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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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Sports Physio Plyometrics Oakville Soccer 2018 Sheddon Physioyherapy Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Jump your Game to the Next Level

To excel in any sport, athletes need to focus on strength and conditioning off field in order to enhance specific athletic parameters, which will benefit them in their sport/position. Fitness parameters such as strength, endurance, balance and flexibility are common in most training programs.  Athletes can also benefit from plyometric exercises, which involve quick actions like jumping, hopping, and bounding. These exercises are essential for developing power, speed, agility and prevention of injuries. WHAT are plyometric exercises? WHY should you do them? And HOW can you integrate them into your training?

WHAT are plyometric exercises?

Think about all the great natural movements you did as a kid, such as jumping onto and off of things, skipping, leaping, and hopping. These are the types of movements involved in plyometrics. More specifically, they are quick, explosive movements using maximum force repeated for short intervals.

WHY should you start doing them?

There are a number of great benefits to integrating plyometrics into your training. Research has shown that athletes who engage in plyometrics will have greater improvements in performance than players who simply focus on practice and games alone. Improvements include:

  • Increased ball striking speed;
  • Improved change of direction ability;
  • Increased acceleration;
  • Increased muscular power;
  • Increased kicking distance;
  • Improved agility;
  • Increase in joint awareness;
  • Injury prevention (especially ACL in young females)

HOW do you integrate them into your training program?

Plyometric exercises are not for beginners, as you should have a certain level of basic fitness first. Plyometrics combine strength and speed in order to develop max force over a short period of time. Therefore, the athlete needs to have a basic level of general strength and proper technique in movements such as squats prior to initiating these exercises. Below you will find some important practical considerations on where to start:

  • Most sports are multidirectional, therefore if you are looking to improve overall performance, you must include different exercises such as vertical (i.e., box jumps) and horizontal jumps (i.e., standing long jumps), as well as unilateral and bilateral drills. If you are interested in improving only certain aspects of your fitness, then the exercises should be specific to your performance goals. For example, if your goal is to increase running speed, choosing exercises such as bounding will have more gains than box jumps.
  • As with all exercises, QUALITY is key over QUANTITY. Proper technique is key for injury prevention and performance gains.
  • Follow an 8-10 week program, 2 days/week, with a 72-hour rest period in between training sessions in order to see the best gains.
  • Exercise sessions should last 10-20 minutes, and the best time is at the beginning of practice, after the initial warm up.
  • 3-4 plyometric exercises should be performed, 2-4 sets, for 6-15 reps per training session. DO NOT use extra weight. Body weight is sufficient, as added weight will NOT increase performance gains.
  • Avoid injury by ensuring the athlete is landing softly and with proper technique. Make sure whatever you are jumping onto/over is stable and not too high. Also make sure the exercise surface is safe (avoid concrete and uneven surfaces), grass or turf is safest.

At Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic we work with  coaches and trainers to make sure that injured athletes are properly rehabbed. We also play a role in injury prevention and enhancing performance gains so athletes can bring their game to the next level. Whether you’re returning from an injury, want to prevent future injuries or just want to improve your performance, chat with a therapist at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic about which exercises are best for you.

Bedoya et al., (2015). Plyometric training effects on athletic performance in youth soccer athletes: A systematic review. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning. 29,8, 2351-2360.

Wang et al., (2016). Effects of Plyometric Training on Soccer Players (Review). Experimental and Theurapeutic Medicine. 550-554.

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Amaya Iribarren massage therapy Sheddon Sports Clinic Oakville

Welcome New Massage Therapist: Amaya Iribarren

Sheddon is excited to announce that Amaya Iribarren will be joining the Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine Team. She is a registered Massage Therapist and will be working at Sheddon on Mondays from 10:30-4pm.

Amaya is a Registered Massage Therapist, Sport Massage Therapist, and Craniosacral Therapist graduating with her Massage Therapy diploma from Sutherland Chan in 2002. She has an active interest in sports, having been a former national level junior tennis player and rep soccer player. She is also a certified tennis instructor.  Amaya is a member of the CMTO & the Canadian Sports Massage Therapists Association and enjoys working with athletes at all levels from weekend warriors to professionals. She has been part of the medical team at various events & major Games some of which include the Canadian team at the Rio Paralympic Games, IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, a Lead Therapist for Soccer at TO 2015 Pan Am Games, Parapan Am Games, Invictus Games, National Swimming Championships, the York Swim Club, Women’s Lacrosse 2014 FIFA World Cup, Canada Summer Games, and Women’s Hockey Worlds.  Amaya is Canada’s Chief Classifier for Para-Badminton and a BWF International Classifier.  She utilizes all these incredible experiences to better understand and help her clients.

