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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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concussion management baseline test Oakville Mississauga 5

SPECIAL EVENT: Concussion Baseline Testing

We are currently offering athletes of all levels and sports who have not completed their Concussion Baseline Testing a special rate of 70$, when completed during our group sessions on Saturday May 26, 2018 from 8am-2pm. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact melanie@sheddonphysio.com for available times.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • The season has already started, are we too late for concussion baseline tests?
    • NO! Preseason is the ideal time for testing, but anytime during the year prior to a concussion is better than no baseline.
  • WIll the cost be covered through my insurance?
    • The cost of the baseline is covered under most Extended Health Plans since it is administered by a physiotherapist.
  • My child had a baseline done over a year ago, why should we do it again?
    • As young athletes mature, their baseline scores can change greatly from one year to the next. Therefore, it is recommended that athletes get a baseline at the beginning of each season.
  • My hockey team did the impact test preseason, isn’t that good enough?
    • No! Computerized neuropsychological tests, such as the ImPACT test are only assessing one aspect of concussions, neurocognitive function. In order to properly manage concussions a baseline test must be multidimensional, assessing the full spectrum of concussion outcomes (i.e., balance, reaction time, visual processing, physical capacity AND neurocognitive function). In order to know when an athlete has fully recovered, the different areas of the brain that could potentially be affected with a concussion must be assessed prior to and after a concussion.
  •  It’s not mandatory for my childs team.
    • Concussion baseline tests are becoming widely used in many sports at all levels. Although not mandatory (yet) in all high-risk sports, it is one of the most important and effective tools for concussion management. Without a baseline test there is no way to accurately know when an athlete has fully recovered from a concussion. Research has shown that concussion symptoms improve much sooner than brain recovery, which may put athletes at risk for returning to sport too quickly, especially if sport clearance is based solely on symptoms.
  •  Those dates don’t work for my child or team?
    • If you are part of a team or an individual who would like to participate in Concussion Baseline Testing but you cannot fit these dates into your schedule, please contact us and we will try to arrange for another date and time.

Please click here to learn about Concussion Baseline Testing and why it’s so important.

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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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Developing Great Athletes: Early vs. Late Specialization

In the past, most young athletes were encouraged to play multiple sports in order to develop better overall athletic ability. However, youth sports has changed drastically, seasons are longer and kids are encouraged to compete in year-round leagues in hope of reaching elite status at a younger age. Parents and coaches hear stories of Michelle Wie and the Williams sisters, and how they were holding a golf club and swinging a racquet while still in diapers, and figure the key to athletic success MUST be specializing at a young age. However, the medical community, trainers and many high profile athletes are arguing that this trend may be detrimental to the development of young athletes. Unfortunately, a lot of the support for and against early specialization has been anecdotal. Only recently have researchers started to look at the short and long term effects of this new trend. Continue reading below in order to gain a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of early sport specialization.

Research proven benefits of early sport specialization:

  • Better coaching and skill instruction;
  • Better skill development through deliberate practice

Unsupported reasons athletes specialize early:

  • To gain a competitive edge;
  • To master skills faster;
  • Early talent recognition;
  • Increased opportunity for scholarships/professional contracts;
  • Fear of falling behind

Research proven disadvantages of early sport specialization:

  • Athletes develop a significantly higher number of acute and overuse injuries;
  • Loss of time, money and missed educational opportunities;
  • Athlete burnout, anxiety and decreased enjoyment;
  • Inhibition of proper physical development;
  • Overtraining – year-long training often overlooks proper recovery;
  • Breakdown of family structure due to time, money and sacrifices of the whole family.

Benefits of multi-sport participation

  • Linked to a longer athletic career and does NOT hinder reaching elite levels;
  • Allows for the development of a broader range of fundamental motor skills;
  • Increased motivation and enjoyment;
  • Allows for periods of rest and active recovery;
  • Leads to expert development and transferable motor skills

Current recommendations include:

  • Children should not play one sport more than 8 months per year;
  • The early childhood years (ages 3-7) should focus on fundamental motor skill competency through a variety of activities.
  • In the upper elementary years (ages 7-11) children should sample many sports and refine fundamental skills.
  • In the middle school years (ages 11-13) continue sport sampling but can begin to specialize in 1-2 key sports.
  • In the high school years (ages 14-18) one can continue to engage in multiple sports or enhance skillfulness through specialization.
  • Young athletes should have a minimum of 1-4 off weeks per year to prevent injury and burnout;
  • No more hours per week than their age;
  • Education should not be sacrificed at the expense of sports. Home schooling and online education in place of regular schooling have a major negative impact on the overall social development of young athletes.

