Category Archives: Running

Growing Pains in Children – Should You See a Physiotherapist?

School has officially begun for the year and with that comes an increase in activity levels for many children. As the fall and winter season approaches, many kids will participate in school sports as well as extra-curricular organized sports and activities. This ramp-up in exercise levels can sometimes lead to aches and pains, particularly in young children who are still growing at fast rates.

The term “growing pains” refers to this sort of injury. This pain is muscular in nature and occurs because bones are growing and changing at a faster rate than the muscles can keep up, which puts added stress and tension on the muscles. This can be more prevalent in children who participate in sports all year long, or children who play multiple sports at the same time.

Common Growing Pains

  • Sever’s Disease: pain in the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches.
  • Shin Splints: pain in and around the shins.
  • Osgood Schlatter’s Disease: pain below the knee from the quadriceps muscle pulling on the shin bone.

Symptoms of Growing Pains

  • Pain in the thighs, knees, shins, or ankles.
  • Pain after playing sports or engaging in activity.
  • Pain at night when sleeping.
  • Pain is described as an “ache” or “burning.”

Physiotherapy and Growing Pains

Physiotherapist Nada demonstrating stretches that can be relieving for Severs Disease

Physiotherapy treatment is a very effective way to treat and manage activity-related pains in growing children. The aim is to reduce inflammation and improve muscle flexibility and strength. This includes techniques like mobilizations, manual stretching, and soft tissue work. The physiotherapist can also instruct you on how to manage your symptoms at home and what exercises to do to effectively target the area.

If your child is experiencing pain and discomfort with exercise, book an initial assessment here with one of our physiotherapists. They will design a treatment program individually tailored to your child’s needs, age, and activity level.

“It’s Just A Sprain” – The Importance Of Physio For Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain is a common musculoskeletal injury caused by a tear or damage to one of the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint. It is frequently the outcome of an event, such as a sports contact, a trip, or a misstep while walking. It can affect people of all ages and athletic abilities.

Ankle sprain symptoms can vary greatly in terms of the degree of pain, limitation of movement, and swelling present. These are usually determined by the location and severity of the sprain.

Physiotherapist Nada Testing For Mobility

However, regardless of the severity of your symptoms, if you suspect you have hurt your ankle, you should consult a physiotherapist as soon as possible. Ideally, within 36-48 hours after the injury, to ensure that the pain and swelling have a chance to settle before starting.  In the meantime, at home, use the R.I.C.E. routine (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to promote the healing process.

Physiotherapy early on can reduce the chance of additional ankle issues such as persistent pain, stiffness, lack of movement, or strength. Your physiotherapist will be able to check the severity and instability of your ankle sprain, as well as any functional limitations, and rule out anything more serious, such as a fracture.

Nada Checking Pain, Swelling, and Stiffness of The Injured Ankle

Treatment with a physiotherapist will use a combination of exercise and manual hands-on therapy to improve strength, range of motion, and proprioception of the ankle.

In the case of most ankle sprains, rest alone is unlikely to be an effective treatment method. Being proactive and obtaining treatment will not only encourage and accelerate your ankle sprain recovery time but will also maximize ankle strength and prevent re-injury in the future. A physiotherapist can educate you and design an exercise program for you to restore the function of your ankle joint and surrounding muscles.

If you believe you have sustained an ankle sprain or are experiencing ankle pain, book an assessment with one of our qualified physiotherapists here!

Tips for new runners! From an Oakville Physio

With the warm weather in full swing in Oakville, we see many people starting to take up running for exercise or hobby. 

It’s easy to see the appeal of running.

Running does not require a lot of equipment and is therefore inexpensive. You can participate in running virtually anywhere. This minimizes the time it takes to drive to a gym or other sport facility.

The best part is that running has a wide range of health benefits!

Running is an aerobic exercise (utilizes oxygen). Because of this it improves the health and function of our hearts and lungs, minimizing risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. Its also a great way to “get in shape”. Not only does running burn calories, it also utilizes our full bodies, increasing strength and tone in key muscle groups such as our core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Running also has many benefits in improving mood and reducing stress as it releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter which contributes to happiness and overall well-being.

Runner to help massage therapist relax

Sounds great, right?

Just as with any physical activity, however, there are common injuries associated with running. Knee injuries can be common among runners.

“Runner’s Knee”

You may have heard of the term “runner’s knee” which refers to pain around the knee cap. This often occurs more if we have weakness / a lack of endurance  throughout the quads (front of the thigh muscles), glutes or hips.

