Official Recovery Partner at SID Crossfit Championships 2024

Official Recovery Partner at SID Crossfit Championships 2024: An Unparalleled Experience

From July 5th to 7th, 2024, the NEC in Birmingham buzzed with the energy and determination of elite athletes competing in the SID Crossfit Championships. As the official recovery partner for this prestigious event, we had the privilege of supporting these remarkable athletes through a comprehensive array of sports therapy and physiotherapy services.

Our team, consisting of 15 highly qualified sports therapists and physiotherapists, brought a wealth of expertise to the event. We provided a diverse range of treatments to ensure athletes could perform at their peak and recover swiftly. Our services included injury assessment, advanced sports massage, and medical acupuncture, addressing both preventative care and acute needs. The inclusion of cupping therapy, taping and strapping, and compression boot therapy offered additional layers of support, tailored to the unique demands of Crossfit athletes.

One of the highlights was our state-of-the-art anti-gravity chairs for lymphatic drainage, complemented by hot steam saunas that facilitated muscle relaxation and detoxification. In our dedicated stretch and recovery zone, athletes had access to theraguns, foam rollers, and trigger balls, providing them with essential tools for self-care and muscle maintenance between events.

The response from the athletes was overwhelmingly positive. Many expressed their appreciation for the immediate relief and performance enhancement our services provided. Our therapists were thrilled to witness the direct impact of their work, as athletes returned to competition feeling rejuvenated and ready to excel.

This partnership with the SID Crossfit Championships was not only an opportunity to showcase our comprehensive recovery solutions but also a testament to the critical role that proper recovery and rehabilitation play in athletic performance. The NEC in Birmingham proved to be an ideal venue, allowing us to set up an efficient and welcoming space that catered to the specific needs of the Crossfit community.

As we reflect on this incredible experience, we are proud to have been a part of the athletes’ journey, contributing to their success and well-being. We look forward to continuing our mission of providing top-tier sports therapy and physiotherapy in future events, empowering athletes to achieve their highest potential.

If you are running / hosting a large event whether it is a sporting one or not and feel you need our recovery services then please contact our team. Alternatively you can make a booking request via our event booking system or if you would like the full recovery hub experience then you can use our recovery hub booking request.

Hamstring Tear – Grade 1 and 2

Hamstring tear is an injury to a muscle at the back of the thigh, that is caused by a rapid extensive contraction or a violent stretch of the hamstring muscle group, causing high mechanical stress. They account for up to 29% of lower limb injuries in sport, due to the involvement of high speeds such as sprinting and football, however older age can increase the risk due to a loss of flexibility.

Some experiences of hamstring tears involve pain and tenderness, with limited range of motion, where others experience additional symptoms, such as swelling or a ‘popping’ or tearing sensation.

Grade 1 and 2 hamstring tears can heal within 3 to 8 weeks, however can take months to heal depending on the severity of symptoms.

Anatomy

The hamstrings are a group of three muscles: semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and bicep femoris (long head), that predominantly acts to flex and extend the knee.

Most hamstring tears occur in the central part of the muscle, or where the muscle fibres and tendon fibres intersect (MTJ). Tendons can tear away from a small bone fragment (ischial tuberosity), that typically occur at the proximal origin (top) of the hamstring, however, can occur from the distal origin (bottom), although less common.

Symptoms

  • Sudden and sharp pain
  • Tenderness
  • A “popping sensation” at the time of injury
  • Swelling and bruising (or discolouration) in the first few hours and days
  • Weakness and a loss of strength in the leg

Causes

Overload of the hamstrings typically the cause of hamstring tears, that occurs when the muscle is stretches beyond its limit or challenged with sudden load, typically during an eccentric contraction. Previous hamstring injuries can increase the risk of developing a tear, particularly if the body is compensating for another limb injury, or if there is muscle weakness and a lack of flexibility.

Diagnosis

Physical examinations are often performed, such as palpation to pinpoint the area of the hamstring tear, however precise location may be difficult to determine without medical imaging.

Other physical examinations involve performing various movement to evaluate strength and range of motion, to determine the severity or the classification (grade 1 to 3) according to the pain and physical limitations.

Neurological examination may be performed to assess the sciatic nerve, to check any entrapment or irritation in healing scar tissue. Imaging such X-rays and MRI may be advised in severe cases, to detect the location of the tear and the extent of the injury, however for grade 1 and 2 tears, only physical examination if typically required.

Treatment

There are 3 phases of treatment to aid recovery and function of the hamstring injury (grade 1 and 2):

Phase 1 (inflammation phase) -Exercises and excessive stretching should be avoided, to control pain and help scar tissue develop. At the phase, crutches may be required to reduce weight bearing and facilitate recovery.

Phase 2 (reparative phase) – Exercises are introduced to try and regain full range of motion. Progressions of more challenging exercises are included in this stage, however, should be performed tolerably and pain-free. Such exercises could include hamstring curls, hip extension (with added resistance band for progression), hamstring wall stretch, and single leg balance.

Phase 3 (remodelling phase) – specific to patients playing sport to allow return to sport, and their level of function. This phase is specific to the patient, where sport or activity-specific drills such as agility are advised to promote tissue remodelling, or drills involving quick movements such as plyometric exercises.

