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Sports Injuries? We can help...

Low back injuries in gymnasts, dancers and figure skaters

Gymnasts, dancers and figure skaters often amaze us with their flexibility and grace, but with this flexibility the need for stability and control is essential. For example, a gymnast doing a back handspring requires a significant amount of extension in their low back to complete this maneuver. Ideally, each vertebra in their lower spine (lumbar spine) would contribute to the overall movement into extension. However, this does not always happen. Sometimes one joint does much more of the movement and other joints may be tight, this can overload the joint that is doing more of the work. Overloading the joint can cause pain and in extreme cases cause stress fractures in the vertebra. Physiotherapists are trained to assess body movement through observation and a hands-on approach that assesses the quantity and quality of the mobility of each spinal segment. The physiotherapist will determine if the problem or injury is the result of a dysfunctional movement pattern or motor control issue and help make an individualized plan of care to aid in recovery from this injury. Our skilled physiotherapists can help you move like you should!

Swimmer's shoulder

Is it any wonder that with such repetitive arm movements swimmers can develop shoulder pain? This shoulder pain is aggravated most frequently with freestyle and butterfly strokes and is usually felt in the front or side of the shoulder. Terms like impingement, bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis are often terms used to describe this type of shoulder pain. Depending on the level of swimmer and training kilometres, a swimmer may take thousands of strokes per week. This is ultimately why stroke technique is so very important. Did you know that entering the water with the thumb first rather than the middle finger may cause pinching and irritation of the tendons of the shoulder? Recovery of the arms over the water is just as important and requires not only shoulder mobility but spinal mobility as well. Even little changes in stroke technique can make a big difference when done so repetitively. A physiotherapist is trained to assess body movement through observation and a hands-on approach that assesses the quantity and quality of movement in the shoulder and spine. Treatment often includes exercises focused on strengthening of postural and shoulder blade muscles as well as the rotator cuff. Your physiotherapist can help identify points in your stroke where you may be more at risk for injury. Our physiotherapists can help you move like you should!

Plantar Faciitis


The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel bone (calcaneus) and fans out to connect to the toes and performs a supportive role for the arch of the foot while in a weight bearing position (standing/walking/running).  Individuals suffering from plantar fasciitis commonly report pain in bottom of the heel which is often worse with the first few steps in the morning, prolonged standing/walking, or when pressure is applied directly to the heel.   Plantar fasciitis can be caused by several different factors, including poor biomechanics of the lower extremity and lower back, wearing poorly fitted or non-supportive footwear, standing/walking on hard surfaces, an increase in activity level or change in a training regimen (kms/uneven terrain). Our Physiotherapists can help determine the cause and develop a treatment plan that can help you get rid of that nagging heel pain!  But in the meantime, here are some helpful hints to get started on home treatment to reduce pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia:

  • If possible, rest from the activity that is exacerbating your symptoms.  Swimming, walking in the pool or riding a bike may be suitable alternates for running and walking without the painful effects.  Our clinic offers a hydrotherapy program which is excellent for individuals recovering from this injury.

  • Reduce inflammation by rolling the bottom of the foot on a frozen water bottle before going to bed or after a prolonged weight bearing activity.

  • Wear supportive footwear and do not walk in bare feet around the house!

  • Arch tape may provide short-term relief for supporting the arch/plantar fascia.

  • Calf stretching (knee bent and straight) will aide in decreasing stress on the heel that would further stress the plantar fascia.

Couple Running

Whether you enjoy walking, running, hiking, biking or just working out knee pain can really slow your progress towards those fitness goals.  Anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain (pain felt just under the kneecap/patella) is often referred to as runner's knee as it is typically seen in individuals who engage in activities that involve repetitive movements of the legs, like running.

What causes patellofemoral pain?  Often the problem presents itself after someone has just made a change in their exercise program or activity level such as going hiking over the weekend or changing a training parameter too quickly. Our physiotherapists will look at the entire kinetic chain, including the low back, hip, knee, and ankle to determine the root cause of the improper knee mechanics causing pain under the patella.  These causes can include tight structures such as joints and muscles as well as poor muscle recruitment patterns.  Our team will help you move like you should.

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