Sports Injury & Physiotherapy Clinic

The Clinic Blog

ah... Clinic

Healthy Mind

We are delighted to welcome Brenda Capaldi to the team here at Achilles Heel Clinic.  Brenda tells us a bit more about herself and her role in terms of a healthy mind:

"I have extensive training in Counselling, Psychotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).  My background is in the nursing profession and I have a BSc in Health Studies.  For the last 18 years I have worked in the area of Diabetes Mellitus as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  Working with these patients enabling them to manage this chronic condition helping them to manage their exercise regime around insulin injections.

I work primarily using Transactional Analysis (TA).  TA is an incredibly powerful therapeutic approach which is widely used by psychotherapists and counsellors.  TA focuses on the internal process and also relationship interactions.  Therapy is about examining your life and changing unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling and behaviour which is limiting how you want to live your life.  We can all experience situations and emotions that feel overwhelming and it can be difficult to discuss these with those closest to us.

I can enable you to manage life changing transitions that are impacting on your physical and emotional well-being causing anxiety and stress, help you gain new insights and different ways to manage your symptoms. 

The effects of stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can have a profound effect on your body so looking after your emotional health is just as important as your physical health.  It is important to recognise when your stress levels are ‘out of control’.  The most distressing thing about stress and anxiety is how quickly it can creep up on you.  These feelings start to feel familiar, even normal.  You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes its heavy toll.

The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be distressing.  It affects the mind, body and behaviour in many ways and everyone can experience this differently. The most important thing is to act upon it before it begins to manifest in a physical stress response and you feel unable to cope. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. 

Therapy can help you identify the signs and can enable you to work with the therapist to manage the triggers and prevent it becoming worse and potentially causing serious complications such as high blood pressure."

For more information or to make an appointment with Brenda please telephone the clinic on 0141 3573888.

by Emma in the category of Mind | comments are closed | Fri 19 Jul 2013

Healthy Salads for Spring Time - with dietitian Nathalie Jones

With Spring finally arrived we often feel motivated and rejuvinated with great aspirations for eating healthier and getting more exercise. With the warmer temperatures we are more inclined to eat healthy salads in the hope of getting our five a day and perhaps even loosing some weight.  As a dietitian when I mention salads to my clients, the main concern people have is that they won’t be filling enough.  This can put some people off.

Calorie Culprits

Salads can be super healthy, but there is a risk of them becoming very high calorie and high fat, without you realising it.  For example, for every tablespoon of olive oil that is drizzled, another 100 calories is added.  Yes, olive oil is one of the better oils to use for your heart health but, calorie wise, it is equal to butter.  Dressings are often to blame when it comes to upping the calories but adding full fat cheese, croutons or mayonnaise are also culprits.

Some Solutions

So what can we do to make sure that our summer salads are healthy, fill us up, are enjoyable and give us that extra energy we need to get out walking more?

Use as many different vegetables as you can to get a range of nutrients.  A good tip is to make your salad colourful.  By having a mix of yellows (e.g. peppers), reds (e.g. tomatoes), greens (e.g. cucumber), you are getting a range of vitamins necessary for health.  By having more vegetables, you are also increasing the soluble fibre in your diet, essential to keep your cholesterol in check and your heart healthy.

Make sure your salad contains some carbohydrate such as a handful or two of potatoes, pasta, rice or couscous.  Leaving carbs out of a salad (or any meal for that matter), is often where people go wrong.  Carbohydrate foods are your body’s preferred energy source that also fill you up and, without them, you end up feeling weak and hungry, soon after.

Get into the habit of adding salad to meals.  By filling half your plate with salad vegetables, you increase the fibre and vitamins of the meal and reduce fat and calories.

Keep the oil or mayonnaise in dressings to a minimum by using balsamic vinegar and then just the spray oil instead of pouring.  If you do use oil, measure it out in tablespoons (capfuls are a similar volume) to avoid the risk of over-pouring.  

 Try these different dressings to add variety.  

