Cycling Season Is Here – 4 Ways to Prevent Knee Pain

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4 ways to prevent knee pain when cycling

Cycling season is here! While biking is considered a low-impact sport, the repetitive mechanics of cycling combined with high reactive forces between your foot and bike pedal create high pressure on your lower extremity and can predispose you to knee pain.

Knee pain is the most common lower-body issue among cyclists with as many as 65 per cent experiencing it. Most knee pain is a result of overdoing it when you ride for longer periods and harder than your condition permits. This tends to strain and inflame your connective tissues.

Activa encourages you to consider safety when biking to prevent reduced training capacity or limited performance with these 4 cycling safety tips.

1. Check your saddle height and position

Start by being mindful of your form and consider the safety of your equipment and bike position for long distance cycling. A good bike fit is essential for preventing most causes of knee pain.

Knee pain right on the kneecap (patella) is typically the result of powerful cycling quads. As you’re pumping the pedals, your quad muscles may deliver too much force across your patella. A saddle that is placed too low may cause your knee angle to be too tight at the top of the stroke, which increases forces pulling the patella against the femur — increasing the likelihood of tendonitis and harmful stresses in the cartilage behind the kneecap. Riding with your saddle too far forward can also cause knee pain in the front.

Tip for saddle height: Have a seat and rest your heel on the pedal with the pedal in the 6 o’clock position. The knee of that leg should be straight at a 20- to 25-degree knee bend when clipped in.Tip for saddle position: Your saddle should be positioned so the bony bit below the kneecap is above the ball of the foot, which should be above the pedal.

2. Avoid over-extension of the knee

Pain behind the knee is less common than in the front and is generally caused by over-extension of the knee. This pain is common among cyclists who spend a lot of time in fixed gear using hamstrings to decelerate pedal stroke. This can put too much pressure on your biceps femoris tendon (hamstring muscle that runs down the back of your leg toward the outside of your knee).

Tip: Check your saddle position, as it may be too high or too far back. Try lowering the saddle a bit or moving it forward in relation to the handlebars. Give your legs a break with lighter resistance pedalling to relieve pressure.

3. Placement of your feet on the bike pedals

When you feel pain on the inside of your knees, look down at your feet. Cleat placement and position affect how far apart your feet are when pedalling.

Tip for foot placement: The spacing between your feet should be enough that your knees to your pedals are moving vertically without pushing your knee inward or outward.

4. Alignment of your cycling shoes or cleats

Pain on the outside of the knee is often caused by iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, a stabbing pain that happens when the IT band (fibrous connective tissue band that runs from the hip along the thigh to the tibia) becomes stressed and inflamed.

Misaligned cleats can cause the foot to be excessively toed in. Cleats that are placed too far to the outsides of the shoes can also cause too narrow of a stance on the bike.

Book your appointment with Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa today to relieve any knee pain you may be experiencing from biking and review cycling safety to protect you from cycling injuries this biking season.

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Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa’s Approach to Healing and Relieving Pain

By | Physiotherapy | No Comments

The origins of physiotherapy (physical therapy) as a profession date back to the 19th century when Per Henrik Ling, “Father of Swedish Gymnastics” founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 for massage, manipulation, and exercise.

Modern physiotherapy (physical therapy) was established in Britain towards the end of the 19th century. In Canada, the Canadian Association of Massage and Remedial Gymnastics (CAMRG) was incorporated in 1935 by the Dominion Charter and renamed the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), which works to advance the profession of physiotherapy in order to improve the health of Canadians.

Treatment through the 1940s primarily consisted of exercise, massage and traction. Manipulative procedures to the spine and extremity joints were also practiced in the British Commonwealth countries during the early 1950s. Later that decade, physiotherapists started to move beyond hospital-based practice to outpatient orthopedic clinics, public schools, colleges/universities, geriatric settings, rehabilitation and medical centres.

Today, physiotherapy (physical therapy) consists of Manual Therapy, Modern Electrotherapy and Modalities. Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa’s approach to physical therapy combines healing and long-term injury prevention.

