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Showing posts from April, 2018

Ankle Injuries & Ankle Sprains: 1 Legged Squat

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The one-legged squat is an excellent exercise after injuring your ankle from a ligament sprain. It works your quad, posterior hip, core muscles and your balance and proprioception to help with your functional recovery. Starting with tall posture, engage your core muscles below the belly button by drawing the lower abs inwards toward the spine. Avoid arching the low back. With arms in a ready position do a one-legged squat with your body weight distributed equally over the foot. Don’t go any lower than a ninety degree bend in the knees, keeping your knees in alignment with your second toe and over your heel as much as possible. Hold for a good long second and then straighten back up with your butt muscles to the start. Do three sets of ten repetitions daily.

Ankle Injuries: Strengthening After A Sprain

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This exercise is great for strengthening your injured ankle and retraining important muscle activation patterns on the injured side. Use a resistance band tied to a stable anchor and wrap it around the unaffected leg. With the affected ankle, stand either in front of the band or inside while keeping your posture tall and inner core engaged. Hike the foot with the band wrapped around the leg up off of the ground and slowly push the leg out to the side and then slowly return it back to the middle while keeping the foot off of the ground the entire time. Resist the movement with the standing leg by squeezing the butt muscles. Repeat this 10 times for 3 sets daily.

Strain vs Sprain? How To Recover Optimally

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Acute sprains and strains may impede performance and delay return to a sport. Proper management, treatment, and prevention is essential to recovering effectively. An athlete must first understand the definition and recognize the differences between a "sprain" and a "strain." A sprain is defined as a violent overstretching of one or more ligaments in a joint. A sprain can result in pain, tenderness, swelling or bruising at the joint. A strain is defined as a stress or direct injury to the muscle or tendon. A strain may also cause pain when moving or stretching the injured muscle, but can also cause muscle spasms.

Grades of Strain: 1) Grade I - Mild Strain: slightly pulled muscle with no muscle or tendon tears and no loss of strength and low levels of pain
2) Grade II - Moderate Strain: partial tearing of the muscle or tendon at the bone attachment with reduced strength, moderate pain levels
3) Grade III - Severe Strain: complete rupture of muscle-tendon-bone attachm…

Ankle Sprains - 4 Point Star Balance

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This exercise retrains your balance, strength and proprioception and will help you regain functional mobility faster after an ankle sprain. Start by putting your weight on the side of the affected ankle and hike the opposite foot up off of the ground. Remember to keep your inner core tight below the belly button. Then with the foot that’s off of the ground touch the first point in front of the ground, then to the side and then behind you, and then cross over to the other side of the body. Repeat the 4 points of contact (front, left side, back and right side) for 30 seconds 4 sets 4 times per day. As you get stronger increase it to 60 seconds 4 sets 4 times per day. If you have a fracture as a result of your injury or you are unsure if this is the right exercise for you to do, consult your physiotherapist before starting this exercise.

Ankle Sprains: 2-Legged Squats

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The two legged squat is a basic strengthening exercise that’s very effective in strengthening your ankle immediately after an acute ankle sprain for the first couple of weeks as long as you can fully weight bear on that ankle and foot and that there is no fracture from your sprain. Sometimes the ligaments can be torn and pull off a piece of the bone where it attaches and this is called an avulsion fracture. Scans such as X-rays will not necessarily show that there is a fracture if the ankle injury /sprain was recent. There are certain tests that your physiotherapist can do before getting an X-ray to determine that there is a greater likelihood of a fracture. So if you are unsure, I would suggest consulting your Physiotherapist before starting this exercise. Starting with tall posture, engage your core below the belly button by drawing the inner core muscles towards the spine making your waistline skinnier. Maintain normal breathing without arching the low back. With arms in a ready po…

Back, Sacro-Iliac-Joint Pain & Dysfunction: Core Stability Foam Roller

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Lying with your low back flat on the foam roller pull your inner abdominal muscles downward. Imagine you are making yourself skinnier at your waistline and breath into your diaphragm. Slowly lift one bent knee up towards the chest, followed by the other knee while keeping your core engaged, low back flat and breathing into your diaphragm. Then slowly lower one leg down at a time. Repeat this for 3 to 5 minutes 4 times daily on the foam roller to strengthen your core stability muscles for your lower back, pelvis / sacroiliac joints and hips. To progress and increase the difficulty of this exercise, start with both knees and both arms straight up in the air while lying flat on the foam roller. Reach one arm up above your head towards the ground and lower your opposite leg with a bent knee back down to the floor while keeping your core engaged, back nice and flat and breathing into your diaphragm. Return the arm and knee back to the start position and do this for the other arm and leg. R…

Back, Sacro-Iliac-Joint Pain & Dysfunction: Core Stability Strengthen (With Progression)

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Start off with one hand below your belly button and pull your inner abdominal muscles downward. Imagine you are making yourself skinnier at your waistline. Put your other hand by your low back to make sure you keep it nice and flat. Slowly lift one bent knee up towards the chest, followed by the other knee while keeping your core engaged, low back flat and breathing into your diaphragm. Then slowly lower one leg down at a time. Repeat this for 3 to 5 minutes as a basic core stability strength exercise 4 times daily. To progress and increase the difficulty of this exercise, start with both knees and both arms straight up in the air. Reach one arm up above your head towards the ground and lower your opposite leg straight down to the floor while keeping your core engaged, back nice and flat and breathing into your diaphragm. Return the arm and knee back to the start position and do this for the other arm and leg. Repeat this alternating pattern with the arm and opposite leg for 3 to 5 mi…

Mid and Low Back Stiffness: External Oblique Stretch

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This exercise is to stretch out the external oblique muscles. Start by placing the arm of the side to be stretched out to the side on the ground. You can hold a weight or dumbbell in your hand to anchor yourself down. Then bring both knees up to your chest and twist them down to the opposite side. Use your other hand to hold your knees down. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds for 3 sets for both sides. If you are experiencing any acute or sharp pain consult your Physiotherapist before trying this exercise. 

Overuse Knee Pain: IT-Band / Lateral Quad Stretch

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Start by lying on your good side with the tight Iliotibial Band or “IT-Band” facing up. Keep your inner core muscles below the belly button engaged while keeping your low back flat. Then, bring the bottom knee towards your chest and with your left hand, reach down and back for your other leg above the ankle. Pull the heel back towards the bum while keeping the core engaged and the low back flat. Keeping the top knee and ankle parallel and level with the floor, lift your bottom heel onto the top part of your knee. Next, guide your lower leg down toward the floor with your heel while keeping the top leg, knee and ankle parallel and level to the floor. As the top leg is lowered down, have the top knee and thigh pointed downwards so it’s in alignment with your whole spine. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 sets 2 times daily. This “IT-Band” stretch is particularly helpful if it’s caused by tightness by an overly tight lateral quadriceps muscle. This type of overuse knee pain c…

Hip, Low Back, Sacro-Iliac Joint Pain or Stiffness: Hip Flexor Stretch

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Kneel down onto your left knee. Then rotate it about 45 degrees past the midline of your body. To keep your posture nice and tall imagine there’s a string pulling your whole spine upwards from your pelvis, right up your entire back and neck and up to the top of your head. Then engage your inner core muscles tight below your belly button and keep your low back flat. Next, bend the right knee forward and keep your posture nice and tall without leaning backwards. Then reach your left arm up pointing the fingers towards the ceiling nice and high and point your right finger tips to the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for each side. This stretch can help with hip, low back or sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction. If you experience pain and continue having problems then consult your Physiotherapist.