We’re passionate about helping our clients to achieve optimum health and quality of life. Whether you have special considerations, are recovering from injury, are looking to increase your ability or simply want to feel healthy, take a look at the resources below for more information. Please note, the below information is just a guide, your physiotherapist will be able to give you a tailored, comprehensive assessment and make the best possible recommendation for your individual needs.

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Embody Telehealth Video Consultation FAQ’s

TELEHEALTH FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is a video consultation with your Physiotherapist. A large part of physiotherapy is providing education, advice, home exercise programs and reassurance to our clients. Video consultations are a great way to keep our clients and Physiotherapists safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Telehealth appointment is suitable in the following circumstances:

  • You are in self-quarantine for COVID-19 (i.e. due to returning to Australia from overseas, returning to WA from interstate, you are a high-risk individual, you have come into contact with someone with COVID-19)
  • You are in self-isolation as you have COVID-19
  • You wish to adhere to social distancing of 1.5m

If we feel that you need hands on manual treatment, then we will recommend you attend the clinic. However, if you are unable due to the reasons above, there is still so much we can help with e.g. diagnosis, self-release, education, home exercise programs etc.

Embody is using PhysiApp for Telehealth consultations

Physiapp lets you quickly and conveniently do the following:

  • Have your video consultation with your Physio.
  • Access your individualised home exercise program including videos and descriptions.
  • Gives you the opportunity to communicate with your Physio via messages to check on your progress.
  • Allows your Physio to track your progress, pain levels, adherence to your program etc.

Have a look at the following link to find out more about this great program:

https://www.physiapp.com/

What do I need to use PhysiApp?

PhysiApp is available in the following ways:

PhysiApp is compatible with iOS and Android. The Apple device must be running iOS 11 or newer.

For Apple iOS devices, download PhysiApp from the App Store.

For Android devices, download PhysiApp from the Play Store.

The following link gives you further information on how to download the app:

https://support.physiapp.com/article/224-what-do-i-need-to-use-physiapp

Test your system for Telehealth

If you are unsure whether your device or internet connection will support Telehealth, click the following link to find out more information:

https://support.physiapp.com/article/996-test-your-system-for-telehealth

Is PhysiApp safe?

PhysiApp, and the parent app Physitrack (that the Physiotherapist uses), adhere to strict safety and security standards. Your data is protected by PhysiApp’s privacy policy and your video call is encrypted.

Go to the following link for more information:

https://www.physiapp.com/

How to book a Telehealth consultation?

To book a Telehealth appointment with a Physio, please call Embody Physiotherapy & Pilates reception on 6110 3331 and inform them of the following:

  • Specify you would like to book a Telehealth appointment.
  • What area of the body you are seeking treatment for?
  • Give them your year of birth (this is necessary for client information on PhysiApp).

Are health fund rebates available for Telehealth?

You will need to check with your individual health fund whether they will provide a rebate for one on one Physiotherapy telehealth consultations. Certain health funds will provide coverage for telehealth consultations provided by Physiotherapists from Tuesday 14th April 2020. Services are to be delivered before 30th September 2020.

If your health fund will provide a benefit it is with the following conditions:

  • The client is undergoing an existing course of treatment and the client has seen the Physiotherapist over the past six months, OR
  • For new clients, they have been referred for a Telehealth Physio consultation by their GP or relevant medical specialist, AND
  • The primary condition being treated is one of:
    • Post orthopaedic surgery rehabilitation (e.g. total hip or total knee replacement, ACL surgery etc.)
    • Chronic musculoskeletal condition (e.g. osteoarthritis)
    • Pelvic floor muscle training

Can I still book a Telehealth appointment if I cannot get a rebate?

Yes. If you do not fit any of the criteria above, or your health fund does not provide a rebate, you may still book a Telehealth appointment.

Can I book a Telehealth appointment if I have a Chronic Disease Management Plan from my GP?

Yes. You may use your approved number of Physiotherapy sessions with Telehealth. This will commence on Monday 30th March 2020.

 

What happens once I have booked my Telehealth appointment?

  1. Make sure your device or computer will support Telehealth.
  2. Download Physiapp from the App store or Play store if you want to use it on your mobile phone or tablet. This is not necessary if you are only going to use a computer.
  3. If you remain logged into PhysiApp on your mobile phone or tablet, you will receive a prompt from the app e.g. “Incoming call from Jane Doe”. Open the app and you will see that the Physio is calling you.
  4. If you are not logged into PhysiApp at the time of your Telehealth appointment, you will receive an email directly from the Physio.
  5. This email will include a link and your own individual program code (an eight-letter access code). Below is an example of the email you will receive:

Dear John Smith,

please join me for our online session on Saturday, 28 March at the link below:
https://physiapp.page.link/TMC5X6gydK

Program code: kkeecudo

Kind regards,

Jane Doe

  1. Well in advance of your appointment, please go to the following link to watch a video and read a step-by-step guide on accepting your PhysiApp Telehealth call:

https://support.physiapp.com/article/453-your-physiapp-telehealth-call

Need help?

Use the “help” button on the webpage or in the app. If you can’t find what you are looking for there, please call Embody and a Physio or reception staff member will answer your question.

Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates VS. COVID-19

With all the uncertainty in the world at the moment, you can be reassured that Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates are reacting dynamically to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 virus outbreak. Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates will remain open for as long as we are safely able to, ensuring you have the option to seek treatment from a caring Clinician team you can trust, continue to move your body and reap the benefits of remaining active in this stressful and uncertain time.

There is an understandable feeling of anxiety in the community about transmission of the virus. The studio’s are designed as a place to make you feel relaxed and improve your feeling of well-being. Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates is dedicated to ensuring the studio’s are a clean and safe space for clients to continue to attend. We are constantly updating and refining our cleaning and hygiene policies as a response to the situation, on top of our already robust cleaning and hygiene regime as a health care provider. After reviewing the most up to date information from the Australian Health and industry body recommendations there will be implementation of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Clinical Safety Policy. Most measures are already standard infection control procedures. There will, however be some additional preventative measures put in place.

