Stiff Upper Back

How a Stiff Upper Back Can Spiral into More Issues and What to Do About It?

Is the work-from-home situation turning you into a couch potato due to lack of physical activity? This could be one reason behind the sturdiness of your thoracic spine leading to an unrecognized disrupted posture. 

The neck and the lower back are usually more prone to injuries and common pain as compared to the upper back which over time can turn into something serious. As unusual as the pain to the upper back is, it is also not easy to distinguish the upper back pain from the neck strains. This is why, by the time you realize the pain, it’s a red flag. 

The upper back is the region that lies below the cervical spine (neck) and above the lumbar spine (low back). The upper back is called the thoracic spine, and it is the most stable part of the spine. The range of motions in the upper back is limited because of the thoracic spine’s attachment to the ribs (rib cage). 

Some of the Upper Back Pain Symptoms are: 

The pain in the upper back region does not solely remain in one spot. There occurs: 

If your upper back pain is related to the bones, nerves, or discs of your thoracic spine, your symptoms may also include:

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain down the legs
  • Incontinence (bowel and/or bladder leakage) 
  • Numbness or weakness in your legs

Burning Sensation in the Upper Back Region: 

When the upper back pain becomes serious enough to limit your movement, there is a sharp pain and burning sensation localized to one spot along with pain in the neck, shoulder and elsewhere. This is due to the below mentioned two reasons. 

  1. Muscular irritation.

The shoulder girdle is the area where more than 1 bones attach. It is here that a large muscle attaches on our shoulder blade and the back of the rib cage. These large upper back muscles are prone to developing strains or tightness that can be painful and difficult to alleviate. Muscular irritation in the upper back is typically due to either de-conditioning (lack of strength) or overuse injuries (such as repetitive motions).

  1. Joint dysfunction. 

It is either from a sudden injury or a natural degeneration due to ageing, joints in the upper back can dysfunction and cause pain. 

However, you could yourself examine the stage of your pain. There are 3 stages to the pain: 

  1. Stage One: 

It is the pain in the centre of your back though aiming in the upper middle part. There is mild pain and on stretching a little you feel relaxed. 

  1. Stage Two: 

Now, the pain has elevated and you will feel it when you move quickly or even sneeze. If you are not sure if the pain associated with it is regarding the same issue, you can test so by taking a deep breath. 

  1. Stage Three: 

By this point, you are going to feel the pain so intense just as if it were a burning sensation by doing the simplest of the tasks or even by doing nothing! 


Exercises to Relieve Upper Back Pain:

To relieve upper back pain, try these simple home remedies: 

  • Gentle stretches
  • Ice to reduce pain and swelling
  • Heat to improve mobility and ease stiffness 


Exercises to improve posture and pain:

  • Imagery. 

Imagine there’s a cord passing through your body from ceiling to floor. Now imagine someone pulling that cord upward, slightly lifting your chest and ribcage.

  • Chin tuck.

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Your shoulders should be relaxed and down. Now pull your chin in toward your neck. Count to five, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

  • Shoulder blade squeeze.

Put your hands on your thighs and keep your shoulders down, roughly at chin level. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together. Count to five, then relax. Repeat three or four times.

  • Upper back stretch.

Raise your right arm to shoulder level, directly in front of you. Bend your arm at the elbow and grasp that elbow with your left hand. Now gently pull it across your chest and hold for it 20 seconds. Repeat three times on each side. 

How Serious is an Upper Back Pain? 

Most cases of the upper back are not due to a serious underlying cause, but in some cases, it may be caused by an infection or from the compression of the spinal nerves further leading to spinal instability. With serious upper back pain, comes serious underlying symptoms. These may include, radiating pain or pins-and-needles tingling in the chest or abdomen, fever or chills, reduced coordination, problems walking, or severe headache. 

This brings us to conclude that DO NOT unsee or neglect any pain in the back as with time, the condition may get serious which might as well not be related to muscles or bones. 

Get an analysis as to what is causing you back pain and get a permanent solution to it at PysioExperts, Kanata. 

For any questions regarding Upper Back Pain, Call Us at 613-672-6000 or drop us an email: info@physioexperts.ca Book an appointment today with one of our experts and get the solution to all of your problems!  Follow Us Facebook | Twitter |Instagram

The Best Ways to Prevent ACL Injuries

Does your knee go *POP* when you elevate or you walk or bend your knee? If yes, that’s a red flag right there! It is a serious setback that could make you undergo surgery and lead to chronic conditions. 

WHAT IS ACL?

An Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL is a ligament in the knee joint that keeps the shinbone (tibia) connected to the thigh bone and contributes to movement control. When this ligament tears or wears off, an audible *pop* sound is heard which is further followed by swelling in the knee, joint pain and failing to put any kind of weight on the affected limb. 

WHAT CAUSES ACL? 

ACL most commonly affects sports individuals. The number rounds off to 200,000 people a year that tear their ACL. However, ACL injury could also happen to individuals who do not play sports but have vigorous physical activity, especially women. 

The main cause of ACL is off jumping and improper landing actions, imbalance in the leg muscles and unexpected falls or accidents. 

However, this all can be prevented if precautions are taken beforehand to prevent ACL. 

