How To Treat Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder JointThe shoulder is vulnerable to a many differing problems due to its complex nature - combining several joints, tendons and muscles which allow for a broad range of movement. The shoulder is inherently unstable and its function can be likened to a seal trying to balance a ball on it's nose! It is very reliant of good muscle strength and function for support and stability and when this is not present, one of the common painful conditions which may develop is shoulder impingement also referred to as rotator cuff tendinopathy or impingement syndrome.

Treatments include Physiotherapy (usually the first approach) which may involve exercise, manual therapy and medical acupuncture/dry needling, as well as other procedures such as local injections and surgery in certain cases.

Image courtesy of LA323 / commons.wikimedia.org
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Walking vs Running - Which Is Better?

I am sure you have read or heard that running will naturally offer greater cardiovascular benefits for the body compared to walking. This is mainly due to the required increase in workrate of the heart to sustain the more intense acivity of running. This greater intensity demands a faster blood flow - good for moving oxygen around the body. This intensity also offers numerous benefits for the heart itself and the overall strength and fitness of the body.

We have written previously about the merits of running - Is Running The Best Exercise For Fitness

A critical consideration is the additional time and effort required to participate in a run versus a walk and whether this extra effort actually causes no activity to be taken.

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It’s All About Fitness Benefits

pilates-ladyOur autumn Pilates term gets underway today and it’s our biggest schedule we have ever run. We have 12 classes running per week across our usual 7 or 8 week courses and overall we have 94% of places booked. The demand for Pilates led by a Physiotherapist is very encouraging and we are delighted to see such interest in the maintenance of physical wellbeing.

In this article I thought I’d share a collection of recently published articles discovered across the web relating to the health benefits of physical activity. I hope some or all of these are of interest - so here goes…

Lifetime of fitness: Fountain of youth for bone, joint health?

Information coming out of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests we can minimise or delay the effects of ageing by keeping physically fit and conversely a sedentary lifestyle will likely contribute to more rapid physical deterioration of our bodies and health.

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Scans For Your Back Pain – Are They Really Necessary?

imaging-back-scanLow back pain is very common in the general population with approximately 80% of people experiencing back pain at some point in their lives (Daulat, 2013). Many people with back pain are anxious to have a scan to investigate the apparent cause of their pain. 

According to Timothy Maus, an American Researcher:

“Imaging is an integral part of the clinical examination of the patient with back pain; it is, however, often used excessively and without consideration of the underlying literature” (Maus, 2010).
Image courtesy of Jan Ainali / wikipedia.org
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What Is Stopping You From Exercising?

awareness-exerciseWe do go on about the value of exercise a lot, don't we? We do for a very good reason - exercise is one of the best, if not the best, efforts anyone can make for improving their short term and long term health.

We've written about the benefits of exercise in many previous blog posts - benefits such as improving your mood thanks to a release of feel good hormones, by challenging your heart and increasing blood circulation you are improving your cardiovascular health - reducing your chances of developing chronic disease, the list goes on and on...

Despite awareness of these tremendous health benefits many people still do not exercise regularly. The word 'awareness' here is key for creating new and positive habits in your life.

Developing greater awareness, not just about the benefits of regular exercise, but also awareness for what is preventing you from taking up a regular physical activity.

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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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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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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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