To Stretch or Not to Stretch?

Many Clients I see, particularly those involved in sport, are often tight and complain no matter what they do their calf just doesn’t seem to release or that hamstring muscle has “always been tight”.  Many report they stretch or may use the torturous foam roller to help. Both forms can help but only for a short time but as soon as they resume activity the tightness returns.  So this begs the question is there any benefit to stretching and should we still do it?

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Should I carry on running with pain?

I see many runners in the clinic with a variety of running injuries from achilles tendinopathies, to knee pain and groin pain.  One of the big issues I discuss with every runner is whether or not they can continue to run with pain and if so are they damaging themselves?

Well in todays 5 minute video I share with you my expertise on this very subject.  You will find out

1. whether you are ok to run with pain.

2. If you are able to continue to run, how will you know you are not causing further harm?

3. What are some of the common warning signs that mean you should not be running and when to get it checked out.




Why “Rest” May Take you Longer to Recover From Injury

If you’ve ever googled recovery from an injury you may have come across the R.I.C.E principe.  This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  “Rest” implies that following an injury you should rest it and it will get better.  This advice is still given by many GP’s and accidenct and emergency clinics.   The trouble is, this advice does not tell us how long to rest for and what exactly does rest mean?

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Posture – Is there such a thing as good or bad posture?

Posture – is there such a thing as good or bad posture?

Is this such a BAD posture? Read on to find out more!.




Many people I see in the clinic want to improve their posture.  If I ask them to demonstrate what they think they want their posture to be like, invariably they will sit up straight pinning their shoulders back and pulling the their stomach.

Is this posture any better than me sitting above in the opposite position of slumped at a desk?  The simple answer is No.

Posture if fundamental for efficient movement.  It is not the case that we have two choices either good or bad posture. We all move through a range of body positions depending on our activities.  Even when standing still and breathing the body is active and moving in subtle ways to maintain balance and control with minimal effort.

If we actively try and fix our posture in the traditionial shoulders back stomach in approach we will create rigidity which prevents freedom of movement and will reduce physical performance. It will restrict our ability to breath effectively and create tension in neck, shoulders and lower back, similar to sitting in a slumped position.

This upright posture is tiring and hard to sustain. After 5 minutes you resort back to sitting in a slumped position, and so the cycle of upright vs slumped begins.

What can I do to help?

One of the simplest things I tell people to do is move.  Sometimes we view our posture as the reason we get back pain or neck pain but actually the reason may be as simple as not moving or changing position.  So simply getting up moving around and then going back to what you were doing may be all that is required.

However,  if you know you are going to be spending time sitting for longer periods here are some really brillian tips.

Even Better is that they are easy to do and involve minimal effort and can be done in any position anywhere.



  • First stand or sit in a relaxed position almost slumped.
  • Now imagine a large helium balloon with a string attached to the back of the top of your head.
  • Then visualise this large balloon gently lifting the weight of your head off your body. Imagine it lengthening the back of your neck so that your chin drops down slightly.
  • Allow yourself to lengthen without straining.
  • If sitting notice how the balloon takes you from the back of your sitting bones to feeling like your body is now sitting on top of the sitting bones.

This should feel effortless. If you feel any tension anywhere stop let go, give yourself a little shake and switch on your balloon again.

Jo Elphinston founder of JEMS explains more about ballooning in this great little  video.

What should it feel like?

No Tension: Ballooning involves minimal effort and, therefore, there should be no tension anywhere in the body.

Breathing should feel easier . Try sitting bolt up right and take in a large breath and see what it feels like and do this again sitting slumped.  Now switch on your balloon and take in a deep breath.  You should notice quite a difference in how deeply you can breath.

Automatic Support from the muscular system:  Place one hand on your stomach when sitting slumped then notice as you  switch on your balloon your stomach naturally lengthens and draw inwards.  You have activated your trunk muscles by cleverly stimulating a reflex which was triggered by your head position.  This is involved much less effort than actively pulling in your stomach.

Relaxed Shoulders: Take a note of the difference in your shoulder position when you have your balloon on and off . Again you will feel that the  shoulders and chest have opened up slightly as your balloon goes on.  No fixing shoulders backwards or pulling shoulder blades back and down. Just light effortless opening.

For more information feel free to contact Fiona at Bridge 38 physiotherapy .

Why Everyone Should Practice Improving Their Balance.


Balance refers to an individuals ability to maintain their line of gravity within their base of support.  You might also hear people talking about postural control and postural stability. Poor balance is surprisingly common and I see it in the clinic on a daily basis. Infact almost everyone I see when I test their balance say “oh my balance is rubbish”.  Poor balance has been linked to injury risk. Even in sports which involve sitting such as dressage riding and kayaking, significant differences in left and right standing balance have been noted to correlate with technical problems and injury even when seated.

Poor balance is also linked with falls in the older population.Improving your balance will reduce the liklihood of injury or reinjury and allow the body to make fine adjustments without inappropriate muscle tension.

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10 Tips To Motivate You To Stay On Track


As Physiotherapists we know that the most successful outcomes to recovering from injury and staying injury free are from those that buy into their self management and continue with it on a regular basis.  Studies suggest that as much as 65% of patients don’t do their exercises as instructed. Don’t feel guilty read on to help you stay on track.

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Treatment for Patellofemoral Pain or Runners Knee

As we have see in part 1 patellofemoral pain (PFP) is multifactorial, making it challenging to treat.   Despite the high prevalence among the sporting population, there are few published guidelines determining the most appropriate evidenced based treatment.  A recent paper by Barton et. al (2015) recommends individually tailored programmes with the emphasis on active exercise rehabilitation and education.

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Runners Knee or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – Part one Symptoms and Causes

As a fellow runner who has suffered from runners knee pain I understand the frustrations it can cause not just with running but also in day to day activities too.   However, I have also managed to overcome it successfully enough to continue running.  That is not to say it has disappeared completely but with the correct self managment and understanding of the condition I have the confidence that I can keep running without increasing any symptoms.

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