Ice delays recovery, prevents inflammation and delays healing
PEACE and LOVE your injury
If you can limit putting any weight through it, this is the REST portion so that you can minimise bleeding, or further tissue injury.
The aim here is to give a bit of respite but not too much. So look to unload within those first 1-3 days, and then you can gently start to put weight through. Use pain as your guide. Prolonged rest is no longer advisable. Get in and see us for an evaluation under ACC so we can guide you back to better movement and comfort. Our osteopaths can also work in conjunction with your physio to help reduce your pain whilst you are undertaking a rehab programme.
This one stays - elevation helps with swelling. If practical, place your affected area above the heart as often as possible. This improves the drainage of the injury and aids in clearing excess fluid from the area. If you cannot place the affected area above the heart, getting it as high as possible will still do the job.
Really gentle movements are helpful in the early stages of your injury to help with decreasing the swelling, but use pain as a guide, keeping it pain free. If your swelling isn't budging, or you are in too much pain, our team can assist until you can do the movements yourself. Our massage therapists specialise in flushing out stubborn fluid retention using very gentle techniques.
Anti-inflammatories is in the name; they prevent inflammation. Inflammation after an injury, although painful and uncomfortable, has a role in getting you better. Signs of inflammation mean the body is healing and repairing your injury. So if high doses of anti-inflammatories are taken, this will delay your healing long term.
Compression, along with elevation are helpful tools to use. Using taping or compression bandages helps to limit the swelling AND helps support any damage to the tissue and reduces bleeding. Win-Win. It also feels better to be supported as much as possible.
Ok, so this is where we come in. Regardless of your injury, coming in and getting it checked can get you on the right path quicker. It may seem like a small situation, you may not have even been injured, instead...nearly fallen or nearly rolled an ankle. Getting checked makes sure nothing else went into spasm or is contributing to your situation.
If you have been referred by your GP to a physio and you are on the right path with a rehab exercise/stretch plan, we can assist with your pain and discomfort with our hands on treatment. No one likes to do things that hurt! We can help alleviate that discomfort so you can do that rehab plan. If you have not been referred to a physio, we can do this for you! Our assessments and treatments will ensure you are on the right path to a full recovery.
Our approach is to treat you and your injury.....not just your injury.
We do this by following the LOVE protocol below.
We see a lot of people who have been given stretches/exercises that don't work or can't be done............yet.
Our job is to get you to a place where you are able to start moving your injury; appropriately. This will promote repair, tissue healing and restores your capacity to tolerate movements. Because the body responds positively to appropriate movement, we need to find out where you are at and what movements we can give you to help rehab you back to pre-injury.
This again falls on us to make sure that you understand the problem, how long it will take and what you need to do, in conjunction with our treatments. The reality is, our aim is to get you back to being as self-sufficient as possible, so you no longer need our help. When you know what to do, then you feel much better and in control of your recovery - feeling confident in your post-injury journey is a non-negotiable.
Under our guidance, pain-free cardiovascular exercise is advised as part of your rehab to optimise your blood flow within your body, and to and from the injured site. Done right, this type of exercise also helps to provide pain relief: you can do more, move better and it can reduce any dependence on pain medication. We will work with you to discover what form of exercise is possible. We may suggest after 3-4 days low impact exercises such as using the pool, walking, cross-trainer, rower or using a stationery bike.
This really sums up everything that we have discussed above. The exercises we want to provide you with are all the ones specific to your injury. Ones that help provide you with increased strength, better movement, and greater awareness for a better recovery. Our recovery management must work with you to provide specific exercises and stretches according to where you are at and what you are able to do.
Our explanation will also look into WHY this might have happened in the first place. For example, if you have sprained an ankle, and you are prone to ankle sprains, we would also look at how we can prevent this from occurring again for you long term.
We hope this information has been helpful and you will give PEACE a chance, because perhaps all soft tissue injuries need is LOVE. ✌️ 💕
Dubois B, Esculier J. (2020). Soft-tissue injuries simply need PEACE and LOVE. British Journal of Sports Medicine;54:72-73.
