Resistance bands can provide a whole body work out, that can even be more effective than weights, while also being inexpensive, lightweight and easily portable. Our WIN Physiotherapy Assistant, Belinda Ham, sheds light on how they're used in physio treatment and fitness.Read More
By WIN Contributor: Shauna Pierrynowski, PTA, RNCP
As Dr. Nick wrote in his last blog post that most people give up on their healthy new year resolutions within the first fifteen days of making them… Being that it’s January 17th…I’m here to check in to see how your doing with sticking to your goals. Are you making them Stick or have they taken a Slide?
If you are starting to feel that Sticking to your big health goals is starting to Slide… I propose this…
How about setting tiny monthly goals so you can achieve them?
As I sit here to write this blog post for WIN Health Solutions I myself find that I also get stuck thinking about healthy changes. My mind wonders on the endless possibility of what I can change positively in my personal and professional life.
Should it be a goal about health (physical, mental, the whole package)? What about finances? Maybe I should give back to the community? Or maybe just take care of my wellbeing?
Whatever the resolution or goals are, here are some helpful tips on how to keep it small, keep it smart and actually achieve these goals.
SMART Goal Setting 101
S – SPECIFIC these goals address the what, why and how.
M – MEASURABLE this is the part where your goal is concrete and observable.
A – ATTAINABLE this is made up of small goals or changes that are under your control – example you want to lose 20lbs let’s start with eating less CRAP (Carbs, Refined sugar, Artificial, Processed foods) and eat more FOOD (fruits/veggies, organic lean protein, omega 3s, drink water)
R – REWARDING don’t go and set a goal that will make you angry, try small steps like instead of eating chips every night while watching t.v switch it to 5 nights of popcorn rather than the chips and keep going from there replacing the last item with something healthier.
T – TIME BOUND putting an end date or point on a goal will give you’re a clear and concrete target to achieve.
I hope you find these simple goal setting ideas helpful in whatever it is that you choose to change in your life. If you need more guidance, a specific plan and individualized support, visit with one of our team members at WIN Health Solutions Niagara and they can help you Stick to your health goals so that this year brings you more health and happiness!
By WIN Contributor: Lora D., WIN Receptionist
Dr. Matthew Bird, or as we affectionately call him, Dr. Matt, completed his undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph. He received his degree of Doctor of Chiropractic after attending the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto. His years of exceptional work was recognized when he recently received a Niagara This Week Readers Choice Award.
Dr. Matt has a great enthusiasm and love of his work because it helps people everyday feel better. His treatments incorporate a variety of different techniques such as soft tissue work, chiropractic manipulation and adjustments, Acupuncture, Laser Therapy, Shockwave, Trigenics, Fascial Distortion Model (FDM) as well as other various types of hands on therapy.
He continues to better his work by consistently taking continuing education courses to broaden his knowledge base. He also enjoys keeping up with the latest research and news regarding Chiropractic, musculoskeletal health and health in general.
Combining his expertise, therapeutic approach and observation of the latest health news helps him reach his professional goal, which is to help his patients be able to lead pain free, healthy lives.
There are many things that Dr. Matt enjoys in his off hours. He leads a very healthy lifestyle. He is a super volleyball player, (so he says…lol) I’m sure his height has something to do with that!! ;) Dr. Matt also enjoys snowboarding, beach volleyball, pilates, yoga, and weight training.
He's also sure to have fun with his growing family. With his beautiful wife, Erika, and adorable 18 month old son, Carter, they make sure to enjoy quality time together. The WIN Team is excitedly looking forward to their next big moment in the coming Spring as they await the newest addition to their family... a new baby for The Birds!
Dr. Matt is a natural at work-life balance, and we know he will continue to inspire his patients, and the WIN Team, with this as his family grows.
If you are seeking a knowledgable Chiropractor who uses an evidence based, cutting edge chiropractic approach, Dr. Matthew Bird at WIN Health Solutions Niagara will give you great options to address your muscle and/or joint related concerns, in addition to many related health concerns like headaches, migraines, TMJ pain, sciatica and sports injuries.
