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The Alberta Health Care Funding Model Explained Some of the most common questions we field in physical therapy are concerning the funding model for assessment and treatment through Alberta Health Care. A number of clinics in the Edmonton area are allotted a monthly and yearly allowance for community rehabilitation.  Wait times vary depending on demand,…

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Injury Prevention for Golfers As the weather gets warmer and the grass greener, the itch for golfers to begin their season inevitably grows stronger.  Unfortunately, this excitement to start the season right where they left off the previous year can lead to injury for amateur golfers.  The most common injuries seen in golfers include:  …

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Therapeutic Ultrasound What Is Therapeutic Ultrasound? Therapeutic Ultrasound is a treatment modality that uses sound waves to create deep heat in soft tissues of the body, including muscle, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (Sears, 2016). How Ultrasound Works: Ultrasound uses soundwaves which pass through the skin and cause vibration of the soft tissue. The vibration then…

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Q and A with Personal Trainer Devon Chang – Returning to the Gym Following Injury We get a number of questions from our clients who are eager to return to the gym and their other regular activities.  This month’s guest blogger, Devon Chang, is a CESP – Certified Personal Trainer at World Heath Club (Jasper…

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Workplace Ergonomics Workplace ergonomics is becoming an important consideration in injury prevention given the increasingly large number of people who spend the majority of their day working at a desk.  Some relatively easy and inexpensive adjustments in the workplace can have a significant impact on many postural and repetitive strain type injuries including chronic neck…

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Injury Prevention In Runners 50% of people who take up running will quit within the first year due to an injury! The majority of injuries suffered by runners are repetitive strain type injuries related to tissue overload with inadequate time for tissue adaptation. Most of these injuries can be diagnosed clinically and will respond well…

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The Cervical Deep Neck Flexors A large percentage of skeletal stability is afforded by muscles.  Muscles are designed to stabilize the skeleton in mid range, functional positions and are the only system that can compensate for changes in articular integrity. All muscles are important for motion and support, however, not all muscles function in the…

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Stages of Healing   One of the most common questions we hear as physical therapists is “How long will it take for me to recover”?  Soft tissue injuries such as ligament sprains and muscle strains follow a characteristic pattern of healing with three general phases, the inflammatory phase, the proliferative or fibroblastic phase and the…

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What is Manual Therapy? The term manual therapy is widely used in physical therapy practice but is perhaps less widely understood. Manual therapy is a broad phrase used to describe the “hands-on” work performed by physical therapists and can include soft tissue techniques, joint mobilization and mobilization with movement, manipulation and myofascial release. These techniques…

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The Physiology of Fat by Jack Haworth MScPT, BSc The World Health Assembly in May 2012 stated a goal of ‘no increase in obesity or diabetes levels’ from 2010 by 2025. Ezzat et al (2016) conducted a meta-analysis from 1975-2014 and now state that if trends continue there is zero percent chance of meeting the…

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De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis WHAT IS De QUERVAIN’S TENOSYNOVITIS? De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons in the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. The abductor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis tendons as well as the synovium and tendon sheath become inflamed. The tendon then does not glide as smoothly in the…

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Transversus Abdominus and its Role in Lumbar Spinal Stabilization  Spinal stability is dependent upon three sub-systems: the active or contractile system, the passive or non-contractile system and the neural control system. (Panjabi, 1992). If dysfunction is present in any one or a combination of these sub-systems, the stabilizing capacity of the spine will be compromised…

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To stretch or not to stretch? Most of us stretch at some point in our lives, whether it’s for athletics, to lengthen a sore or stiff muscle, or just to see if it really is impossible to touch your nose to your elbow. Over the past few years there has been a lot of information…

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Physiotherapy Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis What is Plantar Fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is a common condition causing pain in the heel, which can radiate into the foot. It is typically seen in people age 40-60 but can also occur in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers. Plantar fasciitis may…

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Shoulder Impingement Syndrome – Contributing Factors and Management The primary function of the rotator cuff (RC) muscles is to stabilize, compress and provide fine motor control to the glenohumeral joint. The supraspinatus acts to compress the humeral head into the glenoid fossa and prevent excessive superior translation of the humeral head during functional activities. The subscapularis…

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Understanding Pain What is this pain that I feel? There are many definitions of pain. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.” In the human body the experience of pain starts…

