Archive for January, 2018

More Than Just A Massage

As part of your treatment at Hatt’s, you may be advised that a massage will be greatly beneficial for your recovery. Often, massage is perceived as being a therapeutic treatment designed purely for relaxation and stress relief.  Whilst this is true in some cases, massage can also be used to aid recovery from injury and restore movement in the body. This type of massage therapy is often thought of as being a more ‘active’ form of massage which is becoming increasingly more effective at releasing tight muscles and restoring movement to joints or limbs.


If you are recommended a massage as part of your treatment plan, it may be that you would benefit greatly from a more active massage. This is likely to involve a mixture of both passive and active movements to encourage movement and release of tightness.


The difference between active and passive movements is the position you may be in for your massage. For example, rather than lying face down, you may be in a seated position to enhance effective neck release or lying on your side to support certain back, shoulder or hip releases. Your therapist will decide which massage techniques best suit your needs as your treatment will be fully bespoke to you and your condition.


Your massage is likely to contain a mixture of both active and passive techniques, ensuring that it’s both effective and relaxing. After all, a key component of a massage is to release tension and loosen your muscles. Techniques that may be included in your massage are the following:

  • Muscle energy (a form of stretch)
  • Trigger point
  • Hot stones
  • Sports massage
  • Myofascial release


If you would like to know more about our massage service then give us a call on 01380 730473 to speak to our patient services team. You can also take a look at the massage page on our website for some FAQ and further articles of interest.



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Is Pilates Right For Me?

With so many exercise classes available, how do you choose which ones is best for you?  Our Pilates instructor and Physio Jill has put together an introduction to Pilates, to help give you a better idea of whether Pilates is for you.

Pilates was originally designed by Joseph Pilates many years ago as a method to improve his own fitness and this has been modified to give us Pilates as we know it today. Pilates, in a nutshell, helps improve your flexibility, posture, and core strength. Your deepest abdominal muscle, when working, should contract very gently and act like an inner corset helping to maintain the alignment of your spine. This should be working whether you are sitting at your desk, doing your housework, your gardening, or your sport.

As to whether it’s for you – there really aren’t many people who wouldn’t benefit from Pilates. If you’re used to fast-paced high-impact aerobic exercise, then this will be quite a change for you but it does beautifully complement this sort of exercise. I’ve seen many a runner or triathlete who think they are very fit but when it comes down to it, their core stability is nothing short of shocking and they wonder why they keep acquiring injuries. If you’ve suffered from back pain and stiffness, as many of us have at some time, Pilates is the perfect choice of exercise. Whether you are new to exercise and don’t know where to start or would just like to build up some core strength and flexibility before venturing into other activities, there is no doubt you will get great results from Pilates.

Pilates is also good for your mind as well as your body – concentrating on engaging the correct muscles and moving in and out of different exercise positions, leaves little time for thinking about what’s for tea or your lengthy to-do list. So step off that whirling merry-go-round and slow life down for an hour of ‘you time’. It’s also a great opportunity to exercise in a group environment making it a more interesting and dynamic experience.

At Hatts we offer Matwork and Reformer classes and cater for beginners through to advanced levels. Always check with your GP and inform your Pilates instructor of any health issues that may affect your ability to do Pilates before joining a class. We also offer 1:1 Pilates classes for those who would prefer this to a class environment.

If this sounds like the class for you,​ speak to one of our patient services team about the options available. You can either try a single class or take advantage of our QuickStart programme, where you’ll get one 1:1 session plus 3 group classes with our specialist Pilates instructors for £110 in total (usually £180). For more information, visit our Pilates web page or give us a call on 01380 730473.

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This month we have had many patients come to us that have suffered from Tendon pain. Tendon pain can relate to many conditions such as Achilles Tendinitis, Tennis elbow or Swimmer’s shoulder. One of our Physio’s Sam goes into more detail on the nature of this injury:


What is a tendon?

A tendon is a cord of tissue that attaches muscle to bone – it’s flexible but inelastic. Tendons are all over the body, at the end of every muscle, and work by transferring force from the muscle to the bone next to the joint, allowing you to move. For example, when you bend your arm, your biceps muscle contracts. The tendon then pulls on the forearm bone to bend the elbow.




Most tendon injuries derive from gradual wear and tear to the tendon, often caused by overuse. Anyone can develop a tendon injury, especially those who use repetitive movements in their jobs, sports or daily activities. Even though your tendons are designed to deal with high, repetitive loading, if the load being applied is too great for the tendon, it becomes distressed, causing an injury.


What are the symptoms of Tendinopathy?

The most common symptom is pain. This can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain depending on what your doing. Often the pain will start after exercise but it can also be acute. With some tendons, visible thickening or a lump can be seen or felt, which is often very tender. The symptoms tend to develop gradually with no obvious cause. If left untreated the symptoms can continue for 2-5 years.


What happens to the tendon?

In a healthy tendon, if you were to zoom in really close, the fibers would look like bunches of dry spaghetti neatly arranged in stacks. However a painful tendon will look more like cooked spaghetti with less organised fibers and more water between them – this is what gives the tendon the thicker appearance.


Why does this happen?

Commonly a change in how much load or stress is going through the tendon will cause it to develop these changes. This can be a change in exercise routine, work activity or a change in how you’re moving. Even a simple change in footwear can make a difference.


What can Hatts do to help?

Here at Hatt’s we can get you pain-free and moving better than ever before. An assessment with one of our Physio’s or Gait Analysis specialists can provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan to relieve your pain and help manage the load on the tendon. We often recommend having a bio-mechanical movement screen to establish the cause of the overload on your tendon and follow that up with rehab and exercise classes to improve your movement and correct the cause of your injury.


If you would like more information on how we can help, give us a call on 01380 730473 or visit our Physio page.

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