Should I Stretch?

Are you feeling stiff and sore? Perhaps you pulled a muscle during exercise, and you think you could’ve avoided it if you had done some more preparatory stretches. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re one of two people – either you’re an excellent and frequent stretcher, or you know you don’t stretch enough. If you’re the former, good on you! If you’re the latter, don’t worry, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start!

First things first: what does stretching actually do?

Stretching is a very effective way in the long- and short-term to improve flexibility in the body. Whether you prefer dynamic or static stretching, they’re both effective in helping keep your body limber.

Stretch the big muscle groups

For maximum effect, cover your major muscle groups first – butt, legs, arms, chest, and back. It’s also smart to give extra attention to areas you use a lot, which will be more prone to tightness, injuries, or cramping.

Stretch before and after exercise

If you don’t see yourself committing to bed stretches or stretches while waiting for the water to boil or while you’re watching your favourite show – try to stick to stretching your main muscle groups before and after your exercise (after warming up).

Make it easy and the habit will stick

Most new habits die off because we bite off more than we can chew. Don’t try for a 20 min stretch session every evening – things will get in the way and you will most likely stop. Instead, break your habits into smaller portions and scatter them through your day.

Start small, perhaps by doing some leg and back bed-stretches before getting out of bed in the morning, some arm stretches while waiting for the water to boil, or some gentle neck stretches while watching TV. Making stretches an unconscious and easy part of your day-to-day is the best way to improve your body’s flexibility over time.

What happens if I never stretch?

If you never stretch you leave yourself more vulnerable to muscle soreness, stiffness, pulled muscles, and long term effects on the body from lifestyle.

But the good news is that the science is inconclusive whether stretching is dramatically beneficial for us. If you feel stiff and sore or are prone to pulled muscles, or notice that you spend a lot of the day hunched (over a desk, wheel, or bike) stretching can be what you need.
If stretching makes you feel good or you want to improve your overall flexibility – stretching is the way to go.

However, if you never stretch and just don’t seem to need it, you may be right. We still recommend discussing this with your myotherapist to be safe.

See a Myotherapist

Few things feel better than stretching a muscle that really needs it. If you’d like to stretch more but you’re unsure where to start, talk with your myotherapist to get a stretching plan tailored to your schedule and body’s needs. They’ll help locate areas in need of extra attention, reduce tension, and help you mitigate the potential long term effects of your lifestyle before it’s too late.

For all myotherapy concern, contact Northern Myotherapy at 03 9078 9953 and our friendly myotherapist will gladly assist you.

Four Ways to Boost the Whole Family’s Musculoskeletal Health

Too often, we seek help and begin looking after our bodies when we feel aches and pains. But musculoskeletal health should be a lifelong commitment, and seeking help from a myotherapist shouldn’t just happen when the damage has been done. Instead, incorporate exercises, stretches, and habits into your family’s schedule to give your bodies the care and support they need. Good musculoskeletal health starts early, and here are some great tips from your trusted Northern Myotherapy team on how to give you and your whole family a head start.

First things first, what is the musculoskeletal system and how does it get injured?

Your musculoskeletal system is composed of your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues. Simply put it helps you move and do the things you love. Over time, injuries, stress, aging, and disease can lead to pain and stiffness, but a healthy lifestyle can help keep your musculoskeletal system stronger for longer. How?

1) Get moving!

It should come as no surprise that exercise plays a crucial part in building strong, healthy bodies, and keeping pain and stiffness at bay. Give your kids the best start by enrolling them in sports early on, and making family outings active. Go for walks and hikes, or play ball at the park – find what works for your family and make it stick! Making sure stretching and muscle recovery is a natural part of any physical activity is also a great way to avoid injury, pain, and stiffness down the line. If you’re looking to get back into fitness, we’ve got a handy blog to get you moving!

