Managing slippery ice and reducing your risk of falling – How physiotherapy can help…

Winter brings with it a new set of obstacles and problems to solve. At the Human Performance Centre, we often see an increase in the number of injuries related to falling or slipping on ice. Would you be excited to hear that there are ways to help reduce your risk of falling during the winter months?

Tip 1: Walk like a penguin.

By taking short steps and keeping your feet under your body you’re ensuring that your base of support remains under your centre of gravity. This significantly reduces the risk of your feet slipping out from underneath you.

Tip 2: Use ice cleats over your shoes and/or boots.

These accessories can significantly increase the traction between your shoes and the outside surface. Just remember to take them off when going indoors as the metal cleats tend to slip on firm, indoor surfaces such as concrete or tile.

Tip 3: Seek advice from your local physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy not only helps following injury, but we can often help prevent injury by reducing your risk of falling. The risk of falling increases with reduced balance, a loss of strength and a loss of mobility. Through exercise prescription, physiotherapy can help improve your balance, increase your strength, and get you moving – all of which can help reduce your risk of falling.

Call us at the Human Performance Centre, 738-8299, to start your path on a more active and injury-free winter.

Trevor Watson, PT

Ask a Health Professional

“Fail to prepare – prepare to fail”

You have probably heard or read the title statement before. We are very happy to say that gyms are allowed to reopen and we are optimistic that they will stay open. However, we also want to be prepared. You, like many of us, are probably growing tired of hearing about how Covid has had such an impact on many aspects of daily living. One of those aspects that may be disrupted for you is your regular exercise program in a fitness facility. We’ve been asked to close repeatedly and the disruption in workout routine can be just enough to knock you off the roll you are on this new year. Having a plan to resort to when you do have to give up your gym routine can help keep you on track.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Have a mini exercise equipment stash with a few basics to help facilitate a home exercise program. Having an exercise ball, a lighter and a heavier set of weights, a mat and some elastic bands will give you a great assortment of exercises to choose from.

2. Have three or four exercise routines at the ready that you are familiar with and can resort to when closures happen. Ensure these are balanced workouts and choose some of your most favorite exercises to help make workouts at home as enjoyable as possible.

3. If you typically go to the gym at the same time each day, try to keep that same schedule going. This will help keep you prepared for your return to gym upon reopening.

4. Pick some fun music that really helps to motivate your workout. Maybe take a trip back in time to an era of music that really gets you moving or floods you with positive memories of great times as a youngster.

5. If you find yourself falling into the trap of delaying your workout by doing other home chores or watching too much TV, set your phone alarm to give you a nudge. Pick a sluggish time of day and take that nudge to get up and get your workout in. You will feel great for doing it and will likely have more energy for a few more chores.

Reach out to us if you need some help deciding which exercises are right for you.

Sarah Estabrooks

Sarah is a kinesiologist and manages the fitness centre at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact her by email or call 738-3554.

Fitness Centre Reopening Saturday at 5:00am

Move Back to Level 2

The fitness Centre will reopen Saturday, Jan 29th at 5:00am for key access only. 

Staff will return Monday, Jan 31st at 8:00am.

Our Clinic has remained open for Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy Services.

We appreciate your understanding and continued support.

Fitness Centre Temporarily Closing Jan 14th at 4pm

Move to Level 3

Due to GNB moving to Level 3 the fitness centre will be closing Friday, Jan 14th at 4:00pm. It is expected to remain closed until at least Jan 31st at 5:00am.

We will update with any other changes as they come. 

We appreciate your understanding and continued support.

Can Physiotherapists help with low back pain?

Last month Mairi wrote an article titled “Physiotherapists can help with that?” and it made me think of all the times my patients have been surprised to find out that we treat back pain. In fact, low back pain (and associated leg pain or sciatica) is the number one problem we see in our clinic.

At the Human Performance Centre we use the McKenzie approach. Trish and I are certified MDT (McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment) therapist and Trevor and Mairi are both completing their post graduate courses.The McKenzie system of management of spinal and musculoskeletal disorders was developed by the late New Zealand physiotherapist Robin McKenzie in the 1960’s. It is taught, researched and practiced by physiotherapists, chiropractors and physicians around the world. I always tell my patients that if you were assessed by a McKenzie Certified therapist in Canada, Asia or the US they would all follow the same process to determine your particular problem and make appropriate recommendations. The essence of the system is to teach the patients to treat their own mechanical musculoskeletal problems through education and a symptom specific exercise program. Treatment is based on a partnership in rehabilitation between patient and therapist.

