yoga

Accumulative Strain Flare ups

Years of full-time dance, hip surgery as a teenager and a semi-recent auto-immune diagnosis means that every so often my body goes a little bit haywire and throws out a variety of physical symptoms (a flare up) that impact my day to day activities. Yes, your physio can be sore too! The nature of our work means that we are physically and mentally active for the majority of the day. Which all adds to that accumulative strain we talk about in sessions.  As a physio and ex-dancer I have the benefit of knowing my body reasonably well. And the nature of accumulative strain means that we can tip over the threshold to symptoms with a seemingly minor event.

What do we do?

So how do physio’s manage accumulative stain flare ups? Firstly – have a good team in place!  Have all your strategies ready to go (or know who you can turn to to ask for help). That may be a partner or friend, physio, GP, PT, dietician, massage therapist – the list goes on! For me my auto-immune flare up presents as moderate to severe neural irritation in one arm. This is not super helpful with my job. Firstly we make sure my physio appointments are booked closer together to treat all of the things we already know make my body happier. I also get super strict with my food. I do this by avoiding things that cause more inflammation in my body and eating more of the things that make me feel good. As well as making sure I get more sleep. And making sure I have the opportunity to lie down/do my releases throughout my work day.   This is why we are always asking questions about other things in your life – it all makes a difference!

Physiotherapy Brisbane

How to think about it

Context is key.  Especially in accumulation strain flare ups or brain overload situations. We are always looking at the big picture.  There may be an activity that isn’t amazing for a particular body part but the overall mental/social/physical benefits mean we still want to include it but with modifications or extra releases.  For example, when my hip is really cranky it doesn’t like walking for more than 15 minutes but it will tolerate cycling a bit better.  The benefit for my whole system of being outside with gentle movement is worth having to do an extra long release session pre and post cycling.  As your physio (and general cheer squad) we’ll always be asking you questions and teasing out info to help you make similar choices if needed.

Physio brisbane

You can find out more about accumulative strain here (Read more).  If you have questions or need some help about creating a team or modifying activity ask your physio. Book in by calling 1300 842 850  or online at  http://www.barefootphysiotherapy.com.au/book/start/

Barefoot Physiotherapy Brisbane example of a shoulder self release clients can do at home.

Muscle releases at home

At Barefoot Physiotherapy we love meeting new clients and helping kick start them of their health journey. For most clients it is important to be completing their own exercises and muscle releases between appointments to maintain improvements. In a session with a Barefoot Physio we will do a head-to-toe assessment to work out what muscles need to be released to help improve your movement quality and reduce muscle tension. Completing these muscle releases daily is ideal as this will help to ensure you are consistently reaping the benefits of happy relaxed muscles.

Benefits of keeping your muscles happy are:

  • A reduction in muscular spasm and pain
  • Increase or maintain movement range of the muscle
  • Helps with post exercise recovery
  • Reduces tension pain such as headaches
  • Preventing injuries!
  • Happy muscle and joints = happy nerves 🙂

How often do you need to do your homework?

It is important to work out a way of fitting your muscle releases into your daily routine, so that they can be easily completed with the least amount of fuss. As a guide we recommend setting 10 mins aside to work through your release list. However, the ideal amount of time for you could be more or less depending upon where you are at on your health journey. Your physio will help you work out the ideal amount of homework for you!

Tips to fit releases into your routine:

  • Dedicate the ten minutes at a certain time of day as ‘me time,’ a good way of setting your body up to happily complete all your daily tasks.
  • Think about the various positions you complete your releases, this way you can conveniently fit them into parts of your day. For example: Sitting – you can do them during the ad breaks while watching your favourite TV show. Standing – during a study/work from home break against the wall. 
  • Keep any tools you need in an easily accessible spot, so there are no barriers for you to quickly fit a session of releases in. Make sure your foam roller, lacrosse ball or spiky ball are not hidden in a faraway cupboard.
  • Use visual cues to help you remember to do your releases: i.e. a post it note on your fridge or computer screen or a daily alarm/alert.
  • Importantly keep a list of your muscle releases handy this way you can easily access what ones you need to do. If you ever need help on how to complete them you can also follow this link, to read more about them on our website.

