Welcome to our New Graduate Sports Therapist Tom Howell!

Tom Howell, Graduate Sports Therapist (MSST)

Really pleased to announce that Tom will be joining the Ed Pratt Sports Therapy team. He will be working on Saturday mornings at the Northallerton Clinic. Tom has been working in another clinic in York and was invaluable last year at Northallerton Rugby Club, covering our home games, which has given him an invaluable experience in a wide variety of both acute and more chronic injuries.

After initially graduating from the Sport & Exercise Therapy in 2017, Tom went on to complete a masters degree in Sports & Exercise Medicine, graduating in 2018. For his MSc research project at Leeds Beckett University, Tom investigated the effects of barefoot running on muscle performance and risk of running-related injuries in habitually shod runners. The findings of the study have formed the basis for PhD research at the university.

Tom will be available for bookings from Saturday 7th September between 08:00-13:00. So whether its for a pre-match massage, taping session, an injury assessment or preventative exercise programme, get booked in with Tom as soon as possible!

Summer Holidays, More Talks and Movement Exploration.

Holiday Cover

The summer holidays are upon us and like many people Amelia and I will be taking some time off with our families. I am away this weekend Amelia will be covering the Northallerton Clinic on Friday and Saturday. Amelia will also be covering several days when I am away in August. The sessions are all available via the online booking system so get booked in! Just a snippet of the feedback I’ve had about Amelia is below and a guide to making an online booking is at the bottom of this post.

Had been getting progressively worse over 2 weeks with a bad back – saw Amelia and in one session she sorted me out . Very thorough in her assessment, excellent treatment and problem solved.

David

More Talks

After successful talks to local runners in Northallerton and Bedale, we have been asked to do a short presentation to Zest Freedom members of the Hambleton leisure centres on injury prevention and rehabilitation. We will discuss some of the causes of injury and also looking at introducing movement exploration in injury rehabilitation. Members should have been emailed an invitation and we hope to see you there. Details of the talks are below:

Ed will be at Northallerton Leisure Centre this Thursday 25th July, 18:00-19:00. Also speaking on the evening will be Alice Bullock on the topic of “Pre & Post Exercise Fuelling”.
Amelia will be at Bedale Leisure Centre on Wednesday 28th August, 18:00-18:30.

Running Talk – Can We Run Without Getting Injured?

So the short answer is probably no, most of us would get injured eventually. But… there is an interesting discussion to have along the way and we can maybe reduce the risk of injury.

On Friday 22nd February 2019, I will be giving a talk at Northallerton Leisure Centre, where I will discuss running injuries and how we might reduce them. Including:

  • Training,
  • Footwear,
  • Gait retraining,
  • and more.

If you would like to attend the cost is £5, 100% of which will be donated to the British Heart Foundation (via the Rock Up In Red Ball), to help some good friends of mine in their fundraising efforts. Please let me know if you are going via the event page on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2293992394194531/?active_tab=discussion

5 Tips to Running Your 1st 10k

The Northallerton 10k is just over two weeks away and for many it will be there first 10k. To help you prepare for the event I asked Josie to write 5 tips to preventing running injuries. The event is already full, but there will be limited entries on the day. We will be there on the day providing taping, massage and advice pre and post race, near the start/finish on the high street in Northallerton.

Training for a 10K? – Tips to prevent injury. 

Are you preparing to run your first 10K but not sure about how to do so safely? Well you have come to the right place. Below is 5 of the most common mistakes and misconceptions people make when training for a running event:

1 – Failing to warm up and cool down

It is so easy to forget or neglect to warm up and cool down before going out for a run. Warming up is vital to help prepare your body for the stress it is going to be put under when running. I would recommend a gentle jog then completing the lunge matrix, calf raises and leg swings, to get your muscles prepared. Not only will you find the warm up will help prepare your body for the training session it will also allow you to get in the right mind set for the run ahead. Cooling down after the run will allow you to gradually reduce your heart rate back to normal and stretch out you muscles.

