Physiotherapy has been a part of our lives as far back as we can remember. It’s been used to prevent injuries, support and aid in our recovery (that allowed us to stay active) and at times it’s been critical in getting us mobile again. We’ve also used physiotherapy to just feel better like getting a massage to loosen up tight shoulder muscles from working on the computer too much.
While icing, stretching, strengthening exercises and being active can often take care of a problem, there are definitely times when we have turned to professional help.
Hal – While training for The Amazing Race Canada last March, I sustained an Achilles tendon injury. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump. I had added jumping squats to my routine and particularly noticed pain and stiffness several mornings in a row. I knew it wasn’t 100% but I could still walk. I thought that rest, icing and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like Motrin would have me good-to-go within a few days. But as soon as I started again, I was back to square one. I proceeded to do another round of rest, ice and anti-inflammatories followed with avoiding exercises that aggravated it. After 2 weeks of having to “deal” with this inconvenience and feeling little improvement, I went for physiotherapy. Turns out I had Achilles tendonitis (inflammation of the Achilles – commonly associated with overuse and degeneration) so with ultrasound treatments, deep massage and a series of special stretches and exercises to do, I was feeling good again. It’s not uncommon for this type of injury to return so recently I went straight to physiotherapy upon experiencing pain and stiffness in the mornings. I have learned my lesson to jump on it before it affects my level of physical activity and my life.
Joanne – I started long distance running 6 years ago and by no means am I “Speedy Gonzales” but I love the challenge, the people in the running group and how it makes me feel. During this time, I’ve had my share of injuries but mostly, like Hal, the length of recovery was hugely impacted on how quickly I got physiotherapy. Too often, tight muscles in my back caused hip and leg pain which could have been avoided if I had listen to my body in the first place and got a massage by a Registered Therapist. I also now listen more closely to the little aches and pains and don’t let things get out of hand. Currently, a trip to the physiotherapist isn’t something I dismiss as an annoyance but something that will allow me to stay on track so I don’t have to spend energy thinking about the injury, pain, discomfort or not being able to do what I want to do.
It doesn’t matter if you sustain an athletic, work or accidental injury, physiotherapy including doing your prescribed home treatment can help you on the road to recovery quicker. Listen to your body because it will tell you when it needs special care.
Until Next Time, Keep Fit & Have Fun
Hal & Joanne