It's finally spring! It's time to get outside and get active! But before you do, we have some helpful articles for injury prevention, improved performance in sport, and expert tips to help maintain your active lifestyle!

In This Issue:

• Clinic Updates

All About Dry Needling

• Secret Athlete Workouts

• What is A.R.T.?

• 6 Surprising Discoveries about How Your Brain Works


Keeping You Active With:

Athletic Therapy
Massage Therapy
Running Performance Assessments
Concussion Rehabilitation

ABC's of Running

The ABC's of Running is one of our most popular courses. You can become a faster, more efficient runner regardless of your age! Click here to find out when the next session starts.
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Spring Updates!

OCUA Sports League Partnership
Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy is now the official sports injury rehabilitation partner of the Ottawa Carleton Ultimate Association. We've helped them create their concussion recognition and management protocol that will be used during all games and tournaments to keep players safe. We're also hosting a pre-season knee injury prevention talk.

If you're interested in playing Ultimate Frisbee, check out OCUA's website for more information.

Give us a call if you would like to book an educational talk for your team or sports league that will help you play safely and improve performance. Whether you're looking for strength and conditioning, treatment or injury prevention tips, we've got you covered.

Prenatal Health and Wellness Clinic
Shauna Ironside (Osteopathic Manual Practitioner) and Michelle Warren (Physiotherapist) have teamed up to host a prenatal fitness and injury prevention course for local mothers-to-be. This course covers a variety of topics (including pelvic and low back pain, pelvic floor issues, preventing diastasis recti, core strengthening, etc) and will be followed by a 45-60 minutes exercise class.

Learn how to stay strong, fit, and injury-free through pregnancy, and prepare for birth and the postpartum period.

Interested in attending? Send an email to or

Sports Medicine Fellowship
Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy is proud to announce that we are working with the Sports Medicine fellowship program at the University of Ottawa. We are an off-site teaching location, providing focused instruction on spine assessments for the sports medicine fellows.



5 Things You Should Know About Dry Needling

What is it? Dry Needling is a modality often used to treat pain and relieve muscular tension. Similar to acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into the skin at various points on the body to induce a desired effect (decrease pain, stress, or muscular tension, activate anti-inflammatory mechanisms, accelerate tissue healing). Sometimes this form of treatment is done on its own, but is often combined with other forms of therapy such as exercise, massage, and mobilizations to maximize its effectiveness.
Who should get it? Anyone who has pain, an acute or chronic injury, or muscle tension could benefit from Dry Needling. This includes sore muscles, tendonitis, ligament sprains and many other conditions. Most patients will feel results either immediately following a treatment or soon after. It has been estimated that about 28% of patients will feel excellent results, 64% will feel some results, and 8% will not have any change in symptoms with Dry Needling treatment alone. Typically, younger people and those with acute problems will respond faster to this therapy; chronic problems may require more frequent treatments to achieve the desired response.
How does it work? Three different kinds of “points” can be found on the body. The therapist may find specific “symptomatic” or painful tender points which are unique to the individual, they may use “homeostatic acupoints” which are 24 standardized points found on both sides of the body, or “segmental acupoints” which relate to the nerve roots and the nerve pathways in the body. Any combination of these points may be used in one treatment session to effectively reduce pain, muscle tension and tissue healing.
What can you expect? Many people don’t feel any pain at all while having the treatment. Sometimes you will feel a pinprick sensation as the technique is performed. Often times an ache will be felt around the needle; this may occur while the needle is in or even later after the it has been removed. Light massage or the application of heat can help shorten the duration of the ache. If a needle is inserted directly into a Trigger Point, you may feel a twitch. On some occasions, a brief sharp pain may occur. Depending on your specific condition and the treatment goals needles may be used for put in place and removed immediately, or they may be left in for as long as 15 minutes.

Who can perform dry needling? According to provincial law in Ontario, only a regulated health professional, such as a physiotherapist, can perform this technique. Our own physiotherapist, Michelle Warren, has followed the post-graduate course of study in the safe and effective use of dry needling and has successfully treated a wide variety of conditions.

To understand more about dry needling email or to book an appointment, call (613) 521-3222.


