All posts in The More You Know

FIT FOR GOLF

…adding years to your golfing life, and life to your golfing years!

Believe it or not, golf season is almost here! So it’s time to start thinking about what can be done to help improve your game and get your body fit for golf this year.

The one thing most golf enthusiasts agree on is that they are striving for a better swing. There are those lucky few who are born with natural abilities, but fortunately for the rest of us a great swing is also something that can be developed and cultivated.

Building a strong core, and conditioning your obliques, back and shoulders is one of the best ways to help build golf specific strength and mobility, and optimize your rotational power.  A physiotherapist can help you build an exercise program that focuses on strengthening your core.

As it pertains to golf – spine and abdominal fitness not only improves performance and controlled motion, but decreases the risk of injury as golfers execute the repetitively hazardous action of the swing. A warm-up is also very important as we prepare our muscular engines for several hours of activity.

Physiotherapists are frequently involved with numerous clients experiencing stiffness, weakness, and/or pain in their spines, shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. There are many exercises, manual techniques, and modalities that our therapists use to improve the physical health of these areas of concern. Strength and mobility in these areas is extremely important for a healthy and happy golf season.

Registered massage therapy for golfers may be used as a corrective, preventative and rehabilitative therapy. It helps in the return of soft tissue to a pain-free and improved functional range of motion. Massage can also assist the lymphatic system by eradicating toxins such as lactic acid. This hands on therapy can reduce tightness that may lead or cause postural imbalances, reduce muscle spasm and scar tissue, and create body awareness and a general feeling of well-being.

For more detailed information about treatments contact our clinic.

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BACK & NECK PAIN

  • Back and neck pain are among the most widespread reasons patients seek treatments such as physiotherapy, massage therapy and chiropractic care.
  • Back pain in particular is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 80% of people at some point during their lives.

Physical therapy for back and neck conditions focuses on the structures that support the spine and its joints including muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

VARY YOUR POSITION: Sitting at computers all day puts increased pressure on your spine. After 30 minutes of sitting make sure you walk around to keep the flow of blood and fluids to your spine. If you work primarily at a desk, make sure your work station is set up properly to encourage optimal posture. Your physiotherapist will prescribe suitable and safe stretches and provide tips on how to correctly position yourself in front of your computer.

STAY FLEXIBLE: Optimal spinal health means having flexibility in all directions. If your thorax (upper-mid back and ribcage) has limited rotation movement, more load and stress can be transferred to your low back, neck or other body parts. Check your rotations by sitting in a chair with your arms crossed across your stomach; you should be able to run equally to the right and left and see behind you easily. If you have an asymmetry between the right and left directions, or reduced motion, your physiotherapist can assess the reason why, mobilize your spinal joint, and give you exercises to maintain your thoracic mobility – essential for a healthy low back and neck.

CHECK YOUR CORE: You need to have optimal control of your deep spinal muscles (core). If you’ve had an episode and are experiencing neck or back pain, your therapist will provide a thorough examination of your spine, provide manual therapy and other treatment techniques to help you regain any lost mobility and relieve your pain. They will instruct you on how to achieve ideal postural alignment and prescribe exercises that will support your spine.

CORRECT YOUR POSTURE: Be aware of habitual postures and positions (such as always sitting on one side of the couch, slouching with your feet on the coffee table, carrying your bag/purse always over the same shoulder, sitting cross legged, or with one foot underneath your bum, and leaning usually on the same elbow et.) Habitually poor postures may indicate weaknesses in certain muscle groups or stiffness with the body. Your therapist can assess reasons why you may adopt these positions and how to correct them.

Here are some Ergonomic tips to help keep your back & neck healthy!

  • Chest out, chin in, stomach tight with standing, walking, lifting and bending
  • Standing: Keep one foot in front of and more elevated than the other
  • Sitting: Use lumbar support – and sit up straight.
  • Sleeping: while lying on side: keep the bottom leg straight; top leg can be bent or rested on a pillow
  • Bending: use a ½ kneeling position when putting dishes in dishwasher, getting laundry out of washer and/or putting items into trunk/cart etc.
  • Lifting: Keep the object being lifted close to you; get down under it

If you are suffering from neck or back pain, schedule a visit with one of our therapists to assist in your recovery. Early attention to mobility issues, injury prevention, and injury treatment will help ensure long term physical health.

References:

http://my.clevelandclinic.org

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MOVEMBER IS MEN’S HEALTH MONTH

MOVEMBER IS MEN’S HEALTH MONTH

Movember is Men’s Health Month

The state of men’s health is in crisis. Men experience worse long-term health than women and die on average six years earlier.

  • 1 in 6 men may be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 1 in 2 men may be diagnosed with some form of cancer by the age of 85.
  • Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years.
  • Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50 years.
  • Obesity has taken centre stage as a major risk factor for chronic disease and almost 2/3 of Canadians are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • 1 in 8 men experience depression and three quarters of suicides are men.
  • Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. That’s one every minute.

Why is men’s health in such bad shape?

  • Most men do not like to openly discuss their health and how they are feeling.
  • Men can be reluctant to take-action when they don’t feel physically or mentally well.
  • Men engage in risky activities that threaten their health.
  • Stigmas surrounding mental health.
  • Men are less likely than women to seek help for health concerns.

5 ways exercise can help men live longer and better.

