your body time to recover. Likewise, rushing yourself back from a previous injury increases the likelihood of reinjury. If returning from injury, make sure to gradually increase your training intensity with each session alongside coaching staff to rebuild strength in the affected area. Poor Diet Training without proper nutrition can cause loss of muscle mass and decreased muscle strength, increasing the likelihood of sports injury. Also, if your diet does not have enough carbohydrates, which are the primary source of your body's energy, you will become fatigued, resulting in a performance deficit. Unavoidable Factors Sometimes sports injuries are just plain unavoidable – caused by accident, heavy impact, or even just sheer bad luck. In addition, changes in playing surfaces may make you more susceptible to injury, as can low quality equipment or general dehydration arising from extreme climate conditions.  What Are the Most Common Sports Injuries & How Do We Prevent Them? So, now that we’ve answered the question of “what are the causes of sports injuries?”, let’s look at the most common physiotherapy injuries we see. At NQ Physio Solutions, we regularly treat different sports injuries like: Ankle Sprains Hamstring Strains Groin Strains Stress Fractures Achilles Strains or Tendinopathy Neck Injuries Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tennis Elbow Shin Splints Hand and Feet Fractures Concussion After reading the above “what are the causes of sports injuries?” section, the direct correlation between these causes and common sports injuries is apparent. Most of these injuries arise from intense training, overuse, improper rehab, or strong impact. Only a few of these common injuries are acute and beyond our control. To prevent strains, fractures, and sprains, one must supplement a nutritious diet with rest, practical training, proper equipment, and muscle strength-building exercises. Have You Been Injured Playing Sport? Do you need treatment for your sports injury? NQ Physio Solutions provide the leading sports injury treatment in Townsville. Our expert team of physiotherapists are proficient in understanding what the causes of sports injuries are, and how to treat them. At NQ Physio Solutions, we tailor our treatment to your specific needs. So, whether you’ve suffered from injury or just want to improve strength and mobility, give us a call today on (07) 4729 0055 and book in an appointment.

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What Is a Corked Thigh? Corked Thigh Treatment

What Is a Corked Thigh? Corked Thigh Treatment

What Is a Corked Thigh? If you’ve played a lot of contact sports before, you’ve probably experienced the answer to “what is a corked thigh?”. Being struck directly in the thigh by an object or knee at high speed can cause a corked thigh. Often it can be associated with bruising and pain on pressure or movement of the lower leg. At NQ Physio Solutions, we see our fair share of sporting injuries and corked thighs. Let’s take a closer look at “what is a corked thigh?” and how to treat the injury, so that you can get back on the field/court in no time. What Is A Corked Thigh? A ‘corked thigh’, or quadriceps contusion as it is scientifically referred to, is the result of a severe impact to the thigh whereby the direct blow compresses the quadriceps muscle into the underlying femur bone, which results in deep rupture and bleeding of the muscle tissue. This is referred to as a ‘hematoma’. A hematoma can be incredibly painful as the surrounding tissue of the thigh becomes swollen and inflamed. Running and walking may be more difficult due to pain, and restrict your knee and hip range of motion causing sitting or lying to be uncomfortable. The extent of this pain and loss of movement will depend on the amount of force at the time of impact.  Risk Factors and Causes Associated with Corked Leg or Thigh When considering “what is a corked thigh?”, there are various risk factors that will affect one’s susceptibility to a corked thigh injury. These include:  Involvement in high contact sport Player position - frequency of heavy contact Higher intensity Sports – involving quick or powerful movement Inadequate warm-up Insufficient rest and rehabilitation time Poor muscle strength Use of protective equipment Injury history Age Nutrition Obesity Smoking history Corks are an unavoidable aspect of the game, however a hematoma can be well managed with treatment and its severity lessened by reducing possible risk factors.  Types of Corked Thigh To answer “what is a corked thigh?”, it must be made clear that there are two different types of corked thigh injuries. There first is intermuscular contusion and the second is intramuscular contusion. An intermuscular contusion refers to tearing of part of the muscle and the sheath that surrounds it. Intermuscular contusions will come with bruising and mild pain but has a relatively quick recovery time. In addition, this type of injury responds very well to physiotherapy and massage. An intramuscular contusion refers to tearing of the muscle within the sheath that surrounds it. In contrast, intramuscular contusions come with much more severe pain, and overall power and strength will be dramatically affected. Recovery time will be several weeks for a full recovery. Moreover, when discussing “what is a corked thigh”, note there are ‘three grades’ of corked thighs. A grade one corked thigh is very mild. In some cases, a player may still be able to continue playing after a quick break. The pain is not very strong, and bruising may not occur. A grade two corked thigh may prevent a player from continuing in the game. The player will experience pain in the affected area and will most likely have increased pain when walking, causing a limp. In addition, range of motion is diminished. This type of injury will take longer to recover from. A grade three corked thigh is most severe. This injury will be characterised by rapid swelling and intense bleeding. There will be quite a considerable amount of movement loss, and the affected area will be very tender. This type of injury will take multiple weeks to recover from.  Corked Thigh Treatment Now that we have all the information on “what is a corked thigh?”, let’s understand how to treat a corked thigh. The immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury involves: rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral (RICER protocol). Rest and ice will reduce bleeding and damage in the muscle. Compression and elevation will limit swelling and bleeding – elevating the injury will help drain excess fluid from the injury site. Do not try and stretch or massage the muscle too early. Proceeding this, you should work with your physiotherapist to increase the range of movement and improve recovery time. Stretching should be utilised in this phase of treatment to reduce muscle spasms. Strengthening of the affected muscle should occur two to seven days after injury.  Some exercises that can be conducted for treatment include: Leg raises Seated hip flexion Quad sets Seated knee extension Partial squats Side step-ups General stretching  Are You Dealing with A Corked Thigh?   So, there you have it – the next time you’re asked, “what is a corked thigh?”, you’ll be able to run them through the ins and outs of corked leg issues and corked thigh treatment. Are you suffering from a corked thigh? Suffer no more. NQ Physio Solutions provide the leading sports injury treatment in Townsville. Our expert team of physiotherapists are proficient in corked thigh treatment and sports injury recovery.  Whether you’ve suffered from injury or just want to improve strength and mobility, give us a call and book in today on (07) 4729 0055!

