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Prioritising Healthy Bones: Understanding Osteoporosis and Building Strong Foundations

Maintaining and prioritising healthy bones is essential for a vibrant and active life. Bones provide the framework that supports our bodies and allows us to move freely. Unfortunately, many individuals overlook the importance of bone health until they face conditions like osteoporosis. Let’s delve into what osteoporosis is and how focusing on healthy bones can prevent its onset.

Osteoporosis: Weakened Bones and Increased Vulnerability

Osteoporosis is a silent condition that affects bone strength and density, rendering them fragile and prone to fractures. This condition develops gradually as we get older as bone density decreases and bone tissue deteriorates. Bones become more porous and brittle, significantly increasing the risk of fractures, even from minor impacts or falls. Early intervention with exercise can help stop or slow the signs of osteoporosis.

Fractures: A Consequence of Weakened Bones

Fractures are the hallmark of osteoporosis. The most common sites for fractures in individuals with osteoporosis are the spine, hips, and wrists. Most often these fractures result due to falls and so strength training and reducing falls risk can help. These fractures can lead to pain, reduced mobility, and a diminished quality of life. The impact of fractures on daily activities and overall well-being cannot be overstated.

The Role of Healthy Bones: Prevention is Key

Maintaining healthy bones is the key to preventing osteoporosis. Building strong bones in youth and preserving bone health as we age are critical steps in preventing this condition. Adequate intake of bone-strengthening nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, coupled with regular weight-bearing exercises, can contribute to maintaining optimal bone density.

Exercise: Your Bones’ Best Friend

Physical activity is a cornerstone of bone health. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, dancing, and resistance training, stimulate bone cells to become denser and stronger. These activities also improve muscle strength, coordination, and balance, reducing the risk of falls and fractures.

Nutrition: Nourishing Your Bones

 A balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients is crucial for maintaining bone health. Calcium is the building block of bones, and vitamin D helps the body absorb and utilize calcium effectively. Incorporating dairy products, leafy greens, fortified foods, and supplements as needed can support bone health.

Lifestyle Choices Matter

Certain lifestyle choices can impact bone health. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as they can weaken bones over time. Prioritise a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep to create a foundation for strong bones.

Understanding osteoporosis and its impact on bone health highlights the importance of proactive measures. By prioritising healthy bones through proper nutrition, regular weight-bearing exercise, and lifestyle choices, we can build a foundation that withstands the challenges of time.

Let’s commit to nurturing our bones, ensuring that they remain robust, strong, and capable of supporting us throughout our lives. After all, healthy bones are the pillars upon which we stand, move, and embrace life to the fullest.

    If you want to get started on your journey to healthy bones, be sure to book an appointment with one of our team today!   By Caitlan Skillicorn, Senior Physiotherapist

Exploring All Things Diabetes with Dr. Devina Joshi: Expert Insights for Optimal Management

Exploring All Things Diabetes with Dr. Devina Joshi: Expert Insights for Optimal Management

At Healthfix we are passionate about empowering our community with valuable information and resources for a healthier and happier life. Today, we are excited to share an enlightening video interview featuring Dr. Devina Joshi, an esteemed expert in diabetes management and prevention. In this blog, we invite you to delve into the world of diabetes and gain valuable insights from Dr. Joshi, covering various aspects of diabetes management, lifestyle modifications, and the latest advancements in treatments and technologies. Let’s embark on this educational journey together!   To access our full interview please click here

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a complex and prevalent condition affecting millions of individuals worldwide. In the video interview, Dr. Devina Joshi breaks down the different types of diabetes, shedding light on their distinct characteristics. Understanding the variations in diabetes can help individuals and their healthcare providers develop personalised management strategies for optimal health.

Identifying Risk Factors

One of the critical aspects of diabetes management is recognising the risk factors associated with the condition. Dr. Joshi shares valuable insights into identifying potential warning signs and understanding the factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes. This knowledge can empower individuals to take proactive steps in their health journey.

The Power of Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, play a pivotal role in managing diabetes effectively. Dr. Joshi emphasizes the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle, which can significantly impact blood sugar levels and overall well-being. Through practical tips and strategies, she encourages individuals with diabetes to take charge of their health.

