SORE KNEES? – IT’S NOT ALL BAD NEWS!

 

Are you middle-aged, a tad overweight, and suddenly experiencing soreness and stiffness in your knee(s)?  This may have come on after a jarring incident, an increase in weight bearing activity, or for almost no reason at all.  Don’t panic! This does not necessarily mean you are on the slippery slide to a knee replacement!

The most common causes of knee pain in later life that comes on without a significant injury, are the normal aging changes that occur in our joints. Just as we look older on the outside – we also change on the inside!

In the knee, the surfaces of our joints and the menisci (‘cartilages’), which normally cushion our joints, undergo aging processes. In the case of the menisci, they stay in place even though they may wear down or even crack and split. Many of us will not experience any symptoms at all. Some will experience episodes of stiffness and aching when they walk or run, use stairs, or even after periods of rest.

The good news is that in most cases, modifying activity, losing weight, and doing some simple stretching and strengthening exercises for your legs and pelvis, can help to settle symptoms and keep you active for longer.

Physiotherapists at Albert Park Physiotherapy can help assess what your ‘sore knees’ need and prescribe advice and a tailored exercise program.

The important thing to remember is that even if your x-rays/scans show ‘tears in your cartilages’ and/or ‘arthritis’, most people can be helped by non-surgical treatment and either significantly delay or avoid joint replacement surgery in the future1,2.

1Yim JH, Seon JK, Song EK, Choi JI, AU: Kim MC, Lee KB, Seo HY. (2013) "A comparative study of meniscectomy and non-operative treatment for degenerative horizontal tears of the medial meniscus." The American Journal of Sports Medicine 41: 7, 1565-70

2Katz JN1, Brophy RH,(2013) “Surgery versus physical therapy for a meniscal tear and osteoarthritis.” N Engl J Med. May 2; 368(18):1675-84

 

Lymphatic Drainage Massage at Albert Park Physiotherapy

 

Lymphatic Drainage Massage (also known as Manual Lymph Drainage) is an effective and relaxing treatment that is gaining more exposure over the years since its discovery by Danish doctors back in the 1930s.

The lymphatic system runs in parallel with the circulatory system (blood) to allow the blood and surrounding tissues to effectively remove waste and toxins. To function optimally, the lymphatic system depends on the contraction of smooth muscles, pressure of surrounding tissues and body movement.

Lymphedema (swelling of the lymph/fluid retention) can occur after surgery or radiotherapy where lymph nodes/vessels are removed or compromised. It has been reported in a recent Cochrane Review entitled “Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Lymphedema following Breast Cancer Treatment” (2015) that:

·       More than one in five patients who undergo treatment for breast cancer develop breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL).

·       Breast cancer related lymphedema was found to have a negative impact on comfort, function, and quality of life.

·       Supported the intervention of Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

·       Manual Lymphatic Drainage was found to be safe and effective (especially when used in conjunction with compression bandaging).

·       Manual Lymphatic Drainage was more effective in reducing volume of lymphedema than compression alone; and reduction in the feeling of heaviness and, a reduction in pain.

Lymphedema can also occur due to inactive/sedentary lifestyles and/or an injury/trauma amongst other causes. The main areas where lymphedema can pool is in areas such as the thighs, knees, ankles, belly and arms.

Our experienced remedial massage therapist at Albert Park Physiotherapy, Emily Loveless, has studied Lymphatic Drainage Massage. She has been treating clients with lymphedema with excellent results. 

If you have any questions regarding your lymphatic system or would like to book in a time with Emily to benefit from this effective treatment, please contact us on 9690 5858 and make an appointment. Emily is available at Albert Park Physiotherapy on Thursday or Saturday.

Ezzo J, Manheimer E, McNeely M.L, Howell D.M, Weiss R, Johansson K.I, Bao T, Bily L, Tuppo C.M, Williams A.F, Karadibak D. Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Lymphedema following Breast Cancer Treatment (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration. (2015)

 

Remedial Massage Begins at Albert Park Physiotherapy

 

Exciting news as we welcome Emily Loveless to Albert Park Physiotherapy - our new massage therapist!

Emily commences work at Albert Park Physiotherapy on the 21st of July 2016. Emily is a highly experienced massage therapist who will work on both Thursday and Saturday mornings. 

Call us to make an appointment to see Emily on 9690 5858.

More to come soon...

 

Warming up this Winter

Winter is definitely upon us, and as the weather gets colder we all seem to eat more and exercise less.  However, summer bodies are made in winter and now is the time to continue your program or get one started.

Exercise can be performed in a gym, park, pool or at home.  Wherever we decide to do it, sprains and strains that are common in the colder months can be prevented by warming up appropriately.

