Concussion is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Concussions – Written by Kimberley Pilbrow (BHSc Physiotherapy)

With the start of another Winter Sports season now upon us, now is a good time for athletes, parents, coaches, officials & supporters to increase their knowledge about concussion.

Concussion is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury which occurs when someone receives impact to the head or body causing a force to be transmitted to the brain, ie ‘shaking’ inside the skull. In a concussion injury there is no change to the macro-structure of the brain. Ie there is no permanent damage to the brain. However, there are changes at a micro level, meaning it may take some time to re-access the areas of the brain that were affected.

Historically people believed that to sustain a concussion you must be “knocked out” (loss of consciousness), this is not true- 90% of concussion occur without any loss of consciousness AND Loss of consciousness does not relate to their long-term outcomes. Ie someone who is knocked out may return safely to sport in 3-4 weeks, where as someone who is not may take 3months to recover- there is no relationship between “severity” of concussion and length of recovery.

As Concussion is a brain Injury- there is a wide range of symptoms such as:

Visible Signs:
-loss of consciousness
-slow to get up
-unsteady on feet/poor balance
-poor coordination or inappropriate playing behaviour (eg. standing out of position)
-clutching or grabbing at head
-dazed or confused
-vomiting (>once is of greater concern-take to Emergency Department)
-irritability/changes in emotions

Symptoms:
-dizziness
-headache
-nausea
-drowsiness
-“don’t feel right”
-blurred vision
-difficulty concentrating/remembering

If you (or your child) have an incident like this and have one or more of the following symptoms you should:
1) Be removed from sport immediately
2) Monitored by an adult
3) Seek Medical Attention from your GP or Concussion Trained Physiotherapist (Click here for our team)

A full list of symptoms can be found HERE– the Concussion Recognition Tool is a great resource for parents & coaches

Assessment and Treatment of Concussion:
A concussion must be diagnosed by a health professional. Examination from your Physiotherapist will include a group of tests as required including; SCAT5 or SCAT5 Child Assessment (Symptoms, Neurocognitive processing, Balance), Assessment of neck pain and movements, Neurological Exam, and Eye & Head Movements.
Treatment of each concussion is individual- REST IS NOT BEST!!
Your Physiotherapist will work with you on starting appropriate activities EARLY to aide a gradual return to daily activities (highly supported by research), followed by return to work/school and then return to sport. Your treatment plan may include; education about pacing activities, treatment of the neck joints and muscles, relearning eye tracking movements and gradual exercise progressing back to full function including work and sport specific tasks.

Key Points:
-90% of concussions occur without being knocked out
-If you suspect a concussion, remove the athlete from play IMMEDIATELY
-Seek Medical Assessment from someone trained in Concussion
-Rehabilitation is INDIVIDUALISED
-REST IS NOT BEST!
If you have had a concussion, Bureta Physiotherapy will work with you, your family and your doctor to take you through the required steps for full return to function-including sport, school or work.
Early Diagnosis is important for monitoring symptoms and guiding appropriate rehabilitation, contact us TODAY to book an appointment or discuss if our acute concussion service is right for you.

 

 

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Strain and sprain is not OK!

“The perfect movers, without strain and pain are under 5 year olds”

Stiffness and strain for many is part of life, indeed a modus operandi for many. But imagine if stiffness and strain equates to dysfunction, pain and harm, this forms much of our function and day. I recently attended a Integrated Movement Patterns Course to upskill on the Milicich Method where the emphasis was on non – specific neck and back pain. These methods were derived from analysing the perfect movers of this world; the few uninjured high performing individuals, who work within gravity, pain free. A small percentage are in the adult population and a high percentage are the 5 years old’s and under, the perfect movers of this world; the young who display natural movement synergies. The ability to move their centre of mass with perfect balance is part of our natural physical development, which sets the foundation for future movement.

The Milicich Method aims to facilitate these fundamental movement patterns that are still within our central nervous system and awaken them to treat strain and sprain. Diaphragm function underpins strength and function within these movement synergies undoing habits, utilising language to facilitate existing pathways. These are key to the learning process. Many people have unlearned the pro-gravity system and reprogrammed the anti-gravity system in their brain, working against gravity instead of with gravity.

One aspect of our daily lives that contributes to neck and back strain is lifting and the Milicich Method addresses this concern looking at the way 5 year old’s squat and how power lifters perform. This was instrumental in re-establishing the pro-gravity movement pattern. The natural flat foot squat (FFS) position is a movement that much of the western society has lost. The FFS that every child performs, moves the centre of mass through a vertical range of motion, and this is a very specific sequence of movement incorporating diaphragmatic breathing to engage the power chain, which gains a successful lift without strain within gravity.
If this concept of eliminating strain and sprain, re-establishing fundamental principles of movement and working within gravity is something that you would like to explore then I look forward to facilitating this learning process.

Marcel Gyde
Senior Physiotherapist

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.

What is Rehabilitation

Have you ever wondered how exercise works? Watch this video!

This video shows mechanotherapy at work. Mechanotherapy is the science behind how exercise works and why your physiotherapist prescribes your particular exercises. When you put a controlled load through the body’s tissues, like a muscle contracting against resistance, this will cause the cells in that muscle to respond. The cells recognise that muscle is working against resistance and a cascade of reactions begin that eventually lead to muscle fibres increasing in size. How your physiotherapist manipulates the exercise will determine what sort of reaction the cells will have. For example, exercises to build muscle are different to exercises that encourage weight loss. A detailed understanding of how this works is required by your physiotherapist to get the outcome you desire. The physiotherapists at Bureta are well trained in rehabilitation and exercise prescription so are able to tailor a treatment plan specifically for each individual!

