Good Nutrition: Think Before You Drink

Wine pic

We all like the occasional glass of red and for many of us liquid calories are not thought of as food, but did you know that 2 x 150 ml glasses of wine is equivalent in energy to nearly 3 slices of bread or 2 x 375 ml stubbie equates to just over 3.5 slices of bread. Alcohol contains almost as much energy as fat, with 27 KJ per gram compared to 37 KJ per gram of fat.

Dry July is underway raising money for cancer research and is a great  time to re-evaluate our alcohol intake. Alcohol provides empty kilo-joules and is a major contributor to chronic health conditions. Consider keeping 2-3 days alcohol free in the week to benefit your liver and your waistlines!

For more information and nutritional advise call Inform Physio + Fitness today and book in to see our Dietitian Victoria Walker 

Ah! My Aching Knee Cap!

Female athlete suffer from pain in her knee.

Female athlete suffering from pain in her knee.

What is it? What does it feel like? What causes it? How can it be treated?

What is it? Pain around the patella (knee cap) is a very common complaint seen in all sports particularly jumping sports, as well as running. The patella articulates with the femur in a groove covered with cartilage. When the patella is not moving within the grooves correctly pain and inflammation will result.

What does it feel like? Pain at the knee can be felt behind the patella as well as either side of its articulations. High load such as jumping and running, as well as squatting, can bring on the pain. In more severe cases, the pain can linger while you are resting.

What causes it? 
For the patella to be out of its groove, the cause can be found locally at the knee, as well as above the knee at the hip and below at the foot. If the foot is pronating excessively, this will cause the tibia to internally rotate and mal-track the patella. At the hip level, weakness of the gluteal muscles (bum muscles) as well as other muscles surrounding the hip, may allow your hips to drop and knee to rotate internally, as well as create a valgus knee (knock knee appearance).

How can it be treated? Identifying the cause of the pain is crucial. Often the cause is combination of both the foot and the hips not functioning in their most efficient way. Reducing rotation of the tibia can be achieved through correctly fitted footwear and/or orthotics to place the foot in its best posture. Correcting muscle imbalance at the knee and hip is essential, as well as maintaining good core stability. With the assistance of a physio this can be achieved. Your run technique may need some altering to reduce the load on the knee, as well as to get you recruiting the right muscles needed to keep your hips stable.

If this sounds like you, the Physio’s and Podiatrist at Inform Physio + Fitness can help. Call today on 95431888 to make an appointment.

Hamstring Injury Prevention: A How to Guide This Sporting Season

Hamstring injuries are one of the most common sporting injuries and they have a high rate of recurrence. Sports involving high speed running or extensive hamstring lengthening activities such as kicking are more at risk of injury. They can take weeks to reach full recovery and the time missed playing sport can be detrimental to individual and team performance. Being aware of risk factors for hamstring injuries and using research based evidence to aid in injury prevention can help make this next sporting season a success.

A wise person once said that prevention is better then a cure.  By being aware of the risk factors that contribute to hamstring injuries, the athlete can start to minimise the risks that can be modified. Risk factors include age, past history of injury, hamstring strength, fatigue and player position (with speed positions being more likely to injure). Although you can’t control how old you are or if you have previously injured your hamstring, you can improve hamstring strength!

So what is the best way to improve your hamstring strength? The most evidence-based approach to reducing hamstring injuries from occurring in the first place and reducing recurrence is performing eccentric strengthening exercises. In one study, they discovered that if soccer players did an exercise called the Nordic Hamstring Curl in pre-season training, and then maintained the exercise as part of their training during the competitive season, they were able to reduce new hamstring injuries by up to 60% and recurrent injuries by 86%.

The Nordic Hamstring Exercise Protocol is an eccentric exercise program that loads the hamstring muscle while it lengthens. This exercise is performed with a partner securing the feet to the ground. The athlete then falls forward from the knees, resisting the fall for as long as possible with the hamstrings. As the athlete’s upper body approaches the ground, the hands must be turned out to buffer the fall, letting the chest touch the ground. Upon completion of one repetition, the athlete must return to the starting position by thrusting themselves back up using their hands.

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Ideally, the strengthening program should begin 10 weeks prior to the start of the season. When the season begins frequency should be reduced to 1-2 times per week. The exercises should be completed in a non-fatigued state after an appropriate warm-up.The table below outlines the ideal weekly progressions for the exercises.

