What is boom and bust, and how can it be avoided?

We have mentioned the boom-bust mistake you could make if you’re a weekend warrior or were overly enthusiastic about your health-related new year’s resolutions. So what is boom-bust & what’s wrong with it??

When we say boom-bust we mean drastically changing your fitness routine, way of life, or habit from what you were doing previously, only for it to go wrong and you give it all up again- whether that’s because of lack of dedication or succumbing to injury. If this happens it probably means you took on too much, too soon & overwhelmed your system.

Significantly changing your lifestyle and exercise regime can be exciting but can easily lead to injury from overloading soft tissues or joints, especially if there’s not enough rest or recovery between sessions. This loading is scientifically investigated by researchers who call it the acute to chronic workload ratio- acute workload being what session (or sessions) you do today, and chronic workload being the summation of these sessions over a week or month. There’s a sweet spot in the ratio which means you can gradually increase your training with much less risk of injury, though if you go under or over this sweet spot then you’re either not gaining anything from your training, or you’re at high risk of injury (boom) which halts your training & leaves you feeling dejected (bust).

We’ll go into more detail on the acute to chronic workload ratio in another blog post, showing how you can use it to train smarter and aim to avoid injury.

For now, we’ll say try to change one thing at a time and keep the changes gradual, here are some examples of how you can achieve this:

  • Incorporate rest or recovery days between workout days; instead of doing a HIIT workout every morning swap two workouts per week for mobility, low-key yoga or meditation.
  • If you’re new to running then try following the NHS Couch to 5K programme, an awesome way to get into running without biting off more than you can chew.
  • Focus on active recovery- by this we mean taking the time to unwind & enjoy a hot bath, spending 10 minutes foam rolling or stretching any areas which have caught your attention, fitting in a power nap, or booking in that sports massage you’ve been meaning to have for the past year!
  • Listen to your body- if you’re dragging your knuckles because you’re tired and feeling run down then maybe today’s the day to swap the cliffpath run you’d been planning for an easy stroll or light stretch. If there are any bodily areas that consistently get your attention then it’s probably worth booking in with a physiotherapist who’s experienced in assessing these issues and checking it’s not becoming something concerning.
  • Keep a diary or log of what you’re planning to do, and then record what you’ve actually done. It’s easy to get carried away in the momentum & enthusiasm though if you’ve got a record of it, it will be easier to see where you’ve gone wrong and prevent it from happening again.

Hopefully, that’s given you some food for thought, be kind to yourself and your body and you never know what you’ll achieve!

What is the difference between a strain and a sprain?

What is the difference between a strain and a sprain? 🤔

You may think these terms are interchangeable though there is 1 big difference between them.

A sprain occurs in a ligament and a strain occurs in a muscle or tendon.

Ligaments join bone to bone, for example across the knee joint there is the MCL which connects the shin bone to the thigh bone.

Muscles attach to tendon, which attaches to bone.

There are exceptions to this rule, such as the patellar tendon… but this is a subject for another day!

Sprains and strains fall into 3 categories:

Grade 1 is a minor disruption which normally feels better within 2 weeks.

Grade 2 is a more serious disruption which takes between 2 weeks to 6 months.

Grade 3 is a complete tear which takes several months to heal or may require surgery.

Often you will feel good long before this but this is how long it can take for the tissues to heal.

With time, most sprains and strains will heal by themselves, but it is really important to get some advice from a physiotherapist who can help with how to manage these injuries.

We can ensure they heal properly so you can return to activity as soon as possible!

Healing Rates

Help, I’m injured!

How long until I can play football/go skiing/paddle-boarding again?

When we’re injured, we just want to get back to our normal activity as soon as physically possible.

Sometimes it’s a minor issue and we get better within a couple of weeks, and other times it seems to take ages.

This can be because different tissues heal at different rates, muscles and ligaments can heal quite quickly whereas tendons, bones and nerves take a bit longer.

Lots of other things can affect healing too; like doing too much or not enough exercise, not getting enough sleep, dehydration, poor nutrition and general health status, so it’s very important to take care of yourself regardless of how small or large your injury is!

Get in touch if you have an injury you’d like to discuss

What is shin splints?

What is shin splints? 🤔

Shins splints is an umbrella term for exercise-induced pain in the shins.

It can cause sharp or dull pain along the shin or surrounding areas and can be tender to touch. Sometimes it warms up with movement and sometimes it worsens.

