Nothing screams "New Year, New Me" like setting some goals for yourself, but unfortunately, many of us will end up no where near our desired outcomes, leaving us going 'what went wrong'? You might think to yourself "it's because I'm useless" or "I just didn't try hard enough", or maybe even "the goal was stupid anyway". But the problem likely wasn't because the goal was stupid, but more because it wasn't SMARTE enough.
They have nothing to do with being more intelligent, rather they are about the way you specifically plan a goal! SMARTE is actually an acronym which describes the different important factors to consider when creating a goal.
SMARTE stands for Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant; Timely and Evaluate.
In this post, we are going to cover what each part of the SMARTE goal means and how you can use them to plan your goals! We also have a Goal Setting template, as well as a prefilled example template, which you can download to help you with goal setting!
Goals need to be clear and specific so that you know exactly what you are aiming to achieve! For example, the goal 'to start running' isn't very clear. What constitutes running? Is it running for 5 minutes? Is it running just once in the year?
When a goal is this unclear, it makes it very hard to know what you are achieving or how to plan your approach to achieving the goal.
A much better example of the goal would be 'to be able to run 5km continuously by the end of April'
This example clearly shows that the goal isn't just 'to run', but to be able to run 5km continuously by a certain part of the year.
It is often useful to use the five 'W's to help form your specific goal:
The measurable part of SMARTE relates to how you are going to track progress, as well as measure success or failure for your goal. After all, if you can't measure your progress or success in the goal, how will you ever know if you've actually achieved it?
One of the benefits of being able to monitor progress is that it keeps you on the right track to improvement and ultimately achieving the end goal. A running goal like the example of 'running 5km' is fairly easy to measure, as you can use a fitness watch or running app to keep track of your running distance. If your running distance isn't improving over the number of weeks you are training, then it's pretty clear that you need to change something in your training plan. You could also keep track of the number of breaks you need to take during your 5km runs in training. If your breaks aren't getting shorter or less frequent, than again, you probably need to change something in your training!
The goal 'to run 5km continuously' also makes it pretty clear what success or failure will look like.
SUCCESS = running the 5km continuously
FAILURE = having to take a break during your 5km run
To make a goal measurable, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
The point of a goal is to eventually achieve it, so ensuring that it's something you can actually accomplish is important! Ultimately, you want the goal to be challenging, but not so far out of your reach that it's impossible for you to achieve.
Let's use the running goal example again. Say you were someone who has never gone running before: a big goal like 'run a half-marathon in 3 months' is definitely quite the challenge and maybe something you are passionate about doing, but it's likely going to be too difficult for you to actually accomplish.
However, the goal 'to run a 5km event in 3 months' is probably a sufficient enough challenge for a beginner runner, but is also definitely achievable!
To make a goal achievable, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
For a goal to be relevant, it should be something that you consider worthwhile, meaningful or important to you.
The goal of running may not be relevant in the sense that it's something you've always wanted to do; but it may be relevant because you want to be fitter and healthier. Or it could be relevant because your partner likes to go running and you want to be able to go running with them.
Identifying why the goal is important or meaningful to you will make the reward of achieving it more motivating!
To make a goal relevant, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
Goals need to have a clear start and end date so that you have a clear deadline for achieving the goal. Knowing exactly how much time you have to achieve the goal will make it easier for you to prioritise actions towards achieving that goal. Conversely, if the goal is not time-constrained, there will be no sense of urgency and you will likely have less motivation to achieve the goal.
To make a goal timely, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
Some people will argue that there is no 'E' or 'evaluate' in SMARTE goals, however, we think this part is actually fairly important!
Evaluate is essentially reflecting on how successful you were at achieving your goal. It can be a great way to understand what process of your goal setting worked well; which part maybe needed improvement; and ultimately what you can do next time to make achieving your goals easier!
You may even find that performing this 'evaluate' portion throughout your journey to achieving a goal might be helpful in keeping you on track, and knowing whether maybe you need to make an amendment to your goal.
To evaluate a goal, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
Take home message
SMARTE goals are a great way to really nail down the nitty gritty information that will keep you motivated and on track to completing your goals! Whether it's saving for a house; learning a new language; or maybe learning how to do a triple back flip to show off at parties: we are confident that SMARTE goals will help you have your best shot at success!
To make it even easier to use SMARTE goals, we've also made a printable goal setting template for you to download and use! We've also included a version that has been completed as an example for you to refer to if you're feeling a little stuck!
