Improve your sleep

Strategies to Improve quality and/or quantity of sleep

Inadequate sleep and/or poor- quality sleep affects the non-athletic and athletic population. Consequently, adequate sleep is a critical component for post exercise recovery thus effecting performance. Therefore, below we have listed strategies you can implement to enhance your sleep quality to optimise your health, work/sport performance and recovery.

Nutrition do’s and don’ts
Do’s

Consume tryptophan containing foods such as milk, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, peanuts, cheese and leafy green vegetables in the evening meal to increase melatonin production.

Try including carbohydrate foods at dinner to assist with Serotonin production, e.g. potatoes, rice, pasta… this may not be ideal if overweight or working on losing fat.

Try consuming 30ml tart cherry juice in the evening to increase exogenous melatonin intake (also decreases DOMS -Delayed Onset Muscle soreness). Use in a periodised way, e.g. around high volume training or to get sleep sorted initially if in a rut or during competition.

Consume a balanced, healthy diet, including adequate wholegrains, low fat dairy foods, fruits and vegetables for magnesium and B vitamins.

Try 300-400mg Magnesium supplement prior to bed.
Don’ts

Alcohol intake prior to bedtime (fragments sleep later in the night)

Caffeine and nicotine stimulants intake prior to bedtime (individual tolerances do exist). This includes coffee, tea, energy drinks, cola, chocolate.

To be cautious of
Be conscious of food portions before bed (eating large portions of food can raise core body temperature and make it difficult to fall asleep) and fluid intake prior to bed (to minimise need to go to the bathroom).

Consume fluids with evening meal to increase absorption, then taper off;
i.e. individual fluid prescriptions may be necessary following late- night training/competition to ensure rehydration.

Aim for no more than one visit to the bathroom during the night to minimise sleep fragmentation.

Combating Stress
Use a journal to write down worries/thoughts before bed

Write a ‘to do’ list for the next day to help clear the mind

Body Temperature
Lowering core body temperature in the evening to induce drowsiness and sleep:

Skin-warming (for cool environmental conditions) – achieved through warm baths/shower/spa, hot foot baths, warm blankets or dressing gowns, wearing warm socks and woollen boots/slippers

Skin cooling (for warm environmental conditions) –achieved through cool showers, cold water immersion, appropriate use of air conditioning, light bed covers

Keep a Routine
It is critical to maintain a pre- bed routine to prime the body for sleep. This is crucial for proper sleep hygiene.

Allow 1 hour ‘the de-power hour’ to unwind before bed

Maintain a regular bed and waking time each day (entrains our internal body rhythm -circadian rhythm)

Avoid computer screens, texting, bright lights for 1-2 hours before bed (stimulates the eye). Some people may find a dimmer TV screen from a distance helps them relax.

Creating a sleep friendly environment
Keep the TV out of the bedroom.

Keep the bedroom for sleep activities only, and ensure it is quiet, dark and comfortable.

If you cannot sleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, get up again and try a different strategy. Eliminate the bedroom clock (avoids stress of ‘losing valuable sleep time/clock watching’).
Napping
Napping can be a valuable way of increasing total sleep hours. Experimenting with a 90 minute nap mid-afternoon (one full sleep cycle). Recommended for individuals during heavy training prior to competition or who are having short nights.

If insomnia is a problem, do not nap in the day. Otherwise time naps for 8 hours after rising time (2-3pm) and keep these no longer than 30 minutes.

Naps times between 30-90 minutes or longer than 90 minutes may result in temporary sleep inertia and performance impairments.

Napping 10-12 hours after morning waking time will likely disturb nocturnal sleep. Set an alarm to wake at the right time post nap.

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Warm up, protecting our kids

Warmup prior to sport is one of the most under utilised tools in the fight against sporting injuries. Many of us grew up in a world where sport was primarily for fun, we played numerous sports all lasting a few months of the year and the majority of us never did this with the consideration of higher goals or a professional career in the future. We were strong, active, healthy, largely injury free kids.

The sporting landscape has changed and not necessarily for the better.  In a society with a growing obesity epidemic our sporting participation rates for children, adolescents and young adults are lower than ever and continuing to drop. Alongside this the number of moderate to severe injuries in our children and adolescents is at an all time high and continuing to rise.

Across the ditch in Australia they are suffering from what could be considered an ACL rupture “epidemic”. New research has revealed that Australia has the highest rates of ACL reconstructions in the world (200,000 reconstructions at a cost of >$140 million) and they are being reported at younger ages with some as young as seven or eight. It is not clear yet what is causing these growing rates of ACL rupture but there is spectulation that a combination of a lack of “free play”and early sports specialisation could be to blame.

Rules and restrictions on climbing trees, playing everyday lunchtime school games and too much time spent on devices is ensuring our children are functionally weaker than ever before. We see this on a daily basis with an increase in sporting injuries and on the other end of the spectrum an increase in back and neck pain as a result of a largely sedentary lifestyle from younger and younger ages.

Sports are now often year round, multiple levels of a sport are played by athletes concurrently with the load of training and competing often being higher in a week than many of our professional and semi professional adults. YET all of this is occuring on a growing skeleton. This along with the reduction in movement control and strength is creating the “perfect storm” when it comes to injuries in adolescence.