We can help with teaching Muscle Releases if you need

If you or someone you know is experiencing any muscle joint or possible nerve irritation please contact us. We can determine if it is a musculoskeletal issue before having to see a GP. We are open 5 days a week and a couple Saturdays a month. We have early and late appointments available. Please call us at 1300 842 850 or Click here to book an appointment.

Injury management

What its like to have an injury

By Caitlin Sargent:

As a physio I, along with many of my clients, expect I would rarely suffer injuries. As an elite athlete though it is kind of considered part of the deal. While it would be nice to always prevent all injuries, the nature of everyone’s lives is that at some point we are often going to accumulate too much strain and experience some degree of stiffness, pain or injury. It may be a slow gradual onset of tightness and discomfort when sitting in front of the computer or, as in my case, it may be a hamstring tear whilst competing at State Championships in front of a crowd.  And yes there is photo evidence.

Race injury
Photo credit: Casey Sims. Mid race Hamstring tear

Acute injury management

Most people are familiar with basic injury management – relative rest (ie don’t do the things that hurt), ice to reduce the inflammation and reduce the pain, compression to minimise swelling and aid in blood flow, elevation again to minimise swelling in the area. What does not often get discussed as part of this process, is the psychological management. “Where did this come from?” “How long will it take to get better?” “Will I ever be the same again?” “Is this going to impact my ability to work?”… The thoughts and questions can be an unhelpful spiral.

Sometimes, being a physio in these instances is helpful – for example, my lower back had been tight that week so I was not entirely surprised when I felt my hamstring tear. However as a physio I also felt irresponsible and embarrassed that I had ignored what I thought was a minor tightness and let it become a far more significant injury. It is important to know, that all kinds of thoughts and emotions are normal when experiencing an injury. However getting caught up in them, is usually not helpful (and can actually make our pain worse). Almost all injuries will make a full recovery and if you follow medical/physio advice, a majority of common injuries will be noticeably better in 2-6 weeks.

Injury management
Cross training

Physiotherapy management

Given my profession, I am somewhat biased – however I truly believe that good physiotherapy management and care can significantly speed up the recovery time for injuries. In my own case, after my hamstring tear, I had physio multiple times a week for a number of weeks. Given that the sciatic nerve runs through the hamstring, there was significant nerve irritation and early stage (first 10 days) treatment focused on this. Once the nerve irritation was settled down, we were able to do a fully body assessment and testing which found that T11 (a mid-back joint) made the most improvements to my hamstring length, hamstring strength and lower back range of motion. While it was frustrating to have my running training hampered, it was very comforting to see objective improvements happening in each session – giving me confidence that I would be able to return to training soon. I was able to modify my training to maintain as much fitness as possible, whilst also not impeding my recovery.

I have experienced a variety of injuries during my time as an athlete and I can confidently say it never gets “easy”. There are always frustrations, worries and negative thoughts. However I have found that by putting my energy into what I can do to get better (getting enough sleep, doing my self-releases, avoiding aggravating activities) and focusing on what training I can do (rather than what I can’t do) – I am able to minimise the impact of those negative thoughts. It allows me to see the injury as just another challenge in the life of an athlete – an opportunity for growth that will make me a better athlete, human and physio.

Injury recovery
Back on the hills
Relaxation

Self care blog from Sage and Sound

Our friends over at Sage and Sound in Woolloongabba are a Psychology and Coaching clinic. They have shared with us some tips for self care.

The five building blocks that underpin optimum mental health are to eat well, sleep enough, exercise, social interaction and do something just for you, on a daily basis.