Our Coronavirus COVID-19 Clinical Safety Policies include;

  • Please do not enter the Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates Clinic or Pilates Studio if you have been overseas in the last two weeks and not yet self-isolated
  • Please do not attend the Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates studio’s if you are feeling unwell or exhibiting symptoms of the cold or flu
  • Please wash your hands immediately upon entry to Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates, using the soap provided for a minimum of 20 seconds as advised by the government. For more information about hand washing and recommended techniques, please visit https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/
  • Please bring a CLEAN UNUSED bath or beach sized towel (ideally 2 if attending Exercise Therapy sessions) to each and every appointment of class at Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates
  • Please avoid touching your face whilst in the clinic and ensure you cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Please ensure you are wearing grip socks at every class or studio session – no grip socks, no Pilates! Grip socks are available for purchase at the studio for your convenience
  • Please assist us in encouraging contactless payments by self-swiping private health cards and paying by PayPass as much as is possible
  • The Doors, chairs and hard surfaces of the Physiotherapy clinic will be cleaned regularly around the clock
  • Upon requesting a booking, clients will be screened and asked if they have cold or flu like symptoms or have recently returned from overseas and if so, deterred from entering Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates until they have completed their 14-day self-isolation as advised by the Government.

Our new policies in the Physiotherapy Studio include;

  • The waiting area for the Physiotherapy studio will be limited to a maximum of 4 waiting clients, with space between the chairs increased in line with social distancing advice from the government. Clients are asked to arrive no more than 5 minutes prior and are welcomed to wait outside and Reception will alert them in time for their appointment.
  • Our Physiotherapy team will wear appropriate protective equipment including gloves and masks for all hands-on treatment in the Physiotherapy studio
  • A maximum number of 4 clients in the Physiotherapy Exercise Therapy Studio will be allowed (plus physio’s) at any one time going forward in keeping with social distancing advice from the government.
  • Each piece of equipment is to be thoroughly cleaned after every use, using the disinfecting spray and hand towel provided.

Our new policies in the Reformer Pilates Studio include;

  • The waiting area for the Pilates studio will be limited to a maximum of 4 waiting clients, with space between the chairs increased in line with social distancing advice from the government. Clients are asked to arrive no more than 5 minutes prior and are welcomed to wait outside and the Instructor will alert them when it is time to start class.
  • Please let the instructor know upon your arrival, so they can sign ​you in on the iPad instead of self sign-in on the iPad to reduce the amount of people touching the iPad
  • Please thoroughly disinfect the Reformer and props after use, using the hand towels and spray provided
  • Aerial Pilates has been cancelled until further notice due to the difficulty to sanitising the silks after each and every use to ensure the safety of our clients and instructors.
  • Instructors will no longer use tactile cues or touch form corrections in classes and instead will use verbal cues and corrections going forward in keeping with social distancing advice from the government

For more information and advice on the novel coronavirus called COVID-19 for the community in Western Australia visit https://www.wa.gov.au/government/coronavirus-covid-19.

Knowledge is the best defence, so all Physiotherapy staff have taken part in the COVID-19 Infection Control Training 30-minute online course as provided by the government, which has been provided for health care workers in all settings but essentially applies to anyone. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19 which can be used both in business and domestic environments alike: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covid-19-infection-control-training

We will be implementing Remote Physiotherapy treatments and Video Consultations as soon as is possible;

If at any time, you are concerned about your welfare but still feel you would benefit from treatment, please contact us on 08 6110 3331. In response to this situation, we are looking to offer remote Physiotherapy treatment (including home visits) and Remote Video Consultations with our Physiotherapy team. The finer details are being confirmed at the moment and all Embody clients will be alerted to this service as soon as it is live.

These Physiotherapy sessions may be able to be claimed on your Private Health just as your visits the the clinic are, however the coverage may differ slightly. Once we have the systems in place, we will be able to better advise whether these visits are able to be claimed and the costs and rebates available to you via this service.

We will continue to remain open for as long as is safe and advisable by the Australian Government;

The implementation of the above policies and procedures enables the business to continue to operate safely and in line with our duty of care to you, our incredibly valued patients. At this time, we ask all patients and clients who do enter either of the Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates studios comply with our new regulations and help us to stop the spread! All staff members have completed the Covid-19 Infection Control Training module as

We are here for you!

We are all in this together and Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates is committed to protecting our community and staff!

Achilles Tendinopathy in Soccer Players

Achilles Tendinopathy in Soccer Players: What it is and what to do when it starts to affect your A game!

Written by Harry Papalia (Bcs. Physiotherapy)

What is it?

The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the leg and connects your calf muscles to your heel. It is the largest and strongest tendon in the body which can take up to 10x the weight of your body when playing soccer. This tendon helps propel soccer players forward when sprinting, jumping and cutting quickly, as well as supporting the ankle joint when striking the ball.

Achilles tendinopathy is irritation and degeneration of the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendinopathy can be classified along a continuum based on the severity of the condition. This involves stage 1 where there is inflammation to the surrounding tissues in the Achilles but no changes to the tendon itself. Stage 2 where there is some breakdown of the Achilles tendon and stage 3 where there is a chronically overloaded tendon resulting in irreversible changes whereby the tendon may tear.

What causes it? 

  • A recent spike in activity in which the tendon is not ready for, such as during the sudden onset of pre-season training after a long break after the season finished
  • Reduced muscle strength of the calf muscles or other muscles such as the Glutes
  • Poor control with activities such as running, jumping for a header and kicking the ball where the foot or knee turns inwards
  • Recent changes in soccer boots or training surface

Symptoms

  • The hallmark of Achilles tendinopathy is morning pain and stiffness particular after a training session the previous night
  • Soccer players also note pain at the start of activity, for example during the warm-up but this can ease during activity
  • The soccer players tendon can appear thicker with signs of wasting around the calf
  • Soccer players usually also have stiffness in their ankle joint and tightness in their calf muscles

Treatment

Treatment is based on what stage of the continuum of degeneration your tendon is at however general treatment involves:

  • Reducing loading of the tendon which unfortunately means for soccer players cutting back on the amount of training to allow the tendon to heal. However, it is important to not rest the tendon completely, and some light training should be maintained such as passing and dribbling drills
  • Gradually reloading the tendon with strength and power exercises
  • Manual Therapy: dry needling, massage, joint mobilisations provided by a therapist
  • Addressing bio-mechanical factors such as poor form when jumping or kicking the ball
  • If above management has failed injections may be trialled

An exercise that can be trialled right away whatever stage of degeneration your tendon is at is isometrics. Isometrics can be used to provide pain relief for up to 8 hours.