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Can Physio Help with Nerve Pain?

Can Physio Help with Nerve Pain?

Nerve pain or irritation affects up to one-third of the population and is commonly associated with lower back or neck injuries. If you are suffering from nerve pain, you be wondering, can physiotherapy treatment help? Nerve pain is complicated, and it can affect everyone differently. Typically, nerve fibres become irritated following long-term compression or inflammation leading to stabbing burning sensations and occasionally numbness.  Can Physio Help with Nerve Pain?  So, can physio help with nerve pain? In severe cases, an irritated nerve can be debilitating and lead to a detriment in quality of life. The good news is physiotherapy can help. At NQ Physio, we understand that everyone experience of pain is different, which is why we develop customised persistent pain management programs for each client. In this article, NQ Physio will discuss how physiotherapy can help in the management of a variety of Nerve pain symptoms including common conditions such as Sciatica or peripheral nerve entrapments (aka pinched nerve). An Overview of Sciatica In answering the question, “can physio help with nerve pain?”, the first consideration to identify is Sciatica, one of the most common types of Nerve pain. Sciatica is a condition that leads to pain in the back, hip and legs which can be debilitating in its nature for our clients. It is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve which originates at the spine in the low back and travels down the back of the leg.   Physiotherapy for Sciatica  Following a diagnosis of Sciatica from your doctor, a referral to physiotherapy is often considered for treatment and management. The aim of physiotherapy for Sciatica is to provide relief from the nerve and associated pain, and to promote healing within the nervous system and surrounding tissue. Consistent and regular treatment will also help prevent recurrences and flare-ups from occurring in the future. Physiotherapists are experts and well equipped to educate and treat clients the rehabilitative methods and management for nerve pain such as Sciatica. In conjunction with client goals, physiotherapy aims to restore movement and function, reduce pain associated with Sciatica and promote tissue healing. Physiotherapy treatment for Sciatica often includes strengthening and stretching exercises, in combination with soft tissue techniques such as massage, mobilisation and/or Dry Needling. An Overview of peripheral nerve entrapments Another important condition to consider is peripheral nerve entrapments.  A common example of this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Again, physio is able to assist in the treatment and management of this type of nerve pain. This results from excessive pressure being applied by the tissues that surround the nerves as they run through the body, such as tendons, bones, muscles, or cartilage. Excessive or prolonged pressure on the tissue surrounding the nerve can cause a decrease in nerve function, leading to weakness, numbness, pain or tingling. Whilst most peripheral nerve injuries will resolve themselves, ongoing or persistent nerve pain requires review and treatment from a medical professional, such as a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy for peripheral nerve entrapments Physiotherapy for peripheral nerve pain may vary depending on the area affected. A comprehensive physiotherapy assessment will be performed on your initial visit to determine the location of the nerve compression. Treatment techniques involved in therapy include soft tissue techniques such as massage or dry needling, joint mobilisation and manipulation, Exercise and Education. Let’s look at some of these methods in more detail. Soft Tissue Techniques (Massage or Dry Needling)Both Massage and Dry needling target the tendons and muscles surrounding the affected area. These muscles may have become tight and tender due to changes in posture or immobile resulting from pain. These soft tissue techniques aim to decrease the tension within the tissue to regain function and decrease associated pain. Joint Mobilisation & ManipulationJoint mobilisation and manipulation are common physiotherapy techniques that aim to relieve stiffness and pain within the joint. Often associated with nerve pain, joints can become stiff or inflamed due to the compression of the nerve root as it exits the spinal column. Joint mobilisation and manipulation are gentle methods that can help improve stiffness and pain in the joint to increase function and mobility in a short timeframe. Exercise for Nerve PainExercise is an important aspect of physiotherapy treatment for nerve related pain. Physiotherapists will help tailor an exercise program that best suits your goals and level of physical activity. Exercise has shown to decrease inflammation and regain strength and function that may have been lost due to nerve pain. Furthermore, it aims to promote healing in the tissue and prevent future occurrence.  Education surrounding Nerve PainPhysiotherapists have extensive knowledge and training for the assessment and treatment of nerve pain. At NQ Physio Solutions we provide patients with the knowledge they need to help better understand their condition and cause of nerve pain, and the benefits of assessments and treatments used throughout the session.     Managing Persistent Pain with NQ Physio Solutions “Can physio help with nerve pain?” Yes and we are here to help. At NQ Physio Solutions, our physiotherapists will start with a comprehensive assessment of your current condition and body function. Following, with a better understanding of your individual experience with persistent pain, we focus on an educational approach to sustainably manage flare-ups and management of your pain. To track progress, we set goals for you to achieve throughout the treatment program. As described above a combination of manual therapy and movement exercises will be incorporated in treatment to help you achieve your individual goals. If you’d like to hear more information or have more questions about nerve pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch and book an appointment with the NQ Physio team.

