27 Haven Lane, Ealing, W5 2HZ

Tel: 0208 997 1555

Email: info@w5physio.co.uk

We interview Stewart

September 2, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

January 2021 will see physiotherapist and company director, Stewart, celebrating 20 years as a physio. As a senior member of the W5 team, he assesses, diagnoses, treats and manages patients on a day to day basis and loves improving people’s quality of life. 

Here, we find out a little bit more about Stewart – both inside and outside of the clinic… 

Stewart is one of the founders of W5Physio and is proud of the close-knit team they’ve grown over the years. “The clinic brings together a great bunch of people in a small space.”

He describes how he gets a real kick out of helping patients to restore function – whether that be standing, walking, running or jumping. “The role also provides me with a lot of variety. I like that I get a fresh challenge every day and to meet new people, too.”

Stewart has a special interest in back pain, motor control and the coordination aspects of rehabilitation. Over the years he’s helped thousands of people back to health, in particularly through his specialisms of sports rehab and ultrasonography. He’s holds qualifications with the MACP (Musculoskeletal Association of Physiotherapists) and is also an MACP tutor. 

But Stewart’s achievements aren’t only professional and outside of work, he’s a proud dad to three beautiful children. Practicing what he preaches, Stewart says running after his kids helps him to stay fit and active. He also enjoys cycling and occasional weight training. But, a balanced lifestyle sees Stewart also enjoying seafood, BBQs and wine with friends and family, and when he does occasionally put his feet up, you’ll find him indulging in a good cop or spy drama or maybe his favourite film: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. 

An interesting claim to fame that Stewart has is that his mum’s side of the family are apparently related to Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was murdered in Sarajevo which led to the onset of the First World War. Sticking to a more low-profile approach to life than his possible ancestors, Stewart’s goal is to continue the ongoing success of W5 and in his own words “to keep being a decent human being.”

You’ll find Stewart in W5Physio’s Ealing clinic most days, supporting other members of the team and overseeing the running of the business with the help of his colleagues. If you’d like to find out more about how he could use his 20 years of practical physiotherapy experience to help you back to fitness, gte in touch with us here: http://w5physio.co.uk/contact-us/

Hamstring Injuries (on and off the pitch)

August 5, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Hamstring problems are common yet complex. Here’s W5’s Stewart with more information…

Co-founder and physio, Stewart

Well, following lockdown, football is finally back on the TV!  I can hear the ‘hoorays’ and the ‘boohoos’ from here. 

As I sat down and watched one of the first returning Premier League games, I couldn’t help but notice the number of injuries! In just over 20 minutes, two players were straight off with muscle damage, which is what prompted me to write this article.

The injuries were nothing unusual – a rolled ankle and a hamstring strain – two problems that I often see and treat in clinic. Although common, hamstring injuries are complex and far from straight forward. It’s not unusual for them to be recurrent and often require professional help, so, whether. a football fan or not, read on to learn more about those troublesome hamstring injuries…

Hamstrings are one of the most commonly injured muscles and are frequently seen in football and other sports because approx. 70% of them occur with high speed running. The remaining 30% normally occur with over-stretching movements*.


As shown in the diagram, the hamstring attaches from the ischial tuberosity to the tibia and fibula below the knee and as such spans two joints. 


The hamstring is an important muscle for high speed running and acts to extend the hip (move the leg behind you) as you push off the ground as well as decrease knee extension during the swing phase and prevent over striding (apologies for the ‘techno babble’ – follow this link for a video which provides a simple explanation: 


An example of hamstring injury 

One of the most famous hamstring injuries involved the athlete Derek Redmond, which happened live at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2G8KVzTwfw). Derek bravely finished the race with the aid of his father. The images of Derek and his father live in the memory of many of us as an enduring spirit of the Olympics.  

Causes of injury

Often there are coordination (the way you move) reasons for hamstring injury which require a detailed analysis of the patient/athlete’s movement to understand where the injury comes from (see here for more detail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOam2MV3Rrg ). This analysis is ideally completed by a physiotherapist, running coach and strength & conditioning professional in a team-based approach. Traditional strength training alone is often not sufficient in preventing hamstring injury recurrence.

Hamstring injuries are classified into:

  1. Functional muscle disorder: Acute indirect muscle disorder ‘without macroscopic’ evidence (in MRI or ultrasound) of muscular tear.
  • Structural muscle injury: Any acute indirect muscle injury ‘with macroscopic’ evidence (in MRI or ultrasound) of muscle tear.

