Us Aussies love our sports! Keeping active is an essential part of living a healthy, happy life. But whether you love your extreme sports or just enjoy a spot of golf on the weekend, you have a risk of getting injured.
What injuries can occur during sports?
Pretty much every injury you can imagine can happen, depending on the sport you’re involved in. Every single bone, joint, muscle, ligament and tendon that can be injured WILL be injured by someone at some point!
Some of the more common injuries you might come across include:
Just because your sport is “low impact” doesn’t mean it’s risk-free. Any time we move our bodies, there is a small chance of injury. It’s part of life! But the good news is, injuring yourself doesn’t mean you have to suffer through unnecessary pain.
Myotherapy can help with injury recovery
Because myotherapy is all about ‘muscle therapy’, it is fantastic for helping you recover from an acute injury. Here are some of the ways that it might be able to help with your sports injury:
It can help to drain excess fluid and swelling – when we massage and mobilise an area, it increases the lymphatic drainage from the area. That lymphatic drainage is what can help to pull excess fluid away from an injury, which aids with recovery.
It can loosen the muscles around an injured joint – when we are injured, our muscles can tighten up to protect us from further pain. Unfortunately, that’s not so helpful when it comes to recovery. It can keep a weakened joint out of place, and it can strain other muscles that have to compensate.
Working the muscles with myotherapy techniques will loosen them, allowing the joint and other muscles to return to a neutral position.
Taping can help with swelling, pain and proprioception – it’s great to get some bodywork done. But taping can keep working on the injury days after you’ve left the table. Different taping techniques can be applied to reduce swelling and stabilise the injured area.
The most important thing about sports injuries
If you have injured something, remember this: the quicker you get it seen to, the quicker it will heal. If left untreated, you may end up with a chronic injury. And believe me, chronic pain is not something you want to get familiar with.
Once you’re recovered, you can head on back to your beloved sport! But that’s not where it ends – as we’ll discuss next week, myotherapy can be a great supportive treatment for prevention of injury as well.
Been injured while at your favourite sport? It’s best to get it looked after asap. Book in an appointment today, and we’ll get you back into the swing of things quickly.
Your back is aching again. You assume that you slept wrong, or have been sitting for too long with your back in a poor posture. But what if the pain is actually coming from elsewhere?
Back pain might not be in your back
The body is a complex thing! Every muscle, tendon and ligament is connected to different areas of the body. So just because you feel pain somewhere, doesn’t mean that is where the problem lies. In fact, it’s often the muscles that are overcompensating for weakness elsewhere that get sore.
So let’s have a look at a few causes behind your back pain that aren’t your back.
A weak core
The “core” muscles are more than just your abs! In fact, the core is made up of many muscle groups, including your superficial abs, deep abs, obliques, back muscles and pelvic muscles.
Often, if you have a generally weak or imbalanced core, it can lead to one part of the core – the back muscles – to take on more strain. And this means pain.
Try: Talking to a personal trainer for a personalised program to strengthen your core muscles. Better yet, see your friendly local myotherapist who can assess which muscles need strengthening!
Weak or tight front chain
For those who aren’t up on anatomy lingo, the “front chain” is a chain of muscles that run down the front of the body. This chain, also called the anterior chain, is made up of muscles like your chest muscles, abdominals, quads and shin muscles. We also have a posterior chain, which includes the back.
These two chains need to be balanced in order for the body to work optimally. If one is tight, the other gets stretched out, and if one is weak, the other picks up the slack. So when the front chain is weak or tight, the back is one of the muscle groups to cop the strain.
Try: Balancing out your workout and stretches. Both the front and posterior chains need to be exercised AND stretched out to keep the body in balance.
Hips and pelvis
It’s all in the hips! Or at least, it might be. As mentioned, the pelvis plays a part in core strength. So if it’s out of alignment, so is the rest of your body.
If the muscles in the hips and pelvis are too tight, pain can radiate up the back. Or if they are out of alignment and muscles are weak, the back will pick up the slack.
Try: Using a foam roller to release tight hip muscles. It will probably hurt – but you’ll feel better afterwards!
No matter where your back pain is coming from, I’m here to help. To get your body balanced again, book in for an appointment, and we’ll put together a plan that addresses the issue.
Pain is sucky – no matter what it is. But sometimes it’s good to know your pain, so you know how urgently you need to act on it. One of the most common questions about pain is how can you tell if it’s muscle pain or nerve pain?
The best option is always to ask someone who can check for you – like me! But there are some ways you might be able to tell the difference.
It’s pretty common to experience muscle pain. It might be as subtle as an ache after a workout, or it could be agony if you’ve torn a muscle. The way to recognise muscle pain is that it is generally:
Nerve pain is usually of greater concern, as your nerves hurting is a sign that something is compressing or impinging a nerve somewhere in the body. If you’re experiencing nerve pain, it is generally:
The two types of pain can exist separately, or you might experience a mix of both. But both are a sign that the body is not happy with something.
