Our Blog

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 15:35


Does your back or neck ache after going for a bike ride?

As an avid cyclist and triathlete, I know the importance of having your bike properly fitted to suit your body and training needs.  Whether you are a competitive road or mountain cyclist, a triathlete or a recreational rider, having a professional bike fit can really benefit you!  Scheduling a ‘Bike Fit Physio’ assessment can increase your comfort, improve your performance and help prevent common bike injuries.

Firstly, being uncomfortable is not part of cycling! By assessing your strength, flexibility, endurance and riding goals, your cycling position can be optimally adjusted to fit your body and comfortable riding can be achieved. Secondly, a professional bike fit optimizes your power and aerodynamics to increase your performance.  Finally, the most important part of a bike fit assessment is to prevent injuries.  An optimally fitted bike enables you to ride safely.  This is most important for cyclists that spend great amounts of time on their bikes and need to avoid overuse injuries. 

If you are interested in a bike fit assessment, I am a physiotherapist who has completed advanced coursework in bike fitting and am an avid road cyclist and triathlete. I offer assessments which include one follow-up appointment (many extended health insurance will cover this appointment as it is a physiotherapist assessment for injury prevention).

Glenn Wark PT

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 15:11

 We appreciate your interest in our Pilates Classes and hope you enjoy your time here as well as reap the benefits of the program ☺


Due to the increasing popularity of Heather’s Pilates Classes – we have implemented the following policies:


If you are unable to make a class on the time and day that you are registered, unfortunately we are unable to accommodate a make-up class for you.


If the class is cancelled, by D. Freer & Associates, due to unforeseen circumstances (weather, illness of instructor etc) then sessions will be extended accordingly.  Please ensure you have given us a daytime phone number that you can be reached at to advise of any class cancellations. 


If you start a session and have to cancel during the session we are unable to issue a refund unless you are cancelling for medical reasons (supported with a doctor’s/ physiotherapist’s note). 


No refunds will be available for missed classes. Once you register for your session we do not take attendance.  It is your responsibility to attend your classes.


As you can appreciate we often turn people away as all sessions fill up quickly.  By adopting this City of Barrie Parks and Recreation policy we are striving to keep a fair playing ground for participants and instructors of all of our programs.


We appreciate your loyalty, should you have any questions please feel free to ask our administration team.

Categorized in: Did You Know, Clinic Updates
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 16:00

Your golf swing involves nearly every muscle  and joint in your body.  By knowing which muscles move you - and how to improve your core mechanics- you can be hitting the ball further, straighter and more consistently - pain free in no time at all.

Sport specific strengthening exercises, posture, and improving your balance and range of motion can enhance your game .

Make an appointment with our Athletic Therapist to assess how our body "golfs" !

Categorized in: Rehab Info, Physical Fitness
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 19:00

Introducing Nordic Pole Walking 

We have five Certified Nordic Pole Walking Instructors at our clinic eager to show you the benefits of Pole Walking . 

If you suffer from back pain, knee ,hip or ankle issues, are recovering from orthopaedic surgery... Pole walking is for you !

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol issues ... Pole walking is for you !

If you have mobility , stability or balance problems... Pole walking is for you !

Or if you are looking for a way to stay active, fit, or wanting to get rid of those few extra pounds .... well .... Pole walking is for you too !

We are now offering individual or group sessions for Pole Walking .  Call the clinic for dates and pricing .

Happy Poling !

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 15:21

May is National Foot Health Month !!

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates once claimed "When our feet hurt, we hurt all over"

Feet Facts ....

  • 3 out of 4 Canadians experience serious foot problems in their lifetime
  • It's neglect and a lack of awareness of proper care - including ill fitting shoes- that bring on problems
  • Each foot contains 26 bones. Between both of your feet , that's 1/4 of the bones in your whole body! There are also 33 joints, 107 ligaments , 19 muscles and tendons.
  • It is estimated that an average person takes between 8000 to 10000 steps a day . Over a lifetime, this would equal walking around the planet more than 4 times
  • Each foot has approximately 125000 sweat glands.  This means that the average person can produce up to 22 liters of seat in just one shoe, every year !
  • Women are 4 times as likely to experience foot problems as men.  You can thank "fashion" footwear for that !
  • Your feet mirror your general health .  Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet - so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems
  • Walking is the best exercise for your feet.  It also contributes to your general health by improving circulation , contributing to weight control, and promoting all-around well being.

