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Physiotherapists- 5 Reasons You Should See One

Athletic Therapy Clinic - Prairie Therapy

You will benefit from seeing a Physiotherapist whether you’re an elite athlete or an office worker. However, you do not need to have an injury to an assessment from a Physiotherapist. Physios help to improve your quality of life, performance, physical function and help to manage existing conditions.

What is a Physiotherapist and what do they do?

Physiotherapists are regulated, healthcare professionals. They are university-trained movement specialists. Because of their knowledge in anatomy, movement and mobility they will help to optimize function and quality of life. There are many benefits from seeing a Physiotherapist; listed below are 5 reasons to visit a Physiotherapist.

1. Alleviate pain

Pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain has a sudden onset, can occur after a specific injury or trauma and has a short duration. Chronic pain lasts for more than 6 months and may require the assistance of a healthcare professional. Physiotherapists are trained to assess and identify the source of your pain.

2. Prevent Injuries

Physios help to prevent future injury and flare-ups of current conditions. Whether you’re training for a sport or starting a new activity, a Physiotherapist will be able to assess your current mobility, strength and stability. Based on your unique goals, a customized treatment plan will be provided to help you.

3. Improve your posture

Poor posture will cause pain, muscle imbalances and headaches. If you spend most of your day working in an office environment, as many do, you also spend time in the same position every day. Slouched shoulders and forward head posture leads to pain and dysfunction in your body. Physiotherapists help identify which areas need postural correction and which muscles need stretching and strengthening.

4. Improve post-surgical recovery

It takes time to heal after surgery. Because of restricted activity, you can experience muscle atrophy and weakness. Poor pain management also limits post-surgical recovery. A Physiotherapist will help you progress along with your rehabilitation in a safe and effective manner.

5. Address muscle imbalances

Muscle imbalances cause us pain and discomfort. Imbalances develop from chronic poor posture or overuse of the same muscles. Repetitive movements such as keyboarding can lead to elbow pain (aka “tennis elbow”). Physios are able to assess the muscles for any imbalances and provide a plan to improve or optimize function.

At Prarie Therapy we have experienced Physiotherapists to help assess and treat you. Call us at 403-200-2190 or conveniently book online https://prairietherapy.janeapp.com

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome otherwise referred to as CTS is a medical condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in your hand and wrist. These symptoms are due to pressure put on the median nerve. The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your side through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel.

Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel

The pain in your carpal tunnel is due to excess pressure in your wrist and on the median nerve. Inflammation can cause swelling. The most common cause of this inflammation is an underlying medical condition that causes swelling in the wrist and sometimes obstructed blood flow. Some factors that can cause CTS are heredity, repetitive hand use, hand and wrist position, and health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.


Symptoms of CTS may include numbness, pain and tingling sensations, weakness and clumsiness in the hands. Many people find that their symptoms come and go at first. However, as the condition worsens, symptoms may occur more frequently or may persist for more extended periods of time.

The problem is the symptoms of carpal tunnel are present with many other conditions, which leads to misdiagnosis in many cases. Mainly if burning, tingling or numbness occurs in areas other than your wrists, you probably don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Physical Therapy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Often clients will come to a therapist stating they have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is well known and accepted as a condition; because of this the focus usually hones in on the carpal tunnel when hand symptoms are mentioned. For example, the client may mistakenly report symptoms that affect the ring and little finger as CTS. Often their physician hasn’t given them a formal diagnosis and is experiencing symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. A therapist does not have the same diagnostic tools as a physician, and they are basing their treatment of the symptoms based on what the client is telling them, pain level, and working through the soft tissue.

How Physical Therapy can help

Physical Therapy can relieve CTS symptoms by breaking down scar tissue and adhesions in the muscles of the wrist and forearm, caused by trauma or overuse. Specific exercises can also help reduce pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. These exercises are incorporated with bracing and/or splinting and activity changes to relieve symptoms. Whether or not you have carpal tunnel or other conditions of the hand, sometimes all it takes is one appointment with our Physiotherapists, Osteopaths or Massage Therapists to provide pain relief.

All of the therapists at Prairie Therapy can comfortably work with carpal tunnel issues. Call 403-200-2190 or book online at https://prairietherapy.janeapp.com/

Deep Tissue Massage- No Pain No Gain?