Most people have a good idea of what the first four tasks involve, even if they find them difficult to do consistently. But the fifth (known to psychologists as ‘self-care’ and to IG as #treatyoself) is basically about being nice to yourself. Crafting your life to be enjoyable day to day, irrespective of deadlines, commitments and working towards your goals.

Self-care involves engaging in any activity where you want to be present in the moment, to savour the fun/pleasurable task at hand. Put simply,  it makes you feel good. It may have no other purpose than to make you feel good, or it may be also be good for your health, relationships or career. If not, it doesn’t matter. What differentiates self-care from just another activity is enjoying it. Massages and holidays are great self-care too, but unsustainable as everyday activities for most of us.

Some day-to-day examples include…

Gardening

If you enjoy being in your garden, get pleasure seeing flowers bloom, and like being outside, then gardening is self-care for you. But if gardening is just another chore to get done, it’s not self-care.

Watching TV

If you sit down with the intent to watch a particular show, and you’re engaged in the show and enjoying it (no matter how trashy, sometimes the trashier the better), then it’s self-care. But if you’re channel surfing because you’re bored, or to drown out worries about work, it’s not self-care.

Cooking

If you love the process, take your time with food, and gain satisfaction from sharing your cooking with others, then its self-care. If you just have to put something on the table to fulfil your dinner obligations, it’s not.

Showering

Using products you enjoy, staying in a bit longer just to experience the sensation of water? Self-care. Another thing to rush through as you head to work? Not self-care.

Day-To-Day Self Care

Day to day self-care shouldn’t be hard to fit in, or require too much time, money or energy. Most importantly, self-care is meant to fill us up, not become another ‘to’do’.  Basic self-care is about making time for activities that nourish you – playing with your children, doing crossword puzzles, listening to or playing music, journaling, drawing, meditation, playing sport, walking in nature, playing with your dog. As a simple rule, if you feel more energised afterwards, it counts!

For mental well-being you want to be ideally be engaging in at least one self-care activity a day. Generally, the more the better!

It also helps to have a variety of options, because when we do something daily it becomes a habit, which makes it harder to keep up the same levels of enjoyment and interest over time.

Short term, you can live without self-care (only for very demanding, urgent situations).

Long term, not scheduling time that’s just for you can lead to feelings of burnout, low self-esteem, feeling resentful towards others and increased levels of stress.

So when you wake up tomorrow, set an intention to do something that makes you feel good. Prioritise it, like any other area of wellbeing. Focus on your feelings as you do it, and afterwards, and you’ll begin to see why it’s in the top five things to do to take care of your health.

CLICK HERE to go to Sage and Sound’s website

Lara – A Barefooter story of life, lungs and laughter!

As Donate Life week is at the end of this month we’d like to share a Barefooter story of Lara who is an organ recipient to raise awareness of the awesomeness of Organ Donation. We usually write a little intro but I think I’ll leave it to Lara to introduce herself. Questions by Sal

Lara! You superstar – could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your health history?

How much time do you have? So, I was the ripe old age of 17, I played Netball and competed in Little Athletics and was pretty fit and active.  I had just graduated high school and the Christmas of 2008 saw me get hit with a bad case of Glandular Fever.  If you’ve ever had Glandular Fever, you know that there isn’t anything a doctor can do for you other than prescribe a good dose of a few days rest.  To cut a long story short, one thing led to another and the Glandular Fever had turned to pneumonia, and then into septicaemia and before we knew it, I was put into a medically induced coma.  I was diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and after both lungs collapsed, a lung transplant was my only chance of survival.  After 4 months of being in a coma and loads of complications, I was finally gifted with two new lungs thanks to the beautiful gift of life that is Organ Donation.   

