Blog

By Lindsay Butler
April 30, 2024 0 Comments

Maximizing Concussion Recovery: The Role of Occupational Therapy and Kinesiology

Understanding Concussion

What is a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)? Simply put, it’s a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. Concussions can occur from various incidents, including sports-related injuries, falls, or car accidents. The tricky part? Symptoms can vary widely and may not always be immediately apparent. Contrary to common belief, a concussion may not necessarily result from a direct blow to the head or involve a loss of consciousness.

Common symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Confusion, slow reactions
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Significant emotional/behavioural changes

It’s important to recognize these symptoms and seek medical attention if a concussion is suspected, as proper diagnosis and early management are crucial for recovery.

Most symptoms of concussion in adults resolve within 1-4 weeks. While most recover within this time frame, some may find symptoms last longer, for about 1-3 months. In fewer cases, symptoms may last longer than this, and may be referred to as post-concussion syndrome. This can manifest as ongoing headaches, dizziness, cognitive difficulties, and emotional changes, significantly impacting daily life. In such cases, interdisciplinary evaluation and treatment are important for managing symptoms and facilitating recovery.

How can occupational therapy help?

Occupational therapists (OTs) are uniquely equipped to address the broad range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms associated with concussions, which can significantly impact daily functioning. OT services for concussion management may include:

  • Concussion Education: To clients and their families, providing resources and referrals to other service providers if necessary. 
  • Cognitive rehabilitation: Employing various techniques to help individuals regain cognitive abilities, from memory and attention to problem-solving and executive function.
  • Symptom management: Working closely with clients to develop individualized plans to manage symptoms impacting participation in daily life. Ex. Fatigue management, sleep hygiene and relaxation strategies
  • Return to Work/School planning: Collaborating with clients, employers, and educators to facilitate successful return-to-work or return-to-school plans, negotiating accommodations or modified duties where needed.
  • Environmental Modifications: Adapting physical environments and/or prescribing adaptive equipment to support recovery.

When is a referral to occupational therapy recommended?

According to the Post-Concussion Care Pathway developed by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF), referral to an OT should be considered under several circumstances:

  • When the client requires support to reintegrate into daily activities, school, or work.
  • When there are cognitive deficits or difficulties present.
  • If the individual is experiencing mental/cognitive fatigue, sleep disturbances, or co-occurring orthopedic injuries.

How can kinesiology help?

Kinesiologists design personalized exercise programs tailored to individual needs, gradually reintroducing physical activity to aid in recovery while minimizing concussion symptom exacerbation. Therapeutic exercise is widely acknowledged as a valuable component of concussion rehabilitation, contributing to enhanced brain function, symptom alleviation, and faster recovery. Kinesiology services for concussion rehabilitation may include:

  • Graduated Exercise Programs: Kinesiologists design personalized exercise programs tailored to specific needs and abilities. Gradually reintroducing physical activity can support concussion recovery by improving blood flow to the brain, reducing inflammation, and increasing endorphins. 
  • Balance and Coordination Training: Kinesiologists implement targeted exercises and techniques to improve balance, coordination, and proprioception, which may be affected by concussion-related vestibular and sensory disturbances.
  • Symptom Monitoring: Kinesiologists closely monitor individuals’ symptoms during exercise sessions, modifying activities as needed and communicating with other providers to ensure safety and prevent symptom escalation.

When is a referral to kinesiology recommended?

According to the Post-Concussion Care Pathway developed by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF), referral to kinesiology should be facilitated when:

  • Support to return to physical activities is required.
  • When headache, dizziness, vestibular issues, or physical fatigue are present.

Key Messages:

  1. Early education and intervention can prevent prolonged recovery.
  2. Interdisciplinary evaluation and treatment are crucial for those with persistent symptoms.
  3. Individualized rehabilitation programs optimize recovery.
  4. Gradual return-to-activity plans ensure safe reintegration.
  5. Access to experienced interdisciplinary teams supports comprehensive care.

Concussion recovery is a journey, not a sprint. With the support of our occupational therapists and kinesiologists, you’ll have the guidance, resources, and experience needed to navigate any twists and turns ahead.

If you’re ready to kickstart your concussion recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Sources & Additional Resources:

https://caot.ca/document/6994/CAOTBC_

https://concussionsontario.org

By Lindsay Butler
February 29, 2024 0 Comments

Navigating Insurance: Accessing Occupational Therapy and Kinesiology Services

Navigating access to healthcare services through insurance providers can be complex, but we’re here to shed some light and simplify the process. While many are familiar with accessing physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, and chiropractic treatment through insurance, occupational therapy (OT) and kinesiology services remain underutilized options. However, it’s important to note that both are often covered by insurance providers for those in need.

