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Jump! Vertical Jump Training Considerations by Jason Liang RMT/PT Resident

Vertical jump training considerations

For athletes or anyone who is wanting to start vertical jump training, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Learn how to land before learning to jump
  • Strength should be a major focus in the beginning of training
  • Be mentally and physically ready

Learn how to land before learning to jump

Let’s start off with an analogy.

If you were flying a plane only partially knowing how to land on the tarmac, it would be unsafe, difficult, and likely cause damage to the plane.

Jumping is obviously not as scary or complex as flying a plane, but you get the basic picture. Safety and longevity is critical when jumping. Many injuries that occur when jumping happen during the landing phase.

Therefore, practicing to land in controlled settings (in training) is essential before being introduced into the demands of sport where you may land in susceptible positions.

Back to the analogy: going through flight simulations (a controlled setting), you learn how to land the plane in different situations before flying a real plane. Practice will help increase the chance of landing appropriately when needed to do so.

In regards to a good landing position and mechanics, the squat exercise almost fully replicates it. When you allow the hips to travel backwards slightly before loading the knees, the hips can absorb more of the landing forces.


Strength should be a major focus in the beginning of training

More forces go through the joints when landing from a jump simply due to the force of gravity. Depending on only technique is not enough for a safe landing. Strength is important to cushion the landing, transition from absorbing forces to also exploding off the floor to jump. You can work on strength by training the body in different types and planes of movement.

Train concentrically, eccentrically and isometrically

A short definition of these 3 terms:

Concentric movements refer to tension developing in the muscle while the muscle fibers shorten.

Eccentric movements refer to tension developing in the muscle while the muscle fibers are lengthening.

Isometric movements refer to tension developing in the muscle while there is no movement in the muscle.

Using the squat as a movement example, we will focus on the quadriceps muscles.

When you slowly lower into the squat in a controlled manner, the quads are working eccentrically (contracting, while slowly lengthening). If you hold the squat position and do not move, this is an isometric movement (no movement). When you stand up from the bottom of a squat, this is a concentric movement (the quads contract and shorten, straightening out the leg).

Try and apply this to other muscle groups to see if you understand the concept.

Train in different planes of movement

Most sports involve athletes to jump forward, up and/or to the sides. This also involves one or two feet. Single and double leg exercises in different planes (forward, lateral or angles) would provide a good amount of variety and prepare yourself for many sports. Doing your best to keep both sides of the body equal in terms of strength is optimal.

Plyometric exercises will be introduced slowly and progressed appropriately during the strength training phase. Building a strong foundation is emphasized.


Be physically and mentally ready!

Plyometrics are exercises that involve a quick transition from an eccentric action to concentric action. An example of a plyometric exercise is a continuous squat jump. This is an explosive movement and it takes a toll on the nervous system, whether you feel it or not.

Focus is on quality over quantity and then later build up more tolerance. Be physically and mentally ready to perform these types of exercises.

It’s a process. Training will be tough, but remember to enjoy it and have fun!


This is only a brief introduction into the process of vertical jump training and there is a lot more to consider.  I would be happy to chat should you have some questions.

Take care and stay safe!


At Home Ergonomics, by Livia Chiarelli, DC – An Isolation Work at Home; Must Read!!!

At Home Ergonomics

by Dr. Livia Chiarelli, Chiropractor

What comes to mind when you think about working from home? No commute, sweatpants and a t-shirt as the new at home office wardrobe, messy hair, no makeup, not showering until mid-day? Sounds glamorous! How about back pain, tight shoulders, stiff hips and a numb butt?  Not so glamorous right!? However, these seem to be the new complaints that many are facing as the world has turned to working from home as a means of helping to flatten the curve and practice social distancing.

Most people who are used to going into the office every or almost every day don’t have the proper workplace set up in their own homes which seems to be taking a toll on people’s bodies. So we’re going to discuss a few tips and tricks to improve your home set up and hopefully lessen your body aches.

A great starting point is the 90-90-90-position of good posture.  Meaning, when sitting at your new workstation your elbows are bent to 90 degrees, your hips are bent to 90 degrees and your knees are bent to 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor.  For most people this rules out being able to sit on the couch while working. The couch often feels comfortable to start but as the time goes on we sink into the cushions and lose any attempt at good posture we once had.

