Physiotherapy Toronto Blog 

Top 5 COVID Home Exercises

By Athlete's Care on November 12, 2020

 
Since we're all spending a little more time at home these days, Registered Physiotherapist Roman Izquierdo, has shared his list of the Top 5 exercises to try at home.  Remember to modify these exercises to suit your own ability and needs.
 
Circuit:

Repeat 2-3 rounds, 20 sec breaks between exercises

  1. Lunge with Band, Bicep Curl, Over head Press
  2. Push Ups
  3. Mountain Climbers x 20
  4. Front to Side Planks
  5. Squat and Row

Have fun with these exercises at home!  Be sure to stop the movement if you expereince any pain or discomfort.  For any questions or to book an appointment with Roman, click here.

 

 
 
 
 

 

Preventing Hip Injuries After 50

By Athlete's Care on November 06, 2020

Hip injuries are painful and disruptive at any time of life, and our Toronto physiotherapists and chiropractors treat patients who experience a range of effects. Through middle and into old age, however, the consequences become more serious.

 Unfortunately, the risk increases too. In the US, according to the CDC, 250,000 people 65 and older suffer from hip fractures that require hospitalization each year.

 Reducing the risk and avoiding injury is crucial, and the good news is that there are simple steps anyone can take to help.

 

 

Posture Is Important

Good posture means the body is balanced, which helps to avoid undue stress and injury to all joints. Falls are by far the most common cause of hip injuries in those 50 and older.

  • Stand with your back straight and shoulders back – slouching can actually be caused by an imbalance in the hip joint. If there is tightness, it’s a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Keep both feet on the ground, flat on the floor with you sit, and avoid crossing your legs.

Wear The Right Shoes

Wearing the right shoes that fit properly and are designed for your sport or activity – including walking – is important.

  • When shoes are worn out, and no longer provide proper support, it creates instability in your gait and movements.

Exercise Is Crucial

Exercises that strengthen core and leg muscles, and improve balance, are an important way to prevent injury to hips and other body structures. Our Toronto physiotherapy and sports specialists can help with advice based on your individual condition and needs.

  • Weight bearing and strength (resistance training) exercises build muscle and bone strength.
  • Don't overdo stretches, or try for more flexibility than comes naturally.
  • Adjust your workout as you age – what worked at 20 and 30 may no longer be safe at 50. Seek professional advice, especially if you’re returning to exercising after a period of relative inactivity.

Sleeping On Your Side

If you sleep on your side, it can place the hip joint in an awkward position. That can cause damage, particularly to the cartilage around the edge of the socket, called the labrum.

  • Sleep with a pillow between your knees to help correct the angle of the hips as you sleep.

Bone Strength

Being aware of your bone density is important as you age, and get it tested. Low bone density can increase your risk of a hip fracture by up to triple.

  • One study from Johns Hopkins University suggested that bone density screening alone reduced the risk of hip fractures by almost a third.

 

If you have experienced a fractured hip, or you’d like more information on how you can stay fit and help prevent injury as you age, including a personalized plan, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics for an appointment today.

Facial Neuromuscular Retraining - How Does It Work?

By Athlete's Care on October 07, 2020

The musculo-skeletal conditions that our Toronto physiotherapists and chiropractors treat run the gamut literally from head to toe. Facial paralysis is a condition that can be treated, depending on the severity and the cause. It’s an interesting and very specialized area of physical therapy

What Is Neuromuscular Retraining?

Neuromuscular retraining is a highly specialized therapeutic technique that helps people with facial paralysis to – as the name implies – retrain the muscles, and regain functionality. Facial paralysis can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Trauma to the head or neck;
  • Bell’s palsy, Lyme disease and other conditions;
  • Inflammation of nerves;
  • Certain types of facial surgery;
  • Head or neck tumours.

All of these causes may result in damage to the facial nerves. What you will notice is a loss of the ability to move the muscles of the face, which can occur in one or both sides. Without the support, the skin will appear to relax or droop, and the affected side may feel weak. In some cases, neuromuscular retraining can help.

A Plan to Retrain the Muscles

The first step in any treatment plan has to be a thorough evaluation. It’s important to pinpoint the specific muscles that feel weak or tight. Then, an individualized plan is developed. It may involve addressing various aspects.

  • Facial symmetry if paralysis occurs only on one side;
  • Depending on the area, eye care may be affected;
  • Retraining the muscles through specialized exercises.

Interestingly, neuromuscular retraining is sometimes called mime therapy, because it uses emotional input from patients to improve movement. Instead of concentrating on the muscles needed to smile, patients are taught to think of something that makes them happy – it results in more natural movement and appearance.

The Brain Can Keep Learning

For decades, conventional medical thought held that the brain completed its development by the time we leave adolescence, and that adult brains were essentially a finished product. It meant that any injuries or damage that occurred after you reach adulthood were permanent.

Neuromuscular retraining is based on newer research that shows the initial assumption was wrong.

  • Studies have shown that when one part of the brain is damaged, another can take over its lost functionality.

It’s known as neuroplasticity, and it is gaining ground in medical research and treatment options.

Our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics are staffed with medical professionals who stay on top of the latest research and developments in the field of musculo-skeletal disorders and treatment. If you suffer from a sports injury or other condition involving the musculo-skeletal system, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics today.

 

Ankle Sprain - When To See The Doctor

By Athlete's Care on September 01, 2020

Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries, and our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine specialists typically see many cases related to them. In fact, it’s estimated that about 100,000 Canadians suffer an ankle sprain every year.

Toronto Physiotherapy for Ankle Sprain

When the ankle is sprained, the ligaments that connect the soft tissues to the bones of the complex joint are stretched or torn. In many cases, it’s a mild injury that can be adequately treated with home care. But, when should you draw the line, and seek medical attention? Here’s what you need to know.

There will be pain

An ankle sprain is a painful injury, unfortunately, even in relatively mild cases. There will also be:

  • swelling;
  • tenderness;
  • a feeling of twisting or slight dislocation.

Rest

You should still be able to put some weight on your ankle in mild to moderate cases, even if it is somewhat sore and tender. But, other than testing the severity of the injury briefly, you should rest. Use the RICE protocol for self care.

R: rest the ankle

I: use ice immediately after to minimize swelling

C: compression bandages will also help reduce swelling, and keep the ankle immobile to avoid aggravating the condition

E: elevate the ankle above the waist level

Signs of trouble

There are some symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore, no matter when they begin to occur – but particularly if they display from the beginning. Please see a medical professional if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Extreme bruising with a lot of blood and covering a large area;
  • Pronounced swelling that restricts movement and becomes uncomfortable;
  • Inability to bear weight on the foot, or with severe pain;
  • Cold or numbness in the area;
  • Signs of infection, such as heat in the area, redness, or extreme tenderness.

In more severe cases, medical interventions are needed. Our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic specialists may use braces or bandaging, and surgery may be required in the most extreme cases to repair the damage.

Take your time

Even when the sprain is mild, sufficient rest is required for the body to heal itself. You can’t speed up the process by ignoring the pain.

  • In most cases, it’s best to avoid high impact sports such as running and other athletics for four to six weeks.
  • Start slow, and begin by gradually working your way back up to your previous levels of performance.

If swelling continues beyond four or five days, or pain beyond a few weeks, or any other symptoms persist despite adequate rest, you should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors and other sports medicine specialists are ready to help with advice and effective treatment options. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics today.