Advancements in Diabetes Treatments and Technologies

The field of diabetes management is continually evolving, with advancements in treatments and technologies offering new possibilities for individuals living with the condition. Dr. Joshi highlights the latest developments in diabetes care, including innovative tools and techniques that can revolutionise diabetes management.

Empowering Individuals to Thrive

Throughout the interview, Dr. Joshi’s passion for helping individuals with diabetes shines through. Her expertise and commitment to empowering patients to live fulfilling lives while managing their condition serve as an inspiration to all. Watching this video, you’ll gain not only knowledge but also motivation to take positive steps towards better health. At Healthfix we believe that education is a powerful tool for transforming lives. Our collaboration with Dr. Devina Joshi brings you expert insights into diabetes management, offering practical guidance and encouragement. We encourage you to watch the video and embrace the valuable information shared by Dr. Joshi. Together, let’s take proactive steps towards optimal diabetes management and a healthier, more vibrant life. Remember, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your diabetes management further, our dedicated team at Healthfix is here to support you every step of the way. Take charge of your health today and embark on a journey of empowerment and well-being.

Achieving Optimal Recovery: Physio Rehab for ACL Injuries

Living in a sports-loving nation like Australia, it’s no surprise that many individuals, both athletes and non-athletes, turn to sports as a means of recovery after surgery. However, successful rehabilitation requires a proactive and preventative approach, taking into account primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies. It is crucial to ensure athletes build up their workloads safely to reduce the risk of subsequent injuries. To achieve the best outcomes, an interdisciplinary approach is often necessary, where practitioners share the responsibility for injury management and safe return to all activities. In this blog we explore physio rehab for ACL injuries and how the team at Healthfix can help you achieve your goals.  

The Challenge of ACL Rehabilitation

Return to play after ACL reconstruction can be a challenging journey, with reported success rates as low as 65% for athletes, even with access to 24/7 care within professional organisations. The key to better rehabilitation outcomes lies in a structured and progressive postoperative rehabilitation program, combined with clear goal-setting, repeated testing, and patient education. Unfortunately, the high cost of frequent care can serve as a significant barrier to achieving these desired outcomes when using standard care physiotherapy clinics.  

Fixed-Fee Rehab Programs: The Solution

At Healthfix, we have recognised the need for athletes and non-athletes to receive the same level of care as professionals during their rehabilitation journey. To address the cost barrier and provide comprehensive support, we have developed fixed-price rehabilitation programs conducted in our state-of-the-art high-performance facility. Our programs are led by Titled Sport and Exercise Physiotherapists, Caitlan and Sean, with Sean also serving as the NSW Institute of Sport’s Performance Health Manager. At Healthfix, we aim to replicate the high-performance environment, equipped with a highly skilled integrated team and top-of-the-line gym facilities, to ensure optimal results and positive outcomes for our clients.  

Importance of High-Frequency Therapy

Research has shown that high-frequency therapy is critical for achieving optimal outcomes in ACL rehabilitation. For example, a study by Ekstrand (2011) revealed that 94% of athletes could return to their previous level of sport when provided with daily therapy, similar to what professionals receive. At Healthfix, we understand the significance of high-frequency therapy, and our fixed-fee program ensures clients have access to the services they need without financial constraints.

Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Long-Term Success

ACL reconstruction is just one example of the long-term rehabilitation process that includes joint replacements, ankle reconstructions, knee reconstructive surgeries, and shoulder reconstructions. Each patient’s journey may require different therapies at varying intensities and frequencies. By offering a fixed-fee program that provides access to a range of services, we ensure comprehensive rehabilitation that reduces the failure rates associated with joint instability and promotes overall well-being.  

Creating Motivation through Education, Goal-Setting, and Testing

At Healthfix, we understand that motivation plays a crucial role in successful rehabilitation. If you’re currently dealing with an injury, we understand that staying motivated throughout the rehabilitation process can be challenging. However, we have seen remarkable results when motivation is created and maintained through three key factors:
  1. Quality patient education: We believe in the power of knowledge. By providing you with in-depth information about your condition, the rehabilitation process, and the importance of your active participation, we aim to empower you to take control of your recovery journey. Understanding the ‘why’ behind each step can greatly enhance your motivation to commit to the rehabilitation program.
  2. Goal-setting: Setting clear and realistic goals is essential for keeping your motivation levels high. We will work closely with you to establish personalised goals that align with your needs and aspirations. These goals will serve as a driving force, giving you a sense of purpose and direction as you navigate your rehabilitation journey.
  3. Repeated functional testing: Regular functional testing is a valuable tool in your rehabilitation process. Through objective assessments and feedback, we can help you understand your current abilities and track your progress over time. This feedback will not only provide you with a realistic view of your improvements but also serve as a motivational tool, encouraging you to continue pushing yourself and surpassing your own expectations.
By providing thorough education on the rehabilitation process, setting achievable goals, and regularly assessing progress through functional testing, we keep our clients motivated and engaged throughout their recovery journey.  

