Old or recurring injuries? Stop ’em now!

If you’ve been injured in the past or exercise regularly, and haven’t fixed the aches, pains, or sore spots that keep nagging at you, we hear you. Whether you’ve just tweaked a little something that keeps aching or have an injury that keeps on coming back for more, it’s time to get them straightened out so you can be in tip top shape come the sunshine!

Injuries happen, and an ache or pain that dissipates in a few days is usually nothing to worry about. If it’s lasting for weeks or months, or happens to reoccur, that’s a sign that something isn’t quite right, so it’s time to stop ignoring it! Even if the pain is mild, don’t try to be macho – pain can cause your body to alter it’s mechanics which leads to unnecessary stress on joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons.

These pains are likely due to overuse or a small injury to a tendon or muscle. While taking something like ibuprofen can make you feel right as rain, it doesn’t take care of the problem. Exercising through the masked pain and swelling can leads to chronic inflammation, causing weakness, tissue breakdown, more pain, more swelling and BAM! You’re got yourself a nagging injury.

So what do you do? The first step is to apply heat before exercising, and use RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) after training to help control the pain and swelling. It will help you control the symptoms best without having to slow down too much, but again, it’s not going to fix the problem. It’s time to see the physio, be evaluated and figure out what the issue is so you can say buh-bye to that pain-in-the-whatever.

Instead of quitting exercise because something hurts, your physiotherapist will set you up with a personalized treatment plan, including exercise options that won’t aggravate your injury. The plan will also include advice on how to modify your training techniques so you can keep doing the activities you want, but pain free.

Once your physiotherapist helps make that pain a distant memory,  be sure to start ramping up your normal activity slowly. Again, most of these sorts of injuries are due to over training, so getting back at it too hard or too fast will land you right back in injury land!

Don’t get shut out: preventing groin strain

With the Winter Olympics now in full swing, almost everyone in the country is thinking about one thing: HOCKEY! We know offsides and icing are common in hockey, but unfortunately so are groin strains.Whether you are a back yard rink rat or a 2018 hopeful here are some tips to keep you on the ice and off the injury reserve:

WARM UP: this is most often on the injury prevention list because it is SO important! Make sure to warm up completely, including dynamic or movement stretches. If you aren’t sure what that means, ask next time you’re in and your physiotherapist would be happy to explain these to you.
STRETCH THIGHS DAILY: stretch both the inner thigh and outer thigh muscles daily. While tight groin muscles can lead up to a strain, you should also stretch your hamstrings to keep your muscles balanced.
REGULAR MASSAGE & MANUAL THERAPY: regular massages from a massage therapist and regular manual therapy from your physiotherapist helps to keep your muscles flexible. They also help to break down old scar tissue and help with trigger points that could lead to injuries later on.
PRACTICE SPORT-SPECIFIC DRILLS: sudden changes of motion during play can cause groin strains, but practising the movements helps your muscles adapt and become stronger while doing them. Based on the sport your play, and the condition you are in, our physiotherapists can assign exercises specific to your needs. 
WORK ON CORE STABILITY: a strong core is a stable base for the movements you’ll be doing no matter the sport, and can reduce the chance of straining your adductor.
IMPROVE YOUR PROPRIOCEPTION: proprioception is your body’s ability to know what part of it is doing without looking at that part. That seems a bit confusing, but it’s how you can walk up stairs without looking at your feet, or put food in your mouth without a mirror. That seems like the sort of thing you might not be able to improve, but it’s based on balance, coordination and agility. Balance and sport-specific movement work improve your proprioception, improve your stability and all that helps to avoid injury.
STRENGTHEN THIGH & HIP MUSCLES: strengthening the muscles involved in the movement responsible for an injury increases your stability in that area. It is important for preventing injury, but especially for preventing a reoccurrence if you’ve already been injured. Your physiotherapist can determine where your muscle imbalances are, and assign exercises specific to your needs.
REST: make sure you rest! Over training leads to fatigue, which most definitely increases your risk of injury. Use it as your excuse to watch some of the games! Go Canada!