The 3 P’s: Pelvic Floor, Pregnancy and Physiotherapy

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What is the pelvic floor?
– Pelvic floor muscles are located between the tailbone and the pubic bone within the pelvis. They help to support bowel and bladder, and other pelvic organs.
– Signs and symptoms of an unhealthy pelvic floor can include incontinence (e.g. urine or stool leakage), feeling of vaginal heaviness, constipation, etc.

During and throughout pregnancy, pelvic floor muscles can weaken and/or tighten due to:
– extra weight and pressure on pelvic floor as the baby grows (especially during the third trimester)
– hormonal changes that may soften pelvic floor muscles
– after birth (vaginal or caesarian), there is considerable impact in pelvic floor muscles and abdominal wall muscles

Benefits of pelvic floor exercises:
– decrease pain and fatigue in pelvic floor
– improve bowel and bladder control
– improve healing time post-pregnancy
– prevent pelvic organ prolapse

Exercises during pregnancy:
– strengthening of pelvic floor as recommended by doctor or physiotherapist, may not be suitable for everyone
– through Kegel exercises, and strengthening/stretching of hip/pelvic musculature

Exercises after pregnancy:
– continue strengthening of pelvic floor and surrounding muscles
– there are still a lot of changes in the pelvic area especially within first 3 months post-pregnancy
– need to have tailored exercise plan to return safely even to general full body exercise

If interested in scheduling a session for pelvic physiotherapy, click here

Stay up to date with rehab & wellness on our IG

 

By: Irene Chau, Physiotherapist

What is an Athletic Therapist?

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What is an Athletic Therapist?

An Athletic Therapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. They work with individuals of all ages and abilities, from amateur and professional athletes to the general population. Athletic Therapists use a variety of techniques, including manual therapy, exercise prescription, and modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation, to help their patients manage and recover from injuries, improve their physical function and performance, and reduce the risk of future injuries. They also provide education on injury prevention, injury management, and safe return to activity. Athletic Therapists are licensed healthcare professionals and may have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Athletic Therapy. They also have to pass a certification exam to become a Certified Athletic Therapist (CAT). They often work in a variety of settings such as sports teams, clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and fitness facilities

Why chose PhysioDNA in Toronto?

At PhysioDNA Toronto, we are frequently asked, ‘What is a sports or athletic therapist?’ And even now there is confusion which, not only causes issues but in many occasions misunderstanding about the knowledge and capabilities that this specific occupational group possess.

For that reason for clarification – An Athletic Therapists (Toronto) is a healthcare professional who has the expertise, skill-sets and ability to:

– Make use of sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and injury prevention programs.

– Offer the immediate care of injuries and fundamental life support in a recreational, exercise & competitive environment.

– Assess, treat and, where needed, refer on for other specialist advice and treatment.

– Deliver appropriate sport and therapeutic massage in a sport & exercise context

– Plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation programs

The range of expertise that an Athletic Therapists must possess is developed within five key areas of expertise related to injury and illness in the sport and exercise environment.

These are:

  1. Prevention
  2. Recognition & evaluation
  3. Administration, treatment & referral
  4. Rehab
  5. Education & professional practice issues

Throughout each of these areas Athletic Therapists and specifically those at Graduate level, are trained and educated in basic principles that have sound practical and evidence-based philosophies with solid sport and physical exercise science foundations.

As such, Certified Athletic Therapists are required to satisfy precisely defined expertise levels which deal with the above areas and gives them the understanding, abilities and ability to work at all degrees of the sport and exercise continuum.

More importantly:

Athletic and Exercise Therapy is not just about Sports Massage. However, Athletic Therapists will possess massage skills that are an integral part of their scope of practice.

Athletic Therapists are not Physiotherapists, but Athletic Therapists will apply “physiotherapy” skills and practices, and often practice under a physiotherapy license.

Consequently, Athletic Therapists will apply many skills and techniques that are included within this list but in an athletic and exercise perspective more so than a conventional health care circumstance.

Athletic Therapists are not just first aiders. More importantly, they are first responders who have the education, expertise, skills and competence to provide immediate care in a first response role. Certified Athletic Therapists are also required to show evidence that they are up to date with these skills.