You may be familiar with terms like stress fracture, tibial stress syndrome or compartment syndrome, it’s our job to decide which one is at the root of the problem!

Shin splints is common in runners but can also happen to anyone active. It normally comes on following a change in running surface, in footwear, in mileage or sometimes it pops up for no good reason.

Having flat feet, a very high arch, stiffness in your calf muscles or very flexible hips can affect how your body absorbs force and can predispose you to suffer from shin splints.

In some cases, arranging a bone scan or MRI can be a good idea to exclude a more serious issue or stress fracture.

On a positive note, shin splints can respond well to treatment and all we need to do is work out what is causing the problem and how to fix it.

We’ll use a combination of taping, strengthening exercises, hands on treatment and managing your activity levels to combat the issue and make that marathon running goal a reality!

What can I do to prevent injury on the slopes?

What can I do to prevent injury on the slopes?

Here’s some top tips on how to stay injury-free on the slopes & have an awesome ski holiday!

1) Skiers get your bindings checked regularly- remember to update your DIN settings, as you improve so your skis, stay on when you need them most, and pop off when you don’t

2) Warm-up for 5 minutes before heading on to the slopes – Click here for a handy video of some basic exercises to follow. The burpees are optional!

3) Beginner female skiers over the age of 20- reducing your suggested DIN settings by 15% can help to prevent knee injuries

4) Beginners don’t use the loops on your ski poles to avoid straining your thumb if you fall

5) If you have a history of knee complaints- wearing a knee brace underneath your salopettes can help to keep the knee stable and prevent re-injury

6) Boarders use wrist guards- they can reduce the chance of breaking your wrist by 50%

7) Wear a helmet! The evidence shows it decreases injury risk and also keeps your ears toasty on the chairlift!!

8) Take it easy on the apres-ski & don’t ski hard if you’re feeling fatigued better to have a rest/hot tub/massage in the afternoon and feel refreshed the next day!

What is patellofemoral syndrome of the knees?

What is patellofemoral syndrome of the knees? 🤔
The kneecap sits in a groove in the front of the knee joint. This joint is well lined by nice smooth cartilage which allows the kneecap to glide up & down when your knee is bending.
Patellofemoral pain, otherwise known as anterior knee pain, is pain which relates to this joint.
Patella=kneecap, femoral=of the thigh bone.
This can be a difficult condition to have as while scans and x-rays all appear normal, it can have a significant effect on your daily life.
Patellofemoral pain can make squatting, standing up from a chair and going up and down stairs sore and difficult.
It can also mean your knee makes all sorts of creaking noises which can sound unpleasant.
Rest can make it feel better in the short term, but then whenever you go back to your normal activity, it comes back again which can be frustrating!
Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to help fix it.
We can help whether it is the first time you’ve had this pain or you’ve had it for 5 years and learned to live with it.
We will have a look at how you move and find any areas of weakness then develop a program which works for you.
A combination of hip and knee exercises, taping & wearing insoles can really help you to not only feel better quickly, but also help reduce pain in the long term and prevent flare-ups in the future.
Most importantly, we can help you to get back to that activity or sport you’ve been avoiding!

What is a rotator cuff injury?

What is a rotator cuff injury? 🤔

The rotator cuff is the collective term for a group of 4 muscles which are responsible for controlling movement of the shoulder joint.
The muscles arise from the shoulder blade and join to tendons which pass over the shoulder joint & attach to the top of the upper arm.
The rotator cuff is active in all shoulder movement and is important for stability and strength.
Unfortunately, there are a few different things that can go wrong with it; you can tear it in an accident, it can become repeatedly pinched (known as impingement) or it can become inflamed (known as tendinopathy or tendinitis).
If you have a problem with your rotator cuff you may have pain with overhead movements, pain sleeping on the affected side, or a general feeling of weakness and stiffness in the shoulder and it can significantly impact your quality of life.
Fortunately, these issues can respond really well to treatment and our physiotherapists know just how to get you strong and back to your normal activity.
We’ll start by looking at how you move and with a combination of targeted exercises, activity management and hands on treatment you should be feeling better soon!
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What is an ACL rupture?

What is an ACL rupture? 🤔

Famous athletes who have sustained ACL injuries which had significant effects on their career include Michael Owen who did the damage in the first minute of the 2006 world cup game against Sweden, and Lindsey Vonn who rehabilitated her knee successfully to win a medal at the Winter Olympics following her second ACL rupture in the same knee!

