Blog - The Back and Body Clinic | Specialist Physiotherapy Northampton

Northampton 1/2 Marathon - Final Preparation


Final Preparation You’ve now completed months of training and preparation and the big day is in sight! These are some tips for the final weeks to make sure you’re as successful as possible on half marathon day. Dress rehearsal You should have Read More

Northampton 1/2 Marathon - Myth Busters


Myth Busters I need to just keep putting the miles in……. This is a classic case of quality over quantity! Regardless of distance, the quality of your run is the most important factor.  Interval training is a really efficient way of Read More

Northampton 1/2 Marathon - Injury Prevention


Injury prevention There is nothing worse than progress being stunted by injury. Here is our most important advice to keep you running happily. Gradually increase mileage Having a well thought out training plan means your body can adapt to the increase in Read More

Northampton 1/2 Marathon training - Top Tips


'Top Tips' guide to running First things first are our Top Tips guide to running. Whether you’re embarking on your first or tenth half marathon, this guide will help you with all the most important considerations! Prepare Preparation is key, so creating Read More

The Perfect Christmas Present


The Perfect Christmas Present: A Massage Voucher @ The Back and Body Clinic Do you have a loved one who always comes home from work or the gym struggling with aches and pains? Tired of them asking you to give Read More

Northampton 1/2 Marathon – Final Preparation

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Final Preparation

You’ve now completed months of training and preparation and the big day is in sight! These are some tips for the final weeks to make sure you’re as successful as possible on half marathon day.

Dress rehearsal

You should have been running in your race trainers already, but make sure you have at least one run with your full marathon day kit on so you know that everything is comfortable. It works really well to complete this dress rehearsal as your penultimate or last long run. Make sure you eat in a similar way to race day, warm up properly and time yourself so you know what pace is comfortable for you. Completing this at least one week before half marathon day will give you the opportunity to change outfits or pre-race routine if you need to.

Taper

This is your opportunity to get some rest and recovery in preparation for the half marathon. Ideally start tapering two weeks before the race date. After completing your longest training run, tapering should consist of gradually decreasing the mileage (eg. Next long run 10 miles, then 7 miles etc). It’s a good idea to keep running as often during the tapering period to keep the habit of regular exercise, but the decreased time spent running will give you some well earned recovery and a chance to reflect on your training journey so far.

Pace yourself

When you first set off on half marathon day, you can easily find yourself going quicker than you normally would because of the crowds and the atmosphere. While it is good to feed off that initial adrenaline, it is important to make sure you don’t burn out after a few miles in. Have your optimum pace in mind and try to keep running to that. You are not allowed to use headphones during the race but singing along to your steps in your head can help to maintain a steady rhythm!!

Nutrition and Hydration

With pre- race nerves it can be difficult to eat but do make sure you have enough slow release energy in your body 2-3 hours before the half marathon starts. Make sure you practice your food routine prior to half marathon day and stick to what you know works for the day. Toast or porridge are the best breakfasts to consider before your run, and a banana can help give you last minute energy just before your run.

It is so important to keep hydrated before and during the run. Drink little and often and consider drinks with electrolytes to replenish nutrients lost during the run.

Warm up/ Cool down

On race day it is vital to complete a proper warm up to reduce the risk of injury and optimize your performance. This should consist of a gentle 5-10 minute jog to get everything moving, running drills and dynamic stretching. There can be some waiting at the starting line so be prepared with a warm-up exercise to complete for the last few minutes before setting off on the run. There are videos on the Facebook page with step by step guides of running drills and dynamic stretches.

Afterwards, make sure you put some time aside to cool down efficiently. This will reduce post-run ache and give you a chance to assess for any niggles which have presented during the run. See Andy’s exercise video on the Facebook page for cool down ideas!