I’m In Pain Right Now. What Can I Do To Relieve It?
Pain is a signal that lets you know something might not be right and needs protection. If it’s a mild pain, there’s no need to panic. But if it’s unexpected pain, nerve pain or related to a chronic condition, your first step is to book in with your practitioner. Getting treatment right away helps to reduce your pain quicker. Your practitioner can advise you on some safe at home care practices, but if you can't get a booking at short notice there are still steps you can take.
Whether its muscle or nerve pain, the basic DIY first aid for your pain is the same. So until you are able to get it looked after, you should:
These will help to ease the pain and prevent further damage until you’re able to get in and get it checked out properly.
You’ll see that I didn’t include ice in there. There is emerging research that shows that ice may not always be the best option for treating injuries and pain. So if you want to add on some temperature relief, it’s up to you – you might feel like ice gives you some relief, or you might prefer a heat pack, or you may find best relief using an alternating combination of the two. Once I’ve assessed your pain, I will let you know which might be better for you.
The guide below is a quick way of doing the investigative work on whether your pain is muscle or nerve related, but its always best to consult with a health professional rather than trusting good old Doctor Google.
You don’t have to just grit your teeth through any sort of pain. As a qualified myotherapist, I can help to relieve your symptoms and get you back on track to health. So book in an appointment today – you won’t regret it!
There is a myth that I need to clear up. Sometimes, when you have chronic pain or a health condition, you’ll be diagnosed as ‘mild’. This might make you feel like your pain experience doesn’t match your diagnosis! So I want to explain the problem here.
Why you might be classified as ‘mild’
From a medical perspective, you might be classified as mild. Health practitioners don’t diagnose you off your experience, because we can’t really measure that.
Instead, it can be a bit of a maths equation. It might include the number of symptoms, the severity of those symptoms, the level of disability that you experience and the physical damage or severity that can be measured. Every condition has different measures, so there might be other factors as well.
So for example, if you experience daily chronic pain, but you can still work, you don’t have additional symptoms and there is minimal damage to the tissues, you might be considered mild.
You might not feel like that pain is mild! And it’s not. Chronic pain of any level is still painful. It doesn’t mean that your pain isn’t ‘bad’ enough. Being in pain sucks, no matter who you are or what your diagnosis.
If this is something that you’ve come across, here are some ways that you can take action and turn it around:
Ask your professional for explanation
When you see your health practitioner, ask them why you are given a mild diagnosis. If you have a good health care team, they will happily explain to you the reason.
By understanding more about your condition, you will feel more empowered. But by asking about it, you also won’t feel like your health team is underestimating your experience. And that can make a big difference for your mental and physical wellbeing.
Track your symptoms
If you feel like you still don’t fit the ‘mild’ diagnosis, keep a tracker of your symptoms. Sometimes, when you experience chronic pain, you can get some pretty nasty brain fog! So you might forget symptoms you’ve had that could change it.
Remember: your experience is still valid
No matter what label is placed on your condition, how you feel is still important. I have clients with ‘mild’ conditions, but they have still experienced terrible symptoms.
To me, it’s more important to help you feel better in your body than to treat a condition. After all, it’s the only home you have in this lifetime.
Want to work with a myotherapist that understands that mild doesn’t mean mild? At Simple Wellness Myotherapy, I focus on working with those who experience chronic pain and conditions. We work with your body to get it functioning as best it can. To book your appointment, pop over here.
Taping – The Whys And Hows
One of the coolest tools for supporting your muscles (or at least I think it’s cool!) is taping.
Let’s have a look at what taping is, what it can help, and if it’s right for you.
What is taping?
Put simply, taping is when we use a specially designed tape to support your muscles and/or joints. It’s not a treatment to use in place of your healthcare practitioner. But it is a tool that we use to help support your body between treatments.
What can taping help with?
It has a variety of applications! As a myotherapist, I use taping to:
Stabilise joints that are injured or weak
Increase proprioception, or location awareness, of the body part
Aid in recovery from acute and chronic injury
Reduce fluid and swelling in an injured body part
Enhance athletic performance and prevent injuries
It can be helpful for a variety of people, from athletes to people with chronic pain and those with an acute injury.
What types of tapes are there?
There are two main types of tape that I use in the clinic: rigid tape and kinesiotape.
Rigid tape is just what it sounds like. The goal is to hold the joint in a specific position for a period of time so that it is able to recover.
Kinesiotape is a newer kind of tape that moulds to the skin and moves with the body. It is less restrictive, and is helpful for many applications.
It’s particularly useful for helping people to be aware of how they are holding their body.
