To celebrate our 15 years in business we would have loved to have had a party to invite all current and past customers. However Covid has got in the way and we want everyone to be safe, so we thought we would give some prizes away.
To enter all you have to do is book in for any treatment between the 12th April and 11th May. If you would like to treat someone to one of our gift cards then you and your receiver will also be entered.
What’s the prize?
One of these lovely lavendar scented wheat bags, measuring 46cm by 14cm frm the Wheatbag Company. These are great to ease sore achy muscles by popping it in the microwave to heat up or pop in the freezer to ease any inflammation.
To book in just call 01723 363332 or fill in one of our contact forms.
RockPods for myofascial cupping are a new treatment option we are offering at Pro-Am.
What exactly are they?
A modern twist from the traditional style of cupping which uses silcone instead of glass cups to create negative (decompression) pressure to lift, seperate and stretch underlying tissues. The pods allow the therapist to grab, pull and push fascia to treat pain, mobility and movement dysfunction.
What does it do?
It affects the bodies nerves, immune and fascial systems. Cupping encourages the bodies natural healing process by encouraging flow and discouraging congestion. Research is limited like it is for all holistic therapies, everyone is different so it is hard to find a baseline measure. This therapy potentially dates back 5000 years so its stuck around for a reason. We can theorize a little with our knowledge of human science.
By lifting fascia we create space and increase blood flow to an area. This means more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. It encourages both healing and the removel of waste products which can get congested in the area.
Increase in blood flow means a dilation of blood capillaries. This encourages positive chemical and cellular effects towards modulating pain and aiding the healing process.
It differs and is unique to other therapies in that it creates a lift and decompression of tissues rather than compression.
Due to the silicone material it also allows for the patient to work through passive and active ranges of motion whilst the pods stay in place. This is great for aiding tissue mobility and adds a neural element.
When an area gets congested it can become stiff, painful and uncordinated as nerve messages get dampened, like trying to make your way through fog. Take knee pain for an example, how many of you have had a sense that the knee may just give way, or maybe it does buckle little? or you have had an ankle sprain and you notice your ankle feels weak and wobbly? The pods don’t just help remove decongestion but help get the area to reconnect to the bodies sensory map. This can help towards decreasing pain and improve motor control and injury prevention.
Getting patients moving is the key ingrediant to recovering from injury. RockPods add another great treatment option to our other soft tissue therapies.
What are those circular marks?
The cupping treatment will leave non painful red/brown circles where the RockPods have been placed. They will usually last for up to 1-2 weeks. They are NOT bruises. Blood vessels release blood under the skin as a result of the suction. This causes the colour change. Bruises are soft tissue damage caused by blunt trauma, cupping is not a trauma.
Where there is congestion or as old Chinese medicine calls it stagnation; there will be pain. Remove the stagnation and you improve the pain. The marks can be seen, to be that stagnation coming to the surface. Areas that have no stagnation or as further treatments are perfomed no marks are left. Drawing the stagnation closer to the skins surface means the body can remove it more effectively.
RockPods are applied for a much shorter time than traditional cupping reducing the marks left. For most it is a pale red to slight purple colour.
Is it Painful?
Thats another great aspect to the treatment. All patients so far have felt no pain, just an awareness and possibly a slight discomfort as tissues are stretched. Deep soft tissue techniques can sometimes be quite uncomformtable as they create compression which can irritate already inflammed tissue. RockPods have the opposite effect.
I think the only downside to RockPods is the shortness of treatment, they are left in place for a maximum of 90 seconds, with different placements and adding in movements, an effective treatment can take place in 10 minutes.
RockPods for us are an addition to our manual skills. For us at Pro-Am we also believe it gives us more time to go through exercises and home treatment plans. Don’t forget treatments are to reduce pain and improve mobilty to get YOU MOVING, they are only tempory in their effects. Graded exercise and moving is what gets an injury better in the long term.
We will always ask for your consent before we perform any RockPod treatment making sure you understand the temporary discolourations that can be left. You have every right to decline RockPod treatment as we have plenty of other treatment options if the discoloration marks make you uncomfotable.
Are RockPods for me?
RockPods are typically applied to large areas like the back of the neck, upper back, upper arm and forearm, mid and lower back, sacrum, thighs and calfs. They can be used to reduce pain, relieve tension and increase tissue mobility where fibres have become congested (unblocking and re-oiling the machine).
I have used Rockpods for when my shoulders were feeling really tense and my quadriceps were feeling heavy due to training loads. I definately felt alot lighter and more relaxed but what was also great was I could still train hard after. Normally after a massage even though it feels great I can also feel wiped out and usually take a few rest days.
Anybody who would like to try RockPods out during February and March will get a £5 discount off a full price injury consultation or deep tissue massage.
