Shockwave therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy?

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a treatment that uses acoustic wave technology to trigger your body’s natural healing response. It can be an effective and non-invasive option to get relief from a range of chronic conditions or injuries, as it can reduce pain, improve mobility, and speed-up healing times.

One major benefit of shockwave therapy is that it is non-invasive, and provides rapid relief that can help you avoid the need for painkillers or more invasive treatments like surgery.

What can Shockwave Therapy treat?

By promoting your body’s natural regeneration of bones, tendons and other soft tissues, shockwave therapy can help with a wide range of injuries and conditions. As a result, this technology is used in a variety of medical disciplines. This includes physiotherapy, sports medicine, orthopaedics, urology and veterinary medicine. It is used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:

What are the benefits of Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is able to help with a range of conditions because it offers a number of benefits. Some of those benefits include:

Improved blood flow

The acoustic waves used in shockwave therapy can create microruptures in tendon and bone which stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. This can promote the forming of new blood vessels, providing improved flow of blood and the nutrients needed for tissue regeneration and bone and tendon repair.

Reduced Inflammation

Mast cells are a type of white blood cell that play an important role in the function of your immune system. One function mast cells serve is to produce substances that help reduce inflammation. Shockwave therapy stimulates the activity of these mast cells, which helps provide relief from injuries or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Increased Collagen Production

Collagen is an essential component for bone and joint health, and shockwave therapy aids your body in increasing the production of collagen. This helps promote the repair of damaged soft tissues.

Relaxed Trigger Points

Trigger points are areas of the body that are affected by extreme muscle tension. That often includes points in the neck and back. Due to this tension, they can cause reduced range of movement, joint issues, and pain. Shockwave therapy encourages the muscles to release the tension, providing relief from these issues.

Reduced Calcium Build-Up

When a tendon becomes damaged, it often leads to a build-up of calcium. This calcification of soft tissues can lead to further issues, including artery disease. Shockwave therapy can help restore your tendons to a healthy condition and improve flexibility by breaking up the calcifications.

What does a Shockwave Therapy session involve?

Before receiving shockwave treatment, a physiotherapist will assess your condition to confirm that shockwave therapy is an appropriate solution for you. The physiotherapist may also recommend what you can do in combination with the treatment to get the best results. This may include activity modification, exercises, as well as assessing any other contributing factors such as posture, tightness/weakness of other muscle groups etc.

Similar to an ultrasound, a gel is applied to the skin which helps the acoustic waves travel efficiently. A shockwave applicator is lightly pressed against the treatment area to emit the acoustic waves. The treatment lasts about 5 minutes.

Some patients experience a feeling of discomfort during the treatment, and this may depend on how much pain they already have in the affected area.  However, the intensity of the acoustic waves can be adjusted during the session to ensure you are comfortable.

Shockwave treatment is usually done once a week for 3-6 weeks, depending on results. But often patients experience some immediate results — including pain relief and improved mobility. So, speak to your healthcare provider to help determine if shockwave therapy is right for you.

Doctor examining focus of young female patient

Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion Rehab

Each year, nearly 150,000 Ontarians suffer a concussion, according to the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. However, despite the rising frequency of concussions, only 15% of Canadians can accurately identify the best ways to manage them. In addition, slow-recovering individuals are at risk for secondary concerns such as physical deconditioning and mental health difficulties. A concussion can put your life on a hold.

Infographic on concussion

About concussion

A mild traumatic brain injury is known as a concussion (also known as mild TBI). It occurs when a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body causes the head and brain to move violently back and forth. The brain might bounce about or twist in the skull due to this rapid movement, causing chemical changes in the brain and, in some cases, straining and destroying brain cells.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of a concussion:

  • headache
  • memory problems
  • double or blurred vision
  • balance problems or trouble walking
  • dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • confusion
  • being slow responding to questions
  • light sensitivity
  • slurred speech
  • drowsiness
  • slowed response to stimuli

Children and concussion

If you’re wondering if children can suffer concussions, then the answer is yes. The majority of concussions in children and teenagers occur when they are participating in sports. Especially, young people playing sports like football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey are at the most risk. It can also be caused by accidents involving motor vehicles or bicycles, falls, or a brawl.