Structural hamstring injuries take longer to get better than functional muscle injuries and the higher the injury to the pelvis, the longer they take to get better too.

How do we treat Hamstring injuries? 

Well, initially, we call the POLICE…but not to take you away in cuffs!  POLICE is an acronym we use for Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Most people in sport have heard of the acronym RICE for managing acute soft tissue injuries but it has now been replaced with POLICE to encourage us to load soft tissue injuries more appropriately to aid recovery. For a more detailed explanation, see Tom Goom’s article which excellently summarises the original work (https://www.running-physio.com/acute/).

Once over the acute phase of the injury, exercises will be prescribed by your physiotherapist to encourage healing, restore a range of movement and strength, and as pointed out above, work on coordination. Three common exercises started two days post injury are shown here, on the BJSM website:

I should mention that the players I’ve witnessed go down with hamstring (and other!) injuries in the first few games since the restart of the Premier League could have many reasons to go off injured; it’s probably not at all down to a lack of exercise during lockdown!! Hamstring problems can occur for many reasons and to people of all kinds of fitness levels, so if you need professional help with a hamstring problem, please do get in touch. We’re here to help! 

*(Posted on June 27, 2013 by Karim Khan.  Originally posted on Running Physio a handy information resource (for both runners and physios) created by @tomgoom

Exercise for the menopause

July 16, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Our physio, Taryn, supports lots of women through the menopause…read on for her top tips for lessening symptoms with exercise.

W5Physio’s Taryn

Menopause…not a word women usually like to hear, but I treat quite a few women in this stage of their lives and have been asked a few times what the best exercises are and how they can stay healthy during this time. 

The NHS website describes menopause as a natural part of a woman’s ageing process, where oestrogen levels start to decline between the ages of 45 and 55. At this stage of life, a woman stops having periods and can no longer become pregnant naturally. This change can be sudden or simply a decrease in the frequency of periods over a number of months – it’s different for every individual. And whilst most women will experience some menopausal symptoms, the severity of these symptoms and the impact they have on everyday life will vary from person to person. 

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop. This time is known as perimenopause and generally lasts around four years after your last period, although again, there are no hard and fast rules and some women experience them for longer.

Common symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
  • Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Headaches
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections

Other symptoms that I’m interested in, include:

  • Heart palpitations (could be atrial fibrillation which is an abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood changes (such as low mood or anxiety)
  • Joint stiffness, aches and pains 
  • Reduced muscle mass

Apart from the above common symptoms, the drop in oestrogen levels associated with the menopause means that women are at more risk of developing:

  • High blood pressure (your heart and blood vessels may become stiff and less elastic which tends to raise your blood pressure)
  • High cholesterol (lack of oestrogen can cause changes in your cholesterol and blood fats. Good cholesterol levels may reduce and bad levels may increase)
  • Diabetes (women’s bodies can become more resistant to insulin which is the hormone needed to convert blood sugar and starches into energy cells)
  • Weight gain (menopause can cause the metabolism to slow and oestrogen affects where woman store fat and how it is burned)  
  • Atrial fibrillation (a faster heart rate can occur, but sometimes hormonal changes can cause a slowing of the heart and heart blockages that can cause symptoms like dizziness)

Managing menopause symptoms

The good news? Cardiovascular exercise and strength training can make positive changes to all of the above symptoms. So, read on to learn more about the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and also look out for my follow-on blog which will include the benefits of strength training during the menopause, complete with some helpful, easy to follow exercise videos.

The benefits of cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise – that’s any exercise that increases your heart rate and gets your lungs working harder – are well known, and advisable for all individuals, not only women experiencing the menopause. Cardio burns calories and uses energy which in turn metabolises fat and preventing weight gain (plus other conditions such as diabetes). It also strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, can reduce arthritic and joint pain, and reduces stress hormones through the release of endorphins. These feel-good chemicals should also help you to sleep better.

As you can see, cardiovascular exercise alone can improve a large portion of the symptoms of menopause and that’s why I advise it to so many of the women that I treat. 

Types of cardio exercise

So, what does cardiovascular exercise look like? As mentioned earlier it can be anything that increases your heart rate and gets your lungs working harder, but below I’ve included a list of examples of both low and high impact cardio, depending on your individual strength and fitness.

