West Suffolk Physio

Exercising In The Winter Months!

Psst….I want to share a secret with you all….

Each winter I use to make excuses, I’d tell myself ‘I don’t feel safe exercising in the dark’ or ‘I don’t like the cold weather’. Yes, it can be easy to make these excuses as the evenings get darker, the temperature gets colder and those seasonal blues start to kick in. DON’T! Join me and stay active through the winter and I can guarantee one thing…you will feel amazing!

Research shows that when people take a break from their fitness routines during the winter months, they experience the following:

  • You will find it harder to lose the winter weight gained even when you start exercising again.
  • If you do not exercise within three to six months you go back to ‘couch potato’ fitness level.
  • You decrease by 20 percent in cardiopulmonary fitness within three to eight weeks of not exercising.
  • All progress made over time is lost.


Embrace The Outdoors In The Winter!

Did you know you burn more calories exercising in the cold as your body is working harder to keep you warm (bonus!)?! Ensuring that you warm up correctly and cool down is still as equally important whatever season it is, but following these simple tips your winter workout may be more motivating and comfortable for you.

Keep these tips in your mind:

  • Layer your clothing…this is key! It is much easier to remove light layers than it is to add. If you become too hot whilst exercising you can remove and when you become too cold you can add. Easy as that!
  • Don’t forget about your head, hands and feet…when it is cold blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet vulnerable to frostbite. Ensure you have winter friendly head wear, gloves and footwear.
  • Safety gear…Do not forget about your safety in the winter months, wear reflective clothing, stick to well-lit areas, exercise in groups and ensure you have appropriate footwear when icy. If you are also riding a bike make sure you have got working headlights and taillights.
  • Keep moving…stopping for a break results in your body cooling down very quickly in the cold, making it harder for you. So keep those exercise juices flowing!
  • H20…drinking water in the winter is just as important as it is in the warmer months, remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

There are also some more great tips on keeping you safe in the winter whilst exercising on the following links:

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/pages/winterexercise.aspx

http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=safety_tips_for_exercising_in_the_dark

http://www.health.com/fitness/how-to-run-and-walk-safely-in-the-dark

If this still hasn’t convinced you to keep exercising outdoors why not try some alternatives, such as:

If you would like some more advice on how you can stay fit and healthy this winter please feel free to contact the clinic by Clicking Here .

Now come on, what’s stopping you?! Join me on staying fit and healthy this winter!

Abbie Johnson, Clinic Administrator

Latest News

West Suffolk Physio continue to serve – Lockdown 2.0!

On the 5th November 2020 England went into a second lockdown and for many of us this involved a huge amount of change. As a private physiotherapy clinic registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) and the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) we received approval that our service can remain open during lockdown 2.0.

We pride ourselves on supporting our clients in the best way we can to help them return to or achieve whatever it is that is important to them. So, we want to demonstrate to you how we will provide the safest environment as possible. All clients currently seeking Physiotherapy will be asked to complete a telephone or virtual appointment so that the clinician can make the decision on whether a face to face or virtual appointment is more appropriate. If it is deemed appropriate this is what you will expect from your face to face appointment at West Suffolk Physio –

  • On arrival we kindly ask that you remain your vehicle. Your physiotherapist will then come and greet you. We have implemented a one-way system, entrance through the front door and exit through the back door. Throughout the building we have guidance on which way to walk and reminders to socially distance. You will also notice posters providing guidance on Covid secure areas and how many people are allowed in each area.

  • The physiotherapist will allow you access to the building. We will kindly ask you to sanitise your hands, then a face mask will be provided, we will ask you to wear a face covering throughout your appointment. You are welcome to bring your own face mask.

  • All of our staff will be complying with the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, in the form of gloves, apron, mask and visor. All of our staff are trained in appropriate hand decontamination processes, PPE requirements and waste collection, storage and disposal. Hand washing and sanitiser facilities will be accessible throughout the building and we will advise you to use these regularly.

  • We will ask you to attend your appointment alone, however if you require a chaperone and/or translator present for your appointment please inform us before attending. The numbers of appointments offered will be reduced to allow for cleaning between patients.

  • Once your appointment is complete your physiotherapist will walk you to reception area, there will be a number of ways to communicate with the reception team to pay for your treatment. The reception team will encourage card payments, this can be done face to face, over the phone or through invoice. We will be taking insurance claims as usual. Our friendly receptionists will then show you where you can correctly dispose of your mask and will advise you to use hand sanitiser facilities before exiting through our back door.

 

For more information or to book an appointment speak with on of our physiotherapists who can support you to achieve your goals.

Falls prevention this winter!

