Physiotherapy Toronto Blog 

Exercising As You Age - Myths And Facts

By Athlete's Care on February 14, 2019

Whether you are a professional athlete in mint physical condition, or an average desk jockey who’s fitting exercise in where you can, you know that your body changes as you age. One of the topics that our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists find themselves counseling their clients on is the subject of aging and exercise.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about exercising and the role it plays in health and well-being as humans age. Let’s look at the most important truths, and clear up some of the persistent myths.

The truth: Let’s look at the reality first. What are you facing?

Your body does become less resilient, and will both sustain injuries more easily, and take longer to heal from them.

  • At the cellular level, your bodily systems become less efficient over time.
  • Old injuries may come back to haunt you.
  • You will actually lose muscle tissue over time at an accelerated rate.

The good news: In some ways, age works for you.

  • After age 30, your muscle memory and maturity actually improve.
  • That means you can train for less time and at a lower level of intensity, and still see results.

Myth vs. Fact

Here are a few common misconceptions, and the facts that refute them.

Myth: Since my body is deteriorating anyway with age, it’s pointless to try and fight it.

  • That’s incorrect! Exercise will increase the quality of life at any level, and will help you in many ways.
  • Strengthening your muscles through resistance training can slow down, and in some cases, even reverse the damage.
  • Strengthening muscles also means working to correct imbalances that may have crept into the body over time, and core muscles that help balance and prevent injures.
  • A consultation with one of our Toronto chiropractors or sports medicine specialists can help you identify any areas that you should specifically address.

Myth: It’s not safe for me to exercise. What if I fall and break my hip?

  • It’s actually much safer for you to exercise than not.
  • Exercising will help you avoid falls and improve your balance.

Myth: I have a chronic illness, so I can’t exercise.

  • In most cases, patients living with chronic issues like arthritis and even heart disease will benefit from some physical exercise.
  • A customized exercise regimen can be adapted to your specific needs.

Myth: I’ve never exercised, and it’s just too late – I might have a heart attack!

  • In reality, you are more likely to be putting yourself at risk by spending your days and nights on the couch than by exercising.
  • It’s literally never too late to get the benefit of exercise.

If you have questions about exercise and any other topics about your musculo-skeletal health, our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists are ready with answers. Drop by one of our Toronto clinics today, or call to make an appointment.



Five Ways To Get Fit With Fido

By Athlete's Care on February 12, 2019

One of the issues our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists hear about from many of our clients is, “Where do I find the time to workout?” There are many strategies we can suggest, but if you have a dog, you can incorporate regular physical activity into your everyday routine, have fun, and do it all with your best friend.

  1. Walking

    Walking is a good place to start, both for you and your dog. It’s an activity both of you can enjoy. To get the most out of it, you want to work up to a brisk pace. You can easily gauge if your pup is able to keep up with you, and that will depend on the breed, age, and physical condition. Once you are in a routine of walking everyday, you can increase the distance little by little. Studies suggest that alternating two minutes of high intensity walking with two at a slower pace can give you optimal results.
  2. Jogging & Running

    Not all dogs are made for jogging, and that may be due to the breed and build, as well as age. Some dogs are better suited to long distance running, such as Labradors, while greyhounds are best for short sprints. Check with your vet to be sure. A puppy will be enthusiastic, but they’re not really ready for a full blown jog until they’re full grown. You want to build up towards about a 30 minute run, including 5 of warm-up and 5 for cool down. Taking the same
    route everyday can help your dog focus on the run – and not on every new scent he passes by.
  3. Hiking

    Hiking is an activity your dog will adore. They all love to explore and find new scents and places. Just like walking alone, you’ll want to increase the pace to a brisk level, but uneven terrain, hills, and valleys can do a lot of that work for you. It’s also an excellent way to take a road trip with your pet. Remember to get the right vaccinations before you go, including flea and tick prevention, and be aware of ticks both on you and your dog in areas where Lyme disease is present.
  4. Throw & Fetch Games

    If your dog loves to chase the ball, there are various ways you can let Rover enjoy his short sprints while you incorporate some exercise for yourself. Here are three ideas – and if you need any help with proper form on other advice on how to perform these moves, our Toronto physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists are available to help.

     - Squat & Throw – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and perform a squat as low as you can while holding the ball in both hands. When you begin to rise back up, make it an explosive push to your toes, and throw the ball behind you over your head as far as you can.
     - Burpees – throw the ball as far as you can, and perform as many burpees as you can before your dog comes back with it.
     - Soccer – there are special dog-friendly soccer balls you can get, so you can play keep away from your pet as long as you can.
  5. Cycling, Dancing, Rollerblading & More

    Once you get going, many people find themselves completely hooked on working out with their dog, and why not? Fido is always enthusiastic, and will never let you forget a workout.  There are many activities you can explore that will take some time and practice, depending on the time commitment you can make, including dancing, frisbee, inline skating, and cycling. If you have a ready pool or body of water, swimming is another option, and a good one for olderpups and humans alike.

Our Toronto physiotherapists, massage therapists, and other sports medicine professionals agree – whatever gets you exercising on a regular basis is a good thing. If you have any questions or concerns about your musculo-skeletal health or condition, please come by one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics or call to make an appointment today.

How Can I Have Tennis Elbow If I've Never Played Tennis?

