Joint Cracking – What’s Going On?

Joint Cracking – What’s Going On?

By: Eric Walper, Physiotherapist

I have always been fascinated by the phenomenon associated with joint cracking. You all know what I’m talking about that popping sound followed by the feeling of satisfaction that we all got when we cracked our knuckles and backs growing up. How many times have our parents and grandparents told us to cut it out because the cracking was somehow bad for our bodies or was going to cause arthritis?

With this in mind, I want to share with you two of my favorite research articles on the subject that will help shed light on this phenomenon.

What’s really going on with joint cracking

Joints are areas where two bones unite and are usually lubricated by fluid. In 2015, researchers at the University of Alberta [1] imaged joint popping for the first time in real time using MRI. This was the first time in history that a joint was visualized while the actual pop occurred. Research found that as a joint was pulled apart an open space began to develop within it and up until the point at which the pop/crack occurred. The amount of force or effort was proportionate to the amount the joint stuck together.

If you need help visualizing this process, think about cracking a joint like a Chinese finger trap. As you start to pull your two fingers apart in the trap, it becomes harder and harder to pull because the force of the two fingers are opposing one another. Eventually, you will pull hard enough to pop one of the fingers out, similarly to when you crack a joint. Essentially, what was discovered was that the cracking noise is due to the creation of an air bubble within it.

Is cracking my knuckles actually bad for me?

Now that’s all fine and dandy, but is cracking my knuckles actually bad for me? In 2004 [2], an interesting study was published in which a researcher cracked his knuckles of one hand daily for 60 years while leaving the knuckles on the opposing hand completely untouched. What the researcher discovered was that after 60 years of consistently cracking his knuckles, there was zero difference functionally between both his hands. When both hands were imaged to compare to one another, there was also no significant difference, putting the age-old myth that knuckle cracking causes arthritis to rest.

What does this mean?

These two studies are important to me for a couple of reasons:

  1.  It helped me understand where the noise within a cracking joint actually comes from.
  2.  Research demonstrated the sound had less to do with re-aligning a joint and more to do with the changes in pressure within the joint.
  3.  With respect to health and safety, we can fairly confidently say that extended joint manipulation over a period of time will not have adverse effects on its health. This is an important consideration both for us as practitioners and you as patients going about your day-to-day lives.

Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions on the subject or you can book an appointment online by clicking here.

 

References:

[1] Kawchuk et al., PLoS One 10 (2015) e0119470.

[2] Unger DL. Does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis of the fingers? Arthritis Rheum. 1998;41:949–950.

How to Create a Comfortable Workspace in your Home Office – Ergonomics 101

How to Create a Comfortable Workspace in your Home Office – Ergonomics 101

By: Laurin Walton, Physiotherapist

When our doors re-opened in May, I recognized a trend of patients coming in with sore necks, upper backs, shoulders and arms. The majority of these body aches and pains were related to people having to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I often found myself asking these patients what their home office area looked like and how we could make it into a space that would be more comfortable.

6 Tips for Setting Up Your Home Office

If you’re going to be working from your home office for the foreseeable future and starring at a computer screen for a long period of time, following the below tips will help you avoid body aches and pains. A few small adjustments are worth it in the long run if you will be spending a significant amount of time at your desk!

  1. The 90-90 Rule

Your hips, knees, ankles and elbows should all be at approximately 90°. This may require changes to your desk or chair height. If you can’t change your desk height, you can raise your chair to ensure your elbows are at 90°. This may raise your feet too far from the floor, so consider a box or footrest to keep your hips, knees and ankles at 90°. If neither your desk or chair adjust, try adding a keyboard tray to allow your keyboard and mouse to be at a level where your elbows can be at 90°.

  1. Maintain Good Posture

Our bodies are not meant to sit for hours on end which makes it difficult to maintain good spinal posture. Allow your chair to support you by sitting with your hips all the way to the back of the chair. If the chair in your home office has lumbar support (support for your lower back), relax into it. If it doesn’t, you can roll up a towel or purchase a lumbar roll to help maintain the curve in your lower back. Think tall and don’t let your chin poke forward. Check out this video on correcting your posture for more tips.

  1. Ensure Your Screen Is In a Good Position

Your computer screen should be approximately 1 arm’s length away from you with the top line of it just below eye level. If your screen doesn’t adjust you can put it on some books or invest in a monitor stand for your home office.

