Competitive Edge is a Athletic Therapy and Sports Injury clinic committed to the health and wellness of our clients. Competitive Edge strives to provide the best patient care available in a warm, friendly environment. Athletes and non-athletes alike will benefit from the treatment they receive. Our Athletic Therapy services offer an effective, holistic form of rehabilitation for all..
Plantar Fasciitis can be a very debilitating injury that can limit activity and may cause you to take time off work. Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament that runs along the bottom of your feet. It is caused by an excessive stretch, overloading or strain to cause micro-tears in the tissue. Plantar Fasciitis can be triggered by excessive pronation, inflexibility of the longitudinal arch or tight calf muscles along with other biomechanical faults or muscle imbalances.
Symptoms may include heel pain, foot pain, stiffness and tenderness on the bottom of one or both feet. Symptoms can be particularly worse in the mornings.
Treatment incorporates ice massage, rest from aggravating activities, anti-inflammatory medications, soft orthotics or shoe change, stretching and strengthening programs, correcting biomechanical imbalances and manual therapy. Assessment and treatment in the clinic will look at the entire kinetic chain, including hamstrings, hips, pelvis, spine, etc.
While you wait to come into a sports therapy clinic, you can manage your symptoms and start your rehabilitation with these at home exercises:
Rolling bottom of your feet with a golf ball, lacrosse ball or frozen water bottle
Towel toe curls – Lay a towel on a flat floor, place toes on one end of the towel, crunch toes moving the towel towards you. To progress or challenge yourself, place a small weight or can of soup on the towel to increase the resistance to you toe crunch.
Calf stretching with a straight and bent knee against a wall
Looking for help with an injury, aches or pains? Give us a call at 403-252-6222. We are dedicated to identifying and resolving the root cause of your complaint. No band-aide approach here. We can’t wait to see you and get you back doing what you love!
Wouldn’t it be amazing if that nagging pain could be healed in one treatment, without any additional work needed at home! There can be drastic improvements over a treatment, of which some last for a few days and some for a few hours. However, the majority of the time the work done by the therapist is only one of the necessary components to heal an injury.
Why Injuries Happen
Injuries can happen for a variety of reasons. They can occur from an overloaded muscle that is working too hard and results in a strain; such as a sports injury. They can also occur from being in postural positions that are not as biomechanically strong. Majority of postural compensations are chronic issues that reflect on habits. In order for those habits to be changed, it needs to be done on a consistent basis, which is mostly during time spent away from the clinic.
How to Make Changes
Well, do you remember those exercises that your sports therapist gives to you at the end of your treatment? The ones that they say are important? Well, that is a great place to start! As boring, time-consuming and tedious as the exercises can be, they were given for a reason. It is most optimal to keep a rehabilitation program thorough but manageable, so you should not need to spend hours on the exercises. But do expect to commit around thirty minutes, depending on the severity of the injury.
In contrast to chronic issues, acute injuries that had a rapid onset (like that hamstring strain for a sprinter) still require exercises. As an athlete, it is important to continue training in ways that do not aggravate the injury. So, if you have a lower-body injury, then your therapist will be giving you exercises that will contribute to your conditioning and aid recovery. Those exercises are still important, especially if you want a faster return to competition.
Now, what are you going to do with that wonderful sheet of paper with your exercises on it? Frame it and put it somewhere that you will see it every day as a reminder.
Written by Harley Thwaites,
Athletic Therapy Certification Candidate
As your Athletic Therapist, we ask about your pain a lot. We use your pain scale as a diagnostic tool, to help us create your individualized treatment plan, as a progression marker and as a guide to create the most effective rehab exercises for you. But there are two general types of pain you may be feeling, one good and one bad.
The type of pain you may be feeling that is actually telling us we are going in the right direction and that you are doing your exercises properly is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS for short. This is the type of pain that you experience after a workout, the type of soreness that you feel in your quads after leg day or that makes your arms feel like Jell-O after an upper body work out. The rehab exercises we give you in the clinic are generally targeting one muscle group of individual muscle that may be weak or that may be firing incorrectly therefore the soreness you feel after doing your exercises may feel like they are in a very precise location. We do not want you to mistake this soreness for injury pain. This soreness is good and means you are doing your exercises properly and working the correct muscles we want you to.
The soreness that comes along with DOMS usually appears the day after you exercise that muscle and gets to its worst on day 2 after the exercise. This pain comes from tiny micro-tears in the muscle fibers. This is a normal process that must occur to build muscle. These small tears send messages to the brain that the muscles weren’t quite strong enough and they start to build more muscle.
