Chronic Pain of Spine & Joints

Musculoskeletal pain is the No 1 reason adults miss work each year. For those dealing with a chronic condition or an acute injury, orthopaedic physiotherapy helps you manage pain so you get back to living a full and active life. The goal of physiotherapy is to fully rehabilitate your muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments so they function optimally. A physiotherapist is expertly trained in identifying and treating orthopaedic movement problems. You work under the guidance of your therapist to achieve your own personal goals, which may include:

  • Decreasing pain
  • Improving mobility
  • Improving posture
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Building strength and endurance
  • Prevention of injury recurrence

Pelvic Health

What is pelvic floor disfunction?

When you are unable to control the muscles in your pelvic floor, it is called pelvic floor disfunction. Pelvic floor disfunction can also happen as a result of overactive or tight pelvic muscles or underactive or weak pelvic muscles. Pelvic floor disfunction and disorders can include conditions such as:

  • Prolapse (when organs drop down)
  • Diastasis recti (when the abdominal muscles separate)
  • Incontinence (both the bladder and bowel)
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pre-natal and postpartum pelvic pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Prostate problems
  • Low back pain
  • Coccydynia (tailbone pain)

Causes of pelvic floor disfunction

Problems with the pelvic floor can be linked to many things including diseases and disorders of the pelvic floor and hormonal changes. Other contributing factors include aging, injury to the area, participation in high impact sports, strenuous exercise, pregnancy, and childbirth.

Intramuscular Stimulation

IMS is a similar technique to acupuncture and uses fine needles to treat tight muscle bands, or trigger points, that are implicated in many chronic and painful conditions such as neck and back pain as well as many other soft tissue injuries. Other terms commonly used to describe IMS are dry needling, and trigger point dry needling.

What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a taut band of skeletal muscle located within a larger muscle group. Trigger points can be tender to the touch, and touching a trigger point may cause pain to other parts of the body.

Why dry needling or IMS?

In cases when dry needling is used by physical therapists, it is typically one technique that’s part of a larger treatment plan. Physiotherapists use dry needling with the goal of releasing or in activating trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion. Preliminary research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalizes dysfunctions of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles. This can help speed up the patient’s return to active rehabilitation.

Sports Injuries

Individualized programs are developed for each athlete, focusing on the specific area of injury, or muscle groups in need of strengthening for their specific sport. Injury prevention is also a critical part of our program. By strengthening specific muscles groups, especially the often-neglected secondary and tertiary muscles, we can keep athletes and patients alike from getting injured again. We try to identify potential strength deficits, muscular imbalances, flexibility concerns, bio-mechanical problems, and proprioceptive and motor control issues, then create treatments that focus on those areas to improve performance and prevent injury.

Bow Valley Physio delivers a level of care to get you back to your activity and keep you there. Whether you are a professional or recreational athlete, weekend warrior or just looking to move better in your activities, our passion is to get you back to activity, move better and STAY better. Movement patterns are analysed bio-mechanically of your sport or activity in order to correct any patterns that are causing pain and affecting your sport. A holistic approach is utilized to best treat movement patterns, and improve performance.

TMJ Disorders

A clicking sound in your jaw joint is one of the most common symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), but not the only one. TMD generally refers to any movement issue within the joint that connects your upper and lower jaw. Just like other muscle and joint issues, those suffering from TMD can often be helped through physiotherapy.

What are the symptons of TMJ?

For some who experience TMD, the symptoms are merely annoying and cause a minimal amount of discomfort. For others, TMD can be more serious, and lead to headaches or locking of the jaw. Shoulder, neck and back pain can also be cause by dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. These symptoms may come and go, or remain consistent for longer periods of time.

What are the causes of TMJ?

There is no one cause associated with TMD. The disorder can be muscle and soft tissue related, joint related, or a combination of the two. The symptoms may appear suddenly or develop gradually. The cause of your TMD pain may include one or more of the following:

  • Physical trauma
  • Misaligned bite
  • Teeth grinding
  • Nail biting
  • Gum chewing
  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • Dental procedure or surgery

How can physiotherapy help?

