Category Archives for "avoid injury"

Injury Prevention with Wil Seto

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Remarkable Speaking. I'm here with Wil Seto. He's the owner of Insync Physio in Vancouver, one of the best physiotherapists clinics and physiotherapists in Vancouver. And we're gonna talk about injury prevention. How you doing Wil?

Wil: Hey, I'm doing good. Thanks for the shout out Mark. 

Mark: So I know we've talked about this before. People get a program of recovery and then they promptly after a week or two feel better and stop. That's not exactly a prescription to not get injured again, is it? 

Wil: No, it's not. I think it's also not looking even more long term. Where you know, you may have been on the program now for six to eight months and you feel great. And it's kind of like similar to, you know, you go to the dentist cuz you have a cavity, and you haven't really been brushing your teeth all that great. You mean miss a couple nights, three nights a week kind of thing. Well, you know, let me ask you what happens when you don't brush your teeth for four nights in a row.

Mark: I don't know anymore. I haven't done it for a long time. 

Wil: What do you think would happen? 

Mark: Well, you'd get gunk on your teeth and they feel kind of ucky and I would just feel too guilty. 

Wil: And it would probably smell a little bit. And your family and your friends would probably say something to you about it, right? Maybe, right. So that's the thing, like we brush your teeth and we prevent that from happening. And so when we look at rehab, we wanna think about it in the same way, in terms of preventing the lack of mobility, the lack of the way our muscles function and help support our body. Our muscle, bone, which we call muscle skeletal, muscle bone system.

And then you wanna add the nervous system and all that, which coordinates the muscle bone. So that's called the neuromuscular system. Or the neuromuscular muscular skeletal system. Now the biggest difference though, however, is that if you missed a week of not doing your rehab or your physio exercise or you're strengthening, whatever it is, then you're not gonna necessarily feel it, especially if you've been doing a program for like six to eight months or up to year.

The thing is that it sets you up though. It sets you up to now going back to certain patterns or if you're engaged in either a sporting activity. Definitely with sporting activity, our clinic and our physios see a lot of athletes, from weekend warriors to more the athletes. To your grandmother or your mom that wants to just lift up the baby, or your grandson.

It's the same model and the same process. You gotta work on mobility of the joints, mobility of the muscles, your core strength, or what I call the stabilizing strength and what we call also the mobility strength or the functional strength. And that starts to get altered. And you don't really feel the effects and symptoms of your issue.

And especially if you've had a colourful history with your body with previous injury or injuries. Then what ends up happening is that lack of exercise commitment will add up and then it will lead you more prone to having a relapse of your pre existing thing. It may not be as serious, but you'll have something going on and you start to feel pain and pain is when you cross that threshold when things go wrong. When you start to have pain in your teeth and you get it tooth ache, when you get cavities. 

Mark: So the short answer to this is if you've got a program, you want to keep doing it. But what about if I haven't been hurt? What can I do? Say, I don't have any knee problems, but I don't want to have knee problems. What would be the prescription to prevent? What do I need to be doing? 

Wil: That's a great question. So in sort of our day and age and how we like do things now and just this modern time of sitting a lot and the lifestyles that we live and lead and how active we are. We tend to have certain patterns that our body like to go through. Especially if you're sitting and certain muscles, like in your hip flexors will get tight and your posture will get really adaptive, maladaptive I should say.

And so what happens is that then your muscles start to remember, sort of okay, that's how I wanna be. This is where the resting position is. So your hip flexors normally, if they're nice and relaxed, resting position should be like this, your hip flex will then be in a resting position like this maybe, especially if you're sitting all day long. And then you add on the effect of like, you know, then you 're training. And you're now trying to like, push your body and now you're doing these things and you're sitting eight hours a day or you could even be like a painter and you're doing this eight hours a day or something like that.

They're all repetitive movements, whether it's sitting repetitively, standing repetitively or doing something where your body is adapting a certain neuromuscular skeletal pattern. And then you add some kind of activity, whether it's like a high performance activity, a sport, or even just like playing with your kid, I just wanna look forward to having that time off after my work shift of eight hours on the computer and just play with my son or my daughter, whatever.

