Marathon Running – Importance of Stretching.

Marathon Running – Importance of Stretching.

Marathon Running – Importance of Stretching. For Marathon Running, stretching can be useful for two different reasons. First of all, you can use stretching to address specific muscle restrictions which are identified as being contributory to a specific injury. Tight or shortened muscles are commonly associated with overuse injuries. The shortening may be at the same site as the injury or in the muscles close by. Muscle tightness may be secondary to neural restriction, muscles imbalances or trigger points. This needs to be corrected first if stretching is to be effective.

For example, a runner who has weakness in the buttock muscles is likely to have particularly tight hamstrings, Any amount of hamstring stretches will not resolve the issue and gluteal (buttock) strengthening exercises will need to precede the stretching programme. Stretching needs to be done on a regular basis, as instructed by the sports therapist or physiotherapist.

Secondly, stretching is very important as part of an injury prevention programme. Running is a very repetitive, one dimensional activity. This means that the muscles and joints are only working in very small, specific ranges of motion. This means they are likely to become short and tight.

Marathon running – warm up
In general, it is suggested to do dynamic stretches at the beginning of a training session. This should follow a short warm up, which may be jogging. Dynamic exercises include running with high knees, kicking heels to bottom and stride lunges. They should all be comfortably performed. This is even more important before a speed or interval training session.

Marathon running – cool down
At the end of a training session, a cool down is very important and this should include stretching. Technique is key when it comes to stretching, and runners would be advised to seek advice on the best way of stretching all the key muscles groups.

How Massage can Help with Headaches

HeadachesMassage therapy helps to relieve headaches by easing muscle tension, relieving muscle spasms, releasing shortened muscles and relaxing tension held in the muscles of the head, shoulders, and neck. When muscle tension eases, there is less pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that supply them. Oxygen-rich blood circulation improves, which also relieves pain. Massage therapy not only helps the muscles of the body to relax but also effectively reduces the anxiety and mental stress that can cause or exacerbate headaches. Regular, ongoing massage therapy can also help to prevent headaches by helping to reduce overall stress and the muscle tension that can trigger headache pain and by helping to maintain emotional balance. In a nutshell… if you have regular headaches, rather than reaching for the paracetamol come and see me and we can get to the bottom of it.

How Massage can Help with Headaches

At Optimal Sports we treat a great number of musculo-skeletal conditions and consequently are not be able to include them all. However, please find more information about some of the most common conditions we treat by clicking here.

Preventing injury and optimising performance is beneficial to everyone whether on the sports field, at work or at home. Through a comprehensive assessment of posture, muscle imbalance, biomechanics and flexibility, any imbalances will be identified. A programme addressing these inefficiencies will allow you to continue your sport or activities with a decreased risk of injury while enhancing your performance.

The Optimal Sports Therapy Centre is located in Basingstoke, Hampshire and is ideally placed for travel from Basingstoke, Hook, Fleet, Hartley Whintney, Camberley, Farnborough, Aldershot, Andover, Overton, Whitchurch, Newbury or Reading. For an appointment please call Seb Challen on 01256 771160 or 07876 351562 or use the On-Line Booking page to book an assessment session.

Basingstoke man, AJ Lane, starts IRONMAN career at 57

Ironman BasingstokeLocal athlete AJ Lane writes about how he came to start his Ironman Triathlon career at the age of 57 years. He gives a lot of the credit for his success to Seb Challen at the Optimal Sports Therapy Centre in Basingstoke. Here is what AJ says…

I  first met Seb when I was having some back pain and was recommended to him by my daughter. I had visited the doctor for a routine check-up . I was overweight, had high blood pressure, etc.

I decided to take dramatic action to get fit and signed up for a full IRONMAN triathlon at the age of 57. (That’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon).  This involved a strict regime of daily training for 11 months. Part of this regime was to visit Seb Challen, at the Optimal Sports Therapy Centre, for various treatments, some preventative and some to help with niggles picked up in training. I am sure that I could have never completed this challenge without the help of Seb.  I have since completed another  three  IRONMAN races, including 2 in 2 weeks, all at under the careful management of Seb at Optimal.

Thanks Seb!!

A.J. Lane

Follow this link to see a Red Bull video featuring AJ’s fantastic achievement.Ironman Basingstoke

 

 

 

At Optimal Sports we treat a great number of musculo-skeletal conditions and consequently are not be able to include them all. However, please find more information about some of the most common conditions we treat by clicking here.

