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Preventing Knee Injuries in the Workplace

Preventing Knee Injuries in the Workplace

There are two main types of knee injuries:

Acute injuries, which result from a sudden trauma, such as an awkward fall, collision or twist of the knee joint, and overuse injuries, which result from continuous activity or overload, such as running, jumping and cycling. These types of injuries start gradually and usually relate to a range of factors such as structural or bio mechanical problems, training methods, incorrect footwear, incorrect techniques in the workplace and incorrect exercise style.

The tips below are to help you move well, stay well and assist in reducing the risk and severity of knee injuries in the workplace.

Footwear

  • With every step, shock is absorbed by the feet, knees, hips and spine to decrease the force of impact. Wearing the correct footwear will help to reduce these forces further whilst not affecting the normal function of the foot.
  • Wearing the right footwear for the job protects you from stress-related injury to the ankles, knees, hips and spine.

Surfaces

  • Avoid activities on slippery or uneven surfaces and in areas with poor lighting.
  • Remove all potential trip hazards before conducting activity in that area.

Exercise

  • Simple exercise such as walking or swimming is the best.
  • Make sure you warm up before and cool down after exercise with gentle stretches.
  • Build up your exercise program gradually increasing the frequency, duration and intensity, but don’t work through pain (see your physio if you are experiencing pain).
  • Maintain good general fitness and lower body strength and flexibility (especially quadriceps muscles).
  • Practice standing on one leg to improve your balance and leg muscle strength.

 

Article by the Australian Physiotherapy Association as a part of Tradies National Health Month.
For more information visit http://www.tradieshealth.com.au/

The Importance of Joint Mobility

The Importance of Joint Mobility to Accompany Your Strength Training Program

by Beth Chiuchiarelli
Accredited Exercise Physiologist at MD Health Pilates

To get the most out of your strength training or rehabilitation programs we not only need to strengthen the muscles that move and support the joint but we also need to maintain normal range of motion of your joints.

Joints have cartilage that provide articular surfaces for shock absorption so that bones are protected when there is a load placed on them. They have ligaments that provide passive support as well as a dense fibrous capsule made out of many collagen fibers that encase the joint and not only provides static support but also provide a type of torque (wind up action) of the joint to help provide a transfer of load to muscles during movement.

Our joints are made to move over a millions of times in a lifetime and so if there is anything in a joint that is compromised and you feel pain or there is swelling. The damage has probably already occurred. Mobility of a joint is important to allow better efficiency of these joints so that their movements are not compromised and joints need to be strong so that they move better and in the right position. They need to be mobile enough to allow the muscles to do their job properly. If a joint is stiff there is less ability for the muscle to move the joint through its normal range of motion. The better the joint moves the better the effect the muscles will have.

Unfortunately, when there is muscular weakness around a joint or you have an injury muscles become rigid and have poor contractile ability and the capsule can become thickened reducing its ability to provide the necessary movement the joint needs. This can cause the joint capsule as well as fascia and muscles to become stiff, this can reduce your ability to improve your strength and so you may notice that we usually prescribe some sort of treatment such as myofascial release in your sessions. What we also like to do is teach you how this can be done on your own.

There are many pieces of equipment in the market today to help you complete self guided myofascial release to improve your joint mobility. We recommend foam rollers, spikey balls, even a rubber bouncy ball is fine. Currently we have been trialling the way we can use the heavy power bands to help with improved joint range of motion as well as the Lacrosse ball – which is the size of a tennis ball however made out of rubber.

Once we have assessed your joints range of motion as well as its strengths/weaknesses we can prescribe a very specific exercise and mobility program for you.
For more information contact us on 9857 0644 or email us at admin@mdhealth.com.au

 

Normal Muscle Pain or Injury? What to do

Normal Muscle Pain or Injury? What to do

What is the Normal Muscle Reaction Expected after Pilates

Pilates is a strengthening based program, so our aim is to work your muscles in ways they are not used to and address your major needs and goals. From a biological perspective, this means that muscles are worked a little bit more than they are used to coping with so there is a small degree of disruption to the join (z-line) between each small unit (sarcomere) that make up the muscle. This causes a release of inflammatory chemicals in the muscle which begin the process of muscle growth. This reaction can cause “soreness” and a heaviness feeling in the muscles from 24 to 72 hours after exercise and is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness). This reaction is normal and is the first step in your body’s process of building muscle. Your body will then repair and build muscle to a larger degree than the amount of disruption caused by the DOMS.

When we do any exercise process we are always on the edge of causing a degree of disruption to the muscle, a bit less than the body can compensate for and will grow above in the next few days and a bit too much damage, which causes “pain” and is more than the body can grow above. This line is not always well defined, so we will always ask you how you feel on your next session to determine if the exercises were the right amount for you or too much

How Do I Know It Is DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) and Normal?

