Tag Archives: endurance athletes

K Tape Kinesio Tape for Sports Injuries - Sheddon Physio Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

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.

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Achilles Tendon Injury Prevention

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Injuries to the Achilles tendon is one of the most common injuries experienced among athletes, especially runners and soccer players. Statistics show that roughly 24% of athletes develop pain in the Achilles. It’s also an injury that can linger for long periods of time, if left untreated. One recent study found that 63% of soccer players with Achilles tendinopathy still had symptoms 2 years after onset. With the high prevalence of injury to the Achilles tendon and potential for long-term recovery, prevention is key. Below we will discuss its common causes, symptoms, treatment and most importantly, prevention.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone. It is one of the strongest tendons in the body, but it is also highly vulnerable to injury, given the high amounts of tension put on it. Injury to the tendon can include a strain, partial tear, or full rupture.

Some common factors that can cause an injury to the Achilles tendon are:

  • Poor footwear;
  • Repetitive overuse, especially in sports that require running and or jumping;
  • Repetitive overstretching;
  • Training errors;
  • Abnormal Biomechanics

An injury to the Achilles can be acute i.e., due to a kick to the back of the leg, or chronic as a result of repetitive irritation over time. It usually has a gradual onset starting with stiffness after activity; although, as the injury progresses, the stiffness becomes painful either during or after activity. It will become tender to touch with possible redness and swelling around the tendon. You may also notice thickening of the tendon or a nodule around the painful area. It will usually hurt when you go up onto your toes or stretch the muscles. As the injury worsens, daily activities such as walking and climbing stairs will also be limited and painful.

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 heel lifts. The other focus is promoting healing with modalities such as laser, which has excellent research support that it speeds up recovery time. Exercise is also one of the best ways to promote tissue repair. Research has shown that eccentric calf muscle training can decrease pain, as well as improve function and a quick return to sport following an Achilles 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 equipment issues such as footwear may need to be changed.

What can you do right now to prevent an Achilles injury?

  • Examine what you’re putting on your feet. Are your shoes/cleats too tight, too loose or held together by a thread? Shoes that don’t fit well or support your feet can alter your biomechanics, which puts more stress on the Achilles.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror barefoot. Are your feet flat on the ground, do you look bowlegged, do you have super-high arches? If you can’t tell what you’re looking for, have your biomechanics checked out by a Sheddon therapist. Abnormal biomechanics and deformities in the foot (even something that seems minor), can put the foot at an angle that creates extra stress on the Achilles tendon. Therapists at Sheddon Physio are trained in gait assessment and will watch what your feet and lower leg are doing while you stand, walk and run. Findings may indicate specific exercises and manual therapy to correct the abnormalities.
  • Are your calves super tight and/or weak? Muscle imbalances in the lower body can put strain on the Achilles, leading to a higher chance of injury. An exercise program that specifically addresses your imbalances may help prevent future injuries.
  • Do you rush to your game and run onto the field without properly warming up? An improper or lack of warm-up is one of the easiest ways to injure the Achilles. Take 5-10 minutes before games to warm up properly. Check out the FIFA11 warm-up program here.
  • Have you recently increased your intensity, frequency, distance or speed in training? Too rapid an increase in any of the above without adequate rest days could put extra strain on the body and lead to overuse injuries in the Achilles. Working with a coach, trainer or therapist could help prevent over-training.
  • Have you started doing more training that involves stairs, hills and/or jumping? All of the above activities put an extra load on the Achilles tendon and should be introduced into a training program with adequate rest and proper scheduling.

So, you now know how to keep your Achilles healthy and injury free, but what about the rest of your body? During this time of year, soccer players usually aren’t training as much, so take advantage of the extra time you have now to address any nagging injuries. Research has shown that injuries to muscles and tendons roughly take 6-10 weeks for full recovery, if treated at the initial onset of symptoms. However, if you do what most people do and wait until the symptoms get really bad (in hopes that it will go away on its own), recovery could take 3-6 months. Getting your injuries fixed now may ensure that you’re healthy and pain-free for outdoor season.

Are you injury-free but out of shape? Aside from their technical skills, soccer players require speed, agility, endurance and strength. Spending the winter months hibernating indoors on the couch could set you up for injury by the time warm weather and the outdoor season come around. Research has shown that preseason conditioning significantly decreases overall soccer injuries. Preseason 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 get you started on a program.

