Basketball. . . the game, performance & recovery!

Barefoot Physio Cam is our ‘go-to’ guy to discuss all things Basketball. He has played professional basketball for several years and loves to chat about the best way to keep your body happy before, during and after the season! This blog will be centered around some of the things you can do to help with game performance and recovery.

Pre-Game

Before a game there are two things that are very important; nutrition and hydration. Both of these factors play an important role in your ability to perform during the game. Lack of pre-game nutrition has been shown to distract players during the game, and poor pre-game hydration has been shown to decrease shooting percentage.

So what to eat pre-game?

It’s a good idea to have your last substantial meal around 3-4 hours before tip-off, and then if you need to have a snack you can do so around 1-2 hours before the game.

Your pre-game meal should contain carbohydrates for energy, and a small amount of protein to protect you against hunger during the game. A couple of ideas might be a chicken salad wrap, pasta with beef mince in a tomato-based sauce.

Now your pre-game snack should be something that is light, low in fat (making it easy to digest) and full of carbohydrates for energy! A good option would be yoghurt with fruit salad or a piece of toast with vegemite on it. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t like having solids before a game, another good idea for your snack would be to have a fruit smoothie instead.

Along with making sure that all your nutritional needs are met, it is also important to ensure your hydration levels pre-game are going to hold you through the game. It is recommended that you consume around 300-600ml of fluid 3-4 hours before the game, slowly. While avoiding caffeinated drinks, as they have a diuretic effect. Then a further 200-400ml of fluid within 2 hrs of tip-off.

Warm up

Your pre-game warm-up can consist of many different things, although there are a few key aspects that are recommended to be apart of the warm-up.

Light cardio – jog/skip forward and backward

Footwork drill – shuffle/carioca

Dynamic stretch – hip/hamstring, quads/calves

Balance drill – single leg balance +/- passes

Light strength – pushup, bodyweight squats

The combination of these drills allows the body to gradually increase in mobility and temperature, decreasing the risk of injury, and improving initial game performance.

In Game

Play hard. Make plays on both ends. Shoot with confidence! And enjoy the time spent competing – it’s such a quick game, sometimes as a spectator it can be hard to keep up!

Cool down

This aspect of the game is often overlooked, but is just as important for your performance as the warm up. An effective cool down allows the body to cool down slowly and prevent injuries in the future.

  • Light cardio – jog back to a walk
  • Dynamic stretching – arms and legs
  • Muscle releases – foam roller or lacrosse ball
  • Static stretching

Post game

After the game, the most important thing to is replace the fluid and electrolytes that were lost during the game. The most accurate way to know how much fluid was lost is to weigh yourself pre- and post-game, however, most people don’t do this because it takes too much time. An easier way to get your fluid intake right, is to consume twice as much fluid post-game as your did pre-game. The post-game fluids should also contain an element of sodium, to help replace the sodium that was lost in sweat during the game.

So now you have more understanding of how you can get out there and play to win, with a healthy body. Stay tuned for more Basketball blogs!

Do you enjoy playing basketball? Leave a comment below to let us know what you favourite sport is!

Climbers . . . this ones for you!

Following the warmer weather ( and the rain finally clearing up) it seems like a great time to discuss shoulder injury and pain in climbing now that the conditions seem just right! Physio Kirsten is an avid climber, when she isn’t treating our incredible clients you will most likely find her on a rock wall somewhere, or scaling the cliffs at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. 

Kirsten has given us her top tips for climbers, and sat down to let us know about shoulder injury and how physiotherapy can help.

One of my favourite things about treating climbers is that we are super keen on figuring out why things are happening and how we can self treat ourselves to keep climbing. 

Where does shoulder pain come from?

With shoulder pain there are several things to consider. We always want to assess the neck and thoracic spine as pain can commonly originate at these areas. Looking at both the spine and shoulder positioning with movement and climbing often will highlight a dysfunction in the movement. This dysfunction at the joints can lead to nerve irritation or compound soft tissue injuries of the muscle, tendons or labrum.

Treatment for Climbing Shoulder Injury/ Pain

Often treatment will involve the physiotherapist treating the joint dysfunction, nerve irritation, the soft tissue injury and work on correcting the dysfunctional movement.

