Physiotherapy Toronto Blog

Reasons Why Athletes Should Take Advantage of Deep Tissue Massages

If you’ve ever run a marathon, or even watched one on TV, you’ve likely noticed numerous runners receiving massages during or after the race. In fact, you’ve probably wondered what are the benefits of receiving such instantaneous treatment for muscle stiffness, cramps or prolonged physical exertion?

Massage Therapy in TorontoWell, runners and many athletes alike, can reduce pain, and increase flexibility by receiving treatment on the spot. But in order to boost overall recovery time, a deep tissue massage is often recommended ideally a few days after any extreme physical action because it can target key problem areas before they become seriously troublesome.

During a deep tissue massage, the therapist applies acupressure, trigger-point work (focused on all those tiny muscle knots) and “deep transverse friction” where scar tissue is broken by back and forth movement over muscle.

Deep tissue massages aren’t like other massages where you will walk out relaxed, and smelling like a beautiful array of fragrant oils. Due to the nature of this treatment, you will likely leave feeling more pain than usual, however the long-term benefits cannot be disputed.

Here’s why athletes, especially marathoners, should schedule a deep tissue massage:

Reduced pain and recovery time

In a study published by the journal Science Translational Medicine, 11 men were exercised to exhaustion and given 10 minute leg massages immediately afterwards. Following an analysis of the recorded muscle biopsies prior, during and after the workout, scientists discovered that the massage prompted the production of mitochondria, an energy cell that builds muscle, boosts recovery time and suppresses pain.

Improved flexibility and injury prevention

Athletes who receive regular deep tissue massages notice an increase in their range of motion because their therapist is actively breaking down all the tightness around the muscles.

Intense training or exercise can lead to a build up of scar tissue, and the development of many adhesions where the muscle, fascia, and other tissues clump together causing stiffness, and subsequent vulnerability to injury. During a deep tissue massage, your muscle fibers are stretched and scar tissue is broken down which promotes flexibility and agility.

Increased circulation

Massages are a healthy part of any detox, and due to the intense nature of the deep tissue massage, blood circulation is increased which enables the muscle to expel toxins and absorb fresh blood and oxygen.

Oxygenation means the muscles are suppler, and athletes are also able to breathe deeper during exercises or sports. On a psychological level, better breathing enables a calmer state of mind, and helps relieve stress or anxiety.

Better sleep patterns

Numerous studies have found that massage therapy induces better sleep and actually helps maintain consistent sleeping patterns. Of course, we all know that sleep is a crucial part of the recovery process for any athlete, but muscle pain and tension can sometimes prevent this and become bothersome in the long term.

A deep tissue massage will reduce tension, induce relaxation, and enable athletes to achieve greater sleep that can make him or her recover faster and perform better.

When should you schedule a deep tissue massage?

Since you will likely walk away from your deep tissue massage feeling a bit battered and bruised (don’t worry, it’s for the best), we recommend scheduling an appointment after a workout or run, preferably with an easy workout or run planned for the next day. This helps out with recovery, and enables you to derive benefits from harder physical activity 24 hours later.

If you have just run a marathon, it’s best to wait at least three to five days before booking an appointment because such an intense activity will cause inflammation, and it’s better to let your body heal a bit beforehand. Once you have dealt with the most acute symptoms of your post-marathon pain, then it’s time to schedule a massage and flush out further damage.

Our team of experienced Toronto massage therapists has treated professional athletes, Olympic athletes, performing artists along with everyday aches and pains including posture related injuries.  Our massage therapy team has also been instrumental in the development of specialized injury prevention programs.

Massage therapy treatments can be booked for 30, 45 or 60-minute sessions and we have 16 convenient locations to serve you.  Book your massage therapy appointment and see the difference it will make for you.

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How Physiotherapy Can Prevent Injury

By ADMIN on September 08, 2014

Summer might be coming to an end but summer sports are still in full gear.  Athlete’s Care wants to make sure you finish on a healthy note and keep your game strong for the Fall.  Even a minor sports injury can keep you on the bench for weeks and half the battle with sports injuries is knowing when it’s safe to get back into the game.  That’s where preventive sports medicine comes in. 

Toronto PhysiotherapistWhat is Preventive Sports Medicine?

Preventive sports medicine is a part of a training program that requires regular examination of muscles to assess range of motion, strength, coordination and stabilization.  It also includes risk assessment with a proactive approach to ensure proper muscle and joint health. 

When Should You Consider Preventive Sports Medicine?

If you lead an active lifestyle or train regularly, preventive sports medicine can support your training plan.  The key to making the most of preventive medicine is to identify indicators of potential injuries and get them taken care of before they impact your lifestyle.  Summer sports such as soccer and tennis can cause repetitive strain to some muscles and joints which can cause some of the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain
  • Tenderness in a specific area
  • Swelling near joints
  • Numbness or excessive tightness
  • Reduced range of motion

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

If any of the above symptoms persist, you should see a physiotherapist for a proper diagnosis.  A physiotherapist is able to use technology and an exercise plan to strengthen areas that are impacted by sports or previous injuries.  Training for a specific sport will require you to use the same muscles and repetitive strain can cause muscle imbalances leading to injuries.  By strengthening muscles that are underused, physiotherapy allows athletes to perform to the best of their ability and helps to speed up recovery time for injured athletes.

Some common injuries to watch for from summer sports such as Soccer, Tennis and Volleyball include:

  • Shin splints (soreness in the calf)
  • Patellar tendinitis (pain in the knee)
  • Achilles tendinitis (pain in the back of the ankle)
  • Tennis elbow
  • Shoulder injuries

Physiotherapy can help these injuries with exercises that can help to improve flexibility, balance, stability and strength.  Laser technology can also be used to increase blood flow to injured areas.

