Top Tips For Your Mental Health During An Injury

No matter how big or small an injury is, there is the unknown fear of how it will impact your future activity levels. One of the areas that is poorly focused on in your rehab is the psychological side of your injury. Looking after your mental health and staying positive throughout your injury recovery is a necessity. Without this, there is always the doubt that the injury can come back or limit your return to activity. In this post we are going to outline several tips to help you stay positive during your recovery.

Reframe, Refocus, Rise

With an injury, whether during the season or off-season can be detrimental mentally. There is often a sense of feeling lost or no purpose. The secret though, your identity extends beyond your physical capabilities. Our activity doesn’t define who we are as a person. The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology reported that Athletes who view their injury as temporary setback, not that of a permanent loss, had a higher rate of successful recovery from injury.

Mental health

So, are you able to reframe your injury into a positive? I can hear you now, how can an injury be a positive. Well the simple answer is this, it allows us a chance to re-evaluate what we are doing. More so, you are able to refocus back on aspects you enjoy in your life that often get put to the back of the list when actively training.

Remember this, an injured you is just a temporary version of you! It is not set in stone!

Celebrating the Small Victories For Your Mental Health

Recovering from an injury isn’t always a quick and straightforward process. There can often be setbacks during your rehabilitation process. Remembering that your recovery is a marathon not a spring is key. But marathons are much longer than a sprint, so how can we stay motivated during this?

Firstly, celebrate the small victories. Whether that is a slight increase in your range of motion, reduced swelling or you are now able to walk with one crutch. Celebrating these can motivate you to keep going with your rehab, and maintain your happiness whilst boosting your mental health!

A 2022 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that focusing on small goals and celebrating their achievement significantly improved adherence to rehabilitation programs and boosted motivation.

Set yourself SMART Goals, reward yourself when you achieve them and lastly, keep going the end is in sight!

Celebrate the small wins

Finding your Voice – The Key for Mental Health

Injuries can be a daunting part of sport and exercise. Being injured tends to lead to isolation from the rest of the team or having to do a specific program that means you can’t train with your gym partners. Finding ways to avoid the isolation doesn’t fall solely on you though! Coaches and wider staff members should be making sure you still feel involved where possible. This can be done in several ways. Firstly, when you are able to complete specific drills, you should be involved with the rest of the team. Secondly, help out with coaching and other general tasks the coaching staff do. Finally, be involved with social events! These can really help you to feel included!

Alternatively, talk to loved ones, friends, team-mates. Let them know your struggles, celebrate your victories with them and celebrate theirs.

Embrace the Power of Pause

We all can get too invested in our sports and exercise that we ignore what our bodies are telling us. Far too often we see people that have put off their injury as small and something that can be pushed through. Which has led to longer time off. Having a more significant injury can give us that moment of pause, allow us to listen to our bodies and reconnect with our bodies. During this period of pause and reflection, why not try yoga or meditation?


Remember injuries are not the end of the road, there are merely a detour to your destination. How we come back from the injury shows far more about our character, resilience and strength. Embrace your injury journey, celebrate your wins, reach out to others and take a moment to re-evaluate your own personal goals. Come back to your activity stronger physically and mentally!


How Sleep Affects Our Day To Day Life

We are always told that sleep is a super important part of life. However, sleep affects so much more than just if we are feeling tired or not. This plays an important role in recovery, hormone regulation and much much more. In this blog post we are going to share some sleep tips, how a lack of sleep affects you and how sleep affects your recovery and hormones.

How Does Sleep Affect Hormone Regulation and Secretion?

Sleep has a significant impact on hormone regulation and secretion in the human body. During sleep, several hormones are produced, including:

  1. Melatonin: A hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and helps you feel sleepy at night.
  2. Growth hormone: A hormone important for growth and repair, which is released during deep sleep.
  3. Cortisol: A hormone that regulates metabolism, stress response, and immune function, which follows a daily pattern with highest levels in the morning and lowest levels at night.

On the other hand, sleep deprivation can disrupt the normal patterns of hormone production and secretion, leading to hormonal imbalances. For example:

  1. Increased cortisol levels: Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain, decreased immune function, and higher stress levels.
  2. Decreased insulin sensitivity: Lack of sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity, leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Altered levels of hunger hormones: Sleep deprivation can alter levels of hormones that regulate hunger and fullness, such as leptin and ghrelin, leading to increased appetite and weight gain.

Therefore, it’s important to have regular and adequate sleep to maintain hormonal balance and overall health.

Sleep for Recovery

How Does Poor Sleep Affect You?

