Today’s Fit tip is for anyone who sits a lot during their work day, whether it be at a desk or in a car.
If this is you and you feel like your back and shoulders get stiff, try to perform these stretches every 30 minutes or so, and try to get up and walk during that time too if possible.
Give these a try and let us know how you get on, on our facebook and instagram pages! (@rainhamphysiotherapycentre)
Today’s Fit tip is for anyone who sits a lot during their work day, whether it be at a desk or in a car.
FOCUS ON NEAT FOR FATLOSS!
When it comes to fat loss, it’s paramount to focus on calories. In order for any fat loss to take place, you need to burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis.
With that in mind everyone’s first response is usually, do cardio at the gym and eat less… Perfect right?! Yes, quite honestly this is a great place to start but where some fall short with this is they don’t focus on any other movement throughout the day and don’t realise the possible effects on their energy levels in doing this.
Adding cardio and dropping calories is fantastic but if you used to perform 13000 steps a day and now it’s dropped to 4000 because you massively lack energy that’s a big drop in calories burnt through your NEAT ( non exercise activity thermogenesis ). 10000 steps a day causes people on average to burn 400-500 calories. If your daily steps drop dramatically because you burnt 300 calories on the treadmill for 20 minutes, then you’re worse off.
I’m not saying cut the gym out of your routine, it’s amazing for your overall health, but make sure you keep active throughout the whole day to really maximise your fat loss results!
USE THESE 10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER FOOD SHOP!
Healthy eating is easier if you plan what you buy. Select wholesome and nutritious foods and beware of packaging flaws or food that is not stored safely.
Here are some tips to help you make healthy food choices when shopping.
1. Make a list. Before you go food shopping, plan your meals for the week. This will help you stick to your diet and stop unnecessary junk food going straight in your basket.
2. Choose the low-fat option. For example, select low-fat milk, cheese, yoghurt, salad dressings and gravies.
3. Buy leaner cuts of meat. If unsure, look for the Heart Foundation tick of approval.
4. Opt for ‘skin off’. Chicken skin contains loads of calories and saturated fat, so skinless chicken breasts are a healthier choice.
5. Beware of salt hidden in processed meats. Limit your consumption of salami, ham, corned beef, bacon, smoked salmon, and frankfurts.
6. Purchase fresh or frozen vegetables. Canned and pickled vegetables tend to be high in added salt.
7. Check the date. Avoid the risk of eating unsafe perishable foods, especially chilled or frozen items. A ‘use-by’ date shows the date by which a product should be consumed, while a ‘best before’ date indicates the date until which the food will remain at its best quality.
8. Don’t shop when you’re hungry! This is key when you’re trying to stay healthy! It’s all too easy to walk past your favourite treats that are on sale and next thing you know, there’s two boxes I your trolley of food items you don’t need!
9. Look for food bargains. Bulk-buy nutritious meal ingredients at markets and supermarkets. Non-perishable options with long shelf lives include dried vegetables, beans, legumes and dried pasta.
10. Limit takeaway and convenience foods. These are expensive, high in fat, high in salt and low in nutrition, and leave you hungry again a few hours after you eat them.
Give these tips a try and you’ll be healthy food shopping like a pro in no time!
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?!
Intermittent fasting is having an eating window for instance, between 11am and 5pm, and only eating in that window.
In the scientific literature, it’s been found to better fat loss and cardiovascular health, it’s also shown a decrease in cancer risk, large neuroprotective effects and increased lifespan.
Many of these benefits are independent of caloric restriction alone and the reason they believe is preconditioning stress.
What is meant by this is that hunger is a small stressor which will help the body cope with bigger future stressors. Similar to exposing yourself to small doses of germs which can enhance immunity to them germs.
You may also find that once settled into TIme restricted eating, your hunger will be blunted. This is because we tend to get hungry when we’re used to eating. Because you’ll have a stable routine of when you eat and fast, once in the diet, you’ll simply become accustomed to the time frames you set.
You also shouldn’t worry about muscle loss. 4 studies independent from each other, between 2005-2006 found that up to 40hours of fasting didn’t negatively affect negative regulators of muscle mass, causing no significant muscle loss and liver glycogen was depleted by less than half and no muscle glycogen was lost anymore than normal over that time frame. Simply put, fasting won’t cause muscle loss.