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How Does Dry Needling Work? Dry Needling 101

How Does Dry Needling Work? Dry Needling 101

Dry needling is a practice performed by sports therapists and physiotherapists. It is a technique that predominantly treats sports injuries and muscular pain. Another common name for dry needling is intramuscular stimulation. And that’s essentially what our dry needling techniques aim to do – stimulate the muscles. But how does dry needling work? And does dry needle therapy work, really? Dry needling entails inserting a needle into the muscle; however, the needle does not deposit any liquids. Hence, the name ‘dry needling’. It targets and restores muscular function by healing tissue and restoring normal tissue function. The dry needling services on offer at NQ Physio Solutions should not be mistaken for traditional Chinese acupuncture. The dry needling here at NQ is specific, customised treatments that target myofascial trigger points. These treatments target the particular condition.  What Is Dry Needling? Let’s start with a fundamental question; what is dry needling? Dry needling is a technique that targets primarily soft muscle tissue via the use of sterile stainless-steel needles. Dry needling uses very thin, short needles of 0.16 - 0.30mm thickness to pierce the skin and stimulate the muscles. This stimulation encourages the muscle, and the tension it holds, to offer a release.   Dry needling is rarely used as a singular treatment method. Instead, dry needling is often an adjunct treatment that will accompany other efforts to restore muscular function, increase mobility and reduce pain. At NQ Physio Solutions, we ensure all of our needles are sterile before treatment and are single use for your safety.  What Does Dry Needling Do? Many of our clients ask us, “does dry needle therapy work?”. The short answer is yes! We simply wouldn’t bother treating our patients with a type of treatment that has been deemed not useful. Our client treatment plans are specific to each individual that we see, and some of those treatment plans will include dry needle therapy. We use dry needling in our treatment plans as we have seen tangible results from implementing the technique. So, what does dry needling do? Dry needling aims to target the areas of overactivity or tension in the muscle. There are numerous benefits of dry needling, which we will outline below. The Benefits of Dry Needling Reduce muscle painDry needling helps to reduce muscular pain associated with an injury. The way dry needling achieves this targets specific pressure points or sore spots and triggers our nervous system to respond with a chemical or electrical response. This response can trigger pain-relieving chemicals in the brain and therefore reduce pain. Restores muscular function and range of motionImproved mobility is often an immediate outcome of dry needling. This treatment method targets the restoration of muscle function and the release of tension within the muscle explicitly. If you are experiencing a sports injury, dry needling is a method that can help you to return to your sport quickly, by improving the range of motion. Reduces stiffnessIn addition to reducing muscular pain, dry needling reduces stiffness. Dry needles can release tension and inflammation, therefore reducing overall stiffness. How Does Dry Needling Work?   So, how does dry needling work? At NQ Physiotherapy, we understand that some patients may be wary of dry needling treatment. Our team of experienced professionals focus on keeping you calm, comfortable and feeling safe whilst administering your treatment. The way dry needling works is that the needles are inserted around 3-4mm above the trigger point or the affected area. We use superfine, 0.16 - 0.30mm thick, short, sterile stainless-steel needles to place them into the muscles’ trigger points. The needles will remain there for a short period. The timing of the needles may vary slightly depending on your practitioner and your muscular issue. Risks Associated with Dry Needling Now that we have outlined how does dry needling work, we’ll briefly describe some of the risks associated with dry needling. As is with any physical treatment, there is always a few risks involved. The most common risks associated with dry needling include bruising, haematoma formation, nausea and temporary soreness. Although dry needling is a gentle technique, some clients experience mild discomfort when the needle pierces the skin. However, most symptoms are alleviated within 24 hours.  Is Dry Needling Right for You? To find out more about how does dry needling work, check out our Dry Needling in Townsville page. Otherwise, talk to one of our leading Physiotherapists to learn more about your current injury and how dry needling may provide relief.

