Physiotherapy Clinic in Ville-Saint-Laurent

Benefits of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is not just for one-off, serious injuries, and it’s not a form of alternative medicine either. Many people mistakenly assume physiotherapy is not for them, when in fact it is one of the most effective tools in relieving everyday aches and pains. There are many ways in which physiotherapy can help with a range of injuries and illnesses; here are some of the most significant:

1. Back Pain

Back pain has many causes, from injury to poor posture, and up to 85% of Canadians will experience it at some point in their lives. Physiotherapy treatment depends on the root cause of the pain, but in general it relies on strengthening the affected and surrounding muscles, improving posture and mobility, and reducing stress on the area. An experienced physiotherapist will also be able to provide guidance on how to avoid future back issues.

2. Knee Pain

Physiotherapy and medication have been found to be as effective as surgery for combating knee pain. Knee pain can be caused by muscle tightness, arthritis, specific injury or obesity, and can severely restrict mobility. Treatment focuses on identifying and treating the source of the pain, thereby relieving the aches that come with normal everyday use.

3. Obesity

Obesity is a major source of discomfort, as it puts enormous pressure on many of the joints. But exercising when obese, and when your joints already hurt, is incredibly difficult, making this a self-reinforcing problem. Physiotherapists are able to help patients develop exercise routines that don’t stress their joints but still allow them to make meaningful progress towards weight loss and increased mobility, which in turn relieves the aches and pains of overworked joints.

4. Pain Associated with Aging

For many seniors, chronic pain seems like a natural part of the aging process, but it need not be. Whether it’s from arthritis, nerve pain or muscular deterioration, pain associated with aging can be relieved. A quick-fix solution is not possible, but quality of life can be vastly improved with a course of physiotherapy.

Research has shown that quality of life, need for surgery, use of medications and re-occurrence of injuries are all improved with the help of a qualified physiotherapist.

Make an appointment today with one of our physiotherapists to help you relieve your pain.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and How Physiotherapy Can Help

What is it?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, found in the arm, gets trapped and squeezed by swollen tendons as it passes through the wrist to the hand. It can be quite uncomfortable and causes numbness, pain and tingling in the thumb, index and middle finger of the affected hand. Over time, if untreated, it can lead to muscle weakness, loss of grip and chronic pain.

Who can get it?

Anyone can get carpal tunnel syndrome, but women are more at risk than men; it is most often related to work activities, including repetitive movements, but can also be due to genetics, arthritis, thyroid disease, obesity or pregnancy. It is most common for both hands to be affected and for symptoms to start gradually and worsen through the night.

What are my treatment options?

Surgery is only an option for carpal tunnel syndrome in the most severe cases. Frequently non-surgical measures such as medication and physiotherapy are more useful and practical. Steroidal injections, splints and anti-inflammatory drugs are all used to help alleviate the symptoms.

How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy can be instrumental in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. A physiotherapist can:

  • Assess the possible causes and educate patients about how to avoid aggravating the affected area.
  • Provide exercises to lessen pain, increase muscle strength and release the trapped nerve.
  • Provide ultrasound or TENS therapy to decrease pain.
  • Recommend additional therapies or medications, such as massage therapy or acupuncture.

How to avoid getting it?

Steps to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Being physically active.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Taking frequent breaks when performing repetitive tasks.
  • Regular hand and wrist exercises.
  • Correct form when repeatedly using hands and wrists – for example, do not grip objects too tightly for long periods of time, or stay immobile in an awkward position.

Not all factors that cause carpal tunnel can be avoided, so the key to preventing long term pain is to recognize symptoms early, and seek professional help immediately when there’s a problem.

Make an appointment today with one of our physiotherapists to help you relieve your pain.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

How to Prevent Falling in Winter

Falls are more than just embarrassing – they are the primary cause of non-fatal injuries in adults over the age of 45. Winter is full of falling hazards, so knowing how to prevent falls is crucial. Here are some tips to help you stay active, even in the coldest weather.

 

1. Appropriate Shoes

High-heeled or slick-soled shoes do not work well on ice. The best choice in winter are flat, rough or rubber-textured soles that offer plenty of grip. You can also attach temporary shoe covers with ice grips. These are inexpensive, re-usable, and readily available from sporting goods or shoe stores.

 

2. Accessories and Rails

Assistive devices such as canes and walking sticks can be modified with a spiked tip to help dig them into the ice. And for those walks around populated areas, handrails are a simple but effective way to steady your balance and stay upright. They’re there for a reason, so use them!

