Specialising in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, spinal and sports rehabilitation
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Gyrotonic Stabilisation

I’ve always been slightly daunted about write about Gyrotonic in the newsletter mainly because it is such a complex and sophisticated system that at times you don’t know where to start or end. Gyrotonic for me is like a great movie or a fantastic painting or a trip to a favourite holiday destination – every time you visit it you discover something new. And just when you think you’ve nailed it, it offers up another dimension

So, where to start? Let’s start with a common misconception – it’s all about moving the body. For a balanced functional body we need strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance.  One cannot exist without the other and when this balance is disrupted we often have dysfunction and suffer pain and injury. So any modality worth its salt will incorporate all these factors.

Yoga, Martial Arts, Pilates – and many more encompass these factors. With this laid down it wouldn’t make for a great discipline for Gyrotonic to only focus on movement. For fantastic movement you need to be mobile – that is your moving parts or joints need to have good range. Above and beyond this the structures around these parts need to be flexible to allow the range of movement and the strength to hold them well in place. And without endurance in the body the movement cannot be sustained in quality or quantity.

Gyrotonic’s foundation is in stabilization not movement, moreover dynamic stabilization.  This is widely referred to within Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis as Narrowing.  Narrowing encompasses focal areas essential for stability but in such a way it becomes organic in nature.  What do I mean by organic? Techniques are taught to encourage activation of deep stabilizing muscles, with the least amount of energy to create a balanced stable and open body.   This ability creates a feeling of not only strength but a lightness and length.

So now you have the magic every body needs for a great foundation – now you can move!  And then it is all about the movement and what great movement it is.  Organic movement and organic quality of movement.  What do I mean by organic movement?  Ahhh you have to wait for the next article on Gyrotonic – unless another dimension gets in the way!

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Diagnostic Ultrasound

Diagnostic Ultrasound is a very valuable clinical tool in assessing soft tissue pathology. Diagnostic ultrasound involves the use of a scanner to send soundwaves into the tissue. They bounce back a signal from the tissues to create an image of the underlying tissue. We use diagnostic ultrasound in the clinic to help assess tendon and soft tissue pathology. It allows us to be more specific in our diagnosis and know when to refer or how to best rehabilitate the injured region.

It is an excellent tool for assessing shoulder pathology and helping to identify underlying rotator cuff pathology or a bursitis. We also use the ultrasound to assess other tendon pathology within the body. Commonly scanned tendons include the Achilles and patella tendon.

Diagnostic ultrasound can also be used in teaching deeper abdominal activation which is imperative to having a happy healthy lumbar spine.

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Proprioception

Proprioception is the sense of knowing where your body part is in space, without having to look. This can be a difficult concept to grasp until you lose it, because so much proprioception occurs subconsciously. It is important in all everyday movements but especially so in complicated sporting movements, where precise coordination is essential.

Your proprioception capabilities can be impaired when joints are injured, such as with ligament sprains. When you lose proprioception of your joint after a sprain, you may experience an unstable sensation of the joint. The most common symptom of reduced proprioception is poor balance.

The Proprioceptive System is made up of receptor nerves that are positioned in the muscles, joints and ligaments around joints. The receptors can sense tension and stretch and pass this information to the brain where it is processed. The brain then responds by signalling to muscles to contract or relax in order to produce the desired movement. Following injury to joints and ligaments the receptors are also damaged, which means the information that is usually sent to the brain is impaired. This can leave the person prone to re-injury, or decrease their coordination during sport.

Proprioceptive and balance exercises teach your body to control the position of a deficient or an injured joint. A common example of a proprioceptive or balance exercise is the use of a wobble board after an ankle sprain. The unpredictable movements of the wobble board re-educates your body to quickly react to the wobbly movements without having to think about these movements. That is, your natural balance and proprioceptive reactions make the transition from a conscious to a subconscious state. A quality subconscious proprioception and balance system is important in everyday life and particularly in sport.

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Pilates Principles: Centering

Centering is an important concept in pilates. It comprises of finding your neutral spine and activating your deep tummy muscles to keep your spine in a safe stable position to allow you to move your arms and legs more efficiently. Neutral spine is different for everybody, as it depends on your individual spinal curves. Ideally you should have a small curve in the lower back. To find it you tilt your pelvis back and forth until you find the mid-point of the available range.

Your deep tummy muscles (transversus abdominis) are the only core muscles to attach directly to the spine via some fascia (tough connective tissue). It is thought that in people with back pain, the activation of this muscle is delayed. To activate this muscle imagine that you are drawing in your lower tummy, as if you are trying to squeeze into a tight pair of jeans.

By having a solid centre, you will be able to transmit force and movement through your limbs more effectively

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No Pain No Gain!

NO PAIN NO GAIN?

Is the old saying ‘no pain no gain’ true? Is it OK to feel pain after exercise, and how much is too much?

DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can be an uncomfortable reminder that we are not as strong as we thought we were. However, contrary to popular opinion, it can affect anyone regardless of fitness levels. From a couch potato running for the bus, to elite sportsman Andy Murray competing in the grueling heat of the Australian Open, there is no hiding from the beast that is DOMS.

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