What is Bursitis and why is it so painful?

Bursitis is characterized by swelling of the bursae. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs which act as a cushion for the tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the body. Which allows smooth movements of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Sometimes the bursae become swollen which leads to the area around them becoming extremely tender and painful. This is what is called bursitis.

When the bursa of the hip is swollen then it is termed as bursitis of the hip. Bursitis is not limited only to the hips, but may also occur in the shoulder, knee or elbow. Bursitis in the hip may be acute or chronic. Overuse is the primary cause of bursitis of the hip which causes excessive stress on the hip joint. Additionally, conditions like rheumatoid arthritisgout, or pseudogout may also result in bursitis of the hip. In some cases, an injury or direct blow to the hip may result in bursitis of the hip. Bacterial infections are also known to cause bursitis of the hip. Individuals suffering from scoliosis are also predisposed to having bursitis in the hip.

How can you treat Bursitis?

At Health First Group, we can resolve your bursitis by identifying the common contributors to this pain, and guide you through a specifically targeted and gradually progressed rehabilitation program. Book an initial consultation with your closest clinic to begin your Bursitis rehabilitation.

Are you tired of constant foot pain?

Follow these easy steps to become pain free, all by yourself

Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot injury associated with activities that require jumping, running or repetitive loading.  Most athletes will experience pain on the base of the heel or arch, when landing or pushing off, especially with the first steps in the morning. There may be stiffness associated with it before it starts to ease. It is an inflammation of the plantar fascia insertion into the heel. This can occur due to over training, dramatic increased loading over a short time span, weak foot stabilisers, tight calf and foot muscles, or an imbalance in the muscles above the ankle.

Using ice, stretching and decreasing training loads can be enough to resolve the inflammation if caught early. Chronic conditions may benefit from dry needling or shockwave therapy. Foot taping techniques are used to support the plantar fascia or correct foot biomechanics can ease the pain while exercising, however, muscle strength and lengthening programs are needed for full resolution.

If you are struggling with plantar fasciitis, feel free to get in touch with us and book in for an initial consultation!

What is cross training and why is it important?

cross-training

What is cross training and why is it important?

Cross training is defined as- “the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport”. 

Cross training is an important aspect of most training regimes today and it is used by many elite athletes around the world. Cross training can be any form of exercise as long as it has a positive influence on the sport you are doing. 

There are many benefits to cross training, and these are the reasons you should implement it into your regime. 

  • Reduces exercise boredom
  • Allows you to be flexible with your training
  • Produces a higher level of all-around fitness
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Work some muscles while others rest and recover
  • Can continue to train while injured

The basic concept of cross training and the easiest way to incorporate it into your routine is to vary your exercise from day to day or alternate your activities. By doing this you are able to train different muscle groups from day to day. This allows you to train more often as while you are training one group the other muscle groups are resting. 

Cross training can offer you a new challenge, so what are you waiting for? Get cross training today!

Tennis Elbow

tennis-elbow

Tennis elbow

What is Tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is one of the most common injuries of the arm, and a condition that we regularly see in the clinic. Tennis elbow is a difficult injury to treat, and may last for several weeks, or even months. It is a degenerative, or failed healing response to the wrist extensor tendon, and most commonly affects the origin of the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle.

Tennis elbow is characterised by pain over the lateral/ outside aspect of the elbow with palpation, or resisted movements. There may also be a decrease in strength in the wrist extensor, and posterior shoulder muscles.

It is generally a work or sport related injury, that is caused by quick, eccentric, monotonous repetitive contractions and gripping activities of the wrist. The dominant arm is more commonly affected, and it seems to be more severe in women.

How we can help:
During your session we will be able to assess your injury and accurately diagnose whether you may have tennis elbow. As there are several different treatment options/ approaches, we will discuss these with you and together form a treatment plan that best suits you.

Treatment techniques may include a mix of stretching and strengthening exercises, dry needling therapy, shockwave therapy and massage therapy.

If you experience any pain or symptoms outlined above, book an appointment today and we’ll help you get on the road to recovery!

Chronic Ankle Instability

chronic-ankle-instability

ANKLE INSTABILITY

WHAT IS CHRONIC ANKLE INSTABILITY?  

 

Does your ankle keep rolling?

Ankle sprains account for up to one third of all sport injuries. About a further 30% of patients may develop chronic ankle instability (CAI), which greatly limits their professional or recreational activities. 

This condition is mostly characterized by a frequent giving way of the outer side of the ankle. It can affect anyone! Both the elite athlete and the stay at home mom. Adequate rehabilitation is imperative to avoid this stability in the long run…and the short run.

People with chronic ankle instability often complain of a repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports 

Causes

Chronic ankle instability usually develops following an ankle sprain that has not adequately healed or was not rehabilitated completely. When you sprain your ankle, the connective tissues are stretched or torn and the ability to balance is often affected. Proper rehabilitation is needed to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and retrain the tissues within the ankle that affect balance. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains.

