Friday, April 29, 2016

Why Stair Climbing Is Good For Runners

Now we know why Gino can run and climb stairs so well.

Stairs make you work against gravity when carrying your body weight and this helps improving your strength and power. You'll need both, whether you're sprinting for the tape in a 5 km race or trying to hold your pace in the latter stages of a marathon.

 stair-climbing. The plyometric motion strengthens the same muscles as lunges and squats, and taxes your lungs and heart as you power to the top.
Moore adds that stair-climbing “forces you to utilize muscle stabilizers, like the gluteus medius, that get neglected during regular runs,” because you’re balancing on and activating one leg, briefly, as the other moves to the next step. Strengthen these areas and you’ll reduce your risk of injury.
Finally, stairs are much steeper than most hills: Indoor stairs have a roughly 65 percent grade, while Boston’s Heartbreak Hill is just 4.5 percent. That’s why climbing them accelerates your heart rate so rapidly and makes you breathe faster to take in more oxygen. This, in turn, improves your VO2 max—the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Yet Another Patient With Lots Of Bruising

But this is not after a massage session......
Check out the bruising .....

.... but this is after her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) operation done 11 days ago .....with a hamstring graft.

And as written earlier, men don't get it  (men do get it, just not as often as women) and why women are more prone to ACL injuries.

No bruises in front.
Having seen lots of men and women who had an ACL reconstruction done, I must say this is one of the more serious bruising I've seen so far.

She definitely needs to get started on her rehab.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Patient Got This After A Sports Massage

Check out the bruise on my patient's leg after going for a Sports Massage session at a place and by a person that shall remain anonymous. And this is three days later!

I told my patient to come to our clinic for Sports Massage with one of our Sports Massage therapists instead when my patient is better.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Indoor Plants May Improve Your Health

Eggs in our fern
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels bad about the deteriorating air quality recently and I chanced upon how indoor plants may help.

Researchers found that workers in a small study in Norway had less complaints of fatigue, cough, dry throat and itching when they had plants in the office. Other studies showed that with plants in buildings, their employees were more productive, had better concentration and greater work satisfaction compared to those in bare offices.

Can you guess why when you visit someone in hospital you always seem to see flowers, hampers and presents? In a randomized study, surgical patients in hospitals in rooms with plants reported less pain, anxiety, stress and fatigue than patients without indoor plants. The patients with plants also had lower blood pressure, were more satisfied with their rooms and felt more positively toward hospital staff.

In another randomized controlled trial, the same authors as the study above  breported that patients who had their appendix removed used less pain killers with plants in their rooms.

Well, clearly some evidence suggest indoor house plants and their root systems, soil etc absorb indoor pollutants benzene, trichloroethylene and even formaldehyde. Other studies suggest indoor plants produce allergens that can trigger allergic responses. So make sure your choose indoor plants that you are not allergic too.

Well, you've read that plants and flowers make hospital patients more compassionate, less anxious and less depressed as for me, I always feel happy when I receive flowers from Gino or anyone else.


Fjeld T, Veiersted B et al (1998). The Effect Of Indoor Foliage Plants On Health And Discomfort Symptoms Among Office Workers. Indoor Built Environ. 7: 204-209. DOI: 10.1159/00024583.

Park SH and Mattson RH (2008). Effects Of Flowers And Foliage Plants In Hospital Rooms On Patients Recovering From Abdominal Surgery. HortTechnology. 18: 4563-4568.

Park SH and Mattson RH (2009). Ornamental Indoor Plants In Hospital Rooms Enham=nced Health Outcomes Of Patients Recovering From Surgery. J Alt Complement Med. 15(9): 975-980. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2009.0075.

Nieuwenhuis M, Knight C et al (2014). The Relative Benefits Of Green Versus Lean Office Space: Three Field Experiments. J Exp Psychol Appl. 20(3): 199-214. DOI: 10.1037/xap0000024.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

While Gino Was Out Learning .....

Having fun 
We were enjoying ourselves in the infinity pool. That's right, since Gino insisted on us coming along with him while he attends the Floss band (by Sanctband) "Easy Flossing" course in Ipoh, Malaysia.

What's that again? Floss bands are elastic compression bands made by Sanctband, whose factory is just behind us at the Weil Hotel.