Lunge matrix – (Credit: Coach Jay Johnson).

2 – Incorrect footwear

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A lot of you (including myself) may have a trusty pair of trainers which you have worn to death but just can’t seem to part with them. When our trainers start to wear out they lose the shape and support which we need to prevent injury when running.

When it comes to choosing some new trainers I understand there are many different types and deciding which ones are best for you can be tricky. Personally my best advice is to go to a running shop and get a good pair of trainers to suit you, go for comfort first, then work from there. Trust me you will thank me later.

3 – Increasing milage too rapidly

So you’ve finally decided to enter your first 10k race, but now it’s getting closer to the event your 3 and 5k training sessions just aren’t going to cut it anymore. A lot of you panic (I myself have fallen victim to this) and jump straight into 10k training. Though doing this you are putting a lot of stress on the body

In the sporting world there is a basic rule stating you shoulder increase your training session or weekly mileage by 10% only. Personally I think this is a good rule to follow making sure you gave yourself adequate recovery time in-between each training session.

4 – Ignoring any little niggles or twinges

The majority of us will have little niggles and twinges from time to time especially when starting out running and it’s important to understand that REST is not always the answer. Although for a lot of injuries this will help in the first instance; when you get back out running the injury will more than likely re-occur and get progressively worse. This is because there is usually a reason for the injury occurring in the first place; whether it be bad running technique, a muscle imbalance of even an incorrect training program. This is why it is important to get any niggles of twinges checked out as soon as you feel them occur in order to prevent them from advancing into a more serious injury.

5 – Neglecting strength training 

So you’re doing everything by the book; wearing the correct footwear, warming up and cooling down before each session, increasing your running distance and speed slowly and giving your body enough time to recover in-between, yet your still getting little niggles and twinges. Why? Well it’s rather simple, you need to incorporate some strength training into your program. This is because if your muscles are weak more often than not they can’t take the demands we put on our bodies when running.  Don’t panic, strength training doesn’t always have to mean lifting heavy weights, in fact using your own body weight is one of the best forms strength training you can do. Exercises such as calve raises, Nordic curls and bridges are excellent to incorporate into your training. As an added bonus you will also find that strength training not only helps with injury prevention it can also contribute to your overall running performance.

So to conclude: Make sure you warm up and cool down after a running session, get yourself a pair of good running trainers, increase your mileage at a steady pace giving your body enough time to recover, get any niggles of twinges checked out, incorporate some form of strength training into your program and most importantly ENJOY YOURSELF.

Thanks Josie Grieve.
Sports Therapist

Mugshot Josie

Josie Grieve (MSST)


Josie works out of the Yarm clinic every Tuesday. To book an appointment you can easily book online here.

10 tips for starting exercise safely in the New Year

I’ve seen it regularly on Twitter and Facebook, where people are announcing a time for change and to get fit again. I’ve also seen several posts about how it’s not necessarily a good time to make a New Years resolution. In reality does it matter whether it is a good time or not? This is the time of year where people are looking forward and want to make changes after the binge eating of the Christmas season.
So with this in mind, I thought that I would post 10 simple pointers, which may help keep you injury free and motivated, if you are someone who is starting exercise after a long break:

1. Take it steady

– Start slow and gradually increase your exercise volume. I regularly see people who have “caught the bug” and don’t want to stop or done way too much too soon. We would would love to see a nice linear progression, but the reality is often much more complex.

Recovery_Meakins

Credit Adam Meakins, @AdamMeakins, http://www.thesports.physio.com

2. What are you trying to achieve?

– For some people goal setting can be really helpful, but keep it realistic and start with bite sized pieces. You can always adjust them if they are too easy.

3. Listen to your body

– I say this quite often, but it’s your biggest clue to something going wrong. Yes the exercise will be/should be tough, but you should also be recovering in-between sessions, if not you may need to reduce the intensity or take a longer rest.