Poor sleep can have several negative effects on your physical and mental health, including:

  1. Fatigue: Lack of sleep can make you feel tired and sluggish during the day, affecting your energy levels, mood, and ability to concentrate.
  2. Impaired cognitive function: Poor sleep can affect your memory, attention, and ability to think clearly, making it difficult to perform daily tasks.
  3. Increased stress: Lack of sleep can increase stress levels and make it harder to cope with life’s challenges.
  4. Weakened immune system: Poor sleep can weaken the immune system, making it easier to catch colds, flu, and other infections.
  5. Mood changes: Lack of sleep can affect your mood, leading to feelings of irritability, depression, and anxiety.
  6. Increased risk of chronic diseases: Poor sleep has been linked to an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
  7. Weight gain: Sleep deprivation can disrupt hormone levels, leading to increased appetite and weight gain.

Therefore, it’s important to have regular, adequate sleep to maintain physical and mental well-being.

Sofa Sleeping

Does My Sleep Impact My Recovery?

Sleep plays a crucial role in recovery from exercise. Adequate and quality sleep can help the body recover and repair after physical activity. Here’s how sleep affects recovery from exercise:

  1. Muscle repair and growth: During sleep, growth hormone is released, which helps to repair damaged muscle tissue and support muscle growth.
  2. Energy restoration: Sleep helps restore energy levels, allowing you to be more physically active during the day.
  3. Improved immune function: Sleep can strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of illness and infection after exercise.
  4. Reduced inflammation: Sleep has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce muscle soreness and other symptoms of overuse.
  5. Improved athletic performance: Regular and adequate sleep can improve athletic performance by enhancing reaction time, coordination, and overall endurance.

In contrast, poor sleep can impair recovery from exercise, making it harder to reach your fitness goals. It can also increase the risk of injury and slow down the healing process after a workout. Therefore, it’s important to prioritise sleep and aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support recovery from exercise.

Dog Sleeping

Top Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep

Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Establish a consistent sleep routine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, to regulate your circadian rhythm.
  2. Create a sleep-conducive environment: Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  3. Limit exposure to screens: The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with sleep, so avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
  4. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help improve sleep quality and promote a deeper sleep.
  5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep, so it’s best to avoid them in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  6. Relax before bed: Engage in relaxing activities such as reading, stretching, or taking a warm bath to help wind down before bed.
  7. Reduce fluid intake before bedtime: Avoid drinking too much fluid before bedtime to minimize trips to the bathroom during the night.
  8. Avoid napping during the day: Napping during the day can interfere with nighttime sleep, so it’s best to limit daytime naps to 20-30 minutes.

By following these tips, you can improve your sleep quality and get the restful, rejuvenating sleep your body needs to function at its best.


How Much Sleep Do I Need?

The amount of sleep a person needs can vary depending on age, lifestyle, and overall health. However, the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following guidelines:

  1. Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours of sleep per day
  2. Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours of sleep per day
  3. Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours of sleep per day
  4. Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours of sleep per day
  5. School-aged children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours of sleep per day
  6. Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours of sleep per day
  7. Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours of sleep per day
  8. Older adults (65 years and older): 7-8 hours of sleep per day

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and the amount of sleep you need may be more or less depending on your individual needs. The best way to determine how much sleep you need is to pay attention to how you feel after a full night’s sleep and make adjustments as needed. If you are feeling rested, alert, and focused during the day, then you are likely getting enough sleep.

Get in contact with us to see how we can help with your recovery or book in now!


Achilles Tendinopathy Pain: Not as Uncommon as You Think

Achilles Tendinopathy is a common problem that affects most who have played sport. There are many different causes and treatments that can help you back to 100%. The type of surfaces you play on, the frequency in which you participate and your footwear can increase risk of injury.

In this post we describe the common causes, prevention and possible treatment modalities for Achilles Tendinopathy.

What Is The Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles Tendon is situated on the back of the lower leg. It connects the gastrocnemius (calf), soleus and plantaris muscles to the heel bone. These muscles allow you to point your toes towards the ground. Furthermore, the Achilles is the thickest tendon in the human body and is named after the Greek Hero Achilles.

Achilles Tendinopathy Caused By Running

What Causes Achilles Tendinopathy and Pain?

There are many different causes of Achilles pain, with many different factors playing a part in true cause of your pain. Below is a small list detailing the most common causes of Achilles pain. For most causes of Achilles pain there are simple changes to exercise or lifestyles that can help your recovery. Furthermore, Achilles pain is often referred to as Achilles Tendinopathy. This is a blanket term that revolves around the degeneration of the Achilles.

  • Overuse
  • Age
  • Rapid Change To Load
  • Traumatic Injury
  • Obesity

Where Are The Two Types Of Achilles Tendinopathy Located?

