Posture and Pain

Categories:Uncategorized
Postural problems? Poor posture can lead to many problems.... 

The musculoskeletal system of the human body is a very finely tuned piece of mechanical engineering – similar to the engine of a car! Every structure has its set place and function and for normal movement all of these structures have to work perfectly together. If one of these structures, typically a muscle, is over used then an imbalance between the structures will follow and this can lead to injury and pain, from the high performance athlete to the sedentary office worker. 

The correct spinal alignment, pelvic and shoulder girdle stability is essential in allowing the body to cope with gravitational and other internal/external forces and the muscles to work in balance. From the base of the skull down to the pelvis the spine should form a gentle S shape, however in the modern world of “desk jobs”, computer and phone use and long distance travel, most people spend long periods of their day sitting in poor postures. This changes the mobility of joints and effects the length, strength and timing of muscles and will eventually cause decreased movement, inflammation and pain. 

It is essential therefore to ensure that you work to maintain a good posture. 
Here are a few hints to ensure that you do this! 
1. When standing, try to “tuck in” your bottom and gently tighten your abdominal muscles. 
2. Do not stand with one hip out i.e., have your weight evenly distributed between your two feet. 
3. Avoid low seats and seats that tip you backwards, try to always sit in an upright chair that supports your back. 
4. Avoid being in one position for longer than 20 minutes. 
5. Try not to cross your legs when sitting. 
6. Ensure that computer, keyboard and mouse are in the right position and right height. If you spend long periods at your desk you should have an ergonomic assessment. 
7. Don’t drive for long periods without a break. 
8. Try to do 30 minutes of walking, cycling or swimming a day. 

At Resolve Physiotherapy we can carry out an assessment of your posture before you have pain to identify any potential problems.  You give your car a regular MOT, look after your body the same way and prevent injury!

Body Fat…What’s the Best Way to Measure it?

Categories:Uncategorized

Loosing fat without losing muscle is imperative to most if not all of us, specially those in the athletic world?

Accurate, consistent methods of measurement are key in tracking your athletes to ensure training programmes are effective.  So, how do you accurately and consistently track if you are losing fat, muscle, or both?

The most common methods of how most people measure body fat percentage are explored below.

While these methods vary in accuracy, the key to assessing #bodyfat levels is consistent, recorded measurements over time (repeatability) so that you can effectively track your progress

1. Calipers

The “skin fold” method measures body fat percentage by pinching a fold of fat then measuring the thickness with a body fat calliper.  The reading is given in millimetres and  compared to a chart according to age and gender to arrive at a given body fat percentage. There are many t-types of caliper tests, which range from single to multi site tests.

Pros:

  • Fairly accurate
  • Cheap
  • Dependable (when skilled at measuring)
  • Repeatable

Cons:

  • Variability of measurement (the exact fat fold site needs to be used every time)
  • Multisite tests require an experienced administrator
  • For people who are 35+ pounds overweight, fat may not fit within caliper, thus reducing accuracy

 



2. Bioelectric Impedance Analysis

Bioelectric Impedance Analysis, or BIA, determines the electrical impedance, or opposition to the flow of an electric current through the body.   This is now a common feature on readily available bathroom scales.

Muscle has high water content, and is highly conductive, while fat has lower water content and is not highly conductive.  Based on the strength of the impedance calculated according to height and weight metrics, the BIA scale will estimate fat-free body mass and body fat percentage.  Because the BIA test is based on body water balance, your state of hydration can impact the level of accuracy.

Pros:

  • Very easy to administer
  • Inexpensive (most weight scales around $50 or even less have BIA)

Cons:

  • Questionable Accuracy
  • Variability of results dependent on hydration level

 

3. DEXA Scan

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry a.k.a DEXA is commonly considered the gold standard of body fat measurement because it’s based on a three-compartment model that divides the body into total body mineral,  lean mass, and fat tissue mass.

