Dancers, Athletes and Joint Hypermobility

Dancers, Athletes and Joint Hypermobility

Dancers, Athletes and Joint Hypermobility

One of the main reasons dancers, gymnasts, cheerleaders, figure skaters, and all athletes for that matter, become injured is due to joint hypermobility. Hypermobility refers to a jointsability to move beyond its average range of motion. 

A recent study done with young ballet dancers between 9-19 years of age showed that joint hypermobility was the number one predictor of future injury. To a small degree, our genetics and anatomy play a role in our natural joint mobility, however, with proper cross-training, injuries can be easily prevented!

Here are some tips for dancers (and all types of athletes!) to help if you are currently dealing with hypermobile joints, or if you want to prevent injury.

  • Strengthen, strengthen, strengthen. Strengthening is one of the best ways we can prevent injury to a joint.
  • Avoid overstretching. I know those oversplits are impressive, but without proper joint reinforcements this can lead to further joint instability.
  • Cross-training. As dancers we are often caught in a cycle of the same movements. And although we are often placing ourselves into different positions, we need more variety in our training to prevent overuse of muscles, and underuse of others. It’s all about balance! 

What you can do before a practice or performance to prepare and optimize your joints.

  • Raise your heart rate. Try doing some jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, or some burpees to get your blood pumping!
  • Stretch dynamically before class and statically after class. Your muscles are made up of little links and if we over stretch these links before we begin dancing, it will make it more difficult to contract our muscles due to the links being too far apart from one another.
  • Do some heel raises! Ankles and calf muscles are pertinent for every style of dance. Waking up those muscle will help activate them and prepare them for all your big leaps and jumps.
  • Incorporate large muscle groups in your warmup. Engage the whole lower and upper body through things like squats, lunges, and planks.
  • And of course, have a positive mindset. Our mindset for dance class can make or break how we perform.

Working alongside a physiotherapist who has a vast knowledge base in dance and other athletic fields can help optimize your overall performance and prevent further injury. If you are interested in increasing your overall strength or taking your athletic training to the next level, book an appointment with Allie Bruce-Fuoco Physiotherapist and former 2023 National Highland Dance Champion.

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
Golf Injuries

Golf Injuries

Golf Injuries

Each year in the Okanagan, golfers like me take to the links to whack balls left, right, and occasionally down the middle of the fairway. It’s often a humbling experience.

The sport of golf requires coordination, strength, flexibility, and most importantly, mobility. From the ankles, knees, hips and upward into the spine, rotational forces are generated to create precision and speed at the time of impact between the club face and ball. The golf swing is too complex to correct in this article (if I could fix this problem entirely, I’d probably be on my way to retirement), but I can explain some hip and spine movement mechanics that can help reduce stiffness and improve mobility – to ultimately achieve a more accurate output.

:In most cases, golfers struggle to move their bodies into the correct position at impact, possibly causing a “slice” or “hook”. These types of swings happen by either coming across the ball with an outside-in swing plane, or an inside-out swing plane. During the golf swing the hips are required to perform internal and external rotation. The hip muscles must work in conjunction with one another to properly move the leg within the hip socket. An inability of the hip joints to do this can cause an increase in arm movement, leading to inconsistency at impact. This is the same for the spine. The lower and middle back (lumbar/thoracic), are required to rotate and side-bend. Stiffness through the above regions reduces mobility and therefor minimizes the club arc, causing golfers to reduce their backswing which affects their follow-thru.

Through range-of-motion-exercises synchronized with breathing, golfers can improve their mobility of the joints, as touched on above. Once improvement is seen with mobility, it’s imperative to strengthen into the new ranges of motion. Golf is like any other sport, you need to prepare your body to perform. Below will be some attached exercises that you can implement at anytime throughout the golf season. I can’t promise more birdies, but I can help ensure your body will feel better during your round of golf!

Spine Health Exercises For Golf

1: Thoracic Extension with Foam Roller 

2: Thoracic Rotation with Foam Roller

3: Half Kneeling Thoracic Rotation with Foam Roller

4: Half Kneeling Oblique Thoracic Rotation with Foam Roller

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

Gymnastics

Gymnastics

Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport that requires strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and endurance. While its aerial and acrobatic movements can shock and awe, these movements can increase an athlete’s risk for injury. 

What are the common injuries in gymnastics?

For paediatric populations, the most common gymnastics injuries include: sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations. It has been reported that roughly 97% of gymnastics injuries end up in emergency departments. The most common sites of injuries are the ankle, lower leg, shoulder, Achilles, trunk, and foot. 

