Category Archives: old

The Sticky Truth Behind Kinesio Tape

Kinesio tape, that colourful elastic athletic tape, has been used for over a decade in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. It probably became most popular after the 2008 Olympics, where it was donated to team therapists, which resulted in almost every athlete using it. The majority of the people who have used this tape LOVE it! However, the research on the effectiveness of the tape isn’t so wonderful. There have been hundreds of research studies done on kinesio tape, so we’ll examine some of the more recent systematic reviews that outline what exactly the tape has been proven to achieve.

How the tape works

Kinesio tape is different from regular white athletic tape because it is flexible and 20160217_141404allows for full range of motion, (and it looks a lot cooler). Below are the main functions of kinesio tape:

  • Decrease pain;
  • Improve range of motion;
  • Increase proprioception;
  • Correct joint alignment;
  • Improve swelling and lymphatic drainage;
  • Facilitate or inhibit muscles

In order to achieve any of the desired effects above, the tape MUST be properly applied, including the direction of pull of the tape and the amount of tension applied.

What does the research say?

  • Overall, most studies show that kinesio taping for pain reduction, function and proprioception is better than no treatment, yet it is no better or worse than other traditional treatment options (Choon Wyn Lim et al., 2015)
  • Good support for reduction of pain in individuals with musculoskeletal injuries, (Montalvo et al., 2014)
  • Some support that it may improve painfree range of motion (Taylor et al., 2014).
  • Some support that it may help correct alignment i.e., patellar tracking (Barton et al., 2013).
  • Inconclusive support for improved swelling and lymphatic drainage (Kalron et al., 2013).
  • No support for the facilitation of muscle strength. A review of 19 studies that examined if kinesio tape increases muscle strength or facilitates muscle contraction showed no difference compared to a control group (Csapo et al., 2015).
  • A lot of the research discusses a potential placebo effect to help explain the benefits of kinesio tape

Take home message:

Kinesio tape is inexpensive, noninvasive, and has little to no side effects (there is a potential for skin irritation). Therefore, it is a safe and effective treatment option for pain relief, improvement in range of motion and correction of joint alignment. Future research may show beneficial effects on swelling, lymphatic drainage and facilitation of muscles.

References:

Choon Wyn Lim et al. (2015). Kinesio taping in musculoskeletal pain and disability that lasts for more than 4 weeks: Is it time to peel off the tape and throw it out with the sweat? A systematic review with meta-analysis focused on pain and also methods of tape application. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 

Montalvo, E. Cara and G. Myer. Effect of kinesiology taping on pain in individuals with musculoskeletal injuries: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Physician and Sports Medicine.  2014. Vol 42. Issue 2. P. 48-52.

Taylor et al. (2014). A Scoping Review of the use of Elastic Therapeutic Tape for Neck and Upper Extremity Conditions. Journal of Hand Therapy.

Barton, et al. (2014). Patellar taping for patellofemoral pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate clinical outcomes and biomechanical mechanisms. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(6), 417-424.

Kalron and S. Bar-Sela. A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Kinesio Taping-Fact or Fasion? European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2013. Vol. 49. Issue 5. P. 699-709.

Csapo et al. (2015). Effects of Kinesio taping on skeletal muscle strength – a meta-analysis of current evidence. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18(4), 450-456.

Book Your Appointment

Questions? Contact us

Keeping Young Athletes Injury-Free

Physical activity and sport are fundamental for child development. Unfortunately, engaging in sports is also the number one cause of injury in children. Research has shown that the majority of sports injuries in youth are in the 10-14 year-old age group, and males are more often at a higher risk. Soccer and hockey are the most popular sports across Canada, which may explain why they have consistently been shown to have the most injuries. It is estimated that 30% of school aged children will suffer a sports related injury each year, which will lead to a loss of time in sport, school and the unfortunate cost of treating the injury. As such, research efforts have focused on prevention programs targeted towards young athletes.

Why do Children get Injured?

  1. They are not fully developed and generally have muscle imbalances;
  2. Growing bodies are more vulnerable to stresses;
  3. Younger children are less coordinated and have slower reaction times;
  4. Many children do not have the complex motor skills required for certain sports;
  5. Children develop at different rates and there may be a drastic size difference in athletes playing at the same level;
  6. Higher demand for specialization in one sport early on.