DEXA also allows us to identify the distribution of body fat for analysis.  The procedure uses a body scanner with low dose x-rays, so it’s completely safe, and takes about 10-20 minutes.

Pros:

1  Very accurate

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not readily available/accessible to all

 

4. MuscleSound

Using images captured from 7 specific sites on the body by #ultrasound imaging the layer of #fat beneath the skin is measured from the images and analysed by cloud based software,  fed through a validated algorithm that has been honed to optimise validity and the results are available within minutes.  #Musclesound determines the percentage of fat at each of the sites measured and produces a report that illustrates the percentage of site specific fat content allowing fat distribution to be analysed in much like DEXA.  A study by Pineua at al (2009) found that ultrasound estimates of body fat percentage were correlated closely with those of DEXA in both females and males and that the use of a portable ultrasound device produced accurate body fat and body fat percentage estimates in relation to the fan-beam DEXA technique.

body-comp-features_see-tissues-1030x840

 

Pros:

  • Non invasive
  • Minimal influence from external factors i.e hair/humidity
  • Quick
  • Affordable
  • Repeatable
  • Accurate
  • Easy to read reports generated automatically

Cons:

I’m struggling to find any if I’m honest!

body-comp-features_site-measurements-1030x840

Conclusion:

All these methods rely on algorithms to convert a measured parameter into an estimate of #bodyfat percentage, so none of them are 100% perfect.  Algorithms have variation based on how the underlying assumptions and formulas apply to different populations.  The most accurate measure discussed here DEXA which is expensive and difficult to access for most.  MuscleSound has several advantages over and above other standard methods of measurement and offers the user a highly accurate measure, detailed readable report and repeatability which can be applied to the individual and team athlete.

 

If you are interested to learn more about #Musclesound and its application please get in touch. We are now offering #BodyFat scanning at Resolve Physiotherapy.  For your appointment you will need to be prepared to undress to a degree, please wear shorts and ladies a suitable sports bra.  The appointment will take no more than 15 minutes and provide you with a full printed report to show your site specific distribution of fat, the percentage fat at each site and your overall body fat percentage!

 

Please call us on 0121 293 0237 to book your 7 point #Bodyfat Scan!

 

 

Inflammation

Categories:News & Stuff

What is Inflammation?

 

Inflammation is a complex biological response that occurs in the body’s tissues as a response to harmful stimuli such as pathogens, damaged cells or irritants (Ferrero 2007).

The inflammatory response is a defense mechanism designed to protect us from infection and injury.  Inflammation often gives rise to sensations of pain due to the; pressure the increased fluid within a space puts on nerve endings and/or the chemical irritation produced by the process.  Discomfort is usually temporary and settles as the inflammatory response passes.

 

We need inflammation in order to heal.  The purpose of the process is to localise and eliminate the injurious agent and to remove damaged tissue components so that the body can begin to heal.  The inflammatory response involves changes in blood flow, an increase in permeability of blood vessels, and the migration of fluid, proteins, and white blood cells (leukocytes) from the circulation to the site of tissue damage.  An inflammatory response that lasts only a few days is called acute inflammation, while a response of longer duration is referred to as chronic inflammation.  Inflammation in excess can cause harm.  Tissue destruction can occur when the regulatory mechanisms of the inflammatory response are defective or the ability to clear damaged tissue and foreign substances is impaired.

In this blog we focus on the inflammatory response to injury and chronic disease.

 

Symptoms of Inflammation

The four cardinal signs of inflammation:

  1. Redness – caused by dilation of the small local blood vessels
  2. Heat - from increased blood flow through the area and is experienced only in peripheral parts of the body such as the skin
  3. Swelling – due to the accumulation of fluid outside the blood vessels
  4. Pain – from distortion of tissues ad chemical components of inflammation

A fifth consequence of inflammation is the loss of function of the inflamed area, a feature noted by German pathologist Rudolf Virchow in the 19th century. Loss of function may result from pain that inhibits mobility or from severe swelling that prevents movement in the area.