The Secret Workouts that Successful Athletes Do

Performance comes from pushing ourselves to our limits. But if we can't recover from the training it defeats the purpose. 
We live in a fast-paced world, and we’re often looking for quick fixes for our health and fitness. Unfortunately, quick gains can also lead to quick losses. High intensity interval workouts are very popular right now - they promote getting all the benefits in a fraction of the time. Watch any commercial for a sports store or athletic clothes company and it's obvious – they often show muscled athletes doing intense, exciting workouts and high energy movements. What they aren’t showing is all the extra training these athletes do to stay in tip top shape and injury-free. This extra training is what we call the 'unsexy' workout.
Successful athletes understand the importance of prevention. This involves going through a flexibility, strength, and core stability assessment to identify deficits or injury risk factors. The recipe to correct these imbalances makes up the ‘unsexy’ workout that builds the foundation for success in sport. These are tools you can use regardless of whether you're getting ready for the summer race season, have a training break through the off-season, or are looking to prevent injuries.
Click here to see just a few of the less glamorous exercises that are vital to maintaining your activity level and keeping you injury-free.

To power your athletic performance with your own personalized 'unsexy' workout, contact David Witiluk, Registered Kinesiologist, at (613) 521-3222, or send him an email:


What is A.R.T.?

ART is a soft tissue system/movement-based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. This technique is beneficial in breaking down or realigning scar tissue due to overused muscles.  Overused muscles can be damaged in many ways like:
  • acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
  • accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).
Each of these conditions can cause your body to produce dense scar tissue that can adhere and stick to other adjacent tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue accumulates, muscles will be restricted in movement. This can cause them to be shorter and weaker, increasing tension on tendons (resulting in tendonitis), and entrapping nerves causing tingling, numbness, and weakness.
ART sessions can be different from massage treatments where clients wear shorts and sports tops so the ART providers can work directly on the tissue or over clothing.  The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. With this technique there are over 500 specific protocols/moves that can treat such conditions as headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow.
Michael Mah has been fully certified in Active Release Techniques for over a decade, completing the Upper & Lower Extremities, Spinal, Nerve Entrapment and Biomechanics certifications. Mike is also a Registered Massage Therapist with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, RMT.


6 Surprising Research Discoveries
about How Our Brains Function

New research shows how food and lifestyle can change our brain.

Prominent neurology researchers Dr. Norman Doidge and Dr. David Perlmutter are shouting from the rooftops that the world isn't flat. OK. More specifically, they're saying that we need to think differently about preserving our ability to think.

An emerging field of science called epigenetics is showing that our DNA that dictates our unique traits of our bodies actually works like a light switch. Over time, the foods we eat and the lifestyle we live either turns on or turns off certain parts of our genes. This means that brain related dysfunctions such as Alzheimer's, dementia and even that foggy brain we've all experienced may be avoidable. Even more interesting, our brain can re-wire itself and build new neurons and new networks. This dispels the myth that brain cells just die off as we get older.

New Discoveries in Neuroscience:

1) Cardiovascular exercise immediately improves brain function. Just 10 minutes can boost brain power in the short term and getting 30 minutes of exercises three times per week can significantly improve memory, attention span and concentration. Remember the phrase that sitting is the new smoking and you should be motivated to stay active!

2) High saturated fats and refined sugars (the typical western diet) over time cause decreased capacity for learning, memory and cognition, which is our ability to think. There is also a strong link showing that this diet can cause degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Not sure what to eat any more? Just follow the research: the best food for the brain appears to be the Mediterranean diet. This means using olive oil, eating fish and veggies, and minimizing dairy.

3) Gluten is getting mixed reviews. A growing number of studies over the last 3 decades are pointing the finger at gluten as being a food that promotes inflammation in the body. It also appears to be related to a growing list of brain related diseases though the understanding behind the science is still in the early stages.

4) Our brains have all the building blocks to create new neuron cells. More than that, some evidence shows that we can even affect the size of our brain by remaining mentally active throughout our entire lives. Diseased brains over time shrink and take up less space in the skull. In contrast, those who maintain full mental faculties as they age show greater volume in their gray matter.

5) Use it or lose it. If your retirement plans is to just sit and relax for the rest of your life, you may want to change your mind. Literally. Learning a new language, taking up a photography course, or reading regularly are all ways to keep our brains active and healthy. Learning new skills and keeping busy cognitively and socially is critical to maintaining a healthy brain as we age.

6) Least surprising and somewhat self explanatory are the lifestyle factors: Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol intake, control stress and get 7-9 hours of sleep for a healthy brain.

So what's the take home message? Stay physically and mentally active throughout your life and remember that you are what you eat. Try to steer clear of sugars, gluten, dairy and pre-packaged foods and when possible eat your fish and veggies.
Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy offers:
- Osteopathy
- Athletic Therapy
- Physiotherapy
- Massage Therapy
- Strength & Conditioning
- Running Performance Assessments
- Concussion Rehabilitation

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