Conclusion

Recovering from an ACL injury requires a proactive and comprehensive approach to rehabilitation. We firmly believe that a structured and highly progressive preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation program can lead to better outcomes. When combined with clear goal-setting, repeated testing, and thorough education, this approach creates an environment that nurtures your motivation and encourages you to actively engage in your recovery. Fixed-fee physio rehab programs, such as the ones offered at Healthfix, provide the solution to the cost barrier, ensuring that athletes and non-athletes receive the same level of care as professionals. With a highly skilled multidisciplinary team and a top-notch facility, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve optimal outcomes and safely return to their desired level of activity. Don’t let cost limit your recovery—choose Healthfix and embark on a journey towards successful rehabilitation. If you’re ready to embark on a journey toward rehabilitation and regaining your physical well-being, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Together, we can overcome the challenges and achieve your desired outcomes.  

References

  1. Wollin, M., Thorborg, K., Drew, M., & Pizzari, T. (2020). A novel hamstring strain injury prevention system: post-match strength testing for secondary prevention in football. British journal of sports medicine, 54(9), 498-499.
  2. Blanch, P., & Gabbett, T. J. (2016). Has the athlete trained enough to return to play safely? The acute: chronic workload ratio permits clinicians to quantify a player’s risk of subsequent injury. British journal of sports medicine, 50(8), 471-475.
  3. Toohey, L. A., Drew, M. K., Fortington, L. V., Finch, C. F., & Cook, J. L. (2018). An updated subsequent injury categorisation model (SIC-2.0): data-driven categorisation of subsequent injuries in sport. Sports Medicine, 48, 2199-2210.
  4. Mooney, M., Charlton, P. C., Soltanzadeh, S., & Drew, M. K. (2017). Who ‘owns’ the injury or illness? Who ‘owns’ performance? Applying systems thinking to integrate health and performance in elite sport. British journal of sports medicine, 51(14), 1054-1055.
  5. Ekstrand J. (2011). A 94% return to elite level football after ACL surgery: a proof of possibilities with optimal caretaking or a sign of knee abuse?. Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy: official journal of the ESSKA, 19(1), 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-010-1300-4
  6. Arundale, A. J. H., Capin, J. J., Zarzycki, R., Smith, A. H., & Snyder-Mackler, L. (2018). Two year ACL reinjury rate of 2.5%: Outcomes report of the men in a secondary ACL Injury Prevention Program (ACL-sports). International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 13(3), 422–431. https://doi.org/10.26603/ijspt20180422
      By Sean Cooney, APA Titled Sport and Exercise Physiotherapist, Healthfix Founder and Caitlan Skillicorn, APA Titled Sport and Exercise Physiotherapist Senior Physiotherapist Healthfix North Sydney.

A Guide to Managing Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Living with chronic musculoskeletal pain can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. It often affects various aspects of your life, making it difficult to perform daily activities and participate in the things you enjoy. As someone seeking relief from this pain, it is important to understand the role of fear of movement and avoidance behaviour in managing chronic musculoskeletal pain. In this blog post, we will explore these concepts and provide you with a guide to better navigate your journey towards pain management and improved well-being.

   
Figure 1. The Fear-Avoidance Model
   

The Fear-Avoidance Cycle

Chronic musculoskeletal pain can trigger fear and anxiety related to movement due to past painful experiences. This fear may lead to avoidance of certain activities or movements perceived as threatening. Unfortunately, this avoidance can reinforce the cycle of pain and disability, making it challenging to break free from its grip.

