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.


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.


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.

good posture for working from home

Ergonomics: Working from home tips

Is working from home bad for your body?

Contrary to popular belief working from home can be just as challenging as working at your office. You can develop bad posture if your workspace isn’t set up ergonomically to accommodate sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer. For instance, using your laptop in bed or sitting hunched over at a coffee table can cause curvature of your spine and neck. This can result in neck, back, wrist pain, or worse – long term injury.

There are many factors that contribute to creating a comfortable workspace including, correct chair height, proper lumbar support, sufficient equipment spacing and good desk posture. All of these elements work together to keep your body correctly aligned.

Pain relief tips

Here are some tips that can help you reduce your pain if you’re unable to modify your workspace:

Use good posture: The image above is an ideal guideline of what good posture looks like at your workspace. The key to good posture is ensuring that you maintain the natural curvature of your spine. Your neck, shoulders, and hips should be aligned in a vertical line with your feet resting flat on the floor.

Take breaks regularly: When you’re sitting in one position for too long your body can become tense and strained. Therefore it’s important to take regular breaks that involve stretching and moving around at least every hour. This will help you reduce eyestrain and muscle tension.

Use a back brace: A back brace can be used to prevent back pain and improve your posture by keeping your spine and neck aligned. This is useful if your chair doesn’t provide adequate support.

Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care is used to reduce back pain, correct the body’s alignment, restore range of motion, and improve flexibility. Chiropractors use spinal adjustments, manual therapy, and other treatments to keep your body’s systems working the way they should. 

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is used to reduce chronic and acute pain. This is done by inserting very thin needles through a person’s skin at specific points on the body. Besides pain relief, it is also used to treat a variety of conditions such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and anxiety.

TENS treatment: TENS is a non-invasive treatment that reduces the pain signals being transmitted to your brain and spine. It works by sending small electrical impulses through your nervous system via adhesive pads attached to your skin. It is suitable for persons suffering from back-pain, neck-pain, and sports injuries.


Is Back pain Linked to Causing Headaches?

New Research Reveals the Back Pain/Headache Connection

Back pain and headaches often go hand in hand. There have long been theories about how the two conditions are related. But the latest research reveals that the connection may be stronger than anyone thought.

It shows that if you suffer from one of these issues, it doubles your risk for developing the other one. 

These findings could change the approach to treating these conditions and help get relief for people who suffer from them.

The Study

The research was published in the Journal of Headache and Pain. Here are some highlights:

  • It studied the link between chronic headaches and persistent low back pain.
  • Researchers reviewed 14 existing studies.
  • The studies had sample sizes ranging up to 400,000 people.
  • Every study they reviewed suggested there’s a connection.
  • The connection is even stronger for people who suffer from migraines.

How Are They Linked?

It’s still unclear exactly how the two issues are connected. But there are a few theories.

Pain Signals

One possibility is that it’s related to how people feel pain differently. Researchers say that genetic differences in how pain is signalled could mean that some people are just more likely to feel pain from these conditions and to be more sensitive to it.

The Vicious Cycle

Another explanation is based on psychology. It says that chronic pain can lead to a vicious cycle. That’s because pain can cause mental health issues which then increase your sensitivity to pain. So as your pain worsens, so does your mental state, and vice versa. This cycle increases your chances of ending up with both conditions. 

Underlying Issues

And for some people, the cause may be an underlying health issue that leads to both headaches and back pain. That can include things like poor posture, vitamin deficiencies, injuries, and certain diseases.

What Does This Mean for Treatment?

The findings highlight the importance of taking a whole-body approach to health care. It shows that the old-school philosophy of treating these conditions separately is not the most effective solution.

According to the researchers, combined treatment is the answer. They say that whenever a doctor is treating one of these issues, they need to ask about the other and tailor the treatment accordingly.

Chiropractic Can Help

You probably know that chiropractors are experts at treating back pain. But chiropractic care has also been proven as an effective treatment for chronic headaches.

That’s because the adjustments and spinal manipulations that chiropractors perform can alleviate stress on many areas of your body—including the nerves and muscles that cause headaches.

Chiropractors also have the training to provide advice for relieving both back pain and headaches. That includes recommendations on posture, ergonomics, nutrition, exercises, stretches, and relaxation techniques.

Take a Whole-Body Approach

The adjustments and advice chiropractors can provide make them a great starting point for your treatment. But you shouldn’t stop there. You should talk to your healthcare providers about creating a whole-body treatment plan. Since your health issues can often be connected or come from sources you might not expect, this is the best way to uncover the root causes and ensure they don’t return.

Can chiropractic care relieve headaches?

If your headache is a side-effect of poor posture, back or neck problems chiropractic care can help to relieve them. The manipulations carried out are designed to quickly relieve the unnatural stress parts of your body are being put under. The fact that after a session a lot of people feel more relaxed can also help, especially if you suffer from stress-induced headaches.

Can my poor posture cause headaches?

Poor posture can be an underlying cause of headaches. When your spine and other areas of your skeleton are not properly aligned, this leads to tension. In particular, in the back, shoulders and neck. When the muscles in those areas are too tight the nerves are put under unnatural pressure and headaches occur. The fact that the neck muscles attach to the ones that run over the scalp is another factor. Poor posture tightens the neck muscles, which in turn pulls the ones in the scalp too tight.

In medical terms, what is a vicious cycle?

In medical terms, a vicious cycle is an ongoing or repeating condition, that causes other health issues. One that makes the initial health issue worse and, often, more difficult to treat. For example, someone gets a persistent cough, the constant coughing makes their throat sore. This causes it to swell, which makes it feel like there is something in the throat, causing more coughing. In time, the nerve becomes overstimulated, which exacerbates the problem. When that happens, even swallowing a spec of dust can lead to the nerve telling your body to cough.