By Athlete's Care on January 23, 2019

You may not think of your elbows very often – except when they become painful. Our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists see many patients with a painful condition commonly called tennis elbow. Yet, many of them don’t have anything to do with tennis.

Toronto Physiotherapy

Despite its name, athletes aren't the only people who develop tennis elbow. People whose jobs feature the types of motions that can lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow affects the tendons in your elbow. It is a condition caused by overuse and muscle strain, and can develop over a long period of time, or relatively quickly, depending on the nature of the root cause. A primary healthcare providers, our Toronto physiotherapy, chiropractic, and sports medicine specialists conduct a thorough assessment and evaluation of a patient’s condition and lifestyle issues that may affect treatment.

The muscles of the forearm serve to flex the extensor muscle which attach at the elbow. You contract the forearm muscle to raise, straighten, and twist your hand and wrist. Microscopic tears develop in the tendons, resulting in the pain and inflammation of tennis elbow.

  • Pain will be felt on the outside of the elbow, and may radiate down to the hand.
  • Ordinary movements such as turning a door knob can become painful.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

In previous eras, lateral epicondylitis – its medical name – was also known as writer’s cramp, and washer woman’s elbow, and that points to the major causes and risk factors for the condition.

  • Repetitive motions of the wrist and arm are the most common cause of tennis elbow.

This occurs most often as the result of an activity, hobby, or occupation, such as construction work, baking and cooking, sewing and needlework, plumbing and house painting, and many more – including tennis and other sports. Tennis and racquetball players take note: repeatedly using a poor backhand technique can overextend the forearm and lead to tennis elbow.

The damage leading to tennis elbow can also occur all at once, in a relatively short space of time, due to overuse. Learning a new skill such as playing guitar or piano, for example, sculpting or painting, can involve repeating specific motions many times daily or on a regular basis on an intense schedule.

Age is also a risk factor. Most cases of lateral epicondylitis occur in patients between the ages of 30 and 50, and the frequency and severity of tennis elbow increases with age. The body is less able to heal itself as it ages, leading to increasing levels of damage to the soft tissues that an overwhelmed system can no longer repair.

What Next?

Mild to moderate cases of tennis elbow can often be treated with rest, ice packs, and over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen.

If you are experiencing pain in your elbow, or any other musculo-skeletal condition, our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic specialists can help with a thorough assessment and diagnosis, and customized treatment plan. Call us or come by one of our Toronto clinics today.

Physiotherapy And Headaches - How We Can Help

By Athlete's Care on January 07, 2019

Toronto Physiotherapy


Everyone gets headaches now and then. Our Toronto physiotherapists treat a wide variety of aches and pains that involve the musculo-skeletal system, but the common garden variety of headache isn’t usually on their radar. Occasional headaches are nothing to worry about. When they become a daily – or nearly daily – reality that interferes with other areas of your life, then headaches require serious treatment.

Physiotherapy for headaches is a relatively recent innovation that has developed over the last decade or two, and can show remarkable improvement for some patients who haven’t responded to other types of therapy. The key lies in determining what is causing the pain, and whether physical therapy can alleviate the problem.

What Type Of Headache Is It?
Headaches are among the most common of all health related issues anywhere, and the International Headache Society lists over 300 types. According to WHO (World Health Organization,) in developed countries, about half of men, and a third of all women, suffer from tension-type headaches.

At one time, it was thought that abnormalities in the blood vessels, and therefore the blood flow, in and around the brain were to blame for migraines and some other types of headaches. More recently, however, the consensus seems to be leaning towards dysfunctions of the cervical spine instead for some cases, known as cervicogenic headaches. That’s where physiotherapy can come into the loop.

  • The cervical spine consists of seven vertebral segments from the base of the neck into the skull.
  • Though relatively small in size, the neck structures around the spine are intricate and complex, consisting of the spine, muscle, ligaments, tendons, and nerves that need to be both strong and flexible.
  • Possible causes include stuff or swollen joints in the neck, inflamed nerves, tightness and/or scarring of the soft tissues.

With the level of complexity, it’s not surprising that many people experience issues related to the cervical spine. Physiotherapy is most useful in cases of chronic and fairly benign – i.e. not severe – headaches. A research study published in 2004 found that regular (non-specialized) physiotherapy treatments helped reduce the frequency of chronic tension headaches. 

Symptoms are typically consistent.

  • A cervicogenic headache originates in the cervical spine, but the pain typically radiates to the back of and top of the head.
  • Pain and stiffness may become worse as you move your head or neck, and if you stay in the same position for extended periods of time.
  • Other symptoms can include tenderness of the muscles and joints, reduced range of motion and mobility of the head and neck, weakness, and even a lightheaded feelings.

What Your Toronto Physiotherapist Can Do

Once other causes have been ruled out, and a cervicogenic headache has been diagnosed, your physiotherapist can begin to determine what is causing the pain.

  • Manipulations and exercises can help alleviate the pain;
  • Background information can help point out where lifestyle issues are causing mechanical dysfunctions, such as poor posture while sitting at a desk for many hours;
  • Treatment will be customized to your specific condition, with the goal of alleviating pain and improving range of motion, if applicable.


If you are experiencing chronic headaches, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapists to discuss whether treatment might be right for you. You can call one of our Toronto physiotherapy, chiropractic, and sports medicine clinics today for a consultation.