Deep tissue massage

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue is a style of massage therapy that is slower and firmer compared to other massage techniques. This type of massage uses firm pressure and slow strokes and focus on the deepest layers of muscle tissue and fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that forms our tendons and ligaments surrounds’ all of our muscles and organs. Massage therapy can help reduce pain, inflammation, muscle tension and stress. Because of this, it is also beneficial for chronic conditions and areas that may have scar tissue and a poor range of motion.


Deep tissue massage is usually beneficial for the following conditions:

  • Low back pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Upper back pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Whiplash
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Postural problems
  • Muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back
  • Sciatica
  • Athletic Recovery

What to Expect

Deep tissue massage isn’t a stronger version of a relaxation massage. The massage techniques break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle adhesions. The adhesions disrupt circulation, cause pain and cause inflammation.

The therapist will start with light pressure to warm up your muscles. They will use common techniques such as:

  • Stripping – The therapist will use thumbs, knuckles, forearms or elbows. As a result, you will feel a gliding pressure along the fibres of your muscles.
  • Friction: The pressure is also applied across the grain of your muscles to realign tissue fibres and release any adhesions that cause discomfort. 

Does a Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?

During the massage, you may feel some discomfort or pain as the RMT focuses on adhesions or scar tissue. That being said, pain isn’t necessarily a sign of an effective massage. Too much pain and your body will tense up which will make it difficult to reach deeper muscles. Do speak up and let your therapist know if there is discomfort or pain.


To get the most out of your treatment make sure to do the following:

  • Breathe! Relax and breath. This will help the therapist get those deeper muscles and help release tension in your body.
  • Drink plenty of water after your treatment. Massage helps stimulate the circulation of blood and the lymphatic system. Water will help flush out toxins.

You most likely will experience some stiffness and soreness in the day or so following your deep tissue massage. Of course, if this pain doesn’t naturally go away, get in touch with your therapist to talk it through.

There are only 68 days until the end of the year to use your extended healthcare benefits. Book in your massage today! https://prairietherapy.janeapp.com/

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Plantar Fasciitis causes intense pain on the heel and bottom of the foot. The diagnosis is based on your signs and symptoms and in some cases an ultrasound. Often the cause of plantar fasciitis is not clear. We will discuss why plantar fasciitis is not a foot problem followed by specific therapies that provide long-lasting results.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis. What is the cause? It is running? Standing for long periods on a hard surface? Is it poor footwear? High arches or flat feet?

Plantar fasciitis causes are made up of two primary factors:

Muscle and Connective Tissue Tightness

It starts with muscle and connective tissue tightness. The muscles aren’t working correctly, therefore, your foot can’t work correctly. You will feel pain in your foot although it’s the tightness of your lower leg that causes the issue. Again, the cause of foot pain is not always the foot.


Too much pressure on your feet can sometimes damage or tear the ligaments; the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and the inflammation will cause heel pain and stiffness.

Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

Your doctor may have suggested surgery. Other treatment options can be steroids, splints and orthotics. The treatments may not be able to fix your problem because they are still looking at the issue as a cause and not as a symptom.

For this reason, if you want to address the pain, you will need to address the root causes of the pain. This means treatments to help address the inflammation and muscle and connective tissue tightness.

How Osteopathy and Massage Therapy Can Help.

Massage is a low cost, non-invasive and effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. The connective tissue is a fairly rigid structure and can often be very sore to the touch. An experienced therapist will identify irritable points whilst not causing undue pain and discomfort. Deep tissue massage will help with both inflammation and muscle and the connective tissue.

Osteopathy will identify the cause of pain instead of chasing symptoms. An Osteopath will assess the entire lower limb and spine in relation to how you are moving, transferring and absorbing weight. They will also address the underlying cause of inflammation and look at physical factors like restricted ankle movement and tight calf muscles.

Book an appointment with one of our Osteopaths or Massage Therapists today https://prairietherapy.janeapp.com/

Whiplash-How to Treat it

Whiplash Treatment

Whiplash is a relatively common neck injury. Whiplash is caused by an impact to your neck that causes it to whip back and forth. It is most often associated with motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), specifically, rear-end collisions. The symptoms and severity differ from person to person. Right after impact, patients may not even be aware of any neck swelling or bruising. In general symptoms usually, appear between 12 and 24 hours after the accident.

