Manual therapy includes skilled hands-on treatment techniques meant to normalize soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia) and restore normal joint movement. The four most notable forms of manual therapy are manipulation, mobilization, assisted stretching and massage.
These treatment techniques are used for the purpose of modulating pain; increasing range of motion; reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation; improving tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability; facilitating movement; and ultimately optimizing function.
This is where a fitness and physical performance professional who uses exercise prescription specifically to improve performance in athletic competition and daily life. Strength coaches also help athletes with injury prevention and proper mechanics within their sports performances.
Therapeutic exercises are exercises that are specifically selected for you by your therapist to facilitate your recovery from injury or improve your current physical condition. This can be any combination of exercises that are done at home as directed by your therapist, or exercises that are done in our clinic rehabilitation gym under direct supervision. The goal is to help you maintain progress in flexibility, strength and function and to facilitate gains made in conjunction with other treatments in our clinic.
Based on scientific neurophysiological principles, IMS is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain of neuropathic origin. It involves the insertion of fine acupuncture type needles into the body where muscles have shortened or contracted. These locations are often the root of long term pain. While a muscle is tight and contracted it can’t heal properly; IMS stimulates a healing process and helps the muscle to relax.
IMS is best suited to treat soft tissue pain with no obvious sign of ongoing tissue damage or inflammation; such as: neck/back pain, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder and fibromyalgia, amongst others. It is often effective when other forms of therapy have failed.
What happens when nerves start to go wrong?
Many people are perplexed by pain that shows no sign of tissue damage or inflammation. This type of pain, known as neuropathic pain, typically occurs when nerves malfunction following minor irritation. Nerves and nerve endings become extremely sensitive and cause innocent, harmless signals to be exaggerated and misinterpreted as painful ones. The result is pain even when extensive medical tests show there is “nothing wrong”.
How does IMS work?
IMS is able to treat this neuropathic pain by desensitizing affected nerves and muscles using acupuncture needles. It is important to note that there is no use of electricity with IMS, rather it is the mechanical stimulation of the insertion of the needle into the affected muscles that provides the therapeutic effect. The needle activates a reflex causing the the muscle to release and in doing so, eases the pain. Inserting the needle also creates a minor therapeutic injury to the area, stimulating the body to increase local circulation and activate its healing systems.
The technique is particularly effective for deep muscles that can be difficult or impossible to reach with other forms of treatment. For example, there are some muscles around the spine and pelvis that are too deep to be treated with massage and can only be addressed with a needle.
What is the goal of IMS?
IMS directly treats the cause of the pain by relaxing the shortened muscle and allowing it to return to its normal state. The goal of treatment is to release muscle shortening which presses on and irritates the nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized and the persistent pull of shortened muscles released, thereby restoring motion and function.
The Effects of IMS
The effects of IMS are cumulative-each needling session stimulates a certain amount of healing, until eventually the condition can more fully recover and pain dissipates as muscles loosen. It is often successful in breaking the chronic cycle of pain because it permits accurate diagnosis of muscle shortening in deep muscles. It provides lasting relief and has few side effects.
Conditions that can be treated using IMS
A broad range of musculoskeletal problems are now successfully treated using the relatively new technique of Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). We can treat a variety of ailments using IMS including:
Acute Sports Injuries
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chronic Tendonitis or Bursitis
Chronic “Whiplash” Pain
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Jaw and TMJ Pain
Low Back Pain
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial Trigger Points
Recurrent or Persistent Injuries (including Sports Injuries)
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Shoulder Injuries (including Frozen Shoulder)
Spinal Disc Problems
Laser Therapy treatment is a non-invasive therapy that makes use of intense beams of light of specific wavelengths to help reduce pain related to your injury. LASER stands for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.’
When it comes to therapeutic use, lasers are often referred to as Cold Lasers, Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or High Power Laser Therapy (HPLT). The Low-Level Laser Therapy utilizes red (and close to red) infrared light on areas of injury or wounds in order to mend the soft tissue and also to give relief from acute and chronic pain.
When the lights of specific wavelengths are targeted to a particular area of body, physiological changes take place in the cells. This process is known as photobiomodulation. In contrast to surgical lasers, the therapeutic lasers gently pass through your skin without breaking the skin or causing discomfort. Laser therapy is considered by many professionals and patients to be a very effective tool in improving injury condition.
Thermal Electrical Modalities
At PhysioPlus as part of our treatment programs we use a variety of thermal and electrical modalities to assist recovery from injury.
Interferential Current is an electrical device that delivers relatively low voltage electricity into the body through electrodes. The physiotherapists use this modality to provide relief from pain and inflammation and often in conjunction with heat or ice depending on the stage of your injury.
Transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS)
TENS is a small electrical unit that delivers relatively low voltage electricity into the body through small electrodes. It uses the “gate control” theory where pain can be blocked by non-destructive means. A gentle application of electrical stimulation (with special rate, width, & voltage control) helps to close the gate, thereby blocking the pain message to the brain at the spinal cord level giving immediate pain relief in certain conditions.
