As part of my therapy

Sponsored by the Australian Physiotherapy Association

 

2017, around these parts, will be remembered as the year that Mr. Woog did his back in. Deadlifting weights at the gym in a bid to stave off his inevitable mid-life crisis, he felt a little twinge in his lower back.

Being the traditional Aussie fella, he took a dose of “She’ll be right mate!” and soldiered on. Later that week he mowed the lawns and did the edges with the whipper snipper. The next day, he couldn’t move. He was in unbelievable pain that could no longer be ignored. This went on for a few days, with it getting worse and worse.

“Have you ever been in pain?” He asked me one night. I pointed to the two boys and said nothing.

Physiotherapists are experts in health and movement but we tend only to seethem when we need help with an injury. In fact they can do a lot more by not only preventing injuries but also prehab and in some cases it can be even used as a conservative alternative to surgery.

Physios can also help with all sorts of conditions – treating crook backs and sports injuries of course, but also things like arthritis, incontinence, diabetes, asthma, even headaches. I am a big believer in all types of therapy. I am currently binge watching The Crown Series two, which is kind of a therapy for me. I have a mate who bakes as her therapy. And then of course there is my “White Dog” therapy that sees me hitting the pavement every day with Isobel.

Your body is designed to move. And as much as I love a good sloth on the couch, one has work to do. For me, that means hours chained to the computer. As a part of my personal therapy army, I visit the physio every so often because doing what I do; I sometimes need my shoulders to become detached from my earlobes and my back to be sorted out. I do this, like visiting the dentist, as a preventative measure.

You do not have to wait to be injured before seeing a physio.

Physiotherapists are there to get you better and keep you better. You do not need a referral to see one, although GPs do actually refer patients to physiotherapists more than any other health professional.

So here are a few tips from my physio that help me keep in tiptop shape when chained to a desk.

  • Put a timer on my computer that alerts me every 30 mins at least to get up and move around. Whether that be to go and hang up a load of washing, or simply stretching. Half an hour PING MOVE!
  • Have a big bottle of water on my desk and drink from it often. This means that you will need to wee often and that is moving by default. Plus HYDRATION!
  • Stretch! Even sitting down, push your chair back from your desk and stretch your legs down to pointed toes. Raise your arms above your head and take three huge breaths, breathing in from your nose and exhaling from your mouth. Oh yeah, baby!
  • Turn your head and look into the distance. Focus on things at different points. Take your eyes off the screen for a minute.
  • Pretend you are a surgeon prepping for a big operation. You don’t need to get your hands under the water but you can if you like. Pretend to scrub your hands and forearms for at least a minute.
  • Stand up and down ten times, rise up on your tippy toes.
  • Consider a sit to stand desk. These are much cheaper than they used to me and allow you to change posture regularly without losing momentum on your work

These are just a few suggestions from the PAUSE exercises. PAUSE stands for:

  • Posture
  • Attitude
  • Unwind
  • Stretch
  • Energise

Physiotherapy is evidence based and in some instances can be used instead of medication to treat injuries. It has been around for over a hundred years and I can thoroughly recommend you get a good physiotherapist on your well-being team.

Excuse me, I need the loo. Back in a minute.

For more information on how physiotherapy can help you be your best self, visit https://choose.physio where you can find loads of really good information as well as hook you up with the best physiotherapists in your area.

Do you see a physiotherapist regularly?

Ever done your back in? Apparently it is painful!

  • Shivers

    I had 3 slipped discs in my lower back and agree that it is incredibly painful. I couldn’t lay, sit, stand, walk, drive – everything I did hurt! I’ve had 3 kids but nothing compared to those first few days of this injury, nothing! I had weeks of physio and though I occasionally get an anxiety inducing twinge in my back I am doing much better now. Couldn’t recommend physio enough even if it hurt and they make you exercise!

  • Heidi D

    This year will be remembered as the year my husbands back decided to give up completely. He did lift weights regularly years ago & would get the occassional twinge but this time he lifted a box funny & had a huge pain. After lots of physio this time it wouldn’t get better. Xrays showed a congenital narrowing of the spine but with a now dodgy disc squishing nerves. He is on the waiting list for spinal surgery & in constant pain, even the strong painkillers (endone) don’t really help.

  • merilyn

    sounds like a good meditation session mrs woog!
    I love to meditate too!
    it does help me with overwhelm except that is my preferred place!
    I think they call it escape mode!
    lolmx

  • Kate in Melbourne, Australia

    Hi Mrs Woog, slightly off topic, but may I trouble you for the name of the Scottish voiced meditation app that you’ve previously recommended. My horrendous run of luck has continued, I’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer (my sister died from it last year, and my sister-in-law from a brain tumour the year before), and my counsellor has prescribed some mindfulness and mediation. I’ve downloaded Smiling Mind and Headspace and I recall you loving one with a Scottish voice I think. I have to “lean in” to the emotional pain, and mediation is supposed to assist… I’m struggling with my sudden vulnerability but recognise that I need to accept as much of the offered help I can manage. Thank you.

    • Hi Kate. I haven’t used it for ages and I have forgotten it but I am using Andrew Johnson Deep Relaxing Ap which I can thoroughly recommend. Wishing you all the best my darling xx

      • Kate in Melbourne, Australia

        Thanks Woogsie. It’s fucking tough.