UFIT Clinic

Have a RAD six pack? Not as cool as you may think!

Rectus abdominis diastasis (or otherwise known as abdominal separation) refers to the separation of the 6-pack muscles from the midline of the abdominal wall. This commonly happens during the later stages of pregnancy, and if left untreated may lead to post childbirth issues such as pelvic girdle instability, lower back and pelvic pain.

5 tips to bounce back quickly from DOMS

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Anyone and everyone who has exercised at one point or another in their life has experienced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS for short. It’s that achey feeling you feel in your muscles 2-3 days post exercise, and it can often be quite painful – limiting your movement to a point where stairs seems like Everest, or you find yourself looking for a toilet with grab rails to help you into position!

Some people actively look for DOMS, and feel they haven’t worked hard enough unless they experience it. Other people, on the other hand, refuse to workout for the next week if they get any soreness after a workout. So who is right – is DOMS something to be afraid of or encouraged? And what is the best way to get over it so that we can get active again?

The science behind what exactly causes DOMS is not 100% clear, but most people agree that it is caused by micro-tears to the muscles, which leads to inflammation as they heal, causing the pain. What we know for certain is that DOMS arises in the first 24 hours post-exercise, and typically peaks 48 hours after exercise. It leads to a temporary decrease in force production for the first 48 hours post-exercise. What is clear is that lactic acid accumulation is not a component of this process, and should not be blamed for your DOMS. Eccentric training (lengthening the muscle with tension applied - for example the lowering phase of a bicep curl or on the way down in a squat) definitely leads to a lot more DOMS than fast, concentric weight training.  

So is it bad for you? In a word, no. However, it will limit your effectiveness in any subsequent exercise or sport sessions over the next two to three days, which will limit the amount of work you can get through. Importantly, it has been linked with an increased chance of injury within this 48 period, through its inhibition of certain muscles and reduction in range of movement - so try to avoid playing a football match the day after doing a heavy legs squatting session!

Recent research points to the ‘repair’ process your muscles are undergoing as the source of the pain. As your muscles are repairing themselves, they release a substance called bradykinin along with other enzymes to create growth, which causes blood vessels to enlarge and nerves to become more sensitive. The combination of the sensitized nerve endings and the increased fluid in the area lead to the pain and ‘stiffness’ felt within the muscles.

The good news is that this ‘pain’ you feel is a sign you are getting stronger, and you are getting some benefits from the training you are doing as the body goes through the damage-repair cycle. A word of caution – more DOMS does not necessarily mean you are working harder, it can just mean that you are not training very smartly, and have overloaded a particularly weak area.

 

So what can you do to reduce DOMS quickly to get back into the gym? Here are a few tips:

  1. Warm-up and cool down before and after your session. Having an effective warmup and cool down has been shown to reduce DOMS in untrained individuals versus individuals who received neither. Your warmup should include the areas of your body you are about to workout, and you should be at least breathless by the end of it. Cool down should involve stretching, and a lot of:

  2. Foam Rolling: If you don’t know what a foam roller is, find out. Buy one, and make it your friend. Foam rolling has consistently shown to be effective at improving range of movement in tight athletes the day after high intensity workouts, and reduce DOMS. The more recent research points to a neuro-physiological affect on your muscles (desensitization of the nerve endings in your muscles) as the mechanism behind foam rolling, which may be why it is effective on DOMS.

  3. Manual therapy/Massage/Acupuncture: If your DOMS is particularly bad, speak to your friendly local physio about manual treatment and acupuncture to hasten your recovery. Both are effective.

  4. Active Recovery: Research has shown that lightly exercising the area the day after a heavy session can reduce the recovery time. For example, after a heavy squatting day, jump on a stationary bike the next day for a gentle 20minute cycle. Your legs will thank you!

  5. Nutrition and Hydration: Being well hydrated, and feeding your working muscles with good fuel should be the cornerstone of any workout program. Don’t waste your time in the gym if you are not paying attention to this outside of the gym. You will recover quicker, and you will make more progress if you do!

 

Final Word

It is unlikely you will avoid DOMS altogether when you start a new strength program. It is not something that you should be afraid of, or that should keep you away from the gym. However, pain does not need to be present in order for you to achieve progress in your conditioning. If anything, intentionally causing DOMS will only limit the amount of work that you can do in subsequent sessions, potentially slowing down your progress.

The ultimate goal of any training program is to find the optimal balance between work and recovery. The key to a great training program is to find that sweet spot where you are doing enough micro ‘damage’ to create a muscle adaptation, without crippling you for the next two days and making you miss your next session!

Recover well!


About the author

Declan Halpin is our UFIT Team Director and a fully qualified, registered physiotherapist. He is passionate about helping his patients achieve their long term goals through identifying their weaknesses and imbalances, and developing a strategy to eradicate them. 

Find out more about Declan right here.

5 lesser known benefits of massage

OK, so we are mostly aware of the obvious reasons to get a massage; relaxation, stress relief, easing muscle soreness, injury prevention and management. All of these are fantastic and very well documented ways in which massage therapy could and should be a part of our lives on a regular basis.

But as more and more people are pushing their bodies to the extremes of their limits, (UltraRunning Magazine saw a jump of 10% in participation in 2013 on the previous year) and occasionally suffering a little for it, how else can one of the oldest manual therapies in the world play its part in preparing us for the long haul? UFIT Clinic massage therapist Lynsey Keynes shares the five lesser-known benefits:


Increased range of motion

Whether you’re engaged in five UFIT bootcamps a week and not stretching out properly (naughty naughty), or whether you're stuck under a laptop all week and suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, your muscles are getting used and abused on a daily basis. Building regular massages into your routine can help soften, open up, stretch, release and allow extra, oxygenated blood to flow into those muscles and joints enabling you to reach and push further than before.


Balance improvement

Racket sports, driving, carrying kids on one side, generally just not being ambidextrous (who actually is?), all have an effect on the shortening of our muscles, and therefore tightening on one side. In a sporting environment, achieving good balance is key, and with a good massage to realign the posture, you could be well on your way to equilibrium.


Decrease migraine frequency

Exercise can be a migraine trigger (which presents a bit of a conundrum). Massage can help relieve muscle spasms, improve circulation, enhance sleep quality and increase serotonin, all of which can play a part in preventing not just tension headaches, but vascular headaches. Any migraine sufferer knows an attack can happen any time, so begin by pre-empting the threat and having a massage once a week to keep them at bay.


Boosts immunity

Having just one massage can boost your immunity. How? Massage interacts with the hormone system and decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in the body. When you’re stressed, you probably notice you get more colds, sleep less well, just don’t feel 100%. Massage manages that cortisol away, and encourages the production of white blood cells, which defend your body against illness. So no more excuses not to get out for that run!


Eases symptoms of depression

Massage releases dopamine and serotonin, eases physical pain, calms the mind, decreases anxiety, soothes tense muscles and the sheer act of touch can simply be enough to lift your spirits. So use massage therapy alongside regular exercise, to help stabilise moods and tackle those challenges whether they be physical, emotional or mental.


About the author

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Lynsey is a UK trained massage therapist and certified in both ITEC and BTEC level 4 Massage and Anatomy and Physiology. Having spent 15 years working in high-pressure marketing roles, Lynsey decided to embrace her ultimate passion in bodywork and use her experience to help people overcome the physical and mental stresses that modern life puts upon us.

She is a passionate believer that massage and sports massage should be a part of our everyday lives to support our bodies in whatever challenge we put upon them; whether you are a professional sports person, have a sore back from carrying your baby, or simply need to release some tension from a day in the office.

