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Health and Wellness

Winter Is Coming: A Guide to Cold Weather Sports Injury Prevention

You are special if you play and train all winter long. You are a winter warrior!

However, winter warriors, like you, need extra safety from injuries in winter. Winter sports are inherently more dangerous. In 2015, over 246,000 people were treated for winter sports injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here in Canada, more 5,600 people are seriously injured during winter sports activities every year, according to Canadian Institute for Health Information.

The winter climate is far less forgiving than other seasons. Plus, sun exposure and hydration are still a concern. While not all these injuries are avoidable, knowledge increases safety.

Here we will discuss most common injuries that occur while playing winter sports.

Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries

Skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular winter activities. However, these activities also cause the most number of winter sport injuries.

These activities include descending steep slopes covered with snow at high speed. The snow-covered slopes may cause you to slip, hit an object, or fall over. In addition, use of a secondary sports equipment (ski, snowboard, pole) during such activities increases the risk of injury. Concussions, fractures, and twisting muscles are common injuries that occur during skiing or snowboarding.

To reduce the risk of concussions, always wear helmets during any activity where speed is a concern. Also, make sure your children wear helmets as well.

Also, a severe fall can injure limbs or body to a varying degree. Avoid going near sharp cliffs, dangerous heights, or rocky paths to stay safe.

Tobogganing and Snowmobiling Injuries

Both tobogganing, also called sledging or sledding, and snowmobiling involve using sports equipment, similar to skiing and snowboarding. But the equipment is much larger, and powered in case of snowmobiling. Such equipment complicates the safety of the person involved. While the larger equipment offers better protection, it also pose risks due to a person falling over or carried away with the snowmobile.

The injuries include fractures, concussions, to severe body injuries. To reduce the risk, always wear proper protective equipment, fasten the belts, and operate the toboggans and snowmobiles safely.

Hockey Injuries

Winter season is also a hockey season. Throughout the season, numerous hockey teams train and play games with each other. During these hockey games, serious injuries happen to players frequently.

In the game, players collide with each other, hit the glass, and fall on ice. These incidents can result in concussions, torn ligaments, and fractured bones.

For safety, make sure to wear all hockey equipment when on the ice. Avoid any kind of dangerous or foul play. Enforcing rules to create safe and fair play conditions is also important for the hockey players.

Skating Injuries

Skating on ice is a favorite activity of many people. While comparatively safer to other winter activities, it still poses a few risks.

Slipping on ice is the most common incident, especially for people who are new or less experience with skating. Injuring yourself while falling over or hitting into other people while skating are other safety concerns. Always wear the safety equipment and try to maintain distance from others while on the ice.

If you are skating outside, ensure the ice is safe every time you skate. Do not just assume it is safe because other people are skating on it, or because you skated on it yesterday.

Jogging and Running Injuries

Running and jogging outdoors is an effective way to keep yourself in shape, provided you are prepared for the season. However, dangerous surface conditions are often risky to runners.

In the winters, the risk of shin splints, cramps, ankle and knee injuries while running increases. You can minimize these risks by sticking to paths that you know well.

For safety, stay off the road and use the sidewalk or a park path. The road may look cleaner, but ice is harder to detect on the road. Plowed snow may also make the roadway narrow and give cars less space to maneuver around you.

Changing up your footwear in the winter is another step towards safety. By switching to a cross-trainer shoe, you can maintain grip better and keep your feet warm as well.

Related: Sports Injuries and Middle Age

Hiking and Walking Injuries

While hiking and walking seem safer when compared to other activities, they still contain many risks during the winter. The risk increases due to the unfamiliar paths covered with snow and ice.

To avoid injuries, always watch your step and look ahead to avoid stepping at the wrong spot. Most common injuries are due to slipping and falling, which result in fractures or bruises.
In addition, you have to be careful of frost bites while hiking in extreme cold temperatures.

Related: Slip and Fall Injuries in Snow

Cycling Injuries

With specialized bicycles, cycling has become an all-weather activity in Canada. However, bicycles are still prone to losing balance and crashing on snow and ice. These crashes might cause severe head and body injuries to the cyclist, including permanent disability or death.

For safety in snow and slippery weather, some bicycles come equipped with tires specially designed to work on snow and ice for safety. Additionally, you can stay off uneven surfaces and snow-covered roads to avoid crashes.

And remember, always wear a helmet.

Final Words

Being a winter warrior is all about preparing yourself and knowing a step ahead. Wearing a helmet, staying warm, following the rules, and switching up your normal exercise gear will help you stay safe in the snow and ice.

We hope this information will help you keep fighting all winter long.

Related: Slip and fall injury prevention tips in snow

Hand and Wrist Injuries and Role of Physiotherapy

The hand and wrist are prone to injury due to their structure wherein there is an intricate assortment of bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Moreover, due to the nature of human anatomy wherein the hand and wrist are also involved in almost every activity of daily living thereby adding to the likelihood of hand and wrist injuries. Due to the complex biomechanics of the hand, many injuries are common whereas some other are so subtle that they are easily missed or ignored which leads to future complications. It is vital to carefully diagnose all hand and wrist injuries so that an effective rehabilitation therapy can begin as early as possible.

carpal bones - hand and wrist bones

Some Common Hand and Wrist Injuries Include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This is caused by the Median nerve that supplies the hand is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel at the wrist.
  • de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: This is an overuse injury of one of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist.
  • Wrist Fractures: Most Common types of fractures are the distal Radius (a ‘Colles Fracture’), Ulna and Scaphoid.
  • Dislocated finger
  • Wrist sprain: The ligaments and connective tissue of the wrist can be overstretched or torn

Related Article: Whiplash Injury: Cause, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Hand and Wrist Injuries Experienced by Some Athletes and Workers

wrist injuries physio mississauga

Sprains

Sprains are damage to ligaments. A ligament is a type of tissue that connects bone to each other. Sprains are graded from a minor tear to a complete rupture. The Treatment and recovery time depends on the grade of sprain.