Low impact exercises:

  1. Swimming
  2. Cross/elliptical trainer  
  3. Cycling 
  4. Rowing machine (or rowing on water)
  5. Walking/strolling
  6. Horse riding
  7. Ballroom dance classes which don’t involve jumping

Medium impact exercises:

  1. Water aerobics
  2. Zumba classes
  3. Aerobics (still no jumping), pilates or yoga (not always cardiovascular but could be)
  4. Brisk walking
  5. Skipping (if staying on your toes and low to the ground)
  6. Hiking
  7. Rollerblading/ice skating (gently)
  8. Cross country skiing
  9. Table tennis
  10. Thai chi

High impact exercises:

  1. Jogging/running
  2. Plyometric workouts (involving any jumping type exercises)
  3. Mountain climbing
  4. Skiing or snowboarding
  5. Racket sports (tennis, racketball, squash, badminton etc.)
  6. Other sports like cricket, football, basketball, netball, karate, water skiing, hockey

So many types of exercise!! Which to choose? But the point is that with so many options, everyone should be able to find a cardiovascular form of exercise that they enjoy and that fits into their lifestyle. Just remember that if you’re not used to cardio, start with low impact and work your way up to a more strenuous workout when your body gets stronger. 

NHS guidelines suggest adults aged 19-64 should aim to be active in some way every day, aiming for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of high intensity activity per week. This also applies to women going through menopause and my advice is that it’s vital for women to maintain their health at this time of life in an effort to help prevent the symptoms we’ve explored.  

Although physiotherapy may not seem like your first port of call for menopause related issues or guidance, the physios at W5physio can provide lots of advice and a tailored exercise programme for you to help maintain your health naturally and holistically during menopause.

So, give us a call today (020 8997 1555) and we’ll help you to find enjoyable activities and an exercise regime that will help you to kick menopause in the butt. And remember to look out for my next blog on strengthening exercises to help you through the menopause too. 

Keeping us all safe – clinic COVID-19 rules

May 28, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

We’re thrilled to be open again from this Monday (1st June). But to keep you and our staff safe, please remember there are a few rules that we need everyone to adhere to… 

1. Firstly, please book only via phone or email. DO NOT use the online booking system. This is so that we can manage bookings and ensure we have a minimal number of people in clinic at one time and that patients’ arrival and leaving times are staggered. 

2. We’re ONLY accepting card payments which will be taken over the phone.

3. All patients will be required to sign a COVID-19 Consent to Treatment form prior to their session.

4. All patients will be asked to wear a face covering when entering the clinic and to use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and leaving. 

5. Clients will be unable to wait in reception before their appointment time. Please therefore only arrive at the clinic at the time of your appointment, when you will be taken straight through to your treatment room.

6. Unfortunately our toilet facilities will not be available to visitors for the time being.

7. Previously, we have sometimes been able to provide shorts and other clothing for our clients – this will not be possible for now, so please wear/bring appropriate clothing for your appointment. 

8. Online consultations will still be available for our most vulnerable patients. 

Thank you in advance for helping us to run the clinic in accordance to government guidance. We really look forward to seeing you soon. 

Five minutes with Louise

May 1, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

We’ve recently interviewed some of W5’s physios, but this month it’s the turn of Practice Manager, Louise O’Leary. Self-confessed ‘mum’ of the team, Louise, has been with W5Physio since the very beginning and their opening in 2011. She’s the go-to person in the clinic, handling everything from ‘front of house’ and bookings, the ordering of supplies and equipment, to things like payroll and HR issues. What would we do without her? Here, we get to know a little bit more about this key member of Team W5! 

Not only the ‘mum’ at W5, Louise has three children of her own. She describes herself as bossy, loud, organised and approachable, and also admits she can be a bit of a Rottweiler! But it’s all part of her ‘get things done’ attitude which has contributed to the success of the practice over the years. 

Louise loves her team and is proud of the fact that they all get on so well. “During this time of lockdown, I’m really missing everyone!”

She’s also a people person and one of Louise’s favourite things about working at W5 is when the team is able to help someone fast. “Sometimes it’s possible, depending on an individual’s problem, to fix them really quickly. I like nothing more than when they come in in pain but leave with a smile on their face as their pain has subsided.”