To book your pre and or post race Sports Massage call the clinic today.
Wootton – 01604 875950 Moulton – 01604 493066 

 


Northampton 1/2 Marathon – Myth Busters

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Myth Busters

I need to just keep putting the miles in…….
This is a classic case of quality over quantity! Regardless of distance, the quality of your run is the most important factor.  Interval training is a really efficient way of preparing your heart and lungs for a long-distance run, whereas hill running challenges different part of muscle groups.  A varied training programme should focus on all aspects of running and not just mileage.

I will get strong just by running so I don’t need to do other training…..
When you run you are asking a serious amount from many different muscle groups. If we are weak in some muscles, then its likely other muscles will compensate and cause injury.  Just running will not strengthen the weak muscles, but only increase the compensation.  In other words, if we just run, only the strong muscles get stronger! A physiotherapist can help identify where your weaker muscles are and what you need to do to strengthen properly.

Every week we are posting a new strength exercise to help with your training programme – keep an eye out on our Facebook page.

I am training my core by doing lots of sit ups………
This is a common misconception! While sit ups do work some muscles in your abdominal area, they don’t work our deep core muscles.  A better idea is get guidance through your physiotherapist or personal trainer on how to work your core. Pilates can be a great option as it focuses on working your deep stability muscles.

Running will ruin my knees…
This is the most common myth we hear! Knees do frequently get injured due to running, but this is usually due to muscle imbalance or training programme.  If you are running with a good programme and strong muscles, there is no evidence to suggest you are damaging your knees!

The best way to recover from a run is to drink protein shakes…
There is no substitute for good sleep, good nutrition and good hydration. Protein shakes may be beneficial in some cases, but the foundations should be

– diet filled with complex carbs, protein and a variety of fruit and veg.

– Good hydration, not only when running but throughout your whole training programme.

– Sleep, which is the very best way to repair muscle tissue after a run. And it’s the thing we skip most!

I will prevent injury if I stretch before running…….
If we are talking about static stretching (holding a stretch for a certain amount of time) recent research suggests this isn’t the best way to prepare for a run. A good dynamic stretching regime (stretching with movement) is definitely more sensible as you will warm up your body, prepare the muscles for the task ahead and get the blood pumping to all the right areas!

Getting a stitch is a sign of being unfit……..
There are a number of reasons we might get a stitch while running. Surprisingly the most common reason is due to digestion.  If our body is working hard to digest a pre-run meal, it can cause pressure on your diaphragm, leading to a stitch.

Additionally, a stitch may also signal that your muscles are not getting enough oxygen, in which case you may want to look at your breathing technique

Visit our Facebook page to see our strength exercise videos – https://www.facebook.com/BackAndBodyClinic/


Northampton 1/2 Marathon – Injury Prevention

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Injury prevention

There is nothing worse than progress being stunted by injury. Here is our most important advice to keep you running happily.

Gradually increase mileage
Having a well thought out training plan means your body can adapt to the increase in activity. The general rule is to increase mileage by 10% every week. If you are introducing any new types of training, like hill running or intervals, ensure these are introduced gradually to allow your body to acclimatise.

Your training plan should factor in enough time for rest. Rest is a huge part of marathon training, our body needs to repair and adapt the new demands. If we skip this then out risk of injury increased dramatically.

Listen to your body
Our bodies are very tuned in to what’s going on and where needs your attention. A niggle is a warning sign that something isn’t quite right. Almost all niggles are fixable, but it’s so important to not ignore these warning signs – if we do then it’s likely to quickly turn from a niggle to an injury!

It is much easier to fix an injury in its early stages rather than later, when there might be compensation or stiffness from surrounding structures. And remember- prevention is better than cure so if you have any doubts get yourself booked in to see a physiotherapist for an MOT to catch any issues before they become a problem.

Footwear
Having a good pair of trainers is essential. We advise you change trainers after 300-500 miles of running. Running shops are usually helpful at looking at your foot position and gait and advising accordingly. The Back and Body Clinic would recommend ‘The Running Shop’ in Northampton, who has provided running trainers for lots of happy marathon runners.

Look after your feet during every run, use blister plasters as soon as you notice some discomfort to prevent the skin getting more damaged (these could be carried with you in a pocket when you run!)

