5 ways to protect your knees

physiotherapy Birmingham

Your knees are the most complex and at risk joints in your body. Their role is extremely important, as they hold your bodyweight, and are under constant pressure while walking, running and standing. The older we get the harder it becomes to protect our knees effectively, however, in the same way you watch your diet and your general well-being, you should also always put your knees at the top of your health priorities. Have a look below for 5 ways you can effectively protect these incredibly important joints:

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Exercises to help strengthen your feet and ankles

The following exercises from the bowler’s programme are designed to help strengthen your feet and ankles, even if you do not have any injuries.

These are good for preventing injury and strengthening the lower half of the body. Always remember to contact a physiotherapist if you’re experiencing any pain.

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How to avoid injuring yourself in the New Year

We’ve officially entered the new year, and with it comes the time for New Year’s Resolutions.

Often, people tend to want to try new things, experiment and get out of their comfort zone.

When it comes to exercise and getting back into shape after the Christmas holidays, many people are motivated to get stuck into things but with that, there is a gradual increase in visits to a physiotherapist with injuries. The culprit behind these injuries is people not executing the correct warm ups.

However, this by any means shouldn’t deter you from having a fitness resolution, only there are certain aspects of training that you should be aware of prior to jumping into cardio and strength workouts.

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Anti-inflammatories and physiotherapy

After sustaining a musculoskeletal injury, anti-inflammatories are often prescribed. The likes of Ibuprofen, Nuromol, Ibuleve Gel, Naproxen, Voltarol will be just a few of the anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

In simple terms, NSAIDS work by blocking the processes that cause the inflammation, and by blocking this process the resulting pain is decreased. NSAIDS will only work to reduce pain if it is inflammatory in nature. Anti-inflammatories are commonly prescribed by doctors and recommended by physiotherapists to help relieve inflammation-related pain in those initial stages and to help you get back to your normal activity faster.

NSAIDs and ligament injuries

There are many studies floating around on the web that show how NSAIDs reduce inflammation and pain when you get a ligament injury. Let’s say that you’ve got an ankle sprain that has inflamed a lot and you are in a lot of pain, NSAIDs act to reduce both the pain and inflammation that is experience thus improving joint amplitudes and load-bearing capacity. These short term effects can be seen up until the 7th day. Your ligaments will need time to heal and it is through that altering this healing might cause problems in the long-term, including function, higher recurrence rate or poorer joint range of motion.

NSAIDs and muscle injuries

Anti-inflammatories may be a good option to consider with cases of deep muscle contusions as they are a frequent source of muscle calcification. The evidence about NSAIDs preventing the heterotopic ossification (bone formation at an abnormal anatomical site) is based on the theory that “as a positive effect of NSAIDs in preventing heterotopic ossification after a prosthetic replacement has been seen on studies, it might work as well for muscles.”

NSAIDs are also thought to prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after eccentric exercise. But you will need to take anti-inflammatories prior to partaking in any exercise which may mask possible injury. For acute muscle tear, NSAIDs are not recommended as they may inhibit protein synthesis and inflammatory reaction.

Lower back exercises for back pain

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Lower back pain isn’t something that will go away on its own.

There are, however, a series of exercise routines you can do to reduce the pain, including soreness, tension, and stiffness.

The following exercises are designed to help stretch, strengthen and mobilise the lower back.

When you are starting out, begin gently to get used to the movements and work out how far you can go into each position without experiencing any pain.

Try to do the below routine at least once a day, if the pain allows. You can complement this routine with additional activities such as cycling, walking and water-based activities.

Be sure to speak to a physiotherapist before starting these exercises!

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Post-operative physiotherapy

The main aim of post-operative physiotherapy is to assist the individual’s return to normal activities following their surgery.

After surgery, patients will be seen by a physiotherapist to establish their rehabilitation goals. Routine post-operative physiotherapy intervention comprises of breathing exercises, circulatory exercises, and early mobilisation to prevent complications.

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Simple yet effective exercises to eliminate neck pain

If an individual is experiencing neck pain, not only is it important to treat the site of the pain but to also identify and address the underlying cause.

Most of the time, neck pain is caused from hips that are misaligned hips, spine, and shoulders. The result is the muscles of the neck and upper back tense up, which can lead to stiffness and neck pain.

Below are a few exercises that should be following in sequence. They are designed to reposition the head and load-bearing joints to alleviate neck pain and stiffness.

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Physiotherapy for leg weakness during pregnancy

It is possible that women may suffer from leg weakness during their lives, however, it often plagues women during pregnancy.

Leg weakness is often a result of both the additional weight of the foetus and pressure of the uterus on the nerves in the back.

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The Role of an Occupational Physiotherapist

There are many misconceptions about the relationship between Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physiotherapy (PT).

It is commonly thought that the two are synonymous, however, there are significant differences between the professions.

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