What is Physiotherapy?

A physiotherapist is a health professional that offers physiotherapy. Physiotherapists are medically qualified health professionals who work in partnership with their patients to help them get better and stay well.

Physiotherapists assess, diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of health conditions and movement disorders by using advanced techniques and evidence-based care. The focus is to help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.

They maintain health for people of various age, helping them self-manage and prevent pain. The profession also enables people to remain in work while helping them remain independent. Besides, treating a person with a specific condition. A physiotherapist takes a holistic approach to health and well being, which includes the person’s general lifestyle.

At the centre of management is the person’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment. You can benefit from physiotherapy at any time in your life. Physiotherapy helps with back pain or sudden injury, managing long-term medical condition such as asthma, and in preparing for childbirth or a sporting event.

Who will benefit from Physiotherapy?

Everyone can benefit from physiotherapy at some point in their lives. While it is well-known that physiotherapists treat injuries or do rehabilitation, there have been increasing number of individuals seeking the expertise of physiotherapists to take control of their physical health and stay well. Some of the needs physiotherapists address include:

  • Heart or lungs condition – prevents, rehabilitates and supports people living with, or at risk of diseases and injuries affecting the heart and lungs, such as heart disease or asthma. Physiotherapists help patients prepare for or recover from surgery, and prescribe exercises and other interventions to improve quality of life.
  • Cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema– addresses a range of patient needs, including treating, managing or preventing fatigue, pain, muscle and joint stiffness, and deconditioning.
  • Incontinence and men or women’s health– manages and prevents incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction in men, women and children. Physiotherapists work in areas including pregnancy, birth, post-partum care, breastfeeding, menopause, bed wetting, prolapse, loss of bladder or bowel control, and with men living with or recovering from prostate cancer.
  • Supporting older adults– uses evidence-based care to promote healthy and active ageing among older adults. Working in home and residential aged care settings, physiotherapists help manage or prevent the effects of conditions or risks such as osteoporosis, incontinence and falls.
  • Musculoskeletal– prevents and treats clients with musculoskeletal conditions such as neck and back pain. Techniques include addressing underlying problems, preventing strain and injury, and prescribing exercises and other interventions to promote mobility.
  • Neurology– promotes movement and quality of life in patients who have had severe brain or spinal cord damage from trauma, or who suffer from neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
  • Orthopaedic– helps patients prevent or manage acute or chronic orthopaedic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and amputations. Physiotherapists also help patients prepare for or rehabilitate from orthopaedic surgery, or another orthopaedic hospital admissions.
  • Occupational health– supports the health and well being of workers, reduces safety risks in the workplace, prevents and manages injuries and diseases, and support workers in returning to work.
  • Paediatric (supporting infants and children)– aims to prevent conditions such as plagiocephally (misshapen head) or support a child’s development such as addressing milestone delays with sitting and walking, clumsiness, or hyperactivity.
  • Sports – prevents, diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal and sporting injuries among all types of people, from professional athletes to everyday Malaysians.

Thank you for reading. We will continue our next blog on why is physiotherapy recommended, where can you have physiotherapy and what can you expect in a typical physiotherapy session.

What is Physiotherapy?2018-10-18T13:29:54+08:00

The Power of Turmeric

Turmeric a plant belonging to the ginger family is found mostly in India and Africa. The spice functions not only for the purpose of culinary, it has also been used extensively for health reasons.  Chiropractors finds this spice complementary to their treatments, aiding their clients not only to manage pain but also to boost their overall health. Here are the top 3 reasons why Turmeric is good for you.

1)   Anti-Oxidant
Free radicals are molecules that can be derived by the natural processes in our body or external sources such as X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals. These free radicals are expected to cause progressive adverse changes that accumulates with age throughout the body. This process is called oxidative stress. An excess of oxidative stress can lead to the oxidation of lipids and proteins, which is associated with changes in their structure and functions. Several diseases have been linked to oxidative stress especially cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Curcumin, a compound found in Turmeric is a potent antioxidant. The anti-oxidant has 4 primary function. It helps to prevent the formation of free radicals, scavenges the active radicals, repair the damage structure by removing the oxidatively modified proteins and prevent the accumulation of oxidized proteins.

