Summit

What can I do to avoid injury this summer?

Summer is nearly here and with it, a whole new set of sports and activities. Athletes of all abilities want to avoid injury and soreness and this can be difficult when beginning a newer activity.  Aside from maintaining a high level of fitness in the colder months, an important factor in injury prevention and delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS) is warm up and cool down.

Proper warm up and cool down involves five to ten minutes of moderate levels of physical activity – preferably a lower intensity version of your sport. For example, a brisk walk to warm up and cool down from running, jogging and footwork patterns for soccer and baseball and of course throwing for baseball. Gentle, static stretches are appropriate after your final cool down.

Warming up and cooling down appropriately will reduce your risk of muscle injury and soreness following sport. If you are uncertain what is appropriate for you, or if you are interested in optimizing your performance, Summit Sport Physiotherapy is here to help!

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Heel pain can be very debilitating as we need our feet to get around. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It is an irritation or inflammation of the band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes. Repetitive stresses cause microtears in the fascia. Common symptoms are a sharp pain on the bottom of the heel and/or arch of the foot with the first few steps when you get up in the morning or after prolonged rest. Pain usually eases with walking or activity.

Early diagnosis and intervention is important. Self management may include rest, using ice, stretching, proper supportive footwear, and altering training methods. Try gently rolling a frozen bottle of water under your arch and heel. Stretch your calf muscles until you feel a comfortable pull in the back of your lower leg. Initially, try swapping walking and jogging for bicycling and swimming.

Physical therapy can help reduce inflammation and pain, recommend proper footwear and give an individualized program to help you return to your activity goals, contact Summit Physiotherapy today if you want some help!

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What are the benefits of exercise?

We’ve all heard that exercise is good for us, but why? When we exercise, we build muscles by increasing the size and number of our muscle fibers. Exercise increases the efficiency of our nervous system, which also helps improve our balance and coordination. Cardiovascular-type exercise helps condition our heart and lungs by increasing blood flow to keep these organs strong and healthy.

Exercise also allows our brain to function at it’s best. It helps elevate the natural hormones in our body which can improve mood and feelings of wellness. Physical activity improves alertness, attention and motivation, therefore optimizing our mind-set. It is thought that exercise can help defend us from stress, anxiety and mood disorders.

It is important for our mind and body to stay active throughout life. A simple 15-30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise can help. This includes brisk walking, light jogging, cycling, swimming…anything that gets your heart rate up.

If you are unsure what type of exercise is right for you, consult your doctor and/or any physiotherapist at Summit Physiotherapy.

 

Written by Haley Carrier

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Heel pain can be very debilitating as we need our feet to get around. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It is an irritation or inflammation of the band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes. Repetitive stresses cause micro tears in the fascia.

Common symptoms are a sharp pain on the bottom of the heel and/or arch of the foot with the first few steps when you get up in the morning or after prolonged rest. Pain usually eases with walking or activity.

Early diagnosis and intervention is important. Self management may include rest, using ice, stretching, proper supportive footwear, and altering training methods. Try gently rolling a frozen bottle of water under your arch and heel. Stretch your calf muscles until you feel a comfortable pull in the back of your lower leg. Initially, try swapping walking and jogging for bicycling and swimming.

Physical therapy can help reduce inflammation and pain, recommend proper footwear and give an individualized program to help you return to your activity goals, contact Summit Physiotherapy today if you want some help!

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How can you help prevent injuries from summer yard work?

How can you help prevent injuries from summer yard work?

Any activity that your body is not accustomed to will likely cause muscle soreness, but the following are some tips to help manage muscle pain and prevent injuries. Warming up before beginning your work with a short walk is a good start, aim for 10 to 15 minutes.

Watching your technique with lifting, shoveling and raking is very important – work close to your body, avoid bending and twisting simultaneously, lift with your legs, not your back and ask for a hand with heavy loads. To manage sore knees, kneeling on a foam pad is helpful.

To cope with muscle soreness in your forearms – stretch by straightening your elbows and bending your wrist, palm towards your body, then away from your body. Apply more pressure on your wrist with the other hand if desired and hold for several seconds to a minute. If any other areas are bothersome or you find yourself unable to manage, come visit us at Summit for more advice.

Good luck with your greenery!

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Injury Free Summer Sports

With record high temperatures occurring it seems that summer is right around the corner, and with it, the return to outdoor sport and recreation. Baseball, soccer, running and hiking seasons are ramping up and soon outdoor water sports will follow!