Too scared to jump on a trampoline with your kids? Not sure when to return to exercise after having your baby?

Maybe you should see a Women’s Health and Continence Physio!

What does a women’s health and continence (WH &C) physiotherapist do?

A WH & C Physio is a physiotherapist that has done additional study at University to specialise in the areas of continence and women’s health. They can treat every day aches and pains and sports injuries but are also able to treat conditions related to pregnancy and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

 What does an assessment with a women’s health and continence physiotherapist involve?

Initial assessments are usually between 45 minutes and an hour long. The physiotherapist will spend most of the first session asking questions to determine the source of your symptoms. If the pelvic floor muscles need to be examined, the initial and follow up assessments may involve the use of real-time ultrasound over the lower abdomen, to providing visual biofeedback during pelvic floor muscle training.

What conditions do women’s health and continence physiotherapists treat?

WH & C physiotherapists treat a diverse range of conditions related to pregnancy and the postnatal period as well as conditions related to pelvic floor muscle deficiency in men and women at any point in their lifespan, including: 

 1. Antenatal services

  • Management of musculoskeletal complaints such as back and pelvic pain, pubic symphysis disorder and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Advice on exercise in pregnancy
  • Pelvic floor muscle assessments.

2. Postnatal services

  • Management of musculoskeletal conditions such as back and pelvic pain and
    de Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Assessment and management of abdominal separation
  • Pelvic floor muscle assessments
  • Advice on return to exercise
  • Treatment of blocked milk ducts
  • Treatment of perineal pain and swelling after delivery
  • Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation after obstetric tears
  • Assessment of altered bladder sensation.

3. Other conditions treated by a women’s health and continence physiotherapist

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Faecal incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginismus
  • Provoked vestibulodynia
  • Coccyx pain.

If you would like further information on the services or if you would like to book an appointment please contact UFIT clinic.


About the author

After spending the first part of her career juggling work, athletics and travel, Kelly decided to pursue her passion for Women’s Health and completed a Graduate Certificate in Continence and Women's Health at Curtin University. Upon completion of her course, Kelly worked for a specialist Women’s and Men’s Health and Continence Clinic where she gained further experience in the assessment and management of ante-natal and post-natal conditions, incontinence, post prostatectomy complications and pelvic pain disorders. Read more

Declan “Half-rep” Halpin with Kelly Latimer

A trip down memory lane for Kelly Latimer and her time spent with Declan, Head Physio at the UFIT Clinic so far. In Kelly's words...

I first saw Declan a couple of years ago after he reached out to me via social media. He had heard of an issue I was having that was initially diagnosed by another physio as a hamstring problem and said he would like to take a look at it. As my last physio was utterly useless, I agreed. A proper diagnosis and a few weeks of treatment later, I was back up and functioning like before, if not even better. His multi-pronged approach of manipulation, massage and strengthening exercises was exactly what I needed.

It was at that point I decided to start training with Declan too. We assessed my goals and he came up with routines for me that kept me safe and helped me reach new levels of fitness. We trained to prep my body for pregnancy, so that I could train through pregnancy. I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to escape a lot of pregnancy issues like trapped nerves in my back, back aches and excessive weight gain. I couldn’t have done it without Declan’s assistance and guidance.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Declan’s services to anyone. He is brilliant. Open-minded and always eager to learn more to help his patients, he’s now increasingly harder to get hold of. However I also know that he has cultivated the creme de la creme of rehabilitation specialists in Singapore (and likely South East Asia) at the UFIT Clinic, so whoever you see will be sure to get you back on the road to recovery - providing you do your exercises.

Thank you, Declan. And thank you, UFIT.


For more information about the UFIT Clinic team and how they can help you find our more by visiting the website here www.ufitclinic.com

If you're looking for specific pre and post natal services please check out the latest with what's going on in our UFIT mama's corner.

The Benefits of At Home Physiotherapy by Health Comes to You

Health Comes to You is Singapore’s premium at home physiotherapy service. We offer a full range of physiotherapy interventions, provided to you by a team of specialist male and female therapists, both locally and internationally trained.

Our team includes;

  • Orthopaedic (after surgery) physiotherapists
  • Physiotherapist trained in treating pain and injury
  • Paediatric physiotherapists
  • Neurological physiotherapists
  • Osteoporosis and Parkinson's Disease physiotherapists

Why choose at home physio? Well, many people prefer at home physiotherapy because after just one session it is possible for your therapist to fully understand your needs as an individual (yes, every patient is different!) This is because performing physiotherapy in your home environment means that your therapist can witness your problems first hand.

There are many other reasons that make at home physiotherapy a great choice, here are some of them:

1. Convenience

-        To put it simply, we do all the travel so that you don’t have to! Many of us in Singapore work very long hours and are ‘time poor’, having physio at home will certainly help free up your day and reduce the need (and stress) of making additional arrangements e.g. childcare

-        If your mobility is currently an issue (for example after surgery), this removes the problem, and the expense of getting to a clinic for treatment

 

2. Flexible appointments

-        We appreciate that you may need to see a physiotherapy outside of normal working hours, this is why we offer evening and weekend appointments at no extra cost

3. Health Insurance compatible – offering the cashless method

-        The great news is that physiotherapy at home is fully claimable under insurance. In many circumstances you won’t need to pay a cent, as the company deals directly with your insurance of your behalf

4. Personalised service

-        Physiotherapy at home is highly personal and many of our patients feel more relaxed exploring pain or discussing medical complaints at home than they do behind a curtain or in a cubicle

-        Physiotherapy at home also means that you have the freedom to explore alternative treatment modalities with your physiotherapy, such as hydrotherapy (water based rehab), gym based rehab and Pilates

-        We provide equipment to be used during the session, and will assist you to source any additional equipment that you may need e.g. foam roller

Are you ready to start physio at home in Singapore? Contact us today to arrange an initial assessment with one of our specialist physios on +65 8358 2144 or email info@healthcomestoyou.com.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga – Alana Saphin-Polchleb

I have been practicing yoga for over 12 years and have slowly transitioned from a practice focused on dynamic, sweat inducing yoga to being able to understand and appreciate the benefits of slowing down the practice and the mind. When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child in August last year, the benefits of this transition really came to fruition as prenatal yoga became more than just a “yoga class”, but also a place for relaxation, mindfulness and birth preparation. 

There are many benefits of practicing yoga while you are pregnant, here are just 5; 

1. Yoga develops strength, flexibility and stamina

Pregnancy and labour is most certainly a marathon not a sprint and as your baby grows inside your belly more energy and strength is required to help carry the extra weight. Yoga helps you strengthen your hips, back, arms and shoulders. A woman who is in the best possible shape for the challenge of labour and beyond, both mentally and physically, will also most likely recover faster after the bub has arrived. 


2. Promotes emotional well being, relaxation and stress management

Through deep breathing the nervous system goes into parasympathetic mode, which promotes relaxation. Learning how to control your breath during yoga can be challenging however; this awareness and control is not only an effective tool during pregnancy to help calm and reduce anxiety, it is also a technique to help with pain management, allowing you to focus and relax during labour. 

3. Important birth muscles are toned

Prenatal yoga encourages deep toning of the pelvic floor, hip and transverse abdominal muscles.  Building and maintaining this muscle tone through out your pregnancy can not only alleviate muscle aches and pains throughout the 9 months but also facilitate a speedy postnatal recovery. 

4. Connection with your Bubba

A prenatal yoga practice at least once a week allows you to take some time out of your busy schedule to bond with your growing baby. Slowing down, breathing deeply and connecting with your baby as your pregnancy progresses allows you to focus on how your body responds differently to the changes that are happening week to week. 

