Written by Physiotherapist Amanda Sin, Edited by Student Kinesiologist Janice Leung
Compare mountain biking to biking on the road, and for most road cyclist beginners or novices, their hearts may skip a beat or two if they aren’t natural adrenaline junkies. It’s hard to fathom how mountain bikers can navigate tree roots and rocks while flying down a decline or curve. The thought easily brings an ache despite the chamois pads in cycling shorts. Riding a bike gives you the sense of freedom to explore where you want while covering lots of ground. But maybe sometimes it gets a bit too monotonous riding on the road for hours. If you’re curious to mix things up a bit and try your wheels in the realm of off-road riding, here are 5 tips to help you have an easier transition into the mountains and beyond.
1. Look ahead and towards where you want to go.
Your bike will go where you’re looking, so don’t stare at the obstacle that you don’t want to hit. Look ahead at the line you want to take and your bike will go there.
2. Stand up.
When going downhill or over obstacles, stand up out of the saddle. This will give you more control and stability. Keep your arms and legs relaxed. As the terrain gets steeper or more obstacles appear, increase the bend in your arms and legs to increase stability.
3. Modulate your braking.
Be familiar with which brakes are for your front and rear wheels respectively. Your front brake is more powerful and will slow your bike down more than the rear brake. If you simply don’t want to go any faster, mostly use your rear brake. If slowing down is the priority, then use more of the front brake. Think of your brakes as dials that can be turned up and down, as opposed to on and off. This allows you to control the bike while slowing down in a controlled manner.
4. Move forward when climbing a steeper hill.
As the hill gets steeper, moving your weight forward on the saddle will help to keep both wheels on the ground and it’ll be easier to control your bike.
5. Be prepared.
Always leave home with a tool kit that will allow you to change a flat tire and tighten bolts on your bike should they become loose. Also, make sure you bring adequate food and water for the duration of your ride.
About the Author
As a member of the Canadian National Mountain bike team, Amanda has represented Canada at many international events. In 2011 she won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games, and in 2012 qualified to the Olympic Selection Pool for the London Games. Amanda joined the team and has been working at Movéo since March, while still instructing and racing on her bike!
Written by Student Kinesiologist Janice Leung with contributions from Dr. Kim Graham, Dr. TCM, R.Ac
The weather on the west coast has been great and a lot of recreational cyclists have been out and about. If you’re not a seasoned cyclist, it might be easy to make rookie mistakes and end up sidelined with an injury. Although cycling is considered low impact, there are still many injuries that can occur especially due to prolonged postural adaptations and repetitive limb movements (Callaghan, 2005). Injures are not limited to but often include those involving the knee, IT band, neck and back (Mellion, 1991; Callaghan, 2005). If you’re experiencing some pain on long rides, a few tweaks to your posture will probably prevent them from turning into full-fledged injuries. Here are 6 tips to help keep you riding healthy and happy.
1. Resetting your neck position every so often.
Your neck is an integral part of your spine and it’s important to try to maintain a neutral spine and avoid hyper-extension or -flexion. You can incorporate a chin tuck to reset your neck position. Try to imagine a string from your upper back that goes straight through the top of your head. Keep the string straight and taught and when your head is in a neutral position, i.e. your chin is positioned in between extremes of being too far or too close to your chest, make a double chin.
2. Resetting your upper back position every so often.
It’s easy to just bear down, focus on your pedal strokes and forget about your upper back. Wearing a backpack makes this worse as you’re more prone to shrugging or rounding your upper back to compensate for the weight, especially on uphills. Think about performing a “scap push up” where you protract your scapulae (bringing your shoulder blades towards the outsides of your rib cage) and then retract your scapulae (pulling your shoulder blades down back). This can help as a reset to bring your upper back into a better position.
3. Keeping “soft” elbows, not hyperextending, especially on downhills.
Think about keeping your elbows slightly flexed and tucked in by your sides. I found myself hyperextending a lot when I first started riding and got sore elbows, but making this tweak to my posture helped solve the problem right away.
