July 2, 2014 2:50 pm

Councillor knocked over by Ford says she’s still in physiotherapy

WATCH ABOVE: Last November, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford knocked over Councillor Pam McConnell as he attempted to get to his brother Doug who was in a heated argument with members of the public gallery.

It made headlines around the world: embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford accidentally knocking over councillor Pam McConnell as he ran across the floor of the council chamber.

The November incident played on loop on news cycles, websites and even late night talk shows.

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But now, nearly seven months later, McConnell says she’s still undergoing physiotherapy as she rehabilitates from the fall.

“As somebody who was crushed by the mayor and is still in physiotherapy, I wish you all good luck and I’d hope that some of you would stay well away from the crush of the cameras,” McConnell told reporters on Monday as politicians were scrummed about Ford’s return to work post-rehab.

READ MORE: Rob Ford returns to work – will his stint in rehab help?

McConnell had told Toronto newspapers in December that she had headaches along with shoulder and neck pain.

“Seven months is a substantial length of time but it would depend on the injuries she sustained in the fall and what her pre-existing condition was,” according to Bonny O’Hare, a physiotherapist and owner of Pro Motion Physio in Thornhill, Ont. O’Hare is also a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

O’Hare doesn’t treat McConnell but she said a string of variables are at play when it comes to rehabilitation from a fall.

“Some people fall and it’s not a problem. Some people fall and break things. What’s important after a fall is to recover strength and balance,” O’Hare explained.

READ MORE: What doctors say Rob Ford needs during his leave from office

If a body part was broken, recovery could take longer because physiotherapy can’t begin until the bone is healed. Medical conditions – diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, for example – are also factors that could draw out the rehab process.

But if a bone isn’t broken, conventionally it’s an injury to the soft tissue in your body. Ligaments, tendons or muscles could get strained. It’s up to physiotherapists to assess what the pain is and what the repercussions are from inflammation, decrease in range of motion or other issues.

O’Hare’s guess is that McConnell is in the stages of active rehabilitation, which is less so about alleviating pain and focuses on gaining strength, mobility and balance through exercise.

READ MORE: Ford knocks over councillor during commotion at city hall

“At this point in time she’s probably involved in getting stronger – that would typically be what I would tend to see in someone seven months past injury,” O’Hare explained.

But what’s next for McConnell is unclear – in December 2013, she told Toronto outlets that she wouldn’t rule out taking legal action against Ford.

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

© Shaw Media, 2014

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