Facts / TopTips

 

Maintain Healthy Bones

From our 40's onwards, our bodies start to lose bone density.  Fifty percent of women and twenty percent of men aged over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.  Just one more thing to look forward to in the ageing process, but here some tips for all ages on how to help maintain our bones. 

  • Eat calcium-rich foods - eg, cheese, low-fat milk, canned salmon, Spinach, flour etc
  • Get your sunshine quota - vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium
  • Be active - bones get stronger when you use them
  • Drink sensibly - alcohol, tea/coffee & fizzy drink reduce calcium absorption
  • Maintain a healthy weight - crash diets increase your risk of osteoporosis
  • Stop smoking - you’re more likely to suffer from Osteoporosis the more you smoke
  • Reduce salt intake - salt is thought to speed up the body’s loss of calcium
  • Don’t over-eat proteins – too much meat equals body acid which in turn drains calcium from the body and weakens bones

 

Tips for coping with snow and preventing injury

Well, has anyone noticed it has been snowing here lately?  Of course you have.  See below a few tips on coping with the snow.

It's important to recognise the hazards of slippery surfaces. Here are some helpful hints that may reduce the risk of falling when slippery conditions exist:

  • Wear boots or overshoes with good grip. Avoid walking in shoes that have smooth surfaces.
  • Walk consciously.  Be alert to the possibility that you could quickly slip on an unseen patch of ice.
  • Allow extra time for your journey and avoid the temptation to run to catch a bus or beat traffic when crossing a street.
  • Walk cautiously. Your arms help keep you balanced, so keep hands out of pockets and avoid carrying heavy loads that may cause you to become off balance. If you do have to carry several bags, distribute them evenly between both hands.
  • A rucksack is a better option as again your arms are free for balance and it may give you some further protection if you fall backwards.
  • Walk "small." Avoid an erect, marching posture. Look to see ahead of where you step. When you step on icy areas, take short, shuffling steps, curl your toes under and walk as flatfooted as possible.
  • Remove snow immediately before it becomes packed or turns to ice. Keep your porch, steps, walks and driveways free of ice as much as possible.
  • If you MUST take the car out, ensure that you have fully scraped the ice and snow off the car.  This includes the roof!  A travelling car with slippery, moveable snow on the roof ready to slide and cover the windscreen is a recipe for an accident. 
  • Allow extra stopping/breaking distance and travel slowly.  Remember, you may skid when you try to slow down or break so you must allow for this.

Always remember 

It takes less than two seconds from the moment you slip until you hit the ground. However, this is long enough to break, a wrist, hip or shoulder!  If you don’t have to go out..Don’t!

Sledging

With thousands of schools closed across the United Kingdom, The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has some top tips for children heading out into the snow with their sledges.

 

  • Take time to consider your choice of sledging location – somewhere with deep snow and no obstructions such as trees, fences or rocks is the best
  • Avoid sledging near roads, pavements or water (whether it is frozen or not)
  • Make sure you have plenty of room at the end of the run to slow down and stop
  • Walk up the slope first – it will help you spot hazards, realise how steep the slope really is, and check whether there is enough stopping distance at the bottom
  • Try not to travel head first
  • Consider other people who are using the slope
  • Only go sledging in the daylight
  • Wrap up warm, wear gloves and remember that skateboard, cycle and ski helmets and skateboard pads double up well for sledging
  • If you’re making your own sledge, think about the “what-ifs” if you were to crash – are there sharp edges which you could cut yourself on etc.?
  • Use a sledge that is the appropriate size for you.  Most sledges are not designed to cope with 3 or 4 people!
  • Make sure you are sat properly without limbs in a position where they can get dragged underneath by the snow.

 

Prevent back injuries

Most injuries are caused by ‘use’ changes, such as overuse, misuse, abuse, disuse, new-use.

