Articles in Category: Massage

Dehydration and Its Effect on Your Body

on Monday, 21 January 2019. Posted in Massage, Newsletters, General Health

Dehydration and Its Effect on Your Body

The human body is comprised of approximately 60% water; when you think about your body as a whole, you can appreciate the importance water has for every function. Water is responsible for keeping organs and body systems working efficiently; therefore, it is important to ensure you are drinking adequate amounts of water daily.

I know that, but why? That's a good question...

Your body loses water through day to day functioning, when you breathe, digest, sweat and menstruate. Physical activities, pregnancy or illness can also result in loss of water. Water maintains the health of cells, tissues and muscles and prevents things like dry eyes, nose and mouth. Numerous organs and their functions, which aren't necessarily obvious to you in regards to water levels, can be impacted significantly when water levels are insufficient. 

The heart and brain reportedly have a water composition of approximately 73%, so these significant organs can suffer greatly when you are lacking water. For the brain, hydration is essential because it sends signals to the body for basic movements and processes. There are also studies that show pain levels may worsen when dehydrated. It is unclear why, but when the brain is dehydrated, your body may feel an increase of pain in the form of headaches, muscle pain and back pain to name a few. The skin is your largest organ and is made up of 64% water. Kidneys and muscles are approximately 79% water with bones having a water composition of approximately 31%. 

Lower back pain and water:

Between each vertebra there are intervertebral discs; these discs can be described as soft jelly-like substances and they are composed of water. When you are dehydrated, these discs are not cushioning your movements as they should be and may cause, or contribute to pain in the lower, mid and upper back, as well as your neck. 

Some common signs of dehydration:

  • Darker coloured urine (medium yellow to brown)
  • Little to no urine
  • Thirst
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Constipation
  • 'Brain Fog'
  • Headaches

What can you do to stay hydrated?

It is all about lifestyle choices, foods we eat, particularly fruits and vegetables contain water and can aid in improving or maintaining hydration levels. Conversely, there are foods and drinks we consume that can contribute to dehydration such as, soft drinks, coffee, alcohol, fried foods, cured meats, salty and sugary snacks (including those food and drinks with artificial sweeteners).

Ideas:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day
  • If you don't like the taste of plain water, no worries! Try adding some lemon, lime or orange slices - one of my favourites is to add some fresh mint and a cinnamon stick
  • Enjoy herbal teas
  • Drink water before, during and after a workout
  • When you feel hungry, drink water, often thirst is confused with hunger and true hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water
  • Schedule your drinking - drink water upon waking, at meal times and when you go to bed. Perhaps drinking a small glass of water every waking hour could work for you

By Maharlia Kennedy

Remedial Massage Therapist

Dip Remedial Massage

Fascial Dysfunction and Treatment

on Monday, 03 July 2017. Posted in Massage, Newsletters, General Health

Fascial Dysfunction and Treatment

By Luke Attkins

Diploma of Remedial Massage, Certificate IV of Massage Therapy

Member: AAMT, SCA, CAA, CA.

 

Fascia is commonly described as a 3D spider’s web that runs underneath a person’s skin and attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and internal organs.

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A common problem that arises between fascial tissues is adhesions that are caused by the shortening and tightness of the muscular units that surround that area. Fascia that surrounds muscle compartments or is in broad superficial sheets has a tendency to shorten in areas of stress, causing problems in mobility and joint function.

 

Professor Vladimir Janda, characterised myofascial dysfunction into two categories; upper cross and lower cross syndrome. These two syndromes are classified as postural syndromes causing shortening and weakening of specific muscles, leading to postural dysfunction. 

 

Upper-cross syndrome is described as rounding of the shoulders and forward carrying of the head. This postural syndrome shows the tightening and shortening of the pectoralis muscles and upper trapezius whilst simultaneously weakening the rhomboids (middle trapezius).

 

In lower-cross syndrome postural signs are anterior pelvic tilt and accentuated lordosis of the lumbar spine. This is caused by the tightening and shortening of these muscles: hip flexors, tensor fasciae latae (thigh) and erector spinae group whilst simultaneously weakening the abdominal and gluteal muscles.

 

Things that are associated with these two postural syndromes can lead to chronic pain through the back, legs, neck, shoulders, and chest and if left untreated it can start to affect the diaphragm causing problems with breathing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Myofascial release (MFR) is a physical therapy technique that involves applying gentle pressure into the connective fascial tissue releasing muscular shortness and tightness which in turn helps eliminate pain and help with restoring motion.

 

Techniques that are used in the release of fascial tissue are: skin rolling, fascial stretching, and fascial separation (lifting and rolling of the muscles). The benefits of this treatment are diverse.  Direct bodily effects can help improve flexibility, function, ongoing back, neck, shoulder, hip or any type of pain that is affecting an area containing soft tissue.  MFR is commonly used as an approach to work with tissue-based restrictions and their two-way interactions with movement and posture.  

