Aquatic Yoga Fusion

Starting in November 2019, our very own in house Yoga teacher and Registered Massage therapist Jeff Kittmer is going to take our pool to the next level with Aquatic Yoga

Aquatic Yoga Fusion, is a blend of gentle Ai-Chi movements and yoga poses performed in a warm therapeutic pool.  The flowing movements will help you to be more mindful and aware of your body as it moves through the soothing water.  Connecting your mind, body, and breath while releasing the stress and anxieties of everyday life.

  • The benefits of aquatic yoga fusion:
  • Improves circulation and swelling
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Decreases anxiety and stress
  • Enhances your mind body connection
  • Increases flexibility and balance

Email or call us to reserve your spot.  Spots are limited to 4 people per class and are first come first serve.

Soft Tissue Release – Tri City Physiotherapy

What is Soft tissue release?

Soft tissue release is a therapy where pressure is applied on a muscle or connective tissue during movement to fascilitate a stretch or lengthening of tissue.

To maximize effect, the pressure is moved during the stretch to release different parts of the mucle or connective tissue.

Why soft tissue release?

The benefits include increases in venous and lymphatic drainage, increasing fluid absorption, mobilizing adhesions, breaking up scar tissue and helping overall collagen flexibility.

In all, soft tissue release combines stretch and massage which together have better effect on decreasing the size of the scar/painful area and helps organize the direction of the fibres which ultimatley lessens strain. The technique is rhythmic, relatively gentle and takes place in multiple planes to help create a greater range of motion overall.

Still confused or scared it will hurt?

Good youtube video showing how it is done on a hamstring.  Soft Tissue Release

Interested in knowing more.. or are in need of this type of therapy…

Call our staff to book your appointment now or to speak to a therapist.


Can Physiotherapy Help Avoid Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery?

The shoulder requires alot of mobility to function which can make it unstable and prone to injuries. Overtime, this amount of mobility can lead to muscle and tendon injuries named rotator cuff tears.

Rotator cuff tears are common and thousands of surgeries are performed to repair them every year. Despite emerging techniques, many of these surgeries continue to have high failure rates and although many factors are associated with these rates, rehabilitation has been advocated as a first line of defense by many to avoid surgery.

Physiotherapy for Rotator Cuff Tears

A recent study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery looked at the effectiveness of physiotherapy in treating rotator cuff tears. The study was performed by the MOON Shoulder Group, a group of prestigious orthopedic surgeons and research personnel from around the U.S.

The study followed over 400 patients with rotator cuff tears that were undergoing physiotherapy to see if rehabilitation alone could help people reduce pain and return to function.

After 12 weeks, only 26 % of people elected to undergo surgery based on their symptoms and function. The study followed patients for 2 years, which meant most patients were able to carry on with their lives normally and did not need surgery down the road.

74% of patients with rotator cuff tears were able to avoid surgery by performing physiotherapy

Another recent study in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery looked at physiotherapy for rotator cuff tears in patients that did not have sugery. In this study, patients were followed for 13 years and found that 90% of the patients had no or only slight pain in their shoulder.

In all, what a difference physiotherapy can make in avoiding surgery and saving the patient pain, time and money…never mind the stress on family and the health care costs associated with the surgical process.

So remember: a properly designed physiotherapy program, which includes emphasis on restoring range of motion, enhancing muscle imbalances, and improving stability of the shoulder joint can help many people avoid rotator cuff repair surgery.

Diagnostic Imaging: Is “degeneration” or “arthritis” relevant to pain or well-being?

Here are some interesting facts:

The Neck:

An MRI study of healthy adults and seniors found that 98% of all the men and women with no neck pain had evidence of “degenerative changes”in their neck. (1)

The Mid Back:

An MRI study of healthy adults with no history of upper or low back pain found that 47% had disc degeneration,53% had disc bulges and 58% had disc tears in their thoracic spine. (2)

The Low Back:

Lumbar disc degeneration is present in 40% of individuals under the age of 30 and present in over 90% of those between the ages of 50-55.(3)

The Knee:

Up to 85% of adults with no actual knee pain have x-rays that show knee arthritis. (4)

The Foot:

32% of people with no foot or heel pain have a heel spur visible on x-ray.(5)

The Shoulder:

MRI studies of adults who have no shoulder pain show that 20% have partial rotator cuff tears and 15% have full thickness tears. In addition, in those over the age of 60, 50% (half) of those who had no shoulder pain or injury had rotator cuff tears on their MRI that they did not even know about.(6)

Stop worrying about what your MRI and X-RAY may be showing, because scary findings do not have to equal pain and disability.

