“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 sarah.hpcphysio@gmail.com 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 sarah.hpcphysio@gmail.com 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 sarah.hpcphysio@gmail.com. Check our facebook page or website often to stay up to date as the situation may change frequently.  

Want the most bang for your buck from your summer workouts?Think short and sweet…with a side of intensity!!!

With summer upon us and wanting to maximize our efforts in a shorter period of time, let’s discuss some tips and tricks to capitalize on your workout. First off, if you haven’t been exercising regularly then take caution when introducing higher intensity workouts. With higher intensity comes higher risk of possible injuries. As we increase speed, force and complexity of an exercise we also increase risk. If you have been exercising regularly and you are looking to up the intensity a bit here are some ideas. 

1. Introduce compound movements that use multiple large muscle groups at the same time. Forget isolating one muscle with an exercise and instead complete a compound multi-joint exercise. For example, instead of a basic Biceps Curl, complete a Squat-Bicep Curl-Shoulder Press as one compound repetition. Selecting 4 – 6 exercises of this type can replace 12-14 other exercises you would normally perform when isolating muscle groups. This saves you time and increases the intensity greatly. 

2. No rest for the wicked as they say. Build a circuit workout where to move from one exercise to next swiftly, limiting the amount of rest you take between each one. We often talk about resting 30-90 seconds between sets of the same exercise for one specific muscle group. Instead, pick two or three compound exercises that target different muscle groups and cycle through multiple sets with minimal rest. Caution: keep an eye on your breathing and heart rate and take adequate rest before moving to the next exercise. If this is a new style of workout for you then you may need 15-30 seconds or more before moving on. As you become more fit and more accustomed to this style of workout your need for rest will decrease.

 3. Decrease the duration of your cardiovascular workouts as the compound exercise and circuit workouts build in a higher cardiovascular component. If you need to shave some time off of your weekly workout time, you may find this style of summer program can get you enough of a boost in your heart rate that you can lighten up the duration of or the total time you spend on your cardio workouts. Don’t give them up completely though, nothing beats a nice steady state elevated heart rate workout a couple times a week. 

4. The compound exercises are some that you can fit into your day in bits and pieces if need be. Think of taking kids to the playground, while they run around, jump and play why spend your time on your phone or sipping coffee. Incorporate some pull ups, step ups, jump ups, push ups, leg lifts, squats, lunges and climbing into your supervising time. It may not have the same cardiovascular component as the circuit style workout, but you can certainly work on your compound movement strength training.

 5. Take advantage of the resistance of water. If you will be spending time in the pool, lake, or river this summer add some exercises to your play time. There are a whole host of exercises that you can perform in the water that you may find difficult to complete when not in water.  Water jogging is a great way to boost your cardio with little or no impact on joints. Add some arm and leg exercises and can bang out a full workout while keeping an eye on the kiddies (and stay warm in the water too).

Sarah Estabrooks, Kinesiologist

Sarah is a Kinesiologist and manages the Fitness Centre at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact her at 738-3554

Are you ready for gardening season?

Gardening season in New Brunswick is so short we want to get the most out of it. As a result, we amateur gardeners never fail to overdo the physical exertion. Here are some tips for those of you who have suffered enough with gardening and want to give your body some consideration this year. 

Believe it or not, you should do warm-up exercises and stretches before you begin! Your body needs to get ready for the vigorous work ahead!  A short walk followed by some gentle arm swings and reaching towards the sky is really all you need.   

Plan ahead to reduce the amount of walking, pulling and pushing you do. Think about where you are going and how you are going to get yourself, your tools, plants and fertilizer to that spot the easiest way. A wheelbarrow, a wheeled light cart for heavier loads, a basket or gardening apron for your tools and seeds can make things easier. 

Plan to work a little less the first day. After that take regular breaks. Change your position frequently. Alternate low, concentrated effort with activities that involve walking or standing. Stand up and stretch before you get tight! 

Back Care 

Use proper lifting technique -lift with your legs; carry close to your body, lift loads that are appropriate for your size and condition! Use wheels! Get help! 

Be careful not to twist your back when handling tools- maintain the natural curve, and move your legs and body with the tool you are using. Keep your knees bent slightly with one foot ahead of the other for more comfortable hoeing. 

If you cannot kneel, there are long-handled tools on the market. Use them to save your back.  If you spend a lot of time bent forward it is often a good idea to stretch backward and accentuate the curve in your lower back. 

Let’s hope this spring brings all the necessary mix of ingredients for a beautiful summer flowers and a bountiful fall harvest! Happy gardening!!  

Earle  Burrows, PT

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

Too much too soon after doing too little for too long??

With the change in seasons, comes a change in habits. New Brunswickers ditch their heavy winter boots for flip flops, and Netflix for hikes along the beach. After a winters rest, walkers and hikers complain of sore feet. Commonly, summer time is the season of sore feet in the physiotherapy clinic; however, there are things you can do to limit these injuries. 