Having three kids means weekends can be very busy with lots of washing and ironing! “I’ve been married for twenty years” Louise laughs, “so that can take a lot of work too!” But, when she does get some time to herself, Louise loves walking and training her (very large!) German Shepherd Mastiff Cross and watching either a good crime documentary or sport on TV. She’s a fan of American Football, Formula One and Liverpool FC, and also enjoys watching the Olympics and Winter Olympics – much to the despair of her husband. 

Louise wasn’t a massive fan of the gym, but perhaps working at W5 has encouraged her, and in January, she took the plunge and joined “Gymnaphobics.” Now loving the whole gym experience, she tries to attend as often as she can and even admits she’s missing it since being in this period of lockdown. “I never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth!!”

A great achievement of Louise’s is being a Scouting leader for in excess of 30 years. It’s seen her working with lots of different people and youngsters over the years, whilst taking on lots of fun and memorable activities. She’s even attended two Queen’s Garden parties at Buckingham Palace because of her keen involvement. 

Perhaps her greatest achievement, however, is beating breast cancer – testament to this lady’s strength and determination, both inside and outside of the W5 clinic. 

If you would like to make an appointment with W5Physio, chances are it’s Louise who’ll help. Contact us today for an online consultation and we look forward to being able to welcoming you back into clinic for face-to-face appointments really soon. 

Tips for keeping fit during lockdown

April 20, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Lockdown can be a testing time for all of us, especially if you’re used to leading an active and busy lifestyle. Many of us have been forced into slowing down the pace of life, and spending more time at home can mean more time in front of the TV, mobile phones and tablets, and can be the perfect excuse for us to reach for that treat cupboard in the kitchen a little more frequently than we normally would.

If you’re worried about becoming less active, stiffening up or adding on a few extra pounds during these unusual times, here are our simple suggestions for keeping an eye on your fitness levels during lockdown. 

1.Break up sitting time – avoid prolonged sitting bouts. Instead, aim to get up every 30-45 minutes or so (unless the film is engrossing enough to keep the kids quiet for a while longer!). Regular movement around the house or garden boosts glucose metabolism. Any active break helps, but the more intense the better, which leads us to tip two…

2. Be active regularly throughout the day – we’re all entitled to leave the house for one decent stint of exercise per day, so definitely take advantage of that. But rather than just taking one long walk or run, then sitting for the rest of the time, did you know it’s actually more beneficial to have as much time standing and walking throughout the day as you can? So, yes, do the long walk, but then throw in a few exercises like careful squats, reverse lunges and sit-to-stands to get your heart rate up regularly.

3. Try not to keep remotes and phones near you – this is a really simple solution to keeping you moving. It means that whenever you need to change the tv channel, check or answer your phone, you’re forced to get up and move.

4. Participate in online classes – the popularity of online and remote fitness classes has skyrocketed over the past few weeks. Get involved! There are thousands of excellent bodyweight exercise classes, cardio and yoga classes on YouTube. Why not factor in a 20-40 minute (depending on your fitness level/goal) on each weekday? If in doubt, we’re still here to help! Get in touch for advice on the best form of exercise for you. 

5. Look after your mental health too – healthy body, healthy mind…it’s more than just a cliché. We can’t stress the importance of keeping active enough, as this will not only benefit your physical fitness but your mental health too. Make sure you break up the sedentary nature of lockdown by getting up from your desk or sofa regularly and stay in frequent contact with all your friends and family. Overall, use these unusual times to try out the things you don’t normally have time for! These times will pass and we’ll be back to hectic routines before we know it! 

Remember that although we’ve had to temporarily close our clinic for a little while, our physios are still here to help. You can book an online session with one of our team via email or phone, or if you have a specific question or need advice regarding your health and wellbeing during lockdown, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Five minutes with Greg

March 2, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Greg’s not only one of our most experienced physios, but also one of the owners and co-founders of our clinic. He’s obviously been with the organisation since it started in 2011 and alongside helping lots of our clients back to fitness, he’s responsible for overseeing the business management and direction as well.

Now having played an important role in helping the clinic to grow and develop over the past nine years, he says he loves working here because of the great fun environment!

We managed to grab five minutes with Greg to find out a little more about him…

Greg told us his passion for physio was first triggered way back in school when he demonstrated a natural interest in anatomy and physiology. Like many of the physios at W5, Greg also had a genuine desire to help people and says, “I get a real buzz out of helping people to lessen or get rid of their pain and achieve their own personal health and fitness goals.”