My life had changed right before my eyes, and there was no chance I was going to let it slip past me again.  I woke up and Barack Obama was president and Michael Jackson had passed, and that was only the beginning.  I had a long road of recovery ahead, but I had a second chance at life.  It took me about 6 months, some gruelling physio and OT and I was gratefully back on track. I have just turned 29, and although the road hasn’t been smooth, I have been incredibly lucky.  Sure, I have been in and out of hospital a bunch of times, and have been poked and prodded on numerous occasions, but I have achieved more than I could ever have possibly imagined, and am here to thankfully tell the tale.  My new lungs have allowed me to complete a law degree, practise law, renovate a house, become an aunt 7 times over,  travelled o/s, build a house, change careers, start a business and get married.  I also did this crazy thing and walk 30km from Sandgate to Southbank, and not even I expected my lungs to handle that.  None of it would have been possible without organ donation.   I often tell people I was just really unlucky, but lucky at the same time to still be here.  I am happily married, have the cutest little floof ball, Alfie, and am just generally living my best life.    

I have met a lot of people in my life and I would have to say you have one of the strongest sense of humour I have ever seen. Did you know that? Where do you think it comes from?

Are you saying I am the funniest person you know?! I had no idea.   

If I really sit and think about it, I think even from a young age I have always been able to see the funny side of things, and have loved making people laugh and smile.  Going through the transplant journey has probably definitely given me a stronger sense of humour (albeit sometimes a little sick), and I truly think a lot of it comes from self-acceptance.  I have been through more than most people go through in a lifetime, but that has only made me stronger and allowed me to really see things in a different light.  I also promised myself that I wouldn’t let my health or sickness consume me, and I think a sense of humour helps me to remain optimistic.  We have really tried to embrace what is happening, and the cards that we have been dealt and I think if we couldn’t see the funny side in it, or if we didn’t laugh, we would probably cry all the time.  I have learnt that life is absolutely too short, and you never know when it could be taken away from you – so you have to enjoy it and you have to smile.  At the end of the day, no matter how tough life seems at the time, there is almost always someone worse off.   My team of doctors often say that if it wasn’t for my outlook on life I probably wouldn’t have come as far as I have, but in my eyes I don’t see the alternative as even a choice. As cliché as it sounds, laughter really is the best medicine – and our attitude and approach toward challenges that life throws at plays a major role. 

At this stage we are aware that you need another transplant in the foreseeable future. What do you do to get ready for that?

That’s right!  My current airbags have given me a beautiful, epic 11 extra years of life so far, and although we would love them to, they were never meant to last forever.  I mean, let’s just think about that – I physically have someone else’s organs in my body, keeping me alive (I’m border line super human).  Being heavily immunocompromised means I am highly susceptible to any little bug, or bacteria and infection.  So over the years I have copped a few coughs and colds, and viruses that have damaged my lungs to the point that they are now heavily scarred.  At the moment, I operate at about 19% capacity.  Just to put that into perspective for you, a “normal” person my height and weight would have a lung function of approximately 2.9-3.0L/Sec.  Mine sits at about 0.60L/Sec on a good day.  I’ll let that sink in..  Some days I feel like I am walking around breathing through a straw, other days I feel amazing.  But, given no one should live a life where they struggle to breath, the decision was made to consider a second transplant, or a “re-do” as well call it in lung world.     

Right now, I am being assessed for a second transplant, and basically that involves me preparing my body for its (second) biggest challenge.  In addition to maintaining my general health, I see an Exercise Physiologist three times a week, and am working on building overall strength and conditioning so when the time comes to be re-transplanted, the road to recovery is a lot easier. My strength is also a precondition to qualifying for a second transplant.   The team at Barefoot is also playing a major role right now, by tuning me up, so I can keep building that strength.  I have an epic team of health practitioners on my team right now, and they all play a really important role in my future.         