Then what happens is then your muscles that have become more maladaptive and you have to work on opening it, getting it back to the normal before that. And this is part of that whole like preventative, this is the self-care that we need to really do. There's certain movements. You don't necessarily have to do physio per se, but there's a lot of like things that, let's say, oh, you know, I wanna start to run my first half marathon. I wanna run my first 10 K. And you start increasing. That's when you usually run into trouble. And especially if now you're approaching late twenties, early thirties and you may not have had an injury, but you decide to go on a goal, some kind of physical activity goal. That's where you could potentially maybe come in in bit of trouble with your body, cuz you start to push it. And especially with things that are repetitive and always the same kind of movements. 

Mark: So again, what would help me? What are some of the suggestions that you would have for somebody for injury prevention? What things could they do, since they might not wanna come into a physio? 

Wil: Yeah. So there's a lot of things actually. Like number one is looking at your posture. So posture for sitting and standing. So if you work at home a lot, or if you're working like on a desk or on a computer a lot, research has shown that you wanna basically mix up your stance. Like you don't wanna be sitting all day long. You don't wanna be standing all day long. So you wanna have a sit to stand workstation.

You wanna make sure that you have the optimal posture for sitting and the optimal posture for standing. So you could, you could hire somebody or you might have a kinesiology friend or maybe a son or a daughter that's studied kinesiology or something like that to give you some basic tips on posture. Or you could get a more professional approach towards hiring, like maybe an ergonomics team or something like that through an occupational therapy consultant. Come in for a physio assessment to look at your posture if you want to. 

But short of that, you really wanna be more aware of like your posture, but also how your body feels. You're like, yeah, I feel a little tight, but then, you know, like a massage, and then yeah, there's something there. Okay maybe pay a little more attention to that. Maybe look at addressing certain things like, oh yeah, there's this stretching thing that I used to do when I used to run and, and I wanna get back into running. Maybe I should address that a little bit.

Or maybe I should roll out that part of that hip muscle a little more with a ball and then stretch it. Like there's all these proactive things that you can do. You can look up a lot of things online, but just be really careful with that too.

You wanna listen to your body? You wanna really like look at the alignment and not be in one prolonged stance or posture, especially if it's not optimal.

Mark: So, if we could encapsulate this a little bit, it's keep active. If you're gonna ramp things up, ramp it up slowly, so your body can adjust, but also your core is gonna be really important. So you talk a lot about activating your inner core and all those kinds of things. But also say something like Pilates or any other stretching type of exercise, yoga. I'm sure that, you know, in moderation, like always cause you can hurt yourself doing anything, I guess. 

Wil: Yeah, for sure. And you made really good point about you wanna keep active, and if you ramp up your activity level, then you wanna do these things. But most importantly, though, if you ramp up your activity level, you want to be more aware and self-aware about what's going on in your own body. And if you don't have a history of any kind of injury, you still want to be aware, you want to be like, okay, after a workout or a training session or a run or whatever it is that you engaging in, just pay attention to what your body's feeling cause is telling you something. 

And then these things like yoga and I'm not trying to endorse like yeah everyone to do one thing, you have to figure out what it is for you. And we have physiotherapists that are trained and basically able to assess looking at, oh, what's tight, what's weak, you know, and that's what we do.

And we can, we can do a functional assessment. So you're gonna do your first half marathon and you're just engaging in training. Great. So then we're gonna take everything into account. We're gonna look at what you do for work and your sitting position. And then we're gonna assess everything related to what you need to train successfully.

And so for you, you need to be able to, as someone that's partaking in your activity, be sort of looking at your activity, well, what am I doing? Okay. I'm gonna be playing volleyball. I'm gonna be jumping a lot. Okay. So right, hips, knees, ankles. And I'm gonna be hitting the ball, shoulder. So just be more aware of those parts the body that you're using. And take an inventory of it. And if it gets tight, maybe do some of these sketches that maybe some friends or coaches or whatever are suggesting, or that you may know from your repertoire.

If you start getting pain, monitor that, is it more than just, oh, I had a hard workout pain. And if it lasts for more than three to five days, that's when you definitely need to get it looked at.

Mark: So if you're in Vancouver and you have an injury, the guys to see are Insync Physio. You can book online at for the Vancouver office. They also have an office in North Burnaby or you can call them (604) 298-4878. Thanks for watching. Thanks Wil. 