Injury

Trauma to the body causing damage to the tissue, for example from a tackle, collision or from an awkward fall will begin the process of inflammation. However, quite commonly tissue injury is as a result of overuse, also known as microtrauma.

Chronic Inflammation in Joints

Have you ever noticed your joints are more sore in cold weather or more stiff in the morning?  This is a sign of chronic inflammation and can be associated with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease causing joint pain and stiffness and can affect any joint. People often notice it’s harder to get out of bed in the morning or that they experience joint soreness after adopting static postures such as sitting for prolonged periods.

Although osteoarthritis cannot be cured… It CAN be helped!  At Resolve Physiotherapy we can help alleviate the pain from the inflammation, improve joint mobility and provide exercises to strengthen the joint – stronger joints are known to degenerate more slowly than weaker joints!  We will advise how best to manage your arthritic joints long term.

Muscle Soreness

After training at a level/intensity that you are not used to, you will notice some soreness in the muscles for up to 72 hours.  Soreness occurs due to muscle damage (not all damage is negative!) especially following eccentric exercise and plyometrics.

‘DOMS’ (Delayed onset muscle soreness) appears to be a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue elements that sensitize nociceptors and thereby heighten the sensations of pain.

To improve your recovery after training you should try to train consistently and gradually increase the intensity of your training on a steady schedule.  Ice baths after training for 15minutes will aid muscle repair.  Foam rolling each muscle group, twice for one minute each can help reduce soreness.  Regular sports massage after training sessions help reduce inflammation and lactic acid build up.  At Resolve Physiotherapy our sports therapists provide sports massage treatments to help prepare you for and recover after training sessions.

 

Nutrition to Fight Inflammation:

CAAT anti cancer diet

Omega - 3

Found in oily fish such as mackerel, herring or for ve

getarians in plant oils such as walnut, algal oil, flaxseed oil and hemp oil.  Taking fish oils daily as a supplement can help if you struggle to eat a diet rich in the above foods.

Always consult a nutritionist before taking supplements

Magnesium 
Optimal magnesium levels are linked to lower levels of inflammation which in a study of chronic kidney disease patients also linked to lower death rate (King 2009).

Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens such as raw spinach or nuts and seeds.   It can also be taking as a supplement.  Magnesium can be taken trans-dermally (through the skin) you could try putting magnesium flakes in the bath after a workout.

BCAA’s

Branch-chained amino acids are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.  Found in high concentrations within dairy, meat and eggs, these amino acids are renowned for their role in muscle growth and strength promotion. Body builders and other athletes significantly benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties. These amino acids reduce recovery times following intense workouts, reducing muscle fatigue and breakdown.
You don’t need to be a bodybuilder to benefit!  Research has suggested that BCAA supplements can help reduce inflammation in patients suffering from liver disease 7diabetes and depression, amongst others. While research continues into possible treatments for chronic inflammation using BCAAs, the preliminary results are positive.

Non essesnital Amino Acids

Glutamine, abbreviated as Q and Glycine (G) , are non-essential amino acid involved in an array of biochemical processes both with anti inflammatory properties.  Most animal proteins are rich in Q, along with beans, spinach, cabbage and parsley. Foods rich in G include poultry and lima beans.

In addition to ensuring an adequate intake of BCAAs, Q, G magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, there are other supplements that can help combat inflammation. Vitamin D, zinc and curcumin (a nutrient within the spice turmeric) are all particularly beneficial. Regularly taking dietary supplements containing these natural anti-inflammatory agents can combat the deficiency that most people experience.

Probiotics can make a big difference in fighting inflammation. For many people, a combination of inactivity, poor diet and stress can lead to an unhealthy gut.  Chronic inflammation is often linked to an unbalanced gut flora. By detoxifying the body with a high potency, good quality probotic, it’s possible to start effectively treating inflammation.