By WIN Contributor: Nancy V, Reception Team Member
Where do you start when you want to blog about a fellow co-worker?
I know exactly where .... WIN Physiotherapist, Jennifer Lepere, DPT.
Jenn inspires you to be your best, and if you are not quite at your best she will get you there.
She graduated from D'Youville College in 2008 with her Masters in Physical Therapy and again in 2010 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She joined Tania Mannella's physiotherapy team at WIN in 2014 and has since been such a valuable team member.
Jenn's Physio Focus
Jenn will help and guide you to your full mobility potential with her manual manipulation of the muscles. She also incorporates acupuncture, TENS machine, ultrasound, class 4 Laser Therapy, Shockwave Therapy, and most important of all, supervised stretches and exercise programs. This eclectic mix of therapeutic options are blended to best suit you and will all be available to get you to your best.
Out To Stop Spinning: Vestibular Rehab
She is our specialist in vestibular rehab, which means if you are suffering from a case of vertigo or dizziness she will put her expertise to work. Jenn is one of few physiotherapists in Ontario with specialized training in vestibular rehabilitation. She is focused on offering effective solutions for this very debilitating health concern, and through her diligence, she has helped many patients find their balance once again.
Jenn's In It To WIN It: Fun Facts
Jenn's love of sports inspires the passion for her work as a Physiotherapist and shows in her daily routine and treatment of patients. She is an avid baseball, volleyball, and lawn bowler to name just a few. On a personal note Jenn recently got married to a wonderful man named John Lapierre. Lepere... Lapierre... Thankfully her new last name pronunciation will not to difficult for the front staff to handle. :)
Where do you end a blog about a fellow co-worker.
I know exactly where ... my friend ... WIN Physiotherapist, Jennifer Lepere!
By WIN Contributor: Tania Mannella, Doctor of Physiotherapy
Painful sex, known as dyspareunia, has been found by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to affect up to 75% of women at some point in their lives. Nine out of ten women will experience postpartum dyspareunia.
This can be result of various issues involving the pelvic floor area and musculature. Some women are too shy or embarrassed to talk about it or seek help. Many women and their doctors don’t know that Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy (PFP) is the most effective way to resolve pain during sex.
In my practice, this is not a taboo topic and through offering Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy I am helping women in our community find solutions and optimize their sexual health.
Origins of Vaginal Pain
Pain can be experienced with intercourse, sexual contact, tampon use or even wearing tight pants. Women may be told the problem is "psychological" however most often, there is an anatomical and physiological source.
Possible medical causes of painful intercourse are vulvar vestibulitis, vulvodynia, and interstitial cystitis. Other causes can be painful healing after childbirth, pressure on spinal/pelvic nerves, hormonal changes and narrowing of the vaginal entrance. Tight muscles of the pelvic floor, which include the muscles inside the vagina that are normally active during sexual excitement, may be a source of pain as well.
What Pelvic Floor Physiology Offers
The pelvic floor evaluation involves taking your history and a pelvic floor muscle assessment that checks for muscle tension, tightness, tone, range of motion and muscle strength. This internal exam also provides important information about internal muscle trigger points, the integrity of the pelvic organs and the presence of a prolapse.
PFP treatment empowers you as the patient because you learn to play an active role in controlling your pain. You will learn how to to sufficiently relax muscles related to your concern, which helps decrease anxiety and further decreases pain. This breaks the pain cycle.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy will help you experience sexual intercourse for the passionate, enjoyable and intimate act it is meant to be with your partner. Rekindle the flame……with less pain!!
Here's What You'll Get In 7 Sessions...
- Using a walk-to-run approach your guidance and tips will come from our very own WIN Running Expert, Tania Mannella, Doctor of Physiotherapy
- Run once a week for approximately 30 minutes each session for 7 weeks
- Effective strategies to learn to run
- Motivation to maintain regular fitness that will support your health goals
- An awesome WIN Graphic T-shirt for your run while you're with us...and maybe even to wear outside of running (It's really cool)
- Work towards a goal distance of 5K
- A group running experience which is open to EVERYONE!
