Here are some great tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association!
Winter weather can pack a punch and, with the season’s heavy snowfalls, injuries often result. Improper snow shovelling is often to blame.
But shovelling out after a storm doesn’t have to leave you stiff and sore. With a little know-how, you can clear your driveway without the all-too-common back, neck and shoulder pain cramping your style. Here’s how:
Before You Start
BEND YOUR KNEES.Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.
WATCH FOR ICE.Be careful on icy walkways and slippery surfaces. Intermittent thaws and subsequent freezing can lead to ice building up underfoot, resulting in nasty slips and falls. Throw down some salt or sand to ensure you have a good footing.
Once you’ve mastered safe snow shovelling techniques, you’ll be free to have fun and stay fit all winter.
This month we sat down to chat with our newest physio Steven. He is in clinic Tues/Thurs, and every other Sunday!
What influenced your decision to become a physiotherapist?
I had many sports injuries growing up and have always tried to find ways to help myself rehab from those injuries. My interest in learning about the human body grew stronger when I enrolled in the Kinesiology program at York University and took courses in athletic injuries. However I soon realized that there was more to rehab than just helping athletes, I wanted to treat all kinds of injuries and that’s why I decided to go into physiotherapy. In this field, I can combine my passion for helping athletes return to their sports and also help treat pain and injuries that are affecting the lives of the general population.
What is your treatment philosophy?
I believe TENS and electrical modalities has its place in physiotherapy but I do not believe it should be used as the ONLY treatment option. I also believe that patients will have better results in their rehab if they spend more time with the physiotherapist instead of assistants. I believe that these two things are what separates Rebound Health and Wellness from other clinics, I do not use any assistants during my treatment sessions and so you will spend one on one times with me for your entire visit. Our treatment sessions will include more than just a heat pack on your back as well!
What can someone expect an initial appointment with you to look like?
We will first try to figure out the cause of your pain by taking a detailed history of your pain to narrow down the cause. Next, we will go through specific movements and special tests to pinpoint which exact treatment you will need. The rest of the initial appointment will be treatment of your problem areas using specific strengthening and stretching exercises, joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage, athletic taping, and electrical modalities.
What types of treatment methods/approaches do you use?
Once I find out what issues my patients have, I like to use a variety of techniques to treat those issues.
-Cervical, thoracic and lumbar mobilizations using various Maitland, Kaltenborn, Mulligan, traction, and Snag Techniques
-Mobilization of SI joint, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist and phalanges
-McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy for neck and low back pain
-Soft Tissue release techniques including Petrissage and Kneading Massage, Percussion Massage, Deep Friction Massage, Trigger Point Release Technique, GTO release
-Myofascial release techniques for commonly tight muscle groups including: trapezius, suboccipital, scalene, lats, hip flexors, piriformis, hamstring, gastrocs, quadriceps, supraspinatus, plantar fascia
-Therapeutic taping techniques using Leukotape and KT Tape
What are the top three most common issues you help clients address?
1. Shoulder pain (either from a rotator cuff issue or shoulder impingement) - don’t know if I should be specific or general
2. Neck pain (from pinched nerves in the that causes pain to radiate down the arm)
3. Low back pain
If you could give everyone one piece of advice this winter what would it be?
Hmmm, I would advise everyone to watch their steps and be careful of the slippery ice! It is much easier to prevent a fall than to deal with all of the pain and complications that come from a nasty slip and fall!
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to play basketball, volleyball, badminton and basically any sport for fun. If I’m not being physically active, I like to relax by reading up on the news while listening to music or watching TV shows.
Book Online with Steven>>
By Dr Sonya Hamilton, BSc MSc DC
Believe it or not, your feet can be a factor in the development of chronic low back pain. Your feet act as a very important foundation for your body, and can dictate how you adapt to stresses and changes in activity. Your feet strike the ground and propel you forwards, and faulty foot biomechanics can result in pain and dysfunction in other joints and structures in the body. If you think of your body as a kinetic chain from the ground up, your weight-bearing feet and ankles function as shock-absorbers for the whole body. If your feet are not working effectively at this job, the shock and stress makes its way up the biomechanical chain in your body. This concept often gets lost in translation, and people do not always understand the missing link between the feet and the back.
The most common offending foot dysfunction leading to back pain and other issues is over-pronation, or the inward rolling/dropping of the arches. As the foot over-pronates, the feet become flat and therefore absorb less shock when you walk or run. The rest of your body is then forced to compensate for faulty foot mechanics; your pelvis may slightly drop, your knees may rotate, and you may develop a slight lean. Over time, this adaptation may lead to the development of pain in other areas of the body such as in the back, neck, knees, hips, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia. In one study, it was found that women with flat feet are almost 50% more likely to develop low back pain.
When faulty foot mechanics are a factor in low back pain, one way to approach is to consider supporting your foot as you walk or run. When I see patients with chronic back or hip pain that are not responding to treatment and exercise recommendations, I often look to the feet as a possible solution. Using foot orthotics to support your feet can help you with foot pain, and they can change the way your whole body moves and adapts.
Orthotics have been shown to be beneficial for low back pain in a number of studies on groups exposed to higher levels of foot stress (such as in runners, military recruits, and golfers). The idea behind using orthotics for back pain- as your feet are better supported, your body becomes more balanced as you stand and walk. Eliminating imbalances in your feet will cause a ripple effect up the biomechanical chain in your body. Studies show that people suffering from chronic or re-occurring low back pain tend to respond very well to custom orthotics within 6 weeks of wearing them. So if you have been suffering from low back pain which continues even after a course of conservative care/exercise, consider taking a look to your feet as another part of the puzzle.
Written by the team at Rebound Health and Wellness