Category Archives: injuries

lower body injuries prevention Oakville Mississauga

Your Guide to Lower Body Injuries

1. ACL Injury

What is it? The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the strongest ligaments in your knee that provides stability, and prevents excessive forward and rotational movement. During injury it can be stretched, partial torn or fully torn.
Why does it happen? These injuries are caused by abnormal movement patterns during sidestepping or landing tasks with increased knee valgus motion and/or increased internal tibial rotation.
How do you prevent it? Focus on strengthening the core muscles, hip abductors and hip external rotators in order to prevent excessive knee valgus and/or internal tibial rotation. For example, loop a band around your stance leg (above the knee) and tie it to a stationary object so that the resistance of the band pulls the leg inward. Try to maintain that stance leg in neutral alignment (don’t let the knee cave in). Slowly lower yourself into a single leg squat position. Only go as far as you can with proper control of the leg. Repeat 10-15 repetitions for 2 sets.

2. Ankle Sprain

What is it? The ankle is made up of a series of ligaments that connect the bones and provide stability. Injury to the ankle can stretch or tear one or several of these ligaments.
Why does it happen? 50% of soccer related ankle injuries occur during contact with another player; otherwise it occurs during twisting, tackling or kicking. Have you already sprained your ankle? If so, you are 5x more likely to sprain it again.
How do you prevent it? Work on balance and proprioceptive exercises. Step/lunge onto a bosu (or pillow) from different angles. Repeat 10-15 repetitions per leg. As it gets easier you can progress to bounding onto the bosu and holding for control.

3. Achilles Tendonitis

What is it? Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and the soleus) to the heel bone.
Why does it happen? It is highly vulnerable to injury given the high amounts of tension put on it during sports. It can also be injured due to improper warm-up, muscle imbalances or poor footwear.
How do you prevent it? Strengthen your calves. Balance on a step and rise up onto your toes, then slowly lower yourself back down. Repeat 10-15 times for 2 sets. As it gets easier you can progress to doing one leg at a time.

4. Adductor Strain

What is it? The adductors are a group of muscles in the inner thigh that work together to stabilize the pelvis and move the hip. Injury usually involves a strain to one or more of these muscles.
Why does it happen? Kicking, changing direction and reaching put a large eccentric force on the adductor muscles, which puts them at risk for injury. Adductor strains are usually due to overuse and muscle imbalance.
How do you prevent it? Perform the Copenhagen adduction exercise. In a side plank position, rest on your elbow, raise your top leg and rest it on a bench. Your lower leg starts at the ground and you raise it towards your top leg. Slowly repeat 6-15 reps per side for 3 sets.

5. Hamstring Injury

What is it? The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles at the back of your leg that help with hip and knee movements. Injury can involve a strain to the muscle or a full tear.
Why does it happen? Injury usually happens due to the high loads placed on the hamstrings during kicking and sprinting.
How do you prevent it? The Nordic hamstring exercise is one of the most widely used exercises to prevent hamstring injuries. Start from a kneeling position. Use a partner to hold your ankles or hook your feet under something heavy. Engage your core and hamstrings and slowly move forward towards the ground. Keep your hands ready to assume a push-up position. When your hands reach the ground push yourself back up. Try to go slow on the way down with control. Repeat 6-10 times for 2 sets.

If you’re looking for a sports medicine clinic in the Oakville and Mississauga area to treat your current injuries or help put together a program to prevent future injuries, contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at 905-849-4576.

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Balancing Injury Prevention and Performance Gains

Balancing Injury Prevention and Performance Gains

Every athlete wants to train in order to improve their performance, while at the same time decreasing their risk of injury. Is it possible that certain exercises can kill two birds with one stone? Current research has shown that balance training exercises may do just that.

Balance exercises can prevent injuries, with research proving that poor balance is a major risk factor for lower body injuries. Balance exercises have long been shown to decrease the risk of ankle injures by 35-50%. Furthermore, balance training is also beneficial in preventing knee injuries, especially to the ACL. Balance training isn’t just for athletes, the elderly can also reduce their risk of falls with a few simple exercises.

More recently, balance training has been proven to improve athletic performance/motor skills across a number of different sports. For example, research has shown that balance exercises improve:

  • Rifle shooting accuracy;
  • Ice hockey maximum speed;
  • Luge start speed;
  • Vertical jumps;
  • Overall agility;
  • Shuttle run times

How Much, How Often, and Which Exercises?

There are endless possibilities of exercises an athlete can choose from. Generally speaking, balance training would begin on a stable surface and progress to unstable surfaces (i.e., bosu ball, balance discs, trampolines, etc.). One can begin with holding a position and progress to destabilization (ball throwing/catching, strengthening exercises, external perturbations by a partner). See our video below which integrates balance with hand-eye coordination.

Hand-eye coordination with lower body exercises. #thinkoutsidethebox #proprio #proprioception #exercise #balance #highleveltraining

Posted by Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic on Friday, February 9, 2018

Athletes can begin with their eyes open and progress to eyes closed. Likewise, beginning with a double leg stance and progress to a single leg stance. Ideally, the exercises should eventually be sport specific. See our video below on balance progression for a high level hockey player.

High level proprioception drills for hockey. An important part of lower quadrant rehab. #sheddon #sheddonphysio #sportsphysiotherapy #sportstherapy #physio #chiro #physiotherapy #physicaltherapy #sports #injury #injurymanagement #rehab #chiropractic #oakvilleontario #burlington #mississauga #healthybody #stretch #hockey #ohl #kneepain

Posted by Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic on Monday, February 5, 2018

Research has shown the best results occur when balance training is done 2-3x/week, 10-15 minute at a time, for at least 3-4 months. Also, the younger you start working on balance with athletes the better.

