Summer is a season that is full of some of the best stuff in life: sunshine, amazing food, long hot days and comfortable warm nights, and of course, SPORTS. Activities such as rock climbing, cliff jumping, water skiing, kayaking, kite boarding, mountain biking, and hiking all call out to us, and many of them result in little injuries here and there. Whether it is a twisted ankle, a pulled muscle, a dislocated shoulder, and sometimes if you get a little too excited, a broken bone or two, summer can leave some of us feeling a bit wounded.
However, now that the days are getting a bit shorter and the weather a bit cooler, we should tend to these injuries with more movement rather than just sit and wait for them to get better. When we feel pain, the natural instinct for the body is to shift work onto the areas that are not affected. While doing this, it allows us to keep the injured part still so it has time to recover. This may seem like a good thing, and to an extent it is, however one thing the body doesn’t help you with is making sure that injured part gets back to functioning normally. Instead, our bodies will compensate for pain and avoid strengthening the weakened area to such an extent that it can lead to new issues. To name a few: tension in one area of the body leading to pain, tensing muscles leading to spasms, and a myriad of posture issues.
In order to prevent this, do not be afraid to get the injured area of your body moving again. It doesn’t have to be anything too intense, in fact if you have a more serious injury intense exercise can make it much worse. That said, make sure you get that area moving when you can with some gentle sports. You could try gentle swim routines, yin or restorative yoga, and of course rehabilitative pilates. Just as a little reminder, pilates was developed to help rehabilitate injuries starting with slow, basic movements and working your way up to strengthening and toning. Therefore it can act as a key asset for rehabilitating injuries in combination with the rest of your exercise regimen.
And just as a little extra incentive to keep those bodies moving and conditioned, while the great sports of summer may be behind, the amazing sports of winter are ahead. Skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, ice skating, hockey, and sledding. All the more reason to make sure you aren’t sore by the time those mountains get some snowfall.
Click here to read a fabulous article about one of our partners, Integrative Healing Arts, and the work they do with Ballet British Columbia.
The team at Integrative Healing does an amazing job treating dancers (and others!) holistically using naturopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy.
Emily Molnar, the artistic director of Ballet BC says, “I feel it gets to the root of the problem in ways that Western medicine cannot — allowing the body to use its intelligence to create long-term health, as opposed to instant relief.”
For professional dancers and those who who simply care about treating their body’s injuries holistically and naturally, Integrative Healing does good work. Check them out online at www.integrative.ca
Walking is not something we think about often. That is, how we walk. How a person organizes their body to walk is referred to as gait. Our gait feels and should feel normal to us although it may have changed over time due to any number of factors. What we do all day, our stress levels, emotional states, injuries, clothing, fatigue, weight change, all can have an effect on our gait. This becomes important because we walk throughout the day. Even if it is not much, we must do it to get ourselves from one place to the next. It is a repetitive and yet beautiful system of many movements that coordinate into the activity we call walking. If one movement is compromised, it can affect gait as a whole. Like putting a wrench in our gears. Of course we are not machines, so it is not as simple as that. Our amazing ability to adapt to change insures that we rarely fall down. Meaning that if the body is restricted in its usual way of functioning, it will find another way of functioning. It is important that we do this, but sometimes these other ways, or compensations, become uncomfortable in the long run. If change is needed, we need a keen sense of consciousness to undo our doing and bring strength back to a more harmonious way. Our nervous system will always work towards making what we do most naturally feel normal regardless of the level of tension or lack of support. This can be tricky, because the sensations of moving differently can feel so wrong or lost to us that it can easily overwhelm the sense of ease created by finding more efficiency. Taking the time to understand gait can be a catalyst to a “wake up” in your own body. It is OK to just go, but “how we go” determines where we end up and in what state of mind and body.
Here’s what a participant had to say about Karen’s Worksafe BC program.
