Exercise for Stiff Ankle
The foam roller has recently become a staple in every gym across the country with more and more people using them. However, many people still do not know why and how they are used. Here at PHYSIO4ALL we would like to provide you with some information on the foam roller and its use.
What is it?
- The foam roller is essential a cylindrical piece of hard foam (usually comes in 30cm, 45cm and 90cm lengths) used for self massage/myofascial release.
- It is used to release tension and tightness in muscles and fascia.
- It is often used by runners and athletes to help with recovery of muscles and returning the muscles to normal function.
- The simple answer is YES!
- Trigger points are knots that form in the muscles that refer pain to other areas of the body. Releasing the trigger point helps you regain normal, pain free movement patterns.
- A common trigger point the foam roller is used for is on the iliotibial band (ITB) which can cause pain to radiate up to the hip or down to the ankle.
How to use it
You first need to identify the areas of tension and find the trigger points in your body. To foam roll properly you must apply moderate pressure to the specific area using your bodyweight. You should roll slowly and when you find an area of tightness and/or pain you should concentrate on that area. It is crucial that you try to relax as much as possible while using the roller.
You should always avoid rolling over a joint or bone, the lower back or the neck. You may feel sore the day after using the foam roller. Give it 24-48 hrs before foam rolling the same area again.
Check out our video demonstrating how to use the foam roller on different areas of the body: Physiotherapy North Sydney: Foam Roller Exercise Program
Back pain affects approximately 80% of people, whether it is acute or chronic pain. Back pain is particularly common in sitting occupations where we are constantly loading the spine. At PHYSIO4ALL we have concerns that an ever increasing amount of office workers are getting back/neck pain due to poor workplace ergonomics and sitting for much too long.
The Spine and Sitting
Our spine is made of 24 interlinked vertebrae divided into cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Spinal discs provide the cushioning in between the vertebrae to prevent them from pushing against each other. When we sit our spine has to support the load of our upper body. The ideal ‘s’ shaped curve that makes a good standing posture needs to be maintained while sitting.
However, maintaining this position is difficult if you have a sedentary job. With long periods of sitting our spinal discs lose fluid and narrow, which leads to stiffness and thus are more susceptible to trauma. We lose 10% of disc height in the first two hours of sitting. This is accelerated with poor sitting posture.
Here are some tips for your ergonomics:
- Feet firmly on the floor or use a foot rest
- Monitor at eye level
- Sit against the back of the chair
- Hips and knee should be angled at 90-100 degrees
- Keep your keyboard, mouse and/or phone close to your body
How to reduce pressure in your discs:
- Get up regularly when sitting – every 30/40 mins
- Perform daily decompression exercise (see attached video)
- Maintain a strong core strength, Pilates is great for this
- Ensure the ergonomics at your work station are correct
- Use tactics to make good posture easy (ask us how)
Check out these great videos!
For some great posture exercises, check out these videos:
If you would like any advice regarding your posture or workstation ergonomics, or about any of our services, please call us on 9922 2212 or email us on [email protected]
What is it?
80% of people will suffer lower back pain at some point in their lives. So we at Physio4All believe that you should recognise the significant role lumbopelvic stability plays in back pain. Pain in the lumbopelvic region can come from many different areas including: lower back, pelvis, leg, hip and groin pain.
Lumbo-pelvic stability is the ability of the structures of the lower back and pelvis to maintain the optimum (neutral) position of the spine and pelvic girdle.
Lower back and pelvic pain can be caused by many factors including: cancer, disc herniation/rupture, nerve root compression, degeneration/arthritis, facet joint inflammation/stiffness, sacroiliac injuries
- These are often due to poor postural awareness and/or movement strategies
- This therefore leads to the inability to activate the “core”, substitution of the outer muscles to do the work of the “core”
- All this increases the load placed onto your lumbar spine and pelvis thus leading to lumbo pelvic instability and injury
Retraining Lumbopelvic Stability
- This must begin with postural retraining to maintain neutral spine which decreases loading on our joints
- Relaxing overactive muscles is essential to reduce tension ie commonly the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes may be overactive
- Core muscle activation and gluteal activation must be trained to regain lumbopelvic stability
- To the right are examples of lumbopelvic stability exercises
If you would like to learn more about Training and Recovery, or about any of our services, please call us on 9922 2212 or email us on [email protected].