Having had experience of working alongside a number of professional athletes and celebrities, Greg is particularly proud of working at the Sydney Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 

“I was also Greg James’ physio for his ‘Pedal to the Peaks’ challenge for Sport Relief, 2018.”  Greg was proud to support and advise the Radio 1 DJ throughout the ‘Gregathlon’, described as: 1 man. 3 mountains. Lots of cycling. (Physio) Greg played a pivotal role in working with (DJ) Greg through extreme exhaustion and an unprecedented red weather warning. 

But what about Greg outside of work? Well, practising what he preaches, Greg’s keen on his fitness. He regularly cycles and climbs an impressive four to six times a week, and also likes to attend the gym. He explains to us that he absolutely loves spending time snowboarding and being in the mountains/outdoors too.

When Greg sits still for long enough, he can be found watching Marvel movies with his two boys. He says, “Spending time and hanging out with my kids is all I want to do at the weekends.”

Although Greg has an extensive overall/general physiotherapy and anatomy experience, he does have a special interest in working with sports injuries including back and neck pain and shoulder and knee problems. If you’d like Greg to help you back onto the road to recovery, why not book an appointment with him today? 

We meet Physio, Taryn

February 21, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Physiotherapist Taryn Lee Schutz is just back from maternity leave. She’s had some time out from the clinic after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl last summer.

We thought we’d mark Taryn’s return with an article all about her…read on to learn more about Taryn’s love of physio, her achievements, hobbies and the favourite food she’s a little bit addicted to! 

Having been a practicing Physio since 2008, and with W5Phsyio since 2012, Taryn admits that she loves her profession.

“I love that I’ve been given the opportunity to change my client’s lives – whether that be their pain levels, their mood, their lifestyles or even their perceptions of pain, injury or exercise.”

She enjoys assisting people in achieving their fitness goals, helping them return to normal daily activities if they weren’t able to do so before.

She was first attracted to physiotherapy because of the problem solving involved, not to mention the fact that she could help people by encouraging them to be active and healthier through exercise. A big sports fan herself, Taryn enjoys walking/hiking with her husband, watching tennis and rugby, and keeping fit through running, attending the gym or doing home exercises.

She also enjoys squash and is particularly proud of having played the sport for her county. But another, perhaps more unusual sporting achievement, is that Taryn once represented South Africa as a Junior in Light Tackle Boat Angling! 

But despite her sporting triumphs, Taryn now says her biggest accomplishment is having a baby. Life away from physio, sports and fitness involves (when time out from being a mum allows) gardening and craft work, whether that be woodwork, needlework or beading. She describes Italy as her favourite place to visit and when it comes to favourite foods, Taryn’s rather partial to just about anything with cheese on it! She’s a fan of films Love Actually and Forest Gump, but admits being unable to watch the latter without shedding a tear! 

For Taryn, W5Physio is her home from home. She says, “I feel like I’m part of the family, not just an employee.”

With a special interest in in shoulder, ankle or squash-related injuries, she gives 100% to each and every client and enjoys empowering people to achieve goals they didn’t think they could. 

Taryn’s excited to be back in the clinic and to catch up with existing clients…and meet lots of new. If you’d like to arrange an appointment with her, you can do so here.

Tips for sticking to your new year workout routine

January 20, 2020 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

Has this January seen you making a new year’s resolution to get fit? If so, you’re not alone…

A recent survey showed that the most common new year’s resolution for 2020 was to do more exercise. (And you can guarantee it’s been the most popular resolution made in previous years too.)

But would it surprise you to learn that despite being the most popular of new year’s resolutions, just 24% of people promising to do more exercise, actually stick to it? Although at W5Physio, we massively recommend exercise to our patients…we get it! We know starting a new exercise regime can be scary, it can seem like a chore and simply something you don’t have time for in your busy schedule.

That’s why we’ve pulled together our top tips for making exercise FUN! And perhaps more importantly, sustainable. Read on to learn how you can be one of the successful minority who actually who stick to their new year’s exercise resolution and reap the health benefits of getting fit this year.

The secret to success

The secret to success when it comes to exercise is to find an activity that you actually enjoy. A lot of people see their workout as something they just need to tick off their to-do list, either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. It’s an errand, a duty, something they’d rather not do, but feel obliged to anyway.