Shoveling snow for most people is a new-use, and we tend to overuse our back muscles when doing this.  So, to prevent injury…

  • Try to shovel for short periods of time.  Resist the temptation, to shovel for several hours without a break.
  • Try to alternate your hand positions on the shovel.  This will encourage you to twist to alternate sides when depositing snow.
  • During your break periods, remember to stand upright and stretch sideways and backwards.
  • Don’t let the snow get too deep before you decide to clear your driveways.  Always remember that ice is harder to move than fresh, new snow.
  • Ask for help if you need to.  Most people are very helpful at this time of year, and won’t want to see a neighbor struggle.
  • After shoveling, if you feel your back start to tighten, follow the R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation) regime.  Click here for detailed information on R.I.C.E.

This list is not exhaustive and is for guidance only.  Seek professional advice from your GP or Physiotherapist for individual guidance.

 

The Foot  Jamil - Sheffield Chiropodist Foot Pain

The feet could be classed as a miracle of natural engineering. The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles. In fact the 52 bones in your feet equal a ¼ of all the bones in your body. Your feet are complex pieces of machinery and need regular maintenance. Each of these bones work together to form lever which will lock and unlock as the individual moves forward. The average person walks about 10,000 steps per day. During a lifetime it is thought that a person has walked enough steps to have travelled around the planet more than 4 times which is approximately 115,000 miles, hence, the foot accepts as much load as the hip and knee and indeed some of the smaller joint accepts even more per unit area and its disorder can produce variety of dysfunction leading to pain pathological conditions such as calluses corns and variety of foot pain therefore they need maintaining, repairing and regular servicing.

Interesting facts about children's feet

FACT
It takes nearly 18 years for a child's foot to mature fully. During this time, you should make the effort to ensure that your child's shoes are the correct size so that proper growth can occur.

FACT
In the first 10 years, your child's foot will grow a total of about 6-inches. The greatest changes will occur in the first 3 years of life.

FACT
Your child's feet are subjected to enormous stress not typically experienced by the average adult foot. In fact, the stress on a child's foot can be three times the stress experienced by adult feet. Our shoes are designed with padded foot-beds to absorb this stress.

FACT
Your child's bone structure will be fully developed in the first 24 months of life.

FACT
Your baby's feet will grow faster during his first three years of life than at any other time in his life. That's why it is recommended that your baby's shoes be checked every three months from age one to age three to make sure that the shoes are the proper size!

FACT
Your baby's foot contains more cartilage than bone. That's why children shoes come in various widths so the shoe does not restrict your child's normal foot growth.

FACT
Your baby's foot arch is not fully developed for the first two years of life. If fact, many children's arches are not completely developed until puberty. You may see at various times that your child's foot turns in or out, or may pronate due to the fact that the foot arch has not fully developed. In order to protect your child, good athletic shoes with appropriate arch supports, padded collars and foot-beds, and good heel counters are recommended from ages three and older to protect your child from injury during their peak playing years.

FACT
The toes on your baby's feet are proportionally longer than an adult's.

FACT
Your baby's foot perspires two to three times the rate of an adult. We highly recommend cotton socks be worn and changed once during the middle of the day to reduce the chance of a foot fungus. During these critical years of development and activity, the design, construction, and fitting of children's shoes require special skill and attention. Many medical practitioners believe that the majority of adult foot problems stem from poor foot and shoe experiences over the course of a child's developmental years. Therefore, it is critical that proper shoe selection be made in these early years.

POSTURE ADVICE 

You may not even know you have a poor posture!  However, if you do, your body will soon let you know.  Having a good posture is really important along with the transfer of your body weight in movement.  Physiotherapists can work with you to help you identify where you need to improve your posture.  Poor posture can be down to bad habits developed over a period of time, such as slouching.  Working on a laptop that is on your knee is a great example of this (oops note to self - stop slouching!).  Poor posture can also result from: Sheffield Physiotherapy

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Anxiety and/or stress
  • Obesity
  • Incorrect moving and handling methods

When you have good posture, your shoulders, spine and hip joints will align correctly.  You should try to keep your feet hip distance apart and your arms close to your body.  Whether standing, sitting or leaning you should avoid putting uneccessary strain on your joints.  Get your posture right and you will feel:

  • Less aches and pains
  • Less tired
  • Stronger