Next, once you’ve been able to find a place that allows you to closely get into the 90-90-90-position of good posture you’re going to have to pay attention to what your body is telling you.  Just because you may be in the best posture you’re able to achieve at home in your new workspace that pain or stiffness you might start to feel creep in is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to move and switch it up!  Sitting all day without changing your position can have huge impacts on your body’s health and it has been recommended that people change their position from standing to sitting throughout the workday at least once an hour.  Can you slide over to a countertop, bookshelf or tall dresser somewhere in your house and makeshift a standing desk for a portion of your day? This will help ease the load on the body felt while sitting. The same protocol for a 90 degree bend at the elbows is recommended when choosing a makeshift standing desk and keeping in mind that you want to place equal weight on both feet to begin.  Shifting your weight from one foot to the other throughout the standing portion of your day will help ease the pressure in your back, hips and legs.  

In addition, fewer and fewer people seem to be using desktop computers while working from home and laptops are quickly becoming the new from home office staple.   In the transition to a preference of portability we have lost some of the built in ergonomic features of the desktop computer such as keyboard size, screen size and mouse position.  A few simple steps will help minimize the poor ergonomics of a laptop computer.  

  1. Try using a keyboard you can attach to your computer, rather than the one built in to your laptop.
  2. Place a stand or a few big books under the laptop to help elevate the screen to eye height if you’re using a secondary keyboard.
  3. Try using a secondary mouse that attaches to the computer rather than the built in track pad on the laptop. 

Finally, don’t forget to perform some gentle stretches through the day to ease any built up tension in the back, legs, neck, and shoulders to maintain good muscle health while working.  If you’d like specific stretches that can be done while at your workstation your Apple Creek practitioner would be happy to help.

Dr. Livia Chiarelli

Ergonomic Cheat Sheet -LC ACSMC

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)- Nejin Chacko PT

High Intensity Interval Training

Hope everyone keeping safe and healthy! 

This is Nejin, physiotherapist from Apple Creek Sports Medicine.

Many of you may have heard about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It can be a perfect choice if you are looking for an intense workout in a short amount of time. 

Studies have suggested that HIIT is safe and beneficial across healthy and those with physical health comorbidities, and among younger or older populations. HITT is considered superior to many traditional forms of exercises. Along with its ability to burn maximum amount of fat, evidence has shown HIIT can improve cardiorespiratory function and fitness, blood glucose/glycemic control, exercise capacity, muscle structure/mass, anxiety, and depression.

Here is how you can create a custom HIIT session

It is advised to have a warm-up and cool-down period for your high intensity workout. The high intensity phase consists of an all-out effort followed by a short rest period. 


2 to 5 min. Slow jogging or jogging on the spot

Stationary bike with a slow speed and low resistance

May do some stretches (hamstrings, quads, calf, trunk rotations etc.)


High Intensity Phase

You can choose one activity from below for all the sets or chose 2 or 3 different ones, keeping the total number of sets the same. Choose an activity that matches your current performance level and ability. Choose a lower time duration and number of sets at the beginning and progress as your endurance improves over a 4 to 6 weeks period. Perform the activity at your best effort at max reps possible within the time duration. Remember to have a stop watch to track your activity and rest timings.

FREQUENCY: 3 to 4 times per week

INTENSITY: Perform the selected activity for 15 or 30 sec followed by a 30 – 60 sec rest period. Repeat each activity for 4 to 10 sets.

ACTIVITIES (Choose up to 3)

  • Sprinting or running on the spot – 30 sec followed by 30-60 sec rest (5-10sets)
  • Stationary bike – Max effort and speed against resistance of 5 – 7-5% of your body wt. 30 sec followed by 30 to 60 sec rest
  • Squats/Lunges max number possible 15 sec followed by 30 to 60 sec rest (Based on your ability you may modify squats by doing mini-squats or wall squats)
  • Pushups 15 sec followed by 30 to 60 sec rest (modify by staying on your knees or by doing pushups over a desk/wall)
  • Planks (30sec hold) or walking planks (15sec) with 30-60sec rest
  • Squat jumps/Tuck jumps/Box jumps/Burpees 15 sec followed by 30 to 60 sec rest

Cool-down Phase

2-5 min; Repeat as warm up, Ensure to add stretches

Caution: Ensure to start HIIT with easy an activity with low repetitions and fewer sets. Please consult with your therapist or physician prior to doing HITT if you have cardiac or respiratory conditions, advanced arthritis, recent surgeries, recent injuries or any other health condition for which you are supposed to avoid physical exertion. You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs


HIIT Cheat Sheet

0-10 Hard Activity Chart



Martland, Rebecca, Valeria Mondelli, Fiona Gaughran, and Brendon Stubbs. “Can High-Intensity Interval Training Im


prove Physical and Mental Health Outcomes? A Meta-Review of 33 Systematic Reviews across the Lifespan.” Journal of Sports Sciences 38, no. 4 (February 15, 2020): 430–69.

