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Physiotherapy for Pain Management

Here’s a great article from our Industry Body explaining the current situation with Codeine becoming prescription only, and how Physiotherapy for Pain Management can be an effective treatment option.

With codeine becoming a prescription only drug from February, a large number of Australians will be seeking alternative ways to manage their pain.

National President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Phil Calvert said, ‘The good news is that physiotherapy is proven to provide effective pain relief, which treats rather than simply masks the underlying cause of pain.’

‘We appreciate that restricting access to codeine may cause anxiety for people who suffer an injury. So we want them to know that physiotherapists help people to manage their pain and recover movement with great success, without the use of addictive drugs.’

Research has shown that the relative level of pain that is experienced by someone can be influenced by a range of factors including their emotions and social environment. This means that pain can be a very complex issue to successfully treat.

‘There is no one size fits all approach in assessing and treating someone’s pain. So physiotherapists are practiced in considering a range of factors that may be contributing to the pain. We’ll talk with patients about their lifestyle goals and introduce an appropriate treatment including exercise programs, joint manipulation and mobilisation,’ said Mr Calvert.

What to expect from a physiotherapy consultation:

  • Your physiotherapist will perform a physical examination and find out more about your history and any other factors that may be contributing to the pain.
  • In most cases of acute pain (the period in which an injury is expected to heal), the pain will settle as the tissue heals. Your physiotherapist will explain the nature of the injury and normal healing times. They may provide early treatment, but in many cases advice regarding self-management strategies, including gentle exercise, will be enough to help resolve the pain and return you to full function.
  • In situations where the pain has become chronic (generally more than three months – longer than normal healing times), assessment and management may be more complex. Things other than tissue damage may be contributing to your pain, which your physiotherapist will investigate. In complex situations other specialists may also form part of a wider treatment team.
  • At all stages of pain management, physiotherapists will work with you to encourage self-management, remaining active as appropriate and avoiding a reliance on medication.

If you’re experience pain or difficulty with movement that may cause pain, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  Here’s a BLOG of ours to read, If you’d like some simple exercises to assist with pain management: https://www.barefootphysiotherapy.com.au/easy-exercises-keep-healthy-active-age/

 

Turtle Conservation in Malaysia

Putting her diving ability to good use while she studies for a Masters Degree in the Environment, Kirsten recently landed her Dream Job studying and caring for Turtles in Malaysia.  Turtle Conservation is her passion and her journey is amazing. We’re excited to share her story:

You have just scored your dream job, working in turtle conservation in Malaysia for 8 months. Tell us more about what the job entails and why you are so passionate about this work

I have worked on a few turtle conservation projects in the past, which have involved patrolling the beaches at night for nesting mothers. When you come across one there is often a procedure of measuring, tagging and observing the nest and its parameters which are crucial to understand their mortality rates. The work also involves tracking hatched nests, their success rate and causes of depredation among the eggs.

Turtles are the most magnificent animals to work with and I’ve never felt more peaceful than sitting with a mum as she’s laying. Sometimes it isn’t the most glamorous work (scrambled turtle eggs and vultures is not an uncommon combination) and walking anywhere up to 8km throughout the night can be tough but being around these prehistoric creatures make it all worth it in a heartbeat.

The programme I’ll be looking after in Malaysia will cover all these things, where I’ll be working to coordinate volunteers from all over the map. I’ll have some big shoes to fill but having the beach as an office has been my dream for some time!

A few projects I’ve worked on have also involved surveying the beaches for poachers. Luckily this isn’t a problem in Australia, however is still a reality in many countries where sea turtles lay their eggs. I fell in love with sea turtles on a project in Costa Rica in 2012 with an amazing crew of local conservationists who were dedicating their lives to protecting them. Only a few months after I came home in 2013 one of my mentors, Jairo Mora Sandoval was brutally murdered by poachers. Its hard to believe, but this is how serious animal trades have become in some parts. I’ve never met someone as passionate for conservation as him, and I promised myself that Jairo’s death would not be in vain.

