Physiotherapy Clinic in Ville-Saint-Laurent

4 tips for avoiding injuries during your fall chores

With the falling leaves and Halloween on our doorstep, autumn is already in full effect. During this time of year, many of us are busy preparing our homes for winter. These outdoor activities can become very challenging if you work too quickly, or perform the wrong moves and do not take the time to warm up. Here are our tips for avoiding injuries during your fall chores.

To prevent injuries :

1. The golden rule

The golden rule to avoid hurting your spine is never to exceed the length of your arms in your movements. Indeed, if you go beyond this personal threshold, it is your spine that will suffer the repercussions. Whether you prune trees, rake leaves or clean the exterior of your home; always follow this rule. Do not forget to use a stepladder to be at the appropriate height.

 

2. Pick up the leaves without pain

Raking leaves on the ground can be a very effective activity to stay fit. On the other hand, it is important to use the right technique and the right tools. Opt for a rake with flexible blades with a fan-like shape. The task might take a little longer, but will be more enjoyable and less difficult for your arms. Decrease the tension on your back by placing one leg forward and the other behind. Alternate your legs and hands from time to time. In this way, you will always keep your center of gravity in the right place. Finally, avoid picking up leaves during rainy weather. Their weight increases considerably and exercise becomes much more difficult physically.

With its pickup bag, your lawn mower can also be a very effective method for picking up dead leaves. You only have to adjust the levers to the appropriate height for mowing. This way, you will pick up the leaves without mowing the grass. This method is much less demanding on your body, but just as effective.

 

3. Moving heavy objects without injury

Fall is also the time to put away your hoses, close the pool, store your BBQ and install your snow shelters. These activities may require you to lift and move heavier objects. It is important to follow the basic rules to lift these loads carefully.

First, approach the object and put your feet at the same width as your shoulders. Your feet and head should point to the object to be lifted. With your knees bent and your back straight, use the muscles of your legs and arms to lift the load while keeping it close to your body. To remove the load, bend your knees first, then maintain control while you unload.

 

4. Warm up and appropriate stretching

Remember to gradually warm up and stretch your muscles at regular intervals throughout your workday. A general warm-up of 5 minutes is also required to prepare the body by raising the temperature of the muscles, joints and tendons. If a warm-up is important at the beginning, it is also recommended to stretch at the end of the day. Do not hesitate to consult your health professional. They will be able to detect and help prevent many ailments.

Finally, to avoid hurting yourself, work progressively. Also take breaks as often as possible and don’t rush to finish the work before the first snowfall.

 

Fun tips

  • Use your fallen leaves to fill up garbage bags designed for Halloween decor. Why not? We can have fun while working!
  • Take a break in an orchard near you to handpick apples from Quebec. You are all aware of the proverb: an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

4 ergonomic tips for a return to work without injury

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for our clients to report having difficulty working because they feel that their work environment does not support their recovery. Indeed, the majority of the population has a job that requires sitting in front of a computer all day, which can be very harmful in the long run.

Pain due to bad working posture can go from neck pain, to tendonitis or capsulitis in the shoulder, back pain or hand numbness. To help you heal or simply to avoid injury, here are four ergonomic tips to help you get your workstation in order.

1. Your seat

First of all, we believe that adjusting your seat is the basis of good office posture. Make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor when you sit down and your feet are on the floor. You should not feel uncomfortable pressure under your thighs.

The depth of the seat is a point often forgotten, but very important. In fact, adequate depth of your seat is when it supports the thigh over its entire length without trapping the back of the knee. Check that there is no pressure on the back of the knees when your feet are well supported and your back is leaned into the back of your chair. If you feel discomfort behind your knees, it means your seat is too deep.

As for the back of your chair, it is supposed to help you keep the natural curvature of your back at the lumbar level. In fact, make sure that the height of it is positioned to support the hollow part of the back. It is also suggested to tilt the back of your chair slightly so that the weight of your upper body is partially supported to lighten the work of your back muscles.

As for the armrests, these are not mandatory if your elbows stay as close to the body as possible and your shoulders remain relaxed. However, if your armrests are well adjusted, they can still offer support to your arms and shoulders. Adjust them so that, once supported, your arms are parallel to your body and your shoulders are relaxed. Keep in mind that your armrests should not stop you from getting closer to your work surface.

2. The keyboard

In order to determine if your keyboard is in the right position, first you must make sure that when you are in your working position, your forearms are roughly parallel to the floor and your elbows are close to your body. As mentioned earlier, your shoulders and neck should be relaxed. If you cannot adjust the height of your keyboard, it is necessary to change the height of your chair to respect the aforementioned position of your forearms. Also, your wrists should stay straight; think of them as the extension of your forearms.

3. The screen

First of all, it is important that your screen is placed in front of you and not to the left or right of your field of vision. This could cause you to have eyestrain in addition to neck, shoulder and back pain. The height at which the screen should be varies and depends on your personal comfort. However, we suggest as a benchmark that your eyes be at the same level as the top of the glass part of the screen. Regarding the distance at which the screen should be, we suggest the approximate measure of one arm. On the other hand, the distance can vary according to the one of each individual.