Yet the NHS suggests everyone aged 19 to 64 should aim to be physically active every day. That includes two days of strength training and 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, intensity activity a week. Sound impossible to stick to? Well, it really is tricky if you’re not enjoying the exercise regime you’ve chosen.

But, we’ve got good news for you…exercise can be fun!

Fitness that fits you

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exercise. The best form of exercise for you, is one you enjoy the most and that fits into your lifestyle. To begin with, try not to worry about hitting your targets in regard to NHS recommendations. Start small, build your fitness and your confidence and once you’ve found the right routine for you, picking up the pace and volume shouldn’t be that hard.

Enjoying the exercise and feeling happy is much more effective than simply going through the motions of a workout because you feel forced into it. It’s well-known that exercise in any form releases endorphins (happy hormones) in the brain – the more you enjoy your workout, the more happy hormones will be released! As a result, you’ll want to exercise more.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to finding an exercise plan to suit you and your lifestyle, talk to one of our physios. All of W5’s physiotherapists have the qualifications and experience to help you discover the wide variety of exercise options available to you.

How to make exercise fun

Here are just a few of our suggestions of making the mundane feel more fun:

  • Want to start running? Find a ‘Couch to 5km’.

This running programme has become a bit of a phenomenon over the past few years. And it’s not difficult to see why. The thought of trudging down dark roads in the cold winter months doesn’t entice many people into taking up the sport. Instead, ‘Coach to 5km’ offer both online plans and apps for you to follow or in some areas, groups who meet to run together. The programmes work to build up your fitness and muscle strength gradually, preventing injuries and offering encouragement to participants. They can also offer advice on the right footwear and additional strength training to improve your running too.

  • Want to start weight training? Join a gym.

It may sound obvious but if you’re just starting out with weight training, the best and safest way to do it is to join a gym. Not only do you receive the advice needed through induction sessions and ongoing support, you get to meet a whole host of like-minded people who you can work out alongside too. Many gyms offer weight-based classes and often joining a class can be more fun and motivating that simply working out alone.

To help you stick to your weight training regime, it’s important to set achievable goals. Your physiotherapist of trainer can help with this and once you start seeing results, you’re sure to have the motivation to continue with your weight training for the long term.

Many gyms offer January membership offers, so now’s a great time to compare offers and find the right gym for you.

  • You want to learn a new sport. Join a club/team.

Many of us enjoy being competitive and that’s why competitive sports can add an extra element of excitement to our exercise. Sometimes, you become so enthralled in the game, you forget you’re even working out!

Take tennis for example. Lessons are a great place to starts and there are many affordable clubs across London that also offer all you need when it comes to finding the right equipment.

Also think rowing, football, rounders or bowls. Start with one lessons a week, and W5’s physios can provide you with some additional exercises that will build your strength and fitness so you’re increasing your activity lessons in no time at all.

  • Want to move to music? Join a class!

Many of us confess to loving music and there’s no doubt that exercising to your favourite tunes can be a great way to make your workout fly by!

From dance and yoga classes, to aqua aerobics, HIIT classes and spin, there’s an abundance of options on offer and bound to be a class not too far away from you.

Exercising in a group is proven to make people less likely to give up when it gets tough and the social C great health benefits too.

  • Want to work out at home? Download an app.

Let’s face it. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it’s really hard to physically fit a workout into our day! When that’s the case, don’t use it as an excuse to not exercise. Instead, try working out at home.

Nowadays there are thousands of online workouts to choose from, as well as fitness apps and home DVDs. Plus, how many of us have an exercise bike or rowing machine which is currently buried under a pile of clothes? Come on, make this year your year for dusting it off and putting that exercise equipment to good use. You can even do it whilst dinner’s in the oven or the kids are doing their homework!

Remember, exercise in whatever form should be part of everyone’s lives, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Physiotherapy doesn’t just focus on improving injuries and getting people back to doing what they were doing before their problem started. It helps complement your exercise routine and our physios really enjoy helping people be the healthiest they can. With that in mind, why not have us tailor an exercise programme to suit your lifestyle? Let us help you to stick to that most tricky of resolutions…to get fit in 2020!

Get in touch with us today.

Common contact sports injuries

October 7, 2019 by  
Filed under W5 Physio News

In the midst of the Rugby World Cup, there seems no better time to discuss contact sports. 