Allied to their Sport and Exercise science know-how, therapeutic abilities and understanding of the sport, Atheltic Therapists are capable and competent in applying the necessary rehab concepts, to allow their patients to reach the optimum levels of recovery, that their injury or disability will allow. As such, the journey from injury to a return to tasks can be facilitated by professionals who have the understanding, skill-sets and science-based principles to meet the needs of a clearly defined patient group. More significantly, Athletic Therapists are and should be, an indispensable part of the Sports Medicine family, complementing and strengthening the outstanding skills and knowledge also being provided by colleagues and other professions.

Athletic Therapy is a distinct occupational title that applies to a clearly defined scope of practice.

Athletic Therapists: A Strong Foundation is key

Our Registered Physiotherapists and Certified Athletic Therapists are specialized in sports therapy and athletic rehabilitation. Our therapists work with a variety of Sports teams in Toronto and the GTA.

We have worked with athletes of all ages and varying levels of competition. Our therapists have taken additional certifications and courses in Fascial Stretch Therapy, Active Release Therapy, Darby Training Techniques, Movement Assessments, Naturopathic Medicine/Dry Needling Techniques as well as others. Our treatment methods are supported by the most recent and highest quality research.

Some of the knee conditions we work with regularly with our Athletes are:

Our treatment approach is focussed on Performance, Wellness, Mobility, Balance & Proprioceptive training, Bracing, Compression, Modalities, Myofascial techniques and more.

A thorough Assessment is essential to highlight problem areas and understand the cause of injury.

Athletic Therapist for Children & Adolescents

Our Physiotherapists work with Athletes of all ages. We work with children as young as 6 years old to focus on Foundation and Sports Specific Training to prevent injury and enhance performance. We work hand in hand with parents and children to create a realistic treatment plan to best suit the individual needs and goals of you and your child.

Areas that we focus our Assessment on :

  • Posture
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle & Fascia Tightness
  • Mobility
  • Exercise Prescription
  • Home Exercises
  • Sports Specific Training
  • And Much More!

What does an athletic therapist do?

An Athletic Therapist is responsible for a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating musculoskeletal injuries, such as sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations
  • Developing and implementing individualized treatment plans to help patients recover from injuries and improve their physical function
  • Providing manual therapy, such as massage, mobilization, and manipulation, to help alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and increase strength and flexibility
  • Prescribing and supervising exercises and rehabilitation programs, including sport-specific training, to help patients regain their strength, endurance, and mobility
  • Administering modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation to help reduce inflammation and pain
  • Providing education and advice on injury prevention, injury management, and safe return to activity
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, physiotherapists, and chiropractors, to provide the best possible care for their patients
  • Keeping accurate records of patients’ progress and updating treatment plans as needed
  • Communicating with patients, families, coaches, and other healthcare professionals to ensure continuity of care.

Athletic therapists work with clients of all ages and abilities, from amateur and professional athletes to the general population, and they may work in a variety of settings such as sports teams, clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and fitness facilities.

What is the difference between an athletic therapists and a physiotherapist?

Athletic Therapists and Physiotherapists are both healthcare professionals who specialize in the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. However, there are some key differences between the two professions:

  • Education and Training: Athletic Therapists typically have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Athletic Therapy, while Physiotherapists typically have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Physiotherapy.
  • Scope of Practice: Athletic Therapists typically have a more sport-specific focus and have a more in-depth knowledge of sports injuries, sport-specific rehabilitation, and injury prevention. Physiotherapists, on the other hand, have a broader scope of practice, and they may work with a wider range of patients, including those with neurological, respiratory, and cardiovascular conditions.
  • Treatment Approaches: Athletic Therapists and Physiotherapists both use a variety of techniques to help their patients recover from injuries and improve their physical function, but the specific techniques and treatments may differ. For example, Athletic Therapists may use more sports-specific training and modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation, while Physiotherapists may use more manual therapy and modalities such as traction and hydrotherapy.

Both Athletic Therapists and Physiotherapists are licensed healthcare professionals, and they often work closely together to provide the best possible care for their patients. Both professions have a strong focus on patient-centred care and work with clients to improve their overall health, fitness and well-being.

Is athletic therapy the same as kinesiology?

Athletic therapy and kinesiology are related fields, but they are not the same.

Athletic therapy is a healthcare profession that specializes in the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, with a focus on sport-specific injuries and rehabilitation. Athletic therapists are licensed healthcare professionals who have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Athletic Therapy.

