An introduction from Raph Rinaldi
Raph joined Physio Remedies as a specialist spinal physiotherapist in January and we've asked him to introduce himself in the following blog post. Here he talks about knowing how you, as a patient, feel, hints at his ongoing work with the British Bobsleigh team and mentions his favourite sports.
I've been where you are
As a valued patient of Physio Remedies, I thought it would be useful to talk about a few experiences that made me understand how most of you may feel when not in great shape.
I suffered a few recurrent episodes of low back pain a few years ago. It all started with a mild niggle after a walk.
I ignored it at first and kept being active and working. I took a few tablets and kept going, firmly thinking that knowing a bit about low back pain would grant myself exemption from doing the things I was preaching everyday.
In less than a week I was crippled with pain and unable to do simple things without spending a great deal of energy to focus, feeling exhausted at the end of the day. Most worryingly, I felt embarrassed to experience low back pain whilst I was taking care of fellow sufferers. The best move I made then was to seek help from my colleagues at work; having an external eye made me realise what was wrong with me and get a disciplined, simple approach to manage it.
Londoner = high performance sportsperson!
The second point I learned over the years is that being a Londoner is for performers! The total amount of mental, physical and emotional load stemming from commuting, working, lunch breaks, social life, home and family is very similar to the multi-dimension stress affecting athletes travelling and competing around the world.
I had the opportunity to work full time in high performance sports, most recently with the British Bobsleigh Team.
We lived six months per year out of our briefcase, soldiering winter weather, crammed into a car or a van for hours, often straight after racing, trying to sort out food and battling cold bedrooms.
In a way, I felt there is not much difference for a Londoner to rush back on a train straight after performing for your best presentation or task at work in an adrenaline-fuelled meeting. For that reason the amount of mental fatigue sometimes prevails, making you focussing on essential, urgent tasks without adopting regeneration or decompression days.
Do simple things that you enjoy
I have been a high-performance race walker and cross country skier in my younger days. The benefits vastly outweigh the costs. It’s very low tech and gives the opportunity to recharge mentally and physically.
Due to chronic paucity of snow in London, I love use inline skates with cross country poles. It’s a fantastic way to exercise your core with very low risk of falling – the poles help you to balance.
The only thing to aware of is the myriads of tourists taking shots as you are passing by in Hyde Park. There are suitable courses of roller-skiing or roller skating in Hyde Park and Richmond Park but I will be always happy to go for a session in either!
Raph is currently supporting the GB Bobsleigh team at the World Cups and World Championships until the 11th of March but if you’d like to make an appointment to see him when he returns, please do call us on 02030 12 12 22.
Words and images by Raph Rinaldi.