Concussions are becoming well recognized as a serious health issue thanks to news coverage and movies like Concussion starring Will Smith. A recent study revealed that 90% of ex-football players suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to suffer from CTE, a concussion or its potentially dangerous long term consequences.
Suffering a blow to the head, violent shaking, or rapid acceleration or deceleration can result in a concussion. In each of these cases your brain knocks against the inside of your skull, causing the type of damage which we refer to as a concussion.
Contrary to popular belief you do not necessarily lose conciousness when you are concussed. In some cases the patient may be knocked out cold, and in others they may be completely conscious during the entire course of suffering from their head injury.
Even more remarkably, according to the Mayo Clinic, there does not appear to be any link between the severity of the post-concussion syndrome and whether or not the patient lost consciousness at any point.
Some of the long term effects of these brain injuries include, memory loss, depression, confusion and dementia. To minimize the potentially life-altering, long-term consequences, concussion rehab is vital and it should begin as soon as you recognize that you or someone else is suffering from a concussion.
Often symptoms of a concussion occur within the first ten days of suffering from a head injury.
According to Cleveland Clinic, symptoms may include:
● Nausea and vomiting
● Large or unequally sized pupils
● Uncharacteristic, unusual, or strange behaviour
● Anxiety and irritability
● Confusion, inability to recognize people or places, or difficulty performing other basic cognitive tasks like counting, or reciting basic information
● Rining ears
● Headache (particularly a worsening headache)
● Slurred speech
● Difficulty waking up
● Excessive drowsiness
In cases where the person who has suffered a head injury is confused or suffering from lapses in memory you should seek out medical attention immediately. Under no circumstance should a concussed person return to the game if they suffered their injury while playing sports. Further head injuries could increase the severity of the injury and put their eventual recover in jeopardy.
If you believe that a concussion has occurred then you should start taking concussion rehab steps immediately. Take a break from mental and physical activities and avoid anything that triggers your symptoms. For severe concussions this could mean avoiding light and noise if they cause headaches.
● Return to the field of play
● Engage in strenuous physical or mental activity
● Drive for at least 24 hours or longer if symptoms persist
● Do not take pain relievers like ibuprofen as they may cause bleeding
No amount of rehab will make your brain heal faster, but it can prevent you from doing further damage and help treat symptoms.
Persistent headaches, stress, anxiety, and depression can all be addressed through massage and acupuncture. Concussions may impact motor functions which can be improved through physiotherapy. Cognitive function, often the most frightening side effect of a concussion can also be treated through occupational or speech therapy.
If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion speak to your doctor immediately, and then explore long-term concussion rehab options through your physiotherapist.
Over the course of our lives, we all accumulate aches and pains. Even though you must accept some changes as you age, you should also take a moment to listen to your body, as some of those seemingly unexplained moments of discomfort might be within your power to fix. Your physiotherapist may use trigger point release to help manage and prevent muscle pain.
What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a hyperirritable spot in your fascia, the connective tissue attached to your muscles. Trigger points are formed when muscles grow tight into ‘knots’ due to constant tension. These knots usually correspond to referred pain, which is pain felt at a different point than where the injury occurred.
What kind of pain can trigger point release treat?
After an injury, the functions of an affected muscle are carried out by other nearby muscles. When our bodies become accustomed to this new pattern we tend to develop chronic pain.
Trigger point release is a technique physiotherapists use to counter these patterns. This treatment uses pressure applied either manually or through dry-needling, physiotherapy, massage, heat or a combination. Often trigger point release addresses back, hip, shoulder, neck, knee and other muscle pain. It can even reduce headaches and other tension related conditions.
Is trigger point release right for me?
The root cause of pain can often be difficult to diagnose and referred pain from trigger points can be similar to many other conditions. Since there is still some controversy about trigger point release and it is not usually included in medical training, doctors don’t often recommend this form of treatment.