Balsamic– serves 10 (70 calories / serving)

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 pinch caster sugar

Vinaigrette – serves 6 (80 calories / serving)

1 garlic clove crushed

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons fresh basil

Mayonnaise dressing – serves 3 (40 calories / serving)

1 tablespoons extra low-fat mayonnaise 

1 tablespoons white wine vinegar 

1 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

1 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

1 tablespoons olive oil 

freshly ground black pepper

Nathalie Jones is a dietitian registered with the Health Professions Council and has been qualified since 2003.  She has worked in Glasgow with people with a variety of conditions and health problems, with the NHS and in private practice.  She has a particular interest in weight management and the use of behaviour change strategies.  She has worked with the Glasgow Weight Management Service and has featured regularly in local and national radio, newspapers, magazines and television.  If you are interested in making an appointment please telephone the clinic on 0141 3573888.

by Emma in the category of Diet | comments are closed | Fri 21 Jun 2013

A big welcome to Brenda Capaldi

We would like to welcome Brenda Capaldi to our team here at Achilles Heel Clinic.  Brenda is a psychotherapist, counsellor and life coach and has worked in the area of Counselling & Psychotherapy for the past 13 years.  She has a wide range of skills and deals with a multitude of psychological issues including stress, anxiety, relationship issues, self esteem to name only a few, enabling her clients to make positive changes in their lives.  Great to have you with us Brenda!

by Emma in the category of news | comments are closed | Fri 31 May 2013

Pain in the back of the thigh? You may have a Hamstring Problem!

One of the most common injuries we see in our clinic are hamstring problems.  The hamstrings consist of a set of three muscles which bend the knee and extend the hip.  They play a major role in the push-off phase of running meaning they are prone to tightness and unfortunately injury in sports involving running.  The hamstrings are a relatively inelastic muscle because of their taut, cord like tendencies.  They are a two joint muscle crossing both the hip and knee thereby multiplying the level of stress and further predisposing them to injury.  In running, the simultaneous action of hip flexion and knee extension places an eccentric stress on the hamstrings again increasing their  susceptibility to injury.

read the rest of "Pain in the back of the thigh? You may have a Hamstring Problem!"

by Emma in the category of Injuries | comments are closed | Fri 10 May 2013

Iliotibial Band Injuries - the Curse of the Runner

If you have ever been unlucky enough to have experienced the dreaded "runners knee" you will probably recall how painful this condition can be.  If on the other hand you have managed to avoid the problem then please do read on so that you continue to remain free from probably the most common injury we see at Achilles Heel Clinic.

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS) occurs as a result of friction between the back edge of the ITB and the underlying lateral epicondyle (bony prominence) of the femur.  Someone with ITBFS complains of a pain over the outside of the knee. This is often aggravated by running and normally comes on over certain distances. It is often more painful running downhill.  If the condition worsens it can be painful to walk, particularly going up and down stairs.

So what can you do to try and alleviate the problem? Here are some top tips from Iain Reid, resident physiotherapist at Achilles Heel Clinic:

  • Reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack for 15-20 minutes over the affected painful area. Remember to avoid giving yourself an ice-burn by placing a kitchen towel/roll between the icepack and the skin.

  • Anti-inflammatory medication may help reduce inflammation so it might be worth discussing this with your local pharmacist or GP.

  • Self massage using a foam roller on the ITB can be very uncomfortable but extremely effective. This can also be performed on the outer aspect of the quadriceps. It helps release myofascial tightness that will possibly be contributing to your condition. This can be a painful exercise to perform in the first few days of injury so you might want to wait a few days.

  • Stretch your ITB. It is debatable whether you can stretch the ITB itself, however some runners still find it beneficial. This is probably due to the stretch reaching the proximal muscles of the hip (gluteus maximus/medius and tensor fasiae latae) that attach into the ITB. Remember to hold your stretch for at least 30 seconds.

  • If symptoms are manageable when running and you are only experiencing very minor discomfort then try reducing the amount of hill running as downhill running can predispose runners to ITBFS.

So there you have it - a brief low down on the ITB Syndrome and some very useful tips on how to try and alleviate the problem yourself. Of course there are some very stubborn types of ITB injuries that just won't shift using these measures. We would definitely recommend coming along to the clinic and making an appointment with one of our physiotherapists. They will perform a thorough assessment in order to try and identify any other contributing factors and provide a treatment plan to help guide you back to sport.

by Emma in the category of Injuries | comments are closed | Fri 19 Apr 2013