Category Archives: News

Injured..? Call the POLICE!

Cahir physio injuryWhat’s the first thing you think of doing when you get injured? Most would say ice the injury, whether it’s a ligament sprain or a pulled muscle or a twisted knee or ankle. The next thing people tend to do is put a bandage over the area to compress it. Should you be doing all this? The simple answer is yes- but there’s a bit more to it than that. The old PRICE regime for new injuries (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation ) has been improved with clinical research to become POLICE- Protect, Optimum Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Protect

A new sprain or strain needs to be protected from further damage- so remove the danger immediately. If you’re on a GAA field or a running track, stop and get to the side of the pitch or track. If you’re out for a run on the roads, get picked up if possible or walk home!

Optimum Loading

Research into ligament sprains and muscle and tendon strains has shown fairly consistently that most injuries benefit from some movement even in the early stages. Complete rest of the injured area is usually reserved for quite severe injuries, like bone fractures or serious joint injuries. Even with those injuries, the joints and muscles away from the injury need movement. For example, with a bad shoulder injury, it is still important to keep the elbow and hand moving, while resting the shoulder. Complete rest of less serious injuries actually slows down the healing process and leads to longer spells out of action.

Ice

Physio Tipp Icing for injuryIce is a traditional treatment for new injuries. It is widely thought that it reduces swelling but actually, the research hasn’t shown that that’s the case. Instead, it probably works to reduce pain by numbing the area and while icing their injury most people are also resting, so that probably plays a part in the apparent swelling reduction effect. Most people would tell you that it feels nice, especially if the injured area is hot. Be careful not to burn the skin with the ice!

Compression

injury taping cahir physioCompression works by actually forcibly preventing fluid from accumulating. It works really well around bony areas like the ankle or knee, but it’s not quite as effective with muscle injuries as there’s more room for the fluid to travel in.

Elevation

Finally, elevation of the injury or raising the injured part higher than the level of the heart will reduce the effect of gravity on blood flow and help the return of fluid caused by the injury.
So, some changes to the ideal post-injury regime recently. Use these tips and you should start to notice changes within a few hours. If not, call us for an appointment.

GAA Warm up Worth Doing

Tipperary GAA warm upIt’s March- the Tipperary GAA county football league and Under-21 championship have started. It’s a great time to remind you about the importance of a good warm up to prevent injuries in hurling and football. There is lots of evidence from sports science and medicine research that a well planned warm up reduces the number of injuries in a squad. So from a success and a costs point of view it’s worth doing!

Gone, hopefully, are the days of lads and lassies running straight out of the dressing room and hoofing a big kick of a football over the bar. That is a recipe for a pulled hamstring or pulled muscle in the front of your thigh.. and a few weeks of missed training. For GAA hurling and football coaches, the warm up is an ideal opportunity to regularly coach injury prevention exercises to keep the squad as healthy as possible all season.

Important parts of a warm up

The pace of the GAA warm up should be graduated so that it starts easy and builds up over the duration of the warm up to get to the pace of the training session. So the first few drills of a warm up should be easy to do, and the last few drills before starting training properly should be at training intensity. There should be ‘activation’ exercises to wake up your reactions for demanding activities like running, landing and rapid changes of direction. It should include leg strengthening exercises, like lunges and squats. Finally, it should include agility and power exercises.

The GAA have recently launched a warm up GAA 15 that includes exercises which, when coached regularly, have been proven to reduce the number of injuries in squads. It is a really useful tool for coaches to use and incorporate into their own warm ups for their football and hurling teams.

Knee Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears & Rehabilitation

Cruciate Ligament tears

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears of the knee are back in the news recently with Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper’s injury and subsequent surgery making the headlines. Born and reared in Co. Cork, I can’t say that I shed any tears for the consequences for Kerry football myself. But, for those Kerry folk hoping for a quick return to play later on in the year for the star footballer, they would be better off if he delays his return to matches until much later in the year or even next year.

cruciate ligament Tipp physioAfter cruciate ligament knee surgery, returning to sport at the same level that you were playing (club or county) at when you got injured, is a big challenge.  The risk of re-injury to the same knee or the opposite knee after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery is as high as 30%. The risk is higher if you are under 18 years of age.

Rehabilitation post surgery

Following ACL surgery, successful return to full activity and prevention of Tipperary Physiotherapist cruciate ligament surgeryreinjury require advanced rehabilitation led by a Chartered Physiotherapist. What’s important is that the risk factors that may have led to injury injury in the first place are tackled in your rehabilitation. You will need the expertise of a Chartered Physiotherapist to safely assess your movement and progress your rehabilitation to the point when you are safe to return to action. Poor control of hip and knee movement in activities like jumping, landing and rapid changes of direction is something that can be improved with exercises.  Based on your particular sport your Chartered Physiotherapist will design a programme of advanced exercises to improve your balance, strength, agility and power. These will be challenging exercises and will require hard work on your part.

Return to Sport

Based on your ability to perform these more challenging exercises, your Chartered Physiotherapist will be able to decide when it is safe for you to return to sport, to training and to matches. The perserverence and patience required to stay focused will play a large part in how successful your return to sport is. This mental strength that Colm Cooper is credited with, will ensure a successful return to play for the star in 2015. Despite my lack of love for Kerry football I do (really, I do!) wish Colm well with his rehabilitation.

 

Welcome to the Tipperary Physiotherapist Blog

Welcome to the first post of our blog for Cahir Physiotherapy Clinic in Co. Tipperary. Here we hope to keep you updated regularly on the latest in injury prevention advice, cutting edge physiotherapy and exercise research and what we’re up to in our working week in Co. Tipperary.

In spite of, or maybe because of, the awful weather we’ve been really busy with new injuries in the clinic over the past 2 weeks.

Lots of people locally have been overdoing it with cutting trees and clearing gardens after the storm. This overload of unusual physical work, combined with a lack of exercise due to the prolonged bad weather,  is a lethal combination for back pain, neck pain,  shoulder and elbow injuries.

In the physiotherapy clinic we’ve been busy treating patients with muscle and tendon injuries…. and I hear the chainsaw mechanics are busy too!

The key thing to recover from these injuries is to rest from the offending activity- hopefully all the trees have been cut by now-and gradually return to your regular exercise routine. If you don’t normally exercise now is a great time to start.

But…don’t just rest- your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments prefer gentle movement even when sore. For example, if your shoulders are sore, try this: sitting tall, gently raise your shoulders towards your ears, stretch the shoulder blades back, then gently lower. Repeat this slowly and then change direction. Then still sitting tall, slowly lower your right ear towards your right shoulder gently then return to the middle again. Don’t force it. Repeat on the other side.