If you’re returning to walking or hikes and you’re unsure of where to start, I recommend starting with a shorter walk. Like most injuries, foot pain can develop after doing “too much, too soon after doing too little, for too long.” You can gradually increase the duration of your walk once your feet have gotten used to walking. Generally speaking, you can increase the duration or difficulty of a walk up to 10% each week. We recommend that you do not progress the distance and difficulty of your walk in the same week. For example, if you’re adding in hills to your walking route, then you may not want to progress the distance that week.

If you’re used to winter boots with arch support, then we recommend transitioning to footwear with a similar arch support. You may find it difficult to transition to a flat sandal if you’re used to support. If you are hoping to return to flat sandals, you can gradually increase the time you’re in your less supportive footwear.

Lastly, if you have a sore foot, I recommend seeing a physiotherapist! You may need strengthening or mobility exercises and some advice on how to manage your symptoms while enjoying the summer. 

Mairi Simonds , PT

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

Do you have vertigo? We can help!

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo related to positional changes of the head. The prevalence of BPPV in the general population is low, increasing as we age and is more common in women than in men. BPPV is due to changes in the vestibular system (the inner ear) when a normally fixed crystal(s) becomes dislodged and moves beyond its normal location in the inner ear. The loose or ‘rogue’ crystal will give incorrect information to the brain about how the head is moving, creating the sense of spinning, abnormal eye movements and often nausea.

In the majority of cases there is no known cause for the crystals to become dislodged. Other sources of BPPV can be trauma to the head, minor or major, which can dislodge crystals with an immediate or delayed onset of vertigo (days to months). There is a higher incidence of BPPV in persons who experience migraines. There are also some dysfunctions of the inner ear system as well as ear surgery that can also create BPPV.

Physiotherapists trained in the assessment and treatment of balance problems will ask specific questions to the individual suffering from dizziness, in order to have a sense of what is the nature of the dizziness. Following, a comprehensive physical exam will be given starting with assessment of neck movements and flexibility and strength of the legs. Assessment of the brain and spinal cord control of balance, is performed by testing coordination of movements when sitting stationary, standing and when walking. This is followed by testing eye movement without and with neck movement. After which, the inner ears are tested by doing quick movements of the trunk when reclined, including flopping backwards and rolling, while assessing for abnormal eye movement and symptoms. This will test the 3 semi-circular canals, which are positioned at different angles within the inner ear, for the potential ‘rogue’ crystal(s).

Following the examination, an individualised home exercise program will be provided, with improvement often quickly achieved. Unfortunately, in order to be successful, the exercise must provoke the symptoms of spinning, which can be challenging to self-induce. Follow-up with the physiotherapist is crucial in order to maximize results.  Many studies have found success rates of 80% in one treatment, while some people require multiple treatments and rarely the BPPV can be difficult to resolve. BPPV can resolve on its own, but may take a long time.

There are multiple potential sources for balance problems. A physiotherapist trained in Vestibular Rehabilitation will provide a comprehensive examination and guide you in the right direction.

Trish Sennett, PT

Trish is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre who is pleased to help you with your balance problems.
 You can contact her at 738- 8299

Still working from home? We can help!

We’re nearing a full year since COVID-19 restrictions were set in place. For many this meant a transition to working from home. For many this remains the case.  

Early in lock-down we featured a blog post on tips for ergonomically setting up your home workstation. I hope many have found this useful, and if you haven’t had the chance to read this post you can Find it here 

Over the past year, my practice has seen an increase in the amount of people with non-specific neck; upper and lower back pain with no known mechanism of injury. In cases such as this, with no trauma (trip, fall, or accident) we often look for changes to daily routine or leisure activities to help establish our clinical impression and guide our treatment plan.  

There has been a common theme over the past 12 months, and it is that more people are working from home. For many, this has meant setting up a ‘temporary’ workstation at the kitchen or dining room table. Who would have thought that your ‘temporary’ workstation would still be where you go to work 12 months later? 

For those of you who are able to make adjustments to your workstation, I hope you follow our recommendations and see benefit. For those who unfortunately are not, or those who are about to spend x-amount of $ on a new chair or desk, try this first: 

Set yourself a recurring alarm on your phone, computer, watch, or kitchen timer for every 30-60 minutes. When the alarm goes off, it’s time to get up! Spend 1-2 minutes standing at your desk, getting a drink of water, walking around your chair or desk, or even doing some exercises like heel raises or squats up and down from your chair!   

Truthfully – even those with “textbook” ergonomic setups should be making better habits of getting out of their chair more often throughout the day. We are built to move, and after all “motion is lotion”.

 If you find yourself more uncomfortable, stiff, or experiencing new and/or old pains let us help. For many it may be implementing a simple set of exercises to help them get through the day. For others it may be about getting a better understanding of their discomfort.  

Give us a call at 506 738-8299, we would be happy to help! 

Trevor Watson, PT

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