One of the most prevalent chronic issue experienced by gymnasts is low back pain. Low back pain has been reported in up to 85% of gymnast populations. The most common low back injury is spondyolysis.

What are the risks?

Risk factors for injury in gymnastics include: a previous history of injury, competing before complete recovery, improper technique, overtraining/overuse, and environmental factors such as landing surfaces. 

How can I prevent injury?

To begin, it should be noted that 80- 97% of injuries happen in practice compared to competition. 

Some of the best ways to prevent injury are to:

  • Avoid over training.
  • Learn proper form and technique for skills in order to protect the body from repeated motions. 
  • Engage in a proper warm up.
  • Engage in specialized strength and conditioning programs that have been developed for gymnasts. 
  • Manage pain and physical issues early, before they become chronic.

Why is physiotherapy important?

Nearly 90% of elite gymnasts report sustaining one or more injuries that result in reduced training capacity. These athletes spend roughly 14% of their time training at sub-optimal levels. Physiotherapists can help to prevent and manage these injuries, which in turn increases optimal training time. 

Physiotherapists with training in gymnast populations can help to identify risk factors, diagnose and treat acute and chronic injuries, educate on proper warm up techniques, provide relevant strength and conditioning programs, and screen for proper form in the performance of gymnastics skills to prevent biomechanical errors. 

Credentials

Lindsay Wourms, PT, MScPT, Special Focus in Paediatrics
Former competitive gymnast 
Gymnastics coaching experience with both recreational and pre-competitive groups
Special education in gymnastics rehabilitation and injury prevention
Physical Therapist on site for gymnastics at the BC Winter Games 2023

References:

References Hecht, S. S., & Burton, M. S. (2009). Medical coverage of gymnastics competitions. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 8(3), 113–118. 

Heinen, T., Pizzera, A., & Cottyn, J. (2010). When is manual guidance effective for the acquisition of complex skills in Gymnastics? International Journal of Sport Psychology, 41(3), 255–276. 

Kerr, Z. Y., Hayden, R., Barr, M., Klossner, D. A., & Dompier, T. P. (2015). Epidemiology of National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s gymnastics injuries, 2009–2010 through 2013– 2014. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(8), 870–878. 

Kirialanis, P., Dallas, G., Di Cagno, A., & Fiorilli, G. (2015). Knee injuries at landing and take-off phase in gymnastics. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 7(1), 17–25. 

Kirialanis, P., Malliou, P., Beneka, A., Gourgoulis, V., Giofstidou, A., & Godolias, G. (2002). Injuries in artistic gymnastic elite adolescent male and female athletes. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 16(4), 145–151. 

Kolt, G. S., & Kirkby, R. J. (1995). Epidemiology of injury in Australian female gymnasts. Research in Sports Medicine: An International Journal, 6(3), 223–231. 

Kox, L. S., Kuijer, P. P. F. M., Kerkhoffs, G. M. M. J., Maas, M., & Frings-Dresen, M. H. W. (2015). Prevalence, incidence and risk factors for overuse injuries of the wrist in young athletes: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(18), 1189-96. 

Kruse, D., & Lemmen, B. (2009). Spine injuries in the sport of gymnastics. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 8(1), 20–28. 

Nemeth, R. L., Von Baeyer, C. L., & Rocha, E. M. (2005). Young gymnasts’ understanding of sport‐ related pain: a contribution to prevention of injury. Child: Care, Health and Development, 31(5), 615–625. 

Sands, W. A., McNeal, J. R., Jemni, M., & Penitente, G. (2011). Thinking sensibly about injury prevention and safety. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 3(3), 43-58. Singh, S., Smith, G. A., Fields, S. K., & McKenzie, L. B. (2008). Gymnastics-related injuries to children treated in emergency departments in the United States, 1990–2005. Pediatrics, 121(4), e954–e960

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

Tips For Healthy Cycling.

