Injury Prevention During Race Season.

By: Active Sports Therapy

Spring and Summer are a fantastic time to get the competitive juices flowing by signing up for various races and challenges in and around the city. Maybe it’s your first 5k, your second marathon of the summer or a community triathlon, either way, you’ll want to be ready for it.

In addition to the obvious…which is training properly for the event, we’ve compiled a list of a few more things that can help.

Gait Analysis: Have your gait looked at to determine if there are any corrective measures you can take. Orthotics can be a game-changer for many a runner especially if you have excess pronation, suffer from plantar fasciitis or in general, just have poor foot biomechanics.

See a Running Expert: Calgary is home to a very strong running community so you’ll definitely be able to find someone who can analyze your form and help you make injury-preventing corrections. One great example is Solo Sport Systems in Calgary.

Listen to Your Body: Not just in running, but in everyday life. This is advice we always give to our patients for injury prevention. If there’s pain, don’t dismiss it. We recommend you take quick action to nip the problem in the bud by seeing your practitioner as soon as possible before the pain bumps you out of the race completely.

Just RICE it!: Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. As soon as the injury happens RICE it for 10-15 minutes, several times a day. In addition to this, be sure to protect the area with crutches, rest, and avoidance of activities that cause pain in the area.

Stay Positive: Sounds simple enough right? This can be a challenge for many, especially if you've been taken away from an activity that you love. Focus on some brain conditioning during this time to help you achieve the best possible recovery by remaining optimistic and confident in your ability to recover.

See a Chiropractor: A chiropractic adjustment can help ensure there is the proper alignment of your spine and pelvis leading up to the big race. Active Release Therapy can also play a role in loosening up tight muscles by breaking up restrictive adhesions, allowing your movement to be more fluid and pain-free.

Visit an MAT Specialist: MAT stands for Muscle Activation Technique. This technique can assess and correct muscular imbalances, and instability of joints, and help correct any difficulties with a range of motion allowing your muscles to move, fire, and function at their very best.

Book in for Chiropractic, Active Release Therapy, a foot analysis to see if Orthotics are right for you, or MAT right here at Active Sports Therapy.

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Injury Prevention During Race Season.

The Top 4 Most Common Golf Injuries

By: Active Sports Therapy

As golfing is a seasonal sport, people often jump into it quickly and with high frequency. Since 18 holes are the most common way to play, overuse injuries can occur. If you develop an injury, it can result in a frustrating experience out on the links as injuries affect your swing, and ultimately, your game.

The most common injuries include:

Golfers Elbow - Will cause pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm to the elbow. The pain may radiate into the forearm.

Wrist Pain - Can occur and is usually related to the wrist flexor or extensor tendons. Impingement syndrome and tendonitis can also occur.

Shoulder Pain – The lead shoulder is most often the one to be injured in a golfer with the rotator cuff is the most likely to become injured and it is often related to the style and form of the golfer's backswing.

Back Pain- In the upper, mid, or most commonly, the lower back can occur. Golf involves twisting, bending, and reaching down to get the ball out of the cup, all of which can add up to back pain for some.

Tips for Prevention

Swing Mechanics. Even the best golfers are taking 70-90 swings and putts per game. Considering that you can see how easily an overuse injury can occur. Learning proper posture from a golf pro might give you the corrections you need to prevent injury.

Avoid trying to hit the ball too hard. This is common for ‘new golfers’ as they opt for power over the form. Again, a lesson or two might teach you the proper pace required for a mechanically correct swing.

Be sure to use proper mechanics when lifting or carrying your bag, even if it’s just taking them out of the trunk of your car.

Just because golf isn’t a fast, contact sport, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to stretch it out a bit before you play. Stretch your shoulders, chest, triceps, back, and lower body.

Here is a great resource from Golf Digest

How Can your Chiropractor Help with These Injuries?

ART stands for Active Release Techniques.  It is a new and highly successful hands-on treatment method to address problems in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.  ART treatment is highly successful in dealing with overuse injuries because it is specifically designed to locate and treat scar tissue adhesions that accumulate in the muscles and surrounding soft tissues.

By locating and treating the soft-tissue adhesions with ART, it allows the practitioner to, 1) break up restrictive adhesions, 2) reinstate normal tissue flexibility and movement, and 3) more completely restore flexibility, balance, and stability to the injured area and the entire kinetic chain.