Thumb Sprains

This is caused by a ulnar collateral ligament which may be sprained as this ligament acts like a hinge and helps your thumb to function properly. Grasping power of the hand is severely impacted due to thumb sprain. Such painful thumb injury may happen while breaking a fall with the palm of the hand or taking a spill on the slopes with your hand strapped to a ski pole.

Wrist Sprains

This type of injury happens in activities when direct pressure and weight is applied on the palm thereby bending the wrist backward and possibly stretching or tearing the ligaments connecting the bones in the wrist. This type of injury is experienced during a forward fall to which the natural response of the body is to put the hands out in front which bear the weight and impact the wrist.

Related Article: Ankle Sprain Due to Increased Physical Activity

Bone Injuries

Bones can be fractured and dislocated. A fracture is a crack or a break in a bone. It is commonly referred to as broken bone. A dislocation is when a bone is pushed out of place so that they no longer line up correctly at the joint. This can impact the ability to move due to pain.

Hand Fractures

Fractures of the metacarpals (the bones in the hand just before the knuckles) and phalanges (the bones between the joints of fingers) are also common injuries.

The most common fracture of the metacarpals is a boxer’s fracture. A boxer’s fracture usually occurs when you strike an object with your closed fist. With a boxer’s fracture, the fifth metacarpal joint (the one at the base of your littlest finger) is depressed and the surrounding tissue is tender and swollen.

Related Article: How to Prevent the Most Common Sports Injuries

Wrist Fractures

The scaphoid bone is one of eight small bones that make up the wrist and fracture of the scaphoid bone accounts for most of the wrist fractures.

These are quite common in sports, work, and motor vehicle accidents. The break usually occurs during a fall on the outstretched wrist. The angle at which the wrist hits the ground may determine the type of injury. The more the wrist is bent back (extension), the more likely the scaphoid bone will break. With less wrist extension it is more likely the lower arm bone (radius) will break.

Scaphoid fractures may not be immediately obvious. Such fractures are sometimes disguised as sprained wrist instead of a broken bone because there is no obvious deformity and very little swelling.

PIP Joint Dislocations

One of the most common injuries to a hand is an injury to the joint above the knuckle, the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint. Injuries to the PIP joint occur when the finger is either hyper extended (forced backward) or forced into flexion (downward into a bent position). Injuries to the PIP joint may include fractures, dislocations, and fracture dislocations.

Soft Tissue and Closed Tendon Injuries

Tendons are connective tissues that attach muscle to bone. Tendonitis is a common injury of the tendon which causes an irritation of the tissue.

de Quervain’s Syndrome

de Quervain’s syndrome is a common injury with people who use a lot of wrist motion, especially repetitive rotating and gripping generally caused by overuse of hand which causes irritation of the tendons found along the thumb side of the wrist. This irritation impacts the lining around the tendon which swells and severely impacts the movement of the tendons.

ECU Tendonitis

Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) tendonitis is another common closed tendon injury. ECU tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that runs along the back of the wrist and is caused by repetitive twisting and backward flexion of the wrist. It is most commonly seen in basketball players and those playing racquet sports.

Baseball Finger

Baseball finger (or mallet finger) is an injury that commonly occurs at the beginning of the baseball season. It occurs when a ball hits the tip of the finger, bending it down. Normally, the tip of the finger can bend toward the palm of the hand by about 60-70 degrees. However, adding the force of a ball that has been batted through the air, the force of the moving ball can push the finger beyond that limit, tearing the extensor tendon that controls muscle movement in the affected finger. If the force is great enough, it may even pull tiny pieces of bone away thereby complicating the injury.

Jersey Finger

Jersey finger is the opposite of mallet finger and occurs when the fingertip, usually the ring finger, is forcibly extended, such as if the finger gets caught in machinery. This causes the flexor tendon, which bends the fingertip, to be pulled away from the bone due to which the individual will be unable to bend the finger without assistance.

Boutonnière Deformity

Boutonnière deformity is an injury to the tendons that straighten the fingers. It occurs when the finger receives a forceful blow when it is bent. Several tendons, running along the side and top of the finger, work together to straighten the finger. If the tendon on the top that attaches to the middle bone of the finger (the central slip of tendon) is injured by a forceful blow, it can sever the central slip from its attachment to the bone, in some cases, even popping the bone through the opening. The tear looks like a buttonhole (“boutonnière” in French). In case of a boutonnière deformity, the middle joint of the finger will bend downward and the fingertip end joint bends back. People with a boutonnière deformity cannot fully straighten their finger.

Preventing Hand and Wrist Injuries

The following methods are suggested to prevent hand injuries, wrist injuries, and upper extremity injuries:

  • Wrist guards: Wrist guards may help protect an individual from bone fractures and hand scrapes in case of a fall or slide.
  • Gloves: The gloves will help protect the hands if the palm suffers a direct blow. In addition to protecting the hand nerves; the gloves will also protect the skin from direct wounds and cuts by acting as a shield.
  • Warm-up: It is recommended to include a warm-up before playing sports or working an eight-hour physically-intense work shift with focus on stretching and improving flexibility.

Exercises for Hand and Wrist Injuries

There are exercises for rehabilitation of hand and wrist injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. We also have general wrist and hand exercises below.