Exercises

  • Hamstring stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Lean forward, reaching your hands towards your toes until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
  • Hamstring curl: Stand facing a wall or chair, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift one foot towards your buttocks, keeping your knee bent. Lower your foot and repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each leg.
  • Deadlift: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back straight, and lower the weights towards the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
  • Romanian deadlift: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back straight, and lower the weights towards the floor. Keep your knees slightly bent and your hips back as you lower the weight. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
  • Glute bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top. Lower your hips and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. This exercise strengthens the glutes and hamstrings.

 

 

Prevention

  • Warm-up properly: Warming up properly before any physical activity is essential to prevent hamstring tears. It increases blood flow to the muscles, making them more pliable and less prone to injury.
  • Stretch regularly: Regular stretching, especially before and after exercise, can help prevent hamstring tears. Incorporate stretching exercises such as hamstring stretches, quadriceps stretches, and hip flexor stretches into your routine.
  • Build strength gradually: Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your exercise routine can help prevent overloading the hamstrings. Focus on building strength in the hamstrings and surrounding muscles to improve overall stability and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Use proper technique: Using proper technique when performing exercises that involve the hamstrings, such as running and weightlifting, can help prevent hamstring tears. Avoid over-striding, sudden changes of direction, and landing heavily on your heels.
  • Wear appropriate footwear: Wearing appropriate footwear that provides adequate support can help prevent hamstring tears. Choose shoes that fit well and have good shock absorption.

Calf Tear

Calf tears are a relatively common injury that occurs in people of all ages and activity levels. It is estimated that up to 18% of all sports injuries involve the calf muscles, making it one of the most injured areas in the lower leg.

Calf tears are more common in people who engage in sports or activities that involve repetitive or explosive movements of the lower legs, such as running, jumping, or dancing. These activities can put a significant amount of stress on the calf muscles, making them more susceptible to injury.

Calf tears are classified into three grades based on the severity of the injury. Grade 1 tears involve minor damage to the muscle fibers, while grade 2 tears involve a partial tear of the muscle. Grade 3 tears are the most severe and involve a complete tear of the muscle.

While calf tears can be painful and limit mobility, they generally heal well with proper treatment and rehabilitation. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect a calf tear or if you experience persistent pain or swelling in the calf muscle. With proper care, most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks to a few months.

Anatomy

The calf muscle is made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius is the larger of the two muscles and is responsible for flexing the ankle and knee. The soleus is located underneath the gastrocnemius and is responsible for plantar flexion of the ankle.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of a calf tear can vary depending on the severity of the injury. The following are some common symptoms of calf tears grade 1 and 2:

  • Mild to moderate pain in the calf muscle
  • Swelling and tenderness in the affected area
  • Difficulty in walking or standing on the affected leg
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the ankle and foot
  • A popping or snapping sensation at the time of injury

Causes

Calf tears can be caused by a sudden or forceful movement, such as pushing off or jumping, which puts excessive strain on the calf muscle. The following are some common causes of calf tears:

  • Overuse or repetitive strain on the calf muscle
  • Sudden movements or changes in direction
  • Inadequate warm-up before exercise or sports activities
  • Poor flexibility or strength in the calf muscles
  • Foot and ankle problems, such as flat feet or ankle instability

Diagnosis

A calf tear can be diagnosed through a physical examination by a healthcare professional. Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI, may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the extent of the injury.

Treatment

The treatment for a calf tear grade 1 or 2 generally includes the following:

  • Rest: The affected leg should be rested to allow the muscle to heal.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compression: Compression with a bandage or brace can help reduce swelling and provide support to the affected area.
  • Elevation: Elevating the affected leg can help reduce swelling and promote healing.
  • Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medications may be used to help manage pain.

Exercises

After the initial healing period, the following exercises may be prescribed to help improve range of motion and strength in the calf muscle:

  • Calf stretches: Stretching the calf muscle can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of future injury. Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Step back with your affected leg, keeping your heel on the ground. Lean forward into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.
  • Calf raises: This exercise helps strengthen the calf muscle. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and rise up on your toes, lifting your heels off the ground. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your heels back down. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
  • Single leg balance: This exercise helps improve balance and stability in the affected leg. Stand on your affected leg and lift your other leg off the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

 

Prevention

To prevent calf tears, it is important to take the following measures:

  • Warm-up: Always warm up before engaging in exercise or sports activities. A proper warm-up can help prepare your muscles for activity and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Stretching: Regular stretching of the calf muscles can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of tears. Incorporate calf stretches into your warm-up routine and stretch after exercise.
  • Proper footwear: Choose appropriate footwear that provides adequate support and cushioning for your feet and ankles. Replace worn-out shoes regularly.
  • Gradual progression: If you are new to a sport or activity, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This can help prevent overuse injuries.
  • Strengthening exercises: Regularly performing exercises that strengthen the calf muscles can help prevent tears. Examples include calf raises and resistance band exercises.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of calf tears and other lower leg injuries. If you do experience pain or discomfort in your calf muscles, it is important to seek medical attention before continuing with exercise or sports activities.

Adductor Strain

Adductor strain or injury to the adductor muscle group is a common cause of medial leg (inside leg) and groin pain, especially among athletes. A groin strain is an acute injury to the muscles on the inside of the thigh, known as the adductor muscles. These muscles help to stabilize the trunk and move the legs inward. A strain typically occurs because of an athletic injury or awkward movement of the hip joint, which leads to stretching or tearing of the inner thigh muscles.
A strain injury is graded I-III based upon its severity. Mild strains involve overstretching of the muscle, whereas more severe strains can involve complete muscle tears. Most injuries to the adductor muscles are Grades I or II.

