The secret to a healthy garden is a healthy gardener protecting his/her back.

Gardening is an active pursuit that can cause muscle strain to the lower back, shoulders, knees and arms, especially if you are out of shape and do not move properly. To get the most of your gardening season, we, at Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic recommend that gardeners pay attention to the following gardening tips for spring to protect your back and prevent injuries.

A “warm up” of 10 repetitions of the following before you start your gardening helps to reduce muscle strain, injury, fatigue and protects your back, knees, shoulders and hips.

  • Shoulder circles- forward and back
  • Trunk rotations
  • Gentle forward, side to side and back bends
  • Heel / toe standing
  • Neck range of movement- forward bends, ear to shoulder, rotations and gentle circles
  • Please note that if any of these movements cause pain do not continue – see your Physiotherapist for advice

Do not wait to until you feel stiff when gardening. Avoid this by taking frequent breaks.

When raking, hoeing, pruning or digging – keep your tools close to your body and your back straight to reduce strain. Use your arms and avoid twisting your trunk. Use long-handled tools suited to your height.

If you have to bend over too far while raking, consider using an ergonomic rake to protect your back (available at garden centres). It will make the job easier and reduce strain to your back. Give your back, legs and knees a break from stooping and kneeling by using tools with long handles to help with the weeding

When weeding, potting or planting – do not bend from the back. Squat or kneel on a kneeling pad or if you have to bend forward, do so from the hips, keeping your back in neutral. If you have difficulty getting up, use a kneeling pad / bench with a support handle for assistance.

When digging or shovelling  – insert the head of the shovel vertically into the ground and step on the blade. Lift small amounts at a time. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees. Avoid twisting. Use a wheelbarrow to move big or heavy loads.

Choose a shovel with a weight and handle length that is appropriate for your size and for the job you are doing. Give your back a break by using a smaller shovel, reducing the temptation to lift large amounts of soil. Spread heavy lifting and digging tasks over a week rather than a weekend, and spread major projects throughout the seasons.

When lifting or carrying – know your limits and lift properly: bend your knees, not your back. Keep the load close to your body. Don’t lift items that are too heavy for you to handle – get help! Use a wagon or wheelbarrow to transport supplies and / or to move or carry heavy items.

A four-wheeled cart is sturdier and easier to use than a wheelbarrow.  Lift with your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Avoid twisting or reaching.

When pruning or trimming  – get as close to your work as possible. Don’t stretch beyond your reach or past your stable footing. Rehearse the movement as a stretch first to test your ability and positioning.  Match the size of the gardening tool handle to the size of your hand. Choose tools that you can hold so that your hand remains positioned in line with your forearm.  Hold your tools in a loose comfortable grip. Holding too tightly may cause injury.

Gardeners are creative designers:  Adapt or create your tools for ease and comfort and make spring gardening fun:

  • Pad the handles of your gardening tools. Note that tools with larger, padded handles are more comfortable for gardeners with painful or arthritic hands.
  • Enlarge tool handles with grip-tape or foam tubing purchased at a hardware store. Tools with tubular steel rather than wood are more lightweight and may be easier to use.
  • Use knee pads or a foam pad for kneeling
  • Wrap a slippery handle with tape to improve your grip (hockey stick tape will do).

Selecting the right tool, for the right task, for the right gardener, is critical to creating a beautiful garden safely.

Here are a few additional gardening tips for a happy gardener:

  • Use a potting bench or a counter top where possible to prevent unnecessary bending.
  • Wear a gardening apron with several pockets for carrying tools frequently used, or keep them close at hand, to avoid reaching or twisting for the tool you need.
  • Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands and joints.
  • Keep tools (such as your pruners) sharp to make cutting easier.
  • Talk to a physiotherapist

Most of the aches and pains gardeners experience can be prevented. Physiotherapists have the education, applied knowledge and skill to help you garden pain-free and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

For more information on gardening tips

Don’t let pain limit your enjoyment of gardening. Let us help you smell the roses pain free!!

flower yellow bud

Physiotherapy for Knee Pain

Most stressed sportsman joint KNEE     How will Physiotherapy for my knee pain help me? Physiotherapy for knee pain will allow you to continue living the lifestyle you enjoy. Effective treatment for any injury is based on timely, accurate diagnosis. Our physiotherapists are experts in musculoskeletal diagnosis. Once the source of your knee pain has been determined we will set you up with a step by step program to ensure you are back to doing what you love.     What can Physiotherapy be effective for? Physiotherapy is often the first line of treatment for knee pain.  The following is a list of common injuries we see and treat: 
  • ligament sprains- medial and lateral collateral ligaments, anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments
  • meniscal tears
  • patello-femoral syndrome/ chondromalacia patellae
  • tendon strains/tears
  • fractures
  • dislocations
  • osteoarthritis
  • bursitis
  Will I need to get an X-ray or MRI before I come in? No, but if you already have one, your Physiotherapist can explain the results to you.   Do I need physiotherapy or a massage first? This is a surprisingly common question. The best approach begins with a complete physiotherapy assessment and diagnosis and if needed, individuals are then referred to a massage therapist. The benefits of working with our physiotherapists allows them to create a specific treatment plan for our massage therapists to work from. Patients that benefit from our massage therapists vary from office workers to professional athletes. A massage therapist gives you an excellent opportunity to keep your body feeling great by working the soft tissues and resolving residual knots and tightness from current/past injuries. May is national physio physiotherapy run brentwood   Contact Brentwood Physiotherapy today to resolve your knee pain and our physiotherapists will work with you, one on one, to get you feeling your best. 403-282-8050  

Postural Neck and Back Pain

exercise exercize at sunset yoga bend active                       7 Chakras Asana yoga purple               


Postural neck and back pain is so common that it sometimes gets taken for granted. You can change this! Let us help you make that change.

Slouching vs Sitting

Ever since we were kids we have been told that posture is important, but often sitting up straight feels like hard work. The reality of the situation is that your mother was right when she said ” don’t slouch”. Our guide to sitting correctly will help you.

Our bodies were never designed to sit all day long, but in this day and age it is a requirement for most jobs. When we slouch it makes it more difficult for our stabilizing muscles to work optimally, increasing the load through our spine. This results in pain and tightness. On the contrary, sitting excessively upright can also cause problems! Excessive muscle activation can cause pain and tightness as well. Both extremes lead to discomfort so it is important to find a happy medium.



Here is our guide to sitting or standing correctly.

ergonomics tech technology back neck pain



  1. Relax your spine into the back of the chair with your lower back supported by a backrest.
  2. The chair should completely support your thighs.
  3. Your legs should be flexed at a 90-110 degree angle.
  4. TAKE BREAKS (every 20 minutes re-adjust and stretch, every 40 minutes stand up and take a quick walk).
  5. The top of your screen should be at eye level.
  6. Your feet should be flat on the floor or use a foot stool if you can’t reach the ground.
  7. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor.
  8. Make sure that you relax your shoulders.

Back pain, neck/shoulder pain and headaches are common symptoms of poor posture. Changing the neuroplasticity of your brain to recognize correct posture is possible and never too late. Our physiotherapists will assess you for postural deficiencies and arm you with an exercise program to make good posture a reality.

Call now to book your appointment (403-282-8050) and say goodbye to poor posture. 


Physio for Ankle Sprains

Sports ankle and achilles heel injury concept



Ankle Sprains 101


Everyone has sprained an ankle at one point in their life. Whether you are an elite athlete or an elite bookworm, it happens. In fact, ankle sprains are one the most common sports injuries. Read why Physio for ankle sprains can get you back into action.


One of our physiotherapists plays elite level baseball. Unfortunately during a weekend game, he managed to sprain his ankle after running past home base. An X-ray showed no break (Thank God!), however, his ankle swelled up to the size of an orange.

Here is a description of how he managed the ankle for the first few days using the RICE technique


Relative Rest:

As a physiotherapist who loves to be active, I took my recovery seriously from the get go. I kept weight off my ankle for the first 24 hours. After the first day, I attempted moving my ankle every hour or so, stopping whenever I felt pain.



I used ice regularly for the first 3 days. It helps bring down the pain and made moving a lot more tolerable.



This is arguably the most important step for swelling and ankle support. I used a tensor bandage and an ankle brace that I picked up from Brentwood Physiotherapy to maintain pressure.



I kept my ankle above my heart for the first two days whenever possible. That meant lying down on the couch with a few pillows under my ankle and catching up on Game of Thrones.



Four easy steps to remember for RICE; Relative rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. I booked the earliest appointment I could with Brentwood Physiotherapy to get a treatment in for my ankle. Even though I am a physiotherapist myself, I still get treatment from other physiotherapists to ensure the quickest recovery possible.

Get in touch with Brentwood Physiotherapy: 403-282-8050 to alleviate your pain from an ankle sprain and return to a pain free lifestyle.

What is Dry Needling?

dry needling intramuscular stimulation effective treatment muscular trigger points point muscle red black needle wire skin acupuncture

What is dry needling?

Physiotherapists uses a variety of treatment techniques of which dry needling is one. For those who have never heard of dry needling, it is the practice of inserting fine needles, usually acupuncture needles into trigger points (focal areas of muscle spasm) in muscles to reduce tension and pain in the body. The term “dry” refers to the fact that no fluid is inserted or removed. Sometimes we insert needles into trigger points and attach electrodes to them to further release muscle spasm. This technique is called, Gokavi Transverse Technique.

“WHAT?! How can poking me with needles make me feel better?”

We hear you and here are the mechanisms by which dry needling works:

  1. Locally
    Alters muscle fiber length and tension
    Changes local blood flow
    b. Stimulates local chemical release
    c. Promotes your body’s natural heal response
  2. Centrally
    Your brain/spinal cord are influenced by the release of neurochemicals
    Endorphins (your natural opioids) and corticosteroids (your anti-inflammatories) are released, resulting in pain reduction


Some patients feel a small pinprick sensation as dry needling typically isn’t very painful. Sometimes a muscle is very tight and upon needling you may feel the muscle twitch suddenly. This “twitch response” is a great sign! It means the muscle is releasing tension.


Recently a patient Rose, booked a visit in our Calgary location. She had tennis elbow from sitting typing at a computer desk all day. We used dry needling to help release the local muscle tension while we treated her forearm and shoulders. The benefit of the dry needling was felt almost immediately. Rose continued to improve and after two visits she was back to normal.


We are here to help you live a pain free life!

 If you are suffering from any type of pain or would like to know more information about dry needling, get in touch with our team at Brentwood Physiotherapy.

Call now 403-282-8050


Exercise and Dementia for Women

Senior woman women back pain standing medical office grimace hurt hurts

The relationship between exercise and dementia in women:

A Swedish study of 191 women found that those with the highest fitness levels when first assessed had just a five per cent chance of developing dementia in subsequent decades. This Swedish study of 191 women checked their fitness levels and then tracked them for 44 years. Participants were measured for their cardiovascular activity on exercise bikes.

This study shows that women who exercise into their 50s are five times less likely to develop dementia. This long term research shows that women who are fit at 50 are five times less likely to get dementia!

The study by the University of Gothenburg, published online by the journal Neurology, found that those with the highest fitness levels when first assessed had just a five per cent chance of developing dementia in subsequent decades. This compared with rates of 25 per cent among those who performed moderately. Rates were even worse among those with low fitness and among those so unfit they could not complete the tests. 

Doctor Helena Horder, from the University of Gothenburg, said: “It’s possible that improving people’s cardiovascular fitness in middle age could delay or even prevent them from developing dementia”

Overall, those who dropped out of the tests had dementia rates of 45 per cent in later life. When highly fit women developed the disease, it came on average 11 years later than among those with moderate levels of fitness – at the age of 90 instead of 79.

For the study, 191 women with an average age of 50 took a bicycle exercise test until they were exhausted, to measure their peak cardiovascular capacity. The average peak workload was measured at 103 watts.

A total of 40 women met the criteria for a high fitness level, or 120 watts or higher, while 92 women were in the medium fitness category.

A total of 59 women were in the low fitness category, defined as a peak workload of 80 watts or less, or having their exercise tests stopped because of high blood pressure, chest pain or other cardiovascular problems.

Over the next 44 years, the women were tested for dementia six times and during that time 44 of them developed dementia.

Five per cent of the highly fit women developed dementia, compared with 25 per cent of moderately fit women and 32 per cent of the women with low fitness.

Doctor David Reynolds, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “By working with participants over many years, this study has highlighted how fitness in mid-life can help predict dementia risk years later. While studies like this can’t definitively show cause and effect, it adds to research suggesting that middle age is the key time for people to take steps to promote their brain health.”

Reynolds said boosting exercise did not have to mean major exertion – just fitting in exercise to a normal routine, like a jog or a brisk walk with friends. He suggested the best way to maintain good brain health was to “eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check”

*excerpt from The Calgary Herald

Talk to one of our experienced Physiotherapists on how to get you started on your exercise routine without injuring yourself. Call us at 403-282-8050

Shoulder Pain Physiotherapy

shepherds crook self massage back muscles muscle

Common Shoulder Pain Conditions requiring Physiotherapy:

  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis – The subscapularissupraspinatusinfraspinatus and teres minor muscles are  small rotator cuff muscles that work to stabilise your shoulder joint. Tendonitis is an inflammation of these tendons that form a cuff around the front and side of the shoulder joint. One of the most common causes of rotator cuff tendonitis is repeated microtrauma to the rotator cuff tendons. Other causes are traumatic in nature e.g. from a fall or sudden pulling of a leash when walking your dog.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Rotator Cuff Tears- as the name indicates, these are tears that occur to the rotator cuff tendons from sudden trauma or repeated microtraumas which can be degenerative in nature.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Bursitis- A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that helps to reduce friction between tendons and bone around the shoulder joint. You have several bursae within and around your shoulder. Subacromial bursitis is most common (shoulder pain that is usually related to impingement of the bursa between your rotator cuff tendons and the acromion which is  part of the shoulder blade). Another common type of bursitis is subdeltoid bursitis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Bicipital Tendinopathy- This is an inflammation of the long head of your biceps tendon usually caused by a combination of factors – overuse, tendon impingement, shoulder joint instability or trauma. Pain is felt in the front of the shoulder, sometimes radiating down to the elbow. Reaching forward and overhead usually cause pain.                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Frozen Shoulder- The correct medical term for frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis. It is a common cause of shoulder pain and occurs in about 2% to 5% of the population more commonly in women and 40 to 60 year olds. It basically means an inflammation of the shoulder capsule (capsulitis). These cause adhesions that limit your shoulder movement causing pain and stiffness.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Shoulder Osteoarthritis- This is pain in the shoulder from damage to the cartilage and joint surfaces particularly if there have been previous injuries to the joint or accumulated overuse.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  • Shoulder Instabilities- The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in your body. However this increased multi-directional range of motion comes at the cost to the stability of the joint. Shoulder dislocations (when the joint is completely forced out of its normal position) and subluxations ( when the joint is partially forced out of its normal position) can occur as a result of  sudden trauma or from underlying shoulder joint instabilities. Repetitive overhead motion can overstretch your shoulder ligaments and joint capsule. These conditions can cause painful movement of the shoulder joint.


How We Treat Shoulder Pain at Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic:

  • a detailed examination of your shoulder is performed with specific attention paid to your activities and occupation
  • a diagnosis is made and explained to you so that you understand the nature and cause of your shoulder pain
  • an evidence based treatment plan is designed specifically for you, taking into consideration your lifestyle
  • communication with your family physician, coaches and trainers to advise and recommend treatment strategies
  • appropriate referrals as required 

If you have shoulder pain and want a diagnosis of your problem with positive outcomes allowing you to do what you love, then call us at 403-282-8050 to have one of our skilled and experienced Physiotherapists help you to return to what you love doing and live a pain free life.

May is national physio physiotherapy run brentwood


Knee Pain Physio

Most stressed sportsman joint KNEE

Common Conditions Causing Knee Pain requiring Physio:

  • Patello-femoral Pain Syndrome– pain in the front of the knee caused by poor tracking of the kneecap due to muscle imbalances, tight muscles, overtraining, etc.


  • Meniscial Tears/Injuries – often sport related with loaded twisting type movements or degenerative in nature.


  • Ligamentous Sprains/Tears – ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament),LCL (lateral collateral ligament),PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). Ligament sprains are graded from 1 to 3,where a grade 1 sprain involves just a few tears of the ligament fibres , a grade 2 tear involves tearing of more than 50 percent of the fibres and a grade 3 sprain involves the whole ligament being torn causing instability of the joint. 


  • Bursitis – inflammation of one of the many bursa in and around the knee joint- can be occupational in nature where a lot of time is spent kneeling e.g installing carpet, tile, hardwood floors. Also can be caused by muscle imbalances and tightness.


  • Ilio-tibial Band Syndrome – a painful condition that can occur due to repetitive friction at the side of the knee from muscle tightness and imbalances. Overtraining with rapid increases in distance can be a big contributing factor.


  • Patella Tendonitis– pain and inflammation of the quadriceps tendon that inserts at the front of the knee usually caused by muscle imbalances, muscle tightness or direct impact to the front of the knee from a fall. 


  • Knee Osteoarthritis – previous trauma, increased weight and age can be predisposing factors to the wearing down of the joint surfaces causing pain and swelling.


  • Muscle Strains– often caused by excessive training, inadequate warm-ups, inflexibility and muscle weakness.

What to expect from your Brentwood Clinic Physiotherapist :

  • a detailed examination of your knee is performed with specific attention paid to your activities
  • an examination of your gait pattern and other joints that can contribute to your knee pain
  • a diagnosis is made and explained to you so that you understand the nature of your knee pain
  • an evidence based treatment plan is designed specifically for you, taking into consideration your lifestyle
  • communication with your family physician, coaches and trainers to advise and recommend treatment strategies
  • appropriate referrals as required

If you have knee pain and want a diagnosis of your problem with positive outcomes allowing you to do what you love, then call us at 403-282-8050 to have one of our skilled and experienced Physiotherapists help you to “Leap Out”

May is national physio physiotherapy run brentwood


10 Minutes High Intensity Interval Training- HIIT

May is national physio physiotherapy run brentwood

What is High Intensity Interval Training- HIIT?

HIIT or high intensity interval training is a combination of brief, very-high intensity bursts of cardio exercise followed by equal or longer periods of rest. Think 30 seconds to a minute of sprinting, followed by a minute or two of walking or slow jogging. Repeat this cycle for just 10 minutes, and you’ll complete a HIIT workout.

Todd Astorino, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, San Marcos, who has published more than a dozen papers on HIIT says that “We now have more than 10 years of data showing HIIT yields pretty much the exact same health and fitness benefits as long-term aerobic exercise, and in some groups or populations, it works better than traditional aerobic exercise”.

Staying Active:

Whether your goal is to improve your fitness, lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, lose weight, strengthen skeletal muscles or help get your blood sugar under control, a few minutes of HIIT seem to be as effective as much longer periods of moderate-paced running, cycling, swimming or other forms of traditional cardio. For well-trained athletes, HIIT may be the best way to elevate your physical performance.

One small study of healthy but sedentary people found just one minute total of HIIT performed three days a week for six weeks was enough to significantly improve blood sugar scores and aerobic capacity, a measure of physical fitness. The study participants completed 10- to 20-second bouts of “all-out” cycling on a stationary bike, each broken up by a couple minutes of rest. The total workout time, start to finish, was 10 minutes.

Other research finds that HIIT may outperform traditional cardio when it comes to fat loss. A HIIT-induced surge in your body’s levels of growth hormones and other organic compounds “can increase fat burning and energy expenditure for hours after exercise,” says study author Stephen Boutcher, an associate professor of medical sciences at the University of New South Wales in Australia.


How HIIT works:

The key to HIIT is pushing your heart rate up above 80% of its maximum, Astorino says. “Subtract your age from 220 to estimate your maximum heart rate,” he says. (“A heart rate monitor can provide an accurate assessment. But if you’re really sucking wind after pushing yourself, you’ve probably hit your target”, Astorino says.)

If you’re fit, try sprint interval training. After walking or slow jogging for a few minutes to warm up, sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then recover for four minutes by walking or jogging slowly. Complete four to six sets of this sprinting-recovery program. (“For an even faster version, keep the warmup, then complete three sets of 20-second sprints, each separated by two minutes of recovery”, Astorino says.)

If you’re overweight or obese and you haven’t exercised in months, sprinting isn’t necessary or safe. “Instead, 30 seconds to four minutes of brisk walking on an inclined treadmill or hill should be enough to push your heart rate up into the HIIT zone”, Astorino says.

You can also practice these programs with a stationary bike, rowing machine or in the pool. Any form of cardio can push your heart into the HIIT zone.

HIIT is safe. Wisløff and colleagues analyzed nearly 50,000 hours of HIIT data collected from cardiovascular disease patients in Norway. In seven years of data, he turned up just two instances of (non-fatal) cardiac arrest. He says people with unstable angina or serious heart issues should speak with their doctor first. But, in general, “it’s much more dangerous not to perform HIIT than to perform it,” he says.

Talk to your Physiotherapist about a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program for you. Call us at


information gathered is courtesy of


150 Minutes of Exercise per Week?

ice skating calgary skate outdoor winter activities stay safe on ice

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for adults recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week, but unfortunately only 20 per cent of Canadians meet this standard. In reality Canadians are falling desperately short when it comes to maintaining their physical fitness. Where can we start to achieve this guideline of 150 minutes of exercise per week?

A life devoid of exercise:

A sedentary lifestyle is associated with poorer health and inactivity is responsible for nearly one in 10 premature deaths. Prolonged sitting itself can contribute to the risk of illness and death.

You lose out on the benefits of endorphins that your body releases during exercise. This is like a “Happy Pill” to help with your mental wellness and much more.

Benefits of Exercise:

Why does exercise have such a profound effect on health?

  • First off, the more fit you are, the less likely you are to have high blood pressure or a heart attack.
  • Exercise may also reduce the risk of stroke and it improves the regulation of sugar in the body, staving off diabetes. 
  • It also provides protection against a variety of cancers, including breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. Physical activity keeps fat deposits in check and builds muscles and bones, making the elderly less likely to sustain hip fractures.
  • In this increasingly hectic world, exercise can keep us centred by reducing anxiety, depression and overall stress.

150 minutes of exercise per week?

We know that exercise is good for you. Is the target of 150 minutes a week realistic given that only 20% of Canadians meet this target?

The evidence says no — a little exercise is great, more is better and you don’t need to be a triathlete to garner major health benefits.

exercise exercize at sunset yoga bend active

Where can we start with exercise?

Fortunately, a number of large studies have helped clarify some key questions about dosing exercise to achieve maximal benefits.  These studies provide insight into the value of exercising less than the 150 minutes per week standard, as well as whether very high levels of exercise are harmful.  It can also suggest at what point exercising more doesn’t seem to add much to your health benefits.

The data comes from millions of subjects followed in the U.S., Taiwan and Australia for well over a decade.  Two key studies were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  These studies included a wide mix of people including the elderly, active runners and of course, couch potatoes.

  • First, there are measurable but small benefits with minimal activity — some of the key studies show an impact with as little as eight minutes a day. However, increasing activity to 15 minutes/day (100 minutes/week) is needed to extend the lifespan by about three years. 


  • Second, there is serious benefit to ramping it up, with more activity directly contributing to better health and a longer life.  In the Taiwanese study, every 15 minute of increase in daily exercise carried a four per cent increase in longevity. This effect peaks around 90 to 100 minutes a day, beyond which there is no substantial health benefit.


  • Finally, people often fear that when they finally hoist themselves off the couch, exercise could cause a heart attack or other serious health event. It’s definitely important to proceed safely, particularly for those with existing heart disease, but the risks pale in comparison to the potential benefits. Consult with your doctor before you start exercising if you have not been before.

Don’t be discouraged if 150 minutes per week doesn’t seem obtainable at first; more is better but even a little is good. Give yourself the credit for making the effort to take care of your body and start this journey of a healthy life with the benefits of new experiences, friends and challenges.

If you’re not sure where to start with your exercise routine, book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists who will guide you on an exercise program.

Fisioterapista que habla Espanol en Calgary


Mi llamo es Lalitha McSorley. Soy una fisioterapista y duena a Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic en Calgary.

He estado estudiando español porque creo que es una idioma hermosa y puedo comunicar con mis pacientes. Mi esposo (un médico de familia), mi hija (una enfermera) y yo somos voluntarios en Guatemala en una clínica médica.

Having been a physiotherapist for many years, I know how important communication is when assessing and treating patients. I treat Spanish speaking patients in my practice and it is quite a privilege to be able to help them whilst we have a few laughs over the idiosyncrasies of languages. 

Yo creo eso y sé que para comunicar con los pacientes en su idioma es una parte muy importante de su salud.


He visto varios pacientes en mi clínica que hablan español y me doy cuenta de que sus necesidades de fisioterapia a menudo están comprometidas debido a una barrera del idioma.

Me gustaria ver a estos paciente tratados como me gustaría que me traten. Quiero que todos los personas que hablan español sepan que es posible recibir fisioterapia de calidad en Calgary.

I would like Spanish speaking people to know that it is possible to receive quality physiotherapy treatments in Calgary. Call us and book an appointment with a physiotherapist who speaks Spanish. 

Todo lo que necesita hacer es ponerse en contacto con una fisioterapista calificada y con experiencia que pueda hablar español y puede diagnosticar y manejar sus problemas de manera efectiva. La comunicación en fisioterapia es primordial para su rehabilitación y lo ayuda a llevar una vida libre de dolor.

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Staying Active with a Chronic Disease

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Staying Active With a Chronic Disease

As a member of Physiotherapy Alberta College and Association I would like to share this article from my college with all our readers on the importance of staying active with a chronic disease. 

According to Alberta Health Services, “approximately 30% of Albertans report having at least one chronic disease and that number increases to over 75% if you are 65 years of age or older.” In 2012, chronic diseases cost Canadian society more that $90 billion a year in lost productivity and health-care costs.

Many people have a risk of developing a chronic disease due to modifiable lifestyle behaviours such as physical inactivity, poor eating and smoking. Even something as simple as a pulled muscle can cause people to stop exercising and increase their risk of developing a chronic disease.

If you or a family member have recently been diagnosed with a chronic condition such as diabetesarthritisheart disease or cancer that is affecting your quality of life, it’s important to remember that a chronic condition does not define who you are. It is quite possible to live well with a chronic disease.

What is a chronic disease?

The World Health Organization defines a chronic or non-communicable disease as: “a disease that is of long duration, is slow to progress and is not passed from person to person.” In Alberta, the most common chronic diseases are high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, heart failure, coronary artery disease, obesity, and depression. The term “chronic condition” is often used interchangeably with “chronic disease” but is a somewhat broader term that encompasses both non-communicable diseases and other health conditions that can impact a person’s quality of life and independence (e.g., blindness, deafness, or developmental delay).

As Alberta’s population ages and the prevalence of chronic diseases continues to increase, government and health-care organizations are focusing on helping people manage their chronic disease by encouraging people to stay active with chronic disease. To achieve this, there is a shift away from the traditional, medically driven approach to treatment, while moving towards helping people self-manage their disease.

What is self-management?

Self-management is defined as “the day-to-day tasks an individual must undertake to control or reduce the impact of disease on physical health status.” These tasks include having the support, ability, and confidence to deal with the medical and the emotional management of the chronic disease and its effect on your quality of life. In a nutshell the message is “stay active with chronic disease”.

The Government of Canada released a document in 2012 entitled “Self-management Support for Canadians with Chronic Health Conditions.” This report talks about activities such as seeking help from a nutritionist to manage your diet, talking to your pharmacist or physician about the right medications to take, joining an exercise class, or making an appointment with your physiotherapist to look at strategies to improve or maintain your overall fitness level. The actual changes you make (considered the positive outcomes of effective self-management) include eating better, exercising more, effectively monitoring and responding to your symptoms, taking your medications correctly and knowing when to seek professional help.

Where do I start?

Ask for help from a health-care professional if you have a chronic disease and want to stay active. They can provide the support you need to face challenges and achieve success.  

Common treatment for the management of chronic disease often focuses on:

  • Providing education about the disease and the lifestyle changes recommended
  • Maintaining or increasing activity levels and incorporating daily exercise

Evidence tells us that exercise and activity changes can positively impact the management of many chronic diseases, including: high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, heart failure, coronary artery disease, obesity, and depression. The more you know about your disease, the more you can understand the need for these changes and how to get started.

The role of physical activity and staying active with a chronic disease

Lack of confidence, not knowing what’s safe, and fear of aggravating the condition are often the biggest obstacles when it comes to physical activity for people with chronic conditions. However, experts agree that physical activity improves health, quality of life and may actually reverse the progression of some chronic conditions.

If you have a chronic condition that limits your ability to exercise regularly, here are a few tips to help you get active.

1. Get support

To build your confidence and understanding of how to exercise safety with a chronic condition, work with a health professional that understands how to exercise safely and understands your condition. Physiotherapists are uniquely qualified to design exercise programs specifically geared to your condition.

2. Find the right environment

Find an environment where you feel safe, can build confidence and experience early success. This could be a community centre, a health-care facility, a pool or fitness facility or even a group exercise and education program for people with a specific condition. The point is to find an environment where you feel comfortable and not intimidated.

3. Create structure

Having pre-set structures will help support you in staying active. Set goals that are important to you and that you are confident you can achieve in the short term. Identify possible barriers that may block you from achieving your goals. Identify time, place and activities that will work for you and your life.

4. Get social

Share your goals with others who will be supportive. Enlist family members, friends, co-workers, pets, etc. to exercise with. Consider joining a support group of other people with chronic diseases.

How a physiotherapist can help you stay active with a chronic disease?

A physiotherapist will be able to help you understand the diagnosis and how it may affect your life, what immediate steps you can take to manage the disease and give you recommendations to assist you to develop lifelong strategies to live the life you want.

You may also be referred to a specific program such as cardiac or respiratory rehabilitation where a physiotherapist will work with you as you learn ways to increase your endurance and strength in a safe and supervised environment.

A physiotherapist can be a source of motivation, guidance and problem solving during the ups and downs of managing your journey through life with a chronic disease.

At Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic we have several highly qualified physiotherapists who can guide and coach you to a healthy and active lifestyle. Call us to book your appointment. 

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy for Lady Parts?

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“There is Physiotherapy for my lady parts???!”

“I hear this sentence at least once during my work day. Yes! There is pelvic floor physiotherapy” Lucia Mathieson- Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
As much as I think women are paying more attention to their issues of the pelvic floor region, there is still a huge number of people who think leaking, pain with intercourse, heaviness in the vagina,etc. is something they have to put up with for rest of their life.
These problems don’t apply to postpartum moms only. Pelvic floor dysfunction can sneak up at any age.
I treat patients as young 12 years to 80-90 years old.

Notes to all the women out there:

  • Young women should know that painful menstruation cycles could be caused by tight pelvic floor muscles and seeing a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can provide helpful tips how to manage and alleviate these symptoms.
  • Women should know that intercourse should never be painful and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can provide education, exercises, stretches and strategies to eliminate this problem.
  • Every pregnant woman should see a Pelvic Floor physiotherapist if she is experiencing:

        -lower back pain affecting her sitting, standing or walking tolerance

        -pelvic pain and uncomfortable pressure

  •  Every postpartum woman should see a Pelvic Floor physiotherapist to address the following:

        -strength: exercises to properly strengthen the pelvic floor muscles but also to learn how to relax these muscles to prevent 

              incontinence and prolapse issues in the future       

        -Scars: either vaginal/ perineum tears or C- section scars to make sure scar tissue won’t cause any pain in future

        -abdomen: to ensure your abdominal muscles are not suffering from separation (diastasis recti) possibly causing chronic lower back

              pain. Physiotherapists can provide you with a gradual strengthening program that is safe 

  • Physically active women should see a Pelvic Floor physiotherapist if they ever experience:

        -leaking during exercise

        -strong urge to void as soon they start to run or walk (even though you peed minutes before exercising)

        -feeling of pressure or bulge during or after exercise

Maybe if women start to seek help for their “lady parts problem” we can avoid these horrific statistics:
  • 53% of women age 65 and older reported symptoms of urinary incontinence on a regular basis (
  • 4 out of 10 women still report painful sex 18 months after childbirth (
  • 44% of women have some degree of uterine prolapse according to Tye Women’s Health Initiative in the US

by Lucia Mathieson- Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

Please don’t hesitate to contact your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist at Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic. Call now to book your appointment

Shovelling Snow This Winter – Keep Your Back Out of it

snow shoveling winter back stay safe

Snow can be fluffy, snow can also be very heavy. Snow can be used for fun winter activities but it also needs to be removed from our sidewalks and driveways! If you usually shovel the snow from your property we want to make sure you stay un-injured and do it safely! This post is all about how to do just that. Shoveling snow is a common cause of back injury. Make sure you keep your back out of it.

You don’t need to do an lengthy warm up before shoveling but make sure you start out slow. You also don’t want to be cold so dress warmly and ideally head out from a warm place right before shoveling. 

How to save your back from snow shovelling

Use this cool tool attachment to save your back, it can be attached to any straight shovel and really helps gain leverage. You can buy this product at any home hardware.

Image result for the heft


You can also use a curved shovel such as this one to save your back.

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Curved shovels or adding the extra handle will help keep your back upright instead of bending over too much. Other common areas that might get injured include the shoulder. Make sure to push instead of lifting where possible and push amounts of snow that you can manage without strain. Bring the snow close to you without reaching too far forward. Remember that a bigger shovel is not always better. Ergonomics is important so keep it in mind!

Make sure to get outside and stay active!

Many people tend to stay indoors during the winter months. It is still important to be physically active and is instrumental in injury prevention.

  • Take a moment to consider the things you like about winter. Maybe it’s skating at a nearby rink, tobogganing with the kids, building snow forts or just enjoying the brilliant blue sky Albertans enjoy each January. Finding ways to be active outdoors that you actually enjoy will help to make the winter pass faster.
  • Invest in the gear. Being cold while trying to be active outside isn’t fun and it’s not likely that you’re going to stick with your winter activity for long if you’re uncomfortable. Given that in Alberta winter lasts four months (or more), investing in the proper outerwear is a worthwhile to help keep you active. 
  • Create goals and look for something to train for. While many people think that race season winds up in winter, myself included, John Stanton, the founder and CEO of the Running Room was quick to correct me. It turns out that while things do slowdown in winter there are still plenty of races, like the Resolution Run and the Hypothermic Half Marathon to take part in. If running’s not your thing, there’s the Silver Skate Festival and the Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race. Preparing for any of these winter sporting events will keep you active outside throughout the season.
  • Too cold outside? Move your workout indoors. Does your local recreation centre have a racquetball court, indoor pool to offer other activities or classes? Really don’t want to go outside at all? Workout in your home – skip rope, do jumping jacks or dust off that under-used treadmill.

Be careful and minimize slips and falls

During winter, many physiotherapists see patients for injuries that occurred during a fall due to winter conditions. Stay upright and prevent falls with the following tips:

  • Check those treads! Just like the tires on your car, when the treads on your shoes or boots are smooth and worn down they won’t offer much grip on ice and snow, making you more prone to falls. Check your footwear at the start of the season and keep an eye out for when it’s time to invest in some new footwear with rubber soles and non-slip treads. You might also consider buying spikes or coils(traction aids) that you strap to the sole of your shoes to give you better grip on ice and snow.
  • What about those icy sidewalks? Fact is, walking like a penguin by shuffling and keeping your knees bent to maximize the contact between your shoes and the sidewalk helps to keep you balanced and on your feet!
  • A fall can be detrimental to anybody especially the elderly. While fall prevention is important for the elderly all year round, it’s even more important on slippery sidewalks and streets. For more information, visit Finding Balance.
  • Salt your sidewalks! It will help others as well as yourself not slip and risk an injury!

Lastly, you may want to enlist the help of a younger person on your street to shovel your walks. Maybe even help a young teenager make some cash if you want to avoid shoveling altogether.

We hope that these tips will help you to stay safe and active in the winter months. Be careful of your back to make sure you stay healthy and get out there and have fun!

Contact Brentwood Physio.

Read our customer reviews.

Learn more about our services which include:

Electrotherapy, Massage TherapyReflexologyAcupunctureDry Needling/Intramuscular StimulationIontophoresisVestibular Rehabilitation for Balance/Dizziness/Vertigo, Exercise Programs, Gokavi Transverse Techniques and much more!



Wrist or Hand Pain? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

carpal tunnel syndrome wrist brentwood physio typing keyboard

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, painful and sometimes disabling condition of the hand and wrist. Symptoms can include pain and pins-and-needles in the thumb, index and middle fingers. Night pain and discomfort are common and more severe cases may cause weakness in the hand muscles making it difficult to grip.

Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because other conditions can cause similar symptoms (e.g., tendonitis, neck pain). Symptoms start when the median nerve gets squeezed as it runs through the wrist’s carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel just big enough to fit all the tendons, nerves and blood vessels that run into your hand. Postures or conditions that narrow or use extra space in the tunnel can squeeze the median nerve. Many factors can cause this narrowing (reduced space)  and often a single specific cause is difficult to identify. It may be caused by a combination of:  

  • Swelling (e.g., inflammatory arthritis, tendinitis, thyroid conditions, pregnancy, hormonal conditions)
  • Body factors (e.g., excess body fat, a wrist fracture, genetics)
  • Postures or physical activities (e.g., forceful gripping, working and typing with awkward wrist postures, exposure to vibrating hand tools)   

That’s why a skilled assessment by one of our physiotherapists at Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic to determine the underlying cause is important for proper treatment.

How the Physiotherapists at Brentwood clinic can help

Physiotherapists are highly skilled at assessing and treating people with carpal tunnel. Your physiotherapist will make sure the problem is from your carpal tunnel and will examine your neck, shoulder, wrist and hand. 

Effective treatment requires an accurate diagnosis and understanding the underlying causes. Physiotherapists can:

  • Help reduce pressure or inflammation, pain and weakness in your hand, wrist or arm
  • Determine if a wrist brace is appropriate
  • Provide a specific exercise program to improve function and get you using your wrist
  • Teach you effective stretching exercises to prevent or minimize future flare-ups
  • Provide specific advice on returning to work and/or normal activities

Our physiotherapists will:

  • Assess and determine if your symptoms are caused by median nerve dysfunction
  • Help identify if the things you are doing at work or home contribute to the symptoms
  • Work with your doctor if medical testing is needed
  • Start you on an exercise program immediately
  • Alleviate your pain

So don’t wait. Call us now to book your appointment : 403-282-8050

Top 6 Skating Rinks To Enjoy in Calgary & How to Stay Safe


Looking to get outside or just get active this winter? There are many choices in the City of Calgary for both leisure skating & shinny hockey with both indoor and outdoor options available.

What kind of ice-skater are you?

Are you looking to do some skating for fun without a hockey stick and puck? There are many popular places to skate with friends and family. This list is also kid-friendly so bring the whole family for the holidays! Keep in mind the weather is getting cold but some of these skating rinks may not be fully open yet so make sure you call in advance for the latest information.

The City of Calgary maintains a list of city-run rinks you can check out. The following list includes some of our favourites here at the clinic. Make sure to read the entire post for the Brentwood Physiotherapy safety tips for ice-related sports! So without further ado, here is our top 6 places to skate in Calgary:

  1. Bowness Lagoon Skating Area

This rink has quite a large area of ice and is a lot of fun to skate around the different canals, under bridges etc. They also have a set of propane fireplaces to warm up near the ice. This rink usually takes longer to freeze as it is an actual pond fed by the Bow River. We have not been there yet this year so plan ahead and make sure the ice is completely frozen. The rink can be accessed by a service road off of 48th Avenue. Find the location here:

8900 48 Ave. N.W.

Bowness Lagoon does not allow hockey sticks or pucks on the ice so if you are looking to play hockey read further down this list. Skate rentals are available here if you do not own your own pair of skates.


bowness lagoon skating calgary brentwood physio blog 


2. Olympic Plaza Skating in Downtown Calgary

The Olympic Plaza is a very nice rink with great views of the Calgary tower and other downtown buildings. There is a zamboni that resurfaces the rink so the ice is very good quality. Given its location right beside city hall and the city hall train station it is easily accessible and central. For a map of the location click here:

228 8 Ave. S.E.

Rentals available? Yes.

Hockey allowed? No.


olympic plaza skating area calgary brentwood physio blog


3. U of C Olympic Oval Indoor Rink 

Have you ever had a chance to skate at the Olympic oval? It is quite large at 400m all the way around. The long track world speed skating events are held here and was used for the 1989 Winter Olympics. A fun way to spend a day especially if the weather is extremely cold. If you go to the oval keep in mind that helmets are now required. Admission is $7 for adults, otherwise, Monday nights only cost a Toonie with a donation to the food bank! For more information on Olympic Oval events, schedules and prices click here.

Skate rentals? Yes.

Helmet Required? Yes.

Hockey allowed? No.

olympic oval skating calgary brentwood physio blog


4. Triwood Community Association Outdoor skating Rinks

Shinny hockey players unite! This rink in NW Calgary is perfect for a pickup game of hockey or even a leisure skate if there is not a game going on. Bring your hockey stick, gloves and puck to this great location. Right beside the Triwood indoor arena, this outdoor rink is routinely flooded and has netting to save your pucks from getting too far. Just be sure not to park too close to the rink, just in case 😉

Find the outdoor rink right here in Google Maps right beside the Triwood Community Association in the nearby baseball diamond.

Hockey allowed? Yes.

Skate rentals? No.

Boards and net? Yes.





5. Edelweiss Preparatory School Skating rink

Edelweiss Preparatory School is located in the quiet residential neighbourhood of Cambrian Heights, situated at 600 Northmount Dr. N.W. The playing fields in the winter time are flooded and well maintained as a skating rink. It is well lit with flood lights to make it safe.


6. Midnapore Lake

If you live in south Calgary there is a fantastic skating area on Midnapore lake, the only caveat is that you need to be with someone who lives in the area to access the facilities. You may be able to book for events by calling 403-256-0550 or visiting their website.

On the lake, they have hockey rinks setup as well as a cleared skating path that goes around the lake. There is also a dedicated “skating only” area for those leisure skaters. All the rinks are surfaced by a zamboni or by hand. A great area for skating in the south of Calgary!


midnapore lake hockey skating brentwood physio hockey skating

Top 6 Skating Rinks in Calgary

These are our top 6 list for rinks to visit in Calgary. There are many more amazing locations and we encourage you to share them with us on social media? Where do you like to go skating or play hockey? There are really too many rinks to list here so find a rink near your house and get out and be active.

Stay safe while on the rink

First of all, we encourage you to wear a helmet while skating. It’s good to protect the old ‘noggin! Better safe than sorry, especially for younger children. We have compiled a list of things to do to stay safe while playing shinny hockey or leisure skating

  1. Equipment: We already mentioned a helmet; you may want to consider a full face helmet to protect the face, shin pads, elbow pads, shoulder pads and other equipment especially when pucks and hockey sticks are involved.
  2. Warm up: Make sure your legs and back are properly warmed up before skating too hard. So take a few easy laps around the rink and do a few stretches. With the cold weather, you want to warm up those muscles before putting them to the test.
  3. Skating involves pushing out with the legs which engages the groin muscles (especially for intermediate to advanced skaters). During your warm up make sure to sufficiently warm up your legs and groin muscles.
  4. The most common skating injuries are groin or hip flexor strains due to inadequate warm-ups, overstretching inflexible muscles during a sprint, reaching for the puck and poor skating techniques
  5. Other injuries involve contusions/lacerations from puck strikes to the body, shoulder strains when taking a hit on the boards and concussions especially from illegal hits from behind.
  6. To stay safe on the ice when playing hockey, play safe, and be respectful.


The City of Calgary also has an adopt-a-rink program where various ice surfaces are flooded and maintained by people in the community. The City of Calgary runs the program and describes it as “a fun, simple and social program that gives people the opportunity to get together with friends and neighbours to help keep local skating rinks flooded, looking clean and well cared for.”

The following list does not include rinks run by community associations and other organizations. Find out more here and find a rink near you in all quadrants of the city:


Thanks for reading our post and share your photos of yourself skating this winter! Use the following hashtags and we will repost!



Free Shoulder Joint Workshop- Injury Prevention & Treatment

Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic in collaboration with Dunamis Kickboxing, Boxing and Muay Thai gym are hosting a free workshop on the shoulder joint. We will be addressing shoulder injuries and prevention and treatment strategies for them.



Call Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic at 403-282-8050 to book your spot and find out how you can stay active and prevent shoulder injuries.


Latest in Pelvic Floor Research for Prostate Surgery and More!


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Pelvic Floor Research for Prostate Surgery:

Men who start doing pelvic floor exercises before prostate surgery regain their continence earlier than men who start them after surgery, according to Australian researchers.

Sydney University researchers analysed the findings of 11 independent studies, which involved a total of 739 prostate cancer patients of all ages. They concluded that men who did their pelvic floor muscle exercises before surgery had a 36 per cent lower chance of urinary incontinence at the three month point after surgery, compared with men who only did them after surgery. A similar improvement was found in their quality of life assessment at three months.

This finding supported current literature, which states that more than 90 per cent of patients recover urinary incontinence after prostate surgery in the longer term. Our Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can help you prepare for your prostate surgery to reduce the stress involved with urinary incontinence post prostate surgery.

Sexual Dysfunction and the Pelvic Floor:

The following is reason enough to get you learning how to exercise those pelvic floor muscles properly

  • A study that looked at 301 women over the age of 40 linked pelvic floor symptoms to painful intercourse, infrequent and low sexual arousal. 
  • A 2004 clinical study showed that pelvic floor exercises and biofeedback were more effective than lifestyle changes for erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Men who performed pelvic floor exercises before prostate surgery regained their continence earlier as noted above by Sydney university researchers.
  • Studies confirm that lower back pain is strongly linked with pelvic floor disorders and lifestyle.


The above is reason enough to call us and book your appointment with our Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Pelvic floor dysfunction is a sensitive and sometimes embarrassing topic of conversation so we guarantee privacy, empathy and an experienced and skilled physiotherapist to help you.


WCB authorised Physiotherapy treatments for our Patients at our Clinic!

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Workplace injuries are far too common and can be a heavy burden on the worker, employer and the economy. Receiving physiotherapy treatments early is pivotal to early return to work and the prevention of chronic pain and disabilities. We believe that relieving your pain is only part of resolving your problems. Education to prevent further injuries and identifying key areas of muscle weakness and imbalances are the other part of the problem. Addressing these issues will have you returning to work confident of preventing re-injuries.

The 10 most common workplace injuries:

1) overexertion injuries

2) slipping/tripping

3) falling from heights

4) reaction injuries

5) falling object injuries

6) walking into injuries

7) vehicle accidents

8) machine entanglements

9) repetitive motion injuries

10) on the job violent attacks


Come see what our physiotherapists can do for you. They’re all highly qualified with excellent skills and will spend quality time treating your injuries. Call us to book your appointment.






Free Workshop on Pelvic Floor Health!

May is national physio physiotherapy run brentwood





  • stress incontinence
  • urge and frequency incontinence
  • frequent urinary infections
  • bowel issues (constipation, abdominal cramping and pain)
  • pain with intercourse
  • prolapsed uterine issues (pressure and heaviness)
  • pre-natal care (any pain in pregnancy)
  • preparation for birth
  • postnatal care and return to all activities
  • SI joint issues – prenatal/postnatal
  • follow up care post gynaecological surgeries (hysterectomy,bladder lifts)
  • painful periods 
  • endometriosis

Call us at 403-282-8050 or email to book your spot.