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Our Exercise Physiologist Alex Magee speaks with 101.5FM: My Health for Life

Here’s our Exercise Physiologist, Alex Magee, speaking with 101.5FM this week about the My Health for Life program.

 

Alex is one of Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre’s two trained facilitators for the program.

My Health for Life is a free lifestyle program available to eligible participants who want to improve their health and reduce their risk of developing chronic disease. Such as type 2 diabetes,

Fast facts:

  • The program is government funded so it is completely free
  • Participants receive 6 group sessions over 6 months. (These are delivered face to face at Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre)
  • All participants receive a one-on-one assessment at the beginning of the program
  • 6 months of follow up support upon program completion and a wide range of resources (incl. online support)

More info at: www.myhealthforlife.com.au

 

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.
What does a physio do?

What does a physiotherapist do?

Many people know the value that physiotherapy brings to their life and some have even been visiting their physiotherapist since childhood.

However, for those who have never been to see a physiotherapist before, there can be a question mark over exactly what it is that physiotherapists do. In fact, this is one of the most common questions physiotherapists are asked.

What is it that physiotherapists do?

The answer is tricky because physiotherapists do so much. Primarily, we might be described as pain management experts, as we work to reduce the pain of our patients, from those who have suffered a new injury, to those who have had pain for several years. We first identify the cause of the pain and then provide manual therapy techniques, education and management strategies to help our patient understand, manage and reduce their pain.

While pain is usually the first thing that brings patients to see a physiotherapist, this pain has often caused patients to give up activities that they love and can even be getting in the way of everyday tasks. Many of us reduce our activity levels to reduce pain without even realizing it. Physiotherapists are able to identify which areas you are struggling in and why this is occurring. By identifying the cause of your symptoms, we can help to get you back to full function. Physiotherapists are able to do this for everyone including elite athletes and those dealing with serious disabilities.

In fact, physiotherapists have a role to play at practically every stage of life.  We can assess infants to monitor their motor skills development and as they grow we help them deal with the pains and vulnerabilities of a growing body. Among other things, we can help improve the function of athletes, assist in preventing injuries, help those with pelvic floor dysfunction and work to prevent falls in the elderly.

Not just exercises and massage.

Physiotherapists offer a range of treatments, from targeted stretches, manual therapies, dry needling, exercises and massage. Physiotherapists are also committed educators and take our role as such seriously.

A huge part of recovering from pain and injury comes from understanding what is happening and how to best manage these issues. Rather than create a dependency on their therapist, we aim to empower our patients to improve their health independently as much as possible.

Physiotherapists aim, to improve your quality of life and remove any barriers to full participation, whether these barriers are due to pain, weakness or stiffness.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

The hidden benefits of learning a new skill

When thinking about getting fit and exercising more, our first thoughts are usually that we should join a gym or start jogging. While these are both worthwhile activities, studies show that if you dislike the activity you’re doing, the long-term benefits are usually not enough to keep you committed. There are a few things that are often overlooked when talking about exercising more, particularly the fact that you can often improve your life in more than one way if you find the right activity.

Finding the right activity can boost your confidence and increase your daily activity levels.

We all have different tastes in food and the same is true for exercise. Some of us chase the thrill of learning a new skill; others prefer the challenge of pushing their limits of endurance while others love being surrounded by nature. Exercise is good for everyone, but finding the right activity for you is going to make it much easier to make it a committed part of your lifestyle.

We are also more likely to enjoy doing activities that we are good at. Some people have great balance, while others have great hand-eye coordination, others have great rhythm and someone who is an excellent dancer might be a terrible runner. Consider what you are personally good at and try to choose your activity based on this. Finding something that suits your routine is also an important component to making a new activity a part of your lifestyle.

Sometimes it is simply a lack of imagination that fails to get us off the couch. Jogging’s not for everyone, but one of these sports might be. Here’s a quick list of less common activities that you may not have thought of trying: rock-climbing, volleyball, soccer, hula-hooping, slacklining, golf, mountain biking, hiking, standup paddle boarding, roller skating, skateboarding, dancing, Pilates and yoga, just to name a few.

Learning new skills can be good for your brain.

Many people think that as they get older, learning new skills becomes too hard. The truth is, that with a bit of patience, you can surprise yourself with your ability to learn new things at any age. The brain is capable of incredible change and adaptation to new stimulus. Learning new things can be a great source of confidence and exercise has been shown to improve your brain function overall.

Many activities can help you meet new people and open you up to new communities.

