Physiotherapy for Soccer Injuries

Physiotherapy for Soccer Injuries

If you’re a player or fan of the world’s most popular sport of soccer, you probably already know by now there are certain injury risks involved with playing the game. Whether you just play the game for fun or are a seasoned professional, you’re often open to the same types of injuries. These can include aches, bruises, and sprains as well as more serious injuries such as concussions, muscle tears, torn ligaments and broken bones. However, most soccer-related injuries can be treated by the proper physiotherapy techniques and you’ll find yourself back on the pitch in no time.

There are several things you can do to help prevent injuries, such as proper stretching and training techniques, but accidents do happen no matter how well-prepared you may be. The most common soccer injuries affect the feet, knees, legs, and head and we’ll take a look at some of them and the best way to treat them.

Head Injuries
Since the game of soccer involves heading the ball, players often miss calculate the timing of their challenges and clash heads. This can lead to deep cuts as well as concussions. A heavy collision or impact can lead to this type of injury as the brain is actually shaken inside of the skull. It usually occurs when a player suffers a hit to the head, neck or face. Most concussions eventually heal themselves approximately 10 days later, but players may still feel the effects for several weeks. If you believe you may have a concussion and are still suffering symptoms three weeks later you may have PCS (post-concussion syndrome). Some of the symptoms include headaches, fatigue, memory loss, dizziness, irritability and/or insomnia.

Our professional team at Spectrum Physiotherapy is well-trained when it comes to treating concussion symptoms. We will be able to evaluate the root of the problem and then help to treat it. All head injuries are different and that’s why your condition will be thoroughly evaluated before we formulate a personalized and unique treatment program for your treatment. If you feel pain, soreness and/or tightness in the neck area it can be eased by strengthening certain soft tissues.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears
One of the most serious soccer injuries is the tearing or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. This injury usually takes up to six months to fully heal and can quickly end a player’s season. The ACL can be torn due to the way the knees pivot when playing the sport. An ACL can be torn when the knee twists or hyper extends in a sudden and violent manner and it often leads to other injuries at the same time such as a torn medial collateral ligament and lateral meniscus. Even though the swelling and pain may disappear a few weeks later, the knee could still be unstable and most torn ACL’s require surgery to repair them.

A physiotherapy program can help ease the pain and swelling with ice and electrical stimulation.  After surgery, you can gradually begin to exercise until the knee regains full movement. This usually consists of range-of-motion exercises as wells as gentle stretching. In addition, the quadriceps and hamstring muscles will be strengthened as you recover. We may recommend that you wear a custom ACL brace to keep the knee stable when you return to action, especially if the problem didn’t require surgery. Rehabilitation may last up to four or six months and you’ll also be able to strengthen and exercise the knee at home.

Torn Hamstrings
One of the most common, aggravating and painful soccer injuries is the torn hamstring muscle, which occurs when it’s stretched too far. Hundreds of professional players suffer this injury each year no matter how much stretching and pre-game preparation they go through. Fortunately, surgery is only required for the most serious tears and the rest can be treated with a good rehabilitation program. When you injure the hamstring the muscle fibres or tendon will tear and this results in pain and swelling. In severe cases, small blood vessels can also tear.

The initial pain and swelling is typically reduced by rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) treatments and the hamstring can then gradually heal by stretching and exercising to help build up the muscle tissue. A hamstring can be pulled, completely torn or partially torn and a tear is graded as mild, moderate or severe. At Spectrum Physiotherapy, we specialize in sports injury rehab and we’ll be able to diagnose the problem and come up with the right type of treatment program to alleviate the pain and get you back to your normal active lifestyle. If the hamstring isn’t healed properly it could easily be reinjured. The amount of rehabilitation time needed will depend on the severity of the injury. You will need to follow the physiotherapy stretching and exercise program to regain your mobility, flexibility, and strength as the muscle rebuilds and this will help prevent the injury from occurring again.

Some other common soccer-related injuries include:  Achilles tendon ruptures, back muscle pain, Bursitis, Osteoarthritis, torn meniscus ligaments, Tendonitis, pinched nerves, Plantar Fasciitis, Sciatica, shin splints, and whiplash. At Spectrum Physiotherapy, we’ll be able to help design an injury-prevention exercise program for you as a way to keep you on the pitch instead of the recovery room. The human body possesses natural defence mechanisms which help fight off injuries. For instance, the training of specific muscles can helps to stabilize certain joints which help you become less susceptible to falls and loss of balance. In addition, there are jumping and landing techniques which can help reduce injuries.

No matter what type of soccer injury you may be dealing with, please feel free to contact Spectrum Physiotherapy for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

Neck Headaches Newmarket

Physiotherapy For Neck Headaches

Many people around the world suffer from Cervicogenic headaches, which is the medical term for neck headaches. This basically means a problem in the neck joint is resulting in headaches. Since the neck is the source of the problem, the pain can be alleviated by repairing the neck joint.

