Articles in Category: General Health

Tummy Time for Mum

on Wednesday, 18 September 2019. Posted in General Health

by Elizabeth Evans
Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist & Mother of boys 2.5yrs & 4.5yrs

Tummy time for babies is a topic that many health providers discuss with new mums however what is frequently missed in these discussions is the importance of tummy time exercise for new mums.

Far too often I see mums in the clinic who have been given NO advice on how to care for their tummies post-partum. Most women are not aware of the important role a physiotherapist can play in the care of their pelvic health during and after pregnancy.

Pregnancy weakens the Pelvic Floor (PF) muscles due to the weight of the growing baby and pregnancy hormones, which soften the ligaments in the body and PF. There is not much we can do about the pregnancy hormones but we can strengthen our PF muscles so that they can provide the best support possible. Whether you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or have already had a baby, research shows that when you do your PF exercises your PF muscles will recover more quickly after the birth.

What are the pelvic floor muscles?

The PF is the base of the group of muscles often called the ‘core’ in the tummy region. These muscles are located in your pelvis and stretch like a hammock from the pubic bone to the tail bone and from side to side. The PF muscles work with your deep abdominal and back muscles to stabilise and support your spine. They also help control the pressure inside your abdomen to deal with the pushing down force when you lift, move or carry a weight.

There are minimal changes in the PF function in women after a caesarean section (although pregnancy will still have affected your PF). It's a very different story for vaginal births. During delivery, your PF muscles are stretched and there may be muscular tears when the baby passes through. In many women, the muscles return to normal over the next few months however some women notice that the muscles are different after childbirth. There is an increased risk of injury to the PF if: Baby was quite big, you were pushing for a long time, you needed help to have your baby (vacuum or forceps) or you have had a very quick birth. Overstretching the PF muscles is quite common with large muscles tears less so. It’s no wonder that after childbirth, your PF muscles can feel quite weak and it may feel as if things are dropping down or ‘everything is going to fall out’ when you stand up or walk around.

Before starting a pelvic floor training program, it is important that you can identify that you are using your pelvic floor muscles correctly. That is where Physiotherapy can play a role and set you on the right path.

For further information and assistance book a consultation with Physiotherapist Elizabeth Evans.

Type II Diabetes and Exercise

on Wednesday, 24 July 2019. Posted in General Health, Training and Performance

Type II Diabetes and Exercise

 


Around 1.7 million Australian's have some form of diabetes, Type II diabetes makes up 85% of these cases. The total cost on Australia's health system is estimated at $14.6 billion. Considering Type II diabetes is a 'lifestyle' related disease this is a significant burden that could be prevented by changing certain aspects of our lives.

Exercise has been found not only to be useful as prevention of Type II diabetes but also in the management of the disease. Some benefits of exercise for diabetics include:

  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • Better blood glucose control
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced blood pressure 
  • Improved quality of life 
  • Improved functional capacity

Sometimes lack of motivation can be a real issue for individual's with Type II diabetes. To help with this, here at Institute of Sports and Spines, we run an exercise group twice a week focusing on diabetes management. With a referral from your GP this program can be bulk billed through Medicare, so there's no out of pocket for you. The program is made of 1 initial assessment with our Exercise Physiologist, Emily, and 8 supervised, group exercise sessions. For more information about these classes please don't hesitate to contact us on (07) 3398 7022. 

 

Why sitting the whole day followed by exercise is not ideal

on Tuesday, 11 June 2019. Posted in General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

A Lesson in Anatomy

Why sitting the whole day followed by exercise is not ideal

Before we begin, you need to first understand that we have 2 types of muscles in our bodies; Postural (or Tonic) and Phasic muscles. This is important because it will help you understand:

a. Why taking micro-breaks in between long sitting during the day will improve your exercise regime.

b. Why you might not feel an exercise working in the right places initially and know that they eventually will.

Postural and Phasic Muscles

Postural (or Tonic) muscles are used to sustain our posture while in a standing or sitting position. The phasic muscles on the other hand are primarily for movement. Postural muscles are prone to shortening and tightness whilst the phasic muscles tend to become lengthened and weakened when injured and also during ordinary stresses of daily life.

Why taking micro-breaks in between long sitting during the day will improve your exercise regime.

The problem with sitting for a long period and being inactive is that we will most likely favour using our postural muscle in that environment and this unfortunately also means our brain will disconnect from our phasic muscles.

This is not ideal because when we start exercising again, we won’t be able to use our movement muscles as efficiently as our brain will instead default to getting the postural muscles to do the things the movement muscles should be doing.

A good example of this is people trying to do a squat and is finding that it hurts their back. That is because they have trouble activating the gluteal and hamstring muscles after sitting in the chair for hours so the back muscles are contracted instead (which is not what we want).

This is why it is important to move around throughout the day in the office so your brain is able to use some of those moving muscles and is not set to a default postural muscle usage.

Why you might not feel an exercise working in the right places initially. Push through it and you will feel it work.

As mentioned earlier, phasic muscles are prone to lengthening when they are weak and on top of that our lifestyle causes us to use the postural muscles more often which is why the brain has some difficulty redetecting these phasic muscles initially. Using cues and doing the exercises slower in lesser repetition helps fire up the big phasic muscles and relax the postural muscles.

So don't feel beaten up if you do not feel the right places working at first. The more often you use these muscles, you know they will eventually work.

Remember! Your postural muscles tend to shorten and tighten when stressed and the phasic muscles will lengthen and weaken. So if you are feeling tight on some of the postural muscles listed and having some trouble activating the phasic muscles, it is time to re-evaluate your exercises to improve your condition.

Written By Iris Tan
B.App Sc (Chiropractic)
M.Clin Chiropractic

Reference

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1360859298800430