4. Be mindful of your knee tracking.
There are “normal” variances of pedal stroke, but most importantly watch for the extremes, such as wide-leg-knee-out or knock-kneed positions. Although knock-kneed is normal for some cyclists, proper alignment and pedaling mechanics dictate an “up and down” motion to be most desirable. Pedaling drills, along with assessment and treatment for any contributing physiologically limiting issues, e.g., hip, back, etc., will only help you to be more efficient and limit knee problems.
5. If riding for long bouts of time, consider gloves with specific palm padding and / or switching hand positions every so often.
Some common injuries in cyclists involve compression of nerves, such as the ulnar and median nerves, from prolonged pressure from the handlebars. Numbness and tingling in the fingers and hands may occur. This can be prevented by switching from the drop-down handlebar to the hoods or other positions every so often. There are also cycling gloves sold with padding in specific locations where the nerves are normally compressed to give more cushioning to reduce chances of irritating the nerves (Rehak, n.d.).
6. Get a bike fit.
Although this is an extra cost to your already expensive bike and bike gear, it’s definitely worth it to have a professional adjust your bike to be personalized to fit your body. Even if you initially feel like riding your bike is completely comfortable, after some time, aches and pains may start to appear. As well, your saddle and seat height are big factors that affect the amount of flexion through your lower back. So if you tend to have issues with low back pain, make sure you get a bike fit in addition to professional help to ensure that you aren’t having issues elsewhere, such as in your hamstrings. For me, the most pivotal changes included actually being able to fully grasp the brake levers from the hoods (talk about safety) and a decrease of neck tightness after I got a bike fit.
With all that being said, do your best. Sometimes neck posture or back posture inevitably goes out the window when you’re struggling up a massive and long hill. But by keeping these few tips in mind and adjusting your posture throughout your long rides, it’ll help to stave off injuries that force you to take time off the road.
If you ever have any concerns or questions, always consult your health professional. Make sure to stay tuned for the next blog post on tips for mountain biking from Movéo physiotherapist Amanda Sin, who has a national competitive background in mountain biking.
Written by Student Kinesiologist Janice Leung
Last week I discussed some of the research behind compression socks in Part 1. If you missed out, you can find it here. This time I will be talking about the differences between compression socks and sleeves and share my own experience. Let’s get right to it.
So, Socks or Sleeves?
In reality, the only difference between socks and sleeves is that the compression will only start above the ankle when wearing sleeves. You may find out that you simply prefer one over the other. However, wearing sleeves for racing allows runners to wear their favourite lucky racing socks. Plus, imagine having to stuff your hot, swelling feet into full socks in the transition from swim to bike or bike to run during a triathlon. It would be less tricky to pull on calf sleeves than socks. For minimalist lovers, sleeves will allow them to still wear Vibram Fivefingers. Injinji now actually makes toe compression socks in addition to a whole variety of toe running socks, so runners can wear their Vibrams and receive compression through the feet. Although there are different opinions on wearing compression sleeves for racing and recovery, it may be best to wear sleeves only during exercise so that blood does not pool in the feet during more static recovery.
Take note that there are specific brands and models of sleeves that are meant for post-workout recovery. For instance, CEP does not advise customers to use their calf sleeves for recovery because their compression grade increases blood flow during activity, but not during rest. Now they have made specific recovery socks, just like other companies such as 2XU.
When purchasing socks or sleeves, look for those with graduated compression. It is better than constant compression because there is decreasing compression from the ankle to the knee which makes it more effective. Look for sleeves or socks that have around 20 mmHg as their medical compression grade. Sometimes the compression grade may be listed as a range, ie. “15-20 mmHg”, which indicates that it is 15 mmHg at the calf and 20 mmHg at the ankle.
My Experience During Workouts:
I have unfortunate large muscles for the small anterior and posterior compartments in my lower legs, so when my calves are tighter than usual and they begin to tighten and swell, the socks can give quite a squeeze. At first, I thought that maybe I was just not well suited for compression socks. But I gave a few more tries and ended up liking it. I find that my calves adjust after 10 minutes or so, and then they don’t feel overly constricted and actually feel good! Usually I find that my calves (as well as the tibialis anterior muscles) feel well recovered and not overly fatigued or sore for workouts the following day.