Causes of Whiplash

While the majority of whiplash injuries are from motor vehicle accidents, there are other causes with a strong enough impact to cause injury:

  • Contact sports (hockey, football, rugby)
  • Roller-coasters and amusement park rides
  • A horse-back riding or cycling accident
  • A fall which causes the head to jolt backwards abruptly
  • The direct impact of large or heavy object on the head

Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash will show presents as neck pain, stiffness or tenderness and decreased range of motion. The following symptoms are present with neck injury:

  • Neck and back pain and aches
  • Neck stiffness and decreased range of motion
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Arm pain and weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Sensory disturbances, such as pins and needles

You should seek help from your physician or a physiotherapist if the pain spreads to your shoulders and/or arms; if it becomes painful and difficult to move your head; if you experience numbness, tingling or weakness; or if the pain is severe. Your symptoms can be improved with proper medical advice and physiotherapy.

Treatment Options

What are the treatment options for whiplash? Evidence supports various treatment approaches. Your best treatment direction should be guided by an expert in the rehabilitation such as a physiotherapist or physician. With this in mind, you should choose a practitioner who has experience treating whiplash caused by motor vehicle accidents.

  • Ice- Put on on your neck, this will help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Use a neck brace or support if your doctor recommends it.
  • Pain medications (over-the-counter or prescription).
  • Limit activities such as sports or heavy lifting.
  • Limit the motion of your neck and head as much as possible.
  • Physiotherapy
  • Other modalities such as massage or acupuncture.

Your whiplash will get better. However, whiplash injuries can take a few days to a few months to rehabilitate. Research shows the large majority of whiplash sufferers recover with actively guided treatment.  We recommend that you consult your doctor or physiotherapist before you begin treatment.

Give us a call at 403-200-2190 to speak with one of our qualified physiotherapists regarding your whiplash injury.


How To Use Your Extended Healthcare Benefits

Extended Healthcare Benefits

Calgarians want more vacation time and better health benefits at work. Many of us have some extended health coverage, however very few of us are actually making use of the benefits we have.

Paramedical benefits, like massage, physiotherapy and acupuncture have seen an increase in usage over the last decade. But are only claimed by a small percentage of those eligible for the benefits. What can you do to make the most out of your extended healthcare benefits?

Direct Billing

Some insurance companies provide the convenience of direct billing for eligible services. Forget to submit your claim? Not able to pay out of pocket for your treatments? No problem. At Prairie Therapy we make it convenient to use your extended healthcare benefits. We direct bill to most insurance companies for massage therapy, acupuncture and physiotherapy services. Bring in your insurance card to your next appointment to get direct billing set up.

Book in Advance

We’ve all done it. We haven’t used our extended healthcare benefits for the year and now have only a short few months to make the most of a year’s worth of extended health benefits. You’ve worked hard to earn your coverage and it’s there to help you feel better and be healthy, so why not use it? Because so many people use their benefits at the end of the year, we suggest booking in advance to be able to maximize and use all of your extended healthcare benefits.

Find the Right Practitioners

Find the right team of healthcare practitioners to assist you with your healthcare goals. We have a team of massage therapists, TCMD’s, physiotherapists, athletic therapists and osteopathic manual therapists to help you make the most of your extended healthcare benefits. We collaborate as a team with one another to get you results. And the best part is that they are all under one roof!

All About Knee Braces- Finding the Right Support

Custom Knee Brace

Prairie Therapy offers custom knee braces from Ossur, Donjoy and Breg.  All three companies offer world-class knee brace solutions to help with orthopaedic injuries. Whether you’ve had knee surgery or are looking to avoid surgery custom knee braces can help protect and manage pain.

How much does a knee brace cost?

At Prairie Therapy we carry a wide variety of bracing products. The price of a brace will depend on the injury and severity. We have off-the-shelf products for as low as $100; custom products as high as $1500 and everything in between.

Does my insurance cover knee braces?

Most insurance plans will cover bracing products; howevereach plan is a little bit different. We encourage all of our clients to checkwith their insurance provider for their level of coverage before purchasing.

Is direct billing available for knee braces?

We are unable to directly bill insurance companies for bracing products. Our clients typically pay up front for the product and then submit the sales receipt for reimbursement.

Do I need a prescription to get a brace?

You do not need a doctor’s prescription to get a bracingproduct; however it is always encouraged to have one so that we have a clearunderstanding of your injury.

How long does it taketo receive an ordered product?

At Prairie Therapy we do carry a small stock of bracing products so on occasion you may be able to walk out same day with your purchase. For off-the-shelf products, the typical wait time is 3 days; while custom orders are roughly 7 days.

How long does a fitting appointment take?

A fitting appointment is scheduled for 30 minutes. One ofour bracing experts will take you through all the products applicable to yourinjury condition, as well as pricing, warranty and any other questions you mayhave.

Do you fix or repair knee braces?

