5 ways to optimise your neck and workstation at home!

Laptop

Sofa.

Ironing board.

Kitchen bench.

Washing machine.

No, this post is not a random list of household items to sit, eat or wash from.

Believe it or not, these are the makeshift workstations that our clients have been using during the pandemic. Some of them are absolutely clever (who knew an ironing board could make an innovative standing desk!) and others feel uncomfortable just reading from it.

But to be honest, it is not a huge surprise that people do not have perfect study nooks at home – after all, we are not used to working at home at this scale – plus or minus children and partners with their own agendas (hello partner who says ‘circle back’ in meetings).

We took to the streets to ask our clients

So the team at Pinnacle took to the streets (virtually) and called our clients to find out what is really going on and how we can help during this tricky time. As of last week, we have collated hundreds of notes and surveys from our clients – here are some fun fast facts from our data:

  • 76% of our clients surveyed have reported neck tightness and pain in the last week
  • 53% of our clients have been having breaks every hour
  • 82% of our clients surveyed are using a laptop only.

Subjectively, our team has also noted that overall clients are not overly comfortable with the support on their chair and ability to get comfortable for a prolonged period.

With that mind, as well as our overall concerns about our clients’ neck positions, our team have put together five tips to relieve neck tension and get you set up while working from home.

5 Easy Ways To Relieve Neck Tension And Set Up A Workstation

Set up a designated work area

Utilise a table and chair (not an ironing board). If your chair happens to be from IKEA and designed for the kitchen, use a rolled up towel or cushion to create more back support.

As well as better posture and ergonomics, the other major benefit of having a designated work zone in the house is that it’ll help to maintain your boundaries between work and home life.

All eyes ahead

It is absolutely essential that the top third of your screen is at your eye level. For the 82% of our clients using laptops, it is crucial that you prop up your laptop on some books to create this ideal position.

This creates a more neutral neck and spine position, reducing strain on the neck muscles and shoulders.

Mouse and keyboard

Laptop users really need to purchase a separate keyboard and mouse. The beauty of this is allowing your elbows to be bent at ninety degrees, which is perfect for reducing neck, shoulder and wrist pain.

Your best posture is your next posture

Every forty-five minutes stand up, take a walk or drink some water. By implementing the 45/15 work ratio principle, you will reduce your risk of neck pain and also boost your productivity.

Walk and talk

Sitting at your desk on Zoom calls for hours will impact your mood by the end of the day. If you have some headphones and it’s appropriate, take yourself outside and attend the meeting via phone. A bit of movement will make you more effective and some headphones will keep you neutral with your neck position. That’s a win-win for both you and your workplace.

Summary

As we continue to work from home over the coming weeks, it is important that we look after our neck position. Having smart breaks and setting your workstation up for success will go a long way in avoiding the need for Physiotherapy and Remedial Massage.

If you are in need of some advice, assessment or treatment please book an appointment at one of our convenient wellness centres in Melbourne.

5 Steps to Maximise Your 1st Online Physiotherapy Consultation

Video consultation

With the rapid advancement of technology over the last five years, online video consultations (often referred to as telehealth) have become an excellent way of reaching remote, at risk or time poor individuals who need to get their healthcare on the go.

At Pinnacle Health Group we have been offering video consultations for clients for many years, using Skype and Zoom, and more recently things have changed fast.

Due to the COVID-19 global crisis, we have seen a huge uptake in video consultations for Physiotherapy. With clients wanting to stay physically active, pain free and mentally sharp, we have reviewed and updated our treatment protocols and staff training to optimise our service delivery.

With so many of our clients working from home, we have reinvested in the most up to date technology available, PhysiApp – download and check it out! This ensures your video consultation experience is world-class and frictionless when you book a consultation with us.

It’s Just Like A Normal Consultation

Just like a normal consultation, you can expect a discussion about your goals for wellbeing, specific questions relating to your area of concern, and the best way to treat your present concern or condition.

For example, a Physiotherapy consultation normally begins with questions about the injury or area of concern. Then the experienced Physiotherapist will know which questions to ask to ascertain a diagnosis, prognosis and then treatment pathway that will most likely include rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation will include follow up with the client with a tailored exercise programme, using the PhysiApp app. You will also be given evidence based self mobilising, stretching and self release technique advice, with the Physiotherapist ensuring correct technique before the session ends.