2) Eat a balanced, healthy diet

You are what you eat, and a balanced diet helps feed and strengthen our musculoskeletal system. So (as much as you can), skip the ready-meals and sugary drinks, and instead opt for lots of leafy greens, lean proteins, fresh fruits, nuts, and lots of water.

3) Go outside and soak up the rays

Sunshine strengthens our bones by boosting our bodies’ production of vitamin D which helps with the absorption of calcium which strengthens bones. Just remember, in Australia, the sun is especially strong, so make sure you and the whole family slips, slops, slaps, and wraps before heading outside. That said, the flipside of being sunsmart means reducing the absorption of vitamin D from the sun. To be safe, speak to your doctor about whether or not you’re getting the right amount naturally for your optimal health.

4) Get enough sleep

Our bodies heal strains and strengthen our muscles while we sleep, so making sure we get the right amount of sleep each night gives our bodies the best chance to restore itself for the day to come. Making sure the whole family sleeps on quality mattresses of the correct firmness is also key for solid sleeps and for preventing pain and stiffness.

Say hello!

Sleep, exercise, healthy diet, and sunshine are some proven ways to boost our musculoskeletal system, regardless of age. Having a trusted myotherapy specialist to look to when our bodies grow, get injured, or age is also key to reducing pain and stiffness. If you’d like more tips, guidance, or support in improving your musculoskeletal health, or you’d like to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team.

 

Three back to school tips for a happy and healthy year ahead

As children settle back into their school routine, you may have everything prepared — bag, books, lunch, and uniform! But what has this got to do with their health? Believe it or not, precisely what you prepare can make a big difference to your child’s wellbeing! This article discusses a few ways to prepare your children for a happy and healthy year at school.

Tip 1 — Assess Your Child’s School Bag

According to Better Health Victoria, if a child is wearing a school bag weighted more than 10% of their body weight, it may cause them back pain. Further to this, how you carry the backpack makes a considerable difference. Excessively carrying a backpack on one shoulder or keeping the weight to one side can lead to a curved spine in the future. All of this may seem scary, so this article provides recommendations on preventing long-term ailments before they occur! Here’s what you can do as a parent:

  • Choose a school bag with adjustable straps that can be fitted correctly.
  • Make sure the size of the school bag is appropriate for your child.
  • Pack the bag correctly and ensure the weight of its contents stay under 10% of your child’s body weight.
  • Pack the heaviest items close to the back — doing the opposite can throw out the centre of gravity!
  • Show your child how to pick up the bag correctly — bend both knees and lift the bag with your legs.
  • Show your child how to carry the bag correctly — keep both straps on both shoulders.

Tip 2 — Pack a Healthy Lunch Box

According to AIHW, in Australia, 17% of children are overweight and 8% obese. As parents, healthy habits can make a world of difference in a child’s health. Diet is just one factor that can cause health problems and weight fluctuations. Thinking about what you put into your child’s lunch, how do you see it? Are the foods filled with preservatives, high in sugar, or unbalanced in nutritional value? Here are some tips that will help your child make healthy food choices:

  • Enable healthy eating habits early — feeding your child healthy food at home regularly will show them that healthy food is good!
  • Pack a balanced lunch that is low in sugar and preservatives and high in vitamins and essential nutrients.
  • Pack the appropriate proportions of food — not too much or too little!

Tip 3 — Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Wake Up Prepared

In the morning, you may have a lot on — you may have to prepare for work, get the kids ready and ensure everyone makes it on time. Without adequate preparation the night before, this can make your mornings more stressful than they need to be! The Sleep Foundation recommends that children should sleep for a total of 9-11 hours — that might seem like a lot, but it is the perfect amount for growing bodies! So to make sure your children are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning, here are a few nighttime tips that will help:

  • Ensure your child goes to bed at a consistent time that enables them to get 9-11 hours of sleep.
  • Pack books, lunch boxes, and drink bottles.
  • Prepare uniforms and clean clothes.
  • Prepare your family on how the morning will go, so you can coordinate everyone as needed.

