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We are joined by Physiotherapist Tom Swales this week! Tom took us to the Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Centre, Concept of Movement, to demonstrate the most important step to recovering after an accident or injury. Watch the video to get started on a fast pain-free recovery.

Watch the Video Below!

The First Step to Recovering from an Accident or Injury in Physiotherapy - Video Transcription

Kathe:

Hi, everyone, welcome back to Dr. Ho's Healthy Living Blog. Today we are joined by physiotherapist Tom Swales from Concept of Movement in Barrie. Now, let's say someone was in a car accident. Can you maybe explain to everyone out there why it's important for them to get to physiotherapy sooner rather than later?

Tom Swales:

Yeah, so after a car accident there's potential trauma. The longer that this syndrome or this pain or this disfunction sits in the body, the more disfunction it creates and the more compensations that people will create.

Kathe:

Almost like a domino effect?

Tom Swales:

Exactly, and you know, people coming in and like I got neck pain but it could be stemming from a shoulder issue or a cross to the hip or maybe all the way down to the foot.

Kathe:

Okay Tom, so where should we start, what's the first building block we need.

Tom Swales:

So, most people when they come in if they've had pain or trauma they get really guarded, especially with their breathing patterns. People will take on this locked up, protection, tense posture aside from sitting at our desks all day, but just some of the pain and trauma we just pretend to brace and hold our breaths. The breathing pattern needs to be addressed first. If we're looking at Kathe from the side we wanna make sure that her chin is lined up, relative here to the shoulder.

Kathe:

Okay.

Tom Swales:

Okay, so you're just gonna do a little chin slide, it's not a crush [inaudible 00:01:16] here. It's just think of there's a little string on the back of your head, tuck your chin down a little bit, and slide your head straight back, there.

Kathe:

Okay.

Tom Swales:

So, you might feel a little stretched in the back of the skull here, but that's okay, because those [inaudible 00:01:30] muscles, they tend to get a little tight because you're living like this. And next thing you wanna do is ... Let me get you to turn this way Cathy. When people hear posture, they automatically pop the shoulders and the chest up, but then they end up overextending the spine. So, what I want you to do is, feel where my fingers are on the shoulder blades, slightly pull your shoulder blades back, and down. That's it. As a reminder, I'll get people to do this every hour okay, for one breath. If I ask you to hold that all day, do you think you could?

Kathe:

No.

Tom Swales:

No, you gonna get tired, you gonna get frustrated, like I quit, I'm not doing this. Regardless of whether you had trauma, if you sit at a desk, set a timer, set some kind of reminder, some kind of trigger to elicit a response, and just do this little homework exercises. It makes a huge difference. From there, if people are having difficulty finding where their breathing is, so put one hand on your chest, one hand on your belly, breath in through your nose, and feel what hand is moving the most. Can you tell me what hand it is?

Tom Swales:

Yeah, so you're using a lot of neck muscles, a lot of pec and shoulder muscles to help you breath. If you can feel where that hand is, so breath into the lower hand, don't worry about breathing, there you go. Even that's difficult here.

Kathe:

Yah.

Tom Swales:

So, because your posture is a little bit off, you're used to using these posture muscles, you gonna default to what you can feel.

Kathe:

Right.

Tom Swales:

So, to combat this, I take people to the floor and we rebuild you from there.

Kathe:

Okay, let's go rebuild on the floor.

Tom Swales:

Same position, one hand on chest, one hand on belly. Take a breath in through your nose. Exhale from your mouth, and already Cathy is having an easier time breathing through her belly. Doing it with your hips, knees and hips bent, is gonna be easier, 'cause they'll take some of the tension out of the pelvis, which might throw the back into hyper extension. So, doing this with a bent knee is ideal.

Kathe:

Tom, thank you so much for sharing with everyone how they can use kind of the basics of physiotherapy to start alleviate their pain. If you guys are interested in what Tom had to say, you can learn more at www.tomswales.com, or you can always visit us at www.drhonow.com. Until next time, we'll see you then. Bye.

 

Visit Physiotherapist Tom Swales' Website: www.TomSwales.com
Thank you to Concept of Movement - Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Centre

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