Tag Archives: Massage Therapy

The Most Effective Hamstring Injury Prevention Program

Hamstring injuries have been reported as one of the most common injuries across a variety of sports that involve repetitive kicking and/or high speed running, such as soccer, track and field, football, and rugby. Re-injury rates are also an issue affecting many athletes long term, with roughly 30% of athletes suffering a re-injury to the hamstring within the first year. In order to prevent hamstring injuries it is important to understand WHY they occur, and to develop a prevention program which targets these risk factors.

The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles, the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus, and the semimembranosus. Their main purpose is to bring the hip back and bend the knee. The majority of injuries to the hamstrings are strains to the biceps femoris long head muscle. Injury occurs mainly during sprinting, as the muscles contract eccentrically to decelerate the leg.

What are the Risk Factors?

Age
Unfortunately, the older you get, the higher your chance for hamstring injury. The age when the risk starts to significantly increase is 25 years old, with research suggesting a 30% increase in risk annually thereafter.

Decreased flexibility
Tight hamstrings aren’t the only problem; tight hip flexors and/or quads are also problematic.

Muscle Imbalance/weakness
Muscle imbalance within the lumbopelvic region and/or weakness in the hamstrings;

Previous injury
Previous injury to the hamstring, groin and/or knee.

The Most Effective Hamstring Prevention Program

Eccentric Strengthening Program
The majority of hamstring injuries occur during sprinting when the muscle is working eccentrically. As such, eccentric strengthening programs have been shown to decrease the risk of hamstring injury by 65-70%. The most popular and widely studied exercise for hamstring injury prevention is The Nordic Hamstring Exercise. We strongly encourage all athletes to add this exercise to their strengthening regime. However, it shouldn’t be the only hamstring exercise you do. While it has been shown to decrease the risk of hamstring injury significantly, it only activates part of the hamstring muscles (specifically the semitendinosus and short head of the biceps femoris). 80% of hamstring injuries occur to the long head of the biceps femoris, which is better activated with a hip extension exercise such as deadlifts. The most effective hamstring injury prevention program should focus on targeting all the hamstring muscles with both knee and hip dominant movements. Below you will find 2 different exercises: the nordic hamstring exercise and straight leg weighted deadlifts. We recommend doing both for the greatest benefit. See a progressive 12 week schedule below:

Frequency 2x/week x 12 weeks.
Week 1-3: 3 sets of 5-6 reps
Week 4-6: 4 sets of 6-7 reps
Week 7-9: 4 sets of 8-9 reps
Week 10-12: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Nordic Hamstring Exercise: Can be completed with a partner holding your legs or hooking feet under something heavy. Lower yourself forward, keeping your back and hips straight. Once you cannot go any further push yourself back into start position.

 

Weighted Deadlifts:

Work on your core
While strengthening the hamstrings is important, you can’t forget about everything else that helps support, align and coordinate the hips. If there is an imbalance around the hip such as tight hip flexors, weak glutes, etc., the hamstrings will be more susceptible to injury. In addition, exercise programs that focus on trunk stabilization and agility vs. a traditional program of ONLY hamstring stretching and strengthening post injury results in a quicker return to sport and significantly much lower reoccurrence rate (7% vs. 70%).

Running Program
Most hamstring injuries occur during sprinting, especially later in the game when fatigue sets in. Therefore, strengthening and isolating the hamstrings in the gym is essential, but you must also include interval speed training to improve coordination, large hip/knee joint torques, and explosive strength. Weekly sprint workouts have been shown to prevent hamstring injuries. Like all training loads, ensure the sprinting load (distance, reps and speed) is progressed gradually.

Where to go from here?

If you currently are suffering from a hamstring injury it is best to book an appointment with a therapist and get on an individualized rehab plan. If you are currently injury free and would like to stay that way, then add the above hamstring exercises to your current strengthening program following the 12-week plan. If you want more bang for your buck, then add some core and hip stability exercises as well. If you still have questions or want more guidance on injury prevention book an appointment with one of the Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine therapists at 905-849-4576.

Heiderscheit et al., (2010). Hamstring strain injuries: Recommendations for Diagnosis, Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention. Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 67-81.
Liu et al., (2012). Injury rate, mechanism, and risk factors of hamstring strain injuriesin sports. A review of the literature. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 92-101.
Prior et al., (2009). An evidence based approach to hamstring strain injury. A systematic review of the literature. Sports Health. 154-164.

Sheddon’s Annual Christmas Food & Toy Drive

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic (SPSC) has been a member of the Oakville community for over 10 years and strongly believes in being involved within the Oakville community and giving back to those who have supported us throughout the years, as well as helping those who are less fortunate. Overall the next few weeks, Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine will be collecting donations for its Christmas Food and Toy Drive.

Food donations are in support of the Oakville Fare Share Food Bank and will be collected until the new year.

