Category Archives for "bad posture"

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.

Ergonomics at Home

After one year since going into a state of emergency, many British Columbians are still found to be working from home. Although this yields to be beneficial for the health and safety of employees, working from home may actually be a slippery slope when ill-prepared. Giving in to the temptation of sitting on your couch or melting into your chair will only feel good for a short amount of time, despite how comfortable it may seem. These natural tendencies can potentially be detrimental to your body, possibly resulting in some tension and pain. Ergonomics can be defined as “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” Creating a workspace that is ergonomic is an easy and productive way to take care of your body on a day-to-day basis.

Here are some ways you can make your workspace at home ergonomic: 

  • Adjust your chair accordingly so that your arms sit at a 90-degree angle along the top of your table.
  • When sitting on your chair, make sure that your feet are flat on the floor, and that your back is against your chair so that it promotes your spine’s natural S-shape. Use our video on sitting posture retraining as a guideline for how to properly sit on a chair and prevent back and neck pain.
  • Keep your monitor an arm’s length away from you. By adding a few textbooks underneath it, raise your monitor high enough so that the top of the screen is at eye level. 
  • Position your accessories and office supplies close at hand to help you avoid reaching for them when you need it, thus, preventing tension and pain.

Following these tips are crucial for creating an ergonomic workspace. Making these changes while working from home will be beneficial in caring for your body while working efficiently.

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

Preventing Repetitive Strain Injuries At A Desk Job

Labour-intensive industries get a lot of attention when it comes to work-related injuries, but employees who work in office settings are also at risk. Poor ergonomics and organization can lead to common office injuries such as computer eye strains, falls and most importantly, repetitive use injuries.

Our bones and muscles make up our musculoskeletal system. This system allows us to perform activities such as walking, running, and anything requiring the movement of the body. A repetitive strain injury occurs when repeated movements produce stress on your body. Unfortunately, many office jobs require repetitive motions to fulfill our duties, and for this reason, they are the most common type of injury found in the office (WCB). Examples of repetitive strain injuries include carpal tunnel, tendonitis, radial tunnel syndrome, and others.

Symptoms of repetitive strain injuries include:
  · Dull aching
  · Loss of sensation (numbness) especially at night
  · Tingling and burning sensations
  · Swelling around wrist/hand
  · Clumsiness (impaired dexterity, loss of ability to grasp items, etc.)
  · Muscle weakness, fatigue, and/or spasms

  · Stop or reduce the intensity of activity causing the pain
  · Taking breaks from repetitive tasks
  · While at the desk…
      · Ensure proper ergonomics
      · Avoid slouching
      · Avoid bending the wrists when typing
      · Avoid hitting the keys too hard when typing
      · Don’t grip the mouse too tightly
      · Ensure you are working in an appropriate temperature
Standing up and performing stretches such as the following:

WCB (n.d.) Office Ergonomics. Retrieved from:

6 Pain-Fighting Moves You Can Do With A Tennis Ball

We absolutely love using foam roller exercises to work out those nagging aches and pains, but sometimes they can’t get into a tight area quite as well as a pair of human hands. The next best option after a massage? This series of mini self-massage techniques using nothing more than a few tennis balls. These moves get into the deepest layers of your muscle and connective tissue to pry apart adhesions so your muscles can fully contract and stretch. They’ll also relieve soreness, pain, and increase circulation. So grab a pair of tennis balls (you know there’s one buried somewhere in the garage) and get started.

If You’ve Got… Achy Feet

Try… Sole Searching

Why it helps: The ball loosens up stiffness in your sole’s muscles, joints, and connective tissues.

How to do it:

  1. While standing next to a wall or chair for stability, place a ball underneath the arch of your foot. Keep your heel on the floor and let your body weight sink in. Take deep breaths for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Slowly roll your foot from side to side so the ball crosses your arch. Repeat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Roll the ball along the length of your foot from heal to toe for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Repeat on the other foot.

If You’ve Got… Stiff Knees

Try… Kneedy Ball

Why it helps: The ball acts as a spacer to gently traction the lower leg bones, kneecap, and thigh away from one another. This provides an internal stretch within the often-stiff joint capsule of the knee.

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor or in a chair and place the ball behind your bent knee, as close to the side of the knee as possible.
  2. Attempt to contract your muscles against the ball, temporarily “squashing” the ball for a count of 10, then relax your muscles for a count of 10. Do this 8 to 10 times.
  3. Repeat on the other knee.

If You’ve Got… Tight Thighs

Try… IT Band Meltdown

Why it helps: The balls tease motion into the frequently tight IT Band and outer quadriceps muscle (vastus lateralis). This move helps to soothe tight knees and hips at once.

How to do it:

  1. While sitting on the ground or in a firm chair, place 2 balls on the outside of your thigh. Keep the balls nestled into the side of your thigh and slowly bend and straighten your knee 20 times.
  2. Move your thigh from side to side so that the balls cross the side of your thigh. Repeat for 2 minutes.
  3. Repeat on the other side.

If You’ve Got… Sore Hips

Try… Hip Help

Why It Helps: This move targets multiple large and small muscles that attach on the side of the hip (the gluteus maximus, the medius, and the pitiformis). These muscles can be tight either from sitting too much, overuse in exercise, or wearing high-heeled shoes.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on the ground and place one ball on the side of your hip, then lean into the ball. Make slow circles with the hip and leg as it rests on the ball. Circle 12 times in each direction.
  2. Repeat on the other side.

If You’ve Got… A Cramped Back

Try… Low Back Loosener

Why It Helps: This move massages and relieves tension in the multiple back and core muscles that intersect in the lower back.

How to do it:

  1. Place 2 balls vertically between your bottom and your ribs and lie down on top of them. Breathe deeply while shifting your pelvis from side to side so the balls cross your entire lower back. If you’d like, you can place the balls in a tote, stocking, or sock.
  2. Move the ball more slowly in the areas where you feel stiffer, and lighten your pressure when you’re near the spine so that you’re not pinching the balls into your bones as you cross from right to left or left to right.
  3. Breathe deeply as you roll for up to 5 minutes.

If You’ve Got… Bad Posture

Try… Upper Back UnWind

Why It Helps: This move is a postural corrective, an upper back tension reliever, and also helps to revive your breath.

How to do it:

  1. Lie down and place two balls side by side on either side of your upper back. (You can place them in a tote, stocking, or sock, if you’d like.) Interlace your hands behind your head and lift your head off the floor, bringing your chin toward your chest. Lift your bottom off the floor and take 3 deep breaths into your ribs.
  2. Keeping your breaths big and steady, roll the balls like a rolling pin up and down your upper back for 3 to 4 minutes.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.