 

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new staff at Sheddon Physiotherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Welcome New Team Members at SPSC

Throughout the Summer and Fall, Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic welcomed some new members to our team. Learn a little about each new team member below.

Stephani Oolup, Registered Physiotherapist

Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga Stephanie PA staffStephani completed her Masters of Physiotherapy Studies degree at the University of Queensland in Australia, where she also worked for a year before moving home to Toronto. She grew up participating in a wide variety of sports, from swimming, to rugby and snowboarding, trying pretty much everything in-between. This, in conjunction with her physio degree, has taught her to greatly value and respect the movement and strength our bodies can offer. She is passionate about continuing to learn and share knowledge regarding human mobility, pain and the rehabilitation process.

Sarah Tanner, Physiotherapist Assistant

Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga Sarah PA staffSarah holds a Diploma in Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy Assistant, graduating from Mohawk College in the summer of 2017. During her time in school she competed her hours at the Hamilton General Hospital in acute care, rehabilitation floor and ICU, working along side doctors, nurses, physiotherapist and occupational therapist.  Patients would range from spinal cord injures, strokes, amputee, trauma, and acquired brain injuries. Outside of the clinic hours Sarah enjoys horseback riding and training young horses for friends and clients.

Natalie Fisher, Physiotherapist Assistant

Natalie graduated from Mohawk College in the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program in 2017 and Health, Wellness and Fitness program in 2015. Natalie  played a variety of sports growing up but pursued her love for basketball as she played on the varsity women’s basketball at Mohawk College for 4 years.  When Natalie has spare time, she coaches the Special Olympics Basketball team for the Niagara Region and spending time with her family.

 

 

Mark McEntee, Physiotherapist Assistant

Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga Mark PA staffMark  graduated from Mohawk College in the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program. Mark is also the owner/operator of a personal training studio where he taught a variety of classes from spin to sport specific coaching. Mark is a certified strength and conditioning coach, certified spin instructor and holds a black belt in judo, kickboxing and jujitsu. Marks hobbies include teaching self defense/MMA classes, strength training, running, cycling and swimming. Most importantly he loves spending time with his wife and 2 girls.

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Heading in Soccer: Is it Safe for the Brain?

Concussions make up roughly 22% of all soccer related injuries. As such, concussion prevention is a main focus, with efforts being made to help recognize how and why concussions occur, and if aspects of the sport can be changed to decrease the prevalence of head injuries. Lately, attention has been focused on whether or not heading in soccer can lead to concussion directly or if the cumulative effects of sub-concussive impacts, as seen with multiple headers in one game, can result in brain injury.

Research has shown that the majority of concussions in soccer occur as a result of player to player contact or player to ground contact, with roughly 30% of concussions occurring during heading. However, the majority that occurred during heading (60-78%) were not related to ball contact; they were related to contact with another player. Furthermore, studies have looked at the acceleration forces (linear and rotational) required to sustain a concussion, and soccer headers produce a mean acceleration well below the concussion threshold. 

If heading the ball generally doesn’t produce enough force to cause a direct concussion, can the cumulative effects of repetitive heading lead to brain injury? A review of 7 high quality studies, all examining the effects of heading on cognitive functioning immediately following practices or games, found no significant effects between heading and neurocognitive functioning. However, research that has examined long term effects of soccer participation and heading is less understood. Some studies have shown that high level soccer players who have played for a number of years have cognitive deficits related to attention, memory, visual processing and concentration when compared to non-soccer athletes. However, most of these studies examining long term effects of playing soccer and heading on brain injury are not well done. For example, most studies were completed retrospectively and relied on the athletes memory of their heading and concussion history. There was usually no history taken into account for mental health issues, drug abuse, stress, education, pre-soccer baseline testing, or other factors that could have caused the cognitive deficits. As such, current research regarding the long term effects of heading in soccer is inconclusive. 

Take home message:

  • There is no evidence that heading in soccer causes permanent brain injury or neurocognitive dysfunction.
  • There is limited evidence that heading causes concussion.
  • No definitive research exists to show long term effects of heading on cognitive impairment.
  • In order to decrease the prevalence of concussion in soccer, coaches and trainers should focus on teaching safe and proper heading techniques, with a reduction of athlete-to-athlete contact.

Maher et al., Concussion and heading in soccer: A review of the evidence of incidence, mechanisms, biomarkers and neurocognitive outcomes. (2014). Brain Injury; 28(3): 271-285.

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