GRADE 1 GROIN STRAIN

Grade I is a mild strain (tear) with some pain, bruising, and tenderness, but no significant fiber disruption.

GRADE 2 GROIN STRAIN

A Grade II injury involves injury to the muscle-tendon fibers, this is usually a more serious tear which will severely limit movement. However, the overall integrity of the muscle-tendon unit is preserved.

GRADE 3 GROIN STRAIN

A Grade III injury (or complete rupture) is one that results in a loss of overall muscle/tendon integrity. This serious injury will result in severe pain, swelling, joint instability, and pain associated with movement. It may in some cases mean the muscle detatching from it’s attachment point.

Anatomy

The adductor complex includes the three adductor muscles (longus, magnus, and brevis) of which the adductor longus is the most injured. All three muscles primarily provide adduction of the thigh. Adductor longus provides some medial rotation. The adductor magnus also has an attachment on the ischial tuberosity, giving it the ability to extend the hip. In open chain activation, the primary function is hip adduction. In closed chain activation, they help stabilize the pelvis and lower extremity during the stance phase of gait. They also have secondary roles including hip flexion and rotation.

Symptoms

Depending on the underlying cause, pain can be mild or severe, come on gradually or suddenly, and vary in quality (dull, sharp, throbbing, or even burning). Common symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the groin and the inside of the thigh
  • Sudden onset of pain sometimes accompanied by the sensation of a pop in the inner thigh
  • Failure to continue activity after initial onset of pain
  • Pain when you bring your legs together or when you raise your knee
  • Bruising may develop, and limping may also be a symptom

Causes

Most injuries can be managed conservatively by their primary care provider with rest, ice, physical therapy, and a graded return to play.

  • previous hip or groin injury
  • age
  • weak adductors
  • muscle fatigue
  • decreased range of motion
  • inadequate stretching of the adductor muscle complex

Diagnosis

Radiographic evaluation is the initial modality of choice for suspected adductor strain. Anteroposterior views of the pelvis and frog-leg view of the affected hip are recommended as initial imaging studies. In most patients, these images will be normal in appearance; however, occasionally one may observe an avulsion injury. These images can also help evaluate for other causes of groin pain such as osteitis pubis, apophyseal avulsion fractures, and pelvic or hip stress fractures.

If further imaging is needed, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recommended. This is likely to show muscle oedema and haemorrhage at the site of injury. If there is a bony injury, this will be better elucidated on the MRI.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound can further visualize the tendon and bony attachment sites, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Ultrasound can be used to identify the area and extent of the injury and used to evaluate periodically during the recovery phase.

Treatment

Fortunately, there are several effective treatment options for adductor strains, including rehabilitation and massage. In this article, we will discuss the various treatment options for adductor strains, with a particular focus on the benefits of rehabilitation and massage therapy.

Rest and Ice / Heat Therapy

The first step in treating an adductor strain is to rest the affected muscle. This means avoiding any activities that put stress on the muscle, such as running, jumping, or kicking. In addition, applying ice and heat to the affected area through contrast bathing can help reduce swelling and pain and then through the heat stimulate repair. To contrast bathe we recommend 5 minutes ice, 10 minutes heat, 3 times round 3 times a day. This will equate to 45 minutes at a time.

Compression and Elevation

Compression and elevation are also important in the early stages of adductor strain treatment. Compression can help reduce swelling and provide support to the injured muscle, while elevation can help improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. A compression bandage should be applied snugly but not too tightly, and the affected leg should be elevated above the level of the heart as much as possible.

Physical Therapy / Physiotherapy

Once the initial swelling and pain have subsided, physical therapy can help restore strength and flexibility to the injured muscle. Physical therapy may include exercises to improve range of motion, strengthen the muscles, and improve balance and coordination. Your physical therapist may also use stretching, to help relieve muscle tension and improve circulation to the affected area.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a type of manual therapy that involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Massage can help reduce muscle tension and improve circulation, which can help promote healing and reduce pain and stiffness. Massage therapists may use a variety of techniques, including sports massage, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy, depending on the specific needs of the patient.

Massage therapy can be especially beneficial for adductor strains because it can help relieve muscle tension and improve circulation to the affected area. Massage can also help reduce pain and stiffness, which can make it easier to perform physical therapy exercises and other activities of daily living.

In conclusion, adductor strains can be a painful and debilitating injury, but there are many effective treatment options available. If you are experiencing symptoms of an adductor strain, it is important to seek advice for a specialist, livewell and our team of highly qualified soft tissue specialists can help. If you want to find out more information or to book an appointment, please contact us.

Exercises

An adductor strain can be a painful and frustrating injury, but with the right exercises and a progressive plan, you can get back to your normal activities in no time. It’s important to start with gentle exercises and progress gradually to more challenging ones as your injury heals. Here are some exercises you can do on a weekly basis to help recover from an adductor strain:

Week 1: Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises involve contracting the muscle without moving it. They are gentle exercises that can help improve blood flow to the injured area and prevent further damage. To perform isometric exercises for your adductor muscles, lie on your back with your legs straight and your feet pointing up. Place a small pillow or rolled-up towel between your knees and squeeze your knees together as hard as you can for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat for 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Week 2: Passive Stretching

After the initial pain and swelling have subsided, passive stretching can help improve range of motion and flexibility in the injured muscle. To perform a passive stretch for your adductor muscles, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Spread your legs apart as far as you can, then gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat for 3-4 repetitions, twice per day.