I never considered wearing sleeves, but my friends had them and seemed to like them. So when they went up on sale, I thought, why not? When I first wore them on a run, contrary to everyone’s concern about the sleeves, I didn’t feel like my feet were pooling with blood or, on the other end of the spectrum, feeling numb. I was quite aware that my feet were not receiving the compression love, as there was quite a contrast in tightness between my calves and feet. However, I still felt the same benefits as wearing compression socks once I felt adjusted to them. Again, the day after wearing them, my lower legs feel ready for another challenge. Perhaps if you suffer from any feet pain such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinopathy (tendonitis), it may be better to use socks to receive compression below the ankles as well. Note however, that different brands will have different sizing or comfort. I found that Zoot recovery socks don’t give enough compression in my small feet and through my arches. Currently, I’ve found performance 2XU socks to do pretty well.
After strenuous workouts or long runs, I try to make sure that I get my recovery specific socks on for at least a few hours if possible. I can secretly also feel a tad less guilty if I do not have the time to roll or stretch, and justify that I am putting in some effort for recovery and prehabilitation. I have not tried recovery specific sleeves before, so I can’t comment on them.
Whether you wear the socks during or after races and workouts, and they make you feel better and perform better, then no one is to say that they do not work for you. The bonus is that while you know people in their cars are staring at you as you cross the street, you can hold your head up high and jaunt effortlessly in epic, professional looking running gear. If you are looking for any advantage and have the budget, find and test out the brand and type of socks or sleeves that work best for you. My advice is that if your running performance is quite important and you have troubles with tightness below the knee, try it out. Wear them in a variety of workouts to determine how they feel for you and how it affects your running. Then you can decide whether you want to race in them or not. If you plan to race in compression gear, train like you race; wear your socks for key workouts to simulate race conditions. Ultimately within the current research, there is no definitive verdict as to whether compression socks truly boost your performance levels or not. But at the very least, these socks surely help with recovery and can help decrease muscle soreness.
Movéo sells Compressport full socks and sleeves.
Written by Student Kinesiologist Janice Leung
These days, it is not uncommon to see runners sporting an assortment of high knee socks at races, or on the sidewalks through your car window. As many professional runners have now donned the compression calf sleeves or full socks, many have followed suit in hopes of enhancing their performances. However, the question remains whether or not there is true benefit to wearing such head-turning socks.
Whether it is compression socks or full compression tights, the main principle is to increase blood and lymph flow while preventing blood pooling in the lower legs. This is useful clinically in those that have deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins or any conditions with blood circulation difficulties (Metzler, 2008). The compression also comes in handy for those that travel a lot because sitting for extended periods of time will lead to blood pooling in the legs. Similarly, those that are forced to sit all day or stand for several hours at work can benefit from compression. Another reason to wear compression clothing is to decrease muscle vibration by compressing and hugging the musculature. Every footstrike sends force and vibrations upwards into the muscles and tendons of the lower legs (Magness, 2010). This is one of the theories behind what causes DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Both motives of promoting blood flow and minimizing vibrations contribute to the overall goal of increasing venous flow and decreasing the by-products that accumulate and lead to muscular fatigue (Magness, 2010). Essentially, the goal is to bring in good nutrients such as oxygen, and to flush out muscular waste.
Elmarie Terblanche, a sports physiology professor from Stellenbosch University of South Africa, conducted the first real-world study involving athletes competing in the Two Oceans ultra-race (O’Mara, 2013). It was found that athletes who raced in compression socks, compared to those in regular knee-high socks and those that raced in neither, experienced significantly less muscle damage and even ran an average of 12 minutes faster (O’Mara, 2013). Massey University of New Zealand conducted a study where twelve runners performed five 10km time trials and a vertical jump test was performed before and after each 10km (Ali, Creasy, & Edge, 2011). Subjects wore either a “control” sock without significant compression or “high”, “medium”, or “low” degrees of compression. Both subjects in “high” compressive and non-compressive socks had a decrease in their jump heights, but those that wore “low” and “medium” degrees of compression had in fact increased their heights. Ali and colleagues (2011) stated that no significant effects on lactate accumulation or heart rate were found when wearing compression socks. However, evidence in the vertical jump heights of the subjects that wore “low” and “medium” degrees of compression led to the premise that the subjects’ muscles were less fatigued during their 10km time trial with the socks on (Ali et al., 2011). Therefore the socks assisted in improving muscle recovery.