Start putting more effort into proactive management like physiotherapy and a healthy lifestyle to help deal with the acute pain of degenerative conditions so that it does not end up becoming a chronic condition.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you to be proactive.  Call and make an appointment today.



1. Okada E, et al Disc degeneration of cervical spine on MRI in patients with lumbar disc herniation: comparison study with asymptomatic volunteers. Eur Spine J. 2011 Apr;20(4):585-91

 2. Matsumoto M, et al Age-related changes of thoracic and cervical intervertebral discs in asymptomatic subjects. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Jun 15;35(14):1359-64.

3. Cheung KM, et al Prevalence and pattern of lumbar magnetic resonance imaging changes in a population study of one thousand forty-three individuals. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Apr 20;34(9):934-40.

 4. Bedson J, Croft PR. The discordance between clinical and radiographic knee osteoarthritis: a systematic search and summary of the literature. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 Sep 2;9:116.

 5. Johal KS, Milner SA. Plantar fasciitis and the calcaneal spur: Fact or fiction? Foot Ankle Surg. 2012 Mar;18(1):39-41.

6. Sher JS, et al Abnormal findings on magnetic resonance images of asymptomatic shoulders. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1995 Jan;77(1):10-5.

Laser Therapy Now At Tri City Physiotherapy

“Proven Results with the Speed of Light”

Phototherapy or Laser, is a therapeutic modality that uses photons (light energy) for tissue healing and pain reduction. It can be referred to as a variety of names such as laser and light therapy, low level laser and cold laser therapy.

We now have a MedX laser  that we are using with positive results and great feedback from patients.  You can read more about the laser and the conditions it can treat at

How it works:

Light energy penetrates through the skin and is absorbed by the mitochondria (the energy machines) of cells of our bodies. Light energy is then converted into bio-chemical energy which helps restore normal cell function.

Effects of laser and light therapy:

-increases circulation and helps remove pain-causing substances from the site of injury

-helps reduce inflammation

-alters the pain threshold of our nociceptors (pain signaling receptors)

-enhances the release of endorphins (our ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters)

Scared of Needles?

Laser is the most effective alternative to needles for Acupuncture. A laser beam is a beam of extremely pure and concentrated light. The advantage of a pure light is that it can be used to produce very precise therapeutic effects. Each type of laser emits a specific wavelength of light. All of these have individual applications, which are used to treat different types of ailments.

All in all, laser helps:

-control pain, ease muscle strain, reduce muscle spasm, improve range of motion and helps bring down inflammation and swelling.

If you want to try the healing power of laser therapy or want to find out more.  Call us to book an appointment or to talk to one of our staff about the potential benefits laser therapy can do for you.

Arm Bike / Ergonometer is here

I’m very excited to announce that Tri City Physiotherapy will now offer a top of the line upper body ergometer to offer an even wider range of rehab options for our patients.  An upper body ergometer is best described as a bicycle for your arms. Your hands hold pedals and your arms move around in circles as if pedaling a bike. You can sit or stand in front of the ergometer for a no-impact cardiovascular workout that uses only your upper body.

Upper body (arm) ergometers aren’t a gym staple, but they’re becoming more readily available in many of the top physical therapy offices, hospitals, and universities. These machines are targeted to meet the fitness and rehab needs of individuals who cannot use their legs for physical activity, either due to an acute injury or chronic pain, or for those patients with an upper body injury trying to return range or motion or strength to their upper body.  These machines offer a great cardio workout that uses the upper body instead of your legs.

Who can use an upper body ergometer?

  • Individuals with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, or lower body disability
  • Individuals with chronic pain in the knees, feet, ankles, or hips.
  • Individuals who need a low-impact exercise program
  • Individuals who are recovering from foot or leg injury/surgery and have clearance to continue working out, but can’t use their legs.
  • Anyone who wants to vary their cardio workout program

Shoulder Pain or Problems?  Just had upper body surgery?

No problems at all…  If you have shoulder pain, shoulder surgery, or any other upper extremity problem that may affect the strength or endurance of your arms, your therapist may choose to have you use the upper body ergometer while in the clinic. Also, if you have worn a sling while healing from injury, you may notice that the strength and endurance of your arms is impaired. The upper body ergometer can help you improve your strength and endurance to help improve the function in your arms getting you back to your regular self faster.

Is it Safe if I’ve had Heart attack, or Bypass Surgery?

