Physiotherapy is an effective and scientific evidenced-based therapy that will help anyone experiencing problems with range of motion, pain, movement pattern dysfunctions and many other musculoskeletal or nervous system problems in regaining normal and optimal functioning.
Physiotherapy involves a multimodal approach – from hands-on manual therapy (such as joint mobilizations/manipulations/soft tissue release etc) to prescriptive exercises and electrotherapy. A personalized combination of these different options will be discussed with you based on your lifestyle and unique issue to optimize your recovery.
Medical acupuncture is a form of medicine which involves the insertion of fine sterile needles into various parts of the body. Its’ purpose in physiotherapy is to stimulate the circulation and affect the neuromuscular system to promote healing and to provide pain relief. It is recognized by the World Health Organization, Ontario Medical Association, Food Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute of Health as an approved medical technique. It will often be used as an adjunct in your physiotherapy session. It will be discussed with you more in depth in your session.
Chan Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a total system for the diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain syndromes (chronic pain conditions that occur in the musculoskeletal system when there is no obvious sign of injury or inflammation). IMS is grounded in Western Medical Science, and has a solid foundation in its radiculopathic model of pain, which is now supported by many experts in the field. It was developed by Dr. Gunn while he was a physician at the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia in the 70’s, where he investigated the large number of mysteriously stubborn cases after frustration with the ineffective modalities at his disposal. The treatment, which utilizes acupuncture needles because they are the thinnest implements available that are designed to penetrate deep within muscle tissue, specifically targets injured muscles that have contracted and become shortened from distress.
IMS relies heavily on a thorough physical examination of the patient by a competent practitioner, trained to recognize the physical signs of neuropathic pain. This physical examination is indispensable since chronic pain is often neurological as opposed to structural, and therefore, invisible to expensive X-rays, MRI Tests, Bone and CT Scans. Failure to recognize these signs will result in an inaccurate diagnosis, and thus, a poor starting point for physical therapy.
The treatment involves dry needling of affected areas of the body without injecting any substance. The needle sites can be at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation. The result is threefold. One, a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening). Two, the needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process. Three, the treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again. The needle used in IMS, by stimulating muscle spindles, essentially becomes a specific and unique tool for the diagnosis of Neuropathic Muscle Pain.
The goal of treatment is to release muscle shortening, which presses on and irritates the nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released. IMS is very effective for releasing shortened muscles under contracture, thereby causing mechanical pain from muscle pull. IMS, in effect, treats the underlying neuropathic condition that causes the pain. When competently performed, IMS has a remarkable success rate, as proven by the amelioration of symptoms and signs, even for chronic back pain with root signs.
IMS is comparable in some ways to acupuncture; however, there are a number of important differences. IMS requires a medical examination and diagnosis by a practitioner knowledgable in anatomy, needles insertions are indicated by physical signs and not according to predefined, non-scientific meridians, while subjective and objective effects are usually experienced immediately.
A part of your physiotherapy may include the use of electrotherapy. Depending on the form of electrotherapy, it can help provide pain relief, increase healing, re-educate muscle strength/endurance and to break down scar tissue. Electrotherapy includes the use of Interferential current, Russian current, and Ultrasound.
Running Injuries Program
Most runners have experienced pain at one point or another. This program is designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of a runner’s strengths and weaknesses to help prevent and rehabilitate running specific issues. Whether it’s a lack in mobility, strength or poor running mechanics, you will be provided with a focused program to optimize your running economy and to stay injury free to meet your next goal race!
Do you ever wonder if the shoe you’re wearing is right for you? Do you get blisters or corns? Do your feet hurt after a period of standing? Walking? Running? The shoe fitting program can ensure that you have the right shoe for you and your activity. Don’t walk around with pain because you bought the wrong shoe. The shoe fitting program will assess your foot type, the way your foot moves, a gait analysis and the type of activity you are participating in. Make sure you are in the right shoe and prevent unnecessary pain and hindrances in your performance!
Bracing can be a useful transition from your injury to returning to full functional activity. Most braces are designed to do what your muscles/ligaments should be doing. However, if you’re injured and still healing those structures, then a brace can help bridge the gap between returning to what you love to do while you strengthening your muscles so that you can become fully independent once again.
Ask about Custom Bracing – DonJoy Custom Bracing is available to fit your body specifically!
Custom Orthotic Prescription
Custom orthotics can help reduce, prevent and optimize the function of your body. The average person takes 8,000-10,000 steps a day which translates to a lot of stress that our feet have to take. As a first point of contact and shock absorption, if our feet do not have a good foundation, the stress from our walking, standing and running will be absorbed up the kinetic chain resulting in knee, hip, low back and even mid-back and shoulder pain.
Custom orthotics are designed to help correct your foot imbalances. By correcting your feet, your knees, hips, pelvis and low back can also receive less stress providing relief on your entire body. Orthotics are a good tool to have. However, strengthening the muscles in your feet, knees, hips and core will benefit you more. Orthotics are not a magic pill but a great tool to help guide you and transition you from pain to painfree and to help keep you there.