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Floss? Dynamic stretching for Sciatica Back Pain in Winnipeg

Sciatica? Do you have lower back pain referred down the buttocks, or even the leg and foot; with numbness, tingling, abnormal sensation in those same areas?


It is very common, especially in Downtown Winnipeg, where nearly everyone ‘sits-for-a-living’. Research says ‘flossing’ may not help our teeth, but flossing or dynamically stretching the nervous tissue is another way to prevent, and lessen this back pain. No stretch should create pain, get assessed by your Physio before trying these exercises.

Almost everyone has seen that ‘camel or cat back’ exercise; on all fours, rolling the back upwards, and downwards, we move the nervous tissue associated with sciatic pain.


Reaching, with back extension exercises will help strengthen the muscle supports around the spine.


Give yourself more reasons to stand, and if you include a ‘sit-stand workstation’, know your ergonomics!


Don’t hesitate to ask…

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Get up to your Standing Core with Physiotherapy Winnipeg

If sitting is the ‘new disease’, then remember your ‘standing core’! Your ‘core’ includes any musculature about your central skeleton that may balance your trunk (not a booty remark).

You must include more standing postures in your work day to avoid back pain and other health concerns. Get more from your company benefits or private insurance Winnipeg, know your ergonomics at work, home and play!

Now apply some of those ‘abdominal’ exercises you did on your back;

the Standing ‘knee-cross crunch’


a great standing exercise for balance and hip-pelvic stability; incorporate some kegels for extra control.

the Standing ‘sidebend-reach’


lower to the side slowly, to maintain control; include some diaphragmatic breathing to stimulate all the intercostal muscles.

the Lateral ‘elbow-knee, side crunch’


again incorporating balance, with hip-knee-ankle stability; this exercise will challenge you. No? do it with your eyes closed then.

the Medicine ball or Tubing ‘cross-body chop’


either exercise prop can assist your directional effort in this exercise. Golfers, try not to focus on your ‘hold’ as you may regret the ‘tension’ effects.

the Tubing or Med ball ‘trunk rotation’


move, and resist, slowly; swing through for those tennis players, golfers look down the tubing and finish with the wrists. You could even work in your ‘address position’, batting stance or fore- or backhand pose Winnipeg!


Finally, give yourself some space, create  your own ‘weighted pillow’ and get into some plyometrics! Down to the floor, up to the sky or against that concrete wall in the basement; a great way to include functional, sport force into your movement. Throw n catch against a mini-trampoline for extra challenge or get a partner!

Get ready Winnipeg for these functional, standing core exercises and get more from your company benefit plan or private insurance with Physiotherapy Winnipeg today! Check out our clinical facility at 201 Portage today (ask security for directions or call ahead.

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Golf Season in Winnipeg, are you prepared?

The ‘Stabilized Spine’ golf swing, initially developed by H.J. Ferrante PT,and Tommy Nix (PGA Class A Professional), the stabilized golf swing allows golfers to be able to swing
without injury. The body oriented swing reduces the side bending and
rotation of the spine, and uses the muscles of the trunk, hips, and legs to
produce a powerful golf shot. There are two major principles of a stabilized golf swing.
Rotation should occur in the joints designed for these motions
The golf swing is a rotary action, and the lumbar spine (low back) is not well
suited for rotation. The hip joints, shoulder joints, and thoracic spine
(mid-back) are built to withstand rotational forces. Therefore, most of
the rotary motions of the golf swing should be taken through these joints
instead of twisting through your low back. A physiotherapist can teach you
how to get the most mobility out of your hips, thoracic spine and
shoulders, and how to strengthen the large trunk and leg muscles responsible
for generating a powerful golf swing.
Maintaining the lumbar spine in a neutral position can prevent
injury and low back pain Recent back pain research has shown
us the vital importance of our trunk “core muscles” in stabilizing the spine
and avoiding back pain.
The Stabilized Golf Swingimages-1images