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Gokavi Transverse Technique (G.T.T.) The Gokavi Transverse Technique (G.T.T.) was developed by Dr. Cynthia Gokavi, a physician with many years of experience treating myofascial pain syndromes. With an extensive background in both traditional acupuncture (AP) and dry needling, Dr. Gokavi herself has suffered from chronic pain for more than 25 years. Her quest, both personal…

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Barefoot Running Origins of Barefoot Running: The evolution of the five-finger shoe (or “barefoot running shoe”eg. Vibram Five Finger) started when observers noticed that members of African (particularly Masai) and Polynesians did not suffer from low back pain and lower limb overuse injuries to the same degree as others in the Western world. The argument was…

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Low Back Pain One of the main developments in treating lower back pain has been the understanding that the abdominal muscle group plays an important role in supporting the spine, and that strengthening this region is valuable in all prevention and treatment programs for lower back pain.  The paraspinal muscles, particularly multifidus, co-contract with transversus to maintain…

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The Crossfit Debate What is CrossFit? CrossFit’s specialty is not specializing. The goal is to optimize performance in all 10 fitness domains: endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Put simply, CrossFit’s goal is to develop overall fitness or “functional” strength. The Debate Since its debut in 2000, CrossFit, considered one…

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Kinesio Tape – Help or Hype? Taping has historically been used for the prevention and treatment of sports injuries to provide protection and support to the joint or muscle during movement. Taping can improve proprioception, which is believed to play a role in preventing acute injury and in the evolution of chronic injury. Kinesio tape…

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HIP JOINT LABRAL TEARS Hip joint labral tears have gained increased attention in recent years as a possible source of hip joint pain and dysfunction. Functional Anatomy: The acetabular labrum forms a ring around the peripheral aspect of the acetabulum.  It consists of both fibrocartilage and dense connective tissue.  While labral function is not fully understood, it…

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ACHILLES TENDINOPATHY The Achilles tendon, the largest and strongest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscles (soleus and gastrocnemius) to the heel.  The Achilles lifts us up on our toes, raising the heel, and plays a critical role in walking, running and jumping.   Pain near the heel or along the back of the leg,…

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Physical Therapy Management of Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) Dysfunction The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is an often overlooked cause of mechanical low back pain.  SIJ dysfunction typically presents as pain over the posterior aspect of the joint. Pain may refer distally into the buttock and/or the lower extremity but rarely extends to the lumbar spine.  Weight bearing (walking,…

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A Guide to Whiplash Associated Disorders (WADs) Treatment for injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions in Alberta are regulated by the Alberta Regulation Insurance Act and specifically under the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulation. Under these regulations a claimant must submit their claim within ten days of their collision by submitting an AB1 form. Following assessment by a health…

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Research News on Tennis Elbow DEFINITION Khan et al in the Physician and Sports Medicine Journal (2000) remind us that “tendinitis” is a misleading term for this degenerative condition (tendinopathy) associated with overuse of the wrist extensor muscle group. MANAGEMENT UPDATE ELBOW ORTHOSES: A June 2009 research report published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and…

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Patellofemoral Pain (PFP) PFP is one of the most common disorders of the knee affecting as many as 22% of the general population (Powers, Souza & Fulkerson, 2009) 70% to 90% of individuals with PFP have recurrent or chronic pain (Davis & Powers, 2010) Research suggests that having PFP as a younger individual may predispose…

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Research News on Golfer’s Elbow DEFINITION Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylosis, is a common condition that is characterized by pain at the medial epicondyle, exacerbated by resisted muscle contraction of the supinator and wrist flexors. MANAGEMENT UPDATE: ECCENTRIC EXERCISES: Eccentric exercises have been shown to be effective for treating golfer’s elbow. The outcome measure for chronic…

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Gluteus Medius Weakness The Gluteus Medius The gluteus medius is one of three gluteus muscles that originates on the posterior aspect of the pelvis and inserts into the lateral femur. It is know to abduct the hip and internally or externally rotate the femur depending on the position of the leg (1). More recently it…

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Acupuncture and Dry Needling How it Works: Acupuncture (AP) has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins and ACTH from within the central nervous system (CNS). Both are desirable in the body post injury or in disease. Did You Know: Naloxone has been shown to block the analgesic effects of low frequency (4 Hz)…

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