Category Archives for "Ultimate Frisbee Injuries"

Ultimate Frisbee Injuries: How to fully rehabilitate your power and strength?

Just Finished playing a week-end tournament?

So you just finished playing a tournament this week-end and you have some extra soreness that’s more than normal in your lower quadrant – namely your thighs, hips, knees, legs or ankles.

What do you do after you have done physiotherapy and rested for several days, and am now eager to get back to playing again? Make sure you have your Physiotherapist assess your functional movement patterns and find out what continued imbalances that you may still have.
Flush out swelling from direct impact with the ground using K-Tape

You need to also make sure you strengthen the weak areas. Doing some specific functional strengthening can help you regain power which could be part of your muscle imbalance equation. It is possible that this will not only help you play harder, run faster, jump higher and cut sharper but may also help you prevent you from getting injured in your next game or tournament. Below is a specific exercise (with a progression to the basic) that can help you increase power and strength through your legs and thighs:

(The following exercise video should be used at your own discretion. At any point of performing this exercise, there should be no pain experienced. If you do, please consult a health care practitioner like a Physiotherapist.)


INSYNC PHYSIOTHERAPY provides services in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS. We also accept WorkSafe BC & ICBC claims. We are excited to be providing integrated patient–centred health care services to help you get back “InSync” with your optimal health & maximum potential for sport, work or play. 

We are committed to give you the highest level of professional care & service (one-on-one 30-60 minute dedicated appointments) while utilizing latest advances in physiotherapy & health care to treat the underlying cause(s) of your problem. 

Contact Us:
UNIT #102 – 4088 CAMBIE STREET            
Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 2X8
Telephone:+1 604 566 9716
E-mail: Send Email 

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

Ankle Injuries in Ultimate Frisbee

Return to Play…

Worlds 2012 – Finals

As someone who used to play Ultimate and now works a lot with Frisbee players, one of the most common type of injuries we see are with ankles. Whether you mildly roll over on it and play through it to spraining it badly enough requiring crutches and being on the sidelines for a while, full rehabilitation and recovery for return to 100% unencumbered play is the same.

What is an Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain is when varying degrees of damage to the ligaments, capsule and soft tissue (including tendons) of the outside or inside of the ankle providing it stability occur. Milder cases include ligaments being over stretched to more severe cases involve complete ligament and capsule tears, tendon strains and cartilage damage to the inside of the joints and even avulsion fractures.

When to seek out Physiotherapy?

What to look for:

  1. If you are unable to walk, run, jump or balance normally
  2. If you have swelling or bruising
  3. If you have bone tenderness
  4. If you have pain in the medial arch or the side of the ankle or foot

What can I do to prevent an Ankle Sprain?

1.   Strengthening the calf and surrounding ankle muscles and the intrinsic foot muscles.
2.   Strengthen your core and your hip muscles.
3.   Stretch calf muscles, hips and keep them flexible.
4.   Ensure you have optimal range of motion, coordination, and muscle balance in your ankles, legs, hips, pelvis and spine. – If you feel stiff or have doubts about your mobility or muscle coordination seek out a Physiotherapist that can perform a Functional Movement Screening Assessment (FMSA) for you.
5.   Work on your balance – do your single leg balancing exercises. Your ‘Proprioception’ is important for power and agility with sharp cuts and quick stop and go motions.
6.   Use Tape or wear an ankle support (brace) when you play. A video, made by Travis Dodds of INSYNC PHYSIO, that may help showing you how you can tape up your own ankle for playing:

How Do I Excel Again?

Whether you sustained a mild sprain or just on the cusp of fully returning from a more serious ankle injury, one thing remains the same. You need to develop the mobility, strength, power and agility to get your game back! This includes a strong core with increased mobility in your hips, knees and ankles. 

Below are some videos made by INSYNC PHYSIO that can help you develop strength for core stability and power for your lower quadrant. Any exercises that you do should be pain free and never result in decreased range of motion or increased swelling. Dysfunctional movement patterns themselves can cause more significant problems, so playing through pain is generally a bad idea.

Whether your injury is mild or a more serious one, if you somehow just don’t feel right during your recovery process it is wise to seek out a health care professional that can properly diagnose the problem and help you treat the root cause of the injury.

Every injury is different, and with them can come unique aspects to the process of recovery and its rehabilitation so that you can resume full function and return to the way you really want to play again.


Wil Seto is a Sport Physiotherapist and has worked with the Australian National Ultimate Frisbee Teams since 2008 helping them win bronze and silver medals in World Championships and World Games events. Currently he will be travelling to World Championships in Italy this summer to help the Australian Men’s Masters Team.
INSYNC PHYSIOTHERAPY provides services in Sports Injuries, Spinal injuries, Post surgical rehabilitation, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS. We use an integrated patient–centred health care approach. Our commitment is to give you the highest level of professional care & service while utilizing latest advances in physiotherapy & health care to treat the underlying cause(s) of your aches and pains & helping you connect with how you really want to move again.

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

Ultimate Frisbee Injuries

Ultimate Frisbee season is in full swing now! For those of you that play at a more competitive and elite level, you have most likely been playing consistently hard, and especially if you are planning on going to compete at The 2014 World Championships this August in Lecco, Italy!

World Ultimate Championships 2008

Stay Strong and Injury Free

The answer is in knowing how to train, prepare for games and recovery!


