Physiotherapy Toronto Blog

Kinesio Tape is a therapeutic tool that may be used by your physiotherapist or chiropractor at our Toronto clinics. Whether you are a professional athlete at the top of your game or a dedicated amateur, you train hard, but injuries and pain can keep you from enjoying your sport and may even get in the way of making progress. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are prone to injury and soreness and Kinesio Tape was developed to help athletes heal and continue to train through recovery as well as prevent injury. It can be used in some cases instead of heavier and more restrictive bracing. You don’t have to be an athlete, though, to take advantage of its very useful properties. Here’s a look at Kinesio Tape and how it is used.

Toronto Chiropractor


What is Kinesio Tape?

Kinesio Taping was first developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in Japan in the 1970s. As a chiropractor, acupuncturist and therapist, he developed what was to become Kinesio Tape (also called KT Tape,) with the desire to extend the effects of manual therapy. He wanted his clients to be able to use something to help them between visits. After its introduction in Japan, it eventually made its way west to Europe and North America in the mid-1990s.

Kinesio tape looks just like that – tape – that has been designed specifically to support muscles, ligaments and tendons and ease pain and soreness. Kinesio Tape is made of latex-free elastic material that stretches lengthwise but not in its width. That way it can provide flexible support that doesn’t restrict circulation or how you move. It is breathable and allows for moisture release, which is crucial for comfortable wear. It should not ever feel itchy or otherwise irritating.

The texture and flexibility of Kinesio Tape mimic the way living skin works, which is why it is so effective. By stabilizing and supporting the soft tissue, it works to help correction injuries and conditions involving joints. As such, it is used to help correct joint and other bodily alignments, which aids in recovery. It can even be used to correct posture.

Today, it is used by professional athletes to train and even play while they heal from injury and can be used by anyone to return to normal activity levels. It is lightweight and comfortable and designed to be worn 24 hours a day.

Chiropractor Toronto



What is Kinesio Tape used for?

Kinesio Tape has also been used for everything from chronic pain to headaches. The physiotherapists and chiropractors at our Toronto clinics use Kinesio Tape to treat a wide variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular and neurological injuries and conditions. It provides relief around the clock and will stay on even if you strain or sweat. It can be worn when you shower or even when you swim.

  • Lower back strain/pain (including subluxations, herniated disc);
  • Knee pain;
  • Shin splints;
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • Tennis elbow;
  • Shoulder pain;
  • Hamstring and groin injuries;
  • Rotator cuff injuries;
  • Whiplash;
  • Plantar fasciitis;
  • Edema or swelling caused by an accumulation of fluids.

Kinesio Taping is also used for injury prevention. It will help to prevent edema or swelling and can be used for prevention and maintenance after injury. Kinesio Tape works on the circulatory, lymphatic and neural systems as well as on the muscles and soft tissue.

Kinesio Tape can be used for ongoing therapy but it has also been used in the case of sudden injury or strain in the middle of competition. In stabilizing the area, it prevents further injury. Physiotherapists and chiropractors at our Toronto clinics often apply Kinesio Tape after a therapy session to extend the effects and increase its effectiveness. Kinesio Tape can help make the fascial tissue easier for a physiotherapist or chiropractor to manipulate.

When it comes to pain relief, Kinesio Tape can also help to drain the fluids that cause edema and bruising. Professional athletes often use Kinesio Taping to address and help prevent known issues such as rolling ankles or patellar tracking.

How is Kinesio Tape used?

Kinesio Tape is applied along the soft tissue areas, including muscles, ligaments or tendons. Your Toronto physiotherapist or chiropractor will use it in specific patterns designed to help particular areas of concern.

The technique is based on how the body heals itself. Application of the tape helps to reduce inflammation and lets overtired muscles relax while still allowing a full range of motion. Traditional sports taping tends to restrict bodily fluids and as such can only be worn for limited periods of time, while Kinesio Tape is able to prove 24 hour a day protection and support.

While it looks fairly simple in principle, in reality it requires precise knowledge of exactly where to apply the Tape for maximum benefit.

At Athletescare Toronto, our physiotherapists and chiropractors are dedicated to helping their clients train better, heal faster and get back to their normal routine. Call us or make an appointment today to ask about how Kinesio Tape might help your recovery.

 

Sources:
http://www.kttape.com/
http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/kinesio-tape-what-is-it-and-what-s-the-hype
http://www.medicinenet.com/kinesio_tape/article.htm

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Toronto Sport Dietitian

A Sports Dietitian is very different than a Registered Dietitian.  Sports Dietitians are Registered Dietitians that have received additional training and have specialized in sports and physical activity.  This is a really important difference as the body processes and uses the nutrition you get from your food and supplements differently when your body is physically active.  Furthermore, everyone is different and therefore needs different nutritional recommendations.  Knowing this, there are differences in the information that a Sports Dietitian needs for your initial assessment in order to make the best-customized nutritional recommendations for you. 