This style of treatment can be applied to all of your common golf injuries. We can also help you to learn how to prevent further damage through exercises and stretches. Our physiotherapy area has specialized equipment to help speed healing with laser therapy and Game Ready ice machines. We can assign the proper stabilizing brace or suggest supplements if needed.

Book in today at www.activesportstherapy.ca and we’ll help you Get Back to Your Game!

The Top 4 Most Common Golf Injuries

What is Auricular Therapy?

By Dr. Wanda Duong, DTCM, R.Ac., B.Sc.,

Auricular Therapy (AT), also called Auriculotherapy, is both a diagnostic and an integrative treatment procedure whereby the external surface of the ear, or auricle, is stimulated to alleviate conditions in other parts of the body.

The principles of Auricular Therapy (AT) are based upon both Traditional Chinese Medicine and neurological reflex therapies that were discovered in Europe. The essential principle in AT is that there are neurological reflexes and energetic correspondences between specific areas of the external ear, or auricle, and other parts of the body that are arranged in the pattern of an inverted fetus, which is similar to principles of reflexology on the feet.

AT can produce a therapeutic effect for treating various conditions by stimulating the acupoint that corresponds to the targeted part of the body or organ. Treatment of those reactive ear points can be achieved by tactile acupressure (ear seeds and acupressure) or by the insertion of very thin acupuncture needles.

The WHO recognizes AT as a micro-acupuncture system that can produce a positive impact on regulating the whole body, and its therapeutic effect has been investigated in a wide range of health problems in both oriental and western countries. AT can be used to address very similar issues that body acupuncture can address including reducing pain, anxiety, withdrawal and addictions symptoms, migraines, insomnia, digestive issues, and many other conditions. Similar to body acupuncture, thin needles can be used on the ear for a short duration and a strong effect/stimulus. As an alternative, ear seeds can be placed onto acupoints of the ears to provide a much gentler stimulus whereby the patient is sent home with the ear seeds still in place and instructed on how to massage the ear seeds. This allows for a gentle yet longer stimulus of the acupoint on the ear. Traditionally, ear seeds come from the flowering herb Vaccaria, but practitioners can also use metal, silver, or gold-plated seeds today.

An ear seed appointment can be completed quite quickly and is done in a seated position. The procedure will typically look something like the following:

1. Clean and dry the outside of your ear. The ears are disinfected in preparation for the ear seeds that will go on the outside of your ear, not in your ear canal.

2. Identify the correct points. The acupuncturist will locate the best points based on your needs and symptoms.

3. Ear seeds applied. Ear seeds typically come pre-attached to adhesive tape where the The practitioner will press gently on the tape to make sure the ear seeds stick to the ear well.

4. Massage ear seeds gently. The patient is asked to follow simple instructions of massaging the ear seed three to five times each day or when symptoms are present. Apply pressure to massage the ear seeds for 30 seconds to two minutes if comfortable.

5. Change them regularly. As ear seed application does not stimulate an acupoint as strongly as needles, it is recommended to have an ear seed (auricular) appointment every 1-2 weeks when beginning treatment. Additionally, though safe to shower with, ear seeds will naturally fall off on their own from 2 – 7 days. Your practitioner will also recommend you remove any remaining ear seeds after about 5 -7 days regardless, so it’s recommended to get them replaced regularly to continue to benefit from those points.

6. Removal. You can use tweezers or your nails to remove the ear seeds. Simple tilt your head slightly to face the ground and remove the seeds.

Speak to our registered acupuncturist, Dr. Wanda Duong TCM, for more information or book your ear seed appointment today at Active Sports Therapy, Willow Park 403-278-1405

What is Auricular Therapy?

What Is Muscle Activations Technique (M.A.T.)

Written by: Sarah Kuindersma, M.A.T. Specialist

Muscles power everything that we do. From getting out of bed to walking our pets, to doing house chores. All things we want to continue to do even as we age. Our muscle function is impacted by a number of different things. The common denominator is when too much stress is placed, thereby negatively impacting our body’s ability to contract and use our muscles efficiently. Examples: Diseases (ALS), illness. aging, over/underuse, injuries, surgeries, dehydration, etc.

When this communication from the brain to our muscles gets impaired how do we correct it?

This is where Muscle Activation Techniques or M.A.T. comes in.

What are Muscle Activation Techniques?

I prefer to say it in reverse. M.A.T. are techniques used to activate muscles. The key to muscle function is its ability to contract and generate force. If your brain is effectively communicating to all your muscles to do a job the task feels easy.