A preventive plan should be a part of every athlete’s training program.  By visiting a physiotherapist on a regular basis, you can be confident that you’re doing everything to achieve your training goals in a responsible way.  Book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to get an assessment and to learn more about staying safe in your game.

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5 Ways to Prevent Running Injuries

By ADMIN on July 25, 2014

Toronto PhysiotherapyMarathon season is just around the corner and Athlete’s Care wants to make sure you’re prepared.  Word on the tracks is that running injuries are more common than football injuries and runners can make them worse by training.  For beginners, it’s easy to get caught up in increasing speed and endurance, and forgetting about important factors such as form and proper technique.  That’s why we’ve provided  5 things to keep in mind when you’re training for the big day.


Watch your pace

If you’re just starting to train, make sure that you set realistic goals.  This means increasing your mileage in no more than 30% increments weekly and listening to your body.  Find a running pose that works for you, there is no one size fits all.  Pushing yourself too hard, too fast can lead to burnout or injury so the key is to balance your heavy workout days with lighter ones to give your muscles ample recovery time.

Keep your form in check

You already know that form is important but checking in and running mindfully will keep you at the top of your game.  Remember to lead with your hips in order to keep your posture strong.  This also helps with keeping your stride at a comfortable length.  Engaging your glutes will also help to strengthen your stride.              

Add strength training to your routine 

One of the most foolproof techniques to avoid injury is to build strength.  By adding strength training to your routine, the different muscle groups used for running are more balanced which prevents overuse of any particular muscle. Try incorporating free weights into your gym routine or simply adding workouts that you can do on your own using your body weight such as squats or lunges.   

Be mindful of the surfaces you run on

It’s good safety practice to run against the flow of traffic in order to be more aware if you’re running outdoors.  However, the problem arises when you only run on the left side of the road because roadways tend to slant inwards and your muscles adapt to the motion.  To keep your muscles challenged, change the surfaces you run on every couple of weeks.  Asphalt and tracks also differ greatly so every now and then, find a new track or a new route for your run.  New terrains and new scenery provide a new challenge and also keep things exciting.

Don’t skip the stretch

Stretching is necessary before and after your run but be sure to not overstretch any one muscle as that can hinder your training.  Stretches should include all muscles and joints involved such as your hips, hamstrings, calves, ankles and IT band.  Your IT band is the muscle that runs from your hip down to your knee on your sides and can become problematic if not stretched periodically.  Side stretches can help stretch it out or you can use a foam roller if you feel that it is getting especially tight.                    


Sports injuries can keep you on the bench for lengthy periods of time and a preventative visit can help you avoid that. For that reason, don’t just wait post-marathon to treat your body to a massage; try to book a few intermittent appointments with a registered massage therapist to keep your muscles limber and tuned.

By consciously incorporating these tips into your training, you can proactively avoid injuries that can keep you off the track.

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Featured Toronto Physiotherapists

By ADMIN on April 03, 2014

We are excited to welcome two Toronto physiotherapy providers to our Yonge & Eglinton location.

Toronto Physiotherapy ProviderNANCY OLMSTED, MSC, BHSC(PT), B.ED
Nancy is currently a registered physiotherapist, and works with athletes and ‘weekend warriors’ alike to overcome their sport injuries. She also treats complex orthopaedic injuries, neurological trauma and acquired brain injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accidents. Nancy has taken numerous continuing education courses in manual therapy, acupuncture and has her FitforeGOLF® certification

She has also had a decorated athletic career and participated in two Olympic Games: 1984 in Los Angeles and 1988 in Seoul, Korea in the sport of canoeing with her sister, Barbara Olmsted. Outside of her physiotherapy practice, she enjoys participating in recreational sports, including: scuba diving, diving, paddling and running.


Toronto Physiotherapy ProviderJUHA KAARI, BSCPT, DCC (CANDIDATE)
Juha believes strongly in the three pillars of evidence based practice; science & research, clinical experience and individual patient goals. He was born in Finland and practiced physiotherapy there after graduating from Hanze University Groningen, in the Netherlands in 2008. 

Juha has experience working with patients of all types, from weekend warriors to Olympic level athletes. He practices a “hands on” approach combining his manual skills with neuromuscular rehabilitation, pre-habilitation and exercise in order to optimize his patient’s recovery and performance. Juha is also a third year student at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He holds memberships in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Ontario Physiotherapy Association and Ontario Chiropractic Association. 

To book a physiotherapy appointment with Nancy or Juha, please contact our midtown Toronto Yonge & Eglinton location at 2401 Yonge Street.  Appointments can be made by calling 416-544-9065.  


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New Vaughan Sports Medicine Physician

By ADMIN on March 27, 2014

We are pleased to welcome Sports Medicine Physician Dr. Chugh to Athlete's Care in Vaughan.

Vaughan Sports Medicine PhysicianDr. Taher Chugh holds the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine Diploma in Sport Medicine and is board certified by the Canadian College of Family Physicians. He received his undergraduate medical training at the University of Toronto. His Post-Graduate Medical training was in Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa. 

He has broad training in all areas of sports medicine. He has assisted in providing medical coverage for several athletic events including the Goodlife Toronto Marathon and games for the Mississauga Steelheads hockey club. Dr. Chugh splits his time between general practice and sports medicine. His main focus these days is in promoting health and wellness so people can get the most out of life.

We are conveniently located in Vaughan between Jane and Keele at 2535 Major Mackenzie Drive West.

To book your appointment with Vaughan Sports Medicine Physician Dr. Chugh, please call 905-303-0760.

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