5. Relief from common pregnancy complaints

A regular prenatal yoga practice can help to reduce or alleviate common pregnancy complaints such as easing heartburn, fluid retention and muscle cramps to name a few. By stretching and toning your muscles you can also help blood circulate through the body in a healthy way as well as alleviate back, neck and hip pain which is often caused by the increasing stress from the growing weight of the baby. 

You certainly don’t have to have been practicing yoga for 12 years to gain these benefits. If you have some experience in practicing yoga prior to your pregnancy, with your drs consent, you can commence prenatal practice. If you’ve had little to no yoga experience that’s also fine; following the all clear from your dr at 12 weeks. 

 

Great Quads, But Is It Any Good For Your Feet?

All high-impact workouts put strain on your feet and ankles, but Crossfit’s and Bootcamps mix of weights, jumps, and cardio can place additional types of pressure on your feet.

These types of stresses have led to misrepresentations in the media. CrossFit has a reputation of being dangerous, with stories of sprained ankles, plantar fasciitis or stress fractures, but these tend to be rare outcomes, and there’s no research based evidence that CrossFit is any more dangerous than other forms of intensive exercise. One study found that 70% of participants had been injured at some point which sounds like a lot, but researchers estimated the rate was three injuries per 1,000 hours trained.  That’s roughly the same as you’d expect to get from gymnastics, and far safer than contact sports like rugby.

Still, there are some aspects of CrossFit which make it risky.  The emphasis on high reps and heavy weights, mean you must have a good trainer.  Many trainers have only a weekend’s training in CrossFit methods, and no expertise in biomechanics, and they may be oblivious to small mistakes in technique which can lead to big problems in the long term.  The team mentality means CrossFitters encourage each other to push past the pain barrier; which is fantastic if you’re lacking motivation, but extremely dangerous if you’re on the brink of injuring yourself.

Many people have inherent imbalances, joint limitations or they may be harbouring niggling injuries which make exercise injuries more common. Niggling injuries are easier to overlook if they are in your feet or legs. For sports people it is very easy to ignore a recurring injury if it seems small, but as with most injuries the most serious often start years before as a niggle or an ache, with appropriate screening the more serious injuries can often be prevented.

Years of sedentary living and poor posture can lead to significant muscle weaknesses, leaving people much stronger on their dominant side.  Even people who are fairly active often have muscle weaknesses that leave them out of alignment: for example, if you always carry a heavy handbag on your right shoulder then it will leave you stronger on that side of your body.  It’s also very common also have one leg slightly longer than the other

In everyday life, you’re unlikely to notice that one of your legs is a little shorter or you are suffering from ankle instability.  But once you start doing intense WODs, lifting huge weights, or running long distances, the lopsided distribution of your body weight can lead to long-term problems with your ankles and knees.  Unless you drop a barbell on your foot, most injuries are caused by problems building up over time as the strain on your body exacerbates pre-existing issues. 

Eventually, though, building muscle strength through CrossFit will leave you less injury-prone, since stronger muscles are less likely to tear.  You just have to make sure you’re pushing your body safely.  Wearing well-fitted shoes is proven to reduce your risk of injuries from exercise, but since there’s such a variety of activities in a CrossFit class it can be hard to choose the right footwear. There is a large debate currently between the two most common shoes used in CrossFit, but we will broach this another time.  As with all new sports and activities, there are some ideas about health and fitness which are widespread but not really backed up by scientific evidence.  Eating paleo is one, doing multiple sets of Olympic lifts is another. There’s a widespread idea that the best shoe for CrossFit is one with a very flexible sole and zero drop – that is, a shoe that keeps your heel exactly level with your toes.

It is important to have a new shoe for each sporting activity, and with the variation of movements and activities in CrossFit, in theory, you’d need a different type of shoe for each activity – one for cardio, one for lifts, and one for jumps. Since everybody knows how to run or jump but most people have never done clean-and-jerks before starting CrossFit, it makes sense to focus on getting a good pair of weightlifting shoes. 

Weightlifting shoes are very different running shoes.  They usually have a slight wedge shape to them, because lifting the heel slightly reduces pressure on the spine while lifting and forces the quads to take more of the weight.  The raised heel also discourages you from lifting the ankle or rolling sideways into ‘duck feet.'  

Done correctly, with good form, weightlifting actually strengthens the bones in your feet and ankles, but done incorrectly it can cause nasty chronic injuries like collapsed arches.  Women should be especially careful to wear the right shoes for lifting weights.  A study found that men tended to get more ‘typical’ weightlifting injuries, like shoulder sprains or muscle tears in the arms, while women were more vulnerable to hurting their knees and ankles.

CrossFit is great for your cardiovascular fitness, it burns hundreds of calories a session, and all those squats will give you glutes that could crack a walnut. Just make sure that you’re taking good care of your feet and ankles, or you could end up ruining all your gains by getting injured. 


About the author

Tim has been working in Singapore for 6 years, he spent 2 years at Tan Tock Seng Hospital before moving to The Foot Practice. Tim recently joined the UFIT Clinic team to help support our CrossFit Tanjong Pagar and CrossFit Bukit Timah athletes.

He has previously worked at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge (UK) whilst also working under several renowned Podiatric surgeons in London. Tim has worked in Southern India, Peru and China treating a whole range of different foot types.  

He specialises in non-surgical treatment of the foot and ankle, with special interest to sports injuries and paediatric foot care. With a specialist interest in the effect of custom made orthotics and the effect on foot health. 

Hey CrossFitters and Bootcampers! Kneesy does it with those tendons…

With a rise in CrossFit and Bootcamp participation it's not uncommon for the Clinic to treat a wide range of knee conditions. Owing to the dynamic nature of these activities the stress on the knee joint can predispose one to tendon related issues in the knee, of which Patella Tendinopathy is generally the most common.

What is it?:

Jumpers knee, or Patella Tendinopathy is a clinical diagnosis of pain and dysfunction in the patella tendon. It is generally caused by repetitive high impact activities (e.g box jumps) which can result in an overload of the tendon, resulting in pain. Over time and without adequate management of the knee, the pain can become persistent and chronic. It is one of the more common conditions we see at the UFIT Clinic.

What does it look like?:

It generally presents as a specific pain at the base of the knee cap (pictured). Usually you are able to pinpoint the area of pain with one fingertip. A localised swelling may be seen during the initial painful phase, and as the condition becomes more chronic, thickening of the tendon may be noted.

 

Who Gets It?:

Generally, it is found in relatively young adults between the age of 18 and 40. Athletes who are involved in high impact jumping and landing sports (volleyball, netball, basketball), activities which place a high load on the knees (Crossfit and bootcamps) and who play sport on hard artificial surfaces may be at risk for developing Patella Tendinopathy.

How do I Test if I have it?:

The condition manifests usually after a period where training and activity have been increased (such as pre-season training). Athletes tend to have pain on the knees which usually eases with a warm up, but returns at the end of the activity. It can be especially exacerbated by jumping activities (box-jumps). If you suspect yourself of having Patella Tendinopathy, a simple test called the Singe Leg Decline Squat is very useful in determining whether or not you have Patella Tendinopathy. (pictured)

I have Patella Tendinopathy, how do I fix it?:

Patella Tendinopathy has been characterised as being a difficult condition to shift. Previously, athletes were instructed to rest a painful tendon before returning to activity. In fact, resting a tendon actually reduces its load bearing capacity and will make the situation worse.

So, if I can't rest, I can still go 100%?