They are also called Voodoo bands and are very popular among people who does Crossfit. But only Santband have 3 different sizes and 4 different grades of resistance.

According to Gino, they can be used to increase mobility in different parts of the body or decrease pain working via fascia and other connective tissue.

From what Gino explains, using the Floss bands to treat fascia is just like using Kinesio tape without having to stick tape on the patients. And it seems to get quicker results.

 I'll leave Gino to explain further in a separate post.

Floss bands by Sanctband

Sunday, January 31, 2016

High Heels Anyone?

Picture by Vestman from Flickr
What you wear on your feet can affect how your body moves. Just watch your little kids. When they walk or run in their bare feet, they tend to land near the front of the feet. Put them in well supported shoes and straight away they start to land on their heels.

High heeled shoes affect the shape and functioning of our feet . Walking in heels can also change the natural position of the foot-ankle complex, and this may lead to problems going up the lower limb to your spine.

It has been demonstrated that the feet and ankles of women who wear heels over a long period of time are different from those who wear flats (Cronin, 2014). Hence a group of researchers wanted to track the progression of changes in women who spent time wearing high heels.

The researchers recruited a group of young university women training to be airline attendants who were required to wear high heels for their training since they needed to wear them if hired by the airline company. With each passing year, the women will have one extra year of heel wearing, making it easy to track changes.

Girls from each year from freshmen to seniors were selected and their ankle strength (on computerized exercise machines) and proprioception (joint position sense) tested on a wobble board.

Results showed that the sophomores and juniors had greater strength than the freshmen (who were mostly new to wearing heels) in muscles around the inside and outside of the ankle.

This difference suggest that wearing high heels may at first lead to adaptation and increased strength as the ankles respond to stresses placed on it by the high heels,

The senior women (who had been wearing high heels the longest) showed weakening of the same muscles compared with even the freshmen. In fact, muscles at the front and back of the ankles were weaker and proprioception was much worse.

All of the sophomores and above women subjects had worse balance than the freshmen even as some of their muscles were getting stronger.

This may be due to the ratio of strength between the muscles on the sides of the ankles and those of front and back become increasingly unbalanced over the years. This leads to ankle instability and balance problems and eventually a decrease in strength in the muscles that had been stronger for a while.

Despite the findings, the researchers do not suggest women deliberately avoid wearing high heels, but suggests strengthening their ankle whenever possible by doing simple heel lifts (in bare feet rise onto your toes repeatedly) and heel drops (stand on the edge of a stair and slowly lower your heel over the edge).

Whilst sitting, the researchers also suggests taking off your heels since the heels can alter the resting length of tendons and muscles around the ankle which can destabilize the joint and increase injury risk.

Remember the scene in the movie Jurassic World where the heroine had the Tyrannosaurus Rex released from its paddock and lures it into battle with the Indominus where she ran in her high heels? I had this scene in my mind as I read the articles.

Well, if you ever attempt to run from a fast moving deadly animal, high heels are perhaps the worst choice of foot wear possible.

You have been duly advised. Heel wearers beware as strength imbalances around the ankle are known to increase risk in the hamstrings or upper leg and the lower back as well.


Cronin NJ (2014). The Effects Of High Heeled Shoes On Female Gait: A Review. J Electromyo Kinesiol. 24(2): 258-263. DOI:10.1016/j.jelekin.2014.01.004.

Kim MH, Choi YT et al (2015). Reducing The Frequency Of Wearing High-heeled Shoes And Increasing Ankle Strength Can Prevent Ankle Injury In Women. Int J Clin Pract. 69(8): 909-910. DPI: 10-1111/jcp.12684.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Physio And Sports Solutions Brunch

Special menu for PS and SS
Both PS and SS staff and family members (well those who could make it anyway) came for brunch at Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro earlier today. We even got the whole cafe to ourselves for the event.

Reggie missed the brunch because he's away for his stag party in Bangkok. Yati was feeling under the weather while others were travelling.

On their phones while waiting for the latecomers
Dean's favourite physio
Except for Aminah, here are all the latecomers

Group picture before Tini and family came
For all our staff who couldn't come, please join us next time coz here's what you missed.