Physio Tips

 

Our commitment to your recovery from injury extends to beyond in – house treatment.

We enjoy empowering you to take control of your injury

Many of the common tips we provide include:

RICER

Better Ergonomics Guide

Pillow Talk:Choosing the right pillow and bed

Plane and Travel

R.I.C.E.R.

Often mentioned with first aid R.I.C.E.R. refers to the immediate response taken for soft tissue injury management. R.I.C.E.R. means Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral.

  • Rest

    • Stop what you are doing, do not continue to play sport.
    • Rest reduces further injury.
  • Ice

    • Apply ice to injured area, cover loose ice or ice pack so that it is not too cold so as to prevent a burn. Check skin to ensure no burning occurs.
    • Usually for 15 minutes every 2 hours for up to 72 hours.
    • Ice reduces swelling and numbs the pain.
  • Compression

    • Apply a bandage to to cover above and below the injured area. Avoid putting the bandage on too tightly.
    • Compression reduces bleeding and swelling.
  • Elevation

    • Elevate the injured area on a pillow. For best results if a leg injury, lie flat with leg resting on a pillow so that the leg is above the level of the heart
    • Elevation reduces swelling and bleeding
  • Referral

    • Make an appointment with the Physiotherapist for assessment and treatment

Better Ergonomics Guide and Postural Habits

Poor postural habits at work and at home reinforced by incorrect positions produces irritating pain that can become disabling. Get good at resetting your chair and desk ergonomics, stretching posturally and watching your time in Sitting / Standing

  • Keep Moving

    Keep moving around your desk – our joints were made to move. Staying still for long periods can stiffen joints and tighten muscles. With sitting it is recommended to get up every 45 minutes – 1 hour even just to walk around your desk.If you stretch make sure you feel a strain, not a pain.

  • Stretch at your desk

    Some good sitting exercises include

    • Rolling and shrugging shoulders
    • Pulling arm across body
    • Bend backwards in standing.

    Click on our blog section under “Pause Aerobics”. This will provide a comprehensive exercise program to do at your desk in your office or at home to prevent postural aches and pains

    See our exercise videos, specifically exercise number 8.

  • Phone Use

    If you use a phone frequently or for long periods during the day consider using a headset or Bluetooth.

  • Work Equipment

    All work equipment, including the phone ,that you use frequently during the day should be no more than half an arm’s length away.

Pillow Talk

Selecting the right pillow and mattress.

Go to the blog section in the website and read our 3 articles – Good morning, bad neck pain – The Goldilocks Zone – Navigating the pillow and mattress maze Along with an article written by Andrew Mitchell for Women’s Health Magazine regarding sleep conditions “Mitchell’s Fixes”.

These discuss what types of injuries can occur with sleeping, what type of pillow/mattress is best suited to you and how to pick them.

  • Type of Pillow

    Feather and Down

    Often very comfortable but can easily compact and deform so that the head changes position overnight to either over stretch or compress the vertebrae and muscles. The best we have found is the Encore Pillow – designed by a Physiotherapist and has sections that are harder, that contour the neck better.

    Foam

    This does not compact or deform as easily as the feather and down and provides more support. Most foam pillows these days have a contour but being foam the exact match with your neck position is often difficult to achieve. Denton’s pillows have several contour heights and the foam is of moderate comfort.

    Memory Foam / Viscoelastic

    Has a better ability to contour to your head and the viscoelastic pillows provide more active cushioning support. The Tempur range is a pillow range we recommend for a good night sleep.

  • Pillow Contour and Height

    Trialling a pillow is recommended for the best feel of a pillow. However what is equally important is measuring the correct height.

    Take a pillow selfie to look at the shape of your neck with your pillow. If your neck is not straight then more than likely the pillow height and contour is incorrect. You need your neck to be relatively straight for best posture overnight.

  • Bed/Mattress

    The discussion of what type of bed is right for you is always controversial.

    Over riding all consideration is the fact that you need to be comfortable with your new bed. There is no point in having the best ergonomic bed if you have to sleep on the floor because you are unable to get used to that new bed. Always allow a 1-3 month period to adjust to a new bed.

    The most controversial factor in choosing a bed is whether the bed is firm enough for your back.  The best advice is that if you have low back or trunk pain that is positional, i.e. affected by posture then you will need to have a bed that supports your spine. For this you will need a firm mattress.

    The more you rely on supported chairs for instance, i.e. You need to take a lumbar roll wherever you go and have a special insert in your car seat the firmer the support you will need in your mattress.

    The problem with firm beds is there increasing level of discomfort in the shoulder and hips when you lie on your side. The beauty of today’s bed selection is that you can get a firm bed with a soft quilt covering for the best of both worlds.

Plane and Travel Tips

Plane travel combines long periods of inactivity in poor sitting positions followed by a short period of heavy lifting.

A plane travel blog can now be found on this website under Blogs for more information. To eliminate and reduce the possibilities of injury the following suggestions should be considered.

  • For the Lumbar Spine

    1. Use a small pillow/roll or bring your own lumbar support.
    2. For longer flights – get up every 1-2 hours
      – If unable to get up then rotate the use of your pillow.
    3. Exercise and keep moving your spine whilst sitting, see blog.
    4. Take care when standing
      – avoid turning and bending your trunk and head when standing from a window seat.
      – Slide across to aisle seat before standing.
      –  Once in standing, stretch back. See blog.
    5. Care with taking luggage off the carousel.
      – Stand facing carousel
      – lift with straight back, use knees to lift.
      – Use luggage with wheels and reduce amount of lifting.
  • For the neck and middle spine

    1. Support the neck with an air cushion
    2. Check height and support of hotel pillow , use a rolled up towel in the pillow to support position of the neck when sleeping.
    3. Stretch the neck frequently in flight , especially using posture correction stretch – chin tuck (make a double chin.)
      – pull shoulder blades in and down
      – palms up, elbows in by side, then arms out
      Hold 5 seconds x 3.
    4. If using a back pack ensure heaviest items are packed in the middle to reduce the drag on the body when walking which causes the middle spine to slouch excessively.
  • Preventing DVT

    Long flights and lack of movement can create a risk of blood clots in the deep veins of the leg.

    To prevent DVT’s:

    1. Keep hydrated – drink water and reduce alcohol during flights.
    2. Exercise – 3-4 minutes every hour.
    3. Foot pumps
    4. Ankle circles
    5. Knee lifts
    6. Toe scrunching

    For further information read our blog : “Preventing plane travel injuries”.

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