4. Make a plan, but a flexible plan

– Once you’ve made your goals, make you’re plan. When is your time for exercise going to be? With our busy lives, it can be hard to fit stuff in, so make time for yourself. Having said that I quite often see injuries where people have been unwilling to deviate from their plans, where a rest week/low mileage week might have been all they needed.

5. Exercise with a friend

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Ullswater Trail Race

– This can be a fantastic motivator, if you’ve made that commitment to exercise, you’re less likely to skip a session.

 

7. Measure your progress

– Again this can really help to motivate (can also go the other way if things aren’t going to plan), but think about what you are monitoring. If it’s just weight loss, there are quite often other improvements in fitness before you will see much change in your weight. So do you see a reduction in your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) for a particular exercise, can you do more reps/walk/run/cycle further in a given time?

6. Use an app/technology

– I quite often suggest apps such as the “Couch to 5K” running app as a way of gradually increasing running volume. Other apps such as Strava, Endomondo or MapMyRun can also be useful to help monitor progress or log activity.

8. Diet and exercise go hand in hand

– After the excess of Christmas, this is important to recognise, but I’m not suggesting you need to jump on the newest fad diet out there. Look at what you eat and be honest with yourself, make small changes first and then build on these improvements.

9. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

– Enjoy it! Find an exercise that you love to do and getting fit becomes so much more enjoyable. It should still be hard work though!

10. Keep it simple

– All of the above is so much easier if you keep it simple, find your way to exercising and fitness. I am a firm believer that there is a form of exercise out there for everyone, you just have to find yours.

On a final note: If you already have a niggle or injury which you feel is holding you back or even preventing you from exercising, get it checked out. At Ed Pratt Sports Therapy we can work with you to help prevent injuries, as well as treating current problems, with the aim of getting you back doing the exercise/sport you love.

Let me know what you think of the above tips and if you have any to add, which you think others will find useful add them to the comments box below.

Preventing Hamstring Injuries

This is a brief post predominently about the Nordic Hamstring Exercise, which can be used as part of a preventative programme for hamstring injuries.  It should not be used in isolation and as in all preventative programmes the sport involved, level of participation and physiological/psychosocial requirements must be accounted for.

Hamstring injuries can be a significant problem in sports involving rapid changes in pace/direction, with between 12-16% occurrence in English and Australia professional football (Peterson and Holmich, 2005). Recurrence rates are also high (12-63%), with the first month after return to play (RTP) being the highest risk period (Brukner et al., 2014).

So not only is the rehabilitation of hamstring injuries important, but the prevention of further hamstring injuries at RTP, especially in the first month. To understand how to prevent injury we need to understand the risk factors for that injury. Peterson and Holmich (2005) nicely distinguish between the different risk factors by sub-grouping them in to non-modifiable and modifiable. The main risk factors for hamstring injury are:

Non-Modifiable:

– Age – older individuals are at greater risk.

– Black or aboriginal ethnic origin.

Modifiable:

– Muscular imbalance – low hamstring:quadriceps strength ratio.

– Muscle fatigue.

– Hamstring tightness.

– Insufficient warm-up.

– Previous injury.

In terms of preventing hamstring injuries, eccentric exercises (muscle is working as it is lengthening) have received a lot of attention over the last few years (Mjølsnes et al., 2004; Small et al.; 2009 and Brooks et al., 2006) and more recently the Nordic Hamstring Exercise. Mjølsnes et al. (2004) compared Nordic hamstrings with a concentric leg curl strengthening programme and found that greater gains were achieved with the Nordic hamstrings and also a greater improvement in the hamstrings:quadriceps strength ratio compared to the hamstring curl exercise. Subjects in this group were healthy individuals with either no history of hamstring injury or “fully recovered” from previous injury.