Just like the treatment of most physical ailments, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important. You can have a positive impact on your health through drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding stress whenever possible.

 

If you need help or advice with anything discussed above – call Resolve Physiotherapy on 01212930237 and we will be happy to help.

 

Plantar Fascitis – What Is It And How Physiotherapy Can Help!

Categories:Injuries, Physiotherapy

What Is This Heel Pain?

The Plantar fascia is a thick band of soft tissue originating on the sole of the foot from the medial part of the heel, attaching at the base of the toe joints.  The Plantar Fascia supports the arch of the foot, tensioned when we weight bear on the foot during standing and walking.

 

Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot.  If tension on that bowstring becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia.  Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.  The body tries to heal itself creating scar tissue, however this is weak and again when the plantar fascia is put under too much stress the scar tissue tears causing pain and inflammation. This becomes a chronic cycle of degenerative injury, ineffective repair and re-injury causing pain and loss of function.

 

Common activities/reasons that can increase incidence of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Poor underlying biomechanics of the foot and ankle complex
  • Muscle weakness around the foot and ankle
  • Unsupportive footwear
  • Running on hard surfaces
  • High impact sports e.g football/basketball
  • Jobs where you are required to walk/stand for long periods of time

 

Presentation

  • Plantar Fasciitis accounts for 80% of heel pain (N.I.C.E. guidelines June 2015).
  • Slow insidious onset gradually worsening over time
  • Intense pain during the first few steps after waking or after a period of inactivity
  • Lessening pain with moderate foot activity, but worsening later during the day or after long periods of standing or walking
  • Painful gait pattern/limping
  • Tenderness of the heel
  • Reduced ankle movement when pulling toes upwards

 

How We Treat Plantar Fascitis at Resolve Physiotherapy

 

At Resolve Physiotherapy we take a hands on approach to the treatment of your condition, treatment you can expect to receive includes:

  •  A full and thorough assessment of your heel pain – not all heel pain is plantar fascitis
  • Biomechanical assessment
  • Soft tissue massage to increase length of tight soft tissues in the local area
  • Deep transverse friction massage to provoke an inflammatory response for healing
  • Mobilisation techniques
  • Ultrasound Therapy to assist in making the repair process of the damage soft tissue efficient
  • Sports tape to off load the injured tissue and maintain tissue length
  • Active and Passive stretches to increase range of movement and tissue length
  • Strength and balance exercises
  • Assessment for custom / semi custom orthotics
  • Advice on appropriate footwear and tips to reduce symptoms
  • Provision of a progressive Home exercise programme tailored to your individual symptoms and goals
  • Education and advice on the condition to enable good understanding and self management outside of the clinic

 

Expected outcomes

Within 6 sessions of Physiotherapy treatment we aim to significantly reduce your symptoms to a manageable level if not to be asymptomatic from your Plantar Fasciitis.

We aim to get you back to your functional baseline and achieve your personal goals which will have been identified in your initial assessment.

Here at Resolve Physiotherapy we have close links to one of the top foot and ankle consultants in the country.  If after a complete course of Physiotherapy symptoms do persist we will refer on for further input to ensure that your pain is settled in the most efficient way.

 

 

 

Injection Therapy and How It Can Aid Physiotherapy Treatment

Injection therapy is a treatment option commonly used in conjunction with traditional physiotherapy. To provide relief for a number of conditions, injections are administered to intra- and extra-articular tissues, joint spaces, and painful soft tissue lesions.  At Resolve Physiotherapy, our treatments involve the use of steroids or hyaluronic acid injections, the choice depends on your presenting symptoms and condition.   The expert consultants we employ at Resolve Physiotherapy will always advise you accordingly.

