Sports Injuries

2705, 2015

Curtsy Lunges

By |May 27th, 2015|media|Comments Off on Curtsy Lunges

Curtsy Lunges

‘Keeping your knees healthy and symptom free begins with developing a functional understanding of how this unique joint is constructed (anatomy) and how it does and doesn’t function (biomechanics)’

Lunges are excellent dynamic strength exercises for the lower body but can cause pain if not performed properly.

The curtsy lunge is like the standard lunge, but your rear foot moves backward, crossing it behind the front  leg, planting the ball of your rear foot about half a metre across the midline as though you were about to curtsy. In this movement the knee travels across the body vs. the traditional forward and backward motion. The weight used in the exercise has to be lowered drastically. Not just because your muscle can’t handle it, but because there is no chance for your muscles and body’s passive structures to exert enough force in such an extreme, anatomically disadvantageous position.

The curtsy lunge exercise negates one foundational rule of biomechanics. To encourage proper movement pattern, function, and strength, the knee joint, hip joint, and shoulder joint should be kept in alignment with one another the entire time while bearing load. For the grand majority, this will produce unwanted stress since the hip socket doesn’t align with this movement angle or pattern. Consequently, the IT band and TFL will take a loaded stretch.

Increased rotation of the knee causes excessive overstretching or twisting of the ligaments or tendons or increased shearing forces on the bursa surrounding the knee, then ligament strain, tendinitis, meniscus tears, bursitis, iliotibial band and patella femoral syndrome can occur.

The knee is a hinge-type joint, roughly equivalent to a door hinge, but with a slight rotation to lock it into full extension. The meniscus is located between the femur […]

1304, 2015


By |April 13th, 2015|media|Comments Off on Deadlift


‘The best exercises are those which mimic natural movement patterns, like the deadlift.’

Young children typically perform squats and deadlifts without anyone having to show them how. Yet when a deconditioned adult tries to perform these movements, they may feel very unnatural. Many adults have spent their entire life sitting in chairs and cars, avoiding natural movement. Many adults and even school children have done this to the point where they have unlearned instinctive habits like lifting from the hips and legs, and replaced them with lower back pain and hip ailments.

In my experience as an ex personal trainer deadlifts improve your performance in everything – from daily tasks, like picking-up groceries or playing with your kids on the floor—to more athletic tasks, like sprinting and jumping.

When beginning the movement, the most susceptible position to injury will be the bottom of the movement, where the spine is more likely to slump (enter lumbar flexion) and has the greatest shear force on it. Start the lift off a rack or bench if you have flexibility issues.

Begin standing up straight with your hips about shoulder-width apart. The bar should be hanging at arm’s length with the overhand grip. The ability to maintain lumbar lordosis is absolutely the most important factor. Once it’s lost, the movement is over. Re-set and try it again. No exceptions. Your knees begin slightly bent, and the movement begins at the hips as they are pushed backwards, while your shins remain close to vertical and weight remains on the heels. Your back should remain straight and never round. In the deadlift the spinal muscles are trained statically, meaning that there is very little movement in the spine throughout the movement. The bar is lowered as […]

2411, 2014

The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

By |November 24th, 2014|media|Comments Off on The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”

William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) Founder of Cranial Osteopathy

Most children are required to carry heavy school bags to and from school each day, and the load increases as they reach higher grades. Sports clothing and equipment often adds another bag to their load. Your child’s spine could be in for a tough time coping with all the increased stress, and when you add poor posture, lack of exercise and hours of computer time each day into the mix. According to a study published in the journal ‘Spine’, daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of discomfort for school children. School backpacks were felt to be heavy by 79.1% of children, to cause fatigue by 65.7%, and to cause back pain by 46.1. Studies show children should not carry any more than 10 per cent of their body weight and that anything over 15 per cent can be damaging.

If the child has to lean forward when walking with a loaded pack, it is too heavy. A heavy backpack has a number of undesirable effects to your child’s spine. It distorts the natural curves in the middle and lower back, causing muscle strain, headaches, irritation to the spine joints and the rib cage, reduced breathing capacity and may hamper his/her overall growth. Spinal dysfunction that results from these poor habits, may affect your child’s ability to study or participate in sport; setting a poor foundation for spinal health that may carry through into adulthood.

The posture that a child habitually assumes will affect the shape of the bones and the way in which the end plates harden and form. This is particularly evident […]

2008, 2014

Sort yourself out today…Shoulder pain

By |August 20th, 2014|media|Comments Off on Sort yourself out today…Shoulder pain

Back and shoulder pain is a common complaint due to our sedentary lifestyles and bad posture. Nearly 50% of us will suffer at some point in our lives -our experts are here to help you avoid it.

The Osteopath

Dr Guy Ashburner is a Cape Town-based osteopath

Painful shoulder conditions that limit movement are common, and are caused by injuries affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. As the shoulder has a high degree of flexibility, it’s less stable and more prone to injuries than other joints. As the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm originate from the neck and upper spine, conditions such as spinal dysfunction commonly contribute to pain in the shoulder. To determine the cause of your pain, the osteopath will conduct a full orthopedic and neurological examination of the shoulder, neck and upper back. When a diagnosis has been reached, the osteopath will discuss the treatment options with you. Although shoulder pain can be serious, the vast majority of injuries are not serious and can easily be helped.