Diagnosis

Make an appointment today to get a thorough assessment of your ankle structures and the structures affecting the instability. 

Treatment

Treatment for chronic ankle instability is based on the results of the examination and tests, as well as on the patient’s level of activity. Exercises to strengthen the ankle, improve balance, range of motion, and retrain your muscles and ultimately return you back to your baseline of activity prior to your ankle instability.

  • Bracing. Some patients wear an ankle brace to gain support for the ankle and keep the ankle from turning. Bracing also helps prevent additional ankle sprains.
  • Topical ointment: We sell Fisiocrem at our practice and it is useful for temporary relief of pain.
  • Strapping: to support your ankle during the initial phases of rehabilitation and improving blood flow to the affected area, thus aiding in healing. We also sell strapping at our practice- colours of your choice! We will teach you how to strap it up too. 😊

Shockwave Therapy

shockwave therapy

What is shockwave therapy?

Shock wave therapy has emerged as a viable treatment option for patients with chronic tendon problems. The procedure uses either pressurized air or electromagnetic pulses to delivers shock waves to the body to help treat a variety of chronic disorders, including:

How it works?

There is both a high-energy and low-energy form of shock wave treatment. Both forms can be used in the treatment of these conditions with great success. Our experiences indicate significant success after 8 sessions. The low-energy shock waves are not painful, but a mild discomfort may be felt.

Shock wave therapy works by inducing microtrauma to the affected tissue. This microtrauma initiates a healing response by the body. The healing response causes blood vessel formation and increased delivery of nutrients to the affected area. The microtrauma stimulates a repair process and relieves the symptoms of pain. 

Pros

  • It’s not invasive!
  • A 2017 study published that shockwave therapy was more likely to provide relief from chronic plantar fasciitis.
  • Increases functional activities and allows individuals to regain a normal active life.
  • It is safe and effective.

NB: Shockwave therapy is used in conjunction with other physiotherapy techniques such as [drum roll]… dry needling, massage and exercise prescription to optimally resolve the cause of your pain and discomfort for the long term.

Cervicogenic headaches

Cervicogenic headaches

We see a lot of people who suffer from headaches. Many headaches originate in the neck. Technically, they are called Cervicogenic Headaches. They are a result of dysfunction within the top three vertebral segments of the spine Dysfunction in the neck causes head pain in two distinct ways.

The 1st way

Convergence of nerves in the brain – the upper cervical spine (neck) and one of the sensation nerves of the head (Trigeminal nerve) both send messages to a common origin in
the brain. The brain mistakes messages from the dysfunctional cervical spine as coming from the head. This is a classic example of simple referred pain.

The 2nd way

Sensitisation of the brain – Think of it like a pot of bubbling soup on the stove. If the soup gets too hot, it will overflow and create problems. The electrical messages from the neck are
one strong source of input into the Trigemino-Cervical Nucleus that can “heat” up and cause sensitisation. If these messages are stronger than normal as with neck stiffness and pain, they can trigger brain sensitisation.

So…. What can we do about it?

At Health First Group, we use highly trained manual therapy skills to identify movement and position faults of the upper three neck joints that specifically relate to the production of head and neck pain. We can confirm almost immediately if disorders in the upper neck are responsible for headache or migraine. Within four treatments, we expect every headache patient to be significantly improved. If you suffer from headaches, come in and see one of our Physios who will be able to provide an assessment and recommend therapy. Call us now to book.

Dry needling

dry-needling

What is Dry needling? 

Dry Needling (DN) is a method of treatment for taught bands of soft tissue I.e. muscle or connective tissue, that may contribute to your pain and limiting your movement. It can assist in reducing pain, muscular spasm and sensitivity of tender areas I.e. trigger points. 

Is dry needling the same as acupuncture?

It is not the same. DN is based on western medicine with the aim of restoring normal tissue function and reducing pain using an anatomical approach to guide placement of needles. Acupuncture is based on traditional eastern philosophical medicine that treats local as well as systemic conditions through meridians/lines on the body.

How does it work?

DN may help to reduce tissue tension and trigger points that may be slowing your recovery or causing discomfort and pain. Through the insertion of the needle into a specific point of tension- a decrease in pain is caused by a response of the central nervous system I.e. the brain and spinal cord. There is also an increase in blood circulation to this area, which allows for chemical changes to occur on a cellular level, while restoring balance.

Which conditions dry needling be useful for?

Trigger points (sore spots or muscle knots) and muscle tension is common in most musculoskeletal conditions that cause pain or discomfort. The treatment of DN is useful in combination with other treatment methods to restore function.  

Give us a call to chat to one of our physiotherapists to discuss if this treatment option may help you with your injury.