Physiotherapy Clinic in Ville-Saint-Laurent

Choose the Right Shoes for your Child

Choosing the right shoes for your child isn’t just a matter of fashion; correct footwear is part of a healthy lifestyle, and can make a huge difference in a kid’s posture, safety and comfort. Let’s take a look at the hows and whys of picking out the best shoes for your little ones.

 

Why Do Shoes Matter?

The choices you make for your child now will extend into their adulthood; while 98% of us are born with healthy feet, only 40% of us will still have them by the time we reach 18. Clearly, finding the right footwear can make a big difference.

 

The advantages of proper footwear – both in form and fit – include:

  • Improving posture
  • Protecting joints
  • Supporting and cushioning feet during activity
  • Aiding comfort
  • Preventing avoidable slips, falls and injuries
  • Protecting soles of the feet from hazards

 

Of course there are many options when shopping for kids shoes, but whilst many of them are adorable, not all are practical or safe.

 

How do I Pick the Right Shoes?

 

Picking the right shoes need not be a challenge. There are some simple guidelines to follow to ensure you make the right decision:

1. If the Shoe Fits

Children’s feet grow, a lot – up to 12 sizes in their first three years of development. But almost half of kids are wearing the incorrect shoe size. This can cause some serious problems while the feet are still growing, so it’s vital to always measure your child’s feet before buying any new shoes.

 

As they can change so rapidly, frequent size checks are recommended by physiotherapist at the following rate:

  • Every two months for children under two years old
  • Every four months for kids aged three to four
  • Every six months for kids over the age of five

 

And no matter what the measurement is, always have your kids try shoes before buying them; their feet should not be squashed across their width, and their toes should be able to move freely. If your little ones are mobile, get them to walk around in the shoes to test their comfort level and identify any areas of tightness or discomfort.

2. Different Shoes for Different Stages of Development

Shoes for infants differ greatly from shoes for kindergartners, so bear in mind your child’s stage of development. Infants don’t need much support as they won’t be walking.. Toddlers are mid-development, but on their feet all day, so they need room to grow and some cushioning. Older children have less fragile feet but are using them in more varied ways, and generally for higher impact activities, so shoes with a mix of flexibility and support are better.

3. Consider the Activity

For older kids, as with adults, it’s important to remember what activity the shoes will be worn for. Running shoes are built differently than walking shoes. If your child plays a specific sport, consider buying shoes that are designed for that sport, as they will offer more protection and support in the specific ways required of that activity. If you’re simply searching for good all-purpose shoes, check the soles for thickness and grip, the flexibility of the material, and above all else the fit.

4. Material Considerations

Children’s feet sweat more than twice as much as an adult’s, so look for shoes made of light, breathable, natural materials, so your their feet don’t overheat. This can prevent blisters as well as unpleasant odours. Canvas is a great option, as it is also washable, while still being durable. Avoid plastics and synthetic materials.

5. Fasteners

The shoes you’re considering may come with laces, velcro, or something else entirely. Generally it’s recommended to avoid slip-ons and backless shoes for kids, as they don’t offer adequate support. Choosing between fasteners is a matter of ability for your child; wherever possible choose a shoe that they can get on and off themselves.

 

The better prepared you are before you head out in search of children’s shoes, the easier your shopping trip will be. Always remember, if they’re not comfortable in the store, they won’t be worn at home!

 

Benefits & Risks of Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing is one of Canada’s most popular winter sports, with about 2.6 million people taking part annually. It has the double benefit of being both incredibly exhilarating and excellent exercise. It does come with risks though, so if you’re a regular skier, or considering taking up the sport, here’s what you need to know:

Benefits of Alpine Skiing

1. A mix of exercise types

Skiing is a great way to get some exercise, in particular because it combines both endurance and resistance training. This means that, compared to other sports, it packs more punch for the time spent; and it doesn’t even feel like work!

2. Boosts healthy heart

Research by cardiologists shows that alpine skiing is equivalent to cycling or rowing in terms of its benefits to heart health. A leisurely descent on a smooth run may not have quite the same impact as a heart-thumping hop through deep powder, but in either case you are helping your body to improve insulin resistance and glucose metabolism, lower blood pressure and lipids, and improve body composition.

3. Strengthens bones and joints

Skiing means bearing your weight on your legs, and using your knees to turn and move. This strengthens the larger muscles in the lower part of the body and the bones and joints in your legs, knees and hips. This can decrease the risk of osteoporosis and knee damage in the future.

4. Improves balance and coordination

Skiing is all about balance, and learning how to remain upright by using your core strength is a great way to retain your sense of balance as you advance in years – which can help you avoid falls. You also get to practice coordination and flexibility as you ski, which allows you to avoid strains and sprains more effectively too.

5. Boosts mood and improves sleep

Spending the day outside in the sunshine, breathing in the crisp air and experiencing the thrill of alpine skiing is sure to put a smile on your face. And the natural fatigue that comes after such exercise improves sleep duration and quality. Research shows that engaging in alpine skiing is also a great indicator of a generally active, healthy lifestyle.

Risks of Alpine Skiing

There is obviously a risk of injury when engaging in any type of skiing (or indeed any sport), but the risks can be significantly ameliorated by:

 

  1. Proper use of equipment
  2. Staying within your ability levels
  3. Consideration of the conditions

 

Changing weather, uncertain snow or ice conditions, busy slopes, or the presence of obstacles all make injury more likely and potentially more severe. It’s advisable, if you are a new skier, to take things slowly, remember to warm up beforehand and to stretch afterwards, and if possible seek the help of an instructor to ensure your form is designed to protect your body. Falling need not be injurious, as long as you know how to do it safely!

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.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common joint ailments, and it affects more people than all other types of arthritis combined.

What Is Osteoarthritis ?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis, and occurs when the cartilage between bones breaks down and is unable to repair itself. Cartilage acts as a cushion between bones and allows for smooth movement of the joints, but when it is damaged joints can become difficult to move.

Many sufferers experience a grinding sensation in their joint, and pain, stiffness and swelling are all common symptoms. A cracking or clicking of the joint may also be a sign of trouble. These symptoms are typically more noticeable after a long period of rest, such as first thing in the morning. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but is most often found in knees, hips, spine and hands.

In severe cases, the bones adjacent to the damaged joint may themselves sustain damage.

Who Can Be Affected ?

While anyone can get osteoarthritis, it is more likely to affect older adults, with the prevalence spiking in those over the age of 65. Those especially at risk include people with:

  • Previous joint injuries
  • Excessive use of a joint
  • Obesity
  • A genetic predisposition
  • Weak muscles around the joint

Women are also more likely to be affected than men.

How Can It Be Treated?

Osteoarthritis is diagnosed based on symptoms and physical findings rather than a single definitive test. Symptoms are often slow to progress so catching it early can be a challenge.

As osteoarthritis is degenerative, symptoms will worsen over time, and there is no cure. However treatment options are available to increase mobility and manage symptoms. Living with osteoarthritis long term is possible with weight management, pain medications and therapeutic exercise. Specific exercises targeting the affected joints and muscles may be helpful in strengthening the surrounding structures and reducing the strain on the joint, and range of motion exercises will help reduce stiffness and improve flexibility.

Questions about osteoarthritis ? Schedule an appointment with our team of physiotherapists.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

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