See below to trial the exercise today if you are suffering from Achilles tendinopathy;

ISOMETIC CALF RAISES

STRUGGLING WITH YOUR ACHILLES? HARRY CAN HELP!

If you are struggling with this injury and want a more in-depth treatment plan, you can see a Physiotherapist who will assist you to get back to your A game!

Harry is currently offering a GAP FREE Initial Physiotherapy Assessment, simply contact us on 08 6110 3331 and mention this post or CLICK HERE!

ABOUT HARRY

Harry graduated from the School of Physiotherapy at Curtin University in 2019. Throughout his studies, Harry had a passion for musculoskeletal physiotherapy and enjoyed working with people of all ages to help them achieve their goals. He also enjoys working with athletes. He was a sports trainer for Osborne Park Football Club in 2019, and thoroughly enjoyed working with the players to facilitate recovery and performance with hands on techniques and exercise prescription. Harry is currently undergoing his Rehab Pilates training with Polestar Pilates Education and enjoys teaching the exercises he learns to his patients. He is also now incorporating dry needling into his treatment for muscle tension and pain. Harry is a keen soccer player and has been playing for 15 years. In his spare time, Harry enjoys spending time at the beach, eating Italian food and running around with his Border Collie.

Women’s Health Week

Make your Health a Priority!

Women’s Health Week commences on the 3rd September. The aim of Women’s Health week is to prioritize Women’s health.  Most of us can get so busy looking after others that we forget to look after ourselves. This national event commenced in 2013 by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health. The organisation encourages the promotion of women’s health in Australia and has many free resources and supports local events. More information can be found here: https://www.womenshealthweek.com.au/

This week is a good time for women to stop and take time out for themselves and make their health a priority. We would like to raise your awareness to the many different areas of Women’s Health that we at Embody can help you with.

Did you know we have our very own Women’s Health Physio? Lauren can assist and treat women across their lifespan; from young adult, pregnancy, the post-natal period, menopause and beyond. If you suffer from Continence issues, bladder and bowel concerns, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual pain, abdominal separation, pain during pregnancy and the post natal period, mastitis or blocked milk ducts, then contact our friendly reception staff to book a confidential consultation.

Lauren has undertaken postgraduate studies in Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapy and has gained valuable experience on maternity wards as well as Women’s Health private practice. She has a passion for anything to do with the pelvis as well as pregnancy and the postnatal period! She recently co-wrote and co-taught a course to educate Accredited Exercise Physiologists on “Exercise during Pregnancy and the Postnatal Period”. You can find out more about Lauren here: https://www.embodyphysiopilates.com.au/about/

This September make it a priority to have your health check, no matter what stage of life you are at.

Contact our friendly reception staff on 6110 3331 or email info@embodypp.com.au to book a confidential consultation and put your health first!

How Pilates can Improve your Mental Health

Pilates for Mental Health

Written by Krystal Rowland

Most of us have experienced times in our lives when we have felt flat or down, are plagued by worrying thoughts, stressed by work, finances and life in general. As winter is kicking in to full swing, sometimes it can be challenging to ward off the blues. One of the most important things we can do for our mental health, is to be active.

When we exercise, this stimulates chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin and noradrenaline to be released. These chemicals help improve your mood, and also help parts of the brain which are responsible for memory, learning, focus and attention. Regularly exercising can also help relieve the tension caused from stress that builds up gradually over a period of time. This means exercise will not only make you feel better, it will increase you efficiency at work / home.

Doing exercise such as group Pilates, allows you to change your environment and meet and interact with people who are also seeking to improve their health and well-being. This can be quite motivating and inspirational and it can also help to reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness.

As we all hopefully know, we should be trying to catch at least 7-8 hours of shut-eye each night. Lack of sleep can result in numerous adverse issues such as a reduced immune system function, increased risk of developing diabetes, increased likelihood to have weight gain, increased risk of heart disease, poor skin quality and reduced memory function. Ensuring you take part in regular exercise has been found to improve the time it takes to fall asleep and remain asleep. This in turn will help with managing and improving your mental health.

While participating in activities such as yoga and Pilates, you have the opportunity to tune in to the present moment and practice Mindfulness (to completely attend to what is happening in the present, aware of where we are and what we are doing). You can focus on your breathing, and the feelings of each muscle and joint when doing specific exercises and stretches, which will interrupt the constant bombardment of worries and stress caused by anxiety and depression. It can help you break out of the cycle of negative thoughts and give you a sense of calm, strength, and well-being.

So this winter, ensure you remain active to give your mental health a boost.

Why Pilates is your Perfect Winter Exercise

The days are getting shorter, the winter outfits are coming out and most of us will start going into ‘hibernation’. Keeping on top of your exercise routine is difficult most weeks, however when it stays dark outside for longer and it’s cold, it makes it even more challenging to stay fit and healthy. On top of this, you start to reach for the comfort food and before you know it you have the flu and the horrible ‘winter blues’. Sounds dreadful right? There’s a way of avoiding all of this and having a healthy winter. Simply add Pilates to your routine! Here are the 5 reasons why Pilates is your perfect winter exercise:

5 Steps to an Ergonomic Work Station

Whether you work at a desk all day or are a student, the effects of a sedentary position for long periods can cause lots of pain! We treat a number of back, neck, elbow, arm and wrist pain associated from poor ergonomics. Here’s 5 steps to prevent these injuries and work more effectively.