Lastly, intermittent fasting is great at actually just dropping the calories you consume. If you eat 3 meals a day with snacks here and there and struggle to be in a caloric defect, simply skipping one meal drops your daily total instantly.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM SPINAL STENOSIS?
Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the canal in the spine that contains the spinal cord and nerve roots becomes narrowed or restricted. Spinal stenosis can compress the nerves and the spinal cord and can lead to pain in the lower back and legs or in the neck, arms, and hands, depending on where the narrowing is located.
Spinal stenosis is common and is usually caused by osteoarthritis of the spinal column. People suffering from spinal stenosis may have trouble walking long distances and may need to sit down frequently or lean over to relieve the pain. Sometimes patients experience tingling, pain, or numbness that runs down their arm and into the hand.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis can vary in different cases. There may be no symptoms at all, since narrowing of the canal in the vertebrae does not always compress the spinal cord or nerves.
There is no cure for spinal stenosis, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can ease swelling and pain. Your doctor may also recommend cortisone injections. This anti-inflammatory drug is injected directly into the area of the spinal stenosis. Cortisone can significantly ease inflammation and pain. Its effects may be temporary, however, and you shouldn’t have more than three injections in a single year.
You might feel as though you’re in too much pain to exercise, but movement is crucial to your overall health. Try to perform some stretching exercises several times a day. In the video on our instagram page (@rainhamphysiotherapysentre) we demonstrate some stretches which will help. Focus on spinal flexion but do not extend the spine when finishing each rep, come back to a neutral straight spine.
If you feel you need more supervision and guidance, feel free to call us at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre on 01634 377638 and book in a consultation.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM SPONDYLOLISTHESIS?!
Spondylolisthesis is where one of the bones in your spine, known as a vertebra, slips out of position.
It’s most common in the lower back, but it can also happen in the mid to upper back or at the top of the spine at the back of your neck.
Spondylolisthesis is not the same as a slipped disc. A slipped disc is when a disc (the tissue between the bones in your spine) moves out of place.
Many people may not realise they have spondylolisthesis because it does not always cause symptoms.
Symptoms can include:
- lower back pain – which is usually worse when you’re active or when you’re standing, and is often relieved by lying down
- pain, numbness or a tingling feeling spreading from your lower back down your legs (sciatica) – this happens if the bone in the spine presses on a nerve
- tight hamstring muscles
- stiffness or tenderness in your back
- curvature of the spine (kyphosis)
Initial treatments for spondylolisthesis may include:
- a short period of rest
- anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, or stronger painkillers available on prescription
- physiotherapy – simple stretching and strengthening exercises may help increase the range of motion in your lower back and hamstrings
- if you have pain, numbness and tingling in your legs, corticosteroid injections around the compressed nerve and into the centre of your spine may be recommended
If you feel you suffer from Spondylolisthesis try the exercise on our instagram @rainhamphysiotherapycentre or call us at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre on 01634 377638 and book in for a consultation.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM FACET JOINT ARTHROPATHY?!
The facet joints are found between the vertebrae of each segment of your spinal column. Osteoarthritis can develop in these joints and may be called facet arthropathy or facet joint osteoarthritis.
Facet arthropathy is degenerative arthritis which affects the facet joints of the spine.
Healthy Facet joints help keep the normal alignment of the vertebrae and limit motion.
Arthritis in the facet joints can develop from:
- Wear and tear that decreases space between vertebrae causing facet joints to rub together
- A previous back injury
- Torn ligaments
- Disc problems
Due to the additional stress caused by these circumstances affecting the facet joints, bone spurs (also known as osteophytes) can develop and cartilage can deteriorate.
Pain is the main symptom associated with facet arthropathy. The pain is typically worse following sleep or rest. Pain associated with facet arthropathy may be exacerbated by twisting or bending backward. Low back pain is the most frequent complaint but it does not typically radiate down the legs or buttocks unless spinal stenosis also is involved.
Facet arthropathy Treatments
Oral medication may be prescribed including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Muscle relaxants
Other treatment options include:
- Strengthening and aerobic exercise
- Spinal manipulation
When it comes to strengthening exercises, Go to our instagram page @rainhamphysiotherapycentre for more information.
WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?!
Scoliosis is where the spine twists and curves to the side.
It can affect people of any age, from babies to adults, but most often starts in children aged 10 to 15.