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Sears National Kids Cancer Ride–James Sreblowski

Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

I will be taking part in Coast to Coast Against Cancers Foundation’s very own Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. Every year cancer is responsible for taking more kids from us than any other disease. Not only are 100 percent of proceeds donated but nearly 5 million dollars are raised every year due to the integrity of this foundation.

The Journey will take place in Vancouver on September 10th where two small teams of cyclists will depart. In sixteen days these riders will reach Halifax on September 26th. My role in this amazing cause will be to provide massage therapy for some very tired bodies.

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My commitment to this cause is for two reasons: personal goals and professional goals. On a personal level my aim is provide as much support as possible to those in need. Professionally, my intentions are to expand my experience of how Massage Therapy can aid working muscles. Furthermore, how Massage Therapy can prevent muscle soreness/breakdown and facilitate recovery in cyclists and endurance athletes alike, who are performing at the highest level. Ultimately, my experiences will provide me additional skills needed to take your standard treatment to the next level.

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During my absence please do not hesitate to seek treatment from our other Registered Massage Therapists on the team. My personal schedule will be closed off from September 7th to September 27th and will re-open on the 28th of September.

In health,

James Sreblowski

post acl tear treatement physiotherapy sports clinic oakville mississauga

Avoiding Osteoarthritis Post-ACL Tear

Osteoarthritis is a condition caused by progressive deterioration of cartilage or even the entire joint.  When the cartilage becomes softened, it will begin to wear away causing bones to rub against one and other. Our cartilage is what normally absorbs the stress. Osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness, and sometimes a limitation in movement. Most common places of discomfort are areas where large biomechanical forces are loaded including the vertebrae, knees, and hips. Those who were athletes from a young age and have had a serious injury (like ACL tears) are more prone to developing osteoarthritis due to extended years of wear and tear on their joints.

In recent years studies have shown an incline of people who are affected by osteoarthritis between the young people, particularly women.

The major factor that increases one’s chances of developing osteoarthritis is experiencing a serious injury, such as an ACL tear.

Those who suffer from osteoarthritis are always recommended to keep your body moving. Simply taking a walk around your neighborhood can reduce pain. Try a new and fun activity like yoga. Strengthening exercises can help build muscle around the affected joints, which will ease the burden placed on these joints, thereby reducing pain. Range-of-motion exercises continue to help maintain and improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. Another good technique is taking up an aerobic exercises that will help with energy levels and improving stamina.

As younger and younger athletes are developing osteoarthritis, it is important to learn that the answer is not to stay in bed but to move, move, move. Contact your Sheddon Therapist and see which exercises are right for you!

Lohmander, L. S., Östenberg, A., Englund, M., & Roos, H. (2004). High prevalence of knee osteoarthritis, pain, and functional limitations in female soccer players twelve years after anterior cruciate ligament injury. Arthritis & Rheumatism50(10), 3145-3152.

 By Jessica Osmond

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New Compression Stockings! For Lifestyle and Athletes!

We have always had compression stockings, but they always came in the boring white, black, or nude colours. Now, we have them in all sorts of colors and designs. Check out a few of our samples!

BFD Compres Sock

Comes in the 2015 Pan Am colours!

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How they work?

The noticeable compression it exerts improves circulation in the legs, reduces muscle vibrations and speeds up recovery. Its light, breathable material feels comfortable on the skin. This makes it the ideal support over long distances, when running or cycling for example.

  • Improves circulation
  • Speeds up recovery

The positive impact on circulation and the muscles protects the vein system when it is under persistent stress, this promotes a quicker recovery. Endurance athletes benefit from this in particular. This was highlighted by a medical study* conducted on the 2011 Paris Marathon and runners using compression stockings. The participants reported less muscle pain, a reduced feeling of swelling and much better muscle recovery in the first four days after the race. Their calf veins had not dilated during the race in spite of the increased strain.

This also has similar effects to the non-athlete. If your job demands that you be on your feet all day, this is a way you can combat muscle soreness.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

*Allaert F.A. et al, Effects of elastic compression in French compression class II (18-21 mmHg) on the adaptation of muscular stress and on the recovery of marathon runners, Phlébologie 2011, Vol. 64, Number 4.