There are three upper neck joints which can cause a problem as well as other neurovascular and musculoskeletal structures. If any of these areas aren’t functioning properly they can send pain signals to your brainstem and this can result in a headache.

Since the most common cause of a neck headache is due to the upper neck muscle, nerves or joints this is the area that needs to be focused on the relieve the pain. The joints can cause headaches if they’re either too stiff or too loose. If the neck muscles are weak then they can’t properly support the joints and they may become locked in an abnormal position.

Why visit a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapy for neck headaches is a common solution since a physiotherapist is an experienced when it comes to assessing and treating dysfunctional neck joints. The muscles in the shoulder blades and neck can result in pain if they’re in spasm, knotted, or are overworked. If neck joints are injured then the muscles may overwork themselves in an attempt to protect them. The other neck muscles aren’t being used and this makes them become weak. Neck muscles work the best when they have the proper amount of endurance, power, strength, and rest. A physiotherapist will be able to correction any muscle imbalances which are causing pain.

In addition, upper-neck nerves can sometimes be pinched by things such as swelling, bulging discs and arthritic bone growths. When the nerves are pinched your neck will typically lose its normal range of motion. Neck headaches are sometimes misdiagnosed as other types of headaches such as migraines and this is why it’s important to receive a diagnosis from a professional therapist. The therapist will know what’s causing the problem by examining your symptoms. These often include a tender neck and skull base as well as loss of movement and/or stiffness, pain which travels from the back to the front of the head, pain on one side of the head.

Physiotherapy treatments will typically relieve headache pain immediately. Many patients feel a reduction in pain as soon as pressure is applied to the base of the skull and/or neck. Some people experience neck headaches even though they don’t feel any pain in their neck. This is because their neck joints may not be sore while they’re resting. If your neck joints are tender or sore while resting they usually cause pain when touched or moved.

Since a physiotherapist can correctly identify the cause of your headaches it means you’ll receive the proper treatment. Some therapists specialize in neck headaches and can relieve the pain quickly as well as advise you on how to stop it from returning. MRI’s, CT-scans and X-rays can’t always help diagnosis the cause of a neck headache, but they may help identify structures which could cause neck or head pain. It’s a good idea to undergo cervical spine X-rays if you’ve been suffering from the headaches for an extended period of time.

Physiotherapy treatments for neck headaches

Once the physiotherapist has diagnosed the problem you can then begin treatment for it. If your neck joints are stiff they may be unlocked or loosened by gentle gliding movements known as joint mobilization. In addition, you may undergo localized joint manipulation or traction. If the joints are deemed to be unstable then they will need to be strengthened via deep neck muscle exercises. This will allow the muscles to properly limit and control the movement of the joints.

If the muscles are overactive or tight the treatments may include relaxation techniques such as dry needling, acupuncture, massage, and stretching. A physiotherapist may recommend specific exercises to improve your posture or could suggest a posture brace. Also, the therapist will advise you which awkward and potentially damaging neck postures and positions to avoid. Depending on the causes of the headaches and severity of them, most patients will find their pain gone within just a few days or up to a couple of weeks. And if they follow the advice of their physiotherapist the neck headaches likely won’t return.

Spectrum Physiotherapy is located in Newmarket, Ontario and is the premier physiotherapy clinic in York Region.  We offer a range of physio related services which include shockwave therapy, massage and acupuncture treatment.

Rotator Cuff Injury Newmarket

Physiotherapy for Rotator Cuff Tears

 

What Causes a Rotator Cuff Tear?

As the name suggests, a rotator cuff tear is a tear of your shoulder’s rotator cuff tendons. These tears can occur in two ways:

  1. Trauma: Traumatic rotator cuff tears occur suddenly, caused by a high force going through the tendon that pushes it beyond its limit. This is usually the result of a heavy load, such as a forceful throw, a fall onto an outstretched hand, as well as heavy pushing, pulling or lifting.
  2. Repeated Micro-trauma: This is the more common cause of rotator cuff tears. These kinds of tears develop over weeks or months, through repeated straining or pinching of the rotator cuff tendons. These injuries often occur in athletes involved in swimming, weight lifting, racquet sports, throwing sports such as baseball, or paddling sports such as rowing.  In non-athletes, micro-trauma can be caused by repeated pushing, pulling, lifting, or overhead activities.

Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear is pain over the top of the shoulder and arm. This pain may extend down the outside of the arm and be present during both activity and rest. Another frequent symptom is shoulder weakness, particular when lifting your arm up overhead. You may also notice a clicking or crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions. Depending on the severity of the tear, these symptoms may be mild or they may be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities.

