Physiotherapists play an important role in the lives of many Canadians, and the range of health issues that they can help you with may surprise you! One way we can help you prevent and manage illness, injury, and disability is through education. The NSPA is providing the following health tips for general information only. Always see your physiotherapist or other health provider if you have pain, discomfort, or other symptoms that last for more than a couple of days.
For each Health Tip, we have included related Information Sheets prepared by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association or related organizations. Visit the CPA's public website to access a large selection of helpful resources on all the conditions physiotherapists treat.
Some of these information sheets date back to 2007; however, they contain great information that is still relevant today.
For general information on physiotherapy, see the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) Consumer Brochure.
For more information on FAQ, please see the Complete Concussion Managment and NSPA FAQ
Kids and teens are at risk of back injuries when using a backpack. To reduce the risk, kids should wear both shoulder straps and keep the bag light.
Being overweight is hard on young bones and joints. Kids (and parents!) should be physically active everyday and eat a balanced diet of wholesome foods.
When kids are on the computer or using other electronic devices, the screen should be at eye level. If they are using a keyboard or mouse, these should be at elbow height. Like adults, kids should stand and move around every half hour.
It is crucial to stay active as you get older. To prevent falls, challenge your equilibrium and balance. Use a physio ball, stand on one leg, or walk a straight line. Energize yourself after sitting for a long time: get up, stretch, flex your arms and legs. And keep active at a pace that is best for you by doing strength and cardiovascular exercises.
If you're active, use an exercise program that's tailored to your sport. Include strength, balance, and core stability. To get muscles and joints ready for action, use the same movements as your sport. Start out slowly and increase speed and intensity over time. For minor aches and pains, use an ice pack for up to 15 minutes to help regenerate for the next day.
For those recovering from breast cancer, start an exercise program that helps regain normal shoulder range of motion. Women of all ages will benefit from specific exercises for bladder and bowel control. And for osteoporosis, a regular exercise program will help build stronger bones and prevent fractures.
To stay healthy at work and prevent back injury, lift with bent knees and a tight stomach, holding the weight close to your body. Standing or sitting tall not only improves your breathing and prevents pain, but it also helps you look and feel better. Keep computer monitors at eye level and the keyboard and mouse at elbow level. Take breaks to stretch and relax.
To recover movement and function after an injury or stroke, your exercise program should challenge your brain and nerves, as well as your muscles, balance, and coordination. Try breaking complex movements like stair climbing into small, manageable pieces. And make an effort to be mindful about when you're feeling tense or relaxed. When you're aware, you'll have better control over tension and you'll feel better!
For more information, see the CPA Information Sheet on Stroke.
Back and neck pain are common problems for adults. The best way to deal with back, neck, and other joint or muscle problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place! 70% of back problems are caused by activities of daily living. Injuries can often be avoided by paying attention to your posture, lifting heavy items properly, exercising regularly, strengthening your core, and sleeping on your side or back on a good mattress.
For more information, see the CPA Information Sheet on Back Pain.