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Injury Assessment


Movement and Gait Analysis


Welcome to my blog


I'm Charlie Poynter, a sports therapist by trade, lecturer at University of Bedforshire. Bit of a golfer. Blogging about anything I get up to with the hope of something being useful or interesting to others!

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By poyntersportstherapy, Jan 3 2016 09:01PM

I'm not a cook! Ask my Mother! In fact don't, you'll just get a rant about how I don't do enough cooking! So I'm after quick, easy, minimal effort, maximum taste FOOD! Above is my food to take to work tomorrow, walnuts to graze on (won't get through all of those, but good to keep some in your bag, never know when you'll be peckish), banana and my satay chicken cauliflower couscous!

So here's the recipe for 2 portions of the salad prepped and made in 15mins!

3 chicken breasts

2 handfuls of spinach

1 cauliflower

1 red pepper

1 teaspoon of crunchy peanut butter

small handful of unsalted peanuts

200mls water

Dash of chilli powder

2 drops of hot sauce

1.5 teaspoon coconut oil

Warm pan, melt 1 teaspoon of cocunt oil, meanwhile cut up chicken into chunks

Chuck chicken into pan, moving around a bit to avoid burning

Water into small saucepan with peanut butter, simmer it, chuck in 0.5 teaspoon of coconut oil, hot sauve and chilli powder. Let it continue to simmer until thickens.

Chop spinach and pepper to a size you fancy.

Don't forget to keep stirring satay and the chicken.

Prep cauliflower so its only the white bit. Grab a blender and have some fun!

Blend until looks like couscous

Chuck it all together and enjoy!


Approximate cost for 2 portions - £5

(excluding coconut oil, powders, peanut butter, etc. as they're all reusable)

How much does it cost you to have your supermarket sandwich? Is it as low carb, full of protein, colourful and have 3 of your five a day in?

By poyntersportstherapy, Aug 14 2015 12:27PM

How rude you may think!

However no matter how much exercise we do, sometimes we really do have a lazy butt!

When I say butt, in this case, I am talking about the gluteal muscles. The main 3 muscles that contribute to the make up of the buttock. These are Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Medius ( I always think they would have made great Roman Statesmen names). The Gluteus maximus extends and rotates the thigh laterally. The Gluteus Medius and Minimus abduct and rotate the thigh medially. So as you can tell they have a tough job controlling the femur! The Gluteus Medius is also vitally important in stabilising the pelvis both in neutral and when we are loading onto a single leg. If a gluteus medius is weak, when someone loads onto their left leg for example, the muscle isn't strong enough to keep the pelvis in neutral (a straight line) so the other side drops. If you can visualise one side of the pelvis dropping, think of the effective that has on the lower back. It is constantly being yo-yoed up and down, hence lower back pain.

So what causes our glutes to 'switch off'.........One cause being the 21st century lifesyle we lead, with sitting on them! Whether it's driving, desk work, the cinema, game console, going out for dinner they nearly all require us to be sitting on these key muscles. There lies the problem.

When seated for long periods of time, we are crumpled with the front of our hips closed off at a smaller angle than if we were standing and the back of our hips (glutes) being over stretched, lengthened and weakened.

Think of an elastic band, one on the front of your body from navel to knees and one on the back of your body from mid back to back of knee. When you are standing these will be in a relaxed, equal state. If you bent down and touched your toes the band on the front would become shortened and the one on the back would have to stretch and therefore be more likely to snap (hence a weakened, lengthened state).

The same applies when seated the band on the front would shorten and the one on the back over stretched. Take this back to the body and we have shortened hip flexors, such as Rectus femoris and Iliopsoas and lengthened and weakened Glutes.

So I sit for long periods what can i do to fix this?

Firstly some simple stretches to release those hip flexors:

1. Laying on your left side, bend your right knee, so your right heel comes towards your right buttock, take your right hand and grip your right ankle, provid a slight pull until a stretchis felt across the front of the pelvis and down the right thigh, hold for at least 30 secs and repeat on opposite side.

2. Place right foot on a chair or an object that's high enough that it sits between your knee and hip. Bend right knee and push forward onto the right leg. So you almost in a lunge position, you should feel a stretch on the left, front of the pelvis/top of the thigh. Hold for 30 secs and repeat each side.

Now to engage and strengthen those glutes, do 12-15 repetitions of each exercise:

1. Isometrics - Stand close to and parallel to a wall, with your right leg nearest the wall, draw that knee up so that your thigh is parallel with the floor, from there push the oustide of your right thigh against the wall at abut 70% of your maximum push and hold for 5 secs. Repeat for 12-15 reps and switch legs.