   

Recognising Your Fear and Avoidance

It is important to recognise any discrepancies between your self-reported fear of movement and your actual avoidance behaviour. Sometimes, individuals may experience high levels of fear while still engaging in activities or movements. Conversely, some individuals may avoid certain activities despite reporting lower levels of fear. Identifying these discrepancies can help you and your healthcare team tailor a personalised treatment plan to address your specific needs.

   

Assessing Your Fear and Avoidance

To gain a better understanding of your fear of movement and avoidance behaviour, healthcare professionals may use validated assessment tools such as the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). These assessments can provide valuable insights into your pain-related fear, catastrophic thinking, and their potential impact on your daily functioning. By working with your healthcare team and discussing your results, you can collaboratively develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

   

Overcoming Fear and Avoidance

Reducing fear of movement and avoidance behaviour is essential for effectively managing chronic musculoskeletal pain. Gradual exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioural interventions are commonly used strategies to address fear-related barriers. These approaches involve gradually facing feared activities or movements in a safe and controlled manner while working on changing maladaptive beliefs and thoughts surrounding your pain. Educating yourself about the underlying mechanisms of pain can also empower you to take an active role in your recovery journey.

   

Embracing a Multidisciplinary Approach

Managing chronic musculoskeletal pain requires a multidisciplinary approach, involving a team of healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, psychologists, pain specialists, and others. Working collaboratively with this team allows for a comprehensive and holistic approach to address the physical, psychological, and social aspects of your pain. The collective expertise of these professionals can provide you with the support, guidance, and resources necessary to effectively manage your pain and improve your overall well-being.

Understanding fear of movement and avoidance behaviour is vital for effectively managing chronic musculoskeletal pain. By recognising the role of fear and avoidance in your pain experience, assessing your own fears and behaviours, and collaborating with a multidisciplinary healthcare team, you can take proactive steps towards breaking the cycle of pain and regaining control over your life (Vlaeyen et al., 2023).

Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and with the right support and guidance, you can achieve improved pain management and overall well-being. So why don’t you book with Healthfix today and get started on your journey to improved well-being.

       

Reference:

Vlaeyen, J. W., Crombez, G., & Linton, S. J. (2023). Understanding Discrepancies in a Person’s Fear of Movement and Avoidance Behavior: A Guide for Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Clinicians Who Support People With Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 53(7), 360-362. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2023.11420.

Leeuw M, Goossens ME, Linton SJ, et al. The fear-avoidance model of musculoskeletal pain: current state of scientific evidence. J Behav Med. 2007;30(1):77-94.       By Caitlan Skillicorn, Senior Physiotherapist, APA Titled Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist
Healthfix Staffs and coaches

Keep Healthy this Winter

Winter can be a challenging time to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The cold weather and shorter days can make it tempting to stay indoors and skip your regular exercise routine. However, it’s important to stay active and take care of your body during the winter months, so here’s our tips on how to keep healthy this winter.  

Healthfix – All Your Needs in One Place

As the cold weather sets in, it’s important to keep your body healthy and active to avoid the winter blues and seasonal health issues. At Healthfix, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle all year round, which is why we offer a range of services to help you stay active and well during the winter months. Our team of physios, exercise physiologists, and personal trainers are here to support you in achieving your health and fitness goals. We can tailor a program to meet your specific needs and help you stay motivated during the colder months. In addition to exercise programs, we also offer nutritional advice to help you maintain a healthy diet throughout winter. This can include meal planning, supplement advice, and support for weight management. To help you relieve stress and release muscle tension, we have experienced massage therapists available.    

Tips on how to stay well during winter from our team

  1. Exercise regularly: Staying active is essential for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Healthfix offers a range of exercise options, including personal training, group fitness classes, and rehabilitation programs.

  2. Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help boost your immune system and keep you healthy during the winter months. Our dietitian can provide you with tailored nutrition advice to support your health and fitness goals.
  3. Get a massage: Massage can help ease muscle tension and promote relaxation, which can be especially beneficial during the colder months when we tend to hold tension in our bodies. Healthfix’s experienced massage therapists can provide a range of massage techniques to suit your needs.
  4. Seek physiotherapy: If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort during winter, physiotherapy can help you manage your symptoms and prevent further injury. Healthfix’s team of qualified physiotherapists can assess your condition and develop a tailored treatment plan to support your recovery.