  1. Keep Your Upper Arms Close to Your Body

Shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands should be kept close to your body by adjusting armrests to a level that allows your arms to gently rest on it with your shoulders relaxed. Place your mouse and keyboard at the same level so you can use both in the optimal ergonomic position. Your hands should be at or below elbow level with your wrists in neutral. You don’t want your wrists to be bent backwards towards you.

  1. Using a Laptop

Laptops are great for portability but aren’t always practical if you have to work from it for a long period of time. Getting an external keyboard and mouse for your laptop can be helpful in allowing you to setup your home office properly. This will allow you to put your keyboard and mouse at a level that is good for your arms and your monitor at a place that is best for your neck. You can prop your laptop up on some books or a stand to get the screen to the proper level.

  1. Set Reminders

It is important not to stay in the same position for an extended amount of time. Use your phone or computer to set reminders to check your posture and take breaks away from your desk by walking around or stretching.

Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions on how to setup your home office to reduce body pain and aches or you can book your appointment online by clicking here.

To Brace or Not to Brace?

To Brace or Not to Brace?

By: morgan Schultz, Athletic Therapist

To brace, or not to brace: that is the question! As an Athletic Therapist, I often get asked about bracing and taping for acute and chronic injuries, as well as injury prevention. Today, I am going to take some time to discuss when you should and when you should not brace injuries; specifically, ankle sprains. 

Ankle Sprains Are a Common Injury

Ankle sprains are common, especially for sports injuries. In fact, 1 in 1000 people will suffer from an ankle sprain in their lifetime AND 1/3rd to 2/3rds of those people will have continued problems. When you roll your ankle and sprain it, either the outside (lateral) or inside (medial) ligaments get damaged. These ligaments are the structures that help stabilize the ankle joint from side to side. Common acute symptoms of a sprain are swelling, bruising, and pain. However, the longest-lasting complaint following a sprain is the lack of stability of the joint. This instability is what needs to be treated to successfully return to sports or physical activities.  

This is where the term “bracing” comes into the equation. As an Athletic Therapist, I have mastered the ankle tape job as it is the most prevalent technique in the world of athletics. Initially, someone recovering from an ankle sprain must have the support of tape while they are gradually returning to their sport. However, after the ankle has had some time to recover and strengthen, the athlete can transition to a brace. A brace provides the same concept of support, just to a lesser degree.  

So, we ask: Is it necessary to put an individual into a brace even though structurally the ankle is strong, stable, and healed? Listed below are arguments for either side of this question: 

 To Brace: 

Prevents recurrent injury  

Mentally allows the athlete to feel safer  

 Not to Brace: 

– Ankle begins to rely on the brace which leads to muscle weakness  

– Restriction of motion from the brace impairs performance  

– The user becomes mentally reliant on brace  

– Immobilizes the joint less than its normal  ability 

– Causes knee, hip, and lower back issues 

There is no doubt that bracing the ankle protects it from a further or recurrent injury; whether that be physical or mental for an individual. But are these reasons strong enough to outweigh the extensive list of reasons not to brace?  

Our Approach to Using an Ankle Brace

I believe it comes down to the person who sustained the injury, their level of activity, and the degree of the injury. Each of my actions is based on my patients needs, which has led to a customized approach to care. Consequently, I can sway either way in this argument. If there is a psychological component, then I will recommend someone to brace if it means they can get back to the activity or sports they love. However, I have also read about reasons not to brace; because of this, I guide my patients through a rehabilitative program where they do not have to rely on an ankle brace. This is done using the proper modalities and exercise therapy.  

In summary, there are certain instances where bracing long-term makes sense, and some situations where it does not. The simple answer is – it depends!  

Feel free to reach out if you have any additional bracing questions or you can book your appointment online by clicking here. 

Home Remedies to Help With Tension Headaches or Migraines

Massage Therapy

Home Remedies to Help With Tension Headaches or Migraines

By: Cheyanne Heyn, Registered Massage Therapist

Many of our clients suffer from tension headaches or migraines. Often, it is difficult to differentiate between the two and the pain can be all-consuming.

Here are some facts about headaches and migraines and the differences between them.

What are Tension Headaches? 

 – Up to 63% of men and up to 86% of women experience tension headaches.
 – Chronic tension headaches occur in 3% of people.
 – There is a family history in 40-50% of these headache sufferers.
 – Tension headaches often begin in early adulthood.
 – 004% of all headaches are due to a serious problem.