From personal experience, after grueling workouts where I know my calves took a beating, I jump straight into my compression socks. (Though in reality, it actually takes a bit of a sweaty effort to squeeze my calves in.) Sometimes when I have little niggles (small aches that runners tend to ignore and run through) that are anywhere from my heels up to my knees, I don the tight socks. And most of the time, the pain subsides after I wear the socks long enough. Sadly, compression socks and sleeves are not magical; they will not help kiss your problems below the knee goodbye. For serious injuries, my best advice is to seek professional help, book in for an appointment at Movéo! But usually the day after wearing the socks, my calves feel much fresher and ready to tackle the next workout.
Stay tuned for next week when I compare compression socks to sleeves and give details on my own experience in using compression gear.
Written by Physiotherapist Shayla Hall
Foam rolling has exploded from an obscure practice of professional athletes to a staple among weekend warriors and grandmas alike.
Because it works. Clinically, personally, and anecdotally I see great results with adding rolling to one’s rehab program.
I’ve heard (and historically have probably said…oops) that foam rolling breaks up scar tissue, stretches fascia (IT band), and reduces adhesions that form between muscles. Years after the pioneers brought rolling to the masses, research about the force required to effect tissue structure has become available.
I’ll spare you the p-values and probability clusters (what?). Essentially, I would have to drive a truck over your IT band to break the first 1% of the superficial layer of fascia. It is highly unlikely that foam rolling has a direct and significant structural effect on soft tissue. If you think about it, thank goodness our bodies don’t work that way. I would be covered in dents and divots. Office workers all over the world would suffer from “Square-butt Chair-Syndrome” as their glute structure morphed into their swivel chairs. What about people in car accidents? Thankfully our bodies are designed to be strong, resilient, and force resistant.
So why does foam rolling work?
The explanation for rolling, much like many physiotherapy modalities, is a neurophysiological one. This is where my patient’s eyes usually glaze over and I wonder if the resulting boredom-slash-patient-confusion is worth it. In this case, it absolutely is. Focus those eyeballs and read on.
We roll muscles that feel “tight” or have “trigger points”. In the rehab world, we call this “tonic” muscles – basically the nervous system is firing signals at the muscle that make it impossible for the muscle to relax. Rolling provides a proprioceptive input, which triggers the nervous system to send an output. If done correctly, foam rolling provides a non-threating input which triggers a down-regulation of the tone by the nervous system.
Phew. You still with me? I’ll summarize: Foam rolling works via our fancy-pants nervous system…it doesn’t break up scar tissue or obliterate fascia.
Who cares though right? **she grabs a PVC-pipe roller and rolls the &*%$ out of her ITB**
In this case, it is important that patients know how foam rolling works because the dosage changes. If I am trying to break up fascia, I’m going to roll HARD. I’m going to hold my breath through the pain. If I’m trying to send input to the nervous system, I am going to dial down the intensity, use my breath, and avoid the intense pain that could actually further “threaten” my nervous system. I’ll probably get better results. The duration can change too. If my knee is sore doing a squat, I will foam roll my leg. If I’m trying to break down the ITB, then I’ll probably need to spend a long time rolling. In actuality, I just need enough rolling to down-regulate my lateral quad and make my squat pain free. If this happens with 30 seconds of rolling, then I’m done. I won’t see additional gains by rolling around for 20 minutes because my nervous system has already gotten the message.
While practicing in Whistler, I have come across a lot of athletes who swear that HARD rolling is what they need. I believe them, even though I don’t believe they are breaking down fascia. Everyone’s body is different. People respond differently: to rolling, to treatment, to exercise. I encourage you to experiment with the roller to see how little you need to see a result. Life is short, so if 30 seconds of moderate rolling is all you need to hit the trails, then get up off the floor and get going!
