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Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are a relatively common overuse injury in runners and sportspeople. They can occur in a number of areas, including: Foot Shin Ankle Knee Thigh Elbow What Are They? Stress fractures are microfractures that occur in bone as a result of repetitive load, rather than a one-off more substantial load that would cause other fractures. These loads can be either impact forces (for example the load through the bones of the leg that occur when running) or a pulling force exerted by a muscle/tendon or ligament. When an area of bone is placed under repetitive stress it responds with increased activity in cells that strip away bone and in cells that regenerate bone. This leads to a weaken

Preventing Falls

Falls are a serious problem in the elderly population. They can lead to fractures and other injuries, as well as contributing to a loss of independence, reduced participation in activities and reduced self-efficacy. Falls are a leading cause of hospitalisations in the elderly, and where they cause serious injury such as hip fractures they can contribute to a speeding up of one's overall health deterioration. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking of a loss of balance and falls as a normal part of ageing. But the truth is, while falls become more of an issue as you get older, balance is a skill which can be improved with targeted exercises. What is Balance? Balance refers to your ability

Headaches - Sometimes They're a Pain in the Neck

Headaches are a common complaint, particularly among office workers and particularly around tax time. When headaches are felt at the back of the head, or around the sides of the head they are often 'cervicogenic headaches' meaning they are referred pain from the neck. What is a Cervicogenic Headache? Any structure in the top three segments of your neck, such as ligaments, joint capsules, muscles etc, can refer pain to the back and sides of your head. When pain is felt in the head but it originates in these structures it is called a cervicogenic headache. What Does it Feel Like? The headache is often felt on one side, or it may be bilateral. It is generally an 'ache' type pain rather than a s

Why Does A Muscle Tear?

We get asked this question quite a lot. It's a good question, and surprisingly Wikipedia doesn't even have the correct answer! (if you can believe such a thing). What Makes a Muscle Tear? Muscles generally tear, not from being stretched too far, but from being placed under too much eccentric load. What does that mean? It means they are being lengthened while working to control that movement. For example your hamstrings work eccentrically while your leg is swinging during running and kicking, and it is these movements that often cause hamstring tears to occur. What can be quite annoying and confusing is that there doesn't need to be anything special about the time you're doing a particular ac

How Do You Deal With DOMS?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is that annoying muscle ache and tightness you get after doing exercise, particularly a new exercise or when you push yourself harder than normal. So what can you do for it, other than tell yourself it's a "good pain"? What Causes It? The process behind DOMS is not fully understood. It seems to come after muscles are worked eccentrically (working to control movement as they are lengthened). It is thought that this causes microtrauma to the affected muscles and that the pain therefore arises from this microtrauma and from the body's response to try to repair the muscle and make it stronger. It tends to be at its worst 24-72 hours following exercise. Over t