The grasses are growing with the warm weather and rain we have been having, and lots of people are out making hay.
This means people are out on tractors, trucks and headers looking backwards, and often doing this one sided, causing neck pain.
So what can you do?
- Sit taller with good posture (no slouching)
- Try and change up the direction you are looking back so it’s not the same side all the time
- Do some gentle neck stretches (ear to shoulder)
- Get out of the tractor more often (try every hour or so) to move your body around
In true, slightly slow off the mark style, it’s taken me all month to get organised to write this newsletter highlighting October as Mental health month.
The people of Lithgow and the surrounding rural districts have had a lot of ongoing stresses over the past year and I think it’s actually fitting to be writing this today as it’s 1 year since the Gospers Mountain fire started – who would have thought that that one lightning strike in the middle of the scrub would cause so much destruction? Over 2.6 million acres of our beautiful native flora and fauna burnt, heartache and many tears to those who lost their homes and properties, and a huge amount of stress and anxiety to everyone who lived in our region. Many of us are involved in the RFS and so many people donated their time, money and supplies to keep all our crews going and safe.
The fires were a stressful time for everyone and coming off 3 years of drought it’s no wonder the people of our area were in a heightened state of anxiety and in many cases depression.
In early March I was seeing a lot of people with pain and injuries that occurred during the summer but had not had the capacity to be able to address it previously. Many people were quite upset and had not actually spoken to anyone about their experience during the fires and drought until they came in for a physio appointment. I feel privileged and honoured that people felt they could talk to us and were comfortable to be able to open up about what has been happening in their lives.
Then along came COVID…. This was another level…. An unknown, and everyone was watching the situation overseas and seeing all the terrible images on the TV. No wonder people were again becoming anxious when we started to get cases. The messages we were receiving were confusing and the government and health districts were trying their best to give us the information, but they too were learning as they went.
There were so many uncertainties associated with COVID, none of us were sure of the health impacts, financial impacts and social impacts.
I know many people were really worried about all or at least some of these on themselves, their families and friends.
At Tablelands Physio we have been staying positive and available to our clients to help them through this time and not put anyone at any greater risk. We are truly grateful to all our clients who have been patient with our requests for masks, signing in, embracing the Telehealth options, scheduling dilemmas and incessant cleaning that has for the time being become out new norm.
Back to Mental health month….
I prefer to call it happiness month, but since I’ve missed most of October maybe we can flick it to November instead.
It is well known that the brain has a fight or flight mode. When there are stresses our body and brain go into overdrive to manage the situation, more adrenaline and cortisol is released, and we are often able to cope with quite stressful situations.
Unfortunately, if the stress goes on for a long period of time, we are unable to maintain this heightened level of stress and this causes adverse effects to our physical and mental health.
We get a fatigue and are at risk of developing higher levels of depression and anxiety.
As a Physio, I am managing people with pain all day every day and we know as health professionals that if people are in a level of heightened anxiety, depression or have sleep deprivation, their pain levels are increased and their capacity to cope is diminished.
We also know that by trying to manage our stress and anxieties, often by exercise, mindfulness activities, talking to friends or professionals, we can also have a positive impact on managing pain and our mental health. We are fortunate as allied health professionals that we can help you manage your symptoms and have time to listen.
A few tips that I have been trying to undertake this “happiness” month:
It is important that you look after your mental wellbeing and happiness- it will help you, manage that annoying injury, allow you to cope with whatever life throws at you and allow you to live a more fulfilled life.
If you are worried or not coping we are always about to help as we can, or point you in the right direction. I’ve added a questionnaire to fill out if you would like to see how you are tracking (you’re the only person to get the results). And I’ll include some links if you need more information.
this will put you in touch with the local mental health team if you are worried about yourself or a someone else.
We are always here to support and help you achieve your health goals, get you back doing the things you enjoy and reduce your pain. Check our Facebook or Insta page or ask to join our VIP Facebook group for all our up to date news, tips and advice.
Stay well, healthy and happy.
I am treating a large number of people at the moment that have come to us after putting up with headaches for years. So how do you know if you need physio or migraine medication?
It’s tricky as many people have migraines that have some component from the neck, and some have neck headaches that mimic migraines.
An easy way to start thinking about it is to ask:
Not always will these mean that it is from your neck (cervicogenic) but it’s a good place to start.
Many of my clients are coalminers that have problems when looking up for long periods of the shift or sitting on an IMCO, looking one way or another whilst driving. (I still haven’t worked out why the seat can’t spin around). Or, when they go home they sit on the lounge with their head turned slightly one way for an extended period of time - (NB check your TV set up or don’t sit for long or preferably both). Lack of sleep, exercise and a poor diet can also contribute to ongoing pain.
So what can you do about it?
If your headaches and neck pain continue and you’ve tried those simple tricks, a physiotherapy assessment can determine if it is from your neck. It’s a quick and simple way to screen your headaches. If we are worried about anything, we will send you back to your Dr for scanning/medication.
Approximately 80-90% of people with headaches originating from their neck will get relief from physio. So, don’t put up with it any longer.
Your partner will be happy and so will your head.
🏉Have you seen all the recent injuries in the NRL?🏉
With return to sport underway, we have seen a significant increase in sporting and gym injuries coming through the practice, from ACL injuries to ankle injuries, calves and shoulder injuries.
There are quite a few exercise and warm up programs available that are backed by evidence to reduce injuries;
- FIFA 11+
- FIFA 11 Kids
- Netball Knee
- AFL - Rugby
If you would like some more information or need to pop in for advice and treatment to help manage an injury, call our practice on 6352 3131, or your local Physiotherapist. If you are interested in one of these programs, leave a comment down below with the sport you need a program for. 😁
With the exciting news of gyms reopening this weekend, it is more important than ever to remember to ease back into exercise post-coronavirus. It is advised when returning to gym programs, to take 30 percent off your weights for the first few sessions, before adding 10 percent each week thereafter.
It is also important to remember to stretch, warm up, and cool down (especially in these winter months). Look after your form, check your posture, and if you are having problems, pop in to the practice to have a chat to one of our Physios or EP, or have a chat to a local PT.
Let’s go and support our local gyms who have been doing it tough these last few months.
Kids who are involved with sport often experience knee pain related to the tracking of the knee cap and/or growing pain underneath the knee cap.
To help this:
- strengthen muscles of the inner quads
- stretch the hamstrings
- get the correct shoes (we often recommend ASICS)
Kids with heel pain? This is generally correlated with an increase in activity and/or growth spurts. Often the diagnosis of this is Sever’s Disease. This is a common cause of heel pain, particularly in young and physically active people. Between the ages of 8 and 14 years the leg bones experience a period of growth. This may lead to heel pain during or after physical activity.
So what can be done to help settle this pain?
- Relative rest; you don’t need to stop everything, but you want to reduce activity levels
- Foam rolling/Calf stretches; be careful not to over-stretch though! Seek advice from a Physio if you have any concerns/questions in regards to this
- Supportive shoes
If these simple steps don’t help, it may be worthwhile to have a chat with one of our Physios here at Tablelands Physio for some professional advice (02) 6352 3131, or your local Physiotherapist.
Sore knee? Here is a really simple exercise to do early after you have hurt your knee. The main aim is to increase movement of the knee and activate the quad muscle, which is the protector of the knee. Roll up a towel and give it a go!