Happy New Year from all of us at Moveo! We hope that you had a great Holiday season and we would like to thank you for your patronage in 2014 and for choosing us for all your rehabilitation needs! We look forward to continuing our relationship in 2015!
New Clinic, New Year!
Have you been wanting to try a new service at Moveo? Do you have a friend or co-worker that would benefit from our services? If yes, this promotion is for you. Book your initial visit and come in before Feb 28th and receive 10 % off! Happy New Year!
Our new clinic is open and we couldn’t be happier! This incredible space was made possible by a few crucial people and organizations. We would like to thank:
Kang and Associates Design
Welcome Shayla Hall!
Shayla Hall is the newest member of the Moveo Team. She’s a registered physiotherapist and acupuncturist. We sat down with Shayla to get to know her better.
What makes your eyes light up in your job?
I love helping people see the resiliency of their bodies – helping them move from a place of stress and anxiety about an injury into a place of understanding and empowerment. I love knowing that people leave the clinic feeling better than when they walked in.
What’s your favourite activity on the weekend?
Coffee + bike + ski + yoga + laughing + dinner with friends + wine
If you didn’t work at Moveo, where would you be today?
Hobnobbing somewhere in the Sea to Sky corridor.
What types of clients would you most like the opportunity to work with at Moveo?
Variety is the spice of life, right? I like working with all sorts of injuries and issues, but of course kind, fun and motivated clients make my job a pure joy. My treatments are very hands-on. My goal in the clinic is to release blockages and restore movement so clients can get back to doing the things that inspire them, whether that’s running a marathon, lifting their baby or living without pain.
Now offering Active Rehabilitation Programs with our Registered Kinesiologist: Kim Marshall
What is Active Rehabilitation:
An individualized program designed by a heath care professional to return clients back to work, sport and daily activities.
Following a history and assessment, an individualized treatment plan consisting of kinesiology sessions will be devised.
Sessions will take place 2 to 5 days per week for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
The program will consist of:
• Restoring range of motion and reducing pain
• Improving posture and muscular imbalances by a mix of specific strengthening and stretching
• Functional core training, cardiovascular training and improving overall strength
• Improving balance, proprioception and flexibility
• Work or sport specific exercises
The goal is to ensure our clients receive the knowledge base and tools to continue at home or gym and avoid future injuries.
The program is open to all clients who would benefit from an active approach to injury rehabilitation, including those that have sustained a motor vehicle accident (ICBC Claim) or work place injury (WCB Claim) to athletes looking to return to sport.
$70 – 1 hour
$55 – 30 Minutes
Paired training is available, inquire for details.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
We are discussing headaches and how Moveo can help.
There are three common types of headaches: tension, migraine and cluster headaches. Among the three types, tension headaches are the most common form and they are often the result of stress or fatigue. In addition to tension, fatigue and stress, factors that have been associated with the onset of headaches include prolonged desk work or manual labor, dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits, and even poor posture. If the factors that are triggering headaches are not properly identified and addressed, the headaches may become chronic. In some cases, however, neck, back, and shoulder pain may be contributing to the occurrence of persistent headaches. A constant headache may also be the result of an underlying condition or serious injury.
|The brain itself does not contain nerves that are responsible for pain sensations – which means the brain tissue itself can’t “hurt”. The actual pain of headaches originates in structures or tissues in the surrounding regions of the brain and, therefore, a headache typically signals an issue in the body that needs to be addressed. Most headaches can easily be treated with over the counter pain relievers (e.g., aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen), but chronic headaches may require a more therapeutic approach, especially if the headaches may be the result of pain referred from the body (e.g., neck or upper back pain). In such cases, our practitioners can help individuals address the cause of the headaches, and in doing so, reduce their occurrence.|
If an individual is suffering from tension headaches, for example, therapy may involve teaching the person relaxation and coping strategies that can be used when stressful situations arise that have been found to be the triggers for their headaches. If it is believed that body pain (e.g., shoulder or back pain) is causing the tension headaches, then we would more than likely focus on relieving muscle tension as well as teaching an individual stretching and strength-training exercises. Once we feel as if an individual has learned how to properly perform the exercises, they can then be incorporating into a home exercise program, or easily done while at work. Individuals who continue to engage in their exercises generally experience relief from headaches and body pain. Furthermore, the therapeutic techniques can become a long-term approach to avoiding the headache triggers, stopping a headache if it does start, or reducing its intensity and frequency.