The Optimal Sports Therapy Centre is located in Basingstoke, Hampshire and is ideally placed for travel from Basingstoke, Hook, Fleet, Hartley Whintney, Camberley, Farnborough, Aldershot, Andover, Overton, Whitchurch, Newbury or Reading. For an appointment please call Seb Challen on 01256 771160 or 07876 351562 or use the On-Line Booking page to book an assessment session.

Quadriceps Strain

Quadriceps Strain

Quadriceps Strain – A forceful stretch or tear of the muscle or tendon in a weight bearing muscle such as the quadriceps (front of thigh) is painful and difficult to rest. The quadriceps are involved in supporting the hip and knee. A quadriceps strain can result from a forceful contraction of the quads or unusual stress placed on the muscles. It is graded from 1 through to 3, with 3 being the most severe tear.

Quadriceps Strain imageA Quadriceps Strain may occur in any of the quadriceps muscles but the rectus femoris is most commonly injured. The force generated in activities such as sprinting, jumping and weight training may cause microtears of the muscles. When the muscle is stretched forcefully under a load as in high impact sports such as football and hockey it may also pull away from the muscle-tendon junction or completely tear.

Cause of Quadriceps Strain

Forceful contraction or stretch of the quadriceps.

Signs and Symptoms of Quadriceps Strain

Grade 1: mildly tender and painful. Little or no swelling. Full muscular strength

Grade 2: more pain and tenderness. Moderate swelling and possible bruising. Noticeable loss of strength.

Grade 3: extreme pain. Deformity, swelling and bruising. Inability to contract muscle.

Immediate Treatment of Quadriceps Strain

Rice (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) procedure. Immobilisation in severe cases then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

 

Rehab and Prevention

After the required rest period, activities should be resumed cautiously. Avoid activities that cause pain. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the quadriceps will be necessary. Ensuring a balance between strength of the quadriceps and the hamstrings is important to prevent a further strain.

Long Term Prognosis

Quadriceps strains rarely result in long term pain or disability. Surgery is only needed in rare cases where a complete tear does not respond to immobilisation and rest.

The Optimal Sports Therapy Centre is located in Basingstoke, Hampshire and is ideally placed for travel from Basingstoke, Hook, Fleet, Hartley Whintney, Camberley, Farnborough, Aldershot, Andover, Overton, Whitchurch, Newbury or Reading.

Hamstring Strain – Basingstoke

Hamstring StrainHamstring Strain or pull is a stretch or tear of the hamstring (back of thigh) muscles or tendons. This is a very common injury, especially in activities that involve sprinting or explosive accelerations. A common cause of a hamstring strain is muscle imbalance between the hamstring and the quadriceps, with the quadriceps being much stronger.

Any of the hamstring muscles can be strained. Commonly minor tears happen in the belly of the biceps femoris closest to the knee. Complete tears or ruptures usually pull away from the attachment as well.

Cause of Injury

Strength imbalance between the hamstrings and the quadriceps. Forceful stretching of the muscle, especially during contraction. Excessive overload on the muscle.

Signs and Symptoms of Hamstring Strain

Grade 1: mildly tender and painful. Little or no swelling. Full muscular strength

Grade 2: more pain and tenderness. Moderate swelling and possible bruising.              Gait affected-limping.

Grade 3: extreme pain. Moderate swelling and possible bruising. Inability to bear weight.

Complications if left unattended

Pain and tightness in the hamstring muscles will get worse without treatment. Tightness in the hamstrings can lead to lower back and hip problems. Untreated strains can progress into a full rupture.

Immediate Treatment of Hamstring Strain

Rice (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) procedure. Immobilisation in severe cases then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehab and Prevention of Hamstring Strain

Stretching after the initial pain subsides will help speed up recovery and prevent future recurrences. Strengthening of the hamstrings to balance them with the quadriceps is also important. When re-entering activity, gradual increase in intensity is important.

Long Term Prognosis of Hamstring Strain

Hamstring strains that are rehabilitated fully rarely leave any lingering effects. Complete ruptures may require surgery to repair and long term rehab

The Optimal Sports Therapy Centre is located in Basingstoke, Hampshire and is ideally placed for travel from Basingstoke, Hook, Fleet, Hartley Whintney, Camberley, Farnborough, Aldershot, Andover, Overton, Whitchurch, Newbury or Reading.