However trigger point release can be one of the most effective methods for relieving common, everyday pain. With time, trigger point release may help you to avoid using pain medication (depending on your condition), and can also be used alongside more traditional treatments.
How much trigger point release is needed?
That depends entirely on what type of pain you’re experiencing. Recent injuries may require only a few sessions of trigger point release, but for more serious, chronic issues you may require intense treatment, followed by ongoing check-ups.
What to expect
Trigger point release comes with some discomfort. Your physiotherapist will be working with affected areas, compressing muscles related to your pain. However, this initial discomfort will aid in the greater flexibility and function of these muscles.
Trigger point release can be used in conjunction with other treatment options. In fact, your physiotherapist will likely prescribe exercises to follow at home so that you can continue repairing and strengthening your muscles.
For many, this form of treatment can feel miraculous. After enduring painful and ineffective treatments due to misdiagnosis, the relief of tension associated with trigger point release can make sufferers of chronic pain feel like they’ve found the answer. However, it is important to remember that physiotherapy relieves pain by helping to restore body function, so you need to remain diligent and committed to your recovery plan.
Trigger point release gives you the opportunity to address pain that feels like an unfortunate reality of day to day life. With dedication and commitment, you and your physiotherapist can work to relieve back, shoulder, hip, joint and many other kinds of pain. Contact Meadowlands Physiotherapy today to discuss the best treatment plan for you.
Why do we need to talk about it? To start, it could dramatically improve your well-being.
The only thing is, well, a lot of us are embarrassed to talk about it.
What is Pelvic Floor Rehab?
Right, first things first, the pelvic floor is a network of muscles that support your pelvic organs. For a man, that means the bladder and bowels, and for women it also supports the vagina and uterus.
Pelvic floor and perinatal rehab aim to strengthen these muscles to treat issues relating to incontinence and sexual dysfunction. These issues may be uncomfortable to talk about, but are undoubtedly better to address and resolve.
Pelvic Floor Issues
You may benefit from pelvic rehab if you experience:
These conditions can be caused by hypertonicity (tight muscles), hypotonicity (weak muscles), or a combination of the two. Pelvic floor rehab begins with a physiotherapist working with you to identify the root of your issues and then designing plan to address those causes directly.
The Trouble with Kegels
You might be familiar with Kegel exercises and think that they are the answer. That is where a physiotherapist’s guidance can prove useful. Kegel exercises strengthen weak or unresponsive muscles, however if your pelvic floor rehab concerns include tight muscles or involves a tear in pelvic muscles, Kegel exercises might do more harm than good.
Both sexes can benefit from pelvic floor rehab, but perinatal rehab keeps women healthy during and after pregnancy (gents can visit this site for more pelvic floor rehab info).
Perinatal rehab helps pregnant women relieve or even pre-empt some of the strain caused by the changes to their bodies during pregnancy. By learning how to move or exercise correctly, women can lower the risk of bladder and bowel incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and relieve back, pelvic, and groin pain.
Perinatal rehab can also help a pregnant woman learn to relax her pelvic floor in anticipation of delivery. A relaxed pelvic floor allows the uterus to expel the baby with minimal strain to the body.
The Role of a Physiotherapist
During perinatal and pelvic floor rehab, a physiotherapist can help you both recover from the strains of pregnancy, and adjust your lifestyle for continued health. Perinatal rehab begins with an examination and discussion about your condition and lifestyle.
Exercises will often focus on spinal alignment and breathing techniques, as well as an emphasis on how you can safely activate your muscles. It may also include advice on how to accomplish everyday tasks safely. Your perinatal rehab also includes prescribed exercise.
Your physiotherapist will also be able to advise you on self-management and help you determine when it is safe to return to high intensity activities like running, jumping, etc.
Men and women of all ages can benefit from pelvic floor rehab, and perinatal rehab can play a role in safe pregnancies. Contact Meadowlands Physiotherapy today to speak with a physiotherapist about exercises that are the best fit for you!