This form of therapy can be used as part of a treatment programme for a range of complaints:

  • Inflammatory pain from a range of orthopaedic conditions, such as osteoarthritis and tendonitis.
  • Joint stiffness and reduced range of movement
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis

In most cases, injection therapy is not a standalone treatment, but can help relieve pain to allow your physiotherapist a ‘window of opportunity’ to treat the underlying problems of a complaint, aiding rehabilitation.  Whilst injection therapy can help to provide pain relief, this is rarely used as a first course of treatment, as the symptoms will likely return without physiotherapy exercises and treatments to help prevent further pain and problems.

injection therapy

Steroid injections

Some steroids occur naturally in the body, but man made steroids reduce inflammation in much the same way.  We can inject steroid mixtures into or around the inflamed joints to help reduce pain and ease restricted movement.  Some steroids are fast to have an effect, but for a short period of time, whereas others take longer to have an effect, but stay effective for much longer.

Steroid injections are often used for treating rheumatoid arthritis and some cases of severe osteoarthritis, gout and a range of other conditions that affect certain muscles, tendons and soft tissues.  Steroid injections help to reduce inflammation within a joint, help to provide pain relief and are often given to people during a strong flare up of symptoms that can prevent the normal function of the joints.

As steroid injections can help to ease pain and symptoms, they are most commonly used as part of a complete physiotherapy treatment package.  Whilst steroids are in effect, it is often easier for your physiotherapist to continue with other manual therapy and exercise treatments to help rehabilitate you and return the affected joint to normal function.

steroid injections

Hyaluronic acid injection therapy

Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of synovial fluid.  Hyaluronic injections are often used as part of a wider treatment package for degenerative joint conditions. Whilst steroid injections are commonly used to help reduce inflammation, hyaluronic injections are best suited to treating joints where the smooth surfaces have worn, but there is no significant inflammation.  This form of injection therapy is commonly used as part of a treatment programme for the knees, shoulders, elbows, thumbs or ankles.

The number of hyaluronic injections needed and the time in between injections will always depend on the individual being treated.  If injections are effective, they should usually start to work within a few days, with benefits that last for a number of months. Due to the large size of hyaluronic acid particles, they can stay in the joint for quite some time before they are absorbed into the blood stream.

One of the benefits of hyaluronic injection therapy is that there are very few side effects, other than the small risk of infection that is always present in any invasive procedure.

For further information on injection therapy, please call today on 0121 293 0237 or email us at info@resolve-physio.co.uk.

Clinical Pilates and how it can help you in Your Recovery

Clinical Pilates is something that many people consider when they want to aid their rehabilitation and optimise their return to full health. Pilates as a discipline is a proven method of strengthening core muscles dating back more than 100 years. This makes it an appropriate tool to use in a physiotherapy setting. What differentiates Clinical Pilates from the everyday variety is that firstly, it is undertaken by a certified and qualified physiotherapist, and that secondly, it is specifically tailored to the individual’s needs.

Clinical Pilates alone may not bring about the improvement you require, so it needs to be undertaken after clinical treatments with your physiotherapist have been implemented. Improving body tone, fitness and flexibility in this way will aid in your rehabilitation, but will also help to relieve any stress and tension that you may also be experiencing.

The Fundamentals

There are 8 fundamentals of Pilates which are:

  1. Concentration
  2. Centring
  3. Breathing
  4. Isolation
  5. Routine
  6. Precision
  7. Control
  8. Flowing movement

These fundamentals are all concerned with the approach you take with the exercises and movements and are part of each session.

So what do you do?

A Clinical Pilates session is held on a one to one basis at Resolve Physiotherapy. It consists of a series of body conditioning exercises tailored to the areas of the body that is in need of strengthening. Our certified and qualified physiotherapist will select a range of exercises that will challenge your core muscles, targeting particularly the deep postural muscles of the spine and abdomen. These muscles can lose function after a client has experienced an injury, so it is important to reactivate them. Consequently, this form of Pilates is useful in the rehabilitation of musculo-skeletal injuries and suits many of our clients. What is also worth noting is that having a targeted approach to the areas of your body that have been injured will strengthen those areas and help to prevent further injuries.

