Why Wait for an Injury When You Can Prevent One?

Why Wait for an Injury When You Can Prevent One?

Pain lets you know something is wrong; that sometime during your run or long hours at a desk, something clicked or shifted into the wrong place. Often though, pain is a delayed response to an injury that has been gradually building over time, until your body screams, “NO MORE!”

Winnipeg Physiotherapists are working to prevent the strain on your body and to help you maintain your optimal health. We often see physiotherapy as a way to fix acute or short term problems, like a sports injury, but regular visits can prevent chronic pain before it starts.

The modern lifestyle is a sedentary one; we spend an average of nine hours a day sitting. Our bodies are made to move, and desk jobs negatively impact almost every body part. Poor posture strains your joints and discs and overworks your spinal ligaments, causing back pain. Long periods of sitting leads to muscle atrophy in your hips and ankles, and hunching over a desk compress your lungs and limit the amount of oxygen you take in. A highly certified physiotherapist assesses these muscle imbalances and provides a personalized treatment plan before an issue can develop further.

For athletes, small discomforts like shin splints and joint pain are indicators that you are on the cusp of a larger, and probably more painful, injury. Physiotherapy can prepare the muscles for the strain of exercise by strengthening and stretching them safely. This will prevent both acute and chronic injuries from occurring.

Whether sitting at a desk or running on a treadmill, the world is a minefield spiked with injuries. Physiotherapy services restore and reinforce your body, allowing you to navigate the landmines of life without worry.

Start your path to a healthier you and book your physiotherapy appointment now!

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Add Physio to Your List of Bi-Annual Check-Ups

Add Physio to Your List of Bi-Annual Check-Ups

You know when you go to the dentist and you get your teeth cleaned? It can be a little uncomfortable as they scrape and brush and shine, but afterwards, you run your tongue over your teeth and marvel at how smooth they feel. It’s weird, because they didn’t feel dirty or grimy before. And as the weeks go on, you won’t notice your teeth slowly accumulating dirt until your next appointment six months later, when you’ll marvel at their smoothness all over again.

Pain is like the dirt on your teeth. It accumulates over time in your muscles, ligaments, and joints. It’s gradual and rarely noticeable until the pain is either relieved or becomes too much. But unlike our teeth, rarely do we go for bi-annual check ups to ensure our body is running at peak performance. Ordinarily, we wait until we have a problem before we worry about our muscle health. But why? We don’t wait until our teeth rot to go see a dentist. So why do we wait for a muscle to tear or a joint to hurt before we see a physiotherapist?

Like the dentist, we recommend visiting your physiotherapist bi-annually. Going every six months will allow your therapist to screen you for any potential problems. It is much easier to address imbalances before they become an active injury.  And, more often than not, the injury is linked to more than one muscle group.

Take runner’s kneefor example, the shooting pain is felt either below or above the knee cap, making physical activity very uncomfortable. But the injury isn’t just caused by weak knees; studies have shown that poor core strength and hip control issues contribute to an uneven stride that triggers runner’s knee. A certified physiotherapist can evaluate your lifestyle and can recommend which muscles and areas to strengthen to prevent the injury altogether. They work to stabilize your kinetic chain, helping you to maintain your optimal health.

Two check ups a year will go a long way preserving and cultivating your body’s strength. Don’t wait for the pain, prevent it and book your maintenance appointment now!

What is Physiotherapy?

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is the treatment of an injury, disease, or disorder though physical methods, including massage therapy, exercise, and muscle manipulation. It works to balance the body through various forms of treatments.  Like a car engine, the human body is complex and all our parts work together to form an intricate machine. If one of the gears is malfunctioning, the entire mechanism is at risk. A highly skilled physiotherapist is your body’s mechanic, greasing your gears by strengthening your muscles and joints.

There’s a myth that physiotherapy is reserved for back pain and sports injuries, but actually, it can provide improvements for your whole body. It works to improve your quality of life by alleviating pain and and fixing imbalances within your systems. There are three areas of physiotherapy practice:

  1. Musculoskeletal or Orthopedic, for sprains, back pain, arthritis, sport and workplace injuries, and rehabilitation after surgery. Physiotherapy helps joints by increasing flexibility and strength in the surrounding muscles.
  2. Neurological, for disorders of the nervous systems, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, strokes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s.  Targets tissues surrounding the nerves to lesson compression and work towards improving function.
  3. Cardiothoracic: used for treating asthma, emphysema, and other cardio-respiratory disorders.  They use breathing control techniques to improve the mobility of chest and neck muscles through stretching and strengthening exercises.

There is a common factor to many physiotherapy treatments: exercises are a crucial part of physiotherapy. Your physiotherapists will provide a personalised training plan, with variety of exercises, all meant to strengthen you and your body.  Many of these will need to be performed at home, and this ‘homework’ will make the difference in how fast you recover. If you follow your therapy regiment faithfully, you will see results.

Physiotherapy also utilises a variety of other treatments. Acupuncture assists pain relief and muscle function, improving the ‘energy flow’ of the body. Ultrasound helps to reduce inflammation and promotes healing with ultrasonic waves. Electrotherapy uses gentle electrical output to reduce pain and encourage healing.

Whichever treatments your physiotherapist prescribes, know that they are meant to improve your entire body’s health.  They diagnose what your body needs as a whole so that you can achieve optimal health and prevent imbalances before they start.

Start your path to a healthier you and book your physiotherapy appointment now!

Slouching: More Than Just a Bad Habit

Slouching: More Than Just a Bad Habit

You never really notice it, the gradual rounding of your shoulders as you type away at your computers and smartphone. Your head dips a little lower to see the screen better. You slide deeper in your seat and your shoulders move forward to compensate for the extra distance. When you finally stand up, you notice the slight burn in your shoulder blades and the stiffness in your neck, maybe even the knot forming in your back. You roll your shoulders and neck to relieve tension, standing straight for a moment before your body relaxes back into the slouch that has become your norm.

Postural dysfunction, or poor posture, is when the spine is maneuvered into unnatural positions for a prolonged period. Unlike in previous eras, proper posture is something that is recommended but not necessarily enforced; it isn’t taught to us by etiquette teachers, but is rather a self-discipline, something we have to monitor and maintain for ourselves. Unfortunately, good posture has become the exception to the rule, as many of us have slid into the bad habit of slouching.

Bad posture puts strain on joints, muscles, and vertebrae. Pressure builds in these tissues over time, resulting in pain and discomfort. Eventually, without intervention, poor posture can actually lead to curvatures, constricting blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to further pain and dysfunction

Slouching is one of the most common reasons for neck pain. The weight of your head puts stress on the lower neck, and your back muscles overwork themselves in an attempt at counterbalance. This chain reaction continues as the muscles in your lower body attempt to relieve the strain on your upper body, causing problems in your hips, legs, and ankles as well.

Physiotherapists know what to look for when addressing the imbalances caused by bad posture, helping you to achieve your optimal health. A personalised treatment, with services such as core stability programs and exercise therapy, can help prevent issues from worsening and prevent new issues from arising altogether.

Pain and discomfort caused by poor posture is a very common, unanticipated issue people experience. Don’t be caught unawares—book your physiotherapy appointment today!

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