Bodyweight exercises should be a staple in everyone’s fitness routine, especially for those who are just starting out when it comes to exercise. Not only are they the perfect way to build up the foundational strength you need before ploughing into the heavy weights, but they also require no equipment and can be performed anywhere making them the perfect option for those of us who find it difficult to make time for a trip to the gym.
Below are 6 different exercises that you can be doing at home: 2 upper body, 2 lower body, and 2 core strengthening exercises.
When people think of a lower body exercise, 9 times out of 10 they are going to picture the squat. It’s a brilliant exercise that targets several of the muscle groups in our legs/hips, and can be easily changed to make it easier or harder depending on your level of fitness. Here is how to do the perfect squat:
The lunge is a great exercise to build leg strength while also challenging your balance. Here is how to do it:
3. Push Ups
One of the best body weight exercises (and sometimes the most dreaded), the push up is a great exercise for developing chest and arm strength. Here is how to do a push up:
4. Tricep Dips
If you’ve ever wanted to tone up those ‘bat wings’ or ‘tuckshop lady arms’, this is the exercise for you. The triceps are the muscles in the back of your arm between your shoulder and your elbow. To do a tricep dip:
5. Dead Bugs
A seemingly simply, but deceptively difficult exercise, its a perfect core exercise for those of us that dread the usual sit ups. Here's how to do a dead bug:
Planks are a perfect way to build up core strength, which is crucial in maintaining good posture and minimizing your risk of injury. To perform a plank:
Take Home Message
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle in a fuss free and flexible way. They can be done anywhere, at any time and with no fancy equipment! While each of these exercises should be safe and achievable for most people, it is always recommended that you speak with a qualified professional about starting an exercise program if you are dealing with a complex injury or health condition.
Accredited Exercise Physiologists are perfectly suited for this role, as they are university trained professionals that specialise in exercise prescription for people with complex health needs and injuries.
If you would like to book in with one of our own practitioners, please call 0450 062 223, or click the button below to make an online booking!
Chronic pain usually occurs after someone experiences an acute injury (injury starting between 0-2 weeks), and it is managed poorly, therefore turning it into a chronic injury (one lasting more than 3 months).
In the book ‘Aches and Pains’ by physiotherapist Louis Gifford, he describes 2 types of chronic pain sufferers; one who avoids activity and one who copes:
After reading all of these points, which type of person do you think ends up having longer lasting issues with their pain? … you guessed it, the avoiders!
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying that avoiders are unable to overcome their injuries quickly. But if an avoider and a coper both have the exact same injury with very similar symptoms and lifestyles… the coper is almost always going to recover quicker!
So if you are reading this and think you fit into the ‘coper’ category, then you are probably on the fast track to recovery and should keep doing exactly what you are doing. But if you feel like you fit into the ‘avoider’ category, then your road to recovery may be a bit windier and will likely have a few more roadworks and speed bumps along the way.
The take home message here is that, yes, your pain probably sucks. But sitting there dwelling on it and being negative is only going to make it harder for you in the long run! Take a step back, take a breath, and re-evaluate the way you are approaching the management of your pain. If you need a bit of extra assistance, come in and chat with one of our friendly practitioners who are more than happy to discuss the different ways you can work towards overcoming your pain!
So what is the difference between the two? Well simply put, sciatica occurs when there is pressing or pinching of the sciatic nerve which causes shooting pain radiating down one or both legs from the lower back. On the other hand, low back pain generally is considered more of an ache, and is often localised, meaning the pain normally sits in the one area.
Unfortunately, there is no recommended form of imaging (such as MRI's or ultrasounds) for sciatica. The reason for this is because sciatica is more of a symptom rather than an actual injury. Frequently, people who have no symptoms at all have disc bulges or other changes in their spine that sometimes cause sciatica. In addition to this, patients with symptoms common of sciatica have not had anything abnormal show up on an MRI .
Is that not the craziest concept? I think that's one of the main reasons why people get caught up in the sciatica diagnosis... because they can't find anything else to explain their pain!
So how do you know if you actually have sciatica?
