Tag Archives: athletes

Balancing Injury Prevention and performance 2018 Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

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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sport medicine clinic oakville mississauga

SPSC: A Sports Medicine Clinic for ALL Athletes

In every profession there are individuals and companies that are passionate about what they do, while others just seem to go through the motions. When you’re searching for a Sports Medicine Clinic you need to do a bit of research and find one that offers it all.  They do exist; great therapists, flexible hours, expertise, and a commitment to work with you in order to get you better. Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic takes pride in offering patients the best care they deserve. How is Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic different from every other physiotherapy clinic in Oakville/Mississauga?

Expertise/Level of Therapists

At SPSC, our mission is to offer the most up-to-date treatments by some of the best therapists in the Halton region. All of our therapists have completed extensive post-graduate education across a variety of specialties, including concussion rehabilitation, acupuncture and several other manual therapy courses. All of us at SPSC are committed to providing the most effective treatment possible.

Multi-disciplinary Team

SPSC offers expertise in Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Athletic Therapy, Massage Therapy, Pedorthists and Sports Medicine Physicians. Having all these disciplines under one roof makes it more convenient for patients, and easier for therapists, to collaborate and communicate together in order to provide a more thorough approach to your rehabilitation. Having a Sports Medicine Physician on site is also a huge bonus, as they work with our therapists to help manage patients, guide rehabilitation and facilitate referrals to specialists, diagnostic testing, etc.

Focus on Sports Injuries and Athletes

Treating athletes is a whole different ballgame. At SPSC, we have been treating athletes of all ages and levels, including clientele from a variety of major sports teams and organizations, such as the TFC, NHL, OHL, national level swimmers, runners and Olympic athletes for over 10 years. We understand the demands and needs of athletes and strive to get them back to their sport as quickly and as safely as possible.

Team-Based Therapy

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic works with teams and individual athletes throughout their entire season, coordinating with coaches, trainers, as well as strength and conditioning specialists to ensure that everyone working with the athlete is on the same page. During preseason our therapists play an important role evaluating strength, flexibility, stability and balance to identify limitations, asymmetries and inefficient movement patterns, which may lead to injury during the season. Early identification of weaknesses, tightness, poor stability or inefficient patterns could help prevent future injuries, as each athlete is given an individualized exercise program to target their weaknesses. During the competitive season, SPSC plays a vital role in managing and rehabilitating any athlete who sustains an injury and guiding their safe return to sport. Our therapists stay in communication with the coaches and training staff to ensure that they are aware of the athletes progress and limitations.

Concussion Management

Concussion management programs have become a major focus in sports medicine clinics, due to increased public awareness and recognition of concussions. Our therapists at SPSC have undergone extensive training with the Complete Concussion Management program in order to be educated with the most up-to-date concussion management strategies. In addition, we have successfully treated hundreds of sport-related concussions and have a network of specialists, including sports medicine physicians, vestibular physiotherapists, chiropractors and athletic therapists. We also offer the most comprehensive and research proven concussion baseline testing of any sports medicine clinic in the Mississauga and Oakville area. If you want to organize a time for your team or group of athletes to come in and get their concussion baseline tests completed, we do offer significantly discounted rates for teams and/or groups.

If you are looking for a Sports Medicine Clinic in the Oakville and Mississauga area that has great therapists AND will get you results quickly,  contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at (905) 849-4576.

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volleyball athlete injury prevention

Train Smarter for Injury Prevention

Athletes of all ages and skill levels are being pressured with more and more commitments regarding training, practices, games and tournaments. Back in the day, extra skill development, strength and conditioning, and mental skill training were reserved for “elite” athletes. Nowadays, all athletes want that competitive edge. In order to improve fitness and skill development, athletes need to push their training to greater limits. If an athlete “under trains” they risk injury due to being under prepared. If an athlete “over trains”, they risk injury due to fatigue and overuse. The key is finding the “perfect” amount of training AND recovery in order to achieve the optimal training benefits, without risk of injury. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” training program, as each athlete responds differently to training, based on internal and external factors. The tips below will help coaches, trainers, parents and athletes train smarter for optimal performance benefits:

1. Periodization: A poorly managed training and competition schedule can increase risk of injury, if training isn’t well planned throughout the season. For example, injuries are most likely to occur following repetitive and rapid increases in training intensity, frequency or duration, especially if the training greatly exceeds the fitness level of the athlete. While it is okay to train hard and push athletes, coaches/trainers need to be mindful of how the athletes are responding. A hard training week, resulting in athlete fatigue, should not be followed by an even harder week. Athletes need time to recover and adapt.

2. Offseason Conditioning: Ensure adequate off-season and pre-season physical/psychological training so that athletes are in top shape when the season begins.

3. Recovery: Following intense training periods and tournaments athletes will have a temporary decrease in physical performance, neuromuscular control and muscular strength that can take up to 5 days to return to baseline levels. In addition, muscular fatigue from cumulative training days will compromise coordination, decision making and joint stability, all of which can lead to acute injuries, such as ACL tears. Recovery days are key to building stronger athletes.

4. Monitoring: Athletes need to be monitored in terms of physical performance, emotional well-being, stress and fatigue. This can be easily achieved with training logs and monthly questionnaires, and training should be adjusted accordingly.

5. Injury surveillance: Overuse injuries need to be caught early in order to avoid prolonged time off sport. As such, monitor your athletes for changes in performance and compensatory patterns, since most athletes will ignore early signs of injury.