Pilates exercises are mat-based. They are not strenuous, and are generally quite relaxing. Many of our clients use them as a way back to their usual exercises and activities. Others enjoy them so much they choose to continue with Pilates after their rehabilitation is complete.

What do you have to bring to a Clinical Pilates session?

There isn’t much that you need to bring along with you. A mat is required but this may be provided. Otherwise you will benefit from wearing loose, comfortable fitting clothing. No trainers or special footwear is necessary.

At Resolve Physiotherapy we are highly experienced in a range of treatment options and we are able to offer our clients a series of Clinical Pilates sessions if they are suitable. If you think you may be interested in this treatment then speak to your physiotherapist or ring our friendly team for some further information on 0121 293 0237.

Reduce Staff Absence and Sick Costs with Occupational Physiotherapy

The physical and social environment of the workplace, equipment used and the demands of work duties all have an impact on staff performance and their physical and psychological wellbeing. Whether a desk-bound or manual handling role, back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders are the biggest cause of sickness absence in the workplace and account for nearly a third of the total time taken off sick from work. Suffering with aches and pains during working hours decreases levels of productivity and staff motivation, as they are less likely to be able to focus on the tasks at hand. However, for small and large businesses alike, these health issues can be prevented or minimised through an occupational physiotherapy service, implementing cost-effective practices for improved employee health and wellbeing.

Physiotherapy for enhanced business

Every day, workers put pressure and strain on their bodies, which may well lead to physical injuries and the risk of litigation for companies. Equally, injuries acquired outside of the workplace may negatively impact upon staff performance or cause increased costs of sick absence if not dealt with properly. Areas which need to be considered when accounting for ill health in the workplace include:

  • Manual handling: may cause injury such as low back pain or injury to the arms, hands, or fingers. Tasks may also involve a higher risk of slips, trips, and falls.
  • Workstation layout: whether there is sufficient space under the work surface for comfortable leg placement, whether the work surface height is appropriate for the tasks and whether the chair is properly adjusted to fit the person and workstation are all important considerations. An unsuitable layout could cause back pain or other postural problems.
  • Managing the working day: a poor scheduling of shifts or excessive overtime can place staff under too much pressure to balance shifts with domestic responsibilities. These problems may lead to tiredness or exhaustion, increasing the likelihood of accidents and ill health.

It’s essential that organisations plan for and take measures to alleviate these potential issues because, as the business as a whole needs to be resilient in the workplace to achieve success, the physical health of staff is key. Research shows that the average cost of an employee being absent from work can commonly cost between £100 and £350 per day and it can sometimes be three months before an employee with an injury receives treatment. Physiotherapy not only improves business efficiency, it allows businesses to take positive steps to reduce the high costs of ill health.

occupational physiotherapy

How does it work?

At Resolve Physio we offer businesses clinically proven approaches to treating and preventing workplace injuries in-house. Adopting physiotherapy services for the workplace enables businesses of any size to put their major asset – their staff – first, taking account of their capabilities and limitations in relation to their working environment. We recognise that working environments vary greatly and therefore tailor our approach accordingly, helping companies maintain their strong working efforts whilst reducing absence rates and injury:

  • Investing in a cost-effective physiotherapy service can help employers to treat specific injuries. Some schemes have demonstrated returns of up to £40.00 for every £1.00 invested in terms of reduced absence rates
  • Your business will benefit from an improved staff retention
  • Physiotherapy practices can prevent people from having time off work in the first place as problems can be detected and treated at an early stage
  • An in-house service improves communication between staff and HR and Health and Safety managers, as it opens up a more collaborative environment where issues can be addressed  in a practical way
  • Professional physiotherapists for the workplace can get people back to work and to normal duties as quickly as possible. They can also facilitate a managed return to work, if alternative or modified duties are required

Having this measure in place will assure that your business can return injured individuals to work as quickly and effectively as possible for a healthy, productive workforce. If you are in Birmingham and areas in and around Sutton Coldfield, and would like to find out more or discuss your requirements, please contact Resolve Physio on 0121 293 0237 to book an appointment.

