Physiotherapy Toronto Blog 

10 Tips For Living With Osteoarthritis

By Athlete's Care on December 16, 2019

Many clients at our Toronto physiotherapy clinic suffer from osteoarthritis or OA. Because of the nature of OA, which can involve any joint, and other factors, its symptoms can vary quite a bit. It means your treatment plan should be tailored to your individual case.  The symptoms of OA come from the breakdown of cartilage over time, and with repeated motions. That cartilage cushions the bones at the joint, and once it is damaged, it cannot regenerate, causing pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. However, along with physiotherapy, chiropractic, or other musculoskeletal treatments, there is a lot that OA patients can do to improve their symptoms every day at home or at work.

Toronto Physiotherapy

  1. Improving and/or maintaining physical conditioning is an important step. Strong muscles can literally take the weight off your joints. Your Toronto physiotherapist or other sports medicine specialist can help come up with a customized exercise regimen that will optimize results. Consider ongoing activities like Tai Chi, yoga, swimming, and weight resistance training.

  2. Losing excess weight means you are reducing the load on your joints, which should help reduce pain and discomfort.

  3. Pace yourself when you undertake any physical activity from vacuuming the carpets to raking the lawn. Rest if you feel pain, or if pain increases.

  4. When lifting, or performing any other strenuous motion, try to use the largest muscle. For example, when you lift, use your long, strong thigh muscles to rise from kneeling to standing position, rather than the shorter muscles of your lower back.

  5. Footwear is important. It should be comfortable, and help support your weight evenly. Your Toronto physiotherapist can give you advice on this and any other issues on living with osteoarthritis.

  6. Special devices such as key turners, scissors with larger handles, book holders, and other items can reduce the strain on your joints from everyday activities.

  7. Apply heat for temporary relief of joint pain, or at the beginning of your workout routine.

  8. Apply cold packs after exercising. Many people also find relief from joint pain by submerging the joint in ice water for a few seconds.

  9. Braces, shoe inserts, and other appliances may offer relief. Ask your Toronto physiotherapist or other sports medicine specialist for advice.

  10. Consider the design of your home and work spaces. Do you have to reach for certain items on a regular basis? Is there regular or constant strain on any joint or area of the body? Sometimes, all it takes is a small adjustment to make a big improvement in daily comfort levels.

Osteoarthritis can happen to anyone from a top tier professional athlete who has worn down their joints by the rigors of their sport, an office worker who has to use the same arm and hand motions on a repetitive basis, or an apartment dweller who lives in a four-story walk-up. There’s no need to simply suffer in silence when many treatments are available.

If you have any questions about OA or any other musculoskeletal condition or issue, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics today.

3 Easy Stretches To Help Prevent Common Hip Injuries

By Athlete's Care on November 29, 2019

Athletes are at their best when their bodies are healthy. Staying strong, flexible and having balance is key.

Prevent injury, build strength, flexibility and balance with guidance from our team of experienced Chiropractors.  With over 30 years of knowledge and experience working with athletes at every level, we know how to get you to your highest potential.  Let us help you prepare for the upcoming season

3 exercise tips with Athlete’s Care Chiropractor Dr. Alex Nguyen

  1. FRONT HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
  • Begin with a forward lunge position and drop your back knee to the floor.
  • Raise your arms and lock up; press your hips forward and down toward the floor.
  • Feel a stretch through your torso, hop, groin and thigh.
  • Hold the stretch for 35-45 seconds; release and repeat on the other leg.
  • Keep your forward knee over or behind your ankle-not in front of it.

 Hip Flexor Stretch

 

  1. GLUTE BRIDGE STRETCH
  • Lay on your back with your hands by your sides
  • Bend your knees and position your geet flat under your knees
  • Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles
  • Raise your hips up in a straight line; align your knees to your shoulders
  • Squeeze your core toward the spine; hold for 3-6 seconds, repeat 8-12 reps

 

 Glute Stretch

 

  1. MODIFIED SIDE PLAN
  • Lie on your left side and bed your knees to 90 degrees.
  • Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm.
  • Brace your core by contracting your abs focefully
  • Trust your hips forward until your body forms a straight line.
  • Breath deeply during the exercise. Hold for 3-6 seconds, repeat 8-12 reps.