There are some common areas that frequently need physiotherapy treatment in climbers. In general we need to treat some area in the neck and thoracic joints with manual therapy, strengthen the rotator cuff, middle and lower traps, serratus and lats as well as lengthen the pecs, biceps and lats and train appropriate neck and shoulder positioning for climbing and belaying.

Strengthening antagonist muscles and training should be done in good positioning and control so that:

1. when climbing in not the most ideal positions at least some of the positioning training will transfer and

2. We aren’t overloading ourselves in poor positions leading to injury

Treatment areas and proper cueing are very specific to the individual and often we as climbers deal with some level of pain until it gets to the point we can’t continue climbing. The key to quick recovery is catching the issue early, booking in with a professional who can assess where and what your pain is coming from and start treating what is specific to you.

Nutrition and Pelvic Health

A lot of pelvic health issues (Women’s health / Men’s Health) are tied in some degree to the digestive system. When you think about the postures you take when you have an upset tummy, the strain your pelvic floor muscles take when you are having difficulty with a bowel movement and the close proximity of the pelvis and digestive system you can see why.
Therefore, in conjunction with musculoskeletal assessment and treatment, nutrition and gut health should also be addressed when looking at pelvic floor pain and/or dysfunction ie// prolapse, stress incontinence, urgency, back pain, pelvic floor pain, pubic pain, SIJ pain, Scrotal pain.

Does Nutrition Play a role for you?

1. Are you getting enough nutrients in your diet? Are you absorbing them?
– You should be eating 8-10 fruit and veg servings
– Eating in a stressful environment, on the go or while talking can inhibit absorption
– Chewing less than ~20-40x can inhibit absorption nutrients, reduce feeling of fullness and minimise normal hormonal responses
– Certain medications can change absorption
How this affects you physically: muscle spasm, fatigue, tight-ropey muscles

2. Are your stomach and intestines working as they should?
– Are you producing enough stomach acid to help digest food?
– Signs you aren’t: bloat/belch following a meal, feeling overly full, undigested food in stools
– Changes in intestinal permeability meaning not just good things getting out ‘leaky gut’

How can this affect you physically? You may feel bloating and gas which can leave you feeling yucky, and cause us to hold ourselves in bad positions to combat this “icky” feeling. This also can hypersensitize our body.

3. Do you have gut inflammation?
Chronic stress and pain can lead to low digestive enzymes as energy to make these is directed elsewhere. It also activates hormones that can lead to an inflammatory response. This inflammation in the gut can then propagate musculoskeletal symptoms further.

What to Do:
Assessment and treatment for prolapse, stress incontinence, urgency, back pain, pelvic floor pain, pubic pain, SIJ pain, Scrotal pain should include:
– Seeing a nutritionist to tackle this component of the picture
– See a physiotherapist/s who can perform a physical assessment of your condition.

At Barefoot we are a musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinic who looks at your whole body to fix the problem. We will look at your muscles, joints and nerves and together we can work towards stronger a stronger pelvic floor.

Want to learn more or book in to see the Barefoot Physio team? Click here.

Standing Desks

With recent reports about the hazards of prolonged sitting, standing desks are increasing in popularity. Standing desks have shown to be particularly beneficial for people with lower back, hip or pelvis pain and even improve return to work outcomes. However many people report more discomfort and fatigue in their legs with a standing desk and certain health conditions (such as varicose veins) are better suited to sitting.

It is important to note that sitting at work still has a role to play. In fact, a 2 minute walk every 20 minutes can be enough to reduce glucose levels in the body and hence reverse some of the negative health effects of sitting. If you want to learn more about ideal sitting posture see our previous blog here

To help you navigate the standing desk world, we have put together our top tips below.

  1. Ensure you are standing in a good position
    While a standing desk may seem like the answer to certain aches and pains, it will be no better for your musculoskeletal health if you are not in a good position. Ever stood at a concert for a few hours and felt worse afterwards? If you are going to spend extra time standing during the day, it is important to take the time to identify your ideal position.Fatigue at a standing desk is shown to be higher in those who slouch. Similarly, we know that standing too upright can also cause certain muscle and joint problems. So how do you know what the right position is? Well your body will actually tell you! Below are some good general guidelines to follow
  • Maintain a neutral spine. This means maintaining your 4 natural curves. This position minimises stress on your spine and helps prevent injury and will look slightly different for different people
  • Keep your head upright and in line with your shoulders
  • Shoulders should be relaxed back and down –  the muscles on top of your shoulders should be soft
  • Don’t ‘lock’ lock your knees out – you should keep a gentle bend in them
  • Avoid leaning backwards or forwards – your lower back muscles should be soft and relaxed


