Here at Vibe our practitioners often use Kinesio Tape when treating a patient.
But what is Kinesio Tape and how does it differ from other types of tape?
Kinesio is more than just a type of tape; it is a specialised taping method that was developed in Japan. The taping method is based on the ideology that there are healing mechanisms built within the body which can be influenced by practitioners to remove the barriers that prevent them from helping the body heal.
Kinesio Tape helps increase blood flow and helps control contractions within your muscles, allowing your body to heal faster and quicker.
Your practitioner may apply the tape on your neck, back, arm, leg…basically anywhere to assist in your treatment. Kinesio is used frequently by athletes to accelerate the return to sport process.
The Tape is water and sweat resistant and can be worn for several days, unless irritation has developed.
For more information on k-tape, don’t hesitate in asking our practitioners here at Vibe.
Getting out of our nice, warm and comfy beds can be extra difficult in the chillier months. The cold can create stiffness in your joints and muscles leaving you feeling tired even before the day has started.
To help get your body warmed up in the morning we have selected 5 simple stretches to do when you jump (or crawl) out of bed.
1. The Rolldown
Lean against a wall with knees slightly bent. Drop chin into your chest let your head roll forward and your arms hang. Breathe in as you hang. Breathe out and slowly roll back up.
Repeat 5 times
2. Thread the Needle
Take one hand and cross it under the body and reach up the side of the body. Take the same arm back under the body and extend the elbow and shoulder.
Repeat with other arm.
3. Rest Position
Sit back onto your haunches keeping your bottom on your feet slowly breathe out and try to stretch the fingers further forward. Hold for 20 seconds.
The hips should be square at a 90°. Start with a neutral flat back, let the back dip down, slowly work back to neutral and then hyperarch to the ceiling.
Repeat 5 – 10 times
5. Hamstring Stretch
Sitting upright with legs wide and knees straight. Reach across with one arm towards the opposite foot. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Repeat with opposite arm and foot.
Click on the image below to print out the exercises!
It is well known that breastfeeding benefits babies, but did you know that it is also beneficial for mums?
Benefits for breastfeeding for mums include:
Quicker recovery from childbirth
Quicker weight loss after childbirth due to calories burned during breastfeeding
Decreased risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer as well as Type 2 Diabetes
Controlled glucose levels for some diabetics
Improved mental health and reduced risk of postpartum depression
Breastfeeding is a learnt skill, one that can be quite challenging. The most important thing is too support yourself or a loved one who is breastfeeding but not to pressure them.
Also remember that help is at hand with lactation consultations and physiotherapists.
Physiotherapists are great at treating mastitis and engorged ducts.
Here is some advice on how to minimise the chance of breastfeeding problems/mastitis:
– Wear proper fitting maternity bras. Check when you take your bra off that there are no red marks or indentations where the bra might have cut in to your breast tissue.
– Try not to “compress” your breast into shape when breastfeeding
– Position, position, position!! Make sure that you are not leaning forward but are lifting the baby up to your breast. Use pillows or even better, try feeding in a semi-reclined position with the whole front of the baby’s body touching your front.
Medibank defines remedial massage as a “systematic assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management”.
Basically, remedial massage can assist your body repair and maintain good health.
Relaxation massages help your mind and body unwind, reduces stress, improves circulation and eases muscular pain.
Remedial massage can assist in managing chronic conditions such as arthritis, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, nerve impingements and back pain. It can also help a range of injuries including carpal tunnel, sports related injuries and headaches.
Your remedial massage therapist will use orthopaedic testing to assess the musculoskeletal system and will then use a broad range of techniques to treat the tissues which could include:
In the previous blog post the term dynamic was used to describe the type of stretches that should be done when warming up.
But isn’t stretching just, stretching?
Well, there is a little more to stretching then just bending down and touching your toes. There are actually seven different types of stretching, with the two main forms being static and dynamic. Knowing about these two forms of stretching is important in ensuring that you are stretching in a way that is beneficial to performance and reducing the risk of injuries.
Dynamic stretches involve moving parts of your body and gradually increasing the reach, speed of movement or both. The movement should not be bouncy or jerky and should not force the body beyond its range of motion.
Dynamic stretches should be performed prior to or part of a warm up as they:
Increase the body’s core temperature
Increase muscle temperature
Stimulate the nervous system
Decrease chance of injury due to increased range of movement and muscle length
Static stretches involve reaching a point of tension and then holding. For example, reaching for your toes to stretch your hamstring and holding the stretch. This form of stretching does, however, decrease eccentric strength for one hour after, decreases force by 5% and decreases the rate of peak production by 8%. Therefore, static stretches are best performed after activity and can be done with cool down activities.
Choosing the right form of stretching for specific exercises can greater reduce the risk of injury occurring from exercises.
Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to exercise and this can lead to people opting to skip the warm up and cool down activities. However, it is highly likely that these people wake up the next morning with tired, achy and stiff muscles.
By ensuring you warm up and cool down you reduce the risk of muscle injuries and help prevent muscle soreness the next day.
Warm up facts:
Act of increasing body temperature, improving mobility and enhancing mental readiness through performing sports specific activities
The most effective warm up consists of both general and specific exercises
General exercises include jogging, general stretching and resistance exercise
Increase speed of contraction and relaxation of warmed muscles
Dynamic exercises reduce muscle stiffness
Warm muscles means that we can utilise blood oxygen more efficiently
Facilitates nerve transmission and muscle metabolism
Increase blood flow
Cool Down facts:
Cool down involves a short period at the end of an exercise session during which the physical activity of the body is gradually reduces to almost its resting level.