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The Benefits of Hydrotherapy

The Benefits of Hydrotherapy

If you’re suffering from an injury, problems with mobility, severe arthritis or chronic illness, the benefits of hydrotherapy treatment are remarkable. Between joint mobilisation or manipulation, reduction in pain caused by chronic illness, soft tissue and growth stimulation, the benefits of hydrotherapy services are abundant. Research suggests that hydrotherapy is even proven to have a positive effect on one’s mental health. What Is Hydrotherapy Treatment?  Hydrotherapy treatment refers to the use of dedicated exercises in water as part of a treatment for particular conditions. Hydrotherapy is typically conducted in a pool; however, the exercise can be undertaken in other types of open water. As a result of your body being supported by the water mass, hydrotherapy is a low impact way to exercise that can assist individuals to recover from injuries, re-gain mobility, treat joint pain and inflammation, and strengthen weak muscles.  Why Is Hydrotherapy Used? Hydrotherapy leverages the properties of water, like buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure, to benefit the patient. Warm water encourages muscle relaxation, which can allow the individual to move freely and exercise without overbearing pain or stiffness. It can allow individuals suffering from chronic physical restrictive conditions to move into positions they wouldn’t be able to regularly.  Hydrotherapy can also reduce the severity of pain related to chronic conditions such as arthritis or injuries. The weightlessness of body mass in water is a major contributing factor for a reduction in joint, muscular or nerve pain.  The benefits of hydrotherapy can be applied to numerous conditions, including injuries causing pain, sport injuries, osteoarthritis, lymphoedema, and chronic and persistent pain management. The Purpose of Hydrotherapy The hydrotherapy purpose in physiotherapy terms is quite simple: to create a weightless, supported environment for individuals to engage in exercise they may not otherwise be capable of conducting. The condition the physiotherapist is aiming to treat will determine the hydrotherapy purpose. Typically, the goal of hydrotherapy is to increase mobility, encourage movement in stiff or immobile areas of the body, reduce pain and improve muscular strength. Health Benefits of Hydrotherapy   The health benefits of hydrotherapy may include: Reduced pain and swelling Improved mobility Increased function Faster recovery from surgery Improved fitness and strength Mental wellbeing Improved balance and coordination Reduced Pain and Swelling The benefits of hydrotherapy can include reduced pain and swelling of muscles and joints. The hydrostatic pressure in water helps to reduce swelling whilst exercising, which can cause severe pain. It also improves post exercise muscle soreness, so that clients aiming to increase mobility don’t experience severe pain as an outcome of the exercise. This is particularly beneficial for anyone suffering from chronic arthritis. Improved Mobility The buoyancy of water reduces weight bearing stress on the body, which is one of the most significant benefits of hydrotherapy. Removing that weight encourages freedom of movement, as well as range of motion whilst experiencing physiotherapy in water. The end result is improved mobility that can carry through to outside the water as well. Increased Function The warmth and buoyancy of water encourages muscles to relax when performing hydrotherapy. This optimises the functionality of the body so that throughout rehabilitation or pain management programs, individuals can get back to performing the daily lifestyle tasks that they have been prohibited from conducting due to an injury or chronic condition. Faster Recovery from Surgery If you’ve undergone any type of surgery, it is likely that the hospital will prescribe you with treatment which will align with the type of surgery that was undertaken. Hydrotherapy is commonly used as a post-operative treatment that will be a vital part of your healing and recovery, as well as assisting in reducing scar tissue and managing pain. Improved Fitness and Strength Strength and conditioning training, rehabilitation or management helps to improve posture, mobility, cardio capabilities and coordination. Improving fitness and strength is essential for those recovering from injuries to get back to their daily tasks as soon as possible. In addition, hydrotherapy is essential for elderly clients seeking to become more confident in their balance and coordination. This assists them with completing daily tasks and ultimately may prevent injury caused by falls. Mental Wellbeing Taking a holistic approach, mental wellbeing is a significant advantage of hydrotherapy. It allows otherwise immobile patients to move with more freedom and exercise with reduced pain levels. Experience the Benefits of Hydrotherapy If you’re looking for more information regarding what is hydrotherapy treatment, we recommend visiting NQ Physio Solutions discuss and discover the benefits of hydrotherapy with a qualified physiotherapist. At NQ Physio Solutions, our goal is to conduct evidence-based treatments on our clients to help you get back to doing the things you love, sooner. Ready to experience first-hand the benefits of hydrotherapy? Contact us today to book your next consultation with one of our physiotherapists.

