Who doesn’t want to stay flexible, especially as they age? Well, stretching is one very good way to stay flexible! According to the American College of Sports Medicine it’s good to stretch all the major muscle groups at least two times a week.Stretching is an integral part of physiotherapy, and a physiotherapist is the perfect person to guide you how to stretch. Physiotherapists recommend stretching regularly, as it keeps one’s hips and hamstrings flexible later in life, which is very important for easy movement in old age.
Apart from this stretching has many other benefits. Like –
- It increases muscle flexibility
- It improves posture
- It also improves performance in sports & other activities
- It provides relief from stress
- It helps prevent injuries
- It prevents Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS, which is the soreness and pain one suffers a few hours to a few days after hectic exercise.
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The first question that many wonder about ,is what body parts should one stretch?
In physiotherapy, stretching the following body parts is considered essential –
- Upper Back
The next thing to take into consideration, is if there is a right amount of time to stretch?
While there is no particular amount of time that physiotherapists suggest you to stretch, recent studies show that 3 sets of 30 second stretches, 5 days per week for 4 weeks helps to strengthen hamstring muscles greatly.
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There are many kinds of Stretching that physiotherapists recommend.
Stretching a muscle to its full extent and holding it for 15 to 30 is known as the Static Stretch. You can exceed this time frame a bit, but don’t stretch until it hurts, as you can end up doing more damage to your muscles than good by over stretching. However, don’t do Static Stretches before a run or sprint, as this can slow down your speed by tiring out the muscles.
Before warming up for a run or other sports, doing Dynamic Stretches is more suitable. Dynamic Stretches are stretches that you do, as you are moving, and hence are called dynamic.
Another effective way of stretching, often used in physiotherapy, is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Stretching.
PNF stretching is an advanced type of stretching wherein the targeted muscle or muscle group, is stretched, contracted and finally relaxed. This process is repeated at least 2 to 4 times before moving on to the next muscle group. PNF stretching helps to elongate one’s muscles and was first developed as a muscle therapy by athletes, but is now often used in physiotherapy as a means of increasing flexibility.
Stretching can be used as a preventative precaution, but also to help correct and recover from more serious issues. A physiotherapist can guide you more regarding the stretching exercises that will be best suited to your needs. So visit any of our locations in Etobicoke, Oakville, North York, Mississauga & Toronto, and find out how you can get the most out of stretching!
Summer is here, and with the sun on one’s face and a cool breeze, everyone feels like going out and enjoying some fresh air. Be it a early morning run or a quick swim, a game of tennis with your buddies or you just dribbling the ball all by yourself at the basketball court; this is the season where even the lazy one’s find some energy to be active. Kids in particular love to go out and play in the summers. But with an active lifestyle, or an energetic kid, there is always the chance of sports related injuries or feet fatigue.
Maybe you twisted your ankle while playing tennis? Or your kid got hurt while playing football? Maybe too much running is affecting your feet? Or your friend is having pain in his or her legs post cycling?
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Orthotics might just be the answer to your woes!
The type of Orthotics recommended to you will depend on not just your ailment or injury, but the shape of your feet as well. A physiotherapist can tell you what kind of orthotics you need, by evaluating your injury and the shape of your feet.
The most popular kind of Orthotics include –
- Casual Orthotics – These are inserts or pads that can be worn with regular shoes.
- Custom Orthotics – these are inserts that are specially designed, keeping the shape of your feet and your particular needs in mind.
- Sports Orthotics – these are inserts or pads that help to absorb shock while doing high impact activities. Be it running, jogging, cycling or playing a sport. There are even specialized Orthotics that slip easily into athletic shoes for professional athletes.
- Dress Orthotics – These are inserts that can be put into heels and other fashionable shoes, and are particularly made for women.
- Accommodative Footwear – this refers to special footwear, which can accommodate the Orthotics.
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If you don’t have a sports injury, but are just very active, orthotics can still come to your aid. But do seek your doctor’s advice before using any kind of orthotics.