This will depend on the level of damage to a product. We may be able to help with minor repairs or adjustments. Bracing products with more significant damage will have to be sent away for a warranty replacement or manufacturer repairs.

The difference between Athletic Therapy & Physiotherapy

At Prairie Therapy Physiotherapy and Athletic Therapy are similar.  Both will assess and educate you about your injury and healing process.  Our therapists treat hands-on as well as give you some exercises to do at home. So what are the differences and what is the best type of appointment for you?

Athletic Therapy:

Athletic Therapy is effective in treating musculoskeletal injuries. In the same way as Physiotherapy, the therapists assess and educate you about your injuries. Much like Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy will use manual therapy, exercise, and sometimes bracing and taping. The goal is to prepare you for safe recovery into an active lifestyle. 

Three key areas for recovery:

  1. Injury prevention (warm-up, conditioning program, taping, etc)
  2. Immediate Care (injury assessment, )
  3. Rehabilitation (using a variety of procedures to promote an environment conducive to healing)


Physiotherapy can restore and maintain strength, function, motion and overall well-being by addressing underlying physical issues. Like Athletic Therapy, Physiotherapists do this with a combination of manual techniques, exercises, and therapeutic modalities.  Your treatment will be tailored to regain lost function, as well as improve and optimize existing function​.

Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques such as:

Manual manipulation techniques, needling, functional testing,  fabrication and application of assistive, adaptive, supportive and protective devices and equipment.

What are the differences between Physio and Athletic Therapy?

How it’s different from Physio

At Prairie Therapy we believe in Rehabilitative Collaboration. While there are some differences between Athletic therapy and Physio, at our clinic they are similar. Some differences are:

  • Athletic Therapist’s focus primarily in the area of assessment and rehabilitation of orthopedic conditions–the muscles, bones, and joints
  • Physiotherapists training is much broader and encompassing; trained to assess and rehabilitate burn patients, stroke patients, etc.


To summarize, at Prairie Therapy, both physiotherapists and athletic therapists use therapeutic modalities,  rehabilitative techniques, physical reconditioning to promote healing. We want you to feel better and believe in working as a team.  If you start with one therapist and they think that you would be better served by another therapist, they will be happy to refer you to them.

Insurance plans can vary and this can be a determining factor in choosing which service to book. Do you know if your insurance plan covers Athletic therapy, Physiotherapy or both? Make sure to review your insurance coverage, insurance plans vary in their coverage of Physiotherapy and Athletic therapy. Also, Physician referrals are not required to receive an assessment by a physiotherapist or athletic therapist.

At Prairie Therapy our goal is to help you return to your regular activities at 100%

Learn more about Athletic Therapy and Physiotherapy here: http://prairietherapy.ca/athletic-therapy-calgary/


Do Osteopaths Help With Foot Pain?

Osteopaths Treat Foot Pain

Did you know that Osteopaths can help find the cause of foot pain? Feet are our foundation. Did you know that 30% of our body’s awareness of space come from our feet? Our feet are responsible for the vertical balance of our body, continuous weight-bearing in standing and walking and responsible for our body’s ability to move. When our feet are in pain, not only do we struggle to walk around, but it can also have a huge impact on the rest of your body.

Causes of Foot Pain

So, what causes foot pain? Here are some common causes of pain in the feet or ankles that we see and treat at the clinic are:

  • Planter-fasciitis
  • Achilles Heel or Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Gout
  • Shin Splints

Osteopaths and Your Feet

With this in mind, an Osteopathic assessment of the foot should not be overlooked as this can have significant implications on the function of the entire body. Osteopaths consider the lines of gravity (anterior and posterior lines create the resultant central line of gravity), the myofascial chain, and if it is primarily a “foot issue” (ascending lesion of the foot that creates dysfunction elsewhere in the body), or a primary issue elsewhere that creates a descending lesion where the foot must compensate.

The curves of the spine, along with the arches of the foot are important for shock absorption. In the presence of a lesion or rigidity of the arches of the foot, there will be a reduction in the flexibility of the spinal curves through the synergy of the springs and vice versa. This may present as back pain, neck pain, stiffness or may influence the digestive system. Our sympathetic nervous system for most of the digestive organs is found at the thoracic levels T5-T9. In the foot, it may present as plantar fasciitis, general foot pain, changes in gait or shin splints. 


