Areas of Focus
Back pain is a symptom rather than a condition but it is an issue that most Canadians will suffer with at some point in their lives. There are many possible causes for back pain and for this reason it is best to have thorough assessment with your chiropractor in order to arrive at the correct diagnosis. While one person’s back pain may be caused by poor posture, another person’s may be caused by a muscle spasm or a herniated disc. Back pain is a condition which chiropractors treat very frequently and effectively.
The spine is a large and complex series of joints. Between each pair of vertebrae sits a soft but firm cushion called the intervertebral disc. This disc cushions impact between the vertebrae and protects them from damage. The most common symptom of disc herniation is pain which travels down the path of the spinal nerve which is impinged. For example, when the L5-S1 disc herniates pain is often felt down the sciatic nerve distribution of the buttock, thigh, leg and/or the foot.
Healthy posture is an essential factor in maintaining a strong and stable spine. When posture and overall ergonomics are compromised, misalignment, muscle weakness and pain may develop. Chronically poor posture and ergonomics are a significant barrier to full recovery from injury and painful conditions in general. Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain and neck pain are heavily influenced by a person’s posture. Your chiropractor will fully assess the impact of postural imbalances on your body and make the necessary changes for optimal recovery.
Frozen shoulder, also known as “adhesive capsulitis”, is a condition caused by stiffness of the fibrous capsule which surrounds the shoulder joint. People with frozen shoulder may suffer a significant amount of pain in the shoulder which leads to reduced usage of the affected arm and further stiffening of the capsule. Frozen shoulder, in some cases, can be a condition which perpetuates itself through limiting the use of the affected arm and impairing recovery. People over the age of 40, in particular women, are more likely to develop frozen shoulder.
Illiotibial Band Syndrome
The iliotibial band is a wide band of rigid connective tissue connecting the hip to the tibia bone. This band is naturally quite rigid but can become even more tense in the case of iliotibial band syndrome. Overuse is the most common cause of iliotibial syndrome, with runners being the most common group affected. The symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome include pain and stiffness in the region of the lateral thigh. With iliotibial band syndrome, care should be taken to have adequate rest periods especially during intense athletic training.
Migraine & Tension Headaches
While migraines and tension headaches have some similarities, they each have unique symptoms. A tension headache is usually experienced as a chronic, even daily, nagging headache, while a migraine typically lasts for a day or two and then is gone for weeks or months. Tension headaches are a lower intensity pain that may rarely go away. They become a part of the sufferer’s life and are often misdiagnosed. Migraine headaches are typically shorter bursts of intense pain which may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity.
Muscles are contractile tissues which drive movement throughout the body. Muscles function through a delicate balance of many factors including water, magnesium, calcium, potassium, protein, fat, carbohydrates, stress, sleep and exercise. If any of these factors is out of balance the muscles may become weak or even spasmodic. Luckily there are treatments and lifestyle modifications which can help with acute spasms as well as chronically spasmodic muscles.
Osteoarthritis (commonly called simply “arthritis”) is a degenerative condition of the joints which affects most Canadians as they age. Osteoarthritis is a process of wearing down of the cartilage of our joints which generally progresses with age and can become debilitating in some cases. People with past injuries and people carrying extra body weight are at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. The symptoms that people with osteoarthritis experience most are pain, stiffness, weakness, swelling and poor mobility of the affected joint.