  1. Introduce gradually

Just as you wouldn’t go from doing no running training, to suddenly doing a marathon, it is important to gradually increase your body’s tolerance for standing. If you are not used to standing all day, suddenly changing from 8 hours of sitting a day to 8 hours of standing can cause a variety of issues. It is recommended to start with just 5-10 minutes of standing at a time and build up to 20-30 minute blocks. When beginning, total standing time in the day should aim to be no more than 2 hours. Compression stocking, inner soles and supportive shoes have been shown to help alleviate feelings of leg fatigue.

  1. Pick the right desk

There are lots of different options and brands on the market, so it can be difficult to tell which desk is right for you. Key things to look for are:

  • Easy to move up and down (if its too difficult or requires a lot of physical exertion, then you either won’t move your desk often enough or you may hurt yourself moving it)
  • “Set and forget” – programmable sitting and standing height. This allows you to take the time to set up the correct height for your body once, then easily move between sitting and standing set-ups without having to re-check your posture each time
  • 10 year motor warranty
  • Can rise to more than 1200mm
  • Large enough to comfortably fit monitor, keyboard and forearms on
  1. Your best position is your next position!

Ultimately, the best option for you is to regularly change position. This is why if you are going to invest in a standing desk, it is important to get one that can easily change from sitting to standing and back again. Likewise, it is important to ‘move around’ in your standing position – this includes having a foot rest to alternate legs with for different posture options.

If a standing desk does not seem right for you (or you’re just not ready to take the plunge yet), then looking for ways to move more during the day is a really good starting point. This includes having ‘walk and talk’ meetings, a central printing station that you have to get up and walk to or taking the stairs (instead of the elevator) as much as possible. All are great ways to move more and keep your body happier!

  1. See your physiotherapist

Every body is different and the demands of every job are different too. That is why seeing your physiotherapist for a thorough assessment of your nerves, muscles, joints, posture and physical work demands is the best way to get personalised, specific treatment and advice for you. You do not need to have any symptoms to have as assessment. It’s like getting your car serviced to prevent a breakdown! If there is any strain building up in your body, we can help teach you how to reduce the strain and prevent it becoming a more significant problem.

Want to learn more, or book in for an appointment? Click here.

Top tips for keeping you body happy at work!

Top 5 tips for those who are sitting at their desk all day.

If you are an office worker chances are you have come across or experienced first hand the pains of sitting for too long. While a typical desk job may seem to expose the body to little physical strain, prolonged sitting can wreak havoc on the body. The reason for this is that we are meant to move. Our anatomy and biology is set up for us to walk, stand, squat, twist, pull, push and a whole lot more. As the saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. In this case sitting all day causes us to lose our mobility. Muscles become tight and weak, our posture changes, and we become stiff and sore. To remove the risks of prolonged sitting check out our list of top things to do to maintain your mobility and move well regardless of the demands of your job.

  1. Perform an audit of your workstation setup

Often making a few changes to your workstation can cause you to form good posture without having to even think about it. Here’s some common faults and fixes for your workstation setup.

Common faults with workstation setup:

  • Chair too low → looking up at monitor
  • Monitor too low → looking down at monitor
  • Desk too low or seat too high → hunched over keyboard

Fix these with:

  • Chair at proper height → eyes are level with top of monitor
  • Hands comfortably at keyboard → shoulders are not rounded
  • Monitor at correct height → neck in neutral position

Want to learn more about how to setup your workstation? Click here.

 

Optimise your sitting posture:

often when we think about posture, it can seem overwhelming, often you are left with one question . . . What is the right way to position my body?

To ensure that the curves of the spine are maintained: roll your pelvis forward until you achieve a very slight curve in the lower back, sit up a little straighter through your mid/upper back, and check that the position of your head isn’t too far forward of back. It should feel nice and balanced over the rest of your body.

