How can pilates improve travel?  Pilates can help when preparing for travel as it gives you some very practical tools and techniques to get you through your journey.


When it comes to planning an adventure, there are several kinds of organisers. At one end of the spectrum there’s the light packer, who naively believes that one pair of socks will last them an entire week.   On the other end, there’s the person sitting on their overflowing suitcase with six evening dresses packed for an overnight retreat!  Scattered along the scale are the procrastinators and the people with check-lists arranged months in advance. By the time you’ve got travel insurance, the right currency and the backs packed, there’s usually something you’ve forgotten…  Something that even the most meticulous organisers often forget to prepare is themselves.

Both the mind and the body can suffer from the effects of travel. This can be the result of being squashed in a metal box for 12 hours or walking long distances while sight-seeing in a new city.

7 Ways Pilates Improves Travel 

1.Strengthens Core

Whether you’re participating in a yoga, barre, reformer or floor pilates class, ‘engage your core muscles’ is an inescapable phrase. When you’re stuck in an upright position on an airplane, bus or car for hours on end, strong core muscles ensure that you have the potential to maintain good posture.

2.Teaches breathing

Sure, everybody already knows how to breathe, but not many people do it consciously.  Training in breathing can help with travel.  How many people do you know that know what lateral breathing is? How about active breathing or set patterns? These particular techniques can help you be more mindful and control certain body responses through the breath.

Pilates teaches the importance of breathing patterns.  For example, ‘out in exertion and in on relaxation,’can not only help people to exercise correctly but also to find peace in stressful situations.  When you’re travelling this can be a very handy technique to use!  Think about those tense travel moments…. running for the train… arguing with the taxi driver in a language you only know three words of… struggling to navigate unfamiliar streets…. Breathing properly allows you to relax and make it through any distress unscathed!


Pilates and yoga train your mind to remain aware of your current experiences.  This heightens your ability to accept rather than avoid the present moment.  It also doesn’t leave any room for your mind to wander off into the past or future.  Mindfulness improves travel experiences as it teaches people how to live fully in each moment without interference from thoughts of the past or the future.  You’ll be more present in each moment as you explore the world in which we live!

4.Teaches stretching 

When you only have 24 hours to see as much of a city as you can, there is no doubt you will be physically exhausted by the time the sun is sinking below the horizon. Whether you are walking from Buda to Pest, ice-skating in Switzerland or climbing 1710 steps to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, a deep stretch at the end of the day will no doubt alleviate your aching muscles.  Lots of walking can affect the muscles in your feet.  Lots of steps can affect your glutes.  Wearing a backpack can really affect your back and neck.  These are all parts of the joys of travel, however really allowing your body to rest and restore is crucial for enjoyment. Yoga classes teach the most effective stretches to not only reduce pain in your muscles, but improve flexibility, increase your range of motion and relax.  Just what you need after a long day of sight-seeing.

5.Connecting your mind and body 

Pilates teaches you to pay attention to your core strength by matching movement with breath.  This acts as a mental challenge where you need to focus. This mind-body connection becomes important in everyday movement as well as in other workout routines, such as barre classes.  When you’re navigating difficult situations or just exploring the local markets, you’ll be more aware of your body, where you are and will be able to react to situations with ease.

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6.Being at home in your body

When you wake up on the other side of the world to your family, it’s easy to be struck by a bout of homesickness. Feeling at home in your body can be a reminder that ‘you are you’ no matter the country your feet are planted in.  Knowing how to stretch and activate your muscles and practicing mindfulness can be really grounding, no matter where you are.  Feeling good about yourself is the key to feeling at home in your own body. Pilates and yoga teach you how to connect your mind and your body in any unfamiliar situation, whether you’re riding a bike in Amsterdam or snowboarding in Japan.

7.Positive mindset
Every adventure begins with the right attitude.  Surrounding yourself with people you love and participating in activities that make you feel good are only going to help prioritise your happiness.  Being happy and positive are exactly what you want when you are globe-trotting.