 

3. Look Where You’re Going

Watching your step is the number one way to avoid mishaps. You can circumvent slick patches and trip hazards if you pay attention. Often a clearer route is available, but if not, knowing the lay of the land will inform you how to proceed safely. To this end, get your eyes checked. You can’t avoid a hazard if you can’t see it!

 

4. Slow Down

Falls are significantly more likely when you’re rushing or multi-tasking. Slow down; take small careful steps. When in doubt, walk like a penguin. Looking at your phone affects your balance and increases fall likelihood, so steer clear of distracted walking.

 

5. Avoid Unnecessary Risks

Lastly, use some common sense about when it’s safest to go out. If there’s a freezing rain storm forecast, you may be better off delaying your plans to another day wherever possible.

There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the winter weather and stay healthy, as long as you remember to put safety first.

 

Did you already experienced a fall and you are still feeling it on your body?

Make an appointment today with one of our physiotherapists to help you relieve your pain.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

Manage Your Return To Physical Activity Without Injury

Manage Your Return To Physical Activity Without Injury

A new year is here, and with it the popular desire to do more exercise. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution, a long-delayed intention, or simply the return to normal after an indulgent holiday season, beginning to exercise after a long period of inactivity can have its dangers

Read this article to know how manage your return to physical activity without injury.

The Risks

The risk of injury to the body is highest when starting a new exercise regime. Damaged muscles, weakness, excessive tiredness, faintness, and more serious musculoskeletal injuries are all possible if you’re not careful.

Protect Yourself

Protect your body by following some simple steps:

  • Check with your doctor or physiotherapist

Always check with your physician/physiotherapist before starting any new physical fitness program, to ensure your cardiovascular system is functioning well and that physical strain and increased activity won’t cause any harm.

  • Start slow

The commonest mistake when resuming activity is to try and do too much at once. Regardless of your physical condition, remember to start gradually and build intensity slowly. This will avoid injuries that set you back by days or weeks, or that require medical intervention.

  • Warm-up properly

Warming-up is vital to preventing injury. Warming-up thoroughly before every workout. Take time to do this – it should not be an afterthought, but an essential part of your routine.

  • Listen to your body

Nothing is more important than listening to your body. Only you can determine if you’re fatigued, faint, or in pain. Ignoring these ques will result in illness or injury, which will only get worse if left ignored.

  • Set goals

Set small, realistic goals for yourself, and check against them as you go. This can help with motivation and pacing, but should not be used as an excuse to overdo it. If you meet your goals then reward yourself, perhaps with a rest day, but if you miss them perhaps it’s a sign they were too ambitious.

 

To conclude, even small injuries can become problematic. Taking care of yourself when getting back out there is the surest way to achieve your fitness goals!

Schedule an appointment with our team of physiotherapists.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

How To Avoid Injuries When Shovelling Snow

How To Avoid Injuries When Shovelling Snow

Shovelling snow is an inevitable part of the Canadian winter, but suffering an injury when doing it need not be.

The Risks

It’s easy to get hurt while bending and lifting heavy loads of snow, and back injuries are the main culprit. Low back strain, acute disc herniation and even spinal injury are all possibilities. You can also place stress on the cardiovascular system, which can be dangerous for those with a pre-existing heart or lung condition.

 

Dos

  • Always Warm-up before clearing snow or ice. Warming-up is vital for preventing strains and pulled muscles.
  • Use proper equipment. Lightweight shovels are easier to wield, and those with a second or a curved handle help you to manoeuvre more easily.
  • Dress warmly. Cold muscles are easier to injure, so wrap up.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Slips and falls can be serious, so ensure you have something practical on your feet, with a good grip. Also consider spreading salt or sand to help increase traction.
  • Maintain good posture. When shovelling, keep your back straight and your knees bent, and use the shovel to push rather than lift the snow. If you have to do some lifting, do so in small batches and carry it rather than throwing it.
  • Keep a proper grip. Place your hands slightly apart on the shovel. This will give you more leverage and make lifting easier.
  • Shovel early. Piled up and packed snow are harder to move, so start clearing before the snow stops.
  • Take breaks. Frequent rest prevents overexertion and muscle fatigue. Pacing yourself is key to preventing avoidable injuries.

 

Don’ts

  • Don’t ignore pain. Any injury, large or small, should be addressed immediately. If you pull a muscle, slip, or feel muscle fatigue, stop what you’re doing to ensure any possible injury does not become aggravated by further movement. Get off your feet and ice the injury to reduce inflammation. If pain from a snow shovelling injury lasts for more than two days, consult with your doctor or physiotherapist.

