What are cramps and why do bones break!!? FAQ’s in the Clinic!

Questions frequently asked in the clinic…….   What exactly is a cramp….?  Sciencey bit…  Defined as an imbalance in elecrolytes in a muscle i.e. sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium.  Ordinary Joe explanation... The system lacks these ingredients which can cause the muscle to shorten and the nerve fibres to contract!  Intense pain and spasm in the calf is usually the giveaway sign of a cramp!  OUCH! What is a muscle ‘knot’….? Medical description… “Myofascial Trigger Point” Non medical answer….. A hard ‘lump’ in an overused muscle caused by muscle fibres getting sticky and forming an ‘adhesion’ (Knot!).  These are commonly found in the shoulders for all the stress heads.  Feel your shoulders… bet you’ll find them!  Kudos to you if you don’t have any! :-) Deep tissue massage and a long holiday in the sunshine usually helps with this! Why do we swell after injury….? Ok, most of you know it’s an inflammatory response, but essentially it’s the body’s natural reaction to try to stop you moving by rushing the blood to the site of injury and immobilising you with sharp pain! It’s the body’s way of saying “REST”!! What’s the difference between a Ligament and a tendon….? Ligament: Is [...]

By |2011-06-28T18:16:24+00:00June 28th, 2011|Blog|

Success story! Retired marathon runner runs again!

John age 40.  Occupation: Personal Trainer This is a good’un…. ! John LIMPED up to the doors of Procuro Physical Therapy Clinic in June 2010.  He presented with a very painful, very swollen left knee.  His story is a 7yr long tale of pain, swelling, bone breakages and life changing injury. John came from a background of marathon running and fitness training.  7 yrs ago he broke 2 bones in his left foot.  These bones were re-set incorrectly by a surgeon.  This lead to postural changes and major swelling of the knee.  In time, a number (yes… more than ONE!) clots had formed right up his left leg.  Bear in mind that John is a personal fitness trainer and had a passion for running marathons on a regular basis!  This was not good for John.  He spent 3 months in hospital with doctors trying to clear the clots using IV anti-coagulants. (blood thinners).  Muscle wastage in the legs followed due to laying down for so long.  Cue muscle weakness and the decision to stop running…. for good… :(  (Have I mentioned he was a marathon runner…!) The next two years were spent trying to get back to some form of [...]

By |2017-12-06T17:37:35+00:00March 31st, 2011|Blog|

“POP” goes the Anterior Cruciate Ligament!

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, also called the ACL, is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. The ACL prevents excessive motion of the knee joint. Often injured, and many times requiring surgery, ACL injuries can cause significant problems. There are many ways to injure an ACL--most often with sports injuries. How do you know you’ve torn your ACL?? Apart from the yelp of pain….?? An ACL tear most often occurs during sports or athletic events. About 80% of ACL tears occur without contact with another athlete. The injury usually occurs with a twisting or pivoting movement common in most sports. Picture a player in a football game for instance….  the player gets the ball and needs to play it back up field.  He stands on his left leg, ball at his right foot.   He twists on the left knee to turn the ball, he hears a ‘Pop’, the left knee gives way and there is a lot of pain.  OUCHHHH!! Most people are surprised at how loud this ‘pop’ can be, and many bystanders have heard this from the sideline of a game. Even if you don't hear the pop, usually people will feel the sudden shift in [...]

By |2017-12-06T17:37:36+00:00March 7th, 2011|Blog|

Light Exercise to Prevent Osteoarthritis!

Hi Everyone!!  Prevention is the key to fighting symptoms of osteoarthritis.  We all know somebody who experiences the symptoms of arthritis… pain, swelling, heat in the joint (creaking cracking and crinkling with a few Grandad groans thrown in!!) Knee arthritis causes cartilage to wear away from the joint, making exercise painful.  The image included paints a better picture! OUCHHH!!! With Winter being the way it was here in Ireland, I have been treating a lot of patients going through the ‘wars’ with arthritis.  So I figured I’d make a few suggestions as regards exercise plans to help reduce arthritic pain. Exercise for Joint Pain Exercise is important for people with arthritis and for people who have had a joint replaced. Keeping your weight down and your muscles strong can help to delay joint replacement and improve results after surgery.   The following exercises should help keep your joints fit and healthy! Pilates Pilates is a great way to strengthen the most important muscles in the body (the core muscles – abdomen, lower back) in a low-impact, safe manner. You may think Pilates cannot stimulate a sufficient workout but… trust me, I’ve done a course of Pilates classes and they are more [...]