Covid-19 has fast forwarded the technoloigcal systems many businesses use, including ours. We had to ask ourselves whether our services can be effectively adapted to the virtual world. In short we think it can for certain patients. This post will explain how a Skype Video Call works and why we think it is a great alternative right now and perhaps in the future.
Here’s how it works
You the patient will contact us through our usual methods for arranging the appointment. We will ask you for your email address.
We will ask you to reply with a completed consent form, method of payment chosen and your Skype ID.
When your scheduled appointment is due. Sign into your Skype account 10 minutes prior to the start time and wait for us to call you.
After your appointment we will email you any self treatments and exercises we discussed and practiced with links to YouTube videos or a sheet with your exercises on.
A few tips
We advise you set it up on a computer or laptop that has a microphone/camera in built or has a webcam. You can set it up from a phone or tablet but they can be hard to position, ideally we want your hands free.
We would also advise that you are in a private space where you have space to move. Somewhere where you can step back from the screen and we can still see you to assess movements and observe exercises.
You need to wear clothing that allows you to move. We may still ask you to disrobe so we can clearly see the area we are assessing but this is not compulsary if this makes you feel uncomfortable. Pro-Am will be calling you from the clinic treatment room which is kept private.
But how can you fix my injury without touching me?
This is something we have put alot thought into. Most injuries can be self treated as long as you have an accurate diagnosis and sensible treatment plan. Most of our consultation is asking questions about your injury to find the cause, not just the symptoms. We keep our holistic approach, we are flexible and innovative in finding ways to get you back to the activities you love. We believe we can still tailor your treatment to what you want to achieve.
Hopefully you will have some space around you so we can ask you to do certain movements and exercises, we can still observe these as part of your assessment. This does add some great input to the assessment but we understand it may not be practical where you have your computer setup. It is another piece to the puzzle but not essential for us to be able to give general advise on how to mange your injury.
The manual treatments like massage and mobilisations can make you feel better but they won’t fix your injury. Our clinical experience with the latest research suggests the right mix of exercise and recovery prescribed by an injury specialist is what helps you in the long run. If we think your pain level and disability is high risk, we of course would recommend you come in for a face-to-face appointment.
Now and the future
We offer Skype video consultations to consider whether a face-to-face appointment is required. In current times it is a way for us to weigh out the risks against the benefits of treatment.
For some pateints it maybe that you dont have the time to have a physical appointment if you travel alot for work, you may be in too much pain and disbaility at the time to physically get to the clinic. It is another option for our patients to get in touch and get the advice needed to get you on the right path for recovery.
So its a deep breath in; and out. We have a challenege before us which has led to learning and trying something new for both Pro-Am and you our patients.
If you want to book in for an appointment call 01723 363332 we can discuss which assessment type is best for you!
We can all suffer from anxiety, stress and or depression from time to time. Stress can be good for you but repeatedly pressing the stress response button can start to negatively effect the body. Finding the cause of your anxiety, stress and or depression is very important. Everybody has different triggers and will require different approaches to manage the effects these conditions have on the body. Our advice is to always be open and willing to try different strategies whether it is meditation, yoga, bootcamp, cold water swimming, running, crafting or under guidance of your doctor cognitive behavioral therapy, counselling or medication. Sometimes we are our worst enemy in that we have an excuse for not trying things like I don’t have time, its just part of my job, I don’t want to let anybody down, its our willpower or lack of. This is not the article to go into this but if you want a really great read about willpower and why we make the choices we do and how to change your approach, Kelly Mcgonigal ‘how to master the new science of self control – maximum willpower’ is a great start.
Below is a table showing just some of the symptoms related to anxiety, stress and depression.
Depression Physical symptoms
Grinding teeth, clenched jaw
Lack of energy
Problems with sleep
Unexplained aches and pains
Feeling of dread, panic or impending doom
Indigestion or acid reflux symptoms
Changes in appetite
Dizziness or general feeling of ‘being out of it’
Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
Muscle tension in neck, face or shoulders.
The above table is just a very simple example and you can have anxiety, stress and depression seperately but you can have all 3. Sypmtoms can be very similar for all 3 which is why it is always best to speak to a medical professional to work out your cause and triggers and how to manage it the best way for you.
Massage can be effective to treat some symptoms of mild, short term cases by helping with muscle tension, decreasing pain, helping sleep etc. It can also be very useful for severe chronic cases but must be part of a treatment strategy as it will not work on its own.
Massage helps to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and muscle tension by eliciting feelings of calm and deep relaxation. Massage increases localised blood flow which helps the travel of positive hormones like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine to areas of high stress and give a sense of well being. Massage can also reduce feelings of stiffness by increasing tissue elasticity by rising muscle temperature. Very similar effects to exercise.