It’s been almost a year now since I began taking Karen’s class here at the office. When I first began, I was a bit nervous as I really was a beginner in the class and the other participants had many classes under the belt. You made me feel very welcome for my first class. As I continued on, it was clear to me that not only did you have a wealth of knowledge about pilates but also about body mechanics. You not only ensure your students know what the exercise is about, you also ensure that their form is correct to get the most out of the exercise and avoid injury. Anyone can just teach a class, this is your passion and it shows in each and every class. It keeps me coming back! Thank you, Kimberly Kimberly Bosch, Team Manager Employer Service Centre Worksafe BC
This workshop for me was WONDERFUL! It was comprehensive and detailed,
yet interesting and practical, allowing me to explore and learn
everything that encompasses my shoulder girdle by touching, feeling,
asking, listening, watching.
I spend about 7 hours altogether sitting in front of a computer almost
every day. I also love playing tennis and try to do so 3-4 times a
week. Needless to say, my shoulders / neck / back suffer a great deal.
Danielle’s workshop allowed me to understand and gave me more
awareness about my entire girdle. I came out with a couple of
movements that I have now incorporated into my regular warm-up before
tennis and stretching afterwards, and do also throughout the day while
I take breaks from the computer.
In addition, I now give more importance and have a different focus on my breathing and posture, and feel I have a better understanding of certain cues when doing pilates, taking a reformer or a chair class, and during regular walking and sitting activities.
Thank you, Danielle!!!!
Rebecca Lau, Studio Client
The Movement Studio is excited to be hosting Trish Kazun this Fall for a workshop on Gait and Running Injury Free. Trish is a physiotherapist at Envision Physiotherapy here in Vancouver and an expert on gait.
The Importance of Running Technique, by Trish Kazun
As some one who didn’t run for years because “I have bad knees”, I can state firsthand that that is a lousy excuse. Once I became a physiotherapist and started learning about the biomechanics of movement, I realized that it wasn’t that I had bad knees…it was that I had bad technique. The following is a discussion of some of the common problems that give people shin splints, knee pain, Achilles tendon problems, etc (the list is endless!) when they run. read more….. http://envisionphysio.com/blog/category/running/
The mountains are calling, the highway is improving and ski season is here!Pilates programming focussed on ski conditioning and injury prevention is high on the agenda for avid skiers. We all want to ski fast, react well to bumps and moguls, negotiate deep powder, rebound from jumps, and learn how to best accelerate and decelerate through each turn to get that perfect run.
Educating skiers on proper core stability and the key muscles that often get tight, inappropriately recruited or overused due to muscle imbalances can go a long way to preventing injuries. Pilates can address the form, technique, strength and muscle coordination required to prevent compensations and injuries. Controlling the trunk through core stability allows us to respond to the rapid motion, speed and extreme mobility our bodies experience while skiing.
Training the adductors will help us recover when we catch an edge and assist us in keeping the skis under the centre of our body, reducing the stress on passive structures like our MCL (medial collateral ligament).
Knee injuries account for 1 in every 3 ski injuries, with ACL injuries involved in more than half!
Insufficient control of joint positioning puts excessive load on the ACL, subjecting it to possible sprain or tearing. Learning how to support and control the joints through Pilates will go a long way to preventing such injuries.
Research shows that women teat their ACLs 5-10 times more frequently than men. Many factors contribute to this stat. The predominant ones are imbalances. Women tend to prefer one leg to the other in terms of power and balance which creates single-leg dominance patterning. They tend to activate quads over hamstrings in an attempt to stabilize the knee joint and at particular angles of flexion this quad dominance stresses the ACL. Injuries to the medial or inside of the knee are also high. Appropriate tracking and stability of the knee and hip joints is required and Pilates uses exercises targeting the glutes and VMO muscles to help accomplish this.
The lower back is also often overused and injured. This is generally the result of poor core stability and fatigue. When we ski we need a strong, flexible, resilient structure to be injury-free. Proper abdominal recruitment will help you ski a full day comfortably, with enough energy to enjoy apres ski!
Inefficient movement done repetitively causes the body to develop out of balance and this causes injury. Pilates’ integration of the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle, and emphasis on proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment plays an important role in helping to keep folks injury free. These concepts practiced through mindful movement promotes strength and an awareness of functional mechanics, educating clients on how to fully engage in dynamic activity injury free. Pilates has become a crucial adjunct to strength and conditioning regimes with top-tier athletes, dancers, and folks seeking to get the most out of life.