10 Facts You Need to Know About Concussion

Concussions occur in all sports with the highest incidence rate in American football, hockey, rugby, soccer, and basketball. In addition to concussions caused by a single severe impact, multiple minor impacts may also cause brain injury.

This is why concussion is said to be a significant problem, whether it is received through a high impact sport, a car crash, or other means. Difficult in detection and proper management, concussion has proven to have high human and financial cost. 

 

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This is why we’ve put together a list of 10 important facts you need to know about concussion which might also help you detect whether you’ve been concussed:

1. In certain severe concussions, symptoms can linger for weeks or even months, due to a complication called post-concussion syndrome.

2. Most cases of traumatic brain injury are concussions.

3. A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A concussion can also be caused by violent movement or jarring of the head or neck.

4. Soccer is the most common sport with concussion risk for females (50% chance for concussion).

5. A professional football player will receive an estimated 900 to 1500 blows to the head during a season.

6. Fewer than 10% of sport related concussions involve a Loss of Consciousness (e.g., blacking out, seeing stars, etc.) making concussions harder to detect and diagnose.

7. 78% of concussions occur during games (as opposed to practices).

8. Headache (85%) and Dizziness (70-80%) are most commonly reported symptoms immediately following concussions for injured athletes.

9. Headache (85%) and Dizziness (70-80%) are most commonly reported symptoms immediately following concussions for injured athletes.

10. It is also estimated that 53% of high school athletes have sustained a concussion before participation in high school sports, and 36% of collegiate athletes have a history of multiple concussions.

If you suspect that you have been concussed, you should seek medical help immediately. The optimal option is to go through a balance assessment when you are healthy and if a concussion is suspected at any point you should go back for a reassessment that will clearly show differences in your biomechanics.

Why is Postural Screening important for your child

Why postural screening?

Research shows that one out of every ten young people aged 10-14 will develop ‘’curvature of the spine’’. Those curves may result in medical problems, pain and obvious physical deformity if not treated. Postural screening done once a year between the ages of 10-14 is believed to be the best prevention as this curve is most likely to appear during this time of rapid growth.

If not treated, this curve can lead to medical conditions occurring later in life such as pain and arthritic symptoms, health and lung disorders as well as obvious physical deformity.

 

What type of postural screening is the best?

Once you decide to do a postural screening (which is highly recommended by doctors, practitioners and sports scientists), be sure to go for a screening that is not based on the traditional ‘’eyeballing’’, but rather a screening that uses a software that captures both your posture and your movement patterns.



                              Kinetisense 3D Posture Screening

We have been using the Kinetisense 3D Posture Screening at our Edinburgh clinic – one of the most accurate and scientifically-tested softwares designed specifically to analyse and quantify posture.

Why use 3D Posture?

The Kinetisense system automatically locates 48 locations on the body using inferred sensors. Without the use of markers and the need to use a posture grid, Kinetisense eliminates the possibility of subjective assessment.

 

How it works:

The system automatically locates the joint position, interprets the data and produces a detailed 3D Posture report. Baseline posture assessments can be done to identify asymmetries and demonstrate the impact clinical treatment has on postural outcomes. This module is an efficient and objective way to analyse the frontal, sagittal, and transverse planes in the body.

 

Recommendations:

It is recommended that the postural screening is combined with Physiotherapy treatment which will provide the patient with specific back exercises and back massage. The 3D screening also allows for the specific progress and results to be tracked from treatment to treatment.

Back pain - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Most people have experienced back pain at least once in their life. Back pain can be caused by a number of reasons, most of which are related to our lifestyle and our level of physical activity. However, back pain can also be caused by various medical conditions that we have been effectively treating at Move Freely.

We realise that sometimes it can be hard to identify the reasons behind the stiffness in your back. This is why we’ve compiled a short list of the most common causes of back pain and the conditions associated with it as well as the various types of treatments that can help you get rid of the pain:

Causes:

  • Poor sitting and standing habits – if you have back pain, improving your posture is unlikely to tackle the root cause of the issue, but it can help alleviate muscle tension. What is more, sitting for long periods of time can have a negative impact on your back even if you sit with a good posture, so make sure you take time to walk around or do some exercises throughout the day.
     