If you’ve been sidelined by previous injuries, it’s a really good idea to start up those specific
Functional Core Strength
Physiotherapy exercises. The focus is to achieve more neuromuscular balance through appropriate stretching and strengthening of your core, power and agility muscles. If you are playing through any type of pain, then you are most likely not playing at your full potential. Are you holding back 75% to 80% because of pain or stiffness? When you play through any injury, even if it is a minor one, you can develop compensation patterns and muscle imbalances that make you more susceptible to either a traumatic or a chronic repetitive strain injury.
World Championships 2010
When I worked with a team at The 2010 World Club Championships, one of the players had partially tore his rotator cuff from aggressive layouts earlier in his Ultimate Frisbee career. Being the best at his prime he was known for his ability to layout hard for the disc all the time.
Rotator Cuff muscle attachemnts
However, he waited too long before he sought out intervention for it and the injuries became full blown tears in his rotator cuff tendons. He shrugged off his aches and pain and stiffness to “Just playing hard”.



I also worked with another Ultimate Frisbee player that took just a couple of weeks to prepare for World Championships in Japan in 2012. He told me that he was experiencing some minor back pain throughout the summer with his job and never saw any Physiotherapy for it. After a long flight to Osaka, Japan he stepped off the plane with a sore back. After his first game he ended up herniating his lumbar L5 disc and couldn’t even walk for the rest of the week.

Being Proactive

Preparing then means to listen to your body and actually responding proactively to what it is saying to you. It means training to play. Doing an Ultimate Frisbee specific conditioning program can not only help you play stronger, layout harder, but help you last the season or make it to Worlds so that you can play your best injury free. Preparing also means doing adequate warming up and doing dynamic stretching before playing and then warming down and static stretches after you play. The most common type of injuries occurring in Ultimate is muscular strain injuries (over 76% – hamstrings, quadriceps, calves), followed then by ankle, knee, shoulder, head and rib injuries.

Core Strength

Core strengthening

If you have a strong inner core, you can prevent your hamstrings or groin muscles from being so overworked, which can lead to muscular strain. A hypermobile or unstable sacro-iliac joint (SI joint) can contribute to this. Wearing core shorts can also assist in helping you make it through the season or Worlds, but ultimately you want to strengthen your inner core correctly and ensure that your outer core functions in coordination with your strength and power and agility.


Recovery means many things. It means getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and getting enough protein and carbs, and that you warm down and stretch after every practice or game (stretching where you actually feel it instead of just running through the motions). The warm down phase allows you to check in with your body to see if there are any new aches & pains that you have after playing. Sometimes during a game and in the heat of the moment where you make a hard bid and layout for the disc, adrenalin is coursing through your body and you do not necessarily feel the pain. This is where you want to check in with your body.

What to Look For

If you have any new aches and pains, you can follow the “S.H.A.R.P.” rule and then apply the “R.I.C.E.” principle.


S: Swelling – Does the joint look puffy or muscle swollen more than usual after playing? Swelling can cause peripheral damage to healthy tissue surrounding the area that is affected due to the physiological / chemical response to an injury. It can also cause muscle inhibition of the muscles around the joint, which can then lead to compensated movement patterns. Limping, whether obvious or not, can cause detrimental altered movement patterns where muscles no longer work together and imbalances begin to occur.

H: Heat – Does the joint or muscle feel more warm / hot than usual?
A: Altered Function– Does it move differently than normal after playing?
R: Redness – Is there any unusual increased in redness than normal?
P: Pain – Is it more painful than normal?
If any of the following apply to you then you want to follow the “R.I.C.E.” principle.
R: Rest – This means trying no stress to the injury over the next 24-48 hours.
I: Ice – Apply a cold pack or ice with a damp cold hand towel on the area for 15 minutes and repeat it every hour for the first 24-48 hours if the swelling is particularly bad.
C: Compression – Wrap and compress the area to help control the swelling for the first 24 to 72 hours. Use a tensor bandage to wrap a cold pack or ice on the affected area.
E: Elevated–Having the affected area at or above the heart allows the swelling to drain better.
If you notice that after 72 hours that the unusual aches and pains are still there and especially if you catch saying to yourself, “I’m just going to play through it…” then it would be a really good idea to go get it checked out if you want to address the problem proactively and return to playing your best.


By getting at the root cause of your problem, we can help you connect with how you really want to move again!

World Games 2013 – Cali Columbia



Call INSYNC PHYSIO at 604-566-9716 to book your one-on-one appointment today.


Wil Seto, Registered Physiotherapist Send Email
BHSc(PT), BSc(Kin), Dip Sport PT, Dip Ortho PT, FCAMT, CG IMS
Wil has earned degrees in Bachelor of Kinesiology and Bachelor of Health Sciences Physiotherapy (B.H.Sc. PT) from McMaster University. He is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (MCPA) and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapists (FCAMT). In addition, he completed post-graduate studies in Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy (Dip. Manip. PT) and Sport Physiotherapy (Dip. Sport PT), and is certified in Intramuscular Stimulation (CG IMS).
Wil has been working for over 13 years as a Physiotherapist in the Lower Mainland. He brings a great sense of joy and passion in helping people recover from their injuries and getting them back in sync with their optimal health and maximum potential for sport, work or play.
Wil retired from playing elite level Ultimate Frisbee in 2001. He now spends his time outside of the clinic working with Australian Ultimate frisbee teams since 2008 at World Championships. He has helped Australian Ultimate Frisbee teams win silver medals at World Games in 2013 – Columbia & World Championships in 2012 – Japan, & Bronze at World Championships 2010 – Prague, Cz.

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