Treatment

Treatment of rotator cuff tears and the effectiveness of surgical intervention are often debated among health care professionals. A recent study from Finland suggests that physiotherapy alone can be equally as effective in treating rotator cuff tears as arthroscopic surgery and open surgical repair. In this study, 167 patients with non-traumatic tears of the supraspinatus tendon were followed for one year as they received different treatments. The result was that the patients who received physiotherapy alone showed similar rates of improvement compared to those who received surgery. This indicates that surgery may not be necessary in many cases, and physiotherapy can be effective as the primary treatment for rotator cuff tears.

This can seem a little confusing at first. How can a rotator cuff tear heal without surgery to actually close the tear? It’s possible because the tear does not necessarily have to be repaired for patients to experience pain relief, restored mobility, and increased strength. In fact, research has shown that 30% of people under age 70, and 70% of people over age 80, actually have a rotator cuff tear, yet experience no symptoms. Therefore, the tear itself is not a problem, only the symptoms associated with it; and these symptoms can be resolved through physiotherapy.

Common treatment techniques for rotator cuff tears include:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Electrotherapy
  • Joint mobilization
  • Ice or heat treatment
  • Progressive exercises to improve strength and flexibility
  • Technique correction and education

Treatment is most effective if begun as soon as possible after the injury, and therefore it’s important to seek treatment right away if you suspect you may have sustained a rotator cuff tear. The professional team at Spectrum Physiotherapy can assess your shoulder symptoms, work with you to develop a treatment plan, and guide you along the road to recovery.

Physiotherapy After Car Accident

Physiotherapy After a Motor Vehicle Accident

The professional team at Spectrum Physiotherapy Newmarket has extensive experience in helping patients recover following motor vehicle accidents.

In Ontario, any physical injuries you suffer in car accident are covered by your auto insurance company. At Spectrum Physiotherapy Newmarket, we can answer your questions about making a claim and submitting information to your insurance company, making it easier for you to begin treatment without delay.

Even if you only experienced a minor fender bender, you may still have suffered damage to the soft tissues of your neck and spine, in addition to other injuries.  Whiplash, in particular, is extremely common following all kinds of car accidents, particularly if your car is hit from behind by other vehicle. During impact, your head is suddenly thrown backwards and forwards (or vice versa), or abruptly rotated, extending the muscles and ligaments of your neck beyond their typical range of motion. Often, this motion happens so quickly that you may not even realize it happened. Most people start to notice symptoms in the first 48 hours after the accident, but in other cases, symptoms do not appear for up to two weeks.

Some of these symptoms might include:

  • Pain, aches or stiffness in the neck, shoulders and/or back
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Headaches
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping and concentrating
  • General fatigue

 

It’s important to have the extent of your injuries assessed as soon as possible after the accident, in order to minimize your risk of sustaining long-term damage. Don’t wait and see, hoping the symptoms will resolve on their own. Pain often leads to decreased activity, which in turn creates even more stiffness, weakness and pain, further interfering with your daily routine.

At Spectrum Physiotherapy Newmarket, we can evaluate your function, pain, and the severity of your injuries. Based on your unique condition and goals, we’ll recommend an appropriate treatment program for you, which will help alleviate any discomfort, and work towards regaining full pain-free movement.

Your treatment may include:

  • Acupuncture, electrical simulation, heat, cold and other treatments to provide acute pain relief
  • Education on posture, positioning, and appropriate body mechanics
  • Manual therapy treatments to decrease pain and improve mobility
  • Specific exercises to manage symptoms, as well as restore strength and mobility

If you have questions about what type pf physiotherapy care is right for you after a motor vehicle accident, contact us today to speak to one of our physio professionals

How Physiotherapists Help You Deal with Back Pain

How To Prevent Back Pain Before it Begins

Physiotherapists are experts in improving and restoring flexibility and movement in the human body, but they can also help you prevent back pain before it even begins. Use the following strategies to help prevent back pain:

  • Stay active and do some form of physical fitness activity every day. This maintains your flexibility.
  • Participate in regular strengthening and stretching exercises to keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong and flexible
  • Use labour-saving devices like carts or wheelbarrows to move heavy objects.
  • Get help when lifting heavy objects.
  • Keep a heavy load as close to the line of your body as possible: don’t extend your arms far out from your body when lifting.
  • Mentally remind yourself to use good posture at home, work or play.
  • Read the ergonomic suggestions for any sport or physical activity you do–learn the best way to move.

Symptoms of Back Pain

Back pain manifests itself in many ways: it can be a burning sensation, a dull feeling or a very sharp pain in a definite place in your back. You may also experience muscle spasms and stiffness that may spread down into your legs. Acute back pain lasts less than three months but often returns to become recurrent back pain. Chronic back pain is defined as lasting more than 3 months.