  • Assisted Supinator Stretch – This stretch requires the help of a partner or physiotherapist to stretch the muscles which supinate the wrist (turn the hand over).
  • Putty Exercises (Various) – Putty can be used to strengthen the small muscles of the wrist and hand. This is useful after injuries such as a fracture to any of the small bones in the hand or a wrist, thumb or finger sprain.
  • Prolonged Wrist Stretches – This exercise aims to increase the range of motion into pronation and supination. Pronation is the movement of turning the hand so the palm faces downwards. Supination is the opposite movements so the palm ends facing upwards.
  • Ulna & Radial Deviation – Ulna and radial deviation are the movements of tilting the wrist from one side to the other. Radial deviation is to move the thumb side of the hand down towards the wrist and ulnar deviation is moving the little finger side down.
  • Wrist Flexion – This wrist flexion exercise can be performed with a dumbbell, or with a resistance band. It is great for strengthening the wrist flexor muscles of the forearm after wrist and elbow injuries.
  • Wrist Extension – Wrist extension exercises are rarely used in weight training programs, although it is a great exercise for rehabilitation of injuries such as tennis elbow and sprains/fractures of the wrist.
  • Finger Exercises with Rubber Band – Rubber band exercises are a great way for strengthening the finger extensors and are commonly used in treating tennis elbow injuries as the same muscles causing pain at the elbow, also control finger extension.

Physiotherapy Treatment for Hand & Wrist Injuries

Physiotherapy treatment becomes important following a hand or wrist injury to restore optimal function of the organ thereby, allowing the patient to participate in all the daily activities without pain, limitation or weakness.

hand and wrist injury physio

The treatment of such injuries includes a detailed assessment of the patient for development of an individual treatment plan to reduce pain, regain the range of movement, function, and strength. The physiotherapist may also recommend further investigations like an X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT scan or nerve conduction studies to confirm a hand and wrist pain diagnosis and rule out other more serious conditions.

Runner’s Knee Guide for Patients: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

What is Runner’s Knee and What Causes Pain?

Runner’s knee is also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. Runner’s knee got its name because the syndrome is common for runners. People experience runner’s knee when their kneecap causes friction against the bottom of their thigh bone. Runner’s knee occurs when the cartilage has been eroded and irritation is present.

runner's knee - knee pain

Trauma to the kneecap, misalignment of the kneecap, flat feet, weak or tight thigh muscles, arthritis, a fractured kneecap, overuse of the knee or complete or partial dislocation of the kneecap can cause runner’s knee. Plica syndrome or synovial plica syndrome can also cause runner’s knee. The syndrome causes the lining of the joint to become thickened and inflamed.

The pain of runner’s knee is caused by worn or torn cartilage, strained tendons or the irritation of the soft tissues or lining of the knee.

What Are the Symptoms of Runner’s Knee?

People who have runner’s knee will have knee pain. Many people will describe it as a dull, aching pain around or behind their kneecap. People may feel pain when they’re walking, kneeling, running, sitting for a long time with their knee bent, squatting, sitting down or standing up and climbing and descending stairs. Some people may experience swelling and popping or grinding in their knees.

How to Relieve Runner’s Knee Pain

Stretching and Foam Rolling

Stretching and foam rolling are great exercises to perform as they strengthen the knee and loosen tight calves and quads. Be careful and cautious while performing stretches as it can further irritate the injured knee.

Medical Tape

Applying medical tape is another great way to get temporary relief from runner’s knee. The medical tape that you apply should be rigid athletic tape or kinesiology tape. Applying medical tape to the injured knee has been proven to be effective. It’s been shown that medical tape provides temporary relief from runner’s knee pain in professional athletes.

Research has shown that medical tape is the best option for temporary relief from runner’s knee. Applying the tape loosely or tightly doesn’t matter because loose taping provides just as much relief as tight taping.Flexible kinesiology tape is recommended, and it’s the best option. Kinesiology tape stays on longer, and it’s less likely to irritate skin.

Knee Braces

Research has shown that knee braces can provide temporary relief for people who are suffering from runner’s knee.

Other Options

Doing hip and quadriceps strengthening exercises each day can also help you to get temporary relief. It’s important to complete exercises slowly, and only complete one set of 15 each day until the strength in these areas increases. When the strength in these areas improves, people who have runner’s knee can complete two or three sets of 15 each day.

It’s important that people who have runner’s knee complete strengthening exercises for their lower legs and improve their balance. Glute bridges are an excellent exercise to do to increase lower leg strength and improve balance.

This article provides information on exercise for runner’s knee pain.

Lastly, it’s advised to put ice on the injury after every session of running or jogging.

Treatment Options

Physiotherapy is one treatment option for people who have runner’s knee. Many people who have runner’s knee respond well to physiotherapy treatment. A physiotherapist will complete a physical assessment to determine how to correct the injury.

 

runner's knee physiotherapy

Massage therapy is another treatment option for people who are suffering from runner’s knee. A qualified massage therapist should have a variety of tools and techniques to help the injury heal. Trigger point therapy, kneading, longitudinal gliding, myofascial release, a compression massage, deep transverse frictions, a Swedish massage and cross-fiber massages help heal runner’s knee.

How Long Does It Take for Runner’s Knee to Heal?

For the injury to heal faster, most treatment plans recommend avoiding running until the injury heals.

Four to six weeks of exercising are necessary for the injury to heal. Usually, it’ll take four to six weeks for the injury to heal, but it may take longer. A doctor or physical therapist should be able to give an accurate estimate on how long it’ll take for the injury to heal.

How to Protect Your Knees While Running

Wearing proper shoes, stretching, cross training, eating healthy and taking supplements are the best way to protect your knees while running. It’s important to avoid overusing the knee as well.

