Covid 19 – What to expect when you come for an appointment

New patients who have never had Physio before are often filled with a little trepidation when coming through our door, as they have no idea what to expect.  With the current madness of Covid 19, a visit to the Physio has changed for all of our patients.  I thought that I would you share with you what you should expect from a visit to the Physio as Lockdown unfolds and we are able to see patients again.

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Physiotherapy and Covid 19


Physiotherapy and Covid 19 – should we be treating patients?

Physiotherapy is a touching profession, so directions to practice physical distancing and avoid person-to-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic don’t translate well when applied to physiotherapy treatment. As this pandemic has unfolded, direction to physiotherapists has centred around maintaining a safe practice environment through enhanced cleaning practices, increasing social distance in waiting rooms and treatment spaces, and encouraging those who are ill, both patients and physiotherapists alike, to stay home.

As a result of Public Health England and Government advice, private practice physiotherapy clinics and other physiotherapy businesses were encouraged to close at the end of March except when providing emergency and urgent services.  Ashburton Physio closed a few days before lockdown as we felt that continuing was unsafe for both patients and clinicians.

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Couch to 5k – I think the sunshine has gone to my head!

Couch to 5k

Couch to 5k has been on my mind for some time.  Many of you will know that whilst I bang on a lot about how good exercise is for you, I haven’t always practiced what I’ve preached. I have learned all the excuses for not doing it from my patients over the years.   For the past 14 months, I have been going to a personal trainer every week which has inspired me to do some exercise at home and use an exercise bike.  Without a doubt, I am a lot fitter for it, and a little thinner.  But, I reward myself with food, which means that the more I exercise, the more I feel that I ‘deserve’ that glass of wine or Ginger Nut!

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Cycling Injuries – Common Myths

Cycling injuries – Five Common Myths

and why they might be wrong


Below we discuss the most common pitfalls to be aware of when it comes to finding the causes and best treatments for Cycling Injuries.  As keen cyclists always hungry to improve, we get our information from all kinds of places; other riders, magazines and the professionals we see on TV, but how do we know what we’re doing is right, and best for us personally?

When it comes to Cycling Injuries, according to the experts, there are some commonly held misconceptions that could mislead us, the kind that we see here at Ashburton Physio most regularly when patients present with cycling injuries or pain which refuses to go away.

There is so much stuff out there, which when we take time to reflect on it, there isn’t much evidence for. It is really important that we question things,  easy answers are not necessarily the right ones. In every setting, we have to ask ‘does this make a difference to me?’”

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Achilles Tendinopathy – what should you do?


What is Achilles tendinopathy and what causes it?

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the Achilles tendon. It is thought to be caused by repeated tiny injuries (known as microtrauma) to the Achilles tendon. After each injury, the tendon does not heal completely, as should normally happen. This means that over time, damage to the Achilles tendon builds up and Achilles tendinopathy can develop.

This is a subject close to my heart at the moment as I am experiencing symptoms.

The Achilles Tendon can be found just above the heel bone, it attaches the calf muscles, Gastrocnemius and Soleus to the heel.

There are a number of things that may lead to these repeated tiny injuries to the Achilles tendon. For example:

  • Overuse of the Achilles tendon. This can be a problem for people who run regularly. (Achilles tendinopathy can also be a problem for dancers and for people who play a lot of tennis or other sports that involve jumping.)
  • Training or exercising wearing inappropriate footwear.
  • Having poor training or exercising techniques – for example, a poor running technique.
  • Making a change to your training programme – for example, rapidly increasing the intensity of your training and how often you train.
  • Training or exercising on hard or sloped surfaces.

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Shin Splints or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is a common injury amongst runners.

Like so many of the running injuries we see in clinic every day, Shin Splints is classed as an ‘overuse injury’. It does appear in other sports but is certainly much more prevalent in runners.


In typical cases of Shin Splints, pain is usually felt two-thirds of the way down the shin bone (Tibia), just off the inside edge of the bone.  In the early stages of the condition, pain is usually felt at the beginning of a run and then subsides during the training session itself. Commonly, symptoms also tend to reduce a few minutes after a run session has finished.

As the injury gets worse the pain can be felt when walking and at rest.

It is often painful when direct pressure is applied to the inside border of the tibia. Occasionally some swelling can be present.

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Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder is a common cause of shoulder pain, particularly within middle-aged patients. Indeed, in Chinese medicine, Frozen Shoulder is known as ’50-year-old shoulder syndrome’. It is also known as ‘Adhesive Capsulitis’ meaning a ‘Sticky Capsule’ and more recently is coined a ‘Contracted Frozen Shoulder’. It is slightly more common among females than males and is more likely to occur following an injury to the shoulder and is more commonly seen in patients with certain medical conditions such as diabetes. Often there is no cause or explanation for why a Frozen Shoulder occurs.

Typically, Frozen Shoulder often starts slowly, with quite severe pain, often in the upper arm, which then develops into pain with severe stiffness and loss of range of motion at the shoulder region. Patients more often complain that they are having difficulty sleeping due to the pain. The loss of movement most often associated with a frozen shoulder affects the ability for patients to externally rotate their shoulder (turn their shoulder outwards) and therefore patients see a severe restriction of certain movements such as washing their hair or reaching their arm into their coat sleeve.

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Back Pain and Physiotherapy

Lower Back Pain (lumbago) is particularly common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine – from the neck down to the hips. In the case of lower back pain, statistics show that 80% of the population have suffered from some complaint in this area.

The scary statistic is that of this number, 80% of the injuries will reoccur within three years. Often the reoccurrence rates increase, eventually resulting in constant pain. In most cases, the pain isn’t caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time. Patients need to learn how to manage their symptoms to avoid the pain returning.  This is where Physiotherapy comes into its own. Whether back pain rules your life or you just get an occasional twinge, physiotherapy should be able to help you, and hopefully, help recurrences.

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Acupuncture Headaches Physio

Headaches – Physio and Acupuncture

A Headache is a pain in the head due to varying causes. Headaches may result from any number of factors, including tension; muscle contraction; vascular problems; withdrawal from certain medications; abscesses; or injury.

Headaches fall into three main categories:

Cervicogenic, Tension-type and Migraine.

  • Cervicogenic or Neck-related headaches are the most recently diagnosed type of headache and are musculoskeletal in nature. They may be caused by pain in the neck or spine that is transferred to the head. Many times, neck related headaches go undiagnosed because of their recent classification.
  • Tension-type headaches are the most frequent. Patients who endure tension-type headaches usually feel mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. The pain is usually described as tight, stiff or constricting as if something is being wrapped around your head and squeezed tightly.
  • Migraines affect far fewer people than tension-type headaches and have a much shorter duration, their symptoms are much more severe. They typically affect women more frequently than men, with pain that usually occurs on one side of the head. Migraines can be so severe that they can cause loss of appetite, blurred vision, nausea and even vomiting.

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Tennis elbow

Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis

Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. It is clinically known as lateral epicondylitis and occurs following overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint.

You may notice pain:

  • on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow
  • whilst lifting or bending your arm
  • when gripping small objects, such as a pen
  • if twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar

You may also find it difficult to fully extend your arm.

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