–   DECEMBER 2020   –

Helping yourself over Christmas


As Christmas draws closer, many of our patients and carers heave a sigh of relief. It’s a time to relax,  eat, drink and be merry. A period for spending time with loved ones. A time to take a break from the rigours of day to day life.

At Active Edge Physiotherapy, most of our patients are being treated to help recover movement after an injury to the brain or spinal cord, or for nerve related injuries or diseases. All patients will be following their own personal recovery or maintenance program to promote the best chance of recovery, or the best opportunity to manage their symptoms.

The neuroplasticity being worked on by your physiotherapist (the brain’s ability to reconnect your neural pathways) will be helping to recover movement you’ve lost or now find challenging, and will be minimising the symptoms of your condition or injury. You’ll be receiving frequent care from our specialist team and performing regular exercise to ensure you retain or improve your function. This regularity of movement is what enables you to live you best life and minimise the symptoms of your condition or injury, it’s the key to retaining your own independent lifestyle.

With Christmas upon us, it’s critically important that you maintain your body conditioning, that you keep up your exercises and don’t all your hard work go to waste. It’s easy over the festive period to take it too easy and let your rehabilitation program slip. Maintaining your body’s condition doesn’t mean that you need to be unrealistic – it’s more about taking small steps to increase your activity each day. Dependant on your unique condition, this may be a small win, such as walking for a few extra minutes each day, or it may be that you try to improve other motor tasks such as pushing a wheelchair or using your arms. It’s important however that you don’t try to stretch your limitations too much, as you can do more harm than good.

Without regular conditioning over the holidays, our patients often find secondary problems can start to emerge. If you’re not feeling your best, the chances are you won’t want to go out as much and your incidental activity will decrease. You’ll likely want to decrease your risk of falls or hurting yourself and so will stay at home, missing out on festive fun with your friends and family.

The impacts of not keeping moving are enormous, not just affecting your physical state but your emotional and mental health can be impacted, as you realise that you can’t do some activities you could last week, or last month.

One of our patients had unfortunately suffered a stroke and with our assistance, started to gently walk again. She was making fantastic improvements to her physical and mental condition but let her rehabilitation exercises slip over a holiday period, which led to a significant decrease in her ability to move around even her own home. Try to maintain a holistic view of your health by eating as well as you can, to fuel your muscles and body with the energy it needs to help you recover from or manage your condition.

Our experts at Active Edge Physiotherapy know how much motivation and drive it takes to keep up your exercises, when they can be difficult, repetitive and time consuming. We know it’s far easier to maintain a program with the regular face to face support of an expert but urge you to consider challenging yourself to making a concerted effort over this Christmas break. We’d love to see you return to our care in the New Year with better function and independence and a significantly improved quality of life.