Avoiding Ankle Sprains

Notice pain in your foot recently? Did you perhaps turn your foot a little harder than intended? You’ve likely sprained your ankle. Though most of us have probably had one at one point or another, what exactly is causing that pain?

What is an Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprains occur frequently, and are a common kind of injury. The joint is placed under a great deal of stress when it is forced to turn or twist violently. If it turns a bit more than it should, the ligament can tear, causing an ankle sprain.

How can I Avoid Ankle Sprains?

Sprains most often occur during exercise or any sort of strenuous activity. Therefore, it is important that you stretch both before and after you do any vigorous physical activity. This will help prepare your muscles and joints for the work about to be done, and also help them return to a resting state once your workout is over. During the activity, pay attention to where your ankle is and how much stress is being put on it. Stay conscious about it and you’ll likely be able to catch yourself before you overexert. If you often rely on precise ankle movements, you may want to consider using tape or some sort of bracing to give your joint some much needed extra support. This is commonly used by professional athletes, and can be found at your local sports equipment store. Finally, if you’re looking to strengthen the joint, you can think about doing some simple ankle exercises and stretches. Speak to your physiotherapist or doctor to learn about what kinds of stretches and exercises work the best. Don’t try to attempt any difficult stretch on your own, as the last thing you want to do is sprain your ankle doing the very activity meant to prevent that from happening!

Treating Your Sprain

Ankle sprains usually heal on their own after a while. To help ease the pain and speed up the process, apply ice to the swollen area, or wherever the pain is. Keep your foot elevated and press the ice pack down tightly. Again, make sure you speak to a healthcare professional if your symptoms worsen.

Ankle sprains are common and not usually a big deal, though they can be annoying and painful. Taking the proper precautions before attempting any strenuous physical activity is the best way to prevent them from happening. Stargate Physio is always happy to address any further questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to reach us at 403-452-2721 anytime!

Why It’s Important to Take Breaks From Your Desk

Canadians are no strangers to sitting. Whether it be at an office at work, a desk at home, or the sofa in front in the TV, there’s always a warm welcoming place for you to rest your legs. In fact, the average Canadian spends so much time sitting that some experts have begun calling it an epidemic. Think that sounds a bit extreme?

Sitting Disease

Although the term may come across as amusing at first, do not be fooled. Prolonged sitting can have drastic adverse effects on your health and longevity. It is one of many factors that contribute to what is known as a sedentary lifestyle. This problem is aggravated by the fact that no matter where we go, sitting just can’t seem to be avoided. We sit for meals, for work, for commuting, and for recreation. Modern society has made being seated the ideal position to live and operate within. The improvement of technology has made it even easier to stay seated. Even a task as simple as walking to the TV to turn it off has been eliminated.

This Can’t be Serious

Everybody sits. Why is this a big deal all of a sudden? Recent decades have seen surges in the number of cases of diabetes and childhood obesity. How do we know this is correlated to sitting? What about other related issues, such as an unhealthy diet or a lack of exercise? Although the kinds of food we eat play an enormous role in our risk of developing diabetes or obesity, it isn’t the only contributor. In this day and age where we have a much better understanding of metabolism and how to eat healthy, diet alone is simply not enough to explain these alarming trends. Even those who regularly hit the gym may not be safe, as at the end of a long day of working out, many people will opt to relax and unwind by reclining in front of the TV or the computer. Either way, sitting is back to haunt us.

What’s the Cure?

Regular exercise is a great idea, but may not be enough! Even if your exercise routine is consistent and meets recommended guidelines, the amount of time you spend sitting may cancel it out entirely. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to alleviate this plague that attacks us all. Been sitting for awhile? Get up! Yes, right now! Stretch out your legs, go grab a drink of water, pace around the room! Interrupting a prolonged period of sitting with this brief task can have wondrous benefits.

The detrimental effects of sitting do not discriminate against age, size, or physical capability. Don’t be caught a sitting duck! If you’ve been surfing the web for a while now, take this as a reminder to get up and stretch your legs!