Benefits of the McKenzie system:

• Prompt outcome assessment: It is usually possible to predict treatment benefits within 1-2 visits.

• Good accuracy of assessment data: Published peer review studies have demonstrated that assessment conclusions compare favourably with the findings from CT scans and MRI.

• The promotion of patient self reliance: Patients are informed about the cause of their pain and given specific information to manage their symptoms. This reduces their dependence upon care- providers over the long term and gives them the tools to take responsibility for their own health.

• Efficient use of medical services: Encouraging active patient participation reduces the number of treatment visits required. Typically, a short number of therapy sessions are required over a period of a few weeks.

• Recommendations are provided as to ongoing management: The initial assessment determines the patient’s appropriateness for this kind of intervention. Should mechanical therapy not be indicated, the assessment provides information on what further kinds of intervention or investigation may be appropriate.

If you are thinking “can a physiotherapist help with my back pain” the answer is a hard YES.

Contact our clinic and we will match you up with one of our awesome therapists.

For more information on the McKenzie approach, including research literature, click on

Earle is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact him by email or call 738-8299.

Earle Burrows PT

“Physiotherapists can help with that?”

“Physiotherapists can help with that?” I have had a lot of conversations with family, friends, and patients lately that have started with that question. It has made me reflect to when I was in school to become a physiotherapist because I was shocked at the size of our scope. At that time, I associated physiotherapists with sports related injuries, and I was totally unaware of the other roles physiotherapists played in our healthcare team. Here is a list of the some of the less common things that we do:

1.     Physiotherapists can assist with managing temporomandibular pain, aka TMJ pain. Before I became a physiotherapist, I had no clue that physiotherapists could help with jaw pain. We can provide patients with education and exercises. Laser and manual therapy may also be appropriate in managing symptoms.

2.     Headaches! There are a wide variety of reasons as to why you have a headache. There is a subgroup of headaches that are caused from the neck. If that is the case, treating the neck should assist with headaches.  It can be surprising how quickly headaches subside with treatment.

3.     Managing osteoarthritis. Wait times can be long in New Brunswick for a knee or hip replacement, and you do not need to suffer while you wait. Physiotherapists can provide exercises, manual therapy, and advise on how to navigate your wait.

4.     Return to exercise. A lot of people have taken a break from exercise due to covid-19. Physiotherapists can screen patients and assist with return to an exercise program. A screening may be appropriate to determine current areas of weakness. We can create a plan to allow you to reach your goals, with a reduced risk of injury.

5.     Tackling inflammatory arthritic conditions. Just like we can assist with return to exercise program, we can help patients who have been diagnosed with rheumatic arthritis’s. We can review how to manage your day-to-day and provide you with a plan to allow you to reach your goals.

If you’re ever wondering, can physiotherapy help, then please feel free to contact the clinic. We may not be the right person for the job, but we can point you in the right direction. The number of services available is surprising, and you may be missing out on something that can be really helpful.

Mairi Simonds , PT

Mairi is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre. 
You can contact her at 738- 8299

Proof of Full Vaccination (2 doses) and Photo ID Required for Fitness Centre

Dear Fitness Centre Members, 

Due to the recent mandate announced by the Government of New Brunswick, we will be required to see proof of full vaccination (2 doses) and government issued photo identification for your membership to remain active.
You may present the following as proof of vaccination:

  • MyHealthNB record
  • Immunization record from an RHA clinic, pharmacy or Public Health
  • Photo or copy of immunization record
  • Proof of vaccination from another jurisdiction

Beginning Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 at 8:00pm all keys will be deactivated and the fitness centre will only be accessible to members who have presented proof of vaccination. You may do so by emailing a photo of the your Photo Identification AND proof of full vaccination to or present these documents in person during staffed hours.

All current Covid protocols will remain in place at this time (ie. wearing of masks while moving about, cleaning of equipment, etc.)

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to email or call 738-3554. Check our facebook page or website to stay up to date as the situation may change frequently.  

The Foot Bone Is Connected to the Pelvis?