To optimise your experience and based on the last three weeks of video consults, here are our top steps you can take to maximise the benefit of your first online video consultation with our experienced team.

1. Check Your Tech

A video consultation is an exciting experience for both the Physiotherapist and client. To connect so seamlessly and in the comfort of your home is often reported as a real time saver for clients.

The only thing that can potentially add friction to your experience is the dreaded technological issue.

The video consultation can be done via a PC, laptop, mobile or tablet – you choose your own adventure here – but we ask that you ensure a few things:

The camera and sound is enabled on your device

You connect to Wi-Fi

Your battery is charged

I know these points are obvious but we would hate for your appointment to be interrupted by a bad signal or a vintage device!

2. Space To Move

We love to get you moving and grooving, and our advice for the video consultation is simple: get yourself comfortable in your home.

A study, spare room, nook or lounge room is a perfect space for your consultation.

To begin the consultation, you will be sitting in front of the device and talking with the Physiotherapist.

Once the session progresses into assessment, it is likely that you will be asked to move into standing or lying to do some movement tests and analysis!

3. Dress Active

If you have a back or lower limb issue, we ask that you are comfortable enough in your dress, pants or shorts to bend your hips and knees without ruining your clothes. If you are unsure – always wear some leggings or shorts – this will save you time and make the assessment more accurate and effective. An example of a movement test would be the Physiotherapist watching you do a squat.

If you have a shoulder, upper body or neck issue, we will most likely need to look at your shoulder movement, past ninety degrees and over your head. Ideally wearing a t-shirt or some loose clothing will allow the Physiotherapist to see what is really going on. An example of a shoulder test would be asking you to do a push up against the wall.

Dress for activity!

4. Bring Your Tools

Most of our clients will have purchased some mobility or strength tools over the years. Here is a list of some common pieces of equipment that we would love you to bring.

Theraband (stretchy coloured bands – great for strength, stretch)

Foam roller

Swiss-ball (aka fit-ball)

Dumbbells

Kettle bells

All of these tools, small or large, can be so beneficial when it comes to the treatment planning stage of your consultation.

When used correctly, the Physiotherapist can ensure you get the most value out of your initial purchase. This will speed up progress to your desired outcome, whether that be to run five kilometres pain free or to be able to lift your children up for a cuddle.

5. Write Some Questions

Sometimes when we visit health professionals we have so many questions before the appointment, and then we walk out and forget to ask the important stuff! It happens all the time and we encourage you to ask us as many questions as you need. Some of our most dedicated clients actually write a list of questions on a piece of paper. We welcome this and accept follow up phone calls or emails for questions.

Here are some great sample questions we encourage you to ask:

How long do you expect this issue to go on for?

What should I be doing to help this issue over the next 1-2 weeks?

Do you recommend I see any other health professionals to help my issue?

What do you think is the main cause of my issue?

Video consultations are easily accessible and perfect for time poor individuals who want to take control of their issues.

Ensuring you get the most value out of your experience and working collaboratively with your Physiotherapist is the best mindset going into your first video consultation.

Online Video Consultation – Physiotherapists In Melbourne

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of online video consultations including physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, dietetics, and ergonomics. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our centrally based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

Pain between your shoulder blades?

Pain between your shoulder blades? Pain spreading up into your neck? Occasional dull headaches?

Do you suffer from a constant dull nagging ache in the middle of your back that spreads up your neck? It is likely that you are experiencing a condition known as thoracic dysfunction. This is common in office workers who spend too much time in a sustained position.

The most common cause of thoracic back pain is inflammation of the muscles or soft tissues of the thoracic spine. This inflammation can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Sitting or standing in a slouched position over time
  • Sitting or standing for a long time at a computer
  • Lack of muscular strength – mainly core or shoulder instability
  • A sudden sprain or strain (as in car accidents or sports injuries)
  • Stress

Treatment:

  • Manual therapy
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Dry Needling
  • Postural retraining
  • Activity modification
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Reformer Pilates

The good news is that the majority of people respond very well with Physiotherapy. If this sounds like you or one of your colleague’s then book an assessment today with one of our Physiotherapists at the Wellness Centre.