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What Does Pilates Do for the Body?

What Does Pilates Do for the Body?

Pilates refers to a type of physical activity that challenges the core's strength and stretches major muscle groups. A low-impact type of exercise, Pilates and clinical Pilates can benefit almost anyone. Whether you're recovering from an injury, you're losing mobility, you're recovering from giving birth, or you just want to improve your strength and flexibility, Pilates is an excellent opportunity to benefit your body. But what does Pilates do for the body? While we all know someone that raves about the benefits of Pilates, if you've never been to a class, you may not fully understand what Pilates actually does for the body. Believe it or not, Pilates is not just the newest fad or health-trend. Engaging in Pilates or clinical Pilates can provide a range of benefits – from improved strength to rehabilitation of injury and increased mobility. When combined with physiotherapy, clinical Pilates goes hand in hand with injury recovery treatments and muscle rehabilitation. Why Do People Do Pilates? You don't have to be injured to start Pilates – in fact; there are seems to be an abundance of Pilates studios popping up around Australia as more people learn the benefits of engaging in the exercise for general fitness. If you're wondering "why do people do Pilates?", the main reasons for doing so include: Injury rehabilitation Postnatal strength Back problems Fitness & toning Strength & conditioning Improve mobility & flexibility What Does Pilates Do for the Body? The benefits of Pilates for your body are plentiful. Pilates incorporates strength, stability, movement and flexibility. Pilates works by stretching and lengthening all major muscle groups in a balanced fashion. Pilates' exercises generally create muscular exertion and can be adapted to provide either gentle strength training for rehabilitation or a strenuous workout for athletes. Pilates centres on controlled, stable movements, working on alignment, posture, mobility, whole-body strength and coordination of the muscles. As a low impact type of exercise, Pilates can: Increase body awareness Retrain motor control Correct posture Strengthen muscles Improve stability Improve joint mobility and flexibility  What Does Pilates Do for the Body When Combined with Physio?  When combined with physiotherapy, clinical Pilates is frequently used as a rehabilitation treatment for an injury or chronic pain. Working with a trained physiotherapist, Pilates can provide a solution for injury, movement dysfunction, or physical weakness. Pilates requires a lot of pf control and precision, so your physio will be able to identify any weaknesses, and tailor a Pilates program to strengthen and improve mobility of your weakened muscles. As Pilates can be tailored to each individual, exercises for physio rehabilitation are generally low-impact and gentle. If you're attending regular Pilates sessions with a physiotherapist, you will soon see improvements in strength, flexibility and mobility and overall rehabilitation of your illness or injury. What Are the Benefits of Pilates?  As well as the aforementioned reasons for partaking in Pilates, there are also a number of holistic benefits that come with regularly doing Pilates. Some of the other benefits of Pilates include: Less back pain Better performance in other workouts Relaxation of your neck, back and shoulders Stress management and relaxation Improved concentration Relieved tension Improved core strength Strengthened pelvic floor What Does Pilates Do for the Body After Giving Birth?  Getting back into exercise after having a baby can be tough. Postnatal Pilates is a great way to get back into gentle exercise and help your body to recover from the stress that it has been put under. Postnatal Pilates can target and strengthen the muscles most affected by pregnancy and birth and increase overall whole-body strength and fitness. The main benefits of postnatal Pilates include: The Benefits of Postnatal Pilates Retraining your pelvic floor Reducing abdominal separation Core strengthening Improve diastasis recti Prevent back pain Strengthen and energise the whole body  Want to Learn More About Clinical Pilates? NQ Physio Solutions are Townsville's leading team of physiotherapists, providing both one-on-one sessions and group Pilates classes. Our physiotherapists at NQ Physio Solutions are trained in clinical Pilates, and regularly integrate the style of exercise into rehabilitation treatment programs. Our clinical Pilates services add an additional element of clinical knowledge to all Pilates exercises; ensuring that you and your body's requirements are in safe hands. At NQ Physio, we centre our treatment on what your body needs. Whether you've suffered from injury or just want to improve strength and mobility, we can tailor our clinical Pilates sessions to meet your needs. The leading experts in rehabilitation treatment in Townsville, check out our Pilates class timetable and book in for a private Pilates session or group class online or on (07) 4729 0055 today.   

