FCAMPT physiotherapists in Ottawa? Add Andrew & Peter to the list!

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School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t stop our team from working hard! We are so very proud to present Mr. Andrew Dings & Mr. Peter Wade as the newest members of our team to become Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT). Congratulations Andrew & Peter!

FCAMPT is the highest orthopaedic designation possible for a physiotherapist (ie. it’s kind of a big deal)! Physiotherapists with the FCAMPT designation are all about the highest level of quality, patient-centred care combining clinical experience with evidence-based practice. Exactly what you’d expect from Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sport Clinics. The designation requires extensive post-graduate education in the area of orthopaedics, including internationally-recognized qualifications in hands-on manual and manipulative therapy.

Orthopaedics doesn’t refer to shoe inserts, but muscle, nerve and joint problems. This means a CAMPT physiotherapist is going to do more than just look at your sore back and treat the area between L4-L5. You can expect an assessment that could measure many things: function, strength testing, analysis of your walking patterns, posture, balance, and joint movement to get a full picture of your condition. It’s about the WHOLE picture, not just localized treatment.

When it comes to treating your issue, a CAMPT physiotherapist will use a combination of common physiotherapy techniques like acupuncture, tailored exercises and ultrasound in addition to manual and manipulative therapy. That might sound a little bit daunting, but it’s nothing of the sort. Manual and manipulative therapy refers to how your physiotherapist uses their hands to diagnose places where your movement is being restricted, and the gentle, hands-on techniques they use to treat you.

So if you’re looking for an FCAMPT certified physiotherapist in Ottawa we’re only a phone call away! You can schedule an appointment anytime by calling our Orleans, Barrhaven or Westboro office.

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Keep cool when it’s HOT! How to Exercise in Hot Weather

Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sport Clinics

It’s HOT. The siren song of the ice cream truck is calling, and the air conditioner is whispering sweet nothings in your ear. But you’ve got a competition to win! You’ve got a race to train for! You’ve been cooped up inside all day and need to get your nature on! So how do you handle the hot weather, especially when you need to be in beast mode? Pre-cooling friends, pre-cooling.

Exercising in the heat saps your energy way faster than normal, as your body tries to deal with the hotness. It’s response is to up your sweat game and to shunt blood from your core towards your skin. These are great ways to ditch some internal body heat, but they ramp up your heart and decrease the blooood (said in a dracula voice, obviously) going to your muscles, which is why your workouts feel so much tougher come hot days.

Here’s where pre-cooling comes in: it helps you lower your core body temperature before you start exercising. That means you can go harder for longer, before your body hits it’s hot high-point and starts working extra hard/slowing you down. While studies have shown heat zaps an athelete’s performance, studies have also shown that pre-cooling can boost performance when it’s hot and humid out.

How to go about it? Cold showers and frozen underwear are options, but not the most practical. Who wants to run after having a shower?! Instead, try these tricks 10-20 minutes before your workout:

  • wear a cooling vest
  • drape a frozen towel around your neck
  • eat a freezie or a cup of frozen sports drink (the sugar makes the mixture colder than if it were just ice)

If you’ve got your own tricks to stay cool, leave them in the comments! And if something other than the heat is keeping you immobile, you can schedule an appointment with our physiotherapists or nutritionist Ottawa by calling the Orleans, Barrhaven or Westboro office of Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sports Clinics.

Don’t be a sore sport: delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

SPRING! Fiiiiinally, am I right? After a long winter, your body has probably been craving some good, hard, outdoor workouts…and if you spent the winter huddled under warm blankies, you’re probably feeling a wee bit sore.

Wondering what your aches and pains are about? Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), that’s what. Here are some more things DOMS related you’re probably wondering about:

What causes DOMS?! Uh, not lactic acid in your muscles. A recent study found DOMS is actually due to the microtrauma your muscles and connective tissue go through during exercise. The tiny tears your muscles endure during exercise become inflamed, and that’s  what causes the soreness.

Muscle damage is bad! It sounds bad, but it isn’t. The muscle trauma you experience stimulates protein production and muscle growth, which helps your muscles repair themselves. That means they’ll be a little bigger and stronger; their mechanism to keep the inflammation/soreness at bay.

No Pain No Gain! Not exactly. Studies show being sore the next day isn’t a good indicator of how effective your workout was. Plus too much soreness can be a bad thing – say three days after crushing a workout you immediately go into muscle failure doing the same exercise: you probably did too much the first time around.

Fit people don’t DOMS! Nope. While working out regularly will cause you to feel less sore as your body adapts to your workouts (see above), change it up and you’ll likely find your good friend DOMS again. It’s also genetic: some people are way more sensitive to pain and soreness, no matter how fit they are/aren’t.

How to deal with DOMS?! There are lots of options: sports massage, foam rolling, hot/cold showers, epsom salt baths, topical magnesium and sleeeep.

Think you’re struggling with pain that’s beyond DOMS? You can schedule an appointment with any of our physiotherapists by calling the Orleans, Barrhaven or Westboro office of Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sports Clinics.

Spring has spRUNg

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Well, almost anyway. If you’re crazy brave enough to run out-of-doors you’ll notice the number of people joining you has increased. Maybe it’s just 5 others running along the canal instead of 1, but there’s no doubt the slight rise in temperature means running season is just around the corner. 

Most people take to spring running to help shed the pounds gained from a winter of hibernating, but there are a multitude of other benefits. Increased cardiovascular health, decreased stress, increased energy, prevention of bone/muscle loss and the increased ability to survive during a zombie apocalypse are just a few. Oh, and stomping your time from last year’s Ottawa Race Weekend is a good reason to lace up the trainers sooner rather than later. So let’s get to it, shall we? 

