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Three things your Physio wants to know
Every profession has a unique perspective of life that can only be achieved from years of experience in that area. Here are three things that experience has taught your physio:
1. Problems that seem to arise for “no reason” are usually a result of disuse or lack of movement.
It’s common to want to know why pain has occurred; however it’s not always easy to identify a cause. What you come to learn as a physiotherapist is that pain and injury are just as likely to arise from disuse and inactivity as they are to develop from a direct trauma.
Our bodies are made to move and modern day life simply doesn’t allow for enough movement. We certainly shouldn’t be sitting as much as we are as this allows our joints to stiffen, muscles to shorten and weaken, and nerves to become extra sensitive.
There is also evidence that movement is essential for joint health, due to the movement of joint fluid that provides nutrients to the joint structures. The reason physiotherapists are always advocating for more movement is because we see the long-term effects of disuse on a daily basis.
2. Bad habits are hard to break, but the best time to make a change is today.
Today’s slightly stooped posture is tomorrow’s fixed hump back. It doesn’t happen overnight, but seeing every stage of the progression walk through your door is like seeing evolution in fast forward. It makes you want to address change early, when it is easiest to make a positive effect.
Other habits that should be formed early are incorporating as much exercise into your routine as possible. It’s harder to be fit and active in your 60s if you weren’t active in your 30s. Being active now is arguably one of the most important things you can do to ensure you have a comfortable and healthy later life.
3. Pain is affected by so much more than just tissue damage.
Your beliefs and attitudes about pain can have a huge impact on how you experience pain. Being fearful and anxious will amplify pain. The worst-case scenario is actually very unlikely and seeking the treatment of a physiotherapist can help to ensure the best outcomes possible.
A common injury of the knee is a tearing of the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). This ligament is very important for stability of the knee and often needs to be repaired surgically. The primary function of the ACL is to keep the bottom surface of the knee joint from sliding forwards during movement. An unrepaired knee may feel unstable or give way suddenly.
Not all ACL injuries require surgery and some may heal well with proper rehabilitation, however for those who do need surgery, there is a significant rehabilitation period afterwards.
What does the surgery consist of?
Every surgeon will have a slightly different technique for surgery. The most common approach is the arthroscopic approach, which uses a small camera and allows the surgeon to make only small incisions into the knee. They will then replace the torn ligament with either a graft from a tendon or ligament at another part of the body or using a synthetic graft.
How long does rehabilitation take?
Full rehabilitation following surgery can take up to nine months and rehabilitation is divided into different stages. As all surgeons will have different protocols for their approaches to surgery, time frames will vary for everyone.
Initially after surgery, the graft will be quite weak while a new blood supply is being established. It can take up to 12 weeks before the graft is at its strongest point and evidence shows that it may never have the strength of the original ligament.
In the early stages, rehabilitation will be focused on restoring movement to the joint and strengthening the muscles around the knee without putting any undue stress on the graft.
As the graft begins to heal and strengthen, rehabilitation can progress to include stability and control exercises and gradually build up to a complex program that prepares the knee for a full return to sport.
The path to full rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction can be a long and bumpy one, however there are high success rates with this surgery, particularly when followed up with full physiotherapy rehabilitation.
The information in this newsletter is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for assessment of your condition.
"Physio Tip - It’s easier to treat a problem in the earlier stages. See your physiotherapist as soon as possible for better outcomes."
Blue Cheese and Caramelised Onion Pizza
2 flatbread or pizza bread
2 tbsp blue cheese or blue cheese dip
1 cup rocket
1 green pear, sliced
30gm parmesan cheese, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
- Fry onions in olive oil until brown and starting to soften. Add brown sugar and red wine vinegar and simmer until onions are soft and caramelised. Can be used immediately or stored in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Spread blue cheese dip over pizza base, cover with caramelised onion and place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and place sliced pear pieces over pizza and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place fresh rocket over pizza. Add cracked pepper and parmesan slices to taste.