The Effects of Exercise on the Breathing System

Exercise has several effects on the breathing system, which includes the lungs, diaphragm, and other respiratory muscles. Here are some of the effects of exercise on the breathing system:

  1. Increased Respiratory Rate: During exercise, the body’s oxygen demand increases, leading to a higher respiratory rate. This means that you breathe more frequently to take in more oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from your body.
  2. Increased Tidal Volume: Tidal volume refers to the amount of air moved in and out of the lungs with each breath. During exercise, tidal volume increases to accommodate the higher oxygen demand. This allows for increased oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide removal.
  3. Improved Lung Function: Regular exercise helps improve lung function by increasing lung capacity and efficiency. It enhances the elasticity of the lungs and strengthens the respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm, which leads to more effective inhalation and exhalation.
  4. Enhanced Oxygen Delivery: Exercise improves the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood by increasing the number of red blood cells and improving their efficiency in carrying oxygen. This helps to deliver more oxygen to the working muscles and other tissues during physical activity.
  5. Increased Ventilation: Ventilation refers to the amount of air moved in and out of the lungs in a given period. Exercise leads to an increase in ventilation to meet the demands of the working muscles. This increased ventilation helps to remove carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, from the body.
  6. Improved Respiratory Muscle Strength: Regular exercise, especially aerobic activities like running or cycling, strengthens the respiratory muscles. This includes the diaphragm, intercostal muscles, and accessory breathing muscles. Stronger respiratory muscles can generate greater force, resulting in more efficient breathing.
  7. Enhanced Respiratory Control: Exercise improves the coordination and control of the respiratory muscles. The respiratory system becomes more efficient in responding to changes in oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, allowing for quicker adjustments in breathing rate and depth during exercise.

Overall, regular exercise has numerous positive effects on the breathing system. It improves lung function, enhances oxygen uptake and delivery, strengthens respiratory muscles, and increases overall respiratory efficiency. These adaptations contribute to better endurance, increased stamina, and improved overall physical fitness.

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At ProHealth365 we offer personal training to improve your overall aerobic fitness

Physiotherapy-led Cancer Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy-led cancer rehabilitation is a comprehensive approach that aims to address the functional limitations and promote the overall well-being of individuals who have undergone cancer treatment. The rationale for physiotherapy-led cancer rehabilitation is based on several key factors:

  1. Restoring physical function: Cancer and its treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, can have significant physical effects on the body. Physiotherapy focuses on restoring and improving physical function, including strength, mobility, flexibility, and endurance. It helps individuals regain their independence and quality of life by addressing issues such as postural stability, range of motion, and functional limitations.
  2. Managing treatment side effects: Cancer treatments often result in various side effects, such as fatigue, pain, lymphedema (swelling due to fluid buildup), neuropathy (nerve damage), and musculoskeletal problems. Physiotherapy interventions, such as exercise programs, manual therapy, and specialized techniques like lymphatic drainage, can help manage these side effects, reduce pain, improve circulation, and enhance overall well-being.
  3. Enhancing recovery and preventing complications: Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in facilitating the recovery process after cancer treatment. It helps prevent complications such as muscle weakness, joint stiffness, postural abnormalities, and functional decline. By providing tailored exercises, therapeutic modalities, and education on self-care techniques, physiotherapy helps individuals regain strength, rebuild endurance, and minimize the risk of long-term complications.
  4. Promoting psychological well-being: Cancer diagnosis and treatment can have a significant psychological impact on individuals, including anxiety, depression, and reduced self-esteem. Physiotherapy-led rehabilitation programs can provide a supportive environment that addresses not only the physical aspects but also the emotional and psychological needs of patients. Exercise and physical activity have been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and enhance overall psychological well-being.
  5. Individualized approach: Each cancer patient’s needs and functional limitations vary based on their specific diagnosis, treatment, and overall health status. Physiotherapy-led rehabilitation offers an individualized approach, tailoring treatment plans to address the unique needs and goals of each patient. Physiotherapists assess the patient’s physical function, identify areas of impairment or dysfunction, and develop personalized treatment strategies to optimize recovery and functional outcomes.
  6. Long-term survivorship care: With advances in cancer treatment, more individuals are surviving cancer and living longer. However, they may face long-term physical impairments or functional limitations due to the disease or its treatments. Physiotherapy-led cancer rehabilitation programs provide ongoing support and guidance to survivors, helping them manage any persistent issues, maintain physical function, and optimize their quality of life as they transition into survivorship.

Overall, the rationale for physiotherapy-led cancer rehabilitation is to improve physical function, manage treatment-related side effects, enhance recovery, promote psychological well-being, and provide long-term survivorship care. By addressing the multidimensional needs of cancer patients, physiotherapy plays a vital role in maximizing their physical and emotional well-being throughout the cancer journey.

