Bronze with a Broken Rib

1297523994615_ORIGINALThe Sochi 2014 Olympics are now underway and it has been a great day for team Canada. The day started with a bronze medal finish by our very own, Mark McMorris, in Men’s Slopestyle Snowboard. Winning Canada’s first medal is quite an accomplishment, especially given the athlete’s injury.  McMorris fractured one of his ribs 2 weeks before the Olympics, which posed a big concern for the medal hopeful. However, with determination and intensive therapy, McMorris persevered  in order to fulfil his Olympic dream.  This is an incredible feat as most would be unable to compete with such an injury.

What is a rib fracture?
A rib fracture is a break of any of the 12 rib bones. The ribs form a cage around the torso, attaching to the spine at the back and traveling around to the front of the chest. Ribs 1-7 attach to the sternum, ribs 8-10 attach to the rib above via cartilage, and ribs 11-12 are considered ‘floating ribs’ because they do not attach to the chest.

Fractures are typically the result of trauma to the chest caused by a fall, direct impact to the chest, or motor vehicle accident. In serious cases, the rib can be become displaced, which may result in organ damage to the lungs, liver, kidney, spleen or blood vessels.

nucleus-medical-art-illustration-of-the-thoracic-chest-and-back-skeletal-anatomy-featuring-the-ribs-sternum

Signs and symptoms of a rib fracture can include:
-chest, midback, side pain that may radiate into the shoulder, neck or back
-pain with breathing
-pain in the chest with coughing and sneezing
-pain with movement, especially bending and twisting (McMorris was doing a lot of this)
-visible bruising on the chest
-tender to touch the area of the fracture

Rib fracture treatment:
Depending on the severity and presentation of symptoms, physiotherapists utilize a number of techniques to treat rib fractures. These include: advice on activity limitations/restriction, taping, postural correction, protective padding, soft tissue work, joint mobilization (post fracture healing), graduated return to sport/activity plan, electrotherapy, fall prevention programs and exercises to improve range of motion, strength and flexibility.

It is amazing the Mark McMorris fought through this injury today to bring home the bronze. We are so proud of all of our Canadian athletes and look forward to more inspiring stories to come. GO CANADA GO!

For more information about Kinetic Physiotherapy, visit our website:http://www.kineticphysiotherapy.ca  Contact Kinetic Physiotherapy via e-mail:info@kineticphysiotherapy.ca or phone: 905-637-1414 to set up an appointment.

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Easing Your Neck and Shoulder Tension

The neck and shoulders are often the victims of stress and pain.  Although there are multiple potential causes of neck and shoulder pain, symptoms are frequently the result of structural stress caused by our day-to-day activities. For instance, activities such as holding a phone between your shoulder and ear, doing repetitive overhead work (e.g. painting or lifting boxes), and typing at a keyboard that is too high can all cause muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. Additionally, sitting and standing in a poor posture with the head and shoulders forward and upper back slouched causes strain and tension in the muscles. Anxiety and chronic stress can also contribute to this problem as it can cause the body to adopt a self-protection posture with the shoulders raised, jaw clenched and neck jutting forward.

There are things you can do to decrease tension in your neck and shoulders:

1) Maintain good posture throughout the day. You can check out our previous post here for more information.

2) Drink plenty of water. Water is necessary for proper muscle and joint function. Try to drink at least 8, 8oz glasses of water a day.

3) See a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist can assess your neck and shoulders to determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to address any issues.

4) Stretch. Check out our newest video for an easy shoulder and neck yoga sequence that will help to decrease tension and stress.

 

4 Exercises You Can Do at Work

Many Canadians spend the majority of the work day sitting at a desk. Although sitting may not seem like a high risk activity, sedentary jobs can have a negative impact on overall health. These types of jobs contribute to obesity and can lead to various other health issues such as tendonitis and neck and back strain injuries. Fortunately, there is something you can do. Here are 5 exercises that you can do at work to help keep you active, healthy and injury free at work.

1. Stretch

Stretching regularly will help to decrease tension and tightness in your muscles. Here are 10 simple stretches you can do at your desk. Try to perform a few of these stretches, 3-4 times a day. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Stretching should be pain free. (If any of these stretches cause pain, numbness or tingling, contact a health care professional)

2. Strengthen Muscles

-Glute squeeze: while sitting at your desk, tighten your buttocks, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times

-Heel raises: if you are taking a standing break, raise up on the balls of your feet by lifting your heels off the ground. Repeat 20 times

-Chair Squat:  without using your hands stand up and sit back down in your chair. Repeat 10 times

-Leg raises: When sitting, tighten your thigh muscle and kick your leg out straight. Hold for 5 seconds, repeat 20 times.

3. Stand Up

Every 15-20 minutes, take a break and stand up. Standing helps to improve circulation and posture, relieves stress and can decrease low back pain.

4. Go for a Walk

On your lunch break, go for a walk. Walking for just 10 minutes can help to control blood sugar and cholesterol, burn fat, increase energy and decrease stress. If possible, change into walking shoes to ensure your feet are well supported.