Cure your headache with massage, not medicine!

Young doctor chiropractor massaging patient

Are you Constantly Suffering from Headaches? 

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache affecting people’s day-to-day life. These headaches can cause pain that radiates around the Temples, eyes, or at the back of the skull. The fact of the matter is, most tension headaches begin through significant muscle tension or muscle Knots in the neck and shoulders. 

When you say, “I have a muscle knot” You are actually referring to myofascial trigger points. In fact the dominant theory behind Trigger points refers to a patch of tightly contracted muscle, which affects a small part of the muscle tissue. That small part of “knotted” muscle cuts off its own blood supply, which causes irritation, and if not addressed will eventually cause a myofascial trigger point.

 

Why Choose Massage Over Medication?

It is alarming how many people have no idea why they are getting constant and reoccurring headaches. Medications such as Nurofen and Panadol are great at masking symptoms by decreasing inflammation and dulling pain receptors. However, they will not relieve muscle tension and therefore headaches become a daily occurrence because the actual problem is not being addressed.

Relieving muscle tension through Massage Therapy can be beneficial, as it will increase blood flow and oxygen to tight muscles, allowing them to relax in order to remain strong and flexible.  A study by the American journal of Public Health shows that pain associated with chronic tension headaches can be alleviated through specific massage treatments directed at the muscles of the neck and shoulders.

Lets be honest, we are all guilty of hunching over our computers and placing too much strain on the muscles of our neck and shoulders. Without even knowing your daily routines such as driving and looking down at your mobile phone can begin to irritate and place excessive amounts of tension on your body. After all, your muscles contribute to every movement your body makes, and this is why they need to be looked after.

 

Book a Massage at Pinnacle Health

Call 1300 2 Pinnacle or use our easy online booking form to book a massage!

5 reasons to start an “Exercise Club” at work

We all know that we “should” exercise daily. But the reality is…life gets in the way.

Realistically we are a time-poor generation and being “too busy” to exercise is often a legitimate excuse. However, we are also VERY good at making exercise our last priority. There are weeks when our workload, family time and “life admin” are out of control and we literally don’t have a spare second. But there are also weeks where sitting on the couch scrolling through social media, or that wine catch up with a friend is far more appealing than getting sweaty and having to actually motivate ourselves to physically move our bodies.

Over a year ago, we started “Exercise Club” here at PHG Docklands. Being a bunch of health professionals, most of us are exercise fanatics but we are also human and for us too, life gets in the way. To counteract that, we decided to practice what we preach and really be the leaders in driving workplace wellness.

Here is a sneak peak at how we built “Exercise Club” into our workplace and why it was the best decision we have ever made.

 

What we do?

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3-4pm our diaries are blocked for “Exercise Club”. We put on our exercise gear and do a solid 40 minutes of simple, body weight exercise. It varies from pilates, strength training, sprinting, conditioning, yoga, high intensity interval training…even stretching.

We have a quick 10 minute shower before getting back to treating clients for the rest of the day.

After… we feel on top of the world!

 

Why?

  1. It improves culture and team spirit. Since starting exercise club we have seen a massive rise in the sense of community and culture within our team. It allows us to connect on a personal level and also just have fun. Because we have varied lunch breaks and see clients all day, we rarely get to talk about non-work related ‘stuff’. This has resulted in increased communication and work-ethic in professional team activities too. Win – win.
  2. It improves productivity. The government issued guidelines via NICE in 2015 on how promoting a wellness in the workplace is “good management and leads to healthy and productive workplaces”. Further research has shown that workers who spent 30-60 minutes at lunch exercising reported an average performance boost of 25 percent. Sixty percent of employees said their time management skills, mental performance and ability to meet deadlines improved on the days they exercised. We definitely agree with the research and have also noticed; improved concentration, enhanced creativity, faster learning and more importantly lower stress.
  3. It will improve your heart and overall physical health “Sitting is the new smoking” With the emergence of research around the dangers of sitting, we are beginning to understand the multiple work-related musculoskeletal disorders and health concerns it can lead to…heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, depression. Research suggests that nearly 70 percent of Australian adults do not get the recommended out of regular exercise each week (2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity). This proves that creating a culture of regular exercise is a critical to ensuring your employees are physically well.
  4. It will improve mental health. Just like our physical health, we all need to make time look after our mental health. It’s important to remember that physical activity not only improves the body’s ability to move but also clears the mind and works the brain. Exercise and regular activity also happen to be one of the best management strategies for overstressed-workers. We are all aware that healthier employees are happier, work harder, help their team-mates and are more efficient. Since starting exercise club we have also noticed an impressive increase in employee engagement and workplace satisfaction. So although it seems like physical activity would tire you out, it actually leads to a happier more energetic YOU.
  5. Exercise saves your business money in the long run. Each year, more than a million working people in the Australia experience a work-related illness that costs the economy over 20 million dollars year. Healthier staff means fewer absences due to illness. Which in turn will increase culture, trust, productivity…the list goes on.