Kinesiology, on the other hand, is the study of human movement and physical activity. Kinesiologists typically have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Kinesiology and may specialize in areas such as exercise physiology, sport science, biomechanics, motor control, or ergonomics. Kinesiologists may work in a variety of settings such as research, education, sport performance, rehabilitation, and health promotion.

Athletic therapists may use principles of kinesiology in their practice, such as understanding the mechanics of movement and how it relates to injury and rehabilitation. Additionally, some kinesiologists may work with athletes and sports teams to optimize performance, but their main focus is research and education rather than direct patient care and rehabilitation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, PhysioDNA is a leading provider of physiotherapy services in Toronto and Oakville. We specialize in addressing posture, muscle weakness, stiffness, muscle and fascia tightness, mobility, and sports-specific training. Our team of experienced physiotherapists and certified trainers are dedicated to helping our patients achieve optimal health and wellness through personalized exercise prescription and home exercises. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or looking to improve your athletic performance, PhysioDNA has the expertise and resources to help you reach your goals. We are committed to providing the highest quality of care and personalized attention to help our patients achieve optimal health and wellness. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards improving your posture, mobility, and overall health.

Contact us today!

Help my Posture and Alignment

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In our modern culture, most people suffer from bad posture, or I prefer saying lack integrity in their posture.

Since our lifestyles involve a lot of sitting, our bodies adapt to flexion (bending forward). As a result, mobile joints in our body get stiff (hips, ankle, shoulders, T spine, and wrist), and stable joints start to pitch more in movement (knees, elbows, neck, and lower back).

This adaption makes movement quite tricky for your body, as it has to fight internal resistance in every joint every step you take in a day, which can be very taxing on your energy.

People may find themselves either plagued with laziness, which stems from the unwillingness of your body to move as it perceives movement as unsafe, or if movement is forced it may result in pain.

So how do you get out of this Flexion mess?

Step 1

Foam rolling helps improve tissue quality, so the body is receptive to moving differently. Make it a practice of rolling your upper back, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves every day first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. DO NOT hold your breath when you foam roll; allow your breathing to guide you in the intensity. Ten minutes in the morning can help you maintain good posture all day, and if you are working from home, throw in a bit of foam rolling around lunchtime.

Glute activation exercises like bridges and core-focused moves like deadbug are assets to bring your attention to pelvic floor alignment. After foam rolling, do 10 Reps of glute b

ridges by pausing at the end range for 5 seconds, followed by deadbug ten repetitions to connect to your core.

Being consistent is the key.

Step 2

Practice good posture.

This practice essentially means bringing integrity to your sitting.

Follow these steps

1. Ground your feet by bringing attention to your heels of the feet pushing into the ground (while sitting or standing, as inactive standing is also a thing)
2. Exhale until you notice core engagement
3. Move your diaphragm by breathing into your belly for 2 minutes

Do this reset multiple times a day, and eventually, your body will apply integrity on its own.

Finally, as much as I endorse self-care, it’s very beneficial to get manual work done by a therapist consistently, so your body is balanced and aligned.

 

If you are Downtown Toronto, see me for the best stretch you will ever experience @physiodna, and I can help you on your journey to bring alignment to your body.

About the Author

Dean Singh

Fascial Stretch Therapist

Four Tips for Winter Running

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With the first snowfall a couple days ago, it is safe to say we have officially entered winter.

 

This means finding ways to adjust to the cold and the changes in terrain. For runners, some may decide to opt for treadmill runs. For others, it simply means layering up and tackling the outdoors head-on.

 

The following tips are geared for runners who are looking for ways to prep for what is to be another snowy winter.

 

Tip #1: Winter Layering

General rule of thumb when it comes to dressing for winter runs: It typically will feel 10°C warmer when running vs. what the actual temperature is.

  • If it is 6°C, it will feel like 16°C when running
    • Wearing a long sleeve shirt with a pair of running shorts/tights would be ideal. It may also be helpful to include a pair of winter gloves and a hat.
  • If it is 12°C it will feel like 22°C when running
    • Wearing a pair of running shorts and t-shirt would be ideal. Winter gloves/hat may not be necessary.
  • If it is -4°C it will feel like 6°C when running
    • A long-sleeve base layer and sweater would be necessary. Base layer tights/thermals along with some sweats/shorts over top to keep warm would be recommended. Winter gloves, hat, and a neck warmer are a must!