1.  NATURAL POSTURE

You should be sitting at a comfortable position when at your desk, but this doesn’t mean slouching! Most people find their seated position at their desk is similar to when they are sitting in their car. Ensure your feet are flat and parallel on the floor. Place your hands are in your lap; and relax your shoulders as you lean back just a bit. Make sure you are sitting with the weight just behind your sit bones, the bones under you bottom. Your tail bone is slightly curled back : this is your natural curve in your lower back.

This comfy position is called your “natural posture.” In it, your vertebrae are stacked, your entire back moves as you breathe, and your pelvis is positioned so that your spine is stacked properly.

Memorize this natural posture. Since we’ve been taught to “sit up straight” and “tuck in” the tailbone, it won’t be an easy change. If it helps, pretend you have a tail!

With this in mind, you can start building an ergonomic workstation that supports this posture.

2. Keyboard and mouse placement

Building around the natural posture, the keyboard and mouse should be positioned in a way that keeps your elbows to your sides, and your arms at or below a 90-degree angle. This way, the muscle load is reduced and you’re not straining.

HEIGHT: Position your keyboard 1 to 2 inches above your thighs. For most people, that probably means employing a pull-out keyboard tray. Alternatively, you can lower your desk, but the keyboard tray is a preferred method.

TILT: The keyboard should ideally be positioned with a negative tilt — down and away from you, so that your arms and hand follow the downward slope of your thighs. That being said, never use the kickstands provided underneath most keyboards.

POSTITION: Ideally, your keyboard and mouse should be shoulder-distance apart and as level as possible. A couple of things will help you achieve this.

First, consider purchasing a keyboard without a number pad, as the number pad puts the letter keys — your primary input tools — off-center. As for keeping the mouse and keyboard level, you might want to raise your keyboard with some DIYing, or get a flatter mouse.

3. Screen POSITION

Setting up your screen, or screens, doesn’t have to be complicated. Arrange them in this order, and you’ll be set.

DISTANCE: If your screen is too far away, you’ll start doing something ergonomics experts like to call “turtling,” or craning your neck. Place the monitor too far away, and you’ll find yourself extending to reach it.

To find the ideal spot, sit back and extend your arm. The tips of your middle finger should land on your screen.

If you have two monitors, set them up side by side (no gap), and place the secondary monitor off-center. Those who use both monitors equally should center them both.

Now, sit back and extend your arm and pan in an arch. As you pan your arm, your finger tip should almost always touch the monitors. Use the same logic when placing other items, like a document holder or a phone.

HEIGHT: To adjust the height, try this ergo trick: close your eyes. When you open them, your eyes should land on the address bar. If not, lower or raise the monitors using the built-in option, with risers, or with a book.

ANGLE: Finally, tilt the monitors down just a smidge to avoid reflections.

STEP 4: ADJUST THAT CHAIR

Your chair is your best ergonomic friend. It supports your back, your bottom, and your posture. There are many chairs to choose from, but only a few important things to look out for.

SHAPE: Think back to your natural posture. With your tailbone sticking out just a bit, and your vertebrae in their slight curve, the lumbar portion of your spine points in toward your belly. To help you sustain this posture, find a chair that offers good lumbar support.

LENGTH: When you sit down, there should be a little space between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees, about the size of your fist. Depending on the chair, you might be able to adjust the seat depth accordingly.

HEIGHT: When you sit, your feet should be on the floor (not dangling) in front of you, and your thighs should be slightly below your hips. Shorter folks might need to use a footrest, while extra-tall types might need to adjust the height of the desk.

If you ever find yourself tucking your feet behind you, sitting on one leg, or in another funky position, you chair needs to be adjusted.

STEP 5: GET UP AND MOVE

After all is said and done, there’s one final piece that you can’t simply set-and-forget: physical activity. Take a break at least once an hour to walk around the office or stretch. If it helps, set an hourly alarm as a reminder.

No matter how ergonomic your workstation is, stretching your body is the only thing that can combat the health issues that arise from prolonged sitting.

If you continue to have pain please book in with on of Embody’s physiotherapists and we will have you pain free in no time and ensure that you can:

‘Embody the life you want!’

Headaches? Don’t put up with the pain

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells…It’s that time of year… That joyful season where we catch up with family and friends, eating and drinking far too much, giving and receiving gifts and enjoying the beautiful summer days! For most of us though, it is also a very busy period, where we rush around for last minute gifts, the shops and carparks are full of people, there is places to be and a long list of things to do. That’s cause enough for a headache! However, if headaches are a common occurrence in your daily life, you understand how debilitating they can be. Now might be a good time to resolve that pain. After all, you don’t want to have one of those horrible headaches whilst Christmas shopping, Jingle Bells paying on repeat!

There are many types of headaches. However, one of the most common forms of headaches are ‘tension headaches’. Just like the name suggests, these are most commonly a result of excessive tension caused by a variety of factors.  Most people ignore these headaches, accepting the pain or they take medication, which is often ineffective.  You don’t have to put up with these headaches and you shouldn’t. Physiotherapy treatment can be extremely effective in alleviating pain associated with tension type headaches. In fact, this is a common thing we treat at Embody.

CAUSES

Most tension headaches will be a result of the muscles in the upper back and neck being stiff.  Factors such as stress, fatigue, poor posture and looking at a computer/phone for too long are some of the contributing causes.

SYMPTOMS

A common symptom for tension headaches is the feeling of pressure in the head.  Some people will experience the pain behind their eyes and particularly at the back of the head. Neck pain is a major cause of tension headaches and many people will experience a stiff and tender upper back. If you have a tension headache, it will be difficult and painful to move your neck.

TREATMENT

Physiotherapy treatment has become one of the most prominent and successful treatment forms for alleviating tension related headaches. At your consult your Physiotherapist will assess you and determine the cause of your headache. They will assess the possibilities of why your neck may be stiff and address this. A variety of treatments will be administered depending on the individual. This may involve joint manipulation and mobilisation in the upper spine to address postural issues.  Stretching and strengthening will also be prescribed to establish long term pain relief. Another treatment may be dry needling, you can read about this here.

