Ankle Sprain Injuries – Split Squats Ankle Strengthening

Split squats will help you develop more strength in your legs, thighs and hips in order to strengthen your ankle after a sprain.

Engage the inner core muscles below your belly button to maintain a tall & neutral upright posture.

Place your back leg into extension by pushing the back forefoot into a solid bench or a chair supported against a wall. With your arms in the ready position bend the knee to 90 degrees by bringing the butt down. Keep your thigh strong by preventing the knee from buckling inwards. Keep your knee over the heel and don’t let it go over your toes. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

Split squats will help you develop more strength in your legs, thighs and hips in order to strengthen your ankle after a sprain. If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Health Benefits of Yoga

  · What is Yoga?
Yoga is a mind and body practice with a 5,000 year history in ancient Indian philosophy (Ross & Thomas, 2010). However, in more recent years, it has become popular as a form of exercise. Incorporating breathing exercises, meditation, and poses designed to encourage relaxation, yoga can amount to immense physical and mental benefits. All you need to start practicing is proper activewear, and a yoga mat.

How is yoga different from stretching?
Yoga poses have two very distinct qualities that need to be cultivated in order to be considered “yoga”, described in the Yoga Sutras as sthira sukham asanam (Ross & Thomas, 2010). Translated to English, In order for postures to be considered yoga, there has to be a balance of steadiness and alertness, as well as comfort and ease in the mind, body and breath of the practitioner.

How do you know if you’re doing it right?
1. Are you moving in sync with your breathing? Let your breath guide you in and out of postures. If your breathing becomes short or disturbed, come out of the movement and breathe freely.
2. Where is your attention placed? Focus on the present moment and be mindful of your thoughts. When your mind begins to drift, return your focus back to your breath.
3. Is there a balance of stability and sense of ease as you perform the poses? Never force the body into a particular form. Ask for modifications, or avoid doing poses that are uncomfortable for you to do (Ross & Thomas, 2010).

Benefits include:
Physical
  · Increased flexibility
  · Increased muscle strength and tone
  · Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  · Maintaining a balanced metabolism
  · Weight reduction
  · Cardio and circulatory health
  · Improved athletic performance
Mental
  · Managing stress
  · Mental clarity & calmness
  · Increases body awareness
  · Sharpens concentration

Ross, A., & Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: A review of comparison studies. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 16(1). doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0044

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strain: Resisted Clock Reaches

If you’ve been doing the “Clock Reaches” exercise and it has been getting super easy without resistance then this progression will help further strengthening the rotator cuff and the shoulder after an injury.

With a light resistance band loop wrapped around your wrists, kneel down in 4 point position with your fists on the ground and keep your spine in neutral posture with your inner core muscles engaged. Imagine there is clock face numbered 9 to 3 O’clock on the ground in front of you.

Begin by reaching the right hand to 9 O’clock and then back to the start position. Proceed to continue to 1O, 11, 12, 1, 2 and then 3 O’clock, and then reverse back to 9 O’clock again. Repeat this for your left hand. Perform 3 sets of 5 for each side.

This exercise is also great to do if you want to increase strength even when you’re not injured. If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

What is “Golfer’s Elbow” ?
Not to be confused with tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is caused by damaged muscle tissue at the medial epicondyle, (inner part of the elbow), whereas tennis elbow is as a result of damage to the
lateral epicondyle (outer part of the elbow). It occurs when more force is applied to this area than the normal healthy tissues can handle. Although this is most commonly found within the golfing community, it can also appear as a result of any activities requiring the lifting, throwing, or a hitting motion. This includes racket sports, such as tennis, throwing sports, weight training, or any forceful, repetitive occupational movements.

Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include pain and tenderness, usually felt on the inner side of the elbow, stiffness, weakness, and numbing or tingling that radiates into the fingers. This pain can come on suddenly or gradually, and can worsen with certain movements such as swinging a golf club. 

Prevention?
Strengthening your forearm muscles
  · Use light weights
  · Squeeze a tennis ball
Fix your form
Using proper equipment
  · Ex. Ensuring your racket has proper grip, or a lighter head
Rest at first sign of elbow pain

Perform stretches before your activity such as the following:

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Martin, E.A., & McFerran, T.A. (2017). A dictionary of nursing. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordreference.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/view/10.1093/acref/9780198788454.001.0001/acref-9780198788454-e-3672

Knee ACL Injury: Squat Clock Reaches

This is a great exercise for developing strength, balance, and proprioception after you have sprained the ACL ligament in your knee.

Start with nice tall posture and engage your core muscles below the belly button by drawing the lower ab muscles inward toward the spine. Then, stand on one leg and hold a stick with the butt end about 2 and a half feet away. Bend down through the hips to touch the stick to the floor at the 9 O’Clock position like a grid on a clock. Come back up and then bend down to touch the end of the stick at the 10 O’Clock position.

Repeat this until you get to the 3 O’Clock position and then reverse coming back to the 9 O’Clock position again to complete the full set. When doing this exercise maintain your knee alignment with the second toe, the knee over the ankle and bend through the butt more. Do 2 full sets 2 times a day.

