Tag Archives for " maximise health "

How to foam roll your neck

Watch this video to get a simple foam roller technique to trigger point your neck, to relieve neck  pain, fast!

You will also learn how to loosen your midback which is another key element to relieving pain in your neck and upper back.

Stay tuned to the end where you will be shown some simple ways to loosen the muscles in your legs which ties in for an all over body massage maintenance

Learning to foam roll is a fantastic way for self-management of those tight and painful muscles all over your body and relieving those stiff and sore joints in your upper back. Its such a simple tool that you can take with you anywhere and use whenever you want. Use it when you are travelling or strapped for time. You can roll as part of a daily regime or get benefits for 2-3 short session a week.

It is so simple you can miss the benefits so give it a go today!


Thanks Sean.

Stay tuned next month for another article from Maximize Health Group.

Check out Sean's other articles below.

1 Simple Exercise to relieve Neck Pain Now
If you have a neck injury which may have resulted from a motor vehicle accident, a fall or an injury[...]
3 Simple Techniques to Get to Sleep with a Whiplash Injury
For this month's contribution from Maximize Health Group, we decided to get some advice on how to get to sleep[...]
Road to Recovery: Top tips to get back after an accident
For this month's contribution from Maximize Health Group, we decided to get some advice on accident recovery.  We have again enlisted[...]

1 Simple Exercise to relieve Neck Pain Now

If you have a neck injury which may have resulted from a motor vehicle accident, a fall or an injury at work you will know how persistent the pain and symptoms are and how encroaching they are on your daily life.

The pain and other symptoms, including headaches, can feel like it's ruining your life.  

If you have these issues you should be seen by a health professional for in depth assessment, treatment options and self-management information (including your own exercise programme).

While you are waiting to see your health professional or if you are searching for some more options to help yourself relieve the pain and symptoms of your neck injury this simple exercise from Sean McCoola of Maximize Health Group can kick start your return to normal life without symptoms.

Your One Simple Exercise.

In sitting or standing position, while stationery or travelling all you need to concentrate on is tucking your chin in.

That’s it! It’s so effective because it addresses the 3 major issues that continue neck pain and symptoms: poor posture, stiff neck joints, spasmed and irritated muscles and nerves.

Watch the video below for a demonstration.

Tips for the best result.

Sit or stand tall to begin. Check out Sean's video on how to perfect your posture and prevent postural pain here.

Concentrate on gliding chin straight back, as if dragging your chin on a flat surface. Use your pointer finger to push chin backwards. Leave pressure on for the whole hold times below if it helps.

Hold for 10 seconds at a time initially, build to 10 x 10 second holds and build this to complete repeatedly throughout the day. Aim to make this position your new “normal” over weeks and months

  • Accept there will be symptom changes, this is normal. However, do not let pain increase by more than a further 2 points on the 1 to 10 pain scale (eg if pain is at 4/10 do not go past 6/10). Do not let other symptoms, including headaches continue to increase after the initial positioning.
  • Accept that a double or triple chin may also arise. An added benefit of this exercise is that it will reduce the appearance of double chin as it is toning muscles around that problem area. Bonus!!

Bonus Tips

To help relax into this position, breathe in through your nose for 3 seconds and out through your nose for 6 seconds. Yes, this lasts almost the whole 10 seconds of the hold of position and can be repeated as you are able to hold the position for longer.

To improve the stretch and joint movement tilt head to one side and hold initially for 10 seconds


Thanks Sean. 

Stay tuned next month for another article from Maximize Health Group.

Check out Sean's other articles below. 

3 Simple Techniques to Get to Sleep with a Whiplash Injury
For this month's contribution from Maximize Health Group, we decided to get some advice on how to get to sleep[...]
Road to Recovery: Top tips to get back after an accident
For this month's contribution from Maximize Health Group, we decided to get some advice on accident recovery.  We have again enlisted[...]

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding these tips, whiplash injury recovery or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Sean on +61 7 3343 5494 or [email protected].

