Blog

Golfers Elbow

Did you struggle with elbow pain this season?

This is a story line I have heard time and time again:

“I’ve been golfing all summer and started to feel a twinge in my elbow. It tends to come up around the 4th hole and gets worse throughout my round and I can feel it on every shot. I go home and ice it and the pain subsides. The next time I go play the exact same thing happens.”

Does this sound like you?

Take the off-season to rehabilitate your elbow pain with Athletic Therapy. Remember: rest does not equal rehab!

Get your elbow right for next season! Book online today

Who is a candidate for Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)?

Who is a candidate for Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)? Anyone! I’ve performed FST with individuals ranging from 7 years old up to 80 years old! Many people implement FST as part of their weekly, biweekly or monthy activity routine.I previously used to stretch a Grade 7 hockey goalie

His hamstrings were so tight he slept with his legs bent. I stretched him regularly during the hockey season and he was finally able to sleep with his legs straight! He was a great candidate and I eventually ended up stretching multiple players from his hockey team. They all felt that it helped their legs feel lighter and that they could perform better on the ice.

With this goalie in particular, I created him a specialized home program of stretches, foam rolling techniques as well as core strengthening exercises.I always told him that he was leaps and bounds beyond his fellow teammates and other athletes his age when it comes to having a proper recovery routine to keep his body healthy and avoid injury!

Unfortunately sometimes it takes something having to go wrong to seek help, but once he started working with me he took away so much knowledge that he can continue implementing throughout his hockey career!

Book in for your FST session today and reap the benefits of greater flexibility!

5 Ways I Made My Workouts Better

Have you gone to the gym and just felt sluggish the entire time? Heavy legs? Tight hips? Muscle cramps?.. These 5 things I started doing before my workout drastically changed the way I felt during and after my workout! And when I don’t do these things I can definitely notice it in the gym…

  1. Hydrate: On days I know I am going to workout, I up my water intake! This is huge! Prep your body for all the fluids you will lose through sweat. Your body will thank you.
  2. Be conscious of my core. This will make all your movements SO much easier. Doing a squat? Engage your core. Lunges? Engage your core. Push press? You guessed it, engage your core. You will be surprised how strong you are and how much more efficient your movements become. THIS is why I am so passionate about my Glute x Core workout series because I want you all to become as strong and efficient as possible! Register on my website for the ONLINE series and make your core and glute activation stronger and more effective for your active lifestyles!.
  3. Good form: whether you are working out alone or in a group setting, hopefully you (or the instructor) is watching your form. Find a mirror or ask for help!.
  4. Wrist supports: I was finding doing a push up or plank or even gripping the weight was becoming harder, so I ordered weight lifting gloves with wrist support from Amazon and they have been a game changer!..And lastly, my absolute favourite……
  5. My 5-minute foam roll/mobility routine. I make sure to get to the gym early, find the foam roller (these days just bring your own, or do this right before you leave the house), and go! Want to see what I do? Sign up for my email list and get a link to see my pre-workout foam roll & mobility routine. Try implementing one or all of these tips to improve your workouts!

Ultra Athletes

I have had my fair share of clients who participate in these ultra-sports!! And with all the running and swimming they do it’s a lot of work to keep their bodies together.

What I helped these clients with is building a ROUTINE!! For those extreme levels of activity, you have no choice but to create a recovery routine for your body to withstand all of these stresses!

Book your initial assessment and lets get to the bottom of any aches/pains that you have been ignoring! From there I will build you a custom home program of exercises, stretches, warm up/cool down techniques to keep you pain-free!

Have a big event coming up? Book in for a ‘tune-up’ and maybe another one post-event to get you back on track with your training without any hiccups!

My goal is to keep you staying active! Even if you do decide to run or swim crazy distances (no judgement). Listen to your body and don’t start when its too late!

My Philosophy as an Athletic Therapist

My philosophy as an Athletic Therapist is to educate you on your injuries, help you build a base of support whether that is glute firing, core activation, postural cues, patellar tracking, you name it!

I don’t believe in throwing you on ‘ice + stim’ and leaving you alone for 20 minutes. I also don’t believe in passing you off to another staff member to fill up the rest of your appointment slot.

Sadly, (but happy they found better quality care) I have had a lot of clients come to me out of frustration for the way they were treated at other clinics! Passed around between clinicians, not truly building rapport with any one clinician, being left on stim for 30 minutes or left to just do their home exercises during what they thought was going to be their treatment!