What the tread of your old running shoes can tell you

Tip #2: Traction for Shoes: As temperatures drop below freezing, the traction on shoes becomes important to avoid icy slips.

  • Traction cleats may be helpful to clip onto a pair of runners to stay afloat while running.
  • Trail shoes, which are known to provide a bit more traction than a regular pair of runners, may be a helpful alternative in climates that are a bit milder.
  • Making sure you regularly check and monitor how much tread is left on your running shoes is important.

 

 

 

Tip #3: Effort level vs. Pace: With changes in terrain and increases in amount of dressing, it is not uncommon to notice a slower running pace.

  • This is when the quality of runs is best determined from effort level rather than pace.
  • As terrain becomes a bit more challenging, running based on total time might be more ideal than running certain distances.

 

 

Tip #4: Post-Run Recovery: Muscles will have to work harder getting through winter runs with snow/ice. Therefore, a proper cool-down/recovery is important!

  • Static stretching typically is preferred after workouts, as the muscles have already warmed up and the HR begins to drop post-run.
  • Foam rolling is another recovery tool runners and athletes should adopt, as research does show it to be effective in reducing muscle soreness after exercise.
  • Wearing compression garments for the legs can help improve circulation and keep the legs feeling fresh after the run.

10 Easy Foam Rolling Techniques - InSync Physiotherapy

 

Book with physiotherapy now to help learn ways to stay injury-free this winter season!

By: Omid Ebrahimi, Physiotherapist

Desk Ergonomics: Posture and Position

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We all know what we should be doing but sometimes a good reminder is always needed!

So here goes…the QUICK AND DIRTY:

  • Feet are fully supported flat on the floor (or footrest)
  • Knees resting at 90° angle (thighs parallel to floor)
  • Seat depth allows 2-3 fingers between back of knee and end of seat
  • Backrest has lumbar support
  • Chair has height adjustable armrests
  • Seat has cushioning with a rounded front
  • Primary monitor is directly in front of user
  • Top of monitor screen is slightly above eye level
  • Monitor is positioned an arm’s length away from user
  • Work surface is at elbow level
  • Mouse is placed on same level as keyboard, directly in front of user and as close as possible

Check out this video for more details and some visuals

Potential common injuries that can occur due to improper desk posture and ergonomics

Any questions?  Looking to speak to a therapist?

Reach out with your questions or Book a Complimentary Consultation

Blog Post Written By Registered Physiotherapist, Priya Maloni

Batch Cooking! The new way to ‘meal prep/plan’

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Let’s face it, as much as we’d like to curate beautiful instagram or tiktok worthy meals, we don’t have the time!  I’m here to show you how to take the daunting instagram worthy thoughts out of meal planning and prepping and learn a simpler way to get healthy meals on the table (or on your commute to baseball practice) easier and much faster, faster than those ready made meal kits!

Welcome to batch cooking!

We are going to cook, in bulk,  a few main ingredients to create balanced meals (protein, vegetables and grain) and cook them in bulk that will last you a few days. You’re going to save so much time by doing this!


Here’s how to  batch cook protein, veggies and grains:


Protein: Grab a tray of 4-5 chicken breasts and bake or grill them. If you’re vegetarian, you could grab some extra firm tofu, cut it into cubes and toss it in salt, pepper and corn starch and sauté them in coconut or avocado oil.
Protein: DONE

Veggies:  While your protein is cooking, steam or saute some veggies, I like to make  a big batch of steamed green beans and I’ll sauté some sweet peppers too, (all colours).
Veggies: DONE

Grains (Carbohydrates): While your veggies and proteins are cooking, cook a big batch of rice! Get some rice that cooks in 10 minutes, like jasmine or basmati. Pro tip* add a few shakes of rice vinegar to your cooked rice. Trust me, it’s a game changer (some rice vinegar has sugar added to it- check your label. While sugar isn’t bad, it will add calories to your meal).
Grain: DONE

 

What can you make with these few simple batch cooked foods?

By adding spices and a bit of your favourite condiments, you can create a variety of meals using
your batch cooked foods!

