All posts by Palermo Physio

Why Stretching is Essential for a Healthy Body

Benefits of Stretching:

Improved Flexibility: Stretching helps to increase your flexibility by lengthening your muscles and improving your range of motion. This can help prevent injuries and make everyday tasks easier to perform.

Reduced Muscle Tension: Stretching can also help to reduce muscle tension and soreness. It can improve blood flow and help to release any built-up tension in your muscles, allowing you to feel more relaxed and less stressed.

Improved Posture: Stretching can help to improve your posture by reducing any imbalances in your muscles. This can lead to a better alignment of your spine and improve your overall body mechanics.

Increased Energy: Stretching can also increase your energy levels by stimulating your body and mind. It can help to improve your circulation and oxygen flow, allowing you to feel more alert and focused.

Effective Ways to Stretch:

Dynamic Stretching: This type of stretching involves movements that take your body through a full range of motion. It is an effective way to warm up your muscles before exercise and can help to prevent injury. Examples of dynamic stretching include lunges, leg swings, and arm circles.

Static Stretching: This type of stretching involves holding a stretch for a period, typically around 30 seconds. It is an effective way to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. Examples of static stretching include hamstring stretches, quad stretches, and shoulder stretches.

Foam Rolling: Foam rolling is a type of self-massage that involves using a foam roller to apply pressure to your muscles. It can help to release any knots or tension in your muscles and improve your range of motion.

Yoga: Yoga is a form of exercise that involves stretching, breathing, and meditation. It can help to improve flexibility, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. There are many different types of yoga, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs and abilities.

In conclusion, stretching is essential for maintaining a healthy body. It has numerous benefits and advantages that can improve your overall health and wellbeing. By incorporating stretching into your daily routine, you can improve your flexibility, reduce muscle tension, improve your posture, and increase your energy levels. There are many effective ways to stretch, including dynamic stretching, static stretching, foam rolling, and yoga. So why not start incorporating stretching into your daily routine and experience the benefits for yourself?

If you would like to learn more or book your initial physiotherapy assessment along with treatment, please feel free to contact us.

A Physiotherapist’s Guide to Neck Injuries

With our world becoming more and more tech-driven and everyone spending more time on screens, we see lots of people with neck injuries in our Oakville clinic.

Muscle Strains

Strains of the muscles of the neck can be caused simply by overuse of the neck muscles – like sitting at a computer for several hours a day – or through an injury such as whiplash that happens during a car accident. When the muscles around the neck are strained or tight, you might have difficulty moving the head in either or both directions. Sometimes pain also radiates up and causes a headache. If you are someone who works at a desk for most of the day, it is important to remember to take frequent breaks to avoid overuse of your neck muscles.

Postural Dysfunction

Posture is also a major component with neck pain. Oftentimes, the muscles in our neck that are responsible for postural stability can be weak. This leads to bigger ‘mover’ muscles doing the job of the smaller muscles and causing pain in the neck. One way to help prevent this is to work on small postural exercises to help build up the smaller stability muscles along the spine. 

Other times, patients might have a muscular imbalance within the muscles of the neck and upper back – meaning one muscle group is significantly stronger than another, causing pain along the spine or in the neck. 

Disc-Related Pain

Between the bones of our spine (the vertebrae) there are discs which are filled with a jelly-like substance. The discs act as shock absorbers for the spine. If you’ve had trauma to the neck, the material of the disc might move away from the space between the vertebrae of the spine. In these cases, they can often push on the nerves in the spinal canal. Pain associated with disc issues might feel more like a burning sensation and you might have pain radiating into and down your arms. Sometimes this is also associated with numbness and tingling in the upper extremities. You might also experience restrictions in the range of motion of your neck.

Any type of neck pain can create issues in your day-to-day life as well as participation in your recreational activities. Our physiotherapists will be able to assess the cause of your neck pain and create a treatment plan to help you get back to the activities you enjoy!

