(021) 433 0791
49 Kloof Road
(078) 509 9498
47 Dreyersdal Rd


After a rather protracted silence, the PowersPhysio newsletter is back! The renovations are long finished, a 6 week trip to South America has come and gone, as has winter, and as days get longer and lighter, spring is in the air! On the practice front, an official welcome to Jackie Wilson, my colleague who helped me out while I was away and is continuing at the practice 2-3 afternoons a week. Read on for September promotional offers, World Cup Rugby fever and our injury focus this month, the mysterious psoas muscle. Wishing all our Muslim clients a belated Eid Mubarak & to our Jewish clients, Chag Sameach.


September 5-11 is National Physiotherapy Back Week, where physiotherapists countrywide focus on bringing awareness to back and neck pain, and the treatment options available to ensure a healthy spine for life. The theme this year is "More than just back care - from prevention to function". In line with this, PowersPhysio will be offering DISCOUNTED ASSESSMENTS and an opportunity to try a FREE PILATES CLASS-see end of newsletter for details.

WORLD CUP RUGBY FEVER                                

R170 in bookshops. R130 if ordered through PowersPhysio (save R40)

As Rugby World Cup fever hits, and Bok Fridays get into full swing, why not get more into the spirit of things with some home grown literature. In Rugby In Our Blood, South Africa’s biggest sports stars and celebrities, as well as everyday fans, share their most extraordinary rugby stories. Contributors range from John Smit to Bantu Holomisa, and Leon Schuster to Jacques Kallis. It hit No.3 on South Africa’s bestsellers list, as well as featuring on the bestsellers list at Exclusive Books and CNA. It also happens to be edited by my brother, who works for Sports Illustrated magazine!
For the publisher’s summary, see http://tafelberg.com/Books/11312.



Psoas (pronounced so-as) is a muscle that doesn't get much mention when it comes to core stability, yet it is one of the most important muscles in our body, and often the cause of numerous complaints, from lower back, groin and knee pain, to constipation, anxiety and exhaustion. Running from the lower spine through the pelvis to the top of the thigh bone, psoas is a hip flexor, and is the bridge linking the trunk to the legs.

Ideally our pelvis is the stable foundation from which our limbs move freely. A functional psoas muscle stabilises and maintains the curve of the lumbar spine, like guy ropes help stabilise the main pole of a circus tent, creating balance and alignment. Psoas also guides the transfer of weight from the trunk into the legs, which together with a released diaphragm and functional gluteal (butt) muscles, enables rhythmical walking/running. So contrary to popular belief, core stability is not all about the abs!! On a deeper level, psoas is involved intimately in the 'fight or flight' response, thus is strongly linked to emotions, breathing and stress.
If we lack pelvic stability, psoas often compensates, and if overworked, eventually tightens and loses flexibility. A shortened psoas causes the pelvis to tip forward, increasing the lower back curvature, and compressing the hips in the sockets. To compensate for this, often the thigh muscles overdevelop, and the loss of full hip rotation means torque is transferred to joints above and below the psoas.
Alternatively, the psoas can be underactive. This is often due to constantly being held in a lengthened position, through prolonged slouched sitting or lazy sway back standing postures, and can lead to back pain or other injuries because the lumbar curve is not being maintained.
Ironically, overworking of the abdominals can also lead to psoas dysfunction, as increased abdominal tone pulls the front of the ribs down, thus overpowering the psoas, as well as leading to impaired breathing, and compressed abdominal contents with impaired circulation.
Unlike other muscles, it is not that easy nor that effective to just stretch a tight psoas. This is because the brain controls the tension level of the psoas as part of it's control of posture and movement (postural reflexes). Often a manual release is necessary, and then depending on whether the psoas is over or underactive, appropriate retraining of movement patterns must follow to restore the correct postural reflexes and the balance between psoas, the abdominals and the gluteals.
So spare a thought for psoas next time you have just done your stomach crunches and planks, and think you're done with core stability. There is more to core stability than meets the eye! And if you're wondering why your core exercises are not sorting out your back pain, you may just need to discover your psoas...
And then of course don't forget those butt muscles-look out for the next installment!


September 15-17 and 22-24 sees the WILD RUN taking place on the Wildcoast: a three day, 112km trail running stage race along one of the most rugged and beautiful coastlines in South Africa (http://www.wildrun.co.za/). Last year I was involved as one of the physiotherapists treating the competitors, and experienced first hand the spectacular scenery and remote beauty that the Wild Run has to offer. Unfortunately I won't be there again this year, but wish everyone taking part, good luck!

On a more humanitarian note, if anyone is interested in spending some time in this pristine part of the country, see http://www.wildcoast.com/ for ideas on volunteering in the area. Also take a look at this video clip on ZITHULELE HOSPITAL, situated near Hole in the Wall, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epgxH34Er9E, where they are desperate for all medical personnel from dentists, doctors and nurses to speech therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.




Spring has sprung! So as you start to shake off the winter blues and contemplate getting into shape again, take this opportunity to address any of those niggling injuries or aches and pains by coming for a DISCOUNTED PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSESSMENT (valid until end September), and ensure you get yourself back on track before summer! Alternatively come and try a FREE PILATES CLASS (valid until end September, subject to availability in classes), whether you have done pilates before or know nothing about it. Call (021) 4330791 for more information.


Contact Us!

Tel: (021) 433 0791
Email: andrea@powersphysio.co.za
Web: http://www.powersphysio.co.za

49 Kloof Road,Fresnaye Cape Town

Subscribe to PowersPhysio Newsletter

email Contact Andrea Linked In FaceBook Follow @powersphysio on Twitter