Everything you need to know about chronic low back pain

Chronic low back pain or CLBP is associated with neurochemical, structural, and functional cortical changes of several brain regions including the somatosensory cortex. Complex processes of peripheral and central sensitisation may have an impact on the development of acute to chronic pain. To put it simply, CLBP is an unexplained pain in the lower back that persists for more than 12 weeks.

Who is at a higher risk of developing CLBP?

This condition is found more in women (70.3 per 1000 population) than men (57.4 per 1000 population) and elderly who are at a higher risk of experiencing chronic back pain. Factors like old age, previous back pain problems, accidents that have caused the condition to occur and psychosocial disorders were factors that affect the recovery.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain and discomfort in the gluteal (buttock) region. One can experience pain in the centre, on either of the sides or both sides of the lower back which may or may not cause pain in the buttocks, hamstrings, or calf.
  • A sharp radicular pain travelling down the leg due to nerve root irritation).
  • Palpation of the lumbar spine may result in tenderness with frequent muscle spasms.
  • Pain may be aggravated by bending, arching back, rotating or combined lower back movements.

How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy assesses the severity of the problem and designs a personalised treatment plan that includes a specific exercise regime that will aid in reducing the pain and improve motor function.

PhysioExperts designs an Individual exercise program, after a careful physical examination and understanding the patient’s clinical history. We deliver a customised exercise program specifically designed to cure the patient’s chronic lower back pain. We only provide supervised exercise programs that include home exercises, supervised training with regular therapist follow-ups.

We encourage the patient to increase the intensity of the exercise based on the severity of the patient’s condition. Stretching and muscle-strengthening exercises were the best types of exercises for improving pain and function.

How long does it take to recover?

In normal cases, patients with back pain recover in 6 weeks and worst cases, it may go up to 12 weeks. It is very important to understand that the recovery phase after the 12th week is slow and uncertain.

In conclusion, chronic low back pain is a slower recovery process. However, with the proper care and following the exercise program diligently can help you to get back to an active life faster. PhysioExperts always strives to move you to better health.

5 common reasons why your muscles are sore?

Muscle soreness can occur after overexertion or injury during physical activities. When muscles are overworked than their original capacity it causes the microscopic damage to the muscles fibres which results in muscle soreness or stiffness.

There can be several why you are experiencing muscle pains and aches; even for those who live a sedentary lifestyle.

As the top physiotherapy clinic in Ottawa we are listing down the possible reasons why people feel muscle soreness. Let’s have a look.

Strenuous exercise

Starting afresh or coming back to your workout routine can be difficult as your muscles are not yet adapted to the increased demands that such activities require. As your body is trying to adapt to your fitness regiment, you may experience minor muscle pains or stiffness for the first few days of your workout, and that’s common. This condition is often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. A muscle pain that begins within 8 hours post exercise and prolongs for 48 hours post exercise. A mild muscle soreness is a natural outcome of almost any kind of physical activity.

Too much soreness post exercise can hamper your movement and can be counterproductive to the goal of improving your core strength and fitness.

Injury

Muscle soreness can also be due to sports injuries and accidents that can cause bruising, and strain. Physiotherapy is an effective way to help heal muscle strain and reduce pain.

The treatment for these injuries are classified based on the severity of the injury.

In case of a first degree muscle strain, the patient may suffer mild injury and we advise rest and no activities in such cases. While in the second degree strain the patient may feel some bruising, muscle stiffness and weakness. In such a scenario, we assess the severity of the condition and devise a treatment plan for faster recovery. Lastly, the third degree muscle strain is a complete tear which can be painful and significant bruising is visible. The patient may feel loss of strength and mobility in the affected limb. Medical assessment is a must to determine if surgery or immobilization is required during the initial healing phase and when ready, our  physiotherapy will be introduced to guide faster recovery.

Stress

In stressful situations, your body produces stress hormones that may increase muscle tension and pain sensitivity. Due to which you may experience random migration of pain in various muscles groups throughout your body. It can be difficult to identify how it all started. But lack of sleep or excessive emotions and poor breathing functions can contribute to muscle stiffness.

We’re here to help you identify the cause of stress, create a positive change to help you feel better.

Medical conditions

Many medical conditions and syndromes can also contribute to muscle pain. Common painful conditions can include: arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, fibromyalgia, disorders of the endocrine system and diabetes also present with muscular pain.

Proper diagnosis is very important to implementing a successful treatment program.

Woman muscle pain during running training

Vitamin & mineral deficiencies

Studies have also shown that muscle soreness is often a symptom of vitamin deficiencies in our body. Vitamin D is the most common deficiency that is causing muscle soreness. Vitamin D is important for good bone health. Insufficient vitamin D can affect your body’s capacity to absorb calcium from our diet. 

In such a case, the body draws the calcium from your bones, which eventually leads to osteopenia or weaker bones. If not treated on time, this condition progresses to osteoporosis.  Although osteoporosis is caused only in the presence of a fracture but in case of poor bone health, muscles tend to become weak and sore.

If you too are experiencing muscle soreness due to the above mentioned reasons, visit us or book a free consultation call with our registered PTs today. ‍

Our role as a physiotherapist in COVID-19

As COVID-19 has been a dreaded nightmare for all of us, we all should exercise caution at all times. We understand that as a physiotherapist, we are in direct contact with our patients. Therefore, to avoid the spread, as a precaution we have kept our clinic closed for now.

As physiotherapists, we are also the first contact practitioners, which means that we are in a position to take responsibility for the early identification of the novel coronavirus. It is, therefore, our responsibility to be familiar with COVID-19 symptoms and prevent its transmission. As a part of the physiotherapy community, we are sharing some of the key considerations that we ought to follow with due diligence:

Staying updated with the current scenario. We are constantly following WHO’s and Ottawa Public Health’s evolving resources and keeping ourselves abreast with the current statistics and news.