Headaches? Call us on 6110 3331 or book an appointment online so we can help you with your health this Christmas.

Why should you see a Physiotherapist?

8 Reasons to See a Physiotherapist

You may be aware that a physiotherapist is a healthcare professional who focuses on the musculoskeletal system. They help improve mobility, relieve pain, and much more.

But the exact reasons people come to physiotherapy vary as much as the treatments themselves. Why should you see a physiotherapist? Keep reading, and you may discover that you’re long overdue a visit.

1. YOUR DOCTOR IS TOO BUSY.

Physicians can treat physical injuries, but many don’t have the availability to spend the kind of time with a patient that a physio does. They also may not have the training to provide the particular kind of hands-on treatment that a physiotherapist does.

2. YOU NEED A DIAGNOSIS.

Or, you want a doctor’s diagnosis confirmed, or explained in greater detail. Physiotherapists are anatomy experts who can teach you more about your body and how it works.

And there’s no need to worry that you’ve come to the wrong place. Physiotherapists know when you need them, and they also know when you need a different specialist or physician.

3. YOU’RE TRAPPED AT A DESK.

Humans didn’t evolve to sit all of the time. Moreover, focusing on a screen constantly as you do so can distract you from being aware of any tension or problematic posturing that will eventually cause pain.

A physio will get you moving with purpose. You’ll increase your flexibility and learn more about what’s making you ache. This way, you can learn to build healthier habits that are easier on your spine.

4. YOU’RE VERY ACTIVE.

If you’re a competitive athlete, a physiotherapist will have this in mind as they aid in your recovery. They’ll take your fitness level into account and teach beneficial exercises to do on your own time.

This way, when you’ve got a clean bill of health, you can get back to what you love to do. You’ll leave with a greater understanding of what went wrong, and how to avoid it in the future.

5. YOU HAVE LINGERING PAIN FROM A TRAUMATIC INJURY.

If you’ve suffered a traumatic injury, like a car accident, the hospital is (and should be!) the first stop on the road to recovery. Yet many of us know that months down the road, we’re left with lingering reminders of those injuries.

Physiotherapists understand that just because an injury has technically healed, it doesn’t mean that it no longer impacts your body. They can help you work through any remnants of the trauma.

6. YOU HAVE CHRONIC PAIN.

Treating conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia often involve a multi-prong approach and lifestyle changes in order to enjoy lasting results.

Seeing a physio is essential to anyone who is trying to manage their life while dealing with chronic pain. Specialists in muscle and joints, physiotherapists are uniquely qualified to help you sort out what treatments (heat, cold) and exercises are appropriate, and when.

7. RETURNING PAIN IS STIFLING YOU.

Consistent painful flare ups are a major sign that something needs to change. If you’re trying to avoid surgery, a physiotherapist is your best course of action.

Physios know how to relieve pain because they understand precisely what’s causing it. They can also help you alleviate other worrisome symptoms like numbness or tingling. Additionally, they’ll help identify what causes your flare ups, so you know how to avoid aggravating it further.

8. YOU’RE FOCUSED ON HEALING.

Finally, it’s very valuable to recognize that many kinds of illnesses – even mood disorders – take a toll on our bodies.

Building a relationship with a physiotherapist can take extra pain and pressure away, so you can concentrate on true healing and total wellness. It’s one of the most practical, evidence-based ways to care for yourself.

Physio Chat: Why We Love Pilates

Having Valentine’s Day earlier this month, we thought it was only appropriate that our latest blog be about ‘LOVE’! Pilates is fast becoming a popular exercise form due to its many benefits. We asked our Physio’s why they love Pilates and this is what they said:

Our 3 Step Guide to a Healthy School Year

1.  The Right Backpack

“This bag is as heavy as a ton of bricks!” Have you ever thought or said this about your child’s backpack? Chances are your child is carrying too heavy a load!

A backpack that is too heavy, isn’t worn properly or too big can cause some serious pain! Young backs, shoulders and necks can be extremely strained by wearing a backpack incorrectly. Aside from terrible pain, your child can also suffer long term injuries and postural issues from wearing the wrong backpack. There are so many backpacks to choose from and most of them look the same, so what is the right backpack?

When choosing a backpack ensure that the backpack is suitable for the size of your child. Thicker shoulder straps are better for your child as they are less likely to dig into the shoulders. Some schools offer backpacks on wheels; this is a great option which means your child can avoid back, neck and shoulder injuries. It is a particularly good option if they have lots of books and/or a laptop to bring home every day. If this is not an option, the Australian Physiotherapy Association recommends the Spartan Physiopak which minimizes the risks that children are exposed to by carrying heavy loads.

If your child is using their backpack from last year or the school has its own backpack, here are some simple points on ensuring your child wears their backpack correctly:

Weight

The Australian Physiotherapy Association recommends that your child’s backpack should not be more than 10% of their body weight.

Height

The top of your child’s backpack should not sit higher than their shoulders and the bottom of the backpack should not go lower than the small of the back. Heavier items, such as a laptop, should be placed towards the back of the bag, close to the spine.

Straps

Shoulder straps should not be worn loosely, and it is important that your child wears both straps. Encourage your child to use waist and chest straps if their backpack has these, in order to take some of the load off the shoulders and back.

Lastly, ensure your child only carry’s the necessary books and materials that they need for that day, to avoid unnecessary weight.

2.  A Shoe that fits

Running around at recess and lunch as well as the multitude of cocurricular activities that children do these days makes having the right shoes essential for injury prevention.

Too Big

If your child’s shoes are too big they risk ankle, knee and joint pain. Your child’s heel should not be slipping; this is one of the biggest indicators of a shoe that is too big.

Too Small

If your child’s shoe is too small they will often change the way they walk. This in turn can cause discomfort and injury to their feet and legs. Long term this could affect their posture. It can also result in horrible ingrown toenails and bunions!

Just Right

The correct shoe size has approximately a thumb width space between the top of the shoe and the big toe. The shoe should allow for some minor movement with enough support, cushioning and comfort.