Injury Prevention Strategies:

  • Proper warm up: check out the FIFA11 warm up program which has been shown to reduce injuries by 30-50%;
  • Play multiple sports in order to develop a broad range of fundamental motor skills;
  • Proper technique: a little league pitcher consistently pitching with poor technique will eventually lead to injury. Ensure that coaches and trainers are properly trained and teaching children proper form and technique;
  • Proper equipment: Protective equipment and sporting gear needs to fit properly to do its job;
  • Exercise Based Injury Prevention Programs: Current research on injury prevention in young athletes has focused on exercise based programs. The majority of injuries in sport occurs during cutting, landing, and quick changes in direction. Therefore, plyometric and proprioceptive exercises are the most beneficial in preventing injuries, since they train the body to perform these movements with perfect form. A systematic review of exercise-based injury prevention programs showed the following findings:
    • Girls benefited significantly more that boys;
    • Lower skilled athletes benefited significantly more than higher trained athletes;
    • They are beneficial if completed pre-season or in-season;
    • Resulted in an injury reduction of 46% across sports.

Take Home Message:

The most beneficial injury prevention strategy is exercise-based programs focusing on proprioception and plyometric drills. These exercise programs should be implemented across all youth sports in order to improve overall fitness, performance and prevention of injury.

Fridman et al., (2013). Epidemiology of sports related injuries in children and youth presenting to Canadian emergency departments from 2007-2010. BMC Sports Science, Medicine, and Rehabilitation.

Rossler et al., (2014). Exercise-Based Iinjury Prevention in Child and Adolescent Sport: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine. 1733-1748.

Book Your Appointment

Questions? Contact us

When and Why to Brace an Injury

Braces are available for a number of different injuries. Bracing has been shown to decrease pain, improve function, reduce swelling, and psychologically provide more confidence in the injured body part. However, how do you know when it would be appropriate to use a brace? Below we will discuss the benefits of bracing and address some common questions about using a brace.

Prevention of injury:

There is some research which has examined whether bracing a non-injured joint will prevent injuries. Studies have looked mainly at knee and ankle bracing in sports such as soccer and football in order to shed light on whether or not it helps prevent injuries such as ACL, MCL and lateral ankle sprains. Overall, the evidence is controversial, with studies suggesting that it may only be effective in certain positions in football, while being most effective for individuals with prior injuries.

Post-injury:

Braces are used most often following an injury to:

  1. Limit movement;
  2. Provide compression to help with swelling;
  3. Reduce pain;
  4. Provide support;
  5. Provide proprioception (increase awareness of the joint);
  6. Increase confidence as the athlete will feel more secure and stable

Common Injuries that bracing can help:

  • Tennis elbow;
  • Ankle sprain: Research has shown that an ankle brace post injury can decrease the chance of reinjury by 71%;
  • Patellar tracking;
  • ACL/MCL/LCL/PCL knee injuries;
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee: Research has shown that bracing to unload an arthritic knee joint is effective in decreasing pain, joint stiffness and medication use. It also improves proprioception, balance and function;
  • Wrist injuries (i.e., carpal tunnel syndrome)

Common questions about bracing:

  • Will a brace make my muscles lazy and weak? 

Studies have shown that long-term use of a brace has no negative effect on muscle strength, function or proprioception. A recent study examined the use of wearing a knee brace for 7 hours daily over a 6-12 week period, and actually found an increase in quadriceps strength and decreased muscle inhibition after the 6 week period (Callaghan et al., 2016).

  • Will a brace hinder my performance?

As long as the brace fits properly and isn’t too bulky, it shouldn’t have a negative impact on sport performance. Research has shown ankle and knee braces do not impede vertical jump, speed tasks or dynamic balance. However, studies do mention a “break in” period, lasting roughly 3 days, in which initially athletes will have a decrease in performance as they get used to the brace. 

  • Is it worth the extra money to get a custom brace?

If an off-the-shelf brace doesn’t fit properly, then your best option is a custom brace. A brace that is too tight or too loose won’t be able to work properly.

  • Will my insurance cover the cost of the brace?

Most braces are covered under extended health care plans. In most cases, in order for an insurance company to cover the cost of the brace, you will need a doctor’s note stating that the brace is for daily wear (a brace intended just for sport, may not be covered).

The staff at Sheddon is knowledgeable in different bracing options and since we carry a large selection of different brands and styles, we can better determine which brace would best suit your needs. If you have any questions about bracing, please ask your Sheddon Therapist for more information.

Callaghan et al., (2016). The effect of knee braces on quadriceps strength and inhibition in subjects with patellofemoral osteoarthritis. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy.

