Falls are a leading cause of injury and death, particularly in seniors. When it comes to Generation X, Baby Boomers, and even Millennials, injuries often happen at work as a result of too much sitting, as well as when returning to sport before your body is prepared.
Have you ever wondered how you can stay injury-free?
In this exclusive interview, physiotherapist Robyn Eyer at Elite Sports Injury St. James location, discusses some of the most common questions and concerns clients have regarding physiotherapy as well as information concerning fall prevention, minimizing work related injuries, lower back pain and return to sport.
Q) What is the #1 question you get asked as a physiotherapist?
A) One of the first questions I get asked regardless of the injury is, “How long is it going to take to get better?”. The answer to this question is extremely variable depending on the situation. My strategy is to educate clients on their injury and its prognosis (a timeline of recovery for a specific injury) as well as a plan of action regarding therapy. Multiple factors impact injury prognosis, some of which include: the nature of the injury and its severity, the age of the client, and the activities the client plans on returning to. It is important that clients are well informed so they have realistic expectations of recovery.
Q) Typically, how much of a time commitment is physiotherapy for a new client?
A) An initial assessment is approximately one hour and subsequent appointments 30 minutes. However, these times may vary based on the complexity of the injury. Similarly, appointment frequency is variable depending on the situation but will often begin anywhere between 1 to 3 times each week. As clients progress in their rehabilitation and become more independent with their home exercise plans, appointment frequency decreases to every other week, then once a month, etc.
Q) What are 2 practical ways readers can help to prevent falls?
- Improve strength and balance: Working on strength and balance exercises at least three times each week can help maintain muscle mass as we age and decrease fall risk. Exercise is very important to maintain bone density, improve postural control and increase overall fitness. A physiotherapist can help assess your strength and balance and prescribe appropriate and safe exercise.
- Create a safe home environment: Minimizing floor clutter such as loose rugs and pet toys, ensuring adequate lighting around stairs and high traffic areas, and avoiding wearing loose fitting footwear that may impact safe mobility can minimize your fall risk.
Q) What are some effective ways individuals with a desk jobs can keep their body injury free?
A) One strategy is to take a 5 to 10 minute break from sitting every hour if possible. I often recommend that clients set a timer on their phone as a reminder to get up and move. Working on both strength and mobility exercises to improve your posture is another effective strategy. A physiotherapist can recommend exercises that require minimal equipment that can be done at home or at the office to help reinforce active habits throughout the day. An ergonomic assessment of your workspace can also create an appropriate work environment and prevent injury.
What is one of the most common injuries physiotherapists see in clinic?
Lower back pain is one of the most common areas of injury seen in clinic. Most people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives which can significantly impact function and quality of life. There are many different injuries that can cause lower back pain and multiple factors that can impact recovery. Lower back pain can be associated with symptoms into the buttocks and legs including pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. A physiotherapist can help to assess and differentiate the source of your pain and provide education, appropriate treatment and exercise to assist with recovery.
How does a physiotherapist determine when a client is ready to return to leisure or professional sport?
Regardless of the level of activity someone is returning to, they must be able to perform all the physical tasks required both confidently and safely before resuming the activity. Physiotherapists use objective measures and specific injury protocols to assess physical function. If an activity requires cutting, bounding and quick direction changes these movement patterns need to be incorporated into the rehab plan so that the body becomes conditioned and can accept the load that the activity demands.
Are you interested in working with Robyn Eyer or a physiotherapist with her same level of skill, dedication, and knowledge? If so, and if you live near Winnipeg, consider Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics for your physiotherapy needs.