Not quite. It is important that the athlete avoids any activities which will increase their pain levels. For the initial painful stages, isometric exercises have been shown to be really useful in reducing pain levels sufficiently. A Spanish Squat (picture), held for 45s x 5 reps is effective in reducing pain levels immediately. Icing of a painful tendon may have an analgesic effect, as can offload taping to help with the pain in the short term.

Once the tendon has settled, it is vital that a steady progressive strength training be commenced to improve the load bearing capacity of the tendon. Any issues which may have predisposed you to developing Patella Tendinopathy can also be addressed under the eye of a qualified physiotherapist.

5 Tips for Patella Tendon Pain:

-    Don’t ignore it: continuing through the pain will result in your quads getting weaker and will increase the load on the painful area

-    Don’t aggravate it: if your tendon is painful its your bodies warning light blinking to tell you you've done too much too soon.

-    Don’t Rest It: Commencement of early, specific rehab exercises will accelerate your return to performance

-    Ditch the knee guards: Knee guards may actually cause more issues as they can compress   the patella tendon, causing more pain.

-   Load it Up: A strong tendon is a healthy tendon. Progressive strengthening will allow you to kick this painful condition to the kerb, and allow you to maximise your potential.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, Paul Doohan at the UFIT Clinic has a extensive experience within professional sport (Football Association of Singapore), private physiotherapy and in the public hospital sector (Singapore General Hospital). Having experienced the profession in a number of settings, Paul has developed a keen insight into what is required to help people of all ages and athletic levels. 

10 Minutes to 10 more yards!

How much money do you spend every year on trying to improve your golf game?

$500 on that new M2 driver, $300 on those comfortable new performance FootJoys, not to mention the multiple lesson packages over the course of year. Although well fitted clubs and apparel are important, and of course the input from a professional is invaluable, you are missing out one of the most important facets of your golf game. You! Constant changing of equipment in order to improve your game can be compared to the Ferrari F1 team trying new colour schemes, new uniforms for the drivers, without doing anything to improve the car itself. Put simply, having a better body will have you playing better golf.

You cant go onto social media these days without seeing videos of Rory, DJ, Jordan and Jason working out with their trainers. Funny how I just mentioned the top 4 players in the world at the minute? More and more professionals are waking up to the improvements they can make in their game with small changes in their physical fitness. If it works for finely tuned athletes like the pros, it works 10 fold for us amateurs.

Our daily routines do not prepare us for the game of golf. Most of us spend Monday to Fridays seated at a desk, at a steering wheel, or on the couch, with maybe an hour or two at the gym if we’re lucky. This lifestyle does not prepare us at all for the physical requirements of the game of golf. If we don’t turn or rotate our bodies at any time throughout the week, Saturday mornings first tee shot becomes even more of a challenge. Not to mention the closing three holes where our bodies have thrown in the towel.

Coaches all the time tell us the importance of turning, rotating, posture, weight shift etc. However, it can by nigh on impossible to avoid these flaws if your body is too stiff, weak or off balance to cope with the demands of what the coach wants you to do. Thats why at the UFIT Clinic, we assess your body to establish your physical abilities to efficiently swing a golf club. By performing our Titleist Performance Institute screening with our Golf Physiotherapist, you will get a picture of where you are lacking physically and where you need to improve.

Ok, so you've showed me what I am struggling with, how are you going to help me? Physical improvements can occur at home, in the gym, at the range, wherever you can find time. Also, don’t think you have to find hours in your busy schedules to make improvements. As little as 10 minutes at home can help you hit longer and more accurate.

Common Example

A lot of golfers struggle with their shoulder turns into the back swing, causing a lot of us to standup in the swing which means we will be club path on the downswing will be affected. A simple circuit for improving your shoulder turn in less than 10 minutes can be seen below.

Performing a bow and arrow movement. Open the chest for ten repetitions. You should feel the stretch in your shoulder, chest and mid back.

Performing a bow and arrow movement. Open the chest for ten repetitions. You should feel the stretch in your shoulder, chest and mid back.

With your hand behind your head, open your chest by raising your elbow up towards the ceiling. The stretch should be felt in the chest and upper back. Perform 10-12 repetitions.

With your hand behind your head, open your chest by raising your elbow up towards the ceiling. The stretch should be felt in the chest and upper back. Perform 10-12 repetitions.

Using a foam roller between the shoulder blades, mobilise the upper back by extending over the foam roller. Hold for two deep breathes and relax. Repeat eight repetitions.

Using a foam roller between the shoulder blades, mobilise the upper back by extending over the foam roller. Hold for two deep breathes and relax. Repeat eight repetitions.

Perform this circuit for 10 minutes twice a day, and watch your clubhead speed, club path and plane and your finish improve before your eyes!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, Paul has a extensive experience within professional sport (Football Association of Singapore), private physiotherapy and in the public hospital sector (Singapore General Hospital). Having experienced the profession in a number of settings, Paul has developed a keen insight into what is required to help people of all ages and athletic levels. 

Runners: Your Missing Ingredient To Success!

Most runners run because they love running. They love getting out on the road or the track, they love the time to reset, to reflect, and they love the feeling of achievement after every run – from a competitive race to a slow jog around the park! But what if I told you that there was a way to make your running smoother and faster, to avoid running injuries,  and therefore to get more enjoyment out of it!

Running is essentially a series of one legged hops in a row. In order to improve this, you need to develop the strength and the stability of the movement. The best way to do this is to Squat.

Air Squats

Air Squats

Back Squats

Back Squats

There really is not a better exercise to focus on your core, hips, glutes, and leg strength. Any runner who does not squat is missing out on all the benefits this exercise brings in terms of strength and stability. It can also help to erase any muscle imbalances you have, where one side of your body is doing all the work! Start off just doing body weight squats, ensuring your knees are in line with your toes, and do not extend over your toes. If you can manage this, add a small weight like a medicine ball. Aim for a high volume of reps in order to mimic more closely the requirements of running! You will very soon start feeling the benefit in your muscles, and see the benefits in your running times!

Once you have mastered the squat you can progress to exercises on a single leg.

If you are unsure if you are doing it correctly, or if the squatting movement causes you pain, speak to a good sports trainer or physiotherapist about assessing the movement before you add weigh to it!

See your UFIT Clinic Physiotherapist to get you back to full health today!

Glutes: The Running Engine

Most runners run because they love running. They love getting out on the road or the track, they love the time to reset, to reflect, and they love the feeling of achievement after every run – from a competitive race to a slow jog around the park! But what if I told you that there was a way to make your running smoother and faster, to avoid running injuries, and therefore to get more enjoyment out of it? It’s simple: develop strength and power in your glutes! It’s free, it’s easy, and it will make a big long term difference to your health and happiness!

Running is essentially a series of one legged hops in a row. If your knee is not stable in this movement, you can cause injuries and also waste energy – very important over a long run! In order to improve this, you need to develop the strength and the stability of the movement by focusing on developing power in your glutes! See below for two exercises to introduce into your running program. Do these to become a stronger, faster runner today, and avoid injuries in your future!  

Hip Abduction:

  1. Lie on your side, with your foot in line with your hips, and both hips on top of each other.
  2. Slowly raise and lower your top leg up and down (see Photo 1), ensuring that you feel your glute muscle is activated.
  3. Repeat 20 times on on each leg, for 3 sets.

Single Leg Glute Bridge:

  1. Lie on your back with knees together, and one leg extended off the ground.
  2. Raise your bum up off the ground until there is a straight line from your knee to your hip to your shoulder. (See Photo 2).
  3. Repeat ten times on each leg, twice.

If you are unsure if you are doing it correctly, or if the movement causes you pain, speak to a good sports trainer or physiotherapist about assessing the movement! However, if you can add this in before every run you do, you will quickly find yourself running smoother, and avoiding any niggly injuries which might have been in your path!  
 