We hope these three tips will help you and your family have a great school year ahead. If you have any questions, or if your child is suffering from back pain, we here at Northern Myotherapy are here to help. Don’t hesitate to call us on 03 9078 9953 to make an appointment or visit our Brunswick and Niddrie clinic.

Myotherapy for Athletes

 

As restrictions ease in Melbourne, and more sports are allowed back, we’d like to share the ways myotherapy can help athletes! Being an athlete can place a toll on your body – from repetitive strain to physical contact and injury, there are numerous ways you can put your body under stress. This is where we come in to help.

Increase range of motion and movement

Whether throwing a ball or reaching for a catch, your body needs to stay fluid when playing sports. However, a tightening in your muscles can restrict this range of movement. Myotherapy can assist to reduce muscle tension and stiffness to allow freedom of movement without inflammation or pain. Through manual manipulation and activating trigger points, your muscles will release tension and move more freely. There are many ways to supplement this therapy, including a stretching routine, keeping hydrated, and maintaining correct warm-up and cool-down techniques.

Improve mental and emotional wellbeing

Your body and mind go hand in hand. When reducing the physical pain in your body, you are able to sleep well and maintain your mental and emotional sharpness. Myotherapy can reduce headaches, muscle cramps and pain thereby leaving you free to sleep without hindrance. This flows on to a healthy mind as sleep can improve your mood as you wake up feeling refreshed and multiple studies have shown that massage therapy can reduce your stress hormones, and increase your happy hormones, serotonin and endorphins.  More reasons to look after your body with myotherapy!

Injury prevention

After exercising, many of you would have experienced the muscle pain in the days following – exercise breaks down those muscle fibres, and your body has the complex job of rebuilding them stronger! If however, you don’t give your body the opportunity to recover, this could lead to injury and set your fitness goals back. It is important to incorporate a careful recovery and rehabilitation process into your fitness routine, and this is where myotherapy can come in. Myotherapists can release lactic acid and toxins in your muscles to reduce inflammation and encourage blood flow, which will aid with the recovery process.

Reduce Chronic Pain

If you had a niggling pain that has been holding you back, myotherapy is another option for you. Reducing the effects of an ongoing injury can open up your athletic ability and get you on your way to hitting personal bests. Using a combination of methods of treatment, including cupping, dry needling, trigger point therapy and joint mobilisation myotherapy can promote healing in areas of injury.

If you’re an athlete we’d love to assist reach your sporting goals. Our clinics are located in Brunswick and Niddrie. Don’t hesitate to call us on 03 9078 9953 to make an appointment.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy During Christmas

It’s Christmas Break 2020 – perhaps you sit back and relax, have a few too many drinks, and reduce your exercise regime – it’s easy to get complacent with your health in the festive season. With the holiday season coming up, we’re here to help you stay happy and healthy this Christmas with the following tips.

1 – Eat healthy

The fuel you put in your body is crucial for your energy levels and your waistline! Consider only having one serving of Christmas Pudding, or avoiding the temptation of a second meal. When considering meals on a holiday, try starting with a fresh salad or roasted vegetables before digging into a burger and fries. With the right combination of food, you’ll be surprised how much more energised you feel on your holiday.

When on road trips, or throughout the day taking control of your snacks can be another small tip to implement. Get your fridge or esky ready with sliced carrots, cucumbers and dip before considering a pack of chips or lollies.

2 – Find ways to exercise

You may not find the motivation to hit the gym, so perhaps consider incorporating exercise in with your family’s activities. This can include going for walks, hikes or bike rides. Exercising with your family is a great way to bond too.

Another tip for those exercising regularly is to consider changing your exercise routine into smaller, but more regular, bite-sized chunks. Holidays can be a busy time, so consider getting up earlier or taking 30 minutes from your day to get outside and exercise at your local urban gym or park.

