Articles

Athletic Therapy: A Perfect Fit for Georgetown



We at generations Physiotherapy Center, continue to be amazed by the number of athletes that we see, meet, and learn about. Georgetown is known as a hockey town, and we can now see that it most certainly is. However, the athletes of this community do not just lace up skates. In fact, Georgetown is a budding metropolis of athletic skill and talent from all different genres of sport: hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, baseball, football, golf, gymnastics and more.

In addition to the number of athletes that comprise this community, the other thing that impresses us is the high level and caliber of competition at which they play. Athletes of all ages train and compete very hard in order to excel at their specific event. As excellent as this may be consistently competing at such a high level makes one more susceptible to injury. It is for this reason that athletic therapists are available for athletes of any sort.

According to the Ontario Athletic Therapy Association (OATA), ‘The scope of practice of a Certified Athletic Therapist (CAT) includes the assessment, prevention, immediate care, and reconditioning of musculoskeletal injuries.’ As part of their services, CATs utilize contemporary rehabilitative techniques, therapeutic modalities, physical reconditioning and supportive strapping and taping procedures to promote optimal healing for individuals in need of getting back into an active lifestyle. In addition to rehabilitative services, CATs can also provide extensive education, training, and program design for injury prevention and postural development.

As part of their certification and education, CATs are required to complete a great deal of practical hands-on, field placements. These placements can be carried out within a variety of settings, including sports teams, clinical settings, or training facilities. By the time they become fully certified and ready to practice, CATs have a vast amount of both knowledge and experience they can use to assist athletes, and the general public for that matter, in returning to or developing an active lifestyle.

Generations Physiotherapy centre added a CAT to their staff of health professionals in hopes that they can provide beneficial services to an array of athletes and active individuals in the area. Interestingly as well. Is the fact that more and more insurance companies are beginning to recognize athletic therapy service, which many people may be unaware of. This of course is important because it could mean that services rendered by a CAT could be covered under any extended healthcare benefits you might have (call to confirm your EHC provider).

For an athletic community like Georgetown, a certified athletic therapist would seem to be a perfect fit. So, to all those active individuals and competitive athletes, consider the services that a CAT can provide you with. Whether it is treating a new acute injury, dealing with an old nagging condition, or simply getting some help with developing a program that is right for you to prevent future injuries – Seek out the services of a certified athletic therapist.

Courtsey of Generations Physiotherapy Centre



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Osteoporosis and Physiotherapy



“Sticks and stones” can break your bones if you are one of the 1.4 million Canadians who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis literally means “porous” bones and is characterized by the deterioration of bone tissue.

One in four women over the age of 50 will be diagnosed with this disease, but contrary to popular belief men are also at risk. In fact, one in eight men will also be affected and should ask their physician about having their bone mineral density tested.

People with osteoporosis have decreased bone strength which puts them at a higher risk for fractures. Common areas of fracture are the wrists, hips and spine. A person with decreased bone density can cause a compression fracture in their spine by simply walking.

There are many different medications available now to help treat osteoporosis and along with physiotherapy and weight bearing exercise people can actually increase their bone mass.

What will a physiotherapist do for you?

A Physiotherapist will educate you on the importance of weight bearing and strengthening exercises to assist in the “bone building” process. The exercises should be tailored to suit your needs and interests and should easily fit into your daily routine.

Strengthening exercises will target muscles around the wrists, hips and spine. Contracting a muscle will in turn cause a pull on the tendon, which is attached to the bone, this pull will stimulate bone growth.

Weight bearing exercise including activities such as walking, running, aerobics or tai chi. Activities such as swimming and biking are great for overall fitness but not the best choice for building bone.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mass but not yet osteoporosis) a trip to the physiotherapist is definitely worth your while. The exercises given can be done at home with one or two follow up visits to make sure they are being done correctly and that progress is being made. It has been proven that exercise along with the proper medication can increase bone mass and prevent life threatening fractures.

For more information on physiotherapy and osteoporosis you can attend a free one hour seminar being offered at Generations Physiotherapy Centre. Please call for additional information.

Courtesy of Generations Physiotherapy Centre!



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The Pains of Aging



Are your joints stiff in the morning? Do you have a hard time moving when you first get out of bed? Do you have pain in your knees or hips when you walk? If you answer yes to any of these questions you may be subject to one of the most common conditions affecting people as they age…arthritis. Literally meaning inflammation of the joints (‘Arth’ meaning joint and ‘it is’ meaning inflammation), arthritis is a very common ailment affecting up to as many as 1 in every 10 Canadian adults. Although there are over 100 different varieties of arthritis, there are two main groups that they can be generally categorized into – inflammatory and degenerative.

Degenerative arthritis, more commonly referred to as osteoarthritis (OA), is the more common of the two and involves the wearing away of a joint’s cartilage (the tough elastic material that covers and protects the end of bones). It tends to affect the joints of the hands, hips and knees and most people begin to notice symptoms as they get into their 40’s and 50’s. Such symptoms include joint stiffness, pain, and swelling as the day progresses, all of which experience temporary relief when rested.

