1. Headaches Headaches can come from a variety of sources. Some people get true migraines, while others get “cervicogenic” headaches, meaning the cause of a headache is the neck. A physiotherapist can help you determine the type of headache you’re experiencing. They will then be able to help you take the appropriate steps for pain management. This will likely include education and advice on how to manage your headaches, and how to determine the type of headache you’re having. In many cases, they will also be able to show you appropriate exercises geared at reducing your headache frequency, and severity.
2. Falls prevention Falls prevention is, well, the prevention of falls! As we age, our body’s systems change in ways that can make us more susceptible to falling. Often, it becomes more difficult to balance due to changes in our visual, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems. (FYI, proprioception is our subconscious awareness of where we are in space, and our vestibular system is our inner ear system that senses acceleration/deceleration and head position). Physiotherapists love to treat people before there’s a problem. Typically, teaching someone how NOT to fall is less stressful (for everyone), easier, and requires fewer treatments than teaching someone how to recover from their injuries after they’ve already fallen. Not sure if you should seek falls prevention physiotherapy? Ask yourself this question: Are you afraid to fall? The biggest risk of falling is a fear of falling.
3. Athletic injury prevention Playing sports requires a significant amount of combined coordination, flexibility, and strength. Physiotherapists are equipped to measure your current functional and athletic abilities to help you identify potential weaknesses or asymmetries. Using this information, they can then teach you how to improve these deficits, which in turn, can reduce your injury risk. As mentioned above, identifying and modifying weaknesses and asymmetries BEFORE they cause an injury is less stressful, easier, and usually requires fewer treatments than teaching someone how to recover from their injuries after they happen. A physiotherapist can also provide you with the most up-to-date education on how to reduce injury risk even if your coordination, flexibility, strength (etc…) are already excellent! For example, did you know that single sport specialization (playing the same sport year round) has been shown to increase injury risk in kids? Additionally, you’re actually less likely to become a professional athlete in many sports if you specialize in solely that sport.
4. Incontinence Does your bladder leak when you cough, sneeze, jump, or perform physical activity? Did it start randomly, or after you had children? Do you think this is the new normal after having children? The good news is that although it’s fairly common, it’s not considered “normal”, and in many cases, physiotherapy can help! Pelvic health physiotherapists are becoming increasingly common and for good reason! Dysfunction in the pelvic floor musculature doesn’t just cause a leaky bladder! These dysfunctions can also be a contributing factor in back pain, hip pain, leaky bladders, frequent urination, and painful sexual intercourse. Although we currently do not employ any pelvic health physiotherapists at Strive Physiotherapy & Performance, we feel strongly about their role in the management of overall health, especially pre and postpartum. A pelvic health physiotherapist will assess the function of your pelvic health musculature and help you understand if and how these muscles are contributing to your pain or dysfunction. Then, as most physiotherapists will, they will teach you home exercises and a few tricks on how you can continue to help yourself!
5. Diastasis Recti Diastasis Recti is the separation of your abdominal muscles. This can happen to both men and women but is most commonly experienced by women postpartum. As the baby grows, he/she pushes on the abdominal wall from the inside, causing the abdominal muscles to stretch outwards, and potentially separate along the middle of the rectus abdominis muscle. A physiotherapist can teach you tips/tricks for safe movement and the promotion of healing, all while showing you safe exercises to help strengthen your core musculature without further damage to your abdominal wall.
6. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is your jaw. Yes, your jaw is a joint. Well actually, it’s two, one on each side of your face, just in front of your ears. Do you have trouble opening your mouth widely? Does your jaw click or clunk when you open it, eat, or talk? Do you have stiffness or soreness in your cheeks or temples? This could be coming from dysfunction in your temporomandibular joint. A physiotherapist can help you determine whether or not the source of your pain is your jaw joint, while also teaching you some exercises on how to improve your symptoms.
7. Cancer-related fatigue The best evidence for the management of cancer-related fatigue includes participation in both cardiovascular and strengthening exercises. Physiotherapists are experts in exercise prescription and modification. Whether you’re undergoing active cancer treatments, have just finished a bout of treatment, or are trying to prevent the recurrence of cancer, a physiotherapist can help you understand how to perform safe, appropriate, and progressive exercises to battle fatigue, weakness, and stress.
Are you experiencing pain or dysfunction that you didn’t realize a physiotherapist could help with? Are you experiencing something not listed above and wondering if we can help? Call us at 519-895-2020, or use our online booking tool on www.strivept.ca to book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable physiotherapists, and they will be sure to help you understand your injury.
Take care, Tyler Allen Physiotherapist at Strive Physiotherapy & Performance