3.  Study Spaces

Studying for long periods, sitting at a desk and looking at electronic screens can result in a rounded posture as well as stiff and tight neck and shoulders. The ergonomic set up of your child’s study space is an important factor in reducing the risk of postural related injuries and headaches as well as improving effective study and concentration. To find out more about ergonomic set up, you can read our detailed blog post on setting up your computer and desk station. The most important factors are:

  • Sitting correctly on a chair
  • The keyboard and mouse are in the right places
  • If a screen is used, that the distance, height and angle are correct

Most importantly, it is essential that you encourage your child to get up and move around. Your child should take a break at least once an hour and stretch or play outside. Reminding them to have a break will really help and we are pretty sure they will be more than willing to take a break from homework!
For more information call us on 6110 3331 or book an appointment online so we can help you prepare for a healthy school year.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions: We are here to help!

The New Year is almost upon us and chances are you are planning and setting some goals or at least thinking about how you want 2018 to unfold. Whether you have decided to get back into exercise, focus more on your health, run a marathon or tackle a long-standing injury – we are here to help!

It’s all well and good to set New Year’s resolutions, but the struggle comes in sticking to these resolutions and accomplishing them. Having the right resources and support around you can make all the difference! Your Physiotherapist is here to help you reach your goals.

These are just a few of the things your Physiotherapist can assist with to make 2018 a great year:

By sharing your goals with others, you are more likely to achieve them. Be sure to let your Physiotherapist and the Embody Team know what your goals for the New Year are.

Call us on 6110 3331 or book online so we help you accomplish a healthy 2018!

Christmas Gift Ideas

Our gift guide to Christmas

How ‘Dry Needling’ can relieve your pain

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is the insertion of a very fine, sterile needle into tight and stiff muscles (also known as ‘trigger points’). The aim is to relieve pain caused by these muscles by reducing tenderness.  Dry needling can also help to increase the circulation to a muscle. It is an effective treatment for regaining movement and alleviating pain.

Dry Needling can be beneficial for a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, including (but not limited to): low back pain, tension headaches, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, buttock pain, calf tightness/spasms.

What happens?

How does it actually work?

In simple terms the needle releases those stubborn tight muscles. Usually the needle is left in for a minute, or several minutes. The Physiotherapist may also ‘fan’ or move the needle to elicit a twitch. This causes the muscle to loosen and as a result alleviates pain in that area.

What does it feel like? Is it painful?

Most clients describe a cramping sensation, or a small electric shock feeling – some find it hard to describe, others don’t feel the needle go in at all!

Are there any side- effects?

You may feel a temporary ache (or sometimes tightness) in the area – this should dissipate within 24 hours. Side effects are usually mild, and may include bruising, fatigue and a temporary increase in pain. Dry Needling is a safe technique, and the side effects are minimal compared to drugs or surgery.

Often people ask about the risk of infection. Strict regulations require an aseptic procedure, involving a sterilised needle, with single use (per client), alcohol swab wipes, adequate practitioner hygiene (hand washing) and correct disposal of needle (sharps bin). Infectious status must be declared via the client (usually via a New Client form) and likewise the practitioner is responsible to have no infectious status.

Trained health professionals have the anatomical knowledge and practice to avoid any areas of the body which may impose more risk. So yes, Dry Needling is very safe!

Ongoing muscle soreness or stiffness? Dry needling may well be the solution. Call us on 6110 3331 or book an appointment online to discuss how dry needling can help you.

What is mastitis?

What is mastitis?

Mastitis is inflammation of the breast. If you suspect that you have it then you may notice the following symptoms:

  • A sore, hot, red area of the breast.
  • A hard lump that is often wedge-shaped.
  • If the mastitis is infective then it will be associated with fever, chills and flu-like symptoms (Lawrence, 1990)

It is important to note that the inflamed breast may or may not involve a bacterial infection. In some cases, the breast may be sore, hot and/or red and the milk ducts are blocked but no active infection is present.

Causes of Mastitis

The following factors may influence whether a lactating woman develops mastitis (World Health Organisation, 2000).

  • Missed or infrequent feeds
  • Compression of the breast tissue (e.g. underwire bra, tight clothing, heavy massage, seatbelt, poorly fitted flange)
  • Milk oversupply
  • Nipple damage (i.e. a crack which may allow an infection to enter)
  • Poor attachment which may result in inefficient removal of milk from the breast
  • Weak suckling by the baby which may result in the milk not being removed efficiently
  • Rapid weaning
  • A white spot (blocked nipple pore, bleb, milk blister) on the nipple. A white spot can be caused by a bit of thickened milk or overgrowth of skin that creates a blockage at the tip of the nipple (Australian Breastfeeding Association, 2017)
  • Illness in the baby/mother or fatigue in the mother
What Can Physio Do For You?

Therapeutic ultrasound provided by a Physio can help with blocked milk ducts and mastitis. Ultrasound is painless and helps with inflammation. It does this by sending sound waves deep into the breast tissue which create a mechanical vibration effect on the tissues. Taping can also be used to help breast swelling and your Physio can teach you how to do gentle manual lymphatic and fascial massage that will not hurt or compress the breast tissue.

 What You Should Do?
  • If you suspect you have mastitis and have a fever and flu-like symptoms then it is important to see a GP. They can determine whether you need a course of antibiotics.
  • It is important to rest and have adequate fluids. You may use warmth on the breast prior to feeding to help with let-down and milk flow. Cold packs can be used following feeding or expressing.
  • If it is safe for you to take it, an anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. ibuprofen) may also help with the inflammatory symptoms (i.e. red and hot). If unsure, check with your GP or pharmacist regarding anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Ensure your hands are clean before handling your breasts to prevent introducing infection.
  • Avoid overstimulating the sore breast tissue. Read below why we should not massage our breasts firmly.
  • Ensure that you feed or express at suitable intervals so that your breasts do not feel uncomfortably full.
  • Check that your attachment is correct. See a lactation consultant if this needs attention.
Understanding your Breast Anatomy

Too often during appointments we hear women speak of massaging their breasts very firmly to clear a blocked milk duct. It is important to know that our breasts are not like muscles! Breasts are made up of several different tissues:

  • Adipose tissue (fat)
  • Glandular tissue (milk producing cells)
  • Ligaments that provide support and a framework for the breasts (Geddes, 2007)

The milk ducts transport milk to the nipple. They are small, close to the surface of the skin and are compressed easily (Geddes, 2007). They increase in diameter with the let-down reflex so it is thought that they are most important for transporting rather than storing milk (Geddes, 2007). The ducts travel from the nipple into the breast in an irregular fashion, much like the roots of a tree (Geddes, 2007).