The two types of achilles tendinopathy will present in either an insertional or non-insertional injury/pain. Therefore, the best way to determine which you have is to seek professional advice. The medical professional will be able to quickly determine which you are suffering with.

Non-Insertional Tendinopathy: This affects the middle fibres of the tendon and is typically present in the more active population.

Insertional Tendinopathy: This affects the insertion of the Achilles into the heel bone. Boney spurs can often form with this type of tendinopathy.

To get this sorted as soon as possible, I would recommend seeing a Sports Therapist or Physiotherapist. You may feel inclined to visit your GP, however, their most likely recommendation will be to rest and take pain killers. We would ideally want to avoid this where possible.

Is There A Way To Prevent Achilles Pain?

With Achilles pain and tendinopathies there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of suffering with this pain. Firstly, take a look at your footwear. Are they appropriate for what you use them for? Offer enough support?

An example of poor footwear is the flat plimsoll type shoe, these offer no support to the foot and ankle. Which can lead to the over-pronation of the foot and ankle. Increasing risk of Achilles Tendinopathy.

Body Mass: A risk factor for Achilles pain is obesity. The increased weight will increase the stress on the tendon. Therefore, just losing a few KG’s can really help in the prevention of Achilles Pain. Learn more about your body mass here.

Loading: Adequately preparing the tendon for activity is key. You wouldn’t go and run a marathon without slowly building up your training. Therefore, try and add specific loading exercises into your training.

Mobility: Within our assessment we will always look at the range of motion of the ankle. If the calf is tight this will increase stress on the tendon.

What Can I Do To Help My Achilles Pain?

There are countless ways you can help your tendon in recovery. Doing nothing is often the prescription for recovery. However, how often do you do this and return to your activity and it flares up again?

Seeking a Medical Professionals advice is the best way for recovery. They can put together a rehab plan that will get you back at a stronger level than you were previously. However, not everyone has the finances to be able to seek this help.

Therefore a couple of simple tips to help reduce your pain when suffering with Achilles Tendinopathy are below.

  • Get Supportive Footwear
  • Regularly Stretch Calf Muscles
  • Take Anti-Inflammatories if required. (Do so at own risk)
  • Load Tissues Appropriately

Working In An Office Causing Your Pain?

Whether you are working in an office or working from home this blog post is for you. We will be able to give you tips to help reduce the aches and pains caused from your office setup. Even if you have been working in an office for 20+ years or just starting out. Find out the common aches and pains that other like you suffer from and how to fix them!

What are the common aches and pains in office workers?

Here at Cardy Sports Clinic, we see a steady stream of workers who are either still in the office or working from home. No matter what your current work environment, there seems to be a theme with what you all are complaining of. Whether the company you work for has provided you with the best equipment or not; there is a definite pattern with the two working environments.

  • Neck Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Tension Headaches
  • Leg Pain
office pains
Working in an office causing your pains?

What is Office Syndrome?

This is an ache and pain type syndrome labelled as office syndrome, however, it can affect anyone that sits and uses a laptop or any other device. Prolonged period of sitting at a desk or on a device will increase the risk of suffering from office syndrome. Typically, offices and working environments in general, carry a lot of stress. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to swat away stress like an annoying fly, instead it accumulates and builds up the tension in the muscles. Scroll down to learn how we can help reduce the aches and pains.

Could my posture cause my pain?

This is a heavily argued point in the healthcare industry. There are some areas of the healthcare industry that still stick to the “Posture is linked to Pain”. However, there isn’t a one shoe fits all in this world, so why do we assume that every person should have the same posture. The true cause of your pain is unlikely to be related to your posture, instead, putting yourself into an unnatural position or overstretching for a lengthened period of time is more likely the cause.

An example of this will be related to screen usage. Whether you are in the office or at home, you more than likely have multiple screens to use at any one time. Commonly, you spend the majority of your time on one screen (usually on your left) whilst operating the mouse with your right hand. If this is you, does the right side of your neck/shoulder ache or give you pain?

Office Syndrome

Does my office setup affect my aches and pains?

More than likely, yes. Where you have your main screen positioned, screen height, chair height and the length of time you stay seated, will all affect your aches and pains. Many companies have a department where they can give you advice on your setup. So get in contact with a head of department for example and ask the question. Did you know a lot of businesses have a health allowance for you? This means that you can come for a Deep Tissue Massage or Sports Massage with us, and you claim it back from your company.

How to reduce the pain from working in an office?

The best thing to do is to get yourself moving. Take regular breaks throughout the day to get up out of your chair and have a little stretch. Shake your arms about, touch your toes, move the hips or just stroll about your house. All of this will help! Sometimes the aches and pains are a little more difficult to shake off. In this case we recommend getting a Sports or Deep Tissue Massage. We have helped so many office workers already so what are you waiting for!