What a Tension Headache Feels Like 

 – Pain is on both sides of the head, diffuse and constant. The pain can be described as dull or vise-like.
 – Pain is felt in the neck, forehead, back of the head, shoulders and potentially into the jaw.
 – The Duration of the headache varies from 30 minutes to weeks. Chronic tension headaches last for more than 15 days.
 – These headaches typically begin in the afternoon after tight muscles have been activated.
 – Potential associated symptoms: muscle tenderness and stiffness, loss of appetite, nausea, vertigo and ringing in the ears.
 – Aggravating factors for tension headaches include stress, fatigue, cold temperatures, low blood sugar, poor posture, and decreased range of motion in head and neck.

What are Migraines?

 – 25% of women and 8% of men are affected by migraines.
 – There is a family history in 70% of the sufferers.
 – These headaches can begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood.
 – Migraines affect 5% of children.
 – In early childhood more boys are affected and in adolescence more girls are affected.

What a Migraine Feels Like 

 – The pain is usually pulsating and of moderate to severe intensity.
 – Pain is on one side of the head 60% of the time and often begins as a dull ache or sensation of pressure which gradually localizes to one place. Intensity then increases over several minutes or hours.
 – Pain locations can include on the sides of the head, neck, ears and behind the eyes.
 – Physical exertion may worsen symptoms.
 – Frequency is rarely greater than once per week.
 – Symptoms last for 4-72 hours.
 – The onset of migraines is variable, with early morning onset being the most common.
 – Potential associated symptoms: muscle soreness, hypersensitivity to light (photophobia) or sound (phonophobia), temporary vision loss, seeing spots or flashing lights, autonomic nervous system dysfunctions (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), cold extremities and sweating.
 – Usually, the headache resolves over several hours during sleep or rest. However, there may be vomiting or intense emotional release abruptly ending the migraine.

Here Are a Few Things That You Can do at Home to Help With Your Headache Pain! 

 –  Rest and change positions.
 – Apply a cold pack to your head/neck and heat to your feet (during a  – headache).
 – Apply heat to your neck, back, and jaw muscles (in-between headaches).
 – Try some self-massage on your neck and upper back muscles (or use a foam roller or lacrosse ball).
 – Perform slow and pain-free stretches of the neck.
 – Apply peppermint oil to temples, back of neck and/or add into your shampoo during headaches.
 – Massage and gentle hair pulling to loosen the scalp.
 – Prioritize self-care (bubble baths, massage, facials).
 – Drink 8 cups of water every day.
 – Aim for 8+ hours of sleep.

If you need additional information, a consult or help managing your headaches then please feel free to reach out to one of our team members at Stride! You can book your appointment online by clicking here.

Stay healthy, stay happy.

Cheyanne

What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?

Dry Needling at Stride Physiotherapy and Wellness

What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?

By Blake Goehring, Physiotherapist

The term ‘dry needling’ describes inserting a needle into the body without injecting anything through it. For example, when you get a booster shot or get blood taken, there is a fluid that is either injected in or withdrawn from the body. A dry needle is simply a filament type piece of steel that is only fractions of a millimeter thick that slides through the skin to a target tissue. At Stride, we have therapists that do both: Acupuncture and Intramuscular Stimulation, which both fit under the umbrella term of a dry needle.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture uses a pre-set map on your body; where and how deep the needles go are predetermined and located along 12 different energy channels in the body. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, energy termed “Qi” flows through these channels and dysfunction occurs when these channels become blocked or obstructed. A Western Medicine perspective explains that the needles are inserted into areas close to the nerves, which helps the nervous system to stimulate healing, promote blood flow, and mobilize the body’s immune system.

What is Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) or Functional Dry Needling (FDN)?

Intramuscular Stimulation or Functional Dry Needling uses a similar needle to that used in acupuncture with a vastly different technique. IMS/FDN targets trigger points or “knots” built up in localized areas of a muscle. Picture this: a trigger point happens when a small contractile unit of the muscle gets stuck in the overlap and cannot relax. This might feel like a taut, fibrous band when you rub your fingers over a tender area in your muscle. IMS/FDN aims to target that trigger point which elicits a muscle twitch, essentially resetting that muscle.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture and Dry Needling feel quite different once the needle penetrates the skin. Acupuncture is often painless and can be associated with a mild ache when the needles are left in for a length of time. As previously described, dry needling causes a muscle to twitch, which can be experienced as painful or a deep ache. Dry needles can be stimulated by attaching cords to the needles that contain circulating electricity.