DOMS is felt in the muscle itself, usually begins at it’s attachment and extends to the muscle belly, eg in the quadriceps, you will feel a soreness from the top of the thigh, through the front of the thigh up to just above the knee. It usually starts the next day or two days after your exercise session and should feel like a “soreness” or a heaviness sensation. The muscles will feel a bit weaker for a couple of days and you may find it difficult to perform lowering type activities, such as walking down stairs, but this sensation will resolve over the next 2-3 days

How Do I Know It Ts NOT Normal and Should be Addressed?

What you shouldn’t feel is a “pain” sensation, such as a “sharp, stabbing or hurting” sensation. Pain should also NOT be felt on the joint line or areas other than the muscle itself, eg at the front of the knee cap or along the back of the knee joint. If this has occurred, it can mean the lining of the joint has been irritated and we need to assess the area again or adjust your program so that it better meets your needs.

What Do I Do If I Have DOMS or I Think I Have an Injury?

If you have DOMS, the best thing to do is to come in for your regular Pilates session. Counter-intuitively, exercise will help bring blood to the area, help flush out the inflammatory chemicals and make the muscles feel better again.

If you think you have an injury, DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SESSION. It is important that we assess the area again and adjust your plan if needed. It is also a very important time to help you manage the issue so that the problem is resolved as fast as possible.

Michael Dermansky
Senior Physiotherapist & Managing Director of MD Health

Exercise Safely in the Heat

Exercise Safely in the Heat

Summer in Australia is a great time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine whilst increasing your health and fitness. However exercising at this time of year can pose some dangers, particularly with scorching temperatures. So with the hottest part of the year upon us in Melbourne, we thought we would share with you some tips on how to stay safe when exercising in the heat this summer.

1. Slip Slop Slap!

For those of us who have grown up in Australia we have always heard this message since we were kids! But it is always important to be reminded of being sun smart when exercising outdoors, especially during summer. Make sure you wear good quality sunscreen (at least SPF 30+) and if your activity involves water such as swimming or kayaking, make sure you chose a waterproof option. Appropriate clothing is also important to protect against skin damage and overheating. Selecting light, breathable and UV protective clothing which covers large areas of skin is recommended especially when exercising outdoors for long periods such as hiking or cycling.

2. Stay Hydrated

Adequate fluid intake before, during and after exercise is always important, but even more so during the warmer months as we are likely to lose more fluid during exercise due to increased sweating. To avoid dehydration, Sports Medicine Australia recommends drinking 2 cups (500ml) of water in the two hours prior to exercise and for exercise lasting longer than one hour drink 2-3 cups (500-750ml) of water every hour. Fluid intake is also important to keep our core temperature down and prevent overheating in hot conditions.

3. Exercise At Cooler Times Of Day

Exercise involving moderate to high intensities should be performed at the coolest part of the day such as early in the morning or in the evening to avoid some of the risks associated with exercising in extreme heat.

4. Exercise Indoors

When temperatures are extreme, exercising in an alternative environment should be considered where possible. This could include going to a gym and running on a treadmill in an air conditioned environment rather than running outside.

Written By Jack Hickey
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health Pilates

Tips To Increase Your Daily Exercise

Tips To Increase Your Daily Exercise

In today’s modern society we do not participate in enough physical activity. So here are our top 5 tips on ways you can increase your physical activity every day!

1. Take The Stairs Not The Lift

It might sound obvious, but think of the extra amount of exercise you could get if you always took the stairs instead of the escalator or lift! Climbing stairs is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and increases the heart rate quickly. It will also help to strengthen muscles such as calves, hamstrings and glutes.

2. Use Walking As A Form Of Transport

When making a short trip that may only take two minutes in the car, why not make it a 10 minute walk? Not only does it increase your daily exercise but it is good for the environment and saves you money on petrol!

3. Social Exercise With Friends and Family

Most of the time when we catch up with friends or family we do something that involves sitting still and eating or drinking, such as going out for dinner, having a beer tramadol 50 mg online with a mate or going to the movies. Well why not try and incorporate exercise into your next catch up with a friend? Try activities such as going for a walk at a nice park, playing a game of tennis or golf or even try something new together like rock climbing!

4. Reduce The Amount Of Time Sitting At Your Desk

When sitting at your work desk, try setting yourself a reminder on your computer or your phone that will tell you to get up every hour to go for a quick walk around the office and do a couple of quick stretches. Studies have shown that breaking up the amount of time you sit has positive effects on your health as well as productivity. Also, why not use your lunch break to go for a walk rather than sitting in the tea room?

5. Clean The House!

Household tasks such as vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom and washing the dishes all require movement such as walking, stretching and lifting. This is great for your body and will help you to burn extra calories!