Wearing the right shoes is the most important step people can take to avoid runner’s knee. It’s important that they first find shoes that fit their feet correctly. Many running shoes don’t have proper support to prevent runner’s knee. Always be sure to remove the inserts or insoles that came with the shoes and purchase new ones that offer better support.

Another important step people can take to protect their knees while running is to stretch before they begin running or jogging. Stretching not only prevents runner’s knee, but it also prevents other injuries.

Many people who run for exercise only focus on running. It’s important to cross train. Consistently repeating the same exercise throws the body out of balance. Be sure to add core-strengthening exercises to your routine.

People who run need a variety of supplements and healthy foods to protect their knees while running or jogging. People who run need to maintain healthy joints to prevent injuries. Adults should be getting 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. People who prefer to eat their calcium have the option of choosing dark green vegetables and dairy products. People who run should be taking 1,500 milligrams per day of glucosamine and 1,200 milligrams a day of chondroitin sulfate.

How We Can Help You

Many people need to participate in a dedicated strength training program to get permanent relief from runner’s knee, and we can help you with that. Many people who experience runner’s knee have come to us for help, and we’ve always been able to help them. Our physiotherapists at Square One Physio in Mississauga can help you get back to the running track again.

Click here to book an appointment.

Related article: Do your knees make a clicking sound when you do squats and lunges?

Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy: Cause and Treatment

A common complaint among pregnant women involves consistent, chronic lower back pain during pregnancy. Indeed, very few women make it through a pregnancy without suffering from lower back pain.

Lower back pain during pregnancy

Due to the nature of pregnancy, options for dealing with lower back pain can be rather limited. For example, certain medications are unavailable because of the impact these drugs can have on an unborn child. For this reason, a growing number of women find relief from lower back pain during pregnancy through physiotherapy, including massage therapy.

Causes of Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

While added weight can be the culprit when it comes to pregnancy-related lower back pain, two other primary causes exist for the problem. These are the growth of the uterus itself and hormonal changes during pregnancy.

The expansion or growth of the uterus as a pregnancy progresses actually shifts a woman’s center of gravity. This alteration impacts the lower back, and sometimes significantly so.

It is something of a cliché to comment on the hormonal change that occurs during pregnancy. More often than not, the focus of that change is on a pregnant woman’s mood and related issues. However, it is important to understand that the hormonal change associated with pregnancy also loosens the ligaments and joints that connect to the spine. This change typically results in persistent lower back pain.

Physiotherapy and Massage During Pregnancy

Initially, it is important to understand that a physiotherapist does not take a one size fits all approach to the development of a pain reduction regimen for a pregnant woman. The first step in the process is an initial consultation with an experienced physiotherapist to more closely identify the specific issues a pregnant woman is confronting.

Massage therapy, many times, is included in an overall course of treatment by a physiotherapist for a pregnant woman dealing with pain and other issues. The frequency of massage therapy sessions is determined on a case by case basis.

In most cases, women dealing with back pain associated with pregnancy begin to experience symptoms of relief even after the first treatment session. As a general rule, massage therapy continues throughout the course of a pregnancy to ensure the reduction or elimination of lower back pain.

As an aside, massage therapy bestows other very important benefits for a pregnant woman. For example, the hustle and bustle of daily life is stressful as is. Addressing the requirements of daily life becomes even more challenging and stressful when a woman is pregnant.

Regular prenatal massage therapy provided by a qualified, experienced physiotherapist also works to reduce the stress level of a pregnant woman. This reduction in a woman’s stress level during pregnancy contributes to the overall health and well-being not only of the mother to be but of the unborn child as well.

How to prevent the 7 most common sports injuries

Sports injuries are injuries sustained when playing sports or during exercise. They occur either as accidents or due to poor training practices such as not warming up or using improper gear. These are mostly caused by applying forces greater than a body part can structurally endure at one time or over a longer period. Common sports injuries involve soft tissue structures like ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and tendons.

sports injury in footbal

Types of Sports Injuries

Sports injuries include many kinds of injury suffered in other areas such as falls, car accidents and industrial accidents.

It is useful to classify them by type of injury:

Contusions

These are caused by direct blows onto tissues, particular muscle masses like the thigh. The local tissue and muscle cells are bruised and damaged, swell and become painful

Strains

These are tears in muscles or tendons caused by overexertion or over-stretching

Sprains

Joint injuries are from overstretching the ligaments around the joint, causing tearing, swelling, and pain. Mild ones can be self-managed, severe sprains such as ligament rupture require medical advice

Dislocation

These occur when one part of a joint becomes detached from the other, due to a very severe sprain. Requires medical advice

Fractures

Broken bones, either a minor one where a ligament pulls a piece of bone off or a major one involving main bone such as the thigh. Require medical advice

Head Injury

These occur when the head is hit by something or hits itself against something. Head injuries, even minor ones with few or no symptoms, are always serious and require medical advice

Spinal Cord Injury

This occurs when the spine is damaged significantly and leads to injury to the spinal cord within. These are medical emergencies.

Wounds

These can vary from blisters to large cuts in the body due to impact against a sharp object

Overuse Injuries

These are the most common sports injuries. Inflammation and pain are set up by stressing a tissue too much, too often or both.

Injuries can also be divided into acute and chronic, with differing approaches and treatments.

Acute and Chronic Injuries

Acute injuries are recent and happen suddenly during sporting activity. Signs of an acute injury are severe pain, swelling, limited joint movement, weakness, and inability to bear weight on the limb. Severe cases are obvious fractures and dislocations. They are treated commonly with ice, rest, compression, elevation and gentle movement. Fractures and dislocations require immediate medical care.