WIN Beginner's Running Clinic
Our running clinic is not only going to help you learn to run, or build on your running skills as you go, but also will help you stay fit and active into the Fall season. Tania welcomes everyone to this group.
If you're a novice runner, or enjoy running and want to develop/maintain your running abilities, this clinic is perfect for you.
We get the work-home-life balance for parents... So we also welcome moms and dads who'd like to get our for a jog with tot and stroller in tow, or run with their older children, so to enjoy active quality time together.
Tania is offering two times in the week for this running clinic to make it easily accessible... Thursday nights and Saturday mornings!
You will feel better, run stronger and have a great time with a supportive leader and group.
Clinic Dates & Times
Group 1 - Thursday Evenings at 6:00pm - From Thursday September 15th - Thursday October 27th
Group 2 - Saturday Mornings at 6:30am - From Saturday September 17th - Saturday October 29th
Feeling fleet of foot? Run with us this Fall! Register by clicking below...
Questions or need more info? Click here --> WIN Fall Running Clinic to email us and we'd be happy to assist you. But just remember... you can do anything, so go for it! ;)
Did you notice the photos of Michael Phelps' during the Men's 4x100 freestyle relay swim which won him a gold. It's always riveting watching an Olympic swimming competition, but what's got just as much media buzz is the purple marks along his upper body.
Phelps' large purple dots are the result of a super old Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy known as "Cupping." Many athletes, celebrities, and yes, even many of us regular folks, have taken to Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies like acupuncture and cupping to address concerns and optimize health.
What Is Cupping?
Cupping involves applying a glass or plastic open ended globes to skin at different sites on the body. Classical methods involve heating the glass globes with a small flame to create a vacuum so it sticks to the skin. However, plastic options can be applied which do not require heat but use tiny levers to create suction.
The purpose of the suction is to lift of the soft tissue beneath the area it's on. Cups can be left in place or moved around a site of concern. This increases blood flow, kneads out tension and breaks up scar tissue.
Discolouration is due to the suction breaking superficial capillaries in the skin, however, this is temporary and usually fades within a week's time.
What Does It Feel Like?
You may associate this type of bruising with pain, but when cupping is done correctly *by a trained professional* it's not uncomfortable and can be relaxing. The sensation that people can expect when having cupping done properly is pressure, warmth and some tightness where the cup is placed but there shouldn't be intense discomfort. Think of it like a deep tissue massage.
What Are The Benefits of Cupping?
Can you believe that cupping is a 3,000 year old practice? People find that cupping helps to reduce muscle soreness, increase range of motion, speed healing and improve mobility. Many providers of this therapy have also used it to help with other things such as poor circulation, immune health and anxiety.
Cupping At WIN
Our Registered Massage Therapist, Amanda Cajucom, utilizes cupping. It is another example of how our providers maintain an eclectic approach in their health care so they can better help the patients they are working with.
If you want to try cupping for your sore muscles or to see what all the fuss is about, contact us to arrange a time to meet and discuss this therapy with Amanda at WIN Health Solutions Niagara.
Or... If you want to use acupuncture in your care, visit one of our physiotherapists, chiropractors or our naturopathic doctor as all the WIN providers have extensive experience using acupuncture to help people address their health concerns.
By WIN Contributor: Shauna Pierrynowski PTA, RNCP
As I took a good look at the calendar this past weekend I realized that it’s going to be mid-July soon and almost every weekend is full! My work week is always busy with responsibilities each day. I had a moment of exhaustion just thinking about this! How am I going to schedule another get-together, family time, clients, weeding the garden, laundry, outdoor work, and the many other day-to-day things to do?!
I found myself almost in a panic then I thought to myself …. Shauna, you need to load the kayak up into the truck grab your paddle and lifejacket and have some ME time to energize myself!
I know I am not alone on this topic. Many of us lead super busy lives and a common challenge is creating time for ourselves. Finding 10-20 min a day for “me” time can sometimes feel impossible and also makes us feel guilty. What we don’t realize is how VERY important this time is even if it is only 10 min in your day.