‘The Skeleton Dance’ Song:’

‘dem dancing bones’

‘The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone’

‘The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone…’

‘The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone…’and so on up the skeletal chain to the neck.

Although written as a lively dance song, ‘The Skeleton Dance’ lyrics are accurate when it comes to problems in the pelvic girdle and pelvic floor muscles. Simply put, postural changes in the foot and knee can cause positional changes in the hip. These changes are translated from the hip to the pelvis via the muscles and ligaments that stretch between the two bones, creating an imbalance in posture. As well, the obturator internus muscle which runs from the hip and meshes with the deep pelvic floor muscles can change the length and thus the biomechanical performance of the pelvic floor muscles.  

Moving from the neck down, poor posture of the spine can create changes down the skeletal chain to the pelvis.  Overworked (short) abdominal or back muscles or conversely weak (long) abdominal and back muscles, as well as scarring from abdominal surgeries, can also create altered positional changes in the skeleton of the pelvis and thus the pelvic floor muscles. These pelvic muscles control urinary and fecal continence and assist in holding the pelvic organs in their anatomical position. Pelvic and low back pain can also be your body’s response to changes in the pelvic girdle skeleton and muscles. 

If you find yourself dealing with problems in the pelvic girdle, book an assessment with a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, such as myself, and dance ‘The Skeleton Song’. 

Patricia Sennett,PT

Patricia is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre. She has an interest in pelvic floor problems. You can contact her at 738-8299

Pain … we can help.

We’ve all felt it, some more than others. Sharp, dull, achy, or burning are a select few adjectives I’ve heard and used to describe pain. Some experiences of pain are brief, others more long term.  

Pain is a universal experience that has often been considered a ‘harmful’ experience. The general understanding of pain is that it’s bad or at least means something bad has happened. Pain itself is not an indicator of tissue health or tissue damage. Pain is not a product of our bones, ligaments, muscles or tendons; rather, pain is a response generated through our nervous system. At its most basic level, pain is the result of our subconscious brain trying to make sense of an electrical signal coming from our tissues.  

Pain serves in many ways to protect us and prevent us from doing further harm. Pain tells us to get away and/or to stop. But what does it mean when significant time has passed yet pain remains? What if we’ve been told our injury is “healed” yet pain remains?  

Pain is multifaceted (a “multi headed dragon” sounds cooler ). Pain is an experience that draws from injury (both current and past), trauma (mental and physical), environment (social and physical), beliefs, sleep, health, etc. 

To simplify pain to be caused by “just” a sprained ligament, bulged disc, arthritic joint is to disregard how intertwined and complex our pain response is. You should never be lead to believe that your pain is not valid, that your pain is not consistent with a certain injury, or that your pain must not be real because your injury is healed. These are shortsighted views on what pain truly is.  

Pain is real; whether it’s 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 months, or 7 years. Your pain is REAL. For many that pain will go away, some quicker than others. Unfortunately for some that pain may stay. Wherever you find yourself know that there are options. 

We are fortunate to be able to offer exceptional 1:1 time with our patients. This affords us the ability to identify the many potential factors contributing to your pain. This allows us to better provide you with an understanding of why you hurt, and may continue to hurt, and what you can do to better manage this hurt. The best treatment plan is individual and that’s why you won’t see a cookie cutter approach at HPC.  

If you are experiencing pain, let us help. Get in touch with us at the Human Performance Centre (506) 738-8299 so that we can help. 

Trevor is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact him at 738- 8299

Green Phase of recovery

Dear Fitness Centre Members, 

As of midnight tonight (July 30th) we will be moving to Green Phase in the fitness centre.

  • Masks will not be required when entering/leaving/moving around the facility. Although they are not required, you are more than welcome to continue to wear your mask if you wish to do so.
  • All exercise equipment previously cordoned off will be available for use.
  • Please continue to hand sanitize or wash with soap and water on your way into and out of the facility.
  • Please continue to wipe equipment with disinfectant wipes before and after use.
  • Markings will remain on the floor to indicate social distancing so please continue to respect member’s space as much as possible.
  • The water fountain will remain Out of Service indefinitely. Please continue to bring water or a container you can fill in the washroom.
  • Protocols in the Clinic will not be changing at this time (i.e. masks required at all times) and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to email Check our facebook page or website often to stay up to date as the situation may change frequently.