Here are the items we cooked above:

  • Chicken, Tofu
  • Green Beans, Sweet Peppers
  • Jasmine Rice

Here are 5 Meal Ideas:

  • Taco bowls –rice, chicken, sauteed peppers, salsa
  • Big Salad –bagged lettuce, add chicken or tofu, green beans, add some grapes and salad dressing
  • Simple meal- Chicken or tofu, rice, green beans
  • Caesar Salad Wrap: Chicken or tofu, caesar salad kit, wrap it up
  • Chicken Salad Lettuce wraps: Chicken, celery, light mayonnaise, rice mix together, serve in lettuce cups

 

All of these meals were created by having ready to eat main macronutrients on hand!
Each week, try a new protein, carbohydrate and vegetable and create your meals by grabbing what you already have. After a while of doing this consistently, you’ll find meal planning and prepping a whole lot easier!!!

Book here for our nutrition coaching services!

By, Michelle Wilson, Certified Nutrition Coach

Active vs. Passive Stretches – What’s the difference?

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While stretching is a key tool to increasing flexibility and ranges of motion, knowing the techniques and different types of stretching can help you choose the proper type at the proper time. This will also help you prevent injuries and take your performance and function to another level. There many types of stretching, and two of the most common are active and passive stretching.

Active Stretching

In active stretching, you are not using an external force to create the stretch. Rather, you are using a group of your own muscles to create the stretch. Therefore, you would not need a partner to help you or any other tool.

There are many pros to active stretching. It usually safer to perform than passive stretching, as it has much less chance of over stretching. It is also effective when you have been sedentary for an extended period of time. For example, if you have been sitting at your desk for hours and you start to feel stiffness in your calf, it is wiser to use active stretching by flexing your shin rather than passively stretching a cold inactive muscle.

 

Passive Stretching

On the other hand, in passive stretching there is always an external force facilitating the stretch. This force can be provided by a partner, using gravity, or even using an assistive tool (such as a yoga strap or yoga block)The muscles that are getting stretched are relaxed in passive stretching.

Passive stretching can be performed to improve flexibility as it allows for an increase in range of motion. The best time to do passive stretching is when you want to cool a muscle down after a workout.

While both types of stretches can help achieving greater ranges of motion and more flexibility, remember that with passive stretching, it may be easier to overstretch. Ensure that your muscles are warmed up and active to get the most out of passive stretching. Reach out to your PhysioDNA team when you are in doubt about what stretches would suit you the most.

 

Written by: Dr. Ahmed Al-Hamdan

5 Ways to be active this summer without going to the gym!

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Getting back into the swing of things and taking control of your health can be a daunting task, let alone with the pressure of going back to the gym. Here are 5 ways you can get back to being active without going to the gym.

 

First, we have one of the simplest and most effective ways of being active, going for a WALK! With the nice weather ahead of us this summer is a perfect time for an outdoor walk. Find a nice trail, walk through the local parks, or walk around your neighbourhood. This is a low impact way you can be active and get your body moving this summer.

 

Another way you can be active is BIKING! Very similarly to walking, biking is a fantastic way to burn calories and enjoy the nice weather. There are a variety of bike lanes in many of the streets or a more casual ride around the paths in your neighbourhood is a great alternative.

 

One of those individuals who get very hot and bothered with our summers? Or simply look for ways to cool off? Combine them both with SWIMMING! Swimming is another way to be active this summer without going into a gym. If you have a pool or access to a pool that is a great way to stay refreshed in the hot weather and be active. You can also go to some of the beaches and swim in the lake as another option. Go solo or find some friends and enjoy the time in the sun.

 

Spending the day at the beach or even in the park with friends is perfect for OUTDOOR YOGA. This is another way to be active in a more relaxing manner. Yoga is a great way to focus on your breathing, remain calm and keep up with your fitness journey.

 

Lastly, a great way to be active is playing SPORTS. Whether it is more intense and impactful like football, soccer, and basketball or casual like throwing a baseball or frisbee sports are a great way to be active. All these options will allow you to be active; give you the option to participate by yourself or with others and enjoy our summer weather. Stay healthy friends!

 

Both Downtown Toronto and Downtown Oakville have some great outdoor active events and activities planned this summer, especially over this Canada Day long weekend! Check out Oakville’s Summer Sweat Series here and check out some of the City of Toronto’s recreational events here.