Achilles Tendinitis / Tendinosis

Achilles tendinitis – inflammation around the tendon at the back of the heel – is another common injury. This often happens when we have tight and/or weak calves and if we increase training very quickly or suddenly.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is another injury we see often in runners. This usually manifests as a burning, nagging sensation through the bottom of the foot and often occurs with very low or very high arches.

Shin Splints

“Shin splints” or medial tibial stress syndrome is a common ailment we see especially in new runners, runners who have just started again after an extended period off, and runners who have dramatically increased their training. 

Is running starting to sound less appealing?

Compression socks for air travel from oakville Physio clinic

The good news is there are many ways you can be proactive to avoid these injuries. 

Make sure your overall health is suitable for running by checking with your physician before starting. 

  • Make sure your footwear is appropriate for running. If you are unsure, your Chiropodist (foot care specialist) or Physiotherapist are excellent resources.
  • Start slow! Don’t go straight from couch potato to marathon runner – there are a lot steps in between. Try brisk walking at first, slowly progress to alternating between walking and jogging, working your way up to just jogging and then eventually to running. This will allow your body to get used to the movements and develop some strength first. Starting with an intentional and realistic plan is ideal. You Physiotherapist can be an excellent resource for guidance in this. A running coach such as our friends at Lions Valley Athletics is also an option. If you don’t feel ready to run in a group, they can communicate remotely as you progress!
  • Establish appropriate warm up and cool down routines. Start your jogs/runs with a dynamic warm up routine. This will help improve blood circulation to your muscles before a strenuous routine and decrease your chances of injury. Dynamic warm up routines could include forward/backward leg swings, side to side leg swings, walking lunges, trunk rotations and jogging in place. A cool down stretching routine is also important to relieve some muscle tension after physical activity. Include hamstring stretches, calf stretches, quad stretches, hip flexor stretches, lower back stretches and piriformis stretches in your cool down routine.
  • Include a strength routine. Building strength and endurance in your core, hips and legs can help prevent injuries as you build distance. You might also be surprised how strength training positively affects your general performance!
  • Plan out where you’re running. Concrete or harder surfaces can be harder on your joints and uneven surfaces can increase chances of injuries such as ankle sprains.
  • Stay hydrated. This will help reduce the chances of muscle cramping and, therefore, injury. If it’s very hot or you sweat a lot make sure that you include some electrolytes in the form of salt. You can work with a coach or nutrition specialist to ensure you balance this appropriately for you.

While your Physiotherapist can help with your preparation for running and formulate a plan to help prevent injury and optimize performance, they are also there for you should you sustain an injury. If you do sustain an injury it’s important to address it early an fully. The sooner you see a Physio after and injury, the sooner we can get you back to doing what you love. (or what you’re trying to love!)


NEW! Wednesday Running Group – Lions Valley Athletics

Are you interested in joining a group to run with in the Oakville / West Oak Trails / Glen Abbey area? The Lions Valley Athletics running group is now offering a running group on Wednesday evenings leaving from our Oakville Physio, Massage, Chiropody (foot care) and Yoga Therapy clinic. The Lions Valley Athletics Group is encouraging all those interested in starting to run but may not feel ready for their weekly “workouts” to join the and run with the for our NEW Wednesday Group Run.

People jumping showing oakville physio clinic
The more the merrier!

The weekly group run will leave from from Palermo Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre.  This weekly run is an easy group run where you can run our 5KM, 7.5KM or 10KM routes (don’t worry a walk/run pace is just fine!).  The routes all start together at 7:00pm sharp and branch off for each route and finishing back at 2525 Bronte Old Bronte Road.

The Palermo Physiotherapy clinic closes between 8:00pm and 8:15pm but the building remains open until 9:00pm including Tria Cafe & Bakery (a great place to stop by for a meal or post workout treat).

For more information about Lions Valley Valley Athletics CLICK HERE

tying running shoes showing Oakville Physio and running group
Lace up with Lions Valley Athletics!

Basic Strengthening Exercises for Runners

We see many runners at our Oakville Physiotherapy, Massage and Foot Clinic for a variety of issues. These can range from nagging aches and pains to progressive pain or sudden injuries like an ankle sprain. Most of these patients will have some form of mobility work and strengthening as part of their treatment. Like many athletes we see in our Oakville clinic, the runners we see wish to spend most of their time focusing on their sport and sport specific drills. While specificity in training is certainly important in attaining the times and motor patterns directly related to your activity, so too is additional strengthening programming. This strength training can add to performance but even more importantly, injury prevention that can help keep you active in your season.