  • Have a healthier heart. Regular exercise can lower unhealthy cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Keep your brain sharp. Exercise helps keep blood vessels throughout the body healthy and helps reduce the risk of stroke. Several studies suggest that exercise may also help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
  • Control blood sugar levels. Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, and boosts sensitivity to insulin, reducing blood sugar levels. One study found that only 2 ½ hours of brisk walking a week cut the risk of diabetes by 30%.
  • Possibly lower cancer risks. Evidence suggests that regular physical activity reduces risk for colon cancer by 24% in men. There is no proof that exercise lowers the risk of developing prostate cancer, but once a man is diagnosed, physical activity can reduce the chances that it will spread.
  • Beat depression. 1 in 8 men can experience depression. Not just a rough patch, or bad mood – but an emotional disturbance that affects overall health. Regular exercise such as walking, weight training, swimming, or any form of exercise moving both arms and legs can help with depression for men.

Pelvic Health for Men

Being a guy with pelvic health problems can be a challenge. As men age there can be a number of different issues that can result in pain and dysfunction.

Although the prostate is often blamed for many male pelvic problems, there can be many other reasons for bladder, bowel and sexual problems. Pelvic floor muscles, connective tissue and lower lumbar nerves can all be potential culprits in male pelvic pain. In addition, joint and muscle problems such as chronic groin strains, un-resolving hip and low back problems can all contribute to chronic pelvic pain.

Although hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you to actively support your bladder and bowel. Like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor will become stronger with a regular exercise program. This is important for both men and women.

With so many different potential sources of pelvic pain, it’s important to work with a health professional that understands the pelvis. Contact our clinic and we can connect you with a pelvic floor health specialist.

Let’s help the men we know to talk about their health, and take action when needed.                            

 

 

Sources:

www.platinumphysio.com

www.prostatecancer.ca

https://ca.movember.com/mens-health

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CONCUSSIONS – THE INVISIBLE INJURY

concussion-small

Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) that can damage brain tissue and change the chemical balance of the brain.
Concussion may cause physical, mental and emotional symptoms and problems, both short term and long term.
Every concussion is considered a serious injury by health care providers.

Causes of concussions
 Car accidents (head impact, or whiplash)
 Work accidents (falls, head trauma)
 Playground accidents (falling from a slide or swing)
 Sport injury to the head or neck
 Any type of fall or direct blow to the head, face or neck
 Violent events (physical abuse which the head is shaken, being too close to an explosion)

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The Painful Truth About Arthritis

September is Arthritis Awareness Month.

  • 4.6 million Canadian adults (aged 15 and older) report suffering from arthritis
  • By the year 2036 that 4.6 million is expected to grow to an estimated 7.5 million
  • 2/3 Canadians affected by arthritis are female
  • 2/3 of people with arthritis are under the age of 65 – including an estimated 300,000 children

Everyone’s heard about arthritis, but what’s not as common is what causes it, who can get it, and what are the best ways to manage and treat it. There are many over the counter medications that are beneficial in treating arthritis, but when those meds are coupled with physical therapy it can be just as effective as surgery. Bracing and injections are also great methods of fast relief from arthritis. The two main forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They can attack any joint, but typically the hands, knees, spine, and hips, are most common which can make daily activities very difficult and painful.

Causes of Arthritis:

Normal wear and tear causes osteoarthritis, but your risk of developing it may be higher if the disease is a common thread in your family history. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It develops when your body’s immune system attacks the tissue in your body.  This prevents the synovium from producing the fluid which lubricates and nourishes your cartilage and joints.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history (genetics)
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Gender
  • Previous Joint Injury/Infection
  • Obesity

Managing your pain:

Medications help, but a physiotherapist can tell you about other methods of pain relief that work alongside with your medications.

  • Changing your activity level/sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Pain Relievers
  • Physical Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Bracing/Custom Bracing
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Viscosupplementation injections

Injections:

In the early stages; arthritis of the knee is treated with nonsurgical methods. Your doctor may recommend treatments including; changing your activity level, weight loss, pain relievers, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. If pain and mobility is still unmanageable, an effective treatment option such as a viscosupplementation injection may be recommended.  Injections such as MultiVisk™, Cingal™, Durolane®, Synvisc-One®, Monovisc®, and Orthovisc® are designed to relieve pain in your joints like the knees, ankles, fingers, and toes. Some injections, including MultiVisk®, contain an anesthetic to lessen the pain. Cingal™ is a single-injection treatment that relieves pain, and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. In these procedures a gel like fluid is injected in the knee joint. It acts as a lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint load. Your physiotherapist or doctor can recommend this highly effective treatment and which type of injection is best suited for you.

Bracing:

Braces can help to treat and ease the pain of an arthritic knee. Specialized braces apply pressure on your knee joint, creating a space between the two bones providing relief and preventing harsh rubbing. The GenuTrain® knee brace is often recommended for mild to moderate cases of arthritis. And the Össur® custom brace is often recommended for more severe cases.Your physiotherapist can recommend a brace that best meets your needs.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.healthline.com/health/arthritis#overview1

https://www.ossur.ca/

http://kneepainrelief.ca/treatment/#corticosteroid-injections

http://www.multivisklife.com/health-professionals/

http://www.arthritis.org/get-involved/jingle-bell-run/

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