3 – Sleep well

Don’t come back to work more exhausted than when you left! Take the time to sleep and rejuvenate during your break. Sleep deprivation not only leads to fatigue but can result in a lower metabolism, leaving you feeling heavy and lethargic. In between having a fun night out, also consider an early night or a sleep in.

4 – Stay hydrated

Australian summers are hot, and with that, you must stay hydrated! Water makes up 60% of our body so the right amount of water is needed to stay balanced. Always take water with you wherever you go, and consider taking water-rich foods for maintenance. Watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries and lettuce contain more than 90% water and double as a healthy snack too.

It is recommended that men have around 15 cups of water (3.5 litres) and women have 11 cups (2.5 litres) per day. However, take your activities into account when drinking water – increase your intake as you drink alcohol, become active or spend time in the sun.

5 – Make time for self-care

What a year it has been. All of us at some point in Melbourne have experienced stress and pressure as we navigated through the pandemic, but now is the time to relax. And you deserve it! This holiday is a perfect time to practice yoga, meditate, read or book or have some downtime. Our remedial and myotherapy massage services are a great way to improve circulation and decrease tension, so you can also consider a massage to maximise your self-care.

And there you have it – five ways to stay healthy this holiday. Speak to one of our myotherapists in Brunswick/Niddrie clinic for more ways to keep your body happy.

5 Tips for great posture when working from Home

5 Tips for great posture when working from Home

Given the current conditions, many Australians find themselves working away from the office. Whether you find yourself working from a home office or at the kitchen table, both may present sub-optimal working conditions. These conditions may see you with a sore back  and tight neck. The good news is there are several changes you can make in your home office to improve posture and reduce pain. Here are our top 5 tips for creating an ergonomic desk set up at home:

1. Keep your eyes up and straight ahead

Ensure your monitor is at eye level and about one arm’s length away from your body to ensure you are not looking up, down or moving forward to see the screen. Ideally a good laptop stand, or height adjustable monitor will assist you with getting your screen to eye level. If you do not have access to either, you can get creative. An old dictionary, textbook or two will do the trick.

2. Keep your elbows at 90 degrees

Firstly, keep your keyboard and mouse about 8-10 cm in from the edge of your desk so that your wrists are rested. Next, ensure that your elbows are kept at a 90-degree angle so you are not stretching out or reaching down. With your laptop raised, you can accomplish this by using a wireless mouse and keyboard. Ensuring that your chair is at an appropriate height will also assist you keep a 90-degree angle with your elbows.

3. Use an ergonomic chair

In tips 1 and 2 we recommend keeping your laptop at eye height, and your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Without having to put books under your kitchen chair to accomplish this, we recommend investing in an ergonomic chair instead. This will ensure that you can keep your chair at an optimal height and your back straight. If your feet are hanging from the chair, put something underneath your feet so you can keep them rested as well.

4. Keep on moving

Breaks from your desk are crucial. This will ensure your eyes do not get too tired and your body will not experience too much pressure from staying seated. Take a break every 50 minutes or so and use the time to stretch your legs. A simple neck stretch can also assist with keeping your neck tightness at bay. If you are having a particularly busy day, perhaps you can stay busy by taking a phone call and go for a walk instead of talking at your desk.

5. Invest in a head set or wireless earphones

You may have experienced working with your ear to your shoulder as you speak on the phone. This can cause several issues with your neck and shoulder. By investing in a headset, you can ensure that your head can keep a steady position, reducing the chances of neck strain. An additional bonus to having a wireless headset is that you can go for a walk while talking and have both hands free to type.
So, there you have it. These are our top five tips for your own ergonomic home setup! If however you are still experiencing neck and back pain be sure to call us 03 9078 9953 or book in an appointment  for a remedial massage in Brunswick/Niddrie Clinic. We are currently open and taking one appointment at a time to ensure safety for all customers.