Fun Facts

  • The largest feet in the world belong to a Mr Matthew McGrory whose feet are a whopping size 28½ (US size). The 7ft 4in resident of Florida, USA has to fork out a massive $22,745 for a pair of shoes to fit his unusually large feet.
  • The record for the most feet sniffed belongs to a Madeline Albrecht, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. So far, throughout her career working for a research company testing foot care products for Scholl, Madeline has sniffed approximately 5,600 feet.

Justin Turner ( Chiropodist) performs individualized assessments that best meet the orthopaedic needs of people of all activity levels. He provides custom orthotics to offer you preventive treatments based on your walking stride or running form. Justin's biomechanical evaluations are perfect for those who need to better understand how to avoid injuries and increase their performance.


Friday, March 23, 2012 - 10:17

Doug would like to welcome Justin Turner , Chiroposidst to his team.  Justin has been working at Women's College Hospital since 2001 and is currently the professional practice advisor for chiropody.

Justin's practice focuses on biomechanics and custom orthotic devices. Please contact the clinic to set up your appointment for custom orthotics .

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 19:28

Fall Pilates and Yoga schedules are available - call the clinic to reserve your spot !

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 09:55

I fell in love with skiing back in high school during Tuesday night “electives” at the local ski hills. That love remains today. As the years pass, however, many friends and relatives are taking to the slopes on snowboards. In North America, the frequency of snowboarding accounts for as much as 36% of people on the hill.  From a professional as well as personal standpoint, I wanted to find what current patterns of injuries exist for this exploding sport.

 Several studies have examined whether injury rates are different between skiing and snowboarding. Results have been contradictory.  It is clear, however, that the pattern of injuries is different.

 One major study looked at skiing and snowboarding-related injuries treated in U.S emergency departments in 2002.  An estimated 77, 300 individuals were seen that year. They found that:

  • wrist and arm injuries were most common amongst boarders
  • knee injuries amongst skiers were the most common injuries
  • Adolescents were at the highest risk for snowboarder injuries while skiing injuries were found in an older population


“Snowboarding Swedes” were studied over a 10-year period. Their findings were typical in that beginner snowboarders fell significantly more often than more advanced riders. As skill level increased, the pattern of injuries changed.  Advanced riders tend to have more head/neck injuries than beginners.  The single most frequent diagnosis was wrist/lower arm fracture.

 Such breaks have been shown to typically result from backward low-velocity falls on hard or icy snow onto extended (back) wrists. Wrist guards have been shown to prevent acute injuries that often require surgery or lead to prolonged disability.

 A survey in Japan of 2742 injured snowboarders revealed that 93% did not have initial instruction from a professional instructor.

What should be encouraged of our family and friends who take to the slopes to reduce their injury rates?


  1. Snowboarders should wear wrist guards, especially among beginners.
  2. Take lessons!  Professional lessons will decrease fall rates among skiers and snowboarders, teach safe limits based on skill levels, and students will learn how to fall less dangerously.
  3. Wear helmets, both skiers and boarders alike.
  4. Older skiers need to maintain optimal flexibility, leg and trunk muscle strength and balance


Despite pleading, warnings of impending doom and gloom and stories of frightful injuries past, should I admit that my wife and brother-in-law have taken turns in the past two winters breaking their wrists snowboarding? Through education and understanding they both wear wrist guards today!


Kerry Griffin ( PT)


Cert. AFCI

Cert. Sports Physiotherapy

Registered Physiotherapist

Categorized in: Rehab Info, Physical Fitness
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 09:46



Snow-shovelling 101

Some tips to keep your back safe and avoid injury while snow-shovelling!

KNOW YOUR LIMITS:   Listen to your body.  If you feel fatigued, stop, go indoors and rest for a while.  If you experience pain, shortness or breath, light-headedness, or chest discomfort of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.

WARM UP:   Warm-up your body as you would before any exercise. Jog in place and stretch your arms, back, shoulders and legs before going out. Cold, tight muscles are more likely to get injured than warm, relaxed muscles.  Stretch again after shoveling.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY:  Wear good flat boots with traction.  Wear layers.  Wear gloves and a hat to keep you dry.

STAY HYDRATED AND TAKE FREQUENT REST BREAKS:   Every 15 minutes or so, take a rest break so you can stay strong and refreshed.  Stand up straight, walk around, and drink some water.  Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after shovelling.  An hour of shoveling is comparable to an hour of general aerobics, dancing or weight lifting.

DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH:   Breathe regularly to supply your body with more oxygen as your muscles work to shovel the snow.  Inhale as you prepare to lift/push, and Exhale during the lift/push.