The key points to take away from this information on breast anatomy is that the ducts are:

  • Small
  • Superficial rather than deep
  • Compressed easily
  • Travel along an irregular path

We need to keep this in mind when treating blocked milk ducts and mastitis as they can be caused by compression of the ducts (Geddes, 2007). It is important not to massage the breasts heavily. Stroke them no harder than stroking a cat. Breasts that are producing milk are not muscles!  Also check your bra is not too tight and compressing the ducts.

References

Australian Breastfeeding Association (2015) White spot on the nipple. Available at: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/white-spot-nipple (Accessed 9th August 2017).

Geddes, DT. (2007). Inside the Lactating Breast: The Latest Anatomy Research. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 52 (6), 556 – 563.

Lawrence, RA. (1990). The puerperium, breastfeeding, and breast milk. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2, 23 – 30.

World Health Organisation (2000). Mastitis: Causes and Management. Publication number WHO/FCH/CAH/00.13. World Health Organisation, Geneva.

3 Marathons in 3 Days

In August 2016, I was told about this amazing event called 3 Marathons in 3 Days in Cairns.

I wasn’t much of a runner then, I had only been Park running, 5kms on a Saturday and had done the Swan River 14km and couldn’t even run all of the distance.

That didn’t stop me registering for the event in October and commencing the run training in December.

I followed Lorraine from Dynamic Running (3M3D Director) running training program and some weeks I run up to 100kms with long back to back runs on Saturday & Sundays.

3 months to go and I was out doing an easy 10km and all of a sudden injury struck!

I was devistated, I had a calf knot and it was about the size of a ten cent piece and it was becoming unbearable to run, so I took a week off and then booked into see Courtney and have dry needling on my calf and glute fortnightly and until the week before I left.

Fly out day finally came and I was in tears or utter nerves heading to the airport and this crazy huge adventure. I truly had no idea about what was ahead of me.

Day 0… Flat lay all my gear on the bed, prepare my bottles of water/Tailwind, check all safety gear… off to bed!

Day 1… Head count and herded onto the bus for and hour of windy roads up to the hills to commence day one, this is when I knew something wasn’t great, my tummy was in knots & not with nerves.

Running day was going to be hard work anyway given the heat but 5kms in I knew that I was in for a very long day if I decided to keep running on. By km 10, I was very unwell with a tummy bug and messaged my training buddy asking what I could do to settle it or if I should run on…. His reply ‘no salt tablets’ will do nothing, but see how you feel… Hearing him say this I knew that if I pulled out this early on I would never forgive myself, so finally around km 15-17 I met up with Helen who was a chemist and such a wonderful girl to put up with me running & vomiting for the next 5 hours.

Km 18, I ran/walked into the check point hoping that they would have something in their first aid kit to ease my tummy but no, so they told me to run on to the 21km (halfway) and they would be able to help, still no, so the decision was made that I was now 1/2 way, how bad could the back half now be…. Well, I was very wrong, the next 5kms was up hill into the blistering sun on road….

I crossed the line of day 1 in 7hrs and 40 plus minutes, but I had completed my first ever marathon and yes, I did walk most of day 1, but I could hold my head high know that I put my mind and body on the line to achieve something that I worked so hard for.

Day 2 started off much better, my body was sore and stiff, but a quick roll and hot shower and off to the bus I was with a spring in my step like I’ve never had before. Today I paired up at the start line with Helen and he husband Om and we set our self a goal of 7hrs pretty early on in the day, we pushed hard all day and took much needed ‘swims’ in the creek crossings to cool off as it was once again damn hilly, like hills that you take two steps up pushing on your thighs and then take a breathe, push up again..

We crossed the line on day 2 in 7hrs and 6 minutes and I can tell you that I was now feeling on top of the world, two days ago I had never ran a marathon, now I had run/walked two in two days.

Day 3… The body was feeling a bit battered but I was more tired than I have ever felt before, I dragged myself onto the roller and then into a hot shower before boarding the bus for the last time to head up the winding road to start day 3.

It was a great day, once again I was teamed up with Helen and Om and we also picked up Jason, who has run this event 4 times before, he had to make it in just over 6hrs today so that he would get his ‘life’ number of 4.

Today was all about ‘Jas’, I had to put my aches and pains to the back of my mind and try my hardest to get this guy over the line and with the time he needed as he was feeling utterly terrible and could only manage a shuffle or walk for quite a while.

We dropped Om & Helen at the 1/2 way-ish mark, the Dam that was utterly beautiful, I sent Jason on and said that I would catch him up so that I could take a few pictures, as he was having a bit of a walk break at this stage. I caught up to him about 2kms up the road and we were now running until full sun on the road with a 16km down hill to the finish line.

By this stage my hip/groin was in severe pain with every step, but Jason was feeling much worse than me, so we set little goals, run to the light post, run to the barrier on the road, we got to around 2kms from the finish line when we see this car vooming towards us with a lady barking times out of the window, me not even thinking hurls abuse at her & then Jason burst into laughter and tells me that is his wife and we didn’t have long to get over the line or he would miss out on his bib number…

We put everything into it, no more walk breaks, this now perked Jas up and he was not thanking me for running with him and pushing him on during the day and then he said to me ‘how does it feel to be an ultra marathoner’…. OMG did the tears stream down my face when he said this, it all kicked in and we crossed the line hand in hand with our arms up high in a time of 6hrs and 6 minutes..