 

Lifting Objects Properly – Some simple principles to follow

Lifting Objects Properly

Lifting Objects Properly? Follow these simple principles. Stand very close to, or directly over, the object you want to lift. Start with your feet and legs about shoulder width apart. Lightly pull in your abdominal (stomach) muscles and then squat or dip down. Your knees, hips and ankles should be bent. 

Lifting Objects Properly Pick the object up from underneath you if possible, squeeze your buttocks to help straighten you up again and keep the object close to your body while you carry it.
This all helps reduce the forces applied to your back.

The Optimal Sports Therapy Centre offers a wide range of treatment and correction. Treatment is aimed to speed up recovery, restore function and help you return to your normal daily activities at work, leisure or sport.
Preventing injury and optimising performance is beneficial to everyone whether on the sports field, at work or at home. Through careful assessment of your posture, muscle imbalance, biomechanics and flexibility, you can identify any imbalance.

Lifting Objects Properly

A programme addressing these inefficiencies will allow you to continue your sport or activities with a decreased risk of injury while enhancing your performance.

Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of individuals back to optimum levels of functional, occupational, and sport specific fitness, regardless of age or ability.

We assess relevant joints and muscles, check muscle length and balance, provide deep tissue massage and advise on appropriate exercises and stretching techniques. Sports Therapy utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences to prepare the participant for training, competition and work.

At Optimal Sports we treat a great number of musculo-skeletal conditions and consequently are not be able to include them all. However, please find more information about some of the most common conditions we treat by clicking here.

 

Golf Back Pain – how to avoid it!

Golf Back Pain

The main cause of Golf Back Pain is the swing. The golf swing has four components: the address position, back swing, down swing and follow through.

Golf Back Pain problems can occur during any of these phases, but the common errors tend to be:

Too much forward bending at address
Too little rotation of the hips and spine
Insufficient abdominal and back strength to support and control the swing action.

Picture shows Golfer at address with a good spine.

Golf Back PainAs many as 1 in 2 elite professional golfers have suffered from serious back pain at some stage of their career and 1 in 5 amateur golfers will suffer from back pain each year.

Top Tips to prevent back pain

  1. Learn to maintain correct spinal posture (neutral spine) when addressing the ball.
  2. Stretch hamsting muscles if tight to allow good address position
  3. Develop adequate hip and spinal rotation flexibility
  4. Strengthen abdominal muscles protect spine against excessive rotation force during the swing
  5. Seek out the assistance of a professional golf coach to teach you the basics of an ideal swing.

Golf Back Pain:

Most of us at some time in our lives will suffer from low back pain. Many diagnoses are given for low back pain and range from slipped/prolapsed discs, degenerative arthritis, spondylosis, muscle strain, sacroiliac dysfunction and – one of the most common – sciatica. Assessment and treatment of spinal posture and muscle and strength imbalances will be carried out.

Sciatica:

Golf Back Pain can be caused by Sciatica – a set of symptoms resulting from compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Symptoms can include pain in the lower back, buttocks and sometimes the leg and foot, pins and needles or numbness in the leg. There are many different causes and potential areas of the origin of pain.

At Optimal Sports we treat a great number of musculo-skeletal conditions and consequently are not be able to include them all. However, please find more information about some of the most common conditions we treat by clicking here.

 

Back pain – cycling

Back pain – cycling. Research studies have shown that back pain in cycling is something that affects up to 70% of cyclists , together with neck pain. This is hardly surprising as cyclists regularly spend hours in the saddle. The cycling action involves the repetitive bending of alternating hips and knees, whilst maintaining a fixed back posture. Added stress on the back comes from vibrations from the ground which are transferred from the seat to the spine.

Back pain - cyclingNeutral or near neutral position for your back on the bike is vital. Hinging forwards in the saddle from the hips rather than curling from the lower back. Studies show that cyclists who suffer from back pain tend to curl forwards more in their lower back.

Hamstrings and hip flexors need to be flexible in order to allow you to hold your spine in neutral. If they are tight your body will compensate by curling your back round.

Seat height is important. Too low and your low back will be forced to flex too much for you to pedal freely and too high will cause you to bend forwards through your back to reach the handlebars.

Neck pain is also very common in cyclists. The more you round your back, the greater the need to lift your neck upwards in order to look ahead. This compresses all the neck joints setting you up for pain and stiffness.