 

 Side Plank


Chiropractor Alex Nguyen practices at our Athlete's Care Brampton & Markham locations. His philosophy on chiropractic care can be attributed to his major passion for athletics, nutrition, and achieving optimal performance. Dr. Nguyen emphasizes an evidence-based approach to treatment plans that alleviate pain, improve overall function, and enhance performance in athletics and daily activities.  

Click the link to find out more about the Chirpractic team at Athlete's Care.

 https://www.athletescare.com/sports-medicine-services/chiropractic~3~30.html

Protect yourself from packing on the pounds this winter

By Athlete's Care on November 28, 2019

As the cooler weather sets it, it’s so much easier to be at home, cuddled under a blanket on the couch, watching movies, sipping on hot chocolate and snacking our way through easily accessible treats.

Come June, however, these practices – along with the parties and festivities that come with the holidays – can leave you feeling like your trousers have shrunk over the winter.

For so many of us, the colder months mean our appetite soars, as the body is trying to burn more energy to generate heat and we simply have more opportunity to indulge. And it’s the combination of these poorer choices in foods that leads to a higher chance of energy being stored as fat.

 

How seasons affect our choices

The effect of seasonal changes and their influence on our health has long been studied. Some bodies of research provide evidence to suggest that our brain’s have simply not yet evolved to adjust to the ways of modern-day living, where we don’t have to content with exposure to extremes in temperatures as we sit in climate-controlled offices and homes for a greater part of our lives, and we have all the food we want to eat, right at our fingertips. This portion of the research believes that the brain still continues to send signals that promote energy storage for availability during colder times and scarcity of food, which is why the appetite is stimulated and you feel yourself wanting to eat more.

Yet another school of thought on seasonal eating behaviour simply comes from opportunity. We have office parties, family get togethers, huge cook outs, more alcohol and desserts being served, and an increase in the amount of high calorie leftovers on offer during this time. Added to the fact that there’s less opportunity to exercise outside – even walking and biking as a method of commuting is significantly reduced – coupled with the motivation to exercise when there is less light, there’s little wonder why many people gain weight during this time.

Whichever it is, there’s no reason to be left with extra padding when Spring rolls around!

Here are 5 tips to adjust your winter diet to manage increased hunger:

  1.       Eat foods that satisfy your hunger, not your cravings.

If you’re hungry, eat something that not only nourishes your body, but leaves you feeling satiated. A cookie, pastry or high carbohydrate snack can leave you feeling just as hungry a short time later, while a food that contains protein, fat and a little carbohydrate can increase your feelings of fullness and satisfy that hunger.

If you’re hungry between meals, consider a serving of low-sugar Greek yogurt with one piece of fruit as a snack. As is a tablespoon of nut butter with a few vegetable sticks can also tide you over until your next meal.

  1.        Have more protein or fat with your meals.

Adding a good portion of protein to your meals while slightly reducing the carbohydrate portion and getting just a little fat can be the balance, you’re looking for to satisfy your appetite and reduce your hunger. Lean meat, eggs, cheese and soy products such as tofu can contribute the protein portion of your meal. Halve the amount of carbohydrates you typically serve, using your fist size as an indication of one portion, and add a serving of fat around the size of 2 tablespoons to your meal in the form of nuts, seeds, and/or their oils.

  1.        Leave time between meals

The digestive system works optimally in a 4 to 5-hour window. Constantly snacking can offset the process of digestion and interfere with blood sugar balance and insulin production. After you have eaten a full, balanced meal, leave time for digestion to take place before eating the next meal. Keep food out of sight until then, and busy yourself with activities to distract you from wanting to snack.

  1.        Plate your food in a specific way

Typically, we start plating our food with the starchy carbohydrate component (such as rice, pasta, potatoes), then we move onto the meat or protein portion, and lastly, we add vegetables and/or salad, where there’s often little room left for a decent portion.

