Specialist in Neck, Back & Sports Injuries

Do you suffer from a Tarlov Cyst?

DO YOU HAVE A TARLOV CYST?!

Tarlov cysts are fluid-filled nerve root cysts found most commonly at the sacral level of the spine – the vertebrae at the base of the spine. These cysts typically occur along the posterior nerve roots. Cysts can be valved or nonvalved. The main feature that distinguishes Tarlov cysts from other spinal lesions is the presence of spinal nerve root fibers within the cyst wall or in the cyst cavity itself.

Due to the close proximity to the lower pelvic region, patients may be misdiagnosed with herniated lumbar discs, arachnoiditis and in females, gynecological conditions. An accurate diagnosis may be further complicated if the patient has another condition that affects the same region.

Although the exact cause is unknown, there are theories as to what may cause an asymptomatic Tarlov cyst to produce symptoms. In several documented cases, accidents or falls involving the tailbone area of the spine caused previously undiagnosed Tarlov cysts to flare up.

Any of the following may be present in patients that have symptomatic Tarlov cysts:

  • Pain in the area of the nerves affected by the cysts, especially the buttocks
  • Weakness of muscles
  • Difficulty sitting for prolonged periods
  • Loss of sensation on the skin
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Changes in bowel function, such as constipation
  • Changes in bladder function, including increased frequency or incontinence

Tarlov cysts may be discovered when patients with low back pain or sciatica have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed. Follow-up radiological studies, in particular, computed tomographic (CT) myelography are usually recommended.

If you feel you may be suffering from a Tarlov Cyst, book in with us here at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre by calling 01644 377638 and arrange an initial consultation! 

Do you suffer from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

DO YOU SUFFER FROM THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME?

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers.

Common causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include physical trauma from a car accident, repetitive injuries from job- or sports-related activities, certain anatomical defects (such as having an extra rib), and pregnancy. Sometimes doctors can’t determine the cause of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms can vary, depending on which structures are compressed. When nerves are compressed, signs and symptoms of neurological thoracic outlet syndrome include:

  • Muscle wasting in the fleshy base of your thumb (Gilliatt-Sumner hand)
  • Numbness or tingling in your arm or fingers
  • Pain or aches in your neck, shoulder or hand
  • Weakening grip

Signs and symptoms of vascular thoracic outlet syndrome can include:

  • Discoloration of your hand (bluish color)
  • Arm pain and swelling, possibly due to blood clots
  • Lack of color (pallor) in one or more of your fingers or your entire hand
  • Weak or no pulse in the affected arm
  • Cold fingers, hands or arms
  • Arm fatigue with activity
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers
  • Weakness of arm or neck
  • Throbbing lump near your collarbone

If you experience some or all of these symptoms and would like to get booked in for a consultation, book in with us at Rainham physiotherapy centre by calling 01634 377638 and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Office Mobility Workout

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)

Is this why you’re not losing weight?

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!

Healthy food shopping mistakes

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!

Do you suffer from spinal stenosis?!

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.

Lordosis rehabilitation.

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:

* numbness

* tingling

* electric shock pains

* weak bladder control

* weakness

* 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

Achilles Tendinitis rehabilitation.

ACHILLES TENDINITIS REHAB

Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.

Achilles tendinitis most commonly occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It’s also common in middle-aged people who play sports, such as tennis or basketball, only on the weekends.

Most cases of Achilles tendinitis can be treated with relatively simple, at-home care under physiotherapist supervision. Self-care strategies are usually necessary to prevent recurring episodes. More-serious cases of Achilles tendinitis can lead to tendon tears (ruptures) that may require surgical repair.

The pain associated with Achilles tendinitis typically begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activity. Episodes of more-severe pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing or sprinting.

You might also experience tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning, which usually improves with mild activity.

When to see a a physiotherapist?

If you experience persistent pain around the Achilles tendon, seek immediate medical attention if the pain or disability is severe. You may have a torn (ruptured) Achilles tendon.

If you feel that you’re suufering from Achilles Tendinitis, feel free to call us here at Rainham Physiotherapy Centre on 01634 377638 and get booked in with one of our highly experienced physiotherapists.

Shoulder pain rehabilitation

SHOULDER PAIN REHAB

________________________

Rotator cuff injuries are the most common shoulder injuries and occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their jobs or sports. Examples include painters, carpenters, and people who play baseball or tennis.

The risk of rotator cuff injury also increases with age.

Many people recover from mild rotator cuff injury with physical therapy exercises like the ones we’re performing above, which improve flexibility and strength of the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.

Sometimes, rotator cuff tears may occur as a result of a single injury. In those circumstances, physiotherapy care should be provided as soon as possible. Extensive rotator cuff tears may require surgical repair, transfer of alternative tendons or joint replacement.

The pain associated with a rotator cuff injury may:

  • Be described as a dull ache deep in the shoulder
  • Disturb sleep, particularly if you lie on the affected shoulder
  • Make it difficult to comb your hair or reach behind your back
  • Be accompanied by arm weakness

If you feel like you’re suffering from a rotator cuff injury, contacts us here at rainham physiotherapy centre on 01634 377638 to enquire about booking in for a session.

Bicep strain rehabilitation.

💪🏼BICEPS REHAB💪🏼

 

The bicep muscle is one of the most important for your upper body strength. An injury to this hardworking muscle can make day-to-day tasks difficult.

We most often see bicep injuries at the connection point with your shoulder. Strains or tears can develop in the ligaments. The tendons can also slip out of the groove at the top of the humerus — the bone of the upper arm — that holds the muscle in place.

These conditions result in bicep tendonitis, which is a strain or tear in the tendons that can cause a great deal of pain.

Since these kinds of injuries usually develop slowly over time, they are hard to prevent. Be sure to listen to your body when an activity is causing pain that goes beyond temporary muscle soreness.

Advice to speed recovery:

As with strains in other joints, you can use anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce swelling. Also, apply these three at-home treatments:

* Rest: Take a break from the activity that’s causing pain or soreness.

* Ice: Apply ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and minimize swelling.

* Elevation: Sit propped up instead of lying flat. Keep your injured joint above the level of your heart.

Once you feel you can begin to strengthen the bicep again, try the exercise above. Lift a dumbbell with your strong arm and then pass it to the injured arm and lower the weight slowly with good control. Start light and build the weight up when you can comfortably perform 10 reps. The exercise should be pain free, if you feel any pain during the exercise, stop.