Related: Sports Injury and Middle Age: Common Issues that Can Slow You Down, But Don’t Have To

Chronic injuries are longstanding and due to repeated acute events which have not be settled fully in the athlete. They may swell, are painful on activity and often ache at rest but do not have much inflammation. Treatment is frictions, stretches, muscle strengthening, orthotics and altering the mechanics of the athletic action concerned.

The Seven Most Common Sports Injuries

These are:

Can Sports Injuries Be Prevented?

Many sports injuries happen as accidents during play such as collisions, ankle sprains or falls. These are difficult or impossible to prevent. But many could be prevented with some simple precautions. For example, to lower your risk of injury:

  • Make sure you are trained for the sport or activity. Fitness for sport is very specific so if you are fit for football you are not fit for rugby.
  • Perform at least five minutes of warm-up and cool-down before and after exercising or playing a sport
  • Use the right equipment, including any recommended safety gear
  • Don’t push yourself beyond your level of fitness
  • Avoid returning to sport or exercise too soon after an injury
  • Wear good shoes with suitable stability and cushioning
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces or up and down hill
  • If you have an injury or any pain, don’t try to push through it
  • Avoid being a “weekend warrior” by packing all your sporting activity into two days

Overuse Injuries in Sports

These are the most common sports injuries as sports people routinely overdo training and performance. They put up with small injuries until they get more severe and they are forced to stop or reduce their training. Overuse injuries are caused by repeated trauma, examples being stress fractures and tendonitis.

There are two categories of error which can lead to an overuse injury:

Errors of Training

This happens when we exercise too much and too quickly. Doing too much exercise (overtraining), doing too high a level too soon or performing actions too fast can cause an overuse injury.

Errors of Technique

Poor technique can mean you use much more strength than you need to and strain your joints as you perform an activity incorrectly. A repeated poor technique can then lead to an overuse injury.

Anyone can get an overuse injury but it is most likely as we get older, if we are returning to training or if we have increased our training recently. Most overuse injuries could be avoided if the right steps were taken.

How to Avoid Overuse Sports Injuries

A good approach to avoid overuse injuries can be:

  • Adding variety to your exercise regimen to avoid any one set of muscles being continually stressed over a long period of time
  • Pacing your increase in activity to avoid over-stressing your muscles, joints and tendons
  • Learning proper technique and using proper sports gear
  • Taking lessons can be a quick way of getting things right to start with
  • Using appropriate footwear that matches with your sports activity
  • Taking a rest from your activity from time to time to let your tissues settle

If you do have an injury, make sure you identify the exact cause of your problem so you can make changes to your activity and prevent it recurring. Get an expert physiotherapy opinion early to ensure the quickest recovery.

Once you feel the injury has healed you should not return to the potentially aggravating activity until you test your tissues to see if they are ready. You need a full range of motion, muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance or you risk a repeat of your problem.

What to Do if You Are Injured

If you have a serious injury, such as a dislocated or broken bone or a head injury, you should seek medical attention. Go immediately to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department, by ambulance if required.

A moderate injury such as a ligament sprain or a muscle tear may still need medical attention. You should be guided by the amount of pain you have and your ability to use the injured part. If the pain is moderate or severe or you can’t use the injured part of your body normally, seek medical help straight away.

If you have a minor injury, you may be able to treat it yourself. An ice pack on the injured area for about 15 minutes can be used for up to eight times a day. A stretchy bandage can apply pressure to the area to help prevent or reduce swelling. You should always take care to see that it is not too tight to interrupt the circulation and don’t wear it at night. It’s essential to rest from the aggravating exercise or sport.

Anything but a minor injury will take several weeks to resolve before you are fit for performance again. Your injury should start to improve within 48 hours after the event. If it does not you should consult your GP, especially if you still have severe pain or the affected area swells badly or feels numb.

The PRICE Protocol for Acute Injuries

PRICE therapy is the best way to treat milder joint sprains and muscle strains in the first 72 hours after injury. Inflammation, swelling, and pain are reduced and your recovery time minimised.

PRICE stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Protection. Stop the activity causing the problem to prevent further damage. Crutches, splints, and supports may be used.

Rest. Be less active for a while to let the injured area settle and heal.

Ice. Use for 10 to 15 minutes up to eight times a day. Always wrap the ice pack in a wet tea towel or similar to prevent an ice burn.

Compression is very important to limit swelling. Crepe bandages are good but should not be tight enough to cause swelling or numbness and don’t wear it at night.

Elevation. Keep the injured area up above your heart to limit the amount of blood flow to the area and reduce swelling.

Sticking to the PRICE protocol can minimize your time to recovery.

How Sports Physiotherapy Can Help

Sports physiotherapy is a specialized branch of physiotherapy that deals with sports injuries and related issues. It is appropriate for men and women of all ages engaged in all kind of sports at any level of competition. Physiotherapists can manage minor and moderate sports injuries and may be involved in the rehabilitation of more serious injuries after medical management has done its job.

Sports Physiotherapy Patient Consultation

Sports physiotherapists have specific training and knowledge to treat acute, chronic and overuse injuries such as:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Bursitis
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Groin pain
  • Hamstring injury
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Workout injuries

Physiotherapists can help symptoms such as pain and weakness and rehabilitate the injured area. They will develop an individual treatment plan including exercises that promote strength and flexibility. They may also use massage and manipulation. The treatment plan will help you recover faster and avoid complications. And it will reduce your risk of sustaining other injuries in the future.

Whiplash Injury- Complete Guide for Patients

Whiplash injury is a relatively common injury that can result in significant pain and a negative impact on a person’s range of movement for what can be a substantial amount of time in some cases. Although many people have heard the term whiplash injury, they may not fully understand what is involved with this type of injury.