Here’s a list of things that you need to prepare before your first assessment with a Sports Dietitian:

Basic Info

The Basic Info includes your age, height, weight (Measured first thing in the morning after you pee), food allergies, intolerances, religious or cultural practices involving food, past medical history and any medications, including birth control for women.  Now for me, I also like to take your current clothing sizes because weight can be very tricky in athletes.  Athletes usually have a body composition higher in muscle mass, which weighs much more than fat does.  Current clothing size gives a lot of information and will continue to give a lot of information as you work with your Sports Dietitian.  One other thing to consider is which notch you’re currently using on your belt; this can give us a lot of information too, especially if you prefer baggy clothes.  For women, clothing or dress sizes are a bit tricky, especially since leggings are so popular now and will ultimately depend on the brand.  Pick one outfit, preferably with jeans or dress pants, and write down those clothing sizes. Remember that outfit because that’s the outfit we’ll be comparing to. 

Supplements

Athletes usually take many supplements to help them improve their performance, this includes protein powders, protein bars, multivitamins and even herbal supplements.  Not all supplements are created equal! Some supplement brands have a really bad reputation of not having their product match the ingredient list or the health claims that are made on the label.  Some other supplements may have banned substances in them, so it’s best to either bring a list of the supplements or you could easily take photos of the front and back labels on your phone.  Your Sports Dietitian will make sure the supplements you’re taking are safe and effective.  If not, they will definitely work together with you to pick out the best Sport Supplement for you. 

Sport/ Workout Schedule

Athletes usually have a pretty set schedule as to when they work out or train.  Providing your Sports Dietitian with your training schedule will help the Sports Dietitian best time your meal intakes to fuel your training sessions and to help you recover from your workout or training session better.  It’s also really helpful to know what the purpose of the training session is.  For example, a hockey player may have a training session focusing on stick handling or speed skating; these are very different training goals and have to be fed differently.  Or you might be a runner, knowing if it’s a hills training session, tempo run or speed run would also help the Sports Dietitian know how to best feed you.  It’s also best to make an honest note of your Perceived Rate of Exertion on a scale of 1 to 10.  Different workout intensities create different nutritional needs as different intensities use different energy pathways in the body that requires different feeding targets.  Knowing the Perceived Rate of Exertion will help the Sports Dietitian make better recommendations.

Past History with your Sport

It’s most likely that you’ve been active in your sport for some time before seeing a Sports Dietitian to help bring you to the next level, so it’s important to bring that information to the appointment.  Whether you’re a Body Builder or a Gymnast, it’s important to know how long you’ve been active in your sport for.  Athletes develop something called muscle maturity, which can affect how effectively your body uses nutrients and calories.  Typically, the longer you’ve been active in your sport, the more muscle maturity you have.  This can mean that your muscles have become more efficient at using calories, which will make a huge difference in the food targets that your Sports Dietitian sets for you. 

Since athletes are so unique and different, it takes a long time to establish exactly what works best for you and your athletic performance.  Sports Dietitians need long-term data in order to see trends and patterns in your competitive results.  For example, a cross-country runner or a swimmer may have race and training data from the previous season.  It’s important to bring this data in because the Sports Dietitian will work together with you to get your body ready for competitions by trying different Sports Nutrition strategies at different times to see what works best for you. 

Past Injuries

Many athletes have experienced some form of injury at some point in their career, it’s important to share this with your Dietitian.  The type of injury can indicate a different nutritional issue that needs to be addressed.  For example, many runners tend to get shin splints, cramps and knee of lower back injury.  These can all tell very different stories as to what the athlete needs in their diet to prevent these injuries from occurring again because an injury can mean the end of your competitive season!

Athletic Season

It’s not likely that you’ll get to cover your entire athletic season in the first or second assessment with your Sports Dietitian but it’s a good idea to bring a schedule of your athletic season to your first assessment.  Sports Nutrition goes through periodization to match your athletic season.  For example, a Triathlete training for their first Ironman race will need different nutritional recommendations at different points of their training schedule.  This is to best support the training as well as to get your body in the best shape possible for race day.  For Physique competitors and Body Builders, this is to best plan and match which phase you’re currently training in because the nutritional goals for a bulk are extremely different than a cut phase.  Furthermore, there are different nutritional goals in the competitive season versus the off-season.  Make sure you let your Sports Dietitian know if you’re in your competitive season or if you’re in the off-season. 