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Musculoskeletal Pain in Professional Musicians

Musculoskeletal pain is a common issue among professional musicians. This is due to the repetitive and sustained nature of their instrument playing. This type of pain can affect various body areas, including the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands. Physiotherapy plays a vital role in managing musculoskeletal pain in musicians. Physiotherapy addresses the underlying causes and providing effective treatment strategies. Here are some ways in which physiotherapy can help professional musicians:

  1. Assessment and Diagnosis: Physiotherapists specializing in musculoskeletal conditions can assess a musician’s posture, movement patterns, and instrument technique to identify any factors contributing to pain. Physiotherapists conduct a thorough physical examination to diagnose specific musculoskeletal conditions, conditions such as tendonitis, muscle strains, or nerve entrapment.
  2. Pain Management: Physiotherapy offers various pain management techniques tailored to musicians. These may include manual therapy, such as joint mobilization or soft tissue massage, to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.
  3. Exercise Prescription: Physiotherapists can design specific exercise programs to address muscle imbalances, improve posture, and enhance overall strength and flexibility. These exercises are aimed at improving endurance and reducing the risk of future injuries. For musicians, targeted exercises that focus on the specific demands of their instrument and playing technique are crucial.
  4. Ergonomic Assessment: Physiotherapists can assess the musician’s instrument setup, posture, and technique to identify any ergonomic issues contributing to pain or discomfort. They can provide recommendations for modifications to the instrument or adjustments to the musician’s setup to optimize ergonomics and reduce strain on the body.
  5. Education and Prevention Strategies: Physiotherapists play a vital role in educating musicians about proper body mechanics, warm-up and stretching routines, and strategies for injury prevention. They can also provide guidance on self-management techniques, such as using heat or cold therapy, practicing relaxation exercises, and implementing proper rest and recovery practices.
  6. Rehabilitation: In the case of a musculoskeletal injury, physiotherapy is crucial for the rehabilitation process. Physiotherapists can develop a structured rehabilitation program to facilitate healing, restore range of motion, and regain strength and function. They work closely with the musician to gradually reintegrate playing activities while monitoring progress and preventing re-injury.

It’s important for professional musicians to seek early intervention from a qualified physiotherapist at the first sign of musculoskeletal pain. By addressing these issues proactively, musicians can prevent chronic conditions, improve performance, and prolong their careers.

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The role of physiotherapy in the recovery and management of chronic pain

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the recovery and management of chronic pain. Our approach recognizes that chronic pain is complex and may involve multiple factors, and by addressing them, we can promote healing, reduce pain, and improve overall function and quality of life.

Accordingly, there are some key elements of a whole-body approach to chronic pain recovery with physiotherapy, these include:

A Comprehensive Assessment:

A thorough assessment is conducted by a physiotherapist to understand the underlying causes of the chronic pain. This may involve evaluating posture, movement patterns, muscle imbalances, joint mobility, and identify any structural abnormalities or functional limitations.

Individualized Treatment Plan:

A personalized treatment plan is developed to address the specific needs and goals of the individual. This may include a combination of manual therapies, exercises, and education about pain management.

Manual Therapy:

Physiotherapists use various hands-on techniques to address soft tissue restrictions, joint dysfunctions, and muscle imbalances. This may include joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage, myofascial release, and stretching exercises. Manual therapy helps improve mobility, reduce pain, and restore normal tissue function.

Therapeutic Exercise:

Exercise is a fundamental component of physical therapy for chronic pain recovery. The exercise program is tailored to the individual’s capabilities, considering their specific pain condition and overall physical fitness. It may therefore include strengthening exercises, stretching, cardiovascular conditioning, and functional training.

Pain Education:

Physiotherapists educate individuals about the nature of chronic pain, its causes, and the factors that can influence pain perception. We provide guidance on pacing activities, ergonomics, posture correction, and self-management strategies to help individuals regain control over their pain and reduce fear and anxiety associated with movement.

Psychosocial Support:

Chronic pain can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental and emotional well-being. Physiotherapists recognize the importance of addressing psychological factors and provide support or referral to other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists if needed. They may incorporate relaxation techniques, stress management strategies, and cognitive-behavioral approaches to help individuals cope with pain-related psychological distress.

Lifestyle Modifications:

Physical therapy encompasses a holistic approach to chronic pain management, which includes addressing lifestyle factors. Physiotherapists may provide guidance on healthy lifestyle habits, such as nutrition, sleep, and stress reduction techniques. These lifestyle modifications can therefore have a positive impact on pain perception and overall well-being.

Multidisciplinary Collaboration:

Physiotherapists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, pain specialists, occupational therapists, and psychologists, to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to chronic pain management. This multidisciplinary collaboration helps address all aspects of the individual’s pain condition and optimize their recovery.

By adopting a whole-body approach, physiotherapy aims to empower individuals with chronic pain to actively participate in their recovery, improve their physical function, and enhance their overall quality of life. It acknowledges that chronic pain is a complex and multifaceted condition that requires a multidimensional approach for effective management and long-term recovery.

