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29/Jul/2020

Maybe Reformer Pilates has been suggested to you by your physio and you’ve rolled your eyes at the idea. Or your friend has been raving about the Reformer class she’s been attending the last few months and it’s got you thinking? You’ve probably walked past a Pilates studio and seen the weird looking machines in the window, right? Whether you’re an exercise buff looking for the next trend or you’re new to exercise but not interested in running on a treadmill, Reformer Pilates is a fun, challenging way to up your fitness game.

 

What Is Reformer Pilates?

Women’s Health describes Reformer Pilates as “a form of exercise that shares the principles of centering, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow with traditional mat classes, but is done on a reformer machine which involves a system of springs, ropes, pulleys and a carriage”. A Reformer is essentially like a single bed with a platform on wheels which assists the user in completing exercises. Reformer Pilates shares the same principles as traditional mat Pilates, the reformer machine acts as a support system for the body to assist it into proper form. The springs and straps on the machine add resistance to the Pilates exercises, which adds an additional dimension to your workout.

 

Do I need Pilates experience to do Reformer Pilates?

There is a common misconception when it comes to Reformer Pilates, and it’s the idea that you need to be experienced in Pilates to jump into a class. When it comes to Pilates the goal is to build up your strength from your core and progress outwards. So it’s like building a house – first you start with the foundation before you begin to build the walls and then finally the roof. So no matter what stage you’re at in your fitness journey, a reformer class can be adapted to suit your experience and ability.

Classes can be designed for any fitness level and the machine can be set up to ensure you’re able to complete the exercises to the best of your ability. But don’t be fooled, whether you’ve had Pilates experience or not, a Reformer class will still be quite the work out!

 

Why should I choose Reformer Pilates?

Because it’s fun! There is an endless list of benefits to this style of work out, but at the end of the day the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll never know if it’s for you unless you give it a try. Stepping out of your comfort zone and try something new is a sure way to have a bit of fun and mix up your exercise program!

This is a full-body workout, which means not only will you enjoy yourself but you’ll also be able to strengthen your body and get a full calorie burning workout at the same time.

 

I’m recovering from an injury, is this class for me?

At Greenwood Physio our Reformer classes are run by one of our physios who have had additional specialised training in the reformer technique. Because of the low impact nature of Reformer Pilates it’s a great exercise class for those returning to exercise from injury. Just make sure your instructor is aware of your injuries so that they are able to adjust your reformer to suit your body and any potential limitations.

 

What classes do Greenwood Physio run?

Reformer Pilates classes are coming back to Greenwood Physio. We are currently finalising our timetable and will be running both small group sessions and one-on-one sessions. If you’re interested in Reformer Pilates, please give our team a call on 9246 0882 or contact us through our Online Contact Form.


23/Jun/2020

Luke, our physiotherapist, has prepared new thoracic spine flexibility and strengthening exercise program. This program will help you improve thoracic spine mobility and motor control, as well as build muscle strength and endurance.

We hope you found this video useful.

If you would like us to prepare an individualised exercise session for you, do not hesitate to contact us on 08 9246 0882 or send us an email to contactus@greenwoodphysio.com.au.

 


11/Jun/2020

Ellen, our physiotherapist, has prepared a core strengthening exercise program.
This program will help you to build an abdominal, pelvic floor and lower back strength, and you can easily do this program at home.
We hope you will enjoy our program.
If you would like to train with Ellen and you enjoy a group environment, come to our Yoga & Pilates Studio and join our regular Mat Pilates classes.
If you would like us to prepare an individualised exercise session for you, do not hesitate to contact us on 08 9246 0882 or send us an email to contactus@greenwoodphysio.com.au.

 


02/Jun/2020

Headaches are a debilitating issue for thousands of people. They can be caused by a multitude of different factors such as stress, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, lack of sleep, dehydration or diet issues or in rare cases underlying disorders.

 

Common Headaches

The most common physiological cause of a musculoskeletal headache is one that originates from pain in the neck. This is called a cervicogenic headache. This type of headache can vary from an ache above or behind your eyes, a band of pain across the head, facial pain, to migraine-like entire head pain. Stiff and aggravated joints at the top of your neck activate the nerves and pain receptors that exit from these joints and innervate certain parts of the head. These types of headaches can be further aggravated by tight neck muscles, some of which connect your head to your shoulders, upper back or ribs.

The biggest contributing factors for this type of pain is stress, prolonged postures, extended time spent sitting and poor neck/shoulder strength and endurance.