Recognizing the Need for OT and Kinesiology Services

The need for OT services can arise from various circumstances, including physical injuries, mental health challenges or cognitive limitations, impacting a person’s ability to remain independent in their day-to-day activities. OTs help clients gain independence and satisfaction in across various areas of life, including mobility, self-care, community engagement, leisure, and productivity. Specific services may include:

  • Home Safety Assessments & Modifications
  • Hospital Discharge Planning
  • Wheelchair/Seating Assessments
  • Ergonomic Assessments of Home or Work Setup
  • Return to Driving
  • Mental Health Support
  • Cognitive Rehab for Concussion, Stroke, Brain Injury  
  • Complex Injury Rehab
  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Return to Work/School & Accommodations

Kinesiology services aim to aid individuals in recovering from injuries, managing chronic conditions, or enhancing physical performance through movement, exercise, and overall health optimization. Clients can anticipate improvements in mobility, strength, flexibility, and overall performance. Specific services may include:

  • Individualized exercise therapy programs for soft tissue and orthopaedic injuries
  • Rehab exercise programs for clients with brain injuries
  • Hydrotherapy programs
  • Work Hardening / Return to Work Programs
  • Personal Training and lifestyle consulting
  • Sport Specific training

Understanding Insurance Coverage: Your Pathway to Support

Navigating insurance coverage can be overwhelming, but rest assured, our services are covered under various insurance plans. We encourage you to explore your coverage options through your provider or reach out to us directly for guidance and support in navigating this process. Here’s some introductory information to help you get started:

ICBC:

  • ICBC coverage encompasses rehabilitative services, including OT and kinesiology, for individuals recovering from motor vehicle accidents.
  • If your accident was less than 12 weeks ago, ICBC pre-approves 12 sessions of kinesiology.
  • Consult your ICBC representative for OT services. You may need a doctor’s note or referral to secure funding.
  • OT and kinesiology services are fully funded under ICBC’s Enhanced Care model, with no user fees at Symmetry Rehab.

Veterans Affairs:

  • Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) covers a range of healthcare services, including OT and kinesiology, for eligible veterans.
  • Inquire about the process for accessing services, including any required referrals or authorizations, to make informed decisions about your treatment plan.

WorkSafe BC:

  • WorkSafe BC covers OT and kinesiology services for individuals injured in the workplace.
  • Ensure seamless access to services by communicating with your case manager or claims representative.

Long Term Disability (LTD) Plan Benefits:

  • Long-term disability insurance often includes coverage for rehabilitative services like OT and kinesiology for individuals with long-term health conditions or disabilities.
  • Review your policy documents and communicate with your insurance provider or employer’s benefits administrator to clarify coverage details as each plan may differ.

Extended Health Plans:

  • Extended health plans offered by employers frequently include coverage for a variety of healthcare services, which may include occupational therapy and kinesiology.
  • If these services aren’t listed, contact your provider directly. Sometimes, they can be accessed through flex plans or with a doctor’s referral.

If occupational therapy or kinesiology services are not funded by your benefit plan or insurance provider, Symmetry Rehab ensures access at a competitive rate. If you’re ready to explore OT or kinesiology services, please reach out to us.

By Lindsay Butler
January 12, 2024 0 Comments

Navigating Mental Health: Support from Occupational Therapy Services

Navigating Mental Health: Support from Occupational Therapy Services

Understanding the Complex Landscape of Mental Health

Mental health is a unique journey, affecting individuals of all backgrounds. From depression to anxiety and beyond, the challenges are diverse. At the heart of it, nearly 6.7 million Canadians navigate the intricate landscape of mental health, and that’s a journey we’re dedicated to supporting.

“Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness. It’s about having the resilience to cope with life’s challenges, work productively, and contribute to our community.”

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Key facts and statistics related to mental health in Canada:

  • 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness in any given year.
  • By the age of 40, 1 in 2 Canadians have, or have had, a mental illness.
  • Mental illness and substance use conditions are leading causes of disability in Canada.
  • There is a connection between mental and physical health. Those with enduring physical health conditions, such as chronic pain, have a significantly higher likelihood of experiencing mood disorders. Conversely, individuals grappling with a mood disorder face an elevated risk of developing long-term medical conditions.
  • There is a net cost benefit to investing in mental health support demonstrated via:
    • Health promotion and illness prevention programs
    • Early intervention aimed for children and families
    • Scaled-up treatment for depression and anxiety disorders
    • Workplace mental health programs

CAMH: Facts and Statistics

How Can Occupational Therapy Help?

