Health

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 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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How I found Physiotherapy as a career – MICHAEL AZZOPARDI

 

How I found Physiotherapy as a career

It was the start of my second year on the University of Waterloo Warriors men’s soccer team. Training camp couldn’t have gone better and I had secured a spot in the starting eleven. I was feeling good as the game got under way but could not foresee what was about to happen. Not much happened really. I just planted and pivoted except this time there was a pop.

I had torn my ACL in my knee along with medial and lateral meniscal tears. My season over before it really began. Two months later I had ACL reconstruction surgery and bilateral meniscal repairs. Nine months of hard rehab and I was back for the start of the following year’s training camp. Three games into the regular season I ended up re-tearing both sides of my meniscus, which required another surgery and put an end to another season.

Throughout my two bouts of rehab, I saw many different therapists including a head athletic therapist, a chiropractor and a physiotherapist. I felt like I was improving and was able to get started with the basics however never really felt like I was on track to return for training camp at the level I once was. It wasn’t until I went to work with another physiotherapist out of Toronto that I truly found someone that could help me reach my goals.

I was hesitant to put weight on my injured side still 3 months after my second surgery. My physiotherapist had put two quarters in the freezer and told me put one on the outside of my heel and the other on the ball of my big toe while in bare feet. The cold sensory sensation I felt immediately allowed me to maintain even weight bearing during a body weight squat. This blew my mind and opened my eyes to what is possible through physiotherapy and rehabilitation, specifically the connection between the brain and muscles. It was then and there I knew I wanted to become a physiotherapist.

Despite these two injuries limiting my time on the field, I will always be grateful for them as they helped spark a new passion for rehab. Those experiences helped me to understand what it is like to be on the sidelines, the benefit of finding quality care, and how to put in the work in order to get back to the game you love.

MICHAEL AZZOPARDI

Physical Therapist

PT, MSc.PT, BSc KIN, FDN

Okotoks Summit Physiotherapy

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What do I need to know if I get concussion while playing sports?

Hockey seasons are here, and unfortunately they have a high risk of concussions for the athletes involved. Concussions are mild brain injuries which can be caused either by whiplash or a direct blow to the head. You do not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion! If you suspect you have a concussion you should consult a medical doctor for advice as soon as possible.

Although concussions are alarming, most resolve with a short time of activity decrease. Concussions in adults usually resolve in 7-10 days and youth in 4 weeks. Following a 24-48 hour period of physical and mental rest it is time to begin to slowly returning to activities, as long as they do not aggravate symptoms.

For athletes there is a strict return to play protocol to minimize the risk of repeat concussions – the minimum time for safe return to play is 7 days.

If concussion symptoms persist or you have questions about rehab options Summit Physiotherapy is here to help!

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What is a Rotator Cuff Injury?

 

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. It functions to stabilize the shoulder, lift and rotate the arm. A rotator cuff injury can cause a dull ache in the shoulder, that often interrupts your sleep, weakness in the arm and/or loss of range of motion.

Rotator cuff injuries may be the result of a traumatic injury, such as a fall, or progressive degeneration from repetitive overhead activities or heavy lifting. They range in severity from simple inflammation to partial or complete tears of the tendons. Levels of pain and function are also variable.

A physical assessment of your shoulder can help diagnose a rotator cuff injury. Many rotator cuff injuries improve with physiotherapy exercises to improve flexibility and strength of the muscles surrounding the shoulder, along with pain management techniques and activity modification. Complete tendon tears often require further care and/or a surgical consult. Without treatment, tendonitis, long-term stiffness, weakness or degeneration of the shoulder joint may occur.

If you can relate to any of the above – contact Summit Physiotherapy today!

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How can I tell if my pain following exercise is injury or normal muscle soreness?

When beginning a new exercise routine or other physical activity, it is normal to experience Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). The key is in the “delayed” portion, typical muscle soreness after exercise occurs approximately 24 hours later and can last for several days. Injury during exercise is usually associated with a traumatic incident as well as pain, swelling and loss of movement rapidly following onset.

Another difference between DOMS and injury pain is that DOMS is soreness when the muscle is used, while new injuries can cause pain even at rest and more severe pain when the injured area is used.  If you are still uncertain, time will tell the difference. DOMS will resolve over time and actually improves the more you exercise.

Injuries will take much longer to resolve and continued activity may aggravate the symptoms further. If you believe you have suffered an injury, consult your Summit physiotherapist, if you are experiencing DOMS try to think of it as forward progress!

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The Benefits of Deep Breathing

 

Besides sustaining life, deep breathing techniques provide many health benefits. Deep breathing can reduce stress, blood pressure and pain. It releases endorphins (our natural painkillers) throughout our body. Good breathing techniques over time help to strengthen our abdominal muscles and encourage good posture. The movement of our diaphragm helps remove toxins from our organs, promoting better blood flow.

This results in better sleep at night and increased energy levels during the day. The improved oxygenation to our brain also relaxes our mind and reduces anxiety.

Try it now: Sit with good posture or lie in a comfortable position. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Breathe in through your nose for a count of five. Breathe deep, focusing on expanding your belly versus raising your upper chest. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Breathe out fully from a slightly parted mouth, for a count of five. Repeat throughout the day, 5-10 repetitions at a time to ensure you don’t hyperventilate.

The secret is simply to breathe deeply and often!

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