It’s no surprise that changing up and down through levels can bring with it low motivation, often we find it hard to realign or adapt and getting out of this rut can be challenging. It's an especially important message this week, but I've spoken to a massive amount of my clients over the last little while about how to naturally finding your way back to a better place. Motivation is key to remaining productive - being focused, achieving and accomplishing tasks in our daily lives.
How do you know if you are lacking in motivation?
Did you answer 'yes' to one or more to the above statements? Then let me introduce you to a key player - dopamine. Dopamine lives within our brain as a messenger (neurotransmitter) and it is also a 'happy hormone'.
When we have low levels of this hormone, we can feel fatigued, lack empathy, unfocused, forgetful, moody, you can’t concentrate, you can’t sleep, crave sugar and of course, become low in motivation. Sounds familiar?
The go-getters of life, look for ways to get that dopamine fix, which can bring a ton of unhealthy choices - smoking, caffeine, sugary and fatty foods. Eventually, these addictive behaviours make us even more deficient in our natural levels of dopamine - especially in the long term.
So, if you have identified with some of these symptoms or are a go-getter, what can you do to naturally boost your dopamine levels?
1. Eat foods rich in Tyrosine. In order to make dopamine, your body needs tyrosine which can be found in almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, and chicken. If you don't eat these foods you can also seek out a supplement from your local pharmacy.
2. Exercise regularly. In general, physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It increases the production of new brain cells, slows down brain cell aging, can increase your levels of dopamine. Exercise has also been associated with improved mood and overall a better outlook on life.
3. Learn to meditate. The overall health benefits of meditation have been demonstrated through hundreds of research studies. Many of those have shown that meditation increases dopamine leading to improved focus and concentration. Even if you’re new to meditation, there are many helpful guided meditations for beginners to help you get started.
4. Get a massage. It has long been suggested that one way to keep dopamine levels high is to avoid stress, which is nearly impossible in this day and age. To counter the effects of stress, research has demonstrated that massage therapy increases dopamine levels by nearly 30% while decreasing cortisol (a stress hormone) levels.
5. Sleep. To ensure that your brain increases dopamine naturally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. This includes setting aside time before bed away from the computer or TV screen. Sleep helps all the cells in the body repair and renew. It gives the brain a chance to wash away toxins that build up during the day and helps keep the nerve cell connections and pathways active and constantly self-renewing. Lack of sleep has been shown to reduce concentrations of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, and their receptors.
6. Listen to music. It is no surprise that listening to calming music can increase pleasurable feelings, improve mood, reduce stress, and help with focus and concentration. Research has demonstrated that much of this is achieved due to an increase in dopamine levels.
In the military, we learnt that teamwork is crucial to weathering the storm. That you're only as good as your team. And in this environment, I am privileged to lead our awesome team through these level changes. And by golly, I have learnt a lot.
Apple might have needed Steve Jobs to rejuvenate it and send it soaring as a company again, but he didn’t do it all himself. Winston Churchill encouraged England to hang-tough during the terrible experiences of World War II, but if people hadn’t rallied behind him, believed in him, his encouragement might not have been enough.
Top Notch is consistently being supported by you, our loyal clients who rally behind us when we are able to get back up and treating, this is not only a massive sigh of relief to our team but also provides confidence that we have your support. Together we are stronger.
In the early days of my military career, we were handed a large heavy log between five personnel who of which were newly formed. We were one of ten groups. We were told to hold the log up above our heads and then after sometime lower it down. Everyone was bloody miserable and we were struggling - we were all just working for ourselves; we were individuals trying to keep a log up and down. That was HARD. It was messy.
After probably 20 mins with this log (it actually felt like HOURS..), we could see (and hear) that as a group we were finding this all too much, we started falling behind the other teams. One by one we started to yell out to each other to keep going and to push through. We all dug deep and eventually realised that if we chanted out together when we would raise the log and lower the log it made the struggle that much easier. Our motivation to keep going was high and we got out in front - winning the task. That was my first dose of teamwork.