Occupational therapy helps individuals return to meaningful activities; the things you need to do and the things you want to do. We serve as catalysts for your unique recovery journey, identifying strengths and building pathways to navigate challenges. Some of the ways we facilitate this:

  • Collaborate with individuals and their families to identify meaningful activities to work towards.
  • Help set and track short and long-term goals and progress.
  • Teach a variety of functional strategies to overcome personal challenges (e.g. mindfulness techniques)
  • Work together with clients and families to understand how mental illness affects their lives.
  • Analyze and modify daily activities to suit individual needs and capabilities, ensuring optimal engagement and satisfaction in various life domains.
  • Assess and modify environments to create supportive and conducive spaces.
  • Evaluate skills, interests, values, and strengths to help clients return to, or seek suitable employment.
  • Assist clients in structuring daily activities so clients can balance what they want, need, and are expected to do.

“Mental health is the foundation for well-being and effective functioning for an individual and for a community.”

Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)

Reach Out:

At Symmetry Rehab, our experienced occupational therapists recognize the impact of mental health challenges, understanding the intricate interplay between individual experience and broader context, allowing us to tailor services with utmost sensitivity. We aim to help you not only problem solve challenges, but move towards a life resonating with joy, purpose, and resilience. Whether seeking personalized support or comprehensive services for your clients, reach out to us today.

Email: info@symmetryrehab.ca

Phone: 604-751-0280

Additional Resources:

Canadian Mental Health Association: https://cmha.ca/

CAMH: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: https://www.camh.ca/

Occupational Therapy and Mental Health- Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

https://caot.ca/document/4059/Mental%20Health%20-%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

By Lindsay Butler
December 18, 2023 0 Comments

Making the Most of the Holidays- Tips from Our Team 

As we dive headfirst into the holiday hustle and bustle, we would like to share some tried-and-true tips from our therapists to help you not just survive but thrive during this festive season. Let’s talk about how to take care of yourself – body, mind, and soul – because you deserve to enjoy the holidays!

1. Meaningful Activities Over Everything: Choose activities that truly matter to you. Whether it’s decorating cookies, watching holiday movies, or taking a peaceful winter walk, focus on what brings you joy and fulfillment. Ask yourself: what do I value around the holidays? What’s important to me? To my family?

2. Prioritize Like a Pro: Not everything on your list is a top priority. Identify the must-dos and the nice-to-dos. Focus on the essentials first, and if time allows, dive into the extras. Writing down your to-do list can be helpful.

3. Plan, Plan, Plan: Planning is your secret weapon. Whether it’s meals, gatherings, or shopping trips, having a plan reduces stress. Plus, it frees up mental space for the good stuff – whatever that might be for you.

4. Pacing is the Name of the Game: The holidays can be like a marathon sprint, but it’s crucial to pace yourself. Break down your to-do list into manageable chunks, allowing yourself to tackle one thing at a time without feeling overwhelmed.

5. Take a Break: In the holiday chaos, taking breaks often gets sidelined. Don’t let it! Stepping away, even for a few minutes, rejuvenates your body and mind. Consider it your holiday self-care routine.

6. Meet Basic Needs: Nutrition, Exercise, and Sleep: Amid the festivities, don’t neglect the basics. Fuel your body with nutritious meals, squeeze in some movement to keep those endorphins flowing, and make sure you catch enough Zs. Your body and mind will thank you.

7. Manage Outside Expectations: This one’s a game-changer. Set realistic expectations for yourself and communicate openly with others about what you can handle. It’s perfectly okay…actually, essential…. to say ‘no’ when needed.

8. Mindfulness in the Moment: Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, pause to practice mindfulness. Whether it’s through deep breathing, relaxation exercises, or a moment of quiet reflection, grounding yourself in the present can help manage stress and bring a sense of calm to your festive season.

I want to take a moment to recognize that, for some, the holidays can bring unique challenges and emotions. Whether it’s the absence of a loved one, financial pressures, or feelings of loneliness, it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone experiences this time with cheer. If you find the holidays tough, remember that it’s okay to feel the way you do, and seeking support can make a significant difference. Wishing you strength and the space to navigate this season in a way that feels right for you.