New Year..New you.. Six Steps to develop a sustainable fitness plan?

1.Train together

You’re health journey doesn’t have to be a solo mission – having a health or fitness coach, or even just friends to workout with, can help keep you motivated. You’re more likely to stop what you’re doing and make time for health & fitness if you know someone is waiting for you!

2. Footwear

Nothing puts a hurdle in the way of your fitness plan like an injury, especially if it’s related to your feet as it will have a chain reaction of effects for other parts of your body. Carefully choosing your shoe design and size will make sure you are protecting and supporting your feet. See one of our local shoe specialist to have a gait/footwear analysis to get the basics sorted but if you need a more in-depth analysis of you gait then book in for a gaitscan with us

3. Include Pilates

Pilates is the secret key to many athletes’ success and longevity. Clinical Pilates which includes a variety of core exercises and is guided by a qualified physiotherapist helps to achieve specific outcomes, such as improved posture, balance and coordination.
Engaging in Clinical Pilates may motivate you to understand your body better and teach you how to control and activate muscles through everyday movements.
Pilates also complements all your other fitness regimes as most exercises require core strength and balance, so Pilates effectively turbo charges your progress in other areas!
Speak to one of the team at Bureta Physio to hear about our great membership deals, or click here to check out our schedule.

4. Include massage

Even the worlds best sportspeople only train and play for a certain period of time before they require a recovery period. So why should you feel guilty for having a recovery day here and there?!
Massage is an excellent way to rejuvenate your muscles by incorporating them into your lifestyle on a regular basis. You will find that massage will allow your body to recover from exercise a lot quicker, helping to motivate you to continue being active on a regular basis.
Call us at Bureta Physio to book your appointment

5. Stretch it out

Effective stretching doesn’t need to take hours, but it will require you to make a regular commitment on a weekly basis. Build a lifestyle habit around stretching for it to ultimately become beneficial. Using a foam roller  or trigger point kit can be a fun way to roll out and target muscle soreness and if you’ve still got time to watch TV, this is an excellent way to multi-task! Come check out rollers or new trigger point kits in the practice.

6. Functional strength

The key to a healthy, fit body is to constantly vary your fitness regime. Varying your exercises conditions your body for the general demands of every day activity, so, it is a paramount attribute of committing to your fitness. Functional strength training typically involves a balance of strength, agility, flexibility, core stability and endurance.
At Bureta physio we can complete a biomechanical assessment and running analysis to highlight any areas of weakness/stiffness that may lead to injury and provide you with a personalised strength program to work on these. Call us to book this in.

Core Strength and Back Pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles. These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace. They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body. The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable. When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off. Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem. This leads to recurrent low back pain. Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain. Improving posture may reduce pain immediately. Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again. This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist. Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further. These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly. We also offer pilates classes and strength classes which incorporate core strength. Call us now to book into our classes. New times and more classes coming 2015…………. New schedule up on website in Jan

5 steps to get you that summer body you have always wanted.

Summer is here and now is the best time to take control of your life and get your body into the shape that you always wanted.  It generally takes a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks before you will notice results and even longer to reach long term physical goals. Here are some awesome steps that will help you get there:

1: Work out with weights.The right kind of weight training for women can be extremely beneficial for good health and for achieving your visible physical goals. Many people believe weight training does not burn calories, but this is untrue. Weight training, if done correctly, has been proven to burn more calories than most cardiovascular activities. Resistance training builds muscle tissue/ connective tissue, strengthening bones and improves vitality.

2: Eat more healthy meals a day in order to speed up your metabolism you must eat less and eat more often. 3 big meals a day is not going to help you lose weight. 6 smaller meals of healthy food is going to get you just that bit closer to achieving your goal. Remember that this is 6 healthy meals. A lot of people don’t realize that about 70% of weight loss is in your diet.

3. Drink more water. Ditch those sodas and start drinking more water. We all know that sugar drinks go straight to the hips but so can the diet drinks as well. Diet drinks can make your body produce extra insulin which can in turn make you put weight on. In addition to flushing out the toxins out of your system, drinking water encourages you to build muscle. The average person should drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day and more when you are training. It is advised that you drink room temperate water as it absorbs much quicker into the system. Especially when training and in turn it should avoid you bloating and have it sitting in your stomach.

4. The correct cardio training. Doing the correct cardio training is extremely important. A good balance of exercises is also needed to avoid the body from reaching a plateau. Mix it up with running, cycling, swimming and even a variety of sports. Also make sure you mix it up with interval training and not just the same repetitive motion. Jog or walk for a while and then sprint for a period of time. You need to constantly shock your system.

5. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can be one thing that if had to excess can ruin all of your great eating and training. A lot of our clients don’t realize how high in calories alcohol is by itself not to mention how bad some of the mixers can be for you. Then what do you do when you wake up the next day? I know that the first thing I feel like doing after having a couple drinks the night before is call up the nearest burger place and eating the fattest burger there. Because your body is trying to break down the calories from the alcohol, this burger will pretty much store straight in the body as fat. So if you do feel the need to drink, make sure that the next days food intake is extremely healthy.

These are 5 easy steps that if all done correctly will help you get into shape for summer. None of these should be overlooked. If you are going to have a go, make it a good one. Good Luck.