What is a Whiplash Injury

A hyperextension and flexion injury to the neck, often a result of being struck from behind, as by a fast-moving vehicle in a car accident.

A whiplash injury typically occurs when a person’s head is thrown backward and then forward in a particularly violent manner, according to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. The extreme movement of the neck causes a straining of the muscles and ligaments in a person’s neck.

Biomechanics of whiplash injury:

In a typical rear-end collision, the occupant’s pelvis, torso, and head are accelerated forward in rapid succession. The large inertia of the head results in a retraction of the initially stationary head relative to the forward accelerating torso and this motion induces compression, shear, and ultimately tension in the cervical spine.

How long it takes to recover from whiplash injury:

Because of the nature of whiplash injury, and the manner in which the neck functions, this type of condition can take what amounts to a significant amount of time to resolve in some cases. Indeed, neck movement can work to aggravate whiplash, lengthening the recovery time.

Most people will recover from whiplash in about two to three months. However, in some cases, recovery from this type of injury can take up to two years, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Common Causes of Whiplash Injury

Although whiplash can result from a variety of different types of events, there exist three more common causes for this kind of injury. The most common cause of whiplash injury is an automobile collision.

Whiplash Injury by auto collision

whiplash injury

Rear-end collisions are the most common cause of whiplash. When it comes to whiplash caused by an automobile collision, the type of accident usually involves a vehicle being “rear-ended” by another car. Even a rear-end collision at a relatively low rate of speed can result in a person suffering a whiplash injury.

Whiplash by Contact sports

Another cause of whiplash injury is contact sports, particularly U.S. football. Whiplash is caused when players collide. One of the most common instances in which a football player suffers whiplash is when he is tackled by another player who comes up from behind. Football tackles and other sports-related collisions can sometimes cause whiplash injuries.

Read: Common sports injuries and prevention techniques

Physical abuse or assault

Yet another cause of whiplash results from situations in which a person is involved in an incident of physical abuse or violence. For example, a person who is punched in the face can end up not only with facial injuries but with whiplash as well. Sadly, shaken baby syndrome also results in an infant or small child sustaining whiplash.

Whiplash: Women Versus Men

Whiplash injury is more common among women than among men. The reason this is the case arises from the fact that in most cases, a woman’s neck is not as strong as that of her male counterparts.

Whiplash Injury Diagnosis

The symptoms associated with whiplash injury, combined with an associated event that proceeded these symptoms, tends to make a diagnosis of whiplash somewhat straightforward. There exist a range of symptoms that commonly are associated with this type of injury.

Pain typically is the prominent symptom associated with a diagnosis of whiplash injury. In some cases, the associated pain can be quite profound, significant. The pain can be persistent or flares up when a person’s neck rocks back and forth or from side to side.

A diagnosis of whiplash injury commonly is also based upon a decreased or restricted range of movement. There may also be a tightness in the neck. In addition, a person diagnosed with whiplash injury will have a feeling of knotted or hard muscles in the neck.

In making a diagnosis of whiplash, a patient will usually experience tenderness in the neck region. This includes tenderness to touch. Finally, headaches are common when it comes to making a diagnosis of a whiplash injury. The headaches radiate from the base of the skull upwards to a person’s forehead.

Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within 24 hours of the injury that may include following:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Sometimes symptoms vary from person to person. So, some people may experience;

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances

Complications

If not diagnosed and treated on time, whiplash injuries can lead to joint dysfunction, disc herniation, faulty movement patterns, chronic pain, and cognitive dysfunction.

How to prevent whiplash injury

Since many cases of whiplash injury come from car accidents where you’re rear-ended, and it’s hard to prevent those but as we know our safety is in our own hands so we must follow some rules to prevent such injury:

  • Wear your seat belt correctly and wear it on every car ride. However, you can protect yourself and your neck every time you get in the car.
  • Adjust your car to ensure optimum safety by checking that the headrest is not too low—the top of the headrest should be even with the upper tips of your ears and must be close enough to stop your head from moving too far (about 2 inches). A seat reclined back too far will increase this distance, as will poor posture.
  • Obey the speed limit rules.
  • Keep distance between vehicles moving front and back from your vehicle.

Whiplash Injury Treatment

A variety of treatments exist that aid in accelerating the rate at which a person can recover from whiplash treatment. Physiotherapy represents a primary course of treatment recommended for a person suffering from whiplash.

Physiotherapy can include a number of different regimens when it comes to treating whiplash. For example, massage therapy is likely to be an element of physiotherapy associated with whiplash injury treatment.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy represents a primary course of treatment recommended for a person suffering from whiplash. Physiotherapy can include a number of different regimens when it comes to treating whiplash. For example, massage therapy is likely to be an element of physiotherapy associated with whiplash injury treatment.

 

In some cases, a physiotherapist or doctor may recommend a neck brace or neck collar as a means of stabilizing a person’s head and neck and reduce movement in the aftermath of a diagnosis of whiplash injury. In some cases, a person may be prescribed medication to deal with more significant pain in a particular case of whiplash injury.

If you want to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, click here to contact us today.

A Physiotherapist may recommend following treatment and recovery paths to someone suffering from whiplash injury.

Ice your neck

Wrap the ice in a thin towel or cloth. Apply on the affected part to reduce swelling and pain as soon as you can after the injury. Do it for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days.

Take painkillers or other drugs

If recommended by your doctor, take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs), like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). It will help with pain and swelling. It is recommended not to take these medicines regularly unless specifically asked by your doctor to do so as these drugs can have side effects.

Use neck collars

It adds support to your neck but it is not recommended to use it for a long-term as it weakens the muscles in your neck.