1. A good golf swing starts with the grip
Your grip on the club should be balanced
between both hands, using a slight amount of
pressure and producing a V pointing down the
shaft of the club. Avoid the “grip of death” and
your arms and neck will thank you.
2. Your stance is equally important
Place your feet shoulder width apart, and bend
your knees slightly. Pull in your “core
muscles”, holding your back and pelvis in
neutral. Keep your head down and maintain
eye contact with the ball at all times.
3. Concentrate on your backswing
as well as the downswing
The back swing is primarily derived from
the shoulders. Keep your core muscles
pulled in as you turn your shoulders and
upper back to the right (for a right-handed
swing) while maintaining a straight left
elbow. You may also get some motion by
slight rotation through your hip joints. You
should maintain a stable stance with both
feet on the ground, your weight shifted
slightly to your right foot, and your hips
pointing in the same direction as your belly
During the down swing, do not try to kill
the ball. With your core muscles activated,
begin to shift your weight back to your left
foot while keeping your eyes on the ball
and head still. Allow the momentum of
your arms and upper back to accelerate the
club head down to contact the ball. Resist
the urge to rush the shot. As you approach
contact with the ball, your core muscles
should still be pulled in, and your arms and
hips should be pointing in the same
direction. You will end up back where you
were when you addressed the ball.
4. Don’t forget to follow through
As you accelerate through the impact area,
your arm and hips should now pull you
through, and you will complete an arc. It
should feel like a natural motion, with your
hips, shoulders, and knees pointing toward
the target at the end of the swing. With
your core muscle contraction maintained,
your hips should do a natural pivot motion,
and your right foot should be lifted slightly
from the ground. You should not feel a
twisting motion or sense of strain through
your low back or pelvis.
After 20 years of teaching ‘core’ exercises to Manitoba golfers, a more stable, safe swing is possible. Some have advanced to yoga and pilates programs, but golf and the strengthening required to play has not changed. Many professionals have adopted the fitness routines to demonstrate the advantage of an ‘athletic swing’ and swing speed.
Let’s talk swing biomechanics soon.
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Foam Rolling your way to less Back Pain Winnipeg

As benefit dollars remain tight, we’re all looking for ways to DIY…whether it be online diagnosis, nutrition or exercise plans. Lately, in Downtown Winnipeg; ‘everyone’s asking about foam rollers’ and how to use them.

Foam rollers, therapy balls, self massage toys are all a form of self-myofascial release. All muscles have a ’tissue wrap’, the fascia; and it too can become bound, thick and lumpy. This can create painful, trigger points. A common example for runners; the dreaded Iliotibial Band, from hip to knee, with connections to both our quadriceps and hamstring muscles. It can influence pelvic biomechanics and contribute to back pain.


Foam rollers can be used to ‘roll out’ or lengthen, and relax our tight muscles. You can even break those lumps or adhesions in the tissue, causing minor swelling, but increased blood flow which will help feed, and relax your achey muscles


Technique is important. Many clients have just ‘jumped on’ the roll bandwagon and created more pain or injury. We’ve used a spinal orientation to improve trunk and shoulder mobility for golfers. Body rotations in baseball, tennis, hockey, bowling…could all benefit from this routine.


Foam rollers come in various sizes, surfaces and can even be travel friendly for those on vacation or work travel. Check out our foam roller offer. Learn how to proceed safely at home, your foam roller can become a nightly ritual in front of the television.

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Computer or Mouse or Tennis Elbow pain in Winnipeg

If you ‘sit-for-a-living’ at a computer, with ‘mouse oriented’ software; you are at risk of developing a painful condition called ‘computer or mouse or tennis elbow’.

Since 1991, we have been the ‘ergonomic resource’ for many Winnipeg companies and individuals in, and around Downtown Winnipeg. The traditional ‘tennis elbow’ or lateral epicondylitis is a major problem at Portage & Main; given the dominant finance, legal and civil service hub of Manitoba.

The mouse and keyboard dictate an ‘extended wrist-hand’ position, that many function in for upwards of 6-8 hours per day. This static posture, with eccentric load on the extensor muscles takes advantage of the ‘design flaw’ of our wrist-forearm tendons. They basically originate at the elbow in a single tendon junction. It is at this tendon-bone junction that the ‘epicondylitis’ refers to; inflammation of the area of bone, deep to that tendon.