Despite there being no specific imaging that can determine whether someone has sciatica, there are criteria and a number of manual movement tests that your treating health professional can use to determine whether your issue may be related to your sciatic nerve rather than just low back pain. The current criteria for sciatica is as follows:
In simpler terms, the criteria for sciatica is leg pain plus one of the following:
As mentioned, there is evidence that suggests that disc bulges or herniations may irritate sciatic nerve roots  however, this is not the only cause of sciatica. Even if the diagnosis is sciatica or lumbar (lower back) related pain due to a disc bulge, 60% of people are estimated to receive a good outcome within 3 months and 55-75% of people by 1 year . I know it sounds like a long time, but unfortunately this type of pain isn't something that can be dealt with overnight. The most important part of seeing improvement in your symptoms is being consistent with your treatment, and staying confident that it will pay off in the end. This is supported by a recent study which suggested that having a positive mindset about your symptoms may help you see improvements in your pain symptoms when used alongside appropriate treatment !
Take home message
Low back pain, and specifically sciatica, can be a very tricky thing to not only diagnose, but to also treat. The best course of action for you to take when you've got low back pain is to visit your local health professional, so that they can provide you with tailored advice, and determine what the best course of action is for your specific situation!
 Goldsmith, R., Williams, N. H., & Wood, F. (2019). Understanding sciatica: illness and treatment beliefs in a lumbar radicular pain population. A qualitative interview study. BJGP Open, 3(3), bjgpopen19X101654. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgpopen19x101654
 Konstantinou, K., Dunn, K. M., Ogollah, R., Lewis, M., van der Windt, D., & Hay, E. M. (2018). Prognosis of sciatica and back-related leg pain in primary care: the ATLAS cohort. The Spine Journal, 18(6), 1030–1040. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2017.10.071
 Stafford, M. A., Peng, P., & Hill, D. A. (2007). Sciatica: a review of history, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and the role of epidural steroid injection in management. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 99(4), 461–473. https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aem238
 Stynes, S., Konstantinou, K., Ogollah, R., Hay, E. M., & Dunn, K. M. (2018). Clinical diagnostic model for sciatica developed in primary care patients with low back-related leg pain. PLOS ONE, 13(4), e0191852. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191852
Each time we exercise, we are putting our bodies under a new load of stress to try to force it to change and adapt (i.e. get stronger, faster or fitter). While the long term results are the strength gains and weight loss that we are chasing, the immediate effects of exercise are often muscle soreness, fatigue, reduced muscle strength and overall reduction in exercise performance in the hours and days following our session. Ensuring we recover from our sessions properly can help accelerate our ability to overcome these effects so that our bodies are less likely to experience an injury, and also gets us back to top exercising condition quicker!
There are a number of different ways we can recover from exercise, and were going to cover a few of these strategies for you now.
*Please note, not all of these strategies may apply to your situation/training level.
Stretching and Foam Rolling
If you are an honest person, you will 100% admit to having skipped your cool down before. I mean, let’s be real, who wants to finish exercising, only to do more exercise… However, cooling down is an important part of your session as it helps your body gradually come back down to its normal resting state. Stretching and foam rolling play a key role in a cool down, as they assist in helping your muscles relax and stretch back to their normal length, ultimately reducing how tight and sore your muscles feel. Stretching and foam rolling are also important to do regularly to help maintain your flexibility and improve how well you can perform your exercises!
When we exercise, we begin to raise our body temperature which causes us to sweat as a way of cooling ourselves down. While sweating itself isn’t a problem, not replenishing the fluids we lose through sweating is. Ensuring that you are not only hydrated before and during exercise, but also after you finish exercising is important in minimising your risk of experiencing dehydration, and improving your bodies ability to restore itself.
Exercising requires energy, and energy comes from the food we eat. Eating a high-carbohydrate and high protein meal within the hour following exercise allows the body to restore the energy that has been used, as well as use the nutrients from the food to help repair the muscle that has been broken down while exercising.
Last but not least: sleep. Possibly the single most loved thing in the world, and a crucial element in assisting with recovery. When we sleep, our body is working hard to release hormones that nourish/repair our bodies, as well as resetting our central nervous system to ensure we are bright, alert and functioning when we wake up. A poor night of sleep can decrease our muscle and cognitive function, making us even more sluggish and fatigued.
Take Home Message
Regardless of whether you're an exercise beginner or a seasoned athlete, recovery is an important part of every exercise routine! Developing good habits when it comes to stretching, eating and sleeping can ensure that you're body is restoring itself in an efficient manner, and get you back to top performance condition in less time!
There are several factors that can contribute to poor balance and our risk of having more falls. These include:
While its not always possible to prevent our eyesight from deteriorating, or manage how even the ground is, it is possible to train our balance and make sure our bodies are strong and stable. Exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of reducing falls within the community, with more and more balance and strength programs being introduced, especially for the elderly.
