Category Archives: shoulder injury advice

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.

Frozen Shoulder- how can physiotherapy help?

Frozen shoulder is a condition that affects both men and women in which the shoulder becomes painful initially and then very stiff. It affects normal daily activities, like brushing hair and getting dressed and driving. It mostly occurs in patients between the ages of 40 and 65 years of age and it usually lasts 1- 2 years.

What causes frozen shoulder?

Cahir Physiotherapist frozen shoulderWhen a patient arrives at the clinic, they usually say that they can’t remember ‘hurting it’ and say that the pain started for no particular reason. There are some people more prone to this condition than others, those with Diabetes or a heart or lung disease.

Frozen shoulder occurs when there is swelling and thickening of the stretchy covering that surrounds your shoulder joint. This tissue is known as a capsule. In cases of frozen shoulder, it seems that bands of scar tissue form inside this tissue, causing it to thicken, swell and tighten.

Stages of Frozen Shoulder

There are usually 3 phases of variable duration of the condition. Initially the patient complains of increasing pain with normal daily activities and later on the shoulder becomes stiffer. This phase can last anything from 2 to 9 months. In the second stage, the pain stops getting worse or may improve, but the shoulder stiffness is worst- ‘frozen’ and is quite debilitating. This stage lasts from 4-9 months. Finally, the pain subsides and the shoulder gradually regains movement ‘thaws’.

Physiotherapy for Frozen Shoulder

It is a common occurence that a patient would arrive in the clinic complaining of a frozen shoulder, when they may have a different shoulder condition. A Chartered Physiotherapist will ask  you lots of questions to ensure that you are treated correctly. At all stages of the condition, physiotherapy is aimed at reducing pain and maintaining movement, education about the condition and encouraging normal movement. It is really important to try to use the shoulder as much as possible. Ice and heat may help with symptoms. Your General Practitioner may suggest a corticosteroid injection also.  The combination of injection and physiotherapy has been found in research to be helpful to relieve symptoms.

 

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.