Being responsible is our oath. We are keeping an objective view of the current crisis. Our staff and our patients may look upon us as a leader to provide the right information to help them make decisions and also provide reassurance that we can take care of them at this time of need.

Exercising caution at all times. We’re following the infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines and are practising social distancing and promoting everyone to stay home. We’ve rescheduled our appointments and have opened digital service via Telehealth Care so our patients can still connect with us in case of emergencies.

We are happy that the federal government is including the essential role and contributions of physiotherapists to fight Canada’s COVID-19, and making new investments to mitigate the impact of the virus on Canadians. Together we will overcome COVID-19 with compassion, command and conviction.

PhysioExperts is committed by using telehealth to deliver quality care to our patients. Through this medium, we promote ourselves to help you stay connected with us anytime, anywhere.

During your telehealth virtual appointment, we will prescribe exercises, track your progress and advise precautions. We also help you use whatever resources are available at your home to optimize your care.

What you get?

  • Virtual appointments are secure and private just like in clinic sessions
  • Get a 30 min – 60 min session with an experienced Physical Therapist 
  • Easy to connect video sessions on your phone, tablet or laptop

We’re extending our expert care with Telehealth. We are available from Monday – Friday, 9 am – 8 pm. Book online: https://experts.janeapp.com or book via email: info@physioexperts.caor book via call: 613.672.6000

COVID-19: Our responsibility as physiotherapists

The novel coronavirus is the biggest disruption we have ever experienced in the world. 

People are getting anxious and are unaware and lack clarity on this changing situation. As a responsible physiotherapy clinic in Ottawa, PhysioExperts team would like to share important information with everyone. Please take time to read and share with your colleagues, friends and family.

Since March 2020, the province of Ontario has witnessed over 19,000 positive cases with an average number of 400 cases coming daily. This is a serious problem and we would like to promote social distancing as the first step to stop this pandemic. The objective is to reduce the spread and delay its transmission to the peak and reduce the number of cases over time to relieve the pressure on the healthcare system.

According to the WHO report the incubation of the virus is somewhere between 1 and 14 days with symptoms most likely emerging after the 5th day. Therefore, healthcare professionals are promoting 14 days of self-isolation. So, it’s important to stay protected at all times. It’s very important that you follow proper hand hygiene, follow social distancing and make use of your Personal Protective Equipment(PPE)  applicable to prevent the spread of infection. 

Hand hygiene is equally important to reduce the infection from spreading. Wash your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. The reason is, the virus can stay in your hands for more than 30 minutes, which is enough to make your sick. In case of emergencies, always exercise caution and wear surgical hand gloves and a face mask. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water. 

We only promote the right information and always try to stop the spread of the virus as well fake news. Stay home and stay safe.

What is the role of physical therapy in treating tennis elbow?

Does your elbow hurt, and you have been diagnosed with tennis elbow? If yes, rest and lowering inflammation is the mainstay goal for treating it. Once the inflammation subsides, physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles and prevent recurrence of tennis elbow. Here is how physical therapy can help.

Before knowing the role of physical therapy, let’s understand what tennis elbow is and why does it happen.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is caused by inflammation of the forearm muscles that attach to the elbow. Common symptoms of tennis elbow are burning and pain on the outside of the elbow and reduced grip strength.

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury caused by repetitive action. Tennis elbow is commonly observed in racquet sports, but can also be seen in carpenters, plumbers, and painters.

Factors Responsible

Factors causing tennis elbow are different for everyone suffering from it. For treating tennis elbow, it is thus important to find out the factors responsible for your problem and manage them accordingly. Some common factors are:

  • The tightness of forearm muscles: The tendons affected by tennis elbow are attached to the forearm muscles. For normal arm function, it’s important that forearm muscles are flexible and strong to perform the required tasks. If the muscles are not flexible, the load on these tendons increases, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Repetitive motion: Tendons tend to break down when the strain is higher than what they can withstand. This could be due to small forces over a period of time or in a single motion where the force is so high that the tendon breaks. So, tennis elbow is common in individuals with hobbies or jobs that involve repetitive movements.
  • Shoulder tightness: When movement at one joint is not normal, it alters the functioning of neighbouring joints. With a task that involves shoulder, wrist, and elbow, a lack of shoulder mobility increases the load on the wrist and elbow.
  • Others: Ergonomic factors, such as sitting position, grip size of tools you use, and frequent use of vibrating tools increase the risk of tennis elbow.

Role of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help you with:

  • Lowering pain
  • Promoting tissue repair
  • Restoring normal function
  • Improving muscle strength

Your physical therapist will determine the factor(s) responsible for the tennis elbow and curate a treatment plan accordingly. Some treatment options are:

Exercises

Functional training and weight-bearing exercises can improve muscle strength and flexibility. They also help to reduce muscle tightness. Some common exercises are ball squeeze, finger stretch, and wrist stretch. Exercises are usually advised once the pain eases. You may be able to see results within 8 weeks depending on your condition.

Manual Therapy

Manipulation and mobilization can help in lowering pain. These techniques are usually done as an adjunct to exercise or medications.

Shock Wave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy aids in stimulating the healing process of your body. Your physical therapist will use this technique at a definite interval to allow your body to heal between treatments.

As factors causing tennis elbow are different, a combination of treatment options used in all cases can be different. Your physical therapist will help you curate a treatment plan for a pain-free elbow.

Looking for a physical therapist? Search for physiotherapy clinic near me.