  • Slouching in a chair – over time this position can cause strain on already sensitised muscles and soft tissues. On top of that, this strain can lead to increased tension in the muscles which in turn may cause severe back pain
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  • Back pain can also be caused by a minor injury such as sprain (pulled ligament) or strain (pulled muscle)
     
  • Muscle spasm (such as lifting a heavy object, a sudden movement or a fall)– the Multifidi muscle can be triggered into spasm to protect the adjacent facet joint from any further damage. Unfortunately, this can be extremely painful. this can lead to acute lower back pain since when the back muscles spasms, the area around them is usually inflamed

Symptoms:

  • If your bottom tends to stick out or you have a pronounced curve in your lower back, you may have hyperlordosis. Wearing high heels, excessive weight around the stomach and pregnancy can all cause this posture. However, most commonly it is caused by weak anterior core and hamstring muscles with associated tightness of Hip flexor and lower back muscles.
     
  • Standing with a flat back – people with a flat back often find it difficult to stand for long periods. This is because the pelvis is tucked in and the lower back is straight instead of naturally curved which causes the body to stoop forward. A flat back also tends to make you lean your neck and head forwards, which can cause neck and upper back strain.
     
  • Muscle imbalances - as described above are a very common problem and are very often the main reason for long term back pain.
     
  • Muscle stiffness - Muscle stiffness can be caused by many reasons, poor posture putting extra strain on certain muscles, increased muscle tone to provided stability to joints when the natural stability system is not strong enough.
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Conditions:

  • A slipped (prolapsed) disc – this can cause back pain and numbness as well as tingling and weakness in other parts of the body. if you are suffering from a slipped disc you will very often have lots of other problems as a result. Such as muscle stinness, poor bio-mechanics, increased fear of movement and loading the spine. 
     
  • Sciatica – sciatica is an irritation of the nerve that runs from the lower back to the feet. It can cause severe pain as well as weakness in the lower back and other areas such as buttocks, legs and even the feet.
     
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (swelling of the joints in the spine) – this causes pain and stiffness that's usually worse in the morning and improves with movement
     
  • Spondylolisthesis (a bone in the spine slipping out of position) – this can cause lower back pain and stiffness as well as numbness

     

Back pain treatments:

  • Deep Tissue Laser therapy - Laser Therapy is clinically proven as one of the most effective treatments for back pain and inflammation.  Able to penetrate to deep tissue structures, it has the ability to treat a wide variety of both acute and chronic conditions
     
  • Kinetisense posture assessment - Kinetisense provides instant postural screening and assesses the patient’s posture and range of motion before and after treatment. This allows us and the patient to track their progress with objective facts and figures.
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  • TAMARS back treatment - TAMARS® is a specialised treatment that addresses any biomechanical dysfunction of the spine and is the best option if you suffer from back or neck pain. TAMARS is one of our most popular treatments as it positively influences the spinal biomechanics during functional and clinical tasks
     
  • Dry Needling – dry needling provides a fast and effective route to pain relief, through the use of fine needles inserted into trigger points in muscles. The needles penetrate deep into knots of muscles, to relieve tension and increase blood flow to the region. They can hit stubborn knots with precision, even when the source of pain seems to be buried so deep as to be inaccessible to massage. Relaxing these trigger points can release long held pain
     
  • Foam roller exercises –If you use the right technique, a foam roller can act like a really good, free masseuse. It not only prepares your body for the stresses of a workout, but it also relieves aches and prevents them from coming back. Our sports therapist Daniel can show you a variety of exercises that you can practise at home at your own time and pace

We are committed to ensuring that we provide our clients with the best care suited to their needs and are proud to say that all of the aforementioned types of treatments are available at our Edinburgh-based clinic.

If you have any questions regarding the treatments or anything else, just drop us a line and we will get in touch with you!


Kinetisense Advanced Movement Screen - I-ON

Tried and tested: Kinetisense

Office life is a comfortable way to make a living, but being a desk jockey can be detrimental to your health – as I recently discovered at Move Freely Sports Therapy, Edinburgh, the first clinic in Scotland to offer Kinetisense.

In layman’s terms Kinetisense is cutting edge 3D motion tracking software that accurately measures 44 movements from eight joints, neck and back (KAMS test). The treatment begins with you performing seven physical tests in front of a camera and then your movements and posture being analysed on screen by Move Freely sports therapist Daniel.

For me, the tests revealed stiffness in my mid back, tight, stiff and weak hips, poor balance and poor core stability. The posture assessment revealed my shoulders and hips were 6cm and 7cm in front of the plumb line respectively (if my posture was perfectly aligned with the plumb line my hips and shoulders would have been zero cm). My right shoulder was also below the left shoulder, right hip below my left hip, and I had a tilt in my spine. The results were worse than I had anticipated.