Manual therapy is a hands-on form of physiotherapy that is a great option for people recovering from injury or seeking relief from chronic pain. Manual therapists manipulate joints and apply pressure to muscles to relieve pain and promote recovery. This form of physiotherapy differs from other popular forms in that the therapeutic techniques are administered by hand, rather than with machines or other devices.
What is Manual Therapy?
Manual Therapy is intended to treat soft tissue, joint inflammation and pain, as well as increase range of motion, facilitate movement and improve function. Those practicing manual therapy rely on their hands to “feel out” different tissue consistencies, as well as employ a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy to make diagnoses and administer treatment.
Soft tissue refers to muscles and connective tissues such tendons and ligaments. A manual therapist may use massage as a manual therapy technique to help relieve symptoms and treat conditions. Soft tissue mobilization is a more specific manual therapy technique. Practitioners apply different directions of pressure to release tension within fascia – thin tissue that encloses muscles and organs – and thereby increase range of motion.
Joints – the connective link between bones in the body – are also treated with the hands-on expertise of a manual therapist. A therapist uses movements of varying speed, forcefulness, and distance to correct the positioning of joints. Practitioners employ muscle energy techniques to guide you through specific muscle movements while providing resistance with their hands or body. This technique is performed repeatedly to encourage the lengthening of shortened or spastic muscles, or mobilize a restricted joint.
Choosing a Manual Therapist
When choosing a manual therapist to assist you with your recovery needs, it is important to take into consideration the skill level and training that the physiotherapist or massage therapist has. Reputable practitioners of manual therapy have completed post-graduate education in hands-on therapy. Look for a practitioner who has earned a FCAMPT designation - Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manual and Manipulative Physical Therapy. This designation is considered the highest level of manual therapy training that a physiotherapist can obtain and is both internationally recognized and regulated by a governing body - the International Federation of Orthopedic Manipulative Therapists.
Is Manual Therapy Right for You?
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, manual therapy can be an effective treatment to improve flexibility and relieve tension:
Contact Meadowlands Physiotherapy today to speak to a FCAMPT designated physiotherapist and discuss if manual therapy is the solution to relieving your pain and increasing your mobility.
A traumatic brain injury can change your life in an instant.
Safe to say we all agree on that statement, but not everyone thinks of a concussion as a traumatic brain injury. Concussions, though, certainly qualify. They may cause physical, mental, and emotional difficulties in both the short and long term.
Concussion rehab helps manage these long-term effects. So if you or a loved one becomes concussed consider exploring concussion therapy.
The 6 Steps to Concussion Rehab for Athletes
Depending on individual circumstances, the absolute soonest an athlete should return to play is one week. Children and young people are more susceptible to concussions, so a longer hiatus is advisable. However, it’s critical to receive medical clearance before returning to the game after a concussion.
How Physiotherapists Contribute to Your Recovery
A physiotherapist will create a customized concussion rehab program after assessing your symptoms. Everyone experiences concussions differently, so there are a variety of types of treatments your physiotherapists might recommend for a concussion rehab plan.
Vestibular Physical Therapy
This branch of physiotherapy deals with the inner ear and its connection to the brain. It’s valuable in concussion rehab because it aids concussion sufferers in their efforts to regain balance and reduce dizziness.
An experienced vestibular physiotherapist can perform special treatments or introduce you to at-home exercises, so that you can extend the extent of your concussion rehab.
Headaches are a common complaint, so physiotherapists often include ways to ease the pain and limit the frequency of headaches when designing your concussion rehab plan. Specialized massage techniques, stretches, acupuncture, and eye exercises are some of the most effective methods.
Regaining Strength and Endurance
Rest is essential to recovering from a concussion, but prolonged inactivity can lead to the weakening of some muscles. Physiotherapists work with you to bounce back and keep you safe by teaching you how to avoid aggravating your concussion.