 

To conclude, if you are unsure of how to stay active or manage your pain, speak to a professional for advice on safe ways to improve your quality of life.

Schedule an appointment with our team of physiotherapists.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

Chronic Pain

One in five Canadians experience chronic pain and this can be both debilitating and difficult to treat.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as any physical pain that persists for more than 12 weeks.

It can be anywhere in your body and cause any type of painful sensation, including burning, searing, shooting, aching, throbbing, stabbing or spasms.

The pain can be sharp or dull, last for moments or hours at a time, and affect basic motor functions or simply cause stiffness.  It can also cause related problems such as difficulty sleeping and mood changes.

Causes of Chronic Pain

Some chronic pain is caused by pain-related ailments, such as:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraines

In other cases it is a result of an injury or illness, such as:

  • Specific muscle injury
  • Broken bones
  • Surgery
  • Infections
  • Nerve damage
  • Back pain

It is impossible to tell who is going to experience chronic pain or if an injury or illness will result in it, so it’s important to keep track of pain levels and any other symptoms to be able to identify when a ache problem becomes constant.

Living with Chronic Pain

There are some simple pain management techniques that make living with a chronic pain condition more feasible. These techniques fall into several major categories.

1. Lifestyle Changes. The following have been shown to significantly reduce the severity and the effect it has on daily life:

  • Pacing yourself
  • Planning ahead
  • Learning relaxation techniques
  • Reducing stress
  • Taking regular exercise
  • Indulge in hobbies and favoured activities
  • Eating healthily
  • Speaking about pain with loved ones

2. Medical Intervention. If appropriate, your pain may be ameliorated by:

  • Pain medications
  • Pain counselling
  • TENS machine
  • Injury-specific treatment

 

To conclude, if you are unsure of how to stay active or manage your pain, speak to a professional for advice on safe ways to improve your quality of life.

Schedule an appointment with our team of physiotherapists.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

pelvic foor physiotherapy

Pelvic floor & Physiotherapy

Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a growing field but for many patients, the concept is shrouded in mystery. So let’s take a closer look at the pelvic floor and who might need physiotherapy for this region.

What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is the collection of muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nerves that sit in the lower pelvis and support the organs in closest proximity, such as the bladder. Pelvic floor muscles are important in assisting urinary function and bowel function. For women, the pelvic floor also underpins the uterus and vagina.

What is pelvic floor disorder?

The muscles of the pelvic floor can become weak or damaged for a number of reasons. When these muscles weaken the ‘hammock’ of muscles that support your organs, it drops down, causing one of three main types of disorder:

  1. Urinary incontinence, or lack of bladder control.
  2. Fecal incontinence, or lack of bowel control.
  3. Pelvic organ prolapse.

It is also possible for the muscles of the pelvic floor to over-tighten. This condition, known as hypertonicity, is also a form of pelvic floor dysfunction and can cause urinary and fecal urgency and chronic pelvic pain.

What can physiotherapy do to help?

Physiotherapy can be an important tool in preventing and treating pelvic floor disorders. Not all disorders require the same treatment, so it’s key to know what issue you are specifically experiencing before beginning a new treatment plan. Strengthening exercises, for example, may actually worsen hypertonicity.

For weak pelvic floors, physiotherapy can help lengthen, strengthen and tone the associated muscles. This is not just about doing kegel exercises, but also involves the core, the diaphragm, the muscles in your back and abdominals. Conversely, stretching and loosening can be achieved through physiotherapy to assist with disorders caused by over-tight muscles. A specialized physiotherapist – such as our own Mirvat Bachir, who has a Certification in Pelvic Floor Disorders – will be able to identify the cause of your issue, help you to identify the individual muscles you need to work on, and tailor your treatment according to your needs.

Who are the people at risk?

Childbirth is the main cause of pelvic floor disorder, but by no means the only. Other risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Radiation treatment
  • Heavy lifting
  • Chronic constipation
  • Digestive diseases
  • Age
  • High impact exercise

Incontinence is not a natural part of aging and some common symptoms of pelvic floor disorders can be wrongly associated with it. If you experience urinary problems, either urgency or incontinence, constipation, pain or pressure in the vagina or rectum, or pelvic muscle spasms, you may have a pelvic floor disorder.

Schedule an appointment with our team of physiotherapists.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

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