Articles of the Week February 21, 2021

Tony Gentilcore makes some great points about beliefs surrounding “bad” workouts and self-efficacy with one’s routines. We can likely translate these points very well when it comes to programming home exercise programs for clients as well.

Do Bad Workouts Exist? – Tony Gentilcore

We wrote a similar blog to this one a few weeks ago, but the content bears repeating. The words we say and the way we say it can have a major impact on the outcomes we have with our patients. Let’s start to change not only the narrative around what we do, but also what we say.

Words Matter – Eric Purves

We talk lots about patient safety, but our safety is just as important (if not more). So when I saw this shared by one of our friends I knew it was worth the share (well…also cause I’m a firefighter).

Oily Linens – Massage Therapy – Fire Safety – Megan Crozier

Pretty cool review of the receptors in our bodies and what they do.

Types Of Receptors – Dr. Matt & Dr. Mike

There is many a frustrating debate online, no matter what the topic is. This is a pretty cool little flow chart on how we could handle some of these discussions. While Taylor meant this for himself, it might be something I use as well.

On Discussions And Debate – Taylor James Laviolette


Articles of the Week – February 14, 2021

We’ve got some big news this week! We’ve launched a podcast! Together with Eric Purves we’ll endeavour to put out a new podcast every two weeks. Give this one a listen as we look into some research that shows how client, community, and clinician can influence a persons pain. Subscribe on one of your favourite podcast platforms!

Client, Community, and ClinicianJamie Johnston & Eric Purves


There’s lots of talk about education in this week’s articles. This one specifically shows us the importance of the conversations researchers or doctors have with patients when discussing nocebo effects.

“Important Conversations” Are Needed to Explain the Nocebo EffectAnita Slomski


We are all taught to not chase pain and to avoid making assumptions purely based on palpation and tenderness. However, we have some emerging evidence that physical tenderness might be a more valid predictor for making return-to-activity decisions that we once though, once we learn how to quantify it.

Tenderness to palpation predicts return to sport following acute hamstring strain – Physio Network


Have you ever recommended that clients cease running in order to conserve the cartilage in their knees? Or are you on the other side, suggesting that it’s beneficial? Research is still working on a definite answer, but hopefully the current evidence can help you with an informed decision.

Why Don’t Runners’ Knees Fail More Often? – Alex Hutchinson


We understand there can be psychosocial factors associated with pain, however we have to be careful how we discuss this with our patients. While the title of this post lends itself to the idea that a doctor told someone their pain is all in their head, there’s much more to the pain education that is necessary and what was given.

My Doctor Told Me My Pain Was All in My Head. It Ended Up Saving Me. – Isobel Whitcomb


Mike Reinold provides us a good review of the literature regarding compression therapy and its effects on acute soreness and recovery following exercise.

Compression Therapy for Recovery – Mike Reinold

Articles of the Week – January 31, 2021

We’re not here to fear-monger. However, as manual therapist who spend some of the most time with patients among all of their healthcare practitioners, we need to be very aware of red flags with back pain and what they could mean. A good reminder of some of those basic questions that we learn in school and might be forgetting to ask.

When to Worry About Low Back Pain – Paul Ingraham


We’ve been hearing a lot of dialogue against the use of static stretching these days, but why? This article gives us a great explanation of the research method errors made in years past while reminding us of some of the evidence that does still support static stretching in certain circumstances.

To stretch or not to stretch before exercise: What you need to know about warm-ups – David George Behm


It’s been a tough year and I’m sure there are people coming in for treatment simply to experience human touch. Touch has a huge impact on our physical and mental well being, so this is an interesting read at how this pandemic has affected some.

Lost touch: how a year without hugs affects our mental health – Elanor Morgan


Talking DOMS again! A lengthy study to read, but one that suggests that post-exercise muscle soreness may have much less to do with muscle fiber microtrauma and more with neural microdamage. Hopefully, this new direction of research will begin to suggest different strategies for mitigating the pain.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – Have We Looked in the Wrong Direction for More Than 100 Years?  – Sonkodi et al.


You have likely heard of exercise-induced analgesia, in which exercise creates a pain-dampening effect in the body. A very interesting study was done, however, that looked at the ability of suggestion to create a nocebo effect that directly counteracted this benefit.