Whether you’re a one-sock or six-dresses kind of packer, procrastinator or scrupulous organiser, the next time you’re getting ready to travel, remember that the most important thing to prepare is YOURSELF.

Why is my pain worse at bedtime?

Before we look at pain management, let’s quickly look at why your pain levels may seem worse when you lie down to sleep.

During the day, you are distracted by any number of things. Work, kids, and so much more keep your mind occupied from the time you wake up until the time you are ready for bed. But when you lie down to sleep, you are deprived of many of these distractions. So then, it is easier to focus on your pain.


Additionally, your pain levels may be worse at night due to factors like poor posture and excessive sitting.

Minimizing bedtime pain

No single treatment works for everyone, but any of the following methods may help minimize your bedtime pain.


In your mind’s eye, try picturing a relaxing scene such as gentle waves rolling onto a beach. You can try counting the waves as you slowly drift off to sleep.

Deep breathing

You can practice deep breathing in any number of ways, but to begin simply inhale until the count of 4, and then exhale for the same amount of time.

Heat therapy

A disposable heat wrap can deliver pain-relief over the course of several hours to help you fall asleep.


This technique involves separating your pain from the rest of your body. For example, you can visualize your pain sitting on your dresser, and you can tell it to remain there for the night.

What to do if the pain won’t stop

If the above strategies fail to bring you enough relief from your pain so that you can fall asleep, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor. She or he can review your sleep habits, and they may recommend the temporary use of sleep medication.


Additionally, your doctor may recommend other pain relief options, such as stretching, massage therapy, and low-impact aerobic exercise.

I hope all of the above advice will help you find relief from your bedtime pain so you can wake up feeling rested and ready for your day.

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The hand and wrist are certainly one of many complex structures in our body. Given the importance of our hands and their role in facilitating our everyday tasks and activities, it is essential to have your injury or symptoms addressed at the onset of your symptoms.

This article will briefly outline some of the common presentations and give a brief description of how to manage them. It is important to seek the advice and assessment of a Hand Physiotherapist to ensure you are receiving the highest level of care.


The Anatomy of Your Wrist and Hand 

Firstly, if we take a look at the wrist, it contains many small bones neatly joined together by ligaments. This area is commonly referred to as the Carpus. We have our two main forearm bones, the radius and ulna connecting with the wrist from one end. The other end of the carpus is where our finger and thumb bones join, our metacarpals and the ends of our fingers called phalanges. Our thumb contains a proximal and distal phalanx, and the 2nd to 5th digits contain a proximal, middle and distal phalanx.

Each bone in the carpus has a specific name and the joint spaces between each of these carpal bones has a unique name. For example, the carpal bones scaphoid and lunate form a unique joint called the scaphoid-lunate joint. This joint also shares ligaments that help maintain the stability of the joint. The joints between our metacarpals and phalanges are call metacarpal-phalangeal joints (MCPJs) and the joints between our phalanges are called proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPs) and distal inter-phalangeal joints (DIPs).

We have a number of tendons and muscles that either traverse the top or bottom of the wrist and or digits and accompanying these are nerves and blood vessels.

Wrist Injuries

When we look at types of injury, we can very loosely divide them into two categories; a traumatic presentation and an overuse condition.

Typically with traumatic injury, we generally feel symptoms immediately and generally, these symptoms immediately follow a particular movement or mechanism of injury.

An overuse injury, refers to symptoms that have developed over a period of time, whether the symptoms stay the same or gradually change. This article will give a brief overview for each of these categories for most common hand and wrist presentations.