Scoliosis doesn’t normally improve without treatment, but it isn’t usually a sign of anything serious and treatment isn’t always needed if it’s mild.
Signs of scoliosis include:
- a visibly curved spine
- leaning to one side
- uneven shoulders
- one shoulder or hip sticking out
- the ribs sticking out on one side
- clothes not fitting well
Some people with scoliosis may also have back pain. This tends to be more common in adults with the condition.
Treatment for scoliosis depends on your age, how severe the curve is, and whether it’s likely to get worse with time.
Many people won’t need any treatment and only a small number will need to have surgery on their spine.
- Babies and toddlers may not need treatment as the curve might improve over time. A plaster cast or plastic brace may be fitted to their back to stop the curve getting worse as they grow.
- Older children may wear a back brace to stop the curve getting worse until they stop growing. Sometimes surgery may be needed.
- Adults may need treatment to relieve pain, such as painkillers, exercises, spinal injections and, very occasionally, surgery.
In around 8 in every 10 cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. This is called idiopathic scoliosis.
scoliosis may also be caused by:
- the bones in the spine not forming properly in the womb – this is called congenital scoliosis and is present from birth
- an underlying nerve or muscle condition, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy – this is called neuromuscular scoliosis
- wear and tear of the spine with age – this is called degenerative scoliosis, which affects older adults
If you feel you have scoliosis, feel free to call us at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre on 01634 377 638 and book in to see one of our physiotherapists.
WHAT IS LORDOSIS?!
Everyone’s spine curves a little in your neck, upper back, and lower back. These curves, which create your spine’s S shape, are called the lordotic (neck and lower back) and kyphotic (upper back). They help your body:
* absorb shock
* support the weight of the head
* align your head over your pelvis
* stabilize and maintain its structure
* move and bend flexibly
If your lumbar curve arches too far inward, it’s called lordosis, or swayback. This can lead to excess pressure on the spine, causing pain and discomfort. It can affect your ability to move if it’s severe and left untreated. There’s little medical concern if your lower back curve reverses itself when you bend forward. You can probably manage your condition with daily exercises.
You should seek physiotherapy help if the curve remains the same when you bend forward.
The easiest way to check for Lordosis is to lie on your back on a flat surface. You should be able to slide your hand under your lower back, with little space to spare.
Someone with lordosis will have extra space between their back and the surface. If they have an extreme curve, there’ll be a visible C-like arch when they stand. And from the side view, their abdomen and buttocks will stick out.
The most common symptom of lordosis is muscle pain. When your spine curves abnormally, your muscles get pulled in different directions, causing them to tighten or spasm. You may also experience limited movement.
Make an appointment with your Physio if you are experiencing other symptoms, such as:
* electric shock pains
* weak bladder control
* difficulty maintaining muscle control
Treatment for lordosis will depend on how severe your curve is and the presence of other symptoms.
Treatment options include:
* medication, to reduce pain and swelling
* physical therapy, to strengthen muscles and range of motion
* weight loss, to help posture
* surgery, in severe cases with neurological concerns
DO YOU SUFFER FROM KYPHOSIS?!
Kyphosis is a spinal disorder in which an excessive outward curve of the spine results in an abnormal rounding of the upper back. The condition is sometimes known as “roundback” or—in the case of a severe curve—as “hunchback.” Kyphosis can occur at any age, but is common during adolescence.
In the majority of cases, kyphosis causes few problems and does not require treatment. Occasionally, a patient may need to wear a back brace or do exercises in order to improve his or her posture and strengthen the spine. In severe cases, however, kyphosis can be painful, cause significant spinal deformity, and lead to breathing problems.
The signs and symptoms of kyphosis vary, depending upon the cause and severity of the curve. These may include:
- Rounded shoulders
- A visible hump on the back
- Mild back pain
- Spine stiffness
- Tight hamstrings (the muscles in the back of the thigh)
Rarely, over time, progressive curves may lead to:
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs
- Loss of sensation
- Shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties
Specific exercises can help relieve back pain and improve posture by strengthening muscles in the abdomen and back. Certain exercises can also help stretch tight hamstrings and strengthen areas of the body that may be impacted by misalignment of the spine.
The main exercises we’d recommend are I’s, Y’s and T’s. Try 3 sets of 10-15 reps per angle to stretch then the back and stretch your chest and shoulders.