About UFIT Clinic

We are a collection of professionals from a range of different disciplines, working together to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of our clients. 

Whilst all being experts in our own fields, we are humble enough to listen and learn, and work with each other to provide the best care for our patients. Staff professional development and further education is one of our guiding principals, and one which we are deeply committed to. Our services include; PhysiotherapyStructural IntegrationMassage TherapyMeditationPerformance PsychologyNutrition and Podiatry & Foot Care.

See your UFIT Clinic Physiotherapist to get you back to full health today!

Why should an experienced coach bring a sport psychologist into the picture?

“I know sport psychology” said the coach, the trainer, and everyone in between. We all have knowledge, experience, and thus opinions about people and what helps them to perform.

There’s no doubt that a top coach intricately understands the psychology of their sport. There are cases when an experienced coach has a stronger knowledge of the sport than the sport psychologist.  Most coaches have worked with an athlete for several years and feel they know them better than a sport psychologist ever could.

Image taken from  businessinsider 's online page

Image taken from businessinsider's online page

So why wouldn’t you bypass the sport psychologist and take the mental skills training with your athletes into your own hands?

Here is my rationale for why working collaboratively with a sport psychologist can lead to great outcomes for you and your athletes, even if the above scenarios are true for you.

Knowing Thy Self

While getting to know an athlete and building rapport is important, a good sport psychologist is primarily concerned with helping the athlete get to know themselves.  This knowledge will form the foundation for knowing when to use certain mental skills, in their own way, in key moments.

Mentoring vs. Awareness Building

Coaches use knowledge and expertise to advise, mentor, and encourage certain habits.  This approach is perfect for facilitating the adoption of sport specific behaviours, but what about innate perceptions, personality, or motivation in an athlete that may be blocking high performance.

I hear coaches say, “I’ve repeatedly talked about this, but nothing is changing.  I just think they don’t want to change or maybe they are just not capable.”

Sometimes change requires the athlete to work from the inside out in a way that advice alone can’t initiate.  In this case, a self-awareness building approach is required.  Contrary to popular belief, sport psychologists are not advisers, we are awareness builders.  We are trained in techniques to facilitate this process in the athlete themselves, allowing a deeper self understanding of their emotions, thoughts, and actions and independently learning how the sport environment influences these things in positive and negative ways.

In this sense, the sport psychologist can be the change agent that opens the door for coaches to elevate an athletes performance to the next level.

Knowledge vs. Adaptation

There is a distinction between understanding sport psychology concepts in the general sense and creating interventions designed to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of each and every individual.  A good sport psychologist is trained to adapt a singular concept introduced in sport psychology theories and to prescribe strategies for an athlete that best suits their needs, strengths, and limitations from a psychological stand point.

Psychologist First, Passion for Sport Second

A sport psychologist is a licensed psychologist first.  We are trained at the highest level to understand and develop interventions for suboptimal human behaviours and to promote the integration of high performing behaviours. Secondly, we are passionate about sport, understand the demands of sport, and the important role the coach plays in developing an athlete’s potential.

I’ve had the most success in achieving performance gains when working collaboratively with a coach on the mental change process in an athlete.  For example, when you can combine the awareness of a golfer’s emotional and mental response, with information from the coach about their technical defaults under pressure or focus lapses, you have a recipe for shaping a powerful intervention from all angles.  A sport psychologist will incorporate an experienced coaches knowledge of the sport and the athlete.

If coaches are serious about taking their athletes to the next level or developing the full potential of the person, it’s definitely worth considering the alliance with a sport psychologist.

About the Author

Book an appointment with Dr Jay-Lee Nair at the Singapore UFIT Clinic to learn how a Mental Notes psychologist can work with you.

ABOUT UFIT CLINIC

We are a collection of professionals from a range of different disciplines, working together to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of our clients. 

Whilst all being experts in our own fields, we are humble enough to listen and learn, and work with each other to provide the best care for our patients. Staff professional development and further education is one of our guiding principals, and one which we are deeply committed to. Our services include; PhysiotherapyStructural IntegrationMassage TherapyMeditationPerformance PsychologyNutrition and Podiatry & Foot Care.

Is perfectionism in sport good? Bad? or both?

Perfectionism has been placed under the researcher’s microscope in recent years to determine whether this complex personality trait has a positive or negative influence on performance and well-being.

Some of the most controversial examples of perfectionistic individuals can be found in the world of elite sport.

When Tiger Woods won his first Major at Augusta he was the longest off the tee by more than 30 yards. He was hitting wedges & 9 irons into the par 5’s and that is when talk of Tiger proofing Augusta started. He won by a record 12 strokes and immediately began the task of transforming his swing.

Nadal.jpeg

Move to the centre court at Wimbledon and you will see the cameras fixed on Rafael Nadal’s eccentric on-court routine. In front of the chair Nadal is sitting on during breaks you will always see two water bottles (one chilled, one not). Every time play changes ends the bottles are lined up so the labels face the baseline of the side he is playing. As they are repositioned he takes a sip from both without fail.

Critics and fans alike have questioned whether these obsessive behaviors are the result of perfectionism gone awry or the secret to success. Is perfectionism, good, bad, or both?

This is the question posed by many Sport Psychologists including myself. Recent research emphasizes perfectionism as a double-edged sword.

On the bright side, perfectionism has been labelled a hallmark of Olympic champions, characterised by extremely high personal standards and an insatiable appetite for success.

On the flip side, when that drive to succeed becomes an obsessive need to avoid failure, the darker side of perfectionism can rear its ugly head.

Research has shown that an adaptive form of perfectionism is indicated by high personal standards for performance, neatness and precision, and persistent hard work and effort in one’s achievement striving. In this form, a perfectionistic individual exemplifies very similar traits to the “high achiever.”

It appears that perfectionism becomes problematic when these seemingly motivational traits coexist with a tendency to be over-self-critical and extremely rigid in one’s performance pursuits such that anything less than perfect is viewed as failure.

The combination of these traits forms maladaptive perfectionism. Unlike those exhibiting maladaptive perfectionistic traits, positive perfectionists aim high but seem to be more accepting of their limitations and limitations in their environment.

So what does perfectionism look like in the real world? We live in a society that praises perfectionistic striving and demands high standards and precision, in order to stand out from the rest. Take a closer look at your own experiences and there’s no doubt you have found yourself tied up in the perfectionism paradox at one point or another.

For some of us, a healthy dose of perfectionism has fuelled our pain-staking efforts to put out a superior product on the job, or stay behind in training countless hours to refine a change in your technique or master a new skill.

Take a look at your habits outside of sport and inside the academic zone. I am certain that as an athlete and student with the desire to reach the top, you have found yourself doing anything you could in order to avoid writing that important mid-term paper.

Not because you hate writing, but because you must produce a perfect piece, and you perceive failure before you begin typing. Instead of starting the project you organize your inbox, clean your apartment, or perhaps even dust off your running shoes.

Many of us don’t realize that procrastination is a key indication of maladaptive perfectionism. When our intentions to deliver an excellent product is confused with a mistake-free product, we are left with doubts about our adequacy to get the job done, resulting in high levels of stress and ultimately, total avoidance of the task. Sound familiar?

So then, how does one maintain the perfectionist’s edge without crossing over to the dark side? What is the secret to finding a balance? For insight into preserving the bright side of your perfectionist nature, look no further than the media releases of the world’s best athletes.