Week 3: Active Stretching

Active stretching involves using your muscles to move your joints through a full range of motion. It can help improve strength and flexibility in the injured muscle. To perform an active stretch for your adductor muscles, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Spread your legs apart as far as you can, then gently push your knees down toward the floor using your inner thigh muscles. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat for 10 repetitions, twice per day.

Week 4: Resistance Training

Resistance training involves using weights or resistance bands to challenge your muscles and improve strength. To perform resistance training for your adductor muscles, lie on your side with your injured leg on top. Place a resistance band around your ankles and squeeze your legs together against the resistance of the band. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat for 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Week 5: Functional Training

Functional training involves performing exercises that mimic the movements you make in your daily activities. It can help improve balance, coordination, and overall function. To perform functional training for your adductor muscles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly shift your weight onto your injured leg. Raise your other leg to the side as high as you can without pain, then lower it back down. Repeat for 10 repetitions, three times per day.

In conclusion, a progressive exercise plan is essential for recovering from an adductor strain. Starting with gentle isometric exercises and gradually progressing to more challenging resistance and functional exercises can help improve strength, flexibility, and overall function in the injured muscle. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your specific injury.

Prevention

  • Work on core stability. Having good core and pelvic stability provides a solid base for sport-specific movements and reducing the chance of adductor strains.
  • Dynamic warm-up! This is easily overlooked, but important. Prior to training and competing, ensure you perform a complete warm-up, including slow to fast movements, dynamic stretches (movement stretches) and sports-specific drills.
  • Strengthen the lateral hip muscles, mainly the gluteal muscles. This will help with pelvic stability
  • Stretch the inner thigh and outer thigh muscles on a daily basis.
  • Regularly get manual therapy and massages from certified physiotherapists, athletic therapists or massage therapists. This will help to get the muscles flexible and break down any trigger points or scar tissue that can lead to injury.
  • Practice sport-specific drills, change of direction and cutting manoeuvres which commonly cause groin strains. This will help the muscles to adapt and become stronger at performing this kind of movement.
  • Strengthen the inner thigh muscles using weight machines and resistance bands. It is especially important to strengthen the muscles in the movement which caused the injury, to prevent a reoccurrence.
  • Improve your proprioception. This is our sense of where each body part is in space and is similar to balance. Proprioception affects the way we move, especially when our balance is compromised and is therefore important in avoiding all injuries.
  • Get plenty of rest and avoid over-training! If you train too much or for too long fatigue sets in, which increases the risk of injury.

If you feel like you have an adductor strain then please contact a member of our team or make a booking online.

AC Joint Inury

The AC (acromioclavicular) joint is where the shoulder blade (scapula) meets the collarbone (clavicle). The highest point of the shoulder blade is called the acromion. Strong tissues called ligaments connect the acromion to the collarbone, forming the AC joint.

Most AC Joint injuries are treated conservatively using various combinations of strengthening exercises, following the immobilisation phase, once pain permits. Surgery is usually reserved for cases where there is a complete dislocation of the AC Joint (Grade 3), or in cases where a less severe injury fails to respond adequately to conservative treatment.

Anatomy

The Acromioclavicular Joint, or AC Joint, is one of four joints that comprises the Shoulder complex. The AC Joint is formed by the junction of the lateral clavicle and the acromion process of the scapula and is a gliding, or plane style synovial joint. The AC Joint attaches the scapula to the clavicle and serves as the main articulation that suspends the upper extremity from the trunk.

The primary function of the AC Joint is:

To allow the scapula additional range of rotation on the thorax.

Allow for adjustments of the scapula (tipping and internal/external rotation) outside the initial plane of the scapula in order to follow the changing shape of the thorax as arm movement occurs.

The joint allows transmission of forces from the upper extremity to the clavicle.

Symptoms

  • Pain at the end of the collar bone.
  • Pain may feel widespread throughout the shoulder until the initial pain resolves; following this, it is more likely to be a very specific site of pain over the joint itself.
  • Swelling often occurs.
  • Depending on the extent of the injury, a step-deformity may be visible. This is an obvious lump where the joint has been disrupted and is visible on more severe injuries.
  • Pain on moving the shoulder, especially when trying to raise the arms above shoulder height.

Causes

An AC Joint injury often occurs as a result of a direct blow to the tip of the shoulder from, for example, an awkward fall, or impact with another person. This forces the Acromion Process downward, beneath the clavicle. Alternately, an AC Joint injury may result from an upward force to the long axis of the humerus (upper arm bone) such as a fall which directly impacts on the wrist of a straightened arm. Most typically, the shoulder is in an adducted (close to the body) and flexed (bent) position.

Diagnosis

Firstly, for the diagnosis of scapula winging your doctor will look at the shoulder blades for any clear obvious signs of winging. Some patient’s scapula bone may be more visible than others and have distinct scapula winging. The doctor may also ask you to perform arm/ shoulder movements to examine the range of movement and stability at the joint.

One of the main tests that are used to aid in the diagnosis of scapula winging is the serratus anterior test. This is where the patient is asked to face a wall, standing about two feet from the wall and then push against the wall with flat palms at waist level. This test is carried out to identify if any damage is done to the thoracic nerve causing the scapula to wing.