Office Workers Aches and Pains

5 Ways You Can Help Reduce Pain After Exercise

Whether you are an athlete or someone who exercises on a regular basis, you know how painful muscle soreness can be. And while you may not be able to stop the pain, there are some things that can help reduce it. Exercising is a great way to stay healthy and have fun. Whether you’re just taking a walk, going for a run, or playing sports, being active can also help with weight loss and improve your mood. Unfortunately though, exercising can sometimes do more harm than good. The soreness and pain that you feel after exercise or injury are called delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Check out our blog on this here >> DOMS

Why do we experience pain after exercising?

It’s not uncommon to feel muscle pain after exercise or injury. It occurs when you have small micro-tears in the muscles. You know you have DOMS because your muscles will feel sore and stiff the day following a workout.

The role of lactic acid in the human body

Lactic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is produced when your body breaks down sugars for energy. Your cells use it as a fuel and it becomes a waste product. Lactic acid is produced during anaerobic respiration; this is respiration without the use of oxygen. This waste product will accumulate in the muscles, slowing down key systems to prevent serious damage from over-exertion.

knee pain

How you can help reduce muscle soreness

There are a number of ways that can help reduce muscle soreness. The first is to use ice packs. This will help reduce the inflammation in the area and decrease the pain. You can also massage your muscles with an ice pack to stimulate blood circulation. Another way to reduce DOMS is by using compression garments, like socks or sleeves, on injured areas. This will help improve circulation and reduce swelling which leads to relief from pain. Many people find relief from exercises like stretching, light yoga, or tai chi which are all gentle movements that can be done any time. If you have a chronic condition like arthritis or diabetes, talk to your doctor about supplements that may help too.

All these methods will help relieve muscle soreness after exercise or injury!

How does diet and hydration affect my recovery?

Exercising can cause you to lose water and electrolytes which can lead to muscle pain. If your workout was longer than an hour, chances are you’re going to need to rehydrate. Aim for drinking 16 ounces of water or sports drinks for every pound of weight lost. You should also eat a variety of foods with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats before, during, and after exercise.


5 Ways To Lose Your Pain

  1. Light Massage
  2. Hot Bath
  3. Balanced Diet
  4. Hydration
  5. Active Recovery

How Can We Help?

Light massage is one of the best ways to get rid of DOMS. The use of massage is great to increase blood flow to an area, increasing the delivery of nutrients to the damaged tissues whilst taking away any unwanted waste products. If you are looking for advice on how best to manage your injury or to get rid of your muscle pain; get in contact with us and have a chat!


The Common Myths Of The IT Band

There are a lot of misconceptions about the IT Band out there in the world. In this blog post we will try to explain the common myths surrounding the IT Band.

What is the IT Band?

The IT Band is a fibrous structure that runs along the lateral aspect of your leg. This structure originates at the iliac crest (the round part of the hips) and attaches into the lateral condyle of the tibia (outside of the lower part of the knee). There are two muscles that also connect into this structure; the gluteus maximus and the tensor fascia latae. There are several pathologies that are linked with the IT Band.

Myth 1 – You Can Foam Roll Your IT Band

Obviously, you can get on a foam roller and roll over your IT Band. However, this isn’t reducing any tension in the band, instead it is giving you the false impression that you are fixing your pain and discomfort. Often, the pain and discomfort that presents in the lateral leg is due to tightness or weakness in surrounding muscles. Are you currently suffering with this, if so get in contact so we can start you on the journey to becoming pain free.

IT Band Foam Rolling

Myth 2 – The IT Band Can Be Stretched

The IT Band itself can’t physically be stretched. Instead, stretching of surrounding musculature alongside a strengthening programme will really help to improve outcomes. To stretch the fascia you need to be able to apply around 2000lbs of pressure to it!

Myth 3 – A Tight IT Band Is Causing My Knee Pain

Often the tension on the IT Band can be a contributing factor towards your knee pain. However, this is unlikely the true cause of your pain. By having a full assessment and answering a few simple questions in regards to your lifestyle, exercise level and current pain levels. We can quickly determine a simple idea of the causative factors linked with your pain.

knee pain

How Can I Reduce My Pain?

There are several different things you can do to target your pain. The best thing you can do is to seek professional advice before starting any treatment yourself. Below is a list of potential treatments that will reduce the pain in and around your IT Band.

  • Hip Abductor Strengthening Programme
  • Hamstring and Quadriceps Mobility
  • Anti-inflamatories
  • Management of Loading

Feel free to drop us a message if you have any questions or have any worries about your own pain. We are more than happy to help with anything you may have going on!