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your Ergonomics, line of sight and that nagging neck-shoulder-upper back pain, by Physiotherapy Winnipeg

Whether it be at work, rest or play; a candy bar cannot make that pain go away…but your ergonomics at the workstation, at home or doing any activity can make a significant difference to your health.

We can often find those simple modifications, those easy answers to perform a task easier, and safer. The problem is that many of us do not take the time to change our habits, make changes and implement them consistently at our busiest work areas…the kitchen, in this case. The ‘pant hangar’ keeps the recipe near eye level, there is no awkward posture to maintain and the cabinet can even be accessed quite easily, well done!

 

This concept always applies to those that must ‘sit for a living’, the ‘desk jockeys’ of the finance, legal, grain and media industries here in Downtown Winnipeg. Like a ‘whiplash’, those muscle aches can proliferate throughout the upper back and neck.

 

Such that, you must remember to adjust your computer monitor height; use some yellow pages or photocopy paper bundles. Some recent ergonomic assessments have resulted in 8-10 inches of monitor height changes to accommodate the individual’s line of sight. Your eye level should be equal to that of the curser start position, in the most frequently used software program. This position allows the eye to adjust to a variability of 2-3 inches of text/toolbar and decreases or eliminates the chronic forward head posture.

Let your human resource department or health & safety manager know that I am available for any size group education, assessments and ergonomic design.

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your Shoes could be the source of your Pain…your gait and Physiotherapy Winnipeg

For almost 20 years, I have been the bearer of bad news for Winnipeg women in Downtown Winnipeg. Those with plantar fascitis, knee pain, iliotibial band syndrome, hip pain, back pain, etc…those shoes may be the ultimate source of the problem.

I used to say, “wouldn’t you rather be wearing a Bisignano?”. I guess I have had this dream of designing my own ergonomic, yet fashionable shoe line. For many of us, our shoes dictate our gait; how we walk, step, stand and adjust to the terrain. And womens’ shoes are notorious for poor design, forcing womens’ feet into contortionist postures. That can’t be good?

I know you may be thinking, “but I don’t wear high heels all the time!”…the opposite style can do just as much if not more damage…the ‘flip-flop’. Shoes with little or variable support; flip-flops, simple sandals, loose, flat shoes like ‘crocs’, do nothing for your feet. Even the flat snow boots of winter can be a biomechanical disaster. Grab some over-the-counter insoles and make them 1000% better.

Find a retailer that knows how to fit your feet, knows some basic biomechanics and will not push those $300+ Nikes on your feet. yourPhysio can identify your biomechanical fault (we all have them) and recommend the exercises and support mechanism (shoes) best for you.

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Back pain in Winnipeg, or is it just a symptom of an irritable bowel?

Middle of August, summer is coming to a close for many, as holidays end and the kids prepare for a new school year. We remember those summer foods, the bbq’s and oh, that unfortunate bout of back pain. You over did it; tubing on the lake, building a deck, moving into a new house. But these events can mimic each other…

I have had many patients complain of back pain, the purest form of mechanical back pain; a lumbar ligament sprain. Maybe some sciatica. But many have mentioned a sore side, soreness to the abdomen or even into the front pelvis.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can include back pain as a symptom, and even mimic, many of its signs and symptoms. IBS is more affected by ‘stress’ than actual bowel distension; stress at work, home or play, it is another sign of stress that is gaining prevalence in our work-life balance.

Oh that King, fries and chocolate shake was amazing. Once a year, the ‘pilgrimage’ to the finest Winnipeg has to offer, Mrs. Mike’s on Tache.Truly, the best Winnipeg burger for years; my first in 1980!

But as we all have experienced, after a big meal it just may not sit right, and that tension we feel all around the belly can imitate what 4 out of five Canadians will experience some time in their life, back pain. Know your biomechanics, learn the preventative exercises and play safe.

Next, how bout these shoes?

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Is your Winnipeg summer, play time limited by a joint sprain ; tennis? golf? walking?

According to the Orthpedic Society for North America; knee sprains, especially those of the anterior cruciate ligament (or ACL) have risen 400% over the last decade.