There are a number of risk factors that can contribute to a person falling and often it’s not just down to age. Age does play a large part in risk of falling but there are other factors that can be modified with the help of Physiotherapy such as muscle weakness in the lower limb and balance.


The CSP (charted society of Physiotherapy) predicts that…

  • 1 in 3 people aged over 65 will fall every year
  • Equating to more than 3 million falls per year
  • Half of those people will fall again in the next 12months
  • Injury due to falls is a leading cause of mortality in people aged over 75 in the UK


So how can we help?

  • Assessment – our physiotherapists can assess your balance, the way you walk and how strong your lower leg muscles are. The falls prevention programme provided is then tailored to your individual needs.
  • Exercise based programmes – allowing people at risk to exercise in a friendly environment and to aim to reduce fear of falling.
  • Balance exercises.
  • Strengthening exercises.
  • Advice on walking pattern and walking aids.

If you are concerned about falling and fear walking alone or without walking aids it’s important that you speak to a member of our team. We can help develop a plan to tackle these fears and return to a more fulfilled way of life.

Movement Snacks!

With an increase in working from home it is important that people set up their desk well and also remember to incorporate regular breaks. Tom, Physiotherapist at West Suffolk Physio calls these movement snacks.


As well as getting up and moving away from the screen you can complete some simple chair based exercises:

Neck rotation – turn your head from one side to the other.

Chin tuck – gently nod your head. Try not to look down. You may feel a stretch in the back of your neck.

Shoulder stretch – reach across your body with one arm and support with the other. Repeat on both sides

Upper back stretch – link your fingers and reach your arms out in front. Push your shoulders forward, stretching the arms diagonally down.

Shoulder Shrugs – start by sitting tall with relaxed shoulders. Shrug your shoulders up then down.

Wrist movements – link your fingers, Roll your wrist in full circle.

These are some suggested exercises which should not give or increase any pain that you may have. If you feel that you may benefit from further advice or guidance, contact Tom Lockwood, Physiotherapist.

Are you experiencing respiratory problems?

It can be a frightening experience not being able to ‘catch your breath’ whilst attempting a basic task such as walking upstairs or holding a conversation with a friend. Sometimes this is related to a diagnosed chest problem but sometimes it can be related to on adopted habit stemming from all sorts of things such as anxiety, sore tummy, surgery or allergies. If we do not use the right muscles to gain a rhythmical easy breathing pattern we can start to struggle when our bodies are challenged with higher levels of activity.

Breathing is usually 70-80 percent reliant on the diaphragm. This domed shape muscle sits under the heart and lungs and moves to flatten as we draw breath in to the whole of the lungs. You can check if this happens to you by placing one hand on your tummy just under the rib cage. If you are using the diaphragm effectively you will feel your tummy rise as you inhale and your shoulders and upper chest will remain relaxed and quiet. People with breathing problems often only use the top of their lungs in which case you will feel very little tummy movement but lots of movement and tension of the upper chest area and shoulders. This is not a very efficient way of breathing and can lead to feelings of breathlessness or needing to breathe faster even at rest.  
It is also a good idea to recognise if you are breathing using your mouth or in and out through your nose. Breathing using the nose is best as the nose can filter the air, humidify it and regulate your breathing pattern which mouth breathing does not do.

If you feel you need any further information or assessment of your breathing control or if you are experiencing respiratory problems after Covid-19, please contact the clinic for an appointment.

What will the new normal look like for Physiotherapy?

On the 23rd March 2020 the UK went into lockdown and for many of us this involved a huge amount of change. As a private physiotherapy clinic registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) and the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) we stopped all face to face appointments to minimise the risk of Covid-19 to our clients and staff. We are all now slowly transitioning into our new normal and beginning to provide face to face appointments again. We want to demonstrate to you how we will provide the safest environment as possible and what the new normal will look like for physiotherapy. 

We pride ourselves on supporting our clients in the best way we can to help them return to or achieve whatever it is that is important to them. So, we have continued to support our old, current and new clients throughout lockdown by telephone and virtual appointments. Our decision to offer face to face appointments again will be governed by the current Covid-19 infection prevention and control regulations. In order to decide whether we can see a client face to face we must consider the risk to the client, ourselves and others in our clinic or client’s household.

All clients currently seeking Physiotherapy will be asked to complete a telephone or virtual appointment so that the clinician can make the decision on whether a face to face or virtual appointment is more appropriate. If it is deemed appropriate this is what you will expect from your face to face appointment at West Suffolk Physio –

On arrival we kindly ask that you remain your vehicle. Your physiotherapist will then come and greet you. We have implemented a one-way system, entrance through the front door and exit through the back door. Throughout the building we have guidance on which way to walk and reminders to socially distance. You will also notice posters providing guidance on Covid secure areas and how many people are allowed in each area.