Parents, coaches, athletes and trainers must understand that early sport specialization will not guarantee future athletic success. A recent poll found that 88% of Olympic athletes and 70% of Division 1 athletes did not specialize in one sport until at least the age of 12. Athletes like Tiger Woods who started specializing at a very young age are much more rare than the multi-sport athlete who specialized in a sport later. Parents must weigh the pros and cons of early sport specialization and decide if it is right for their child and family.

Normand et al. (2017). A Review of Early Sport Specialization in Relation to the Development of a Young Athlete. International Journal of Kinesiology and Sport Science. 5:2, 37-42.

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Don’t get Sidelined With a Hamstring or Calf Injury

Injuries to the hamstring and calf muscles are common amongst athletes in sports which involve repetitive kicking, sprinting and jumping. Re-injury of these muscles is also an issue affecting many athletes long term, with roughly 30% of athletes suffering a re-injury to the hamstring, and 63% to the achilles within 2 years after initial injury. As such, risk factors and prevention strategies are essential for coaches, trainers and athletes.

Injury Background

The hamstrings and calves play a major role in walking, running, cutting and jumping. Injury to these muscles can include a strain, partial tear or full rupture. Injuries can occur acutely following an overstretch or trauma to the muscle (i.e., being kicked to the back of the leg), or can be chronic as a result of repetitive irritation.

Risk Factors

  • Repetitive overuse;
  • Training errors;
  • Abnormal biomechanics;
  • Muscle imbalances;
  • Previous injuries;
  • Decreased flexibility or over-stretching

What can you do right now to keep yourself injury free?

Due to the high prevalence of hamstring and calf injuries, combined with a devastatingly long recovery and high probability of re-injury, research has focused greatly on risk factors and rehabilitation strategies to help prevent these injuries altogether.

Rehab your Injuries

Whether it’s your knee, ankle or hamstring, you need to address the injury sooner rather than later in order to prevent long-term problems and re-injury. Studies show that even a mild sprain/strain will put you at risk for further injury within the following year, if not properly treated. The high rate of re-occurence for many injuries can be related to improper rehabilitation, tightness related to scar tissue and altered biomechanics. Improper rehab will not only increase your chance of a re-occurence of the same injury, but it can also lead to an injury to other muscles and joints. For example, an ankle injury will alter your biomechanics, which can affect your knee and hip, leading to injuries further up the lower extremity.

Work on your core

One main problem with most rehab programs is that they only isolate the injured muscle (i.e., hamstrings and/or calves). Research has shown that the core and pelvic musculature play a major role in injury prevention. A recent study compared a core stability program focusing on trunk stabilization and agility versus a traditional program of hamstring stretching and strengthening following a hamstring injury. Results showed that the core stability group returned to sport sooner and had a reoccurrence rate of only 7% during the year, compared to the traditional rehab group, which took longer to return to sport and had a reoccurrence rate of 70% during the year (Sherry and Best 2004).

Running Program

Most hamstring and calf injuries occur later in the game when fatigue sets in. Therefore, you must ensure that your conditioning program focuses on interval speed training and endurance training to improve overall conditioning.

Proper Warm-up

As with all injury prevention programs, warming up is key! Studies have shown that the FIFA 11 warm-up program has been successful in the prevention of many different injuries. Click here to learn more about the FIFA 11 program.

Strength and Conditioning

Spending some time in the gym focusing on strength and conditioning significantly decreases overall sporting injuries. Conditioning should focus on any muscle imbalances and weaknesses, as well as general and functional strengthening, speed, agility, interval training and plyometrics. Not sure where to start? Talk to one of the therapists at Sheddon Physio and they can set you up with a program.

Already Injured? What does treatment entail?

Initially one of the main focuses of treatment is decreasing the pain, which can be achieved through manual therapy, taping and bracing. Another focus is promoting healing with modalities, such as laser and ultrasound, which speed up recovery time. Exercise is also one of the best ways to promote tissue repair and decrease pain, as well as improve function and a quick return to sport following an injury. Finally, in order to get rid of the injury and prevent it from re-occurring, the cause of the injury must be addressed. Training errors, poor biomechanics and muscle imbalances need to be addressed to ensure a full and successful return to sport.

If you’re currently injured, book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, chiropractors, athletic therapists or massage therapists in order to help get you back on the field healthy and pain-free. If you’re not currently injured, the therapists at Sheddon can get you started on an injury prevention and strengthening program by working on your specific weaknesses and imbalances to help prevent any future injuries. 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.

Book Your Appointment

Questions? Contact us