Even solo sports often have well-connected communities. Surfers have surf clubs, or often meet each other in the water, rock climbers are always looking for more people to take adventures with and people who wake up at 5am to do boot camp together become great friends. As we leave high school and university, it can be harder to create new social connections. Using exercise as a way to make new friends can have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing. In many activities, the communities are extremely supportive of beginners and you might be surprised at how friendly they are to newcomers.

Ask one of our expert physios for advice on which activities might suit your ability level and tips to ensure you stay injury free when starting your new hobby!

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Physio Tips: How to help your kids stay active

Research shows that many children today are struggling to meet their daily-recommended targets for physical activity. We know that inactivity is a risk factor for a multitude of chronic diseases and many of the habits that shape our adult lives are set in childhood.

Physical activity is important for a growing body as movement and weight bearing have a large impact on bone strength, muscle and tendon health. Here are some tips to make sure your child is staying as active as possible.

1. Find an activity that suits your child’s personality and abilities.

Children who are very coordinated and excel in competition may find team sports both increase their self-esteem as well as keep them fit. For other children, being a part of a team can cause embarrassment and they may say they dislike exercise, when in fact what they dislike is feeling like a failure and letting down the team.

These children may prefer a sport where success measured by improving their own performance, rather than being compared to other children. Surfing, yoga, martial arts, dancing or gymnastics may be activities that suit your child if competitive and team sports cause them to be discouraged.

2. Do get injuries checked out by a professional and invest in proper rehabilitation.

While children do bounce back quickly from injuries, they also may have difficulty expressing themselves and their worries when they have pain. A niggling pain that won’t go away may cause your child to say “I don’t like sport” rather than mentioning that they are in pain.

Some children may retain worries that they will hurt themselves again because of a previous injury and avoid exercise because they don’t feel completely confident.  Your physiotherapist can help to identify any issues that your child is having and help to resolve them.

3. Set fun and challenging goals for them to complete during their daily routine.

As fewer children are walking and riding to school, try to find ways to fit extra activities into the day. Have a daily long jump competition in the backyard at the same time each day or have bed making time trials. Have a routine before bed of age-appropriate exercises, such as star jumps, hopping, balancing and running on the spot. You can make this part of the night or morning ritual, just like brushing your teeth.

Talk to your physiotherapist for more tips on how to increase your child’s activity levels. Finding an activity that matches your child’s age level is key to keeping them engaged and active.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Lumbar Disc Degeneration: Overview, Causes, and Symptoms

What is it?

The discs of the spine sit between the vertebral bodies and act as shock absorbers for the spine. In the lumbar spine the outer part of the disc is made up of thick fibrous rings called the annulus fibrosus and the inner part is a soft jelly-like substance called the nucleus pulposus. The discs in the spine also move to allow flexibility and movement of the spine, particularly in the lumbar spine where they are the largest.

As we age, our discs begin to dehydrate, losing height, elasticity, and flexibility. The result is a spine that can feel stiffer, less flexible and a bit sore with certain movements. While almost everyone will have some degree of degeneration into their later years, not everyone will experience symptoms.

What are the Symptoms?

The most commonly felt symptoms of disc degeneration are stiffness and pain in the lower back. The pain is usually felt over the spine where the disc degeneration has occurred, but also often radiates into the buttock region. In severe cases of disc degeneration, increased wear and tear can cause bony spurs to develop on the vertebral body. These spurs can cause muscle weakness, numbness and tingling sensations in the leg and foot if they place pressure on the nerves around the spine.

How does this happen?

Disc degeneration usually affects people over the age of 50, however symptoms can begin in your 30s. As we age, all of our tissues gradually lose collagen and elastin, in the spinal discs this process results in smaller, less flexible discs. Repetitive activities like bending on the waist to lift heavy objects and prolonged sitting also cause additional wear and tear of the discs and amplify the degenerative process.

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Imaging such as MRI and XRAY can help determine the level of degeneration that has occurred with increasing accuracy, however in recent years research has shown that the level of degeneration that can be seen In imaging cannot reliably predict the amount of pain a person will experience. This can be confusing for patients and getting scans that show large amounts of degeneration can be a distressing experience, regardless of symptoms, making patients feel helpless.

Physiotherapy can help patients return to their normal activities as soon as possible and regain optimal function for their individual presentation. In addition, physiotherapy helps patients to manage their pain by helping them understand their pathology and, strengthen trunk stabilisers to prevent recurrence of any injury.

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.