The physiotherapist will allow you access to the building. We will kindly ask you to sanitise your hands, then a face mask will be provided, we will ask you to wear a face covering throughout your appointment. You are welcome to bring your own face mask.

All of our staff will be complying with the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, in the form of gloves, apron and mask. All of our staff are trained in appropriate hand decontamination processes, PPE requirements and waste collection, storage and disposal. Hand washing and sanitiser facilities will be accessible throughout the building and we will advise you to use these regularly.

We will ask you to attend your appointment alone, however if you require a chaperone and/or translator present for your appointment please inform us before attending. The numbers of appointments offered will be reduced to allow for cleaning between patients.

Once your appointment is complete your physiotherapist will walk you to reception area, there will be a number of ways to communicate with the reception team to pay for your treatment. The reception team will encourage card payments, this can be done face to face, over the phone or through invoice. We will be taking insurance claims as usual. Our friendly receptionists will then show you where you can correctly dispose of your mask and will advise you to use hand sanitiser facilities before exiting through our back door.

For more information or to book an appointment speak with on of our physiotherapists who can support you to achieve your goals. Contact Us

Every Mind Matters

On the 23rd March 2020 the UK went into lockdown and for many of us; this involved a huge amount of change.


Staying at home proved difficult for several of us and for many, we developed a sense of worry and concern about our personal health as well as the health of those around us. There has been a lot of support and guidance on how to keep on top of our mental wellbeing during lockdown but now as the lockdown period is releasing its restrictions slowly, some are worried and anxious about how we can achieve this safely. We must remember that these feelings are OK and that everyone has different reactions and mechanisms to different situations. We want to help support your wellbeing by giving you some tips and advice on how you can keep yourself safe as you ease out of lockdown alongside Government advice.

  • Keep a close semblance of your normal routine. Your sleep cycle is particularly important. Try to make sure you wake up and go to bed close to the same time each day as well as maintaining regular meal times. Over the past few weeks you may have made a new quarantine routine. Take some of the activities and structure you have particularly enjoyed during this time and incorporate it into your revised routine as this will help you readjust to the changes as they develop. 

  • Everything doesn’t need to change at the same time. For example, if you have been utilising food delivery services why not continue doing so? Don’t feel that everything has to be changed all at once. You could choose one thing you would like to change a week, whether it’s a short drive to walk around park or inviting a loved one to meet with socially distancing in your garden. Slowly emerging from isolation in this way will reduce social anxiety and maintain safe social distancing.

  • Social cues. When we meet people for the first time in a long while we might ask them “what have you been up to?” or “where have you been recently?” These social cues are often polite ways of continuing a conversation. At the moment, these questions could be potential anxiety triggers for individuals or they might end a conversation as many have been unable to leave their homes. What you could ask instead is “where would you like to go once lockdown is lifted?” or “how have you been keeping busy during lockdown?” You will most likely find that many people have taken up new hobbies during this time and will be delighted to tell you all about them. 

  • The 2020 rule. Try to limit your time spent watching updates on Coronavirus and becoming too focused on the news. One particular method mentioned from Mind Wise is to try the 2020 rule which is to spend no more than 20 minutes a day talking about coronavirus and no more than 20 minutes a day watching updates about coronavirus. This is a really helpful tool to allow you to emerge more seamlessly from isolation.

  • Talk about your concerns. It’s very easy to feel anxious or worried as we ease out of lockdown. Try to talk about these concerns as they arise. Sometimes getting a second opinion on a situation will help you to overcome it.

At the moment, West Suffolk Physio is successfully running virtual appointments for private clients. We are monitoring the government and professional body guidance on return to being able to offer face to face consultations daily to ensure the safety of our clients and staff. We will keep you informed as to when this element of our service returns.  Secure virtual (video) appointments have proved to be incredibly useful especially if you need Physiotherapy advice for a new or existing problem or if you are feeling anxious leaving the comfort and safety of your home for Physiotherapy. We can guide you through the process if you feel daunted and are not particularly technology savvy. It’s easier than you might think so why not give it a try?

Most importantly there is a lot of support available if you know where to look for it. We can recommend the following resources:

Are you working from Home?

Have you ever thought your desk layout might be contributing to health issues?

Currently portable devices are allowing us all to work more flexibly and safely at home but they need to be used correctly. Poor working postures and prolonged use can be a huge factor to you experiencing the following:

  • Aches and pains in your upper and lower back
  • Aches and pains in your neck and shoulders
  • Aches and pain in your wrists, hands and fingers
  • Visual fatigue such as blurred vision, sore eyes and commonly headaches

Did you know that if you are using a laptop at home these risk factors are higher as it’s more difficult to adapt your posture when the screen is attached to the keyboard? To reduce the risk of health issues we suggest you implement the following 10 tips:



  • DO NOT use laptops on your Lap; try to find a flat, stable working space. If you have a spare keyboard you could use this to improve your laptop set up.

