Physiotherapy Toronto Blog 

The physiotherapists, chiropractors and other sports medicine specialists at our Toronto clinics counsel many of their patients on how to strengthen their core muscles. A strong core is crucial to balance, agility, and maintaining mobility as you age. It’s an important component of conditioning for virtually any sport from running to swimming and team sports.

If you’ve never exercised the core muscles, though, it may be daunting to start. Attempting challenging exercises too soon can be discouraging, so much so it may put you off from continuing.

Here’s a look at some exercises to start with when you want to strengthen your core.

Superhero Lift

  • Lie flat on the floor on your front.
  • Extend your arms down at your sides, legs straight.
  • Lift your head from the ground, chin first.
  • Follow with your right arm and right leg, and try to hold them about 10 to 15 cm from the ground.
  • Hold for at least the count of three, and then lower slowly to the ground.
  • Repeat ten times on each side.

Side To Side

  • Lie on your back on the floor.
  • Bend your knees, and raise your lower legs so they are parallel to the ground. Stretch your arms down at your sides.
  • Swivel your hips over to the right, and bring your knees as close as you can to the floor without actually touching.
  • Rotate back to the centre, and then over to the left in the same way.
  • Repeat another five times on each side.

The Bridge

  • Lie on your back, and bend your legs up at a 90-degree angle while keeping your feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift your hips and lower back off the floor by crunching your abdominal muscles.
  • Lift until you reach a position where your body is straight from shoulder to knee.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times.

If you are having trouble with any of the exercises, or are experiencing pain or strain in some cases, our Toronto physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists are available for consultation or advice.

Beginner’s Ab Crunch

  • Lie on your back close to a wall.
  • Put your feet on the wall as a support, with your knees up and bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Cross your arms over your chest.
  • Tighten your ab muscles, and as you do, raise your head and shoulders off the floor.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Lower your head back to the ground, and repeat.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Reverse Crunch

  • Lie on your back, and bend your knees up to your chest as far as they will go.
  • Slowly, lower your feet back down to the ground, going as far as you can without actually touching the floor.
  • Hold for 1 or 2 seconds, and then slowly raise your knees back up to your chest.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Core strength is important, and becomes even more so as we age. If you have any questions, or would like one of our Toronto physiotherapists or other sports medicine specialists to devise a customized exercise plan for you, don’t hesitate to contact one of our clinics for a consultation today.

Nine Ways You Didn't Realize Physiotherapy Can Help You

By Athlete's Care on April 05, 2023

When most people think of calling one of our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics, they have certain specific issues in mind. Those typically include rehab for sports and other injuries, after surgical care, and treatment for repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

But, there are many other ways that physiotherapists can help you live life actively and comfortably.

1. TMJ treatment

The temporomandibular joints are the two joints at either side of your jaw, connecting the lower jaw to the rest of your skull. It's a complex structure that can become painful, dislocated, or otherwise damaged by arthritis and other conditions, or an injury. Physiotherapy can help you improve function, and manage the condition.

2. Vestibular Disorders

The vestibular system is the one that gives you a sense of balance, and allows you to maintain it through information it conveys about your body's position. When there is dysfunction, you become dizzy. Vertigo and dizziness can have varied origins, and the physiotherapist’s role will begin with a thorough assessment to determine the root cause. Treatment may involve specialized exercises, or balance retraining therapy.

3. Bell’s Palsy

This is a mysterious condition which affects both the muscles and nerves of the face. The symptoms include a sudden onset of facial paralysis or weakness on one side of the face caused by damage to the 7th cranial nerve. Early treatment by one of our Toronto physiotherapists is crucial to helping minimize the symptoms and may even restore function.

4. Pelvic Health/Incontinence

There are many common issues involving pelvic health, including incontinence. After giving birth, it’s very common to experience small bladder leaks, especially when you cough or sneeze, run or jump (although there are other causes). Physiotherapy can help restore the strength and functionality of pelvic muscles, eliminating the problem in many cases.

5. Headaches

Headaches can have many causes, and there are several varieties. True migraines are quite different from headaches that actually originate with tense neck muscles. A physiotherapist can help determine what type of headache you are experiencing, and develop a pain management plan.

6. Diastasis Recti

While anyone can experience this condition, involving a separation between abdominal muscles, it’s most often found in women who’ve given birth. As a baby grows, and becomes more active in the womb, they can push on the inside of the abdominal wall hard enough to separate the middle of the rectus abdominis muscle. A physiotherapist can teach you how to protect yourself as you heal, and develop a safe and effective exercise plan to regain strength.

7. Cancer-Related Fatigue

The treatment, as well as the disease itself, can cause fatigue. To keep you in the best possible shape, and as an evidence-based way to help you reduce fatigue, your physiotherapist can help you develop an exercise plan that’s tailored for your situation. They’ll work with you to develop a safe exercise regimen that helps you manage stress, along with fatigue and feelings of weakness.

8. Ergonomics

The way you work is important; it affects your body in many ways. Whether you use machines or work at a laptop, there are ways to make sure you are providing your body with the right kind of support. Our trained physiotherapists can offer an ergonomic assessment of your work area that shows you how to stay comfortable and avoid repetitive stress injuries.

9. Prevention

Preventing injuries should be everyone’s priority. Physiotherapists can provide expert advice on how to avoid accidents, prevent slips and falls, and offer physical therapy to restore and improve balance and coordination. For athletes, they can assess playing form, and identify weaknesses due to imbalances and other issues, making sure you are playing at your best and safest.


There are many other ways that our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists can help you heal, and even improve your musculoskeletal conditioning. Call one of our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics today for a consultation.

