Treating Running Injuries


Treating Running Injuries

As the joys of the Brighton Marathon and the Worthing Half Marathon become a distant memory, excitement over the upcoming London Marathon is growing. Many runners, however, will be nursing injuries from previous races and training.

Below we cover a few of the common running injuries and ways to help ease the pain:

Runners Knee: Also known as Anterior knee pain or Chondromalacia Patella, this describes pain and inflammation to the front of the knee, 'under' the knee cap. Common muscle imbalances around the knee and pelvis can cause the kneecap to be pulled out of the correct line of movement (mal-track). Running can encourage hamstring and ITB tightness which can pull the kneecap laterally. Worn trainers and overpronation can also be a cause. A physiotherapist can make an assessment to identify the cause of your anterior knee pain and the fastest route back to running.

Achilles Tendinitis:  The Achilles Tendon joins the 2 powerful calf muscles to the back of the heel bone. Inflammation of the Achilles Tendon can occur with changes to your running regime, such as increasing hill training or increasing your running speed. Tight calf muscles, tight hamstrings or excessive pronation of the feet (rolling inwards) can all be contributing factors. Rest, ice and anti-inflammatories can all help as initial treatments. Physiotherapy such as ultrasound and acupuncture can reduce inflammation. Stretching must be done gently, and it is wise to get your trainers checked, as these can also be a cause of the pain. 

Low Back Pain: There many causes of Low Back Pain, but muscular strain is often the culprit of a running injury to the back. Often there is an underlying problem such as muscle imbalances around the pelvis and 'core' eg. weak deep abdominals, tight hamstrings and back muscles. Rest, heat and gentle stretching exercise can all help. Physiotherapy can help diagnose and treat both acute and underlying problems.


For further information or to book and Assessment & Treatment, please call Sussex Physio Pilates on - 01903 256 500


Pilates Workshop for Runners


Pilates Workshop for Runners

Pilates Workshop for Runners


Runners focused Pilates workshop by:

Nicky Sykes - Physiotherapist & Pilates Instructor

Saturday 18th March 2017
9:30am - 11:00 am

Workshop Schedule:
Specific Pilates exercises for Runners
Posture for Runners
Injury Prevention
Handout of Exercises

Course Participation Requirements:
Pilates Experience Needed
Are you able to contract your Pilates Core?

1.5 Hour Workshop price is: £20.00
Only 3 places left

Not done Pilates before? 
Book a 1:1 Pilates Session Now!

Contact us now on 01903 256 500 to secure your place!


Healthy, Wealthy & Wise


Healthy, Wealthy & Wise

It was fantastic to be chosen for the latest issue of the 'Sussex Life Magazine'.

Hazel Sillver wrote a fabulous article on how to find a 'new lease of life in retirement' and has suggested 17 activities that are on offer in Sussex for the over 60s.

Sussex Life Mag

We are very proud to be part of Hazel's article and even more pleased that it was the first on the list and the only one from Worthing.

The article suggests a range of activities from Nordic Walking, Gardening, Dancing, Bridge, Cycling and Book clubs.

Hazel has captured what we offer the over 50s at Sussex Physio Pilates perfectly. She talks about how all of our Pilates teachers are Chartered Physiotherapists and that we have 4 Platinum Pilates classes across the week.

The Platinum Pilates classes are a friendly Physio-based Clinical Pilates class dedicated to the needs of the over 50s that focus on muscle tone, balance, osteoporosis prevention/management, posture and reducing aches & pains.

Sussex Life Article



Mannequin Challenge

SPP Mannequin challenge done!!

A HUGE thank-you to our Wednedsay 7.45pm class participants for being such brilliant sports (and Mannequins!).

Brilliant fun!

Note the Christmas socks theme.... and on that note, we are trying to decide which local charity to donate to this Christmas?....

Suggestions please : )



Benefits of Pilates for Back Pain Sufferers

Benefits of Pilates for Back Pain Sufferers

Chartered Physiotherapists have been teaching Pilates for years and use it as part of an effective treatment plan for those patients who suffer from back pain.

Many articles in the past have tried to undermine the benefits of Pilates and some even saying that it can make conditions worse. These articles are usually written by someone outside of the medical profession who have been misinformed and end up giving misguided arguments.

Glenn Withers, Director of APPI (Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute) and Vice-Chair for the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Exercise Therapy (ACPET) who are involved in setting standards within the Physiotherapy industry, has for many years strongly disagreed with these articles. As Physiotherapists and Pilates teachers both Glenn and our team here at Sussex Physio Pilates have helped hundreds of patients with back pain, using the Clinical Pilates technique and have recorded their progress and recovery.

Many of the articles talk about sucking the stomach in (abdominal bracing using rectus abdominis - the 6 pack muscle) which drops the pelvic floor and can cause the exerciser to hold their breath (a technique that does not help to support the back).

In Pilates however, the deep lower abdominals are engaged with the pelvic floor to increase spinal stability (as scientific research shows), while continuing to breathe, thus helping support the back.

knee to chest hug

All of our Pilates teachers are APPI trained and also Chartered Physiotherapists, so they are in the best position to make assessments of patients, relive pain, restore mobility and strengthen through individually tailored treatments.

The benefits of Pilates are huge and below are just a few of them:

  • Increased flexibility & mobility
  • Improved posture and body alignment
  • Decreased stresses and strains on the back
  • A decrease in Back Pain!

