Fighting Fit in Pregnancy & Beyond: Part 2 Exercise in the Second Trimester

Having felt rather normal in the first trimester there had been little impact to my fitness regime but now in the second trimester I knew how important it was to ensure my fitness regime was appropriate.  My first priority is to ensure the health and safety of my baby, but my second priority is to ensure my own health and happiness.  I am a firm believer that keeping myself fit and strong can only benefit my baby both during the pregnancy and in the post natal period where I will need plenty of energy and strength to tackle my new job as mum.  In addition to staying fit and strong I want to also ensure that I am limiting the physical damage to my body to ensure I am not left with a legacy of musculoskeletal and pelvic floor problems in the years to come.

Continue reading Fighting Fit in Pregnancy & Beyond: Part 2 Exercise in the Second Trimester

Achilles Problem? Hard work pays off!

If you don’t know where your Achilles tendon is, then count yourself lucky as if you have had a problem with it you would know ALL about it.  I find Achilles tendonopathies to be quite common place, but rarely is it the original reason people come to see me.  They come with other issues and in discussing their case history it will come up that they have this long standing niggling Achilles problem.  In some cases they ‘just get on with it’ in other cases they have given up the sports that make it worse e.g. squash or running.  I wonder why people are so keen to give up on this condition?  Or is it that they have tried many different treatments with limited result?  This got me curious.

Continue reading Achilles Problem? Hard work pays off!

Fighting Fit in Pregnancy & Beyond: Part I The First Trimester

Those who know me from my clinic will know how passionate I am about getting our bodies aligned so that they can resist the strains and pressures of our active lives, keeping us feeling well and pain free.  It is especially the case with women who have had children.  I cannot count the number of women I see who have musculo-skeletal problems, pelvic floor dysfunction or pain that link back to how they hold their bodies.  We dig a little deeper and they often trace right back to when they were pregnant.  ‘Oh my body is just trashed since I had the baby’ is not an acceptable state.  Either are Tena Lights for life – no ‘Oops’ moments please.   Yes, your body goes through huge amounts of change during those 9 months but how many women have the time or inclination to get their real ‘pre baby’ body back?  Focus is on weight loss, but focus needs to be wider than this.  We need to get aligned again so we can stand tall and strong against gravity and all that life throws at us.

Continue reading Fighting Fit in Pregnancy & Beyond: Part I The First Trimester

To Stretch or not to Stretch? The Benefits of the ‘RIGHT’ Stretching.

I only have to bring up the word ‘stretching’ with some of my colleagues in the therapeutic and fitness industry to generate lively debate.  Something that we have all thought was a good thing to do is now in question.  Truth be told, there is a lot of contradictory research out there and no solid

proof of the advantages and disadvantages so it’s no wonder there is confusion.  What is clear is that we have many joints and muscles in our bodies and even more confusingly, many many different stretching protocols each with a number of pros and cons, so where does one start when considering a regular stretch routine? Continue reading To Stretch or not to Stretch? The Benefits of the ‘RIGHT’ Stretching.

Knee Pain: Clear MRI but Knee Still Hurts?

I had the pleasure of spending a day with Claire Robertson the Consultant Physiotherapist at Wimbledon Clinics yesterday focusing on Patellofemoral Pain, the potential causes and rehabilitation.  You can read Claire’s biography here but it is safe to say she knows her stuff leading and releasing ground breaking research in this area.  This leads me to today’s blog, what do you do if you are suffering from knee pain, the MRI is clear but your pain is very real?

Continue reading Knee Pain: Clear MRI but Knee Still Hurts?

Is your Posture causing you more than just a pain in the neck?

If you read my blogs then you are no stranger to postural imbalance and the problems it can lead to.  Desk neck, phone wrist and driving shoulder are all common complaints these days.   I think we are probably all agreed that when our posture goes wrong it can lead to musculo-skeletal problems, but could our modern day poor posture be causing us bigger problems?

Continue reading Is your Posture causing you more than just a pain in the neck?

Calf Strain: Bent Leg Rehab or Straight?

One of the most common complaints I see in my clinic, are clients hobbling in with calf strain.  Sometimes they really felt it go, and other times they were just waiting for a tennis ball at the net and felt sudden weakness or cramp hence the name – ‘Tennis Leg’.  I had one client in particular who

thought he was cramping, kept playing and the next day and for a number of weeks afterwards he had quite a spectacular bruise…. cramps don’t bruise!

 First things first, what exactly is your calf?  The calf muscle is a generic name used to describe the muscles at the back of the leg.  In fact there are several muscles living in this neighbourhood and identifying which one has been damaged is key to fixing the problem and getting you back on form.

Continue reading Calf Strain: Bent Leg Rehab or Straight?

Instrument Assisted Massage: A Therapists Review

I was first introduced to the wonders of Instrument Assisted Massage and IAM Tools by the fabulous Jenny Burrell late last year and was amazed by the level of soft tissue release achieved in such a short space of time.  This weekend I attended the Advanced Course in Instrument Assisted Massage Tools run by IAM Tools and have been absolutely amazed by the extent these tools can help in soft tissue

work having got myself into a bit of a tool rut reserving its use for necks, hip flexors and forearms.

If Instrument Assisted Massage is so effective what is stopping more therapists from integrating it into their treatment tool belt?  Here I intend to write a review of Instrument Assisted Massage from a once sceptic who is now fully converted to its benefits in the hope that it maybe helps you to give it a go! Continue reading Instrument Assisted Massage: A Therapists Review

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Can Massage Help?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) has an occurrence in the general population of up to 7% and is becoming ever more prevalent.   With over 35,000 surgeries performed for CTS in the UK each year it is costing its sufferers discomfort but also time and money.   Not only that but it is putting the health service under pressure so much so that there are initiatives to introduce Nurse led surgery for CTS underway in the UK.  I think this expansion of skill across the health service is fantastic and more of it please, but I cannot help but think that in some cases there may be a more conservative approach to help in less extreme cases or indeed in preventing CTS from getting to a stage where surgery is the only option that remains.

Continue reading Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Can Massage Help?

The Ankle Series: Bouncy, Rolling Ankles

How many of you have suffered from sprained ankles over the years?  Now how many of you are now left with bouncy rolling ankles?  Do you often ‘go over’ on your ankle, but bounce back up with no pain or sprain?  But what if next time you ‘go over’ on your ankle you are not so lucky and fall on your knee or hip and injure another part of your body?

It amazes me how many people suffer from these unstable bouncy ankles including myself.  Whether it be from frequent sprains, ligament damage, lack of rehabilitation at the time of the sprain or simply a lack of strength it is never too late to help improve the situation.

Continue reading The Ankle Series: Bouncy, Rolling Ankles