Instead, plate a large portion of vegetables and salad first, add the protein on the side, only then should you dish up the starchy carbohydrate component to fit the smallest part left over on the plate.

  1.        When it comes to desserts and treats…

There’s no reason to deny yourself the enjoyment of a few desserts or treats during the holidays. The key is moderation, and one of the biggest problems we face here is portion size.

A dinner plate makes a standard portion of pie look far too small, and so we cut ourselves another slice to satisfy what we see. When we have small side plate with a standard portion of pie, our eyes tell our brain that this proportion is correct, and we are satisfied with that single serving. Always dish out desserts onto the smallest available bowl or plate to stick within the desired portion size.

When it comes to cookies and other treats, place them out of sight to avoid constantly going back to conveniently located containers.

At parties, move away from where the food is laid out where possible. Once you have eaten your portion of food/snacks/treats, seek out groups of people who have finished eating, as people typically mimic what others are doing; if they continue eating, it is likely you will, too.

Small adjustments to your habits and dietary intake can have a significant impact on how you feel, your appetite, and your winter weight gain. Consider these five tips as it continues to get colder, and you take part in more holiday festivities.

Author:

Vanessa Phillips
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
MSc PN, DipNTPD, AFCM, mCAHNPro, mBANT


 

Vanessa consults at our Athlete's Care Yonge & Eglinton location.  Click here to find out more about Vanessa and how she can help you!  Call 416-544-9065 to book an appointment.

Running In The Rain

By Athlete's Care on October 28, 2019

Many of our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other staff are runners themselves, and they understand the daily challenges you face, especially when the fall weather starts to turn cooler – and rainy.

 Running Toronto

You may be tempted to take it indoors when it rains, but marathoners and most races don’t stop for rainy conditions unless they’re extreme – and neither should you.

Start at the top

A hat with a brim, like a running hat or baseball cap, will keep the rain off your face, and most importantly, your eyes so you can see.

  • Use a lighter hat made of breathable material for warmer rainy spells.
  • Wear a hat made of thicker material in cooler weather, and add a headband to keep ears snug.

Clothes

What you wear can make all the difference between an exhilarating run, and a soggy endurance test.

  • There are many brands who make waterproof runner’s jackets with a breathable inner lining to avoid sweating. There’s no sense keeping the rain out if you’re just getting wet inside your jacket.
  • Inside, wear form fitting clothing. Baggy clothes, when wet, will cling to your skin.
  • Avoid cotton, which will soak up any water and stick to your skin.

 

Footwear

As a runner, you know your footwear is all important. Having one or two pairs of shoes that are dedicated to rainy days and inclement weather will keep your favourite go-to running shoes dry and in optimum condition. Our Toronto physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists can give you advice on running gear for any weather.

  • Look for waterproof running shoes – there may even be a waterproof version of your favourites. Waterproof shoes feature a membrane that is both waterproof and breathable, to allow sweat to escape while keeping water out. The outside material is often a very tight mesh that actually repels rain, with an outsole that grips the wet surface better.
  • Dry shoes thoroughly after they get wet – and they will.
  • Stuff them with crumpled newspaper to absorb the excess. It also helps to cut down on odour.
  • Avoid cotton or even cotton blend socks – may runner’s prefer wool because it is breathable, and can absorb up to 30 percent of its weight in water without feeling heavier.
  • Bring an extra pair of socks, especially if it will be a long run.

Remember

To stay safe and enjoy the run, you’ll have to adjust your dry weather running game.

  • Take smaller steps.
  • Watch where you land your feet.
  • Wear a brightly coloured jacket, or one with reflective strips – drivers often don’t see as well in the rain.
  • As wet as you get, remember to stay hydrated and drink water when you need it.

 

Running is a wonderful activity, and our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists are ready to help you with answers to your questions, or treatment for any issues you may have. Don’t hesitate to call us or come by one of our Toronto clinics today.