IT Band Syndrome

What is IT Band Syndrome?
Iliotibial Friction Syndrome is one of the most common causes of “Runner’s Knee” and can account for up to 22% of overuse injuries in runners (Worp et al., 2012). The ITB attaches to a bony protuberance on the outside of the knee, and slides back and forth across this point with movement. Repetitive sliding in this area can create excess friction, especially when the knee is bent at 30 degrees, which is the motion that commonly happens just as your foot strikes the ground while running. ITB Syndrome is typically caused by poor biomechanics due to underlying muscle imbalances, such as weak hip rotators, gluteal muscles, or core muscles. 

Symptoms of ITB Syndrome include sharp or burning pain right above the outer part of the knee, swelling over the outside of the knee, and pain during early knee bending. ITB Syndrome also worsens with continuance of running or other repetitive activities. If you detect any symptoms, the best way to get rid of ITB syndrome is to rest immediately, and take a break from running for a few days (Worp et al., 2012). 

Prevention?

  • Decrease your mileage or take a day off when you feel pain outside of your knee 
  • Walk as a warm up before you begin running
  • Replace shoes that are worn out along the outside of the sole 
  • Run on flat surfaces

Perform exercises or stretches such as the following:

Lateral Quad Stretch:

Rolling Out The IT Band:

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Worp, M., Horst, N., Wijer, A., Bacx, F., & Sanden, M. (2012). Iliotibial band syndrome in runners: A systematic review. Sports Medicine. 42(11). doi:10.1007/BF03262306

Superior Labral tear from Anterior to Posterior (SLAP) Tear

What is a SLAP tear?

The shoulder labrum is a ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket that stabilizes the head of the upper arm bone. As one of the most complex joints in the body, the shoulder joint is held together by an intricate network of tendons, ligaments and soft tissue. A SLAP tear is a torn piece of cartilage in the inner portion of the shoulder joint that can be caused by chronic or acute injuries, as well as aging (Knesek et al., 2012). 

Athletes participating in sports requiring repetitive overhead motions, such as baseball, swimming or weightlifting, are at risk of developing a SLAP tear over time. Acute trauma, such as falling on an outstretched arm, or quickly moving the arm over shoulder level can also be a cause of a SLAP tear. Tearing or fraying the labrum can also develop as a part of general aging, and is not uncommon in people over 40 years of age. 

Symptoms of a SLAP tear can include pain when moving or holding the shoulder in specific positions, reduced range of motion, decrease in shoulder power, locking or clicking in the shoulder, or discomfort when lifting items (Knesek et al., 2012).

Prevention?

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Knesek, M., Skendzel, J., Dines, J., Altchek, D., Allen, A., & Bedi, A. (2012). Diagnosis and management of superior labral anterior posterior tears in throwing athletes. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 41(2). doi:10.1177/0363546512466067

Knee Sprain ACL, MCL: Bosu Ball Lateral Shuffle

One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear.

Place your left foot onto the Bosu and push off on it shuffling it over to allow the right foot to land on the Bosu while you aim to place the left foot on the other side of the Bosu and then finish with both feet on the ground on the other side of the Bosu ball.

When you place your foot on the Bosu ball, keep your knee in line with your 2nd toe and bring your hip over the ankle so you can push off on your entire upper thigh so you avoid pushing off with just your foot. Repeat this going left to right for 1 minute for 3 sets in total.

This is great for strengthening the knee after post anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL surgery or after having sustained a minor strain to your anterior cruciate or medial collateral ligaments. If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Addressing Low Back Pain while Performing a Squat (Weighted or Unweighted)

Athletes around the world regularly perform weighted squats. Research has shown that squatting has a direct impact on your body’s power, which is the ability to overcome a resistance with speed (Loxtercamp, 2018). Therefore, squatting can result in great power and an increase in sprint speed. General benefits include increased flexibility, greater core strength, as well as protection from injury as a result of better coordination of the body. 

However, squats have been known to cause unwanted low back soreness. Although squatting will work the muscles of the lower back, if the low back becomes the most targeted region during the squat, chronic soreness and overuse injury can occur. Previous injury to the lower back, poor technique, as well as weakness of the core or surrounding muscles can contribute to this overuse of the back muscles (Gordon & Bloxham, 2016). Barbell back squats are also the most common for causing back pain as the weight is loaded across the back (Loxtercamp, 2018). If you find this movement difficult, but still want to add weight to your squats, you may want to opt for goblet squats or front squats. 

Goblet Squats

Front Squats

Prevention

  • Proper footwear
  • Progressing weight/load too quickly when squatting
  • Correct stance and posture
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_CuIKf227A
  • Spinal alignment
    • Ensure you’re looking straight ahead or an upward gaze 
  • Joint mobility 

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Gordon, R., & Bloxham, S. (2016). A systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on non-specific chronic low back pain. Healthcare. 4(2). doi:10.3390/healthcare4020022

Loxtercamp, B. (2018). Influence of attentional focus on a weighted barbell back squat among experienced performers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 50(1). doi:10.1248/01.mss.0000536504.18312.43

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strain: Clock Reaches

This is a great exercise for strengthening the rotator cuff and the shoulder complex muscles after straining the rotator cuff.

Kneel with your fists on the ground and keep your spine in neutral posture with your inner core muscles engaged. Imagine there is clock face numbered 9 to 3 O’clock on the ground in front of you.

Begin by reaching the right hand to 9 O’clock and then back to the start position. Proceed to continue to 1O, 11, 12, 1, and then 2 and then 3 O’clock. and then reverse back to 9 O’clock again. Repeat this for your left hand. Perform 3 sets of 5 for each side.

If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

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