The study of kinesiology focuses on human movement and body function. At Movéo, we kinesiologists work largely with the chiropractors and physiotherapists to create a rehabilitation program tailored specifically to each individual patient. Because chiropractor appointments are only 2o minutes long–and our doctors prefer to spend as much time as possible being hands-on–we spend extra time after treatment to teach exercises and correct posture. These exercise programs strive to increase and maintain stability, strength, endurance, and range of motion. The continuation of exercises during the recovery stage of an injury is important for a number of reasons:
We can also help you with chronic pain and discomfort throughout your daily life. Office ergonomics, mini breaks between work tasks, posture while driving–we will address these common issues and help you find relief within your busy life.
Of course, our expertise applies to more than just injuries. Aches and pains, yes–but we can also assist in modifying workouts to meet our previously mentioned criteria of building stability, strength, endurance, and range of motion. Our purpose is to correct posture and method in order to enhance performance and prevent future injury. We aim to give you confidence in your biomechanics and minimize any insecurity you may have in the gym, during swims, out running, on the field, or in whatever you love to do.
You may have been offered an ultrasound treatment during your physiotherapy or chiropractic session, and you probably accepted it without too much thought. You gave in to the cold dollop of blue gel and the circular rhythm of the wand for a couple minutes, then packed up and got going with your life. You may have not even felt anything! So what exactly is ultrasound, and how does it help?
Ultrasound is a device that sends ultrasonic (high frequency sound) waves through your skin into the tissues below. Frequencies of the wave can be adjusted depending on how deep the waves must penetrate.
There are two effects of therapeutic ultrasound: non-thermal and thermal. Non-thermally, the ultrasound works to break up scar tissue by using the vibration from the wave. This is called cavitation. A mass of scar tissue experiences a pressure change with the sound wave, causing it to break up into progressively smaller masses until finally disappearing for good. For example, lithotripsy is a procedure in which gall and kidney stones are broken up by using ultrasound.
The waves are absorbed by structures beneath the skin – such as ligaments, tendons, fascia, and even scar tissue. The absorption creates a thermal effect as the waves vibrate throughout the structure. This increases blood flow into the area to promote faster recovery. Blood vessels dilate due to the heat so that swelling and edema flush out, reducing pain. Fresh blood full of oxygen and nutrients can now flow through with ease to aid in rebuilding tissue.
Our practitioners find that ultrasound used in combination with other therapies—for example, Active Release Technique or manual therapy—is more effective than simply using ultrasound on its own. Often, our chiropractors do this with Graston. The ultrasound acts as a warm-up; it increases temperature and begins the scar tissue breakdown process. Then, the Graston tool can get in to further break down more efficiently.
Ultrasound is more effective than a heat pad because, as you may have experienced, the skin is in direct contact and may become unbearably hot; meanwhile, the deeper structures receive less heat. Ultrasound can be adjusted to actually reach its target without causing discomfort—or even any change in sensation—to the skin.
There are a number of other types of ultrasound used in the medical field as well. Perhaps the best-known type is for diagnostic purposes. The sound waves create an image of internal structures like babies or injured tissue. Shockwave therapy is similar to the cavitation effect of the ultrasound therapy. Its difference is in the strength of wave—shockwave therapy is at a higher intensity, which affect the tissue composition at a cellular level in a different way. Even deep structures such as bones can be stimulated to increase cell production and bone density.
What does heat do?
This increases blood flow to a specific area. Deoxygenated blood can flow out and flush away the built up metabolic waste. Meanwhile, new blood can flow in, bringing nutrients and oxygen to promote recovery.
Injury causes nerves to constantly send pain signals to the muscle. This nerve irritation can be distracted with overriding heat signals.
Muscles tend to tense up and spasm when there is pain. As explained above, heat diminishes pain signals from the nerves. Tension then declines due to the decrease in pain.
* For optimum effects: heat 10 min, off for 10 min, repeat 2 – 3 times.
**Do not heat an acute/recent injury! The vessels at the injury site are still weakened and cannot handle an increase in flow.
The cold constricts the blood vessels. Blood flow to the injury site lessens when ice is applied, thus lessening swelling and pain.
The ice will numb the nerves in the area, decreasing soreness. It will also slow the nerve impulses, thus lessening the degree of pain and pain-spasm reaction.
*For optimum effect: ice until skin is pink (10 min), off 10 min, repeat 2 – 3 times
**Use a wet towel as a barrier between your skin and the ice to avoid freezing the skin.
Heat allows the blood vessels to dilate; cold then contracts them. Alternating between the two acts as a pump and increases the circulation in the area to:
The ratio of heat to cold should be 3 min : 1 min.
Repeat 3 times.
Always end with cold.
Ending with heat leaves the blood vessels dilated, allowing for fluid to accumulate again. Rather than re-aggravating the injury, end with cold to constrict the vessels. This will minimize the return of any swelling.
(Depends on injury/person; 2 days – 2weeks)