Daniel confidently pinpointed my desk job as the main contributing factor regarding my posture and movement problems and devised a plan to rectify the issues at home, from stretching to foam rolling and exercises to improve balance and strengthen weakened areas.

After only two weeks there was an improvement in my range of motion, my core was getting stronger and there was a visible difference in my physique which inspired me to keep going. Two months down the line I continued to improve in every area, Daniel added in more strength exercises including deadlifts, overhead squats and rows. Three months later the retest showed I had improved in every area, my posture was better and I was feeling great. Highly recommended.

The Kinetisense posture assessment is £30, the KAMS test is £65.

Move Freely, 9 Mansfield Pl, Edinburgh, EH3 6NB, Tel: 0131 557 4404,www.movefreelysportstherapy.co.uk

Words: Paul Dickson

Sore lower back? Is your internal hip rotation limited?

I hear you asking what's hip internal rotation and how do I know if it's limited? 

Firstly hip internal rotation is when we rotate our femure (thigh bone) inwards towards our pelvis and our foot moves away from the body. A normal range is considered to be 40-45 degrees. 

Prone Hip internal rotation (about 40 degrees)  

Prone Hip internal rotation (about 40 degrees)  

Having poor Internal rotation is a curse  because it has been shown to be a  strong indicator to lower back pain, knee injury, hip impingement problems and it can hugely impare your sports performance. 

The people that are most in need for good hip internal rotation are sports people who require rotation in the transverse plane. So golfers, tennis players and kick boxers ext... 

Why does it cause my back to get sore? Your spine may compensate for the lack of rotation around the hip. Your spine tries to take up the slack, it could rotate, extend or even flex more. If these poor mechanics are repeated over and over or under high load you will probably get injured.  

Now what can you do if you have a stiff hip?  

First Its important to know why you can't turn your hip enough. Is it: 

  1. weakness of the hip internal rotator muscles?
  2. are the external rotators to tight?
  3. is your joint capsul restricted?

You will need to see a good sports therapist or physio to find this out but its probably a combimation of all 3.

I have described some of my most common sugestions for self help exercises below, if you suspect you are strugling with hip internal rotation I would start with active strengthening exercises, working the internal rotators (tensa facia late, some fibers of gluteus medius and minimus).

Next we'd need to do some hip mobilisation work. I have 2 mobilisation that I get most patients to do. The 'laying knee to knee mobilsation/stretch' and the 'band assisted hip internal rotation mobilisation' both are shown in the pictures below.  

Laying knee to knee stretch.  

Laying knee to knee stretch.  

Band assisted hip internal rotation mobilisation.  

Band assisted hip internal rotation mobilisation.  

We should now work on the soft tissue. I like to use a foam roller and a ball (tennis ball for beginers and lacrose ball for more advanced people). My favorite movements are shown below.  

Foam roller on external rotators of the hip. Slightly stretching the hip adds a little extra to this.  

Foam roller on external rotators of the hip. Slightly stretching the hip adds a little extra to this.  

Lacrose ball pressure on external rotators.  

Lacrose ball pressure on external rotators.  

Finaly I like to reinforce the movement quality so if your a golfer do some practice swings, a thai boxer throw some round house kick or a weightlifter could do some body weight squats. Each one should be concentrating on hip internal rotation and limit any compensatory movements. 

Please remember that this is just a general blog post and everyone will have slightly different needs. 

If you need some more advise or want to have a more detailed assesment of your hip visit www.movefreelysolutions.co.uk or call 0131 557 4404.  

 

 

 

 

What Is Biomechanics

What Is Biomechanics?

Biomechanics is divided into two segments:

  1. Static- body at rest and in balance
  2. Dynamic – body in action or while in movement

How the human body moves in mechanical terms is also divided into two categories:

  1. Extrinsic – this looks at body movements and measures the movements to establish efficient ways of performing them.
  2. Intrinsic – this is the body’s ability to perform movements in regards to its mechanical make-up. This is what we focus on.

Biomechanical Applications

Office Work

Do you notice that as the day goes on your shoulders start to elevate if you have been using the mouse and keyboard?  The standard advice would be to try lowering your shoulders, have massage and maybe try and improve your desk setup.  These extrinsic interventions can help but unless you understand the reasons behind the shoulders elevating then you will struggle to get a long term solution.