Which type of needling is right for me?

Of the two needling techniques, Acupuncture is typically described as milder and perhaps better for more acute situations involving swelling and inflammation. If your problem has a chronic nature or your target tissue that is causing your issues or problems is deep then dry needling might be the better approach for you.

At Stride, our therapists are experienced and qualified to thoroughly assess your needs and find the most effective form of treatment that is personalized for you. To learn more: call 403-343-8891 or Book your appointment online.

Shockwave Therapy: What You Need To Know

shockwave therapy

Shockwave Therapy: What You Need To Know

By: Julia Towers, Physiotherapist

 

If you’ve ever been to the clinic, you’ve probably heard our Shockwave machine hammering away! So, what is that noisy thing anyway?

Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that delivers high energy acoustic waves into tissues to promote healing and kickstart the reparative process of tendons and other soft tissues.

There is some very good research that suggests that Shockwave Therapy has the following benefits: stimulating the formation of new blood vessels, reversing chronic inflammation, stimulating collagen production, breaking up unwanted calcium build-up, releasing trigger points in muscles, and reducing pain. The biggest take-home for Shockwave Therapy is that it wakes up the body’s natural healing process.

Now that you know what Shockwave Therapy is, let’s go through some common conditions that it is used to treat.

Shockwave treatment is a great tool for those who have had a lasting injury due to overuse or repetitive strain. Some examples include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel spurs
  • Tennis elbow
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Shin splints
  • Chronic tendinitis
  • Hip pain
  • Calcification

Simply put, Shockwave Therapy helps to treat those stubborn injuries!

Another common question that we get asked is: does Shockwave Therapy treatment hurt?

As a treating Physiotherapist, I have to be honest with you – there may be some mild discomfort during the application to your injured area. However, your Physiotherapist will work with you to find settings which are appropriate and tolerable for you.

Shockwave treatments usually take about 5-10 minutes and most patients are able to tolerate the intensity for this short period of time.

Our patients also want to know: how many treatments will I need?

Research tells us that for most injuries, 3-6 treatments are sufficient for providing symptom relief. These treatments are typically spaced about a week apart.

Lastly: are there any reasons or cases where Shockwave Therapy could not be used?

We must also consider the reasons why we wouldn’t use this modality. Examples are active infection, tumors, pregnancy, or taking anticoagulants. These are all things that would come out during an initial assessment.

Shockwave is best suited as part of a larger program of care. Here at Stride, your Physiotherapist will determine if you are a good candidate and deliver the modality in conjunction with many other aspects of your treatment such as manual therapy, specific exercises, activity modification, and education.

Overall, Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment with great evidence supporting its role in providing pain relief and restoring mobility. It may even reduce the need for addictive pain killers.

If you would like further information on anything mentioned in this blog, please feel free to ask one of the team at your next appointment!

Myths About Concussions & How to Manage Them

concussion

Myths About Concussions & How to Manage Them

BY: LAURIN WALTON, PHYSIOTHERAPIST

 

I am excited to be able to share some information with you about one of my favorite topics: concussion management. One of my passions is educating people with current, evidence-based information about concussions. Patient education has been shown to have a large impact on concussion recovery.

I took my first concussion course in 2014 and was excited to learn the role that physiotherapists could have in concussion management. There is an abundance of information about concussions on the internet and in the media, but it can be difficult to wade through this and find credible sources. Our understanding of concussions has also changed in the last decade with new research being done.

Below, I would like to clear up some common myths about concussions.

Myth 1: Concussions only occur from a direct blow to the head

When we think of concussions, we often think of someone getting hit in the head by something, or falling and hitting their head. While these are common causes of concussions, there are other ways that concussions can occur. A concussion occurs when a rapid movement of the head causes the brain to move around or twist within the skull. This can be caused by a direct blow to the head, a hit to the body that transmits force to the head, or a whiplash-type movement that often occurs in motor vehicle accidents. These mechanisms don’t always cause concussions, but they have the potential to.