Metcalfe, Richard S., John A. Babraj, Samantha G. Fawkner, and Niels B. J. Vollaard. “Towards the Minimal Amount of Exercise for Improving Metabolic Health: Beneficial Effects of Reduced-Exertion High-Intensity Interval Training,” 2012. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-011-2254-z.

Zuniga, Jorge M, Kris Berg, John Noble, Jeanette Harder, Morgan E Chaffin, and Vidya S Hanumanthu. “Physiological Responses during Interval Training with Different Intensities and Duration of Exercise:” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25, no. 5 (May 2011): 1279–84. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d681b6.

Posture Assessments



SAVE 25%

Over the last few years, we have seen a significant increase in patients attending therapy due to neck, shoulder and back pain.  Many of these complaints could be directly correlated to, or as a result of poor sitting or standing posture.  What we have come to realize is that there are significant misconceptions of what constitutes good or proper posture and that people do not understand how to achieve good posture.  Often it is much easier than people think it is, to make postural improvements and as such reduce pain and improve productivity.

Apple Creek is happy to announce that one of their highly experienced Registered Physiotherapists, Jordan Katz, is offering to provide a postural assessment/screen at a discounted rate on the following dates:

February 25 (Tuesday) & February 27 (Thursday) between 3-6 pm.

During this assessment, Jordan will perform a detailed postural analysis using his experience as well as some of the latest technology, provide you with some hints and techniques to help improve your posture and provide you with tailored exercises for your situation.

All assessments are provided by a registered physiotherapist and as such are covered by your extended health coverage.

Book now to secure your reduced rate and assessment time. 905-475-0484

  • Please Dress appropriately, with a sleeveless shirt/tank top and shorts.

Tech Neck – Straighten up!

“Tech Neck” is great for our business but bad for your bones!

A condition that is too common these days, with no sign of getting better, is something we can all work on.

Due to the advancement of smart devices, and the need that many of us have to be connected, we spend hours hunched over.  This poor posture, places a large amount of stress on our neck and upper back which increases mechanical forces placed throughout the spinal column.  Symptoms can vary, but might include headaches, tingling and numbness in arms and hands, eye strain and general neck and back pain and stiffness.

Long Term effects of Tech Neck can lead to chronic pain and degenerative changes in the spine, chronic spasm in the supporting musculature and impact other physiological mechanisms (breathing, heart rate variability, digestion and autoregulation).

So as you are reading this post, sitting up straight and thinking you are doomed – don’t worry it’s never too late!  There are many habits which you can implement today to assist in correcting your posture, getting your head back onto your body and decreasing your symptoms (or preventing them).

*Take a break – when you body sends you a message of discomfort – listen to the warning shot – take a break, look up, rest your arms and take a deep breath in (this has many positive effects, improving posture is only one).

*Change your screen / work station height so you look horizontally instead of looking down.

*Stretch – move your neck; side to side – chin tuck – look up.  Open your chest up by extending your arms out or overhead.

*Move – listen to your body, put your device down and go for a walk.

*Get some treatment.  Take a few minutes out of your week to treat yourself, you deserve it.  Get educated on what you can do and start today.  An orthopedic assessment with an Athletic Therapist, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor could work wonders to get you “headed” in the right direction.

In an effort to help with Tech Neck – Apple Creek is offering “Posture Assessments” in February 2020 (call clinic regarding availability 905-475-0484) where a detailed assessment with a report and specific exercises will be prescribed custom to your results.

Apple Creek has many great therapists who would be happy to discuss your sore neck, but I can be reached directly at john@applecreeksports.com for specific questions and look forward to hearing from you.

Sports Specialization Is Making Youth Less Athletic: The 10,000 hour ‘practice’ myth

Tim Rees’s (lead author of The Great British Medallists Project) research rejects the idea that anyone can become an expert at anything simply by putting in enough time. “Practice doesn’t make perfect,” Rees said, which undermines another popular notion: That 10,000 hours, a number based on research by Anders Ericsson and popularized by author Malcolm Gladwell in his 2008 book Outliers, is the amount of practice time required to become an expert in any given endeavour.To be fair, Gladwell’s point has been widely misinterpreted. Gladwell’s goal was to communicate that success by a lone genius is a myth. To achieve great things you need social support, good luck, and must work extremely hard. “There is an incredibly prolonged period that is necessary for the incubation of genius, high performance and elite status,” Gladwell said.