Contact sports are some of the most exciting for spectators, offering a fast pace, twists, turns and lots of anticipation. For these reasons, it’s no surprise that contact sports, including rugby, football, hockey, boxing and martial arts are hugely popular amongst both participants and fans, but it’s probably no surprise either that because of their competitiveness, injuries are really common too. 

Here, we look at just a few of the most common contact sport related injuries we see in clinic, and how they can be avoided. 

  1. Muscle strains

Any sport can put stress on muscles but contact sports in particular demand a lot from them. From the speed needed to run from or attack your opponent, to the strength needed to tackle, scrum or pin down the opposition, our muscles are put to hard work, often without us even realising the vast extent of what they are allowing us to do.  

It’s no wonder then that quads, hamstrings and calf muscles are sometimes damaged, along with glutes, traps, delts and abs – all as a result of playing contact sports. 

2. Dislocations and fractures

Contact sports are high-speed and energetic, meaning that collisions and falls are common. Unfortunately, bad knocks can result in breaks or dislocations, with the latter being particularly common in sports like rugby due to hands-on tackling and scrums. Legs, arms and collar bones are some of the most popular breaks we see, whilst dislocations are prevalent in shoulders and knees. 

Whilst rest and time are often the best initial cure for fractures and dislocations, the good news is that physiotherapy can really speed up your rehabilitation following your injury and can help you to strengthen to prevent similar injuries happening again in the future. 

3. Sprains

Sprains, which are ligament damage (as opposed to strains which involve muscles or tendons), are often associated with contact sports and most commonly seen in ankles and knees. They occur most frequently due to twisting or sudden jerky movements, for instance, when changing direction to dodge an opponent. 

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) sprains are widespread amongst footballers, along with MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprains. Often these injuries take a little longer to heal than a strain and can cause swelling and bruising too. 

4. Other injuries – bruises, cuts, concussion

There are a number of additional injuries that can happen as a result of playing contact sports. Again, because of a tendency to collide with opponents or fall to the ground, bruises and lesions are commonplace, and when they occur to the head, there is also the added risk of concussion. Whilst physio probably isn’t the first port of call for these types of problems, they’re worth mentioning as they’re amongst the most common of all contact sports injuries. 


Here are our top tips for preparing your body to play contact sports. 

Practise makes perfect

If you’re playing a contact sport professionally, practise is part and parcel of your job. But even as an amateur sports person, you should ensure you attend regular training sessions to gain the required skills. Understanding your sport well, knowing the rules, techniques and best practice is a good way of increasing your chances of staying safe when playing competitively. 

Warm up

It’s obvious, but crucial. Never undertake any kind of exercise without firstly warming up. You’ll increase blood flow to your muscles and enhance flexibility meaning your body’s ready to be pushed a little and you’re less likely to experience an injury. 

Strength train

Adding some weight bearing exercises into your training routine will build help you to protect both joints and bones. If problems do occur, your recovery time will likely be decreased if you’ve previously undertaken regular strength training. Think about the muscles most commonly used in your chosen contact sport, or any areas in which your experience weakness, and focus on those first. Our physios can recommend the most suitable exercises for you/your chosen sport. 

Do some cardio

Adding some cardio into your training routine (like running, cycling, cross training or aerobics) makes muscles more efficient and means you’ll be able to perform for longer before tiring. 

Protect yourself

If you feel weakness in any part of your body, or have an old injury, don’t be afraid to wear supports on knees, wrists, ankles, etc. to help you to feel stronger or prevent further injury. For more aggressive contact sports, like boxing and rugby, consider wearing more heavy-duty protective equipment like head guards and gum shields, too. Our physios are happy to advise on the best supports and protective equipment for your individual needs and choice of sport. 

Cool down

Your cool down following training or a match is just as vital as your warm-up. Give your body chance to recover and include stretching to increase your flexibility. The more flexible you get, the less likely you are to experience injuries from the sudden twists and turns often required in contact sports. 

Whilst the odd injury may be to be expected if you’re regularly participating in contact sports, don’t let it put you off. The health and wellbeing benefits of taking part in competitive sports well outweigh the potential problems and through putting the correct preventative measures in place you can significantly reduce your chances of causing any damage. 

If problems do occur, remember W5’s physios have a wealth of experience in contact sport related injuries and are here to help. Get in touch today!

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