It is the belief in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that illness is caused when life force, known as Qi (pronounced “chi”), is not able to flow efficiently through the body, or when the two forms of Qi, yin & yang, were out of balance. 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 practised as a therapeutic intervention in North America, in addition to Asia.
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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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 is a Podiatrist? A podiatrist deals with the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limbs and feet. What is a Chiropodist? A chiropodist deals with the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limbs and feet. Sound familiar? That is because these two professions are one and the same!
While there may be differences in terms of scope of practice in other areas of the world, in Canada, both podiatrists and chiropodists are qualified to treat patients with arthritis, diabetes, lower limb sports injuries, and various other ailments of the feet. They have received specialized training which allows them to work with patients of all ages and to help the elderly stay mobile and independent. The only practical difference between the two professions, in terms of their scope of practice in Canada, is simply their title.
Also read, Physiotherapy Treatment Etobicoke
Chiropodists can advise patients on how to look after their feet and what type of shoes or orthotics to wear. They can also treat, alleviate and benefit day-to-day foot conditions, such as:
- Thickened, fungal, or ingrown toenails
- Varicose veins
- Athlete’s foot
- Smelly feet
- Dry and cracked heels
- Flat feet
- Heel pain
- Ageing feet
- Sports Injuries
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Seek help from a Chiropodist for advice or treatment if you have:
- Painful heels or arches
- Thickened or discoloured toenails
- Cracks, cuts, or hardened skin on your feet
- Growths, such as warts
- Scaling or peeling on the soles
- Any other foot condition
Don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore small foot problems! These small “problems” can quickly transform into major issues that can affect the quality of your life. As they say, “prevention is the best cure “. Patients who make regular check-up appointments can avoid many potential feet problems as Chiropodists are specialists at recognizing problems before they have occurred.
Don’t’ let your feet problems keep you from stepping into our clinic! Seek the help of our foot specialists at any of our locations in Etobicoke, Oakville, North York, Mississauga & Toronto and say goodbye to your foot 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, or too worn out a pillow, 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 back ache 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, 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 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.
Seek the help of our professionals at any of our locations in Etobicoke, Oakville, North York, Mississauga & Toronto, and say goodbye to your pillow problems!
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!
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!
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!