If you want to learn more about balance exercises, chat with one of the therapists at SPSC for more information.

Brachman et al., (2017). Balance training programs in athletes – a systematic review. Journal of Human Kinetics. 58, 1,
Hrysomallis et al., (2011). Balance Ability and Athletic Performance. Sports Medicine. 41,3,221-232.

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No pain back Sheddon Physio Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Healthier Backs for Back to School

It’s that time of year when students aged 5-25 head back into the classroom. Unfortunately, the majority of students spend their time sitting for long periods and lugging heavy backpacks to and from school and different classes. This combination puts students at an increased risk for neck, shoulder and back injuries. 23% of elementary kids and 33% of high school kids complain of back pain. Individuals (of all ages) who spend most of their time sitting are 30% more at risk for back injuries. The most common risk factor for injury is bad posture! “Slouching” leads to a forward head posture and rounded back/shoulders, which increases tension in the muscles, stress on the ligaments and joints, and increased compressive forces in the spine. The goal of this article is to provide some valuable tips for students (and their parents who likely sit all day as well) in order to develop better postural habits at school AND home (good posture isn’t just for the classroom; it’s also important while playing video games, texting, etc.).


Students, especially as they get older, spend a large portion of their day seated at a desk. Unfortunately, school classrooms are not designed ergonomically for different body types. Younger children may have their feet dangling in the air as they sit on chairs too high for them, while taller teenagers are crammed into a small desk. While you can’t do much about the furniture at school, here are some tips about what you can change:

  • Avoid slouching – see image below;

Sitting Back Posture Sheddon Physio Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

  • It’s hard to stay in perfect posture ALL the time, so cheat a little. Roll up a sweater and stuff it behind your lower back to help support your back and make your muscles work less;
  • Try to sit with both feet on the ground with equal weight through both sides (try not to cross your ankles/legs or sit with all your weight leaning to one side);
  • What does good posture feel and look like? Take grandmas advice, “walk/sit with a book on your head.” I challenge you to grab a paperback and try this from a slouched position and then with good posture. It works, and will give you a feel for how you should be sitting;
  • Get up and move around when you can. Obviously don’t disrupt the class, but if a break is given and the opportunity arises to get out of your chair, take advantage of it;
  • At home (and at school, if possible), look at your setup and see what you can change. Is your chair at a good height? Is your desk at a good height? Obviously most classrooms are pretty standard, but at home you can make adjustments to your chair and/or desk;
  • Use a standing workstation, if possible.


Despite the push for a paperless society, backpacks still get crammed with a ton of stuff. Heavy backpacks can put a lot of strain on the neck and shoulders, as well as excessive loading on the spine. Some of the more stylish bags aren’t necessarily the most practical. What should you look for in a good backpack?

  • Lightweight – a fully loaded backpack (lunch, books, supplies, etc.) should not weigh more than 10-15% of the students body weight;
  • Make sure the backpack has two padded straps. Crossbody, handbags, and/or carrying the bag on one shoulder increases the chance of strain on the shoulder, neck and upper back;
  • Make sure the straps are adjustable. Shorter straps exert less pressure on the back.
  • Look for wider straps (i.e., 5 cm) that distribute the weight more evenly;
  • The upper border of the bag should not be higher that the shoulder, and the lower border should not reach the hip bone.

The school year is just beginning, so get off to a healthy start. If you have any questions about postural exercises, or would like your child to have a postural assessment, talk with one of the therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic, and they can assess posture and provide appropriate exercises.

Poursadeghiyan et al., (2017). The effects of the manner of carrying the bags on musculoskeletal symptoms in school students in the city of IIam, Iran. Annals of Tropical Medicne and Public Health. 10,3,600-605.

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Are Your Smart Devices Being Stupid???

Injuries from technology are more common than most people realize. “Wiiitis” and “Blackberry Thumb” are on the rise. While technologies such as Blackberries, Wii and Laptops have added convenience and entertainment to many people’s lives, they are also creating an influx of overuse injuries in many adults and children.

Many physical therapy clinics, like Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic in Oakville, Ontario have seen an increase in patients with overuse injuries as a result of technology.
“People are addicted to their handheld devices, and both adults and children are seeking medical treatment for their pain,” Says Dana Clark PT, FCAMT, clinic manager of Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic. “Daily use of computers, phones, PDAs and video games can cause pain, swelling and repetitive strain to the musculoskeletal system, because the body was not designed for this type of activity.”

Other symptoms of technology addiction can include carpal tunnel syndrome, tingling of the hands and fingers, neck pain, back pain and eyesight strain.

Overuse injuries from technology are not just limited to adults. Children are also spending more time using handheld communication devices and computers. However, while adults typically use a computer sitting at a desk, children often work on the computer in different postures, such as sitting on the bed or lying on the floor.

“Many of these postures cause extreme strain on the neck as kids look at the screen. Low back pain is also common from being unsupported while they play,” says Clark. “The medical community at large is concerned that overuse injuries in children could lead to pain and poor posture as they grow into adulthood.”

Clark offers the following tips to help mitigate and prevent overuse injuries from technology:
1. About 20 to 30 minutes of game playing is appropriate. Individuals should listen to the warning clues on the video games and take a break. Wii sports have clues built in. They should also take breaks from the computer, Blackberry or PDA at least every 15-20 minutes.

2. Technology users should stretch their wrists, elbows and shoulders throughout the day, both when they are using the device and when they’re not.

3. Individuals should be aware of ergonomics at workstations, making sure they are sitting in good postures with their arms supported, feet on the floor and hips and knees bent to 90 degrees.

4. If an injury occurs, an individual should ice the painful area and begin strengthening exercises when the pain subsides.

Feel Free to Contact us if you have any Questions or Comments.

By Dana Clark