    By incorporating these services into your winter wellness routine, you can stay healthy, active, and pain-free all season long.     Don’t let the winter weather hold you back from achieving your health and fitness goals. Book an appointment with Healthfix today and let us help you stay active, healthy, and happy this winter season.

Healthy Hips: Tips for Managing & Relieving Hip Pain

Hip pain can be a challenging condition to deal with, impacting daily activities and causing discomfort and whether you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, hip pain is a common issue that affects many people. In this blog post, we’ll explore common hip injuries and conditions that can cause pain and discomfort. Additionally, we’ll provide helpful physiotherapy tips for joint pain relief and management so you can have healthy hips!

Common Hip Injuries and Conditions

  • Arthritis: Hip arthritis is a common condition that occurs when the cartilage in your hip joint wears down over time, leading to pain and stiffness.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the joints. In the hip, bursitis can cause pain and swelling.
  • Gluteal Tendinopathy: A very common condition, more common in older females, brought on by a sudden increase in activity or on-going poor biomechanics • Hip
  • Labral Tear: A hip labral tear is a tear in the cartilage that surrounds the hip joint. It can cause pain and instability in the hip. This is less common in the general population but good to look out for if you are experiencing a painful catching sensation in the hip after a fall or intense bout of exercise.

Tips for Joint Pain Relief and Management from Physiotherapy

  • Exercise: Initially gentle exercises such as stretching and low-impact activities like walking or swimming can help keep the hip joint mobile and reduce pain. Then once the acute symptoms have settled, a progressive strengthening program to improve the strength around the hip joint will help to reduce the risk of reoccurance.
  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce pressure on the hip joint, which can help prevent injuries and reduce pain.
  • Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Seeking Professional Help: If you’re experiencing hip pain that isn’t relieved by self-care measures, it’s important to seek professional help from a physiotherapist or other healthcare provider. They can evaluate your hip pain and create a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs

Exercises to Strengthen Your Hips

Exercises to strengthen your hips can also be helpful. 1. Hip Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower your hips back down to the floor. Repeat for 10-15 reps. 2. Clamshells: Lie on your side with your knees bent and your feet together. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee up as high as you can while keeping your hips straight. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then lower your knee back down. Repeat for 10-15 reps on each side. 3. Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Lower your body down into a squat, keeping your weight in your heels and your knees tracking over your toes. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then push back up to the starting position. Repeat for 10-15 reps   Hip pain can be a frustrating and debilitating issue, but there are many strategies you can use to manage and prevent it. Remember to listen to your body and take care of your hips – they’re essential for so many daily activities!     Caitlan Skillicorn, APA Titled Sport and Exercise Physiotherapist, Healthfix North Sydney

Personal Training Tips for Netball Players

Netball is a fast-paced and popular team sport that requires high levels of agility, speed, and endurance. While the sport comes with inherent risks, research suggests that proper preparation and training can significantly reduce the risk of injury. In this article, Amy provides Personal Training tips for netball players, so you can get the most out of your netball training and preparation.  

Get Ready to Dominate the Court: A Guide to Plyometrics, Strength Training, and Conditioning

As a netball player, it’s important to not only practice your skills on the court but also work on your strength and conditioning off the court. Plyometric exercises, strength training exercises, and conditioning drills are all key components of a well-rounded training program for netball players. Plyometric exercises involve explosive movements that can improve power and agility on the court. These exercises can help you develop faster reaction times, better jumping ability, and stronger legs. Some examples of plyometric exercises that are specific to netball include jumping drills and lateral hops.
  • Jumping drills can include exercises like squat jumps, where you squat down and then jump as high as you can, or tuck jumps, where you jump and bring your knees up towards your chest. These exercises can help improve your vertical jump, which is important for rebounds and intercepts.
  • Lateral hops involve jumping side to side and can help improve your lateral movement, which is important for defending and changing direction quickly on the court. To perform lateral hops, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and jump sideways, landing on the opposite foot. Repeat this movement side to side as quickly as you can.
Strength training exercises are also important for netball players, as they need strength in their legs, core, and upper body to perform at their best. Some examples of exercises that target these areas include squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, and rows.
  •   Squats and lunges can help improve leg strength, which is important for jumping and running on the court. Planks can help improve core strength, which is important for stability and balance. Push-ups and rows can help improve upper body strength, which is important for passing and shooting.
Finally, conditioning drills are crucial for netball players as the sport requires players to have good cardiovascular endurance. Examples of conditioning drills that can improve endurance and fitness include shuttle runs, sprints, and interval training.
  • Shuttle runs involve running back and forth between two points, while sprints involve running as fast as you can for short bursts. Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest or lower intensity exercise. These drills can help improve your stamina and help you keep up with the fast pace of the game.
 