Wax has a low melting point and is used for treatment of the small joints of hands and feet often prior to mobilization of these joints.
Ultrasound is a device that delivers sound waves into the body. This brings blood flow to the area to stimulate healing. In the acute stages of injury it can be used to decreased inflammation in a joint, muscle or ligament. In later stages it can be used to heat an area for mobilization or to relax muscles. As a result, it decreases pain.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is an electrical device that delivers electrical impulses into the body to cause muscle contraction. Often muscles become inhibited and do not contract as they should. This may be due to injury, muscle imbalances or post surgery. This can lead to pain. As a result, the brain has difficulty contracting the muscle properly. NMES can cause a muscle to contract involuntarily thus assisting in strengthening weak muscles and correcting muscle imbalances.
Biofeedback places electrodes onto the skin surface over muscles. This measures the natural body signals that are present when muscles are active. Audio and visual feedback allows patients to learn to control the activation or relaxation of individual muscles. By coupling the biofeedback with exercise, we can teach how to change movement patterns, “fix” abnormal mechanics, and learn to make exercise more effective.
Hot and Cold Packs
Depending on the stage of recovery hot and cold pack are used to provide relief from pain and inflammation in conjunction with other treatment methods.
Ergonomics is the study of how the human body interacts with the workplace. This focuses on how the workplace can be modified to enable the individual to work with minimal pain and discomfort. Ergonomic assessments can be useful in minimizing absences from work as a healthy workplace increases job satsifaction, enhances recovery and reduces disability.The […]
In an ideal situation, employers, workers, trade unions and workplace health and safety committees work collaboratively to maintain a healthy work environment. An important component of this strategy is a well-designed physical screening process. This screen maintains the confidential information pertaining to an employee’s health protected by the healthcare provider while allowing all parties to […]
Ergonomics is the study of how the human body interacts with the workplace. The job demand analysis focuses on how the workplace can be modified to enable the individual to work with minimal pain and discomfort. Ergonomic assessments can be useful in minimizing absences from work as a healthy workplace increases job satsifaction, enhances recovery and reduces […]
Individualized programs are designed to improve the strength, flexibility, core stability, endurance, and work tolerance. Exercises target conditioning for specific job demands following an injury or when deconditioning has been identified as a barrier to return to work. When possible, simulation of job tasks are incorporated into the program to improve tolerance, confidence and proficiency.
PhysioPlus is proud to offer services including performance assessment/evaluation, exercise prescription, exercise counselling, education, outcome evaluation for individuals with medical conditions, functional limitations or disabilities with the goal to improve health, function, work and/or sport performance.
PhysioPlus uses the SHIFT concussion assessment and management tool which looks at the individual as a whole and tails the rehabilitative strategies to the individual. We emphasize testing protocols that provide objective data from many different areas of physical performance (cognitive, visual, vestibular, neuromuscular, etc.) to aid in the development of individualized intervention strategies.
At PhysioPlus we are able to develop exercise programs from beginner to elite athletes as well as for non-athletes to help with everything from improving overall fitness to recovering from injury.We also design exercise programs for individuals living with chronic disease or disability. Examples include: individuals living with chronic pain; fibromyalgia; cardio-respiratory disease; and metabolic conditions, […]
The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness and Lifestyle Assessment is a 1 hour standardized test recognized as the gold standard across Canada. It is appropriate for clients of any age, any fitness level. The service includes a follow up session with a Certified Exercise Physiologist to review your fitness program designed to meet your individual goals.
This assessment is for runners of all levels to determine the cause of your running injuries or to avoid injuries all together. The 40- 60 minute assessment includes measuring the strength and range of motion of various joints. After this the individual is observed barefoot walking and running on the treadmill followed by a treadmill […]
Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, consisting primarily of manual (hands-on) techniques such as applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and moving muscles and body tissues. Generally, massage is delivered to improve the flow of blood and lymph (fluid in lymph glands, part of immune system), to reduce […]
Orthotics and Braces
Our feet disperse a large amount of force while we move about our daily lives. Structural abnormalities can significantly limit our ability to participate in activities. At PhysioPlus we are pleased to offer custom orthotic solutions by working in conjunction with Paris Orthotic Services in Vancouver.
PhysioPlus is proud to offer custom knee bracing solutions from Ossur. Custom braces are constructed to help with ligament injuries or osteoarthritis. These braces are created using detailed leg measurements and a computer scanning systemMost extended health plans will cover some or all of the cost of the custom brace. However, we recommend speaking with […]
Static hand and wrist splints are made from thermoplastic material on location at PhysioPlus. Supporting your forearm and hand can go a long way to decreasing recurrent aggravation. These devices also support your wrist and hand in a position that will minimize pain and inflammation. They can be made to treat a variety of conditions including: tendonitis, post-fracture […]
Vestibular rehabilitation (VR), or vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specialized form of therapy intended to alleviate both the primary and secondary problems caused by vestibular disorders. It is an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gaze instability, and/or imbalance and falls.