Helping You Return to Sports and Everyday Activities
Complete rest is necessary at the beginning of your concussion rehabilitation because overloading your brain with tasks can interfere with the healing process. But once your concussion rehabilitation advances, a physiotherapist will help you incorporate everyday activities back into your lifestyle.
Having patience is key to managing your concussion. Without it, you risk rushing through your concussion rehab and slowing your own recovery process. Working with an experienced physiotherapist makes it easier to stay disciplined and stick to your concussion rehab plan. When it comes to your brain it’s important not to rush through the recovery process —you want to recover and stay recovered.
People with Parkinson’s usually have two priorities, their friends and family, and maintaining or improving their quality of life. These two goals are closely related. Your family and friends want the best for you which means that staying as healthy, mobile, and comfortable as possible is helping them as much as it is helping you.
Physiotherapy has been proven to help people with Parkinson’s maintain their quality of life, increase range of motion, improve mobility, and maintain their independence. Joyce Gordon, the CEO of the Parkinson Society of Canada says “how ironic that the symptoms Parkinson’s is most known for— loss of movement, balance, rigidity— improve with physical activity.”
Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s
As President of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Rob Werstine says, “staying active, improving balance, flexibility and strength are important to everyone’s health, but they are even more important for people with Parkinson’s because rigidity, poor balance and a tendency to fall are common with the condition.“ For people with Parkinson’s, physiotherapy is the safest and most effective method of achieving the necessary levels of physical activity.
Under the watchful eyes of trained professionals, people with Parkinson’s can stay active without the risks involved with exercising on their own.
Some of the common issues associated with Parkinson’s, which can be improved through physiotherapy include:
Home Physio for Parkinson’s
If you have Parkinson’s there are many basic exercises that you can do at home to help increase your activity level, and address some of the specific issues you may be dealing with.
Balance, Posture, Flexibility, and strength
Before undertaking any sort of exercise regime at home you should speak to a professional physiotherapist. Give the team at Meadowlands a call. Our physiotherapists have experience successfully treating patients with Parkinson’s.
Pelvic health issues are probably more common than you think, but if you have been paying attention then you’ve probably heard a lot more about pelvic health lately. Is there a sudden epidemic of pelvic floor dysfunction sweeping the country? No, fortunately not. You probably have heard more about pelvic floor dysfunction recently because slowly but surely pelvic health issues are coming out of the shadows and into the light to be discussed openly.
Incontinence, constipation, urinary frequency, and painful sex aren’t exactly considered fun topics of discussion, but if you suffer from these conditions, or other pelvic health issues then it is a discussion that is worth having.
The fact is that pelvic health issues affect millions of women and men around the world. Recognizing that pelvic health issues are completely common and sometimes dangerous is the first step to finding relief. Being proactive about your health is crucial: you have to be your own biggest advocate.
Common pelvic health issues
Some of the most common pelvic health issues are:
● Frequent/urgent urination
● Organ prolapse
● Sexual discomfort or pain (during or after intercourse)
● Pain in your lower back, pelvis, genitals, or rectum
● Urinary leakage
● Other issues relating to the bowels, bladder, or sexual organs
Broadly speaking pelvic health issues can be broken down into two categories:
1) Hypotonic: Weak pelvic floor muscles leading to incontinence, urinary leakage, or even organ prolapse.
2) Hypertonic: Tight pelvic floor muscles cause frequent urination, pain, inflammation, or constipation.
Physical pain aside, many people who suffer from pelvic health issues may find their condition embarrassing, causing them to avoid social situations, and putting a serious damper on their sex life. The emotional toll that these social and sexual side effects can have can be just as difficult to deal with as the condition itself.
Normalizing pelvic health, being confident of yourself, and supporting others with similar conditions is important. Many people fail to receive the treatment they need due to embarrassment or a lack of information. Over time pelvic health issues will only get worse, which is why it is important to catch them early.
Many pelvic health issues can be treated with physiotherapy, while others may require surgery followed by pelvic health physiotherapy.
