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Chartered Physiotherapist - MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon Coghlan holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the...
Chartered Physiotherapist - MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon Coghlan holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the integration of medical acupuncture techniques with manual therapy and therapeutic exercise for the treatment of musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction.
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Exercise Snacking - Healthier and More Efficient

exercise-efficiencyWe like exercise, specifically Pilates led by a Physiotherapist, and we regularly promote its tremendous health benefits. We appreciate that finding the time to exercise can be tough for some people. With time constraints in mind I would like to share an interesting idea of ‘exercise snacking’ that I came across in an interesting article over on sciencedaily.com

The article’s focus is on an exercise method to help better control the blood sugar levels in people with insulin resistance. Whether you are knowingly insulin resistant or not controlling blood sugar levels is surely a smart thing for everyone to do, especially in our modern times when sugar is so prevalent in many of our food sources.

Controlling blood sugar levels will not only help you to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes but will help you lose or control your weight better too.

Is the recommended 30 minutes of exercise really optimal?

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Best Exercise For Health In Quickest Time

too-busy-to-exerciseA lack of time is one of the most common excuses given by people who don’t exercise. This report coming from the American College of Cardiology will be welcoming news for the time-poor non-exercisers:

"Running for only a few minutes a day or at slow speeds may significantly reduce a person's risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to someone who does not run."

Running is a very popular form of exercise given it is easy to take up - no special equipment is needed other than a pair of running shoes and you can start and end right from your front door. A previous post of ours assessed the merits of running in more detail - Is Running The Best Exercise For Fitness?

The report from the American College of Cardiology states that even a 5-10min run is enough to provide significant cardiovascular benefits and a reduction in mortality risk.

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2419 Hits

How To Prevent Heat Exhaustion During Warm Summer In Dublin, Ireland 2014

athlete-avoid-sun-heat-strokeDublin has enjoyed some high temperatures so far this summer and understandably many of us are more active outdoors when the sun is shining. We must be aware of the potential issue of heat related injuries sustained from exercise in sport and other forms of strenuous work-related activity.

I don’t want to put a dampener on our untypical warm and sunny weather but rather my intention is to simply raise awareness. Many of us may not have a lot of experience training in such warm conditions but I do from my youth growing up in sunny South Africa.

It’s important to realise from the start that heat injuries can be life-threatening, if precautions are not taken. Heat injuries can start with mild forms of heat cramps which are easily treated if identified early enough.

Let’s look at different types of heat injuries.

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2034 Hits

Does Weather Really Affect Back Pain?

back-pain-weatherIt turns out that people have strong opinions about the association between weather and their back pain. 

As far as we can tell this ‘belief’ has never before been rigorously and scientifically evaluated so I was interested to read about an attempt to do so.

An article published by Chris Maher, a Professor of Physiotherapy in Sydney Medical School, describes how they used data from a different study to see if any correlations existed with historical weather conditions. This investigatory study was originally asking if the weather was more likely to distract you or make you feel fatigued during activity and if this had an affect of recurring back pain in 1000 primary-care patients over a 14 month period.

Since the original study had nothing to do with weather data there was no risk for any bias influence when the case-crossover analysis took place. Since the original study took place over 14 months there was historical weather data for all 4 seasons in the year.

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Dublin Golfer? Avoid Golfer’s Elbow

golf-flexibilityYou would be forgiven for considering golf to be a low injury-risk physical activity, after all it is a non impact-sport. However injuries to the golf player, whether a low or high handicapper, are quite common.

I wrote an extensive article last year about common golf injuries, the need for good flexibility and control while discussing the challenges of the modern golf swing. You can read the full post here.

We are in the middle of summer, a time when even the fair-weather golfers are out enjoying 18 holes be it on one of Ireland’s 300 courses or a foreign one. I thought this a good time to share a quick reminder about the risk, cause and prevention tips for one of the most common golfing injuries called ‘Golfer’s Elbow’.

What is Golfer's Elbow?

There is some debate as to whether golfer’s elbow or low-back pain is the most common golfing injury. Since both injuries can be caused by the repetitive motion of the golf swing and both requiring good technique to avoid injury I would suggest the level of risk for either injury to be fairly consistent.

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2629 Hits

What Is An ACL Injury And Does It Need Surgery? Dublin Physiotherapist

ACL-Injury-knee-pain-Dublin-PhysioWhat body part is affected by an ACL injury?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the two major ligaments in the knee, the other being the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).These ligaments perform the vital function of connecting the large femur bone of the thigh to the lower leg bone called the tibia.

