Crawley Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic
Visit our Location
The Pinnacle, Station Way, Crawley, RH10 1JH
Opening Hours
Mon - Sunday: 8AM - 6PM

Do Front Squats Increase The Risk Of Achilles Tendon Injury?

Squats.

We love them as much as we hate them. 

Nonetheless, none of us dare to question their effectiveness for building lower body strength, power and improving performance in almost all sports.

The back squat, where the barbell is placed on the upper back, is the most common form of strength training squat exercise, but some also opt for the ‘front squat’, where the barbell is placed in front of you whilst squatting (using a variety of grip techniques).

Little is known about the front squat, and on the surface it can be easy to assume it’s simple just another position of a barbell squat, but the mechanics are in fact entirely different. As a result of this, the outcomes of the front squat are in fact different to a back squat. 

 

The biomechanical differences between front and back squat

To the human eye, if quickly glancing at the different types of squats, they look very similar. A barbell is placed at approximately shoulder level, horizontally, the feet placement are slightly less than shoulder width with a slight outward flare.

The difference in the biomechanics of each squat does not actually appear until the squat motion begins.

When you have a barbell on your back, and you squat down, you have the ability to lean (slightly) forward without losing balance, because the weight behind you will keep the equilibrium. 

This is not the case with the barbell in front. Leaning forward in this instance will be further aggravated by the weight of the barbell, and there is higher chance of losing balance.

Read More

covid header

Our Covid-19 Promise

We live in truly extraordinary times. 

Covid-19 has shifted the way we do almost everything in our day to day lives.

The way we approach our health is different also.

Many of us are now working from home. Although in many ways this has its benefits, there are also some drawbacks I’m hearing frequently from clients.

Working on our kitchen table, or in our bedroom, with a last-minute purchased home desk and uncomfortable chair is not ideal for our backs, shoulders or neck.

This might present new pain symptoms that were never present before. Yet, there are many things you can do to help alleviate the pain and prevent it getting worse, as working from home becomes the ‘new normal’.

The good news is, as a physiotherapist in Crawley, I am allowed to continue working as usually during this November lockdown. This is based on guidance from government and local authorities, as well as regulatory advice from healthcare providers. This means I am able to offer face-face in person treatment for new and existing patients.

It’s natural to be cautious when visiting any shop or clinic at this time, however quality and safety has always been a fundamental part of my approach as a physio.

With that being said I have put in place a few measures to ensure you can attend your appointment confidently and without worry:

  1. All new patients will undergo a Covid-19 questionnaire screening process, to ensure you are safe to have treatment and do not risk others in the clinic building.
  2. All patients will have regular temperature checks.
  3. A face shield will be worn by myself for the full duration of the appointment.
  4. All major surfaces and the plinth (treatment tablet) will be wiped between each appointment.

When you attend for your appointment please ensure you:

  1. Only enter 5 minutes (maximum) for your appointment to present crowding the waiting room.
  2. Remain outside if there is no suitable space in the waiting room to maintain 2m distance from other customers.
  3. Wear a face covering if possible.
  4. Attend your appointment alone unless you require a chaperone
  5. Use hand sanitiser before and after your appointment.

We are going through challenging times, but don’t let pain stop you from doing your best to conquer the challenges we all are all facing.

If I am able to help in any way with your back pain, neck/shoulder pain, knees or hip pain, or anything else that’s nagging or aching, please do reach out.

should you stretch before exercise

Should You Stretch Before Exercise? A Data-Driven Answer

Introduction

Although it is a practice all fitness enthusiasts undertake, stretching before intensive exercise has often been an underlooked topic of interest.

We all know that preparing oneself physically before working out is essential, to prevent injury and to perform at our peak level.

We often scrutinise how to perform our workouts most efficiently, to get the best results we could obtain.

Rarely, however, do we scrutinise our warm-up and stretching routine.

This article aims to shed some light on what the scientific literature has to say about stretching as a means for an effective pre-workout warm-up, to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Read More

benefits of exercise for pregnant women

5 Incredible Benefits of Exercise for Pregnant Women (Infographic)

Many of you know I am a huge advocate for regular exercise and constantly stress the importance of low intensity ‘steady state’ as well as high intensity (interval or weight training) exercise routines for injury prevention, longevity, mental health and and overall well-being.

It’s commonly unknown, however, how vital exercise is for pregnant women.

In our physiotherapy clinic I commonly see pregnant women concerned or afraid of being physically active, and rightly so (to an extent). Overly strenuous physical activity can be harmful and could put you in a position to hurt yourself or your child. Heavy lifting, intensive sport activity and high intensity weight training should be avoided or minimised where possible – and it’s important you review any activities such as this that you feel you can’t avoid (for example, if your work activities involve constant heavy lifting) with your GP and midwife.

However, light and moderate exercise is completely safe for all healthy pregnant women and should be encouraged, as it comes along with multiple surprising benefits. So what are the benefits of exercise for pregnant women?

I’ve created an infographic to explain some of the more interesting and beneficial side effects of low/moderate exercise for pregnant women:  Read More

best sports shop in crawley

What is the Best Sports Shop in Crawley?