A child who has suffered a concussion may show the following symptoms:

  • have issues with memory or learning
  • have a headache that gets worse
  • feel depressed, quickly irritated or enraged, or anxious
  • be unable to concentrate
  • have problem sleeping

Concussion treatment

If you have sustained a concussion, it is essential to rest for the first 24-48 hours after the concussion and limit physical and other activities that require a lot of focus before you can resume participating in these activities. You don’t have to wait until your symptoms are completely gone to start participating in activities. However, if symptoms prevent you, you should stop for a few minutes before participating in an activity and attempt it again after some time or try a less extreme version of the exercise.

Concussion rehab

If your symptoms haven’t improved in 7 days, physical therapy can assist with balance, stability, attention, gait, and mood. In addition, studies suggest that early intervention of various treatments and supervised physical exercise can also help in concussion recovery to enhance brain function, resolve blood flow problems, and heal wounded tissue. So, the goal of your therapy will be to reduce symptoms while also figuring out what’s causing them.

Doctor checking focus of patient

Concussion rehab involves both assessment and treatment of concussion patients. The healthcare practitioners will start by assessing you and your injury and the symptoms. Then they may conduct neurological and cognitive tests to check your vision, memory, concentration, reflexes, and coordination. As concussions do not appear on MRI or CAT scans, a brain scan may not be necessary for mild concussions. But the healthcare practitioner may order those scans to investigate additional issues if someone was knocked unconscious, keeps vomiting, has a severe headache that gets worse, or was wounded in a serious accident.

Based on the tests and diagnostics, the healthcare practitioners will develop a personalized concussion management strategy for you which will include a wide range of therapies and treatments, such as:

Looking forward

If you’ve had a concussion previously, you’re very much likely to have one again. Therefore, you must avoid concussions after a head injury. To prevent another concussion, you need to make sure to decrease the risk of concussion by avoiding sports activities such as tackling or heading the ball in soccer.

In addition, if you’re riding a bike, or involved in any other sports activity, make sure to wear a helmet where possible. So, even if you have a concussion while wearing a helmet, it will protect you from a skull fracture or significant brain harm. A child who has sustained a second concussion should not ignore the symptoms or attempt to wait it out. Instead, they must immediately stop participating in activities or sports and should seek medical attention.

If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion and is looking for a rehabilitation clinic in Toronto, book an appointment now to get evidence-based treatment. At Activa Clinics, our team is up to speed on the most recent concussion research and rehabilitation procedures to provide the finest possible care for concussion and post-concussion syndrome.

how to clean custom orthotics

How to clean your custom orthotics

Custom orthotics are designed to provide support for your feet, reduce pain in your lower body and correct any misalignment in your foot structure. Because they are made specifically for your feet it is important that your orthotics maintain their shape and integrity.
That’s why regular maintenance is necessary to keep your orthotics functioning well. If you’re wondering how to clean your custom orthotics so that they last longer and support your feet effectively – here are some tips that will help:

General care tips

  • At the end of each day remove your orthotics from your shoes and let them dry naturally. This is done to get rid of any moisture that may have been absorbed from your feet while you were wearing them.
  • Do not expose your orthotics to extreme temperatures. This could affect the physical structure of the orthotics. For instance, exposure to extreme heat sources can cause the orthotics to lose their shape while exposure to extreme cold can result in cracking.
  • Never machine wash your orthotics or place them in a dryer.
  • Stay away from environments that may cause them to become wet.
  • Keep away from your pets. They can damage the material by chewing them.

How to clean custom orthotics

  • Mix a mild soap and water solution to clean the orthotics. Use lukewarm water to make the mixture. Avoid using detergent or other cleaning agents.
  • Dampen a cloth with the mixture.
  • Gently rub the orthotics with the dampened cloth. Be careful not to apply too much pressure because you could damage the material and compromise its integrity.
  • Always allow your orthotics to dry naturally at room temperature. Do not expose to a direct heat source (hair dryer or direct sunlight) to speed up the process.