These are all things you won’t experience at Ossum Wellness. I spend the entire appointment slot with you and your home program is meant for just that, to be done at home!

My goal is to eventually discharge you. As much as I enjoy the company of all my clients, I don’t want to see you forever! The goal is to get you back to your pre-injury function as safely and effectively as I can. That’s not to say you can’t come in for a tune up! But coming for treatment twice a week for 6 months just isn’t my thing! If you’re not better within 4 weeks of seeing me, that’s my sign maybe we need some diagnostic imaging and/or input from your doctor!

In our initial assessment we will make a plan based on your injury, your goals and the current state you are in to get you back to feeling pain-free and able to do the activities/sports you love.

Book your session online today and have an active, pain-free Summer!

Injury of the Week # 7: Degenerative Disc Disease of the Cervical Spine (Neck)

What is it?

Degenerative disc disease can happen anywhere along the vertebrae in our body, however I will highlight when it occurs in the neck, otherwise known as the cervical spine.

We have discs between each vertebrae, and over time these discs can start to thin out and ‘degenerate’ from overuse.

When do you notice the pain?

Depending on the severity of the disc disease, your pain will vary.

With more progressed disc disease, you may notice the pain with coughing or sneezing. This is because when you cough or sneeze, you increase the pressure within the discs, which can cause the disc to be ‘pushed’ out of place and press on a nerve.

You may also feel pain with flexion (looking down).

Where does it hurt?

It may hurt on the vertebrae of your neck, where the disc lesion is located. It also can press on the nerves exiting the spine and could radiate pain elsewhere such as the arms or the inner border of your shoulder blade.  

How does it happen?

It mainly happens from overuse, and is common in older individuals.

How can I help it go away?

I suggest seeking rehabilitation from your local health care professional such as an Athletic Therapist, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor etc, as they can provide traction on the cervical spine to help alleviate the pressure on the discs.

Sleeping position, workstation position (do you lean your head really far forward when you work or always looking down at your computer/phone?), and vertebral hypomobility (immobility) can all play a factor in helping managing the signs and symptoms of DDD.

BUT, therapeutic exercises and stretches as well as posture are very important as well!

Stretch of the Week for Degenerative Disc Disease of the Cervical Spine (Neck)

Upper Trap Stretch

This is my go-to neck stretch!

Sitting on your hand is the most important component of this stretch. And remember to always lean your head AWAY from the hand you are sitting on. This helps pin down the fascia (the covering of our muscles) to help get a more effective stretch.

Gently use your other hand to guide your ear to your shoulder. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times each stretch. Remember to do both sides!

PREHAB Exercise for Degenerative Disc Disease of the Cervical Spine (Neck):

Isometric Neck Flexion

This is an exercise for the neck flexors, which are the muscles in front of the neck. And although it looks funny it is very effective!

Press your hand into your forehead and gently match that resistance with your head. So as your hand presses in, your head is trying to move forward. With an isometric exercise, the muscle is contracting while there is no movement to the joint itself. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 3 sets of 10.

Commonly with our daily postures such as on a computer, looking at our phone, the flexors of the neck become weak. Therefore to make up for these regular postures it is important to strengthen the neck flexors!

REHAB Exercise for Degenerative Disc Disease of the Cervical Spine (Neck):

Neck Fascial Release

Place your hands on the collarbones where they meet your sternum and gently pull your hands downwards.

Then with your chin look up and back and you will feel tension/stretch along the front of your neck. Hold this position until you feel that sensation “melt” away. Then change the direction. You can look back and rotate the head. Whatever angle creates a nice stretching sensation, you should simply just hold it and repeat in other directions.

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Therapeutic Workout for Degenerative Disc Disease of the Cervical Spine (Neck):

With neck pain, I commonly prescribe exercises to help correct posture, as that is probably part of why their injury came up in the first place!

  1. Cat-Cow: This exercise addresses  flexion and extension of the C-spine as well as the T-spine. Aim for 3 sets of 20
  2. 2 arm row: I used this exercise in my shoulder impingement injury of the week, however it is so beneficial for posture! Squeeze those shoulder blades together 3 sets of 10-15
  3. Chest Stretch in Doorway: With a rounded posture, our chest muscles become very tight! Make an ‘L’ shape with your arm in a doorframe and lunge forward. Hold 20-30 seconds, 3 times.