We recently had some of the runners from Lions Valley Athletics in our space to go through some basic body weight strengthening exercises they can use in their training. Oakville Physiotherapist Tim did an awesome job putting together a short program for the runners and assisting in correcting their form. Initiating strengthening exercises and completing repetitions (reps) with optimal form before adding weights is important in creating ideal habitual movement.

Body Weight Squat


Alternating Lunge


Single Leg Squat Progression

Side Plank

Single Leg Deadlift


The above videos are a small example of some quick and easy body weight strengthening exercises runners can use to help prevent injury as well as increase performance. Make sure to discuss with your Coach or Physiotherapist regarding if these exercises are appropriate for you as well as how many repetitions, sets, and days per week you should perform them. Another discussion to have is ideal timing of the exercises in relation to your normal training schedule.

Contact our Oakville Physiotherapists for a program that is ideal for you. remember that you do no need to have an injury to access Physio care. Physiotherapists are great allies if injury prevention and maintenance are your goals.

7 Top Running Injuries Seen by Physiotherapists

As the Oakville Nutrience Half Marathon (5k, 10k) is coming up this weekend and as we’ve been working with Lions Valley Athletics, our Oakville Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and Chiropodist have been seeing more injuries experienced by runners. Running is a popular exercise of choice for many Canadians and now that summer is over, many people are getting back into a regular routine of exercise. Whether training for an upcoming race, cross-training for a sport or getting outside for some fresh air and exercise, running is a sport often associated with injury. Below are some of the most common running related injuries and some tips on prevention.

1. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

PFPS can have the nickname “runner’s knee” and is probably the most common knee injury related to running. It is described as a dull pain located around or behind the patella (knee cap) and is often aggravated by running, descending stairs, squatting and prolonged sitting. PFPS can have a number of different causes, but is often related to muscular imbalanceOakville Physio clinic showing shoe tyings in the knees and hips. It is important to have the cause of you knee pain assessed and diagnosed so you can do the exercises most appropriate for you.


2. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

ITBS is an overuse injury created from friction from the IT band as it passes over bony prominences at the outside of the knee or hip. This causes an inflammation of the underlying structures and is often worse with increased activity. Pain is located on the outside of the knee or hip and sometimes is associated with a snapping sensation. ITBS can be due to a number of factors, including muscle imbalances, a difference in leg length, consistently running on a banked surface, excessive uphill or downhill running, old shoes and other anatomical factors.

3. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, or the thick band on the bottom of the foot that helps support the arch of your foot. It is described as a sharp pain in the heel, which is most severe with the first few steps in the morning or with a prolonged period of rest. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by overtraining, tight calf muscles, poor footwear, a sudden increase in training distance or intensity, excessive weight or biomechanical factors such as increased pronation or a high arch.

4. Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a common running injury causing pain and inflammation in the achilles tendon. It is described as a sharp or dull pain, and may be associated with limited ankle mobility and redness or heat over the area. It is caused by tight calf muscles, improper stretching, excessive hill training or speedwork, increased pronation or inflexible running shoes.

5. Shin Splints

Shin splints is a catch-all term for pain located in the shins. Pain located at the froman with backpack running up the hill in the dark forest in the eveningnt, outside part of the leg is associated with an overuse of the tibialis anterior muscle, whereas pain located in the inside of the shin is associated with an overuse of the tibialis posterior muscle. Repetitive use of the associated muscle causes inflammation of the periosteum and associated microdamage of the muscle. Shin splints can be caused by overuse, an increase in training mileage or intensity, inadequate stretching, overpronation, improper or worn out footwear. Shin splints can often be misdiagnosed, and may be a different issue such as a stress fracture or compartment syndrome. It is important to get a thorough examination by a Physiotherapist to ensure the appropriate treatment.

6. Meniscal Injuries

The meniscus is made up of two crescent shape fibrocartilaginous structures in the knee joint that help with shock absorption, help improve joint congruency and stabilize the knee. Although meniscus injuries are more common with sports that involve twisting motions through the knee (such as football or soccer) than with running alone, meniscal problems can be the result of repeated small injuries that lead to the breakdown of the structure. Meniscal injuries can also be made worse by running, especially running excessive distances in a week. Pain is typically located on the inside of the knee at the joint line and is associated with the medial meniscus, but can also be located on the outside of the knee and affect the lateral meniscus.

It’s important to address injuries early to prevent them from worsening. In our experience in Physio, Massage and Chiropody in our Oakville clinic, when an issue is addressed earlier your recovery tends to be faster as well. Stay tuned for a second blog on the Prevention of Running Injuries!