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Pilates for Prostate Health: Rehabilitation After Surgery

Pilates for Prostate Health: Rehabilitation After Surgery

Surgery is a common choice for treating prostate cancer, preventing the spread of the disease to other parts of the body. But removing the prostate comes with several side effects. You’ll likely experience urinary incontinence (i.e., leaking urine) and erectile dysfunction after the operation. Although symptoms are likely to gradually improve in the first year after surgery, rehabilitation can help to speed up the process or improve outcomes. Physiotherapy is a large part of post-prostate surgery rehab, which strengthens and retrains the pelvic floor and deep core muscles. The right kind of exercise can help the patient recover more quickly after the operation and return to the activities they enjoy.  Men’s health physiotherapy, which deals with post-prostate surgery recovery, often prescribes Pilates based exercises. It is a low-impact exercise that targets the deep muscles supporting posture and movement. Physiotherapists adopt Pilates programmes to accommodate any health or mobility concerns, including the side effects of prostate surgery. Pilates for Urinary Incontinence Many men experience urinary incontinence post prostatectomy. Often they leak urine with coughing, sneezing and movements such as standing from a chair, bending and lifting objects. The muscles of the pelvic floor act like a sling that supports the organs within the pelvis, including the bladder and can help to prevent urine leaking when there is a rise in intra-abdominal pressure. When your pelvic floor is strong, you’re able to contract the muscles to prevent or control your urine flow. But when your pelvic floor is weak or your deep core muscles aren’t functioning well, you may not be able to control your urine, so it leaks out. The pelvic floor is one of the deep core muscles, which is why Pilates is the perfect rehab option for strengthening. Pilates exercises activate your deep muscles, helping you relearn how to contract and relax your pelvic floor and improve breathing to control rises in intra-abdominal pressure. With progressive therapy sessions, you’ll be able to manage your symptoms so you can get back to the activities you enjoy. Pilates for Erectile Dysfunction Nearly all men experience erectile dysfunction initially after prostate cancer treatment. The length of time to regain erectile function after surgery can vary and can depends on a number of factors. This side effect of treatment can affect a person’s self-esteem and romantic relationships. Pelvic floor muscles help sustain blood flow to the penis during an erection, helping to maintain the erection. Therefore, improving pelvic floor muscle function can assist with regaining erectile function. Erectile dysfunction can also be associated with a number of factors including: Age Other medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes and certain medications Lifestyle factors such as smoking or limited exercise Psychological factors including stress, anxiety and depression Your primary doctor will assess your overall health and consider these factors. They’ll discuss your chances of regaining spontaneous erections after the operation. They are likely to suggest pelvic floor muscle exercises, and because Pilates compliments pelvic floor muscle training, it may help you recover from impotence faster. Other options for regaining erectile function postoperatively include medication and other devices so you can enjoy a healthy sex life. Other than post-prostatectomy rehabilitation, Pilates also offers many benefits for men’s health. This exercise helps improve your posture, develops neglected muscle groups, and enhances your flexibility and mobility. You can continue doing Pilates even after you’ve recovered from your surgery, boosting your overall health. Physiotherapy for Men’s Health NQ Physio Solutions is a trusted provider of physiotherapy and clinical Pilates services. We offer men’s health physiotherapy, focusing on pre- and post-surgery rehabilitation and injury prevention and recovery. Our physiotherapists will help you regain optimal function of your muscles, so you can go back to doing the things you love. Contact us to know more about pilates, physiotherapy and post-prostate surgery recovery.

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The Health Benefits of Clinical Pilates