At Triangle Physiotherapy our health professionals cater to your needs and specifications. With the help of our professionals, you can figure out what is the best solution for you, based on your activities and the needs of your feet. So visit any of our locations in Etobicoke, Oakville, North York, Mississauga & Toronto to stay active with Orthotics!
Wearing heels maybe a fashion statement for some, but for others it is a work necessity.
Studies have shown that
- 72% women wear high heels at some point or the other
- 50% of them wear them at parties
- 39% of them wear them everyday
- And 31% of them wear them to work
But wearing heels for a prolonged period of time can lead to multiple issues. So what are the “heel issues” that affect most women? And how can you deal with them?
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Do your toes hurt and your feet feel numb? You might have Morton’s Neuroma, commonly known as forefoot pain. People with this ailment most often complain of pain between the 3rd and the 4th toe. Pain between the 2nd and the 3rd toe is less common, but also known to happen. This ailment occurs when the nerves between the toes get irritated and inflamed.
Another common issue with wearing high heels is back pain. Constantly wearing very high heels puts stress on the thighs and hip flexors, which in turn puts more pressure on the spine and causes it to curve. The curving of the spine then leads to back pain.
Pain in the knee joints is also an issue that occurs if you wear high heels too often. High heels put too much pressure on knee joints and can create an imbalance in your leg alignment, leading to pain and other issues of the knee joint.
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Ditching the heels completely will obviously be the best solution. But if you can’t do that, here are some things that you can do –
- Wear heels that are 2 inches or less in height, this will help take off the pressure from your spine and cause less curving.
- If you absolutely must wear very high heels (4 to 6 inches high) one day, wear low to moderate heels the next day. This way your knee joints, spine and thigh muscles will get a break from undue stress.
- If you have forefoot pain, try wearing shoes that are wider around the toes – a shoe with a round or square shape in front is a better choice than a pointy-toed shoe.
- Opt for shoes that have leather insoles so your feet have better grip. Slippery heels cause even more damage to your posture.
- Wear heels for shorter periods of time. The longer you wear high heels, the more damage you cause to your knees and spine.
- Ditch those heels if you are in too much pain. It is better to sit at your desk without your heels on, rather than cringe with pain for the entire day.
- And finally, visit a physiotherapist and do some simple exercises that he or she may suggest to relieve you of your feet, back or knee pain caused by high heels.
At Triangle Physiotherapy our professionals can help you figure out what will be the ideal solution for your ailment. So visit any of our 5 locations of Triangle Physiotherapy clinics – Etobicoke, Oakville, Mississauga, North York, Toronto to heal the issues caused by them heels!
Yoga has been gaining immense popularity lately, due to the short-term as well as long-term benefits that it provides. Practicing yoga provides a strong spiritual element that offers fitness and flexibility. People suffering from various health disorders can find solutions through yoga, and they may reap the extra benefits yoga provides through living a more stress-free lifestyle as well as with increased fitness.
Yoga for a healthy life
Yoga is an ancient system of health that promotes ‘union’ and connects the body, mind, breath and spirit as one unit, therefore enhancing and promoting an overall balanced lifestyle of health and well-being.
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If practiced regularly the benefits of yoga are numerous. Physically and mentally, yoga may result in:
- Improvement in muscular strength
- Body awareness
- Hormonal balance
- Normalizing blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Pain relief
- Improvement in sleep
- And much, much more!
It is believed that we only have a limited number of breaths in each life. Hence,yoga is believed to stretch our lives out a bit longer by taking slow and deep breaths.
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Research has also suggested that yoga improves social and occupational functioning in schizophrenic patients.
Some styles of yoga emphasize breathing and meditation, with limited activity; some styles emphasize form and alignment through postures, some are about a serious workout and flow, & some are all about relaxation.
Not a competition:
Don’t try a posture that you are uncomfortable with; don’t let someone else push you into something that you don’t want to do; and don’t think that you have to compete with yourself or others to achieve a posture.
Yoga is not about competition or feeling the burn. However, a little discomfort is to be expected. There is a huge difference between pain and discomfort, and most people mistake one for the other, especially when they are new to yoga practice.
Consult A Physiotherapist
At Triangle Physiotherapy, we work with the help of your medical history and assess how yoga may help guide your health in the right direction. All you need to do is overlook your anxieties related to your health, and feel free to contact any of our five locations for an in-depth consultation.
Massage therapy has a positive effect on a plethora of medical conditions. It rejuvenates both your mind and muscles. Everyone experiences pain, the only difference is some continue to suffer and some proactively seek pain relief through massage therapy. Our skin is the largest organ on our body. The skin interfaces with the environment and is the first line of defense from external factors. Taking good care of your skin through massage therapy will help keep your skin healthy and muscles rejuvenated. Massage therapy is regarded as one of the oldest health care professions. Massage therapy is not just for the skin and muscles, it can also help to reduce high blood pressure, lower chances of depression and relieve headaches.
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Healing from a car accident injury through massage therapy
Car accidents can cause a variety of physical problems, and many people seek physiotherapy and/or massage therapy for relief from whiplash and other aches and pains. Massage therapy has the potential for facilitating health, wellness, and injury recovery from car accidents.
- Massage therapy can relieve Whiplash
Whiplash injuries are common in car and sports accidents. People who get whiplash may experience pain, stiffness, and poor range of motion, among other symptoms. Some people may feel mental or emotional symptoms such as loss of memory or focus, insomnia, and depression. If you have whiplash, ask your physician about adding massage to your physical therapy regimen, as the combination could help speed up your recovery.
2) Massage Therapy for Knee Injuries
People in car accidents often injure their knees (though not as often as heads, necks, and spines). Statistics show car crash victims often injure their Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACLs), as do many athletes. Massage therapy has been shown to provide pain relief and healing for people with a wide variety of knee problems.
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3) Massage therapy helps to recover from Immediate emotional trauma
If you’re in a car crash, you may suffer emotionally even if you do not sustain any physical injuries. Massage therapy, especially within several hours of an auto accident, can help people recover their emotional balance.
We all suffer from adverse health effects both psychological and physical, and stress is one of the important factors to look after. A massage can help reduce everyday stress by helping muscles to relieve and relax through the pressure points manually worked on by one of our experienced massage therapists.
Our registered massage therapists at Triangle are happy to assist you with any questions pertaining to your health goals and guide you on the road to recovery. Adding massage therapy to your healthcare/recovery plan will provide a natural relief without the aid of pain killers. Living pain free naturally is our goal, and at Triangle we will guide you every step of the way.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics are custom made inserts that are worn inside your shoe to control abnormal foot function.
Orthotics solve a number of biomechanically related problems, for example, ankle and knee pain, pelvis, hip, spinal pain. This is achieved by preventing misalignment of the foot, which significantly alters the way in which the bones move within their joints.
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How are custom orthotics made?
The process starts with the chiropodist, chiropractor or physiotherapist conducting a Biomechanical Gait analysis on a tablet that records your gait pattern & explaining the results to you. The chiropodist, chiropractor or physiotherapist may also take a 3D cast of your feet in a foam box.
The orthotics are then custom-manufactured in the lab based on your foot impressions & scan.
Once the orthotics are made & delivered to the clinic, the chiropodist, chiropractor or physiotherapist will have you come in for a fitting & explain to you the wear & care of the orthotics.
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Why choose Triangle Physiotherapy for your custom orthotics?
- State of the art technology
- Experienced chiropodists, chiropractors or physiotherapists trained in Biomechanical Assessments & Orthotic Prescription
- Lifetime warranty on the orthotics*
- Assistance with sending your claims in to your insurance.
