Manchester Therapy Expo 2013

Manchester Therapy Expo 2013

We’ll be exhibiting at Therapy Expo, on the 13th & 14th September 2013 at Manchester Central, a dedicated trade event for physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, sports therapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists and clinic managers. Joining us on the stand will be three of our elite ‘ROCK Stars’, all of whom are also qualified ‘ROCK Docs’.  British number one ski-cross athlete Emily Sarsfield and mixed martial arts competitor Rosi Sexton will be with us on Friday 13th September, with GB triathlete Seb Navarro due to attend on Saturday 14th September. Emily, who is due to compete in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia, had to miss the last Winter Olympics in 2010 after rupturing her Anterior Cruiciate Ligament (ACL). Her post-surgery rehab involved the Rocktape medical team and their taping strategies, which also led to her becoming one of Rocktape’s team of ‘ROCK Stars’.  Emily will be on hand on the Friday afternoon to speak with delegates about any taping or ski-related matters. Also with us on the Friday will be Rosi Sexton, the mixed martial arts competitor who competed in her first fight for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) back in June. In addition to her ring success, Rosi is also a trained osteopath who uses taping to assist her and her clients’ performances.  Rosi will be on the stand all day answering questions about her career thus far, signing autographs and talking about her experiences with Rocktape. Long-course triathlete Seb Navarro, who is also a personal trainer, will be in attendance on the Expo’s second day, demonstrating both triathlon and cycling-specific tape applications.  Seb speaks highly of how Rocktape...
To Hell and Back

To Hell and Back

A journey from despair and across a continent. At Rocktape, we’re used to working with elite athletes and are familiar with the extreme rigors through which they put themselves.  Whether it’s the punishing cross-training regime of premiership rugby players, or the suffering endured by those gluttons for punishment, Ironmen, we now generally accept their efforts with admiration, but rarely awe.  Well, that was until we got an email from Tom Fitzsimons. 20 years ago, Tom descended into alcoholism, a condition and addiction from which very few people ever emerge remotely intact.  6 years ago, Tom managed to resolve to get himself well and has now been completely sober for 5 years.  Part of Tom’s rehabilitation was running, to such a degree that he completed the gruelling Marathon Des Sables (6 days, 6 marathons across the sands of the Sahara).  If the story were to end here, it would represent a miraculous recovery and an achievement requiring a level of determination on par with any in world sport – but it doesn’t. Tom is currently running across America.  Yes, America.  3,100 miles in 100 days.  When we read this, there was a moment of stunned silence, followed by the air turning slightly blue as the maths sunk in.  31 miles per day for 100 days, across several mountain ranges, through temperatures in the mid-40s – the man must be bonkers – but doing it he is.  From San Francisco to Coney Island, New York, aiming to arrive on the 27<sup>th</sup> August. To say we’re proud to be helping Tom is a colossal understatement and we wish him the very best...
DUDE WHATS THAT PINK STUFF ON YOUR LEG?!?

DUDE WHATS THAT PINK STUFF ON YOUR LEG?!?

Medical Director of RocktapeUK and Physiotherapist Paul Coker give us the lowdown on all things kinesiology tape. Few people can have failed to notice the rise and rise of this often brightly coloured tape in recent years. Whether adorning Gareth Bales legs, Novak Djokovic’s back or covering half of TeamGB at London 2012, kinesiology tape (hence forth I’ll go with just tape) has been rapidly gaining popularity with athletes, patients and therapists alike. While some people remain sceptical, and doubtful that is nothing more than a passing fad, convinced that all its reported positive effects are down to a heady cocktail of placebo effect and vanity. Others, myself included, have seen and felt its unique effects to reduce pain and enhance performance. Every day in clinic I see patients delighted and amazed when I tape them. Every time I teach a taping course I see sceptics become converts by wearing and feeling the tape work on them. For many people, at the point they realise their pain/problem feels better when wearing tape, they stop asking questions. I am not that sort of people, this is for all those sceptical scientific, pragmatic, rational people..like me. I’m not going make the usual outlandish claims about what tape can do, and more importantly that we fully understand it. If I’m really honest there is much we don’t know about what tape can and can’t help, how it does what it does, what system within your body it is affecting. You know; the details. Let’s start with what we do actually know. “Does this tape make my calfs looks fat?” Ultra running legend...
My Funky Hip

My Funky Hip

I’m a runner: not a good one, in fact ‘average’ would be being kind.  I’m also a physio and certainly better at that than running.  After years of doing both, I should know better than to fall into the ‘too many miles, too soon’ trap, but who takes their own advice? Evidently not me, so, with 2 off-road ultras looming this summer, I started to whack some long runs in a few months back. I’m not as young as I used to be, so getting down stairs the morning after running for over 2hrs ain’t always that pretty.   Gradually, I started to get some more persistent pain in the front of my hip.  As much as I tried to ignore it, I had given myself a grumbly hip flexor tendon (Iliopsoas reactive tendonopathy, if you’re into long words).  Basically, it hurt to put socks on, dip the clutch and run up hills. It wasn’t a bad hurt, but enough of a niggle to put me getting to the start lines this summer in serious doubt. I was still running, but more than an hour or uphill wasn’t much fun.  So, naturally, I started taping myself to try to get some relief.  I started with our standard ‘X marks the spot’ style symptom-reduction taping; it helped a little, but my grumbly tendon grumbled on. So, out of necessity, I have been getting a little experimental over the last few runs.  I’ve had my lateral line (outer leg) taped and a spiral ‘posture’ tape to help reduce hip internal rotation and inward knee drift.  These helped a little, but, and I...
Rocktape for barefoot running styles

Rocktape for barefoot running styles

Calf Muscles Most people who go from conventional running shoes to barefoot or minimalist footwear, will at some point, feel their calves; and some will feel them rather a lot. A couple of factors cause this: • Increased heel drop: Conventional shoes normally raise your heel 15-22mm relative to the ball of the foot. This lets you get away with (and possibly even encourages) stiff ankle joints and tight calf muscles. • Impact: Moving away from heel-strike towards a fore/mid foot landing results in relatively more work from your calf (rather than shin and knee) So now your calves are required to lengthen more and work harder than they ever have.  A little tape often helps whilst the muscles get used to their new role. Calf Muscle Tapes Our aim here is produce a ‘lift’ to the interface between the two calf muscles.  All the follow tape applications should be applied with the calf area on a stretch (feet and toes pulled up). Option 1: Cut tape into a Y-shape, apply uncut base just above where the Achilles becomes a cord.  While stretching the Achilles, lay each tail of tape with paper-off stretch over the border of gastroc (main calf muscle) and soleus (deep calf muscle)  As shown in below. Option 2: For a more supportive feeling, apply two full thickness pieces of tape in the same pattern. Achilles Tendon Tape Option 1:  Take a strip and start it under the foot, on the heel pad.  Stretch the calf by pulling toes and foot up towards knee.  Stick tape straight up over Achilles tendon with 30-60% stretch.  Apply the...
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