Introduction

In Crawley we are lucky to have a wide variety of commercial shops, but in addition to this we’re quite fortunate that Crawley has some boutique and one-off style shops that you can’t find elsewhere.

When it comes to sports products, I would have to say I’m quite the connoisseur (well not really, but I have a fair knowledge of the industry). As a physio based in Crawley, I have a passion for sports, health and wellbeing, and whenever I come across a sports shop, as embarrassing as it sounds, I feel like a kid who has just discovered Charlie’s Chocolate Factory.

Part of the reason is, sports clothing is my favourite type of clothing. It’s by far the most comfortable clothing you can wear. As a physio I’ve worn sports clothing my entire career, and I’ve played some form sports since I can remember being alive, so I’ve tested almost everything.

So what is the best sports shop in Crawley? This article aimed to help you be able to decide which sports shop is best to go to for your specific requirements. It’s worth noting, I’ll be referring to sports shops that are located in Crawley town centre, as this is the primary hub of shopping for residence in the area.

Read More

exercise after joint replacement

The Importance of Exercise After Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgeries, such as knee replacements and hip replacements, are common in those with end stage arthritis and can sometimes can also occur when younger from certain musculoskeletal conditions and/or significant injury.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) explains that total joint replacements are usually recommended after non-surgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy and lifestyle changes do not relieve pain symptoms or limited function as a result of one’s condition.

They go on to describe how joint pain that may lead to surgery can, in many cases, come from damage or wearing away of the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones. The lack of cartilage can lead to bone impacting on bone, causing pain inside the joint.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) also describe how the purpose of joint replacements are to remove parts of joints that are damaged or diseased and replace them with artificial parts in order to allow for improved movement and stability of the joint and therefore better day to day function.

What’s also important to note, in addition, is that a joint replacement surgery in and of itself will not entirely fix the symptoms in every case. Read More

yoga for lower back pain

Yoga for Lower Back Pain: Does It Work? A Data Driven Answer

Most likely, you’ve experienced it. We all have.

Lower back pain.

It’s one of the most common form of musculoskeletal injuries across the world.

It’s also the single leading cause of disability worldwide. 80% of people experience lower back pain at some point or another in their lives.
The effect of lower back pain is not only crippling on people individually, but has a significant impact on workplace productivity and the economy.

Research shows americans spend $50,000,000,000 per year on medicines for lower back pain, in the UK lower back pain is liable for the loss of one in six working days and in Sweden the number of workdays lost due to lower back pain has increased from 7 million (in 1980) to 28 million (in 1987).

Following this, people have long saught alternative options to help alleviate their symptoms of lower back pain, often finding that conventional advice given by doctors to take painkillers and rest simply do not work.

At our clinic, we see lower back pain on a daily basis, often associated with a difficulty mobilising comfortably, difficulties bending down, sleeping, playing sports and more.

As the lower back can almost be viewed as the ‘lever’ or ‘centrepoint’ of the body, it’s used in most day to day activities, and therefore when pain in the area arises it has a subsequent global impact on function.

Similarly to this, the general interest in yoga has increased over time. This isn’t a surprise, as there has been a vivid increase in people interested in health and wellbeing as a whole, with more restaurants offering healthier options of their staple meals, more awareness of health topics due to increasing scientific research, documentaries and information as well as easier access to these via social media.

Read More

exercise and happiness

Exercise and Happiness: An Under-Discussed Secret

The link between exercise and happiness is already well established, but the importance of this link is not.

For those interested in understanding what contributes to a joyful life, I would argue an absolute imperative is regular exercise as the scientific literature seems comprehensive in its findings.

Often, we discuss philosophical principles, habits of thinking, and daily practices that happy individuals consistently engage in to lean towards more long-term joy. Eons of religious and spiritual traditions have discussed the psychology of an awakened or ‘realised’ individual, none of which have pointed to this secret.

The secret of exercise.

Read More

how to use ice

How to Use Ice Effectively for Muscle Injuries

We all have heard of it.

The use of ice or cold therapy for reducing symptoms of acute muscle injury has been used for generations, and there’s good evidence to suggest it works. But the question is, how to use ice effectively for maximum results.

The reason I’ve long been an advocate for using cold application to a muscle injury is partly due to the strong evidence but also due to the fact it’s a simple, easy accessible and most importantly, has no adverse side effects.

The important primary thing to know about ice therapy is that it’s not a method by which you can heal an injury but instead a very effective way to decrease inflammation for acute or new injuries.

We know scientifically it has two main ways in which is does this: by reducing swelling and by acting as a natural pain reliever.

It reduces swelling but causing blood vessels to constrict – known as vasoconstriction. This reduced the quantity of blood flow to an injured muscle, which will naturally be heightened after injury due to the natural inflammation/swelling process Also, due the ‘numbing effect’ of ice (where by the ice itself numbs the nerve ending once applied) it acts as a pain reliever.

This makes it an incredible alternative to over the counter anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications which are known to have adverse side effects.

That being said, there are effective ways to ice therapy and ineffective ways.

Read More