Nordic Hamstring Exercise

The Nordic Hamstring Exercise is performed by anchoring the lower legs and slowly leaning forward from a tall kneeling position. The individual tries to control their lean until they reach a “tipping point” when they use their arms (not face!) to break their fall. See the video below for a demonstration:

Nordic Hamstring Video:

The training protocol used in the Mjølsnes et al. study was over a 10 week period and is reproduced below:

Training protocol for Nordic hamstring exercise

Reproduced from Mjølsnes et al. (2004)

Points To Note

– The subjects in this study had no current injuries.

– The Nordic hamstring exercise is a high effort level exercise to perform.

– It can be great as part of a rehabilitation programme, but should only be used as advised by a suitably experienced and qualified therapist/trainer.

– A suitable warm-up should be performed prior to performing the exercise.

– The Nordic hamstring exercise should be used as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation/preventative programme and not in isolation.

Thanks for reading, get in touch if you have any questions.

Ed

References:

Brooks, J.H.M., Fuller, C.W., Kemp, S.P.T. and Reddin, D.B. (2006) Incidence, Risk, and Prevention of Hamstring Muscle Injuries in Professional Rugby Union. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 34:8, 1297-1306.

Brukner, P., Nealon, A., Morgan, C., Burgess, D. and Dunn, A. (2014) Recurrent hamstring muscle injury: applying the limited evidence in the professional football setting with a seven-point programme. British journal of Sports Medicine 48:11 929-938.

Mjølsnes, R., Arnason, A., Østhagen, T., Roasted, T. and Baar, R. (2004) A 10-week randomised trial comparing eccentric vs concentric hamstring strength training in well trained soccer players. Scandinavian Journal of Sports Medicine, 14:, 311-317.

Petersen, J. and Holmich, P. (2005) Evidence based prevention of hamstring injuries in sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 39:6, 319-323.

Small, K; McNaughton, L; Greig, M and Lovell, R. (2009) Effect of timing of eccentric hamstring strengthening exercises during soccer training: implications for muscle fatiguability. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23:4, 1077-1083.

How Are You Running?

The spring marathon season is just around the corner and those planning running a marathon should really be starting to think about your training and preparation. Yes it seems like its ages away, but as the saying goes “it soon comes round” (is that even a saying? I’m not too sure). Now is the ideal time to take stock of your training and look at making any changes you deem useful.

One aspect you may want to look at is the way you run. The vast majority of us learn to run not long after we learn to walk and from that point on think very little about how we run and why it might be important in terms of both performance and injury prevention. There is an emerging body of evidence that would suggest modification of an individuals running technique (gait re-training) and cadence can help in the treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. There are certain injuries, which appear to correlate with a particular running style or pattern, for example cross-over gait could, possibly be linked with ITB syndrome. A study of 15 runners, by Meardon et al. (2012) found an increase in ITB strain rate as step width decreased (Reference).  By looking at the whole body it is possible to look for patterns of movement, which may effect running style or performance, for example the action of the arms and amount of rotation in the upper body correlates with the leg swing and counter rotation in the lower body and vice versa.

Blog Post 1

Some aspects of an individuals running form can be picked up just by watching them run, whereas other are more subtle, happen quicker and therefore difficult to pick up with the naked eye. This is where video gait analysis comes in. Here I do not mean the knee down, focussing on the foot landing, gait analysis you get in sports shops. I am talking about a whole body top-to-toe video analysis that looks at not only what happens at the feet, but also the knees, hips and upper body. It is only by looking at the whole body that you can get a true reflection of an individuals running style and therefore make adjustments to suit them as an individual.

However, to go back to my previous point about marathon training, if you are going to make adjustments to your running, it takes time for the new movement patterns to develop and to break old habits. Running drills and cues need to be accompanied by the correct strength and conditioning exercises and mobility work, which again need to be developed for the individual. The autumn winter seasons are the perfect time to start looking at your running style and making any changes required.

It is not about pigeon holing you into a category, it is about finding the right style of running for you!

If you would like further information about video gait analysis service provided at Ed Pratt Sports Therapy, please click here.

Happy running.

Ed