Jason is now the happy owner of bib number 4 for life and I completed my first multi stage ultra marathon.

Written by Sally Currie

Lower back pain in Adolescents – Pars Stress Fractures

I recently went to a lecture for Physiotherapists discussing lower back pain in adolescents, with the focus being on pars stress fractures. I was surprised at some of the statistics for the prevalence of stress fractures, and decided that I would like to discuss it in this month’s blog. So if you are OR have a teenager with back pain, keep reading.

In athletic adolescents with back pain, up to 47% have spondylolysis (a pars stress fracture). This statistic is only 5% in athletic adults with back pain.

This means that HALF the teenagers who walk into our practice with lower back pain and whom are participating in an elite or ‘at risk’ sport, have a pars stress fracture. Huge statistics, that even I was surprised by.

In fact the most common causes of adolescent back pain are pars fractures, and/or poor control/loading/hypermobility disorders. Less common, but not to be missed, are disc injuries, scoliosis factors, Scheuermann’s disease and rheumatoid conditions.

What is a pars stress fracture?

A small stress fracture of the lumbar vertebrae, at a site called the pars interarticularis (see image). This is also known as a spondylolysis. The most common level for this is L5.

Who is most at risk?

This injury often occurs in a young sportsperson whose sport involves repetitive or excessive extension and/or rotation of the lumbar spine. Such sports include gymnastics, ballet, cricket (fast bowlers), tennis, rowing, diving, track and field throwing, pole vault and high jump. Other risk factors include: a growing/maturing skeleton, heavy training loads, poor lumbo-pelvic control and posture. These are teenagers who usually have poor awareness, can’t dissociate their pelvis/lumbar from hip movements, have weak glutes and tight/weak hamstrings, an increased lordosis and can’t eccentrically contract their hip flexors.

What are the signs and symptoms?
  • Unilateral lower back pain – in a focal area. This can sometimes refer into the buttock/thigh of the same side.
  • Tenderness over the site of fracture.
  • Pain with lumbar extension (bending backwards/arching lower back) and rotation or side-bending to this side.
  • Pain during their sport.
Do they need a scan?

Yes. Diagnosis is confirmed by imaging, and MRI is the preferred choice here (this will show any bone marrow oedema). Often if we suspect a Pars Fracture, we refer to a Sports Physician who will then refer on for appropriate imaging. They may also consider a SPECT or a CT scan. X-rays will only pick up the late stages of a fracture (when it has been there for several months), and may miss it during the bone oedema/early stages – where the chance of healing is at it’s best.

A scan is often repeated throughout rehab to ensure that the client is on the right track and if further rest is needed. In an elite sporting setting it is not uncommon to have 3+ MRIs. However, amongst the general population price and convenience must be factored in. As a minimum, one MRI is recommended for diagnosis and another at the 2-3 month mark (to track progress). You do not want to leave the second MRI too long in the case that it is too late to make changes to rehab if the fracture has progressed. Some companies will offer bulk billing options for this.

What is the management/treatment?
  • First and foremost – activity modification. This usually means rest from their sport. This is an extended rest, and most Sports Doctors and Physio’s will recommend 3-4 months off (as a minimum). This is CRUCIAL for healing, there are no quick fixes. A pars fracture picked up early has a good chance of healing. However, if diagnosis is delayed or the client does not adhere to this rest, then the chances of healing (or fracture ‘union’) are less likely and this opens the risk of lower back pain and problems into adulthood.
  • During this rest period, rehabilitation should be done. This should be done with a Physio or Exercise Physiologist (and usually involves the team coach or strength and conditioning staff at their sporting club). The goals of rehab are individual, but usually involve:
    • Core control and strengthening – particularly transversus abdominus and multifidus.
    • Gluteal strengthening.
    • Lengthening hamstrings (which are usually in spasm).
    • Postural corrections and awareness – especially if excessive lordosis.
      • Anti-lordotic bracing is currently still debated. It is generally not standard practice to prescribe one of these. However, if the client is unable to correct or control their excessive lumbar arch then this may be warranted in the initial month of rehab.
    • By around week 12 we get the client to recommence running/sprinting sessions.
    • At later stages (usually around week 16-20) – sport specific drills. This may involve technique correction if this is an issue. Sport specific training should be done for 4-6 weeks before competing.
  • Hands on treatment will sometimes be recommended if there are tight muscles that need manual release or if there are stiff thoracic segments (usually lumbar spine is hypermobile and doesn’t need mobilising).
Should Exercise Rehabilitation be supervised?

 Dead Bugs! - An example of a common core stabilisation exercise we give to challenge clients. 

Dead Bugs! – An example of a common core stabilisation exercise we give to challenge clients.

How can I prevent a pars stress fracture?
  • Increase sporting load gradually. For a growing adolescent, it may be appropriate to choose one sport at a given time. Teenagers more at risk are those participating in multiple sports at the same time, particularly if heavier load (involving lots of running and jumping).
  • Take at least one or two days off from sport each week.
  • Maintain good hip mobility (including hamstring and glute length), good core and gluteal strength.
  • If your child is very active and complains of lower back pain, then seek the attention of a Physio or Sports Physician. Remember, early diagnosis has a far better shot of healing!

Written by Courtney Kranz, Physiotherapist and Pilates Practitioner at Embody Physiotherapy + Pilates.

References:

1. Brukner P & Khan K, CLINICAL SPORTS MEDICINE, 4th Edn, McGraw-Hill Australia. North Ryde, NSW.

2. Cavalier R et al. (2006). Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis in Children and Adolescents: I. Diagnosis, Natural History, and Non-surgical Managament. J Am Acad Orthop Surg, 14:417-424

3. Perth Radiological Clinic,  Sports Imaging Series; Speakers: Sandra Mejak, Nick Jones & Peter Counsel. 4th May 2017.

Exercise Right Week

Last week was Exercise Right Week. Directed by Exercise & Sports Science Australia, Exercise Right Week aims “to inspire and inform ALL Australians to be healthier and more active”. The website has some great resources about movement and what exercises you should do according to your occupation. Have a look at the website for more information: 

 

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