Treatment

The traditional literature supports non-operative treatment for grade I and II injuries. Patients with grade IV, V and VI injuries benefit from operative treatment, whereas the treatment of grade III injuries remains a controversial issue. 22 Numerous surgical procedures have been described, though there is currently no gold standard for the treatment of AC injuries. The main principle of surgical therapy is accurate reduction of the AC joint in both coronal and sagittal planes. This is achieved either by primary repair or by reconstruction of injured ligaments and maintaining stability to protect this repair or reconstruction. The traditional Weaver-Dunn CA ligament transfer procedure has largely fallen into disfavour today. If the AC joint injury presents within six weeks, it is considered acute. The main goal of treatment is acromioclavicular joint stabilisation. Following techniques are used for stabilisation and reduction of AC joint pain. Whilst you are going through a rehabilitation, strength plan massage can also help with specific soft tissue techniques to eleviate pain and discomfort and inflamation such as lymphatic drainage massage.

Exercises

Initially, complete rest, immobilization and regular application of ice or cold therapy are important to reduce pain and inflammation. Mobility exercises can begin only once shoulder movement is pain-free. This will normally be 7-14 days for grades 1 and 2 sprains. Grade 3 injuries are more frequently treated conservatively, without surgery, but will require an even longer rest/healing period. If the shoulder has been immobilized for a period of time, then it may have lost mobility or range of motion.

  • Pendulum exercises can begin as soon as the ligament has healed, and pain allows. Gently swing the arm forwards, backward, and sideways whilst lying on your front or bent over as seen opposite.
  • Gradually increase the range of motion. Repeat this with your arm swinging from side to side as well. Aim to reach 90 degrees of motion in any direction.
  • Front shoulder stretch
  • External rotation stretch
  • Isometric exercises – Strengthening should initially be isometric. This means contracting the muscles without movement.

Resistance band exercises for AC joint sprain:

  • Internal Rotation
  • External Rotation
  • Abduction/lateral raise

Prevention

  • Wearing protective strapping to support a previously injured AC Joint, particularly in contact sports or sports where full elevation of the arm is not so important. Protective padding is also used in sports such as rugby.
  • Warming up, stretching and cooling down.
  • Participating in fitness programs to develop strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
  • Undertaking training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play.
  • Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of training.
  • Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions.

If you feel like you may have an AC Joint injury and would like to know more, please contact our specialist team made up of Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists who deal with these kind of injuries all the time. Alternatively you can make a booking online directly.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are caused by muscle tension. Symptoms are often characterised as a dull ache or the feeling of pressure on both sides of the head and are sometimes associated with upper neck pain.

Anatomy

The suboccipital muscles, sternocleidomastoid muscles and trapezius muscles run from the base of the skull, the upper neck and the shoulders. When these muscles become tight and contracted, they may compress the nerves or blood vessels in the head and neck, increasing the pressure. This can result in a dull aching pain in the head and upper neck. This increased pressure may also cause referred pain in which there may be pain around the forehead, temples and eyes.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Tension Headaches can in extreme cases be debilitating. Some of the symptoms can include:

  • Pain on both sides of the head
  • Dull aching head pain
  • Feeling of built up pressure in the head
  • Tightness across forehead
  • Neck ache/pain
  • Tenderness of the scalp, neck and shoulders

Causes

The specific causes of tension headaches are still unclear. Tension headaches are caused by tight, contracted neck muscles and are commonly linked to stress, poor posture, head injury and anxiety. Tension headaches are often linked to running in families and are more common in females.

Diagnosis

Tension headaches are diagnosed by reported symptoms. A full medical exam including other tests may be ran by the GP to rule out any other conditions. Tension headaches can be diagnosed by a discussion with a healthcare professional regarding experienced symptoms.

Treatment

Over the counter painkillers may help relieve pain caused by a tension headache. Heatpacks and gentle stretching may also help relieve symptoms. In some cases stronger medication may be prescribed by the GP for chronic tension headaches.

Sports therapy, physiotherapy and massages can be an excellent treatment for tension headaches. The treatment of the underlying muscle tightness can relieve pressure and consequently reduce symptoms. Treatment sessions may include massage, stretching and mobilisation as well as postural strengthening and advice and education to help reduce symptoms and pain experienced.

Exercises

1) Chin Tucks : 3 – 5 second hold (20-30 reps)

2) Cervical Rotation Stretch : 20 second hold (x3 each side)

3) Upper Trapezius Stretch : 20 second hold (x3 each side)

4) Scapula Pinches : 3 sets of 10-20 reps

Prevention

Due to the nature of our lives and the fact tension headaches can come on through a variety of issues. Some of which are part of our day to day life, such as looking down to your phone, working at a computer/desk, performing certain exercises at gym or just generally feeling stressed from work/life etc.

The good news is with the stretches above, if done regularly, it can prevent the onset of tension headaches. Regular deep tissue massages can also help and trying to take time to de-stress and in some cases meditation/yoga type exercises will also help.

It is important, to slow down and take time for yourself.

If you feel like you are struggling with tension headaches and would like some more advice then please contact us directly, alternatively if you feel a professional massage will help then please make a booking today.

ACL Rupture

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most injured area of the lower body. The ACL is a strong band of tissue that connects your femur to your tibia. These injuries are mainly common in people who partake in sporting activities such as running, football basketball and netball. This is due to the sports involving a lot of pressure onto the knee, with quick agility movements and changing direction suddenly.