Please be advised that these treatment and restoration options are for information purposes only. It is always recommended to speak with a physiotherapist for a treatment plan specific to your situation

Final Words

The key to the most effective treatment of whiplash injury is early intervention with a professional like a physiotherapist. With a prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment, recovery is quicker and pain is lessened.

If you have any questions or if you had a serious injury, please contact our therapists and we will provide you best treatment option. Click here to book an appointment.

Sitting on a desk most of the day? You must read this article

 

Although it’s “just a desk job,” working in an office can wreak absolute havoc on our bodies.

If you’re someone who spends all day at a desk in front of your computer, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Sitting for a desk job seems relaxing but actually, it is not. It is not easy and good for your body to sit continuously for long periods of time. The desk jobs could be more dangerous than what you may think.

According to researchers at Cornell University and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health,

Hunching over a computer is a leading reason why four in five women end up with crippling back pain at some point in their lives.

 

 

So, let’s take a quick look at few scary health risks of a desk job and then we will talk about how you can stay healthy while working in an office that requires you to perform your duties while sitting on a chair.

  • Muscular Skeletal Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Obesity
  • Poor PostureAches and Pains
  • Neck Issues
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What can we do to counteract this office life we have to live?

Alan Hedge, a design and ergonomics professor at Cornell, recommends you change to positions every eight minutes, and take a two-minute “moving break” at least twice an hour.

The best way to do desk job with relaxed body and mind is to perform yoga. You might be thinking how to spare time for performing exercises in such hectic schedule, but believe me here are some really easy and useful yoga exercises which you can even do at your workplace.

 

1. Wrist and Finger Stretches

Stretch your arms. Place your hands on the table, stretch your hands upward and bend backward with the other hand. Now start rotating your wrist, 5-10 circles inwards and outwards.

 

Working for long on a keyboard, builds up tension in muscles, tendons in fingers, hands, and wrist. So as to relax your hands and provide them proper blood flow, repeat this exercise after every 2 hours.

2. Seated Crescent Moon Pose

In this pose, stretch your arms touching your ears. Join your hands, stretching your fingers bend to right taking 2-3 long breaths. Repeat on the left side for other 2-3 long breaths.

This pose helps to relax your body so that you can return to your seat with a taller spine, a clearer head, and sharper focus.

3. Chair Pigeon Pose

Sitting on a chair for a long and hunching at a computer may cause neck pain. So here’s an easy and relaxing exercise that may help you to prevent this.

While seated in your chair, both feet flat on the floor, cross your right leg over the left at a 90-degree angle, keeping the foot flexed as to not place pressure on the knee. Maintain equal weight distributed between the sitting bones while staying in an upright seated position.

You should feel gentle to moderate stretch on the outermost part of the right thigh. Hold 5 to 10 breaths before switching sides.

4. Sit and Stand Chair Pose

When we are seated all day, it makes your legs stiff and causes pain in the knees.

Begin seated with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat. Press down from your heels, trying not to move the feet in toward your chair or use your arms, and make your way up to standing.

From standing, slowly sit straight back down, refraining from leaning forward and/or from shifting the hips to one side or the other. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

5. Desk Chaturanga

Your desk can support your yoga pushups! Blasting out a few of these strengthening movements throughout the day reminds the muscles around your neck to relax while energizing the arms, which tends to go soft during the majority of the day.

Rest your hands about shoulder width distance on the edge of your sturdy desk, and step your feet back so your torso is a diagonal line to the floor. Your feet firmly placed, inhale as you bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle, hugging the elbows in towards the ribs.

Exhale and press your chest back up to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Yoga gives us relief from countless ailments at the physical level. The practice of the postures strengthens the body and creates a feeling of well-being. From the psychological viewpoint, it sharpens the intellect and aid in concentration; it steadies the emotions and encourages a caring for others.

If you’re working in a position that requires you to sit most of the day, it is high time you talk to our physiotherapists to create an exercise plan for you. 

If you want to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, click here to contact us today.

Sports Injury and Middle Age: Common Issues that Can Slow You Down, But Don’t Have To

As we age our bodies are more affected by sports injuries and general repetitive use injuries. While these can cause pain, they need not cause a lower quality of life. We’ll discuss how physiotherapy and massage therapy can help keep you moving well into your later years.

Sports injuries that were nothing but an annoying, occasional pain in our mid-twenties and early thirties all of a sudden can become major issues in our forties and fifties. Some of the most common sports injuries and injuries that crop up in middle age are:

  • Ankle sprain
  • Groin pull
  • Hamstring strain
  • Shin splint
  • Knee injury: ACL tear
  • Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome
  • Tennis elbow: Epicondylitis

Even one of these injuries, if left untreated, can result in years of pain, stiffness, and loss of movement. Once you arrive in middle age, however, these injuries can flare up, again and again, causing other stress injuries to occur as well.

Along with the above list, stress fractures are also a very common injury in middle age. This is likely due to the deterioration of bone as we age, but it can be avoided with proper training form and weight bearing exercises. Once it occurs, however, it is going to take some time to heal.

The way to deal with these issues is not to continue to ignore them, but instead to get help through your therapist and move into physical therapy. Continuing to do nothing about these injuries will not help them get better. In fact, ignoring already painful issues can cause other injuries to arise because of overstressed muscles that try to compensate for the injured areas. Once the injury has been diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe a course of action for your injury.

Physiotherapy and massage therapy are both ways that a therapist may choose to help you treat a new or old injury. A physiotherapist will help rebuild your strength, balance, flexibility, and confidence in your movement. The physiotherapist will assess your range of motion and assign you a series of exercises. You may be instructed to practice these, or other exercises at home. It is important to try to follow your physiotherapist’s instructions as closely as possible in order to obtain the best possible outcome.