The Health Benefits of Clinical Pilates

Pilates has recently gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts. Many have taken to practising the low-impact exercise as an alternative or complimentary to other types of workouts. The fitness system uses slow and precise movements to improve the body’s posture, core, flexibility and stability. Clinical Pilates combines these exercises with physiotherapy to treat different types of injuries. This type of Pilates has gained its own following. Many people take part in clinical Pilates classes even when they’re not injured. Its popularity is mostly due to the health benefits it provides. How Clinical Pilates Improves Physical Health By incorporating physiotherapy into workouts, people who practice clinical Pilates acquire more health benefits. Aside from keeping them active and helping them stay fit, these additions allow them to learn more about their bodies. Discover the health benefits of clinical Pilates to see if it’s the workout for you. Clinical Pilates Corrects Posture Your posture plays a role in your health, from improving your strength to preventing injuries. As an exercise that focuses on stability, control and balance, clinical Pilates can effectively correct your posture. The physiotherapist will identify what’s causing your bad posture and address them during your workouts. Clinical Pilates Enhances Flexibility Most people lead sedentary lifestyles these days, which leads to poor flexibility and weak muscles. Clinical Pilates addresses these by working out your joints and muscles. Over time, you will gain better flexibility while building your strength and endurance. Clinical Pilates Strengthens the Pelvic Floor A weak pelvic floor may lead to health problems in the future, such as incontinence, hernias, and musculoskeletal problems. Additionally, improving pelvic floor function can make delivery easier for pregnant women. The exercises involved in clinical Pilates effectively address these problems. This workout will improve the function of your pelvic floor and improve your body’s core over time. Clinical Pilates Promotes Awareness Completing the different exercises in clinical Pilates requires you to concentrate on each movement. This heightened awareness is something you will eventually carry outside of the classroom. Soon you will be able to identify injuries, or imbalances that may lead to injury and determine if you need to book a doctor’s appointment. Clinical Pilates Improves Stability The exercises in clinical Pilates focus on your hips, shoulders and ankles. By strengthening these areas, the workout improves your body’s overall stability and balance. As mentioned, this can prevent injuries as it can prevent falls and improve the body’s biomechanics. In addition, clinical Pilates improves your core strength. It will make sitting and walking easier, preventing muscle strain and other musculoskeletal problems. Join a Clinical Pilates Class to Experience Its Benefits Firsthand Clinical Pilates provides several health benefits, whether you’re rehabilitating from an injury or trying to stay more active. Experience these for yourself when you join a class. NQ Physio Solutions provides clinical Pilates classes in Townsville. Headed by our trained physiotherapists, each class is focused on helping you gain better awareness and control of your body. Our team is mindful of old and existing injuries, customising the workouts to prevent additional strain.  Learn more about this workout and how it helps your overall health when you get in touch with us.

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Pilates as Physiotherapy: Why You Should Try It

Pilates as Physiotherapy: Why You Should Try It

Physiotherapy is the assessment and treatment of injury, chronic disease, persistent pain and can assist in the maintenance of your general health and well-being.  There are many different treatment techniques including therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, soft tissue mobilisation (massage) and dry needling.  Of these techniques, exercise is one of the most utilised modalities by physiotherapists.  Exercise can be used to strengthen your body, improve mobility and retrain your muscles to assist your recovery from injury and to optimise your general function. Pilates is a gentle style of exercise that Physiotherapists often prescribe.  There are benefits both for the rehabilitation of injury, but also to help assist the prevention of injury occurring in the future. What Is Pilates? Motion is lotion!  Getting the body moving is one of the best things you can do to balance the demands of our modern lifestyle. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that can improve quality of movement, strength and flexibility.  It is an exercise that is suitable to be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.  Your physiotherapist can adapt your Pilates program to accommodate any health or mobility concerns.  Pilates particularly good option for pre and post-natal exercise, older adults and rehabilitation post cancer treatment. Pilates can assist with: Posture Core stability Balance and coordination Flexibility Alignment Breathing patterns Movement Persistent Pain As a regular exercise, Pilates can improve general health and wellbeing through increased body awareness, posture control and a stronger, more mobile body. Pilates Into Physiotherapy: Is It Effective? There have been several clinical studies and research on the effects of Pilates on patients in need of physiotherapy, particularly among those who are experiencing chronic back pain. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science concluded that Pilates exercises do offer relief and functional enhancement among patients with chronic lower back pain.  A more recent published review (Cíntia Domingues de Freitas, 2020) has concluded that Pilates can help to reduce the fear of movement that often results as a consequence of low back pain.  Improving confidence with movement can significantly reduce the disability associated with persistent back pain and will help to get you back to doing the things you love.  Although there’s more room for research and recommendations for Pilates as physiotherapy, rest assured that we prescribe safe and effective programs at NQ Physio Solutions. All of our pilates programs are carefully planned and calibrated to give you maximum benefits and to supplement any ongoing medical treatment or therapy. Our physiotherapy clinic in Townsville, Queensland, welcomes walk-ins and referrals for clinical Pilates. Is Pilates Safe for Everyone? A common question that we get from people who’re interested in doing Pilates for the first time is whether it’s safe for them to do a wide range of exercises when they’re experiencing pain or are recovering from an injury.  Generally, when adapted to your individual needs, pilates is a safe and gentle exercise suitable for most people.  Our pilates trained physiotherapists will complete a thorough assessment of your individual needs to ensure that pilates is an appropriate exercise for you. If you have any further questions or are interested in starting Pilates, Get in touch with NQ Physio Solutions today. View our Pilates Class Timetable Cíntia Domingues de Freitas, D. A. (2020). Effects of the pilates method on Kinesiophobia with chronic non-specific low back pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 300-306.