If you need help taking care of your custom orthotics or would like to find out how you can grab yourself a pair, book an appointment today to talk to a foot care specialist.

coping with stress

How to cope with stress this holiday season

The holidays usually represent a time of happiness and appreciation, However,  it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or stressed when you look at your lengthy to-do list or turn on the news.
This year might be a little bit different but you can make the most of the holidays by changing your approach to the way you handle difficult situations. Here are some techniques to help you cope with stress and have a fulfilling experience:

Take care of yourself

You do your best when you feel your best. Taking care of your mind and body is important for increasing your energy, staying positive and keeping healthy. 

Meditation

Meditation brings more patience, calmness and clarity to your life. It helps you observe and  understand your thoughts and feelings without judgement. This allows you to respond to situations instead of reacting based on your emotions. Here are a few techniques that can help you get started.

4-7-8 Breathing Technique 

  • Close your eyes – breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of 4 seconds. 
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds.This is one cycle of breathing. Keep repeating the process for as long as you need.

Simple Meditation Practice

  • Find a comfortable space where you won’t be bothered for a few minutes. 
  • Set a timer for the length of time you would like to meditate for. This can allow your mind to relax and be present with the process so you won’t have to worry about the length of time you’re meditating for.
  • You can sit cross legged on the ground, or in a chair with your feet planted to the floor with your back straight. 
  • Begin by taking a few deep breaths. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
  • Gradually lower your gaze and close your eyes. 
  • Focus your attention on the sensations of your body. Starting with the point of contact between your body and the chair or your body and the floor. Notice the sensations – tingling, vibrations, pressure.
  • Slowly scan your body from your head down to your toe.
  • Gradually become aware of your breath. This may be the feeling of air entering and leaving your nostrils or the rising and falling of your chest. There is no need to try to control your breath – simply pay attention to the sensation.
  • When doing this you will notice your mind begin to wander. You may notice thoughts and emotions start to pop up. This is totally normal and part of the meditation experience. Whenever you notice your mind wandering let go of the thought or emotions and gently return to the sensation of breathing. 
  • Continue doing this until the end of your practice.

 

Although meditation can provide immediate relief from stress, in order to experience the lasting effects that meditation is known for – it’s best to set aside some time everyday to meditate.

 

Exercising

One of the most proven ways to relieve stress and improve your mood is to get your body moving. Although the gyms may be closed and the weather is getting colder, there are still many exercises that you can do from the comfort of your living room. Some of these include, bodyweight exercises (pushups, squats, lunges etc.), dancing, yoga, and Pilates.

 

Here are some other fun practical ways that you can cope with stress and have a more fulfilling experience:

 

Connect with friends and family – Although we might not all be able to be in the same physical space this year – you can use video chat to make the experience feel like you’re all in the same room. Video chat platforms now allow up to 8 people to be on the same call.  Set a time with your family to have a group call. You can all cook a special meal and pretend you’re dining together. Whether you’re sharing jokes, or reflecting on your memories, talking to others can help to take the edge off.  Make the most of your resources!

 

Show Gratitude – Thank the people that have been there for you when you need them. You can give them a call, send a text, write a card, or surprise them with a meal. Showing others you care and appreciate them can bring you closer together no matter how far apart you are. Showing gratitude will make you happier because you shift from focusing on what you don’t have to appreciating all that you do have.

 

Journal – Set aside some time to introspect and write down your thoughts. Journaling allows you to express your emotions in a safe space (without judgement from others) that you may be bottling up which can lead to stress and anxiety. 

 

Donate to charity or friends in need – It’s no secret that the act of giving and helping others makes us feel good. Instead of accumulating more this season, try giving what you no longer need to the less fortunate. Also, when we declutter our environment  the added space gives us a feeling of calm and clarity.

 

Get dressed up even if you’re staying home – You don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant or event to get dressed up. Wearing our favourite clothes naturally makes us feel good. It can also make any activity feel like a special occasion. So even if you’re having dinner at home – play some music, set the mood with lighting, and get dressed up.  Give yourself permission to be silly and have fun.

 

Talk to a professional


When you’re going through a rough patch sometimes you might need a fresh perspective from someone outside of your family or friends group. Talking to a professional can help you release pent up emotions, discuss issues that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with your loved ones, and heal from traumatic experiences.

Seeking help from a therapist doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means that you’re brave enough to step outside of your comfort zone and be vulnerable in order to grow.  When you’re ready to open up, we have virtual psychotherapy sessions that can help you cope with stress and improve your mental health.

shutterstock_662507023

What is Osteopathy Treatment

What is Osteopathy Treatment?