Picture the last time you moved. Moving a house alone or with a few friends is a daunting task, but if you had 50 movers the task would feel easy. Let’s replace moving a house with moving your body. There are about 600 muscles in the human body, imagine going from 600 workers to 300 workers. Daily tasks would feel daunting. M.A.T. techniques too.

activate muscles do just that, it activates or recruits muscles to perform their specific task making moving your body feel easy.

M.A.T. works in 3 simple steps

Step 1: Assess your current movement, the first step is to assess where the limitations are. M.A.T. practitioners do this by watching you move in a variety of different ways. Making notes of any ranges that seem impaired. 

Step 2: Activating the muscles, when there is a limit in range, it signifies at least one or more muscles that perform that action aren’t receiving the signal from the brain to contract. M.A.T. can restore this communication by manually placing pressure at the muscle attachment sites. The practitioner will repeat this process for every muscle involved with the limited movement pattern. Sometimes specific exercises are given to help coordinate the movement pattern again.

Step 3: Re-evaluate, after working on the muscles, it’s time to go back a re-assess what the limited movement pattern looks like now.

Video explaining what M.A.T. is: https://youtu.be/0-Km1EWiSrw

Who would benefit from M.A.T.?

Our goal is to help you get back to your healthy, active lifestyle while remaining pain-free. The better you move the better you feel.

If you are someone wanting to improve their performance – Not just with sports but this applies to musicians and artists too. No matter what you enjoy doing, if you spend a significant time repeating an action it will have a cost at your body’s expense. You’ll need to restore your muscle function, otherwise, it could lead to imbalances and vulnerability to injuries.

If you are someone wanting to age gracefully and with mobility – I hear this all too commonly, individuals blame their age for how they feel or move or are unable to do (insert comment here, ex. Climb a mountain). The fact our age does have an effect on our bodies, however, we usually are saying it is our age causing our bodies mobility issues, pain and stiffness, with M.A.T. you can build a strong and stable foundation to get you back to what moves you.

If you’re someone who has tried everything – M.A.T. can’t cure everything, but you’ve eliminated a lot of different reasons why your body isn’t working optimally so the chances it’s just a matter of getting the muscles working more efficiently is a lot more likely.

Want to experience how M.A.T. can make a difference in your life?

Call 4032781405 and book with Sarah Kuindersma at Active Sports Therapy today.

https://www.activesportstherapy.ca 

What Is Muscle Activations Technique (M.A.T.)

Welcome to March National Nutrition Month!

Written by Kira Greasley: BA, CHNC

As a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant I believe that every month should be nutrition month. Luckily the month of March provides us greater opportunities to educate people on how life changing eating well can be. It does not need to be expensive or complicated, but if you are struggling with knowing what is best to maintain optimal nutritional health we are here to help!

Nutrition can be a very complex and often polarizing subject, with so much information coming at us daily. However, with knowledge and focused attention, the journey towards better eating can become easier.

Here are 4 reasons as to why eating whole foods is worth the effort:

  1. Food is not only fuel for the body, our body uses food as information that communicates directly to our bodies, brain & DNA.
  2. The food we put in our bodies nurtures our gut bacteria (microbiome), allowing it to do what it  does best, which is keeping our bodies and brains healthy. Did you know that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut microbiome. This gut microbiome is responsible for your metabolism, hormonal systems, brain and levels of inflammation.
  3. Not all inflammation is bad, by nature inflammation is a protective function of our body.  However, troubles occurs when inflammation goes into overdrive and becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation is directly related to a poor diet, poor sleep, lack of exercise and chronic stress. When left unchecked, it begins to damage the body. 
  4. Did you know that sugar feeds inflammation and can decrease our immune system by 60% for up to 5 hours! In addition to sugar, other unnatural food products such as refined carbs, and vegetable oils, contribute to the cells in the body sending out SOS signals and creating free radicals. If these SOS signals and free radicals are left to their own devices, they can kill cells from the inside out. Think of free radicals like a bull in a china shop. 

From just these 4 reasons, we can see that what kind of food we put in our body is critical to our entire body functioning as it was meant to. There are many ways to minimize chronic inflammation by simply making adjustments to one's food choices. If you are interested in learning more, book in with Kira Greasley at Active Sports Therapy today, simply call she will create customized meal plans to help assist you in your journey towards better health. 

“Your fork sets you on a path that leads you to a disease or back to health”

- Dr. David Perlmutter

Follow Active Sports Therapy on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month of March to learn simple and cost effective ways to fuel your body the way it was meant to be fuelled. 