Pacifying the Pain – All about Patella Tendon Tears
Despite it being named a “Tendon”, the patella tendon is both a ligament and a tendon. It connects to two different bones, the patella and the tibia. The patella tendon works in unison with the quadricepmuscles and quadricep tendons allowing them to straighten the knee. The tear within the patella tendon is either partial or complete and can be a disabling injury:
- Partial tear- More frayed and not complete, (think of a rope that is not completely torn)
- Complete Tear- The tissue is torn into two complete pieces
There are numerous causes that can contribute to the tear of a patella tendon:
- Patellar tendonitis- inflammation of the patellar tendon thus weakening the tendon, causing small tears.
- Chronic disease – Chronic renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetes mellitus & metabolic disease, etc.
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Most patients have stated that they had felt a popping or tearing sensation when the patella tendon has torn. Additional symptoms recorded were:
- Indentation at the spot where the patella tendon is located
- Shift of the kneecap to thigh, due to un-attachment
- Difficulty walking due to weakness in the knee
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Once the initial pain and swelling has subsided, physiotherapy treatments can be started. Physiotherapy can restore strength and range of motion. Depending on the intensity of the injury, a brace may need to be worn. While the brace is worn, straight leg exercises are often prescribed to strengthen the quadriceps muscles. As the patellar tendon heals, eventually the brace may be removed, allowing the patient to move freely with a greater range of motion, with more exercises being put into use as healing progresses.
Recovery from patellar tendon tears is possible, and most individuals are able to return to work and regular activities. Even though patients may feel stiffness in the region after recovery, most regain nearly equal motion compared to the uninjured leg. At Triangle Physiotherapy, we are able to dispense custom-fit braces to aid in the recovery of patellar tendon tears. For more information visit our custom braces page at: https://www.trianglephysiotherapy.com/services/custom-bracing
What exactly is shin splints? Are they treatable? Shin splints is a condition characterized by damage and inflammation of the connective tissue joining muscles to the inner shin bone (tibia). Shin splints are known by many different names such as: Medial Tibial Tenoperiostitus, MTSS, Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, Tenoperiostitus of the Shin, Inflammatory Shin Pain, Traction Periostitis, and Posterior Shin Splint Syndrome.
Several muscles lie at the back of the lower leg, and are collectively known as the calf muscles. The tibialis posteriror, flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallicus and soleus are muscles which lie deep within the calf and attach to the inner border of the tibia. Connective tissues are responsible for attaching these muscles to the tibia known as the tenoperiosteum. Every time the calf contracts, it pulls on the tenoperiosteum. When the tension becomes forced too much or is repeated frequently, damage is caused to the tenoperiosteum. The results are inflammation and pain. Shin splints can also occur in combination with other pathologies that cause shin pain such as compartment syndrome and tibial stress fractures.
Patients who suffer from shin splints experience a pain along the inner border of the shin. In other cases, the patient may experience an ache or stiffness along the inner aspect of the shin that increases with rest (typically and night or first thing in the morning). Areas of muscle tightness, thickening or lumps may also be felt in the same area of pain. There are several factors that predispose patitents to shin splints:
• Excessive training or exercise
• Poor foot posture (especially in patients with flat feet)
• Inappropriate footwear
• Inadequate warm up
• Training on hard or inappropriate surfaces
• Muscle weakness (especially in calve muscles)
• Tightness in specific joints (such as ankle)
• Tightness in specific muscles (calves especially)
• Poor lower limb biomechanics
• Poor training techniques or methods
• Leg length differences
• Poor balance
• Being overweight
• Poor core stability
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Physiotherapy treatment for patitents with shin splints is vital to speed up the healing process. Physiotherapy will ensure the most optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Treatment may comprise of the following:
• Deep tissue massage
• Joint mobilization
• Dry needling
• PNF stretches
• Arch support taping
• The use of orthotics or shock absorbing insoles
• Biomechanical correction
• Ice or heat treatment
• Exercises to improve flexibility, balance, strength, and core stablility
• Activity modification advice
• Anti-inflammatory advice
• Footwear advice
• Weight loss advice where appropriate
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If you happen to suffer from shin splints and you are looking for a way to relieve pain, stress, and improve over-all health, try adding physical therapy to a routine wellness plan. Our physiotherapists at Triangle Physiotherapy can be a powerful ally when combating daily stress, muscle pain, and general health issues when it comes to shin splints. Not only does physical therapy relieve pain, increase energy levels, and improve overall physical and mental performance, it prevents further injuries. Our experienced, professional physical therapists at Triangle Physiotherapy are available at five convienient locations: Etobicoke, Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, and Kings West. At Triangle we customize every physical therapy session to address your individual needs.