Avoiding Injury on the Netball Court: Tips for Preparation

In addition to these training tips, there are specific strategies you can use to prevent injuries while playing netball. According to a study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, ankle sprains are the most common injury in netball players, accounting for approximately 20% of all injuries. However, the study also found that the use of ankle braces and regular proprioception training (exercises that improve balance and coordination) can reduce the incidence of ankle sprains by up to 50%. Knee injuries are also common in netball players, particularly ACL tears. However, research suggests that strengthening exercises for the hips, knees, and ankles can help prevent these injuries. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that a neuromuscular training program (which included exercises to improve balance, jumping, and landing techniques) reduced the incidence of ACL injuries in female athletes by up to 72%. To reduce the risk of finger injuries, coaches should focus on teaching proper catching and throwing techniques. These techniques can help players avoid jammed or dislocated fingers, which are common injuries in netball. Lastly, shoulder injuries can occur in netball players due to the repetitive overhead throwing motion involved in the sport. To prevent these injuries, it’s important to regularly strengthen the shoulder muscles and use proper throwing technique. Exercises like shoulder presses, lateral raises, and reverse flys can help strengthen the shoulder muscles and improve performance on the court. In summary, proper preparation and training can significantly reduce the risk of injury in netball players. Incorporating exercises like plyometrics, strength training, and conditioning drills can help improve overall performance on the court, while also reducing the likelihood of injury. Additionally, focusing on proper technique and using protective equipment like ankle braces can further reduce the risk of injury in netball players.   By taking the time to properly prepare for the physical demands of netball, players can enjoy the sport while also minimising the risk of injury.   So, whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, remember to prioritise your training and safety on the court. If you want to arrange an appointment with a personal trainer to help with your netball progress, book here. Good luck and have fun playing netball!       By Amy Yeoland, Personal Trainer Healthfix North Sydney

Move to Improve: How Exercise Physiology Can Benefit People with Diabetes

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes affects over 420 million people worldwide, with numbers expected to rise in the coming years. Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way the body processes glucose, a type of sugar that is the body’s main source of energy. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both types can benefit greatly from regular exercise, which can help manage blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. So read on to find out how exercise physiology for people with diabetes.  

How Exercise Can Help People with Diabetes

  1. Blood sugar management: Regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When the body becomes less sensitive to insulin, blood sugar levels can rise, leading to diabetes. Exercise can help increase insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to better manage blood sugar levels.
  2. Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for people with diabetes. Exercise can help with weight management by burning calories and building muscle mass. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage.
  3. Cardiovascular health: People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Exercise can help reduce this risk by improving cardiovascular health. Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve circulation, all of which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Using an Exercise Physiologist to Help Manage Diabetes

An exercise physiologist is a healthcare professional who specialises in the study of how the body responds to exercise. They can work with people with diabetes to develop personalised exercise plans that are tailored to their individual needs and goals. An exercise physiologist can help people with diabetes by:
  1. Assessing fitness levels: An exercise physiologist can assess an individual’s fitness levels and develop a personalised exercise plan that takes into account their current fitness levels, medical history, and any complications associated with diabetes.
  2. Providing guidance and support: An exercise physiologist can provide guidance and support throughout the exercise program. They can help people with diabetes stay motivated and on track with their exercise goals.
  3. Monitoring progress: An exercise physiologist can monitor progress and make adjustments to the exercise plan as needed. This can help ensure that the exercise plan is effective and safe for the individual with diabetes.
Exercise can be a powerful tool for managing diabetes. Regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. An exercise physiologist can provide guidance and support to help people with diabetes develop personalised exercise plans that are safe and effective.  

