By Athlete's Care on February 16, 2017
Winter is often a busy time in our Ottawa physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics. In general, people may be more active outdoors during the rest of the year for obvious reasons, but those reasons – namely, the weather conditions – create their own set of hazards. Going out in your car can mean 20 minutes of scraping off ice and snow.
Getting down the sidewalk means shoveling snow, an activity that can cause a number of strains, sprains, and other stresses and injuries. Here's a look at how to get the job done safely.
Are You Fit?
Your first consideration should be...you. Are you in good shape, and able to perform the repetitive, back straining actions that shoveling snow requires? If you're not sure, the best idea is to book a consultation with one of our Ottawa physiotherapy or chiropractic specialists for an assessment. You should definitely get a medical assessment if:
Before You Start
Using proper technique is just as important shoveling snow as it is when you are exercising or practicing your sport. Making the wrong moves can mean injury.
If you have any questions or concerns about shoveling snow or any other physical activity, or you've been injured by shoveling snow, then don't hesitate to contact our Ottawa physiotherapy clinics for an appointment with a specialist.
By Athlete's Care on February 02, 2017
Even the fittest among us can be intimidated by winter weather, and the temptation to hunker down indoors can be strong. The research isn't conclusive, but anecdotal evidence tells us that arthritis patients report a direct relationship between levels of pain and the cold, wet weather, with hip and knee pain a common complaint at many of our Ottawa physiotherapy clinics.
The evidence isn't entirely clear why. One study found that arthritis knee pain flared up in many patients in response to changes in barometric pressure. Cold temperatures can cause the fluid that lubricates joints to thicken. Other studies, however, have not been able to confirm those links.
But, reducing your activity levels, however daunting the weather may be, will actually add to any issues you may have, such as stiffness or pain. It's important to keep your joints moving to maintain mobility.
Your Body in the Cold
As you spend time outdoors, your body adjusts to the cold. Your nerve endings become more sensitive, lowering your pain threshold. Your body is focused on keeping your internal organs warm, and so circulation in the rest of your body can suffer. All of those elements can make sore joints even more painful. Exercise improves blood flow to your limbs, an effect that continues even after you stop.
Staying active keeps the synovial (joint) fluids flowing and your joints lubricated. Your Ottawa physiotherapist or chiropractor will help you plan an exercise regimen that takes your current conditions and specific needs into account. Here are some ideas on how to stay active even if you have arthritis or other issues.
Nutrition is important too when you're looking to maintain joint health and mobility. Ask your Ottawa chiropractor or other healthcare practitioner for a referral to a nutritionist if you need recommendations for healthy eating during the winter. Remember to stay well hydrated. Along with the many other benefits, it helps keep your joints lubricated and reduces painful friction.
Braces and other supports can help you maintain mobility even as you heal from an injury. If you are experiencing joint pain, your Ottawa chiropractor or physiotherapy specialist can help to recommend appropriate devices.
Call one of our Ottawa physiotherapy clinics today or drop by to make an appointment for a consultation to get you on the road to joint health and mobility.
By Athlete's Care on October 25, 2016
Fascial Stretch Therapy or FST is still a relatively new technique. Our Ottawa physiotherapy professionals use it to successfully treat a variety of conditions, and the most promising aspect about FST is that it has been known to work on chronic, longstanding or treatment resistant conditions where little else has provided relief.
What are fascia?
Fascia refers to the connective tissue that runs between muscles and internal organs. It's made primarily of collagen and it serves, basically, to keep all those internal structures in place, enclosing the different tissues and separating them from each other. You can think of it as something like a flexible spider's web that links and holds the different bodily structures together.
When those tissues are injured or stretched, it can result in scarring. Fascia at joints can become compressed over time, which can result in overcompensation by muscle groups, along with aches, pains, strain and other symptoms. Fascial adhesions occur when the collagen fibres bond together and form harder – and less flexible – areas. It can result in decreased movement, pain and soreness.
How does FST work?
FST does just that – stretch the fascial tissue. While traditional massage techniques work to manipulate and stretch one muscle or group at a time, FST looks to stretch multiple fascia at a time by combining stretching with traction. FST helps to loosen up the fascia and joints, creating space where the lubricating synovial fluid can flow and ease movement. It works on the joint capsule and the fascia become more flexible, pliable and hydrated.
FST is a pain-free and often enjoyable therapy and while therapeutic results are highly individualized and depend on each case, it has been known to help people with chronic conditions that didn't respond to other treatments. What you should experience are improvements in mobility and flexibility,
Our Ottawa chiropractor and physiotherapy specialists have found that FST has proven useful in treating a number of conditions, including:
Call one of our Ottawa physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics today for a consultation and assessment to see if FST can be help with your condition.
By Athlete's Care on July 05, 2016
The cold winter (and spring!) is over and summer is here. The sunny weather is perfect for running but with the wild swings in our climate, your body needs a little help to adjust. Successful summer running means being cognizant of the temperature and of your own limits. A little common sense goes a long way towards making sure summer running stays enjoyable.
Here are some tips to make the most of summer running and avoid the problems:
◦ Headache or intense heat buildup in the head.
◦ Confusion, inability to concentrate.
◦ Sweating profusely, followed by clammy skin and then sweating abruptly stops.
◦ Hot and cold flashes.
◦ Upset stomach, muscle cramps, vomiting, dizziness.
10. Check the air quality index and any heat warnings. If the air quality index is code orange (5-6,) it's an indication to be cautious, especially if you have respiratory issues. If it is code red (7 or higher,) you should not be running outside. Ask your Ottawa sports medicine specialist about how the air quality index can affect your condition.
The Good News
Heat training can actually end up benefiting your whole running game. Studies with professional athletes have found up to a 5% increase in performance levels after less than two weeks of hot weather training.
Our Ottawa physiotherapy specialists and other sports medicine professionals can give you customized advice for your summer running routine and other helpful information. Give us a call today.