2. Glute bridge - Laying on your back on the floor, draw knees up to 90 degrees with feet flat on the floor. From there, squeeze your buttocks to lift your buttocks and lower back off the floor. Hold for 5 secs and repeat.

3. Leg extensions - Standing opposite a wall, hold onto the wall and with your right leg, extend the leg out behind you and slightly outwards. So the action is out on a diagonal plane of movement. Think of standing in the centre of a clock, with 12 behind you, when moving the right leg you want to travel in the direction 10 on the right leg and when doing the left leg at 2. When extending the leg back really sqeeze the buttocks.

These are 3 simple starter exercises that most people should be able to complete, there are plenty more, however these are the simplest that dont require as much coaching. If in any doubt whether these exercises are suitable for you, please consult a medical professional. All my blogs are my own thoughts and views, formed through reading research and my own thinking. I do not accept responsibility for any injury, accident etc.

Any questions and comments, please feel free to fire away! :)

By poyntersportstherapy, Mar 26 2015 04:17PM

So last Sunday (I'm publishing this late, so sunday 14th) saw me embark on what should have been a 50 miler, out through the rolling hills of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, hitting lovely villages such as Wymondley, Offley, Lilley, Barton , Shillington and Meppershall. I say should have!

Sunday saw me end an 11 days without a day off stint and boy did it show. I didn't feel too bad when I woke up, felt fairly fresh after a good sleep. My body had different ideas.

The legs felt a little stiff in the first 15 mins which isn't unusual. I'd had 3 personal training sessions and 2 gym sessions in that 11 days, so body had done some work, so didn't expect anything different. Slowly warmed up and the legs got going.

I headed out into Willian and up the hill in Wymondley , past the woods and bang..... chain comes off. I mamage to glide up the remaining part of the hill to find a safe place to stop and replace the chain, with the buzz of the electricity pylon to ensure I didn't take too long!

Back on it, i cycled on into Hitchin, past the busy Sunday market and up a slight hill. This is where I hit another little snag. That lovely toothache nag started to reappear in my right calf. This was soul destroying!

After thinking that this had been sorted after the bike fit and had done a fair few miles without any discomfort this was a major blow to my morale. On top of this just as I reach the top of hill, bang..... chain comes off.

So within a few miles of home, 2 chain mishaps and calf pain it's all going well!

It's at the point of putting on my chain for the second time that I realise, I have entered into this whole new world. The world of road cycling!

This world is one in which as you are cycling, and if you pass another cyclist you are to nod politely and knowingly, alternatively you may brave it and push yourself, (usually dependent on how out of breath you are at the time) to go for a "hi there", "morning", "afternoon". There is also this courtesy of checking that others are ok. So as I annoyingly put my chain back on for the second time, a gentleman easily 20 years my senior, lycra-ed up and resembling a bean pole, cycled past, said his good morning but also asked if all was ok! Having always played team sports I've never really come across this before and felt nicely included in this little group of nutters who dodge pot holes, put up with near death experiences with every ride and put up with a numb buttocks!

Anyways, back to the route! I headed on witth the intention of heading out towards Barton however for third time bang.....chain comes off. At this point I've had enough, coasted to a safe spot and replaced the chain......again.

Alongside the chain annoyance, my body started to really suffer, the pain in my calf was nagging more and my body felt as if it had nothing in the tank, having cycled for less than an hour I wasn't impressed but thought it best to listen. So I cancelled my plans of the villages Barton way and pushed forward through Hitchin towards Ickleford.

Bang...... for the fourth and final time, just after Ickleford chain comes off!

If I hadn't spent a small fortune fitting my bike and getting some new parts because of the fit, I would've kicked it!

I put the chain back on and carried on. Another nod with a fellow cyclist and I was on my way towards Henlow. I was struggling. Legs felt like lead and my pace had really dropped, no matter how much I tried to maintain it.

The quickest way home was to jump on the A507 all the way back from Henlow.

Until you cycle the roads, I don't think you can complain about the state of them, pot hole dodging and constantly shaking from the uneven surface, really takes its toll. And the A507 is not smooth!

I ploughed on, and longed to see the sign for Norton which I knew was my final leg for home. I pulled off at Stotfold to head into Norton and just couldn't wait to be home, but didn't have anything left in the legs. I chucked the bike into a low gear and just focused on turning the pedals. All thoughts of speed went out of the window. It wasjust a case of just keep swimming..... or cycling in this case.

I arrived home having done about 22 miles in 2 hours. Which was unimpressive by my standards.

So why?