In the ramp up to the London Olympics 2012, BBC news revealed the startling demise of swimming sensation Michael Phelps during his London Olympic campaign. After winning eight gold medals, in a week-long display of invincibility at the 2008 Games, expectations for the then 23 year old “Baltimore Bullet”, rose to nothing short of sheer perfection. Without the freedom to make mistakes, Phelps instinctual move was to avoid the pool at all costs, which he did successfully for almost 2 years from 2009-2010.

Reporters declared Phelps’ come back to Olympic form a by-product of his revived competitive drive. However, when you peel back the layers of Phelps’ perfectionistic nature the truth behind his recovery is in plain sight. The 27-year-old explained, “Everything I’ve done, I’ve been able to learn from – mistakes I’ve made in the pool, mistakes I’ve made out of the pool”.

Showing signs of freedom to be less precise and less self-punitive, Phelps tweeted a month before the Olympics, “My life, my choices, my mistakes, my lessons, not your business.” “Physically it’s been painful, but we’re taking steps in the right direction.” Adaptive perfectionists are people who derive a real sense of pleasure from the labours of a painstaking effort and who feel free to be less precise.

Through the ebbs and flows in the careers of some of the world’s best athletes, we can learn the art of harnessing an adaptive style of perfectionism. The following section provides tips for preventing the dark side of perfectionism and promoting a healthy competitive mind-set for competition and adaptive habits on the range and practice green.

TIPS FOR PREVENTING THE DARK SIDE OF PERFECTIONISM AND PROMOTING HEALTHY ACHIEVEMENT STRIVING IN YOUR TOUR READY ENDEAVOURS.

DEALING WITH FEAR OF FAILURE
Individuals with negative perfectionistic tendencies are driven by a fear of failure.
Confront your fear of failure and breakdown your irrational thinking: Ask yourself: “What is the worst thing that could happen if I didn’t do everything just perfectly?”

Sit down with your coach and discuss “worse case scenarios” and positive responses for the upcoming competition, looking at undesirable situations in the preparation phase, the warm-up before the round, and on-the course.

Planning positive responses to “worse case scenarios” can help you more readily accept the limitations in yourself and your environment and recognise that there is no such thing as perfect preparation, or a perfect round of golf for that matter.

It helps you to feel more in control and ready to adapt your actions and expectations in any situation.

Fear of Failure = Procrastination and Avoidance Behaviour:

Fear of failure often leads to procrastination in training and avoidance of effort in competition to protect against experiencing intense disappointment from not achieving an error free, perfect performance. This is the behaviour associated with the “ALL OR NOTHING” MINDSET OF A PERFECTIONIST.

To prevent this type of behaviour in your own training:

  • During your pre-competition phase of training, plan regular sessions that involve stepping outside of your comfort zone without a focus on the end result but instead on “how much you can learn” This will encourage intense effort without worrying about NOT performing “perfectly.”

Reinterpret the Meaning of Errors and Mistakes

  • Remember that mistakes are inevitable so there is no need to focus on “NOT” making errors. Instead, focus on what you want to see yourself doing well.
  • Recognise mistakes as opportunities to gain feedback to make improvements.

Learn to Let Go
Players with highly negative perfectionistic tendencies often engage in obsessive thoughts about their recent performance and ruminate over mistakes. Put in place rituals that help you step away and focus on other things in their daily life.

  • Debriefing sessions at the end of training or competition with very concise take home points can stop you from repeatedly playing your last golf round over in your mind and take away a clearer, constructive evaluation.
  • Create a “symbolic” physical space/area for stepping in and out of the training environment.

Misplaced Effort is Typical
Be careful not to over-generalise the importance of competition events. Misplaced effort can lead to greater disappointment.

Learn to distinguish between life essentials and non-essentials, priority events and events simply for experience/learning. Your annual plan should clearly specify priority events, events for preparatory purposes, and new events for experience and learning (even at the elite level).

This will promote an adaptive mind-set and allow you to better manage your expectations and energy.

Create Objective Goals for Training
Maladaptive perfectionists focus on avoiding errors and performing every shot/ skill/ set perfectly, therefore these golfers:

  • Have no specific goals for training other than error free performance.
  • Often overlook positive actions in their training or competition.
  • Lose confidence quickly from even average performances.

Keep a structured training diary that specifies:

  • Specific goals for every training session and measure effort 1 – 5 on certain tasks or sets.
  • 3 things you did well and 1 thing to improve.

Aim high but set your expectations at the level you have been performing at in practice. Maintain realistic goals based on real facts about your performance standards.

High personal standards in achievement striving that coexists with these important thoughts and actions around performance, has the potential to be a “perfectly positive disposition.”

About the Author

Dr Jay-Lee Nair PhD | Performance Psychologist at the UFIT clinic

Book an appointment with Dr Jay-Lee at the Singapore UFIT Clinic to learn how a Mental Notes psychologist can work with you.

Sitting Uncomfortably? You should be.

Everyone knows we need to exercise, right? If you don’t know this, I worry for you. But the question is – do you get enough exercise? This, of course, depends on what we consider enough exercise. The American Physical Activity Guidelines (2016) ask us to do 120 minutes to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in a seven day week. 

Reflect for a second: Do you get this done? And more importantly, is this enough

Let’s think about it in an average American’s week – say, for example, the most famous American of them all: Homer Simpson. Homer Simpson gets up every day at 7am. He sits down and has his breakfast. He then sits in his car on the way to work, where he sits for 8 to 9 hours at a computer console. He then sits back in his car for another 30 minute drive home, before sitting down for his dinner with his family, and then sitting in front of the TV for the rest of the evening. Doesn’t sound great, does it? 

Well, how about if I told you that Homer does a 60-minute walk twice a week around his neighbourhood, would that improve your opinion of his sedentary lifestyle? Sure, it is better that he does these walks, but it doesn’t take away from the huge amount of sitting and non-activity that he partakes in daily, and weekly. Here-in lies the problem! 

In the modern day world, we partake in incidental daily activity less and less. Our most popular forms of entertainment - the TV, cinema, professional sports watching, and videogames - all involve us sitting down! We sit down at home for meals, we sit down when we commute to work, and we definitely sit down at work! In fact, the average American worker sits for 8 hours a day in their work place! 

However, all this doesn’t really matter, unless sitting is bad for you. Well, let me ask you another question – is smoking bad for you? Every educated person, from the age of eight upwards, knows that smoking is harmful for your health and should not be encouraged. Now, what if I told you that sitting is as bad for your health as smoking? Shocking, right? Unfortunately, we now know this to be true: 

 

  •      Statistically speaking, prolonged sitting (7 hours or more) every day is as likely to give you cardiovascular disease, as smoking 15-20 cigarettes a day is to give you cancer. 
  •       - American Cancer Society (2013) 


More worryingly, according to the American Cancer Society, the negative effects of prolonged sitting on your health “cannot be undone by intermittent bouts of exercise.” In the same way that you cannot smoke twenty cigarettes and then go for a one mile run ‘to clear your lungs’, you cannot sit for eight hours a day, and then do a 30 minute gym session to avoid the negative impact on your health. Starting to sit uncomfortably?

So where do these findings come from? There have been a couple of big studies recently that have shed light on this ‘Sitting Disease.’ The first, in 2010, was published in the Journal of Epidemiology by Patel et al. They followed 123,000 Americans (male and female) for a period of 13 years, taking data on a whole host of subjects. Shockingly, they found that women that were sedentary for more than 6.5 hours a day, were 94% more likely to die of heart disease during the study, than those that sat for less than 3 hours. These effects were a little bit less pronounced in men, but still startling: 68% of men who sat for more than 6.5 hours a day would succumb to life ending cardiac disease than their more active counterparts. Possibly the most worrying part of these findings were that these risks were completely unrelated to how much exercise the subjects reported getting.

