Summer is coming and hopefully many of us will soon be off on holiday for a well earned rest. Perhaps sunny days on the beach and an evening stroll into town in your finery for dinner al fresco? But what type of shoe do you think causes most problems for our Surrey Physiotherapy clients? We’re running a poll and would love to get your opinion. No names or email addresses required. Just click here to cast your vote.

It’s been a busy few months at Surrey Physio. Having given the actual practice a face-lift by decorating the ground floor we’ve now moved on to our online presence and are currently revamping our website and organising some new photography to better reflect what we do. We shall let you know when we launch and would love hear your feedback.

Read on for more about Hip Replacements and how to avoid them. Also, to learn a little more about Nicola, who is responsible for our Home Visit programme….

Alison and the Surrey Physiotherapy team


How to keep the Hip Op at Bay

11622dd9-c27f-496a-822a-2ff408dcbd25The hip is a ball and socket joint which allows a large range of movement. The ball and socket are covered with a layer of cartilage and a fluid known as synovial fluid and these help to cushion the joint and allow smooth pain free movement. Unfortunately, the cartilage is susceptible to a variety of problems:

  • Osteoarthritis.  Caused by wear and tear making the joint surfaces rough.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Inflammatory conditions that can also damage the cartilage.
  • Falls and fractures.  Some of which occur as a result of osteoporosis where the bone becomes thinner.

Sometimes an arthritic hip can be helped bymedication, physiotherapy and perhaps a steroid injection.  But in other cases the arthritis causes so much pain and disability that an artificial hip replacement is needed.  Where surgery is required, a new hip helps to:

  • relieve pain
  • improve the function of the hip i.e. easier to get dressed
  • improve the ability to walk, manage stairs, get up and down from a chair
  • improve quality of life

After surgery it is essential to strengthen the muscles around the hip. The physiotherapist will work out a programme that will help regain balance and aim to walk without a limp, get up and down from a chair and to manage stairs and kerbs comfortably and safely.

Hip arthritis can’t be prevented but it is possible to reduce the stress on the hip:

  • Evidence shows that exercise can help to delay or even prevent the need for a hip replacement in those with mild to moderate arthritis .Take regular exercise to keep the pelvic and bottom muscles strong.
  • Keep weight under control. Being overweight is a significant risk factor for hip arthritis.
  • Avoid carrying heavy weights.
  • Wear comfortable, good fitting shoes that have good shock dissipation
  • Do not run regularly on hard asphalt or concrete surfaces
  • Try to not sit in chairs that are low and difficult to get up from.

Why not try these simple exercise to keep you hips in good working order? Click here. If you have a hip issue you would like to discuss then please make an appointment at the Practice.


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Keeping healthy on a long haul flight

A Deep Vein Thrombosis  (DVT) is a clot that forms in deep veins often as a result of sustained periods of inactivity. It’s a risk on flights, train journeys and coach journeys particularly if they are longer than four hours. But here’s some top tips to keep you healthy while you travel:

  • Your GP may advise taking a blood-thinning medicine before you fly if you are particularly at risk.
  • Hydrate the night before a flight with electrolyte drinks and avoid alcohol.
  • Move as much as you can – walk up and down the aisle, move and stretch your legs to encourage blood flow
  • Wear loose, comfortable and breathable clothing
  • Drink plenty of fluids on the flight but avoid alcohol.
  • Don’t wear tight shoes.
  • Wear compression socks while travelling.
  • Try not to take a sleeping pill on the flight – you will move around less.
  • Eat light meals whilst on board

Spotlight on….Nicola

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Nicola trained at The London Hospital where she experienced a wide range of specialities from neurosurgery to respiratory and musculoskeletal.  Once qualified, she worked in South London hospitals for 10 years and specialised in orthopaedics, rheumatology, musculoskeletal, hydrotherapy and rehab.

She moved on to community work seeing patients referred by GPs in local small clinics. She also acted as specialist musculoskeletal adviser to a domiciliary service and led a musculoskeletal team in Croydon. A two-year stint as Physiotherapy Service Manager in Merton and Sutton followed but Nicola missed the clinical care and direct patient contact and so 10 years ago she joined Surrey Physiotherapy.

Nicola’s specialist interests are orthopaedics- post fracture and surgery, rheumatology/ joint problems, all musculoskeletal conditions from head to toe including sports injuries and children and hypermobility. Nicola is an expert in balance re-training, fitness and exercises in older people.

Nicola is our Physio who makes home visits for those unable to get to the clinic – whether due to general mobility problems or for rehab post hospital discharge. Please email or phone the practice if you’d like to know more about our home visits.

Outside work, Nicola has been learning Italian for three years. She’s volunteered with conservation projects on local open spaces for 20 years and her allotment provides her with fruit and vegetables for nine months of the year.