Wil: You bet.

Hurling – Injury Prevention and Strengthening the Hamstrings

Hi folks, my name is Simon Kelly. I am an Irish physiotherapist practicing out of the Cambie Village Insync Physiotherapy clinic located on Cambie and King Edward.

Today is just a short blog on injury prevention and strengthening of the hamstring in Gaelic games.

The hamstring is by far the most injured area of the lower limb in Gaelic sports. The hamstring and quadriceps are an antagonistic muscle pair, meaning they work together in harmony to perform controlled smooth movement for locomotion. 

The reason the hamstring is injured so frequently is because these muscles: 

1.  Cross both the hip and knee joints (biarticular joint). They extend the hip and bend the knee. They are made up of three muscles----semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris.

 2. There is a work rate ratio of 3:2---the former being the quadriceps and the latter being the hamstring.

3. The hamstrings fire at the start of swing phase to bend the knee and they fire again at the end of swing phase to control the leg as it moves into knee straightening --- this controls the leg before heel strike. The later being the most reported hamstring injury phase during sprinting and directional changes.

Risk factors --Muscle tightness, muscle imbalances, poor conditioning, muscle fatigue:

Some injury prevention tips for the hamstring muscles:

  1. Muscle tightness:---Dynamic stretching ---far more important than static stretching. Drills must always be dynamic pre game.---the more you simulate play the better
  1. Muscle imbalances: Hamstring strengthening should be a major part of every Gaelic teams strength and conditioning program with particular emphasis on the eccentric phase of training  (lengthening of a muscle under tension)

Nordic hamstring curls---slow on the way down (eccentric) and quick on the way up (concentric contraction)

Nordic hamstring curls with a ballistic/ more dynamic type alteration --fall forward let you hands touch the floor and push up  

  1. Poor conditioning. If your muscles are weak (core/lumbar/hamstrings), they are less able to cope with the stress of exercise and they are much more prone to be injured.

Lumbar/core & pelvis stability are high on my list of gym exercise programs for GAA players: A stable base allows the extremities to work much more efficiently without compensatory patterns occurring. Think of a sailing ship mast or a tree trunk, everything stems from the strong core or middle section-simple.

  1. Muscle fatigue. Fatigue reduces the energy-absorbing capabilities of muscle, making them more susceptible to injury.
  2. Nutrition and hydration 

Tune in soon for wrist strengthening and torso rotation strengthening exercises which are all vital components in the hurling grip and swing.

Knee Ligament Injuries

Background: The knee and the injuries that are involved in this joint are proved to be common and difficult to rehabilitate. In this blog, we will focus on injuries specifically to one of the four ligaments of the knee as shown above. Ligament sprains/strains/tears are most commonly acquired through sport related activities. The most common by far is the ACL tear which usually requires surgery to fix and can force an athlete to miss entire seasons before training again. 

The best way to prevent a ligament sprain and especially a tear, is to maintain stability and strength in the muscles of the legs, glutes and core, ensuring you are warmed up before a workout/practice, and consulting a physiotherapist if you experience any sudden pain. Also, for prevention of any injury, be sure to stretch, ease into new exercises, and ensure you have a proper form with a stable base of support before and during an exercise (even in sports, think about how kicking a soccer ball for example affects your joints).

If you have injured your knee in the past, are currently rehabilitating, or would like to work at strengthening the ligaments of the knee for your personal athletic ventures, check out our latest series on the INSYNC youtube channel such as the ones here below!

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Knee Injury: Roller Bridges

Knee Ligament Injuries: Looped Band Bridges

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

pTHealth Canada. (2018). Ligaments of the Knee [Photo]. Retrieved from

Core Stability – Why does it matter?

What is the core, and why is it important?
The core is the center of our body, and its function is to stabilize the trunk while the arms and legs move. The core consists of muscles that stabilize the hips, torso, and shoulders, therefore having a strong core can help us prevent major injuries, while improving balance and stability. Building a strong core can make it easier to do most physical activities, whether it just be daily tasks or sport performance. Weak core muscles can lead to poor posture, low back pain, and muscle injuries, therefore it is crucial to build a strong core alongside your daily exercise routine. 