4. Your office supplies

Place the items you use most often near your arms. For example, your phone should be easily accessible when you are sitting in front of your computer. Also, make sure there are no loose objects under your desk that encourage an unnatural posture. Do not hesitate to keep your work environment as organized as possible in order to adapt it to your needs.

We hope that these tips will help make your return to work easier this fall. Do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment if you have questions!

Benefits of massage therapy

Our clinic now offers a service of massage therapy with Tony Huynh a massage therapist and kinesiologist. This treatment approach was considered as an alternative approach for a long time but is now growing in demand since a couple years. We are really proud of adding massage therapy to our service offer since we know that this practice could be beneficial for a lot of people. This form of therapy involves hands-on techniques that are extremely beneficial. Here are 5 benefits of massage therapy:

1. It is relaxing and can help reduce stress

It is proven that when the body is tense and under stress, it automatically produces cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol can contribute to a lot of health problems as weight gain, insomnia, digestive problems and headaches. Massage therapy is a good option to decrease the cortisol level in your body because it helps the body to enter a recovery mode that lead to a lasting feeling of relaxation, an improved mood and a reduced stress level.

 

2. It reduces muscle pain

If you are a person that suffers from a lot of muscle pain, massage therapy could be the solution for you. In fact, massage increases and improves circulation which lead to an elimination of tense muscles, an increase of your flexibility and it provides relaxation to your tense muscles as well as your body as a whole.

 

3. It improves sleep

Massage encourages a restful sleep since it fully relaxes your body. It also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest. A massage loosens your muscles and reduces your stress level, which leads your mind quiet enough to slip into a deep sleep. Moreover, you will find yourself more rested and energized in the morning.

 

4. It helps with anxiety and depression

There are many reasons why the way the body relaxation response from a massage could be beneficial for people suffering with anxiety and depression. A human touch in a safe and professional context can be really therapeutically for some people. Moreover, a massage can actually increase serotonin and dopamine, hormones that are known to increase the feeling of happiness and decrease feelings of anxiety and depression.

 

5. It helps to increase your immune system

It is proven that people that experience high levels of stress are more vulnerable to illness and injury. Stress is usually combined with sleep deprivation and poor nutrition, which impact directly the immune system. Massage helps stimulating the lymphatic system that is connected with the body’s defense system. A regular massage session will not only help you reduce your stress level but also boost your immune system.

 

These 5 benefits of massage therapy are only the beginning. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more information about our new services or if you want to make an appointment with Tony Huynh a massage therapist and kinesiologist.

How To Prevent Pain When Moving House

Everyone knows that moving house is a hectic, stressful experience. But it’s also potentially dangerous. Back injuries, muscle strains, harm to fingers and toes, and even hernias are all common but avoidable afflictions when moving. Stay safe and avoid pain when you move by following these simple rules:

 

1. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

A rushed move is far more likely to result in avoidable accidents as you scramble to get everything done. Similarly, trying to do too much on one day is far more likely to cause a muscle fatigue that could be leading to an injury. Pace yourself – try packing a little each day, rather than attempting to do everything at once.

 

2. Plan Ahead

Try to arrange it so your move is as easy as possible. For example, moving during the winter is more dangerous, as the risk of slipping is greater. Asking for help from friends and family in advance will help you avoid becoming over-stretched and rushed. And keeping pets and children out of the way will reduce the chances of them or you having an accident.

 

3. Pack Sensibly

It’s tempting when moving to fill every box to the brim and maximize packing efficiency, but consider your own lifting capacity before doing this. A full box may be too heavy for you to carry without causing a back injury. A general rule for box weight should restricted around 10-15% of your body weight. It’s also important to use proper packing materials to wrap dangerous or sharp objects, such as kitchen knives, so you don’t inadvertently hurt yourself.

 

4. Use Proper Equipment and Clothing

The equipment you use during your move can help reduce the risk of pain and injury. Wherever possible, take advantage of moving dollies, furniture pads and straps. Closed-toe, flat shoes, thick gloves, and comfortable fitted clothing all also help to keep your body safe by preventing trips and protecting your extremities.

 

5. Tidy the Clutter

It’s normal for a house to be in disarray as you prepare for your move, but tripping – especially when carrying boxes or furniture – can cause real harm. Keep pathways clear at all times, both inside and outside, and always watch where you’re going.

 

6. Take Care of Yourself

It’s important to take care of yourself throughout the moving process. This includes getting plenty of sleep, hydrating, eating, taking breaks, warming-up before any heavy lifting to keep muscles warm, and using proper lifting techniques. When carrying anything heavy, bend your knees and lift with your legs. Move slowly and steadily, putting the object down the moment you feel tired to avoid back strain. Know your own body’s limits, and stop if you have to.

 

Moving is difficult enough without adding physical pain to the mix, so bear these tips in mind to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible.

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.

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