Osteopathy treatment is a non-invasive therapy that aims to improve the patient’s overall health instead of treating a specific illness or group of symptoms. This is because symptoms occurring in one area of your body can be linked to a problem occurring elsewhere. It is based on the principle that your physical and mental well-being relies on your nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems working well together.

Osteopaths use manual therapy such as massaging, stretching, and manipulating the musculoskeletal system to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury or illness. It can also be used to complement traditional medicine.

Benefits

Whether you’re injured, have unexplained pains and stiffness, or suffer from health conditions associated with aging – our osteopaths can help to restore your overall health so you can feel like yourself again.

When it comes to your wellbeing a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Our osteopaths will assess your condition and provide a personalized treatment plan after determining the health of your joints, ligaments, and tissues. This is often done by examining your body’s structure, mobility, and the areas you are experiencing pain or stiffness.

Osteopathy helps to reduce pain, improve mobility and blood circulation as well as increase lymphatic fluid drainage.

Osteopathy is often used to treat chronic pains (neck, back, and shoulder), headaches, migraines, arthritis, digestive issues, sports injuries, and other musculoskeletal conditions.

 Some other ways Osteopathy can help you improve your health are:

  • Reducing muscle tension
  • Correcting poor posture
  • Relieving stress
  • Promoting better sleep
  • Managing hormonal changes during pregnancy

Most patients start seeing results from our treatment after the first session. However, depending on the severity of your condition, it can take 3 to 4 sessions to feel the benefits of the therapy. Osteopathy treatment isn’t an instant cure but a gradual process where your symptoms are reduced over time until you return to full health.

At Activa Clinics our team of multidisciplinary health care providers collaborate together to provide our patients with the better outcomes through physical care as well as availability of mental health solutions.

Our osteopaths are also trained to check for signs of serious health conditions and will advise you if you need to see your physician.

Some work place health plans cover Osteopathic treatment. Call us to book your appointment.

man with rotator cuff injury

What to do if you get a rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that help to keep your arm in your shoulder socket. It’s core function is to help you lift and rotate your arm. Therefore a tear or injury to this muscle can severely limit your movement and your ability to perform daily activities. Not to mention, you might feel severe pain whenever you try to raise your arm.

Before we dive into what remedies you can use to treat a rotator cuff injury, lets examine the common causes.

Common Causes

There are many reasons why someone may experience a rotator cuff injury. It can develop overtime from repeatedly performing overhead motions. This is why it is common among athletes and construction workers. Some other common reasons may include:

  • Falling on your shoulder
  • Sleeping on your shoulder
  • Using poor technique to lift objects over your head
  • Wear and tear
  • Repetitive slouching 

Treatment

First Steps

Reducing pain and swelling will be your main priority following a rotator cuff injury. Some of the methods you can use to gain relief are:

  • Using the R.I.C.E method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). All you need to do is immediately stop any activities that may aggravate the shoulder and apply an ice pack to the affected area.
  • Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non steroid anti inflammatory drug) These drugs also help to reduce pain and swelling. However, you should consult with your doctor first because they can be addictive.

Other treatment options for rotator cuff injuries include:

  • Surgery – This can be a viable option for recovery depending on the severity of the injury and the ligaments that were damaged. If you’re experiencing prolonged or excruciating pain You should consult your doctor immediately. Some injuries can be an indication of more serious issues.
  • Physiotherapy – When your mobility improves you will want to start a physiotherapy program. Physiotherapy is important for recovery even if you’ve had surgery or you’re using the R.I.C.E method. This will help you strengthen your muscles and develop your range of motion in a safe controlled environment. You will be able to track your progress and make any changes needed to avoid further injury. In a matter of weeks to months (depending on the severity) you will be able do your daily activities free of pain.

Although you may be anxious to get back to your regular routine you should give yourself enough time to recover. At Activa Clinics, our physiotherapists will create a program for you consisting of various exercises and movements to help restore your physical health.

man wondering what are the causes of depression

The Hidden Causes of Depression

The causes of depression are complex. They can involve your genetics, brain chemistry, hormones, life experiences, and more. Many of the risk factors for depression are things you’d probably expect, such as drug abuse, low self-esteem, and traumatic events.