DO NOT REST YOUR WRIST! Using your hand-fingers, from a ‘rested wrist’ will NOT reduce the force strain of the task load on your hand-wrist. It will amplify the extensor work required only.

The most common accessory I recommend for early or acute computer, mouse elbow pain is a ‘support brace’; the brand we use the most is the Bandit Elbow brace. It is meant to help reduce the tensile force and load at the tendon origins, whether is be outside or inside the elbow.

Remember with any medical appliance, get educated on its use, variability of function and durability.

Know your ergonomics too; a vertical mouse may be required for those chronic conditions that keep re-occurring…you only have so many sick days!

Stretch to prepare for your work, and strengthen to perform it effectively. We can teach you the proper stretches and strengthening exercises for work, home and play.

Shop Physiotherapy Winnipeg for the Bandit
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Buy your next car or truck on Ergonomic Value Winnipeg

Is it really the best time to buy a car right now in Winnipeg? Deals on 2015’s…but that pothole filled test drive will make any salesperson cringe.

What about the fit? We fit shoes; there’s a size, function, support, brand, color…sound familiar? Your vehicle’s ‘ergonomics’, how you interact with it’s controls as you drive are of more importance to the manufacturers’ than to you, the consumer. They are taken for granted. We change the seat position, and expect everything else to be just right.

Remember the ‘adjustable foot pedals’? It may still be an option. Some vehicles have ‘memory settings’ on the multiple-way adjustable seats, but none, have adjustable control boards. Some have placed inexplicable number of functions into a ‘knob control’ in the center console, that requires significant memory work or line of sight to the central dash screen. Hopefully the brand does not allow you do do this while driving!

Now the ongoing SUV, CUV, ARV…’baby boomer convenience’ battle…


really? stairs to enter a large SUV?


vehicles designed in one country, may not fit another demographic of people! The typical Asian car is designed around the average 5’7″ person, not the North American 6′ footer!

neck and upper back pain of whiplash

Whiplash, postural tension, the dreaded forward head posture…because we do most tasks in front of the body, and the computer dominant task posture has been dictating neck and back problems since the 1980’s. One example of ‘postural mediation’ the Posture Medic; can be rented or purchased with physiotherapy instruction, and/or ergonomic assessment.


Know your Ergonomics, and test your next car/truck from the inside out before making a purchase.





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If you know your Biomechanics, your Winnipeg Gym will not hurt

No pain, no gain, right? Well, not when it comes to your knees. Sore knees are a common complaint from workout fiends — and they can definitely be a downer. Making a few easy modifications to common gym exercises can ease the aches and safeguard your joints during exercise.


Word to the wise: See your Physio or Doc if you’re experiencing tenderness in your knees after workouts that persists for more than a few days, even with rest.

But if your discomfort is only triggered by certain exercises or machines, here are my tips for modifying lunges, squats, burpees and more.

5 Ways to Give Your Knees a Break Next Time You Sweat

1. The Move: Lunges
Your knees might ache if your legs lack sufficient strength. (Never skip a leg day, right?!) Or maybe your ambition got the best of you and you did far more reps than you should have.

The fix: Relieve some pressure from knees by doing stationary lunges instead of moving ones. Here’s how: Stand with your right foot forward and anchor your left foot in place. Bend your right knee to lower into a lunge, then raise up to start position. After finishing your reps, switch sides. You may have heard to keep your knee directly over your ankle while you lunge, and that may work for some. But the most important factor is that you feel your glutes doing most of the work. Squeeze your booty, feel the work, even try to keep your weight on your heels.

2. The Move: Squats
A common knee-pain problem: Squatting lower than your body can comfortably manage, putting too much of a load on joints.

The fix: Try using a Physio or exercise ball to help support your lower back and keep pressure off of your knees. Stand with your back against a wall and position the ball against your lower to mid back, then squat.

3. The Move: Glute Kickbacks
Because you perform kickbacks on your hands and knees, you may run into knee problems simply because may not have enough padding around your knee to support your weight.

The fix: Add a second mat or find a spongier mat. It may be simple and logical, but, hey, it works.

4. The Move: Burpees
A deep squat is central to this ‘plyometric’ move. But if you’ve got a weak squat, adding jumping into the mix can strain connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.