Normally people will know instantly when they have injured the ACL as you will hear a loud popping sound, the knee will suddenly feel weak and painful, unable to put any weight onto the joint. It is important that you seek medical care as soon as possible when this occurs and go and see a doctor for a medical examination.

Anatomy

The ACL ligament is a band of connective tissue which passes from the femur to the tibia bones. The origin of the ACL is the posteromedial corner of the medial aspect of the lateral femoral condyle and inserts into the intercondylar notch of the tibia. The ACL is an important ligament as it provides stability to the knee by preventing the tibia from sliding Infront of the femur.

The main two components of the ACL are the anteromedial and posterolateral bundles, thee insert into the tibial plateau. When the knee is in extension the posterolateral bundle is very tight and the anterolateral bundle is laxed, when the knee is then flexed the ACL changes its positioning causing the AMB to allowing the ligaments to hold more anterior tibial load. When this area is injured, it can be hard for the joint to hold its normal function.

Injury to ligaments is usually graded on a severity scale:

Grade 1: The ligament is mildly damaged and has been slightly stretched but will still be able to keep the knee stable.

Grade 2: The ligament will be stretched to a point where it becomes loose, commonly known as a partial tear.

Grade 3: This is usually known as a full rupture/ tear of the ligament where it has been split, leaving the joint unstable. A grade 3 tear is so common with the anterior cruciate ligament.

Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of ACL injuries are:

  • Loud popping of the knee
  • Pain when walking/ inability to walk
  • Instability
  • Difficulty putting weight on the knee joint
  • Excessive swelling
  • Constant pain

Causes

There are a number of things that can cause these injuries, usually, but not always, around sports. Such as:

  • Sudden change in direction.
  • Planting the foot into the ground whist twisting the leg.
  • Landing awkwardly from a jump.
  • Someone else may cause the injury.
  • Sudden jolt/ stop causing too much pressure onto the knee ligament.

Diagnosis

For the diagnosis of ACL injury your doctor will check your knee for swelling and tenderness, comparing your injured knee to your uninjured knee. The doctor may also move your knee into a variety of positions to assess range of motion and overall function of the joint testing for stability and strength.

Some scans such as an MRI may be used, however a Rupture is easily diagnosed through sight and various movement tests as described above.

Treatment

Once the ACL has encountered a complete rupture, the main treatment to fix this would be surgery. The main focus will be on rebuilding the ACL, this will consist of a complete restructure of the ligament. The doctor will replace the ligament with tissue graft of a tendon, by doing this it allows the graft to act as added support for a new ligament to grow onto.

Other options such as physiotherapy would be recommended to help strengthen and help support the knee joint to get back to its normal function. Exercises and rehabilitation programmes should only be completed once swelling has reduced. Wearing a brace may also be helpful to reduce instability of the knee joint, as well as crutches to take pressure of the knee when walking.

Exercises

Once the rupture has been treated through surgery there is a long road of rehabilitation ahead. Please seek a professional consultation with a registered sports therapist or physiotherapist to get a detailed plan. In the interim, the below exercises can help stregnthen and get you back on the road.

  • Heel slides
  • Isometric Quad contractions
  • Prone knee flexion
  • Heel raises
  • Half squats
  • One leg stands and hold
  • Isometric knee flexion and extension
  • Resist knee bike upright

An ACL rupture can be life changing and as such the rehabilitation back to full fitness can be a long, hard road. If you need help with an ACL issue then please contact a member of our team and make a booking with one of our physiotherapists or sports therapists.

Supporting the Wolverhampton Half Marathon


Supporting the Wolverhampton Half Marathon Runners

LiveWell Health was proud to be a part of the Wolverhampton Half Marathon, offering our support and expertise to the dedicated runners. Our Lead Therapist, Steve, and Senior Therapist, Mike, attended the event, providing pre and post race massages to the participants. It was a fantastic day, filled with excitement, determination, and community spirit.

Enhancing Performance and Recovery

Steve and Mike played a crucial role in helping runners prepare for the race and recover afterward. Pre-race massages and taping focused on warming up muscles, increasing circulation, and reducing the risk of injury, ensuring that the athletes were in optimal condition for their run. Post-race massages helped alleviate muscle soreness, reduce fatigue, and speed up recovery, allowing runners to feel better and recover faster after their impressive efforts.

A Day to Remember

The atmosphere at the Wolverhampton Half Marathon was electric, with runners of all ages and abilities coming together to challenge themselves and support one another. Steve and Mike were thrilled to contribute to such a positive and inspiring event. They were able to interact with many participants, providing not only physical relief but also encouragement and support.

Gratitude and Recognition

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to everyone who competed in the Wolverhampton Half Marathon. Your hard work, perseverance, and determination were truly inspiring. We also want to express our gratitude for having us at the event. It was an honour to support such amazing athletes and be a part of their journey.

Our Commitment to post event recovery

At LiveWell Health, we are dedicated to promoting health and improving recovery through our range of services. Our participation in events like the Wolverhampton Half Marathon reflects our commitment to supporting athletes and the broader community. Whether it’s through pre- and post-race massages or through our comprehensive recovery hub, we strive to help individuals perform at their best and lead healthier lives.

We look forward to continuing our support at future events and contributing to the success and well-being of athletes everywhere. Thank you, Wolverhampton Half Marathon, for having us, and congratulations again to all the runners!