Warming up will:

·       Increase blood flow to areas of the body that need it the most

·       Speed up nerve impulses to enhance reflexes

·       Reduce muscle tension and improve joint mobility

Warming up doesn’t have to be a laborious task.  It can be as simple as practicing the same exercise at a lower intensity or going for a pre exercise walk.  Dynamic stretching (stretching with movement) is also a very good way to prepare our muscles and joints for the upcoming activity.  Wearing long sleeves or track pants during a warm up may be beneficial too. Whilst these simple effective strategies can help to reduce injury, some people may require a more tailor-made warm up geared to their level of activity. Our physios at Albert Park Physiotherapy are experienced in making sure our clients have a balanced approach to warming up and can make it fun as well!

Whilst the cold can make it more difficult to exercise, with the correct preparation and warm up there is no better time to get active and stay injury free!

 

 

 

Hip Pain

A PAIN IN THE SIDE OF THE HIP?

Pain felt in the side of the hip region (lateral hip pain) is a very common condition, especially amongst women whose incidence of this problem is five times greater than men. Often, incorrectly attributed to hip joint arthritis or even the lower back, lateral hip pain is most commonly caused by compressive forces and loading on the tendons of the buttock muscles near where they attach to the top of the thigh bone.  Sometimes there is associated bursitis with this problem.

The pain usually comes on gradually or after a sudden increase in physical activity and is at its worst climbing stairs or hills, lying on the side at night or after sitting for a long time. It can be very painful condition which, when severe, can radiate pain down the side of the leg.

The good news is that lateral hip pain can be helped greatly by physiotherapy!

At Albert Park Physiotherapy, this consists of:

1.      Identifying the factors which contribute to the condition and modifying postures and activities to reduce compressive loads on the tendons and bursa.

2.      Addressing strength and stability deficits in the pelvis and deep buttock muscles and reducing over activity in the superficial muscles with techniques like massage/dry needling.

3.      In severe cases, liaising with our medical colleagues is necessary for help with pain relief.

These strategies really work! Especially if we see you as soon as possible.

Treatment for Headaches and Migraines

What are headaches and migraines?

Headaches and migraines are terms used to describe pain felt in the face, head or upper neck. There are literally hundreds of different diagnoses for headaches/migraines e.g. tension type headaches, migraine with/without aura; however many headaches and migraines are along the one continuum (1).

How common are headaches/migraines?

According to extrapolated figures, up to three million people suffer from migraine and up to seven million suffer from tension-type headaches in Australia (2). Nearly all people who suffer with migraines and 60% of headaches sufferers experience a reduction in their social activities and work capacity during episodes.

What are the causes of primary headaches and migraines?

For those who are interested in the science, current physiotherapy research focuses on the contribution of the ‘trigeminal cervical nucleus’ to headache and migraine. This area of the brainstem acts as an amplifier when sensitised; increasing its outputs to the sensory cortex, thereby creating a perceptible increase in pain experience. By using specific manual techniques to the upper cervical spine, desensitisation of the trigeminal cervical nucleus amplification occurs, and a significant reduction in headaches/migraines can be achieved. (3,4)

Can physio treat my headaches/migraines?

Yes! Whilst all our physios at Albert Park Physiotherapy can treat headaches and migraines; Principal Physiotherapist, David Bajayo, has undertaken specific postgraduate training in the treatment of headaches and migraines. In addition to attending the 3 day Level I Foundation Headache Course, David recently completed a 2 day Level II Consolidation Headache Course; 'The Role of CO-C3 Segmental Dysfunction in Primary Headache' in Sydney under the guidance of Australian Physiotherapist Dean Watson of the Watson Headache® Institute. The Watson Headache® Approach is an internationally recognised and scientifically researched method of examining, diagnosing and treating headache and migraine conditions.

No matter how long you have had your headache or migraine for, come and see David. In the vast majority of cases (80%), people with headaches or migraines experience improvements within 3-4 treatment sessions. Call Albert Park Physiotherapy (Melbourne) on (03) 9690 5858 for an appointment.

1. Vargas BB, (2008): Tension-type headache and migraine: two points on a continuum? Current Pain Headache Reports Dec;12(6):433-6.

2. http://headacheaustralia.org.au/what-is-headache/11-prevalence-and-cost-of-headache, Headache Australia, website accessed 20/9/2014.

3. Dean H. Watson and Peter D. Drummond (2012):  Head Pain Referral During Examination of the Neck in Migraine and Tension-Type Headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain Volume 52, Issue 8, Pages: 1226–1235

4. Dean H. Watson and Peter D. Drummond (2014) Cervical Referral of Head Pain in Migraineurs: Effects on the Nociceptive Blink Reflex Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain Volume 54, Issue 6, June 2014, Pages: 1035–1045, Dean H. Watson and Peter D. Drummond