One of your big passions in life is scuba diving – tell us what it is you love so much about diving and where are some of your favourite dives?

 The feeling I get when I’m underwater is indescribable. It’s one thing to sit on the beach and marvel at the view but knowing what lies beneath makes me appreciate what I’m looking at a whole lot more. I feel so lucky to live in a world where such exquisite life exists. And even better is how us humans have worked out how to breathe underwater!

 

 

Every dive is different, but my most memorable ones have been throughout Central America. I dived in a cenoté in Mexico which is an underwater limestone cave that you enter through a hole that may only be a few metres wide but would open up to a range of huge caverns underneath. It was extremely challenging both mentally and physically, knowing that you had to conserve enough air to be able to follow a line throughout the cavern. At one point we surfaced into ’The Bat Cave’, which as the name suggests, was full of bats hanging from the stalactites (those formations that hang eerily from the roof). I don’t know if I’d do that bit again!

Nothing compares to exploring your own backyard and diving over at Stradbroke Island during Grey Nurse Shark season is truly amazing. They are gentle sharks who nurse their young in the waters off Straddie, and I’ve been lucky enough to see a manta rays, turtles, nudibranchs and so much more on the same dive!

 

Easy exercises to keep you healthy and active as you age

Easy exercises to keep you healthy and active as you age.

For many people, aches and pains have become a normal part of their life, especially as they age. However, it doesn’t matter if you’re 7 or 77, pain is not a normal part of life, and should be something that you take seriously. This includes general aches and stiffness from your daily life!

Here are some easy exercises and body management tips to keep you happy, healthy and moving beautifully through life!

  • Keep moving!
    • Studies have shown people who stop moving are more likely to experience stiffness and pain. Now this movement is a little more than just pottering to the kitchen and back. This means you should be getting out of the house and moving around. Some good activities you could try are; heavy gardening, a half-hour brisk walk, riding a bike for 30 mins or more, team sports, or even dancing!
    • Moving gets the blood flowing and joints lubricated. So not only should this movement help with any pain that you are already experiencing, but it will also help to prevent the onset of stiffness and pain!
  • Deep breathing and muscle relaxation
    • If your muscles are tense, then they are not going to be happy and they will send pain signals to your brain. So how do we relax muscles without going to the physiotherapist or for a massage?
    • Deep Breathing Exercises;
      • Make yourself comfortable (lying down or sitting in a chair)
      • Loosen any tight clothing
      • Start to listen to your breathing in its natural pattern, without changing anything
      • Place your hand on your stomach, and start breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
      • Imagine that you are breathing down into your hands, letting your belly move in and out with your breaths
      • As you breathe out, imagine all your tight muscles are relaxing away all their tension
      • Continue for 3-5mins
    • Regular exercise can also help the back pocket. A few studies have shown in the older population, those who exercise spend less time and money on things such as doctors, and hospital visits…because overall they are generally healthier people.

Lastly, if you are experiencing pain on a daily basis and can’t seem to find relief, make sure you seek help. You can always give your physiotherapist a call, if you don’t have one you can make an appointment with us, or book in to see your GP.

Preparing for your Physiotherapy Appointment

If you’ve never had physiotherapy, or if you haven’t been in a while, it can be good to know what to expect and how best to prepare.

Appointment Preparation

Once you have decided on which Physiotherapist you’re going to go to, you can give the clinic a call or jump online and book an appointment through their website. When you’re on the phone some clinics will have a couple of questions for you about what the issue is, don’t be concerned about this your privacy is safe! It’s just to give the physiotherapist that will be seeing you an indication of what to expect when you walk in the door, and who might be best to help you.

 

The Barefoot Physiotherapy way

Now, at Barefoot Physiotherapy, we do things a little differently. After you have made your appointment at the clinic, the Physiotherapist who will be seeing you, will give you a call to check in with you and see what is going on in your body, and how best we can help you, along with answering any questions you may have, and making sure you know what to expect when you come into the clinic.