The next step is to get used to what being in this position feels like so you can adjust your position without thinking about it too much. After this you must form a habit of getting into and maintaining this position. To form a habit it is helpful to have habit triggers. Every time one of the following occurs hold your good posture for 5-6 deep breaths or until you forget about it:

  • You get an email
  • You answer or hang up the phone
  • You take a sip of water
  • You set your desktop background to a picture of someone with good posture and do what they do when you see it.
  • You set a reminder on your phone to notify you that its time to practice your posture habit.

Remember the most important point is that the body is made to MOVE. Even though we have outlined a perfect posture position above, remember that it’s always good to change positions often.

Regularly change your position throughout the day.

Been sitting for an hour? Why not stand for the next half hour? Or even kneel? The point is to do something different and to put your joints in a different position.

Don’t have this option? Get up go for a short walk to refill your water bottle, make a tea, go to the bathroom. You could even try marching on the spot, rolling your shoulders in circles, or doing a couple yoga moves. The takeaway from this is that there a million +1 ways to move your body and you must move it away from the position you have been spending a lot of time in.

Ideally change your position every 20-30 minutes but another useful technique is to listen to your body, i.e. is it starting to feel stiff? Are you starting to twist and move around in your seat to find a better position? If so, it’s time for a break. Get up and move or change your work position.

  1. Move often

 This can take the form of formal exercise, gardening, going for walks, anything really. If your body can handle regular movement/exercise it will develop better resilience to the strain that lengthy desk work can have on the body. Plus you’ll reap the numerous other health benefits of exercise.

  1. Get a thorough assessment from your physiotherapist

At Barefoot Physiotherapy, we assess your nerves, joints, muscles and movements to measure the amount of strain you have built up in your body. You do not need to have any symptoms or conditions to have this assessment; think about it like going to the dentist for a check-up to prevent something happening! If there is any strain building up in your body, we can help teach you how to reduce the strain and prevent it coming back again. Want to learn more or book an appointment? Click here.

Stretching vs Releases

Ever had a tight muscle that doesn’t seem to budge no matter how many stretches you do? It’s so common at Barefoot to have new clients tell us ” I stretch my ** tight muscle ** all the time and it still feels super tight” . . . so why is this happening?

Alot of tight muscles often have palpable “knots” and “triggers” in them. These are specific areas of contracted muscle within the entire muscle belly. To target these specific “hard or ropey” spots it is more effective to perform muscle releases (using a ball, pocket physio, foam roller, dry needling or trigger point massage) rather than doing a stretch. When you “muscle release” this allows for sustained pressure on a trigger point, at a specific angle held for around 90 seconds for 2-3 different spots per muscle group.

Muscle Releases

Muscle releases can still be performed if your muscle is tight due to nerve irritation, however stretching should definitely be avoided. It is difficult to know whether you have nerve irritation or not until it is tested by a qualified Physiotherapist. If you have consistently stretched a muscle correctly for >3 days and you’ve had no change, then you’ve tried doing muscle releases and there is still no change, then it is likely that there could be nerve involvement. Luckily at Barefoot this is something we test and specialise in, so if you need to get this checked click here to book an appointment.

Stretching can be effective if you have an entire muscle group that is notably tight and is not originating from nerve irritation. If this is the case, it is important to hold your stretches for a minimum of 60 seconds each using the correct technique to have the desired effect. If you do not know the correct technique, a Physiotherapist can help teach you.

So how will this help your muscles & body?

  1. Your muscles will feel “good” when relaxed at rest.
  2. Your injuries will be prevented
  3. Allows you to maintain full motion of your joints
  4. Allows full strength by having full range of motion
  5. Your recovery will be quicker after exercise!
  6. Your muscle soreness will be reduced
  7. Happy muscles & joints = happy nerves!
  8. Sports performance will be improved
  9. A reduction in headaches
  10. To stop us feeling old & creaky!
When and How?

Practicing muscle releases or stretches everyday is ideal. We recommend you set aside a minimum of 10 minutes a day to work on the areas that make the biggest difference to your body.  If you have a few areas to work on, you have had a big day at work or you are exercising at a high level, we would recommend 20-30 mins. If you aren’t sure what areas need to be released in your body to help you perform better, a Barefoot Physiotherapist will do a head-to-toe assessment to work out where you need to focus on for your body.It is normal to feel some discomfort during these releases and it should stop as soon as you release the pressure. If it doesn’t, please notify your Physiotherapist to find out why. Remember to breathe while you do your releases! Breathing in & out deeply will help relax the muscle contraction and speed up the releasing effect.