As you can see from the list above there’s a lot of information that a Sports Dietitian needs in order to help you reach your maximum potential in your sport.  Giving more information could mean the difference between First or Second place.  Remember, everyone is different and so are their needs.  The more information you bring the better your Sports Dietitian will understand your unique nutritional needs.  Also remember that the most effective time to see a Sports Dietitian is in your off season as it’s very likely that they will need to get in touch with your coach to see what their goals are for you for the upcoming season and believe it or not, the off season is the best time to reach those goals in order to ensure you have the best competitive season possible.  Once you start working with a Sports Dietitian keep in mind that you’ll likely be working with them for the entire season, so the better your Sports Dietitian knows you and your unique needs the better you’ll perform!


Provided by Athlete's Care Registered Dietitian and Sports Dietitian, Benjamin Sit.  Appointments with a Sport Dietitian can be made at our Yonge & Sheppard, Yonge & Eglinton and King & Yonge locations.

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Treatment options for Knee OA

By ADMIN on July 05, 2016

Toronto Physiotherapy Options for Knee OAKnee arthritis is a common ailment that is caused by degeneration of the cartilage around the knee. It develops in many patients after the age of 50 but it can also occur as a result of participation in various sports. If you have Knee OA, you know that it means pain, stiffness and discomfort. 

Many people might assume that eventual surgery is the only real choice when it comes to treating Knee OA or that your options are limited, but that's not at all the case. In fact, surgery is not the best option in most cases of Knee OA. Your Knee OA treatment at our Toronto clinics may involve physiotherapy, massage therapy or any combination of treatments; your primary healthcare provider can help you determine what course of treatment is right for you. Here is a look at the basic options.

What patient type are you?

Not all cases of Knee OA are the same. Your suitability for any type of OA treatment will depend on your overall condition. Knee OA may be your only major complaint. Or, you may have OA in the knee along with other joints of the body. Knee OA may also co-exist with other chronic conditions affecting other areas of the body such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity or even depression. Any of these factors can affect your course of treatment.

General advice

Because of the nature of Knee OA, there are some basic elements that can help to alleviate the symptoms of Knee OA.

• Losing weight to reduce the stress on the joint can be a very effective way of helping to minimize pain.
• Hot and/or cold packs can reduce swelling and provide temporary relief.
• Regular exercise to strengthen the muscles that support the knee is very important. A Toronto physiotherapy or sports medicine consultation can give you an appropriate regimen to follow.

Pain medication

Medications for relief of pain due to Knee OA can operate using various biological paths. Any course of medication can have side effects, but the benefits are also clear when they are used as directed.

• NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help ease pain. This class of drugs includes aspiring, ibuprofen and naproxen.
• Opioids and other pain relievers are sometimes prescribed.
• Certain classes of antidepressants have also proven useful in some cases to manage chronic pain.

Injectible treatments

Some treatments can be injected directly into the affected area of the knee to help alleviate symptoms and in some cases, may help to slow down the degenerative process.

• Steroid injections, which can help to temporarily reduce pain and stiffness.
• Hyaluronic acid is the natural lubricant at joints, part of what is lost as the knee degenerates in OA. Hyaluronic acid injections can help restore the cushioning effect in the knee joint.
• PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is an injectible treatment that uses the patient's own blood plasma, enriched with extra concentrations of platelets to speed healing. It has shown very promising results in the tests that have been performed so far.

Non-pharmacological pain relief

When it comes to Knee OA, pain relief can take many forms.

• Medical acupuncture has proven to be of use to many people with Knee OA.

There are a range of non-surgical aids that can help to alleviate pain, restore balance and provide many other benefits.

• Orthotic inserts worn in the shoes can help to correct imbalances in the posture and gait that can exacerbate Knee OA.
• A Toronto physiotherapist or other primary healthcare provider can recommend the use of knee braces to protect the joint while allowing regular use of your limbs.
• Using a cane while walking can also help to take the stress off the knee.

Professional help

There are many medical professionals who can help by providing you with advice and treatments tailored to individual circumstances. The Toronto physiotherapy specialists at our clinics can be your best resource in learning. They can also help to customize a set of exercises that will help improve flexibility and avoid damaging the knee.

A physiotherapist or occupational therapist can also help you with modifying your everyday world to help make your day to day activities easier and safer.

Surgery

Various types of surgery are available in the treatment of Knee OA, including partial or complete joint replacement with plastic or metal parts. However, surgery is only used as a last resort and is not required in most cases of Knee OA.