  • Forearms should be horizontal and the user’s eye line should aim to be the same height as the top of the screen. The screen should be approximately an arm away from you.

  • Find a suitable chair with good back support.

  • Avoid leaning down to the screen and keyboard. Try to sit tall, align your ears, shoulders and hips. When you sit try to think about making yourself an inch taller.

  • Wrists should remain I n neutral (straight) position. You can use a small towel at home to rest your wrists on.

  • Position your laptop to avoid glare as much as possible. This is often away from direct windows or bright lights.

  • Make sure there is space underneath the desk for you to move your legs. Try not to cross your legs for prolonged periods. If you are shorter, a small footrest underneath takes pressure off your lower back.

  • Clean your screen; make sure individual characters are clear and in focus.

  • Make sure there is enough space on the desk to accommodate all your documents. A document holder can help to avoid awkward neck movements to look at your files.

  • Take a brief break every 30minutes and have a go at some gentle stretches.


If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned you can call our Physiotherapist’s for some advice on 01284 713721. We are offering FREE video and telephone consultations to NHS & Key Workers during this time. We can also virtually assist you in setting up your desk at home. If you are not a Key Worker or NHS staff member you can contact us for more information.

 

Ever thought we would be so restricted in our daily lives?

Being confined to your home does not have to impact on your health. As a private physiotherapy practice we are dedicated to supporting people’s wellbeing. So we would love to share some alternative ways of keeping active whilst at home. 

There are some jobs at home we all put off as we feel we haven’t got time. What better opportunity is there to now try to complete those small DIY tasks or decorating? Gardening and housework can also be a fulfilling activity and perhaps offer the time for more creativity or to declutter areas of our homes.

More formal exercise can be achieved using online exercise forums or get out that unused Wii Fit, exercise DVD, static bike or dance mat. If these don’t appeal then walking up and down the stairs a few more times than usual or trying small simple exercises in a room with a safe support to hold onto if necessary. Small knee bends, marching on the spot and raising onto your toes and back down may form part of a gentle exercise program to stop your legs getting stiff and will improve circulatory flow. If due to other medical conditions you cannot do these then exercises in sitting can still be very much of value as long as done regularly.

Checking in with friends and family is essential for our mental health and well-being even if this now has to be by phone or using our electronic devices. Perhaps discussing your exercise experiences will encourage others to try doing the same and add to the conversation topics. Comparing notes could help with motivation and to do more the next day.

Due to COVID-19 we are not offering face to face consultations, alternatively we are offering telephone and video consultations. Please contact us on 01284 713721 to speak with one of our Physiotherapists and see how they can support you!

Spring into the garden with confidence….

As a private Physiotherapy practice dedicated to supporting people’s wellbeing we love to encourage other ways of maintaining both physical and mental health. Gardening can be a great way of maintaining this but we often notice an increase in aches and pains after a good bank holiday session in the garden!

It may be hard to believe that spring is nearly upon us and soon it will be time to dust off those gardening gloves! So here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your time in the garden minus the unwanted side effects.

Vary your tasks– it’s easy to get carried away wanting to get one particular job done before you move on to the next. Spending a prolonged period of time on one activity is a sure way ending up with sore muscles the next day. Make a list of what you want to get done and plan your day. Using a timer can ensure you stick to your schedule.

Be realistic – Rome wasn’t built in a day (or indeed a Bank Holiday weekend). Remember a garden is always a work in progress.

Break up the work throughout the day – take time for a cuppa and enjoy your garden! This can help to rehydrate as well as giving your muscles and joints a well earned break.

Garden Kneelers are a brilliant (and cheap) invention – these can save untold stressed on your knees. You can even get these with handles which saves you getting all the way down to ground.

“Bend your knees, keep your back straight and keep what you’re lifting as close as possible” – we all know the basics of good lifting, but how many of us do it?

Potting plants on table– it just makes sense! Not everything has to be done on ground level.

For those achy hands – using foam tubing to modify tools can improve your grip and ease discomfort.

Plan ahead with heavy jobs – put your pot where you want it before you fill it up with soil.

Check the ground is soft – take the time after a good rainy period to do your necessary digging and weeding. This cuts the work load in half and could reduce your risk of injuring your back or shoulder.

Don’t work in heat of the day – if we’re lucky enough to see the temperature go up, be sensible. Aim to get any gardening that cannot wait done early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is cooler.

Why not speak with one of our Physiotherapists who can support you to achieve your goals in 2020.