Smartphone use is now more prominent than ever in our daily lives, especially amongst teens and young adults. According to a recent report, the average adult spent 3.5 hours on handheld devices (smartphones, tablets) daily. What’s worse, that trend is expected to increase even more in the next few years.
As you might have guessed, spending so much time on our phones puts excessive stress on our necks, as we tend to tilt our head forward and down to look at our device. A 2015 study lays out the degree to which this happens: when our head is directly on top of the shoulders, it puts 10 to 12 lbs on the neck, but when we tilt our heads down just 15 degrees, it increases to 27 lbs, and can even reach 60 lbs when tilting down 60 degrees.
Spending hours upon hours in that position applies constant strain and can lead to various neck and shoulder pains now commonly referred to as “text neck”. What’s even more alarming is that many of those conditions, if untreated, can become chronic and follow you for some time.
Luckily, there are things you can do to alleviate, or even proactively prevent developing “text neck” pains. Here are just a few suggestions:
We sometimes hear people saying that they are “too old” to start exercising. After all, some believe it’s common knowledge that we “can’t build muscle” as easily as we get older. While there may be some truth to that notion, it is far from an excuse to not partake in regular exercise. Let’s dive in deeper and explain:
As we near our 70s and 80s, it generally becomes harder to accomplish day to day tasks. Taking on an exercise program focused on functional tasks can help maintain or improve our independence through our everyday life.
Furthermore, there are even more benefits to engaging in regular exercise as we age, such as:
One barrier to exercise is that we might get the wrong idea that exercise needs to be something very exhaustive when in fact, you might already be doing activities that count towards your weekly exercise goals. These might include walking, gardening, mowing the lawn, or shovelling snow. More intense exercise can include fast or Nordic walking and water aerobics, among other options. In the end, the best exercise is one that you enjoy doing and motivates you to move.
With that in mind, we hope see you exercising well into your retirement. If you have questions or would like to improve your ability to accomplish day to day activities, give us a call and book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists!
Many people have suffered from knee pain at least once in their life, while some suffer more frequently from knee osteoarthritis (OA). In an attempt to prevent faster knee degeneration, many people mistakenly avoid high impact activities for their knees - most frequently running.
Interestingly, however, running may in fact have quite the opposite effect on our knees. The repeated impact on our knees while running has actually been found to be beneficial! Repeated stress applied to the bones and cartilage in the knee (such as with running) creates tiny micro-tears, to which our body naturally responds by strengthening and solidifying our tissues. Research has demonstrated that recreational running decreases the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knees and hips (1).
However, the jury is still out on the effects of running for those already afflicted by osteoarthritis, . While it was previously thought that running may worsen symptoms, a recent research study suggests the opposite (2). While this may be good news for arthritis-afflicted runners, further research is needed.
So with this wave of beautiful weather approaching, we hope that you’ll be encouraged to take up running this year! If you ran the previous years, take a minute to read our post about getting back in the swing of things this summer without injuring yourself.
1. The Association of Recreational and Competitive Running With Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Eduard Alentorn-Geli, Kristian Samuelsson, Volker Musahl, Cynthia L. Green, Mohit Bhandari, and Jón Karlsson. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2017) 47:6, 373-3902.
2. Running does not increase symptoms or structural progression in people with knee osteoarthritis: data from the osteoarthritis initiative. Lo, G.H., Musa, S.M., Driban, J.B. et al. Clin Rheumatol (2018) 37: 2497. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10067-018-4121-3
March 15th is World Sleep Day! Who doesn’t like to sleep in on the weekend? Or wish they had an extra hour or two to sleep in Monday morning? Chances are, you’re more than familiar with those feelings, as most of us are. This is why it’s so important to discuss the impact of proper sleeping habits on our general health.
As health professionals, physiotherapists constantly promote better sleep habits to our clients, as it plays an incredibly important role in injury recovery and pain levels. Andrew Koppejan, a registered physiotherapist in Alberta, even wrote a book about the impacts of sleep and how to integrate it in our practice.
A few points from his book that may surprise some:
Poor sleep negatively impacts the symptoms of inflammatory diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis).
