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 OPTSC. 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.

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

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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 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!

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!

Run as fast as you can. Seriously!

The Ottawa Race Weekend has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean running season is over. The river pathways are packed with people trudging along, all in the name of health and PRs. Trying to get faster? Want to run without injury for the rest of your days? Then a running evaluation might just be the thing for you.

A running evaluation starts with an hour long assessment in the clinic. One of our physiotherapists will give you a head-to-toe assessment to find out if you’ve got any tightness, stiffness or weakness. They’ll also get an idea of what your running style is. You’ll get exercises to make sure your muscles are where they need to be, so we can teach you how to use them properly when you run.

The next step is going off to the track, where the magic’s really going to happen. As far as we know, we’re the only clinic in the greater Ottawa area to take you outdoors as part of a running evaluation. We obviously want to take advantage of the nice weather, but more importantly, running drills are almost impossible to do on a treadmill. Some of them will cause you to fall right off, and we don’t want any of that: this is about getting you to run without injury. You also run differently on a treadmill than you do outdoors, since the treadmill helps you run. You time on the track will be spent running you through a series of drills (pun intended), and tweaking your running style based on YOUR body.

Why would you want this? Well, because we can get you running more efficiently. By the time your track session is up, you’ll be running with better form and less effort. That means it won’t take you as much energy to run, so technically you should be able to run longer and/or faster. We can almost guarantee that you will.

Everybody can run, but not everybody can run properly. For most people the differences between the two are some simple technique scenarios that just need to be tweaked. Our physiotherapists are more than happy to do the tweaking.

Thumbs…down. Skier’s thumb is no fun.

Winter just. won’t. end. Good! That means you’re all still skiing, and today’s post is still relevant. 

Kidding! Of course this post is relevant, it’s about an injury commonly know as skier’s thumb, but it doesn’t actually discriminate. We’re referring to a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb after an extreme force pulls the thumb away from the palm of the hand. That extreme force could be you hurtling down a mountainside with a ski-pole in hand, bailing, and falling while holding onto the aforementioned pole. Or you could’ve been rock climbing, or you might’ve caught a ball funny, or were playing a ridiculously violent game of rock-paper-scissors. Doesn’t matter how it went down, we’re going to talk about your sore thumb.
About that thumb, it’s sore, yeah? Feels weak when you pinch or pick things up? See a bit of bruising around the joint? Run your other hand along it and maybe feel a little bump? Take a deep breath, and don’t panic. Our physiotherapists know just what to do.
If it’s a minor tear and you get in right away, you’ll probably be right as rain after a few physiotherapy sessions. You may need to immobilize your thumb with sports tape when doing activities, and your physiotherapist can give you some guidance. If your injury is more serious, you may need to immobilize the thumb with a “thumb spica” cast for a few weeks. Immobilization is important to let the ligament heal, and then treatment to help get your strength and range of motion back can begin.
Think you’ve got a case of skier’s thumb? Give any of our clinics a call to see a physiotherapist. Otherwise, thumbs up for a few more days of skiing!