Exercise Blocks Pain, But Only For Believers – Alex Hutchison

Articles of the Week Janurary 24, 2021

Even though modern research has shown there isn’t much correlation between posture and pain, it still seems to be something pushed in mainstream media. However, this article shows the other side and has some great advice we could share with patients.

A Scientist’s Guide To Life: How To Sit Correctly – Helen Pilcher


There’s not a ton of research out there on our wonderful profession. It seems most things we can look to revolves around “manual therapy”. Thankfully Richard has put a resource list together of systematic reviews we can refer to.

Systematic Reviews Of Massage Therapy – Richard Lebert


A short discussion about fibromyalgia that reminds us that the term is not a diagnosis, but rather a blanket term for symptoms. Based on this, consider how you want to use the term when speaking to clients and think about strategies to help them not self-identify with this “disease”.

Fibromyalgia is one of the hardest problems in all of medicine – Paul Ingraham


An intriguing article about the metaphors that we and our clients use for pain. Leaving the realms of the basic “sharp, dull, shooting, or stabbing”, there are important implications when clients come to us with other colourful and drawn-out descriptions that can help us in their treatment.

Why we need to get creative when it comes to talking about pain – Jasmine Hearn & Stella Bullo


Let’s talk DOMS, especially for those of you who work in sport settings. Here’s a look at the science of some of the popular management tools that claim to reduce or eliminate post-exercise muscle soreness and a reminder at the basics that should never be forgotten.

Feeling sore after exercise? Here’s what science suggests helps (and doesn’t) – Andrea Mosler

Articles of the Week – January 17, 2021

It’s out of scope for many of us in our professions and jurisdictions to recommend medications. However, it’s important to retain knowledge about the effects of drugs, especially extremely common NSAIDs, on musculoskeletal injuries in our clients.

What Every Physiotherapist Needs to Know about NSAIDs and Musculoskeletal Injuries – Claire Knott


A physiotherapists documents her experience of witnessing racism in the workplace. This acts as an important reminder to not just avoid passing judgment on our clients but to also be aware of the past experiences they may have had elsewhere due to marginalization.

I Didn’t Say Anything: An Essay on Implicit Bias, Emergency Room PT, and My Biggest Regret – Dr. Yusra Iftikhar


As manual practitioners, we all know that physical touch is a beneficial thing to health. It’s great to be able to define what those are.

The sophisticated language of touch  – Timothy Cocks


A summary of research that shows some detrimental effects from children’s TV programming that may be emphasizing many unhealthy attitudes and perceptions of pain in our youth. The takeaway from this should be contemplation on what we can do to mitigate this and educate our kids about pain in a healthy way.

Kids’ TV teaching children wrong lessons about pain: new study – Andy Dunne


We’re not here to debate about vaccines right now. However, one interesting study was able to directly demonstrate that the simple act of smiling (and to a lesser extent, frowning) helped to reduce the perception of injection pain. A great example of how expression, especially positive expression, can help our health.

Grin and Bear It: Why Smiling Makes Vaccine Shots Less Painful – Pat Anson

Articles of the Week – January 10, 2020

As therapists, we commonly treat symptoms such as headaches and dizziness. However, it can be difficult to differentiate dizziness onset by cervicogenic factors from those from vestibular and other systemic causes. This article gives us a brief overview that can assist with our reasoning.

A Brief Overview of Cervical Dizziness – Erson Religioso


We’ve talked about different mental strategies to help decrease the sensation and perception of pain. This article speaks about one experiment that compares three different methods to find out which one is the best.

To Keep Pain in Check, Scientists Say ‘Count Down’ – Good News Network


Aggressive goal setting is rampant every January, but it’s a trend that can be detrimental to a lot of our clients who deal with chronic health challenges. Here’s one opinion piece from an individual with chronic illness to help us rethink our encouragement of resolution-making.

I Have a Chronic Illness. Here’s Why I Hate New Year’s Resolutions – Hattie Gladwell


Do you prescribe exercise as part of your health practice? If so, then it’s important to remember quality over quantity and that just because an exercise is “harder”, it doesn’t necessarily equate to more benefit.

Working Hard VS. Always Making Exercise Harder – Tony Gentilcore


Finally, with the New Year, we all tend to see a wave of clients who are looking to make positive lifestyle changes and will be relying on effective coaching from us. Whether you’re a massage therapist, personal trainer, or nutrition coach, the right kind of language when helping guide these changes is crucial.

Effective coach talk: What to say to clients and why it matters. – John Berardi