Sitting in “poor” postures or awkward positions can lead these issues arising quickly. One example of a common posture those with cervicogenic headaches present with is the  “Chin-poke” posture. When sitting in an unsupported position the upper back will begin to slouch, the neck will then extend (often from the upper and lower cervical joints) and the chin will poke out, keeping this posture for an extended period of time will put pressure on the upper neck joints and also the cervicothoracic junction – where the upper back meets the neck.

But sitting in a “perfect” posture for a prolonged period can still bring on the pain. The body requires movement not to get stiff and sore and that, of course, applies to the neck and head, especially if you are prone to headaches.

The pain often originates from the upper cervical joints, so while stretching the surrounding muscles is an important tool to help manage this pain, it is not the only thing that should be done to counter headaches.

The joints respond positively to movement, and even more positively to exercise!

Recent evidence shows if daily bouts of specific high-intensity resistance training of the shoulder and neck region for 10 minutes were performed at the workplace, neck and shoulder pain would be reduced.

 

How can Greenwood Physio help?

For any headache, the first and most crucial step is to get your symptoms checked by a health professional to identify the cause. If it is classified as a cervicogenic headache, then our experienced physiotherapists have many ways in which we can assist you to manage your symptoms and treat the cause.

This includes:

  • Soft tissue release and joint mobilisation of the neck, upper back and shoulders
  • Dry needling
  • Ergonomic advice and Workstation Assessments
  • Posture assessments
  • Activity management strategies and planning
  • Addressing stress factors and other triggers for your pain
  • Stretches and range of motion exercises of the surrounding muscles and joints
  • Exercises to increase strength and endurance of the neck and shoulders, to increase the load tolerance of the upper cervical joints and to reduce neck and shoulder pain

The Physiotherapists at Greenwood Physio are vastly experienced at helping those with neck pain and headaches to manage their symptoms and restore them to a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Please book in with us today if you would like our help.


26/May/2020

Ellen, our physiotherapist, is coming back to you, offering a lower-body stretching and strengthening exercise program.

This is a great program both for office workers and active sports lovers. It will show you how to stretch and release the muscular tension and build the strength of your lower limbs while minimising the risk of pain.

We hope you will enjoy our program.

If you would us to prepare an individualised exercise session for you, do not hesitate to contact us on 08 9246 0882 or send us an email to contactus@greenwoodphysio.com.au.

 


05/May/2020

During these challenging times, it is easy to just stay at home, Netflix binge-watching while enjoying a glass of wine and minimise any physical activity.
It is easy, but you need to answer one question: is it really worth it, looking from a long term health perspective?
Numerous patients that struggle from adverse effects of the so-called “Sitting Disease” are visiting our practice every single day.
Some of these negative effects can cause and lead to:
  • Increased chance of developing a mental disorder
  • Increased weight
  • Reduced cardiovascular health
  • Reduced metabolic health
  • Developing Venous thrombosis – blood clots
  • Lower back pain and other physical conditions associated with poor posture.
People who sit down more (regardless of exercise) are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, cancer and associated death. That includes up to 90% higher risk of diabetes and up to 15-20% higher risk of dying from these conditions.
We don’t want to overwhelm you by showing these numbers but make you realise that following an active lifestyle is even more crucial than ever.
What can you do to break through this negative cycle?
  1. We have said it before, but we will constantly be reminding you of introducing regular physical activity.
There are plenty of ways to exercise from home using household objects and your body weight, for example; Create a circuit of 7 simple exercises, 1 minute for each exercise, 15s rest between exercises, 3 rounds of the circuit (with 2-minute breaks in between rounds). It will take almost exactly 30 minutes. Simple, but effective. Make sure the exercises are challenging!
If you would like more advice on what exercises to do or if you would like an exercise program designed for you or loved ones, please contact us!
  1. Regularly break up the periods of prolonged sitting
We suggest getting up from the seat every 20-30 minutes and introduce a gentle physical activity that can be performed at home.
What are some simple ways to do this?
  • Set alarms/timers
  • Get up and walk around after every TV show or a business meeting if you are working from home
  • Some Smart Phones and Smartwatches have Breathe, Stand-up and Exercise goals/reminders which you can calibrate to your preference.
  • Walk around the house when taking phone calls if able.
  1. Set up an ergonomic work station and make sure that you have a proper posture while sitting.
Sitting for long periods is closely associated with many forms of neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. Moreover, a poor sitting posture can bring on these issues quicker.
What can you do? First of all, make sure that you educate yourself on how to keep a proper sitting posture and, second of all, be more mindful and correct your current sitting patterns. We have recorded an educational video on how to set up an ergonomic station. You can watch it HERE!
  1. Perform simple stretching and strengthening exercises while sitting at your desk.
There has been interesting evidence recently showing that performing light strengthening exercises at your desk has helped reduce neck, shoulder and headache symptoms. We have also prepared a simple stretching and strengthening program for you so that you can try it yourself. All you need is some light weights (1-2kg) and 5 minutes. You can check our instructional video HERE.
  1. Your motivation should be followed by dedication and discipline.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is challenging to find the motivation to introduce positive changes in life. But to be honest, motivation is not enough on many occasions. It is a great tool, to begin with, but it can be fleeting.
Dedication and discipline are also required to continue once you have started. Even when you see improvements and are feeling better, you must continue exercising to keep it that way and to improve further!
If you are struggling with dedication or discipline, the best way to counter that and make yourself accountable – is to find a buddy! Another way is to create a schedule or choose exercises that you really enjoy doing. Our advice is always: “Find what you enjoy doing, and go and do it regularly!”
 
