Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips

Proper movements and tools will extend your gardening season. The secret to a healthy garden is a healthy gardener. To get the most of your gardening season, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) recommends the following tips and techniques. A “warm up” before you start your gardening helps to reduce muscle strain, injury and fatigue. Do some shoulder circles, trunk rotations, and heel / toe standing. Take a few minutes to stretch your neck, wrists, shoulders, lower back and legs. Repeat them again at the end of your gardening activity. If you begin to feel a bit stiff while gardening, pause and do more stretches.

RAKING OR HOEING – keep your tools close to your body and your back straight to reduce strain. Use your arms and avoid twisting your trunk. Use long-handled tools suited to your height. 

  • If you tend to bend over or reach too far while raking, consider using an ergonomic rake (available at garden centres). It will make the job easier and reduce strain to your back.

WEEDING OR PLANTING – do not bend from the waist. Squat or kneel on a kneeling pad. If you have difficulty getting up, use a kneeling pad / bench with a support handle for assistance. 

  • Give your back, legs and knees a break from stooping and kneeling by using tools with long handles to help with the weeding; 
  • Squat or sit on the ground to trowel, rather than bending over. 

DIGGING OR SHOVELLING – insert the head of the shovel vertically into the ground and step on the blade. Lift small amounts at a time. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees. Avoid twisting. Use a wheelbarrow to move big or heavy loads. 

  • Choose a shovel with a weight and handle length that is appropriate for your size and for the job you are doing; 
  • Give your back a break by using a smaller shovel, reducing the temptation to lift large amounts of soil; 
  • Spread heavy lifting and digging tasks over a week rather than a weekend, and spread major projects throughout the seasons. Take time to recover between them.

LIFTING OR CARRYING – know your limits and lift properly: bend your knees, not your back. Keep the load close to your body. Don’t lift items that are too heavy for you to handle – get help! Use a wagon or wheelbarrow to transport supplies and / or to move or carry heavy items. 

  • A four-wheeled cart is sturdier and easier to use than a wheelbarrow; 
  • Lift with your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Avoid twisting or reaching. 

PRUNING OR TRIMMING – get as close to your work as possible. Don’t stretch beyond your reach or past your stable footing.

  • Match the size of the gardening tool handle to the size of your hand. Choose tools that you can hold so that your hand remains positioned in line with your forearm; 
  • Hold your tools in a loose comfortable grip. Holding too tightly may cause injury; 
  • Be creative! Adapt or create your tools for ease and comfort;
  • Pad the handles of your gardening tools; 
  • Use knee pads or a foam pad for kneeling;
  • Wrap a slippery handle with tape to improve your grip (hockey stick tape will do). 

ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR THE GARDENER:

  • Tools with larger, padded handles are more comfortable for gardeners with painful or arthritic hands. Enlarge tool handles with grip-tape or foam tubing purchased at a hardware store. 
  • Tools with tubular steel rather than wood are more lightweight and may be easier to use.
  • Where possible, use a potting bench or a counter top to prevent unnecessary bending. 
  • Wear a gardening apron with several pockets for carrying frequently used tools, or keep them close at hand, to avoid reaching or twisting for the tool you need. 
  • Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands and joints. 
  • Keep tools (such as your pruners) sharp to make cutting easier. 

Talk to a physiotherapist: Most of the aches and pains gardeners experience can be prevented. Enjoy the fruits of your labour. Don’t be limited by the aches and pains!

Sun City Physiotherapy Locations

Downtown

1468 St. Paul Street, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-861-8056
downtown@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Glenmore

103-437 Glenmore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-762-6313
glenmore@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lake Country

40-9522 Main St., Lake Country, BC
Phone: 250-766-2544
winfield@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lower Mission

3970 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 778-699-2006
lowermission@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Shoulder Pain in Throwers

Shoulder Pain in Throwers

Each spring, at the beginning of baseball and softball season, people will develop pain and soreness in the arm and shoulder when throwing, or after throwing. This can linger or worsen as the season goes, potentially zapping their throwing strength and their ability to participate when it could easily be corrected.

Typically, this pain is a result of overuse or strain on the rotator cuff muscles. Throwing is a very demanding task on the shoulder and requires a sturdy foundation of strength within the rotator cuff muscle group and mobility of the entire shoulder. When we go from not throwing through winter (except maybe the odd snowball) to getting out on the field in spring, it can be a very abrupt change, and therefore, overworks these small supporting rotator cuff muscles. These muscles can then become very tense or tight, and the tendons can become painful from being over worked. Combine this with poor or limited range of motion or mobility and it becomes even more challenging to throw comfortably.