Another study, this time from the Brits, asked 4,560 adults to self-report their activity levels. Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Chau et al. in 2013, they found that after controlling for sex, race, economic status, and activity level, prolonged sitting significantly increased a person’s risk for diabetes and heart disease. This increased risk was evident in those who sat for as little as four hours per day! 

So what exactly is it about sitting that is so bad for us? Basically, if you are sitting down right now, everything from your rib cage down has gone into ‘metabolic shutdown.’ Below your diaphragm, your muscles have stopped working. Therefore, while your heart continues working to pump the blood around your system, you are using far less blood glucose and triglycerides. Persistently high levels of these floating around your body will eventually guarantee you either heart or circulatory disease.  

Sitting uncomfortably now? Don’t worry, there are things we can do to stop the downward slide. 

The first, and most obvious solution, is to Stand Up while at work. Researchers at the University of Chester found that by standing up for three hours a day (5 days a week, at work), subjects heart rates were found to be 10 beats per minute faster than those sitting in the same time. This is an improvement of about 50 calories burned an hour, or 750 extra calories burned in your working week. Whilst this might sound like much – over the course of the year, this works out to the equivalent of running 10 marathons over the year!

If your office currently doesn’t support a standing work environment, talk to your management about it. In ten years time, it will seem archaic to have desks in a corporate environment which cannot be raised to allow office workers to stand up while working. Think of how quickly the corporate environment got rid of ‘smoking areas’ once the true cost of smoking was realised! Until then, take regular breaks from sitting, implement stand up meetings, or have a ‘walking lunch’ with colleagues. At the very least – no more sitting on the MRT! 

Good luck! Your body will thank you in the long term. 

 

About the author

Declan Halpin (written while standing – kind of)

 

Declan Halpin is a physiotherapist based in Singapore, at the UFIT Clinic. He has worked with the Singapore Rugby Union as both physiotherapist, as well as the Western Province Stormers in South Africa. He is a senior medical educator for World Rugby, and travels throughout Asia delivering courses on medical care in rugby. Recently, Declan was asked to step in for the New Zealand All Blacks as their physiotherapist at the HSBC 7s in Singapore. For more information on this topic, or help with injuries, please contact him at www.ufitclinic.com.sg or make an appointment through +65 6532 2025. 

So what does a Golf Physiotherapist actually do?

Are you an avid golfer looking to improve your game or need assistance with an injury? Find out why you might be in need of a Golf Physiotherapist to help say goodbye to those niggles and pains.

 

 

What is a ‘Golf Physiotherapist”?

Simply, a Golf Physiotherapist is a specialised in the assessment and management of injuries which are unique to golfers and the golf swing.
 

What’s different about a Golf Physiotherapist from a general Physiotherapist?

An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the game of golf! Golf as a sport poses a unique biomechanical load on the human body, and requires specific areas of flexibility and stability in order to play well and injury free.

Having trained with the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), we utilise a system incorporating video analysis, golf specific movement screening and physiotherapy assessment techniques to identify any dysfunctions and potential causes of injury.

What does a golf Physiotherapist do?

We look at your golf swing, and we break down the golf swing to see how your body moves in each specific phase of the swing. Using this data, we can be specific on what is causing your issues and target the cause, not just the effect. After identifying these dysfunctions, targeted interventions using manual therapy, mobility work, flexibility training and strength training are implemented to getting you back to your optimal level of performance.

 

How will a Golf Physiotherapist help me?

By addressing your weakness in the gym and the clinic, you are then able to work on your strengths on the course and the range. At the UFIT Clinic, we work closely with your coach to ensure your body is capable of performing the best swing for you. If you are injured, a golf specific Physiotherapist will identify the part of your body where the dysfunction originates and work on improving both your short and long term health.

Paul Doohan talks Golf with Su Ann Heng

Paul Doohan talks Golf with Su Ann Heng

Do I have to be injured to see a Golf Physiotherapist?

No, anybody who wants to improve their golfing performance will benefit from seeing a golf physiotherapist! One of our major aims is injury prevention. If your back, neck, shoulder, wrist or elbow are giving niggling issues which are not yet stopping you playing, we can intervene to prevent a performance limiting problem from developing. Its much easier to prevent a problem than to fix a problem!

Who should see a Golf Physiotherapist?

If you are worried about any physical issue limiting your performance, if you have any pain during your golf swing, if you are finding the last 4 holes are a real struggle, or if you are looking at improving your performance and reducing your handicap, you will benefit massively from a consultation with our Golf Physiotherapist. You will be healthier, and your game will improve.

Golf specific therapists have been around for a few years on the PGA and USPGA tours, and are very popular in the United States.

Having this systematic approach to the golfers physical health and his/her swing allows a golf physiotherapist to provide the optimal care to the athlete.
 

About the UFIT Clinic

We are a collection of professionals from a range of different disciplines, working together to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of our clients. 

Whilst all being experts in our own fields, we are humble enough to listen and learn, and work with each other to provide the best care for our patients. Staff professional development and further education is one of our guiding principals, and one which we are deeply committed to. Our services include; PhysiotherapyStructural IntegrationMassage TherapyMeditationPerformance PsychologyNutrition and Podiatry & Foot Care.

 

About the Author

Paul Doohan is one of the UFIT Clinic's top Physiotherapists and specialises in Golf Physiotherapy. Possessing a certification with the Titleist Performance Institute, Paul specialises in the assessment and treatment of golfers, helping deliver effective results in injury management and prevention, as well as performance improvement.

Visit us today - www.ufitclinic.com

Runners: Your Hips Don't Lie!

Are you a regular runner finding yourself with tedious pains after your runs?

Running, is known for high impact and stress it puts on your bones, muscles and connective tissue around the hip when taking part in this repetitive. It doesn’t matter what age you are, hip pain can occur in all runners. While it may start off mild, hip pain can become much more severe as time goes on if it is not treated properly. Therefore, it is important to take the proper precautions, reduce your training if you're experiencing running-related hip pain.

At the UFIT Clinic, one of the biggest groups of patients we see for injuries are competitive and social runners. Runners, more than most, have a single-minded devotion to their sport – heading out in rain or shine here in Singapore. Unfortunately, this devotion often leads to them “running through the pain” when they feel a niggle in their knees, or ankles. Eventually, this kind of attitude will lead to you ending up in physiotherapy with one of our therapists – and while we’re always happy to see you at the UFIT Clinic, we think you would probably prefer to be still out there jogging!

ufit-clinic-running-physiotherapy

 

So how do you avoid this fate? It all starts with your hips!

When you think about it, running is really just a series of single leg hops, over and over again. If you do not have sufficient strength and stability in your pelvis and hips, this is going to make this single leg hop action unsteady and not very powerful. If this is the case, it will make you both less efficient as a runner, and also more likely to injure yourself – bad news for any runner, social or competitive!

Why?

First, let’s discuss performance: running is about moving from point A to Point B in a straight line, as quickly as possible. Any deviation from this straight line in your body is a waste of energy – you are bleeding power. If your hip and pelvis aren’t stable, this leads to a ‘rolling gait’, and your knees pointing inwards instead of straight ahead – a loss of straight line power. Over the course of a long run, these incremental losses will add up to quite a big waste of your stored energy levels, leaving you with a less impressive run-time than anticipated.

The second issue is injuries. Without hip and pelvic stability, your knees and ankles will roll inwards with every step. Eventually, this will lead to overuse stress on the cartilage on one side of the knee, or your patellar tendon, resulting in a painful chronic injury, making running painful, leading to many physiotherapy appointments, and potentially leading to surgery.  