On the other hand there is injury pain. This type of pain can range anywhere from a dull ache to a sharp stabbing pain and could feel very pin point or could feel like it is coming from a larger area. This type of pain potentially indicates that some type of tissue is damaged. This type of pain is sometimes associated with inflammation where you will see swelling or feel heat in the area. This is the type of pain we are interested in to keep our treatment plan on the right track.
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two but here are a few ways to tell the difference. Muscle soreness will get worse if you use the muscle that is sore. It will also feel worse if you stretch that muscle, it may feel very tight and you might have less range of motion than normal. Muscle soreness is usually not felt when you are at rest and not using or stretching that muscle. Muscle soreness usually comes on within several hours of the workout or exercise and is at its worst 24 hours after. After these 2-3 days the muscle soreness should subside. If your pain doesn’t fit into this category it is most likely coming from your injury!
Written by Brodie Lefaivre, Certified Athletic Therapist
If you are struggling with an injury that just won’t go away, try something new. Book in to see one of our Athletic Therapists to get you feeling 100% and back to the activities you love. Call or book online!
The human body has intervertebral discs between vertebrae which provide shock absorption and separation. Throughout the day, these discs get compressed and can then become the culprit. The typical scenario is when you bend over to one side and try to lift something using primarily your back while also twisting. The “bulging” disc is when the disc has been squished, which does not always mean pain. When the protruding disc puts a pressure on the nerve root, there can be a variety of symptoms. However, a large portion of the population have protruding discs without any symptoms.
Our Success Story
One client came into our Calgary injury clinic completely hunched over and barely able to stand, let alone walk. He was using a walking cane and appeared to be around 80 years of age, when he was actually around 60 years. He complained of back pain and numbness and tingling into his lower leg. He then claimed it was his disc and wanted me to solely work on that. After going through a thorough assessment and various nerve and disc tests, there was nothing. I wasn’t surprised. Feeling around the low back, there were minimal issues. When finally, I pressed on a few spots in his gluteus medius and BAM there was the numbness and tingling. After completing the assessment, the final consensus was gluteus medius trigger points. So we treated as such, providing a release and then prescribing exercises. After the treatment, there he was standing tall, no pain, no cane. Fast forward one week and in strolls this man looking 50 years of age, without any aids. That said, he still continued his treatments as I was able to progress his treatments and exercises so he would be able to function better every day.
Gluteus Medius is a very important muscle for stabilizing the hips and often gets neglected. If weak or inhibited, it will cause a variety of symptoms and compensation patterns. So, be sure to give those glutei medii some lovin’: give them a release with a lacrosse ball or tennis ball, do some side-lying clamshells, do some body weight squats. But FIRST get a proper assessment at a proper Calgary injury clinic so you can receive an individualized program.
Above all: live an active lifestyle and promote your own health.
Written by Harley Thwaites, Athletic Therapy Certification Candidate
So we have a little secret to tell you… we try to be patient…we try to re-explain and simplify… we try to be polite and not correct you too often… but nothing grinds our gears more than spending the better part of a conversation explaining to someone what Athletic Therapy is only to have them follow up with ” So how long have you been a sport therapist?”.
So let’s get this out there once and for all….
SPORT therapy is not the same as ATHLETIC therapy.
You might be asking: “Well what’s the difference?” or “Why does it matter/ Why do you care so much?”. Let me explain.
“Sport Therapy” is actually not a profession. It’s really nothing at all. If someone tells you they are a sport therapist- please run for the hills. Sport Therapy is an umbrella term used to describe any health care profession that is more inclined to work with a sport related population. A lot of clinics ( like ours!) use the term in their name because it can be used to encompass a variety of different professions. As far an an individual professional- you can have a Sport Chiropractor or a Sport Physiotherapist; meaning that individual went on into a specialized sport program after completing their chiropractic/ physiotherapy education. Or you can have an Athletic Therapist– like us! Athletic Therapists specialize in the assessment and treatment of any injury to muscles/ bones/ joint/ etc and we specialize in working with active individuals. Notice I said “active”, meaning you use your body for something sometimes… we are not exclusive to only Athletes, despite how our name sounds.
