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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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SLEEP: The Key to a Quick Recovery

Do you want to boost your athletic performance? Reduce your risk for injury? Improve your reaction time, accuracy and speed? The secret is easier than you think, and doesn’t cost a single cent. Yet, most young athletes often neglect this essential component of their training: SLEEP! Sleep is a vital component of the recovery process following intense training and competition. It provides both psychological and physiologically benefits. However, sleep deprivation is very common in young athletes due to extensive training schedules, anxiety, lack of awareness of the importance of sleep and poor sleep hygiene. Why is catching enough z’s so important and what can you do to ensure a better quality sleep?

Most athletes are well aware of the benefits of proper nutrition, skill training and conditioning to improve athletic performance. So what exactly happens while you’re sleeping that is so important? The body regenerates and repairs cells, and allows restoration of several systems such as the immune, nervous and endocrine system. It also releases hormones that help with recovery. Certain hormones such as growth hormone and androgens are only released during the deep sleep cycle and they are vital for muscle repair, muscle building and bone growth. Therefore, the quality of sleep you’re getting is just as important as the quantity.

Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of detrimental effects on your athletic performance (decreased reaction time, speed and strength), cognitive function (poor attention, concentration and motivation) and risk for injury (compromised immune function, impaired muscle damage repair). Studies have shown, even a single night of sleep deprivation can impair your cognitive and motor performance equivalent to alcohol intoxication.

Current guidelines recommend that 7-9 hours of sleep is essential for psychological (ability to learn, motivation, and memory) and physiological recovery (metabolism and inflammation). Moreover, athletes require an even greater quantity of sleep to recover from injury and intense training. If you’ve struggled with getting enough sleep, read the strategies below for some tips on how you can change your sleep habits:

  • Avoid stimulating activities prior to sleep and limit electronic device use at least 1 hour prior to bedtime;
  • The optimal sleeping environment should be cool, comfortable, noise-free and dark (to achieve these conditions you may need to use a fan, eye mask, ear plugs, light blocking blinds, white noise machine or app);
  • Keep daytime napping to a maximum of 30 minutes;
  • Limit exposure to bright lights in the late evening, as they can have an alerting effect and decrease the release of melatonin. (i.e., dim the lights, and limit LED screen use several hours before bed);
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening;
  • Stick with a consistent time for going to sleep and waking up.

Marshall et al., (2016). The importance of Sleep for Athletic Performance. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 38,1,61-68.

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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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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.

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Pakmen volleyball players Mississauga

4 Ways to Prevent Ankle Injuries in Volleyball Players

Roughly 20% of volleyball players will suffer an injury at some point in their career, with ankle sprains making up roughly 50% of all injuries experienced in volleyball athletes across all skill levels. Luckily, ankle sprains can be prevented with education and coaching on proper skill techniques/mechanics, as well as specific conditioning exercises such as balance and proprioceptive exercises. The therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic have worked with numerous volleyball players from young athletes just learning the sport to higher-level rep players from clubs in Oakville/Mississauga such as Pakmen Volleyball. The team at SPSC can help identify athletes at risk for injury as well as quickly and efficiently rehabilitate volleyball athletes who have suffered an injury.

Causes/Risk Factors

Most ankle sprains (89%) occur around the net from landing after a block or an attack. They generally result from stepping on the foot of an opponent or a teammate. The greatest risk factor for an ankle sprain is a previous history of ankle injuries, especially if it occurred in the past 6-12 months and was not rehabilitated properly.

Prevention Strategies:

  1. One of the most effective prevention strategies is education and training regarding proper take off and landing technique during blocking and attacks. More specifically, players should be taught to jump straight up to hit the ball, instead of forward, so that they will not land on the centre line under the net. In addition, players need to practice take off and landing during 2 man blocks.
  2. Proprioceptive training to improve stability and balance. Proprioceptive exercises should be included in every warm up, and should only take 5 minutes to complete. They will generally involve the use of balance boards, bosu, trampolines, and ladders. For example: a. player standing on one leg and tosses a ball to another player or against wall 10/leg x 5 sets. B. Single leg stance on the balance board/bosu for 30 sec x 2 sets. C. Mini squats on balance board 10x 2 sets. D. Ladder drills to work on agility and coordination.
  3. Proper rehabilitation post ankle injury in order to prevent reoccurrence.
  4. The use of support (brace or tape) to protect the ankle. Research has shown that bracing/taping decreases the incidence of ankle sprains in previously sprained ankles, but not in previously uninjured ankles. The greatest risk of reinjury is during the first year post ankle sprain, due to weakness in the ligament and proprioceptive ability, as such athletes should brace/tape for the first year post injury.

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic has been treating athletes of all ages and skill levels for over 10 years in the Oakville and Mississauga area. 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 court 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, then contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at 905-849-4576.

Book Your Appointment

Questions? Contact us