Mummy MOT

Recently, Caroline O’ Connell traveled to London to attend a course on the Mummy MOT. Mummy MOT is a comprehensive post natal check up for new and not- so- new mothers. It blends in seamlessly with Caroline’s considerable experience to date in treating mothers with post- pregnancy issues. Phone the clinic on 0527445477 to book in with Caroline.

For new mothers, and especially first-time mothers, life can be a physical and emotional rollercoaster. Most of the attention is given to minding the new arrival and tending to it’s every need. The Mummy MOT is an assessment for mothers. It is a specialist postnatal examination for women following both vaginal and caesarean deliveries. It will assess how your posture, pelvic floor muscles and stomach muscles are recovering after birth. And if they’re not, the Caroline can provide you with exercises and treatment to help in your recovery and to return to exercise safely.

Pool Session After Training or Racing

Pool Session after Training or Racing

After a tough race or match a great way to feel good again is to go to the pool and do gentle exercise there. It helps to promote blood flow through tired limbs. It also soothes sore joints and muscles by moving them without the impact of hitting the ground. It’s what’s known in the sports world as a recovery pool session.
We used recovery pool sessions a lot when I worked as the Irish Hockey team physiotherapist. They were particularly useful in training camps and tournaments. The Cahir Senior footballers used them after every match last year when we had matches several consecutive weeks.

physiotherapist tipperary pool sessionWhen to do pool recovery?

If you have had a particularly hard race or match, the day after is ideal timing to do a pool recovery session. It’s also a useful tool to use on a weekly basis if you are doing hard training to help prevent injuries.

When not to do pool recovery?

If you have a significant injury after a race or match the injury takes priority and you should use the POLICE regime instead see here- protect, rest, optimum loading, ice, compression and elevation and see a Chartered Physiotherapist for expert advice.

How long should a pool recovery session last?

You should be in the water for no less than 20 minutes to get the maximum benefit.

How does a pool recovery session help?

Being immersed in the water helps the body by promoting blood flow back to the heart, particularly from the legs. The pressure of the water on the less helps to reduce any minor swelling of the legs that developed post exercise. In the water the body weight going through the legs is less due to the buoyancy effect. This helps because one can move tired limbs and joints through a full range of movement without the same impact as you would have on land.

I can’t swim- what can I do instead?

A pool recovery session is equally as valuable if you can’t swim- just walk in the water instead of swimming.

How to do a pool session?

Get into the pool for at least 20 minutes- up to your waist if possible. You may walk, lunge or swim in intervals separated by some static stretching. Here’s my version. If you can’t swim just walk widths of the pool instead of swimming lengths.

  • Swim 6 lengths/ walk 6 width of the pool
  • Leg swings 1 – Stand holding onto the edge and swing leg side to side in front of you x 10 each side
  • Lunge 10 times on each leg
  • Calf stretch and quads (front of thigh stretch) 2 x 20 seconds each side
  • Swim 3 lengths/ walk 3 widths
  • Leg swings 2 – stand side on to pool wall and swing leg front to back x 10 each side
  • Walk with high knees- marching- type walk 10 steps each leg
  • Hamstring stretch or buttock stretch 20 seconds each side
  • Swim 3 lengths/ walk 3 widths

Pilates for Teenagers

Pilates for Teenagers?

Even now I remember the feeling of a heavy school bag on my shoulders and tired, achey muscles after a football match. Teenage bodies undergo stresses from changes in posture and growing as well as the demands of school and sports. I wish I had known about Pilates rather than being told to hurry on and stop complaining!!

Was I truly a lazy, grumpy teenager or was my back really sore after the soccer blitz? Would I have tidied my room if my legs didn’t ache from football training? I might even have sat up straight at the table if I actually knew how to sit comfortably in correct posture!
Imagine having the chance to stretch those overworked muscles and relieve the dreaded growing pains, all while moving to good music with people your own age?
The feeling of strength and power that comes from using our muscles properly gives us an advantage on the playing field and prevents pains and aches, now or in the future!
 

Why Pilates for Teenagers?

Pilates is a wonderful way of providing whole body exercise for both the non-athletic and the competitive sporty teenagers. Pilates is a great way of getting reluctant growing teenagers to participate in exercise because it caters to their various ages, fitness levels, and athletic abilities. A Teenage Pilates class comprises safe exercises to help increase flexibility and coordination while also improving strength, balance and performance in sport. It is the form of exercise that works the entire body with emphasis on function. It is fantastic for the growing years, supporting good body alignment. Pilates helps teenagers gain awareness of their own body and understand its workings. It helps to improve the way their body functions, looks and feels – and knowing their body inside and out leads to greater self-esteem.
 

Why Teenage Pilates at Cahir Physiotherapy Clinic?

Pilates for Teenagers CahirAt Cahir Physiotherapy Clinic our Teenage Pilates has been specifically designed by us- Chartered Physiotherapists- to help suit the demands of the teenagers we see in the clinic. As such, we understand that both non-sporty teens and competitive teenage athletes benefit from exercises that specifically target posture, alignment, core strength, coordination, balance and flexibility. For all teenagers, improving these attributes builds a positive self image. For teenage athletes, the Teenage Pilates class are beneficial for prevention of sports injury, rehabilitation post injury and improved sports performance. 

When are the classes?

The classes are run on Wednesdays at 4pm at Cahir Physiotherapy Clinic. The classes are based on fun small group setting -maximum 8 participants per class. Call the clinic today 0527445477 to book your place. Parental or guardian consent is mandatory.
Marie
Marie Aherne is a Chartered Physiotherapist who has been teaching Pilates for 4 years. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and is currently undertaking a Masters Degree in Sports Physiotherapy at University of Bath. She is the  Chartered Physiotherapist to the Tipperary Senior Football team.
 

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.

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.

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.

 

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.