Be aware of your position while you stretch/release. Our brain always likes to take the easy option, so it will sometimes sub-consciously put us in the position where we get the least resistance. This doesn’t help us achieve the flexibility we are after. Posture and technique are key to sustaining a good stretch on a muscle. Want to know more? Check out the rest of our post here.

Women’s Health Week: Pelvic floor and Pregnancy Tips

Pregnancy is such an exciting time, however it can also bring a lot of questions about your health & well being. As your pregnancy progresses and your baby bump grows it’s important to strengthen your pelvic floor and improve pelvic floor health.  Sami Cattich from Body Birth Physio gave us her tops tips for improving the health of your pelvic floor, positive positions and how to maintain posture throughout your pregnancy!

√ – Practice Good Alignment

Poor alignment affects our pelvic floor muscles decreasing the ability of the abdominal and gluteal muscles (which are essential to the function of the pelvic floor!) to respond appropriately. Since your becomes used to what you do most frequently, continuous poor alignment while sitting, walking, or standing will result in a less functional pelvic floor. 

Often when you’re pregnant, or even when you aren’t it can be so easing to stand in positions that cause us to lean our pelvis our in front. With the hips out in front of you, your pelvic floor muscles are no longer able to appropriately respond to the load of the rest of the body and belly above it, and as such will not receive the input to build the strength required to support this extra weight – so pregnant or not, think hips over heels!

 √ – Sit With a Neutral Pelvis

Having a slouchy posture with your weight on your tailbone or sacrum (which is the middle of your pelvis) will put you pelvic floor muscles again into a disadvantaged position where it cannot do its job properly. Furthermore, pushing the sacrum INWARDS, especially when the ligaments are more stretchy thanks to pregnancy hormones, will have the affect of shortening the pelvic floor muscles and narrowing the pelvic outlet or birth canal – not something you want to be doing leading up to childbirth. The solution? When sitting – get your weight ON your ischial tuberosities (i.e. your “Sit Bones”) and OFF your tailbone and sacrum.

 √ – Release Your Stomach and Abdomen

Unfortunately this can be one of the most difficult tips to master ( we struggle with this too!) We’ve been conditioned from a young age as women to believe slim is desirable and as such suck in our stomachs and tense our abdomens on a daily basis.  However what you may not know is that this inhibits the ability of the pelvic floor and abdomen from functioning properly? That pressure has to go somewhere, and its usually down towards your pelvic floor causing undue stress and strain on the pelvic floor muscles. Try to relax and release your tummy & try not to wear restrictive or tight clothing that causes you to “suck in”. 

 √ – Employ a Proper Position While On the Toilet

Who would have thought that there was a proper position while on the toilet?!?

The most natural position while going to the bathroom is squatting. It allows your muscles to relax and removes the kink in your bowel that would otherwise make things difficult.  Unfortunately for those living in most western countries the height and shape of your toilets are not set up to allow for this. The solution? A raised platform like a shoe-box, stool, or squatty potty (if you haven’t heard of it, they explain this whole squatting while on the toilet concept in the most entertaining of fashions here) under your feet to allow you to assume this all natural position while going to the bathroom. 

The squatting position will also allow you to go without pushing – which is you do not want to be doing, especially when pregnant with the ligaments being more prone to stretch because of hormones. Pushing on the toilet can be a large contributor to prolapse and pelvic pain, so don’t go until your body lets you know its time and try to relax.

 √ – Wear Flat Shoes

They may make our legs longer & come in all different heights, shapes and sizes but for pelvic health  Unfortunately I’m not just talking about your favourite pair of stilettos, I’m also talking about those running shoes with a padded and elevated heel. Your pelvic floor health starts at your feet, the more time you spend in a shoe with a heel that is higher at the front than it is at the back, the more your body will adapt to that position – think shortened calf muscles and a pelvis that is constantly trying to compensate for being loaded in the wrong position. 

What you may not know is that wearing heals over a long period of time and cause your body to adapt even when you take them off! So we suggest trying out a pair of cute flat shoes, with a neutral heel when moving and exercising.

 √ – Move

This one is relatively straight forward, get up and about and keep moving! Sitting in the same position for long periods of time can cause shorting of your hips muscles, limiting the mobility of your pelvis and also contributes heavily to pregnancy-related lower back pain. 