One common mechanism of injury for the wrist is falling on an outstretched hand. This is a common occurrence out on the football field, tripping over when walking or coming off a bike. Structures that are commonly injured include:

  • a fracture of the distal radius / ulna
  • scaphoid fracture
  • scapho-lunate ligament tear / / scapho-lunate dissociation (separation)
  • Triangulo-fibrocartilaginous complex tear (TFCC)

Each of these structures will require a period of immobilisation in a particular position prior to commencing rehabilitation to restore movement and strength to the hand and wrist.
Wrist pain can also occur after repeating a movement for a prolonged period of time, or vigorous repetitions with force. Some of the conditions that can occur include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
  • Intersection Syndrome
  • Tenosynovitis or synovitis of the extensor or flexor tendons at the level of the wrist and forearm

Management of these conditions would typically involve splinting into a specific position for a period of time with regular tendon gliding exercises, icing of the affected area. Once the symptoms have begun to subside, weaning from the splint is introduced and gradual strengthening and movement exercises are prescribed.

Hand Injuries 

When we look at common traumatic injuries to the thumb and digits, the following presentations come to mind:

  • fractures of the metacarpals and phalanges
  • dislocations of the PIP and DIP joints (most commonly)
  • collateral ligament tears to the base of the thumb (MCP joint)
  • collateral ligament tears to the PIP joints of the thumb
  • volar plate injuries
  • avulsion fractures of the DIP joints

Each of these injuries require specific positioning for varying periods of time to enable tissue healing and then rehabilitation of movement and strengthening will follow.

Overuse injuries of the extremities include:

  • tendinitis / tenosynovitis / synovitis of the flexor tendons at the level of the digits
  • MCP joint and CMC joint degeneration
  • MCP joint instability
  • Trigger finger
  • Trigger thumb
  • Wear and tear of the PIP joints and DIP joints of the fingers

Similarly, most of these areas will require splinting for periods of time to ensure protection of the joint surface or rest of the inflamed area. Careful prescription of movement exercises, tendon gliding exercises, icing inflamed areas and controlled strengthening are all likely to be part of the rehabilitation phase.

Whether in an acute or more chronic presentation, depending on the severity, deformity, deviation and integrity of surrounding structures, other measures will be taken to ensure the best outcome for the individual. Some of these things include imaging, cortisone injections, or referral to a Specialist for surgical intervention.

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If you have an ache or a pain, no matter how little, be sure to put your health first and consult your Hand Physiotherapist today.

Electrotherapy for lower back pain and repeated manual therapy for a “frozen shoulder” are among six physiotherapy treatments the profession now believes are a waste of time and money.


The Australian Physiotherapy Association is the seventh organisation — the first in allied health — to target areas under the Choosing Wisely initiative, where practitioners and not funders aim to make better use of resources.

After consulting members and the Australian College of Physiotherapy, the APA has recommended physiotherapists no longer: request imaging for non-specific low back pain where there are no indicators of a serious cause; request imaging of the cervical pain in trauma patients ­unless indicated by a validated ­decision; request imaging for acute ankle trauma unless indicated by rules; routinely use incentive ­spirometry after upper abdominal and cardiac surgery; use electrotherapy in cases of lower back pain; and ­provide manual therapy for ­patients with “frozen shoulder”.

APA president Phil Calvert said the body had a renewed focus on quality practice and hoped to initiate conversations ­between physiotherapists and patients.

“In the past, there have potentially been consumer expectations — attend a physio and expect to get X, Y or Z — that were inappropriate, so this is our opportunity to correct that,” Mr Calvert said.

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Physicians, radiologists, immunologists, radiologists, GPs, ­pathologists and emergency medicine specialists have already made recommendations. Next month ophthalmologists, nurses, intensive care specialists, surgeons, hospital pharmacists, infectious disease specialists, endocrinologists, haematologists, palliative care specialists, dermatologists, obstetricians and gynaecologists will do the same.

Inappropriate imaging, scans and tests are a common theme in the Choosing Wisely initiative and come as the federal government seeks to refine the Medicare Benefits Schedule and remove bulk-billing incentives in pathology and diagnostic imaging.

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