Tag Archives: Kitchener Physiotherapy

The Importance of Posture

Posture types

Person A shows good posture, with a straight line going through the ear, tip of the shoulder, slightly behind the hip joint, slightly in front of the knee joint and slightly in front of the lateral malleolus (ankle) in the foot. The rest of the postures shown are incorrect, with different points of the body deviating either too far forward or too far behind the line that would indicate correct posture.

Posture is not typically on our minds until it starts to cause discomfort or injury. Today’s lifestyle regularly involves sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time, which is often sustained at the expense of proper posture. Posture refers to the position of our bodies, which is created by the different joint angles and the muscles that control those joints. Correct posture requires minimum muscular activity to maintain, which in turn minimizes stress placed on the joints. The opposite occurs with incorrect posture; muscles fatigue in attempt to maintain the altered position and joints are placed under increased stress.

There are a variety of factors that can cause or contribute to faulty posture. Correct posture may be difficult to maintain if joints are too stiff or too mobile, muscles are weak, too shortened or lengthened, or imbalanced. Over time incorrect posture will cause joint stiffness, thus causing the muscles to work harder and may result in pain. At this point, self-correction becomes difficult as it is harder to correct through joint stiffness. Joint stiffness will also result in some muscles becoming weak and others overused due to a change in the starting position of the stiff joint. Early identification of these contributing factors could prevent an injury from occurring, or from becoming a chronic problem that is more difficult to treat.

Possible consequences of poor posture include neck, shoulder, and back pain, or headaches and jaw pain from increased stress on muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. Muscles will become shortened and tight from being in a slouched position, and the muscles on the other side of the joints will become lengthened and weak from constantly being stretched. The resulting muscle imbalance limits range of motion, changing the way the body moves, which will affect work or sport performance.

A detailed posture assessment by a physiotherapist can identify the contributing factors to poor posture, and is a smart idea for anyone wishing to be proactive and prevent future injury. Once these contributing factors are identified there a number of treatment options that will target the causes of the poor posture, prevent further injury, and help to decrease pain. A strengthening program will be designed to target weak muscles, and stretching will loosen tight muscles. This treatment combination works to correct these muscle imbalances, making correct posture easier to maintain while decreasing pain. Strengthening has the additional benefit of stabilizing loose joints, and joint mobilizations can correct stiff joints. Joint mobilization is a specific hands-on technique to improve joint movement, and can help to relieve pain and restore function. A combination of exercise, manual therapy and education will improve your course of recovery and assist with further injury prevention. Education about how to maintain correct posture in daily activities will allow you to remain pain free and prevent further injury.

Comprehensive and Evidence-Based Approaches to Pain/Injury Treatment & Prevention

BodyTech Physiotherapy
Registered physiotherapists and clinic owners Cheryl Reid Ralph and Vanessa Rampersad have successfully realized a vision when they launched BodyTech Physiotherapy this past September in Kitchener: to offer first-rate orthopaedic manual therapy and sports-injury rehabilitation. With their post-graduate training, continuing advanced education and combined 15 years’ experience, they also provide expert hands-on manual therapy for any musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries from head to toe and for all ages, including infants and young children. “We don’t just look at localized pain, but the whole picture of what’s happening to the client,” Vanessa says. They are excited to announce that they will be adding a registered massage therapist to their team in the new year.

When you first arrive at the clinic, expect to be given a generous one-hour assessment. “Our approach is completely individualized, comprehensive and evidence-based,” Cheryl says. “We focus on identifying the cause and contributing factors that led the client to seek us out for help.” Cheryl and Vanessa take a full, subjective history from the patient and, then, provide thorough analyses on movement and strength, ligaments and joints, including a walking gait analysis. If more in-depth diagnostic testing is required, they follow up with your family physician.

Once the testing and results are established, your physiotherapist provides advanced treatment techniques that will include a blend of exercise and manual therapy, and may include pain-relieving modalities, such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, heat/cold packs, acupuncture, and postural or corrective taping to help you recover from and prevent re-injury. The 30-minute treatment sessions may also incorporate western medical acupuncture based on Chinese acupuncture if needed at no extra cost. Acupuncture is applied to treat musculoskeletal pain, post-operative pain, myofascial trigger-point pain, nerve pain, and swelling. “Acupuncture stimulates the natural release of the body’s pain killers and anti-inflammatories to promote natural healing,” the duo explains.

Do you have a work- or accident-related injury? Come and see what BodyTech Physiotherapy can recommend for you. Know also that whether you suffer from chronic or acute injuries or pain, the team provides a complete evaluation and customized course of rehabilitation for osteoarthritis, post-operative and post-fracture, concussions, TMJ, and more.

Vanessa and Cheryl believe strongly in educating their patients. “We explain the issues and the individualized treatment plan clearly,” the twosome concurs. “We welcome questions at any time during the process. Clients can also call the clinic if they have concerns. The more a client understands how their body works, the better they, too, can aid in a speedier recovery and participate fully in their exercise program.”

    Sports physiotherapy for athletes and beginners alike at any age is a vibrant clinical strength. You will be given a targeted treatment and prevention program to optimize your recovery and safe return to your activity. “Our primary acute-care focus is pain relief, but getting rid of pain doesn’t necessarily indicate complete recovery,” Cheryl notes. “Our complete approach includes flexibility and strength to maximize that gradual and safe return to one’s physical activity,” Vanessa adds.

CANINE Rehabilitation

    One unique service that BodyTech Physiotherapy will be offering in the near future is Canine Rehabilitation.  The hope is to offer this service as home visits or at a local veterinary or animal hospital location.  “A canine that suffers from mobility issues can greatly enhance their quality of life and prolong their fitness level, especially in the case of working, sports or post-surgical dogs.”

Cheryl and Vanessa have undergone extensive, advanced level post-graduate training to enhance their physiotherapy education, assessment and treatment skills. Each has received their Advanced Diploma in Manual and Manipulative Therapy. They are Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (CAMPT), an organization of the International Federation of Manipulative Physical Therapists that is committed to providing the highest level of care.

    BodyTech Physiotherapy is located at Chicopee Park Centre, 1601 River Rd. E, Unit 30A, Kitchener. To make an appointment, call 519-954-6000, or email info@BodyTechPhysio.ca. For more information, view http://www.bodytechphysio.ca.

BodyTech Physiotherapy