Try to plan a walking meeting at work, stand at your desk occasionally, take a movement break, or print at the furthest printer from your desk – the options are infinite and the result is you getting move movement into your day.

Thanks to Sami Cattach from Body Birth Physio for these incredible tips and blog post !

To find out more about pregnancy and physio click here or follow the links to book in to see one of the Barefoot Team.

Tradie Health Month! Are you at risk of injury?

August is Tradie Health Month and we wanted to thank all the wonderful tradies for doing what they do! With that said, the work involved on a day to day basis for tradies can often be demanding on your body. 

There is an ever increasing number of injuries that occur when tradies are working. Did you know that 1 in 5 workplace injuries involve those working on the tools? What you may not know is that the predominant amount of these injuries are preventable – Physio Alistair has all the details!

How to tell if your body may be at risk of injury

Before a painful injury occurs there are often clues that the body is being exposed to strain. You may feel tightness or soreness in your muscles, stiffness through your back, or perhaps there will be days where a body part aches, and then the next day it feels totally fine. These are all signs that your body is under too much strain and there is a limitation causing the body not to move as well as it should.

Strategies to prevent injury

    1. See a physio – A physiotherapist will assess your movements, muscles and joints to see where your body is limited. At Barefoot we will treat the cause of your movement limitations and teach you strategies to maintain good movement. Once your body is able to move better you are less likely to load up other body structures which may be compensating for poor movement in another area of your body. The result is better movement, less pain and stiffness, and more knowledge on how you can best look after yourself.
    2. Develop a technique to keep your back in it’s optimal position while performing heavy physical tasks. If you’ve ever experienced an episode of back pain you’ll know how debilitating it can be. Any movement at all feels uncomfortable and you can’t do the physical activities required for everyday life. To prevent injury to the back it is helpful to learn what in fact neutral spine is and how it feels to move maintaining neutral. We call this this the two-hand check and have adapted it from the book Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett. Here’s how to do it:
    1. Place one hand at the bottom of your sternum with your palm facing down and your other hand at your pubic bone palm up. This should create two parallel horizontal planes – the top hand represents the bottom of the ribcage while the bottom hand represents the pelvis.
    2. Lean back and forward and notice how your hands move apart when you’re overextended and together when you’re rounded forward. These are indications that your spine isn’t in neutral. While the spine LOVES to move (and we love it to do so!) when a task is heavy it is best to maintain neutral spine as this places the least amount of strain on it.
    3. Have a go with your mates seeing if you can do a squat while maintaining neutral spine!

( See from left to right – Neutral, Extended, Bent)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Get your work mates involved to call you out when you’re in a poor position! See your buddy hunched over in some funky position when he’s lifting something? – let him know about it! It’s easy to fall back into old habits and ways of moving and we all need reminders to stay in a position that’s going to prevent injury. Having others to keep you accountable in maintaining a good position will help you build this habit and prevent injury long term.

Want to learn more, or pop in to see one of the Barefoot Team? Click here. To get involved visit the Tradies health Facebook page or the Tradies health website.

Accumulative Strain explained

You’re bending down, or doing a movement you have done hundreds of times and then all of a sudden you’re in a world of pain. Accumulative strain can present in multiple ways, and significantly affect how we function and move on a day to day basis.

Have you turned slightly the wrong way and had your back go?

Have you had an injury seemingly come out of nowhere?

These are just a few examples of how accumulative strain presents in our body.

 

So what is Accumulative Strain?

It is a build-up of load from various sources, such as:

  • Postural load
  • Sports technique
  • Previous Injury
  • Poor footwear
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stressful/Emotional load on our brain (anxiety, worry, depression)
  • General Health issues (immune system, endocrine/hormonal systems, infections, illness)

And leads to:

  • Tight muscles
  • Stiff joints
  • Irritated nerves

One thing on its own may not be enough to cause injury or symptoms, but in combination, strain can add up so that a small change in one aspect of your life can lead to a seemingly disproportionate amount of pain/ injury/ dysfunction. If previous injuries/stressors were never completely resolved we bring our tipping point closer to the pain threshold.