So how do I know if I have pelvic instability?

You can test yourself very simply.

1.     Single Leg Hop Test: One easy way is to hop up and down in front of a mirror, watching your knee. Does your knee stay in line with your toes, or rotate inwards? Does your upper body stay straight and stable?

2.     Wobble Lunge Test: If you have access to a wobble board, place it out in front of you about three feet away. Then, with a dowel across your shoulders (a broomstick will do), lunge forward, placing your lead foot on the wobble board. Again, are you able to keep your knees in line with your toes? Can you keep a strong, stable body position, or do you collapse to one side?

If your answer to either of these questions is ‘No’– I suggest you talk to a good personal trainer at UFIT, or a physiotherapist at the UFIT Clinic, before you commit to a regular running schedule. They should be able to assess your running and prescribe you some hip strengthening and pelvic stability exercises to ensure that you remain injury free, and also become a stronger, faster runner.

Do it for your running times, and do it for your knees!

If this sounds like you, come and see one of our Physiotherapists today – www.ufitclinic.com

About the Author

Declan Halpin has always maintained a strong sporting interest, and has previously worked as an Academy Physiotherapist for Crystal Palace Football Club (a professional football club in London, England), and as a Rehabilitation Coach for the Western Province Stormers Academy (a professional rugby club from Cape Town, South Africa). Declan is our Senior Physiotherapist at the UFIT Clinic heading up Singapore's only clinic that combines an international team of experts from multi-disciplinary backgrounds  to ensure that your health is always at the forefront. 

 

Understanding the Healing Power of Rolfing - Structural Integration.

Rolfing or Structural Integration is a system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organises the body in gravity in order to achieve balance. 

Rolfing was created by Dr. Ida Rolf who received her PH.D in biochemistry in 1920, she then furthered her knowledge through scientific work in organic chemistry.

In creating Rolfing, Dr Rolf, applied her knowledge of science to seek answers for health and wellbeing and embraced a wide range of approaches including  Osteopathy, Chiropractic medicine , Yoga and the Alexander Technique.

Bringing together a variety of disciplines Dr Rolf discovered that she could achieve remarkable changes in posture and structure by manipulating the body’s Myofascial system, she believed that everything is connected. Eventually she named her work StructuralIntegration.

Structural Integration is a type of bodywork that focuses on the connective tissue or fascia of the body. Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together, essential to the dance between stability and movement , and crucial in high performance and central in recovery from injury.

Fascia is designed to be elastic and move freely with muscles and bones. Injury, stress, work related repetitive movements can cause fascia to lose its elasticity and become shorter, tighter and denser. Tightened fascia pulls our muscles and skeleton out of proper alignment , which can cause pain, discomfort and fatigue.

Structural Integration at UFIT Clinic works to lengthen, stretch and soften this tissue to improve posture and bring the body’s natural structure into proper balance, alignment and integration.

Structural integration is beneficial for all types of people, Some  patients come to ease chronic back, neck and joint pain and others come hoping to improve their athletic performance or to keep in top condition to prevent or quickly recover from injuries

In general a body that is more aligned and balanced in gravity moves with more ease, fluidity, efficiency and grace.  An aligned and balanced body can improve breathing and increase energy, boost self-confidence and relieve physical and mental stress.

 

About the Author – Maria Hussain

I’ve been been practicing bodywork for more than 10 years and I’m a qualified Structural Integration practitioner, studying with Tom Myers the author of Anatomy Trains and the founder of KMI Structural Integration,  Meyers is an advanced Rolfer with more than 40 years’ experience. For more information on Rolfing visit www.anatomytrains.com/at/kmi/experience/

The sessions are practiced at UFIT Clinic, 6 Raffles Quay and to find out more about Maria Hussain and her work with Structural Integration and Fascia Muscle.

All our blogs are written in conjunction with our sister site ufit.com.sg

Running Injuries

How to Prevent Running Injuries with UFIT

Maybe it is terribly obvious that your feet are one of the most important assets when it comes to running. But most runners don’t realize what benefits come from the maintenance of proper podiatric health. Whether you are Usain Bolt or just another person trying to finish a weekend 5k, runners of all capacities can benefit from appropriate podiatric care.

As the main conduit between your body and the ground, that you are pushing with, don’t you think your feet deserve more attention than we often give them? Maintaining proper foot health is the key to a long and successful running career.

Professional runners from 3 times New York City Marathon Champion Alberto Salazar to American Record Holder in the Mile, Alan Webb are proponents of proper foot care. It’s only logical to think that the part of the body enduring the most abuse deserves the most attention and care.

Luckily foot care in the running industry has a long history of in-depth study that has lead to large advances in podiatric technology geared towards preventing injuries.

What are the most Common Injuries?

Injury is the criminal inevitability of the sport and is almost a rite of passage to becoming a true runner. Though we cannot prevent injury all together there are various methods and techniques that your podiatrist can recommend to help reduce the frequency of these injuries. Some of the most common injuries reported by runners are plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciopathy, and Achilles tendinitis.

These are all categorized as overuse injuries that leave runners vulnerable to these ailments. Though they are all categorized under a single title there are many different factors that will put you at a higher risk of contracting these running-related injuries. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Improper Bio-Mechanics
  • Sudden changes in running surfaces (grass to asphalt)
  • Improper mechanics of the foot such as high and low arches
  • Sudden changes in training stimulus (Adding sprints, hills, or mileage too quickly)

How to Avoid Injury?

The causes listed above are all contributing factors to the aforementioned overuse injuries. Injuries like Achilles tendinitis are often due to muscle weakness in the lower leg combined with improper foot mechanics. This type of injury for example can be prevented by the implementation of a strength and flexibility routine provided by your podiatrist.

Pascal Dobert, former Olympian in the steeplechase and current strength and flexibility coach for the Oregon Track Club Elite is an advocate of the eccentric heel drop exercise for when runners are looking to prevent Achilles tendinitis.

David McHenry, a physical therapist for the Nike Oregon Project suggests runners who suffer from plantar fasciopathy and plantar fasciitis start a routine of foot strengthening exercises to help prevent and relieve pain from these common overuse injuries. By visiting your doctor, he or she will also be able to analyze what biomechanical imbalances exist within your foot and will be able to construct orthotics that will provide proper support. In short, we are not centipedes so we only get 1 pair of feet so make sure you treat them well.

Are custom orthotics worth it?

If you’ve ever been to a podiatrist because of a running injury, it’s likely that he or she suggested you get a custom shoe insert, or “orthotic,” made to treat or prevent injury. Certainly, there are still some universals when it comes to custom orthotic design. A runner with chronic pain under his first metatarsal head will almost certainly benefit from a shoe insert which will help relieve pressure on this area. And fortunately, the field of podiatry is (slowly) moving away from evaluating every foot relative to a “normal” one and instead focusing on the actual cause of tissue stress.

If your doctor does recommend a custom insert, don’t be afraid to try a high-quality over-the-counter orthotic first (like Super Feet or Power Step insoles), since they aren’t nearly as expensive as a custom orthotic, and at least one study has indicated that they may work just as well as a custom orthotic.

But the issue of comfort remains your best indicator of whether or not an orthotic is going to work for you. If you have a foot or lower leg injury and decide to give an orthotic a shot, it should feel better, not worse, than running without an orthotic. If an orthotic feels wonky while walking or running, it’s unlikely that it will help prevent future injuries.

So if you suffer from foot pain and want to know more about how to prevent injuries then our runners assessment package is the best place.

See your chosen Podiatrist Tim Maiden at UFIT Clinic: www.ufitclinic.com.