Often involves a period of low-impact aerobic exercise which is gradually reduced, followed by a few stretching exercises
Gradually reduces the heart rate while still assisting venous return
Helps to get rid of waste product including Lactic acid
Reduces the potential for Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Reduces chance of dizziness or fainting caused by the pooling of venous blood at the extremities
Reduces levels of adrenaline in the blood
Allows the heart rate to return to its resting rate (within 30 beats of what it was before exercise session started)
So next time you think it will save you time to skip the warm up and cool down exercises, just think about how much slower you will be the next day due to sore, stiff and tired muscles.
Hi All, Neutral spine is the natural position of the spine when all 3 curves of the spine — cervical (neck), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) — are present and in good alignment. Being able to maintain a neutral spine will help reduce stress and strain on the spine whilst doing everyday activities including walking and sitting. Neutral spine is the basis of many Pilates exercises due to the fact that maintaining the position helps to stabilise the spine reducing the risk of injury and back pain.
HOW TO FIND NEUTRAL SPINE:
Feel that you have some weight on 3 points of the foot, the ball, your heel and the outside border of your foot.
Soften your knees.
Imagine your pelvis as a bucket of water, tip the water out the front by tilting your pelvis forward and then tip water out the back by tucking bottom under and tilt pelvis back, neutral is half way between the 2 points of tipping.
Lifting your breast bone, imagine a dagger under your diaphragm and lift off it.
Show off your necklace, imagine you are wearing a necklace and want to gently pull shoulder blades together to open the nape of your neck.
Retract your neck (not too much) imagine pushing the back of your neck gently into a wall and tucking your chin slightly.
The more you practice achieving a neutral spine the greater the chance it will become your natural spine position. To remember to practice your neutral spine and maintain good posture click on the image below, print it off and place it on your desk or save it as a screen saver.
In the last blog post we explored how to get a better night’s sleep by choosing the right pillow. However, to get the ultimate nights rest you also need the right mattress. Not one single body is the same, therefore, there is not one miracle mattress that will provide the right support for everyone whilst meeting their comfort needs.
The variety of mattresses available, and the different levels of comfort and support, can make buying a new bed a confusing experience. To prevent this we have put together ten tips for buying a better bed.
Talk to your physiotherapist about what she/he recommends for your body. Your physio is aware of any health conditions you have and should be able to give you some advice about what type of support you need.
Figure out the reasons why you need to buy a new mattress. Does your current mattress have lumps or dips? Are you waking up with a stiff or aching back? Do you need some more support? Do you need a more comfortable mattress? This will help you when deciding on what you want and need in your new mattress.
Before going into the store to look at mattresses, go online and research the options to avoid becoming overwhelmed with choices whilst shopping. Some websites to help narrow down the mattress search include Sealy Bed Selector, Sleepmaker and Snooze bed match.
Make sure that if you have a partner that they come and choose the mattress with you.
A firm mattress does not necessarily make it the best mattress for your back. Choose a mattress that is firm enough to provide support, but with a comfortable feel.
For some people with back issues, reclining beds can be a great choice. The beds elevate your head and knees which results in the pressure in the lower back being relieved. However, placing pillows under your head and knees can also relieve lower back pain whilst sleeping.
Buying a mattress with a 30 day money-back guarantee is great option for someone who is wishing to try a new type of mattress but is unsure if it would be comfortable and or provide the right support for them whilst sleeping.
When lying on a mattress to see if it is comfortable, lay on it for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
A mattress has a life span of about 10 years so make sure you get a at least 10 years of a warranty when buying a new mattress, that offers a full replacement guarantee.
Finally, buy a mattress protector. This not only protects the mattress from the moisture that is expelled from the body during the night and any accidental spills, but also prevents your warranty from being discredited.
Latex contour, duck down, memory foam, soft, hard, medium, white goose down, tummy sleepers, side sleepers, back sleepers, foam core, dual core, body, posture support, extra support, high soft, adjustable, high firm, low firm, allergy sensitive, maternity, regular, gel top foam…CONFUSED???
These are just some of the different types of pillows available which makes buying a new pillow a daunting task.
Sleeping on the wrong pillow can result in neck stiffness, headaches, pins and needles in your hands, snoring and breathing issues. Having the right pillow under your head at night is essential in helping you get that much needed nights rest. However, choosing the right pillow can sometimes seem impossible and expensive.
So how do you choose the pillow that is right for you?
For starters the pillow needs to be of good quality, as this should help the pillow keep its shape for longer. However, regardless of quality, you should replace your pillow around every 18 months.
To avoid waking up with neck stiffness and back pain you need a pillow that aligns your body into a neutral position; where your head and neck is aligned with the rest of your spine. To achieve this pillow should fill the gap between your neck and shoulder.
If you have difficulties during the night switching between the heights of one or two pillows, try an adjustable pillow. This way the pillow can be specifically adjusted to your comfort and the position you are lying in.
As a general rule, most down or feather pillows offer very little structural support compared to pillows filled with firmer materials. People who have neck pain or pathology generally find a firmer pillow such as foam or latex more comfortable.
When choosing a pillow size, pick one that reflects your body frame. People with larger frames or broader shoulders will need a firmer pillow than someone with a smaller frame.
If possible avoid sleeping on your stomach as it is impossible to have your spine in neutral in this position.
We spend over one third of our lives sleeping so having the right pillow is a must. If you’re unsure of what type of pillow would best suit you (every neck is different) and or are waking up with aches and pains in your neck or back, book in with one of our physiotherapist and they can help find you the perfect pillow (and even order one for you if needed).