However, there are some possible causes for depression that you may not know about. And getting to the bottom of what triggered your depression is a good first step towards overcoming it. So if you or someone you care about is struggling with depression, here are some of the lesser-known causes.

Chronic Pains

It may surprise you to learn that depression and pain are closely related. Firstly, depression can cause physical symptoms like back pain or headaches, or make an existing pain feel more intense. 

But pain can also contribute to depression. For example, if you’re dealing with a chronic pain that just won’t go away, it can wear you down and affect your mood over time. Also, pain can contribute to depression indirectly, such as by causing sleep problems or by preventing you from working.

Depression and pains can also feed into each other in a vicious cycle; The pain makes your depression worse, and then your worsened depression makes your pain more intense.

So if you have a nagging injury or unexplained chronic pain, you should speak to your doctor. They can help you get to the root cause of the pain and stop it from contributing to depression.

Summer Weather

You may be familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that’s triggered by changes in seasons. For most people affected by SAD, it strikes at the beginning of winter. And that makes sense intuitively; As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, some people come down with the “winter blues”.

But what you might not know is that, for some people, summer can also bring on SAD. That’s because what really causes SAD is the change in seasons, as that can throw off your body’s internal clock.

In the summer, the increased sunlight can affect your sleeping patterns and reduce the production of mood-regulating hormones. This can cause insomnia, loss of appetite, and depression.

In addition, it’s been shown that the summer heat can further impact the mood of people with depression by increasing their anxiety and agitation. If you think you’re experiencing summer-onset SAD, you can try limiting your exposure to bright light and cranking up the air conditioning.

Too Much Social Media

There are many studies that suggest spending too much time on social media can be associated with depression. And experts say this is especially true for teenagers and children.

One of the suspected reasons is that “social media addicts” tend to struggle more with face-to-face interactions and have a lack of companionship in real life. 

Another issue that experts point to is “downward social comparison.” That means that when you see social media posts that depict other people’s lives as perfect, it can lead you to develop an unrealistic view of the world and think your life sucks in comparison. 

While there have been many studies showing that a connection between depression and social media exists, most of those studies were unable to show a causal link. That means the findings didn’t show whether social media actually makes people develop depression, or if depressed people just tend to use social media more frequently.

However, one recent study did establish that causal link. It showed that people who cut back drastically on their use of social media tend to see a significant improvement in their mood and how they feel about their lives.

Medications

There are a wide variety of drugs that can contribute to depression. With some drugs, this side effect is well known and probably won’t surprise you. That includes alcohol or birth control pills. However, there are many other drugs on the list that you might not expect. Just some examples include:

Anticonvulsants: A type of drug used to control epileptic seizures.

Beta-blockers: A group of medicines used to treat high blood pressure, heart problems, and migraines.

Opioids: A type of painkiller that includes Percodan, Demerol, and OxyContin.

Chantix: A medication used to aid in smoking cessation.

All of the drugs above alter your brain chemicals in some way as part of the desired effect, but they can also carry the risk of side effects like depression.

If you think one of your medications may be causing you to experience depression, don’t stop taking it. Instead, speak to your doctor. They can help you weigh the risk vs. the benefit of each of your medications, or offer you alternative options. 

Your Thyroid 

Your thyroid is a gland in your neck that secretes hormones. These hormones are used to regulate your metabolism and energy levels, and it affects a variety of vital systems throughout the body.

When the thyroid isn’t functioning normally and it doesn’t produce enough hormones, that’s called hypothyroidism. This condition makes your body’s internal systems to slow down, leading to a variety of symptoms that are similar to depression.  That includes:

  • Depressed mood
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Lowered sexual desire

However, there are some differences in the symptoms that may give you a clue that you’re dealing with hypothyroidism and not depression.

Some symptoms that are more likely in hypothyroidism include:

  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Hair loss
  • Slowed heart rate

So if you think you may have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor. They can take a blood test that can confirm it or rule it out.

Don’t Wait to Get Help

People suffering from depression often put off seeking treatment, for a number of reasons. One survey of people with depression found that one of the most common reasons is the belief that treatment won’t help.