The Physiotherapist

Kerryn Alcock runs a practice in Linden, Joburg

The shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (upper arm bone). Shoulder pain is often related to occupation or sport, overuse or ‘wear and tear’ also results in a painful shoulder and this can come with age. To ensure a good prognosis, early treatment is essential in order to prevent stiffness, over-stretching of ligaments or tendons, weakness and further injury. Simple exercises can be done at home such as pendular exercises done while lying on your stomach with your arm off the bed or while standing, bending over slightly or leaning on a chair. Relax your arm and […]

2907, 2014

Lat pulldowns- Proper technique and how to avoid Injury.

By |July 29th, 2014|media|Comments Off on Lat pulldowns- Proper technique and how to avoid Injury.

Lat pulldowns are a popular gym exercise for strengthening the upper back, shoulders, biceps and forearms and is without a doubt the most frequently misused piece of equipment in the gym.
This week I saw a prime example of what not to do with Lat pulldowns.  An over enthusiastic man in his late thirties holding the bar with an extra wide grip yanking the bar down quickly behind his head which forced his neck forward and bent his whole spine into a unnatural bent forward position.
Here is some guidance on how to avoid making mistakes which may result in injury and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Exercisers should grasp the bar with palms facing away from you (pronated) and with a grip at or about shoulder width apart or where comfortable with the hands evenly spaced on the bar. If you are experiencing rotator cuff issues (a group of four muscles that provide shoulder stability) or shoulder pain, switch the handle attachment so your palms face each other giving you better leverage and an even closer grip which can sometimes alleviate the shoulder strain. Lat pulldown bars are long with curve at each end giving people incorrect notions about how far apart their hands should be.  Gripping the bar wider compromises the ability of the body to work as a unit and increases the potential for shoulder injuries.
Exercisers should lean back slightly and pull the bar to the upper chest or sternum. This will allow the head to be moved away from the cable and bar and reduce the need to turn the head to the side especially with heavy resistances and help reduce neck strain and injury. Leaning back slightly will also ensure that the […]

405, 2014

Top Billing Presenter/ Miss South Africa Finalist Osteopathy like going to a chiropractor, massage and a physio session combined but better.

By |May 4th, 2014|testimonials|Comments Off on Top Billing Presenter/ Miss South Africa Finalist Osteopathy like going to a chiropractor, massage and a physio session combined but better.

My Osteopathy experience with Dr Guy Ashburner Osteopath

To the weeks building up to the Miss South Africa Final, I was in a constant high stress environment, I was eating very strictly and exercising twice a day and my body was feeling it.

I went to Guy Ashburner during these weeks and it literally saved me. I felt energized and physically stronger for the week ahead every session. What I found made Osteopathy the best was that it was like going to a chiropractor, massage and a physio session combined but better. I say it was like a massage because it was the same concept but more intensified and specialized. It was also like a physio session because although Guy works on and fixes your whole body like a massage, he concentrates more on the areas that need more work unlike a massage where the time spent is spread out evenly and you are still left with your problem area needing more attention. Guy also uses the exact strength you need to really work out the problem and will not let you leave until he has perfected the problem area to the best it can be in that session. If you love sports massages/strong massages than you will love Osteopathy. My Osteopathy experience was incredible and it would be safe to say I am addicted to it! It feels amazing and it makes such a huge difference! Massages and Physiotherapists are amazing but this Osteopathy experience really helped a lot and not only focused on the problem area but also fixed the other parts contributing to the problem and also gave my body a full realignment. It also saves you a lot of time and money going […]

3010, 2013

Taking a Holistic Approach to Sports Injuries

By |October 30th, 2013|media|Comments Off on Taking a Holistic Approach to Sports Injuries

Taking a Holistic Approach to Sports Injuries

Whether you are a trained athlete or new to a sport, injuries can happen to any of us. Taking time out to allow healing can impact upon your fitness and performance, so it’s essential that you take the necessary steps following injury to promote your recovery. While straight after the event it’s important to use ice, compression and elevation to reduce swelling, opinion is divided as to the further care. Taking a strictly medical approach, you would be advised to take an anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or ibuprofen and may be provided with means to immobilise the injury such as a splint, cast or sling. However, these medications are not suitable for everyone and in any case, you may prefer to take a more natural well-rounded approach to aid healing. Osteopathy is an important aspect of a holistic approach to sports injury, helping to relieve muscle tension, improve blood flow and immune function, aid the removal of waste products from the muscles and increase your range of motion, all of which play an important part in tissue recovery. However, there are other simple steps that can be taken to aid repair and restore your musculoskeletal function.