Welcome to March National Nutrition Month!

Preventing Injuries When Shovelling Snow

One of the most common winter injuries that we see in our clinic is lower back injuries from snow removal. If you’re not careful, this snowy chore can lead to serious pain and injury. As a Canadian, shovelling is just part of life so take a minute to read our winter shovelling tips.

Shovelling snow is considered an exercise. Think of shovelling snow the same way you think of any other exercise or physical activity. Which is great… if you’re ready for it.

Problems can arise if your body is recovering from injury, or you are not exercising regularly. If this is the case you might find a session of shovelling to be overwhelming to your body, especially after large amounts of snow have fallen and need removal. Here are a few tips on how to make the best of this regular winter activity.

Lastly don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Your family, your neighbour or a nearby friend. Everyone needs a little help sometimes and don’t be afraid to ask if you feel your body is not up to the challenge. You could also assign the task to someone else entirely!

If an injury does occur, our Unified Team Care approach is here to help.

Any of our Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and more, are here to help keep your body safe and moving well this winter. 

Call 403-278-1405 or book online today at www.activesportstherapy.ca

 

Mindful Eating Tips For The Holiday's

Written by: Kira Greasley, BA, Nutritional Holistic Consultant,

Have you ever felt so stuffed that you could not move after one or several holiday festivities? I know I have! So for this holiday season, I am going to arm you with a few mindful eating tools, that will have you enjoying your festivities without that overstuffed feeling.

Tip #1: Size does matter. Choose the smaller plate and don’t load it up! I know this is a hard one when we are presented with so much amazing food, but trust me, this is an important one. Only take enough food to cover your plate, don’t build a mountain. You can always go back for seconds!

Tip #2: Build the colours of the rainbow with your food. This is a simple way to ensure you are getting the variety of required nutrients to nourish your body from head to toe.

Tip #3: Did you know that digestion begins with our eyes and nose? Sight and smell are the senses that activate our salivary glands. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the meal, deeply inhale the aromas, and feel gratitude for the food before you.

Tip #4: Chew your food, aiming for a minimum of 20 chews per bite (the recommended is 50). In our fast paced world, this step is often overlooked, causing large chunks of food to not be properly broken down and mixed with our saliva. This places excess strain on our guts, generating stress hormones which obstruct the production of stomach acid shutting down the digestive process, and leading to indigestion.

Tip #5: Put down your utensils after each bite as this will allow yourself time to chew instead of placing more food into your mouth. By doing this simple step, we allow our brain the time needed to catch up with the signalling from our stomachs preventing that  “overstuffed” feeling.

Tip #6: Take small sips of room temperature water as needed. Drinking too much water during a meal can dilute your stomach acid, hindering the break down of food, leading to indigestion and other issues.

Tip #7: Everything in moderation.

Here’s to a safe and happy holiday season and remember, it is never too late to set YOUR stage for LIFE!

Nutritionally Yours,

Kira Greasley

Book In With Kira today for all of your holistic nutritional needs!

Mindful Eating Tips For The Holiday's
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Knee Injuries & Skiing

Written By: Rachel Grant, MScPT, B.Kin,

It’s that time of year again and whether it's your first time clipping into your bindings or you are a seasoned skier, prevention of knee injuries should be at the top of your mind.

The knee joint is composed of bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. The most common knee injuries related to skiing include damage to the ligaments; a ligament is a short band of tough fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone. Meniscus or cartilage injuries within the knee itself are the second most most common injuries. The four primary ligaments in your knee hold the bones together to help stabilize your knee. The knee can become easily injured because it relies heavily on the ligaments, meniscus, cartilage and the surrounding musculature for stability.

Skiing is a sport that tests the ligaments and supporting structures in the knee through quick changes of direction and constant muscle contraction to maneuver down snow or ice. Strength training and targeting every muscle group of the lower limb is one way to set yourself up for a successful ski season!

Below are some examples of each lower limb area to focus on, along with an exercise example:

Hamstrings:

-Bridges, single leg bridges, Nordic curls

Quads:

-a combo of closed chain exercises where both legs are on the ground such as squats, along with open chain exercises like controlled step downs and lunges.

Hip Strengthening for Gluteus Medius and Maximus:

-Clamshells, side lying hip abduction, single leg squats

Other Important Knee Injury Prevention Tips:

-Learn proper technique with a professional if you are new to the sport

-Choose suitable runs (green, blue, black) comparable to your ability level.