In the graph below you can see this depicted. Ideally everyone should be functioning in the optimal zone. This is when muscles and joints feel relaxed and mobile, movement ranges are 75% + and other factors such as nutrition, sleep and stress are being addressed.

What can I do to limit strain?

To limit strain in your body you want to improve all aspects that contribute to it. For example:

  • Improve your posture at work, on the couch at home, driving in your car, or standing at a bar having a drink.
  • Set your workstation up best for YOU!
  • Ensure you are as fit and strong as you can be for the activities you do.
  • Be smart about your footwear.
  • Getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for brain development and cell recovery.
  • Lead a Balanced Lifestyle. Try to take time out to do the things you enjoy often. Working too much or feeling stressed can have negative effects on your body & your health.
  • See a Barefoot Physiotherapist. To work out if strain is building up in your body that would eventually become an issue, we can do a thorough assessment of your nerves, muscles, joints and postures. You do not need to have symptoms to have an assessment. It is a positive step towards injury prevention.

At Barefoot our goal is to get you back to doing what you love. Whether you are an elite athlete, an office worker, a parent or even a student, it’s so important to listen to your body. At Barefoot Physiotherapy we want to help you continue to live the life you choose, pain free. Want to find out more? Click here.

So what exactly is Sports Physiotherapy?

Sports Physiotherapy explained

More often than not it can be confusing deciding what physio you should see, and how will this change your Physio experience. To answer your questions about Sports Physio we sat down with Barefoot Physio and Olympian Caitlin Sargent!

Many people ask me why we differentiate between the terms ‘physiotherapy’ and ‘sports physiotherapy’.  And fair enough, as the term sports physio isn’t widely understood – in fact, physio in general isn’t widely understood. But there’s a difference, which to us and our clients is vital.

Most people think of physio as a massage, followed by a bunch of home exercises for rehabilitation. So on that basis, sports physio would simply be the same but for people who play sport, right? Not at Barefoot Physiotherapy, and I’ll explain why. Let’s say you’ve presented to your GP with one of the usual suspects like neck, shoulder, back or knee injury. An attentive GP will likely spend a few minutes with you looking at your range of motion and asking about the circumstances of the pain you’re experiencing, before giving you a referral for some physiotherapy. 

Now this is where your journey can make a decisive turn. If you’ve been sent to a regular physiotherapist for rehabilitation, you’ll probably notice the treatment in your session will go straight to the site of the pain. It seems very cause and effect – you have a knee injury, so let’s get to work on that joint.

But this approach misses the key fact that often the site of pain is not in the same place as the cause. Still experiencing pain after a few visits? It’s a safe bet you’ve been treating the symptom and not the cause. At Barefoot we look at the root cause of the pain and treat it, helping to teach you to treat the problem area yourself and help to prevent further injuries in the future.

One of the big differences between physio and a sports physio is a specific understanding of what’s required from your body to perform at such a high level. To get you performing at optimal level, it’s important to help you understand your whole body as a working system. This means looking at your pain and treatment at a holistic level, teaching you to understand your body in a “bigger picture” sense.

Sometimes through treatment it can be determined that your injury may require further investigation from another health professional. We might even determine at an early stage that your shoulder injury, for example, needs investigation from another health professional before we can begin treatment. Or we might pick up in our early assessment that nerve irritation is causing muscle weakness and affecting your technique, which undetected would make a strength training program a very ineffective treatment.

Through looking at the whole picture our physios are able to identify if things like sleep position or posture at work are causing accumulative strain. Identifying this can help to solve your pain – not just fix it temporarily!

Who Should See a Sports Physio?

First of all, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to see a sports physio. In fact, most of our clients don’t fit that description at all (though we do treat some of the best in the business!).

It could be anyone! Our clients range from people who play sport socially, work out alone, weekend warriors and even professionals who need their body to function well as part of their physically active day job. We understand that movement and living an active lifestyle is just as important as those who are professional athletes. Having a body that is able to move and help you continue to do what you love is so important!

Naturally, most of our clients do love sport and achieve amazing results through the way we treat their sport injury or help them to improve performance. Non-professional athletes can often think they don’t need professional advice, but small gains at this level (especially when everyone else is thinking the same thing) can lead to huge performance benefits.

If you would love to get back to doing what you love, or don’t feel like you are performing at your optimal level pop in to visit the Barefoot Team! Click here to read more or book an appointment.