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.
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.
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 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.
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.