When booking a massage to help with your stress and anxiety management notify the therapist of why you want the treatment. This way they can create the right environment for you to be able to relax. Asking the therapist to not talk during your treatment is absolutely fine. We are here to help.
There are a number of reasons for performing an initial injury assessment, these can include:-
Medical Screening, this helps us decide whether we can treat you or if you will need referral to other medical professions (x-ray, surgery)
Which structures are involved. When possible, we determine the possible cause of the problem/complaint. In some cases, this involves determining the anatomical structure that is causing pain. In some cases, this is not possible, but determining all the possible contributing factors to the pain is important. Knowing which structures are involved and how they were injured can guide you on how long the injury will take to recover.
Causes: We determine the factors that led to the injury and/or complaint. The above step and finding the cause is critical in determining the appropriate treatment plan and preventing it happening again.
The assessment may include both structural and functional testing. We will look at your movements, combined with the therapists manual testing of specific structures. For acute, traumatic injuries the assessment has a strong structural approach. For chronic and/or gradual onset injuries, the assessment has a strong functional approach.
To analyse all the relevant information can be complex (client history, signs and symptoms, aggravating factors, client goals, past medical history, clinical assessment/examination findings, diagnostic imaging, etc). It will all help towards finding an appropriate treatment, which is why clinical expertise is important.
We have a very patient centred approach which means we take into account what is important to you, what activities you want to get back to and we plan treatment to focus on these goals.
At the end of the assessment, the following information will be identified:
The patient goals
A problem list (pain, difficulty with activities, etc) and treatment plan to overcome these.
A clinical diagnosis as well as possible differential diagnoses.
Our aim is to send you home better understanding your injury and how you can recover. We will set a simple home treatment plan directed towards your goals. This may include up to 5 exercises which we will dicuss how best to put into your routine.
Assessing your injury is important to find out which structure/s have been injured or the majority of the time irritated. This will guide you on what movements to stay away from, just while it recovers and what treatments/exercises can be started straight away and how to progress towards your goals. Complete rest is rarely advised. We will always try to keep your sports training going/keep you in work, we may just need to modify things during recovery.
As we head into a second lockdown I thought I would write a post with some helpful tips on how to stay relaxed and stop muscle tension and stress from developing into pain and disability.
I am not going to go through life work balance as for most of us its gone to shit. This post is to show some basic exercises to help de-stress. A little time to not think about anything and just switch off for 5-10 minutes can really help the muscles and nervous system calm down.
Stress can be good for us but it can soon turn against you. For most this will create tension in the neck and shoulders which in turn can flare up old niggles like back pain. It can also cause us to lose focus and be more likely to give in to cravings and distractions.
Lie on your back, hands resting on your belly, bottom against a wall, so the legs are straight up resting on the wall. Close your eyes. Now just breathe, let all the stress leave the body on each out breath. Let each breath get longer and longer. 2-3 minutes
Lie fully on the floor, legs straight with your arms by your side and keep your concentration on your breathing. Now tighten your hands into fists on your in breath and then it all go on the out breath as you release the fist. Repeat if needed or move on to your face scrunch up your face or take a wide mouth on your in breath let it all go and relax on the out breath, repeat this tightening and relaxing anywhere in the body that feels tension. 1-3 minutes
Bridge, lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat, arms by side, palms flat on the floor. Really push the whole sole of the feet into the ground as you lift the bottom upwards with an in breath through the nose, hold your breath for 2-3 seconds or longer if available, then when you lower down on a out breath, let it all go. You can breath out your mouth, stick your tongue out or horse butterfly your lips, see which is most effective. The following link shows how to add a chest expansion https://youtu.be/0hlKymgBr2s
Now stand and do rag doll, you can also include a chest expansion by grabbing your hands behind your back and let gravity help you lift the hands away from the lower back. Let your head go really heavy and breathe. 1 -2 minutes https://youtu.be/H7Cslx73HQQ
Now just stand arms by your side and push the bottoms of your feet into the floor as if you are going to jump, keep the legs straight. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Do not grip the floor with your toes, let them go long and spread out when they press into the floor. If you want to challenge balance a little you can stand on one leg.
You can try to keep your eyes closed throughout the exercises or if you need to keep open for balance try to fix on one point.
With reduced access to help for injuries, here are a few steps you can take to help you recover.
Most people have heard of the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) regime to help treat an acute injury such as a strain or sprain, in the early days. However ‘rest’ has now been replaced with ‘protection’ and ‘optimal loading’. Rest initially can be immediately beneficial but early mobilisation (loading) stresses tissues in the correct manner for full recovery. Rest is now known to create joint stiffness and muscles weakness, making a longer recovery.