There you have it – your survival guide to navigating the holidays. Remember, it’s okay to put yourself first and prioritize your well-being. From your team of occupational therapists and kinesiologists at Symmetry, our mission is to see you not just get through the holidays but to savour every moment and emerge on the other side fulfilled and ready for the new year. Wishing you a season filled with balance, meaningful moments, and a sprinkle of holiday magic!

Blogpost written by
Lindsay Butler, BA, Reg. OT (BC)

By Lindsay Butler
December 2, 2023 0 Comments

Redefining Possibilities: Celebrating Individuals and the Impact of Occupational Therapy on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Dec 3, 2023

December 3rd marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a global observance aimed at promoting the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities. At the heart of this day lies a profound commitment to inclusivity and empowerment, principles deeply ingrained in the practices of occupational therapy.

The Significance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities:

International Day of Persons with Disabilities serves as a powerful reminder of the need for a more inclusive and accessible world. As the United Nations rightly asserts, this day is about “ensuring that all public spaces, including those online, are accessible to all persons, and that all persons can fully and equally participate in society” (UN.org).

On this important day, we recognize the need for a society that embraces diversity and fosters inclusivity. International Day of Persons with Disabilities prompts us to reflect on the progress made and the road ahead, acknowledging the unique strengths and valued perspectives individuals with disabilities bring to our communities and in shaping disability-inclusive practices.

occupational therapy

Celebrating Individual Journeys:

The heart of International Day of Persons with Disabilities lies in celebrating the triumphs of individuals. Through the lens of occupational therapy, we honour the stories of those who have conquered challenges, regained independence, and found new meaning in their daily activities. These are not just stories of resilience; they are stories of empowerment and triumph over adversity.

Occupational Therapy: Empowering Lives Beyond Limitations:

Occupational therapy, at its core, is about enabling individuals to engage meaningfully in their daily lives. It’s about recognizing the potential within each person while creating solutions to foster participation and independence. Promoting not just functional abilities but a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Whether through adaptive equipment, assistive technology, or tailored interventions, occupational therapists work to address the unique needs and goals of persons with disabilities.

Building an Inclusive Society: The Role of Occupational Therapy:

Occupational therapists play a pivotal role not only in individual rehabilitation but also in shaping a more inclusive society. Through informed training, advocacy and community engagement, OTs work towards breaking down barriers and creating environments that accommodate diverse abilities. It’s not just about adapting to disability; it’s about evolving towards a society that values and integrates every individual.

Some of the practical ways OTs foster inclusivity:

– Adaptive Equipment and Technology
– Environmental Modification
– Education & Advocacy
– Workplace Accommodations
– Community Integration Programs
– Advancing Universal Design Principles

Creating Change: How We Can All Join the Journey:

As we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let’s consider how each one of us can contribute to building a more inclusive society. Simple acts of kindness, awareness, and understanding go a long way. Recognize the unique talents of individuals with disabilities, offer support, and advocate for environments that cater to diverse needs. By championing change in our attitudes and actions, we collectively pave the way for a more inclusive future.

occupational therapy

Conclusion:

On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let us not only celebrate the achievements and strengths of individuals but also recognize the role each of us plays in creating a more inclusive society. As an occupational therapist, I am inspired by the resilience of those I’ve had the privilege to work with. Let us continue to nurture independence, celebrate diversity, and strive towards a world where every person can live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Learn More:
https://www.un.org/en/observances/day-of-persons-with-disabilities
https://www.who.int/campaigns/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities

Occupational Therapists treat a broad spectrum of injuries and impairments. If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, consider connecting with one of Symmetry Rehab’s occupational therapists to discuss your goals.

Contact Us

Blogpost written by
Lindsay Butler, BA, Reg. OT (BC)

lindsay butler
By Robyn Staniforth
November 23, 2023 0 Comments

Unleashing the Power of Movement

As someone deeply committed to holistic well-being, I have come to appreciate the profound impact of exercise on our physical and mental health. The benefits of regular physical activity, as highlighted on our website, extend far beyond the conventional notions of fitness. Engaging in exercise plays a pivotal role in decreasing pain, restoring full range of movement, and promoting the recovery of endurance, especially after injuries. It’s not just about breaking a sweat; it’s about reclaiming control over our bodies and fostering resilience.

In my personal journey, I’ve witnessed the transformative effects of exercise in overcoming challenges. From managing musculoskeletal injuries to addressing mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, exercise has been a constant companion. The commitment to a healthy lifestyle has become synonymous with the pursuit of an optimal and productive life.