To prevent this you need to hold your spine straight and use your eyes to look ahead rather than always lifting your head. Every now and again, you should bring your head down to your chest whilst cycling in order to reverse the prolonged stiff posture of holding the neck in extension.

 

Back pain – cycling. In Summary

  • Maintain adequate spine flexibility especially in the thoracic area (between shoulder blades)
  • Develop good hamstring and hip flexor flexibility
  • Check saddle height (possible bike fit from local shop)

Learn to hold neutral spine while riding (see pic above)

Marathon Running

Marathon Running – The Importance of Stretching.

For Marathon Running, stretching can be useful for two different reasons. First of all, you can use stretching to address specific muscle restrictions which are identified as being contributory to a specific injury. Tight or shortened muscles are commonly associated with overuse injuries. The shortening may be at the same site as the injury or in the muscles close by. Muscle tightness may be secondary to neural restriction, muscles imbalances or trigger points. This needs to be corrected first if stretching is to be effective.

For example, a runner who has weakness in the buttock muscles is likely to have particularly tight hamstrings, Any amount of hamstring stretches will not resolve the issue and gluteal (buttock) strengthening exercises will need to precede the stretching programme. Stretching needs to be done on a regular basis, as instructed by the sports therapist or physiotherapist.

Secondly, stretching is very important as part of an injury prevention programme. Running is a very repetitive, one dimensional activity. This means that the muscles and joints are only working in very small, specific ranges of motion. This means they are likely to become short and tight.

Marathon running – warm up

In general, it is suggested to do dynamic stretches at the beginning of a training session. This should follow a short warm up, which may be jogging. Dynamic exercises include running with high knees, kicking heels to bottom and stride lunges. They should all be comfortably performed. This is even more important before a speed or interval training session.

Marathon running – cool down

At the end of a training session, a cool down is very important and this should include stretching. Technique is key when it comes to stretching, and runners would be advised to seek advice on the best way of stretching all the key muscles groups.

Here are some stretches to help with injury prevention:

Marathon Running 1Hamstring:

Keep your chest up as you maintain a curvature in your lower back as you lean forward.

Hold for 30 seconds.

 

 

 

Marathon Running 2Quadriceps:

Stand and hold onto a support. Keep your back flat and draw up your bent knee. Keep both thighs level to each other and feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. Make sure you do not allow your back to arch as this will reduce the stretch.

Hold for 30 seconds.

 

 

 

Marathon Running 3Calf (Straight leg):

Stand with your affected foot behind you and keep your heel on the floor as you lean forwards until you feel a stretch in your calf. Make sure both your feet are pointing forwards.

Hold for 30 seconds.

 

 

 

Marathon Running 4Calf (bent leg- soleus):

Bring the back foot in a bit and bend the knee until you feel a stretch lower down in the Achilles tendon. You can balance out your weight on both legs as you stretch.

 

Strength balance training

Strength balance training – “Physios can help prevent repeated falls in older people”

So says NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in its new quality standard for falls in older people.

 

Strength balance trainingStrength balance training

Older people with a history of falls should be referred to experts, such as physiotherapists, who can provide them with strength and balance training.

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in people over 75 in the UK.

NICE says that falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in people over 75 in the UK, and cost the NHS an estimated £2.3 billion each year. As a result, the quality standard aims to help NHS staff prevent further injury in older patients who have already had a fall.

Physiotherapist Vicki Goodwin, research officer for the CSP professional network Agile, was part of the NICE quality standards advisory committee, which developed the standards.

Quality standards

The document sets out a series of standards to ensure that older falls patients receive a comprehensive assessment and support to prevent them falling again.

These include that:

NHS organisations with inpatient beds should ensure that all staff follow ‘post-fall’ protocols, which include checking older people who have fallen for fractures and spinal injuries before they are moved.

Older people who have fallen in the past should see an expert who can help them start exercises to build up their muscle strength and improve balance.

Older people who are treated in hospital for a fall should be offered a visit from a trained professional who can check their home for anything that puts them at risk of falling again.

Full report from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy here…

http://www.csp.org.uk/news/2015/03/27/physios-can-help-prevent-repeated-falls-older-people-says-nice

Strength balance training

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care. Physiotherapists treat people of all ages, helping them manage pain and using a number of methods to aid recovery. Although they’re often thought of as just dealing with musculoskeletal problems, physiotherapists are trained healthcare professionals who work in many areas, and in particular strength balance training of the elderly.

Strength balance training