Myth 2: You have to lose consciousness to get a concussion

Most people that sustain a concussion DO NOT lose consciousness. Loss of consciousness is only one indication that a concussion may have occurred. Many people may experience other symptoms like headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, etc. However, if you DO lose consciousness after a force to the head (or body!) it is VERY likely that you have sustained a concussion.

Myth 3: Concussions only happen in contact sports

To be fair, a lot of concussions DO occur in contact sports like hockey and football. However, there are lots of other non-contact sports like soccer and downhill skiing where concussions occur. Concussions can also occur in the workplace, during motor vehicle accidents and due to slips and falls. There are many people that sustain concussions that are not athletes.

Myth 4: The best treatment for a concussion is rest

It used to be common practice for patients to be told to rest in a dark room for 2 weeks after a concussion. Current research indicates that it is important to take the first 24-48 hours to rest physically and cognitively, but that resting for too long can be detrimental to recovery. Experts recommend a gradual progression through stages of activity, beginning with simple tasks that do not increase symptoms.

Concussions can happen in a variety of settings in many ways. They’re a complicated injury and it can be challenging to know what to do in each individual situation. Guidance and education from a qualified healthcare professional can make the journey through concussion recovery a lot less stressful. Reach out if you have any questions or concerns… We are here to help!

How to Meditate – A Beginner’s Guide

how to meditate

How to Meditate – A Beginner’s Guide

By: Krista Tait, Registered Massage Therapist

 

I have only been meditating for a few years. Learning how to meditate has helped my outlook on life, cured my insomnia, reduced my stress and allowed me to be more mindful.

To some, learning how to meditate seems like a daunting task… Is it really possible to just sit still, quiet your mind and not move? This was my thinking before I started too, but my perspective changed when I decided to take a class. We are human; our thoughts are going to be stirred and our body will want to move during meditation and that is ok!

Below are some tips that I have picked up along the way to help you learn how to meditate and incorporate it into your routine.

First, pay attention to what you are doing! Be mindful. Second, you need to have a willingness to meditate in order to be successful. Last, find something that you like to do and do it as your form of meditation (i.e. listen to sounds or music, perform a scan bringing awareness to different areas of your body, etc.).

Five essentials to remember while learning how to meditate: 

  1. It’s okay to have thoughts. Come back and do so without judgement.
  2. Be kind to yourself.
  3. Begin every meditation like it’s the first time.
  4. Don’t try too hard – just let it happen.
  5. Stick with it – it will work.

Benefits of meditation:

Emotional Well-being

  1. Lessens worry and anxiety
  2. Reduces stress, fear and depression
  3. Improves resilience against pain and adversity
  4. Helps prevent emotional eating
  5. Improves your mood

Physical Well-being

  1. Reduces blood pressure
  2. Increases longevity
  3. Improves breathing and heart rate
  4. Improves immune system and energy levels

Cognitive Well-being

  1. Increases mental focus
  2. Improves cognitive skills
  3. Helps ignore distractions
  4. Helps manage ADD & ADHD

There are several websites and apps which can be helpful while getting started:

Feel free to try a few of these out and see which one resonates with you. Start out slow and remember be kind to yourself when learning how to meditate!

Top 5 Tips to Treat Plantar Fasciitis at Home

Treat Plantar Fasciitis at Home

Top 5 Tips to Treat Plantar Fasciitis at Home

By: Eric Walper, Physiotherapist

 

So, your foot hurts and you’ve been told you have plantar fasciitis – what now? For many people, plantar fasciitis can be very discouraging and disruptive to their everyday routine and for obvious reasons. Walking is an essential part of life and disruption of this task with an association of pain and discomfort is all the more problematic.

Plantar fasciitis is a generalized inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot. The plantar fascia helps to comprise and support your foot arch, acting as a spring as you enjoy pain free motion. Factors such as age, stiffness, excess weight and foot shape can all play a contributing factor to this diagnosis.

I’d be lying if I said plantar fasciitis was an easy injury to treat. While it’s hard to predict why some people recover quickly and others do not, the necessity to have to move and walk throughout your everyday life is likely one of the biggest difficulties in recovery. It’s not like it’s fair to tell you to stop walking!

With this in mind, as a physiotherapist I am often tasked with creating a treatment plan for plantar fasciitis. Below are my top 5 tips and strategies to treat plantar fasciitis at home. These are key pieces of information and advice that I give to my patients to help eliminate this pesky foot problem.

 

Tip #1: Rolling

Grab a hard ball such as a golf ball or rubber lacrosse ball. Whenever you are watching TV or sitting idle, roll the bottom of your foot out. This is one of the quickest and most accesible ways to treat plantar fasciitis at home!

 

Tip #2: Stretch Your Calf

Stiffness in the calf and toes can likely contribute to more strain on the plantar fascia. As we get older, it becomes more important to keep these areas supple to prevent inflammation in our arch. As with any good stretch, make sure you hold the stretch for at least 30-60 seconds.

 

Tip #3: Foot Doming

“Foot what?”. Our foot is full of small muscles. It is their role to support and stabilize our arch, as well as contribute to foot alignment. Google foot doming exercises to see how you can begin to toughen up the foot muscles and eliminate your sagging arch or check out our YouTube channel for a video.

 

Tip #4: Consider Your Footwear

Good footwear is one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to foot, knee and hip issues. For many people, new pain in the lower body can be related to old or tired running shoes or footwear. Not technically a way to treat plantar fasciitis at home, but at the store instead – think hard about when you last treated yourself to some new shoes and take a good look at the shape your everyday shoes are in.

 

Tip #5: Physiotherapy Treatment

When all else fails, visit a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are trained to take a deeper look at your alignment and foot pain. Whether it’s educating you on footwear, reducing stiffness in your calf and ankle, or prescribing specific exercises to help with your plantar fascia, it is our responsibility to find a path that you can navigate on your road to plantar fasciitis recovery!

 

Practicing Physiotherapy in Red Deer

physiotherapy in red deer

By: Blake Goehring – Physiotherapist & Owner

 

I often get asked the question, “What’s it like to work in the community you grew up in?” Well, that answer requires a great deal of context.

When Jen and I decided to make the giant leap from being Physiotherapists to Clinic Owners, we did a lot of thinking and research as to where we wanted to be. We looked at various numbers for the potential cities we considered opening in: city population, clinic density per population, therapist density per population, etc. Initially, Red Deer wasn’t even an option; we respected our then employers and didn’t want to be in direct competition with them. We looked at Airdrie, Canmore, Okotoks and Cochrane but weren’t convinced by the research that we could be successful in any of those communities.

We then turned our gaze to Red Deer. I grew up here. Jen moved here so that we could live and be together. My family is here. A great number of my friends moved away for College or University, then moved back here. Red Deer is awesome!

Nostalgia aside, the rational voice in my head was asking the question, “Ok, what about the numbers?” They didn’t look great! Red Deer took the Bronze medal for the worst numbers behind Calgary and Canmore – maybe this wasn’t the best place for us to start our entrepreneurial careers. My rational self was destroying my emotional self in this argument.

What about community? That had to count for something, right? Though Red Deer had doubled in size from when I was born, it still had a small-town feel. I know Jen appreciated that sentiment, coming from a city of 8000 residents in Ontario. She was happy to call Alberta home. Both of her brothers had also moved to Alberta and lived in Calgary. Red Deer was close enough to be able to keep the close relationship that she and her siblings had formed in their adult years. Essentially putting the numbers aside, we decided that Red Deer was where we would open our clinic.

At this point, Jen and I knew a great deal about the human body and next to nothing about business. Who could help our neophyte business brains figure this out? Our community became our saving grace.

My accountant happened to have graduated from Notre Dame High School with me and was my defence partner on my then hockey team. He turned our attention to a great lease space available in town, and figured out how we were going to make our finances work. My lawyer is one of my best friends and stood up for me when Jen and I got married. He dealt with all of the legalities of starting a business and offered thousands of dollars’ worth of free business advice that we gladly took (and still owe him for)!

Apparently, you need a great deal of money to renovate a space and get a business up and running. Lucky for us, a member of my current hockey team, the Red Deer Senior Rustlers, worked for ATB and worked out all the minutiae of our business loan. Once we had the funds, we contacted a contractor to do our build-out. We had already met this gentleman, who was recommended by a friend that operates an electrical company in Red Deer, from when we worked part-time at Pure Crossfit. He was incredible to work with and helped us to create the space that allowed us to begin our dream. Simply stated, Stride wouldn’t exist without the community of Red Deer!

I think you now know the answer to that question, “What’s it like to work in the community you grew up in?” – it is better than I could have ever imagined and couldn’t imagine our roots anywhere else!