P – Protection, rather than resting the injured area, think about protecting it from further damage. A short period of rest immediately after is helpful to unload the area but total rest can limit your recovery. Combine this stage with optimal loading.
OL – Optimal loading, early activity encourages early recovery. Progressive loading of injured and supporting tissues can promote optimal healing.
I – Ice, applying ice can help to manage the swelling around your injured muscle or joint. It can also help reduce pain. You can use it for 20 minutes every few hours. Depending on the amount of swelling you may be able to switch to heat after 4 days to promote blood flow to the area for healing.
C – Compression using a bandage or strapping can be combined with ice to reduce swelling. If you have minimal swelling this is not required.
E – Elevation, can be used for short periods of rest again to help with swelling and pain. the injured part needs to be higher than the heart. If swelling is minimal this is not required.
Optimal Loading may be hard to identify but use common sense. Don’t be afraid to move, use the injured area within your own pain limits. A mild pain is to be expected but anything more and you are probably doing too much. This may mean protecting the area using crutches, splint or brace if fully weight bearing is over loading the injured structures. You need to keep progressing what you are doing gradually to help the tissue heal better and prevent injury in the future.
This is where we come in. As a Sports Therapist we can judge where your injury is along the stages of healing time frame. We can advice you where you need to start and how to progress your exercises and activities. As with any injury if you are worried or concerned or want to get it checked out before starting any self directed management, then you can call us, your GP or if you think you may have a fracture or ruptured tendon/ligament A&E.
Try not to take anti inflammatory drugs in the first few days of your injury, let your natural healing process take priority. If on day 3-4 you have swelling and pain then you can start to take them.
During this time there are many exercise videos hitting the internet so I have written this post to give a bit of guidance on how you may be feeling.
Did you have a go at your HIIT session but today you can’t walk, decided to go without socks and had to hobble down stairs?
Don’t worry too much there is a good chance you’re experiencing something called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Here is a little info to help get you through.
What is DOMS? It is stiffness and pain that most people will feel build between 24-48 hours after doing high intensity physical exercise or just exercise that your body is not accustomed to. Even trained athletes get DOMS when trying something new.
DOMS can be a sign you did something right, the whole idea of exercise particularly resistance training is that you are creating micro tears in your muscles, so that they can get stronger and firmer. Although it seems an unfair trade, soreness for wanting to improve fitness, it does show your fitness is progressing.
Why the next day and not straight away? For most the soreness will start within the first 24 hours and can peak at 48-72 hrs. It has nothing to with lactic acid and everything to do with blood flow and healing. DOMS creates inflammation around your muscles, a natural and required process to allow muscles to build and heal, this takes a little time.
What can you do to ease DOMS? you could have a warm bath and if you have some, Epsom salts; they are rich in magnesium that helps to boost recovery. If you think you may have really overdone it, you could maybe brave an ice bath but a good alternative is a contrast 20 minute hot and cold shower, every few minutes go from hot to cold and target areas of soreness.
Massage can be effective, right now during coronavirus if you have a foam roller you can try slowly rolling the areas of soreness, remembering to breathe. However your muscles maybe too sore for this so when you feel better in 2-3 days time, it can be something to try.
Gentle exercise like going for a walk, easy run/bike or yoga can get your body feeling back to normal.
Make sure you are eating well, you need all key nutrients to give your recovery a boost, steak, spinach, sweat potato and red peppers is just one example for a good muscle repairing meal.
Words of precaution for exercise
You can workout everyday but it is not advised to do a HIIT workout everyday, these are high intensity and need a few days recovery. If you are not use to these types of workouts then I recommend just one a week, for those use to exercise, then stick to 2 high intense sessions a week. All other sessions are about recovery and easy to moderate effort exercise can boost this. What is easy to moderate for some may be hard for others, it is very individual. If you do get DOMS and it lasts longer than 48hrs next time take it down a notch and build up gradually. It can sometimes last up to 7 days if you really over did it. Start with just 10 minute routines and build up to longer if you really are not use to these types of workouts.
Examples of high intensity exercise
Circuit training, HIIT, Running/brisk walk where you cannot talk, interval training whether running or cycling. anything that gets you heart rate zone into zone 4
Examples of easy/moderate exercise
yoga, pilates, easy running, walking, cycling anything that keeps your heart rate in zone 2-3.
Stay home, save lives. When exercising stay local and within your ability.
We understand pain/injuries do not go away during a pandemic and our services are still important to the community. We are still currently OPEN. We are spacing out clients to allow for cleaning. For those having to self isolate we can only offer online or phone call follow ups, that is existing clients as we have to have done a physical examination in order to prescribe treatment and exercises please call 01723 363332 to discuss and arrange.
Stay at home if you have corona virus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
a new, continuous cough
– this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more
coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be
worse than usual)