 

Should you do it too?…YES!

Exercise in the workplace isn’t a new idea but it’s such a clear win-win in terms of health, morale and productivity and so I think it deserves to be put in the spotlight once more.  Why stay at your desk feeling tired, frustrated, sleepy, less productive, more likely to develop serious health problems and gain weight when you could spend 30-40 minutes working out with your colleagues and reduce all of these risks. Here at PHG, we are a prime example of how you don’t need to install an in-house gym for your team. A little space, commitment from your team and willingness to embrace some sweat is all you need.

After all, we spend 60%+ of our day often at work, we all should try to make it a healthier, happier, WELL place.  So grab some colleagues, make it a commitment, lock it in to your diary and go for gold!  Let us know how you do. If you’re interested in starting up a workplace wellness program and would like some assistance, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

 

Clodagh is a Clinical Services Manager and Physiotherapist at PHG Docklands.  

 

Does Running Really Damage your Joints?

By Donal Ahern

 

 

“How did you not see this coming? Everyone knows running is bad for your joints!”

At some point in our lives, whether we exercise or not, nearly everyone has heard some variation on the idea that running and healthy joints just can’t co-exist peacefully. Ask your workmates. Ask your family. Ask Google! The common sense consensus – that the extra stress running places on your joints must speed up the wear and tear process – has been widespread, and often well accepted. Like the tyres of a car, it makes sense that our joints just gradually wear away under the strain, right?

And of course that would make sense, if we could compare our bodies to a car. Luckily for fans of running, our bodies don’t behave like cars. We’re far too clever for that. Think of your body (and joints) as less like a car, and more like an ecosystem, where lots of different factors influence how healthy and pain-free they will be. Most importantly, ecosystems adapt to change.

With this in mind, it makes sense that more and more studies are showing that running doesn’t harm your joints. This is most likely because runners tend to weigh less, and because our joints have an incredible ability to adapt to new challenges. It is now widely accepted in healthcare circles that regular running not only doesn’t do damage to healthy people’s joints, but most likely plays a protective role, in many recent studies actually reducing your risk of developing Osteoarthritis. Running (and other forms of regular exercise) also reduces the risk of countless other systemic problems like heart, brain and bone disease.

That doesn’t mean that runners never pick up injuries. However, many running injuries are preventable with good habits and advice. Training consistently, strength training, and maybe even varying your running style can all help solve those niggling “overuse” injuries that can put people off running or set your training back.

If you do get sore while running, or you’re concerned that an injury might develop if you start, make sure you see a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist at Pinnacle Health Group. We can give you sensible, simple and the most up-to-date advice on reducing injury risk, allowing you to succeed in whatever training goals you have – and enjoy the journey along the way.

 

 

Donal Ahern is a Physiotherapist at our Docklands Clinic.

Physitrack

We’re super excited to be working with Physitrack to create personalised exercised programs for all our clients. Physitrack allows us to remotely track your progress, pain and consistency. They have web, tablet and phone versions so you have no excuse not to do your exercises

To create your tailored exercise programs we use a brand new app called PhysiApp. PhysiApp lets you complete your prescribed exercise program by following crystal-clear, narrated exercise videos. PhysiApp is completely free to download from the App store and Google Play store or can be accessed via your browser. Built-in reminders help you to stay on track towards a better you!