11 days work without rest

Upping my gym training

I had also changed my diet for 2 weeks as completely carb free

These all combined led to a disaster of a ride for me. I should in my professional capacity have thought that going out for a cycle wasn't a good idea. However, I didn't quite expect it to have that much of an effect.

Lesson learnt!

With about 6 weeks to go, I'll keep ploughing on as the end result is an accomplishment for me, but more importantly raising some money for the Alzheimer's Society.



By poyntersportstherapy, Jan 18 2015 09:22PM

So today saw my first training ride for the Hertfordshire 100!

And it was most definitely bruised bum time! But we won't go into the state of our roads in the local area (or not at this stage anyways).

So heading out with a t-shirt and a running long sleeved nike dry fit layer with a zip high neck, I was grateful for adding on a buff to protect my neck. Having had a flu type bug last week, I've been left with an annoying cough and was worried this would plague me during the ride, so the added protection was a good idea.

I went for some dashing cycling leggings that had padding that made me feel like I was wearing a nappy. Although half way through the ride it would seem I would be wishing for more padding! Over that a nice pair of old shortsso that other road users don't need to see my backside in something close to lycra. Knowing the current weather conditions......otherwise known as b****y freezing! I chose to try two pairs of socks.

So all clothed up, I took the tags off my new helmet (the old one took a nasty tumble from a top shelf), tested it's cleverly designed red visibility light system built into the back. Donned my very, very white cycling shoes, set up my cycle playlist on the iPhone, donned my sunglasses,put on some cycle gloves and had the horrid feeling of 'all the gear, but no idea!'

So the bike came out of the garage and with a slight worry that my seat height was a little low, but I was determined to not have another reason to put out going out for a ride. A wobbly start down the road, as I practised clipping in and out in preparation for busier roads and junctions, but I was off.

I didn't have much of a route planned only that I was going to head towards Shefford which I knew was approximately 8 miles away and I wanted to hit about 15miles on my first ride. So maths said, if I get to Shefford, I can turn around and come back knowing I would have hit my target. Within the first 5km I had a slight incline to face but it felt comfortable so I ploughed on positively.

However at 6.5km disaster struck! Firstly, my carefully planned cycling playlist of current chart hits and 90s classics stopped working! I think my 4G couldn't cope with both Map my Ride and Deezer trying to use it, so I had to fore go my cheesy playlist and just have the open road for company. Secondly, the start of a niggle that lasted the rest of the 25 odd km. A discomfort at the top outside of my right calf and I just couldn't shake it. Now as a sports therapist at this point I made the executive decision (and one I always tell me patients not to take) to continue on. I wasn't being defeated so early on.

I cycled on, on some fairly busy national speed limit roads, which I thought would be more daunting than it was. I easily navigated roundabouts and junctions and over cautiously clipped out very early. The problem I encountered was pushing off again from static. I found it quite hard to pedal without my foot slipping on the pedal before clipping back in again. I'm sure this will get easier with time.

I hit Shefford before I knew it and felt good, so decided to turn off towards Hitchin and just see where my legs would take me, that's the joy of it isn't it? On the way to Hitchin I was aware of something over my shoulder and the next thing I knew a skinny, male who looked a lot more like a cyclist than I do came bombing past. I found this slightly demotivating as I envied how easily his legs powered him through effortlessly.

On the long stretch of road towards Hitchin, I pondered my calf pain and probable causes, it is my job after all. I went through a few thoughts such as seat height possibly being too low, I had a sports massage yesterday was it just a sore spot from that, the right leg is my 'problem' leg where I get occasional nerve pain and have had 2 operations on that knee, all were potential causes but none I felt sure of. I then thought about running and gait analysis, when someone's piriformis is short it pulls the foot outwards and you get a flick, without watching myself cycle I can't confirm this, but I think it is the most likely causes. Just another thing I need to work on!

After hitting Hitchin, I was on the home straight. With only the Harkness Hill in my way. I chucked the bike into the lowest gear and just told myself to keep pedalling and with a brain wave I remembered I had Ed Sheeran's album on my phone so therefore didn't need 4G. So with Ed serenading me I made it up the hill. In no time at all I was back home, feeling like at a push I could have done some more miles, but glad to see the front door of home.

I suffer with tight legs generally, so made sure I had a good stretch of the calves, hamstrings and quads. My back felt worse for wear from leaning over the handle bars for just under 2 hours and I feel that this is going to be my biggest issue. Not the mileage in the legs, but being in the bent over position for such a long period of time and of course a slightly brusied bum!

Ride 1: 31.08km time on map my ride (with a couple of sorting out music stops) 1:54:37

If you would like to sponsor me riding for the Alzheimer's Society and the reason why I have chosen this chairty please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Charlotte-Poynter1