2) Arthritis
Arthritis affects over 250 million people worldwide, leading to increased healthcare costs, impairment in activities of daily living (ADL), and ultimately decreased quality of life. While there is no cure, most people who are inflicted with arthritis would opt for pharmaceutical treatments. However these are expensive and have undesirable side effects. Some studies have shown the anti-arthritic effects of curcumin in humans with OA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  Results have provided scientific evidence that 8–12 weeks of standardized turmeric extracts (typically 1000 mg/day of curcumin) treatment can reduce arthritis symptoms (mainly pain and inflammation-related symptoms) and result in similar improvements in the symptoms as ibuprofen and diclofenac sodium.

3) Brain Function and Brain diseases
Many brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF hormone), including depression and Alzheimer’s disease.  Curcumin however can increase the BDNF. By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function. It may also improve memory and make one smarter, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels.

Having turmeric daily may be a great idea to stay young and feel young after all. If there are questions regarding this article, please feel free to discuss this with our chiropractors through our website or WhatsApp us at 018- 9828539.

The Power of Turmeric2018-10-17T03:36:04+08:00

Ice or Heat?

A commonly asked question is whether one should ice their muscles or put a heat pack on. Cryotherapy (icing) and Thermotherapy (heating) are cheap and safe self-treatment options that patients can perform for themselves at home. The basics is that ice is for new and acute injuries while heat is for stiff, aching muscles. For more in depth information, keep reading below.

What is Cryotherapy? The purpose of applying ice is to decrease the temperature of the skin/soft tissue. The blood flow decreases by vasoconstriction. It is followed afterwards byb vasodilatation and this prevents against hypoxic damage.

What is Thermotherapy? The purpose of heating is to increase the temperature of our skin and soft tissue as the blood flow is increased by vasodilation. Metabolic rate and tissue extensibility will also increase. This increases the tissue’s oxygen uptake and accelerate healing.

The treatment depends on the type of application and the type of disease.
There are 3 phases of the healing process: the inflammatory phase, the proliferation phase and the remodeling phase.

  • The first phase, known as the inflammatory phase, protects the injured area from further injury while the body contains the damaged tissue. During this phase, cryotherapy can help to reduce swelling. Never use heat during this phase because heat increases the blood flow into the injured area and increases the amount of swelling. The inflammatory phase has a duration of 2 days.
  • During the second phase, the proliferation phase, new tissue and scar tissue are formed. Heat can now be applied to the injured area to facilitate the healing process.
  • The third and final phase, the remodeling phase, is the process of returning to health: the restoration of structure and function of injured or diseased tissues. The healing process includes blood clotting, tissue mending, scarring and bone healing. Heat therapy can also be used during this phase.

Ice is always recommended for injuries as ice can help calm down inflamed tissue. Acute inflammation is characterized by 5 signs: Redness, heat, swelling, pain and a loss of function. As heat is a sign of inflammation, having heat put on would only increase the inflammation instead of calming down the tissues. Icing is also a good way to numb the area and reduce swelling. Ice works great on freshly pulled muscles or soreness after adjustments or massages. Heat on the other hand works well for chronic pain, stiff muscles and stress.

When in doubt, ice is always the safer option. Even with muscle strains or sprains. Just limit yourself to 15-30 mins per session of icing. Research has shown equal potency for the uses or ice and heat. Just remember, never heat a fresh injury!

Ice or Heat?2018-10-08T08:15:18+08:00

Scoliosis 101

What is scoliosis? Do I have a crooked spine?

Scoliosis is a condition where an individual has a sideways curve (C-shaped or S-shaped curve) of the spine. It is often coupled with rotation of the curved spine.

There is not much information on the causes of scoliosis. Research shows that it is often idiopathic (no known cause) but it is found to be heavily related to genetic inheritance. It is more common in female than male (3:1).

Best when diagnosed earlier in life, especially before or during puberty. This is because early detection may allow prevention of severe disability (e.g. compress internal organs, pinch nerves).

Can chiropractic treat or cure scoliosis?

Scoliosis often do not cause pain when the severity is mild. However, it may cause postural abnormalities which may lead to muscular imbalances and joint dysfunction. These conditions may cause individuals with scoliosis to have muscle tightness and soreness which can be relieved with chiropractic treatment (myotherapy).

Chiropractic treatment will not directly help to realign or reverse scoliosis however patients may have symptoms relief with treatment and it will help in the prevention of further degradation of the spine by maintaining movement in the joints.