However, getting help through a mental health program can be very effective at treating depression. It can help you get to the root of your issues, provide emotional support, improve your outlook, provide medication to solve chemical imbalances and change the thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to depression.

So don’t hesitate to seek help! At Activa Clinics, we have a team of psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, and social workers who can provide a variety of mental health services. Contact us to learn more and take the first step towards beating your depression.

man with ptsd symptoms

Moving On From Trauma – How to manage PTSD Symptoms

If you’ve been through a traumatic event, it’s normal to experience some lingering effects like anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or a tendency to replay the event over and over in your mind. But in most cases, these symptoms will decrease over time and you can move on with your life.
However, for people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), those effects don’t go away. PTSD is a serious mental health problem that can have a significant impact on every aspect of your life. But if you or someone you know is struggling to manage PTSD symptoms, there are ways to overcome it.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental illness that can arise after you’re exposed to a traumatic event. That could include things like:

  • Witnessing a death
  • Being under threat of death or serious injury
  • Events such as car accidents, crimes, conflict, and natural disasters

But PTSD is a complex issue. People deal with trauma in different ways, and no one knows exactly why a traumatic event can cause PTSD in some people but not others.

It’s also not always caused by a single event. In some people, it can arise from the culmination of a number of traumatic experiences. 

There are also some risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing PTSD. They include:

  • Family history of PTSD or depression
  • Occupations that involve traumatic events, such as police and paramedics
  • Previous traumatic experiences, especially early in life

Symptoms of PTSD

Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Uncontrollable thoughts about the event
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Drug and alcohol abuse as a way to cope

If the symptoms seem to arise out of nowhere, you should keep in mind that PTSD symptoms sometimes don’t appear for months or even years after the event occurred. 

How is PTSD Treated?

Support Groups

There are support groups for people with PTSD, as well as for those who have a family member or friend affected by it. They can help by providing education, advice, support, companionship, and more. For one, just meeting people who are dealing with similar issues and seeing how they are overcoming them can make dealing with PTSD seem more doable. 

Mental Health Therapy

There are mental health programs that will enable you to get help from a professional. Whether that’s a mental health counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, they have the expertise to guide you as you deal with your trauma. 

One effective treatment for PTSD is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which teaches you how to control the thoughts and behaviours that contribute to PTSD. This therapy will also help you stop avoiding talking or thinking about the experience, so you can address it and begin to move on. 

What to Do When a Loved One has PTSD

If you think a family member or close friend is suffering from PTSD, you may be wondering how you can help. This may be difficult because people with PTSD will sometimes withdraw from loved ones, and they may not want to talk about it. 

So here are some tips on what you can do:

  • If the person doesn’t want to talk about it, don’t force them. Begin by just letting them know that you’re there for them whenever they’re ready.
  • Educate yourself on PTSD so you’ll have a better understanding of what the person may be going through, and the options for treatment.
  • Don’t take anything personally. If the person is treating you differently than normal (such as being cold or quick to anger), remind yourself that its part of the illness.
  • Remember to take care of yourself too. PTSD can be hard on the family and friends of the affected person. So seek support for your own mental wellness if you feel you need it.

Preventing PTSD

While having some anxiety or sleeplessness is normal after a traumatic experience, getting timely help and support can help prevent it from becoming more serious. So remember that you don’t have to deal with trauma alone, there are many options for support and treatment.

man in need of running tips

Five Essential Tips for Running

Running is a convenient way to stay active. You don’t need a gym membership, a bunch of equipment, or a special place to do it. Just get outside and start running!
But there are some things you should know. As a high-impact activity, running can put a lot of strain on your body, so it’s important that you do it properly to avoid injuries. 
If you’re ready to get started, here are five essential tips for running:

Warm Up and Cool Down

Most people know that doing some kind of warm-up is important to get your body prepared for exercise and avoid injuries. It gradually warms up your core muscle temperature and increases blood flow.

But did you know that the cool down after a run is just as important? If you stop exercising too suddenly, it can cause cramps, nausea, or even fainting.

So warm up by beginning your run with some stretches followed by 10 minutes of walking or slow running. End your run the same way to cool down.

Start slow

Whenever you are starting a new exercise or increasing its intensity, there is some risk of injury. That’s because your muscles and joints may not be prepared for the new amount of strain they’ll be experiencing.

