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Spring has Sprung..a leak?

Ah yes, the sun has started to shine, the kids are outside on the trampoline with dad. And the moms? Safely sitting inside with an eye on the nearest loo.
The secret reason us moms like to sit and chat rather than bounce around in our Sunday best is to avoid the dreaded leaking.
Most women have experienced some form of urinary incontinence over their lifetime. No incontinence is normal and almost all incontinence will improve with a little physio. Our bladder and internal organs are supported by a band of pelvic floor muscles and like any other muscle, they become weak over time. When the muscles of the pelvic floor become weak they cause us to leak urine in response to small stresses. These stresses can be running, jumping, coughing and sneezing, or even as simple as rising up from sitting. The pelvic floor muscles work against gravity to keep our internal organs in position and they are affected by traumas such as surgery and childbirth and weaken in response to hormonal changes such as menopause.
Luckily, like any other muscle, the pelvic floor can be strengthened-which increases the support given to the bladder and womb. Strengthening the pelvic floor involves simple exercises that you can do in bed, at the office or even sitting in the car. You don’t even need the latest neon gear or expensive equipment to get started. It’s all about the squeezes! Lying down or sitting, tighten around your back passage as if trying to stop yourself passing wind, pull that tightness forwards as if you are pulling a zip towards your belly button. Hold for 5 seconds. That’s it! You’ve just done your first proper pelvic floor exercise. You are already on the road to a “dryer” life. Start doing 10 of these twice a day and changes will happen quicker than you could ever imagine.
If you would like some help, then that’s my job. A Chartered Physiotherapist that specialises in women’s health will assess the function of your pelvic floor. This will determine the reasons why you are having difficulty. Together we can set goals to treat and change the problems while working together to strengthen that important band of muscles.

Caroline

Caroline O’ Connell is a Chartered Physiotherapist with specialist training in Women’s Health and Incontinence. Appointments with Caroline are available by phoning 052 7445477. Her full biography is available here.

 

Farmers Exercise- Now!

Attention Farmers

Sports Physio tipperary farmers exerciseNow that the cattle are indoors and the cows are dried off, it’s a great opportunity for farmers to look after themselves. It’s a great time to start feeling better and getting fit in the process. Farmers exercise often gets neglected when times are hectic. Now is an ideal time to start exercising. After all.. it’s only 10 weeks to the first of February.

Springtime Madness

It’s only 10 weeks until the first of February. This is when dairy farmers in particular get very very busy.  As a dairy farmer’s wife (daughter and sister too!), I know the Spring is very busy. This is usually when calving cows and rearing calves takes priority over exercise and even family! We see farmers every Spring in the clinic, towards the end of March and in April, with low back pain and shoulder pain. They are often exhausted from weeks of very long days and interrupted sleep. Exercising now will get you ready for the hard work ahead and reduce your risk of injury.

You now have the time

A farmer’s work is done in the daylight mostly. This time of year, there is a window of opportunity between 5pm and 7pm, for farmers to exercise. It’s as simple as going into your local town or village any evening and doing a brisk walk for 20  minutes non- stop. It’s only about a mile and a half to walk. The important word here is ‘brisk’. Walking through the fields, unless at a brisk pace and non-stop, does not benefit you in the same way (though better than the quad!).

How often should I exercise?

You need to be doing this 20 minutes non-stop brisk walk at least 5 times a week- that’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday and both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday go with friends, or go in the morning, just for variety. Better still, take a different route in the daylight. Gradually, increase the time to 30 minutes over the next few weeks.

How fast is brisk walking?

Brisk walking means that you should be breathing faster than at rest and be getting warm from your exercise. You should be able to talk, but not as easily as if you were standing still.

Alternatives to walking

If you really dislike walking, or have an injury that means you can’t walk for exercise , you have a few other options. An exercise bike is a great option as you can do this at home or in your local gym. The swimming pool is a nice alternative if you can’t walk as you can get the exercise without the landing on the ground. We run Pilates classes here at the clinic. Most towns and villages have some exercise classes or a gym- get good advice on your gym exercises if it’s new to you. Finally, last but certainly not least, dance classes- set dancing and social dancing- are a brilliant, fun way to get and stay fit.

Mens Health

If you haven’t exercised in a while, or especially if you get chest pain or arm pain occasionally, please see your GP before starting your exercise. It would be no harm if you haven’t seen your GP in over a year to have a check-up anyway. Movember is a great campaign to raise awareness of mens health. Early detection of most diseases leads to better outcomes.

Have fun!

Karen

 

 

No need to see your doctor first

No need to see your doctor first

Neck physio tippThe first question many people ringing the clinic for an appointment ask is ‘Do I need to see the doctor first before  attending the physiotherapist’. The answer is no. Chartered Physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat a wide variety of complaints. At Cahir Physiotherapy Clinic we specialise in musculoskeletal complaints. These are injuries and symptoms coming from the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and bones. A doctor’s referral is helpful as it usually contains details of medications and past medical history however, it is not necessary.

Physio South Tipp MISCPWhen you come in for your appointment, we will ask you many questions about your symptoms. For example- how long have you had them, or what activities make the symptoms worse? After that we will examine you based on what you’ve told us. Our university training and post-graduate experience will guide us to find what the problem is (a diagnosis) and to begin to fix the problem. At Cahir Physiotherapy Clinic we will always address the underlying causes of the problem too. You will be prescribed exercises to do at home. If there is anything that we hear while listening to you, or see when examining you, that we are unhappy with, we will contact your doctor immediately by phonecall or letter. You’re in safe hands.

I have attended my GP/ Consultant and now need physiotherapy

When you attend for physiotherapy on your doctor’s advice please bring whatever letter/note you received from your doctor. This usually contains information on what the doctor’s diagnosis of your injury is. This helps us, especially in the case of patients who have undergone surgery, for example, surgery following a bone break. In addition, with a doctor’s referral, you can claim 20% of your physiotherapy fees against your income tax in a given year by filling out a Med1 Form.

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.

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.