Having an impact in this landscape is challenging and at times frustrating but is a hugely rewarding area if changes can be made. We can not have the next generation of children having “40 year old knees” by the time they are 10 and we can not afford to have a generation of children ceasing to play sport as a result of injury as this has significantly detrimental greater health consequences.

 

Warmups prior to sport are almost always completed especially in team sports. Yet historically these largely consist of a jog and some static stretching which is what we completed 30 years ago. Research and time has moved on but education to the public still lacks in this area. Static stretching is not effective in the reduction of injuries and can potentially be detrimental prior to to sport due to reducing power production of the involved muscle after being stretched. It has NO place in a warmup prior to sport.

Warmups MUST be multifactorial, sport specific and include strengthening, balance and agility exercises. These will not only help prepare our children for the sport they are about to play but reduce their risk of injury and assist in enhancing their performance. Faster, stronger players who are not injured regularly will always be an asset to a team.

 

Effective warmups have been shown in research to prevent major injuries by up to 50% and all injuries by up to 30%. Research also shows us that teams that have the least injuries win the most and athletes that can complete the majority of their planned training will have a much higher chance of achieving their performance goals. IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE!  We must implement appropriate warmups across all sports from pre puberty – some would say it is negligent of us if we don’t!

 

See links below for examples of sport specific warmups for netball, rugby & football or contact us at Bureta Physio buretaphysio@xtra.co.nzor 5761860 for further information

 

http://netballnz.co.nz/useful-info/netball-smart

https://www.rugbysmart.co.nz/sportsmart-warm-up

http://fit4football.co.nz/the-11plus/11plus/

http://fit4football.co.nz/the-11plus/11plus-kids/

Hip tendinopathy problems and solutions

Aggravating movement Why does it aggravate Solution
Lying on painful side

 

Direct compression from the mattress Add a soft mattress cover eg use a spare duvet
Lying on the non-painful side Upper leg adducts, causing compression Place pillows between your knees and ankles to reduce hip adduction
‘Hip hanging” standing position Increases tension of the ITB, increases compression and may lead to abductor weakness Don’t hip hang
Sitting with legs crossed Compression from the ITB with adduction Don’t cross your legs
Sitting in low chairs Hip rests in flexed position which increases tension on your TFL muscle and your ITB increasing compression. Can cause pain on rising from sitting. Sit on a tall chair so hips are above the level of your knees
Standing on painful leg Pelvis drops on non-weightbearing side leadign to hip adduction Use some support for single leg activities – eg dressing or do in sitting
Walking (especially climbing hills or over striding) If pelvic control is poor the hip can adduct during gait causing compression and pain Stay active but stick to what you can comfortably do, avoid large hills and over- striding
Climbing stairs Pelvis drops on non-weightbearing side leading to hip adduction Hold onto hand rail for support. If servere do 1 step at a time leading with the good leg.

Back First Aid !

You’ve hurt your back – what can you do!?! This blog should help to explain what is going on and how to help yourself. Everyone is different, if you see a physiotherapy at Bureta Physiotherapy we can help make an individualised program for you.

Central low back pain –what is it?
Low back pain is very normal; in fact 80% of the population will experience low back pain some time in their life. This often resolves within 3 months, sometimes with recurrent episodes. People often don’t know why it happens and get upset as it can be very irritating and painful, restricting normal everyday activities.

Due to the mechanical pressure our low back gets exposed to, it is the most common part of our spine to get injured.  Most low back pain is caused by overstretching of ligaments and other soft tissue structures around our spine. This is often due to poor posture over a period of time. This soft tissue ‘damage’ is often easily reversible if we address the prolonged poor postures.

What can you do?

  • Don’t panic!
  • Keep moving! It is really beneficial for your back to keep active with light activity
  • Try lying on your stomach, prop yourself up onto your elbows if you are able to do this or onto extended arms
  • If you are unable to do this then you can try the rest position with feet up on a chair (see photo below)
  • Heat and pain relief can help to relieve the pain but not the underlying cause
  • Try some extensions 10x hourly (see image)– the majority of the population respond to this movement for pain relief and to restore some mobility. If this spreads pain into your leg then stop these exercises
  • Avoid aggravating postures
    – try sitting in a hard chair with a straight back, such as a dining room table chair, instead of in an arm chair
    – you can try a lumbar roll (you can source one of these from any physio at Bureta) for sitting
  • Get in to see a physio at Bureta Physiotherapy to help address some of these aggravating postures to prevent this from re-occurring. The physio can also start you on some core strengthening exercise, often seen in pilates classes, to provide some stability to your spine.

rest90

The 90/90 position as a rest position

Exercise for a happy brain

Mental health has become a lot more recognised in the 21st century and the importance of managing mental health has increased. In the 2011/2012 New Zealand Health survey, 14.3% of adults living in New Zealand had been diagnosed with depression at some time in their lives. Ups and downs in mood and anxious feelings are normal to respond to everyday stressors but depression is defined as “an illness that can affect how you feel and behave for weeks or months at a time. When you are depressed, your low mood lasts, affecting your sleep, relationships, job and appetite”.

