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Nick, Our Thoughts

Achilles tendon injuries are very commonly associated with sport and exercise, can often take a long time to heal, and often recur when returning back to sport and exercise – very frustrating!

The good news is that most Achilles tendon injuries respond well to conservative management consisting of an initial period of rest, Physiotherapy treatment, a programme of stretches and strengthening exercises, and a graduated return to sport and exercise.

With the above in mind, here is an example of how an Achilles tendon injury can respond very well to conservative management;

Recently a patient came to see me regarding a stiff and sore Achilles tendon that had been troubling her for about three months. She injured her Achilles tendon when she slipped on the muddy ground while going for her regular lunchtime walk around Auckland Domain. She initially rested her Achilles tendon for a few weeks and when it felt better, she tried to go for a lunchtime walk in the Domain, but her Achilles tendon quickly became stiff and sore again. This pattern continued over the next few months, i.e. a period of rest, her Achilles tendon feeling better, and then the pain and stiffness returning as soon as she tried to exercise again.

When I first saw her at Olympic Physiotherapy I assessed her injured Achilles tendon and saw that it looked puffy, was tender to touch, and her calf muscle above the injured tendon was weak and tight. Treatment consisted of massaging her injured Achilles tendon with anti-inflammatory cream, stretching her tight calf, and icing her Achilles tendon. I also encouraged her to do this at home twice daily and to start some light stationary cycling on a daily basis. After a week she reported her Achilles tendon was feeling a little better, and after two weeks she was very pleased to report her Achilles tendon was feeling much better!

 I have now suggested she go for a short lunchtime walk in the Domain every second day, exercycle lightly on the days in between, and to continue with the massage, stretching and icing in the evenings. I have also started her on some light strengthening exercises which will further assist her recovery, and help reduce the chances of injuring her Achilles tendon again in the future.

I hope the above example reassures those of you that are suffering from a sore Achilles tendon, or have suffered from an injured Achilles tendon in the past, that most Achilles tendon injuries recover very well if managed correctly.

With the above in mind, give us a call here at Olympic Physiotherapy if you are suffering from a stiff or sore Achilles tendon, as we would be very happy to assist you with your recovery and a successful return to your regular sport and exercise!

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Health, Our Thoughts, Stu
Did you know that people who suffer from periodontal disease (gum disease) have a higher risk of
strokes and coronary artery disease? Gum disease is often triggered by plaque overload!

Oral plaque does affect the heart. This is why proper oral care, which minimizes the presence of
plaque, is so vital to staying healthy over the long term. Today, we are going to share more information
about the connection between plaque and the heart, as well as oral health care tips which will help
you to reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

There are two possible reasons why plaque is linked with the risk of heart issues. One possible
reason is that the germs which trigger gum disease put toxins into the bloodstream and these toxins
contribute to the formation of fatty plaques within the arteries. Deposits made from plaque may trigger
serious issues such as blood clots. Blood clots negatively impact blood flow.

The second possible reason is that bacteria provoke the liver organ to produce proteins in higher-
than-average amounts. These proteins cause inflammation in the blood vessels. This may set the
stage for a stroke or a heart attack.

Do You Have Periodontal Disease?
When tartar and plaque aren’t removed, they become harmful. If you suspect that you may suffer
from periodontal disease, you should schedule an appointment with a local dentist.

Dr. Johay Amith from Dental Today says, “If you don’t have dental coverage, look for community
services. Some dentists will charge on a sliding scale based on income, in order to help those in need
by making the cost of dental care more affordable”.

If you see signs including chronic bad breath, gums which move away from teeth, a bad taste in the
mouth, gums which are reddened, tender and swollen and separation or loosening of permanent
teeth, it may be an indicator that periodontal disease may be negatively impacting your oral health. If
you find that your teeth seem to fit together differently when you bite down, periodontal disease may
be the reason why.

In addition, if your dentures don’t fit properly (as they used to), you will benefit from visiting a dentist
and finding out if gum disease is changing the way that your dentures fit. Gum disease is often
triggered by too much plaque so, it’s important to try and reverse periodontal disease as soon as it
strikes. It’s never too late to see a dentist. A lot can be done to improve oral health, whether you are
experiencing gum disease or another oral health issue.

Dental plaque contains bacteria. To combat the growth of plaque, get your teeth cleaned by a dentist
every six months and brush and floss twenty minutes after every meal. Other forms of dental care
may be needed. However, only a licensed dentist will be able to recommend the right processes. This
is why regular dental examinations and cleanings are so important.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth
There is a lot you can do in order to minimize the presence of plaque. Aside from brushing and
flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for check-ups and cleanings, you may want to avoid sugary
foods and acidic foods. Both negatively impact oral health. Consider supplements which are proven
to improve oral health. Examples include probiotics and fish oil. Lastly, eating an apple a day will be a
great way to clean your teeth when no toothbrush is handy.

Now that you know how plaque affects the heart, why not improve your oral care routine today and
book an appointment with your dentist?

Authors Bio:
Robert Hudson is studying a bachelor of Communications and majoring in journalism. He has a
passion for health and comes from a family of dentists. For the last 6 years, he has lived in New
Zealand and is determined to continue living in this beautiful country. If you have any questions or
would like to connect with Robert please message via Google
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