-Ensure you have properly fitted equipment. Including ski's bindings, and poles. Most importantly, check your bindings are fitted to the boot you will be wearing. Non-release of bindings has been reported to be a contributor of skiing injuries in youths and adults. Release bindings which can be adjusted to a skiers ability and weight can help to prevent knee injuries.

-Lastly, add dynamic stretching to your ski routine. Warm up and general movement with short hold stretching (10-15 seconds) pre-skiing, such as when you are gearing up in the parking lot gets your muscles ready for the day. Finishing the day are-ski with static stretching will prevent possible injuries the following day.

Sadly, despite our best efforts, injuries may still happen. If you experience an injury skiing or maybe you want to ensure you are strong leading into the ski season, our team at Active Sports Therapy can design a treatment program for your specific goals today! Call the office at 403-278-1405 today to book in with our team of experts.

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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Knee Injuries & Skiing

The Science of the Heart

HOW THE HEART IMPACTS OUR IMMUNITY, RESILIENCE AND OUR PATHWAY TO CHRONIC DISEASE

Written by: Dr Clare Westmacott MD, CCFP-LM, MDMFHom(UK) and Carole Westmacott RN

Science has now proven that our Heart is the most energetic engine in our body and it creates an electromagnetic field around our body that can be measured up to 8-9 feet in diameter. That field not only affects us, but everyone around us and our environment. In comparison, the electromagnetic field that the brain emits only extends 1-2 inches beyond the head. How then can we use this amazing knowledge for our benefit – physically, mentally and emotionally?

HeartMath® provides easy tools and techniques that we can learn and use anytime throughout our day when needed, to create a Coherent State between the heart and brain.

So, what is Coherence and why does it matter? Coherence is an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are aligned and in sync. Physiologically, the Immune, Hormonal and Nervous systems then function in a state of energetic coordination.

The HeartMath® Coherence techniques will enable you to recognize and shift from an Energy Depleting Incoherent Heart rhythm to an Energy Renewing Coherent Heart Rhythm – which is the foundation for intelligent energy management, emotional self-regulation, optimal performance and mental clarity. These techniques give control back to us. Using the HeartMath® Coherence techniques, helps you to plug energy leaks and recharge your inner battery.

Using a special app, you will be able to check in and monitor your own Coherence and Heart Rhythms – and guess what – Globally connect as well.

Please book in with Dr. Clare Westmacott MD, CCFP-LM, MDMFHom (UK) to learn more!

The Science of the Heart

Toilet Posture Matters!

Written By: Ellen Rossiter, Physiotherapist,

You may not know this, you may not even want to talk about it but toilet posture matters!

Have you ever heard of a Squatty Potty? The Squatty Potty is a stool that fits nicely under your toilet ready to be used when you need it, the concept is, by lifting your legs in a higher position when you go to the bathroom it helps drain all waste most effectively! Although this may make you laugh or possibly blush, these stools are excellent for putting your body in the best position to fully relax the pelvic floor muscles to allow you to “go”. 

Our bodies were designed to pass urine or stool/excrement in a squat position. Look closely at babies or young toddlers they intuitively know this. Yet western civilization has moved away from that by raising the toilets higher. With this technological advancement our bodies have not changed how our bodies are built. Since we may prefer these methods we can make a difference in our methods by bringing the ground up! 

Many of us have never given much attention to this topic. Yet sitting on the toilet properly helps remove waste effectively reducing abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and many more benefits. Next time you take a moment in the restroom consider your positioning to see the difference.  

Best Position

-Feet planted firmly on ground (or stool!) 

-Leaning forward (forearms on knees) 

-Knees above hips (if passing stool)

Why Does This Matter? 

Relax puborectalis -this muscle wraps around the rectum, and helps us remain  continent. In order to make it relax, we need knees to be above hips! This changes the muscle angle, and allows it to release its hold around the bowel. 

Relax the rest of the pelvic floor -the rest of the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis don’t know they should relax if your feet are dangling! Planted feet help the pelvic floor and the hips to relax.  

Avoid Strain -if we don’t relax the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles, it will cause us to strain when we void or pass stool. This can lead to issues like incontinence, or even hemorrhoids.  

Muscle Learning -If we try to use the toilet without relaxed muscles, we teach the bladder or bowels that it is okay to release even if muscles are not relaxed - this can lead to or exacerbate incontinence! 

Give It a Try! 

Please note: Any stool works for this purpose, the Squatty Potty or something of the like fit nicely around a toilet.