Better running


With the London Marathon coming up this month and Edinburgh next month we can see that many people run as a means of keeping fit. Whist many choose to run as a means of keeping fit many do not run well and little thought is given to improving running technique but lots of thought is given to which shoe to buy. In a lot of the chat about  running a large portion often seems to be given over to which shoes to choose, minimalist/light weight vs motion control or somewhere inbetween.  Much less seems to be given over to the improvement of ones running technique or the need to be strong enough to withstand the rigors of running. Continue reading “Better running”

Running and eating; ways to live longer


In a story on the BBC yesterday talked about how cardiovascular fitness can aid in maintaining brain function. 3,000 people, average age 25, in Minnesota were tested on a treadmill then again 20 years later. Those who had the smallest differences in the treadmill tests were found to score higher in the memory and thinking tests, even after being adjusted for factors such as smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol. Continue reading “Running and eating; ways to live longer”

HIIT to LSD the real deal on endurance training


There has been something of an ongoing debate online about the benefits of interval training over steady state training when it comes to endurance or cardiovscular training. The perceived wisdom over the last few years pushing things towards the idea that all you need to do is some form of interval training and that steady state low intensity work has no value. As with most things the answer is no where near as clear cut as this and both types of training have their merits and the evidence, as we can see in this excellent paper, rather than the internet chatter, does suggest that both should be part of a well rounded program. Continue reading “HIIT to LSD the real deal on endurance training”

Back pain, core stability and education

Over at The Sports Physio Adam had a great post reviewing the research out there on the use of core stability exercises in dealing with chronic back pain. The review comes to the conclusion that there is little to be gained from the use of core stability exercises specifically over a more general approach to exercise and other forms of physiotherapy treatment. Continue reading “Back pain, core stability and education”

Massage therapy for fibromyalgia

cycle-fibromyalgiaI came across a link to a short post by Ezard Ernst of Exeter University via Lars Avemarie’s facebook page describing a paper on the possible benefits of massage for fibromyalgia sufferers. The paper is a systematic review of the evidence of massage for fybromyalgia sufferers and the results were generally positive where the study ran for at least 5 weeks with reductions in levels of anxiety, depression and levels of perceived pain.

Trigger points and reasons why I don’t bother.

The term Trigger Points (TrPs) is often used by therapists to describe localised tender spots that may refer pain to other areas when stimulated.  Whilst there seems to be less argument about whether they exist or not there is more about what they might be and there are major issues with being able to find them, perhaps 50/50 at best, and the reproducibility of actually being able to find them, 18%. In fact in 1992 a, admittedly small, blind study was carried out on them using using both those with Myofascial TrP’s and fibromyalgia. Yet the best of the best of Trigger Point specialists including Simons, of Travell and Simons writers of the Trigger Point bible, and 3 others couldn’t find or agree on any  where they were given as much time as required to find them.

For myself they were never a good fit in any treatment I was trying to carry out as the treatment of them seemed to be the polar opposite of what I was trying to do otherwise, that is relieve pain not cause more pain. The treatment of TrP’s for most manual therapists seems to revolve around pressing hard on something that is already sore and use the symptoms to help understand what the underlying problem may be and treat that not the symptoms, I’ve always felt that they were symptoms of an issue elsewhere rather than a problem in and of themselves.

There is certainly more evidence to suggest that TrP’s  may be a sensitization of the nervous system, possibly centrally. This carries even more weight when you consider that the areas that the referred pain cover are very similar to the path of the peripheral nerves. There is a great short piece over at the HumanAntiGravitySuit giving a couple of lovely diagrams of how the idea of TrP’s may be more about nerves. Continue reading “Trigger points and reasons why I don’t bother.”