Nutrition and Hydration
Putting the right nutrients into your body will really help you to get the best out of it! Carbohydrates will be the main fuel during training and race day and it is therefore essential to include these in your diet. This could be with toast, cereals or porridge.

It is also vital to make sure you stay well hydrated before and during each run. Drinking little and often is the best way to do this without feeling too full! It is recommended to drink electrolyte drinks during and after running, which will aid your performance and recovery.

To minimise your chances of getting a stitch, ensure you eat a lightweight meal 2-3 hours before your run. You could have a power snack like a banana just before setting off.

More on avoiding stitches below!

Warm Up and Cool Down
One of the biggest causes of a side stitch is setting off too fast, so the diaphragm does not have sufficient blood circulation. This can be avoided by ensuring you warm up really thoroughly before starting your run. This is also very important to reduce the risk of muscle strains and other injuries.

A good warm up should consist of some dynamic stretching, progressing to more active running drills to get your heart pumping a little faster. You might also find it beneficial to do a few specific strength exercises to really switch on the right muscles.

An efficient cool down routine will help to decrease that post-run muscle ache and aid recovery ready for your next training! This could consist of gently decreasing your effort at the end of your run (perhaps walk for 5 minutes before stopping), prolonged static stretches, and foam rolling.

Visit The Running Shop website – https://www.therunningshop.org.uk/
Watch our exercise videos on our Facebook page


Northampton 1/2 Marathon training – Top Tips

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‘Top Tips’ guide to running

First things first are our Top Tips guide to running. Whether you’re embarking on your first or tenth half marathon, this guide will help you with all the most important considerations!

Prepare
Preparation is key, so creating a training plan is a must for everyone embarking on a half marathon! Make sure you start your training within plenty of time to allow for recovery from any hiccups along the way.

It is best to increase your training efforts by 10% each week to reduce the risk of injury. This means if you are running for 10 minutes on week 1, you should increase your running to 11 minutes in week 2. As well as distance, the 10% rule also applies for speed and incline. Also, don’t forget to factor in at least one rest day per week to give your muscles a chance to completely recover!

Cross training is a fantastic way to keep up your cardiovascular fitness without over exerting the legs and feet with the impact of running. We would recommend spending at least one day per week swimming, cycling or rowing for maximum fitness.

There are some fantastic training plans online to help you build your own individualized timetable.

Stretch
We would recommend thinking about how you incorporate both static and dynamic stretching into your training plan.

Static stretching is stretching a muscle and holding it for a prolonged amount of time, whereas dynamic stretching is stretching with movement. A general rule of thumb is dynamic stretching is advised pre run, to warm up muscles and prepare them for the task ahead and a good static stretch will help them recover afterwards.

Keep your eye out for our videos on stretching and foam rolling on our Facebook page! 

Sam Whiteson patient postureStrengthen
When you run you are asking a serious amount from many different muscle groups.  Not only are some muscles working hard to propel us forward but others are also working hard to stabilise us in that position.  If we are weak in some muscles, then its likely other muscles will compensate and cause injury.

An assessment with a physio will be able to identify exactly where your weak muscles are and the most efficient and effective way to strengthen them.

Every week we will post a new strength exercise to help with your training programme.

Pre- events
Entering smaller running events is a great way to get used to the atmosphere and routine, in preparation for the all-important half marathon day. This will also help to keep you motivated when racking up the miles in the upcoming weeks!

Consider fitting in a 5 or 10 km run at the appropriate time in your training plan. It will allow you to try out your running gear, nutrition preparation and it will give you practice at pacing yourself over a shorter running distance.

Call us today for an assessment.
Wootton – 01604 875950 Moulton 01604 493066 

 

 

 


The Perfect Christmas Present

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The Perfect Christmas Present: A Massage Voucher @ The Back and Body Clinic

Do you have a loved one who always comes home from work or the gym struggling with aches and pains? Tired of them asking you to give them a massage to help?

If this sounds familiar, then why not treat them this Christmas to a Sports Massage here at the Back and Body Clinic? The perfect solution to get you off the hook and to make them feel great again!