Arthroscopy uses a tiny tube that is inserted into the skin to take a look at a damaged knee joint directly. The orthopedic surgeon can then attempt to smooth out rough spots of bone or damaged cartilage. This procedure typically only provides temporary relief.

For more information or to make an appointment for a physiotherapy consultation in Toronto, or to consult a sports medicine doctor or other medical professional to talk about your Knee OA treatment, don't hesitate to contact one of our offices today.

References:

http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/pain-management/tips/25-treatments-for-hip-knee-oa.php
http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/osteoarthritis-treatment-options

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A new recipe to try this long weekend

Ingredients

•  ½ cup Maple Syrup
•  ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
•  2 tbsps Coarse Grain Mustard
•  3 Garlic Cloves, minced
•  1 tbsp Chipotle Seasoning
•  ½ bunch of fresh Parlsey, Chopped
•  2 pork tenderloins (12 oz each), trimmed
•  1 tbsp Light Olive Oil
•  1 tsp Kosher Salt
•  ½ tsps freshly ground black pepper
•  4 Green Onions, roughly chopped

Directions

1. In a heavy zip-lock bag, combine the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, chipotle seasoning, parsley, salt, peppers and green onions with the Pork Tenderloin.  Make sure there’s as little air as possible in the bag before sealing and place in the fridge overnight to marinade.
2.  On the day of grilling, remove Pork Tenderloin from bag and pat dry with paper towel and brush all sides with Olive Oil and set aside. Keep the marinade.
3.  Pour the marinade into a medium skillet and bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes and set aside.
4.  Bring the grill to a medium heat and cover the grill with non-stick cooking spray and grill pork, turning 2-3 times for 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 160oF/ 71oC.  Remove from grill onto a cutting board, brush with the sauce and tent the Pork Tenderloin with tin foil and let it rest for 10 minutes
5.  Cut Pork Tenderloin to ¼ inch slices and serve with remaining sauce and enjoy!

Provided by Athlete's Care Registered Dietitian and Sports Dietitian Ben Sit.  Appointments with an Athlete's Care Registered Dietitian can be made at our Yonge & SheppardYonge & Eglinton and King & Yonge locations.

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Modern Medical Acupuncture: Myth vs Fact

By ADMIN on June 13, 2016

Physiotherapy Toronto ChiropractorModern medical acupuncture is a practice that is taught in universities and has been used by many patients to relieve pain, among other things. The medical acupuncturists at our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics are highly trained individuals. Yet, there are still many misconceptions about what acupuncture is and how it works. Here's a look at some of the common myths – and the relevant facts.

Myth: The effects of acupuncture are “all in your head” and nothing really happens at the physical level.

Fact: Studies have been done on acupuncture and its effects. Acupuncture has been shown to cause the release of endorphins – the body's natural painkillers. It also tends to have an anti-inflammatory effect. It stimulates the peripheral nerves and works to modulate the activity of the body's systems, including the nervous, endocrine and immune systems.

 

Myth: Acupuncture is based on energy flow, the five elements (water, fire, earth, metal and wood) and other intangible and often complicated concepts.

Fact: Medical acupuncture is administered according to knowledge of physiology and anatomy, using precise points to stimulate the nerves and circulatory system. Treatment is based on a thorough physical diagnosis.

 

Myth: Acupuncture – which involves inserting needles under the skin – hurts!

Fact: Properly applied by a trained medical professional, medical acupuncture does not hurt. The needles are very fine and the most you should experience is a slight twinging sensation when the needle is inserted, similar to a mosquito bite.

 

Myth: Acupuncture is part of some kind of alternative or New Age treatment and not part of a modern medical practice.

Fact: Modern medical acupuncture takes Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and adds a modern understanding of human anatomy and functions. It is used in conjunction with conventional medical practices at our Toronto physiotherapy clinics and elsewhere as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

 

Myth: Acupuncture can only help to relieve pain.

Fact: Acupuncture is an effective analgesic and can act on the nervous system in various ways. The site where the very fine needles are inserted into the skin are chosen based on your specific condition. Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat various kinds of pain, including joint pain, stomach and menstrual cramps, it's true. It has also been used to treat nausea, including morning sickness and the effects of chemotherapy and other conditions f the endocrine and immune systems.

 

Myth: Acupuncture is one of those treatments that you have to continue indefinitely – the effects go away once you leave the office.

Fact: Medical acupuncture specialists look to improve your condition so that constant treatment is not necessary except in the case of chronic conditions.

 

Myth: Acupuncture can only be used on its own and will interfere with conventional treatments.

Fact: Modern medical acupuncture makes a very effective component of an overall treatment plan. It may be offered here at Athlete's Care as part of our Toronto physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy or sports medicine services.

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