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5 Ways to Reduce Risk of New Year’s Resolution Injuries

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Happy New Year from Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa! It’s that time for New Year’s resolutions so we encourage you to be careful and reduce risk of injury if you’re pursuing an ambitious fitness plan after time away from regular exercise.

A rapid increase in physical activity and intensity often causes common injuries including achilles and gluteal, calf and hamstring strains, lower back and neck strains, and rotator cuff injury.

Consider these 5 ways to reduce risk of injury so you can follow through on your New Year’s resolutions to improve your health and fitness while sustaining wellness throughout 2017 and beyond.
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Happy Holidays from Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa

By | Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy | No Comments

Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa staff wishes you and your family all the best during this Holiday season, a time to enjoy with loved ones and reflect on the year that has passed.

Please be advised that physiotherapy treatment will not be available from December 23, 2016 until January 3, 2017. Massage therapy is available as per regular scheduling — if you would like to book your appointment, please call 613-744-4188.

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Are Intense Workouts Harming Your Immune System?

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Do you exercise rigorously on a regular basis? Consider a healthy recovery training program, just like a competitive athlete.

For your muscles the be strong, you need to exercise to the point of tearing muscle fibres, as exercise increases your ability to take in oxygen. Studies show that if your intense workouts aren’t followed by easy workouts, you may be suppressing your immune system to colds and increased chances of injury.

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Piriformis syndrome: More than a pain in the butt?

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Piriformis syndrome, also know as “pain in the butt,” is commonly seen in individuals who spend long hours sitting. People who work at their desk all day, drive long distances and ride motorcycles can experience this discomfort. Long-distance runners, cyclists and skiers are also at high-risk.

Piriformis muscle is deep under gluteal muscles, running across the pelvis area outwards and attaching to the thigh bone. When the hip is extended, it’s an external rotator. When the hip is flexed, it’s an internal rotator. Any injury, irritation or tightness to the Piriformis muscle may lead to neurogenic symptoms down the limb.

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Spring Gardening: 7 Tips to Prevent Back Injury and Muscle Strain

By | Physical Therapy, Stretches | No Comments

Spring gardening season is here! Before you start planting your favourite flowers, make sure you keep safety in mind to avoid muscle strain or back injury. Small changes to your movements and gardening habits will allow you to enjoy spring gardening and the beauty it brings.

Gardening is a physical activity so think of it as one that requires training, similar to preparing for running a marathon. Consider gardening as hiking — your first time out for the season shouldn’t exceed a few hours. Lifting and digging can put stress on your back and other muscles and the morning after a day filled with planting will activate muscles you likely haven’t used all winter.

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Knee pain: 4 common reasons

By | Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy | No Comments

Did you know that knee pain can result from conditions that you might not associate with your knee? People often seek orthopaedic consultation for knee pain, although not all knee pain requires surgery.

Knee pain is complex and can be the result of a number of factors involving surrounding joint dysfunction. We often associate knee injury with sports injury or overuse of the knee, but there are a number of reasons why you can experience knee pain. Your flexibility, joint mobility, strength and posture can cause poor joint mechanics resulting in knee problems. A holistic approach in physio assessment and treatment helps to determine possible causes of this condition.

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Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa

What to Expect from Physical Therapy

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Your First Appointment at Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa

At Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa, you begin with an extensive assessment with Registered Physiotherapist Barbara Stefanska. We start by reviewing your health history then evaluate your pain and movement patterns, strength, joint range of motion, reflexes and sensation.

Based on your assessment, your Physiotherapist establishes a diagnosis and partners with you to determine the most suitable Physical Therapy treatment to relieve your pain, optimize your function and movement, and improve your physical condition. You will also be provided with video instruction to help you follow your exercise program at home.

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Preventing Wrist Fracture this Winter

By | Physiotherapy, Sports | No Comments

Look at all that snow, Ottawa! Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa recommends that you protect yourself when walking on snowy walkways and participate in sports this winter season to prevent injuries that may cause a wrist fracture.

Did you know? The medical term for a broken wrist is a wrist fracture. Your wrist has eight bones connecting to the radius and ulna – two long bones in your forearm. A broken wrist can happen to any of your 10 bones but the most common fracture is in the radius.

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