Healthfix event – How to use a proactive healthcare approach to be your personal best at any age

You are invited!

Early in his career Sean identified that the health care approach of finding and focusing on problems was only leading to people feeling fear and limitations from conditions they were diagnosed with and being more reliant on therapists for maintenance care. He knew there was a better way and that involved getting people active in things they loved to do, using a team of experts with a common goal and empowering people to feel confident in both their ability and understanding of their bodies, were the solutions to achieve long term results.  Then came Healthfix 11 years ago in which Sean has built the systems and quality assurance to deliver these results to client’s time after time. Sean’s approach and vision have been sought by the wider community including NSWIS and various advisory boards.

We invite you to come and spend an evening with Sean to gain an understanding of how this approach can help you with a real result despite any injury or condition you experience.

An Evening with Sean Cooney

Healthfix Founder Sports titled Physiotherapist Manager Performance Health at NSW Institute of Sport UTS Physiotherapy Advisory Board Member Member of the Australian College of Physiotherapists

Topics we will cover include:
  • What is proactive health (health care vs sick care)
  • Why proactive health achieves superior results
  • Common heath conditions (including back pain, headaches, tendonitis)
  • How to be your personal best at any age

We look forward to seeing you there! To reserve your spot please rsvp to getfixed@healthfix.com.au

Shoulder pain

Focus on: shoulder pain | Top 5 tips for managing shoulder pain 

Shoulder pain is a common physical occurrence. Your shoulder is a complex, highly mobile structure made up of several components. When considering the shoulder you need to think about the collarbone connecting to your chest, the collarbone connecting to the shoulderblade or scapula, and finally the arm bone joining to the scapula. Strong tendons, ligaments and muscles support your shoulder and make it stable. In younger people, pain is more likely to be due to an accident or injury. However as you age natural changes occur to your shoulder joint and the rotator cuff tendon, similar to seeing wrinkles and grey hairs in the mirror. We also see pain more strongly associated with how one is using – or perhaps not using – their shoulder. Here are five easy tips to help manage shoulder pain and keep your joint strong.  

#1 Shoulder pain diagnosis

There are many causes of shoulder pain and not all of them are due to problems of the shoulder joints or associated structures. Accurate diagnosis is important. “Common pathology is frozen shoulder, impingent, tendinopathy and referral from the scapular or neck,” physiotherapist and Healthfix founder Sean Cooney. “To treat your pain effectively, it’s crucial to know what to treat.”

 

#2 Using full range

When experiencing shoulder pain, the protective muscles around the joint try to keep your arm by your side in an effort to restrict movement. Activating the muscles that move the shoulder through its full range (these are called the antagonist muscles) can significantly reduce your recovery time.

 

#3 Comfortable and progressive loading

Everyone’s progress is different. Make sure you don’t push yourself or your shoulder beyond what feels comfortable. That said, strength is built with progressive loading – that is, a little more weight and/or repetitions as is safe for your particular issue. “Monitor your pain one to two hours after exercise or the next morning to know if you’re loading correctly,” advises Sean. 

 

#4 Don’t go too far

Pain management is the first step to regaining strength in any part of the body. Sean recommends to first get comfortable with using your arms below shoulder height, gradually moving up to shoulder height before – no points for guessing – graduating to using your arms above your head. “This is a safe way to ensure you’re not going too far when regaining your full range of motion,” says Sean.

 

#5 Stretch. And stretch again.

“Stretching can serve as a great tester and reliever of pain, not to mention the best way to improve flexibility in the shoulder. A daily doorway stretch can help mitigate shoulder pain or find out if you’re lacking some essential range of motion. To do this, find yourself a clear doorway, stretch the arm overhead to grasp the door frame, then lean forward to create resistance. If you’re suffering from shoulder pain, our team of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can help. Book an appointment online today.
Relieving back pain

Focus on: back pain | Help relieve a sore back with these lifestyle tips

Back pain and posture

Poor posture can make back pain worse, especially if you sit for long periods. Be conscious of your posture: sit upright, with your shoulders relaxed and your body supported against the back of your chair. Try putting a pillow or a rolled towel between your lower back and your seat, and keep your feet flat on the floor. If you suffer from back pain, it might be a good idea to invest in an ergonomic chair.

Stay active

It may feel counterintuitive, but bed rest or staying still is one of the worst things you can do for a sore back. It’s important to move, no matter how slowly. Gentle exercise has been found to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain quickly. Don’t rest for more than a day or two. Swimming, walking and yoga are all great ways to get moving again. 

Stretch it out

Studies show that yoga can help alleviate neck and back pain. Regularly stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the spine is an important element of all back exercise programs.  Stretching can reduce tension in muscles supporting the spine; tension in these muscles can worsen pain from any number of back pain conditions. It also helps improve range of motion and overall mobility.

Strengthen your core

Strong back and abdominal muscles can help heal most types of back pain, especially the most common form of back pain caused by soft tissue injury or back muscle strain. Back and abdominal muscles, referred to as core muscles, tend to weaken with age unless specifically exercised. The abdominal muscles and back muscles provide the strength to keep the body upright and for movement. When these core muscles are in poor condition, additional stress is applied to the spine as it supports the body, and back injury or back pain is more likely. Exercises that strengthen these core muscles should be a part of a balanced back/abdominal exercise program. Pilates is great for core strengthening.

Lose the luggage

Carrying an overstuffed handbag or heavy backpack slung over one shoulder can force your spine into a rotated position and cause an asymmetrical posture. It makes the muscles on one side of your back work much harder to maintain balance, which puts you at greater risk of back pain and injury. Backpack wearers, use both straps – distributing weight evenly helps to protect against back strain.

Stress less (or at least try to)

Work, home life and everyday worries – these days, there’s more than a few of them – can leave you stressed. Add that to the frustration of back pain, and it’s not uncommon to feel tense. Which in turn can make pain feel worse, and diminish motivation to stay active – which again, doesn’t help your mood. It’s a vicious cycle. Positive thinking, and relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises can help. 

Start physiotherapy

Physiotherapists can teach you how to sit, stand, and move in a way that keeps your spine in proper alignment and alleviates strain on your back. They’re also experts in specialised exercises that strengthen the core muscles that support your back. A strong core is one of the best ways to prevent more back pain in the future. Studies show that when you increase your strength, flexibility, and endurance, back pain decreases — but it takes time. The Healthfix team benefits from being led by our director Sean Cooney, who studied Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney and is completing his Masters in Sports Physiotherapy at LaTrobe University. He’s also worked extensively as a personal trainer . Sean’s approach blends both performance and injury management. Book in to see how he and the team can help with your back pain.