What exercises, and how much of them should I be doing?
The more exercise and training you do per week the better (within reason), but a minimum of 2 hours per week is a good baseline to help develop and maintain the lower limb strength and balance you will need.
In terms of the type of exercise you should be doing, a combination of strength building lower leg exercises and balance exercises is the ideal. Below is an example of some of the exercises in each category:
Things to Avoid:
Even though walking is often thought of as the easiest exercise that everyone should be doing, this isn’t really the case with people who have poor balance (especially people who have had a lot of falls while walking). If you find that you often lose your footing or balance while going for walks, its probably better to focus on strength and balance training first before deciding to do your usual walks again.
It can be very frustrating and sometimes scary when our balance isn't what it should be. The most important thing is not letting it stop you from trying to get better. Making even a small change in your routine to focus on your balance will certainly help you on your journey to feeling more stable and safe.
If you’re concerned about your balance and not really sure where to start, you may like to book in for a session with us. Each one of our practitioners is able to provide you with guidance on what could be contributing to your poor balance and what first step you should take to improve it.
Tiana is also crazy for sport; some would even say completely mental based on her love of Collingwood…. But in particular, she enjoys Volleyball and Soccer, both of which she has played for a number of years and acted as Vice-Captain for her teams. Tiana was also heavily involved in the AFL scene down in Melbourne through her work as a sports trainer for the Beaumaris Football Club, gaining a large amount of experience in the world of sports injury management and rehabilitation.
Tiana is arriving in Townsville later this week and is excited to settle in and enjoy our consistent weather and sunshine. She is also particularly keen to go camping and hiking, exploring all that our region has to offer. Thankfully, she isn’t afraid of bugs or wildlife, and we have now dubbed her chief of spider catching in the clinic because the rest of us are horribly useless when it comes to those creepy little buggers (Thanks in advance for your service Tiana!). Tiana also likes to carry a film camera with her wherever she goes, and she’s looking forward to having to spend a fortune on replacement film to capture all the wonderful memories she is no doubt going to make up here in sunny Townsville. Some examples of her incredible photography are shown below!
What Tiana is most excited for is to get started at work here in the clinic where she hopes to bring her wealth of knowledge and experience to empower people and make a meaningful difference in their health journey. Tiana specifically has a great deal of experience with treating patients suffering from chronic migraines, neck, and back pain, and has a particular interest in working with chronic pain in general. She has also had the privilege of working overseas in Goa, India, where she had the opportunity to develop her skills and confidence in working with a wide variety of people and conditions.
If you can’t tell, we are extremely excited to welcome Tiana to our work family and look forward to seeing her blossom as both a health professional, and a soon-to-be converted Queenslander!
If you would like to be one of the first to meet and work with our brilliant Dr Tiana, you can now book online with her through our website. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 0450062223 to arrange an appointment.
What a crazy year the last few weeks have been! With new government restrictions, quarantines, social distancing measures, health advice and calls to work from home where possible, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has definitely shaken up the way we all live our lives. This has also changed the way that we operate as a clinic at NExT Osteo & Rehab, but we are glad to be able to keep our doors open and continue taking bookings for both existing and new patients. We are glad that we can help take some strain away from GP clinics and hospitals by remaining an option for injury management and to aid with chronic condition management. Mostly though, we are glad to be able to continue helping all of you who choose to come and see us for your injuries.
While Carly and Liam will still be providing Exercise Physiology and Osteopathy services, Alice has unfortunately had to stop work for the moment as massage therapists are not currently allowed to practice. We wish Alice all the best while she bunkers down at home away from the ‘Rona, and we look forward to welcoming her back once all this has passed… and it WILL pass.
While Carly and Liam continue working, some hygiene and social distancing changes have been made to the clinic to help adhere to the new normal that we have found ourselves in. Most importantly, we have made these changes to help minimise risks for all of you who come here, as well as ourselves.
Changes we have made include:
We ask that you do not book an appointment, or to reschedule an existing appointment if:
While we will not exclude you from receiving care if you feel you need it, we ask that you consider whether your appointment is necessary at this point in time if you are in one of the following 3 groups that has been asked to remain home where possible by the government:
We will remain open for as long as we are allowed to continue running our Osteopathy and Exercise Physiology services, or until it seems to unsafe to continue working should local case numbers rise to a high level. We are also exploring the option of telehealth services for those who may benefit from this, and will update you more over the coming weeks.