Contact us to book an appointment with us or to learn more about our services.

Three Common Hip Injuries from Everyday Use

Hips may not always get as much attention as knees, but their proper function is just as important for daily movement and routine tasks. When your hip is injured it can be quite frustrating as it may keep you from enjoying and participating in your regular activities. Here is an overview of the most common hip injuries that can affect individuals of all ages and all activity levels.

  • Hip Bursitis – This is the swelling and inflammation of small, jelly like sacs around the hip joint called the bursae. These sacs help to protect the joint and reduce friction between moving tissues. When irritated, they can cause sharp pain and decreased mobility of the hip.
  • Femoral Acetabular Impingement – When the two bones that make up the hip joint are not in optimal contact with each other, it can cause unwanted rubbing or pinching. This can prevent the joint from gliding and moving smoothly. Symptoms often include limited hip motion and pain in the hip and groin area.
  • Muscle Strain – This is the most common of all hip injuries. A hip muscle can be injured by an unexpected fall, a sports injury, chronic overuse, or an awkward sudden movement. It may cause swelling or bruising, pain, and decreased strength of the hip.

Regardless of the type of injury, physiotherapy is an effective method to treat hip injuries and prevent them from reoccurring in the future. Physiotherapy can promote improved hip function through stretching, hands on techniques, strengthening exercises, as well as many others. If you think you’ve sustained a hip injury, book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today.

Contact us to book your initial physiotherapy assessment + treatment or to learn more.

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Are You Struggling with Shoulder Pain?

One of the most common areas of injuries we see at our clinic is the shoulder. The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints of the body but as such, it’s also very complex. Though a lot of shoulder issues present similarly, there are a few differences we can take note of. Here are some of the most common injuries we are at our clinic:

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles around the shoulder girdle that are responsible for holding your shoulder in its socket as well as its movement. Tears can occur in the rotator cuff muscles as they can in any muscle throughout the body. Rotator cuff tears can occur either through trauma, such as a fall, or through degenerative changes caused by repetitive stress on the tendons. 

Symptoms of rotator cuff tears may include:

  • Pain at night
  • Pain with reaching overhead
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Weakness of the shoulder and the arm

Most rotator cuff injuries do not require surgical repair but are rather treated with physiotherapy. In some cases, orthopedic specialists may recommend a corticosteroid injection to help with your pain.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

“Impingement” of the shoulder is a general term that refers to the rotator cuff tendons being pinched in the space underneath the acromion – the point of the shoulder. This type of condition is non-traumatic. Oftentimes, it can be related to postural imbalances or anatomical factors affecting the way your shoulder sits in its socket. Patients with shoulder impingement syndromes often have pain with movement of the shoulder especially at and above shoulder level. 

Frozen Shoulder

Patients who have frozen shoulders usually start experiencing pain around their shoulder without a specific mechanism of injury and over time, start to notice significant restrictions in the movement of the shoulder especially with overhead movements. This makes it quite difficult to complete day to day activities such as washing/brushing hair, cooking and cleaning. 

Over time, patients will also experience significant weakness in their shoulders. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not entirely understood. Many doctors may suggest a corticosteroid injection to help reduce inflammation throughout the shoulder joint. 

If you are struggling with shoulder pain our team of experienced physiotherapists are here to help and get you back to your best self. We understand that shoulder pain can be debilitating, but with the right care, you can overcome it. Don’t hesitate to reach out and take a first step towards a pain-free life.

Contact us to book your initial physiotherapy assessment + treatment or to learn more.

Don’t let your year end health benefits go to waste-Massage

The year 2022 is moving quickly as Halloween marks the last day of October.

Time does get away from us and things we have been thinking of seeking appointments for for ourselves often get put on the back burner. Most private insurance benefits end at the end of the calendar year and restart in January.

When it comes to treatment with a Physio, RMT, Chiropodist (foot specialist), and acupuncturist, people often think of seeing them when they have sudden or acute injuries, or after surgeries like knee replacements.