Whether they are involved in a heavy exercise regime or are simply carrying extra tension due to a stressful job, sports massage could be the answer to their problems. With benefits such as:

  • Reduced pain
  • Improved sleep
  • Greater movement
  • Injury prevention

… just to name a few. You really can’t go wrong with this gift!

For someone who is in training for a big sporting event or simply just wants to feel at their best every time they exercise, feeling stiff and tight can be extremely frustrating as it can really hinder performance. For athletes, Sports Massage can assist in reducing delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) and preventing injury – both factors that are going to allow them to train to the best of their ability and consequently release the endorphins which make them happier and more positive (and kinder to you!!).  

For those who are holding tension due to extra stresses at work or in everyday life, Sports Massage can again make a massive difference. For these patients, even just taking an hour out of their week for themselves is so important but unfortunately a rarity. A lot of people under stress tend to struggle with affected sleep and pain.  Having a treatment which can help to alleviate both of these will have a hugely positive effect on mood and overall quality of life. That loved one in your life that is always working so hard definitely deserves this… and the best thing about this gift is that you can take all the credit without any of the hard work – RESULT!!

Our Sports Massage Therapists understand that everyone reacts and copes differently with the type of treatment we offer. We want everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable under our care which is why we take the time to really get to know our patients and find out what they expect from us and our treatment. So don’t worry if the person you are spoiling this Christmas has never had a sports massage before! With a range of different techniques up their sleeves, our Sports Massage Therapists can select the most effective and appropriate treatment to suit each individual, putting them at ease and enabling them to walk out feeling confident that they are on the road to recovery!  

– The recipient can chose either:

. Physiotherapy
. Sports Massage
. Podiatry / Chiropody
. Osteopathy
. Acupuncture
. 1:1 Pilates

How does the voucher work?

You can choose the value you would like to put on the voucher and the recipient can choose the treatment they want.

Either pop in to buy them from reception, or give us a call and we can put them in the post for you FREE of charge.

Call the Clinic today:

Moulton Clinic: 01604 493066
Wootton Clinic: 01604 875950

Or visit the website to find out more: http://www.backandbodyclinic.co.uk/

Merry Christmas everyone!!
Sarah Fountain, Sports Massage Therapist

Call us today for a Sports Massage, or a Sports Massage Voucher which we can send to you in the post in time for Christmas!!



Do you have a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) ??

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What is RSI?shutterstock_45308854
RSI refers to pain felt in muscles or tendons from repetitive movements, over use or poor work posture.  It can affect any part of the upper body e.g. wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck.  RSI is common in many occupations and activities but most commonly in those that use their upper body a lot e.g. working at a computer, assembly line, gardening, musical instrument, playing tennis etc.

What are the Symptoms?
RSI has a wide variety of symptoms which are normally most noticeable when performing the activity that causes them.  However, when the condition gets worse symptoms maybe constant and prevent you doing normal daily activities.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Pain/tenderness in muscle
  • Sharp/dull ache
  • Stiffness
  • Tingling/throbbing
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Cramp


Common RSI Conditions
There are dozens of different RSI conditions… here are just a few of the most common ones you might have heard of: Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, wrist, shoulder or elbow tendonitis or bursitis ie. tennis elbow, golfers elbow.

Treatment ?
The first step is to work out what activity is causing the RSI.  If the RSI is due to an activity at work, then you need to speak to your employer or occupational health representative, as it might be possible to alter your work station.  It’s important to take regular breaks to stretch and move the affected area, as well as making sure you maintain good posture.  Regular exercise and the use of ice packs can also help relieve the symptoms of RSI.  Your doctor might prescribe some anti-inflammatories, pain killer, muscle relaxants or antidepressants, depending on your level of pain.

