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Are you Sleeping Efficiently?

Have you ever felt tired, even after sleeping for nine or ten hours? Sleep is something we do spontaneously and instinctively. Most of us can sleep, but not all of us sleep efficiently.

Since it's such a fundamental part of our health, it's considered essential to sleep efficiently. Efficient sleep is when you're sleeping soundly and not just tossing and turning in bed. Some people might lie in bed for nine hours but only get five hours of sound restorative sleep which may result in fatigue symptoms the following day. 
The Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase is the most critical part of efficient sleep. It is also the sleep period when your brain processes your thoughts and memories, learning and putting them into perspective for you. REM sleep also plays a crucial role in overcoming difficult or traumatic events. So, entering the REM stage of sleep is essential during times of crisis.
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Botox for TMJ Pain

I recently chatted with Lynette Pickersgill (Practice Principal here at Buderim Advanced Physiotherapy) about the role of Botox injections in treating Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).

TMD is a common condition that may cause painful, stiff and sometimes clicky jaws along with many other associated problems. 

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Understanding Pain & the Brain

Pain signals can get 'trapped' in the brain, which can cause feelings of pain even after the injury has healed.
These pain signals bounce around the brain, affecting our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, making us think that something is seriously wrong with our body. The effects within the brain may also make us feel depressed or anxious and not want to move or exercise for fear of doing damage. 
A combination of the trapped pain signals and negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours can cause the brain to become super sensitised so that other parts of the body can start to hurt as well, even though there is no injury or tissue damage.
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Acupuncture for Sore, Stiff and Clicking Jaws

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are jaw disorders on one or both sides of the head. They may be caused by problems with the temporomandibular joint, the masticatory aka chewing muscles, and the associated head and neck muscles, joints and nerves. The result is usually pain in the jaw, problems opening the mouth, chewing and sometimes drinking. Quite often, headaches are experienced as part of the clinical presentation.

According to Seung-Hun Cho & Wang (2010) and Justo et al. (2017), acupuncture is an effective symptomatic treatment of temporomandibular dysfunction and from our experience is definitely with considering as a treatment option.

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Running Injuries due to Wear and Tear

A runner's body is subject to much wear and tear: The longer and faster the runs, the greater the wear and tear over time.

Our muscles seem to deal with most of the wear and tear, which over time, can lead to muscle imbalance, pain and reduced running efficiency.

An example of muscle imbalance may start with a weak gluteus medius resulting in overactivity of the upper gluteus maximus, tensor fasciae latae, and lateral quadriceps muscles. Such muscle imbalance may lead to knee pain (patellofemoral pain syndrome) and possibly patellar tendinopathy. The overactive muscles themselves may also become painful due to the development of myofascial trigger points.

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Experiencing Elbow Pain

Last week I was lifting something heavy and awkward and felt a tweak just below my right elbow. Over the next few hours, I experienced pain and weakness on lifting and gripping activities involving my right hand as well as tenderness over the muscle which runs from just above the outer elbow to the back of the hand, the extensor carpi radialis longus.

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Boost your Brain with Food!

What you eat has a massive impact on your brain’s health. Good dietary choices can protect you against severe neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. But eating well doesn’t just help improve your long-term health – it can also make you sharper, more balanced and happier.

Author Max Lugavere has developed The Genius Plan, which starts with a 14-day period in which you focus on eliminating brain-toxic foods like sugar, processed oils and grain products. Reducing your consumption of these types of foods will reduce long-term brain inflammation.

Brain inflammation can cause all sorts of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s, anxiety, depression, lethargy and reduced cognitive functioning.

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Breathing to Get More Rest

Did you know? By simply blocking light from your eyes and controlling your breath for a while, you can recharge yourself.

When we talk about the importance of rest, we’re not just talking about getting enough sleep. Rest is anything that helps you revitalize yourself. Regardless of how much sleep you get, you could probably use some more refreshment throughout the day.

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Support for those with Long-Covid

In recent weeks many of our clients have mentioned they know of friends or family members struggling with the symptoms of what is being referred to as Long-Covid. Many are unsure which healthcare providers are best able to provide support. 
What is Long-Covid?
Most people who experience Covid-19 will have symptoms that resolve within approximately 12 weeks. The majority of those who develop COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms followed by a period of tiredness or fatigue for several weeks before making a full recovery. 
Unfortunately, some will experience either prolonged symptoms or, after beginning to recover, develop a recurrence of symptoms approximately six weeks after their initial infection. If symptoms persist for longer than 12 weeks, this may be referred to as Long-Covid.
The umbrella term of Long-Covid describes the cluster of signs and symptoms which may develop or persist after the acute phase of the infection.
Examples of Symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of Breath (dyspnoea)
  • Headaches, confusion, or seizures
  • Reduced concentration or "brain fog."
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Chest Pain or tightness
  • Cough
  • Loss of Smell (anosmia)
Alongside doctors and nurses, physiotherapists have played a key role in caring for and treating Covid-19 patients in hospitals and at home. The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) has recently launched a campaign to highlight the role of physiotherapists in managing not only acute Covid-19 symptoms but also the symptoms associated with Long-Covid.
Here at Mount Merrion Physiotherapy & Health, we offer courses of treatment to support and facilitate the recovery of those with Long-Covid symptoms.
Treatment may include a combination of the following techniques:
  • Corrective breathing techniques and home exercises 
  • Activity pacing 
  • Cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility exercise programmes
  • Diet and nutrition information and education resources
  • Medical acupuncture to support the function and recovery of the immune system and help ease muscle and joint pain. For more information, please click here
  • Manual therapy to help alleviate muscle tension and assist in improving joint mobility
ISCP & Long-Covid in the News
Here is some of the recent coverage.
If you or a friend or family member is struggling with Long-Covid, please get in touch and book an initial assessment with physiotherapists Katie, Rachael or Sadhbh by calling us on 01-2834303.
In good health.
Simon Coghlan.
Practice Principal

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Can Manual Therapy provide Sustainable Pain Relief?

Manual therapy is a term used to describe most techniques Chartered Physiotherapists do mainly with their hands. These are techniques physiotherapists learn at university and requires a lot of practice to perform correctly and effectively.

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