When we’re injured, we tend to hold ourselves wherever is least painful – but that’s not always the best location for recovery! This tape helps you to be aware of that, so you can correct it.
Kinesiotaping also has a pain reducing effect by applying a constant stimulation to the skin. Its applied with the tight muscle in a stretched position, so that when you return to your normal posture the tape holds the muscle slightly stretched. You might see or feel the tape pucker - that is what its designed to do!
Can I do my own taping?
I’m not your mum. If you want to DIY your taping, that’s up to you. But there are benefits to getting it done professionally:
1. You get taped with high quality tape
2. If it’s a repeat taping, I will quickly reassess to see whether a different taping technique may be better – for example, I might use rigid tape for the first taping, then switch to kinesiotaping. I might even use both!
3. I make sure that the injured part is positioned correctly
4. You don’t have to tape yourself one-handed, or twist around to tape anywhere on your back half!
There are things you can do to make sure your tape lasts and your skin stays happy:
To make sure tape adheres properly, it’s best to avoid exercise or showering for 1-2 hours after taping.
Although you can shower with your tape, it’s best to let it dry properly. Otherwise, it might get a bit smelly! Pat it dry rather than rubbing it with the towel so the ends don't come up.
If the ends do come up, theres a few things you can do. The Kinesiotape is heat activated, so usually giving it a quick rub to get heat back into the tape will get it sticking again. If the tape is only coming up a little at the ends but won't stick back down, putting a bandaid over the top to hold the end down can give your tape a little extra life. If its coming up a lot, trim the tape (or ask someone to help you trim it)
When removing tape, take your time! Some people can have fragile skin that is inflamed or may even tear when removed too quickly. Slowly remove the tape in the direction of your hair growth (otherwise you might get an accidental wax effect!)
If your tape is stuck fast, use oil to dissolve the stickiness - even cooking oil from your kitchen can do the trick! Some clients also remove it in a hot shower for the same reason.
When you remove your tape, leave the skin to recover for a day or two before re-taping. Otherwise, your skin is at risk of being damaged.
Do your joints need some taping support, but you don’t want a full myotherapy appointment every week? Never fear! For current clients, I offer a taping service – you pop in, and I’ll get you taped up for just $25. You can get re-taped between regular appointments, AND you can still claim it on your health insurance! To book in your slot, contact me directly or call 0401212934.
You might love your myotherapy sessions – in fact, I hope you do! But I never pretend that myotherapy is the be-all and end-all of healthcare. I’m an advocate for a holistic approach to your health. So today, I wanted to share some reasons why combining myotherapy with other therapies can help you to be your healthiest self.
Combining therapies helps identify problem areas
I’m trained to spot health conditions related to the muscles, joints and bones. But other therapists are trained to spot issues elsewhere.
By seeing more than one practitioner, we can work together to make sure we oversee your health in a holistic way. Often, teamwork is a more effective way to spot potential problems and address them before they get worse.
Combining therapies ensures you have the support you need
Looking after your muscles is important, especially if you have a chronic condition. But if you do have a chronic condition, it’s more than just your muscles that need support. When you add in another therapy, you can look after more aspects of your wellbeing.
Combining therapies has a complementary effect
Different therapies can work together to bring around a better outcome. For example, I can work the knots out of your muscles every session. But if they are stress-related, you might want to work with a naturopath and/or counsellor to work on a stress management program. That way, the benefits of my treatments will last longer for you.
Combining therapies offers better education about your health
Therapists are experts within their field. I can explain your muscles to you until I’m blue in the face. But other practitioners can give you insights into other aspects of wellbeing. The more you learn about your body and your health, the easier it is for you to keep healthy and happy.
Combining therapies is preventative care
Prevention is always better than treating a problem. The best way to prevent ill health is to actively work on it with a team of health experts. Seeing more than one practitioner means that you’re covering more bases with prevention.
Practitioners I love working with
I’m happy to work with anyone who is on your healthcare team! You may have different practitioners, depending on what support you need. But I love seeing my clients working with:
If you have a quality healthcare team you work well with, you will get the best healthcare available – it’s that simple!
Did you know that we have specials in the clinic for those who see two or more practitioners on the same day? You get 20% off both treatments by booking them together.
Chiropractic is a great combination with your Myotherapy treatment - our recommendation is to have the Myo treatment first to loosen up the muscles, then have the adjustment done.
You can also choose to pair your Myo treatment with Naturopathy (great for gut health, weight loss, and general health) or Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (great for many conditions, and our Acupuncturist, Lauren, has a special interest in womens health and fertility treatment)
You can book your appointments together online, or call me on 0401212934 so I can help you find a time that suits you best.
It’s a new year, and that means we’re all ready to get healthier. But did you know that myotherapy can help you to achieve some of your goals? Let’s look at why regular myotherapy might be a good addition to your New Year’s Resolutions.