How Physiotherapists Can Help To Treat Bell’s Palsy

resolve-physio-logoBell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis and results from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII, more commonly known as the facial nerve. People affected by Bell’s palsy are unable to control facial muscles on the affected side and in many cases, the eye can’t be closed. This type of paralysis most commonly occurs overnight and most people suffering from Bell’s palsy start to regain their normal facial function within three weeks of its onset.

The symptoms of Bell’s palsy can be quite varied, with some people noticing a mild numbness of the face, whilst other people suffer paralysis to one side of the face and extremely rarely, it can result in total facial paralysis. The most common recommended treatment for Bell’s palsy is Prednisolone, a steroid which helps to reduce inflammation and help speed up recovery. In most cases, sufferers are advised to take Prednisolone tablets twice a day for ten days.

Physiotherapy for Bell’s Palsy

Most people recover within a relatively short period of time, however, if they have not fully recovered within three months, further treatments are required as there is a risk of extensive nerve damage. In some cases, Physiotherapy can help to re-educate and re-sensitise the affected nerves.

Physiotherapy treatment of Bell’s palsy can include:

• Strengthening exercises

• Facial massage

• Acupuncture

Physiotherapists will always treat each person as an individual, depending on how they are affected by Bell’s palsy. To help stimulate the nerves, and help to maintain and strengthen the affected facial muscles, a range of different exercises can be taught. By re-educating the affected muscles, patients stand to prevent permanent contractures. As the symptoms can range considerably in severity, so to can the exercises specified to treat Bell’s palsy.

As well as providing treatments to help in strengthening the muscles and increasing the sensitivity of the nerves, physiotherapists can also assist in pain relief.

Before physiotherapy exercises
Before starting exercises that are prescribed by a physiotherapist, patients can help to stimulate their facial muscles, particularly those around the cheek, lips and tongue, by rubbing an ice cube wrapped in a damp cloth across their face; from the lips, across the cheek and to the ear. To stimulate the inside of the mouth, the cloth can be removed and the ice can be used to stroke the inside of the cheek, along with the lips and tongue.

At Resolve Physiotherapy, our senior physiotherapist Andy is highly experienced in treating people suffering from Bell’s palsy and helping to improve facial function.  If you have been affected by Bell’s palsy and your doctor has recommended that physiotherapy could help to improve your recovery, you can call 0121 293 0237 to book an appointment with Andy.

How Can Physiotherapy Help Someone Suffering From Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain?

The Temporomandibular Joints (TMJs), or jaw joints, are the most used joints in the body and play one of the most important roles in everyday activity. Our TMJs allow us to breathe, eat, speak and express ourselves. When the joints are damaged, known as TMJ dysfunction, it can be very difficult for sufferers to resume these normal activities and it can result in painful consequences. Physiotherapy can diagnose the cause of TMJ dysfunction and treat the joints to lessen pain and improve or resolve the injury. Physiotherapists who specialise in treating TMJ dysfunction offer sufferers personalised exercises and expert advice, to ensure normality and health beyond treatment.

What Causes TMJ Pain?

This musculoskeletal disorder can result from many genetic or inflicted incidents and issues, though its most common causes include:

• Masticatory muscle dysfunction: muscles of the jaw and muscles used to chew
• Bruxism: Those that clench their jaw or grind the teeth put pressure on the TMJs and cause asymmetrical movement
• Derangement or displacement of the TMJ articular disc
• Occlusal problems such as an incorrect bite

TMJ dysfunction can be aggravated by orthodontic treatment that causes misalignment in the jaw, whiplash or trauma to the chin, infection, or even stress. Although many with TMJ dysfunction may not experience pain, there are a number of other symptoms such as clicking, popping or grinding of the jaw, and the inability to fully open or close it. Sufferers can also experience headaches or dizziness, ear pain and upper neck pain.