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of 2 major ligaments inside your knee joint and it’s job is to keep your shin bone where it is, to stop it from sliding forward or twisting too much.

The ACL can fail when attempting a sudden change of direction while running or in the process of falling when skiing.

There is usually a painful pop or feeling of something shifting followed by a lot of swelling after a few hours and a lack of confidence in the stability of your knee.

Around 20% of people can cope well without an ACL and return to normal sporting activity following rehabilitation, without the need for surgery. These ‘copers’ use different compensation strategies to stabilize their knee without their ACL, and maybe never even know they are missing it!

Unfortunately, not everyone can cope so well and that is where you may need surgery, which takes a graft (normally from your opposite hamstring or kneecap tendon) and puts it in the place of your ACL.

Following this surgery it is a lengthy process to return to sporting activity but one that we can help with!

We’ll start by getting your knee moving and slowly progress from here, as you progress we’ll tailor exercises to specifically help with the demands of your sport. We’ll have you jumping around the gym and testing your knee fully before getting you back to the activity you love to do whether it’s netball, rugby, surfing, walking the dog or pilates!

Get it touch we our friendly team if this sounds like you or someone you know.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar fasciitis? 🤔

Recently we were talking about Achilles Tendinopathy in a different post and discussed the difference between ‘itis’ and ‘pathy’, remember? If not and/or you want to read about Achilles Tendinopathy take a look back on our page. 😊

So, the plantar fascia is the large band of muscle which runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.

You can develop pain in this region.

The technical term that science likes to use now is Plantar heel pain, so we’ll keep this name for the rest of the post.

The classic symptom of plantar heel pain is a sharp stabbing pain close to the heel.

You’ll usually feel this upon your first steps after waking or any other time where you have walked after prolonged sitting, lying or standing. The pain will also usually be worse after exercising rather than during it.

Why does it happen?

Your plantar fascia is a shock absorber for the arch of your foot so if the stress on it becomes too great, tiny strains can occur which causes pain in the region.

Sometimes the cause of plantar heel pain is unknown and there are also certain risk factors which could make you more prone to developing it such as: Being between 40 and 60, being obese or long periods of standing.

What can we do about it?

The great news is Plantar heel pain responds really well to conservative management (the medical way to say you don’t need surgery or procedures).

So, what does that consist of?

Well, a physiotherapist can create a specific stretching and strengthening programme targeting your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon.

A Physiotherapist can also advise you on taping which supports the bottom of your foot. Orthotics could also be right for you, these are adjustments to your footwear, like insoles, which can support the arch of the foot.

So, with all that being said, Physiotherapy really is the way forward in treating plantar heel pain so get in touch and we’ll see you right.

If this is YOU or you no someone struggling with this, we’d love to help you.

What is Achilles Tendinopathy?

What is Achilles Tendinopathy? 🤔

Your Achilles tendon (cord like structure) attaches your calf muscles to the heel of your foot. Achilles Tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, sometimes swelling and a loss of function of the tendon. 😫

It used to be called Achilles Tendonitis, (itis – meaning inflammation) so you might know it as that, but then scientists thought there was little or no inflammation and we started calling it tendinopathy (pathy – meaning suffering) instead…. but very recent studies now suggest we cannot rule out inflammation! but they’re sticking with the name as I’m sure they don’t want to confuse us all again 😊

Like with other tendinopathies, overuse or incorrect use to the tendon causes little tears to appear which causes pain and discomfort. You might find that the pain starts at the beginning of use or exercise, slowly eases off whilst you are moving it, then may come back again when you are at rest. Achilles pain can be quite debilitating, and you might find that it starts to interfere with everyday life like walking to and from work or even moving around the house.

So, what can you do about it?

To manage things at the beginning, over the counter pain medication can help but be careful with longer use of Ibuprofen / Nurofen (NSAIDs) because they can sometimes hinder the tendons ability to heal.

Ice can also help with pain but make sure you wrap the ice so it doesn’t hurt your skin suggested use is for 10 mins.

Want to know what REALLY fixes Achilles tendinopathy if it’s hanging around?

Exercises that are specific to the tendon are the best and most evidence-based form of treatment for these problems, but they may often be hard to implement on your own.

Physio will help! Get in touch with us today if this is YOU or you no someone struggling with this, we’d love to help you.