Rest and activity

While a certain degree of rest is obviously important to keep your weight off a leg, knee or ankle injury, or similarly to avoid overexertion that may adversely affect damage to the upper body, it is important that this is balanced with activity. A certain degree of movement is advisable as this not only aids healing, but helps you to maintain your fitness and muscle mass while you recover. There will be some types of movements though that may make a condition worse. […]

2110, 2013

Fatigue or Low energy, osteopathy has a solution

By |October 21st, 2013|common complaints|Comments Off on Fatigue or Low energy, osteopathy has a solution

Fatigue or Low energy, osteopathy has a solution for feeling tired, drained, exhausted, and depressed. These are symptoms commonly known as fatigue. Fatigue is a sign that your body is feeling physical or emotional stress. Thinking that it will just go away is a common mistake that many people make.

Fatigue may result from: An unhealthy lifestyle, poor dietary choices, lack of exercise, emotional stress, poor spinal/musculoskeletal health, overwork, depression, trauma, sleep deprivation, use or abuse of alcohol, caffeine, or illegal drugs. Fatigue is a symptom that may be caused by illness or adverse effects of medication. A visit to a doctor usually is needed when fatigue occurs along with more serious symptoms or if fatigue lasts longer than 2 weeks. Fatigue can present itself in myriad ways, which is why it can be difficult for doctors to make an accurate diagnosis.

A common cause of fatigue is an unbalanced body framework. Structure is the main reason for energy expenditure and, conversely structure has a remarkable influence on energy levels. Static tension and immobility within the body uses more energy in movement. Muscles must work to cause movement but their opposing muscles must also release sufficiently to allow ease of movement. Where excessive tension exists, extra energy is used doing anything and everything from walking, to playing sport, to simply sitting and giving something your full attention, even to sleeping. Blocked, wasted and depleted energy can lead to fatigue. Your posture is a good indicator of fatigue levels. People with poor posture use more physical and neurological energy to maintain that state.

Osteopathy is a natural medicine – and science – based on the principle that the structure of the body affects how it will function, and that it functions as a unified whole. On a practical level, this means that problems in any one […]

2110, 2013

Knee Pain Helped with Osteopathy

By |October 21st, 2013|common complaints|Comments Off on Knee Pain Helped with Osteopathy

Knee Pain Helped with Osteopathy – Because the knee is a weight bearing joint, knee pain affects almost everything we do that requires mobility, including those things most of us have usually taken for granted. Routine activities of living, work, social and recreational activities are often limited or avoided because of knee pain. A person with a bad knee knows how often it gets in the way of doing the things they want and need to do in daily life.

Knee pain can be caused by direct trauma to the knee from falls, over-use or impact sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, poor alignment /muscle imbalance, congenital weakness, disease, and age related wear and tear. With both chronic and acute knee conditions, an osteopath can be an invaluable resource in the diagnosis and treatment of your knee condition

The stress and jarring of routine running activities combined with a poor tracking ability of the kneecap (Runner’s knee) wears down and inflames the knee joint cartilage. The result can be pain, swelling, and dysfunction. Left untreated, these inflammatory knee disorders inevitably lead to arthritis.

Whether a knee condition is acute (injury related) or chronic (wear and tear related) the importance of getting a good diagnosis and receiving the proper treatment cannot be understated. Although analgesics can help relieve some pain and swelling, it takes proper corrective measures to address the underlying cause of the problem. A consultation with an osteopath could help you determine just how much you can do to improve the condition of your knees by taking a comprehensive medical history and perform a thorough physical and biomechanical examination in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Treatment would involve hands on osteopathic techniques to relief pain, improve joint function, reduce any swelling and treating areas around the knee that can be contributing to your Knee pain and advice […]

810, 2013

Massage – Sports Massage – Therapeutic Osteopathic Massage

By |October 8th, 2013|common complaints, media|Comments Off on Massage – Sports Massage – Therapeutic Osteopathic Massage

Osteopathic Massage

Massage techniques are used to induce relaxation, reduce muscle spasm, relieve tension and tightness from muscles, helps clear muscles of lactic acid that builds up during exercise, increases range of motion, stimulates the immune system by increasing blood flow and lymph drainage which aids in the repair of painful, tense, damaged muscles and tendons. Benefits of massage also include improving muscle tone and delaying muscle atrophy resulting from inactivity. Deep massage can separate fascial fibres, and prevent the formation of adhesions and helps reduction of inflammation and oedema in joints and soft tissue.

Osteopaths use massage techniques which works through the connective tissue layers from skin through to deep muscle, the Osteopath will be able to judge the depth required to achieve the greatest effect. Osteopaths combine cross fibre stretching with massage techniques to achieve greater effectiveness. Sometimes the techniques can be uncomfortable if the tissues are very tight or there is scar tissue present, but the patient usually experiences relief as the tissue relaxes.

There are a wide variety of soft tissue techniques that osteopaths use, including massage (light or firm pressure), cross-fibre muscle kneading and myo-fascial release.  What these techniques all have in common is the aim to relax or stretch out the muscles and tendons and ligaments (the soft tissues).  This can be a very important part of the treatment process with tension in the muscles contributing significantly to pain and stiffness in many patients.

Osteopaths also use fascial release techniques. Fascia is a continuous sheet of connective tissue from our head to our toes. It wraps around muscles, bones, viscera (organs), nerves and blood vessels .  It offers support and spaces for all fluids of the body and the nerves to travel through. […]