Why Desk Workers Should Keep Myotherapy in Mind

Why Desk Workers Should Keep Myotherapy in Mind

If you’re one of the 50% of Australian workers sitting during at least some of your work week, you might be very familiar with muscular aches. If you’re one of the unlucky ones, these aches are instead deep-rooted pain.

Even though they might be sitting down in a relaxing, air-conditioned office, office workers like you are just as likely to suffer injury and chronic pain as physically-demanding occupations. Issues that may arise through this inactivity include neck, shoulder and back pain, repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome. Who said being an office worker was easy?

How the damage is done

Unlike the sudden injuries that can occur through sport and physical labour, desk-related injuries are often slow to develop. Sitting is hardly an extreme sport, but the need to hold  certain parts of your body steady all day, every day, while working can cause considerable stress on your body.

Sitting awkwardly for so long also leads to issues with back, neck and shoulder pain, as does the consistent poor posture often associated with workers suffering from fatigue. There’s a good chance that decreased blood flow to areas such as your tendons and ligaments can also lead to stiffness and pain. It’s not just you, though — even if you try to actively exercise good posture, a poorly set up workstation can cause significant stress on muscles and joints.

Simple ways to prevent desk-related injuries

Thankfully, there are a few ways to manage and prevent desk-related injuries. For the most part, these involve staying active throughout the day as you perform tasks where you’d otherwise remain sedentary – with a little bit of discipline, these steps can quite easily become second nature!

Stretching

We all know the feeling of getting caught up in work – whether through a backlog of work, an emergency deadline, or a simple need to impress. In any case, when you’re focused on your work, shifting your position regularly is not on the top of your to-do list. Whenever you do get caught up with this kind of work, you need to make a special effort to stretch whenever you feel stiff, sore or fatigued – set reminders to do so every half hour if you find it helps. Just a couple of minutes of standing or shoulder rotating can be invaluable.

Use a sitting/standing desk

Many of the desks now used in offices have the ability to alternate between sitting and standing positions. If you use one such desk at work, or can access one, absolutely make the most of it – alternating between sitting and standing, as well as the movements required to adjust the desk itself, will ensure you keep moving and prevent poor form.

Move during lunchtime

It may be tempting to sit at your desk and eat lunch to enhance productivity, but lunchtime represents the perfect time to get moving. Take a stroll in a nearby park or around the block, or if you’re particularly strapped for time, a quick walk around the office will do, Don’t just make it a break for your mind – give you muscles and joints a break too!

Treating injuries with myotherapy

Even with regular stretching and movement during long working hours, muscles and joints will eventually get worn out and require specialist care – think of it as upkeep for your body  – and this is where the benefits of myotherapy can work in your body’s favour.

Receiving regular myotherapy treatment every 2 to 6 weeks can have a hugely beneficial result on your musculoskeletal health. Positive results occur not only through the releasing of muscle tension through targeted massage, but through regular, thorough assessments.

Assessments will include observations related to your range of motion, posture and reports of pain.  Any detected issues in posture can then be quickly remedied through practical advice and a tailored program, just for you. This way, you can practice healthy self-management instead of relying solely on massage!

And there you have it – if you’ve experienced pain related to work, you’re not alone. But rest assured, with the right amount of self-care and professional care, you’ll soon be back to your healthy self! Get in touch with our trusted and experienced myotherapy team in Niddrie and Brunswick area to find out more or book an appointment today.

Neck Pain and Myotherapy

Neck Pain and Myotherapy

What is neck pain?

Okay, so it might sound like a bit of a stupid question, but hear us out. Yes, neck pain at the most basic level is quite literally a pain in the neck, but it can present itself in a number of ways. Rather than the constant, dull burning that we’ve all experienced at some stage in our lives, it might only rear its head when you try to turn your head in a particular way, or quickly sweep through your full range of movement.

Likewise, any creeping headaches that begin at the base of the skull or the temples might actually be neck pain, rather than something originating in the skull. Ultimately, neck pain can present and disguise itself in a number of ways.

Who is more at risk?