 

This style of treatment usually goes for 30-60 minutes a session. Recommended amounts of treatment sessions are 4-6 but that may vary across the board as each person responds differently to treatment. 

 

If this sounds like something you may be suffering from or are finding hard to correct, give us a call and book in with Luke Attkins as he is trained in MFR treatment.

How Long will it take to Get Better?

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Wednesday, 23 September 2015. Posted in Massage, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Acupuncture, Training and Performance, Chiropractic

How Long will it take to Get Better?

By Don Williams

B.Sc., M.Chiro., ICSSD., PG Dip. NMS Rehabilitation Cert DNS. Memb: FICS, CEA

 

One of the most common questions that we get asked every day in practice is, “How long will it take to get better?” Unfortunately there is no short answer to this question, however, in this article I will try to outline some of the contributing factors and delineate some guidelines and ideas which may help answer this question for you.

 

Everyone is an individual, and in that sense, how different people respond and heal from different injuries does vary somewhat, some injuries are particularly unpredictable, shoulders are particularly problematic in identifying how well or how quickly they will respond to treatment. However with most injuries, there are general time frames in which most healing will occur.

 

Most people who have ever had an injury and minor procedure which required stitches will remember that the stitches generally come out in around 7 days and this time frame is a good indication of how long a cut or trauma takes to “bond” back together, however, the general healing process generally takes around 21 days. This is the timeframe for the body to lay down a “callus” or matrix of fibres around the injury and develop new connections and bridges to stabilise the injury and repair. But this timeframe is dependent on good blood flow and environment for repair, additionally, just because the injury is stabilised, does not mean that it is fully healed and fully function. This healing process and time frame is specifically relevant for muscle and skin.

 

Areas of the body that receive poorer blood supply take longer to recover. Tendons and particularly joint cartilage and ligaments receive a lower direct blood supply and take longer to heal. We normally expect that tendon and ligament injuries will take 6 weeks to start to repair well and 3 months to be stable.

 

Bones fractures also take longer to heal. Interestingly, the ratio of cortical bone (the dense outer “shell”) to cancellous bone (the “spongey” inner core) also affects the healing rate. So when we look at bones like the tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones) they take a particularly long time to heal (up to 4 months).

 

The other interesting thing to note is that an injury is not always something that is readily assessable via an x-ray or scan and often, the severity of the pathology on the scan can be very unrelated to the amount of pain. For example, someone with severe degenerative changes noted on an x-ray may not have any pain, and in contrast, someone with very severe pain may have really good looking x-rays.

 

It is also important to note that many people use pain as a guide to where they have a problem or not. This is a situation which has been reinforced with dodgy advertising commercials by big pharmaceutical companies suggesting that all of our aches and pains can be targeted and resolved with a little tablet.  At times pain killers can be helpful, but it is important to realise that, contrary to the advertising campaigns, and the statements of the celebrities fronting these commercials, these drugs do not “target” the source of pain. They work globally in the system to mask the pain. In fact anti-inflammatories drugs can actually slow the healing process and all of these drugs have potential for complications and side effects, some of these can be severe.

 

But pain is only the tip of the iceberg. Pain exists as an indicator that something is going wrong in our system. We have an area that is under duress or load which is unhappy or injured. Sometimes there are weaknesses or imbalances or inappropriate actions which have caused this problem to develop. Getting rid of the pain is a good start, but addressing the underlying dysfunction or causative factors is also important to reach a good long term outcome.

 

Part of our goal in assessment at Institute of Sports and Spines is to try to assess the contributing factors which caused your problem to develop in the first place and help you to eliminate or address these issues.

 

Another complicating factor as eluded to, early in the article is the individual nature of response.

Sometimes we will see muscle spasm problems which are very severe and painful, which is not related to severe pathology. At times these issues will respond very quickly to treatment and at other times they will be a little stubborn and take a little longer. Generally, the response to treatment gives a more accurate prediction of how quickly the issue will settle. Further to this, if you have had previous episodes of the same problem, the previous response rate is generally a reasonable indicator of the response rate for future episodes.

 

So as a general time line for healing rates:

  • Early tissue healing occurs in around 7 days

  • The majority of soft tissue healing takes around 21 days.

  • Early bone healing takes 6 weeks (up to 4 months so large, long bones)

  • Cartilage and Ligament issues take around 6 weeks to 3 months

  • Re-education and retraining takes a minimum of 3 months

  • Remodelling can take up to 1 year.

 

In a perfect world things can progress more quickly. The addition of complicating factors can drag these times frames out.  The better that problems are managed and treated increases the probability of a good resolution and good long term outcome.

 

Later in this newsletter and over the next few additions we will outline more specifically injuries of the neck, back, knee, hip, shoulder and tendonopathies.

 

If you have any further questions then talk to the team and we will help you out with more specific advice.

 

Fracture Healing -

 

Fracture Healing

 


Wound Healing -

 

Wound Healing