Healthy Computer Habits

Physiotherapy in Calgary for Work Activities

In this highly computerized world, more and more people of all ages are experiencing aches and pains that come from sitting at a computer for long periods of time.

These aches and pains are felt in the neck, shoulder, upper and lower back, wrist and elbow joints. In some cases, the nerves to the hand become compressed, causing weakness and/or tingling in the fingers.

These symptoms can occur in the onset of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), which may include damage to tendons, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues from repeated physical movements over time.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the onset of RSI, including:

  •     Posture – is the most critical component. Slouching at the keyboard puts your spine and limbs in positions that contribute to increased strain and tension, as well as increasing the risk of eye strain;
  •     Office set-up – a poorly designed workstation, or one that does not fit you well, can contribute to the onset of RSI (i.e. reaching for the mouse or keyboard too high or low, wrists extended during keyboarding); Read more!

At Bonavista Physical Therapy we offer Physiotherapy Sports Physiotherapy Motor Vehicle Injury Treatment Massage Therapy Pilates Acupuncture McKenzie Method.


November Newsletter: Balance and Strengthening for Ankle Sprain

Bonavista Physical Therapy
With Physical Therapy as a team approach, we can ensure you get the care you need.


We hope you are having a great day!

Have you ever had an ankle sprain?  The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimates that 25,000 experience an ankle sprain each day.  Read below for tips on how to best deal with an Ankle sprain if it happens to you.

Balance and Strengthening for Ankle Sprain

When you sprain an ankle, often the last thing you want to do is move it for any reason.

Resting and applying ice are the traditional remedies, however your physiotherapist may be able to help you get back to your usual self faster with some quick exercises early on.  You may find that the experience is actually less painful than just letting it heal on its own.

Early Intervention Helps

It’s tempting to just try to wait out the injury and only seek out physiotherapy if the pain persists. It’s very common for emergency rooms or doctors to simply send patients with acute sprains home, asking them to ice it and keep it immobile.  While this works for many people and is appropriate in the the early stages of recovery, nearly a third continue to have pain or other symptoms long after the injury.  In fact, sprains seem to cause about 13% of all cases of arthritis that arise from an injury, so the effects of avoiding treatment early on can be quite long lasting.

A study of those receiving a consultation and treatment with a physiotherapist right after the sprain and those simply self-treating at home after the initial emergency treatment found that those who underwent physiotherapy, regardless of the exact treatment plan, had much better recovery after six weeks and three months: they returned to work faster, they had better range of motion, their balance was better, and they had much less pain.

Physiotherapy Can Help You Hurt Less – Faster

You may find that you are hesitant to begin physiotherapy right after an injury because you are afraid of hurting yourself further.  However, a study examining the traditional method of resting, icing, bandaging, and elevating an ankle after a sprain compared with treatment of a sprain with physiotherapy found that while both groups recovered as expected, the group undergoing physiotherapy used less pain medication during those first few difficult days to manage the healing process. The authors concluded that the exercises, while possibly uncomfortable at the time, may have made for a less painful recovery overall.

What to Expect

One of the biggest benefits of having a physiotherapist evaluate your ankle sprain and prescribe treatment is that the balance between immobilizing a joint after injury and getting back into physical activity is very delicate, and getting that timing right will mean a quicker, fuller recovery. Although every treatment plan is different, typically your physiotherapist will have you keep the ankle still for a short time to get the swelling down, but then will work on rehab exercises such as range of motion, strength, and balance, with you soon after.

An Ounce of Prevention

The best part about receiving proper care from your physiotherapist is not just that you’ll feel better  faster, it’s that the right balance and strengthening program can actually help you prevent future sprains.  Multiple studies have shown that the incidence of ankle sprains decreases notably when athletes undergo regular balance training, and the benefit was most pronounced for those who had sustained a sprain in the past.

Physiotherapy interventions early in the stages of recovery for an ankle sprain can help you get back on your feet more quickly, with less pain along the way, and help you prevent a future injury of the same type. For prevention work or for treatment of an acute ankle sprain, contact your physiotherapist to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Read more in our Ankle Sprain and Instability patient guide.


Checklist – Could your headaches be coming from your neck?