Avoiding pain should not only be the main intentive to exercise regularly. Many studies have shown that regular physical activity (alongside with numerous other health benefits);
  • Increases the quality of life
  • Improves mood
  • Decreases psychological stress levels, and
  • Calms the nervous system
In one sentence: You will feel happier, more fulfilled and peaceful, so the benefits of exercises are unquestionable.

01/May/2020

So many of us struggle from an overly sedentary lifestyle and sit in front of the computer for many hours a day.
There are two things we can to minimise the adverse effects of the “sitting disease“.
First of all, we should learn how to set up an ergonomic work station and keep a proper posture while sitting. We have prepared an educational video in our resource section on this subject.
Second of all, we need to do breaks while working and introduce exercises that can be performed while sitting on the chair.
 In this video, we will go through some stretches and exercises for your upper body for when you are working from home.
They will minimise the risk of headaches, shoulders and neck pain.
We hope that you find this video useful.

 


29/Apr/2020

Sciatica is a word that everyone knows, but most people don’t understand what it actually means. So let’s start busting the myths and learning the facts about this common complaint.

The sciatic nerve starts in the lower spine and travels underneath the gluteal muscles. Once at the top of the leg, it splits and forms multiple nerves. The role of these nerves is to innervate the muscles of the lower limb and send sensory information back to the brain.
Contrary to popular belief, sciatica is not actually a diagnosis. Sciatica is a set of symptoms that can occur for a multitude of reasons.
Below are some of the symptoms you may have if your sciatic nerve is irritated:
  • Pain leg and/or back (usually described as burning or like an electric shock)
  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness
  • Weakness of muscles in the leg
  • Difficulty walking
The symptoms may be worsened by:
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Bending forwards or backwards
  • Walking
  • Prolonged standing
The sciatic nerve passes through a vast number of structures, and any of these can trigger irritation. Below are some of the common causes:
  • Disc pathologies such as a herniated disc
  • Overactive muscles in the buttock that compress the nerve
  • Stenosis (narrowing) of the spinal canal
  • Bony spurs growing on the spine
  • Age-related degenerative changes in the spine
How is it treated?
A physiotherapist can provide a wide range of treatment strategies to resolve these symptoms. The first thing they will do is a comprehensive physical assessment to determine the cause of these symptoms. Once this has been achieved, a management strategy will be formulated to maximise your recovery. This may involve:
  • Mobilisations of spinal joints
  • Massage
  • Dry needling of over-active muscles
  • Exercises targeting mobility and strength
  • Stretches
  • Heat or ice therapy

Exercise therapy is an essential part of treating these symptoms. Different movements or postures can be pain-relieving and will be utilised in your recovery. It’s important to do your exercises as often as the physio recommends to gain the maximum benefit. People with these symptoms commonly have restricted movement, which can cause irritation; this is treated with mobility exercises. It is also likely that specific muscles will be underactive, which can be treated with strengthening exercises. Sciatic nerve irritation can be caused by tight, over-active muscles. This is treated with massage, dry needling, stretches and heat.
Unless specifically told so by a doctor or physiotherapist, bed rest is rarely indicated. In fact, it can make everything worse by tightening muscles and stiffening joints even further. It’s important to keep active and moving as much as you’re able to. It might mean going for shorter walks, or using lighter weights at the gym – as long as you keep active in whatever way you can.
Physiotherapists are experts in exercise and can give you advice on an appropriate fitness regime until you’re back to normal.

Contact us if you are struggling with sciatica and book a consultation with one of our experienced physiotherapists.


24/Apr/2020

We are spending more and more hours working in front of a computer. We are not often aware that our sitting posture is incorrect, and we might develop bad habits over time. This can lead to many health conditions like headaches, neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain.

In this video, we will show you how to set up an ergonomic work station and minimise the adverse effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.



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