Physio

Top 5 things to consider BEFORE you start running

Top 5 things to consider BEFORE you start running

Top 5 things to consider BEFORE you start running 1000 667 Ace Health Centre

This year, Ace Health Centre has entered a team for the Gold Coast Marathon. The Gold Coast Marathon weekend is July 6-7 and includes a range of distances for all ages and abilities!

For the kids, there are two races- a 2km and a 4km dash. For the big kids, there are the Gold Coast Airport fun run (5.7km), Southern Cross University Run (10km), Asics Half Marathon (21.1km) and the Gold Coast Marathon (42.2km). Ace Health Centre has a number of entrants in the Asics Half Marathon as well as two runners who are attempting their first ever Marathon,

There are lots of things to consider when you are planning your next (or your first) running event of any length! It is all well and good to have a goal in mind, but you need time to physically prepare your body and your mind for what you will endure on race day.

With the Gold Coast Marathon fast approaching maybe some of you are slowly but surely starting to panic because of the lack of training or because they haven’t trained at all. Something our head physio knows a thing or two about as well!

Scrambling to maximize her preparation time, Amelia compiled a list of things she really needs to get in check BEFORE starting her GC Marathon training program to maximize her chances to cross that finish line on July 7.

Small but crucial little details such as the right footwear, weather or mood, made it into her list. Despite her knowledge as a physiotherapist, Amelia found out the hard way and made mistakes you can avoid!

Here are Amelia’s top 5 things to consider before running. Read them, learn them and never forget them

 

1. ARE YOUR SHOES THE RIGHT SHOES FOR YOU?

Podiatrist are experts in all things feet! Before you start any kind of new exercise, be sure to make an appointment with a podiatrist.

They will:

– assess your gait

– evaluate your current footwear

– recommend the perfect shoes for you

– suggest where to buy the right shoes (we can’t rate anyone higher than Athlete’s Foot Pacific Fair)

– discuss the need for orthotics if required

– flag any biomechanical issues that may require further intervention from a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist, remedial massage therapist or strength and conditioning coach.

 

2. ARE YOU STRONG AND FIT ENOUGH TO START RUNNING?

Over the years, running has developed a bit of a reputation for injuries. However, most running injuries occur due to overuse. If you continue to run on structures that are not strong enough to take the excessive force that running can cause, you are an injury waiting to happen! Get into the gym and build up some baseline strength and fitness before you attempt to tackle running. If you are clueless on where to start, see a physiotherapist for an assessment and to run a specific strength program.

 

3. HAVE YOU CHECKED THE WEATHER?

If you want to reduce your risk of injury when running, be sure to not only listen to what the weatherman has to say but also take a look outside on the day. Too hot? Wait till the afternoon to cool down a little. Too rainy? We live in Queensland- it won’t last long. Running in excessive heat is not recommended, especially for novice runners. Save yourself the pain and the risk of heat stroke, and wait for more suitable weather before you take on a run. Running in the rain can create slippery surfaces and puddles- both of which can lead to a fall or trip.

 

4. ARE YOU FUELING YOUR BODY FOR RUNNING?

We recommend that EVERYONE spends some time with a dietician to create an ideal eating plan for you. Consuming the right food can provide you with the fuel required for all activities, running included. As you then increase your running distances, a sports dietician can teach you more about substrate usage and when gels and fluids may improve your performance.

 

5. HAVE YOU GOT A PROGRESSIVE PROGRAMME IN PLACE?

Sure you could just run 10km every day from now until the day of the race, but there are far more superior training programs out there. Your training program should allow for enough time for the goal event (hurry up;) ), and should gradually increase work volume. There will be periods of scheduled rest and cross training to reduce the chance of overuse injuries, and it should be malleable, should injuries arise. A physiotherapist, running coach or decent podiatrist should be able to help you out with a comprehensive training program.

If you haven’t started your marathon training, then you have to start now! Amelia’s tips will help you to get the most out of a very short timeline. Who says there are no shortcuts to success?

Whiplash-Associated-Syndrome

Whiplash Associated Disorder: What a pain in the neck

Whiplash Associated Disorder: What a pain in the neck 1000 682 Ace Health Centre

About 7 and a half years ago I had a car crash. I pulled a U-turn outside my house in the quiet suburb of Figtree in Wollongong, NSW and was struck on the front drivers’ panel by a car that I guessed was doing about 90km/hr. Unfortunately, I was deemed at fault (the Police effectively said that they weren’t able to prove he was speeding because there were no skid marks – my argument was that he didn’t have time to brake because he was going so fast – but I digress). Fortunately, the other driver did swerve because otherwise, he would have T-boned me and chances are I wouldn’t be here writing this. For that, I consider myself incredibly lucky.

