ASK A PHYSIO

GENERAL QUESTIONS


 

I am curious about how the body’s muscle & tendon repair processes function. Does a tendon require frequent stimulus in order to repair and strengthen itself? Does the same go for muscles? I’m asking because I’ve recently had injuries that didn’t seem to heal until I began doing super-light but daily and somewhat isolating exercises.

That is a great question. Movement and stimulus play different roles for injuries of different severities as well as at different stages of recovery. In the acute phase, while there is still redness, swelling, and pain, light movement/stimulus can help clear the swelling.

This should not be taken to the point of pain. In early recovery, the injured structure(s) should not be stressed and should be given the opportunity to heal any tears that might have occurred. As healing progresses, the role of movement, stimulus and exercise evolves. Exercise is important to strengthen the structures around the injury, and movement is important to maintain range of motion. In some cases there is evidence that loading a tendon in the eccentric phase (when the tendon and muscle are in their longest position) can help stimulate healing.

When an injury has become chronic and is taking longer than expected these eccentric loading exercises can sometimes be helpful. This type of exercise should be done under the supervision of a physiotherapist to avoid any unintentional negative consequences. Movement and exercise should be introduced slowly and with intention during the recovery process. Normally, soft tissues injuries heal in 3-8 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. A physiotherapist can guide you through this process following your injury to ensure the fastest recovery possible with the best outcome possible.

Call us at 604-973-0242 to set up and appointment to see one of our experienced physiotherapists today.

Ice and Heat. Which should I be using and when?

Ice is ideally used in the early stages of an injury, especially within the first 24 hours. At this time, ice helps to decrease pain, bleeding, and swelling. It also helps stop soft tissue damage from spreading to the surrounding areas.
Ice can be used for muscle spasms, acute swelling and inflammation, acute injuries and bruises. It can also be used for the first 24 hours to manage any on-going swelling.

Heat on the other hand should not be used in the first 24 hours after the injury. Heat can be used after this time to decrease pain and muscle spasm, treat chronic pain and swelling, and help decrease neck pain. It does this by increasing blood flow to the area.

With both ice and heat, use caution if you have circulatory problems or and sensitivity to hot or cold. Apply the ice or hot pack for no more than 15 minutes at a time, and check your skin afterwards to ensure no burns or skin damage has occurred.

I’ve never been to physiotherapy, how does it work?

When you come in for your initial appointment our therapist will preform an assessment where they obtain the information they need to form both a physiotherapy diagnosis of the problem and a treatment plan. After preforming this assessment they will speak with you about the appropriateness of physiotherapy treatment with your medical condition, various treatment options that physiotherapy can provide as well as make recommendations for further treatment frequency and duration.

Treatment options may include a combination of hands on treatment, various “modalities” such as ice, heat, electrical stimulation or acupuncture, specific rehabilitative exercises tailored to your needs, as well as education regarding your specific condition. As treatment progresses there will be an ongoing conversation between you and your therapist about the effectiveness of the treatment as well as frequency and duration of future appointments.

Your physiotherapist can also provide information regarding other treatment options that are available should physiotherapy not be appropriate.

What should I wear to my appointment?

You should wear comfortable loose clothing that allows you to move and should make your injury accessible to the therapist.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

If you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours you will be assessed a cancellation fee of $60 for massage appointments. Otherwise we’ll do our best to find a time for another appointment with our therapists.

How many visits will I need?

This depends on the injury, you and your goals. We work with you individually to ensure that there is a plan to get you back to your sport, your work and your life as soon as possible

Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist?

No referral is necessary to see a physiotherapist. If you have an injury that you feel is limiting you from doing what you love to do, please give us a call at 604 973 0242 (Brooksbank) or 604 929 8444 (Deep Cove).

We want everyone to be excited about achieving their personal best – whatever makes them get out there and love life! We will help you through thick and thin to achieve those goals and enjoy pain-free activity.

If my doctor refers me for physiotherapy to another clinic, may I still go wherever I choose?

Yes! We hear from many patients that they appreciate our longer appointment times with hands on care (usually at least 30 minutes between appointment per physio as opposed to 20 or 15!) and often come see us after trying other clinics

Does my private health care insurance cover physiotherapy?

Extended health insurance plans comes in all shapes and sizes and the vast majority of these plans will cover a portion or all of the cost of physiotherapy treatment.

Some plans require a doctor’s referral for physiotherapy before the plan will cover the cost while other plans require no referral of any kind.

If unsure, please contact your extended health plan provider for more specific information.

What is a bike fit and what happens during it?

The first step of any bike fit is to remember to bring in your bike and your regular riding shoes be they clips or flat shoes. Also wear your regular riding clothes, possibly with some shorter sleeves to make taking measurements a bit easier when testing your flexibility.

Once you arrive our therapist will go over your history as a rider, as well as make not of any injuries that you might have had which would impact your comfort or position on your bicycle. From there the therapist will preform an assessment of your flexibility and get you on your bike.

From there they’ll make some measurements on various parts of your body. Then they will begin to adjust your bike to better fit you and discuss changes to your bike you make want to make so that your ride becomes more comfortable and efficient. One great thing about our location is with two nearby bike stores it’s easy and quick to find new parts

 

 

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