Returning to Activity After an Injury

The period of time right after a major injury can be both a huge relief and the start of a brand new challenge. On one hand, although it feels great to finally be back to your normal self, some leftover effects of the time you spent in recovery might still be felt. Here’s what you can do to help ease the transition period between your recovery and a full return to your normal routine.

Take it Slow the First Few Days

The first few days back at work are sure to be the most challenging, as you’ll be getting use to whatever changes there might be. The best advice? Take it slow! You may not be as efficient or as productive, and that’s alright. Take some extra time to learn exactly what you are and what you are not capable of, and it’ll pay off in the long run. The very last thing you want to happen is to stretch a little too much and cause yourself further injury.

Assess the Situation

How you should approach an activity after an injury really depends on what that activity is and how your injury might affect your performance. For something very physical like sports, it’s a good idea to make sure that any swelling has died down first. If there’s still swelling, it can be a sign that it’s simply too soon to be returning the more strenuous activity. If you work at an office job, this obviously is less relevant,. However, if you’ve been suffering from repetitive stress injury or something similar, you may want to look at shifting how you sit at your desk, or perhaps think about getting a new keyboard or wrist pad. These small tweaks to your setup can go a long way for protecting yourself from having a another similar injury occur.

Use Common Sense

If it hurts, then don’t do it! You know best what the exact limitations of your body are, and make sure you stay aware of them during this critical time. If ever in doubt, check with your physician and take their advice on whether or not you should be performing a particular activity. If you feel the pain worsening, or have a suspicion that you may not have fully recovered, take steps to reduce your workload. It isn’t worth that extra hour of laboured work if it means you’ll make your injury worse again.

Injuries are tough on both body and mind, and it’s refreshing to be able to return to work after a long period of inactivity, However, treat yourself tenderly the first few days and watch for any discomfort. Keep in regular contact with your physician and focus on the positives. Stargate Physio is more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have. Call us at (403)452-2721 today!

Recovering During the Winter Holidays

Many consider the winter holiday season to be the best time of the entire year. With all the festivities and cheer going around, there’s just so many things to do and so many people to see. Therefore, we here at Stargate Physio can sympathize with those who are recovering over the winter months, especially if it means they aren’t able to enjoy the holidays like they otherwise would be able to. That being said, here’s what you can do to make the most of the holidays while still staying on the road to a speedy recovery.

Loved Ones

Friends and family are a huge component of the holiday season. If you’re loved one can’t make it to the annual gathering, try to bring the gathering to them! Take the time to visit those who perhaps aren’t able to visit you, and spend extra time with them. Your time is precious to lots of recovering family members who may otherwise be feeling alone, and the holiday season is the worst time to be feeling lonely. Find a way to plan a visit into your busy holiday schedule. Make it a big deal and put some thought into your visit, and your loved ones will appreciate it all the more.

Keep Busy

Recovering patients can often feel rather down and left out of the festivities. A good way to combat this is to keep busy! Pick up a new hobby or make some progress on an old one. If you’re stuck in place, talk to those around you and see what they’re getting up to this holiday season. Plan some smaller events that can be enjoyed by others, like a secret santa or an evening get together. If you’re really feeling down, there are always resources available to you and people to talk to. Don’t let your recovery dictate the terms of your holiday!

Rest Well

The holidays make a great time to also refocus on your recovery efforts. Speak to your physiotherapist about how the recovery is going, and what strategies are being taken to ensure a speedy and full return to normal. Make sure you get plenty of rest and exercise to keep your mind focused on your goal. Use the holidays to strengthen your resolve and motivate you to keep on striving towards recovery.

Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying the winter holiday season. Afterall, it only comes around once a year. Connect with loved ones and get lots of rest, and with a bit of hard work you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays as you’ve always had. Stargate Physio is more than happy to talk about recovering during the winter holiday season. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns, or call us at 403-452-2721.