Q&A with Women’s Health Physio: Back pain early in pregnancy

Q: I’m pregnant and my back is starting to hurt. I’ve been told I need to just get on with this, as it’s just “pregnancy aches and pains”. Is there anything I can do?
Suzy: Yes, absolutely. While not uncommon, back pain early in pregnancy is not deemed normal and should be addressed. It often coincides with a muscular imbalance around the pelvis and can happen alongside other common areas of pain such as the hips, buttocks and pubic area. With the amount of change that happens in the body during pregnancy, it is hardly surprising that sometimes our muscles are slow to catch up! It is also important to note that women who experience back pain in pregnancy are up to 7 times more likely to experience some form of pelvic floor dysfunction, as the muscles can begin to function differently in response. Here at InTouch Physio, we can help you to address these issues, identify the structures which need work and try to reduce your symptoms so that you can enjoy your pregnancy

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Are pelvic floor muscles functioning correctly? Over 25% of women suffered from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PSD)

Over 25% of all women are believed to suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), and this number is generally considered to be an underestimation due to the sensitive nature of the symptoms; meaning that many cases go unreported.

The pelvic floor muscles are a crucial part of our musculoskeletal system, providing support for our internal organs, support for our unborn baby when pregnant, controlling continence and playing an important part in the sexual function.

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Are you an injured runner? Early Signs of Running Injury and Prevention

Are you an injured runner-intouchphysio

Runners are prone to injury, especially when they start running again after a long period of rest or suddenly increase the frequency, intensity or duration of their training. Sometimes running injuries can be traumatic and sudden, while others gradually occur and worsen over time. It is very tempting to ignore those minor pains and odd symptoms that you are feeling, but here are some warning signs that runners should not neglect.
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Paul’s Tips: 2 Strength exercises all runners should be doing

Split squat by Paul intouchphysio
Split squat by Paul 

1. Split Squat
If done correctly, you should feel this fatigue the front of the thigh and the buttock muscles on the front leg.

1. Stand with one leg forward and the other behind you in a split leg stance
2. Preferably put the back foot on a small step or bench
3. Keeping the knee in line with your second toe and the torso straight
4. Bend the front leg until the knee is flexed to 90 degrees
5. Return to the start position and repeat

For progression, hold on to a weight in the opposite hand to the leg that is being worked.

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How do we balance physiological stress and mechanical stress?

Last time we learnt all about exercise LOAD and the role of mechanical stress. This time we complete the equation and discuss the other form of stress in this load equation and how we can modulate it to prevent injury.
LOAD = mechanical stress + PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS
Modulating your workouts involves consideration of the mechanical stress applied during your previous workouts, current and future exercise, while constantly assessing what physiological stressors you have been exposed to during your work and personal life.

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The No.1 injury prevention strategy – Modulate your STRESS (Part 2)

Physiological stress: Friend or Foe?
When we fail to respond suitably to an emotional or physical ‘threat’, whether it be real or perceived, our body initiates a ‘Fight or Flight’ response and our adrenal glands release a substance called cortisol. This is known as the ‘stress hormone’. During this response, our body sends stored energy to our working muscles and also suppresses the functions of growth, repair, digestion, sexual drive and the immune system, so as to conserve valuable energy. If the ‘Fight or Flight’ response is turned on too often or we remain continually in a state of ‘Fight or Flight’, very typical in modern life, this can cause immense wear and tear on the cells of our body.

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