Myotherapy aids in recovery from exercise
A lot of people hit the gym or sign up with a personal trainer in the New Year. Unfortunately, you can start off with a lot of enthusiasm – and that means a lot of pain during recovery. Often this can lead to you giving up after just a week or two, as it becomes too painful.
The good news is recovery doesn’t have to suck! A myotherapy treatment, particularly early on, can boost your muscle’s recovery time. This means that your muscles will hurt less, recover quickly, and move the way they should. And that means you can get back into the gym sooner and achieve your goals!
Fortnightly or monthly treatments for the first 3 months of an exercise program
Maintenance with sessions every 4-8 weeks, depending on how you feel
Myotherapy is a good form of self-care
Is adulting on your list for the New Year? More of us are realising that preventative is the way to go with our health. That is where myotherapy can be a good investment in your long-term health.
When your body functions properly, you function properly. Healthy muscles and joints mean less pain, more energy and the freedom to do the things you want to do.
How much more adult-y would you be if you didn’t have to deal with aching shoulders and a stiff sore neck? Put it on your non-negotiable list. Your muscles will thank you.
Maintenance with sessions every 4-8 weeks, depending on how you feel
Myotherapy can be a great treat
More and more, people are understanding how important it is to treat yourself. And the best treat is one that improves your health, instead of deteriorating it!
You won’t get bloated, feel hungover or get sugar cravings when you get a myotherapy treatment. What you will be is feeling good within your body, because your muscles will be happier and healthier.
So why not make the most of your health insurance and get a session that makes you feel good from the inside out?
Treating yourself at least 4 times per year – after all, you deserve a good treatment! The more often you can make time, the better you’ll feel.
Ready to get your body happy and healthy? Make sure you book in for your January appointments here. Spots are filling up fast!
If there’s one resolution to make in the New Year, it’s to boost your self-care. To help you do just that, I’ve asked two of my fellow practitioners to share their tips, as well as a couple of my own.
Self-care is an ongoing journey. But by taking small steps each day, you can feel better.
Sam’s Top Tips For Self-Care
Emily’s Top Tips For Self-Care
Mel’s Top Tips For Self-Care
Is self-care on your priority list for 2018? Let us make it easier for you!
Emily and I have teamed up to create a Balanced Life Package to get you off on the right foot for 2018. You can get a 60 minute naturopathy appointment and a 60 minute myotherapy session for just $150 – saving you $60!
To learn more or book your appointment, send through a message today.
What a year 2017 has been!!
I'm lucky enough to be taking 2 weeks off for the end of year break.
Christmas Clinic Hours
Simple Wellness Myotherapy is closed from Dec 23rd-Jan 7th.
Back to normal clinic hours from Monday 8th January 2018!
Do you need to see someone urgently? Dr Nathan Petridis, our Chiropractor at Balanced Life Health Care, will be available for chiropractic appointments all throughout the Christmas break (except for the public holidays!) Book a time with him through the Balanced Life Health Care website.
Have a happy and safe Christmas and New Years! See you in 2018!
As we get into the party season over summer, you’ll be wearing heels and thongs instead of runners. But if you find that you start to get more aches and pains, your shoe choice might be to blame.
How shoes affect posture
The way that our feet hit the ground when we move has a massive impact on the joints and muscles of the body. And that means it affects our posture.
When we wear heels, for example, our bodies tilt forward. The body tries to compensate in response, but the muscles and joints cop the strain. The weight of your body is held on the balls of your feet, instead of balanced between the balls and the heels. Your knees and hips move forward and your back flexes backward to maintain balance.
Flats might not have the height issue, but they can also impact on the body. Flat shoes cause the weight to be mostly on the heels, so the lower body tries to compensate so we don’t fall backwards. Wearing flats constantly can mean our posterior chain – including the calves, hamstrings and glutes – can weaken from lack of use.
Even thongs (or flip-flops, for non -Aussie consumers) can cause postural issues. They have been found to cause pain in the feet and even hips and lower back, due to the lack of support and altered gait (how you walk when wearing them). The real issue is that you have to grip the shoe with your toes, so they are overworked.
Pain that can occur
So if your shoes are altering the posture of your body, pain can often follow. Incorrect shoes can lead to issues including:
How to reduce it
I’m sure all myotherapists and bodyworkers would prefer everyone wear sensible shoes 24-7! But that’s easier said than done. So if you think your shoes are potentially causing issues, here’s some small tweaks to reduce the issues:
Not ready to give up your heels or cute flats? I don’t blame you! So instead, let’s work together to counteract the muscle imbalances. Pop in for a 30 minute appointment, and we can get you back to feeling good.
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully. She has a special interest in chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and more.