The most common treatment for depression is pharmacological medication such as sertraline, fluoxetine and citalopram. Another common treatment is psychotherapy undertaken by a psychologist. But there is good news for those that don’t like taking lots of medication or don’t like the side effects that come along with it.

Exercise has been proven to be as effective in treating depression as pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy with a lower degree and relapse rate of depression. There is also very strong positive evidence of exercise being a successful treatment to alleviate symptoms of depression when compared to no treatment. Exercise has a direct effect on the pathology, improve symptoms of the disease, and increase general physical fitness and strength and therefore quality of life in individuals.

The benefits of exercise on mental health include:

Increases

• Assertiveness

• Emotional stability

• Self-control

• Work efficiency

• Mood

Decreases

• Alcohol abuse

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Work errors

• Headaches

The evidence shows stronger results for individuals who participate in group exercise classes. So come talk to one of our physiotherapists about what exercise would be right got you or come along to one of the Bureta Physiotherapys pilates or circuit classes and fight mental illness!

For more information regarding help with mental illness look up www.mentalhealth.org.nz or free call 0800 111 757.

Are you breathing right?

Do any of these sound like you?

  • Do you struggle with persistent neck or back pain?
  • Struggle with breathlessness during sport, exercise or activities of daily living when you are otherwise healthy?
  • Do you regularly have pins and needles in your hands or feet?
  • Do you have cold or sweaty clammy hands or feet regularly?
  • Do you yawn excessively?
  • Do you suffer from Asthma, allerties, rhinitis, hay fever, sinusitis
  • Do you suffer from facial or jaw pain, Tinnitus
  • Do you suffer from reflux?
  • Have you struggled with your breathing since hospital admissions/surgeries
  • Do you suffer from Panic attacks or chronic anxiety
  • Are you an athlete who isn’t performing at a level that is appropriate to your underlying fitness level?

Research shows that Breathing pattern disorders affect up to 10 – 30% of the general population and atleast 30% of those with asthma.

Faulty breathing patterns can be caused by a variety of reasons from bereavement to tight clothes, from a history of abuse to chronic sinusitis to sitting poorly. Whatever the cause the first step is in addressing and correcting this faulty pattern as the cycle it sets us on otherwise continues to strengthen the effects it has.

Faulty breathing patterns affect different people in different ways. Some patients are more inclined to mental distress, fear, anxiety and co-existing loss of self-confidence. Others may exhibit musculoskeletal and more physical symptoms such as neck and shoulder problems, chronic pain and fatigue. Many are a combination of both mental, emotional and physical factors.

All babies are nose breathers and unfortunately during our lives many of us for a  variety of reasons become habitual mouth breathers. This has a signifcant effect on physcial, physiological and chemical processes in our bodies. The number one aim of the Bradcliffe breathing programme is to restore your ability to nose breath and as a result of this correct a large number of variables that can occur.

In the Western World we seem to have become addicted to “doing”. We are highly prone to stress and anxiety and we struggle to relax. We are stimulation addicts and there are now even things developing such as “Email apnoea” where we hold our breathe when we are emailing. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles contribute to postures that make correct breathing more difficult but even our elite athletes are affected with breathing pattern disorders which can have significant effects on their performance.

For more information email jacinta@buretaphysio.co.nz or blair@buretaphysio.co.nz ring 075761860 to book an hour appointment with Jacinta or Blair in order to have your breathing programme started today!

9 Top Strapping Tips – Bureta Physio

At Bureta Physio in Tauranga and as Sports Physio’s with local and International sports teams we spend a large amount of time strapping all sorts of injuries. To strap well follow the basic steps below and get practicing! Taping is both an art and a skill – if you want to learn from us visit our youtube channel to learn how to tape the ankle, knee, foot and other various joints

 

1.Anchors- Tape sticks better to tape than it does to skin so ideally always put on an “anchor” which is simply a piece of tape that is placed on loosely around i.e. the thigh that the other pieces will stick to at the top and bottom.Surface – Ideally shave the area to be taped

2.Ideally ensure there is no moisturiser or cream such as linemen on the area to be taped.
3.Reinforce – Overlap each piece of tape by 30 – 50% so each piece is reinforced.
4.Safety- Ensure the person has no skin allergies or allergies to tape – if so use an anti-allergic tape underneath.
5.Comfort – Your aim is to not get any creases in the tape in areas you put weight on – such as under the foot as these will potentially cause blisters.
6.Your tape can get wet but pat it dry afterwards and ensure that it doesn’t stay on for longer than 48 hours (unless it is kinesio taping which can stay on for up to a week).

7.Every piece of skin does not need to be covered in order to have a well strapped joint – it simply requires applying the tape with tension at the right time then rub the tape well afterwards to heat it up and therefore ensure it is well stuck.

8. It is easiest to take tape off when wet.

9. Taping Rash – If you have been using tape everyday for a period of time and your skin is being irritated you can use a liquid such as Mylanta (anti-acid) and pat it over the area which helps settle rash or irritated area.