Acupuncture is a healing technique used in TCM where practitioners stimulate specific points on the body, most often by inserting thin, sterile needles into the skin.
Acupuncture mainly focuses on correcting imbalances of energy in the body & improves the body’s function by promoting the natural, self-healing process. It is now widely practiced as a therapeutic intervention in North America, in addition to Asia.
What can acupuncture help with?
The most common method used to stimulate acupuncture points or acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. This technique can release blocked Qi in the body and stimulates the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Studies suggest that acupuncture can ease various types of pain generated by conditions such as:
- Low-back pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Smoking addiction
- Chronic asthma
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How many treatments will I need?
The frequency of treatments differs from person to person based on their health condition. Some people experience relief in the first treatment itself, whereas others with complex or long-standing chronic conditions may notice more of a significant benefit after multiple treatment sessions. Generally, fewer treatments are required for acute conditions and more treatments are required for chronic conditions. An individualized treatment plan that includes the expected number of treatments will be discussed during the first visit.
In recent years, acupuncture has gained much more traction in Western Medicine. The majority of research on the use of acupuncture in Western Medicine has focused on its use for pain management and inflammation reduction. Thus far, the majority of this research has yielded positive results, indicating that acupuncture is indeed a useful technique for pain management and inflammation reduction.
At Triangle Physiotherapy, our practitioners and therapists will thoroughly assess your past medical history and will answer any questions that you might have about your condition. This New Year, make sure that you focus on your health to ensure that you have a productive and healthy year!
What do we mean by Sports Injuries? Any sort of injury that is caused when we get too involved and carried away in the spirit of any sport. When the passion is high, and the energy is there we tend to suffer from small accidents related to Knee pain, Elbow, etc.
What qualifies as a Sports Injury?
It’s any type of injury that might arise from getting too involved and carried away in the spirit of any sport. In the heat of the moment during a sports game, it is easy to ignore smaller annoyances that might progress to become significant sources of pain.
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So, what do many people do when they inevitably suffer a sports injury?
The most common answer is to go and visit a doctor. However, we tend to forget that the most effective and immediate assistance we can get is from a physiotherapist. Reducing swelling and providing pain relief are usually the first steps that a physiotherapist will take to promote recovery after an injury.
Advanced progression of the treatment plan usually involves techniques like stretching and providing range of motion and strengthening exercises that are meant to help the injured person regain strength and balance. The physiotherapist will also ensure that you don’t push yourself too far or too fast, thereby helping you prevent re-injury.
Below are some common questions and answers that might be relevant to you:
Who is better equipped to diagnose my injury – a doctor or a physiotherapist?
Both doctors and physiotherapists have the necessary skills to diagnose your injury. Interestingly the most important thing is that there is a DIAGNOSIS made!
Who is better equipped to manage/treat my injury – a doctor or a physiotherapist?
Well, it depends on the injury. For example, it is not uncommon for a physiotherapist to refer a patient to a doctor to ask for a prescription for some anti-inflammatory medication as these are not able to be prescribed by a physiotherapist. However, a physiotherapist will generally provide more detail regarding the injury, as well as provide manual treatment and prescribe a detailed exercise program for the patient that will help promote recovery.
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When do I need to consult a physiotherapist?
There are many other conditions apart from sports injuries that would require treatment from a physiotherapist. Some of them are:
- Any arthritic conditions
- Treatment of pelvic floor disorders
- Chronic/Overuse injuries
- Muscle or joint issues that might arise during pregnancy
- Vestibular conditions
- Various other muscle strains and sprains
Any of the above-mentioned problems should be treated immediately in order to prevent further aggravation of the condition! Seek the help of our specialists at any of our locations in Etobicoke, Oakville, North York, Mississauga & Toronto, and get rid of such dilemmas!
Are your worries all perched on a pillow? And we don’t mean figuratively, but literally, are your worries all about THE PILLOW? Well, you are not in as uncommon a dilemma as you may think. Physiotherapists frequently get queries about pillow-related problems.
Sleeping on the wrong pillow, or one that is too worn out, not only leads to headaches, backaches, and neck cramps but also prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. Lack of proper sleep can lead to many serious health issues, like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
It is imperative that you choose the right pillow for yourself but the kind of pillow you should pick will depend on your own unique needs as well. A physiotherapist is the best person to tell you exactly what you need. However, here are a few things that you can keep in mind while making a choice –
- Your usual sleeping position
- The shape and size of your head, neck and back
- Desired softness/firmness of the pillow
- Any neck pain, or backache you may have
- And your budget
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There are a plethora of pillows in the market – cotton, polyester, feather, down, memory foam etc. However, these don’t cater to specific support or pain needs. If you have been injured, or have a particular condition, you will need a pillow that caters best to not just your problem, but also the stage that you are in. There are three main stages –
For each of these three stages, you will need a specific kind of pillow.