You and your husband have been together through all this – can you give him a rating out of 10 😉 and share an example of how he supports you.(side note: Lara’s husband Todd is a friend of Sal’s, is Barefoot’s sparky and refrigeration mechanic and is the butt of many jokes at Barefoot about remembering his physio appointments)

Oh look, he is probably a solid 12.  Todd is the perfect balance for me – If anyone has ever met him, you know he is literally a tornado of energy and you cannot stop him.  He is pretty cut & dry, so he also shows me a little bit of tough love, which to be honest with you I probably need (even though I may not think it at the time).  Todd knows when to push me enough to keep me going, but also knows when to hold off.  His energy is probably one of my biggest motivations.  Support from him seems to come so easy, and it is really second nature to him so I am incredibly grateful.  His support scales from the simplest things like carrying the groceries up the stairs for me, all the way through to sitting on the floor crying with me over the unknown and what might be ahead of us.  Nothing seems to waiver Todd, and I know that he is the best support person I could ever ask for.  I couldn’t do any of this without Todd.  He is also really great at bringing me all of the good snacks and food when I am stuck in the hospital, because let’s be honest, no one likes hospital food. I met Todd only a few short months before I got sick and we were super young, so my expectations were pretty low.  I mean, he definitely had better things to do than hang around a hospital.  Turns out, I should have given him more credit.   

Can you share a message for anyone that is considering being an organ donor, or isn’t sure if they are one

If I am brutally honest – don’t even think twice.  Just do it.   

There are plenty of misconceptions and myths around organ transplant / donation which is probably peoples biggest turnoff, but what I have found is that telling my story provides people with a little more education, and opens their eyes to what it can actually achieve.  I am living proof it works, and its pretty bloody good.  One organ donor can change the life of up to 10 people.  That’s pretty cool if you think about.   

I know so many people I talk to think they have it covered, they ticked that box when they got their drivers licence 30+ years ago, but that is a thing of the past.  You now need to be a registered organ donor on the Australian Organ Donation Register and this is all done through medicare.  The most important part though, is to discuss this decision with your loved ones and next of kin because ultimately they are the ones that make the decision.   

Each year approximately 1,600 Australians wait for an organ transplant, whether it be heart, lung, livers or kidneys.  In Australia, sadly, viable organs can only be taken from a small pool of people and those deaths count for a minute percent of the population, and from that even less donate.   

I promise you; a double lung transplant was the farthest expectation for my life that you, or I could ever have possibly imagined.  It’s one of those things that you never think will happen to you, or someone you know or love. But you shouldn’t discredit that.  Sometimes life has its own plan for you and you just have to follow the path that’s been paved.  If after reading this just one extra person registers, or even has the chat with their family, then I have made a difference.  Death isn’t something anyone wants to think about, or discuss with their family but the reality of it is, is that it is inevitable.  Life can, sadly be taken away from us in an instant, and in the event that it does, wouldn’t you like to know that you’ve saved someone’s life ?

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO GO TO THE ORGAN DONATION WEBSITE

10 years since double lung transplant!

Yoga Physio and Props – get the most out of your practice!

Written by Catherine – Yoga Physio

As both a physio and a yoga teacher I can honestly say one of the best things you can do for your yoga practice is to use props!  It’s a legitimate game changer. It’s common for teachers to make suggestions of using a block or bolster throughout a yoga class, but often it’s a bit more difficult to work out exactly how or why you should be using them, especially as we have more and more access to online classes!

The best things about using props is that they change your environment to suit your body and your yoga pose, rather than contorting your body to suit the environment.  We already know that all bodies look and move differently, why should we then expect everyone to be able to come into the same position in a yoga class? As we do more and more in our homes, it’s important to listen to your body.  You’ll get much more out of your practice (in all facets) if you’re not constantly fighting against your body!

A couple of examples (with home prop variations included):

Downface Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Roll up the back of your mat or have a rolled towel to tuck under the heels so that you can soften the calf stretch/ankle dorsiflexion plus make it a bit easier to soften the knees out of a full hamstring stretch.

Yoga physio
Downface dog with prop

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana):  Use a block or a study shoe box under the front hand, either on the inside or the outside of the leg.  This helps to support the torso while also changing the amount of trunk rotation, hip flexion/rotation/abduction required and decrease the likelihood that you just sink into the front knee/shin.