Session Preparation

A couple of days before your appointment, it would be a good idea to get some things together that you might need at your appointment. Things such as; private health insurance card, Medicare card, relevant scans of the injury, and any other relevant information about your injury or concerning area.

The Appointment

On the day it’s preferable to arrive at the clinic around 10-15mins prior to your appointment. This is to ensure you have enough time to find the clinic, find a parking spot, get into the clinic, and to fill out any required paperwork. Then, once in the session with the physiotherapist, tell them everything about your injury even if it may seem trivial to you, it may be the secret to unlocking your body! Overall, physiotherapy should be an enjoyable experience, where you walk out of the clinic feeling better and more knowledgeable about your body.

Top tips for keeping your body happy at work!

Top 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 tips you can 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 top tips 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. We hope you find these top tips useful.

Brain Overload

Pete – touch footy, barramundi fishing and sirens blaring!

Physio for paramedics

Pete Joseph loves a challenge. Whether it be side stepping on the touch footy field, barramundi fishing or saving lives. 

At Barefoot, we love to look after the people who look after us. Being a paramedic is taxing on your body. You need to put yourself into difficult situations physically and mentally. It’s important to have your outlets and for Pete Joseph, it’s touch footy & barramundi fishing. We were keen to hear more about this lifestyle that sounds like it’s out of an Adventure magazine!

You’ve just played for the NQ Touch Footy team at a State comp, but you live in Brisbane. How does that come about?

I’ve represented Cairns Pirates at the NQ championship whilst living in Cairns multiple times and due to this I was able to use my home grown status to tour with the team this year in June 2015. This is an avenue for players such as myself that have a passion for representing their home region.

Having grown up in cairns you can’t help but feel an emotional attachment to representing the region at any opportunity you can get. Not only do I get to play touch football with my mates I grew up with, but making it known to everyone that I’m a proud NQ boy and will always be. This is something most city slickers won’t ever understand. Cairns will always be known to me as my home and the connection with the region is something that will never fade. I suppose you can compare it to the same passion that Queensland supporters have during the state of origin series… Queenslander!!!!!

Physiotherapy touch football

We know you get asked about it all the time (because we all want to know about you guys in uniform!) but can you tell us about what made you decide to become a paramedic and what’s a usual day like?

I’m a bit biased, but being a paramedic is the best job in the world. I was an electrician but I wanted a bit more of a challenge and being a paramedic has certainly filled that void. Being a paramedic is rewarding and unique which makes the role so enjoyable.

And what’s a usual day like? It’s sometimes that’s hard to describe. There are no two days that are similar, not even close. We don’t have a usual day which is one of the reasons why I and other paramedics are attracted to the role. When we log on with our communications centre, the possibilities are endless. We could be simply talking amongst ourselves about the weekend sport when we receive a job that requires us to treat a patient that can be medically unwell or involved in a traumatic event. We never know what we will encounter or who we will meet, which is what makes it so interesting.

We hear that you love fishing in the NT. Tell us about your most memorable trip.

Fishing is my chance to completely relax. Being isolated with your mates catching HUGE Barramundi is hard to beat. I have heaps of great memories however catching your first fish [especially barramundi] of the trip always sticks in your mind. This photo was taken in Kununurra W.A which was our plan B location due to bad weather in the Northern Territory.

Fishing lifestyle Physiotherapy

Thanks Pete!

PS – Pete’s next focus for touch is to be representing the North Queensland Cyclones, March 2016 at the National Touch League Championship in Coffs Harbour.

 

If you have a demanding job that is hard on your body, why not book in with us for a ‘tune up’ – where we can check you over from time to time and treat anything that may come up.  This is a great way to keep your body at 100%  If you’d like to book in with us for a tune-up, CLICK HERE.