By |2017-12-06T17:37:36+00:00February 8th, 2011|Blog|

Achilles Tendon Rupture

Traditionally, Achilles tendon tears have been treated with surgery. More recently, some research has shown that surgery may not be necessary to achieve good results. Learn about Achilles tendon tears, and what can be done about these injuries. Surgery may not always be necessary for Achilles tendon rupture… Often considered standard treatment for Achilles tendon ruptures, a recent study found that patients who didn't have surgery often did just as well as those that did. The Achilles tendon is the large tendon in the back of your ankle.  The Achilles connects the calf muscles to the foot, and when these muscles contract, the Achilles points the foot downwards.  This motion is important in walking, running, and many sports. Surgery is often considered the standard treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture.  During surgery, the torn ends of the Achilles tendon are sutured together.  A recent study found that patients treated non-surgically had similar results to those treated with surgery.  This goes to show that not everyone needs surgery for an Achilles rupture. If you have an Achilles tendon rupture, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of different treatment options. An Achilles tendon tear occurs when the tendon attaching [...]

By |2011-01-11T13:43:14+00:00January 11th, 2011|Blog|

Ice Ice baby…..! Injuries caused by the Winter frost!

Hi All! As all of you are aware, this is the time for Wintery weather and if you are in Ireland at the moment, you’ll all know only too well of the ice and snow that are afflicting the nation and causing people to slip and fall!  The Emergency departments are filled with injuries caused from falling on ice this week! Some of the most common injuries from slipping on ice involve your wrist … 1. Scaphoid Fracture of the Wrist The scaphoid is one of the small bones in the wrist. It is the bone in the wrist that is most likely to break. The scaphoid bone can be located by positioning your thumb at a right angle from the hand (like you’re hitch-hiking!). You’ll find the scaphoid bone in the hollow made by the thumb tendons. Pain or tenderness in this area can be a sign that the scaphoid is injured.  It can sometimes take up to ten days for the fracture in the scaphoid to be properly diagnosed on an x-ray, so if the pain is persisting after that time it is advisable that you organize a 2nd x-ray to confirm the scaphoid fracture. A scaphoid fracture [...]

By |2017-12-06T17:37:36+00:00December 9th, 2010|Blog|

Arthritis… Not just for old people!

It’s that time of the year again when the cold settles in and our joints begin to ‘creak’ and ache!  Here is a quick run down on what Arthritis actually is and ways to help combat it as we cosy-down to hibernate from the cold Winter months ahead… Osteoarthritis (OA), also called osteoarthroses or degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis.  Our joints are naturally lined with cartilage which stops bone rubbing off bone, which as you can imagine will cause a lot of pain, swelling and stiffness.   A life-time of heavy sport, heavy work, or extra weight puts pressure on the joints, causing the cartilage to wear down and the bones to rub against each other.  Fluid rushes to the area to help line the joint.  This is why you see the swelling.  The body naturally wants to stop you moving.  This is why you feel the pain.  Arthritis is not just for the elderly.  I have treated many younger patients who have had wear and tear in the joints caused by heavy sport or a physical work-life. Check out this video as it explains what happens in an arthritic hip… http://video.about.com/arthritis/Osteoarthritis.htm Here are some exercise [...]

By |2017-12-06T17:37:36+00:00November 22nd, 2010|Blog|

Frozen Shoulder!

Hands up who'd like to hear some information about Frozen Shoulder...!  Not able to put your hands up....? Then this blog is for you!! Frozen shoulder, (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition that causes restriction of movement in the shoulder joint. The cause of a frozen shoulder is not well understood, but it can occur after a traumatic injury to the neck, shoulder or arm.  A person’s natural reaction is to ‘hold’ the shoulder after injury, to stop it moving as it causes pain.  This is what leads to the reduction in movement including stiffness and pain.   Symptoms can begin suddenly or can build up over time. I have often treated patients who “woke up” with intense pain in the shoulder and couldn’t perform everyday actions like, washing hair, turning the steering wheel in the car, holding up the news-paper or simply scratching their back!   What happens with a frozen shoulder? The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint.  Surrounding this ball-and-socket joint is a capsule of tissue.  This includes synovial-fluid, which lubricates the area between the head of the arm bone (humerus) and the socket of the shoulder blade (glenoid fossa). Normally, the shoulder joint [...]

By |2017-12-06T17:37:36+00:00September 21st, 2010|Blog|