Inflammation arthritis (for example: rheumatoid arthritis (RA)) can affect any joint in the body. It is a result of the body’s own immune system attacking the joints. This form of arthritis tends to be symmetrical, affecting both joints on each side of the body. Similar to osteoarthritis people with inflammatory arthritis will experience pain, swelling and joint stiffness.

There are many medications that can treat the symptoms of arthritis (inflammation and pain) but there are non-medication therapies that are very effective in reducing symptoms. Physiotherapy, for example, is a great source of non-medical relief for arthritis patients.

A physiotherapist will educate you on disease process, joint protection and the importance of exercise, as increasing general flexibility and strength is important in reducing the wear and tear on joints. In particular, swim programs are an excellent way to increase strength and general condition as there is less impact on the joints. Physiotherapists also use modalities (IE: ultrasound) to decrease inflammation and reduce pain without the use of medication.

Another effective method for dealing with the pain brought on by arthritis is massage therapy. A Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can help to reduce muscle tension, increase blood flow to muscles and provide general relaxation and pain relief. This form of therapy can be a particular beneficial for those who suffer from osteoarthritis, or some other form of degenerative arthritis.

While there are many methods of combating the pain and stiffness of arthritis, the most beneficial thing that you can do to deal with it is to communicate with your health professionals and educate yourself on all possible options.

Courtesy of Generations Physiotherapy Centre!



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Physiotherapy or Massage Therapy – What’s best for you??



It’s safe to say that we’ve all had experiences with physical pain and discomfort. Maybe you’ve broken a bone, dislocated a joint or undergone surgery. Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with a form of arthritis or simply strained a muscle reaching for the top shelf of the cupboard. Maybe your children have been injured in a competitive sport or they’ve strained themselves playing too much guitar hero or Nintendo Wii (more common that you would think. No matter the cause, the effect is always the same…pain. It’s at that point that it becomes necessary to seek out professional assistance. Two of the most beneficial and extremely effective forms of physical pain relief are physiotherapy and massage therapy. While these terms are relatively well known and recognized very few truly understand what the services are, and what they can offer to pain sufferers. More importantly, many people are unsure of which form of therapy is best for their individual needs.

Physiotherapy is a primary care, regulated healthcare profession for the prevention or treatment of injury through physical means. It’s primary goal is to enhance an individual’s quality of life through improved health and fitness, no matter their age. It does so by promoting independence and encouraging individuals to assume responsibility for their own health through guidance and education on aspects of movement function, injury pathology, tissue healing, pain relief and injury prevention. In addition, physiotherapy provides an excellent means of enhancing athletic performance for people of all ages and skill levels.

Registered physiotherapists (RPTs) are highly trained and educated healthcare professionals with expertise in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and physical rehabilitation. The goal of the physiotherapist is to maximize a patient’s movement and functional ability by speeding up the normal healing process, relieving pain, reducing inflammation, correcting muscle imbalances and restoring joint motion. To do so, RPTs have a number of noninvasive means of treatment that are available to the,. These can include exercise, manual therapy (mobilization, manipulation or massage), electro modalities, work hardening, as well as education and home exercise.

Similar to physiotherapy, the basic goal of massage therapy is to help the body heal itself and to increase health and well-being. It can be used to treat acute or chronic stages of conditions for both the young and old, such as soft tissue sprains and strains, sports injuries, repetitive strain injuries, post-surgical rehabilitation, or headaches and migraines. Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) primarily use their hands, but may also use their forearms or elbows, to implement a variety of physical methods including applying fixed or movable pressure to the body. Touch is the core ingredient of massage therapy and practitioners learn specific techniques that use their sense of touch to determine the right amount of pressure to apply to each person and to locate areas of tension and other soft-tissue problems.

When muscles are overworked, waste products such as lactic acid can accumulate in the muscle, causing, soreness, stiffness, and even muscle spasm. To assist in the elimination of such waste products, speed up healing after injury and enhance recovery from disease, massage therapy works to improve circulation, which increases blood flow, bringing fresh oxygen to body tissues. Furthermore, therapeutic massage can be used to promote general well-being and enhance self-esteem, while boosting the circulatory and immune system to benefit blood pressure, muscle tone, digestion, and skin tone.

Finally, one of the greatest attributes that both physiotherapy and massage therapy have going for them, is that they are becoming increasingly recognized as an important and vital part of the healthcare coverage plans and benefit packages now include some form of coverage for one or the other, if not both. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of this fact, and as such do not take full advantage of the services that RPTs and RMTs can provide. So whether you, or a family member, have recently been injured or you simply think a relaxing massage would be a nice treat, don’t hesitate to look further into these beneficial health services. While it may be true that what you don’t know can’t hurt you; what you get to know, just might stop something from hurting you.

Courtesy of Generations Physiotherapy Centre!