You could call that log - COVID.
I am absolutely proud that as a team, with the news delivered of a lockdown, we are still pulling together and providing each other support amongst our team. Because together we are stronger and we just could not fathom not doing this work. And I want to extend this support out to you.
HOW ARE YOU GOING?
If you are feeling a bit anxious, scared, worried or unsure - please know this is completely normal, really uncomfortable but normal. It is ok, not to be ok.
Something (Level 3) has happened that is out of our control and that's bound to give you a feeling of doubt, anger, upset and all the emotions in between.
It's tough. These lockdowns affect each and every one of us differently - we are all swimming in the same COVID ocean but just on different boats. Some are paddling hard against the wind and in the choppy seas and some have motors cruising towards the sunset.
If you are paddling hard, we have a few tips for you.
Breathing strategies are a really quick way to attempt to bring down these feelings.
Inhale through the nose for a count of four seconds then hold for two seconds and then exhale out for four seconds. Do this six times. Really focus on counting the breath to help distract your mind from your worries.
GET IT DOWN ON A PIECE OF PAPER
Write things down. It seems everyone is so “busy” nowadays and unfortunately, busy-ness leads to stress, anxiety, and even more serious health problems. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease. Fortunately, writing things down is one way to help significantly reduce all of that. Putting your emotions down to writing makes it easier to process your thoughts and feelings at a much deeper level than simply thinking about it. You can also write a list of jobs or things to do each day so you can see it in plain black and white. This helps clear the mind, even if you have not done anything yet!
CALL YOUR FAMILY / FRIENDS
Reaching out to family and friends - even like some of our team sharing how they are feeling about this lockdown on our chat. It's so beneficial just to talk, where someone will listen. It does help.
Reflect on what you could do within L3 rules. Please do get outside and talk a walk, ride your bike, get an online gym sesh in. Sweat! Get the heart rate up! Try something new - cook something you have never cooked. Play some tunes you can sing and dance too. Put on a comedy! Laughter is amazing for changing perspective. Get back to basics - SLEEP, EAT AND MOVE.
Speak to someone trained that you can talk to in confidence could help, with peer support, you can talk with someone who has been through distress themselves. There are also other resources you can find here.
WE CAN HELP YOU
We have access to our primary health professionals who can help you with your injury, accident or long term pain, we could also suggest or facilitate connecting you with further resources if you need them.
To see one of our team you can book online here.
Take it easy on yourself this lockdown and please reach out if you need.
Anj and the team x
Remember. To. Breathe.
Remember to breathe.
Sounds so simple right? But under stress, we often forget to breathe.
It's an especially important message this week, but I've spoken to a massive amount of my clients over the last little while about breathwork.
Breathing wrong (yep we can do it wrong), compresses on your nerves and can be a cause of RSI. Shallow breathing in the chest causes you to use the muscles in your neck so it can cause neck and rib issues. Pins and needles. Numbness. Suppression of the immune system. And it can set us up for fight or flight - the better-known term for the stress response in our body that helps get us through challenging situations.
When that stress response starts to occur for our regular day to day activities and situations, there can be a ton of health problems that comes with it.
Who would have thought, right. So where do we start?
How can relaxation massage help with anxiety and stress?
I’m sure we all know the flight or fight response – (technically it's a sympathetic nervous system that jumps into action). Your body provides a bit (or a lot) of adrenaline which gets your heart rate going a bit faster; sometimes we may sweat, and we become more alert and at the ready. This inbuilt protection mechanism is valid for reacting to dangerous situations such as getting out of the way of an oncoming bus quick smart. But we sometimes keep in this state - this dis-ease of being busy – is it becoming the 'norm’?
Continuous circles of stress to situations such as; I must have this in by this deadline; I have emails I have yet to respond to; whoops there goes the phone; arrghhh I am late for the school run/doctors/work; the baby keeps crying and I can’t do anything to help; or my mind can’t slow down and I am constantly onto the next thing. What if your doing too much training and your performance is beginning to decline?