If you need some sports therapists providing pre and post event massage services then please get in contact today or make a booking online.

Hip Labrum Impingement

Hip labrum impingement may occur when the ball and socket joint is unable to move smoothly within the joint. It is more frequently known as Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI). The ball and socket joint are lined with a layer of cartilage that assists in cushioning the femur bone into the socket, which allows free movement no grinding or rubbing within the joint, resulting in no pain. It is also lined with a ridge of cartilage called the labrum, this will keep the femoral head in its place inside the hip socket enabling extra stability.

Anatomy

The hip is a synovial joint more so known as a ball and socket joint. The ball of the joint is the femoral head (the upper part of the femur) more commonly known as the thigh bone. Within the socket is the acetabulum which is surrounded by the pelvis, this makes up the joint.

The surface of the ball and socket is protected by articular cartilage. This enables the bones in and around the joint to glide easily when performing everyday movements such as walking. The cartilage also helps prevent any friction around the surface of the joint avoiding any sort of impingement. Another feature around the joint is the hip labrum. This fibrocartilage labrum is found within the acetabulum, this enables stability to the joint as the hip has a large range of motion in movements such as flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and rotation.

Causes

Common causes of hip impingement are triggered by the femoral head being covered too much by the hip socket. Repetitive grinding at this joint leads to cartilage and labral damage, causing the feeling of impingement.

Other factors that may affect an individual to suffer with labrum impingement could be that individual may have been born with a structurally abnormal ball and socket joint. Also, movements that involve repetition of the leg moving into excessive range of motion may aid in the injury of hip labrum impingement.

Symptoms

Some common Hip Labrum impingement symptoms are as follows:

  • Stiffness in the hip or groin region
  • Reduced flexibility
  • Pain when performing exercise such as running, jumping movements and walking
  • Groin area pain, especially after the hip is placed into flexion
  • Pain in surrounding areas such as lower back and the groin
  • Pain in the hip even when resting

Causes

When you go to visit your doctor/ health care professional about hip complications they may talk about two main types of hip impingement:

  • Cam impingement
  • Pincer impingement

Cam impingement “occurs because the ball-shaped end of the femur (femoral head) is not perfectly rounded. This interferes with the femoral head’s ability to move smoothly within the hip socket”. 

Pincer impingement “involves excessive coverage of the femoral head by the acetabulum. With hip flexion motion, the neck of the femur bone “bumps” or impinges on the rim of the deep socket. This results in cartilage and labral damage”.

Unfortunately, both these two types can happen at the same time, more so known as combined impingement. Which may cause an individual to experience a lot of pain and discomfort.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of hip impingement will be given by a doctor based on how you describe your symptoms and after performing a physical examination of the hip.

A passive motion special test that is commonly used for hip impingement is called the FADIR (flexion, adduction and internal rotation). This is where the patient will lie in supine position (on their back) with the legs relaxed, then the doctor will carry out the test:

  1. The affected leg will be raised so that the knee and hip are at a 90-degree angle
  2. The doctor will support the knee and ankle and gently push the entire leg across the midline portion of the patient’s body moving into adduction 
  3. Then whilst keeping the knee in position, the doctor would move the foot and lower calf away from the body into abduction 

People who are suffering with hip impingement would feel pain during stage 3 of the test, however it may be hard to differentiate between each injury as someone not suffering with impingement may still feel pain, so it is always important to test the unfaceted side for a comparison.

Some imagining tests may also be performed such as: 

  • X-Ray – The X-Ray screening may show an irregular shape of the femur bone at the top of the thigh or too much bone around the rim of the hip socket, thus causing the impingement
  • MRI Scans – This may pick up wear and tear of the cartilage which runs along the hip labrum 
  • CT scans may also be performed

Treatment

Non-Surgical Management

Activity Modification

Advise the patient to avoid activities that exacerbate symptoms, such as deep squats, prolonged sitting, or high-impact sports.

Physical Therapy:

  • Stretching Exercises: Focus on stretching the hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps to improve flexibility.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Emphasise strengthening the gluteal muscles, core, and hip stabilisers to support joint function and reduce stress on the hip.
  • Manual Therapy: Incorporate techniques such as joint mobilizations and soft tissue massage to reduce pain and improve range of motion. A deep tissue massage or sports massage may be a good option.

Medications:

  • NSAIDs: Prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Pain Relievers: Recommend acetaminophen for additional pain management if needed.

Injections:

  • Corticosteroid Injections: Administer corticosteroid injections into the hip joint to reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief.

Surgical Interventions

  • Indications for Surgery:Consider surgery if the patient experiences persistent pain and functional limitations despite exhaustive non-surgical treatments.
  • Arthroscopic Surgery:
    • Debridement: Remove bone spurs, damaged cartilage, or any other impinging structures to alleviate pain and improve hip function.
    • Labral Repair: Repair any torn labrum to restore joint stability and function.
  • Post-Surgical Rehabilitation:
    • Early Mobilisation: Initiate gentle range-of-motion exercises soon after surgery to prevent stiffness.
    • Progressive Strengthening: Gradually introduce strengthening exercises as healing progresses, focusing on restoring hip strength and stability.
    • Functional Training: Incorporate functional and sport-specific training to facilitate a return to normal activities and athletic pursuits.