Specialty pillows that are designed for the ‘Accommodation’ stage, are pillows that bring in comfort and ease by providing support and stabilizing the existing ailment or disorder. Such pillows are often called Displacement pillows and are often recommended by physiotherapists for short-term pain relief after an injury.
The next stage of an issue or injury is ‘Correction’. At this stage, a doctor or physiotherapist attempts to find a remedy for the cause of the problem, and thereby correct it. Pillows recommended in this stage are often designed to provide support, and sometimes to even change the sleeping position of the injured or ailing person. There are various ‘Supportive’ pillows to meet different support levels, firmness and neck lobe size needs of different patients. There are also specialized ‘Corrective’ pillows, which can reduce headaches, neck pain, joint pain, and whiplash discomfort and can even improve nerve function. A physiotherapist can tell you what is the ideal Supportive or Corrective pillow you need, based on your health and body needs.
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Pillows for the last stage, ‘Maintenance’, help to promote good health by returning and keeping the body in its natural alignment. At this stage maintaining the normal curvature of the neck and spine is of utmost importance. While the normal curvature of one person’s neck and spine may differ from another, there are some general guidelines that a physiotherapist can jot down to help you understand your needs better. Comfort and support are the most important of these.
There are also Aqua pillows, which perform all the 3 functions of a pillow:
- Accommodation: Since water is fluid, a person gets customized accommodation that happens in real time, as the individual changes their position on the pillow.
- Correction: The volume of water determines the firmness and density of the pillow, which means different amounts of water can be utilized to help correct the neck position of different people in different stages of healing.
- Maintenance: Since the volume of water remains constant until changed manually, it helps maintain the neck posture at all times while sleeping.
A lot of people buy a pillow, try it for a few nights, and then feel it isn’t right for them. Sometimes the pillows can be returned, but more often, people end up having a collection of pillows that they have hardly ever used. An Aqua pillow is a huge savior in this aspect, as it can be customized for each individual! The water levels can be modified to best suit the clinical condition, neck shape, and size, and preferred sleeping position of the buyer.
There are also specially designed Orthopaedic pillows for specific conditions like arthritis, fractures, and slip discs. A physiotherapist can enlighten you more about these.
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 on 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:
- 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.
Also read, Physiotherapy Etobicoke
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 the right amount of time to stretch. While there is no particular amount of time that physiotherapists suggest you stretch, recent studies show that 3 sets of 30-second stretches, 5 days per week for 4 weeks help 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!
- a sudden stop;
- a twist,
- pivot, or change in direction at the joint;
- extreme over-straightening (hyperextension);
- or a direct impact to the outside of the knee or lower leg.
The most frequent signs of an ACL sprain are:
- A pop heard or felt inside your knee at the time of injury
- Significant knee swelling within a few hours after injury
- Severe knee pain that prevents you from continued participation in your sport
- Black-and-blue discoloration around the knee
- Knee instability- the feeling that your knee will buckle or give out
Treatment of an ACL SprainA physiotherapist will examine both knees, comparing the injured knee to the uninjured one. During this exam, the physiotherapist will check your injured knee for signs of swelling, deformity, tenderness, fluid inside the knee joint, and discoloration. If the patient does not have too much pain and swelling, a physiotherapist will then evaluate the knee’s range of motion and will pull against the ligaments to check their strength. During the exam, the patient will have to bend their knee and the physiotherapist will gently pull forward or push backward on their lower leg where it meets the knee. Based on the results of the patient’s exam, diagnostic tests may need to be performed to further evaluate the condition of the patient’s knee. These tests may include standard X-rays to check for ligament separation from bone or fracture. Tests may also include an MRI scan or a camera–guided knee surgery (arthroscopy). The expected duration of recovery depends on the severity of the patient’s knee sprain, their rehabilitation program, and what type of sports the patients play. In general, milder sprains heal within 2-4 weeks, whereas other types may take 4-12 months.
There are many ways of preventing ACL knee sprain, to help sports related injuries you can:
- Warm up and stretch before participating in athletic activities
- Do exercises that strengthen the leg muscles around the knee, especially the quadriceps.
- Avoid sudden increases in the intensity of a training program. Do not push too hard or too fast. Gradually increase intensity.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes that fit your feet and fit your sport
- Knee becomes very painful or swollen
- Cannot bear weight
- Feels as if it will buckle or give out.
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