There are so many ways that these health care professionals can help benefit your quality of life.

Registered Massage Therapy (RMT)

Many of our patients see their massage therapists when they have tension in their neck and shoulders. They will also book RMT visits for low back pain and stiffness. Massage Therapists are so helpful with those things but they can also treat other things.

Sports Recovery / Maintenance:

Many runners, walkers, hikers, soccer players and hockey players benefit from seeing an RMT as they increase training frequency and difficulty. They find that treatment of the thighs, glutes, calves and feet help with recovery and injury prevention. People involved in weight lifting like CrossFit and HIIT training can benefit from regular recover massage on the back, chest, shoulders, forearms and quads etc.

oakville physio biking injury

Headache Management and Treatment

People who experience tension headaches and migraines keeping a regular massage schedule can help with the frequency and severity of headaches.

There are connections of muscles from our necks, shoulders and upper backs and even to our heads. Many people experience headaches when these muscles are tense, tight and sore. Having regular massage therapy can help break this cycle and keep those headaches less intense and possibly further apart.

Your RMT will also leave you with personalized advice for home care and self management for your headaches.

Help in Managing Stress

Often low back stiffness, and neck and shoulder tension has a driver behind them. Certainly last of motion and non-optimal posture on a daily basis can contribute to these issues. Booking regular massage in addition to other positive lifestyle habits can help manage these stress levels. Having set time during massage where you unplug, slow down your breath and feel your body relax into the treatment table helps downgrade your nervous system. People often comment on how they sleep better after they have had massage.

Your massage therapist may suggest a visit as well to a yoga therapist in breathing techniques, movement and meditation to help supplement your massage treatment.

Massage therapy post surgery

Post-Surgical Massage

We often move less or have compensations in our movements when we are going through recovery. Massage Therapy can help prevent pain associated with these things as well as help with recovery from the surgery as well.

At a certain stage of healing, usually ascertained by your medical specialist you will be able to have massage in the direct area of your surgery. Some people will have scar massage locally of lymphatic drainage massage to address swelling. Earlier in healing and recovery you may benefit from massage on areas further from your surgery site.

For example, after a rotator cuff repair or a shoulder stabilization surgery, you may be asked by your surgeon to keep your arm in a sling. As the shoulder will not be moving it may be helpful to have massage around the shoulder blade and neck area, as well as the hand and forearm. Your massage therapist will make adjustments to your positioning and may even have you in sitting for some of the massage. As you progress through rehabilitation and start strengthening exercises having massage therapy as part of your recovery will be beneficial. Post total knee replacement surgery and total hip replacement surgery Massage would have the same benefits.

Massage can also be helpful after surgeries that may not be “orthopaedic” in nature. They can help with stress management, with pain and stiffness of the body, with swelling and lymphatic drainage as well as around the scar tissue. If you are unsure of how an RMT may address your particular needs after a surgery contact us at our North Oakville clinic or an RMT that is local to you.

Progressive Health Issues or During Treatment

Having massage can help with issues that present from progressive health issues like Parkinson’s disease and MS or during treatment of things like cancers. Whether it be stiffness or pain your massage therapist will work with your particular needs.

Pediatric Massage

Children should be covered under the benefits of their parents. Many kids complain of growing pains that can be associated with their knees, feet and heels. Massage Therapists often work with physiotherapists in treatment of Sever’s Disease and Osgoode Schlatter’s, jumpers knee and plantar fasciitis.

Many children are active in more than one activity or sport and with the amount of activity during growth spurts can have aches and pains in the body. Having Physio and Massage Appointments to work on these areas and have advise of home care can make sports, dance, and cheerleading seasons more pleasant and successful.

Parents are asked to be present during massage treatments.

Contact us to book your Massage Therapy appointment today. We are able to bill directly to most insurance companies. You can also use our online booking for most practitioners.

FAQ: Do you Direct Bill for Insurance?