If you are experiencing abnormal back pain for the first time, try and stay active and keep doing what you normally would do(lying down for more than a day can actually impede your body’s attempt to repair itself). If your back pain gets worse or lasts more than a couple of days, you should make an appointment to see a physiotherapist

Causes of Back Pain

Sometimes back pain is caused by injuries, strain or repetitive or improper use. Improper lifting techniques, undue twisting, bending or even too much sitting can contribute to back pain. Sometimes these types of back pain get better on their own by simply abstaining from those activities which may have caused it.

Sometimes back pain can also be caused by physical problems such as osteoporosis, herniated disks, osteoarthritis, fracture, a degenerative disk, tumors on the spine or lumbar spinal stenosis.

How Does A Physiotherapist Diagnose Back Pain?

A physiotherapist will ask you questions and perform a thorough physical examination by reviewing your health history, asking questions about any symptoms and assessing your bodily actions when doing sports, when you are at work or when you are at home and at leisure. He will also perform tests to discover any problems with your posture, the strength of your muscles, the mobility of your joints and your flexibility and limits of movement. He will also check for any signs of a more serious underlying health problem, such as cancerous tumours or fractured bones. If this is the case, your physiotherapist will always refer you to the relevant health care professional for further examination.

How Can a Physiotherapist Help with Back Pain?

Physiotherapists help you increase or restore your mobility, thereby often reducing back pain without medications or surgeries.

Since there can be many causes of back pain, your physiotherapist will tailor your treatment so as to address your unique condition and symptoms. When your evaluation is complete and the results have been analyzed, a physiotherapist will be able to tell you which factors are contributing to your back pain. He will then devise a specialized treatment plan which may include:

  • The use of hot or cold pack treatments or electric stimuli to ease back pain.
  • Exercises that help make muscles and joints stronger and more flexible.
  • Manual manipulations, such as spinal manipulation, that will restore or improve the mobility of soft tissues and joints.
  • Training for the correct methods for lifting objects, sitting, bending, sleeping and doing jobs around the house and at work.
  • Counseling on the proper way to take of your back, such as posture, bending and walking.
  • Creating a daily overall activity program to keep you healthy in the future.

How to Choose a Physiotherapist

All physiotherapists are extensively trained and have the experience to treat people with back pain. Use these tips to find the physiotherapist who is right for you:

  • look for a physiotherapist who has lots of experience treating orthopedic or muscular-skeletal, problems.
  • look for a physiotherapist is a board-certified clinical specialist or who completed a fellowship or residency in orthopedic physical therapy. These types of physiotherapists have advanced experience, education and skills that can especially help you with your condition.
  • Check with family, friends or other health care professionals for their recommendations.
  • Ask your potential physiotherapist to describe his experience in treating back pain.
  • Choose a physiotherapist with whom you can feel comfortable discussing and describing your symptoms in detail.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy is a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. A trained massage therapist focuses on the normalization of the soft tissues affected by stress, injury and illness through the use of manual techniques that improve circulation, enhance muscular relaxation, relieve pain, reduce stress, enhance immune function or promote health and well-being.

You don’t need to be injured or in pain to experience massage, it can be used as a tool to help facilitate your general well being. Many people seek massage therapy regularly to help them perform at their best and feel positive about themselves.

An increasing number of clinical research studies show massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion and increases endorphins (enhancing medical treatment). Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from injury or illness. It can also hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.

Custom Orthotics

What are custom foot orthotics?

Foot orthotics are shoe inserts that can be used to treat foot, ankle, knee, hip, and even back pain. Custom foot orthotics are corrective devices, resembling insoles that slip inside shoes to counterbalance forces exerted on the skeletal structure by both muscles and gravity.
Orthotics reduces pain and discomfort by improving proper weight distribution.

Who needs a custom orthotic?

You are probably familiar with the shoe inserts that you can buy at the store.  These are often beneficial for certain conditions or the “average” person.  In many cases a custom orthotic is much more effective because they are designed specifically to meet your individual needs.  It is also important that you get the right custom orthotic for you.

Custom Orthotics Newmarket

Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into the skin at precise points known as acupuncture points.

Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain and spinal cord. Endorphins are actually chemicals produced within our own bodies and are almost identical to morphine. These chemicals mimic morphine by attaching to opiate receptor sites found throughout the nervous system.

Endorphins help to block pain pathways that relay pain messages from the body to the brain, resulting in relief of pain, general relaxation and biochemical restoration of the body’s own internal regulation systems.

An office visit will last from 15 to 30 minutes.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic care focuses on restoring and maintaining the health of your joints, muscles and nerves through the use of an adjustment. A spinal adjustment can restore normal movement, relieve pain and stimulate higher function of your brain and nervous system resulting in a renewed sense of vitality. Chiropractors practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.