3 Simple Techniques to Get to Sleep with a Whiplash Injury

For this month's contribution from Maximize Health Group, we decided to get some advice on how to get to sleep with a whiplash injury.

We have again enlisted the help of Physiotherapist, Sean McCoola. Sean brings experience to his clients from 20 years as a physiotherapist and has a particular interest in sporting teams and rehabilitation programmes.

Read on to see his insights.


How does whiplash affect your sleep?

Whiplash from a motor vehicle accident can result in many and varied symptoms. Losing sleep and a loss in sleep quality, are manifestations of sleep deprivation that is a common affliction from a Whiplash injury. Sleep deprivation can result in irritability, lack of concentration, memory loss, decision making challenges and increase emotional instability. If sleep deprivation continues long enough, physical signs appear including weight gain, frequent illness, visual disturbances, skin changes, poor motor skills and some even feel they fall asleep at the wheel (a sign of the phenomenon called micro-sleep). 


Advice from your GP regarding appropriate medication, information from a psychologist regarding mental and emotional techniques and having a sleep or bed time routine are all useful and relevant options to limit sleep deprivation and may all be required to form a structured plan to cease your lack of sleep. You can also use the 3 simple techniques below to stop sleep deprivation today

​​​​Use a breathing technique

Controlling your breath and focusing on this, switches the “flight or fight” response that is commonly turned on after a whiplash injury to the more appropriate and normal “rest and digest” response required for body repair and rejuvenation while you sleep. A breathing technique will relax you physically and mentally and set you up for a continuous sleep. Try the simple technique-it’s all you need. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity, this method is fast and effective

  • Breathe in for 3 seconds
  • Breathe out for 3 seconds
  • Continue for 5-10 minutes before sleep while you are lying on your back in bed
  • Breathe in and out through your nose

Tip #1

Once you have practised this before bed in a lying position you will be able to expand your practise to different postural positions and times throughout the day.

This simple breathing technique will reduce stress, improve your concentration and enable you to be more effective throughout the day

Use heat

Heating your neck and shoulder areas while in bed will send you off to sleep. The heat reduces muscle spasm and pain, calms the nervous system and improves healing by increasing blood flow to the area and stimulating the metabolic rate. You can have a warm bath or shower before bed or use a heat pack (microwaveable wheat bags are very effective) while in bed.


Tip #2

As with all functions of the human body not everyone will get relief from heat. 

Try cold packs as an alternative.

Cold will also reduce muscle spasm and pain, calm the nervous system and can limit any inflammatory processes from Whiplash injury which will speed up repair and healing.

Use massage

Self -massage or massage from someone else is highly affective before bed and will reduce your sleep deprivation. Massage decreases muscle spasm and pain, returns muscle to normal length, sedates the nerve endings causing pain and other sleep depriving symptoms and improves blood flow to the area for improved natural healing.

Tip #3

For self -massage, lie on your back and reach across chest to massage the opposite shoulder and neck.

Also try lying on your back and placing one or two hands behind your head and neck-with this technique you can actively massage with finger/hand movement or allow gravity to place pressure on your neck and base of head through resting them on your fingers and hands to resolve those painful “trigger points”

If lying on your back is uncomfortable or not the position you sleep in, try lying on your side and reach hands across your body or up to the same side.

To stop sleep deprivation from whiplash, use all 3 of these simple techniques simultaneously. While lying in bed on your heat pack massage yourself while practising the breathing technique. Repeat if you wake during the night.


Thanks Sean.

Stay tuned next month for another article from Maximize Health Group.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding these tips, whiplash injury recovery or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Sean on +61 7 3343 5494 or [email protected].

Road to Recovery: Top tips to get back after an accident

For this month's contribution from Maximize Health Group, we decided to get some advice on accident recovery. 

We have again enlisted the help of Physiotherapist, Sean McCoola. Sean brings experience to his clients from 20 years as a physiotherapist and has a particular interest in sporting teams and rehabilitation programmes.

Read on to see his insights and get his top tips on accident recovery. 