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The Pelvic Floor

The Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor's role in your core and more.... The pelvic floor muscles run from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to your tailbone at the base of your spine and extends out to your sitting bones either side. Picture it like a hammock supporting your pelvic organs – bladder, uterus (in females) and bowel. Therefore, you can imagine that there is an underlying level of activity in these muscles throughout the day until you lie down and the weight of our organs and gravity is no longer on this area These muscles also work closely with our deepest abdominal muscle (transverse abdominus), small muscles supporting spinal segments (multifidus) and our diaphragm. This group of muscles form our ‘deep core’ which provides support to our spine and pelvis. When working effectively the pelvic floor also contributes to: Maintaining continence of our bladder and bowel Sexual function Relaxing to allow us to empty our bladder and bowel Relaxing to allow women to birth a baby during labour Unfortunately there are times when the pelvic floor isn’t working optimally. In some people these muscles weaken due to a number of possible reasons including excessive weight gain, straining to empty bowels or trauma during pregnancy or childbirth. This can lead to symptoms such as incontinence, back and pelvic pain or pelvic organ prolapse. In some people we see that these muscles are actually holding too much tension, such as when our shoulders and neck tense up during times of stress. In this scenario, pelvic floor muscle strengthening could potentially worsen symptoms such as pelvic pain, poor emptying of bladder or bowels or sexual dysfunction. Therefore, it is important that you are able to contract and relax your pelvic floor well. If you’d like to know more about whether your pelvic floor function could be contributing to your back pain, or bladder/bowel symptoms we are here to help! See below for a short video about the pelvic floor from the Continence Foundation of Australia.

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Foam rolling – is it worth the pain?

Foam rolling – is it worth the pain?

There has been an explosion of foam rollers into the market over recent years, and I am sure that you have a family member touting their benefits. BUT, are they really worthy all that pain and discomfort? Well there has been numerous studies of late investigating the value of the foam roller use over the last decade with mixed results. An extensive literature review by Schroeder & Best (2015) examined the current evidence for the use of foam roller self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques highlighted mixed results on pre-exercise, maintenance and recovery. Results showed that there was benefit increased range of motion across most of the studies, and increased function physical testing across several studies and a notable decrease in reported post exercise muscular soreness. However, most importantly, no negative effects were observed throughout the literature review. “How long do I have to do this for?!” - The most common question yelled at me whilst patients are enjoying their first roller experience. Unfortunately, the jury is out. However, the good news is that across all of the articles reviewed, the most consistent timing appeared to be blocks of 1 minute x 3 repetitions (with 30 second breaks in between). On the studies whose protocols involved sessions routines of under 30 seconds and over 10 minutes showed decreased benefits in comparison. This timing instruction might not be perfect just yet, but it’s a start. So, the takeaway message is that there is benefits in exercise performance and recovery, with no negative impacts despite the initial pain, for a routine that only needs to last for 3 minutes. So maybe don’t give up on that roller just yet and slowly introduce it into your pre-exercise and recovery sessions to help you stay active and healthier for longer. References:Schroeder, A., & Best, T. (2015). Is Self Myofascial Release an Effective Preexercise and Recovery Strategy? A Literature Review. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 14(3), 200-208.

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Pain

Pain

Pain is a truly interesting concept. Like emotions, it is purely individual to a person. It can be hard to describe at times and everyone will have a unique experience, even if they have a similar injury. But, why is that? There have been great leaps forward in pain science over the last decade and we are beginning to understand its mechanisms more than ever. We now know that pain is signal that is designed to alert our bodies to potential tissue damage but there is no direct link to the amount of pain we can experience to the amount of damage that may occur. Imagine a papercut. It is extremely painful but there is only minor damage to your body, but you can also break bones and not experience any significant pain initially. Our bodies are constantly deciphering information to assess if it could harm us and how we each experience pain is controlled by several factors. Our body structures, immune systems, environments and even our emotions contrite to the pain experience. There are even conditions which you can develop where you experience quite a lot of pain from something that shouldn’t normally cause pain. So next time you roll your ankle or feel a “twinge” in your back, just remember that you may not have hurt yourself as bad as you may think. Also, if you have been dealing with an area of pain for a long time, popping pills and resting on the couch can be doing you more harm then good! So, make an appointment with one of our great Physio’s to find how to better manage your pain and get back to doing the things you love.

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