Thursday, 6 April 2017

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a complex breathing condition affecting not only the ventilatory system, but also the respiratory, cardiovascular and muscular systems. Ventilatory problems include increased resistance of the airways, increased effort to breath, weakness and fatigue of the ventilatory muscles, inefficient breathing and later, failure to breathe. Respiratory problems refer to the impaired exchange of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) at a cellular level in the lungs. Cardiovascular complications include reduced cardiovascular fitness due to decreased physical activity, and inadequate cardiac function with increased demand. Muscular problems include deconditioning as a result of reduced physical activity.

People with COPD also often suffer with psychological complications such as depression, as they are unable to perform normal daily activities, and anxiety linked to their symptoms, the most common of which is breathlessness.

As exercise increases breathing rate and cardiac output, people with COPD will most likely experience difficulty with exercise and thus often do not participate in any regular physical activity. It is important, however, that individuals with this condition do participate in regular exercise in order to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance, balance, flexibility, and body composition leading to enhanced self image. Exercise also helps to desensitize one’s response to breathlessness, assisting in the management of symptoms and thus reducing anxiety. Breathing also becomes more efficient and effective with appropriate exercise.

It is important to consider the effects of certain medications on exercise capacity, as these individuals are often on various medications to manage their condition. Exercise programming will thus need to be individualised and must be adjusted each day, depending on how the individual is feeling. Some individuals may need to monitor their oxyhaemoglobin saturation levels, especially in the early days of starting an exercise programme. It is important to always listen to one’s symptoms and adjust the exercise intensity accordingly, and allow lots of rest intervals.

The main goal is to keep one engaged in an ongoing regular exercise regimen. It must therefore be manageable from a physical capacity perspective, and enjoyable to ensure that it is continued. Then, not only will one reap the disease-related benefits, but also the many other benefits of participating in a regular exercise regimen.

References
ACSM’s Exercise Management for Person’s with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities

Thursday, 9 February 2017

What can a Biokineticist do for you?

Biokinetics is the use of exercise and movement as a form of rehabilitation or therapy. A biokineticist, therefore, uses exercise and movement to enhance the wellness and functionality of an individual’s physical state to improve the individual’s quality of life.

There are three main areas in which biokinetics is involved, namely orthopaedic rehabilitation, chronic disease management and general wellness.

Orthopaedic rehabilitation: generally, if a person suffers an injury or has surgery (ligament reconstruction, joint replacement, spinal fusion, etc.), s/he should see a biokineticist, after physiotherapy, to strengthen the affected muscles, so that the person can return to their daily activities or sporting activities with reduced risk of recurrence. Often, biokinetics is also recommended prior to surgery (prehab), to strengthen appropriate muscles to support the affected area, thus speeding up the post-surgery rehabilitation.

Chronic disease management: exercise is used as a form of medicine to assist in the management of numerous chronic diseases, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, arthritis and many more. Certain conditions respond to certain types of exercise, so the biokineticist will provide appropriate exercises for the specific condition.

General wellness: biokineticists will assess and then provide exercise programmes to improve an individual’s general health status, by assisting with weight management, general fitness and muscle strengthening.

So, if you require assistance with any of the following, contact a biokineticist:
·         Sports injury rehabilitation
·         Post-operative rehabilitation
·         Orthopaedic rehabilitation
·         Chronic disease management
·         Posture and gait correction
·         Diabetes and exercise education
·         Pre-and post-natal exercise
·         Other physical conditions

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Keeping Active this Holiday Season

As we approach the holiday season, we must not let ourselves lose all the physical fitness we have worked so hard to improve throughout the year. Having said that, it is important to take a break from the everyday routine that we find ourselves in, so that we are motivated to start afresh in the new year. So, here are some suggestions on how you and your family can keep active during the holiday season.

If you are staying home this season, try to do different physical activities, such as walks in the park with your family or friends, going to the zoo, going ice skating, playing with your children in the garden, and swimming. Go to the gym and attend different classes that you normally aren’t able to get to.

If you are going on holiday, walk on the beach, swim, play with the kids, walk instead of taking the car/bus whenever possible, and take the stairs instead of the lift. Choose 3 simple exercises that you can do each morning to start your day.

Remember: you feel better when you keep active! Exercise also helps you relax. So, look for ways to stay active this holiday, rather than loafing around. Do enjoyable and different activities with your families. Most importantly, relax and have fun!


Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2017!!!

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Newsflash!!
Please note that Nicole Lay Biokineticist is now practising at:
44 First Avenue, Dunvegan, Edenvale

Tel: 011 454 5800

Calf Strain

Calf strains commonly occur at the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle and are often seen in tennis players over the age of 40. This strain is caused by the forced upward motion of the toes whilst the knee is straight or by the forced extension of the knee while the toes are pointing upwards. A calf strain can also occur when there is muscular fatigue and cramping.

Signs and symptoms
As the strain happens, an individual will feel a tear in the calf muscle, together with pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced function. Later, the lower leg, ankle and foot will become discoloured due to internal bleeding.

Management
Initial treatment includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. In cases of severe muscle strains, one may need crutches to allow the muscle time to heal. Gentle stretching of the calf muscle should be done on a regular basis. Once sufficient healing has occurred, appropriate and progressive strengthening exercises should be prescribed by a biokineticist, so that re-injury does not occur when one returns to daily activities or sport. If dehydration was causing muscle cramp, leading to the strain, then the dehydration must be treated with sufficient fluid intake. Stretching and strengthening of the calf must also be done to reduce muscle cramping.

References
Foundations of Athletic Training: Prevention, Assessment and Management