This is a question we receive frequently at our North Oakville clinic.

The short answer is yes. We are able to direct bill to insurance.

Here is the “long answer”

  1. We are able to direct bill to most insurance companies. Most private / work insurance companies allow us to direct bill on your behalf. In order for us to do this you need to fill out paperwork that allows us to do this.
  2. Most insurance companies allow us to direct bill for certain services. This includes physio, massage, and acupuncture. Chiropody, or foot care specialists generally do not allow this.
  3. Everyone’s insurance is different with regards to direct billing. This is based on your employer and their arrangements with the insurance. Not everyone with the same insurance provider has the same coverage or the same rules with regards to direct billing. For example, we may be able to provide direct billing for Sunlife for one person but not another due to coverage difference.
  4. Usually we are able to at the very least submit your physio or massage to insurance and they will reimburse you. This will still require you to pay after your treatment.
  5. Some private benefits require a doctors referral before the will start to reimburse you for massage therapy or physio treatments. Read HERE for more information on this.
  6. You are responsible for understanding your own private benefits. The coverage for each service may be different. You will have a total dollar amount per year available. Each service will also have a percentage coverage or maximum per treatment. For example you may have a maximum of $1000 per year for physiotherapy. Each physiotherapy visit may be covered for up to 80% or maximum of a certain dollar amount.
telehealth physio for pain and injury

While we do our best to direct bill on your behalf for physio, massage and acupuncture, what we are able to do for you is dependent on your own personal insurance.

Contact us at our North Oakville clinic if you have more questions or would like to book in with one of our Physiotherapists, RMT’s, Acupuncturist, Chiropodists (foot care specialists).

Yoga and Diabetes

In the West, Yoga is often thought of as simply physical exercise and stretching.

It is that. But only partly.

The movements are designed to prepare your body for meditation and mind work.

If you are attending a yoga class or participating in an online version. Don’t skip over breath work. It can be very helpful for your physical and mental well being.

For example, yoga and other mind-body practices have been shown in a study to help with blood sugar levels in Type II diabetics.

Yoga has also been shown to be helpful in managing pain and pain that persist.

yoga therapy in Oakville and Halton, virtual / private online yoga

If you do not know where to start or would like to try / start yoga but are unsure how you may modify or adapt a class for your own body or needs it may be helpful to start privately with a one one one / private yoga session.

Our North Oakville Physio, Massage, Foot Care, and Acupuncture clinic has a private yoga available with a yoga therapist. Whether you have a progressive health condition or an injury, one on one yoga is helpful for maintenance or progression.

Contact us to book in or learn more.

FAQ – Do I Need a Doctors Referral for Physiotherapy?

This is a common question we receive at our North Oakville Physio clinic. People are wondering if they require a physician note to attend physiotherapy assessments / treatments.

The short answer is NO!

You do not require a doctor’s referral to book an appointment with a physiotherapist in Ontario (and therefore Oakville / Burloak). Physiotherapy is direct access. This means that you can see a physio without seeing your family doctor / specialist first.

It is within a physiotherapists scope of practice to assess patients with musculoskeletal issues and to communicate a diagnosis. For example, your elbow has been getting more sore and painful with activities like gripping and typing. After trying some home remedies you decide your elbow is not getting better and in fact, it is getting worse.

What do you do?

At this point booking in to see your physiotherapist would be a great idea. They can provide you with personalized education and treatment to get you started right away. In cases like these, your physio would communicate with your physician and send you for medical assessment if they feel that it is necessary, they may suggest this as well if you do not seem to be improving with treatment.

It is easy to delay treatment that could be helpful by waiting for a doctors appointment where they may only provide a prescription for medications and or imaging. THEN you wait for the imaging results and / or a specialist referral, while you could be getting the help of a physiotherapist, and THEN you may be referred to physiotherapy.

In an ideal situation you’re already seeing a physio even IF you need the above. This prevents further decline in strength or function. This also prevents a decrease in quality of life.