It is important for all athletes from professional to recreational to avoid injury, not to mention post-exercise soreness. Aside from maintaining a high level of fitness in the colder months, an important factor in injury prevention and delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS) is appropriate warm up and cool down.

Proper warm up and cool down involves five to ten minutes of mild to moderate levels of physical activity – preferably a lower intensity version of your sport. For example, a brisk walk to warm up and cool down from running, slower walking and lunging for hiking, jogging and footwork patterns for soccer and baseball and of course throwing for baseball.

Warming up and cooling down appropriately will reduce your risk of muscle injury and soreness following sport.

If you are uncertain of what type of activity or movement patterns are appropriate for you and your sport, or if you are interested in optimizing your performance, Summit Sport Physiotherapy is here to help!

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How Can Dry Needling Help Reduce my Pain?

Dry needling, also known as intramuscular stimulation (IMS), is a treatment that can help to stimulate tissues and blood flow, release tight muscles and alleviate pain. It relies heavily on a thorough physical exam of the neuromuscular system to determine the source of pain and dysfunction. Many physiotherapists are trained to utilize dry needling in conjunction with other manual physical therapy interventions.

Dry needling uses small, sterile, acupuncture needles. It allows physiotherapists to get right to the site of dysfunction. When releasing shortened, sensitive muscles, clients may experience a local ache or cramping sensation. Dry needling works by stimulating the tight muscle to cause relaxation and lengthening of the muscle. The needle also encourages blood flow to the area, which helps to initiate the natural healing process. Lastly, it allows the nerve that innervates the muscle to function normally again. It reduces pain and facilitates an accelerated return to activity and function.

For more information on dry needling and/or to find out if it may benefit you, ask our physiotherapists at Summit Sport Physiotherapy.

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Rotator Cuff Injuries

The Okotoks Dawgs baseball team have sprung into action, baseball season is here at last!

The upcoming season is sure to be action packed and exciting, and hopefully injury free for all athletes.

Unfortunately, research shows that overhead athletes are at risk for rotator cuff injuries at a rate of about 20%. Even in the general population, the rotator cuff is at risk of degeneration injuries, with about a 60% rate of abnormality in of those over 80 years of age.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles in the shoulder: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. These four muscles assist in rotating, elevation and stabilizing the gleno-humeral joint. During daily life and especially with overhead activities like throwing, the rotator cuff is placed under a large amount of mechanical stress which can lead to injury. Research has shown that an exercise program of strengthening and stabilization training for the shoulder is effective in relieving pain and restoring function in those experiencing rotator cuff injuries.

If you are in the sadly large percent of the population experiencing pain in your shoulders, Summit Sport Physiotherapy is here to help.

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Gardening For Health

Gardening and yard work can provide endurance, flexibility and strength. Activities such as lifting, pushing wheelbarrows and shovelling all provide resistance training. Reaching for weeds or tall branches, bending and extending a rake involve stretching. It is suggested to be active for at least 30 minutes for there to be a physical benefit.

Here are some tips to help prevent injury during your gardening and yard activities. Tackle a few small projects in your yard first to “warm up” and avoid exercising too vigorously. Alternate light projects with heavier ones throughout the summer. While digging and raking, engage your core to protect your back and use your legs and lower body for strength. Bend at your knees or sit on a stool versus bending your back when working at ground level. Be careful when lifting heavy objects. Plan your lift ahead of time. Adopt a stable position and keep the load close to your waist. Don’t twist your back when lifting and move smoothly. Know your limits; especially if you have a history of back pain. Take breaks and don’t forget to hydrate!

Most importantly, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine! For further information on injury prevention, visit Summit Sport Physiotherapy so we can help keep you moving!

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How important is core strength?

Our core is made up of multiple muscles. Our deep core stabilizers involve our deepest abdominal muscle, our pelvic floor, our deep back stabilizers and our diaphragm.  These muscles stabilize and support our low back and pelvis. The more superficial core muscles include our outer abdominal muscles, buttock muscles, hip muscles and back muscles. They all work together to increase our strength and are especially needed for activities such as lifting, physical labor and dynamic sports. A strong core is a pre-requisite to allowing our trunk and extremities to function optimally.

If we let poor posture or improper movement patterns cause muscle imbalances, our core muscles may no longer function well together, which can lead to injury and dysfunction. For those who have had back injuries or pain, often our core stabilizers weaken and deep back stabilizers atrophy. This makes it extra important to work on strengthening these muscles to protect your back.

There are many exercise options for core strengthening. For further information or for your individualized core exercise program, visit us at Summit Sport Physiotherapy.

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