 

How do I know if I have scoliosis? (Common sign and symptoms)

Abnormal posture

– Tilted pelvic (unlevelled)

– Tilted shoulder (asymmetrical)

Uneven leg length

Upper or lower back pain

Difficulty breathing

To check whether you or your child and family members have scoliosis, do visit us at Healthworks. We have a team of chiropractors who are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating those who have this condition.

 

Reference – Grauers, A., Einarsdottir, E., & Gerdhem, P. (2016). Genetics and pathogenesis of idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders, 11, 45. http://doi.org/10.1186/s13013-016-0105-8

Scoliosis 1012018-10-08T11:49:38+08:00

Popular Supplements’ Consumption Guide

1.43pm, as I’m writing this, I’m sipping on my 4th bottle of whey shake, “5 more to go for the day”. A constant, IV-drip like supply of protein, the best way to prevent muscles from withering away.

Jokes aside, with absurd claims being the driving force behind many products, the world of supplementation is a tough one to navigate.

Fortunately, supplements that actually work have withstood the tests of research and time, and in this article, we’ll narrow it down to the select few that make this esteemed list.

But I need to preface this: Like my previous article on exercise selection, your choice of supplementation is goal dependent. Someone with arthritis is going to have a very different looking supplement cabinet compared to someone looking to put on weight. Figure out your main goal before picking any supplements.

Protein Supplement

Before I go on and plug a protein powder with my discount code, some answers to some FAQs:

  1. How much protein should I consume?
    Not having enough protein is no big deal, the human body can survive with various percentages of macronutrient breakdown. However, in the purpose of getting stronger (i.e., increased muscle mass), aim for 1.5g – 2g of protein/ kg bodyweight. E.g., a 60kg person should consume about 90gs – 120gs of protein per day. Err on the low side if you’re new to a high protein diet.
  2. Can protein make me too muscular?
    I wish.

The main reason this tops the list: Most Malaysian meals lack sufficient protein. With meals built around noodles, rice, and bread, it’s no surprise that carbohydrate dominates the nutrient composition of our typical meals. Consuming even the low end of 1.5g of protein per kg bodyweight can feel like a stretch for many.

And this is why protein supplementation is the whey to go (pun intended).

Whey protein is a cheap and convenient source of protein. A scoop usually provides the protein equivalent of 100g of chicken breast: 25g.

I’ve tried doing it, but eating 600g of lean meat every day to hit my daily goal of 150g protein is not something I see myself doing for life. Having 2 scoops of protein supplement and just being more conscious about consuming more protein in meals is a better entry point for anyone seeking to improve their body composition.

Caffeine
Caffeine’s capacity to increase strength, endurance, and alertness (albeit transient) is the main reason why it’s ubiquitous in many sports stimulants. An hour of increased performance, over 1 year, can be the difference between winning the league vs being relegated.

Beyond the walls of fitness, caffeine’s effect on improved alertness and cognitive functioning is the reason why coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It is, as I like to believe, the reason why the world still functions.

However, there is a biological downside to this. Caffeine is not a free pass to stay “wired” 24/7, and should be a supplement ON TOP OF sufficient sleep. Over consumption can lead to caffeine tolerance: where the effects of caffeine is no longer potent.

Thus, I recommend lowering doses on days where activity level is low to prevent tolerance to caffeine

Step 1: Find your dose. A blanket recommendation is to keep to within 500mg a day, but I find myself wired for hours even with 200 mg. A typical espresso shot usually yields about 80mg of caffeine, a red bull can has about 75mg.

Step 2: Plan your caffeine intake around periods where energy levels dip. I recommend it to be sometime between 10am to 3pm, where the natural dip in energy levels occurs for most people upon waking around 730am, and not too close to general bedtime of 11pm. Personally, I drink my coffee at 10am and at 2pm.

“Supplement”

Definition: “a thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it”.

Supplementation is only useful on top of an already sound and consistent diet and training plan. It can make the fitness journey easier, but it’s no shortcut to actual work. With that, I urge you to prioritize on creating a lifestyle that supports your fitness goals, and only then, layer in the equation of a supplement.

Curious on how to design a training program that works according to your lifestyle, contact us at Healthworks, Mont Kiara to schedule a fitness consultation with our fitness trainers at 03-6211 7533.

Popular Supplements’ Consumption Guide2018-10-04T02:45:12+08:00
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