Pelvic health physiotherapy has been described as ‘internal Pilates’ and like regular Pilates it is designed to strengthen, increase flexibility, and reduce tension. After an assessment from a trained pelvic health physiotherapist, you’ll be placed on a personalized plan to tackle your pelvic hypotonic, or hypertonic health issues.
Hypotonic pelvic physiotherapy aims to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles without causing tightness. Hypertonic pelvic physiotherapy, on the other hand, first stretches and reduces tension in your pelvic floor muscles, before also strengthening them.
Painful intercourse, incontinence, and other pelvic health issues can take a toll on your mental health, sex life, and your relationship. Pelvic health physio is as much a preventative therapy as a restorative one. Performing Kegels and other exercises regularly is a great way to maintain pelvic floor health, but for the best results you should consult with one of the pelvic health physiotherapists at Core Kinetics. Call us today to begin the path to better pelvic health!
Going on vacation is supposed to be a relaxing experience, but that doesn’t mean that you can (or should) neglect your exercise regime. Besides, if you are bringing the kids along then you might need to take a quick vacation from your vacation, and what better way to relax than with a quick workout, or yoga session!
3 Exercises you can do in a hotel room
Burn off your overindulgence and work on your muscles with this basic workout that can be completed in a hotel room:
1) Pushups: Lower your body down toward the ground, keep your back flat, and your elbows tucked in. To focus on your chest do wider pushups, to hit your triceps go narrow. For a more difficult workout elevate your feet on a chair or bed, or go onehanded if you can manage it.
2) Plank: Go into the pushup position, bend your elbows and support yourself on your forearms. Keep your body flat, and flex your abs and your glutes. Hold the position for as long as you can. Plank works your abs and back. Try side plank or other variations to target your workout.
3) Squats: Brace your abs and stand with your legs about shoulder width apart in the squat position. Lower yourself down and back up, keeping your back flat.
These three exercises will cover most of your body, and are a great way to keep in shape, even without any resources. Pushups work your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Plank engages your abs, back, and glutes. Squats use your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors.
Pilates without equipment
The benefits of Pilates are well established –greater balance, flexibility, and control – for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation start your day with Pilates:
1) Breast stroke prep: Lay flat on your stomach and lift your head while flexing your core. Remember to time your breathing. Inhale as you lift your head and exhale as you relax.
2) Rear leg raises: Go into the plank position as described above, but instead of keeping your legs straight, support yourself on your knees which should be directly under your hips. Flex your core, inhale and extend your leg backwards in a ‘kick’ motion. Exhale and bring your knee back to position. Switch legs after ten reps.
3) Shoulder bridge: Roll onto your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Concentrate on using your core muscles while you inhale and lift your pelvis up. Continue to lift your pelvis until only your shoulders are on the floor. Hold the position, exhale, and slowly lower yourself down.
Yoga is perfect for staying active on vacation. It doesn’t take up too much time or space and can be as intense or relaxing as you like. There are almost too many different combinations of poses and routines to count. So before leaving on vacation why not build your own routine? Pick your top five yoga poses to stay in shape, or just to stay centered in the middle of hectic vacation!
The benefits of physio for seniors are well established. Yet many people still think that physiotherapy is only for athletes recovering from injury. In reality physiotherapy is just as focused on preventing injuries and increasing mobility as it is on recovery and restoration.
Older adults may suffer from a range of issues, including arthritis, back pain, joint pain, muscle stiffness, ligament damage, inflammation, and lack of mobility. There are hundreds of issues related to aging that can be prevented, treated, or managed by physiotherapy as part of a comprehensive wellness regime. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to explore them all here, so let’s look at the top eight benefits:
Treatment of pain
Neck, back, and joint pain are often the result of tight or weak muscles, limited blood flow, and inactivity. Physiotherapy can increase blood flow, flexibility, core strength, and mobility.