We would like to thank you all for your support over our opening 12 months. It was such a hectic first year, and we are so happy to turn 1 that we might... hmmm... I know! Celebrate at home on our own as we are practicing responsible social distancing! But seriously, as challenging as this next period will be, we look forward to seeing many of you over the next 12 months. You can always reach us by on 0450 062 223, or by our emails listed below for any appointments, advice, health tips, or even just for a chat if you feel the need during this uncertain time.
Otherwise until we see you next, be kind to each other, look out for your neighbours (especially if they are elderly or at higher risk), stay healthy and keep safe.
Take care everyone!
Unless you have been living under a rock, you've almost definitely heard of the current pandemic sweeping the world known as COVID-19 (or coronavirus). While it is definitely something to be aware of, it is not necessarily something we all need to be panicked and stressed about. In this post, we're going to run over some of the information that everyone needs to know about what coronavirus is, who is at risk, and how we can all help prevent it from spreading!
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. Within humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections including the common cold, and more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The coronavirus outbreak that we are currently dealing with is a recently discovered strain known as COVID-19. Up until the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, this virus and disease was unknown.
It is important to note that not everyone who has these symptoms has COVID-19, as these symptoms can be brought on by numerous other illnesses!
Oftentimes there are many people who may become infected, but do not develop any of these symptoms, nor do they feel unwell.
Who is at risk?
Everyone is at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and there is currently no information to suggest that it discriminates between gender or race. However, there are a number of people who are at a higher risk of developing more serious symptoms if they were to become infected. These include:
These people who are at a higher risk should take extra pre-cautions to ensure they are not being exposed to an infected person, and should engage in behaviours that are going to reduce their risk of becoming infected, which we will cover below.
How does it spread?
COVID-19 is spread through the droplets of saliva that are expelled when an infected person sneezes or coughs. These droplets land on surrounding objects, surfaces or people, which can then be transferred to someone else through them touching the contaminated surface/object, and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. It is also possible to inhale (breathe in) these droplets when you are in close proximity with an infected person.
As we mentioned earlier, there are some people who can become infected but do not display symptoms. In these cases, it is very difficult to become infected by them as they are often not coughing or sneezing and thus are not producing these infected droplets.
How can we prevent it from spreading?
There are many different things that can be done to help protect both yourself and others from becoming infected. These include:
It is especially important to engage in these behaviors if you are likely to come in contact with someone who is of a higher risk!
Cleaning your hands regularly with soap and water, or an alcohol based hand sanitizer, is the most effective way of reducing the spread of infection. As we mentioned, COVID-19 is spread by droplets of saliva from an infected person. Regular washing of the hands helps kill off any of the virus that you may come in contact with, and prevents you from then transferring it to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Some of the more important times to wash your hands is after going to the toilet, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
Social distancing (i.e. maintaining a minimum 1.5m distance from others) is a great way of staying out of the 'blast zone' of an infected person when they sneeze or cough, as the droplets that get expelled do not generally travel further than 1.5m. Avoiding large gatherings, unless absolutely essential, is also another way of implementing this social distancing and avoiding the risk of infection. This unfortunately means you should also avoid hosting large gatherings or parties.
It is also important to note that social greetings or interactions where you come in contact with another person (i.e. a hand shake, hug or kiss) should be avoided. Alternative ways of greeting someone include:
Avoid Touching your Face:
The droplets that transmit this disease cannot be absorbed through the skin, and can only infect someone if it comes into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. As such, by avoiding touching your face, you significantly reduce the risk of these droplets coming into contact with those susceptible areas.
Good Respiratory hygiene:
Good Respiratory hygiene includes covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough using:
Many people have also taken to wearing masks to help prevent the spread of droplets through coughing or sneezing. HOWEVER, there is currently no evidence to support that wearing a mask reduces your risk of becoming infected with the COVID-19. As such, masks should only be worn by people who are actually displaying symptoms.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting:
Regular cleaning of your environment at home, work and in your car is essential in minimizing the spread of COVID-19. In particular, regular touched surfaces such as door knobs, tables and light switches should be regularly cleaned.
Maintaining your Health
As with any other disease or illness, ensuring that you are actively working towards being the healthiest version of yourself possible is important in minimizing your risk of developing severe symptoms if you were to be infected. Healthy behaviors that you should engage in to achieve improved health include:
Can the disease be transmitted by pets, mosquitos or food?