If you have had a heart attack, cardiac problems, Bypass surgery, or pulmonary (lung) problems, your doctor may refer you to physical therapy for cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation. The upper body ergometer may be used to help improve your cardiac endurance or pulmonary function so you can quickly get back to normal activities.

Bypass patients still have to follow the standard restrictions for upper body exercises for the first part of their rehabilitation.  Once these restrictions have been removed by the supervising therapist in conjunction with the supervising physician, the upper body ergometer can be safely added to the rehab process.

Sci Fit Pro

We have ordered the Sci Fit Pro 1 there is lots of good information on their website as well as lots of details about the machine.  Some of the features are:

  • Adjustable tilt head for all heights and ranges of motion
  • True , adjustable step-through accessibility
  • Bi-directional exercise
  • Iso-Strength safe, accommodating strength program
  • Very low starting resistance
  • Wheelchair platform
  • Fully adjustable seat

This model is compatible with the polar straps, so our cardiac patients can still monitor their heart rate using their straps.   Our non-cardiac patients can buy or bring their own polar straps to use with our machines.

For those interested in any of the scientific articles and research behind the upper body ergometer, please ask one of our staff members and we’d be happy to provide them for you.

We’re all excited and looking forward to adding this great piece of equipment into your rehab routine.

Physiotherapists: The Body Mechanics

To start, imagine driving down the road when you run over a big pot hole and get a flat tire.  Would the first thing that went through your head be “hmmmm, maybe it will get better on its own”?  Probably not.  Now imagine leaving that tire to “get better on its own”  for a week, a month or even a year.  Don’t you think that maybe this flat tire, which could have been fixed easily if it were taken care of initially, would cause further mechanical problems with the rest of your car?  The alignment, the gas mileage, not to mention the damage it would cause to the rims?

Now, instead of having a flat tire, imagine straining your shoulder while playing co-ed softball or while painting that  room that went out of style 10 years ago.  Wouldn’t it be a little easier to say “hmmm, maybe it will get better on its own”?  I bet it would be.  Don’t you think, much like how a flat tire would cause  further mechanical problems with your car, a strained shoulder would do the same to the rest of our body if left untreated?  My guess is that most of us would nod our heads yes, soooooo….. why is it that we treat our possessions better and more proactively than we treat ourselves?

If this scenario speaks to you, don’t let your next injury get the best of you.  Visit a physiotherapist so that your next flat tire doesn’t turn into a full body breakdown.

Why does this strain just insist to remain?

Ever had something you thought was just a muscle strain that just never really went away?

Isn’t it time to figure out why this injury has stuck around and has not gotten better with the ever popular “wait and see” approach?

Well, one of the reasons it probably hasn’t just “gotten better on its own”, is because of an accumulation of scar tissue. After an injury such as a muscle pull or a strain, a mass of immature scar tissue is laid down to repair the damaged muscle. Initially this process helps repair the strained tissue but if it remains after the strain has healed, it can irritate and inflame the surrounding healthy tissue and cause unwanted pain and limitations in function. When a build up of scar tissue remains well after the initial injury, measures must be taken to break down this scar tissue so that it can mature and align properly with the healthy muscle fibres. If measures are not taken, this scar tissue remains immature, inflexible and extremely weak. With inflexibility and weakness comes an increased risk of reinjuring the area and causing an even greater build-up of scar tissue. This cycle of injury makes it even harder for the body to break down this scar tissue and this buildup can eventually become so great that even the easiest movements can become weak and cause pain. As an example, think about a muscle strain as being a bruise on the front of your thigh. As we know, when bruises occur they are quite tender to touch and we generally leave them alone until they turn yellow and go away. Now, say we poke these bruises just as they are about to fade away, wouldn’t it be that much easier to cause this bruise to return with the same intensity if not more than with the initial injury? Essentially this bruise is like scar tissue where the initial injury makes us more susceptible to a more serious future injury unless we take measures to avoid and help prevent sequential injuries from happening. And…… how can we help avoid and prevent further injury you ask? Let a physiotherapist HELP!

A physiotherapist combines in-depth knowledge of how the body works with specialized hands-on clinical skills to prescribe personalized therapeutic exercises, provide essential patient education, deliver targeted manual therapy techniques and help manage pain and increase healing with different modalities such as laser and acupuncture. So, if you’re tired of feeling an injury you thought would have healed by now, let a physiotherapist do what we do best: restore, maintain and maximize your strength, function, movement and overall well-being.

By Andrew Mensink BHSc(Hon), MSC(PT)
Registered Physiotherapist