Benefits of core strength/stability include:

  • Injury prevention
  • Low back pain prevention
  • Improved posture
  • Balance and stability doing every day tasks such as housework
  • Improved athletic performance. 

Exercises for core stability strengthening

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

Healthwise Staff (2017). Fitness: Increasing Core Stability.
Retrieved from

7 Tips to Staying Injury-Free

Have you ever been just into your first set of lateral raises and felt a pinching feeling? What about being halfway through your run and your knee starts to hurt? What do you do? Do you press through or stop?

There are very few of us that don’t deal with injuries or niggles of some sort. So how can we prevent and manage injuries so that they don’t stop us from living active lives? Here are some tips that we try to use in our training:

1) Listen to your intuition. 

You know your inner voice that speaks to you? Is it whispering or screaming at you? If something really hurts or the pain continues, it’s best to stop. If you have a sharp pain or a pain that is very one sided, something is not right.

2) Keep tension on the muscle. 

Muscles support joints so you want to have tension on the muscle when you are training, you don’t want to be just falling into your joints. You want to slowly lower into a squat, not just drop down and bounce out of the bottom. Keeping the tension on will strengthen the muscle and help to protect your joints.

3) Land softly. 

With HIIT and plyometric training all the rage it’s easy to really hammer on your joints. Think of absorbing your landing (shock absorption!) throughout the movement. Bend at the joint and cushion the landing. If you have a joint or muscle injury that is bothering you then skip the power movements (jumping, explosive movements) until you have fully recovered.

4) Focus on the muscle that is working and the form 

Don’t just go through the motions, know what muscle groups you are using and the proper form for the exercise. If you feel lower back pain, it’s likely that your form is off or your back is compensating for other muscle groups that should be working. Be educated and start with a lighter weight until you have mastered the form.

5) Have a regular yoga or flexibility practice

Having a regular yoga practice can not only keep you limber to help prevent injuries but it also provides more body awareness so that you become more attuned to what is working, what is tight, what is out of balance etc.

6) Take time off when you need it

We can’t stress enough how important it is to rest and heal when you have an injury. If you don’t let an injury fully heal, it may keep cropping up and nagging at you or can put you out of commission for good.

7) Cross train and strength train. 

We’re always harping on our clients to cross train and to ensure that they are strength training. We need to build those muscles that are supporting those joints and instead of only participating in one mode of exercise that can cause overuse injuries and muscle imbalances, be sure to switch up your training. It can help to have a personal trainer assess your weaknesses and work with you to strengthen any lagging muscle groups.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

5 Tips to Preventing Ski and Snowboarding Injuries

As the temperatures continue to drop outside, winter sports begin to heat up! Activities, such as skiing and snowboarding, are very popular at all age levels and draw thousands of people to the slopes each year. Although, as health care professionals, we advocate for an active, healthy lifestyle for all, we want to ensure that everyone is active in the safest way possible as to prevent injuries.

Winter sport injuries are dominantly traumatic and can be caused by falls, collisions, ski lift accidents and/or dangerous or rough terrain. Some of the most common injuries that are seen are injuries to the knee (ACL and Meniscus tears), injuries to the shoulder (subluxations, dislocations and AC joint sprains), injuries to the head (concussions) and fractures (wrist, hand, finger and ankle). Although some accidents cannot be prevented, below are some tips to minimize your risk of injury.

Ensure Proper Instruction

If you are new to the world of skiing and snowboarding or haven’t hit the slopes in a while, sign up for lessons before heading out on your own. Most, if not all, ski resorts offer free lessons to new and even experienced skiers and snowboarders. Taking lessons will teach you about proper technique, how to fall safely, how to properly use the ski lifts, the “rules of the slopes” and which slopes are geared for your ability level. Let a professional instruct you correctly before you develop you own bad habits, which can place yourself, as well as those around you, in danger!

Utilize Proper Equipment

Speak with a professional at a ski shop or sporting goods store when purchasing or renting ski and snowboard equipment. Although the temperature is cold outside your body temperature will slowly increase as you begin activity. Wearing several layers of light, loose-fitting, water and wind resistant clothing will help your body when adjusting to the temperature changes. Wearing appropriate protective equipment such as goggles and a helmet will aid in minimizing the extent of injury just in case an accident does happen. Before setting sail down the mountain, check the bindings to your skis and snowboard to ensure they are adjusted and set to your height, weight and experience level. Improper set up of you bindings or faulty bindings can lead to a dangerous fall due to lack of control of your equipment. Finally, never use old or outdated equipment without checking with a professional to ensure safety first.