The fix: “The key to a good squat is learning to hinge from the hips. This will help your butt go back; otherwise your knees will come forward, stressing the joint,” states most experts. In a squat, keep your chest forward and your back straight (don’t round out your shoulders). Your weight should be in your mid-foot and heels, not your toes. As you lower, you should feel your hamstrings and middle and lower butt muscles engaging — not your upper legs and knees.

Before you do a round of burpees, practice a proper squat. After you have it down, progress to single leg squats, which will improve strength, mobility and balance in each leg. Then, get your burpee game in check. But do not attempt too many at once; start with two sets of 10 burpees.

If jumping isn’t an option for you, you can walk your legs back into the push-up and then walk your legs forward after the push-up. Then, skip the jump and simply squat instead, he advises.

5. The Move: Box Jumps
We know jumping, even average walking helps keep bones strong. However, proper progression is key. In other words, start with small jumps, and work your way up to bigger things.

The fix: Before you reach for a box, go ahead and start with standing jumps first. Then, progress to split jumps (stand with one leg forward, bend into a lunge, jump on your way up and switch legs in the air). Jumping exercises can be tough, so you’ve got to start with a number that’s doable for you. Try two sets of 5 to 10 reps. For a “jump-free” box jump, practice step-ups onto the box. Add variety by doing a set forward, laterally and diagonally.

Be safe, get educated, visit your Physio Winnipeg for treatment options, and preventative exercises or even hire a personal trainer for a couple sessions to start.



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“Tis the season of Winnipeg Winter Running

‘Tis the season, for those icy, snowy, seemingly unforgiving trails of winter. I see more people running in winter then ever before, with the advancement of clothing and shoes.

It’s easy, right? You should almost count miles as double in the winter with the extra wear n tear.

Use traction devices and splurge on socks, so important!

Ever want to try those lightweight snowshoes? or the new trail you heard about? how bout XC skiing? Great time for cross-training; learn a new sport and maintain your winter conditioning.

But proper hydration and nutrition remains key; those winter temperatures and conditions put your body and stamina to the test. That warm coffee may be tempting, but caffeine is a diuretic, but you’ll probably sweat more, and burn more calories, so be prepared.

Learn the warning signs for hypothermia, and take advantage of that long, ‘cool-down’ period afterwards.

Know your biomechanics; even shorten your stride to keep your feet under your center of gravity, to improve balance and traction. Play safe,

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Winnipeg, have you considered a ‘standing workstation’?

Have you considered a ‘standing workstation’?

or even a ‘treadmill desk’?

Both options that can be used to vary your working postures. I have now recommended and added these workstations to several Downtown Winnipeg businesses with excellent results. Studies this year out of Australia even confirm the notion that our ‘cognitive performance’ is not decreased by variable task postures in an office environment.

Some companies have chosen to dictate the task performed at such a workstation to implement this ergonomic strategy. As some employees may find it extremely difficult to perform their usual work in a standing position; most traditional ‘typists’ for example. Strategy: transition a reading task first…

The ‘treadmill desk’ can be tricky; noisy, distracting and really, of little cardiovascular value.

To avoid the ‘side effects’ of sitting-for-a-living; stand every 15 minutes, give yourself more reasons to move and work in different postures…know your Ergonomics!

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For those that Sit-for-a-Living in Downtown Winnipeg

As we hunch over our computers and phones, or lean forward to cook and wash dishes, ever think we pretty much do everything ‘in front’.

Evolution has prepared us for some side reaches and some combination twisting movements, but hardly ever do we reach or work behind our bodies. Now that the majority of the population may sit for greater than 4 hours per day, we develop this forward head look that’s not only unattractive but possibly damaging to our health.

Extension is the key. Working to strengthen those muscles on the back of our spine, legs, neck and arms that support these ‘forward activities’. Biomechanically, most of these muscles stabilize, and even decelerate the movement to maintain safety.

Exercise to build stability; work the ‘back’ muscles twice as much as the ‘front’ muscles, ie seated rows versus chest press. Exercise for function; ultimate championships, tennis lessons, golf season Winnipeg. Know