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.

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.

TMJ

TMJ Disorders and How a Physiotherapist Can Help

TMJ disorders can be painful and limiting, but help is available for those experiencing this difficult condition via a licensed physiotherapist.

What Is A TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located below the temple and in front of the inner ear, and problems with this joint or the muscles associated with it can cause difficulty using the jaw. This affects talking, eating, drinking, chewing and yawning. Usually people realize there is a problem when they experience pain in their jaw during everyday activities, but other symptoms include: ear pain, facial pain, facial spams, tight or tender jaw muscles, jaw popping, headaches or neck aches, ringing in the ears, or difficulty opening or closing the mouth.

What Causes A TMJ Disorder?

“TMJ disorder” is a general name for a group of conditions relating to these muscles and joints. Research suggests that the major causes of a dysfunction in the TMJ are:

  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory joint conditions
  • Joint or disc displacement or dislocation
  • Jaw injuries
  • Fractures
  • More generalized myofascial pain conditions
  • Environmental factors such as:
  • Poor posture
  • Clenching of the jaw
  • Grinding of the teeth
  • Inability to relax
  • Poor diet

Anyone can experience a TMJ disorder, with the young just as susceptible as the elderly, although women are more prone than men.

How a Physiotherapist Can Help

For those experiencing a TMJ disorder related to a fracture, injury or dislocation, the underlying cause must first be addressed before rehabilitation can be begun. However, the vast majority of sufferers have no obvious underlying cause for their discomfort, with many finding that symptoms begin out of nowhere. Physiotherapy has been shown to be an effective, non-invasive and safe treatment route for TMJ disorders, regardless of the cause.

A physiotherapist will assist with and teach a variety of techniques designed to alleviate symptoms, including: postural correction, stretching exercises for the jaw, head and neck, strengthening exercises, manual mobilizations of the affected joints, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and relaxation exercises. Your physiotherapist will assess your specific condition and create a tailored program to treat your symptoms and to resolve exacerbating factors.

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

Physio Proactive, 2018.

How to prevent work injuries with Physiotherapy

Below you’ll find the top ten ergonomics principles to prevent work related injuries.  Also, make sure to provide the following information to your employee and if needed consult a certified physiotherapist to help you set-up a safe work environment.

1. WORK IN NEUTRAL POSTURES

Educate your employees on the correct posture that they should work in, so that they do not cause harm to their spine, shoulders, elbows or wrists. Encourage a neutral position with proper body alignment to decrease the strain and impact on joints.

2. REDUCE EXCESSIVE FORCE 

Excessive force on your joints can create potential for fatigue and injury. In practical terms, try to identify tasks that imply excessive force and think of ways to make improvements (example: reduce force on hands by producing hand holes on boxes).

3. KEEP EVERYTHING WITHIN EASY REACH 

Save muscles from overexertion by keeping objects close to you.

4. WORK AT PROPER HEIGHTS

Do most of the work at elbow height except for heavier work (best done lower than the elbow). For precision work or visually intense work, it is best done above elbow height.

5. REDUCE EXCESSIVE MOTION:

Do not hesitate to use power tools instead of manual tools to reduce repetitive movements.

6. MINIMIZE STATIC LOAD

Holding the same position for a long period is known as static load. It creates fatigue and discomfort and can interfere with work. Try using an extender for tools when working overhead to minimize static load.

7. MINIMIZE PRESSURE POINTS

Continuous contact of a body part on a hard surface can be very stressful for your joints. For example, standing on a hard surface like concrete can hurt your feet. Using an anti-fatigue mat or insoles in your shoes can decrease contact stress.

8. PROVIDE CLEARANCE

Your workspace should be set-up to provide you with a clear view and enough room around you.

9. MOVE, EXERCISE & STRETCH

The human body needs to be exercised and stretched. Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day is ideal. Make sure to give yourself breaks when sitting in the same position for extended periods of time.

10. MAINTAIN COMFORTABLE LIGHTING

To decrease eye strain and glare problems, make sure your workspace is well lit. Also be aware of how long you stare at a computer screen during the day.

 

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

Physio Proactive, 2018.

Schoolbags and Back Injuries

Schoolbags and Back Injuries

It’s that time of year again: the threat of heavy schoolbags weighing down your little one is rearing its ugly head. The rise of handheld technology has not stemmed the need for kids to carry bulging backpacks full of heavy textbooks, and the risk of back pain is real and serious.

The Risks

Heavy schoolbags can result in musculoskeletal pain and in some extreme cases, persistent back pain. The damage comes in a variety of forms. Some kids might bend forwards or arch their hips, causing compression of the spine and leading to shoulder, neck and back pain. Those who carry their school bag over just one shoulder can cause strain and an imbalance in their posture, and those carrying bags with narrow straps risk circulatory problems and nerve damage. Girls and younger children are especially at risk due to their smaller size.

Ideal Backpack Use

Current research states a schoolbag should be no more than 10% of a child’s body weight. Doctors and physiotherapists also recommend:

  • Wearing the bag using both shoulder straps to evenly distribute the weight.
  • Standing upright to avoid hunching or rounding of the back.
  • Adjusting straps so that the bag is resting tightly against the middle of the back, not sagging down to the posterior.
  • Placing heavier items, such as text books, at the centre of the back.
  • Consider lightening the load if your child struggles to pick the bag up.

Pick The Right Bag

You can do your part to help your child avoid back pain by helping them to choose a sensible schoolbag. Some simple guidelines to follow are:

  • Pick a lightweight bag.
  • Pick a bag with two wide, padded shoulder straps.
  • Pick a bag with an extra waist belt or hip pads to compensate for those really heavy loads.
  • Choose a bag with multiple compartments, so that weight can be distributed throughout.
  • Consider a bag with a padded back, to increase comfort and avoid being poked through the material.

More than 70% of schoolchildren carry more than the recommended weight; keep your child safe this school year by investing in a practical bag and speaking to them about how to avoid back problems.

Our physiotherapist, Fawzi Charaan explains in a video (in French), how to best choose a schoolbag and how to adjust it to avoid any injury. See the video here!

Questions about schoolbags and back injuries? Schedule an appointment with our team of physiotherapists.

Physio Proactive, 2018.

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