There is currently no information or evidence to suggest that you can become infected with COVID-19 from your pets, mosquito bites or from food. However, you should not share food with anyone as this is an easy way for you to ingest potential droplets that may cause infection. You should also ensure that all food is prepared safely and properly to minimize your risk of developing other illnesses that come with ill-prepared food.
How likely is it that you will become infected?
The likelihood of you becoming infected is mainly dependent on your location, and whether there is an outbreak occurring there. If you are living in an area where there is an outbreak spreading, or you are visiting an area like this, you are at a higher risk of becoming infected.
Are there any anti-biotics or medicines that can prevent or treat COVID-19?
Antibiotics only work to treat bacterial infections, not viral infections such as the COVID-19. As such, antibiotics should not be taken unless prescribed to you by a relevant Health Professional for the management of some other illness.
Regarding current medicine or home remedies. While they may help alleviate symptoms, there is currently no evidence to suggest that they are able to prevent or cure this disease. There are a number of clinical trials being performed which are testing possible vaccines and drug treatments, however, none of these have been confirmed to prevent or cure COVID-19.
Do you need to stock up on food and toilet paper?
The short answer: No. There is no reason for anyone to be stocking up on excessive amounts of food and toilet paper. If for some reason you need to go into quarantine or self-isolation, then it may be beneficial to do a bulk shop of groceries so that you do not need to go back to the shops again, but for people who are not displaying any symptoms, there is really no need to buy excessive amounts of groceries or toilet paper. If anything, the excessive purchase of items like toilet paper, hand sanitisers, soap and food make it difficult for everyone in the community to have access to things that are going to help maintain their health and prevent the spread of disease, which effectively increases the communities risk of an outbreak spreading.
Moral of the story: don't go crazy... buy an appropriate amount of groceries and necessities.
What to do if you develop symptoms
If you develop symptoms such as fever, dry cough, sore throat or excessive fatigue, you should:
Take Home Message
The COVID-19 is definitely something to be aware of, but it is not necessarily something we all need to be panicked about. While yes, it is important to be aware and prepared for a potential outbreak in your area, you do not need to stress out and go overboard in your precautionary measures.
Ensuring that we practice good hygiene and engage in behaviors such as hand washing and social distancing can help minimize our risk of spreading the disease or becoming infected, especially if we are interacting with people who are at a higher risk of infection. Everyone should also aim to continue to live their normal lives, and maintain their health as best as they can through regular exercise, good nutrition and quality sleep, and approach this disease like they would any other illness.
If you feel unwell, stay home from work and seek medical advice from a professional.
We hope this clears up any questions you had about COVID-19. If you are curious about something, have a question you want answered, or are just wanting clarification about something, please feel free to contact us via phone (0450 062 223) or email (email@example.com), and we will be happy to help.
It is reported that up to 50% of expectant mothers experience some kind of back pain during their pregnancy. This is mainly due to changes in posture and one’s centre of gravity: if you imagine picking up a heavy box and holding it in front of you for a long time, you are slowly going to start leaning back and your shoulders will begin to roll forward. This causes certain muscles to become shorter and tighter, resulting in muscle pain. Pregnancy has the same effect but over a much longer period of time. Massage works to relax and lengthen muscles, and improve their ability to repair, thereby reducing pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This is often closely linked with your posture and can affect the strength in your hands, causing pain and pins and needles in your thumb and first two fingers. Massage for the muscles which run along with the median nerve can help to significantly reduce the pain and tingly feeling, and restoring day-to-day function.
The increased blood volume in your body means that swelling in the arms and legs is common during pregnancy. This can interfere with wearing shoes and walking. Using a variety of methods of massage, we can help to reduce the swelling and increase the circulation in the limbs.
Swelling can also be caused by a condition called pre-eclampsia, so it’s important to see your doctor before you visit us if you have significant swelling or if you have not recently had a checkup with a doctor, midwife or other health professional.
With your body changing so much during pregnancy, it can be hard to adapt. Massage can really help you to reconnect with your body and ease muscular and nervous tension. It functions to release endorphins (the feel-good hormones) which enhance relaxation and improve sleep. There is growing research that supports the benefits of regular pre-natal massage as it is a safe, drug-free and relaxing way to relieve pain discomfort; and has the added benefit of giving a bit of time back to you and your baby. It can also help to restore function and movement after birth.
Don’t forget about you! Remember it is just as important to look after yourself once your baby is born! If you would like to book in for a pregnancy or post-natal massage with Alice, you can do so by calling us on 0450 062 223 or by clicking here.
Carly Rush - Exercise Physiologist