How can The Back and Body Clinic help?
Our Physiotherapists and Osteopaths are highly trained in dealing with RSI and get lots of great result with treatment. Our practitioners will ask you some questions to help identify what is causing the RSI.  It is so important that they address both the symptoms, but also the underlying cause of the problem.   They can provide hands on treatment to release the muscles and make sure all the joints are moving well.  They may use massage, manipulation, acupuncture, electrotherapy and taping for example. They can also suggest ways of reducing the strain on the muscle and give advice on exercises and self-help techniques to help speed up your recovery.  On occasions, when rarely all the above doesn’t help they might suggest the need for a steroid injection, which can also be carried out at the clinic.

How can you help prevent RSI ?
Make sure your work station is set up specifically for you.  Take regular breaks and take time to stretch and move about.  Try and avoid repetitive exercises.

It’s better to see a healthcare professional as soon as symptoms appear as the longer it’s left and the worse it gets the harder and longer it takes to recover.

Contact the Back & Body Clinic today on 01604 875950 or 01604 493066 to book your assessment .


Knead a massage? That’s knot a problem..

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The body is a marvelous thing, made up of numerous muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and nerves that help us to function day to day, but without proper care even simple everyday tasks can become difficult.

Why should I get a regular sports massage?

The benefits of sports massage are endless and varied, so let’s break some of them down.

 

  1. Improve posture, movement and flexibility

Simple massage techniques aid in easing muscle tension which allows them to remain supple and more flexible. Sports massage works through the superficial and deep fibers of muscles, tendons and connective tissues which all have an impact on the range of movement you have available at a joint; by alleviating these tight areas in the soft tissue your movements are less compromised by areas of spasm and so your range increases. Healthy muscles and structures are more likely to do their jobs correctly and work harder to support the body as they are happy and tension free!

  1. Reduce pain, stress and improve sleep

2014-11-10 13.33.25

When a muscle is held in a tightened position for a certain length of time, the body’s nervous system begins to accept this as a ‘normal’ level of tension. Massage techniques such as Trigger Points help reduce this dysfunction by ‘resetting’ the level of tension. When these areas are treated, endorphins flood our body and calm our peripheral nervous system – these are natural chemicals released by the brain that help to relieve pain. Similarly massage also increases levels of serotonin, dopamine and delta waves in the body (these are the brain waves associated with deep sleep), so after a massage not only will you feel less pain, you’ll probably feel happier, calmer and have a peaceful night’s sleep!

  1. Prevent injury and aid rehabilitation or recovery

Tense muscles are more likely to become injured or strained than healthy, relaxed muscles; a massage prior to exercise can help to increase your circulation and blood flow to the area and ‘warm it up’ in preparation for activity. As it has also been suggested that massage can reduce muscle soreness (DOMS) and decrease recovery times, it may also help you to keep performing regularly at your current level too. Furthermore, if you’re currently injured and unable to train or undergoing rehabilitation after an injury or surgery, then sports massage can be a great addition to maintain or improve the health of your muscles and keep you in check ready for your big return!

Patients may react differently to treatments but a sports massage therapist has a variety of techniques at their disposal to combat this to help guarantee that you and your muscles can relax and recover.

Katie Mitchell (Sports Massage Therapist)
Contact the Back & Body Clinic today on 01604 875950 or 01604 493066 to book your Sports Massage for just £25.00.


Is your child or teenager experiencing pain?

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Here is a quick injury information check list for parents.

We all know that getting your children into sports has so many beneficial effects for their health. However, it is important to be aware that your children’s bodies are going through amazing changes and are growing at an alarming rate!shutterstock_509858269

When your child is going through these changes the area that the muscle turns into a tendon and attaches to the bone is the most vulnerable area. This is because the bones are softer than usual at the growth site and so more susceptible to injury. Repetitive overuse of one muscle can result in an inflammatory reaction at the area that the muscle attaches to the bone which can be very painful.

The good news is these injuries are very easy to treat and most respond to rest and gradual return to activity.

I think we all agree that prevention is better than cure and it’s all about making sure you don’t overload with the volume of exercise they are doing. This can be difficult especially when children love sport and want to play everything all the time!

