Our knees support the weight of our bodies with each step we take. When we begin to experience knee pain, it can be very debilitating, especially if the pain is severe. Some common causes of knee pain are: joint strain or damage, patellar maltracking, obesity, poor foot biomechanics, and many others. In some cases, severe osteoarthritis (OA) can be the cause of the knee pain. While exercises are extremely beneficial in building muscular support and managing the effects of the OA, a knee brace can be a good intervention to provide support and delay any surgical intervention. It can help to reduce swelling and pressure on the joints and can shift weight away from the damaged and painful areas of the joint. This can significantly improve a person’s mobility by decreasing their pain.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint condition. At its core, it is the deterioration of the cartilage which lines our joints and makes movement fluid and pain-free. While mild OA is a normal age-related change, severe OA involves a significant reduction in the amount of lubricating fluid (known as synovial fluid) within the joint. This can cause significant pain with movement, stiffness, and imbalance because of a more bone-on-bone type of feeling.
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Knee brace for Osteoarthritis
As mentioned above, a knee brace can be a good management option for dealing with the effects of OA. A good knee brace will offer the support you need in order to balance and evenly distribute your weight in order to have a more comfortable walk or run. Material used to make braces can be plastic, metal, or sometimes composite materials. In addition, synthetic rubber is used for positioning and padding. It’s made in way so that your skin can breathe while your knees are supported.
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Types of knee braces in osteoarthritis
There are three styles of braces: Basic, Compression and Unloader for three different levels of support.
- Basic braces are for those who suffer from mild pain that worsens with activity and motion. Most people wear them while exercising or walking/running for long periods of time.
- Compression sleeves/advanced braces provide support for moderate osteoarthritic pain. They are generally worn during exercise in order to keep the joints warm and hold the knees in proper alignment.
- Unloader braces are for severe osteoarthritis. They are worn when a person is suffering from severe pain due to their knee OA and will physically unload the joint, causing less pressure to go through it.
We at Triangle physiotherapy will assess you knee joints and develop a complete treatment plan for you. Our expert physiotherapists can help you choose the correct knee brace to manage your OA. Book your appointment now and feel some relief so you can get back to your normal life as soon as possible!
Visit Here: https://www.trianglephysiotherapy.com
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.
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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!
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!
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.
A knee sprain is an injury of the ligaments; tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect the bones of the upper and lower leg at the knee joint. One of the main forms of knee sprain is in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) bridge the inside of the knee joint, forming an, “X” pattern that stabilises the knee against front-to-back and back-to-front forces. There are certain movements in the knee that causes a sprain in the ACL such as: 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. These injuries are quiet common among athletes in sports such as: football, basketball, soccer, rugby, wrestling, gymnastics, and skiing.
It is suggested that when one knee ligament suffers a sprain, there is a good chance that the other parts of the knee may also be injured, most commonly the ACL. Knee sprains are very common. ACL sprains tend to cause more significant symptoms compared to MCL injuries. 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
After injury, a 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 patients’ exam, diagnostic tests may need to be performed to further evaluate the condition of the patients’ knee. These tests may include standard X-Ray’s to check for ligament separation from bone or fracture. Tests may also include a MRI scan or a camera –guided knee surgery (arthroscopy). The expected duration of the injury depends on the severity of the patients’ 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 which 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
About 90% of people with ACL injuries can expect a full recovery after proper treatment and a good physical therapy program. As a long-term complication, some patients who suffered from an ACL sprain eventually develop pain from osteoarthritis in the joint where the knee has been injured. This symptom may not become present until 15 to 20 years after the initial knee injury.
Call a professional when:
- Knee becomes very painful or swollen
- Cannot bear weight
- Feels as if it will buckle or give out.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common type of adult- onset motor neuron disease. Neurological disorders are characterized primarily by progressive degeneration and loss of motor neurons. ALS involves upper and lower motor neurons and presents as an idiopathic , progressive degeneration of anterior horn cells and their associated neurons, resulting in progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, and fasciluations.
ALS is a gradual onset disease. The first initial symptoms of ALS varies person to person. One person may have trouble with their grip, such as holding a cup or pen, while another person may experience change in pitch in their voice while speaking. The rate at which ALS develops also varies person to person, with the mean survival time ranging three to five years. Although there are cases in which people have lived five, and ten or more years. Onset symptoms can begin in the muscles that control speech and swallowing, or in the hands, arms, legs or feet. Not all people who suffer from ALS experience the same symptoms as others or the same sequences or patterns of progression. Although, universally progressive muscle weakness and paralysis is experienced.
ALS is a somewhat difficult disease to diagnose. There is not one test or procedure to instantly establish the diagnosis of ALS. Through the use of clinical examination, and a series of diagnostic tests, often ruling out other diseases that mimic ALS, that a diagnosis can be established. A comprehensive diagnostic check-list includes most, if not all, of all the following procedures:
- Electrodiagnostic tests- Electomyography (EMG) and Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
- Blood & Urine studies
- Spinal tap
- X-rays including MRI
- Myleogram of cervical spine
- Muscle and/or nerve biopsy
- A thorough neurological examination
These tests are done at the discretion of the physician, usually based on the results of other diagnostic tests and the physical examination. There are several diseases that have some of the same symptoms as ALS, and most of these conditions are treatable.
Treatment of ALS can be done with physiotherapy, focusing on stretching and daily range of motion (ROM) exercises. Our physiotherapists at Triangle will focus on the emphasis of energy conservation and teach patients and caregivers methods for performing safe, efficient transfers. Our therapists at Triangle can also provide instruction for strengthening exercise programs. In one study, individualized, moderate-intensity, endurance-type exercises for the trunk and limbs performed 15 minutes twice daily was shown to significantly reduce spasticity as measured by the Ashworth scale. At Triangle, we may have to recommend wheel chairs to anticipate the patients future needs. Initially, a lightweight wheelchair should be rented, with future plans to purchase a heavier chair when the patient is no longer able to ambulate. Modifications will be recommended on the basis of the patients condition and tolerance for gadgets.