So if you are just getting into running, don’t overdo it. Start with shorter runs before going long distance, and focus on a comfortable pace instead of pushing yourself to your limits. 

When you’re ready to increase the intensity of your runs, you should do it gradually over time. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t increase the length of your runs by more than 10 percent per week.

Get proper footwear

Wearing the right shoes is essential to running comfortably. Ensuring your shoes provide proper support and cushioning can help you prevent pain in your feet, knees, back, and other areas of the body. So get a good quality pair of running shoes, and make sure you replace them before they get totally worn out.

The best option would be to invest in custom orthotics. They provide support that’s tailored to your unique biomechanics and can help you move as efficiently as possible.

Change it up

If running is your go-to physical activity, you should consider changing it up a bit.

Alternating running with low-impact activities can help you avoid joint pain and injuries. Incorporating activities like cycling, elliptical training, or swimming can add variety to your routine.

Also, cross-training can make you a better runner. Activities like cycling will strengthen the supporting muscles used while running, while also giving your primary running muscles a chance to rest and recuperate.

Stay safe

If you’re running on a road that has a sidewalk, you are required by law to use the sidewalk. However, when there’s no sidewalk, you’re allowed to run on the shoulder, and there’s no federal law about which side to run on. 

To stay safe when running on the side of a road, you should run against traffic. This lets you see what’s coming, so you can adjust your position or react to distracted drivers. Also, always wear clothing with high visibility.

anxiety at work

Anxiety in the workplace

It’s perfectly normal to experience some stress or anxiety at work. At times it can even be a good thing. For example, when you have a pressing deadline, those anxious feelings can motivate you to work harder and be more productive.

However, anxiety in the workplace is a problem if it becomes constant and affects your ability to do your job. At that point, what you’re dealing with is an anxiety disorder. It may affect your concentration, cause you to dread stepping into the office every morning, and seep into other aspects of your life outside of work.

So if you are struggling with anxiety on the job, here’s what you need to know. 

When Anxiety at Work Becomes a Problem

If you’re not sure if you are dealing with normal, run-of-the-mill anxiety, or an issue that you need to address, here are some of the signs and symptoms to look for.

Anxiety at work should be addressed if the symptoms become severe and persistent. That can include psychological symptoms such as:

  • Fear and a sense of impending doom
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

It can also include physical symptoms such as:

  • Rapid heart rate or chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches and tension

How to Overcome Anxiety at Work

Here are some measures you can take to reduce your anxiety at work:

Identify Your Triggers

An essential part of overcoming anxiety is having a clear understanding of what causes it. Even if the trigger is something you can’t change (like that your workload is too heavy or you get anxious about dealing with a difficult coworker), identifying it is the first step towards making a strategy for handling it. 

Tell a Trusted Coworker

Telling someone at work that you’re suffering from anxiety can make you more comfortable with it. As opposed to feeling ashamed and keeping your anxiety secret, it can be comforting to know that someone else at work accepts your condition. 

Use Time Management Techniques

Having a heavy workload and tight deadlines are among the most common causes of anxiety in the workplace. In those cases, time management techniques can help you stay on top of your duties and remove some of the stress. It can be as simple as creating a concise to-do list every morning and actually sticking to it!

Tackle Difficult Tasks Head On

Simply avoiding coworkers or situations that make you anxious can actually make the problem worse. For example, if you stop replying to emails that you don’t know how to answer, or avoid a coworker after a disagreement, your anxiety can grow as you anticipate the time when you’ll eventually have to face the issue. 

So answer those difficult emails immediately, and try to resolve issues with coworkers as soon as possible. Getting those tasks off your plate can go a long way towards reducing anxiety.

Get Professional Help

If these measures don’t help reduce your feelings of anxiety, you should consider getting professional help. Mental health therapy is effective at treating anxiety disorders. Typically, these disorders are treated with a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. 

This type of talk therapy aims to help you control the negative thoughts that contribute to anxiety, realize how some of your fears are irrational, and get you more comfortable with the things that make you anxious.

At Activa Clinics, we have a team of psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors who can help you through your anxiety. Try our Mental Health Programs  if you don’t want to continue living in fear at work!