Massage therapy can be a great way to deal with the lingering pain from old sports injuries or from those run of the mill aches and pains. Managing this pain can have positive psychological effects. Keeping your pain levels low can also encourage you to stay active and keep moving. Massage is a great counterpoint to the exercises given by your physiotherapist too. After working the muscles massage can help keep them loose and flexible, as well as relatively pain-free.

All in all, these sports injuries and aging bodies don’t have to slow us down! When we use physiotherapy and massage to help keep our bodies as healthy as possible we can look forward to many more years filled with fun!

Acupuncture for Quitting Smoking: A Proven Path to Freedom

Quitting smoking can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish. Nicotine is extremely addictive and smoking is a powerful habit that can be very tough for many people to quit. However, quitting smoking is one of the absolute best things you can do for your health and the health of your family and friends. Quitting smoking is also a wise financial decision. As the cost of cigarettes grows higher and higher, the toll on your wallet, as well as your health, becomes more and more of a concern.

acupuncture to quit smokingSo, we all know it’s a good idea to quit smoking, but the reality is that it is very difficult to accomplish. Different methods of quitting smoking are recommended by different people and the “right” way to quit smoking is constantly changing. Many of these quitting methods are practically as unsavory as the smoking itself. Prescription drugs carry many side-effects, quite a few of which are very dangerous. Vaping, while touted as an easy cigarette substitute and a fast way to quit, is still an unknown and poorly regulated product. Nicotine gum and patches accomplish little in the way of removing nicotine from your system, and instead merely replace cigarettes with another nicotine transmission system.

Beyond all of these methods is a method that uses no chemicals of any kind, has a proven track record in helping you quit smoking and one that is affordable and easy to obtain: acupuncture. If you are unfamiliar with acupuncture, the first thing that you should know is that, while it does involve very fine needles, it is actually painless and, instead, quite relaxing. Acupuncture is covered by some health care plans and there are many licensed providers in the area.

But how does acupuncture help you to quit smoking? A diligent course of acupuncture treatment can help you quit smoking in several ways. First of all, it can help you manage the stress and anxiety that can be caused by quitting smoking. Acupuncture is proven to have a positive affect on your mood and mental health, and this can help you quit smoking. Stress and negative emotions are known to be triggers for smokers, and if you can get ahead of these feelings then you have a better chance of resisting the urge to pick up a cigarette.

Acupuncture can also help you with your cravings for nicotine. These cravings can come on in powerful, physical manifestations and with an acupuncturist, at the ready, you can get past these cravings without caving to nicotine. Acupuncture can also help to lessen the withdrawal symptoms that many ex-smokers experience. These symptoms can range from headaches, upset stomach, gas, tiredness, insomnia, irritability and anxiousness. Acupuncture can help alleviate or control all of these symptoms. Without these painful and bothersome withdrawal issues quitting smoking can become much less daunting and more enjoyable.

Acupuncture is an excellent supportive therapy to assist you in quitting smoking. It has a long, proven, track record of helping to control many of the issues that a smoker faces when considering quitting smoking. So, if you’re trying to quit smoking, think about adding acupuncture to your toolbox to help you quit!

Improve Mobility with Physiotherapy

staying fit with physio and exercise

The loss of mobility can have a devastating effect on your quality of life. Mobility is your ability to move across space, either by walking, by wheelchair or by a walker. When you lose mobility you lose autonomy, and this is why the main goal of a physiotherapy practice is to recover the loss of motion and improve mobility for their patients.

Physiotherapy, or physical therapy, is a manipulation of the body and muscles used to rebuild muscle to heal and support previous injuries. Physiotherapy is a vital part of healing for any injury. Even a more minor injury like a sprain or a minor bone break can benefit from physiotherapy. In fact, obtaining physiotherapy after a physical injury is the best way to ensure that mobility is not limited due to the injury.

How does physiotherapy work to improve mobility, and why is this important? As mentioned in the introduction, loss of mobility can have many negative effects on the quality of life of an injured person. Without the ability to move freely and without pain, a person may experience depression, weight gain, or other negative health consequences. Other muscles or old injuries can be damaged or exacerbated by an injury that doesn’t heal properly. Loss of mobility can also have personal consequences. Without a full range of mobility, people can lose precious family time when they aren’t able to join in normal activities. They can lose the self-confidence and sense of self-worth that comes with the ability to participate in hobbies or recreational sports. Loss of mobility can also have dire financial consequences including loss of employment or costly medical bills that can add up over time due to an untreated injury.

Now that we understand why it is so important to treat loss of mobility, let’s discuss how exactly physiotherapy can work to improve mobility. Physiotherapy helps you regain your mobility by building strength and confidence through exercises designed especially for your specific situation.

Physiotherapists will work to get you moving as efficiently and safely as possibly. Many different therapies and aids are used to get you moving again. The goal is to help you gain your independence and confidence back. First, the physiotherapist will do an assessment of your ability to move. Through this assessment, they will be able to tell what muscles are too tight, injured or need strengthening. You will be assigned exercises to help gain strength, flexibility, and balance where you need it. These exercises will be taught to you in person. You may be instructed to practice them at home. Be sure to follow your therapist’s instructions carefully. Your physiotherapist will also work with you on differing terrain to be sure that you can handle hills, uneven sidewalks, and other varying surfaces.

Ultimately, your physiotherapist will do whatever is necessary to get you moving again in a confident, independent manner. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Your therapist is an expert, and they don’t want you to move forward too quickly at the risk or re-injuring yourself. With hard work and patience, many people are able to regain mobility through physiotherapy work.

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