Cultivating and awareness of our thoughts, feelings and we physically feel can help us feel refreshed and more productive. Once we realize that the dusting can really wait, and take time for self care, we can better manage stress and be more resilient and focused as we tackle our everyday lives.
Here are some suggestions on how to create me time:
1. Create a Daily Ritual – Ideas: go for a walk, read on your lunch, meditate, 15 minutes of yoga, wake up 15 minutes earlier to sit outside before the day starts
2. Ask for Help – when it comes to the little things ask your spouse or kids to pitch in!
3. Learn to say NO – if you just can’t make it work its ok to just say no!
4. Evaluate the things you are wasting time on – stop checking emails every 5 min, turn your phone off, meal plan and grocery shop in advance to create more time.
5. Decide on how you will spend ME time – Ideas: bike rides, reading, yoga, kayaking, sitting at the park, laying in the hammock, listening to music!
6. Make a wish list – Ideas: a place to go, things you want to try, a new craft etc…
7. Let Go of the guilt – Just remember Rome was not built in a day J
8. Write it down – plan your me time by putting it into your calendar.
However we decide to use our “me” time is totally up to us. We cannot put a price on the overall health benefits that are developed by creating this time. So in closing the WIN Health Solutions Niagara team hopes you have an enjoyable summer filled with fun, laughter, family and friends, vacation, BBQ’s, outdoor house projects and most important we hope you find some time for YOU!
By WIN Contributor: Jennifer Lepere, Physiotherapist
The other day I was out for a run, and Bamm! All of a sudden my calf became very hard, tight, and really painful! I was experiencing a muscle cramp! Working as a physiotherapist at WIN Health Solutions, I get asked a lot what is a muscle cramp and how can I stop it from happening??
Muscle cramps happen because of involuntary contractions, or muscle spasms in one or more muscles. They can happen at any time, such as when being active, or even when you’re not, like when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Why does it happen and what can you do about it?
1. Dehydration. You have to make sure you are drinking enough water daily. The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups for males and 9 cups for women.
2. Muscle fatigue. You have to make sure you are properly warming up and stretching before and after activity. Taking regular Epsom salt baths will also help.
3. Not enough magnesium or potassium in your diet. You can start eating more food rich in magnesium and potassium. You could also consult your doctor or naturopathic doctor for help in this area.
These are the most common reason why I would see muscle cramping as a physiotherapist at WIN Health Solutions. If you are experiencing muscle cramping please contact the office for a WIN Physiotherapy Niagara Falls treatment and our physiotherapist and physio team members would be happy to offer you health solutions.
By WIN Contributor: Tania Mannella, Physiotherapist
I love to run. I head out for a run four to five times a week around Niagara Falls. Its my favourite form of cardio exercise and the ‘runner’s high’ when I finish can’t be beat.
But is it bad for me? Am I hurting my knees, hips, feet, low back?
As a physiotherapist at WIN Health Solutions Niagara many express concerns about running and pounding on my joints, advancing possible arthritis or causing wear and tear on my knees at an increased rate. Despite what many health professionals, runners and non runners think, the evidence based research shows that there is no greater instance of joint issues or osteoarthritis in people who run versus those who do not run.
One study at Boston University of Medicine discovered that running stimulates the cartilage in order to repair damage, increasing the production of certain proteins which makes the knee stronger. Running is not bad for your knees! If you have a genetic predisposition to knee issues, running can potentially bring those issues to the forefront but studies show that running can actually be beneficial for joints, as it strengthens the surrounding musculature and increases bone density.
If that’s not reason enough, here are multiple other reasons to take up running. It improves brain performance, improves mood, improves sleep, improves cardiovascular health, improves your energy levels, increases confidence levels and can actually increase your lifespan. So grab your favourite music, put on your favourite kicks and join me and others from WIN's Niagara Falls Physiotherapy team in this beautiful weather because baby we were born to run!!