Again, answering the question of who is at risk from neck pain is complicated because there are so many correct answers. Do you go to sleep at night? We hope not, because then you’re at risk of waking up with a stiff or sore neck when you wake up.

In all seriousness, office workers who spend much of their day confined to a desk are at an increased risk as the shoulders can tend to slope or close when seated for extended periods. The result of this is that the neck endsup jutting out towards the screen, which places heightened strain and loads on certain muscles.
Finally, everybody needs to accept that there is just an element of risk involved by going about your everyday. If you spend an evening slobbed out on the couch, the positioning of your head could cause problems. Similarly, if you’ve recently changed your mattress or pillows, you might experience twinges as the body acclimatises.

Is it something to be concerned about?

For the vast majority of people, neck pain will be experienced as an inconvenience rather than a life altering impediment. That said, if your pain has been caused by an isolated incident (such as whiplash from a particularly nasty car crash or a concussion) then you need to see a specialist immediately to ensure it’s not indicative of something else.

If your neck pain is on the gentler side, and most likely the result of repeated actions or postural problems, then there’s no need to get that will signed just yet.

So what can a myotherapist do to help?

As is often the case for injuries that are accumulative, or the result of a mystery behaviour, a myotherapist is going to be able to promptly identify what could be the cause of your problem. Whether your posture is doing you no favours, or that stack of pillows at the head of your bed is placing you in an unnatural position, your first step to treatment is knowing what’s causing you the problem.

Once a cause has been identified, a qualified myotherapist will be able to advise you on a range of preventative measures. Relief from your symptoms can then become the focus. A range of techniques such as a tailored stretching program, massage, dry needling and even exercise guidance are your best friend at times like these.

For more myotherapy and massage questions and concerns, contact Northern Myotherapy at 03 9078 9953. 

Preventing Injuries With Myotherapy

Preventing Injuries With Myotherapy

Unless you’re a professional athlete (and if you are, we’ll pretend we’re only mildly jealous), the chances are that you only see a specialist for any issue once a problem becomes intolerable. That’s not a dig, it’s just what experience has shown us.

Although we’ve all heard heard the phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ a thousand times, it’s something that can be very difficult to incorporate into our exercise routine. Whether it’s a fear of cost, a lack of time, or just not quite being sure exactly who to ask, there are a range of factors preventing us from taking the preventative measures we should be.

Prevention should be your goal

At the most basic level, preventing injuries hurts a lot less than having and treating them. For example, if you’ve got a hamstring that’s perilously close to injury, any treatments and accompanied stretches are going to be far more comfortable than that dreaded ‘ping’ in the back of your leg as you try to accelerate. Similarly, the time and money you’ll spend on prevention pales in comparison to treatment.

Injury is sometimes unavoidable

Unfortunately, there’s probably not a soul reading this blog who won’t experience some kind of injury over the next few years. You can’t ever have complete control over what’s going to happen to your body. However, if you’ve been active with your prevention, the chances are that you’ll be able to recover in a fraction of the time it might normally take.

Additionally, your confidence in your own body will be higher upon your return from injury if you’re not battling to address years of bad practice.

So how can a myotherapist help?

A myotherapist is going to be able to help you better understand your musculoskeletal structure, and identify any areas of elevated risk. Our bodies are wonderful at adapting to any areas of weakness or instability over time, but this can create problems down the line.

For instance, if the muscles in your backside aren’t doing everything they should to stabilize you and minimize the transmission of shock up through the body, it’s likely your thighs will begin to compensate. While you’re unlikely to notice any difference, your chances of injuring those overworked quads is massively increased. Likewise, your lower back is in increased danger as it operates on a makeshift solution.

Your body is unique

Most importantly, a myotherapist is going to be able to give you advice specifically for your body. More general tips and tricks such as warming up, getting enough sleep, and fuelling your body correctly are great, but they’re never going to be as effective as tailored instruction.