Cycling orchard lined roads, touring between vineyards, cruising the Kettle valley railway, flowing down trails at Smith creek, or eagerly awaiting completion of the Okanagan rail trail – cycling offers something for everyone in the beautiful Okanagan.
After an injury or surgery, my patients commonly ask “do you think I’m ready to get back on my bike?”. More often than not, the answer is “yes”. The bicycle is such a fantastic tool for rehabilitation and exercise, producing low impact forces on the body, while promoting lower limb range of motion and strength. However, whether your goal is rehabilitation, fitness, competing in the next triathlon, or just plain enjoyment, you should be aware of some common aches and pains that can stem from time on your bike.
Necks, backs and knees are the most common areas of complaint from cyclists. Sure, cycling is low impact but it can also require long periods of time in sustained postures. When a muscle is in a prolonged contraction its blood flow is limited, its pH level drops becoming more acidic, at which time the muscle will begin to fatigue and complain. Experiencing muscle fatigue and mild pain is a normal process of getting stronger, however only when balanced with adequate recovery time! Prolonged load beyond your tissues tolerance and inadequate recovery time are the primary reasons for injuries on the bike.
If you’re new to cycling or getting back on the bike after a long hiatus, I would encourage you to adhere to the following three principles. 1) Get your bike properly fitted to you. A well fitted bike creates an efficient posture, significantly reducing unwanted loading on your neck, back and knees. Your local bike store can guide you in this process. 2) Start low and build slow. Gradually increasing the load on your bodies tissues and allowing recovery after a ride will allow your tissues to adapt, becoming more tolerant to prolonged postures on the bike. 3) Develop your core strength. The concept of ‘core strength’ is an over promoted concept but when it comes to cycling, having strong gluts and lower back muscles will help to maintain an efficient posture for producing power through the legs and minimizing strain on your back in the process. Consider consulting a physiotherapist or exercise professional for a few core strengthening exercises that can be performed off the bike two to three times a week.
The benefits of cycling far outweigh any of the potential aches and pains mentioned above. Train smartly by adhering to the above principles and continue to experience the joys of cycling in the Okanagan. Maybe I’ll see you at this years Apple triathlon?

Bike techniques to race fast and remain injury-free.

Cycling is considered a low impact activity but some cyclists do experience pain the the back, knees, feet, saddle region, neck, wrists and hands.

The Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia (PABC) recently outlined some simple steps, call the Physio-4, that cyclists can use to reduce their chances for injury, prevent pain, and cycle more effectively.

The Physio-4 for Cycling:

Select a bike that fits. An ill-fitting bike causes pain. A bike that fits – frame size, pedal alignment, handlebar position and saddle height – promotes good posture. Your physiotherapist can provide tips on correct bike fit and can correct poor mechanics before pain and injury develop.

Choose cycling if you have osteoarthritis in your hips, knees or feet. The non-impact, rhythmic motion helps reduce joint pain and stiffness and keeps your muscles strong. Your physiotherapist can prescribe a cycling program and help you choose the right bike.

The aerobic benefits of cycling help to manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Cycling builds stamina. Your physiotherapist can help determine the right level of aerobic exercise and develop a program to meet your goals.

Stretch and strengthen off your bike to improve on-bike performance. Your physiotherapist can create a program to treat muscles that are prone to tightness as well as help you strengthen areas such as your core to dramatically improve your cycling efficiency.

It’s also important to remember to always wearing a helmet and fluorescent clothing by day and reflective clothing at night. After dark and in the rain, cyclists should ensure they have lights that work – white for the front and red for the back. Cyclists should also be vigilant about what’s on the road and be on the lookout for car doors being opened by motorists.

Running techniques to race fast and remain injury-free.

This is the time of year where you are starting to ramp up your training for triathlons and running races. It has been shown that as many as 80% of runners sustain a running-related injury in a given year. So what are the reasons for so many running injuries? And how can they be avoided?

Training schedule, running technique, and tissue strength/tolerance are three major determinants as to whether or not you will be sidelined with an injury this season.

Here are more detailed explanations of the three common causes for injury:

Too much too soon. An overly ambition training schedule is a classic mistake. It is believed that as much as 80% of running injuries occur because of training errors. An easy to follow guideline is the 10% rule: avoid increasing your running mileage more than 10% from the previous week.

Poor or inefficient running technique. A potential cause for injury is technique, or rather, a poor technique. It can result in too much impact too quickly (vertical loading rate) as you land. A high vertical loading rate can be caused by any of all of the following: heel striking with your foot too far in front of your hips (over-striding), a lack of bend in your knee or hip during landing, a lack of strength in core/hip musculature to help absorb impact. Instead, gradual increased training in a flatter/minimalist shoe (to reduce heel striking), increasing step cadence to approximately 180 steps per minute, and aiming to land softer or ‘quieter’ are all ways of reducing tissue overload.
Core and hip muscle weakness. It has been shown that a lack of gluteal muscle strength can lead to increased stress on the knee and foot, resulting in a greater chance of tissue breakdown. Taking part in a consistent individualized strengthening program throughout the year can be a key component to avoiding injury.

Remember, don’t wait until minor aches and pains turn into significant injury. Every runner is different, so book an appointment with Sun City Physiotherapy to determine how best to avoid injury this season.  Call 250-861-8056 to book your appointment today.