The ACL’s main purpose is to maintain the overall stability and support of the knee, the largest joint in the body. The ligament is positioned just behind the kneecap and holds the leg and thigh bones in place preventing the leg bone from slipping forward and rotating during pivoting movements. The ACL is supported by the thigh, buttock and very importantly the hamstring muscle groups.

Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect various bones together within your bodies. Although they are very strong too much stress on them due to intensive sports or overloading during a sudden twisting movement can cause them to stretch too far, possibly even to snap. If the ligament snaps, that is a complete rupture, we use the technical term ‘’he did his ACL”.

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3204 Hits

How To Prevent An Overuse Injury

overuse-injury-shoulderAdequate preparation as well as appropriate rest and recovery from sport and activity can help prevent overuse injuries from occurring. However with every good intention an overuse injury is easily sustain and is a common type of injury we see here in our Physiotherapy practice.

To fully understand the nature of the overuse injury, how to treat it and prevent it from happening again we must take a look at some background information about this common condition.

What is an overuse injury?

As a result of our sport or activity we can sustain one of two types of injuries - acute or overuse types.

Acute injury

This type of injury can be characterised by the sudden onset of a ‘sharp’ pain with the potential for the sudden loss of function, usually as a result of a traumatic event. Some examples of acute injuries would be sprains of the ankle, dislocation of the shoulder, bone fractures, etc.

Overuse injury

This type of injury is quite different from the acute injury in that the presence of pain and in some cases inflammation too can be totally absent. Instead of the sudden onset of pain and dysfunction there are numerous and repetitive micro traumas that occur to the muscles, tendons, joints and bones. These micro traumas are subtle and if frequent enough they will eventually lead to pain and dysfunction due to the eventual breakdown of the affected body part.

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2818 Hits

What Is Medical Acupuncture And How Does It Work?

acupuncture-technique-300It is incredible that many powerful healing effects can be achieved by simply inserting needles into the skin and muscle, positively influencing most of our bodily systems. Just as amazing is the fact that Acupuncture as a treatment technique was discovered many thousands of years ago and has been practised by the Chinese ever since.

Only much more recently, within the previous 40 years or so, has Acupuncture been introduced into our western society. For many of these years the Acupuncture taught and studied has been based on the traditional Chinese Acupuncture method, understandably. The Chinese Acupuncture system is one based on the energy meridian model, a system not subscribed to by the majority of our scientific community.

The term Medical Acupuncture relates to a more modern interpretation of the needling technique and one researched and explained in more scientific terms. This has caused something of a divide between the two camps of Traditional Chinese and Western Medical Acupuncture practitioners. This is also not much of a surprise and such opposing stances can be seen in many other health related topics. That said, some practitioners are able to rationalise both approaches and use Acupuncture with one foot in both camps so to speak.

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1768 Hits

Simon and Lorraine’s Roles in Higher Education

simon and lorraine practice principalsLorraine and I are enjoying a busy 2014 with our young family, the busy clinic and Pilates studio as well as our University tutoring and lecturing roles. We are proud to be involved in higher education supporting upcoming students as well as fellow medical professionals and we’d like to share some of the details of what we have been up to.

Lorraine has been regularly lecturing as well as examining on the undergraduate physiotherapy programme as well as the prestigious Masters in Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy at UCD over the last number of months. Given such positive student feedback she has once again been asked to be a clinical tutor for Masters degree students on placement at the Mater hospital over the coming weeks. Lorraine will again this month present a lecture in lower limb biomechanics and injury management to the Irish College of General Practitioners.

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Running Confusion - Shoes, Orthotics, Barefoot Movement

running-confusionDo you think our early ancestors wore half-length or full-length orthotic shoe inserts? Would their video-recorded gait assessments have revealed more under or over-pronators in the general population?

If we try to imagine how life was back in the day of the caveman we could safely assume that his ability to run both short sprints and long distances was necessary for surviving in a wild environment. Without the ability to track food or flee from dangerous predators the human evolution may not have been possible. What we can also be sure of is the caveman did not run in a pair of Asics trainers with rear-foot gel-cushioning outer soles structured for either a neutral or over-pronating gait . Nope, our early ancestors would have been running barefoot.

Many thousands of years later and despite our advances in footwear design and technology there is a ‘barefoot running’ revolution gaining traction in some circles. The idea is that we as a species have spent more time running barefoot than we have in our fancy high-tech shoes and therefore we are more physiologically suited to running barefoot.

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