Margarita et al., (2010). A systematic review on the effectiveness of external ankle supports in the prevention of inversion ankle sprains among elite and recreational players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

Raja et al., (2010). Efficacy of knee braces and foot orthoses in conservative management of knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Book Your Appointment

Questions? Contact us

Sheddon Physio is The Preferred Clinic of the OSC

Preferred Clinic of OSC

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic is proud to be part of the Oakville Soccer Club as the preferred Sports Medicine Clinic for its competitive players, coaches and trainers.
The partnership between the OSC and Sheddon has been in the works for the past year. As a result, both the OSC and Sheddon understand the importance of injury prevention, player protection, and the long-term goal to work cohesively for the betterment of every player on the team. Sheddon will be playing an active role in working with coaches, trainers, players and families in order to provide preventative education as well as a safe and effective return to sport.

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic has been treating athletes of all ages and levels in the Oakville community for the past 10 years. We are one of the biggest, full-service sports clinics in the Halton region. Our multidisciplinary team of highly trained professionals includes sports medicine physicians, physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, athletic therapists and pedorthists. Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic offers a wide range of services, from preventive care focusing on muscle imbalances, movement impairments and overall sports conditioning, to injury recovery, which includes the most up-to-date treatments and modalities that allow for faster healing and a quicker/safer return to sport.

_MG_74962_MG_7625

Why choose Sheddon?

  • Injury Prevention: Our clinic takes pride in its ongoing efforts to prevent injury through education, exercises and constant communication with the OSC and trainers;
  • Concussion Baseline Testing and Management: Sheddon offers one of the most comprehensive concussion programs in Canada. Click here to learn more;
  • Availability: Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic offers extended hours during the weekday, as well as weekend appointments;
  • Accessibility: Strong network of therapists, including a Sports medicine physician who can expedite medical investigations.

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic is looking forward to our relationship with the OSC players through injury prevention, recovery and overall sports performance. Our staff understands the unique requirements of the soccer athlete, as some of our therapists have worked soccer coverage at the Pan Am games, as well as with Team Canada. In addition, many therapists at Sheddon are still actively involved in playing soccer in their spare time, and therefore have a better understanding of the sport.

_MG_74862_MG_76822

In the upcoming months, stay tuned for our articles on:

  • ACL injury prevention,
  • Achilles strain/rupture,
  • concussion education,
  • sports hernia, and
  • ankle injuries.

In the meantime, if you have any injuries that you would like to consult on, please do not hesitate to contact us. Click here for contact information.

Book Your Appointment

Questions? Contact us

 

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: Is it worth all the hype?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: Is it worth all the hype?

Tendon and muscle injuries are some of the most common orthopaedic conditions treated in physiotherapy. There is a wide variety of treatment options for these injuries including physical therapy, medications, and different modalities. In recent years, platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy has become the miracle injection that a lot of athletes are praising for their quick return to sport following injury.

PRP therapy involves drawing blood from the patient, which is then placed in a centrifuge, a machine that separates the different blood cells. The platelet rich portion is then injected into the area of injury, which should stimulate the healing of tissue. With all the hype around this therapy, recent research has focused on whether or not it actually works. Three meta-analyses done by Andia et al., (2014), Sheth et al., (2012) and De Vos et al., (2010) examined whether PRP injections were beneficial in treating tendinopathy of the shoulder, elbow, knee, plantar fascia or Achilles.
Their results consistently demonstrated that PRP injections were found to be no more effective in improving quality of life, pain, and/or function when compared to a control group.
Despite the negative findings, all the researchers agreed that the evidence is limited because of the poor quality of the available studies. Improving the methodology in future studies may help support the use of PRP therapy. If you’re suffering from a tendon or muscle injury and think a PRP injection will get you back on your feet quickly, it’s probably best to save your money and first explore physiotherapy that utilizes treatments that have strong evidence, such as low level laser and eccentric exercise programs, before considering a more expensive PRP therapy.

Andia I, et al. Platelet rich plasma in the conservative treatment of painful tendinopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled studies. British Medical Bulletin 2014;110:99-115.
De Vos RJ, et al. Autologous growth factor injections in chronic tendinopathy : A systematic review. British Medical Bulletin 2010; 95:63-77.
Sheth U, et al. Efficacy of autologous platelet rich plasma use for orthopaedic indications: A meta-analysis. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2012; 94 (4):298-307.