  • Items needed: instant coffee, peanut butter, cookies + crackers, diapers (size 6 only), breakfast cereals, canned fruit, soups, powder laundry soap, side dishes (grains), etc.

Toys will be collected until December 18th, 2018 in Support of the Oakville FireFighters Toy Drive

    • The mission of the Oakville Firefighters Toy Drive is to ensure every local child has an opportunity to unwrap a gift of their own over the holidays. All donations are distributed directly to local families, institutions and community agencies supporting children and youth in Oakville and Halton Region.
  • All donations are greatly appreciated, however the area of greatest need are gifts for boys and girls ages 11-15 (ie., gift cards, backpacks, clothing (winter hats and gloves), hair accessories, cosmetics and  movie passes).

In addition, Physiotherapist Dana Clark will be donating his treatment time Friday December 14th from 6:20am-1pm. In lieu of payment for his treatment time he will be accepting donated toys/gifts for the Sheddon Toy Drive.

Make this Holiday Season Special for others.

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injury prevention young athletes with Sheddon Physio Clinic Oakville

Preventing Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes

Youth sport has changed drastically in the past 20 years. Seasons are longer and youth are spending more time on a weekly basis practicing and competing. While this trend has been shown to increase skill development, it doesn’t come without a price. Research has shown that these athletes are also at an increased risk of overuse and repetitive strain injuries. The most at risk are those aged from 13-15 years old, most likely due to growth spurts and increased demands of sport. How can you make sure your young athletes can continue to train during this stage of development without suffering from injury?

What is an overuse injury?

Overuse injuries account for 50% of all adolescent sports injuries. They occur as a result of repetitive microtrauma to muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, without sufficient time for the body to heal and recover.

Why are young athletes at risk?

  • Growing bones are more vulnerable to stresses;
  • “Adolescent Awkardness”, whereby an adolescent’s bones and muscles grow at different rates. This puts a lot of stress on the muscle-tendon junctions, bone-tendon junctions, ligaments and growth cartilage creating an imbalance in strength, flexibility and coordination;
  • Poor conditioning;
  • Increased training volumes and intensities with lack of recovery;
  • Increased pressure and expectations from coaches, trainers and parents to play through pain and discomfort.

 

Injury Prevention Strategies

  1. Focus on flexibility and 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);sports physiotherapy injury prevention
  2. Strengthening key muscles (i.e., core/hips, etc) to prevent imbalance;strengthening key muscle with Sheddon Physio Clinic Oakville
  3. Exercises focusing on neuromuscular control, proprioception and postural stability are extremely important for all athletes, but especially girls who are going through puberty as ligaments tend to weaken during this stage;
  4. Specific focus on landing stabilization (jump/hop and hold) and proper technique in landing, cutting and jumping, since these are the main mechanisms of injury;landing stabilization with Sheddon Physio Clinic Oakville
  5. Careful monitoring of training workload, especially if the athlete is showing early signs of an injury;
  6. Play a variety of different sports. Playing a different sport has a 61% decreased risk of injury, while specializing in only one sport actually has an increased risk of injury;
  7. Proper warm up: check out the FIFA 11 warm up program that has scientifically been proven to reduce injuries by 30-50%;
  8. Exercises for injury prevention should be implemented across all youth sports and physical activity in order to improve overall fitness and performance. Although it will take away from regular practice time, the long-term benefits far outweigh the risk of injury.

If you are the parent, coach, or trainer of a young athlete be proactive and chat with one of the therapists at Sheddon on injury prevention strategies.

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Our Reputation Says it All

When you’re searching for a Sports Medicine Clinic you need to do a little research and find a clinic that offers it all (they do exist) great therapists, flexible hours, expertise, and a commitment to work with you and get you better. How are you suppose to know if a clinic really is as good as they say they are? Over the past 15 years the owner of Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic (SPSC), Dana Clark, has worked hard to build a clinic that offers the best care in Halton. Doctors trust sending their patients to SPSC, family and friends refer people they know, and athletes/coaches put their teams health in the hands of the therapists at SPSC, because they all know it’s a clinic that will strive to get people better.

Doctor Referrals

Doctors, surgeons and specialists refer their patients to clinics that they know and trust will do a good job in getting their clients better. At SPSC we get referrals from 137 different doctors across Halton and the GTA. Last year alone we had 4819 new patients walking through our doors. The therapists at SPSC like to keep a close relationship with doctors, with patient consent, we send doctors reports on how patients are doing, what the treatment plan entails and let them know when further investigations may be required.

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. We currently have 4 therapists who specialize in vestibular rehabilitation. We have 3 FCAMPT therapists, and many more on the way. Clinics with great therapists usually end up with long wait times. But at SPSC we have a large clinic with many experienced therapists, which helps keep our clinic hours open longer and on weekends, so getting an appointment is not a struggle.

