Physiotherapy Toronto Blog 

Concussion in Soccer

By Athlete's Care on June 01, 2021

Soccer is not a sport that is traditionally identified as high risk for concussions yet, several studies have shown that the rates of concussion in soccer are comparable to and in some cases, exceed those of other contact sports. About 22% of all injuries in soccer are concussion related.

It is vital that these players have a stepwise return-to-play protocol to ensure their safe return to the pitch.
This safe return includes proper assessment and diagnosis in the early stages, treatment for the whiplash associated with the concussion as well as activity modifications to allow for active rest.
Current literature states that complete and total rest is no longer advisable, in fact, the quicker the patient can return to some form of active rehab the better the outcomes are for that patient.
Concussions typically resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. If the concussion is not resolving past one month, a multidisciplinary approach should be employed. Seeking out a Doctor who specializes in concussions along with a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor and in some cases a psychologist can be extraordinarily beneficial.
Here at Athlete’s Care, we strive to give the patient an environment where they can thrive. Book your assessment today so we can get you on the road to recovery!


Blog contribution by Registered Physiotherapist, Vanessa Foucher.  Vanessa has spent much of her career in elite professional sport specializing in return-to-sport rehabilitation at several clinics in both Canada and the UK, most notably with Chelsea Football Club as an Academy Physiotherapist. Having been a competitive athlete herself for 17 years focusing in middle distance swimming and synchronized swimming, Vanessa has a unique understanding of top level sport and its demands.

Click the link to book an appointment with Vanessa at our Adeladie & York location, or to find out more about how she can help you

Top Ten Foods That Will Boost Recovery

By Athlete's Care on May 28, 2021

It’s no secret that nutrition and sports performance are inextricably linked, and our Toronto sports medicine specialists often give their clients advice on how to optimize their nutritional gains.

That goes doubly for a period of recovery from injury. As your body heals, it is rebuilding internal structures and elements, and it needs those building blocks. In addition, there are many nutrients and compounds that help the body to activate and make the most of its power to heal.

Here’s a look at ten foods and food groups that will help you boost your recovery from injury.

Lean chicken and beef

Lean sources of protein are extremely important to your overall recovery. Protein is a key component of muscle tissue. When your muscles are torn or injured, they lose mass. Protein helps to rebuild, and can also help you minimize muscle loss during the period that you are convalescent and unable to workout at your regular intensity, or even at all.

  • Protein aids in muscle development.
  • Your Toronto sports medicine specialist can help you determine how much protein you need based on your lifestyle and individual needs.


Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in many nutrients, but are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is key to recovery. Of course, there are many other fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C such as bell peppers, strawberries, and kiwi fruit.

  • Vitamin C reduces inflammation.
  • As an antioxidant, it can help minimize free radical damage.
  • It aids in the production of collagen, and promotes healing of skin, muscle and other tissues.
  • It is very important to the generation and health of blood vessels.


Fatty fish

The Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fatty fish such as mackerel, trout and salmon help to control inflammation, which naturally occurs where there has been injury.

  • Walnuts and chia seeds are also good sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
  • Whole foods rather than supplements are the best way to ingest this important nutrient.
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids, present in sunflower or corn oil, are also known to decrease inflammation.


Baked beans & chickpeas

Baked beans and some legumes are good sources of zinc. Zinc is a mineral that can aid in the recovery process. It plays a key role in helping wounded tissues to rebuild. Research shows that not getting enough zinc can slow down your recovery.

  • Meats, shellfish and whole grains also contain zinc.
  • Whole foods are the best way to maintain a balance between zinc and other nutrients.
  • It can also be found in some nuts, such as cashews and almonds.


Cheese & yogourt

Dairy products contain calcium, which – as Mom used to say – is good for your bones. In fact, it’s crucial to their repair. It also helps your muscles to contract properly by aiding the transmission of nerve signals.

  • Broccoli and okra are also good sources of calcium.
  • Almonds contain a significant amount of calcium.


Sunshine & fortified cereals

Vitamin D is a kind of symbiote with calcium, in that it helps the body to absorb the crucial mineral. It is also a natural pain management agent. One recent study showed that boosting Vitamin D intake sped up the healing process.

  • Sunlight is an excellent source.
  • Egg yolks are a good source of Vitamin D.
  • Fatty fish such as sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel are also good sources.
  • Red meat and liver contain Vitamin D.
  • Many breakfast cereals are fortified with Vitamin D.
  • Hard cheeses such as cheddar contain Vitamin D.


Spinach & kale

Vitamin A is an antioxidant, and as such helps protect the body’s cells against damage. It also plays a crucial role in the creation of white blood cells, which fight infection.

  • Carrots are also an excellent source of Vitamin A.
  • Leafy greens contain significant amounts of Vitamin A.
  • Broccoli also contains Vitamin A.


Almonds & avocado

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to control what is called oxidative stress, or the damage to your body by free radicals. It can be exacerbated by injury – even by exercising too much.

  • Spinach is another good source of Vitamin E.
  • It is found it nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils.
  • Asparagus, mango, pumpkin and red bell peppers are also good vegetable sources of Vitamin E.


Blueberries & red cabbage

Anthocyanins are the compounds in fruits and vegetables that gives them a purple, dark red, or blue shade. It reduces inflammation, which reduces aches and pains.

  • Blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries, and blood oranges are other fruits that contain anthocynanins.
  • They are also found in red cabbage, purple potatoes and carrots.
  • They can be found in purple or darkly tinted plants such as purple or black rice, or black soy.


Beets & leafy greens

Nitrates become nitric oxide in the body, a compound that helps to increase the blood flow that is needed to promote healing in the body.

  • Other vegetable sources include celery, lettuce, radishes, spinach and bok choy.
  • Animal sources of nitrates such as ham should be avoided – those nitrates are added to meats through processing, and do not occur naturally.


Diet is always important to good health. When your body is injured, it needs extra nutritional help to heal faster and more fully. If you have any questions about diet or other issues related to recovery from injury, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics for a consultation.

If you work sitting at a desk, you might assume that you’re not much at risk from injury, but the Toronto physiotherapists and chiropractors at our clinics treat many patients who are office workers.

While injuries in active sports may occur more often in the legs and lower body, when it comes to office work, it’s the hands, wrists, and elbows that often bear the brunt of the strain from repeated motions or imbalances.

The best treatment is prevention; here’s a look at the problem, and how to minimize that risk.


Tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendons, is an injury that can occur at the elbow, forearm, hand, or wrist. It is easily the most common RSI or repetitive strain injury.

Computer or Mouse Elbow

This injury is called lateral epicondylitis – or tennis elbow. It’s cause by repeatedly gripping or squeezing something – like a computer mouse – and you’ll feel pain in the muscle, tendons, or both. Sometimes it’s also called writer’s elbow.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a kind of route made up of ligaments and bones that takes the median nerve from the wrist to the base of the hand. It can become inflamed through over-use of the hand and wrist, especially under less than optimal conditions.

Proactive Tips:

There are many ways that you can help to avoid the undue stresses that contribute to hand and lower arm injuries.

  • Keeping your mouse handy and making it easy to reach helps to reduce strain.
  • It should be right by your side where it’s easy for hand to access without reaching – and don’t bend your wrist.
  • Find a mouse that fits neatly into the palm of your hand – not too big and not too small.
  • Keep your keyboard directly in front of you.
  • Use a wrist pad to cushion your wrist movements.
  • Keep your elbow at about a 90-degree angle, and forearm straight through your wrist and your fingers.
  • Avoid resting your elbow and forearm on a hard surface.
  • Adjust your chair or your computer – don’t reach farther.
  • Every 30 minutes or so, stretch your fingers back towards your hand.
  • Roll your shoulders and be conscious of tension in your shoulder muscles that affects the whole arm.
  • Exercise to increase muscle strength in your lower arms and wrists. Your Toronto physiotherapists or sports medicine specialist can show you how.

If you are experiencing any problems with your elbow, wrist or hands, or you’d like more information on prevention, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics for a consultation.

Physiotherapy for Migraine Headaches

By Athlete's Care on April 06, 2021

Can our Toronto physiotherapists or other sports medicine specialists help when it comes to migraine headaches? The answer is yes, in many cases. That might come as a surprise, even to many migraine sufferers, or migraineurs. The disorder is generally considered to be neurological in nature, so how can physical therapy of any kind help? It may seem counter-intuitive, and there isn’t much research into this area specifically, but physical therapy is known to help migraneurs in a variety of ways.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are extremely debilitating, and are about as common as high blood pressure. The throbbing pain, accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and noise, can make it difficult to perform even the simplest everyday tasks. The neck is a complex structure made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The jaw and muscles of the face that control that eyes can also be stress points. What constant pressure can create is a vicious
cycle of tension and pain.

Migraines due to cervical (neck area) disorders and impairments may be treated with physical therapy. As part of your individualized treatment plan, other options may be added to your therapy team, such as:

  • Massage therapy;
  • Medical acupuncture;
  • Exercise therapy

Vestibular Migraines

It’s an unfortunate fact that vestibular migraines are often difficult to diagnose. As such, patients often receive the wrong treatment, and management plan. Some end up undergoing a series of tests with no real answers. Research into the problem has shown that many people who suffer from vestibular migraines
end up seeing four or five specialists before finding an accurate diagnosis.

In general, up to half of all migraine sufferers don’t seek or receive any treatment at all. The vestibular system incorporates the inner ear, and portions of the brain that handle eye movements and balance. For about 40% of all migraine patients, their symptoms include some level of vestibular syndrome, which means:

  • Difficulty balancing;
  • Dizziness, which can be severe;
  • Vertigo accompanied by nausea and vomiting;
  • Neck pain due to muscle spasms in the cervical spine;
  • Confusion and disorientation;
  • Anxiety, and even panic

Physiotherapy Options

Along with other treatment options and lifestyle modifications such as avoiding food and environmental triggers, physiotherapy can also be of help in managing migraines. In some cases, depending on the exact type of migraine and cause, it can provide significant relief.

Your physiotherapist will assess things like your hand, eye and body movements, range of motion and more. There may also be neurological tests. Your Toronto physiotherapist can advise you on which types of therapy are appropriate in your case.

This might include:

  • Manual therapy;
  • Exercises and adjustments to posture;
  • Working with the shoulder, neck and jaw muscles;
  • Cranial massage and therapy;
  • Chiropractic spinal manipulation;
  • Among others.

If you experience migraine headaches and you’d like to discuss your treatment options, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy, chiropractic, and sports medicine clinics today for a consultation.