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.

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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

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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.

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  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?

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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

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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.

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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”

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10 Minutes High Intensity Interval Training- HIIT

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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?

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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.

Llámanos por su cita ahora! 403-282-8050

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