How to get started with exercise

Starting an exercise routine can be daunting, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated due to your diabetes. Here are some tips to help you get started:
  1. Talk to your healthcare provider: Before starting any exercise routine, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine what type of exercise is safe and appropriate for you, and can offer guidance on how to manage your diabetes during exercise.
  2. Start small: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with small, manageable goals. Even a short walk around the block can be a good place to start. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise routine over time.
  3. Find an exercise buddy: Having a friend or family member to exercise with can be a great source of motivation and accountability. You can also join a diabetes support group or exercise class to meet others who are also managing diabetes through exercise.
  4. Hire an exercise physiologist: An exercise physiologist can help you develop a safe and effective exercise plan that’s tailored to your individual needs and goals. They can also provide guidance and support to help you stay motivated and on track.
  5. Celebrate your successes: Don’t forget to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Every step in the right direction is a victory, and acknowledging your progress can help keep you motivated and on track.
    By Daniel Thomson, Exercise Physiologist North Sydney    

References

  1. Colberg, S. R., Sigal, R. J., Yardley, J. E., Riddell, M. C., Dunstan, D. W., Dempsey, P. C., … & Tate, D. F. (2016). Physical activity/exercise and diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 39(11), 2065-2079.
  2. Chudyk, A., Petrella, R. J., & Maly, M. R. (2011). Effects of exercise on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care, 34(5), 1228-1237.
  3. American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Ready, Set, Fun Run! Learn to Run and Crush Your Fun Run with these Physio Tips!

Think you can’t run? Think again! With these tips from Caitlan Skillicorn Senior Physiotherapist and the help of a physiotherapist, you can prepare for a run event and achieve your running goals safely and effectively. Whether you’re a beginner or just looking to improve your running, these tips will help you start your journey towards becoming a stronger and healthier runner. So don’t let your doubts hold you back – lace up your shoes and let’s get started!

Getting started 

Getting started with running can be an exciting but daunting task, especially if you are new to the sport. Here is a guide to help you get started and prepare for an event like a fun run or City to surf with the help of physiotherapy:

  1. Start Slowly: If you are new to running, it is important to start slowly and build up gradually. Begin with shorter distances, such as 2-3km runs, and increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week. This will help you avoid injury and build endurance gradually.

  2. Wear Proper Footwear: Wearing the right running shoes is important to reduce the risk of injury. Consult with a physiotherapist or a specialist running shoe store to find the right pair of shoes for your foot type and gait.

  3. Warm-Up and Stretch: A proper warm-up can help reduce the risk of injury and prepare your body for exercise. Start with some light stretching exercises, such as lunges, squats, and leg swings, and gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up.

  4. Follow a Training Plan: A structured training plan can help you build endurance and prepare for a long distance run. Consult with a physiotherapist to create a personalised training plan that takes into account your current fitness level, injury history, and other factors.

  5. Cross-Train: Cross-training can help you build overall fitness and reduce the risk of injury. Incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your training routine to help prevent injury and improve performance.

  6. Monitor Your Progress: Keep track of your runs and monitor your progress. Use a GPS watch or smartphone app to track your distance, pace, and heart rate. This can help you stay motivated and make adjustments to your training plan as needed.

  7. Rest and Recover: Rest days are important to allow your body to recover from exercise and prevent overuse injuries. Make sure to include rest days in your training plan and prioritise good sleep and nutrition.

  8. Address Any Injuries: If you experience any pain or injuries during training, seek the advice of a physiotherapist. They can help you address the underlying issue and develop a treatment plan to get you back on track.

Common Injuries 

  Speaking of injuries, as with any physical activity, running can also carry a risk of injury, especially for those who are just starting out or increasing their mileage. Here are some of the most common injuries that runners may experience when starting to run longer distances:
  1. Shin Splints: This is a common overuse injury that occurs when the muscles and tendons surrounding the shin bone become inflamed. Shin splints are often caused by increasing mileage or intensity too quickly, and can be prevented by gradually increasing mileage and incorporating strength and flexibility exercises into your training routine.
  2. Plantar Fasciitis: This is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis can cause sharp pain in the heel or arch of the foot, especially during the first steps after waking up or after sitting for a long time. This injury is often caused by overuse, improper footwear, or a lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.
  3. IT Band Syndrome: This is a common knee injury that occurs when the iliotibial (IT) band, a thick band of tissue that runs from the hip to the shin bone, becomes tight or inflamed. IT band syndrome can cause pain on the outside of the knee and is often caused by overuse or poor biomechanics.
  4. Runner’s Knee: This is a broad term that refers to several different types of knee pain, including patellofemoral pain syndrome and chondromalacia patella. Runner’s knee can cause pain around the kneecap and is often caused by overuse, poor biomechanics, or a lack of strength in the muscles surrounding the knee.
  5. Achilles Tendinitis: This is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis can cause pain and stiffness in the back of the heel and is often caused by overuse or a lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.
If you do experience an injury, it’s important to rest and seek physiotherapy treatment if necessary. With proper training and precautions, running can be a safe and rewarding form of exercise that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

With these tips, information and the help of a physiotherapist, you can prepare for a long distance or fun run and achieve your running goals safely and effectively.