Yoga Physio
Triangle with prop

Warrior 3 (Tuladandasana): Use blocks, or shoeboxes, or a sturdy stack of textbooks under the hands for a bit of extra support and height for the torso before starting to hover or lift the hands.  It also means if you over balance you won’t fully fall out of the pose.  You can also try a standing variation where hands can rest of the wall, or edge of the couch. Nail the glute and core activation with a bit of extra support.

If you have specific niggles going on in your practice that adjustments and props still don’t cut it  give us a call at the clinic on 1300 842 850 or Click here to book an appointment.

Britt at barefoot with physio ball

Move Well and DIY

We love people to move well and feel great. As our communities adapt to a new way of life, which finds us all spending the majority of our time at home, a lot of us have decided it is the perfect time to pick up our old tools, bring out the vacuum cleaner or refine our green thumbs while re-landscaping our backyards.

Whilst all these activities are great things to be doing to keep ourselves busy, they like any physical activity can put our body’s under strain and if our bodies are already being loaded up non-optimally, this can lead to us experiencing symptoms of pain. Therefore, it is important to keep our muscles strong and our joints moving well to make sure we can keep ‘pottering’ around our homes in our best shape.

What to do to move well

If you are already a Barefooter your Physiotherapist will have devised a set of muscle releases/ stretches and exercises for you to be doing at home regularly. It is a good idea to work these into your routine before and after any house work or ‘DIYing’. So before you start vacuuming the whole house, do a set of your muscle releases to help your muscles adapt to the strain better, then when you’re done take a break and try and fit in another set of releases.

Furthermore, it is important to work within your limits and listen to your body by taking regular breaks from any sustained postures i.e. squatting whilst weeding, reaching overhead to repaint those walls or vacuuming the endless amount of animal hair out of your carpet.  By changing positions regularly you can help make sure your body doesn’t develop any niggles or pain and it can keep helping you make the most out of being at home.

If you are after some releases or stretches for your body, click the link here, for a list of examples and instructions.

We can help if you need

If you or someone you know is experiencing any muscle joint or possible nerve irritation please contact us. We can determine if it is a musculoskeletal issue before having to see a GP. We are open 5 days a week and a couple Saturdays a month. We have early and late appointments available. Please call us at 1300 842 850 or Click here to book an appointment.

Hiking mental health

Physical activity for Mental Health

The link between Physical and Mental Health

The importance of mental wellbeing for overall physical health is very clear. In our increasingly busy and sometimes uncertain modern world, it is particularly important for us to give our mental health the care and attention it deserves. As physios, we have often seen the impact anxiety, depression and stress can have on the physical body (did you just feel yourself relax your shoulders and unclench your jaw as you read that??). What is not always as widely discussed, is the importance of physical health on mental wellbeing.

There is lots of great research to support the importance of physical activity for aiding in the prevention and management of mental health conditions. While physical activity alone certainly does not take the place of professional help (eg seeing a psychologist), one study suggested that an hour of physical activity across the week can help prevent depression.

The general recommendation is for 30 minutes of exercise a day to positively influence mental wellbeing.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Release of endorphins and serotonin (feel good hormones)
  • Improved sleep quality (poor sleep is a significant factor in poor mental health)
  • Improved mood and energy
  • Reduction in stress and anxiety
  • Improved memory and focus
  • Improved coping and resilience

Getting started

If you are just getting into exercise, it is important to do so in a way that is going to both support your mental wellbeing and physical health… that is, not contribute to an injury! You do not have to do intense exercise to reap the benefits – see here for our return to walking program. We recommend starting with something familiar (like walking, or a sport you played in your youth) and ideally an activity you enjoy (maybe dancing is great for you!). Getting outside for your exercise is ideal, as this has its own benefits. It can also help to exercise in a location that has positive memories or emotions for you and to partner up with a friend.

If injury is getting in the way of returning to exercise, speak to one of our physios to see how we might be able to help you. If you are experiencing difficulties with your mental wellbeing, speak to your GP or psychologist.

