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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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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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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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My First Week At Mount Merrion Physiotherapy

My first two weeks of induction at Mount Merrion Physiotherapy were spent mostly with Katie and Simon in preparation for Katie's departure and my first official week.

Last week I officially took over from Katie and it was great to get started on my own and to meet many clients as well as to start teaching on the new summer term of Pilates.

My induction weeks were undoubtedly beneficial and I am very grateful to Simon and Katie for all their effort and time making this transition a smooth one. I really enjoyed my first official week and I am delighted to be a part of the Mount Merrion team.

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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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What Is Patellar Tendonosis?

knee-pain-caused-by-overuse-injury

The first time I felt the sharp and stabbing front of left knee pain was a few months ago while enjoying my usual afternoon run with my dog. It was unlike the more familiar muscle aches and pains and there was no swelling present. I remember worrying this could be a potentially serious issue because this was a knee pain I had not felt before.

I was experiencing for the first time a condition which has since been diagnosed by my Chartered Physiotherapist as patellar tendinosis. After discussing my condition with my physiotherapist he directed me to various evidence-based online information resources as well as sending on relevant journal articles to help me understand the condition better. What follows is an account of a knee problem from a patients point of view.

This condition can become a more serious and chronic issue requiring many months of rest and rehabilitation if not appropriately cared for in the early stages. My knee pain started with repeated deep squat movements in the gym with a heavily weighted bar across my shoulders. Oddly the pain did not last more than a second during the exercise and almost no pain followed in the days after. Naturally I did not give it much more thought at the time until many weeks later when the pain returned, much more intensely and persistently, during a less than demanding run.

I now find myself in a delicate situation having to manage my knee pain very carefully indeed with fear of my condition becoming a much more difficult one to cure if I don’t give it the right attention.

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9142 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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1942 Hits

Is Running The Best Exercise For Fitness?

stretching for fitness after runningPhysiotherapists regularly prescribe exercise as a fundamental part of the rehabilitation process, following a muscle or joint injury for example. Running is a very common form of exercise to which many patients will want to progress, when enough function has returned, in order to build up their fitness again. But is running the best exercise for improving fitness?

The short answer is no, in my opinion.

However, possibly a more appropriate answer would likely be that it depends on what your fitness goals are and how you want to define fitness.

Let’s take a look at a local event to help describe what I mean. The Great Ireland Run 10km recently passed earlier in April with the winners achieving some impressive results; men’s first place came in under 30 minutes and the women’s first achieved a 33 minutes and 39 seconds. How do we think the top running athletes prepare for such an event? They will do a lot of running training no doubt but I am certain this is not all they do. Athletes performing at this level need to be in peak physical fitness to sustain the demands they are placing on their bodies and to keep their risk of injury as low as possible.

You may be wondering what do top performing athletes have in common with patient rehabilitation and recreational running. Well, my point is that we can learn from the best in their field and adopt some of the principles used in their training. Naturally our training won’t be nearly as intense or demanding as that of elite athletes so what can we learn from them?

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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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Fibromyalgia Pain Relief From Good Quality Sleep

benefits-of-sleep for fibromyalgia sufferersWidespread pain, such as the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia, is a type of aching pain that affects multiple areas of your body. The unpleasant experience of such symptoms can negatively impact mental health as well as physical functioning. A Physiotherapist experienced in managing the condition of Fibromyalgia can offer effective pain relief and a better ability to cope, but sleep quality is also an important factor the individual can focus on by themselves.

Poor quality sleep can impact all aspects of our health in undesirable ways. When it comes to sleep consistency is as important as quality and that is because we rely on something known as our circadian rhythm. This internal body clock programs our wake and sleep cycles and influences the healthy functioning of our bodies.

Although the precise cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown contributing factors are believed to be such things as infection or injury and more focus is now being placed on sleep quality too. Disturbed sleep may not cause Fibromyalgia but is often associated with the condition and may impact of the severity of the symptoms as well as the ability of the sufferer to remain functional in day to day life.

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