Summit

How can I strengthen my legs for the ski season?

If you want to hit the slopes opening day without burning out by lunch, it is time to start working on your endurance! Downhill skiing requires a high degree of eccentric and isometric strength: the ability to lower and hold your weight. Most other sports and activities require primarily concentric strength: the ability to lift and push powerfully.

If you want to build your eccentric endurance, you could try the following.  Slowly lower into a squat or tucked position for a count of five, hold for a count of five, stand back up to a count of one. Repeat this as many times as needed to “feel the burn”. You could also hold the squat while performing calf raises, or for the next level replace the stand up with a jump.

If you have any questions for optimal training for the upcoming season consult a Summit physiotherapist or personal trainer.

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How can I deal with foot pain from holiday shopping?

More time on your feet searching malls likely means more foot pain. If you are one of the unlucky few who will suffer from plantar fasciitis this season here are some tips for you!
Shoes with more cushion and arch support are helpful, and some people prefer to add their own insoles with an arch support or heel pad.
Self massaging the arch of the foot with a ball will help with pain control, as will calf and arch stretching.
If you are having acute or severe pain taping the arch will mitigate the pain.
For more chronic pain an exercise program to strengthen the foot and arch is helpful.
If you are experiencing heel pain try some of the techniques above and come see your Summit physiotherapist for a treatment plan specific to you!

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Battling Resolution Season – break the cycle

January is the season of resolutions, which for many means an increase in activity. If you have resolved to be more physically active, good for you!

Your body will soon become stronger and healthier for your efforts. However there is also a large drop-out rate after several weeks of exercise, for multiple reasons. To avoid an injury forcing you to stop before you have built good habits, remember to: warm up and cool down – about 5-10 minutes of moderate cardio, incorporate gentle static stretching, and avoid going too intense, too quickly.

Building strength and fitness requires a large commitment of time and effort and results come gradually. Be kind to your body and know your limits: increase exercise and weight by small increments – beginning with your own body weight may even be the best option, try to avoid “competing” with others you see at the gym – follow your workout plan and try to improve based on your own performance.

Consult a Summit physiotherapist if any problems occur, good luck out there!

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Why do many physiotherapists use acupuncture in their practice?

Acupuncture is not part of the standard training for physiotherapists across Canada, but many therapists have trained in acupuncture and needling techniques to use them in addition to standard treatment.

Acupuncture is the application of thin, fine needles to traditional acupuncture points and tender points in the body. Dry needling is the use of acupuncture needles to provoke muscle twitches, causing muscle relaxation afterwards.

Both techniques are effective as the needles stimulate the nerves, muscles and joints in the treated area. Both techniques provide significant pain relief in time, which is a very helpful addition to standard physiotherapy treatment.

If you have never tried acupuncture, I encourage you to discuss your options with your Summit physiotherapist to see if it is right for you. 

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What are the Health Benefits of Ice Skating?

Whether you play hockey, figure skate or go for a leisure skate with your family, ice skating can be a great activity for all ages. Strength, stability and control are key elements of both competitive and recreational skating.

By travelling across a slippery surface on skates, you challenge your stability which helps improve your balance. Skating helps strengthen leg muscles. As some skaters often become quadricep dominant, it is important to focus on the hip extension movement as you skate to build your buttock as well as your thigh muscles. Skating provides a great aerobic workout which is important for cardiovascular health. As it requires energy over an extended period of time, it is also a great way to build your endurance. Regular activity can improve your mental fitness by helping combat the effects of stress!

There is risk of injury with skating, so don’t forget to warm-up, stretch and cool down. Take your time on the ice to help prevent falls. Helmets and protective gear should always be worn in hockey, and children and beginner skaters should wear helmets.

Stay active this winter!

Haley Carrier

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What to know if you 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 is here to help!

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What are the Health Benefits of Ice Skating

 

Whether you play hockey, figure skate or go for a leisure skate with your family, ice skating can be a great activity for all ages. Strength, stability and control are key elements of both competitive and recreational skating.

