Written by: Navreen Sidhu BSc. CAT(C), Athletic Therapist
Athletic Therapists specialize in treating musculoskeletal related injuries whether it’s acute, chronic or post-operative. Injuries involving the bone, muscle, tendon or ligaments do not only cause pain, but also dysfunction to the boney and soft tissue structures of the body. Impairments to these structures often leads to hypomobility (decreased joint movement), and prevents patients from taking part in activities they enjoy doing.
While the utilization of hot packs and electrical modalities help patients to a certain extent; however, treatment in the form of manual therapy has shown to restore, normalize, and optimize the functionality of your body in a more effective manner. During an appointment with me, you will often find me utilizing some form of manual therapy coupled with exercises. These exercises will help maintain whatever was achieved via manual therapy.
For example, if a patient came in with decreased ankle dorsiflexion (pointing the foot towards the shin). I would start off by performing posterior glides of the talocrural joint to help the patient gain some ankle dorsiflexion, and then prescribe at-home exercises that will help maintain and further increase ankle mobility.
What is Manual Therapy?
Manual Therapy involves proficient hands-on movements as well as skillful passive movements of joints and soft tissue.
Common Joint and Soft tissue techniques used by ATs:
What can manual therapy help with?
Examples of common injuries and conditions that can be treated using manual therapy:
How Can You Benefit from Manual Therapy?
Whether it’s your initial or subsequent appointment with me, you will find that any manual therapy technique utilized is based off an extensive examination of your injury. After gaining a better understanding of your condition, a form of manual therapy is incorporated into the treatment plan. Since there are a wide variety of manual therapy techniques used, each technique is uniquely beneficial and catered to your body’s need. For instance, the usage of myofascial release (a form of massage), cupping, or graston on an injury site can help reduce inflammation, improve tissue extensibility, and break down scar tissue. On the other hand, the application of joint mobilizations can help improve mobility and aid in decreasing pain.
After reading this article, I hope this provides some insight on the value of manual therapy, what athletic therapists do, and most importantly what to expect when booking an appointment with me.
Importance of a Proper Warm-Up
Written by: Emilie Smale BSc. CAT(C)
You have probably heard that you should do a warm-up before any physical activity, but maybe you don’t know why. From elite to recreational athletes, beginners to avid gym-goers, and those who have a physically demanding job, doing a proper warm-up will help you physically, mentally, and aid in performance.
A proper warm-up before any sport or physical activity will help to increase core and muscle temperature, therefore helping to prevent injuries. Think of your body as a car in Manitoba in the middle of January; you wouldn’t start your car then immediately proceed to drive 100km/h down the highway. Of course not, that would lead to decreased performance in your car’s ability, damage to the vehicle and possibly even an accident. So why would you do the same to your body? You wouldn’t want to go from a resting state to immediately fully exerting yourself, that would lead to decreased performance, damage to the muscle, and possibly even an injury, much like your car.
Warming your body up prior to moderate or intense physical activity decreases the time it takes your muscles to contract leading to an increase in performance. Dynamic movements help to increase the muscle and joints range of motion, leaving you less susceptible to injury. A set warm-up also gives you time to mentally prepare for the activity that you are about to do; whether that be a chance to focus for an important game or give you time to shake off the stressful day and get in the mindset of having a productive workout.
Warm-ups should include the whole body with extra focus on the muscle groups that will be most heavily involved in the upcoming activity, such as legs in soccer or shoulders in volleyball. The warm-up should be comprised of dynamic movements as opposed to static holds or stretches. Rather, actions that are in constant movement and similar to ones that you will be performing in your sport or activity instead of holding a stretch. Static stretches should be avoided before a sport or workout as they may reduce the muscles contractile force which could lead to injury if you try to go straight into high intensity exercises immediately after a static stretch.
Below is a set of warm up exercises that can be performed before any physical activity. The warm-up should last at least 5-7 minutes and you should feel warm and slightly out of breath after completing them. Numbers 3-18 should be performed the length of a room, hallway, etc.
Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists.