5 Conclusions after 5 years of Osteopathy in Whistler
October 8, 2016
The time has flown by and it’s been enjoyable working with so many patients in Whistler over the last 5 years. Before I moved here patients used to visit me in my Vancouver clinic and one thing that a couple of patients said has certainly rang true
“In Vancouver some of the people need osteopathy some of the time, in Whistler all the people need osteopathy all the time.”
As osteopathy becomes more popular these are some of the conclusions I have drawn that may help you choose osteopathy in the future to help with your injury rehabilitation, and get back to your sport quicker and stronger.
1). Ankles need more rehab
In a large proportion of my patients I see chronic unresolved ankle instabilities. This can lead to pain locally and poor compensation further away into the knee, pelvis and low back. Many of you who have seen me will know that this is one of my regular rants. To improve ankle stability I recommend proprioception exercises and strengthening for the ankle. Almost every household in Whistler would benefit from having a wobble board. Improving your ankle stability and proprioception will improve your skiing and snowboarding.
2). VMOs need more strengthening
It’s not really big news that there are a lot of knee injuries in Whistler. After injury and surgery, knees need constant strengthening. The knee is divided functionally into two areas, the medial side for stability and the outside lateral part for mobility. In skiers particularly the common triad of injuries is to the ACL, medial meniscus and medial collateral ligament. When these are injured we need to work hard to build up the strength of the vastus medialis muscle as this will help support the injured area more fully. When this muscle weakens there is often a lack of stability and the patella will track laterally pulled by the stronger lateral quads which will eventually lead to wear and tear in the knee. Good strengthening exercises include banded squats and lunges. If your knees drop inwards when you do a squat you need to strengthen your VMO. Hamstring strength is often overlooked also and strengthening these muscles is equally important.
3). Post concussion injuries can be helped by cranial osteopathy
Since I started working here interest in the treatment of concussion has grown and grown. Cranial osteopathy has been beneficial in helping many recover from their symptoms. I particularly benefitted from attending a course last year by Canadian osteopathic practitioner Genevieve Forget that helped me develop a treatment approach to concussion. Often after head injury there are whiplash associated injuries to the cervical spine that go untreated. Osteopathy in the cranial field allows me to work with the bones in the skull and the underlying fascia and dura to help resolve chronic injuries. Some symptoms that I have noticed that respond well to treatment are headaches, dizziness, nausea and visual disturbances. Working closely at Whistler Integrative with Chris Power we have also noted that when we combine osteopathic treatment with acupuncture and TCM there is a more profound effect on the symptoms of post concussion syndrome.
4). If you really want to hurt yourself take up downhill biking
Some of the most injured bodies I have seen come from downhill biking crashes. The combination of speed, height of jumps and landing on a hard rocky surface has produced some of the worst skeletal injuries that I have seen outside of car crashes. Closely followed by biking injuries are avalanche injuries which beat the body up pretty well, fracturing spines and pelvises. Biking injuries top the list though for the number of them.
5). Whistler is a great place to practice osteopathy
After 5 years here I have been able to work with Olympians, professional athletes and all of you who love living in our mountain community. There’s nothing like working with so many patients who love the mountains like I do. I love sharing the excitement of new snowfall and hearing about your mountain adventures and experiences. Best of all I love introducing you to osteopathy and helping you to get back to playing in our beautiful back yard.
Thanks to all my patients for trying osteopathy and supporting my practice in Whistler over the last 5 years and I look forward to the next 5!