AVOID LIFTING:   Push the snow whenever possible.  Pushing puts much less stress on your body than lifting.  Push with the handle of the shovel close to you for better leverage – do not outstretch your arms.  Push the snow to the closest edge of the driveway.

WHEN YOU MUST LIFT, MAINTAIN A NEUTRAL SPINE:   Realistically, sometimes you will have to lift.   When lifting, keep your knees bent, with your feet shoulder-width apart or one in front of the other.  You should be in a squatting stance, as if rising up from a chair.  Your hands should be more than shoulder-width apart to increase your leverage and shovel more efficiently.  Lift the shovel by straightening your knees (not your back!).  Your back should be in a neutral position, not rounded.

AVOID TWISTING:   Lifting straight-ahead is easier on your body.  Never throw snow over your shoulder.  Move your feet rather than twisting.  When you are in a situation where you must throw the snow and rotate, rotate your whole body.  Allow your hips to move with your shoulders so that you require less spinal rotation.  Similarly to golf, keep your knees bent, with your front-foot firmly planted, and pivot on your back-foot as you turn your trunk to the opposite side.

SMALL LOADS:   If there’s a heavy snowfall, you don’t have to dig all the way to the sidewalk with each shovel.  Allow yourself to push/lift the snow in layers.  Don’t pick up too heavy a pile of snow.

DELEGATE THE SHOVELLING DUTIES IF NEEDED:   If you have a cardiac history, or significant history of low back pain or shoulder or knee injuries, you should delegate the shoveling.

Shovelling is difficult work.  If by chance you do end up injuring yourself, consult a medical professional to minimize your pain and functional limitations.

Joyce Wong (PT)

B.Sc.(PT), Cert. AFCI

Registered Physiotherapist

Categorized in: Rehab Info, Physical Fitness
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 09:37

As you read this, think about the way you are breathing. Most typically, you will fall into one of three categories: Clavicular (very shallow), Thoracic (slightly less shallow) or Deep Abdominal breathing. With clavicular breathing, the worst type, with inhalation the shoulders and collarbone seem to rise, almost as if they are being filled with air. Instead of the abdomen expanding, it tends to actually contract, and only a minimum amount of oxygen is obtained. With thoracic breathing, the shoulders and collarbone area are less involved, and the muscles that are used to expand the rib cage do more work. Although better than clavicular breathing, it is still incomplete. Deep abdominal breathing involves taking slow and deep breaths using the diaphragm, the large sheet-like muscle located at the bottom of the chest cavity. By far the best way to breathe, it allows air into the lowest and largest part of the lungs.


Taking in sufficient amounts of oxygen is important no matter what you are doing, but particularly during exercise. We normally breathe approximately 6 litres of air in and out of the lungs every minute. From there, the blood transports oxygen to every cell in the body. When your body is under stress, as with exercise, it requires extra amounts of oxygen. Meeting these demands is important for muscle growth as well as energy.


Breathe Deeply: The vast majority of people are shallow breathers, using only a fraction of their lung capacity. These people barely take in enough oxygen to expand the ribcage. Without being aware of it, they may also hold their breaths, breathe unevenly, or tend to over breathe as the intensity of the workout increases. If left unchecked, this may result in headaches, fuzzy thinking, dizziness and/or fainting. By making an effort to breathe more deeply and naturally you can actually increase your exercise capacity - the body’s ability to do more for a longer period of time with less effort.


If you normally exercise outdoors, keep in mind that environmental factors can make breathing difficult. Studies have shown that exercising under smoggy conditions can decrease lung capacity by as much as 20%. Ground level ozone increases susceptibility to respiratory illnesses, while air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, high pollen counts, and hot, humid air increase the likelihood and severity of wheezing during or following exercise. Exercising in cold air and/or low humidity can also worsen breathing-related symptoms. Many people with allergies or exercise-induced asthma have mild to severe problems with breathing during or following exercise. Physical activity in itself can cause a temporary constriction of the airways in such individuals, causing noticeable shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and/or tightness in the chest. Such symptoms may develop during or after working out, and may even reappear hours later.


Some people suffer more extreme symptoms when they exercise. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis occurs exclusively with exercise and includes symptoms such as flushing of the skin, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. In severe cases, swelling in the throat and upper-airway obstruction occurs. Symptoms are usually precipitated by moderate-to-hard exercise and typically begin within the first 5 minutes of exercise, diminishing anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours afterwards. Exercising soon after a meal or in a warm, muggy environment seems to increase the likelihood of attacks.


Heather Denstedt


Mat PILATES Instructor

Categorized in: Rehab Info, Physical Fitness