Know your Surroundings

Check with your instructor or read the signage around the resort and abide by all safety rules of the slopes. Learning how to yield, stop and safely fall meanwhile keeping your eyes and ears open for potential hazards when skiing down a busy mountain can prevent numerous injuries from occurring. When choosing a slope to head down, make sure the trail is marked, free of any rocks, trees and large icy patches and that the experience level matches that of your own. Being aware of your surroundings and learning how to navigate the slopes will not only keep you safe, but will also protect those around you.

Warm Up

Beginning an activity without properly preparing the body sends thousands of people to the emergency room or their physician’s office every day. Just like we let our cars heat up on a cold, icy day our bodies need time to prepare for the stressors that we will be placing on it. Research has shown that “cold” muscles are more prone to injury. Warming up, or increasing blood flow to the body’s musculature, by completing a mixture of static and dynamic stretches and slightly elevating the heart rate by completing a short jog will greatly diminish the chances of a soft tissue injury (i.e. strains and sprains).

Hydrate and Fuel Up

Give your body all the tools it needs to withstand a long, tiring day on the slopes. Start your day off with a well –balanced breakfast of healthy proteins and carbohydrates to provide your body with the energy it needs to remain alert throughout the day. Dehydration can occur more quickly in the cold due to the amount of respiratory fluid loss through breathing, sweat quickly evaporating in the cold air and under the multiple layers of clothing and people don’t drink water as often due to not feeling as thirsty as they may feel in the heat. Remember to hydrate before, during and after the day as well as replace the calories lost through healthy snacking throughout the day.

Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to remain active in the winter and are sports that can be enjoyed by all if done properly. Following the tips above and consulting with a professional if you have any questions or concerns, will hopefully lead to an injury free winter sport season!

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Prevent Injuries Before They Occur

The Functional Movement Screen can be Helpful 

There was an article in The Globe and Mail earlier this year stating the importance of prehabilitation. Read the article here (PREHABILITATION).

Core Stability Muscle Training

In summary, the article states that many people go to physio once theyre injured, but a physio could help you prevent that injury from occurring in the first place. Physiotherapists look at seven main things during an assessment:

  1. Posture
  2. Movement Screening
  3. Muscle weakness
  4. Muscle inflexibility
  5. Joint mobility
  6. Faulty movement patterns
  7. Activities of daily living

Strength & Flexibility – INSYNC PHYSIO


A Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a process that analyzes movement patterns that you do on a daily basis. The screen uses a ranking and grading system to identify imbalances and asymmetries in the body that lead to pain, tightness and distorted body awareness. The screen examines fundamental movement qualities such as range of motion, muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and proprioception. After completing the FMS, a score is generated that is used to: 

  1. Target your weakest movement patterns
  2. Track progress

Your personalized score is then used to generate a custom exercise program to restore functional movement. The FMS was designed for everybody – not just athletes can benefit from a Functional Movement Screen! The FMS has been used by professional football players as a screening tool to indicate those at greater risk of injury during the season (check out the article here: Functional Movement Screenand continues to be a fundamental part of preseason training for many different sports teams.

Balance, Posture & Proprioception – INSYNC PHYSIO FMS

Heather Camenzind (Johnstone), Registered Physiotherapist Send Email

Heather Camenzind - Portrait

Heather attained both her Masters of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Human Kinetics in Exercise Science degrees from The University of British Columbia. She has experience working with a wide variety of clients, including sport injuries, motor vehicle accidents, work related injuries and post surgical related cases.

She is a certified FMS provider. On your first visit, Heather will take a short history that allows you to express your goals. She will then guide you through the FMS process. She will discuss the scoring findings with you and set a plan of action. On your second visit, Heather will guide you through your customized exercise program. Don’t worry if you dont want to go to the gym or have any equipment at home, Heather can design a program that is achievable for you in your home without any specialized equipment.

Please email Heather If you have any questions regarding the FMS.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.