Week Sessions/week Sets Reps
1 1 2 5
2 2 2 6
3 3 3 6-8
4 3 3 8-10
5-10 3 3 12,10,8
11 and beyond 1-2 3 12,10,8

It is important to note that the Nordic Exercise Protocol has been researched mainly on soccer and AFL players, but the research can apply to similar sports. Balance and proprioception exercises, flexibility training and soft tissue therapy can also be implemented in prevention programs. 

If you are currently struggling with a hamstring injury it is important that you consult your physiotherapist first before beginning an intense prevention program (as above), as appropriate rehabilitation exercises must be done first. If you need help getting started or have a hamstring injury that needs attention call to book an appointment today on 9543 1888. 

References

Bourne MN, Williams MD, Opar DA, Al Najjar A, Kerr GK, Shield AJ. Impact of exercise selection on hamstring muscle activation. British journal of sports medicine. 2016 May 13, 2016.
Brukner and Khan.(2012) Clinical Sports Medicine Forth Edition.North Ryde NSW: McGraw Hill Education Pty Ltd.     

Hughes, M. (2016). Hamstring Injuries: A Review of the Recent Literature. https://www.mickhughes.physio/single-post/2016/06/19/Hamstring-Injuries-A-Review-of-the-Recent-Literature

Sayers, A., and Sayers, B.(2008). The Nordic Eccentric Hamstring Exercise for Injury Prevention In Soccer Players. Flexibility and Rehab. Volume 30, Number 4. http://www.ctgdevelopment.net/members/images/adobe_pdf/exercises/the_nordic_eccentric_hamstring_exercise_for_injury.10.pdf

Van der Horst, N. et al.(2015) The Preventive Effect of the Nordic Hamstring Exercise on Hamstring Injuries in Amateur Soccer Players. American Journal of Sports Medicine. Volume 43, Issue 6. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/036354651557405

Choose Archies Thongs for great support this summer!

Archies thongs beach

archies logoFlat thongs not giving you enough support?
Try our super comfortable arch support thongs!

As the warmer weather has arrived, we thought it would be a great time to let you know about a fantastic new summer product we have come across that you may benefit from!

The new product is called, “Archies Arch Support Thongs” and they are an orthotic thong that were designed by a Physiotherapist. We stock a range of colours and sizes at $35 a pair.

While the concept of orthotic thongs is not new, this design varies greatly from anything we have ever seen before as they incorporate legitimate orthotic support but still just look like normal thongs!

We all love wearing thongs, however there are many negative effects of flat thong wearing. The “Archies” arch support thongs will certainly be a more suitable alternative.

Archie's super comfortable arch support thongs

We stock a wide range of sizes and colours

The most obvious problem with typical thongs is that they are flat and offer the feet no support. This can be a problem for all foot types, especially those who over pronate.

Pronation occurs when the foot rolls inwards. When the foot rolls in so too does the lower limb/leg, causing a disruption to the body’s natural alignment. Increased pronation alters the way that stress and strain are absorbed through the body, which can potentially lead to injury.

Flat thongs can also be problematic for people with high arches. People with high arches have a tendency to take increased stress on the outside of the foot and leg which over time may lead to injury. The addition of arch support in this foot type can help more evenly distribute the load and pressure across the foot which may potentially reduce the likelihood of an injury from occurring.

One of the other biggest problems with typical thongs is that they often come with a very loose strap. Normally when you walk your toes are supposed to bend upwards which activates the arch of the foot which then provides protection and support to the vital structures of the feet. However, most typical thongs have a very loose strap which means that you end up clawing / scrunching your toes down just to try and keep the thongs on your feet. When the toes claw / scrunch down rather than bending up, the arch does not activate and as a result your foot is subject to increased stress and strain.

Archie’s Thongs have been designed with a much tighter strap than normal thongs which allows for proper foot function to occur which allows you to walk more naturally.

Most thongs are also very flat in the heel section with little to no elevation which can put a lot of stress and strain on the calf and Achilles, thus predispose to problems such as Achilles tendinopathy. “Archie”s support thongs” elevated the heel and unload the achilles, thereby providing relief from constant stress.

Other more obvious problems with typical thongs is that they are commonly have straps that are made out of hard plastic which can cause irritation and can potentially lead to blisters. These straps also often break at the toe pole by having the plug pull through the base of the thong, splitting the thong in the process.

“Archie’s Arch Support thongs” have done a brilliant job on solving these key design issues.  Archie’s Thongs are well and truly the most comfortable thong you will ever wear and once you get used to them you will not want to take them off!