doubts about low back pain

Let´s have a look at the media. What do you find if you type”low back pain” on Google?  There are thousands of websites that tell you what it is and how to manage it. I wonder why there are so many “clever guys” who know how to deal with low back pain and there are still many people who struggle to get rid of this pain.

Since I started doing research about different aches and pains, among them low back pain, I realised that there are many, what we call in my country, “smoke sellers” (people who sell information and treatments with no value). What do I mean by that? Basically that there are many people who talk about low back pain solutions like if they were talking about things that are certain. I am a physiotherapist myself with a masters in Osteopathy and I have been taught a thousand different ways to treat low back pain, most of them to deal with the symptom, but not the cause. Different treatments that are supposed to be good are: ultrasound, TENS, heat therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, dry needling, etc. But, are they actually good? [Continue Reading…]

When to worry about low back pain

We tend to worry too much and too quickly when we get low back pain and even more if we are not used to dealing with pain. The reality is that low back pain is rarely a big problem (obviously, you might think differently when you are the one in pain), although can be pretty frustrating. When I say “a big problem” I mean that it isn´t usually dangerous and, therefore, won´t lead to disability. [Continue Reading…]

Physiotherapy knowledge

I am going to tell you something which some of you might have thought at some point, “we health professionals know nothing”. Yes, you heard well, we know nothing. Why is that when you go to the doctor, it doesn´t matter what you got from a tendinitis to a headache, that you are going to be advised to follow roughly the same treatment, pain killers and anti-inflammatories. This treatment doesn´t cure you, not at all. It might help to reduce symptoms (sometimes), but your healer usually is called “time”. What I mean by this is that that treatment not cure you, but your own body after some time. Obviously, the way we approach injuries or conditions is not always the right one. So, from now on, if we health professionals tell you that your problem hasn´t got a solution, ignore us. We are that thick that we think that if we don´t have the answer, there is not a solution. There is a solution,  but you might need to look somewhere else. [Continue Reading…]

Health knowledge among physiotherapist

There is something that annoys me a lot. When people tell me that their health problem has not a solution and it is not possible to improve it either. When patients say that they were told that they have to live with it and forget about bothering looking for the answer to their problem. Grrrrrrr! I have seen and/or read a hundred stories of people recovering from conditions that were supposed to be incurable. What sense does life have if you are a conformist person? That is pretty sad. Patience and hope are the two words you should keep in mind. These words are the basics of your mental and physical well-being. It doesn´t sound scientific at all, but, in my opinion, it is the base of any treatment. You need to want to recover. You need to believe in it. I believe that you can have a very mild injury and being in pain for long time, just because of the way you approach things, the way your mind behaves in a specific situation. It is really easy to tell this when you are not in pain, but very difficult to carry out when you are in the painful situation. Please, remember this “everything is improvable”.

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Doctor and patient

There is something that annoys me quite a lot. I have too many patients who come to me after having whiplash and look like Robocop. What is annoying about that? Well, when I ask these patients why they don´t move their necks, they answer that it hurts. “Did you go to see your doctor after the accident? I ask them. They respond “yes”. “X-rays done?” “Yes, all fine”. Now my question is “what the h*** do doctors say to patients instead of “move”?, do doctors ask them to take tablets and promise they will recover in between 3 weeks and 2-3 months?” That’s rubbish. I don’t like tablets, I don’t like tablets, I don’t like tablets. They are useful when they are useful, but in this case only if pain is being bad. We all know that tablets have side-effects and what they are going to do is basically to cover symptoms. Don’t get me wrong, tablets are very helpful to improve quality of life in certain situations, but you need to know when is the right moment to take them. Find here an article that explains when to take anti-inflammatories. I don’t want to think that all this has something to do with money (money or saving time which, in the end, is money again), but sometimes I can’t find any other possible answer.

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Movement for injuries

Movement

This article is going to be a bit different from the articles I usually write: injuries, treatments, food and all that stuff. You might think that certain parts of the article have little to do with what I am supposed to talk about in this blog. Although, you will find out that all is related and it might even make sense to you (I hope so).

Today, movement is our topic. You might not have thought before about the obviousness that movement is such an important thing. Movement is in everything and everywhere.

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Zoltan Balogh´s legs

Zoltan Balogh´s legs

Any person would say “when I run, I move my legs and arms and that’s it”. Well, I am really sorry, but I have to inform you that any movement of the body is very complex and so is running. Of course, we all are different and our running will differ from one person to another, but there are common biomechanical similarities: joint movements and muscle firing among others.

In this post I am going to explain to you the running phases, how your body works when running. This is called “running gait cycle” and it is defined as the series of movements of the lower extremities (legs) which begins when your foot makes contact with the ground, and ends when that same foot makes contact with the ground again. Note that your arm movements also play an important role in running, although it is something I will talk about in the future.

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Soccer player at The Physical Therapy

Remember what I told you in a previous post about ankle sprain and its signs and symptoms, the most common ankle sprain is the lateral one, the one that affects the outside of your ankle. This is the reason why all the information I’am giving you is focus on the lateral ankle sprain (LAS).

Today’s post is about the risk factors and diagnosis of lateral ankle sprain.

Ankle sprain risk factors

  • Limited dorsiflexion (click on the word to see explanation). If your dorsiflexion is limited,  this could result in an increase of chance of twisting your ankle.
  • High navicular- medial malleolus distance (NMM distance). If you have a look at the photo below, it is the distance between “D” and the lowest part of “B”. Have a look at this paper.

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Ankle sprain in football

Ankle sprain in football

I am sure that you have twisted your ankle at some point in your life and you got a nice swelling with wonderful colours (yellow, green and purple). Well, you sprained your ankle. Ankle sprain is an injury which affects your ankle ligaments. There are mainly three types of ankle sprain: lateral ankle sprain, medial ankle sprain and high ankle sprain. The lateral one affects the lateral ligaments  of your ankle (outer ligaments) and it is caused by a movement called inversion ( your ankle rolls outward and the foot turns inward) which will put a lot of stress on the ligaments, damaging them. The medial one affects the medial ligaments  of your ankle (ligaments on the  inside of your ankle) and it is caused by a movement called eversion ( your ankle rolls inward and the foot turns outward). The high one will affect the ligaments that join together your leg bones (fibula and tibia).

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Swelling or inflammation

Do you actually know what inflammation and swelling are? Have you ever heard: ” Oh my God, my foot is as swollen as a football ball”or “my finger is so inflamed that looks like a sausage”? I am pretty sure that many of you think that they are the same thing and use sometimes the word “inflammation” and other times the word “swelling” to refer to the same thing. It would be all right if  they meant the same, although this is not the case.

[Continue Reading…]

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