Aches and pains, difficulty bouncing back from surgery, poor balance and coordination — these are just a few problems that drive individuals to a physiotherapy office. Often, people are amazed at the results they receive from this exercise-based, drug-free treatment option.
In addition to treating patients with back and neck pain and many other issues, physiotherapists often treat those who play sports. An incredible number of children and adults get injured while enjoying their favorite sports. Skiing, swimming, running, mountain climbing, and playing football, soccer and more can cause injuries that can become serious if not treated.
Read on to learn two sports injury prevention tips that Winnipeg Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics’ physiotherapist Cara Goleski recommends, as well as how physiotherapists treat pain in general.
“2 million high school athletes are injured each year.” — SpinalCord.com
2 Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries: Interview with Physiotherapist Cara Goleski
Q) What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a physiotherapist?
A) I find being a physiotherapist can be very challenging yet rewarding. That’s why I love what I do so much! A challenge that I face daily is understanding and attempting to explain pain to my patients. What many patients may not be aware of is that pain is very complex and factors such as stress, diet, smoking, alcohol and physical activity can play a big role in exacerbating or reducing feelings of pain. Therefore, being asked “when will I get better?” is often a difficult question to answer. This is why a thorough initial assessment is so important and will be completed during the patient’s first visit to help better answer this question.
Q) How are you currently building your skillset/planning to build it? How would you like to grow as a PT in the next 3 years or so?
A) Earlier this year, I completed an Ontario-based Integrated Dry Needling course. Dry needling is an important skill for me to have because soft tissue dysfunction can lead to pain, weakness and decreased function. Along with manual therapy, dry needling allows me to treat a patient as a whole and not just focus on the “source” of pain. Dry needling has been shown to be effective in releasing trigger points or “knots” in common conditions such as muscle strains, plantar fasciitis, neck and back pain, headaches and jaw pain.
This summer I will also be completing a Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) course. SFMA screening is a movement-based diagnostic system for people experiencing pain. It systematically helps find the cause of pain by breaking down movement patterns to reveal how seemingly unrelated problems are actually driving the dysfunctional movement.
My future goals include continued learning and integrating the above courses into my practice and to complete the rest of my orthopedic manual therapy levels.
Q) What are 2 interesting facts about you that our readers might like to know?
- I have two rescue dogs named Teemu and Kona.
- I love to travel! My goal is to step foot on all 7 continents before I retire.
Q) What do you enjoy about working at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics?
A) Being a newer member of the Elite team, there are a number of reasons why I was eager to join. To name a few:
- The team of Physiotherapists at Elite is comprised of personable physiotherapists. We function as a team and take pride in being evidence-based. Also, we participate in regular group learning sessions and educational courses.
- Our team of Elite Professionals (physiotherapy assistants) are all trained to teach and guide patients through their individualized exercise programs developed by their therapists during treatment sessions.
- There may be a misconception that Elite Sports Injury Clinics only treats the athletic population, but this is far from true. I love the variety in the patient population that I get to see. We certainly welcome and treat all ages and conditions.
Q) Is there a specific health issue that you love treating? If so, why?
A) I don’t know if there is one specific health issue that I love treating but I will say that posture is one of my favourite topics to educate patients on. It is something I am consciously looking at in every patient that I see since it can contribute to pain and dysfunction. Unfortunately, we live in a society where many people work sedentary jobs and/or spend a lot of time on their computers or phone resulting in tension headaches, neck, back and/or shoulder pain. Therefore, a little awareness and education on small changes that you can make in your daily life and how following some simple exercises and stretches can make a big difference.
Q) What are 2 physiotherapist-approved tips for staying injury-free when playing sports this summer?
- Stay hydrated, especially during heat waves.
- Always do a 5-to-10 minute warm up and cool down consisting of light jogging/biking and a variety of stretches before and after all moderate to vigorous activity.
Q) In your opinion, about how much walking should the average, healthy adult prioritize each day to stay fit?
A) According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, “adults aged 18-64 should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week.” That works out to be about 20 minutes per day or of brisk walking, jogging or bike riding. I’d say that seems pretty reasonable!
My advice would be to stay active doing things that you enjoy. If you find it hard to stay motivated, having a workout buddy or joining a group fitness class or playing a team sport can help hold you accountable and make staying fit fun!
Q) Physiotherapists are always on their feet. What type(s) of exercise do you prefer to do to keep yourself healthy and injury-free?
A) I attend regular group fitness classes and play soccer year round. In the winter I love a good old-fashioned game of outdoor hockey and plan to take up cross country skiing this coming year. In the summers I enjoy golfing and exploring new biking trails with my dogs.
Related Reading: 5 Helpful Tips for Avoiding Injury While Gardening
Do you have questions about physiotherapy that physiotherapist Cara didn’t answer? If so, check out Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics’ FAQ page.
If you are suffering from a sports injury or want to prevent one, contact the friendly team of physiotherapists at Elite in Winnipeg today.