Keep Moving with Exercise Physiology: Managing Osteoarthritis Pain

Osteoarthritis is a common chronic disorder of the joints and mainly affects older adults and managing osteoarthritis pain can be challenging and overwhelming. Read on to see how Exercise Physiology can help!  

What is Osteoarthritis?

In healthy joints, cartilage covers the surface of the joint and helps to absorb shock and allows for smooth movement. With osteoarthritis, there is degeneration of the cartilage leading to stiffness, pain, and limited mobility. The most common joints affected by arthritis are the hips, knees, big toes, spine and hands. Interestingly there is a poor correlation between the severity of the condition based on imaging compared with people’s perceived pain levels. Exercise Physiologist’s can help individuals with osteoarthritis keep active and manage their symptoms. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis and how it can help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.    

How can exercise physiology help with OA symptoms?

Exercise physiology is the scientific study of the physiological and metabolic responses to physical activity. In the context of osteoarthritis, exercise physiology focuses on developing exercise programs that are safe and effective for individuals with joint pain and limited mobility. The goal of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is to improve strength, joint function, reduce pain, and enhance overall physical fitness.

Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is a holistic approach that takes into account an individual’s unique needs and limitations. The exercise program may include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises, tailored to each person’s specific needs. Some of the benefits of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis:

  1. Reduced Joint Pain: Exercise can help reduce joint pain by improving joint mobility, reducing inflammation, and strengthening the muscles around the joint.
  2. Improved Joint Function: Exercise can improve joint function by increasing range of motion, reducing stiffness, and improving balance and coordination.
  3. Increased Muscle Strength: Exercise can help increase muscle strength, which can help support the joints and improve overall physical function.
  4. Weight Management: Exercise can help with weight management, which can reduce the stress on the joints and improve overall health.
  5. Improved Mental Health: Exercise can have a positive impact on mental health, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, which are common in individuals with osteoarthritis.

Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is a safe and effective way to manage joint pain and maintain an active lifestyle. However, it is important to consult with a qualified exercise physiologist before starting an exercise program. They can help develop an exercise plan that is tailored to your individual needs and limitations and ensure that you exercise safely and effectively.

Managing osteoarthritis pain with exercise physiology helps individuals by improving joint function, increasing muscle strength, and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. With the help of a qualified exercise physiologist, individuals with osteoarthritis can develop a safe and effective exercise program that is tailored to their unique needs and limitations. Exercise may be challenging at first, but with perseverance, individuals with osteoarthritis can experience the benefits of exercise and improve their overall quality of life.

    By Jonathon Chellas, Senior Exercise Physiologist at North Sydney     References
  1. Fransen, M., McConnell, S., Harmer, A. R., Van der Esch, M., Simic, M., & Bennell, K. L. (2015). Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee: a Cochrane systematic review. British journal of sports medicine, 49(24), 1554-1557
  2. Brosseau, L., Taki, J., Desjardins, B., Thevenot, O., Fransen, M., Wells, G. A., … & Toupin-April, K. (2015). The Ottawa panel clinical practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis: Part one: Introduction, and mind-body exercise programs. Clinical rehabilitation, 29(11), 1061-1075.
  3. Uthman, O. A., van der Windt, D. A., Jordan, J. L., Dziedzic, K. S., Healey, E. L., & Peat, G. M. (2014). Exercise for lower limb osteoarthritis: systematic review incorporating trial sequential analysis and network meta-analysis. Bmj, 348, f5555.
  4. Porcheret, M., Jordan, K., Jinks, C., Croft, P., & Bedson, J. (2010). Primary care treatment of knee pain—a survey in older adults. Rheumatology, 49(11), 2214-2220.