Are we saying to not consult with your family doctor?


Please do consult and keep them in the loop. In fact, as physiotherapists we often send off assessment and progress reports to your medical team to let them know what is going on.

Keep in mind that some insurance companies (ie. private benefits) require a doctors prescription for them to pay for your physio, or massage appointments. Every insurance is different so it is best to familiarize yourself with your own insurance by either calling or looking through your booklet.

Our North Oakville Physio, Massage, Acupuncture and Foot Clinic is able to provide direct billing to most insurance companies. Again, this depends on your personal insurance.

Contact us to book in with one of our awesome physiotherapists!

Knee Pain? It Could be “Jumper’s Knee”

Our Oakville Physiotherapy team treats knee pain from acute sprains to rehab after surgeries such as ACL repair and total knee replacements. Commonly we see people with knee pain that creeps up on them.

Have you been experiencing annoying knee pain at the front of the knee that doesn’t seem to go away? Did it seem to come on slowly and you can’t recall a specific event where you injured it?

You may have an injury called Jumper’s Knee also referred to as patellar tendinopathy. 

What is Jumper’s Knee / Patellar Tendinopathy?

Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury of the knee caused by repetitive stress on the patellar tendon- the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shin bone (tibia). As the name implies, any activity associated with lots of jumping, landing, or cutting (fast direction changes) can put you at risk for developing Jumper’s knee.  It is most common in active individuals who play quick intensity sports such as basketball, volleyball, track, skiing, or running. However, anyone who is active and has recently changed or increased their workout intensity, frequency or training surface can be affected. 

Soccer player standing on soccer ball showing sports physio in Oakville

Symptoms of Jumper’s knee include a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee just below the kneecap. Pain is often worse with activity and especially those involving bending the knee – running, jumping, squatting, or lunging. The knee may also be aggravated by prolonged sitting. 

Since Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury, it is important to learn how to use and load the tendon properly so the tendon can heal and avoid injury in the future. A physiotherapist can thoroughly assess your knee to determine if your symptoms are consistent with Jumper’s knee, or another cause. They can also show you how to safely exercise in order to optimize the strength and recovery of your patellar tendon in a way that is personalized to you. 

Oakville rep basketball sports injury clinic and knee pain

Whether knee pain is keeping you from playing rep basketball or soccer, or from maintaining a healthy lifestyle with activities of enjoyment, our Physio’s are here to help!

If you are currently experiencing knee pain, please contact us to book with one of our physiotherapists. 

If you Have RA a Chiropodist is an Important Part of your Team

RA or Rheumatoid Arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis where the immune system attacks the tissues of the joint lining. This can cause painful inflammation during “flairs” and stiffness.

It is common for many people with RA to develop these symptoms in the joints of the foot and ankle. It can be painful and swollen in the joints of the toes, ankle and even ligaments of the feet. Nodules, or lumps can occur on the heel, ball of the foot or the achilles tendon.

If left untreated deformities of the toes and feet can occur such as hammertoes or claw toes. Cartilage between joints can break down and cause changes in the shape of the foot, toes and ankles. It can be a cycle of pain and stiffness and visible changes.

A Chiropodist as Part of your RA Team:

In addition to managing your inflammatory levels with the help of a rheumatologist and possibly other health care practitioners such as a Naturopathic Doctor, a Chiropodist can help you protect your feet. Working closely with a Chiropodist allows them to help manage pressure, and prevent joint breakdown and deformity.

Custom Orthotics and guidance on proper footwear help support the joints of the foot and ankle. Orthotics will also help support joints above that can also be affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis, such as knees and hips. Custom orthotics help manage joint pressure as well as joint alignment.

oakville physio clinic for joint replacement rehab and physio

Most private benefits cover visits / assessments with Chiropodists (foot specialists) as well as Custom Orthotics.

Contact us to book your consultation / assessment with one of our North Oakville / Halton Chiropodists.