Prevention can be addressed by doing some simple exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff so that it can better support the high demands of the throwing motion. Taking care to warm-up properly is vital. The rule of thumb should be, “warm-up to throw, don’t throw to warm-up!”. This will make huge improvement to comfort and performance.

Try these four  quick basic warm-up exercises. 

  1. Arm circles: starting small at shoulder height moving to large circles
    over 30 seconds.  Forwards and backwards
  2. AROM IR/ER starting at sides gradually moving up to 90 abd 30 seconds
  3. Banded IR @ 90 Abd 2×15
  4. Banded ER @ 90 Abd 2×15

Through physiotherapy, we can address excessive tightness, and work to improve strength. Manual therapy and IMS, which can help reduce pain and restore the range of movement needed to throw. Modalities can be applied to settle any inflammation which may have developed.

Education is key to better learn how to warm-up properly for throwing. It is equally important to identify which muscles need to be strengthened properly and how to do it. Your Physiotherapist can guide you through the steps. 

Sun City Physiotherapy Locations

Downtown

1468 St. Paul Street, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-861-8056
downtown@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Glenmore

103-437 Glenmore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-762-6313
glenmore@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lake Country

40-9522 Main St., Lake Country, BC
Phone: 250-766-2544
winfield@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lower Mission

3970 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 778-699-2006
lowermission@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

What Is Scoliosis?

What Is Scoliosis?

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine, usually diagnosed in adolescents; often without a known cause.

What is Scheuermann’s Kyphosis?

It is a (hyper)kyphosis; a spinal deformity that leads to a more rounded appearance of one’s upper back (sometimes referred to as a “roundback” or “hunchback”)

What does this look like; and what does that mean for me or my child?

It means that you may have noticed some differences in the appearance of your child or yourself as compared to peers: uneven hips, waist, and/or shoulders, a “sticking out” spot on the ribs and/or back, a shoulder blade that doesn’t match the other side. You or your child may also experience increasing symptoms as the condition progresses, such as pain, breathing difficulty, osteoarthritis, mental health problems, and decreased health-related quality of life.

What is Schroth? 

Schroth exercises are an evidence-supported, set of physiotherapeutic scoliosis specific exercises (PSSE). They are aimed at preventing the progression of the spinal curve, or to optimize post surgical results. Studies have shown that Schroth is effective for decreasing pain, improving quality of life, increasing back muscle endurance and range of motion, and improving self-image.

Does timing matter?

Early detection and care planning are very important. The options for, and effectiveness of treating a scoliosis or kyphosis vary with stages of skeletal maturity. If you suspect you, your child or teen has scoliosis or kyphosis, it is important to get it screened by a professional such as a doctor or physiotherapist.

What should I expect when signing up for Schroth therapy?

  • Assessment of your posture/curve and movement
  • Education about your scoliosis/kyphosis
  • Specific Exercises, positions and postures to practice at home
  • Monitoring your scoliosis/kyphosis

Scoliosis and Kyphosis management is a team approach which includes your family doctor (observation, monitoring, and care coordination), physiotherapist (physiotherapeutic scoliosis specific exercises), orthotist (bracing), and surgeon (surgery).

Sun City Physiotherapy Locations

Downtown

1468 St. Paul Street, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-861-8056
downtown@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Glenmore

103-437 Glenmore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-762-6313
glenmore@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lake Country

40-9522 Main St., Lake Country, BC
Phone: 250-766-2544
winfield@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lower Mission

3970 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 778-699-2006
lowermission@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info
Shaking Sugar Cravings

Shaking Sugar Cravings

Shaking Sugar Cravings

5 Tips for shaking those lingering holiday sugar cravings:

Holidays…we love them…and we tend to overdo the treats a bit during them. That’s okay, but battling those sugar cravings while adjusting back to reality and fighting off the post holiday illness, often makes for added frustration. Try these simple tricks to try to get back on track and focused on your holiday resolutions:

  1. Drink your water! Sometimes this alone can help curb those sweet cravings! Often, during this cold time of year, we do not drink as much water as usual. Try having a glass first thing in the morning and supplementing throughout the day with caffeine free teas to help boost overall water intake.
  2. Make sure you are including those starchy carbohydrates. The dieting culture almost makes cutting carbs seem like a normal thing. It’s not! Carbohydrates are not the enemy, they are actually the main source of energy for your body and brain. When the body breaks down carbohydrates it turns them into sugars. This is what is transported to your cells to give you energy (along with other important jobs). If you cut out our starchy carbs (i.e. breads, pastas, rice, potatoes etc.,) you may notice that you feel low energy, mood swings and/or feelings of frustration or agitation. What you will also notice is that you may be rummaging through all the cupboards and fridge looking for that something – not quite satisfied – craving quick sugars (aka processed sugars). Instead of cutting out those starchy carbs, make sure you include them in your healthy diet (try choosing higher fibre choices) as this actually helps fight off some of those sugar cravings!
  3. Balanced meals: It sounds simple, right? But balanced meals really do help kick those sugar cravings! If you skimp on any of the portions, you may notice more evening cravings, or feelings of constant hunger. To make meal planning easier – and better for you – book an appointment with a Registered Dietician. Help is just an appointment away!
  4. Try having natural sugar instead. Processed sugar is often referred to as a ‘drug-like addiction’, the body wants more and more. The body can be lazy, and these sugars have already been processed, so your body doesn’t have to do much work to receive the ‘benefits’. Foods that naturally contain sugar often also contain fibre, protein, or fat. These all help to satisfy the body, but still give that sugar you’re craving. Next time you are caving that fudge or sweet treat after a meal, try having a piece of fruit or yogurt instead!
  5. And finally….If you’re having a treat for simply the pleasure of having a treat (in moderation), ENJOY it!! Be conscious of portion size (i.e. have a bowl, not the WHOLE ice cream bin!), eat it mindfully, really savour it… and DON’T compensate calories for it at your next meal. Just go back to regular eating, have a healthy relationship with treats! Happy Chomping!

Sun City Physiotherapy Locations

Downtown

1468 St. Paul Street, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-861-8056
downtown@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Glenmore

103-437 Glenmore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 250-762-6313
glenmore@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lake Country

40-9522 Main St., Lake Country, BC
Phone: 250-766-2544
winfield@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

Lower Mission

3970 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna, BC
Phone: 778-699-2006
lowermission@suncityphysiotherapy.com
more info

What is a TMD and what are the symptoms?

What is a TMD? 

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the name of the joint located on either side of your head, just in front of your ears. These joints connect your mandible (jawbone) to your temporal bone (skull). The TMJ, which can rotate and move forward, backward and side to side, is considered by the Canadian Dental Association to be one of the most complex joints in the body. 

The TMJ allows us to chew, speak, swallow and yawn. When you have a problem with one of the structures in the TMJ complex (muscle, bone, ligament or disc) you have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). 

What are Common Causes? 

Studies suggest most TMJ problems are due to dysfunction of the masticatory muscles related with parafunction and/or emotional stress. 

However, many factors can influence the TMJ function and lead to a TMD, such as: 

  • Dental and orthodontic work 
  • Inadequate occlusion 
  • Cranial default 
  • Psychological stress 
  • Trauma 
  • Postural stress 
  • Systemic disease e.g. arthritis 
  • Congenital defect 

Considering this list, we can say that 80% of the time the TMD is caused by one or many of the above factors. 

What are the symptoms when you suffer from a TMD? 

The symptoms we hear the most amongst patients are the clicking or grinding of the jaw. Other common symptoms include pain in the ear, cheek, teeth and temples. Symptoms can also include stiffness of the neck, pressure behind the eyes or difficulty swallowing. In some cases people won’t consult until they experience pain, but all symptoms should be mentioned to your health professional. 

If we take ear pain as an example, studies have shown that when an ear infection is ruled out, one third of patients had a TMJ disorder, one third of patients were suffering from a cervical spine disorder (CSD), and the final third of patients experienced pain from both areas. The same can be said for forehead pain. When the sinuses are ruled out as being the cause, the pain will come from the neck musculatures. 

When someone is experiencing pain with their teeth, it is better to see the dentist first to ensure there is nothing wrong with a tooth or a nerve. A panoramic radiograph will be made in some cases, or medication will be prescribed by your doctor, but remember that teeth pain is also a symptom of TMD. 

TMD diagnoses we find in Physiotherapy are hypomobility and hypermobility of the TMJ, anterior disc displacement with and without reduction, musculature syndrome, osteoarthritis, and post injection syndrome. 

There is also an important relationship between TMJ function and posture. Studies point to the influence of an anterior head position as an important factor on the masticatory function. There is evidence to prove that changes in body posture influence the muscle tension on the TMJ. Furthermore, studies are discussing the relationship between the dental occlusion and the posture. Nowadays, the influence of the teeth in the orofacial balance and masticatory muscle is recognized. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, this is why an assessment and treatment of the TMJ includes neck function and posture as well as cranial mobility. It is a joint like any other in the body with a complexity added by the disc in the TMJ. Statistics say that 70% of people will have a TMD, but will not consult a professional until they experience pain. 

TMD is manageable in Physiotherapy with manual therapy, electrotherapy, and specific exercises for this joint.