If you’ve got a lingering complaint, a customized exercise routine is going to put you in the best position to avoid it blowing up in your face. Similarly, something as simple as taping before exercise could dramatically reduce the load on problem areas.

Although nobody will be injury-free for life, a myotherapist can help you to reduce your risk. The first step is always knowing what you’re working with, and having an expert point out any looming problems. If disaster does strike, a healthy record of prevention work puts you in the best possible position to reduce the toll on your routine, your life, and your wallet.

For myotherapy, dry needling or remedial massage in Brunswick and Niddrie area, contact Northern Myotherapy at 03 9078 9953.

Is ITB Friction Syndrome as complicated as it sounds? It’s giving me hell!

Is ITB Friction Syndrome as complicated as it sounds? It’s giving me hell!

What is ITB Syndrome?

So, let’s break it down. ITB stands for Iliotibial Band, which is a lengthy ligament-tendon hybrid that runs along the outside of your thigh. It’s fixed to your lower leg just below your knee joint, and to both the top of your thigh and bum. Essentially, the ITB helps with the movement of the leg away from your body, and stabilizes the knee joint as it flexes and straightens when you run, cycle or do just about anything apart from lie in bed.

When your knee is flexed the ITB rubs against a bony outcrop on the outer knee. Over time, and with repeated or exacerbated friction, sufferers can experience severe soreness in the area, which is often noticeably worse during the flexing of the knee.

Any associated pain typically starts out as manageable tenderness, before getting worse with repeated use. Beyond these initial symptoms, sufferers have reported a stabbing pain during activity, and occasionally a feeling of snapping as the knee is straightened. Yep, that made us wince as well.

What have I done to deserve this?

Don’t forget that ITB is primarily caused by overuse or misuse – you’re not going to have an ‘aha!’ moment when you pinpoint exactly when and where you developed it. Unfortunately, this can make the process of determining exactly what the underlying problem is a little tricky if you don’t seek expert help.

The first thing you should investigate is whether you’ve made any pronounced differences to your training routine. If you’re someone who is occasionally guilty of overtraining, then we applaud your
commitment to the cause, but will gently ask you to ease off and give your ligaments a rest. Similarly, if you’ve amped your training up too much too quickly, your eagerness to improve may have triggered ITB syndrome. Don’t be disheartened, you haven’t found your body’s physical limits, but you probably have put the current version of your body under a little too much stress. Try dialling your routine back a little bit for the time being… it’ll allow you to reach higher goals in the future.

Away from training too hard, ask yourself if you’re training smart. Is careful stretching and a thorough warm-down part of each and every session? Are you practicing proper technique or form? As your body changes and evolves, are you being careful to strengthen opposing muscle groups together?

And finally, make sure you’re wearing footwear that’s suited to whatever your exercise routine is. The thought of people training in incorrect or exhausted trainers is what stops us from sleeping at night.

How can a myotherapist help me out?

There are no gold stars to hand out to people who guessed that a myotherapist will be able to help you to address the causes discussed in the paragraph above. Determining exactly what is causing your ITB syndrome is always step one, and, in all likelihood, the only way you’re ever going to prevent an escalation of your discomfort.

Through an examination of your routine, a myotherapist will be able to tell you if it’s the frequency of your training, or whether you’re committing any of the cardinal cardio sins (we’re looking at you, downhill running). Beyond your routine, a myotherapist will be able to identify if there any other contributing factors such as underdeveloped muscle groups, or even poor technique.

Additionally, treatment of the surrounding soft tissue with massage and dry needling may provide you with a more immediate dose of pain relief.

So what’s next for me?

As always, you want to be doing everything you can to avoid the need for surgery or any invasive procedures. Although rarer with ITB syndrome than it is with other tendon/ligament issues, surgery can become a legitimate suggestion if all treatments elicit no response, or if inflammation becomes chronic. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms described, give us a call and we’ll be able to talk you through your best plan of action.