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lateral ankle sprainMany people experience a rolled ankle at some point in their lives. It can be the result of a sudden turn in sport, a bad step off the sidewalk or even just tripping over thin air. 

Most ankle injuries that we see at Physiologix occur when the person rolls their ankle inward putting a large amount of stress on the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Ligaments connect bone to bone, and in the ankle, the most commonly injured ligament is called the ATFL (anterior talo-fibular ligament). This ligament connects the outer shin bone (the fibula) to the foot. 

Depending on whether your injury involves one or more ligaments and if you’ve hurt any other surrounding tissues, these injuries can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks up to a year for recovery. Unfortunately after you’ve injured your ankle once, you are far more likely to do it again. Literature suggests that after injuring the ankle that it can take anywhere up to 9-12 months for the ankle to have full joint awareness back. So it is really important to do the homework that your physio recommends!!

In addition to giving you a series of graded exercises to get your ankle strong again, our physios at Physiologix can also provide a variety of other treatments to help get you back moving. This can include hands-on treatment to help reduce swelling, ensure the joints are moving optimally and manage your pain. They can also strap up your ankle or fit you for an ankle brace to provide support and stability as you build up the strength in your ankle. Depending on your injury, your physio will tailor your rehab program accordingly. 

If you need any help with a sprained ankle, or if you’re looking for a good solid ankle brace to help you return to sport, come in and see us at Physiologix, upstairs at the Gap Health and Racquet Club or give us a call on 3511 1112. Alternatively you can email us from our website contact us page. We’ll help you get back on the road to recovery.

 

knee hugs

 

Gena Wallis (Physiotherapist) has joined the Physiologix Team, upstairs at the Gap Health and Racquet Club.  Physiologix specializes in individualized, hands on solutions from experienced therapists with expertise. Gena is currently completing her Masters in Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland. She has a special interest in spinal injuries and with over 5 years teaching clinical pilates she has been involved in extensive rehab of these injuries, often including surgical recovery.  Here she discusses some simple ideas to deal with back pain.

Back pain, sadly affects too many of us, 80% actually. Very often with good initial management, what potentially could end up being a long term problem, can be controlled with a good recovery made.

If your back “goes” it usually locks up and you become very restricted in your movement. This is because the muscles go into “spasm”. This is like an overprotect mode where the muscles contract to prevent you moving. In a way, it is a natural form of bracing. In the initial stages the main focus is reducing this spasm. Heat is often best. This is because there is about 4-6cm of muscle between the surface of the skin and the deep joint structures that have been affected in the injury. You would usually use ice on an acute injury but in this case the injury is so deep that the ice won’t reach. Heat relaxes the muscles on the surface and so help to relax the spasm. This in turn unlocks the joints, allowing you to move.

Good pain relief is highly recommended – talking to your GP or pharmacist is a good starting point. Less pain means the muscles don’t need to protect as much, so pain medications are another way of helping them to relax and release their locking action. You may need to rest totally in the first day or so, but as soon as you can, movement is king! The skill is to move lots of small, PAIN FREE amounts, not too much but often.

Some useful exercises include lying on your back and gently hugging your knees up to your chest and slowly rocking them side to side a tiny amount. If your back is too sore (or if you cant fully bend your hips and knees) then you can do the same exercise but with your knees bent and your feet on the bed, with your heels as close to your bottom as is possible. Another exercise is to lie on your back, again with your knees bent and your feet flat on the bed. Tilt your pelvis to flatten your back on the bed, slowly tilt the pelvis to create a small gap between your back and the bed. You can also do this standing with your back against a wall.  Another wonderful thing we have easy access to in Queensland is the pool. Getting in the water and hanging suspended on a pool noodle or water belt in the deep water is also extremely soothing for the back.

In these initial stages physio aims to help massage out the tight muscles and get the locked joints moving. As you improve physio then starts to focus more on strengthening. Like any other joint, regaining strength helps to protect the joints long term – this means less chance of re-injury. Exercises need to be specific, for example, teaching you what your deep core is and how to get it working. We use ultrasound imaging at Physiologix so you can see the muscles and check that you are doing the exercises correctly. Progressing to harder exercises suck as a pilates based program is then a great way to go. Get in touch with our Physiologix staff to find out more. You can call us on (07)3511 1112 or email us from the "contact us" dropdown above.

 

golf swing tipsGolf, swimming and tennis (or racquet sports) have much in common. As a physio consulting at the National Tennis Academy and working at the Australian Tennis Open, Kirsty McNab’s (based in The Gap at Physiologix) job as a Sports Physiotherapist is not only to treat injuries, but to screen to prevent them and in doing so also ensure a stronger, more effective and efficient, better performing athlete. And there is much we can all learn from this and integrate with our exercise.

Australia has arguably some of the best swimmers, golfers and tennis players in the world. The Australian Institute of Sport is the base for many of these great athletes. To ensure our athletes perform better but not at the expense of injury and breakdown, extensive amounts of research have been done. Here are some ideas, no matter what standard you are:

·      Good thoracic rotation – the thoracic spine is the area of your back where the ribs attach. It is mainly for rotation. Improving your ability to twist through this area will help with your rotation in the pool, on the golf course or on court.

·      Thoracic extension – if you lie flat on your tummy with your arms straight overhead, you should be able to lift and hold your arms about 20cm above the floor. To do this you have to be able to arch the upper part of your back backwards. This can be improved by carefully extending over a foam roller. You also have to have good length through your tummy muscles: arching backwards over a big fitball will help this. The Yoga cobra stretch is also a useful one to do.

·      Shoulder internal rotation  - if you hold your arm 90 degrees from your side you should be able to twist your forearm down to the floor. This is a sign of good flexibility in the muscles at the back of the shoulder. There are some good stretches you can do to improve this including pulling your arm across the front of your chest.

·      Core stability – many people are great at crunches and sit ups but don’t strengthen their core in positions where the body is straight. And of course, this is the position you are in when swimming, as you follow through with the golf swing and when serving or hit baseline tennis shots. Specific exercises such as planks (ensuring the hips don’t drop) can help this. Trying to then lift one leg up off the ground at the same time can be even more sports specific.

There are many other basic screening tests that can be done to see if your body is up to the task of doing the form of sport or exercise that you would like to do.

The physios at Physiologix can run through a sequence of tests to ensure your body is up to the demands you want to put on it. If not, you risk injury. If you have had an injury from sport it is important not just to figure out WHAT is injured but WHY it got injured in the first place. By working on the WHY, you can prevent injury in the future. And most importantly for you, you become a better sports person. Call us on (07) 3511 1112 to find out more or email us from the "contact us" page.

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Physiologix Therapy SolutionsWHERE TO FIND US
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200 Settlement Rd, The Gap