Exercise is important for people of all ages, but it can also pose a risk to older adults, especially those with heart disease, osteoporosis or other common health issues. Physio is the perfect way for seniors to exercise under the careful direction of wellness professionals – reducing the risk of exercise-related injuries.
Build strength and stability
Slips and falls are dangerous at any age, but particularly common and dangerous for seniors. Physiotherapy helps older adults build the strength and stability needed to live life on their terms, without the fear of falling or slipping.
Physiotherapy is also a social experience. Seniors will work one-on-one with a physiotherapist who is dedicated to helping them achieve their well-being and health goals.
Non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatment option
Physiotherapy is an excellent non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical treatment option. Building strength and flexibility will help treat a range of issues, and also prevent injuries (and thus prevent the invasive treatments they may require). Surgical options become increasingly risky as people age, staying off the treatment table has to be a top priority for any senior.
Another factor to consider is that pain medication (even over-the-counter options) can sometimes interfere with other medications taken for chronic illnesses. Avoiding having to take additional medication is an important consideration of any health and wellness plan.
Pre and post-surgery
Sometimes surgery is unavoidable. Physiotherapy aids in recovery after surgery, and can build strength before surgery. Exercise of any kind protects and enhances cardio vascular capacity and circulation. Post-surgery physio will help patients recover their strength and mobility.
Mental health benefits
Exercise has well established mental health benefits. For seniors who may be dealing with physical pain, adjusting to retirement, or changes in their lifestyle, maintaining mental health is just as important as physical health. Exercise can alleviate anxiety and depression by releasing endorphins.
All of these benefits add up to one vital component of seniors’ lives: independence. Maintaining independence is key to seniors’ quality of life, dignity, and happiness. Effective physiotherapy will keep you out of a wheelchair, and even behind the wheel longer. That is the difference between living on your own, and requiring in-house care, or even having to live in a retirement home. Independence, mobility, and quality of life provide a huge mental health benefit, in addition to the direct mental health benefits that regular exercise provide.
Get started today!
You are never too young or too old to better your physical and mental well-being through physiotherapy. If you’re considering physiotherapy in Ancaster, contact the friendly and experienced team at Meadowlands Physiotherapy. We’re ready to help you on the road to better health.
Here at Meadowlands Physiotherapy we offer a relaxing massage that will not only help mothers-to-be feel better, but the baby as well. Pre-natal and post-natal massage is beneficial for mothers as well as their growing or newborn baby, and we offer both services to new moms and moms-to-be in Ancaster and the surrounding area.
Is pre-natal massage right for me?
According to the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario, “research has shown that pregnancy massage can be an integral part of a woman’s prenatal care, and is a safe and effective way to assist in a woman’s positive experience of pregnancy.”
Studies have shown that receiving massage care while pregnant has been associated with improved pregnancy outcomes and a lower rate of premature birth. A mother’s safety and comfort are always our top priority, which is why we recommend you talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have before visiting a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).
Benefits for mom and baby include:
I’ve just had my baby, what should I know about post-natal massage?
First of all, congratulations! With the help of our Registered Massage Therapists you can begin post-natal massage as early as 24-hours after giving birth. Experts believe this relaxing experience also helps the body recover faster so you can be back to your pre-baby self in no time.
What are the benefits of post-natal massage?
Post-natal massage assists with flushing out lactic acid build up within the tissues from labour
How often should I schedule a post-natal massage?
As each patient is different it will truly be up to you to decide on a schedule you prefer. It is suggested that treatments can take place every 3-4 weeks, but can be adjusted if needed. After months of carrying a child inside you, take the time to focus on caring for yourself. You’ll be surprised to find that an hour can recharge and revitalize your body and mind.
Each massage will be gentle and uniquely adapted to your unique situation. Do you prefer a soft pampering? Are you experiencing swelling and discomfort that you would like relief from? Post-natal massage is a highly enjoyable and beneficial post-baby experience geared to meeting your needs. Contact us today with your questions, to book your pre or post-natal massage.