The Propel Blog

Archive for July, 2011

Why you need a physiotherapist, even if you don’t know you do!

Posted on: July 26th, 2011 by Laurie Plouffe 4 Comments


Of course I realize the benefit of physical therapy on a daily basis, in my work as well as  being immersed in the health and fitness industry. But recently, through conversations I see in social media as well as other venues, it has become apparent to me that not everyone sees the benefit that physiotherapy has to offer. Our profession has a lot of specialties, from rehabilitation from stroke and other neurological conditions, to pre and post surgery, home care and paediatrics. Our specialty at Propel Sports Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Centre is taking care of the limitations you may have to performing or living your life to the best. I am going to tell you why you need us.

10. You have recently hurt yourself doing an activity, such as spraining your ankle or injuring your knee.

This is called an acute injury, and is usually the result of a trauma or incident. We have many tools to assist in reducing the inflammatory phase of healing and promoting faster and more effective healing of your injury. This may involve some modalities (machines) to assist in the treatment of the pain and swelling, or many other techniques. Also education on how to protect and properly stress the tissue as it heals to ensure it heals properly and isn’t susceptible to more injury.

9. You have chronic pain or headaches, pain that is persistent and doesn’t go away.

Any pain or injury that persists for many weeks or months is considered chronic, and the body has adapted to not allow the tissues to be their best. This DOES NOT mean that you have to live with the pain. It just means it is important to figure out the cause of the pain and how to best deal with it. This is where a specially trained physiotherapist with lots of post graduate training in treatment techniques such as IMS (intra muscular stimulation) or acupuncture, would be effective

8. When you cough, sneeze, laugh or jump you “pee a little”.

Commonly after pregnancy women can experience mild to severe incontinence. Unfortunately, many women think that this is normal. IT ISN’T! Some physiotherapists are specially trained to assist in the treatment of the pelvic floor and retraining the proper muscles to work again. Not all physiotherapists are trained in this area, although many can still provide education and exercises, and refer you to someone who specializes in this treatment.

7. You have been in a car accident.

Even minor fender benders can result in soft tissue damage of the neck and spine as well as other injuries. It is important to have this properly assessed and treated by a physiotherapist in order to decrease the lingering effects of the injury. In Alberta you are entitled to certain treatments and timeframes, and we can help with that. We also work with other health care professionals such as chiropractors and massage therapists to ensure you receive the most well rounded care

6. You run, want to run, or have been thinking of running.

If you have been keeping up with my writing you know this is an area I am extremely passionate about. It is essential to learn to run properly and efficiently to prevent common running injuries. It is also important to be wearing the proper kind of shoes (and these aren’t what you think they are! Nor are they what an employee of a running shoe store thinks) There has been a lot of research in the past 10-15 years in this area, now just becoming main stream knowledge. Unfortunately not all physiotherapists (in fact not many) are up to date on this research and are still teaching and treating based on information that is 30 years outdated with no sound research to back it. Find someone that runs, that ‘gets’ running, ‘gets’ how important it is to you and has looked at the newest research in running!

5. You have tried physiotherapy and it didn’t work.

Not all physiotherapists are created equal. Much of what I do in my day to day treatment has all been a result of courses I have taken after graduating university and working with thousands of patients over the past 10 years. Don’t give up on it if you still have pain or a problem. Just seek out someone who is willing to work with you to find the best possible treatment to get you better. Unfortunately I too often see physiotherapists who aren’t able to figure out how to fix the problem just dismiss the patient by telling them there is nothing that can be done. There is always an answer, and a good physiotherapist will refer out to someone with more experience or knowledge if they cannot help you.

4. You hurt something and went to the Dr only to get medication or x-rays which were negative.

If you have hurt yourself, a muscle, joint or bone (that isn’t obviously broken) you should get assessed by a physiotherapist. And you DO NOT need a Dr’s prescription/referral to see us. Just make an appointment and we will do the rest. We are experts in assessing and treating the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones and joints) and know when to refer you to the Dr in case something is more serious. Too often people wait 5+hours in a Dr’s office to get no information or relief, and it is the first place people go. Remember, Dr’s have to be knowledgeable in ALL areas of the body; we just need to know the bones, muscles and joints so we are pretty good at it!

3. You are pregnant and experiencing back or pelvic pain, and think it is a NORMAL part of pregnancy.

IT ISN’T! You don’t have to be uncomfortable just because you are pregnant. This again is an area where a specially trained physiotherapist can help you. Typically the ligaments are loose during pregnancy causing the pelvis to shift. Often the wrong muscles are trying to stabilize it and the proper ones don’t!

2. You play sports recreationally or competitively, or want to.

Being assessed for physical fitness and making sure your body can handle the stress of physical activity is important. We can help by assessing muscle imbalances and teaching you the proper form and technique in order to ensure you perform at your best and prevent injury. Prevention is half the battle of treating injuries.

1. You need a brace.

We are experts in muscles, bones and joints, as I mentioned before, so it just makes sense to come see us to ensure you are fitted properly with the right brace for your needs rather than buying it off the shelf in a drug store. As well, we can actually advise you as to whether or not you need a brace. A proper fitting brace is essential to having the brace work the way it is intended. As well it is important to make sure you get the right brace for your injury, and only a proper physical assessment will tell you what you need. And IF you need it!ad this you consider using physiotherapy as part of your health and fitness regime.

Learn more about our brace fitting services.

It goes without saying that picking your physiotherapist is just as important as going to see one. Find someone who ‘gets’ you, ‘gets’ what you do and how important it is to you and isn’t going to tell you to stop what you are doing because they don’t understand it.

This leads to a whole other post I will write. I just hope that for those who read this you consider using physiotherapy as part of your health and fitness regime.

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AB T6W 0J1 (corner of Ellerslie Rd & 119 St. SW)

(780) 989-8809


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AB T6E 5B3 (Whitemud)

(780) 989-8802
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