Further up the chain, there is also a relationship between the foot and cranial sphere:

  • Cubo-navicular joint with the sphenobasilar symphesis (SBS) of the cranium.
  • Tarsal sinus and vestibular system
  • Talus and atlas (first cervical vertebrae C1)
  • Lines of gravity
  • Diaphragms (tentorium of the SBS and plantar fascia)

A dysfunction between the foot and cranial sphere may present with neck pain, stiffness, headaches, changes in posture and of course poor proprioception.

The fibula is found in on the lateral side of the lower leg. In contrast to the tibia, which is much stronger for weight-bearing, the fibula is adaptive to external forces. It can adjust, compensate, stabilize, balance and regulate the tensions of the lower extremity. The fibula has a direct relationship through the fascial system from the foot to the ilium (pelvis). Because of this, a lesion found in the fibula may present as pain or dysfunction in the ankle/foot, knee, hip joint or pelvis.

Our bodies are incredible when compensating around these changes or dysfunctions. However, we can only sustain this for so long until we are no longer able to compensate further.  Osteopathy looks past the area of pain to identify the cause rather than chasing symptoms! Start with the feet!

Jackie Caione- D.O.M.P, CAT (C)
Osteopathic Manual Therapist

To learn more about how Osteopathic Manual Therapy can help with your feet, click herehttp://prairietherapy.ca/osteopathic-therapy-calgary/

Physiotherapy Rehabilitation For ACL Injuries

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most frequently injured ligament of the knee. Those who sustain an ACL tear will likely undergo surgery to repair the tear; however, some may avoid surgery by modifying their physical activity to relieve stress on the knee. When ACL surgery is an option, physiotherapy will take into account the healing time when we provide you with rehabilitation exercises. If you don’t have surgery, a physiotherapy rehabilitation program can improve your ACL function.

Key Components of an ACL Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Program:

Strength Training

Strength training addresses the muscles of the lower limb, the core, as well as left to right limb differences. It also addresses strength imbalances which help prevent re-injury of the ACL.

Multiple Exercise Interventions

  • Locomotion: Tri-planar, direction change, acceleration & deceleration.
  • Gross Fundamental Movement skills (see the “PLAY Tools” Inventory from the Canadian Sport for Life Models – Blog to come!): Locomotion, crawl, jump, throw, kick, strike, roll and dive.
  • Exercises that require the joints to go through a full range of motion: Deep squat (single and double leg), pull-up, push-up
  • Exercises that include a concentric as well as an eccentric component co-contraction of muscles around a joint: Lunges, squats, push-ups.
  • Closed Kinetic Chain as well as in Open Kinetic Chain exercises: with a focus on activation from the core.
  • Dissociation Exercises (Upper extremity from Lower extremity and Left from Right side): Roll, crawl, diagonal neural patterns.

Proximal muscle control

Proximal muscle control is about core strength and also control of the core. In a rehabilitation program, we would look at how the core reacts in key movement patterns like landing from a jump.


Proprioception is the sense of self-movement and body position. For instance, we look at landing from a jump and frontal plane movements of both the knees (inward) and of the trunk (side to side).

Neuromuscular Training

Neuromuscular training teaches your body better habits for knee stability. When you train how your knee moves, especially when you jump, land and pivot, you can maintain a more stable position of the knee joint. Neuromuscular training is considered in tri-planar motion. http://prairietherapy.ca/what-is-tri-planar-movement-and-why-do-we-use-it-in-rehabilitation/

Injuries to the ACL, are especially common in team sports like soccer, skiing, basketball, and volleyball. For example, in basketball, ball handling vs. defence has been shown to have a different incidence of injury rates, with the defence having a much higher incidence.

Fatigue training

When looking at an ACL injury, we look at how the body responds to both muscular and cardiovascular fatigue. This includes the practice of sport-specific exercises when the body is tired. In Physiotherapy, we would use single leg balance exercises, jump & squat form/technique, deceleration training & direction changes.

How much and how long

Studies have shown variability in program duration and frequency, but in order to see a training effect, exercises need to have the components of progressive overload and not allow for accommodation. They cannot be stagnant and need to be progressive and challenging. Some programs have shown gains as quickly as six weeks when training 3 times per week for 90-120 minutes per session. Other programs have shown gains over an entire soccer season (4 months) when used as a warm-up (20min) prior to every training practice.

For more an evidence-based review of the literature on ACL rehabilitation programs please use the following link:

A physiotherapist will take into account multiple considerations when building a rehabilitation program for the patient with a deficient ACL. To learn more please contact us at Prairie Therapy and ask to book in with Zenia. http://prairietherapy.ca/physiotherapy-calgary-sw/