If you are experiencing chronic headaches or even neck, shoulder, or back pain that you believe may be associated with the occurrence of your headaches, our trained professionals at Moveo can show you stretching exercises and various treatment methods that have proven to be useful. Neck and shoulder training, in particular, has been shown to reduce both headaches and body pain. Furthermore, some of the techniques can even be performed at the workplace.
We at Moveo would be happy to assess your current physical state and create a program tailored specifically to your needs and goals. Call Moveo to make an appointment or to ask any questions you may have.
Have You Booked Online Yet? Meet JANE
As of November 2014, Moveo has introduced online booking! Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Visit www.moveo.ca to book an appointment at your convenience.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Moveo! We have holiday hours currently in effect.
OPEN Monday December 22 and Tuesday December 23: 9am – 3pm
CLOSED Wednesday December 24 through Saturday December 27
OPEN Monday December 29 and Tuesday December 30: 9am – 3pm
CLOSED Wednesday December 30 and Thursday January 1
OPEN Friday January 2: 9am – 3pm
CLOSED Saturday January 3
We’ll be back to regular hours on Monday January 5.
Call 604.984.8731now to book your appointment or visit us here on www.moveo.ca to book online.
Moveo just celebrated its 8th birthday at the end of July! We’ve found a niche here on the North Shore, and LOVE our team of talented practitioners, our active clientele, and our amazing community! We’ve outgrown our current clinic space and need someone bigger and better to do what we do best. November 3rd, 2014, we will be closing the clinic on Lonsdale and 15th, and will be opening our NEW doors just down the street at 1133 Lonsdale at our NEW MOVEO location.
The building, which may be familiar to North Shore residents, used to be the home of the North Shore News before the building burned down. After they built the new building, Unit #102, which is now ours, sat empty for a few years before we decided it would be the PERFECT location for our new clinic. The process hasn’t been easy, and owners and chiropractors Jenn and Sarah have certainly been put through the paces and have learned many lessons in patience, business, construction and partnership, but the payoff will be so sweet, as we have witnessed this transition from ground up, creating exactly what we feel will be the absolute best environment for our staff and patients to enjoy! Working with OMB’s design team (www.officemb.ca), Kang+Kang Consulting Group Ltd. (www.kkcg.ca) and FUSION (www.fusion-projects.com)
With a similar layout to current Moveo, but double the square footage, new Moveo will have an bright, modern, friendly reception area, and just freshen our look a little bit. We have stuck with the open space concept gym and curtained treatment area that is twice the size of our current rehab gym.
Adding a few more treatment rooms was a priority. Going from 2 rooms to 5 rooms will make a difference in accommodating patients for massage therapy and acupuncture. A few extras to make life easier for our staff, like an office, a kitchen and charting area, as well as a file storage room, have been added to the floor plan as well.
We will have a pay parking lot underneath the clinic with the entrance at the rear of the building. There is some street parking around in addition.
With all this excitement happening, we are going to have a party to celebrate! November 22nd from 2:00-5:00 pm is our grand opening! There will be prizes, draws, demonstrations and some Olympians, and other special guests may be making an appearance.
Jamie Magpantay is the newest co-op student from Simon Fraser University. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with an Active Health and Rehabilitation concentration.
Jamie was involved with a variety of sports growing up, being a part of various basketball, volleyball, and ultimate teams. Her favourite teams to be a part of were the Burnaby/New Westminster regional basketball team and her current VUL ultimate team. Jamie is always looking for new sports to take part in and nowadays you can find her at the gym weight training or doing yoga and pilates.
Jamie has her Canfit Pro Personal Training Certification and has had previous experience teaching exercises and stretches at different establishments. She believes in the importance of activity especially within the older population, volunteering at her local care home encouraging the residents to go on walks or inviting them to the exercise room.
Jamie hopes to one day become a physiotherapist or a chiropractor (she is still undecided). But she is very excited there are plenty of role models for her to look up to here at Moveo!