Although TMD is a disorder of the jaw, our physical therapists understand the importance of the connection between the jaw and neck muscles. They will evaluate possible causes of your symptoms and work with you to determine the best treatment plan. Specific treatment plans may include:

  • Trigger point release
  • Mobilization of tense muscles
  • Strengthening of weak muscles
  • Posture correction
  • Jaw joint mobilization
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Neuromuscular re-education
  • Patient education on habit changes

Post-concussion Rehab

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic injury to your head that could cause long-term effects to your brain. It can injure brain tissue and change chemical balance within your brain. If you or a family member experiences a head injury as a result of an accident or sport, seek medical attention. Concussions commonly occur when the brain is violently shaken during a rapid movement, such as whiplash, or a direct hit to the head. After a concussion, you may have both temporary and permanent changes in brain function in your overall health and physical capabilities.

How long is the recovery from a concussion?

Recovery from a concussion can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, or sometimes years. Because a concussion often occurs in combination with injuries to the neck and surrounding muscles and tissues, an experienced physiotherapist is a valuable asset to your recovery.

How does physiotherapy help with a concussion?

Physiotherapists are trained in a variety of noninvasive, gentle modalities that help relieve stress and tension in your neck muscles after a concussion. Additionally, they provide techniques for pain relief, pain management, and physical coordination, if necessary. They look at the inner ear (vestibular system), vision, neurological system, and neck impairments and provide treatment for the areas of greatest concern.

Pre & Post Natal Care

Pre-Natal Care

Throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy the female body goes through various changes – many of which are due to hormonal fluctuations and weight gain. These changes affect the muscles, joints, ligaments, and the overall posture. As most moms know, everybody responds to these changes in a different way. In fact, the same woman may experience significant differences from one pregnancy to another. This specialized form of physical therapy can be effective in providing a smooth and pain free transition through such an important period in a woman’s life. Additionally, it will prepare her for an easy and informed delivery as well as proved insight into methods for a quick recovery at postpartum.

Treatment of The Following Pregnancy Related Conditions:

  • Pain associated with the back, rib-cage, pelvis, buttock, tailbone, sacroiliac joint (SI), hip, or pubic areas
  • Instruction on how to prevent perineal tearing during vaginal delivery
  • Understanding and gaining awareness of the muscles involved in delivery
  • Determining appropriate birthing position if you have an injury
  • Pelvic floor muscle strengthening (Kegels) to prevent perineal tearing, postpartum urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and pelvic organ prolapse
  • Maintaining appropriate exercise routine to stay in good physical shape – through exercise, Yoga and Pilates

Post-Natal Care

Postpartum period (or post-natal) is defined as the time immediately after giving birth and extending to six weeks thereafter. However, in many women the recovery period is prolonged to a few months or years and it may even last a lifetime if a woman never fully heals from pregnancy or labour and delivery induced injuries. Given the various practices commonly carried out during delivery – instrument assisted vaginal delivery, routine episiotomy, cesarean section, unfavourable birthing position – the postpartum rehabilitation varies significantly from person to person. However, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction is the common theme for all. Due to injury to the pelvic floor muscles during vaginal delivery a number of conditions may arise (see below). Although increased number of elective C-sections are performed to reduced incidence of pelvic floor muscle injury, studies show that women who have undergone a C-section are still at risk of developing the same issues – due to the stresses and strains sustained during the 40 weeks of pregnancy. In addition, they are also predisposed to low back pain due to compromised abdominal muscle wall, not to mention – complications from the C-section scar itself.

Treatment for the following common post-partum conditions:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse – urethrocele, cystocele, rectocele
  • Painful intercourse
  • Diastasis Recti – commonly known as separated abdominal wall muscles
  • Pain or discomfort associated with C-sections or episiotomy scars
  • Pain associated with the back, pelvic, buttock, tailbone, sacroiliac joint, and pubic areas
  • Therapeutic exercise to rehabilitate the pelvic floor (Kegels) and abdominal muscles for functional use
  • Safe return to your preferred exercise routine