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!

Experiencing Dizziness and Balance Issues?

Feeling like the world is, quite literally, moving around you way too fast? It could just be due to the 20 upcoming deadlines that you are required to meet, in which case we wish you good luck! However, your dizziness and balance issues might be related to something more physical.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is the feeling of perpetual dizziness and feeling like things are moving when they are in fact not. There are many different types and classifications, but generally they all refer to inaccurately perceived motion, and accompanying symptoms usually include nausea and vomiting.  Vertigo can be caused by a variety of things, from relatively simple motion sickness to serious neurological diseases. Prolonged periods of dizziness that last for more than a day can be a serious detriment to your quality of life, and should be looked at by a healthcare professional.

Why are my Ears Involved?

Your sense of balance and perception of where things are in relation to you spatially is handled by specialized structures in your inner ear. Air vibrations are transformed into small waves of energy that are processed by tiny hairs in fluid filled canals. Your brain then interprets these waves as sounds, but these structures do more than just let you hear. If the fluid is suddenly agitated, your sense of balance will also be thrown off track. Consequently, inner ear infections are a common cause of vertigo and dizziness.

What Can I Do About it?

Vertigo itself is often due to problems elsewhere, and is treated by correcting that other said problem. However, it can often be difficult trying to pinpoint the exact cause. A multitude of antihistamines and drugs are available to treat issues that stem from neurological diseases or infections. However, for many people it is unlikely to reach that degree of severity. If you’re prone to experiencing short periods of dizziness, simple techniques can help alleviate the discomfort. Speaking to your physician is the best way to be sure what treatment works best. Stargate Physio is always happy to take on new clients! Call us today at (403)452-2721!

Lifestyle Changes for Sustainable Health

Your health is the most important aspect of your life, governing and affecting all other areas. It is what you carry over day to day, and will always remain with you. As such, it is of utmost important to take care of your health and value it above all else. Change starts with you at this very moment!

Exercise

The benefits of exercise are well studied and are constantly being drilled into us. Surveys from Statistics Canada show that regular physical activity can lower the risk of developing chronic conditions leading to a premature death by as much as 50%. However, the majority of Canadians still do not get enough exercise. Another survey found that an average Canadian adult (aged 18 to 79) spent just over 4 hours a day being active, though the majority of that time the activity was classified as “light.” 4 hours may sound like a lot, but that’s 12 hours of sedentary time every day, assuming 8 hours are spent sleeping each night. Exercise doesn’t need to come in the form of a visit to the gym or fitness centre, and getting enough doesn’t mean you need to spend 4 hours running. A short burst of moderate physical activity added on top of the regular “light” activities will go a long way.

Diet

The research on what is considered a “healthy” diet is ever changing and always being debated. However, it is generally agreed upon that foods high in complex carbohydrates and vitamins are essential for a healthier lifestyle. Where do we find such foods? Listen now to your mother’s voice, echoing in your head, telling you to eat your fruits and veggies! Statistics Canada shows that fruit and vegetable consumption has decreased in recent years, and only around 50% of Canadians consume fruits and vegetables five or more times a day!  Here in Alberta, the average sits even lower, at around 40%. Fruits and vegetables are an easy way to get the vitamins and nutrients we require, and should not be neglected in a healthy diet.

Be Proactive!

No one else but you is going to tell you how to be healthy. Don’t let excuses pull you down. There is no better time than the present to act. Stargate Physio is more than happy to discuss your health with you and make plans for the future. Call us today at (403)452-2721!

In Home Physio

Long term care is a tricky business. Not only do you have to consider what tomorrow’s plan is, but you need to constantly be looking into the future. This becomes even more relevant when you aren’t too sure how long a recovery period is going to last. Add in the emotional and mental strain that comes with an injury, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. For those looking for an alternative, in home physiotherapy options are available to you!

Who Would Benefit Most?

The main appeal of in home physio is that it allows one to get all the benefits of physiotherapy from the comfort of their own home. For example, those who are movement impaired or would have difficulty getting to the workplace would be the most eligible. Seniors tend to prefer in home therapy, where they are more comfortable with their surroundings and have a better grasp of where things are.

Why Choose In Home Physio?

In home physio saves the client travel time as a healthcare professional would be going to them rather than the other way around. Furthermore, it avoids to struggle of having to bring therapist and patient together, which is especially valuable if it helps the patient avoid unnecessary pain and stress. Often, symptoms like pain and general discomfort are better treated in the patient’s own home where they are most comfortable to begin with. This allows the patient to get back on their feet faster and the duration of treatment to potentially be decreased. Obviously, the type and severity of  the injury are the major determining factors for the length of treatment, but in home physio is also able to help.

What’s Different with In Home Physio?

The in home physio treatment will be of the same general form and quality offered at the clinic. One large difference can be insurance claims. Many companies have different policies regarding in home therapy options, so it’s a good idea to check with your specific company to see what their policies are. For some injuries, the better option may be to go into a clinic, where the full array of technology and equipment are available. However, more and more options are becoming available for in home use. Ensure that you discuss with your physiotherapist what the best choice for you is.

Stargate Physio is proud to offer in home physiotherapy for those who prefer or require it. Call us today at (403)452-2721 to see what options await you!

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.

Avoiding Injuries from Ice

The best way of treating injuries is to prevent them from happening in the first place! With the ice and snow setting in, the chance of a fall causing a serious injury is drastically increased. A lot of people don’t realize the dangers, and many falls can often be prevented by keeping a wary eye on one’s surroundings. Here’s some tips to help keep you steady on your feet this winter.

Invest in Better Traction

Maximizing contact surface is critical when it comes to minimizing fall risks. Avoid footwear that has flat or nearly flat bottoms, as they won’t be able to provide you with the friction that you need. Look for shoes and boots that have rough bottoms with lots of grooves and valleys when shopping for winter footwear. Don’t automatically assume that a pair of warm boots will get the job done! Not all boots have grooved bottoms. If you’re really attached to a favourite pair of shoes, you can add more traction by purchasing a wire mesh and strapping it onto the bottom. This option comes with the added benefit of being able to remove the extra traction during the summer months when it isn’t needed.

Look Where you Walk

Sometimes the best advice is also the most obvious. It’s easy to get lost in conversation with someone and stop looking at the road in front of you. The likelihood of misstepping and tripping is that much higher during the icy season, and your level of caution should increase proportionately. Stick to paths that feature more packed snow, as they’ll have less icy patches. Avoid going for walks following a warm day, as the temperature change encourages snow to melt and then freeze again, turning it onto solid ice.

Don’t Take Unnecessary Chances

Safety should be a top priority! The bow river pathway can be a beautiful place to take a stroll on a clear winter day, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best idea. Use common sense and logic before heading out the doors. If you have an older family member on your house, encourage someone else to go on their daily walk with them. Make sure you’ve alerted someone as to wherever it is you’re going, just in case something happens.

The best kind of injuries are the ones that don’t happen. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings this winter and you’ll be able to stay on your feet no problem. Take the necessary care and respect the weather for what it is. Last but certainly not least, come prepared with proper footwear and a clear head. If something unfortunate does occur, Stargate Physio is happy to discuss the consequences of a fall related injury. Give us a call at 403-452-2721 today!