 

How to use Physitrack

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If you need help or more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at one of our clinics.

Physiotherapy in Melbourne CBD

Physiotherapy in Melbourne CBD

 

Melbourne attracts and inspires people from all over the world with its wide variety of interesting, stimulating and rewarding activities, employment opportunities and professional services.

 

The CBD is growing, you only have to look at the skyline! Every day more people are working in the city, if you are one of them and you need a reputable Melbourne CBD Physiotherapist come and see us at our CBD physiotherapy clinics or if you are already one of out valued clients tell your friends we’ll look after them!

 

 

Our Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy Clinics

Pinnacle’s multi-faceted approach helps people return to their physical peak, and combined with our strong focus on patient care, it’s proven to be exactly what the people of Melbourne are looking for!

 

 

What sets Pinnacle’s Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy apart from the rest?

 

Our Melbourne CBD Physiotherapist team are passionate about helping people incorporate healthy habits that complement their lifestyle, while encouraging future wellness and providing relief for any number of existing conditions.

 

All the benefits you expect from a reputable and experienced Physiotherapist are easily delivered at any of our Melbourne CBD Physio clinics – thanks to extensive training… and a passion for that multi-faceted approach everyone keeps talking about.

 

Our multi-disciplinary physiotherapy clinics in the city combine proven techniques with the latest treatments, to deliver great results and happy clients. These physiotherapy services include:

 

  • Physiotherapy
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Myotherapy and Massage
  • Nutrition and Dietitian
  • Podiatry
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Corporate Wellness

 

 

If you’d like to know more about how Physiotherapy Melbourne CBD services click here, or check out our blog for loads more information!

 

 

What you NEED to know about Physiotherapy at Pinnacle Health Group

 

Pinnacle Health Group is a industry-leading clinic, now at convenient locations in Melbourne CBD, specialising in the treatment of, but certainly not limited to:

 

  • Neck and back pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Over-use injuries
  • Muscle/joint/ligament injuries
  • Post-operative rehabilitation

 

 

Pinnacle Health Group takes great pride in being the “accessible experts” – this means booking your appointment with us is easy and you can save time by pre-filling forms… receiving the pinnacle in health care has never been easier, or more enjoyable! For more information, or any enquiries, give our friendly team a call today!

 

Clinical Pilates vs Regular Pilates

By Physiotherapist Rosie Purdue

 

Have you ever wondered about the benefits and the differences that Clinical Pilates and Regular Pilates can provide for you? Well, here’s a quick and easy summary.

 

In order to know the differences, you must know what the fuss is all about! Pilates is a form of exercise used to lengthen and stretch all major muscle groups in the body with composed techniques. It helps to improve flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.

 

What is the difference between Clinical Pilates and Regular Pilates?

Recently a lot of friends and clients have asked me, “What the difference is between Clinical Pilates and the Regular Pilates that I do at the gym or in a big group class at KX Pilates?”
The major difference is in the extent of knowledge and training that a Clinical Pilates trainer has, which allows them to adjust, modify and choose the accurate Pilates exercises for an individual.

A trained physiotherapist is whom prescribes and supervises a Clinical Pilates class, whereas an instructor for Regular Pilates only recommends a generalised program of exercises to individuals.

Both types of Pilates are based on the original theories and practices of Joseph Pilates and are exceptional ways to improve strength, flexibility and control. However regular Pilates does not take into account an individual’s injuries, history, pathologies and specific physiological needs.

Here are some of the fundamental differences:

Clinic

The reformers, which are the base for a Clinical Pilates class are machines that allow your body to learn a newtask whilst developing muscle length and strength. They can however be also used in a regular class. Clinically trained physiotherapists are able to use their expertise to design a tailored program that encourages the correct movement pattern for your injury. Sometimes, strengthening in the wrong position can actually make an injury worse and this may happen during a class routine.

Additionally, Clinical Pilates focuses on the brain’s pathway to “switch on” the correct muscles making sure they are the ones that are being used for the right movement pattern, rather than compensating with other muscle groups.

 

 

 

Rosie Purdue was a physiotherapist at the ANZ Wellness Centre