Things to remember:

  • Make sure they have at least 2 rest days a week
  • If they have one heavy day of sport make sure the next day is a fairly easy session
  • Communicate with coaches if they have multiple commitments for example playing for school, clubs and county so that they are all aware of the loading, and can plan in some games/ sessions they can be rested.

shutterstock_541512988It is a good idea to keep track of your child’s growth spurts, by measuring them on the wall, if you do notice them shooting up, its worth just pulling back slightly on the amount of sport they are doing that month so that their body gets plenty of rest.

Remember bones grow quicker than muscles so when they shoot up, the bones will have grown and the muscles are being stretched over a larger distance, causing more tightness and tension in the muscles. Lots of stretching and foam rolling at these times is crucial, or sports massage is another brilliant way to loosen up the muscles.

If they do get pain, do not sit on it, come in and get an assessment as there are lots of things that can be done to help get them back on track and prevent any future problems.

Below are some common injury areas and conditions that we see in clinic and what to do about them.

Severs Disease

Severs disease is the most common cause of heel pain in children and adolescents, usually occurring between 8 and 14 years of age. It is thought to be an inflammatory reaction at the site of the attachment of the Achilles tendon of the heel, often because of sporting activities.

Presentation
Heel pain (often both), which is often of gradual onset and worse on exercise, especially running or jumping. The pain is often relieved by rest.

Typical signs are:

  • Tenderness on pressure of the heel
  • Pain on bringing the foot toward the head
  • Coming up onto tip toes
  • Swelling of the heel


Treatment options

  • The aims are to reduce inflammation to the heel to allow rest and recovery and prevent re-occurrence.
  • Physiotherapy and exercises. These include a combination of stretching, strengthening exercises, ice, temporary heel lifts, soft orthotics or heel cups in shoes, correction of mechanical malalignment through orthotic use, and anti-inflammatory medications.
  • In severe cases: temporarily limiting activity such as running and jumping.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Osgood Schlatters

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common knee condition at the insertion of the quadriceps just below the knee in active teenagers. The strength of quadriceps may exceed the ability of the tibial tuberosity to resist that force, this can cause inflammation and enlargement.

The common age for boys is between 12 and 15 years and for girls, between 8 and 12 years.

Symptoms

  • Gradual onset of pain and swelling below the knee.
  • Pain is usually relieved by rest.
  • Pain on running or jumping.
  • It is more common in boys than in girls.

Management

The good news is that most sufferers respond to conservative treatment. This is where physiotherapy can be helpful by stretching, strengthening, and reducing muscle imbalance of the quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles. The physiotherapist can also advise about exercise, which should be tailored to the level of pain experienced by the sufferer.

Chrondromalacia Patellae

A note about terminology Chondromalacia patellae can also be described as Patello Femoral joint pain or Anterior Knee Pain, these are terms used by healthcare professionals to describe pain at the front of the knee.

Chondromalacia patellae is pain from the cartilage at the back of the kneecap (patella). The usual treatment advised is to avoid overuse of the knee and to have physiotherapy, which is effective in most cases.

Chondromalacia patellae occurs most often in teenagers and is more common in women. Although the reason why damage occurs to the cartilage is not clear, it is thought that the kneecap (patella) may rub against the lower part of the thigh bone (femur) instead of gliding smoothly over it.

Situations where this is more likely include the following:

  • Overuse of the knee, such as in certain sports.
  • Some people may have a slight problem in the alignment of the knee. This may cause the patella to rub on, rather than glide over, the lower femur. It may be due to the way the knee has developed. Or, it may be due to an imbalance in the muscles around the knee.
  • Injury to the knee may contribute – perhaps repeated small injuries or stresses due to sports, or due to slack ligaments (hypermobile joints).


What are the symptoms?

  • Pain around the knee. The pain is usually located at the front of the knee, around or behind the kneecap (patella). The pain is typically worse when going up or down stairs. It may be brought on by sitting (with the knees bent) for long periods.
  • A grating or grinding feeling or noise when the knee moves.
  • Occasionally there is some fluid swelling of the knee joint.