If you are suffering from TMJ dysfunction, it could be very painful and you may be unable to eat, talk, or function as usual. This can be a very frustrating problem and if prolonged, could cause serious damage. Physiotherapists can give sufferers an understanding of TMJ dysfunction and the cause of their pain, and provide the most suitable therapy process. This way patients can get the best possible treatment solution tailored to their individual needs and situation, with honest expectations for recovery.

How Physiotherapy Works

A TMJ physiotherapist with advanced training in jaw dysfunction, such as those at Resolve Physiotherapy can competently assess your pain and problem with your TMJs. They examine factors including the range of jaw motion, tension and length of the surrounding muscles, and pattern of movement. This way they can quickly identity the issue to offer the most suited corrective treatment, or refer you to the most relevant health professional.

Your physiotherapist will create a personalised treatment plan for TMJ pain, to improve strength, flexibility, positioning and overall functioning of the TMJs. Exercises and treatments generally prescribed involve posture improvement, relaxation exercises, massaging, dry needling or joint mobilisation and stabilisation practices. Physiotherapy is ideal for TMJ pain as exercises can be assisted and treatment is gentle. Your physiotherapist will be able to provide special guidance to help patients achieve optimum recovery – most improve within a few weeks of commencing TMJ treatment.

At Resolve Physiotherapy our specialists are experts in injury management. We are committed to individualised treatment plans built around our patients’ needs and lifestyles, and offer a wide range of therapy solutions and support so that patients can heighten recovery outside of treatment sessions. If you’re suffering from TMJ pain, joint dysfunction or other sports injuries, we’d be happy to advise you. For more information please contact the Resolve Physiotherapy practice on 0121 293 0237 or visit our website.

Backcare Awareness Week 2015

From the 7th-11th of October, it will be Backcare Awareness Week in the UK. The event is organised by BackCare, the charity for healthier backs; its aim is not only to raise awareness of the problems that can be caused by back pain, but also the prevention and treatment of back pain.

Back pain is experienced by around 4 in every 5 adults at some point in their life time and can be caused by a wide variety of things; from playing sport, picking up a heavy box without bending your knees, or even just by sitting in one position for too long. Musculoskeletal disorders like back pain are one of the most common reasons for people being off sick from work, however, in many cases, this can be prevented.

By making a few simple changes and ensuring that your work station is set up correctly for you, you can go a long way towards preventing back pain. If you do suffer back pain as a result of sitting for too long at your desk, physiotherapy can help you to carry on working.  At Resolve Physiotherapy, we are able to provide tailored occupational health physiotherapy for every work environment, including in-house physiotherapy services. By helping to ensure that all staff are in good physical health, we are able to help reduce the amount of workers off sick and increase productivity.

back pain

How can physiotherapy help back pain?

Physiotherapy can be a very effective treatment for treating and managing back pain and can help to speed up recovery from injury, as well as helping to prevent the same problem from occurring again. A physiotherapist will check if your back pain may be connected to a serious health problem.  A thorough assessment allows them to find the reason for your back pain and decide on the best way to treat it and prevent future problems.

As well as a plethora of manual treatments, physiotherapists can also provide advice on exercises that will help to relieve back pain, prevent it recurrence and advise on pain relief methods. When it comes to developing a treatment plan, a physiotherapist will always formulate a plan that is designed for the individual, based on the cause of your back pain, taking into account any relevant medical history. Physiotherapy treatment can differ greatly from patient to patient.  At Resolve Physiotherapy we always take a patient’s personal goals into account when devising a treatment plan for back pain.

If you are suffering from niggling back pain, whether it was caused by picking up heavy parcels or sitting too long whilst driving or at work, get in touch with Resolve Physiotherapy today to see how we can help you. Call the team on 0121 293 0237 to arrange an appointment.