We are trying to stay more active; at work, at home and during our ‘play time’. All sport participation rates are up, just try and book something in the Winnipeg Leisure Guide, or a camping spot in one of our Manitoba Provincial Parks. Congrats!

Remember to prep for activities; some form of ‘dynamic warmup’, imitate a biomechanical piece of the movement that you shall be attempting, and repeating. At the gym, prep those muscle groups, learn the correct exercises that will benefit your performance.

Sore afterwards? Don’t put all the ice in that glass, use some cold therapy to cool down those worked areas…Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

We do have a Golf 911 service for those that need to get back quickly, and avoid loosing that ultimate tee time. Enjoy!

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Sitting a ‘disease in Winnipeg? Just a necessary evil of our computer driven ergonomics Downtown

Really…too many media driven articles on sitting as a disease”…since 1991, it’s been a necessary evil of our increasingly computer driven ergonomics at work, rest and play; the desktop, the laptop, the smartphone, the tablet, next?

But then why are exercise plans so quick to add the situp? or bench press? or knee extension? All of these place our biomechanics, our posture into greater flexion! Beware, add more extension exercises now! add those planks!

Give yourself more reasons to stand…even every 12 minutes is ideal. If you cannot figure it out, give me a call…your ergonomics may be your disease…and you are not retiring anytime soon.

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Sitting in Winnipeg; an Ergonomic approach to your Physiotherapy needs

Many people ask; ‘what do you treat most often Downtown?’, to that I reply; “mostly neck and back injuries, just from sitting all day at a workstation”.

Here’s where my 27 years of experience as a physiotherapist, who provides specific assessment, feedback, education and instruction in Occupational Ergonomics, or how we interact with our ‘work tasks’, benefits my patients of the grain, finance and legal hub of Winnipeg.

As a physiotherapist, I must assess your workstation and task challenges in order to understand your biomechanics that caused an injury or pain. I only use evidence based guidelines published, and reviewed annually (CSA link http://t.co/Su0MxsFy). Beware of those ‘weekend course’ assessors, quite frankly you will get what you pay for.

You, and your company can reduce repetitive strain complaints in your workplace with an ergonomic assessment at your specific, work site. I will assess problem areas and make recommendations for change to workstations, task organization and management, and your specific, body mechanics with a focus on employee participation, responsibility and behaviour change.

A worksite visit to understand your business and jobs will only provide a baseline for understanding the demands on workers. It will provide us with an ability to recommend modifications for ergonomic improvements and safe body mechanics training.

By providing immediate feedback; employees are able to participate and install immediate, habitual changes at work, home and play, that assist in improving compliance with safe work procedures, and biomechanics that prevent injury.

The main risk factors for musculoskeletal injury can be categorized under one of the following four broad headings: force, posture, repetition and duration of task. In the office or call centre environment these risk factors could be interpreted as;

  • force – is an exertion performed to overcome the weight, resistance, or inertia of the body or a work object (i.e. forceful hand movements while keying or mousing),
  • posture – awkward postures deviate from neutral or comfortable positions. (i.e. twisted neck, raised shoulder, extended wrist, etc..),
  • repetition – refers to tasks or series of motions that are performed over and again by the same muscle groups with little variation (i.e. continuous mousing or keying)
  • duration – the time which something continues (i.e. sustained neck extension to view monitor or abducted shoulder while mousing)

check back again for more on this continuing series regarding your ‘sitting in Winnipeg’…

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Computer Ergonomics applied to Universal Design in Winnipeg Kitchens

Our universal design process proposes kitchen design and products to be accessible to the widest range of people, from our Grandparents to the kids, for generations, for function, safety and for all abilities.

Our design goals
to assess function
to plan for current disability and future ability
to design for safety
to promote functional recovery and family enjoyment
to assure a better quality of life in the kitchen

welcome to visit or contact me
9 4 3 8 4 1 1 in clinic
2 9 1 8 4 1 2 at mobile office
(807) 5 4 3 1 5 3 2 at the LacLu demo kitchen…thank you for your visits and questions this summer!

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Concourse Physio in the Winnipeg Exchange District

Concourse Physio in the Winnipeg Exchange District

Since 1993, physiotherapy services upon immediate access, downtown convenience and with direct billing if possible…enjoy the Winnipeg Fringe Festival!