Physiotherapy with Wilson Chan: Building the Base

by Feb 21, 2018Physiotherapy

How to stay active while injured

Building on my initial physiotherapy session with Patrick. Wilson began my session by going over the exercises Patrick prescribed me to do at home, and then focused on modifying my form and the shoulder exercises I had stopped doing at the gym, since being in pain.

Wilson began by working on helping me activate my lower Latissimus Dorsi, a muscle of the low/mid outer back. Previously, I have had pain while doing lat pulldowns with resistance at the gym and since then have avoided doing any pulling movements. Wilson and I worked on doing small shoulder movements and using proper form to practice activating my Latissimus Dorsi.  He then added more load to the movement to show me where my body was compensating. After practicing activating my Latissimus Dorsi to stabilize my shoulder, I was able to do the motion pain-free.

Next, Wilson took a look at my squat. A squat is a highly important movement for everyday life and exercise is often done when bearing a load. Even slight modifications in your squat motion can help improve force distribution and reduce the development of future injury. Wilson noticed two main issues; having a proportionately longer thigh bone (femur) caused me to rotate my pelvis forward during my squat, and having flat feet and a weak arch in my foot was creating a greater strain in my knees and contributing to them collapsing inwards slightly. Starting from the base up, Wilson and I spend the rest of the session teaching me exercises to increase the strength of the arch on the inside of my foot, which often falls inward. At the beginning, I was barely able to activate the small muscles that help support the arch of my foot. Wilson taught me some simple exercises that I could do at home to work on learning to properly activate my arch while squatting and lunging. Additionally, Wilson showed me how I could activate my core differently, and flatten my back to prevent the forward rotation of my pelvis.

Wilson’s expertise helped me become aware of how important having a strong base of support starting at the feet could impact my movement so greatly. As a physiotherapist, Wilson’s biggest interests is helping athletes return to sport. He is highly experienced working with clients who are weightlifters. Having experienced many shoulder injuries himself, Wilson also specializes in shoulder injuries. Wilson likes to both educate and challenge his clients so that they work up a sweat, and are also able to apply to knowledge they gain at physiotherapy to sports and other daily activities in life.

Wilson’s philosophy as a physiotherapist is to help his clients remain active throughout the entire rehab process by modifying movements and exercise to allow clients to continue to remain active  with an injury. In Wilson’s practice, he believes that adding load to movement is the best way to isolate muscular compensations in order to treat and strengthen them.