One intrinsic biomechanical culprit can often be the median nerve – the nerve that runs from your neck, into the arms and fingers.  Repetitive movements such as keyboard and mouse actions cause this nerve to become tensioned and the muscles that would take the tension off the nerve such as the traps can go into spasm to minimise the tension.  Therefore your shoulders elevate and being told to push your shoulders down can hinder your progress or maybe make things worse because that is actually putting more pressure back on the median nerve.

Therefore the message here, and throughout this site is to make sure the intrinsic biomechanics are correct before embarking on any extrinsic solutions.

Functional Training

Functional training is all about performing movements in a more natural way rather than just targeting one specific muscle.  For example, a dead lift is much more functional than say using a leg extension machine.  Prior to engaging into training programs such as functional training it is crucial to have an understanding of how the body’s joints and systems work on their own. This is an important factor in determining the capabilities of the areas to function as a whole because a weakness in one area ends up with compensation and therefore injury.  A Move Freely Assessment and iMoveFreely® can pick up on these dysfunctions and help to improve function.

Sports Performance

Sports wise, biomechanics is applied to avoid injuries and to maximize the body’s full capacity. A Move Freely Assessment and iMoveFreely® can quickly pick up a problematic muscle that would be very difficult to establish with traditional functional or medical screening.

Injury Prevention

Common sports injuries usually sprout from improper technique, a lack in strength of the core, insufficient preparation, limited range of motion and more. Proper biomechanical make up is also an important, but less known factor that affects pelvic, shoulder and knee function as well as spasms in key muscles that may be the cause of restricted movement. With the use of a Move Freely Assessment and iMoveFreely®, a detailed checkup of the biomechanical make up is completed, highlighting any issues that may be the cause of the body’s compensation and break down.

Rehabilitation and Management of Injuries

Biomechanics is increasingly being studied and applied in the world of therapy. Health providers are becoming extremely skilled and are now able to diagnose and treat injuries with the help of the application of biomechanics. As an example, understanding the anatomy and physiology of the shoulder and its biomechanical makeup can actually prevent injuries on the pelvis and lower back. This is example is one of the integral steps in the management of injuries.

As the use of biomechanics has increased, it is used more and more in the rehabilitation and treatment of injuries in the musculo-skeletal system. The application of these principles have aided in the decrease of the recurrence of sports and exercise related injuries.

If there is a failure of the body to respond to traditional health care treatments, there is an increased possibility that a biomechanical cause in the body may be loading the predisposed or affected area. Diagnosing the biomechanical issues may be a critical factor in returning the body to its optimal function and therefore means proper rehabilitation may be done with a reduced risk of reoccurrence .

Core Stability Exercises

Exercises for core stability have become a major health trend in recent times. These exercises have caught the attention of the health conscious public and has been fuelled further with the combined efforts of commercial exercise companies and research papers. There are a lot of ways the exercises can be done, and just like any other exercise programs, the effectiveness varies for each individual but as the science has improved so too has the application of the methods.

How To Get The Most Out Of It

Whilst core stability exercises are good at getting the muscles to work, there is a problem in identifying the best stage with which to apply these techniques

As an example, Intelligent Training Systems (ITS) were invited to give a series of presentations at a yearly exercise convention. The audience were invited to participate in a Pilate’s class which was very well taught but following the class ITS asked them how many of them had back pain and 75% of them raised their hands whereas only a few had back pain before the exercise started.

ITS tested some of the participants biomechanics and it was not surprising that many of them had deficiencies. ITS realized that the back pain was caused by the fact that the participants were not biomechanically prepared to do the exercises properly.  Therefore it wasn’t the class that was the issue but the biomechanics of the participants and this is an example of the need to identify the best time to participate in core stability exercises. Each person should be tested for biomechanical issues because if problems exist then it is extremely difficult to engage the core properly due to other biomechanical problems.

Stabilising Dysfunction

If you have a biomechanical dysfunction such as rotated pelvis and associated leg length discrepancy then does it seem like the right idea to start straight into core stability exercises?  Basically all you are doing is stabilising a dysfunctional system which ultimately leads to pain and injury.  It is better to focus first on making sure you are in good biomechanical shape and then core stability exercises can provide a high degree of stability in a biomechanically efficient position.  Our iMoveFreely® programme,Move Freely Assessment and TAMARS® treatment can all help to provide this sound biomechanical basis.

In 2006, Stuart McGill, PhD, said that core stability training could either help some people and probably also hurt others but with better understanding of the biomechanics involved we can help reduce the risk of injury.