Athletic Recovery, an integral part of this holistic journey, marks a phase where exercise transcends mere fitness routines. Tailored for athletes and individuals leading physically active lives, athletic recovery focuses on preventing injuries, providing immediate care, and optimizing nutrition. It is a testament to the belief that recovery is not just about bouncing back but soaring to new heights of physical well-being.

As we champion the ethos of exercise for holistic health on our website, I invite you to embark on this transformative journey with me. Let’s harness the power of movement not just as a form of exercise but as a key to unlocking the full spectrum of our well-being.

By Robyn Staniforth
November 23, 2023 0 Comments

Revolutionizing Healthcare: A Comprehensive Rehabilitation Approach

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, a paradigm shift is underway. Comprehensive rehabilitation is emerging as a transformative force, challenging traditional models and prioritizing holistic well-being. This article takes a quick look into the core principles and diverse services offered by leading rehabilitation centers, illuminating the industry’s commitment to empowering individuals through a comprehensive approach.

Occupational Therapy: Bridging Gaps in Care. At the heart of this healthcare revolution is Occupational Therapy (OT), a discipline that transcends conventional boundaries. From meticulous home assessments to facilitating community integration and strategic workplace planning, OT emerges as a dynamic force for recovery and independence. The nuanced approach of OT bridges critical gaps in care, focusing on the individual’s unique journey toward well-being.

Kinesiology: Elevating Health Through Movement. Central to the rehabilitation center’s philosophy is the science of Kinesiology, dedicated to improving health through movement. A deep dive into the role of Kinesiologists reveals their expertise in crafting tailored exercise programs. These programs not only aid recovery from chronic diseases, musculoskeletal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries but also foster a renewed sense of vitality and resilience.

Athletic Therapy: Beyond the Field of Play. Athletic Therapy is a domain committed to those leading physically active lives. Whether an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or someone on the path to recovery, Athletic Therapy emerges as a cornerstone in injury prevention, immediate care, and holistic rehabilitation.

Client-Centric Care and Accessible Services: Community-based care takes center stage, showcasing how accessible services enhance recovery efficiency. By bringing quality care directly to clients’ homes or community environments, the center reaffirms its commitment to personalized and impactful healthcare.

The healthcare revolution is driven by a comprehensive rehabilitation approach. On our site and in our blogs we invite you to explore the multifaceted services offered, each contributing to a new era where healthcare is not just a service but a transformative journey toward empowerment and well-being.

By Robyn Staniforth
November 22, 2023 0 Comments

Empathy in Action: Nurturing Recovery for Car Crash Victims

In the aftermath of a car crash, individuals often find themselves grappling with a myriad of physical and emotional challenges. At Symmetry Injury Rehabilitation, we understand the profound impact such incidents can have on one’s life. Our commitment to comprehensive rehabilitation extends to those who have experienced the trauma of a motor vehicle accident, offering a beacon of support and a roadmap to recovery.

Our services are meticulously crafted to address the unique needs of car crash victims. From detailed home assessments to community integration strategies, we provide a comprehensive rehabilitation plan that prioritizes your well-being. Our experienced Occupational Therapists work hand-in-hand with you, ensuring every aspect of your recovery journey is considered.

Understanding the complexities of insurance claims and recovery processes can be overwhelming. That’s why our ICBC Recovery section serves as a dedicated resource hub. Here, car crash victims can access information on their rights, demystify insurance coverage, and find a roadmap to reclaim their lives. It’s more than just a service; it’s a lifeline designed to guide you through the intricacies of recovery.

Beyond the immediate aftermath of a car crash, we recognize the long-term impact it can have on mental health. Our services extend beyond physical rehabilitation, encompassing mental and emotional well-being. We offer a supportive environment where individuals can address anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns stemming from the trauma of a car accident.

No two car crash experiences are alike, and neither should be the recovery journey. Our approach is personalized and client-centric, acknowledging the uniqueness of each individual’s situation. Whether it’s devising tailored exercise programs, implementing ergonomic solutions, or providing support for anxiety and depression, our services are designed to meet you where you are in your recovery.

At Symmetry, we stand as a pillar of support for car crash victims, offering not just services but genuine empathy and understanding. Our mission is to nurture your recovery, empower you with knowledge, and guide you toward a renewed sense of well-being. In the face of adversity, let us be the partner that helps you rebuild and reclaim your life after a car crash.