Lifelong Tips To Protect Your Joints

By Athlete's Care on March 14, 2023

The physiotherapists, chiropractors and other sports medicine specialists at our Toronto clinics dispense a great deal of advice on how to protect the joints of their clients. The joints are complex structures, and prone to many types of injuries and disorders.  

But, that advice often comes when some damage has already occurred. Prevention, as they say, is better than a cure.

Here are some tips on how to maintain healthy joints over a lifetime.

  1. Keep moving – When there’s pain, such as if you live with arthritis, you may be tempted to cut back on physical activity. That’s a mistake. Staying active keeps joints more flexible, strengthens muscles, and eases stiffness.

  2. Listen to your body – If you start to feel pain while you’re working out or gardening, stop, and/or take measures to alleviate it. Learn about body mechanics, and where the weakest areas are, so you can avoid putting them under stress.

  3. Know your limits – It’s great to push yourself, and you can achieve some great breakthroughs in working out, sports, or other activities by doing so. But, you also have to learn your limits. Don’t push too far, and balance activity and rest.

  4. Strengthen the core and other muscles – Building and maintaining the strength of major muscle groups that surround and connect to your joints helps you maintain balance and flexibility, as well as helping you maintain full range of motion.

  5. Use available supports – If you are involved in any activity, including sports or everyday work, that entails repeated motions, or maintaining the same position, over long periods of time, learn where the stress is greatest, and find supports to help. That may involve appliances such as a back rest, wrist brace, or similar device.

  6. Choose low impact – When it comes to activities, look for low impact exercises and sports that are easy on your joints, such as cycling or swimming. Your Toronto physiotherapist and other sports medicine specialist can provide you with a customized exercise plan that takes your condition into account.

  7. Body mechanics – Learn about ergonomics, and the correct way of moving, whether it involves lifting heavy equipment or perfecting your tennis swing. The proper technique will give you balanced movement that minimizes stress on your joints.

Healthy joints will keep you mobile as you age, and maintain your quality of life. It can’t be emphasized enough that protecting your joints is crucial to healthy living and aging.

If you are experiencing any problems with any joint, or have related questions, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy, chiropractic and sports medicine clinics today for a consultation.


How to STICK that exercise program in 2023

By Athlete's Care on February 16, 2023

Regular exercise is so positive for our bodies and minds, some would even call it “aging in reverse.”

Canada’s Physical Activity Guide recommends 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week. Yet how many of us actually achieve that? There are some folks out there, busier than most, who meet these requirements. How do they do it? The research says they may have these initial motivating factors as their purpose for starting exercise programs. These factors help them stay on the metaphorical "wagon," and attend their planned sweat session. 

1. Enjoyment

Researchers at the University of Rochester provided initial "Motivation for Physical Activity Measure" questionnaires to students signing up at a fitness facility, and repeated those questionnaires after each workout for one month. They found that those who initially reported that they enjoyed the activity they were partaking in, adhered to the program, and had longer workouts! 

2. Competence/Challenge

Interestingly, students who initially had an itch to pursue a challenge/sport or add a new skill to their repertoire, also stuck to their month-long program. 

3. Social

This one is not a surprise - the social atmosphere of an exercise was enough to get students to stick to their month-long fitness. Perhaps the people we meet in such environments are like-minded, linked to us by a common thread, and therefore we like them, pushing us to attend. Or that we'd not just be letting ourselves down if we stopped attending, we'd be letting them down too! Birds of a feather do flock together…

4. Schedule it 

To start, make a detailed schedule of your week and physically write or type in the 30 minutes you have to exercise, 2 or 3 times (realistically). Try not to schedule it during traditionally busy times, as when you’re doing dinner prep, or putting the kids to bed. Reevaluate at the end of that week and adjust as needed. If it’s in your schedule, you will at least give it a good look. 

The Skinny:

The Shocker: The usual motives used to get ourselves in shape: Fat loss, Muscle gains, Maintenance of cardiovascular health, were not as positively associated to adherence or attendance for the gym fitness program in the study. However, most did include these reasons for joining the gym in the first place. Researchers reasoned that as body-related motives (appearance, health & fitness) were extrinsic in nature, meaning they were used to gain rewards separate from the behaviour itself (exercise), they were not sufficient to drive a person to adhere to a program. Rather, it was the intrinsic motives such as enjoyment, challenge, and social engagement, that linked to attendance. Intrinsic motives are related to the satisfaction one gains from participating in the activity. And scheduling that activity in your busy week ensures it is set as “important,” and not something you can ignore.

The Point:

Although exercise motivation is multifaceted and involves much more than the 3 positive motives above, it is a great start to learning how to get your family, clients, or yourself more active. If you want to lose weight, or lower your high blood pressure (both body-related, extrinsic motives), choose an activity that you like, for example, tennis (enjoyment); make it fun by grabbing a tennis partner (social), and get excited to knowing you'll be learning a new skill (an overhand serve). Then schedule it in your calendar to boost its importance in your week. Try it, and you'll be happy you did.

Ensure the exercise program is gradual and suitable for your level. If you run into any trouble (the too-much-too-soon) phenomenon, don’t hesitate to book a chiropractic session to learn do’s/don’t and how to return to that exercise program with grace - and STICK it!

Blog contribution by Chiropractor Dr. Amrita Pinto. Dr. Pinto is a Chiropractor as well as an Active Release Techniques (ART)® and Medical Acupuncture Provider who acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual and their injury, and guides her therapy likewise. Her goals are to decrease pain, maximize function and increase the overall wellbeing of her patients. For more information or to book an appointment directly into her schedule, select our location in the Beach or at Yonge & Eglinton.