So why do we care that you refer to us by our proper name as an “Athletic Therapist” or “AT” for short? Well currently we are still a very small and growing profession; much smaller and lesser known than physiotherapy for example. We are working very hard to get our name out there as a profession. The more people who know what we are, what we do, and how we are different, the more we receive the public recognition that our profession deserves! If you call us by an incorrect name, we could be mistaken for our other health care counter-parts. Consequently no one hears the word “athletic therapy“. No one hears about what we can do and how we can help them.. and our profession doesn’t grow or become more well known to the general public.
We know we sound picky and we know that our name is a little strange ( considering I just told you that we don’t only exclusively work with athletes). But every time we hear one of our clients use our professional title correctly, it warms our hearts knowing that all of our hard work to get our profession out there is maybe paying of a little! So please- no “sport therapy” nonsense… unless you are referring to “Competitive Edge Sport Therapy”… and definitely don’t call us or put us in your calendar as “physio”. Small little changes in the way you refer to your beloved Athletic Therapist go a long way in helping make our efforts worth it!!
We thank you for your help in educating your friends and family about what “AT” is, how we are different and how we can help them! And we will try our absolute best to not face palm if you accidentally slip up and use the wrong title. We know a habit is hard to change!
Written by Lindsay Ibey , Certified Athletic Therapist
Looking for help with your injury, ache or pain? Give us a call at 403-252-6222 so that we can indentify and resolve the root cause of your complaint. No band-aide approach here. We can’t wait to see you and get you back doing what you love!
If you have ever heard your Therapist say “Everything is connected”, and you had a hard time believing them, here is a client success story that proves just that.
A couple weeks ago I had a client come in with an old plantar fasciitis injury that had become re-aggravated. This injury occurs when the fascia at the bottom of your foot becomes irritated due to a multitude of reasons. This client had also been getting headaches regularly. The first appointment we focused mainly on treating her foot including releasing the fascia under the foot itself. She came back the following week and told me that it was even worse! Treating directly in the problem area even gently was too much for her and her injury became more irritated than before. In the weeks following we focused on other areas including her hips and pelvis, legs and even into the back of her neck working on her sub-occipital muscles.
Throughout the following weeks we worked on getting the musculature in her legs and hips working properly and assuring they weren’t holding any unnecessary tension. We also did releases for her diaphragm and her sacrum. Some weeks she would come in with tension in her shoulders and we would work on the back of her neck and her upper traps.
After 6 treatments of not even touching her foot, her plantar fasciitis had completely healed and her headaches had improved as well!!
The reason that treating what seemed like irrelevant parts of the body helped her plantar fasciitis is because of a fascial chain system that runs from the bottom of the feet up the back of the body and ends by wrapping from the back of the head around to the forehead. The name of this chain is called the Superficial Back Line. This fascial chain begins at the plantar fascia on the underside of the foot which attaches onto the Achilles tendon, up through the calves and hamstrings and then into the erector spinae of the back and ends at the head where it runs from the sub-occipital muscles over the back of the head and ends at the forehead.
If any part of this chain is tight, problems can show up at any section along the entire chain. This is why rolling the bottom of your feet can help with tension headaches and working on this clients hamstrings, pelvis and posterior neck corrected the symptoms she was getting at the bottom of her feet.
So next time your Therapist tells you that your injury is linked to other parts of your body or is treating an area that seems unrelated to your injury… don’t think they are crazy because EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!!
Written by Brodie Lefaivre, Certified Athletic Therapist
If you are struggling with Plantar Fasciitis, (or any injury for that matter!) that just won’t seem to respond to respond to local/ direct treatment- come on in and see Brodie. She will help you connect the dots and locate the true root cause or your pain! What have you got to lose?
As humans, we are all creature of habits. We like to build our schedules around our favourite/ necessary activities or we like eating at the same restaurants or if you’re anything like me, you like having the same hot drink every morning. We often go through these patterns daily without having to put any effort into remembering them because it has become a habit.
Your body is also a creature of habit, the things you do daily or how you sit or stand for hours is going to affect the way your body develops. If your muscles are in a shortened position for a long amount of time, your body starts to think of that position as its “normal”. This might seem like its not that much of an issue but if you try to get yourself out of that position and do an activity that requires a bit of extra mobility in the opposite direction, most often an injury happens which our body recognizes as pain. Unless this pain is quite debilitating, most people ignore it and try and go back to their daily activity not realizing that their body is going to try and adapt to the decrease range of movement and the new-found pain in a way that is not often beneficial. These new ways of movements are what are called compensation patters. Sometimes these can keep the body pain free and give one a fake sense of great mobility until they break down and the pain returns or its even worst.