With those in mind, why not take a moment to think about our own sleeping habits? There is no better time to tackle this than today on World Sleep Day! Here are a few tips to get you started.
We’ve all seen more than our fair share of snow these last couples of weeks. As a consequence of all that snow, as physiotherapists, we’ve also seen our fair share back and shoulder injuries resulting from shoveling.
Here are a few quick tips to make sure you get through this deluge of snow free from injuries:
Today we're debunking 6 common misconceived notions about physiotherapy. Check them out below and get the real facts!
Knowing you're doing the right exercise for whatever muscle group your trying to target is important! Otherwise, you could be wasting your time or possibly causing yourself further problems or injuries.
If you're looking to get your glutes firing, or looking to get those quads and hamstrings beefed up, check out this picture to see what exercises are best at targeting the knee versus the hip.
To kick start this great month ahead of us, we want to share a list of 10 facts about physiotherapy that you may not know!
1. Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy are the same thing. The term Physiotherapy is commonly used here in Canada, whereas our neighbours south of the border more commonly use the term “physical therapy.”
2. You don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist. In Canada, you have direct access to physiotherapy services without needing a physician’s referral. However, some insurance companies may still require a prescription to cover expenses.
3. Physiotherapy has been around for decades! Physicians like Hippocrates and Galen were viewed as some of the first practitioners of physical therapy, dating all the way back to 460 BC. Physiotherapy was first established in Canada just after World War I to treat returning soldiers from injuries sustained in combat.
4. Physiotherapy isn’t the science of machines. Physiotherapy is the study and treatment of movement and strength, so it should be obvious that machines don’t need to be involved!
Spring has finally decided to show up! It may be a little over a month late, but we’re glad to see the sun come out, the days get warmer, and signs of nature popping back up in the neighbourhood. The warm and sunny months of spring and summer are the perfect time to go outside, get active, and enjoy nature. Whether it’s joining a sports team or club like the Ottawa Tennis & Lawn Bowling club, enjoying a run outside along the river, or getting some work done out in the yard, living an active lifestyle in the summer can be enjoyable.
Safe to say there’s nothing worse than an injury to put a damper on your summer plans. However, with increased activity and exercise comes a higher risk of injuring ourselves.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 simple tips to stay safe and injury-free this summer so that you can make the most of our fleeting months of sunshine and warmth.
What is a concussion
The most common type of traumatic brain injury, a concussion is caused by a direct or indirect impact to the head. The brain, suspended in fluid within the skull, moves rapidly back and forth causing bruising, damage to blood vessels within the brain, and injury to the nerves of the brain.
This results in the brain having difficulty functioning and processing information appropriately. Being the operation centre of the body, the signs and symptoms can vary drastically for each case.
Because of this, concussions can be difficult to diagnose. However, some signs and symptoms and more common and should be used to help identify a possible concussion.
Identifying a concussion
If you suspect a concussion, whether you’re an athlete, a parent, a coach, or an onlooker – it’s important to speak out and seek the appropriate help.
Recovering from a concussion
In many cases, full recovery from a concussion will take 2-4 weeks. During this time, the brain is expending energy to recover from the injury and recalibrating blood flow, chemical balances, nerve conduction, and sensory input.
During this initial recovery period, it’s important to slowly and delicately expose yourself to stimuli while staying within a range that does not overexert the brain.
It's estimated that 10-30% of people who have sustained a concussion suffer from post-concussion syndrome, where signs or symptoms persist for months or even years following the original injury. With appropriate treatment, which includes physiotherapy treatment, full recovery can often be achieved.
Function Physiotherapy is pleased to offer specialized treatment for post-concussion syndrome signs and symptoms including headaches, dizziness, double vision, blurry vision, light and noise sensitivity, and much more. Treatments are tailored and provided by our specially trained physiotherapists in our concussion room. Our concussion room is meant to provide the most comfort possible to our clients featuring adjustable, dim lighting and sound proofing.
If you have questions about physiotherapy for post-concussion syndrome, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us now at 613-680-6505.