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 to provide a more in depth approach to your rehabilitation. Having a Sports Medicine Physician on site 4 days a week is also a huge bonus, as she works 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, and SPSC has 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 safely as possible. Sport teams/organizations in Oakville such as Oakville Aquatics, Athlete Training Center, F45, and Oakville Soccer Club have trusted SPSC as the preferred provider for their athletes for many years.

Concussion Management

Concussion management programs have become a major focus in sports medicine clinics due to increased public awareness and recognition of concussions. The therapists at SPSC have undergone extensive training with the Complete Concussion Management program (CCMI) in order to be educated with the most up to date concussion management strategies. Our statistics help demonstrate that we are a leading clinic in the GTA when it comes to concussion management, as we have successfully treated well over 700 concussions. We also offer the most comprehensive and research proven concussion baseline testing of any sports medicine clinic in the Mississauga and Oakville area. Teams and athletes from the Oakville Soccer Club, The Rangers Hockey team, as well as local football, rugby and other high risk athletes have trusted in our baseline testing for many years. To date we have completed over 800 baseline tests. 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/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, then contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at (905) 849-4576.

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Raising Awareness about Mental Health

One in five Canadians suffer from mental illness; however, more than two-thirds of these individuals never seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental illness. October 10th is World Mental Health Day, a day to raise awareness and educate people about mental illness in order to help change the negative stereotypes surrounding it, and hopefully encourage people to seek help.

Physiotherapists may feel more like psychologists as patients tend to develop a positive relationship with their therapist and feel that they can be honest and open about struggles outside of their physical injury. Although it is out of the scope of physiotherapy to treat mental illness, physiotherapists play a vital role in educating patients about different avenues they can explore to seek help, as well as recognizing when someone is a danger to themselves or others around them.

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic treats a large number of athletes, and one would think that this population is fairly immune to mental illness. Exercise and physical activity have long been shown to help with mood disorders, depression and anxiety. Athletes are generally very driven, goal-oriented individuals, in exceptional shape physically. So it’s understandable that most people assume they are also mentally strong and healthy. However, athletes are still vulnerable to mental illness for many of the same reasons as the general population. Some common risk factors for mental health disorders in athletes include:

Overtraining/Burnout

 Athletes devout a large amount of their time and energy to their sport. With this comes the pressure to perform and excel, which can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. The heavy training schedule of many sports, combined with school, and in some cases work, can lead to fatigue and burnout in a large number of student athletes. Unfortunately, athletes rarely seek help for their psychological problems, for fear that they will be seen as weak and possibly lose their spot on a team. Athletes who do seek help will often be diagnosed with “overtraining.” The physiological, immunological, hormonal, and metabolic changes of over-training are very similar to those associated with depression. As such, some researchers have debated whether athletes with depression are actually being misdiagnosed with overtraining.

Eating Disorders

Many athletes feel the pressure to maintain a certain weight and body composition in order to be successful in their sport. Studies show that the prevalence of eating disorders in male athletes is roughly 18%, and anywhere from 32-60% in female athletes. Eating disorders are considered to be a mental illness caused by a number of psychological and sociocultural factors. In addition, eating disorders can occur with other mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, OCD and other mood disorders.

Injuries

An injury can bring a lot of stress and anxiety to athletes. They oftentimes feel pressure from coaches, teammates and parents to return to the game as soon as possible and in tip top shape. If athletes are playing on a scholarship or looking to get scouted to the next level, an injury can make them feel like their chances are at stake. They occasionally are unable to train/practice at the same level of their teammates and the longer the injury takes to heal, the more an athlete starts to feel they are slipping behind mentally and physically. Whether an injury is career ending or a minor sprain it will bring a host of negative emotions and can lead to further psychological issues.

Retirement

Since athletes commit all of their time and energy to training, their social circle and identity becomes strongly interconnected with their sport. As such, once their career is over they have lost their outlet, friends and identity. Retirement for athletes can be a time of great psychological distress, whether it is a decision made by the athlete or they are forced to retire due to aging, competitive failure or career ending injuries. Most athletes are not prepared for this life transition of entering into a world without extensive hours of practice, strict daily schedules and the adrenaline of competition. Athletes can feel a sense of emptiness, leading to depression and other mental health issues. Furthermore, retirement also shrinks your social support network, as athletes are no longer part of a team or group to which they can turn to for help.

Whether you are an elite athlete or an average Joe, we are all susceptible to mental health disorders. Keep in mind that mental illness can be treated and that you do not have to live through it alone. If you or someone you know may be suffering from a mental illness, please seek the appropriate assistance. If you’re not sure who to turn to, talk to a family member, friend, therapist or someone you trust that can help guide you in the right direction. Acknowledging that there is an issue is the first step to recovery.

Hughes et al., (2012). Setting the bar: athletes and vulnerability to mental illness. British Journal of Psychiatry. (2) 95-96.

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