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.