That’s a wrap on Degenerative Disc Disease of the neck! If you are experiencing any pain similar to what I have described this week feel free to contact me for a virtual session, or try out some of these exercises on your own!

Injury of the Week # 6: Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

What is it?

Shoulder impingement syndrome is when the rotator cuff tendons and/or bursa (a fluid filled sac) gets pinched under the boney structures of the shoulder (the acromion) with certain ranges of motion. This can limit the range of motion and can feel like a pinching sensation

When do you notice the pain?

You will notice the pain when trying to do overhead movements, where these structures will get pinched.

Where does it hurt?

It will hurt around the top of the shoulder.

How does it happen?

Commonly it stems from poor posture and muscle instability. The rotator cuff tendons are intended to help center the humeral head in place, so when these muscles are weak they can’t do its job.

When there is misalignment of the humeral head, the rotator cuff tendons can experience friction during movement, which can lead to inflammation.

The inflammation in turn leads to swelling, which reduces the space available in the joint.

As a result, the rotator cuff tendons can get pinched during movement and can limit the range of motion in the shoulder.

How can I help it go away?

Therapeutic exercises and stretches! We want to help stretch the muscles that are tight and strengthen the muscles that are weak.

Stretch of the Week for Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Pendulum exercise

Here you can use a can of soup or a light weight.  Keep your arm heavy as you sway the body so the arm can move in circles. Try 20 circles one way and 20 circles the other way.

This is a great exercise to help open up the shoulder joint prior to exercise! It is also a great pain-reducing technique!

Prehab for Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Alphabet on Wall

This is a great proprioceptive exercise.

What is proprioception?

Proprioception is the ability to know where our body is in space, otherwise known as joint position sense. Our shoulder in particular can achieve many positions outside our range of vision (for instance, throwing a baseball or football). Therefore, proprioception is especially important in the shoulder joint! 

Try 3 times through the alphabet, drawing capital letters. Your stabilizer muscles will be working very hard to keep the shoulder in its proper place, and you will likely get fatigued.

Need an added challenge? Try closing your eyes.

Rehab For Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Scapular Setting

This, in my opinion, is one of the most important facets in any chronic shoulder injury rehab!

Why?

SO many chronic shoulder injuries stem from poor posture. If you can master great posture, you can reduce your chance for many chronic shoulder injuries, such as shoulder impingement syndrome!

I refer to the shoulder blades as the ‘core’ of the upper back. Many of us complete tasks that contribute to a rounded (forward) posture: sitting at your computer and looking at your phone. As the shoulders round forward, the chest muscles tighten, the back muscles weaken and thus, the shoulders cannot move optimally. Over time this can lead to injury!  

To set your shoulder blades properly, squeeze them down and in towards each other. Notice I am not shrugging my shoulders upwards during this. It should be a pretty subtle movement by pinching the shoulder blades together. A common analogy is to imagine squeezing a golf ball between your shoulder blades.

I recommend practicing scapular setting as often as you can. For instance, when you hit a red light do 10 repetitions, or when you walk through a doorway, set your shoulder blades. At first, try to reach 3 sets of 10 repetitions of scapular setting 3 times daily. Make it a habit so this more optimal posture becomes your new normal. You should set your shoulder blades before you lift something up or reach up high for something.

Also, if you notice your shoulders rounding forward while sitting at your desk or in the car, cue yourself to set your shoulder blades back. This is a very important factor when rehabilitating and preventing shoulder injuries and it will also help you achieve better posture.

Therapeutic Workout for Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

  • Mini Band Bilateral ER: with a mini band wrapped around your wrists, set your shoulder blades and push your wrists out into the band and hold. Hold for 5 seconds and aim for 3 sets of 10
  • Scaption with Resistance band: with your arm at a 45 degree angle in front of you, stand on the resistance band and hold it in your hand with the thumb pointed to the sky. Bring the arm up (no further then shoulder height) and return back to neutral. Repeat 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • 2 Arm Row: Set the shoulder blades and pull both ends of resistance band towards you, while keeping your elbows tight to the body. 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Ts: you can lay flat on the ground or lay face down onto a stability ball. With your arms out to the side and thumbs pointed to the sky, squeeze the shoulder blades together and return to the starting position. This is a subtle movement: aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Try implementing this into your existing exercise routine!