  •     Do you tend to have headaches that start from the base of your skull?
  •     Do you spend more than four hours a day reading, computer, driving,
  •     fine hand work?
  •     Do you have stiffness/pain with shoulder checking?
  •     Do you have bifocals/trifocals?
  •     Are you prone to aching at the “bump” of the lower neck?
  •     Are you prone to pain between the shoulder blades?
  •     Is there often aching or sharp pain under one shoulder blade?
  •     Are you prone to neck pain, aching, or simple stiffness?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you should make an appointment to see a physiotherapist.

Source: Bonavista Physical Therapy

Should I use heat or ice?

A question I am often asked is: “Do I use heat or ice after an injury?“. The answer is simple. During the first 24-48 hours following an acute injury, always remember this rule of thumb: “R.I.C.E” –Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation. This rule goes for ALL injuries – even back or neck injuries respond well to ice in the initial stages of healing.

You may not be aware that all injuries heal in stages. These stages are:
1. Inflammatory Phase: (0-5 days) characterized by pain, swelling and heat
-this phase may be prolonged if not managed appropriately!
-If the acute phase lasts longer than 5 days, consult your medical doctor or physiotherapist
2. Proliferation Phase: (about 5-15 days)
-Scar tissue starts to build and contract
-Light stretching and movement will benefit wound healing, physiotherapy should be initiated
3.Remodelling Phase: (15 days up to a year)
-Scar tissue becomes tighter and stronger for up to 2 months
-Scar tissue remodels according to the stresses placed upon it for up to a or longer
-More intense activity would be appropriate
No injury can be made to heal faster than normal/natural speed. While the injury is healing however, we must make sure not to delay healing through inappropriate management initially. So remember R.I.C.E for the first 24-48 hours. Once the inflammatory phase is over, you can use heat OR ice and gradually return to activity. **Ice ligaments are not the same as an ice pack, and are not effective in controlling inflammation**




Shiatsu is a Japanese type of massage involving the application of pressure to various points of the body in order to create well-being. It is similar to acupuncture, but uses finger, palm and elbow pressure instead of needles. Shiatsu pressure ranges from very deep to gentle, depending on each client’s preference.

Shiatsu helps to alleviate common psychological and physical complaints such as headaches, injuries, anxiety, insomnia, arthritis, migraines, sore muscles, digestive disorders, PMS, stiff joints, chronic pain and stress. Shiatsu helps to unify both body and mind and is commonly used as a preventative health practice. . . continue reading!

Kari Lambden of Bonavista Physical Therapy

Kari Lambden

Kari graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy and in 1994, she became an owner of Bonavista Physical Therapy Clinic. She has taken numerous post-graduate courses, getting her Certificate of Medical Acupuncture (University of Alberta) in 1998, and the Intermediate Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Therapy (Part A) in 2005. She became credentialed in the McKenzie Method (MDT) in 2008, and has been doing orthotics for 12 years. Years of competitive mountain bike racing, recreational cross country skiing, swimming and running have made Kari all too familiar with many of the injuries she treats on a daily basis!

Visit Bonavista Physical Therapy for more info about Kari and physical therapy in Calgary.

Acute Injury Care – Physiotherapy in Calgary

Acute Injuries occur suddenly during activities.  Examples of Acute Injuries include sprained ankle, strained back, or fractured hand.

When you have an acute injury there are things you can do to minimize tissue damage, protect from further injury and promote faster recovery.

At Bonavista Physical Therapy we will help you to manage and recover from your injury.

The most important things to do in the first 5 days after injury:

Days 1-2

  •     seek medical help
  •     protect the joint
  •     RICE

Days 3-5

  •     Begin gentle range of motion as advisedby your Bonavista Physical Therapy therapist

Acute Injury Reference Guide
The following is a reference list of common terms and guidelines that we may use at Bonavista Physical Therapy to assist with emergency care for acute injuries.

Acute Injury.  An acute injury is an injury that just happened with a sudden onset such as a sprained ankle, finger or strained back.

For acute injury or during a post-operative period, common braces include:

  •     walking cast
  •     wrist splint
  •     ankle brace
  •     knee brace
  •     finger/toe splints
  •     casts (hard and removable) . . . read more!