Increasing running

Increasing running with Caitlin Sargent

More time for running

With gyms closed and exercise options somewhat reduced compared to normal, a lot of people are turning to running for their endorphin dose. Running is a great form of exercise, with the added bonus of getting some vitamin D and some seeing some fresh scenery. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. A sudden rise in running volume can lead to injuries, so I’ve put together my suggestions for how to safely increase your running.

Gradual approach

Progressive overload is a term used in exercise to describe how we can safely get the body to adapt to new stimulus. It is generally accepted that a 10-20% is safe, but also effective in increasing fitness. This is often a lot less than people imagine – if you were previously running 3km, then an appropriate increase would 300-600m in one run. It also applied across the whole week – so if you were previously running 5km twice a week and wanted to add another run in, a total volume increase of 2km would be appropriate. So you might consider a 5km and two 3km runs.

If you haven’t been running, I would start with a maximum of 2 runs per week. Depending on your existing level of fitness and strength as well as past exercise experience, you may find you adapt to this quite quickly and can increase your frequency quite quickly. If you have little or no past running experience, it is a good idea to start with a run/walk option. Eg Run for 1 minute, walk for 1-2 minutes x 5. As you progress you can increase the continuous running time and then decrease the rest time (until you are running for 5-10 minutes straight!)

Don’t forget about Strength!

It is easy to get focused on running, especially when gyms are closed and the lure of outdoor training is so high. However running is a high load activity on the body- it is essentially repetitions of single leg squat jumps one after another. Ensuring you have adequate strength and endurance in your leg muscles (in particular glutes and calves) is important for helping prevent injury, as well as improving performance. Strength training for running doesn’t need big heavy weights. When done correctly, body weight exercises like step-ups, lunges and squats (ideally single leg ones) are all great for training up strength and control in running muscles.

Rest days!

Most important of all – allow your body rest and recovery time! 1-2 days of either total rest or gentle walk/yoga is very important for keeping your mind and body happy and healthy

If you’d like to know more or ask Caitlin questions feel free to contact the clinic on 1300842850 or email hello@barefootphysiotherapy.com.au

Cooking pasta

Hobbies and your body – Physio tips to take care of yourself

More time at home can mean more time for hobbies

With many of us spending more time at home, we’re seeing people able to engage more with their hobbies (or even taking up new ones). It’s great to see creativity and passion being nourished like this. While the brain loves being engaged in an activity to the point of losing track of time, often the body feels otherwise. Awkward positions and long periods of sitting are just some of the reasons we may find ourselves more sore as we spend more on our hobbies.

“Hobbies” covers a very wide spread of activities, however many of them are done in some variation of sitting, so that is what this blog will focus on. If you love to cook or bake – there’s a whole other blog about that here.

How you can take care of your body

  1. Think about your set-up
    There is usually another component to hobbies other than just ‘sitting’ – either leaning over a desk – drawing/puzzling /sewing or with something in hand – knitting needles, crossword book or a digital tablet. It is important to keep in mind how these other elements are affecting our posture. A few things to keep in mind
  2. If you are leaning over a table – try to keep your chin tucked in to reduce the amount of strain on your neck. If you have easy access to an adjustable table (like a drafting table with a changeable angle), this is another way you may be able to ease the load on your neck
  3. Try to keep your elbows tucked in – its very easy to let your arms rest out to the sides, especially if they’re engaged in activity. However, this tends to result in extra work for your shoulder muscles so aim to keep your elbows relaxed by your side.
  4. Take breaks
    Bodies are designed to move, so long periods in any one position often result in stiffness or aches. If you know your hobby often makes you lose track of time, then try setting a timer to get up and move every 30-60 minutes. Depending on your hobby, you can also try changing positions – eg sitting, standing, reclining on the couch/armchair.

If your body is sore and stopping you from spending more time on your passions, book in to see a physio to get to the root of the cause and help customise your hobbying posture! You can book online with a Barefoot Physiotherapist here