By travelling across a slippery surface on skates, you challenge your stability which helps improve your balance. Skating helps strengthen leg muscles. As some skaters often become quadricep dominant, it is important to focus on the hip extension movement as you skate to build your buttock as well as your thigh muscles. Skating provides a great aerobic workout which is important for cardiovascular health. As it requires energy over an extended period of time, it is also a great way to build your endurance. Regular activity can improve your mental fitness by helping combat the effects of stress!

There is risk of injury with skating, so don’t forget to warm-up, stretch and cool down. Take your time on the ice to help prevent falls. Helmets and protective gear should always be worn in hockey, and children and beginner skaters should wear helmets.

Stay active this winter!

 

Haley Carrier

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How can physio help a sprained ankle?

 

Ankle sprains are common injuries physiotherapists see. They can occur simply by rolling your ankle on unstable ground or during a sports injury. Ankle sprains happen when a ligament, connective tissue that connects bone to bone, is overstretched. In more severe cases, ligaments may be completely torn, tendons can also be injured, or the ankle bones may be fractured. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound and will notice swelling, bruising and ankle pain. You may have problems walking or standing on your foot.

Unfortunately, a sprained ankle can increase your risk of re-injury as much as 40-70%, but the correct post-injury rehabilitation can significantly decrease this risk. Physiotherapy treatments help to reduce pain, inflammation and protect your ankle with an ankle brace, crutches and/or a walking boot initially. Then, regaining full mobility, strength, balance and function with an individualized exercise program are given as scar tissue forms around the ligament.

Lastly, work or sport-specific training is important prior to safely returning to activity, if you want to know more contact Summit Physiotherapy!

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Physiotherapy for pain during pregnancy

 

Pregnancy can cause many muscle and joint issues for women, with pelvic girdle pain being the most common. Pain can start anytime during pregnancy, labor or after natural deliveries and C-sections. Symptoms may be felt in the low back, tail bone, buttocks, front of the pelvis or into the groin and they often worsen with lifting, twisting, straining or changing positions.

It’s no secret that pregnancy causes additional stress to our joints, muscles and ligaments. Hormonal changes cause lax ligaments. Our back, abdominal and pelvic muscles can become overactive or under-active and become a source of pain. Trauma to the pelvis and pelvic muscles during labor may also cause pain.

Physiotherapy can help during pregnancy and after delivery. Treatment varies depending on the cause of the pain. Treatment may include education on posture, positioning and lifting. Manual therapy can restore normal joint and soft tissue movement.

Specific exercises can improve function of the core and pelvic muscles to increase stability of the pelvic girdle and reduce pain. Contact Summit Physiotherapy to find out how we can help you.

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Should I use heat or cold to help reduce my pain?

Generally, if you have constant pain, visible joint swelling, warmth, and/or have had an injury within the last 7-10 days, try ice. Cold helps pain and reduce inflammation by promoting the constriction of blood vessels, slowing cell reproduction and increasing cellular survival. It is good for injuries such as acute ankle sprains and knee injuries. If you suffer from muscle or joint stiffness, muscles spams, or chronic pain, try heat. Heat helps soothe stiff joints and relax muscles by increasing the extensibility of muscles and helps with healing by increasing blood flow to the area.

Using heat or cold on it’s own does not cure injury, however it complements self-care and other therapy. It’s simple, soothing and it forces you to sit or lie down and rest. Try an electric heating pad, a warm shower/bath, a gel pack that can be microwaved or frozen, or a bag of ice or frozen vegetables. Whether using hot or cold, wrap the pack in a pillow case or towel to help protect your skin. Apply for 15 minutes several times daily as needed. Don’t overdo it; allow your skin to return to its normal temperature before re-applying and avoid temperature extremes

For more information on management of injuries, ask us at Summit Sport Physiotherapy!

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