However, despite all the fortune, I do consider myself also slightly unluckier than some, and that is due to the daily pain and discomfort on the left side of my neck (Whiplash) that accompanies me everywhere I go. It is here right now as I write this (somewhat stronger now that I’m focusing on it).

Don’t get me wrong, I manage absolutely fine now, but I recall it being quite bad in the first few months. However, I did the right thing initially and booked in for a Physio consult.

 

I didn’t go back to see my Physio, and I didn’t do the exercises.

I saw a local physio about a week after the accident whom I believe – knowing what I know now – actually let me down, and he let the physiotherapy profession down.

From memory he did some massage, might have put a heat pack on and then prescribed me a weird neck exercise on all 4’s (speaking as an undergraduate exercise science student at the time) and told me to “see how I go” and call if I wasn’t getting better.

I wondered if he actually did want to see me again? Did he care if I was doing better? Maybe he was thinking of my back pocket being a student – but I certainly wasn’t.

I just wanted my neck to feel better. I didn’t go back…

 

 

Without a proper diagnosis – I felt confused

I was a young, fit, virile male who just turned 20 and I did not want to do some strange looking exercise that didn’t even bring on a sweat. All I wanted was to push and pull and throw and lift and sweat!

I grew up playing sports and running. I feared that I wouldn’t get back to those things. Mentally at the time, my ego-driven immortality shroud (seen predominantly in males under the age of 25 due to a still-developing pre-frontal cortex) had been shattered.

Also, mentally, I was having nightmares and was anxious about driving. two major things we did not talk about in my physio consult.

I guess I existed in a state of confusion about my pain for about six months, until one day during a practical class in the final year of my Exercise Physiology degree at the University of Wollongong. We covered exercises for neck and shoulder dysfunction, and I was the example patient for my classmates.

I remember my fellow students prescribing me these basic, boring textbook exercises until our musculoskeletal lecturer Deidre McGhee (a practicing physiotherapist) stepped in to ask them to think about who they are working on.

In doing so she reminded me too. She gave me exactly what I needed at the time. Permission and empowerment. Two very major things in chronic pain.

Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

I then took a particular interest in chronic pain when I went to study my Masters of Physiotherapy at Griffith University. Now into my 5th year of clinical practice, I have developed my clinical skills to a point where I can now focus on a particular area of interest. For me? You might have guessed – Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD).

 

There are some pretty alarming statistics out there – here’s just a few:

  • Whiplash doesn’t tend to recover well – if there is still pain at 3 months after the accident, there is a 50% chance there will be ongoing pain 5 years later.

 

  • After an accident, if you can’t turn your head as far as you used to, or you find cold stimuli painful, your risk of long term disability is much higher. This risk remains high if you have severe pain, or are having trouble doing everyday tasks (reading, lifting, concentrating, working etc).

 

  • After an accident, if you can’t turn your head as far as you used to, or you find cold stimuli painful, your risk of long term disability is much higher. This risk remains high if you have severe pain, or are having trouble doing everyday tasks (reading, lifting, concentrating, working etc).

 

  • High levels of post-traumatic stress go hand in hand with poor recovery.

 

Whiplash recovery needs a systematic approach

If you have any of these things and you’re within the first month or two after your accident, the timing is crucial to reduce your risk of pain becoming chronic and disabling.

Either see a physiotherapist or talk to your GP about seeing a physio (and a psychologist if you’re having flashbacks or anxiety). CTP insurance covers nearly all cases of Whiplash recovery and treatment.

 

Though please, in a bid to avoid the situation I found myself in, see if you can find someone who has done some advanced training in Whiplash Associated Disorder within the last 2-3 years.

Learning from the physio I saw, in my professional life, I tend to listen to the person in front of me and ask many questions. It allows me to focus on the needs and goals of the person that is sitting in front of me and then applying the most recent evidence to assist them to achieve those goals.

For those that are past the initial few months since their accident, there is still hope of reducing your overall pain and disability. I have seen significant improvement in people using any necessary manual therapy, some tweaks to their daily life, and an increase in their exercise and activity safely under supervision.

It’s amazing the difference in your life when you find the person who knows exactly what you need at the time.