Orla's Blog - Week 3 & 4 - Final year Physiotherapy student -

As last week hampered the clinic's schedule, TC was closed and I decided to hold off on this week's blog and just add it to week 4. 

2/3/18 -Blog 3-  Arthritis

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The past few days the weather has been the topic of conversation. The country
had gone from a yellow to a red warning in a matter of hours. Everyone is
delighted to see rain back in Ireland now. Concerning the weather, some wonder
whether the joint pain is linked to the colder climate. Research studies showed a
mixed result. Last week the general anatomy of the knee was discussed.
For the people who have limited information about arthritis, this blog will briefly
discuss the cause, symptoms, and treatment. There is two subtype of arthritis 1)
Rheumatoid Arthritis 2) Osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis develops in
patients around 20/30 years old while Osteoarthritis is usually above 40 years
old. There isn’t one direct cause of osteoarthritis, but professionals believe it is
a combination of factors. The most common reason is wear and tear with aging,
high load on the joints such as being overweight, environmental and genetic
factors. Symptoms of osteoarthritis are stiffness, pain, swelling and muscle

Physiotherapy is very helpful to Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
sufferers. Physiotherapy is key to the treatment and the management of patients
with arthritis. Concentrating on reducing pain and stiffness to help you have a
regular daily life by increasing movement in the joints. The treatment and
management are done through a tailored treatment programme. Techniques are
provided within the clinic to allow you to be independent and to reduce
pain/stiffness. For elderly, it is the utmost importance to keep warm in this
Christmas-like weather and to keep moving every hour while staying safe.
Throughout the week the quotes are:

Tommy regarding: “Your goal throughout your life, is to maintain the basic movements that you have being given as a child."
From Andrew: “Don’t let a little injury become a major problem –Get it checked!”
From Natalie: "Slow, controlled movements are the most important part of pilates"
From Amy: “Pilates doesn’t have an age limit”


9/3/18 -Blog 4- Back Pain

When you’re lifting your baby do you have pain in your back? When you are
working at in the office, do you feel pain in your back? Low back pain is quite
common, and it is usually recurrent but rarely serious.

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The first instinct is to avoid the movement(s) that induces the pain, people may
become stressed about preventing that specific movement. When you avoid a
certain movement for a long period the supporting muscles can be overused
while the main muscle can shift into a state of dormancy, or else the opposite
side of the body will be overcompensating. Stress, fear and worry can hinder
your progress to normality. When this overcompensating occurs, muscle
guarding takes place. Muscle guarding is when a supporting muscle is in an
active state to protect the muscle or structure that has been damaged.

Think of it as a fight response or your muscle is on guard to help out all the time when it should
not be. It is a protective mechanism that can be driven by fear or worry and the
supporting muscles become the main activators.

The body mechanism is to defend itself from potential/perceived threats however without actual threats it will lead to a potential problem.

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In the past, bed rest was recommended for low back pain. Recently evidence-
based research showed that low back pain sufferers who remain active have a
better long-term outlook for reduced pain and improvement for the normal daily
living. With this in mind, find a balance of rest and staying active to improve
movement, don't wait for the pain to be gone entirely before moving again. For
the first week rest but introduce exercises provided by a physiotherapist to
ensure a full recovery. If it has been awhile since exercising your muscles that
were asleep are activated again, some feel the effects of DOMS, which is
different. DOMS is known as Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness, which is stiffness
and pain that occurs after exercise.

When muscle guarding occurs is can be released by the help and support from
physiotherapists. So if in doubt, check it out!

Throughout the week the quotes are:
Tommy regarding: “The most important thing is what position you are in, not which muscles are strong or weak. It's easy to make a muscle weak, just put it in a bad position."
From Andrew: “Pain is an output of the brain it’s a worrying sign but doesn’t
always mean damage”
From Natalie: "Exhaling is essential to gain full abdominal control"
From Amy:  "Pilates is for everyBODY!"

Tommy ConwayComment