For more information on chronic pain you can read the following articles: and

How Physiotherapy Can Help with Fibromyalgia

Physiotherapy can play a valuable role in managing fibromyalgia by addressing the symptoms and improving overall physical function. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a multidisciplinary approach that includes physiotherapy can help reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance quality of life. Here are some ways in which physiotherapy can help individuals with fibromyalgia:

  1. Pain management: Physiotherapists can use various techniques to help manage pain associated with fibromyalgia. These may include manual therapy, such as soft tissue mobilization or joint mobilization, to reduce muscle tension and improve joint mobility.
  2. Exercise therapy: Regular exercise is an essential component of managing fibromyalgia. However, it’s crucial to approach exercise carefully to avoid exacerbating symptoms. A physiotherapist can design an individualized exercise program that includes a combination of aerobic exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling. This can help improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, joint flexibility, and overall energy levels.
  3. Education and self-management strategies: Physiotherapists can provide education and guidance on self-management strategies for individuals with fibromyalgia. This may include advice on pacing activities and energy conservation techniques to reduce strain on the body. They can also educate patients about proper posture, body mechanics, and relaxation techniques to manage pain and stress.
  4. Sleep management: Sleep disturbances are common in fibromyalgia. Physiotherapists can provide recommendations for improving sleep quality and offer relaxation techniques to promote better sleep quality.
  5. Stress reduction: Stress can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. Physiotherapists may incorporate stress reduction techniques such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, or gentle yoga to help individuals manage stress levels and improve overall well-being.
  6. Assistive devices and aids: In some cases, physiotherapists may recommend the use of assistive devices, such as braces or splints, to support joints and reduce pain during activities. They can also provide guidance on the proper use of assistive devices to maximize their benefits.

It’s important to note that each individual with fibromyalgia may have different needs and responses to treatment. A physiotherapist will assess the specific symptoms, limitations, and goals of the patient and tailor the treatment plan accordingly. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, to receive personalized advice and guidance for managing fibromyalgia.

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What is the role of physiotherapists?

Physiotherapists, also known as physical therapists in some countries, are healthcare professionals who are trained and licensed to diagnose, evaluate, and treat a wide range of musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiovascular conditions that affect an individual’s physical function and mobility. They work with patients of all ages, from infants to elderly individuals, and may provide services in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, sports facilities, and private practices.

Physiotherapists use evidence-based techniques and interventions to assess, treat, and manage a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions: Such as back pain, neck pain, joint pain, fractures, sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Neurological conditions: Such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions affecting the nervous system.
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory conditions: Such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, and other conditions affecting the heart and lungs.
  • Sports injuries: Such as ligament tears, muscle strains, and other injuries related to sports and physical activity.
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation: Helping patients recover and regain function after surgeries such as joint replacements, spinal surgeries, and other surgical procedures.
  • Pediatric conditions: Such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and other conditions affecting children.

Physiotherapists use a variety of treatment techniques and modalities to help their patients, including manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, electrotherapy, heat and cold therapy, education and advice, and functional training. They also provide guidance on injury prevention, ergonomics, and health promotion, and may work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for their patients.

Physiotherapists play a crucial role in helping individuals restore and maintain optimal physical function, mobility, and quality of life, and their expertise can be valuable in managing a wide range of conditions that affect the musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiovascular systems.

Exercise Vs Knee Replacement

A Short Guide to Nutrition and Exercise Therapy for the Management of Obesity in Men

Prohealth365 Physiotherapy & Nutrition aka Ms Rand Al-Najima and Dr Werd Al-Najim contributed an article to the Hospital Professional News Ireland.

What are the health benefits of high-intensity interval training?

A high intensity interval training (HIIT) is short but intensive training and is considered to be very effective and fits even the busiest schedules. During a HIIT, the person performs exercises that cause the heart rate to increase followed by a period of rest or light exercises that allow the heart rate to decrease. A single training session usually lasts 15-20 minutes.

It is important to remember that a HIIT is not suitable for everyone and beginners should always start with shorter bouts and build up their exercise slowly and gradually. Some of the health benefits of a HIIT are:

  1. It boosts metabolism.
  2. Burns energy during and after the workout.
  3. Improves muscle strength.
  4. You can do it anywhere and anytime as these sessions consist mainly of bodyweight exercises.
  5. It helps in hormonal and blood glucose regulation.
  6. Evidence-based research shows that it is an effective method to improve cardiorespiratory fitness.

Some exercises that are often performed during high-intensity interval training are jump squats, plank jacks, burpees, and mountain climbers.

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Rand Al-Najim

ProHealth365 Physiotherapy and Nutrition

Addressing the stigma faced by people living with obesity

Congratulations to our Nutritionist Dr Werd Al-Najim for winning the UCD Research Impact Case Study for her research on Obesity as part of the UCD Diabetes Complications Research Centre.