6. Emotional well-being: Psychological stress has been shown to increase muscle tension, narrow the visual field and lead to increase distractibility, all of which can increase risk of injury. Be aware of athletes’ mental state (anxiety, stress, nervousness), as it plays a huge role in injury susceptibility. Provide a supportive and strong social support network within the team, including players, coaches and trainers.

7. Healthy behaviours: Training hard in the gym and on the field is only one piece of the puzzle. Athletes need to be aware of the importance of adequate sleep and nutrition.

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic has a team of athletic therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists and sports medicine doctors who can help get you back on the field healthy and pain-free. If you’re looking for a sports medicine clinic in the Oakville and Mississauga area that has great therapists AND will get you results quickly, contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at 905-849-4576.

Soligard et al., (2016). How much is too much? International Olympic Commttee consensus statement on load in sport and risk of injury. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 50:17.

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Achilles tendon injury recovery 2016 Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Growing Pains

Osgood Schlatters, Severs and Sinding Larsen Johansson diseases are common adolescent conditions that people think of when they hear of injuries affecting young rapidly growing athletes. However, traumatic injuries, such as ACL tears and overuse injuries, such as stress fractures, are also more prevelant during the adolescent growth spurt. Many adolescent athletes are specializing in sport earlier and are engaging in year round training. How can you make sure that your young athletes can continue to train during this vulnerable stage of development without suffering from injury?

Physiological changes during the Adolescent Growth Spurt

  • Hormonal changes, such as an increase in estrogen in girls, has been shown to potentially lead to increases in ligament laxity, and therefore decrease joint stability;
  • The bones are growing faster than the muscles can adapt in terms of flexibility and strength, which puts a lot of stress on the muscle-tendon junctions, bone-tendon junctions, ligaments and growth cartilage;
  • Increased risk of growth plate injury due to decreased physeal strength during this time;
  • Increases in height lead to a higher center of mass, which makes muscular control of the body and balance more challenging;
  • Bone mineralization lags behind bone linear growth, which makes the bone more fragile to injury;
  •  “Adolescent Awkardness”, whereby growth is occurring at different rates and there is now an imbalance in strength, flexibility and coordination;
  • Altered landing biomechanics in response to growth and development (i.e., increased knee valgus);
  • Sensorimotor function is not fully mature by the time children reach adolescence.

Injury Prevention Strategies

  1. Stay flexible by keeping the muscles at an optimal length as the bones grow, with particular focus on the hamstrings, quadriceps and lower back (which have all been shown to be excessively tight during the adolescent growth spurt).
  2. Strengthening key muscles (i.e., core/hips, etc.) to prevent imbalance.
  3. Focus on exercises that develop neuromuscular control, proprioception and postural stability, especially for young female athletes.
  4. Proper technique in landing and jumping, since this is one of the main mechanisms of injury in this age group.
  5. Careful monitoring of training workload during this vulnerable period, especially if the athlete is showing early signs of an injury.

If you are the parent, coach or trainer of a young growing athlete, be proactive and chat with one of the therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine on injury prevention strategies. If your child is already showing signs of injury, book them in for an assessment to help alleviate pain and return to sport healthy.

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concussion and neck injury physiotherapy sports clinic oakville mississauga

Concussion and Neck Injury

Most concussed patients will start to feel better within 10 to 14 days. However, roughly 10-15% of concussed athletes will go on to have prolonged symptoms that can last for weeks or years. These symptoms can effect an individuals daily life from school or work to doing basic activities like grocery shopping or going out to see a movie. Given how debilitating these symptoms can be, research has focused greatly on trying to find out “why” some people have long lasting symptoms.

Symptoms following a concussion can come from a number of different areas. For days or weeks after experiencing a concussion, there are metabolic and physiological changes in the brain, which have been shown to produce a variety of symptoms. However, the cervical spine, visual integration system, vestibular system and/or psychological factors can all be affected following a concussion and lead to a variety of similar symptoms.

The cervical spine is particularly vulnerable following a concussion, given the whiplash mechanism, which usually occurs with concussions. Studies have shown the range of linear acceleration needed to sustain a concussion is between 70-120 G’s, whereas a mild neck strain only takes 4.5 G’s. Therefore, it could be hypothesized that the majority of concussions will also have some degree of cervical spine injury, which may involve the soft tissue and/or joints of the neck. These resulting symptoms are very similar to concussions, including:

  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness;
  • Vision changes;
  • Vertigo;
  • Irritability/mood disturbances;
  • Cognitive changes (i.e., concentration/memory issues)

Current research has shown that following a concussion, physiotherapy focusing on cervical and/or vestibular rehabilitation significantly helps in the recovery of concussion symptoms. Treatment for cervical injury includes soft tissue release, mobilizations and exercises to strengthen the deep neck flexors, as well as proprioceptive exercises for the neck region. For more information regarding assessment and treatment of the visual system, click here, and for the vestibular system, click here.

At Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic, our post-concussion assessment carefully examines the cervical spine, vestibular system and visual system, as well as a full neurological exam. Based on the patient’s findings, the appropriate therapy and exercises are given in order to reduce the symptoms. The key to a speedy recovery post-concussion is to have a thorough assessment of all the different systems in order to see which are dysfunctional and leading to symptoms. If these areas are treated early on in the injury, it may help prevent long-term symptoms.

Leddy et al., (2014). Brain or strain? Symptoms alone do not distinguish physiological concussion from cervical/vestibular injury. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 0:1-6.

Marshall et al., (2015). The role of the cervical spine in post-concussion syndrome. The Physician and Sports Medicine. 1-11.


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