Are any tests needed?

  • Often, no tests are needed, as treatment can be started based on a working diagnosis following a thorough assessment.


What are the treatment options?

  • Physiotherapy – improving the strength of the muscles around the knee will ease the stress on the knee. Also, specific exercises may help to correct problems with alignment and muscle balance around the knee. For example, you may be taught to do exercises which strengthen the inner side of the quadriceps muscle and the buttocks to place less strain through the knee.
  • Modification of activities of the knee – until the pain eases. Symptoms usually improve in time if the knee is not overused.
  • Painkillers – paracetamol or anti-inflammatory painkiller.

Contact the Back & Body Clinic today to book an appointment. 

What do Podiatrists do? Part 5

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Insoles

There are many different insoles and orthotic options available today. Working out what is right for you can be difficult alone. Today we will run through a few different types of insoles, and their benefits and drawbacks.

First up is over the counter or prefabricated devices.JCR_7866 These are available to anyone to buy, or some more condition specific devices may be available to practitioners to buy and dispense to patients.

The benefits of these devices are that they are usually cheaper, have no waiting time to manufacture, have a reasonable life span and the wide array available does give some specificity to them.

However, these are not bespoke and made specifically for you or your shoes. Therefore, they may not fit the anatomical land marks of your foot perfectly, they may not fit easily into shoes, you may not be able to tolerate them, they may not be tailored to your specific bio-mechanics and are not as adjustable.

Casted or semi casted devices.   These are usually rigid or semi rigid devices. An impression of your foot is taken usually by use of a foam box or plaster of paris cast, a material (EVA Carbon Polypropylene) is then molded to the cast, finally additions are made specifically to address your particular bio-mechanics.

The benefits of these devices are that they usually have a long life span, are bespoke to your specific needs and can be used to treat a wide range of conditions due to the large number of additions that can be made.

Drawbacks include higher cost (usually the most expensive), the manufacturing time, no option to ‘try before you buy’ to assess effectiveness, tolerance or accommodation within footwear, they are casted to the foot, not the shoe, so can sometimes be difficult to fit.

Soft or simple insoles. These are my personal favourite. These usually begin life as a temporary device that is made to fit your footwear with padding added to affect the function of the foot andshutterstock_97671347 lower limb using semi compressed felt. This temporary device is then adapted and fine-tuned based on the patients’ feedback, then used as the template to turn it into a permanent device.

The benefits of these devices are that they are tired and tested, all the fine tuning is done before anything permanent is manufactured, a temporary device can be made straight away, they are made specific to patients’ specific needs and footwear, have lots of adaptability and are usually better tolerated.

The drawbacks are they don’t last as long usually 12-24 months, temporary insoles are not 100% effective, temporary insoles will wear quickly and there is manufacturing time for permanent insoles.


What do podiatrists do? Part 4

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Athletic Kids

shutterstock_541512988As podiatrists we treat all age ranges right from first steps through to later life. A relatively at risk age group are active children roughly between the ages of 8-15. During this time a lot of growth takes place. As a side effect of this growth period, something I commonly treat are a set of conditions called osteochondrosis.

These are what you could describe essentially as “growing pains”. Whilst bones are still growing there are “soft” areas in the bones called growth plates. Tendons usually attach at these growth plates and place increased loads on these vulnerable soft areas. Active children will obviously place more load on these areas by virtue of their sporting activities.

Common sites for pain are the heel, the knee and the arch of the foot.shutterstock_541326385

All these can be treated with insole therapy and rehabilitative exercises.

Once the growth plates close and fully ossify (harden) pain can resolve, however if there are contributing biomechanics, then these problems can persist as tendinitis’ or enthesitis’ (pain either in the tendon or at the point of attachment of the tendon)

There are lots of other conditions that can affect a younger population, as always if you have any questions or queries do not hesitate to get in touch or book in for a consultation.

Connor Ratcliffe (Podiatrist)
Contact the Back & Body Clinic today on 01604 875950 or 01604 493066.