What are your 3 top tips for recovery post-accident?

Stay positive

Return to your normal daily activities as soon as possible including work, exercise and hobbies. Research has shown that if you return to normal movement and daily tasks your recovery will be quicker. Some pain during the recovery process is expected and does not automatically mean that further injury is being caused. Obviously with some injuries you will need to modify how you perform your activities. Planning and advice will be required to address the modifications.

Manage yourself

Make sure you are doing everything that you can do to speed your recovery. If you engage in your own management, start normal activities, complete your exercises and follow/seek qualified advice on your injury, I can promise you will get better, sooner.

Set goals

Be realistic but aim to push your limits. You may need to be adaptable depending on the severity and type of injury, but goals that are a stretch will continue to give you the drive you need to recover to the highest levels that are available to you.


What Are The Best products that can be used post-accident?

Treatment products

The more you can treat yourself, the quicker you will recover. This can be a self-massage product, electrotherapy machine or a brace. The list of products is endless. Find out what you need to work on the most for your injury and search out the appropriate product/s that will allow you to work on it.

Exercise Products

The quicker you can exercise the faster you will recover. Over the years the consistent indicator of better recovery has been clients that have pushed themselves to exercise. It could be as simple as appropriate footwear to walk in, an exercise bike or a gym/pool membership. Make sure to access whatever you need to enable you to participate in general exercise and the more specific exercise for your injury type. It is one of the key factors in your recovery.

Self-help products

Access what you need to return you to normal daily activities. For some, this may be an electric wheelchair and others a brace. It can be as simple as a change in pillow or as complex as major home modifications. If you need a product to return you to your normal activities of daily living (or as close as possible to the activity) make sure to access it as quickly as possible. The sooner you return to pre-injury activity levels available to you and your injury, the sooner you will recover.

Medication

Prescribed medication can be useful. You do need to get the appropriate advice and follow it, but medication can be a useful tool in your recovery. I’ve had clients who have refused medication due to fear of the unknown. I believe they would have recovered sooner, and at times, to a better result, if they had understood the role medication could play in their recovery. Get the right advice on medication and comply and you will benefit in your recovery.

How important is maintaining mobility during recovery?

Maintaining mobility is essential to recovery after injury due to an accident. Of course, this will be modified and adapted in relation to your injury and your stage of recovery. Move it or lose it applies. Mobility aides, medication and some extra thought may be required to continue your progress, but the results will be worth the effort.


What are your top 3 tips to maintain mobility after an accident?

1. Make it an all-important goal

Prioritise mobility for getting around and moving your body as quickly as is reasonable post injury. The sooner you move the sooner you improve your level of independence and the sooner your recovery will progress.

2. Advice from the experts

From the use of crutches to getting out of bed to learning how to use a wheelchair to move that injured joint, there are always “best practice” ways to be most efficient in maintaining mobility in getting around and moving your body. Talk to the professionals who regularly advise on this topic such as a physiotherapist and you will reach your mobility goals sooner.

3. Persistence

As in all things, persistence will win the war for your mobility requirements. Many will take years to get to their best levels of mobility post injury.


Thanks Sean. 

Stay tuned next month for another article from Maximize Health Group.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding these tips, prevention of cramps or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Sean on +61 7 3343 5494 or [email protected].

Top 4 Tips to Stopping Cyclist’s Cramps

Cramps. They are the death of every cyclist. 

We have enlisted the help of Physiotherapist, Sean McCoola from Maximize Health Group to give us some tips on how to better manage cramps.

Sean brings experience to his clients from 18 years as a physiotherapist and has a particular interest in sporting teams and rehabilitation programmes.

Sean sat down with us earlier this month to give us his top 4 tips on stopping cramps. 

Take it away Sean.

4 Factors to Help Stop Cramps

At Maximize Health we are often asked by the cyclists we treat about cramps and how to stop them.

Below is a discussion and guide to what we have seen work over the years. The simple reminders below will enhance performance and aid general well-being and if you fit the pieces of the puzzles together for you, it may even stop cramps for your cycling endeavours.