In fact, Rees discovered that you can become an expert in much less time. “There is no magic number. You could get a gold medal with only 4,500 hours of practice. You could practise for 10,000 hours and not have the genetics and not make it. We know genetics can put a ceiling on your potential.”


Dangers of burnout

Resist the pressure to specialize too early. It can help athletes early on, but there is no evidence that early success leads to success as a mature athlete.

“The evidence suggests that the earlier you go into a program, the earlier you get chucked out,” said Rees. “There is more evidence that specializing and focusing on one sport too early can harm you.” Many athletes who specialize in sport too young suffer physical injuries and psychological burnout.  A new study by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health which included over 1,500 high school athletes found that athletes who specialized in one sport were twice as likely to report a lower extremity injury as compared to those who played multiple sports. An injury is the fastest way to decrease athleticism. Especially when you consider that at such a young age rapid improvements are made in speed, coordination, and athleticism. Miss out on 6 weeks of play due to an injury, you quite possibly missed out on a very important 6 weeks of development.

Playing other sports and participating in a wider range of activities can make youngsters mentally and physically stronger. Kids can develop decision-making skills, coordination, and teamwork skills from other activities. Playing multiple sports exposes the athlete to different kinds of skills, movement patterns, coordination, and dynamic power development. It’s been found that kids who play multiple sports have a larger athletic base of skill to draw from. This means that they have the ability to pick up and learn skills, techniques, strategies, etc much faster than their one sport counterpart.


Tim Rees: 3 tips for parents who want their children to succeed in sport

  1. Protect play.Carefully consider any opportunities that place your child in a singularly focused program at a young age.
  2. Think big picture. Here’s a good question to ask: “What is in the best interest of my child in all areas of their life?”
  3. Encourage exposure to other sports. Most kids will find the sport that is genetically right for them by experimenting and seeing where they naturally excel.


Stefanie Moser R.Kin, RMT, CAT(C)
Lead Therapist Trampoline Canada
Women’s Hockey National Team Medical Staff

Summer Exercise Tips: How to Avoid an Achilles Injury and Low Back Pain

So I received this question recently from a friend just back from a three week trip to Spain:

“Nick… about half way through my trip I noticed a horrendous pain in my Achilles that seemed to be worse in the morning, getting worse as the days went on… it was so painful I was contemplating calling you from Spain and asking you to book me an appointment for as soon as I could get off the plane. I didn’t do anything or remember hurting it in any way significant, have any thoughts what might have caused it?”

– Tony, L. 53. Gormley, Ontario.

So if you’re being more active at this time of year because of the longer days, pay careful attention to avoid this problem:

Here’s a bit about the problem with the Achilles and how it just happens for no apparent reason…. Well, it likely did happen for a very good reason – that being the person in this story swapping his usual running and dress style shoes for summer sandals. The difference between the two? …Not much more than “1 inch”. As in, the difference in the heel support offered by runners in comparison to wearing to sandals or flip flops, which offer none. When I quizzed Tony a bit further, he revealed to me that for pretty much the whole of his three weeks he had been walking around in flip flops and sandals. These types of footwear offer very little support and only ADD tension to muscles such as calf and Achilles tendons, and because of this pain is inevitable. I know Tony’s history, and he’s had a bad back in the past too. That’s a very dangerous cocktail that is almost guaranteed to cause Achilles tendon pain to the point where Tony found it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning because of the pain.

If you’ve had lower back pain in the past, wearing flip flops continuously is something I wouldn’t recommend. And if it’s taking YOU twenty minutes or so in the morning to warm up an Achilles tendon or just to stop it from hurting, a good place to look to make a positive improvement is what you wear on your feet – the NIGHT before.

Because I walk around Unionville main street and Toogood pond I’m seeing lots of people wearing summer sandals and likely to be falling victim of the same type of Achilles tendon pain that Tony suffered from because their Achilles tendon is being stressed and stretched in way that it just isn’t used too.

Tip: If you’re going away this summer for a couple of weeks be careful not to only be walking around in flip flops all day long… they’re not great for back, knee or Achilles problems and will increase the likelihood of pain and stiffness in any of the above by the time you get back.

And if you’re spending any extra time walking or running right now, be sure to do it wearing nice soft and very cushioned trainers.


Nicholas Halkidis B.A. Kin(Hons), RMT, CAT(C)