Do your legs tingle, become numb, or feel weak? You may be experiencing Sciatica. The term Sciatica describes leg pain that originates from the lower back and travels through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis in and of itself –it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Common lower back problems such as: lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis can cause sciatica symptoms. Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
• Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
• Pain that becomes worse when sitting
• Leg pain that is described as burning, tingling, or searing
• Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
• A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk
• Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes
Physiotherapy exercises incorporating a combination of strengthening, stretching, and aerobic conditioning are a central component of almost any sciatica treatment plan.
• Strengthening exercises- Most of these back exercises focus not only on the lower back, but also the abdominal muscles, and the buttock and hip muscles.
• Stretching exercises- Stretches for sciatica are designed to target muscles that cause pain when they are tight and inflexible.
• Low-impact aerobic exercise- Some form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise such as: walking, swimming, or pool therapy is usually a component of recovery, as aerobic activity encourages the exchange of fluids and nutrients to help create a better healing environment.
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When patients engage in a regular program of gentle exercises, they can recover more quickly from sciatica pain and are less likely to have future episodes of pain. As sciatica is due to pressure on the sciatic nerve, it stands to reason that treatment involves removing this pressure. Your physiotherapy treatment aims to achieve this by reducing nerve pressure caused by poorly moving spinal joints as well as easing muscular tension in the lower spine, buttock, and leg.
If you are suffering from sciatica please do not delay. You can achieve the best results when you address the symptoms early!
Patellar tendinopathy (also known as: patellar tendonitis, and tendonitis) is an overuse injury affecting the knee. The patella tendon is a short but very wide tendon that runs from the patella (kneecap) to the top of the tibia. It works with the muscles at the front of the thigh to extend the knee so it can perform physical acts like kicking, running, and jumping. Due to these elements, the patellar tendon has to absorb a lot of this loading and as a result is prone to injury in runners and jumpers. Unlike many running injuries, patellar tendonitis is somewhat more common in men than in women.
The stress on the patellar tendon results in small tears, which the body attempts to repair, but as the injury multiplies, it causes pain from inflammation and weakening of the tendon. When this tendon damage persists for more than a few weeks, it is called, “tendinopathy”.
Initial symptoms of patellar tendonitis can be:
- Anterior knee pain over the patella tendon
- Pain increased from jumping, landing or running activity, and on occasion prolonged sitting
- Onset of pain can be gradual and commonly relates to an increase in sports activities
- Localised tenderness over the patella tendon
- The tendon feeling stiff, mostly first thing in the morning
- The affected tendon may appear thickened in comparison to the unaffected side
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Typically, tendon injuries occur in three areas:
- Musculotendinous junction (where the tendon joins the muscle)
- Mid-tendon (non-insertional tendinopathy)
- Tendon insertion (eg. Into the bone)
If you try to work through your pain, ignoring your body’s warning signs, you could cause increasingly larger tears in the patellar tendon.
Knee pain and reduced function can persist if the problem is not addressed , which can progress to more serious patellar tendinopathy.
Treatment of this condition has two objectives: to reduce inflammation and to allow the tendon to heal. Rest is a must when the knee is painful and swollen. Avoid stair climbing and jumping sports. Keep your knee straight while sitting, and avoid squatting.
Icing the knee for twenty minutes two to three times a day is recommended, especially after any sporting activities. Exercises can also be used to stretch and balance the thigh muscles.
It is advisable however, to contact a physical therapist & approach proper physical therapy before you attempt any of these remedies, to avoid any further damage.