Exercises

    • Hip flexor stretches 
    • Piriformis stretches 
    • Isometric hip raises in abduction 
    • Glute bridge
    • Single leg bridge
    • Straight leg raises (can also use resistance band)

Prevention

      • When exercising avoid placing full body weight onto your hip when the legs are positioned in excessive range of motion
      • Do daily stretches morning and night
      • Always rest when needed
      • Perform rehabilitation exercises given by a physiotherapist

If you feel you may have this condition / injury and would like it assessed by a professional our team of sports therapists and physiotherapists can help. Alternatively you can speak to your doctor. Either way please contact us for further information alternatively please make a booking directly online.

Winging Scapula

Scapula winging is a condition that affects the shoulder blades, the shoulder blade bones should usually lay flat against the back of the body. Scapula winging occurs when a person suffers with shoulder problems, causing the shoulder blades to stick out abnormally. The condition of scapula winging is quite rare but some individuals may suffer really bad from the condition and need effective treatment.

The main muscle involved in the cause of scapula winging is the serratus anterior. This muscle originates from the ribs 1-8 and attaches to the anterior surface of the scapula, which pulls the muscle against the ribcage. The long thoracic nerve is stimulated by the serratus anterior, when or if this nerve becomes injured the scapula will be affected as it jolts back adding more force onto the arm. Injuries to the shoulder may affect this nerve causing inflammation and added pressure onto the nerve, consequently triggering the onset of scapula winging.

Anatomy

The scapula more commonly known as the shoulder blade articulates with the humerus at the glenohumeral joint. The scapula has three surfaces: the costal, lateral and posterior.

Costal Surface

The anterior surface of the scapula faces the ribcage. This is where the subscapularis originates (one of the rotator cuff muscles). The coracoid process also originates here which lies underneath the clavicle allowing the pectoralis minor, coracobrachialis and bicep brachii to attach at this region.

Lateral Surface

The lateral surface faces the humerus bone. This is where the glenohumeral joint is situated, the main bones around this area are the glenoid fossa, supraglenoid tubercle and infraglenoid tubercle.

Posterior Surface

The posterior surface of the scapula is the site of the majority of the rotator cuff muscles. These include the Infraspinous fossa and the Supraspinous fossa.

All 3 surfaces of the scapula are important to know to locate the site of pain/ discomfort and understand what is causing the winging.

Symptoms

Scapula winging symptoms may differ as it depends where the location of the muscle or nerve damage is situated. Scapula winging is commonly presented by the shoulder blade sticking out from the back uncharacteristically. This may affect a person from even doing everyday things such as sitting down on a chair that has a hard back or even carrying bags that have straps.

Common symptoms of scapula winging are shown as:

  • Shoulder blades sticking out
  • Pain into the neck, shoulders and arms
  • Weakened muscles surrounding the shoulder blade
  • Tiredness and exhaustion when performing simple tasks
  • Pain and discomfort around the area
  • Inability to lift arms over the head
  • Sagging of the scapula

Causes

Scapula winging Is triggered by an individual sustaining a severe injury to any muscles that control the scapula. The serratus anterior is one of the main muscles that enables a person to lift the arm above shoulder level, therefore when this is injured it can cause many problems within the shoulder region.

The main causes of scapula winging are:

    • Nerve damage to the long thoracic nerve
    • Serratus anterior weakness
    • Weakness in the rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis)
    • Compression on the dorsal scapula nerve (controls the Rhomboid muscles)
    • Weakness in the trapezius

Diagnosis

Firstly, for the diagnosis of scapula winging your doctor will look at the shoulder blades for any clear obvious signs of winging. Some patient’s scapula bone may be more visible than others and have distinct scapula winging. The doctor may also ask you to perform arm/ shoulder movements to examine the range of movement and stability at the joint.

One of the main tests that are used to aid in the diagnosis of scapula winging is the serratus anterior test. This is where the patient is asked to face a wall, standing about two feet from the wall and then push against the wall with flat palms at waist level. This test is carried out to identify if any damage is done to the thoracic nerve causing the scapula to wing.

Treatment

Treatment for winging scapula is dependent on which muscles or nerve is causing the issue. There are two types of treatment surgical and non-surgical.

Non-surgical treatment (Scapula Winging)

Surgical treatment (Scapula Winging)

One surgical treatment for scapula winging is nerve and muscle transfers. This is a process which involves moving a part of the nerve and muscle to a different portion of the body, this mainly focuses on the neck, shoulder, back and chest areas.

Static stabilization is another form of treatment used to prevent scapula winging, however there is a risk with this treatment that it may return. This procedure uses a sling to attach the scapula to the ribs to add extra stability to the shoulder blade.

Exercises

When performing these exercises aim to do 3 rounds of 15 sets for each exercise. Make sure they are slow and controlled so that it is solely focusing on strengthening the weakened muscles:

  • Scapula retraction
  • External Rotation
  • Horizontal Row
  • Standard press ups
  • Press up on knees (easier version)
  • Angel wings exercise

Prevention

Prevention for scapula winging may not always be possible, however there are procedures you can complete to reduce the risk:

  • Perform exercises to help with posture
  • Try and maintain correct posture positioning
  • Don’t carry anything to heavy on the shoulders and back
  • Do not lift heavy weights at the gym that could cause more damage to the shoulder
  • Strengthen the muscles in the neck and shoulders
  • Perform rehabilitation exercises given by a physiotherapist or doctor
  • Avoid constant repetitive shoulder/ arm movements
  • Rest when needed

If you want to discuss this concern with our specialists then please contact us or make a booking.