Studies have shown that cramps are associated with high intensity activity and muscle fatigue. Yes, no proverbial Sherlock!

This directs you in the first instance to get your training and race plans suited to you and your current sustainable exertion level.  And then address other factors below including hydration, stretching, electrolyte balance and nutrition which are often quoted as areas to address to avoid the possibly devastating effects of cramping while out on the bike (e.g poor race performance, pushing the bike home), or after the event/training (jack knifing in the car when driving home from the charity ride).

My advice is to increase your awareness of when the cramps occur for you and then experiment with the factors leading up to the occurrence.

Sorry guys and gals there are often no quick and easy answers for the road warriors.

1. Hydration

Hydration continues to be a major topic in the discussion of cramps. I take a wide gauge view at this and recommend that appropriate hydration needs to be an everyday activity especially if training loads are high and frequent and when coming into summer months and/or humid conditions. Some cyclists are heavy sweaters, and this loss in fluid is often associated as a major contributing factor to cramps. 

Select Content Template

Experiment

Weigh yourself before and after a one hour ride.
If you weigh less afterwards you may need more fluid intake.
If you weigh more, maybe you’ve gone too hard on the sports drink. 

Hydration levels are imperative for optimal performance and getting this part of the puzzle to fit for you may also reduce cramps.

2. Stretching

Another risk factor for cramping demonstrated in studies is low or irregular rates of stretching.

Don’t get too hung up on the bio-physiology but go by the rule that if muscles are tight (shorter than optimal resting position) and/or if they have trigger points (localised areas of increased muscle firing that resets and increases the resting tone of the whole muscle), this seems to increase the chance of cramping.

Optimal muscle length will also reduce discomfort and improve performance. Winning all round! Unfortunately some riders will just have to stretch and address trigger points more than others.

Tip 1

 Stretch each offending muscle group for a minimum of 2 x 30 seconds.
For muscles that have increased tone such as calves stretch for at least 1 minute.
Complete this process 3 - 5 days a week. 

Tip 2

 Try trigger point work or foam rolling to get optimal results

3. Electrolytes or Die

We all need electrolytes to maintain correct muscle function to help maintain life as we know it.

There is little scientific evidence stating that electrolyte levels play a significant role cramping.

Optimal electrolyte balance may assist in cramp prevention, but how much is enough?

Once again this will come down to experimentation for individuals. Test the various input options (Drinks, gels, salt tabs or food) for brand, concentration levels, timing etc.

There are now companies doing sweat tests for the salt/sodium levels in your sweat. But a general guide is if you have the white ring or streaks around your neck on your jersey after you ride you are possibly sweating out electrolytes, including, sodium/salt in higher than optimal levels, and this may need to be addressed.

4. Nutrition

What we put into our bodies leading up to and on race/training days may affect cramping incidence.

A balanced diet must help performance and general health and well-being. “Balanced” will mean different things to the individual and depend on physical and even mental load.

I believe the overall and longstanding aim is for you to give yourself the right amount of energy to fuel your body for tasks you are giving It, in acceptable input formats to promote continued health to train at your desired increased intensities for longer.

Tip 3

 Nutrition, like hydration, is an everyday task.

Nutrition plans should include the weeks and days before, on the day, and during the event.  

As always folks, tips like these may not be fully comprehensive for your situation and seeking out a health professional is a worthwhile exercise if cramping persists and is affecting your ability to bring your 'A' game.

This discussion is by no means exhaustive and there are many other cramp prevention strategies that may work for you (my Mum swears by camphor in a sock by your feet under your bottom sheet in bed overnight to prevent calf cramps).

What we have found over the years is that if you address the above factors and fit the pieces of the puzzle to your situation it will at the very least improve your performance and enhance your health and well-being.

Now on your bikes and enjoy.


Thanks Sean. Stay tuned next month for another article from Maximize Health Group.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding these tips, prevention of cramps or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Sean on +61 7 3343 5494 or [email protected].