As a therapist, one of the most common questions I get asked is, “Why does the pain come back after I was doing so well?” I often answer this question with one of my own, “How have your exercises been going?” Most often the answer to this is “I haven’t done them in a while since I was doing so well.”
And that is when the connection is made. The reason why exercises are given after a treatment session is because the treatments helps the body begin to learn how to work properly. If the proper technique isn’t continued throughout the week, weeks, or month, the body goes back to its incorrect pattern and that’s when the pain returns.
A lot of the people that I see for lower back pain, often have some abnormality going on in their hips. Either their quads and hip flexors are too tight from sitting too much at a desk or a driving job, or their lower back muscles over work due to imbalances in their glutes and hamstrings. Once I work on the abnormality going on in their hips, the exercises that are given are ones that either strengthen the muscles that won’t fire and/or stretch the muscles that have been shortened because they’ve been in a flexed position for so long.
Learning a pattern doesn’t always happen immediately, its like learning a new habit, it’ll take time before the body learns to do the proper movements naturally and until then, it will be returning to the compensation pattern. The more consistent people are with the exercises, the less tendencies the body has to go back to its wrong patterns. This is why checkups along the way are important. They’re like guidelines. There is no quick fix to being pain free, it takes patience, dedication to your exercises, and understanding what they are trying to break down.
Written by Whitney Dikoume, Certified Athletic Therapist
Struggling with knee, back, hip, neck, foot (or any other kind of) pain? Book in to see Whitney or another one of our qualified Athletic Therapists for a fresh set of eyes on your injury. Learn what is causing you pain and what can be done to aid your recovery. Call 403-252-6222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
People ask us all the time why we decided to become an Athletic Therapist. I think people expect to hear- “because I like sports” or “because I didn’t get in to ___ ( insert random other professional program that isn’t nearly as cool…)”. But no… that’s not why.
We do what we do because we believe that you deserve someone in your corner (sports analogy intended!). Your health care provider should do everything in their power to make you feel your best. They should care, and listen, and work with you, your body and your injury. And at Competitive Edge, we will. We will not stop until you feel 100%- or better than what you thought 100% felt like! We believe that every body, every person, every injury, and even sometimes every stage of recovery needs a different and perfect concoction of variables. We are 100% as dedicated to your recovery as you are (if not more!). And we will do whatever it takes. Because our dream is to help you live yours! Whether your dream is to feel well enough to chase your children or grandchildren around the park, or to conquer that hike or marathon you have your sites set on, or to kick @** this sport season. We want this for you. We believe that you deserve this. You deserve to work with a health care provider that is THE best at what they do. Who will use every tool in their tool box to get you where you want to be. And when our tools aren’t enough or aren’t what you need at that specific moment- we will find someone to do for you what we can’t. YOU and your progress and goals deserve to be our main and only priority.
This is why we spend the entire hour one on one with you. No one else matters in that time. You deserve our time and attention. This is why we are constantly learning and trying new things- we want to be the best for you. Your recovery and your treatment plan will be as completely unique ( and sometimes just as wacky!) as you are.
Now get out there, do your exercises, conquer the world and make us proud!!!
Written by Lindsay Ibey, Certified Athletic Therapist
If you feel like you have tried everything under the sun and you just can’t seem to tackle that nagging injury or achy spot- book in to see on our our Athletic Therapists. This is what we do. Let us help!
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, or PFPS for short, is an umbrella term for general knee pain in the front of the knee. PFPS does not usually have a mechanism for injury, instead it comes on gradually. A couple things that aggravate this injury include squatting, stairs, walking, or any activity after you have been seated for a prolonged period of time. Doing any of these activities may cause general pain in the front of the knee that is hard to pin-point.
PFPS can be caused by multiple factors including, but not limited to; collapsing arches, weak vastus medialis (quad muscle closest to the inside of your thigh), tight fascia on the outside of your knee cap called the lateral retinaculum or a tight IT band. All of these factors will result in poor alignment of your knee cap, increased pressure and irritation around your knee cap and poor tracking mechanisms of your knee cap.