If you need to book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists or Pilates teachers, call us now on: 01903 256 500



Diastasis Recti - What, Why and How to Fix it!

So WHAT is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti occurs when the main abdominal ‘6 Pack’ (the Rectus Abdominis) separates down the middle due to the over- stretching of the line of connective tissue (the linea alba) that joins the 2 sides of the muscle together.

It often occurs in Pregnancy, although not exclusively.
During Pregnancy the rectus abdominis muscle stretches greatly, up to 50cm!  This can give a ‘stretch weakness’, which together with an increase in the intra-abdominal pressure (ie. the weight of baby, womb etc) can cause the muscle to divide as the diagram below shows.

Sometimes it’s just a small separation, that you may not even realise you have whilst you’re still expecting (or even afterwards). 
Other times it’s a wider or longer division, in which case a hernia (bulge) can sometimes be felt or seen.   

Either way, you are not alone, as it pretty common, occurring in between 30 – 66% of ALL Pregnancies (Boissonnault & Blaschak 1998).

You are also more at risk if it’s not your 1st baby (and your core was already weakened),  if you had a large baby, have a small pelvis  or if you did exercises that over-strained the rectus abdominis during pregnancy.




Get a Work Out at Work

Patients sometimes remark that being a Physiotherapist doing assessments and manual therapy 'must keep you fit'.

I agree with them up to a point, it does indeed require a fair amount of physical work to do physiotherapy treatment, but a lot of the movements are quite repetitive. If I miss a lunch break then I might be a bit tired and achy by the end of the day. If I work over a certain number of hours then I'm achy by the end of the week. If I don't do extra fitness such as running or swimming then my upper back gets stiff from leaning over the treatment couch. On balance I would actually say that I need to keep myself fit for my work rather than relying on my job to keep me fit.

I am one of the lucky ones though. I am not sitting at a desk all day and my job does not require long hours of driving, talking on the phone or sitting in meetings. Many people's long tiring days are then finished off with a few precious minutes sitting on the sofa before bed and then the whole cycle starts again without the body having done many movements apart from sitting. So many jobs nowadays can be very sedentary with long hours driven by stressful deadlines and heavy work loads. I see many patients who's musculoskeletal problems seem to be prolonged by their static work postures.

This is why the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is once again promoting WorkOut@Work (W@W!) for 2016.

This is an established campaign which aims to:

'Inspire employees to address poor work habits e.g. not taking breaks or over-working, and increase levels of physical activity during the working day, so that health is improved and sickness absence reduced.'

In previous years employees have enjoyed a brisk lunch time walk, raised awareness of taking proper breaks away from their desks, completed cycle challenges, work based exercise classes or participated in desk based stretching sessions. These are all ways of creating a bit of variety from static postures, raising the heart rate and enjoying some post work-out endorphins during the working day.

Does this sound like something that your work place could benefit from?

Here at Sussex Physio Pilates we are proactive in promoting exercise as a method for preventing injury and pain.

If you would like more information about 'WorkOut@Work' or maybe some help putting on an event at your work place to promote physical activity among your colleagues, then we would love to hear from you, as we can help get your work force moving and 'Fit for Work'.



Heather Lowman-Riggs

Chartered Physiotherapist



27 marathon's in 27 days, with no training!

Many of you will have been amazed by Eddie Izzard's 27 marathon's in 27 days for Sport Relief.

What makes this feat more remarkable is that his accompanying physiotherapist reports that Eddie's fitness level before the challenge was 'below  zero'; he had done no training!

Most of us wouldn't dream of doing anything so ambitious with no training but as the sun comes out, how many of us lace up our trainers intending to get fit again after hibernating all winter and have our good intentions disrupted by injury?

Sometimes this is a matter of doing too much of the same thing too suddenly and our tissues can't adapt quickly enough to tolerate the new activity.

It might be helpful to think about what 'fitness' actually means.

Fitness is not just getting skilful at one type of exercise eg running or weightlifting, but the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM maintains that a combination of these components is essential in healthy adults:

Regular exercise - in order to progress we need to persevere and gradually ask more of our bodies.
Cardiorespiratory- exercise that gets you out of breath
Resistance- strengthening work for all major muscle groups
Flexibility- maintaining muscle compliance and joint ranges
Neuromotor- agility, co-ordination and balance skills

Sometimes in physiotherapy we see injuries where some of these components have been lacking. For example the runner who does regular cardiorespiratory work but has not considered the other three components of fitness.

In this situation their physiotherapist might provide some targeted strengthening exercises, use manual therapy to restore ranges of movement and recommend pilates to address their flexibility and movement control. 

If this is you, then now might be a good time to make an appointment for an assessment, before any niggling injuries start to limit your activities.

You might not be planning 27 marathons in 27 days, but whatever your goals, you want to be fit enough to enjoy them without injury!

Blog article written by Heather Lowman-Riggs

Heather is a Physiotherapist at Sussex Physio Pilates and is currently doing her neuromusculoskeletal MSc at Brighton University.

Heather has worked worked across a broad spectrum of NHS and private sector specialities including a private health club, National League rugby, corporate occupational health and private practice. 

She has provided first aid services for numerous rugby events and team physio for various County, National League and local teams. 

Heather also has qualifications recognised by England Athletics for running leadership and has supported a local football team with their pre-season conditioning.
Garber et al. 2011. Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Volume 43 - Issue 7 - pp 1334-1359