No matter if your past running experience is 20 marathons or 20 minutes, the best thing you can do for yourself now is to START SLOW. After 4 months of sitting around (conveniently the span of the worst parts of an Ottawa winter), you’ve lost enough endurance to merit starting out at a beginner level. Don’t think all that snowboarding counts either – running is a different ball game, using different muscles in different ways. Your lungs and heart might be in good shape, but we want to keep your joints and tendons like that too. 

So how do you start running slowly? Try 20 to 30 minutes at low intensity, two or three times a week. Low intensity is different for everyone, so listen to your body. Once you’ve got 30 minutes down no problem, start increasing the time in 5 minute intervals, or increasing the intensity by about 5%. It might seem slow, but d’you know what else is slow? An injured runner. 

Will starting slowly guarantee you won’t be injured? Unfortunately not, but it’s a great place to start. Another great way to detour around injury town is to partake in a running evaluation. Performed at any of our three clinics, it’s spread over two sessions. The first is a clinical evaluation, which delves into your previous running/injury history, takes a good look at your current level/goals, and identifies any physical factors that may impact your running biomechanics. 

The second session is a running evaluation, where your technique is assessed on an outdoor track. Based on your movement patterns, recommendations are made to make you the best runner you can be, while minimizing injury. If this is the year you want to have your fastest time, the detailed training plan we’ll provide will certainly get you there. This isn’t a generic week-to-week program! Running is a highly technical sport and a personalized plan will definitely help bring out your best.

You can schedule a running evaluation by calling the Orleans, Barrhaven or Westboro office of Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sports Clinics. Now go get running! Race Weekend is only 9 weeks away!

Needles = pain?! Nope. Acupuncture = treatment for chronic pain!

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For those who are skeptical, Orleans acupuncture might conjure up anxieties about needles or an image of Pinhead from Hellraiser. For those who have found relief from chronic pain, acupuncture is a miracle. From your father’s ever-sore back to your bum right knee, many of us have struggled with the effects of chronic pain. From depression to sleeplessness to loss of mobility, it often goes far beyond the pain itself. Unable to ease the pain, people often try to learn to live with it, but there’s no need: acupuncture can effectively treat chronic pain.

What makes pain chronic? It lasts longer than 12 weeks, and can persist for months or more. While it is often the result of a known injury or trauma (ie. why you should come in and see us as soon as you get injured), sometimes illness or undiagnosed problems are the cause.

You might think “Aches and pains are a part of aging!”, and decide to just tough it out, but the localized pain itself isn’t the only problem. Pain has an effect on the nervous system that can cause you to become more sensitive to other pain, known as “central sensitization.” Even things that wouldn’t normally hurt can become painful, and it can persist far longer than in a pain-free individual. There’s also an emotional burden attached to constant pain, leading to anxiety, anger or fatigue. If that wasn’t bad enough, those emotions can decrease the body’s natural pain defenses, creating a vicious cycle. Oh, and long-term chronic pain has been shown to suppress the immune system. Bad on all counts.

Orleans Acupuncture may not be the treatment you think of, but you should really reconsider. It is currently being used to treat everything from headaches to cramps, back pain to asthma, and with good reason: a large scale study with data from over 18,000 people showed acupuncture to be an effective treatment for chronic back, neck and should pain, osteoarthritis and headaches. These were clinical studies, meaning it’s been proven to work.

If you or a loved one is dealing with chronic pain, any of our physiotherapists can help you figure out if acupuncture is the right way to go. No horror movies necessary.

How to get rid of neck pain? Back pain? Put down your phone, and straighten up Canada!

Your mother always told you not to stare at a screen for too long because it’d ruin your eyes. Turns out it’s doing a lot more than that. As people are using more screen-based technology (computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.), health professionals are seeing an increase in problems like headaches, neck pain, back pain, and even pain felt the face. Not good.

Why exactly are these gadgets causing a problem? People’s posture is often horrible while they use them. Heads forward, eyes cast down, shoulders forward – these can all spell bad news. Staring at a screen often takes your head off the vertical, bending it forward up to 45° – moving your head forward just an inch increases the pressure on your neck by 10 pounds. Sitting with your shoulders forward causes tightness in both the pectoral and back muscles – it can also compress the veins and nerves of the arms which increases the chances of problems like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Getting rid of technology isn’t going to happen, so what can you do? Seeing a massage therapist can help with tightness and pain. To really fix the problem though, you’ll need to actively work on your posture. Stretches and exercises to strengthen your muscles are essential and here’s a great video series to get you started.

If you’re looking for solutions specific to your posture and mobility, give us a call and any of our physiotherapists can help find the exercises that will work best for you.

Treatment for vertigo and dizziness: Physiotherapy!

Vertigo. Dizziness. 50% of people will deal with it at some point in their lives, and it’s the main reason people will go to see a doctor after the age of 60. Have you experienced either? Suffering with it now? Your first course of action is to go and see your GP, and if their diagnosis is that the problem stems from your vestibular apparatus (an organ in your inner ear), physiotherapy treatments might help balance you out.

There are lots of reasons that someone might get dizzy for time to time. However if rolling over in bed or tying your shoes makes you feel like the room is spinning, something is up. Symptoms like nausea or vomiting are also a bad sign. But don’t panic!!! We can help!!! For vertigo, the first physiotherapy treatment is about 88% effective, and after 3 the treatments are 98% effective. There’s no reason for you to continue to suffer.

If it’s not your vestibular apparatus that’s the problem, a neck injury can also lead to dizziness. Physiotherapy can also lead to relief from that. Tinnitus? Yep, another problem that physiotherapy can treat. It’s not just for sore backs or sports injuries people!