Tag Archives for " physiotherapy "

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.


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/


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/