When you straighten your leg by contracting your thigh, your knee cap should move in a “J” shape motion moving closer to the inside of your thigh and then straight up towards your hip. When it tracks this way, it slides perfectly into the groove and you experience little friction. The knee cap, or patella, is pulled to the inside of your leg because of the vastus lateralis muscle (VMO). If this muscle isn’t firing properly or if your vastus lateralis muscle (VLO) is pulling first or pulling harder, your patella is not going to fall into the groove behind your knee cap and will cause friction and irritation. Every time you straighten your leg, whether doing squats or simply from walking, your patella is tracking in that groove. So imagine if you aren’t tracking properly… that is a lot of repetitions causing a lot of friction and irritation.
So how do you fix this..? You can help to correct where your knee cap sits at rest by keeping your VLO and IT band loose. This can be done using a roller over the outside of your leg. You can correct your patellar tracking by making sure your VMO is not only firing fully but also that it is firing before the other quad muscles. You can do this by slowly contracting your quad and watching if your VMO is firing first. If it is not firing first, you are going to tap the muscle, yes tap it, for 10-15 seconds. By doing this, you are sending signals to the brain to remind the muscle to fire. After you have tapped for 10-15 seconds, try contracting again slowly and see if it is corrected. Patience is key with this exercise. You are not going to retrain the firing pattern of your muscles in a day or even in weeks, retraining this habit will take a long time but if you are patient you will see results!!!
Written by Brodie Lefaivre, Certified Athletic Therapists
If you are experiencing knee pain similar to this, don’t wait and hope for it to go away on it’s own- call our clinic and book in with Brodie herself or another one of our talented therapists to get you on the road to recovery! Don’t spend any more time experiencing unnecessary pain. Let us help! Call 403-252-6222 or email email@example.com for more information.
Having a sore shoulder is something that we are all a little used to, whether you are sitting at an office or day or you’re a professional athlete. It is more prevalent today and it is something that I see a lot in the clinic. Some of the issues are symptomatic due to overuse of the muscles around the joint and sometimes they are due to an actual injury that affected the muscles, ligaments, arteries, veins, or nerves that surround the joint.
Shoulder Impingement is a coin-all term that refers to any pain that is in the shoulder but it doesn’t explain what is causing that issue. The most common cause for shoulder impingement has to do with forward head posture. We live in a world where either we are in front of computer screens for hours on end or we are looking down at our phones whether it is social media or working. Technology isn’t the only villain when it comes to posture, sometimes it is the backpacks we hang on our shoulders loaded with tons of books, laptops, etc. I’m not saying they’re bad, its just sometimes our shoulders need a break from carrying the weight of the world.
When someone has forward posture, it can affect multiple joints in the body. Its not just a neck issue, it is a shoulder issue as well. When a person has forward head posture, their body is in that position for such a long time that their muscles start to adapt in turn getting their joints to adapt and eventually decreasing the optimal range of motion in that joint, resulting in pain
One of my clients was complaining of pain on the anterior portion of their shoulder which started with only certain movements but had progressed to the point that is was now constantly. I evaluated his posture while he was standing and when walking. In standing, he had a slight forward head posture which wasn’t evident unless one was looking for it but this position was causing a change in his walking gait. One of the main movements that this posture diminishes, is shoulder flexion. For shoulder flexion to occur, the humerus needs to have space around it to move in the glenoid cavity ( the “socket” of this ball and socket joint) and interact with the other bony landmarks in the shoulder blade (scapula). If it doesn’t the structures that run around this joint have limited movement which our body registers as pain.
For the first couple of appointments, we worked on increasing the length of the shorted pectoral muscles and increasing the strength in the deep neck flexors so that the body could learn what normal movement felt like. That decreased the pain in the shoulder a bit because now, the humeral head had more space to move around the glenoid cavity. Next, we worked on ergonomic changes that they could do at work, at home, or anywhere in their daily life. Together with his commitment to getting better and a couple manual athletic therapy sessions, he can now his shoulder more efficiently than he did before. He is standing more upright, doesn’t have any random headaches after long days at work, and most importantly, his pain is gone!!
Here are a couple tips to help prevent forward head posture:
1. Don’t sit on your computer for hours on end without taking a break – move, stretch
2. When wearing your backpacks, try not to make them too heavy – take the essentials, not your whole house
3. Cellphones – instead of holding your cellphone down in front of you, bring it up to eye level – it decreases the amount of tension you put on your suboccipitals
Remember, a happy neck means a happy shoulder!
Written by Whitney Dikoume, Certified Athletic Therapist
If you are experiencing neck or shoulder pain, come in to Competitive Edge and let us help! Don’t live in pain for one more second. It’s going to take some work so lets get started!
Call 403-252-6222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!