5 EASY STEPS TO PREVENT ACL

  1. Warm-Up on Waking-up!

For sports players, going on the field with cold muscles and ligaments is highly risky not only for ACL injury but also for any kind of orthopaedic injury. This applies to everyone! The harsh winters of Ottawa freeze your muscles and tend to risk your balance and you may fall. Warming up before getting on the field or on waking up, loosens your muscles and ensures proper blood and oxygen flow to them preventing cramps and any further damage. 

One way to do so is by stretching every morning before beginning any chores. This helps to loosen your ligaments of the major muscle groups of your leg below.  

  1. Strengthen Your Knee Muscles. 

If the muscles or ligaments connecting the three bones at the knee joint are weak, then you have an increased risk of developing ACL injuries. Strength training that increases knee stability includes:

  • Plyometrics 
  • High-intensity jumping
  • Exercises for the hamstrings and quadriceps

(For more information, click here!)

  1. Concentrate on Balance! 

Your main body balance is held by the knee but also by the ankle! ACL tears can occur at your ankles due to simple sprains as well. Focus on improving balance by strengthening the small muscles at your knee and ankle which will further help assist you in avoiding unnatural pivots and twists around your ankle. Improving balance prevents ACL injuries from a collision, sudden stop or faulty landing.

At PhysioExperts, we can help you not only cure ACL but also help you guide with basic exercises daily to prevent ACL. 

  1. Check Your Footwear.

Improperly fitting shoes could impair your balance and increase the risks of knee and ankle damage by spraining and twisting your ankle. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes with good quality souls and proper cushioning. 

Consult your coach for proper sports footwear and experts for assistance over your regular footwear.  

  1. Regular Physical Examination.

The way health check-ups are essential once-a-year, a physical examination of every individual is also very crucial. Though you may not be concerned about your minor joint or muscular pain, it never takes long for it to become a chronic illness. 

PhysioExperts is your physiotherapy and rehabilitation centre in Ottawa.

We provide solutions for various causes of musculoskeletal pain (jerking movements, auto accidents, falls, fractures, sprains, dislocations, and direct blows to the muscle).

Our focus on the multi-disciplinary approach for our patients helps us to give our patients every possible treatment and to help them recover from pain rapidly and effectively. We specialize in sports injury physiotherapy.

We not only help relieve your pain and trauma but also, assist you with the love and affection you deserve. 

Want to know more about ACL injury in Ottawa? Book an appointment with us at PhysioExperts in Kanata. 

For any concerns, Call Us: 613-672-6000 or drop us an email: info@physioexperts.ca

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Rookie Weight-Training Mistakes That Lead to Injury

Keeping an active life and working out regularly is good for your health. But exercising with correct technique, posture and intensity is important to avoid injuries. As a sports physiotherapist in Ottawa, we treat all sorts of aches, pains and injuries caused due to wrong posture techniques  or missing out on warm-ups. But we always recommend working out the right way. 

If you are a beginner and do not know how to work out right, then this article is perfect to understand the most common mistakes people make at the gym.

  1. Exercising without proper warmup

Do not skip a warmup! The reason why warmup is an essential part of your workout because you need to charge up your body to get ready for the heavyweight workout regime. It’s tempting to skip the warmup and save time, but increasing speed or intensity before your body is warm can lead to injury. Body warmup increases blood circulation, loosens your joints, and keeps the muscles warm and loose preventing acute injuries like muscle spasms or joint pains.

  1. Working out when you are unwell

If you’re feeling a bit under the weather or didn’t get enough sleep, working out will only worsen it. Your mind-body connection is important when you work out. If you feel well enough to exercise, but not 100%, don’t do strenuous exercises, rather stick to walking or yoga. 

  1. Working out too soon after injury

If you’re recovering from a sports injury, you need to take it slow and gradually resume your activity.  Just because the pain is gone, doesn’t mean your injury is healed, Get back in active mode can re-aggravate the pain and it may cause a re-injury. Pro-tip: the best way to know if you’re ready for physical activity is to consult a physical therapist.

  1. Not getting an injury treated right away

A common mistake many people make when they have a minor muscle related pain is to avoid getting a treatment for it. This often worsens the condition over time and you may risk an injury. Getting physiotherapy treatment in Ottawa when you experience a slight pain can reduce the impact of the injury. PhysioExperts gives you guidance and education on when and how to return to activity

PhysioExperts lets you experience the right muscle injury treatment in Kanata through the right physiotherapy techniques.

Book an appointment to get a physical assessment done for your condition and get personalized treatment.

For appointments, Call Us: 613-672-6000 or drop us an email: info@physioexperts.ca

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What are the Manual Therapy Techniques and how do they work?

Many a time, you can sustain an injury which may limit your joint range of motion.  In such cases, one of the best option for you is to go for manual therapy. It is one of the skillful ways to use hands-on techniques by a licenced provider to adjust the movements of joints and soft tissues in your body. This help you improve tissue extensibility which help you recover your range of motion to pre-injury level, and thus improving overall body function.

Physiotherapy treatment decreases symptoms such as edema, pain, spasm and swelling. Overall it enhances your health, wellness, and fitness to maintain physical performance. 

When you should go for manual therapy?

Here are some of the conditions under which you may want to avail the benefits of manual therapy: 

  • Neck pain due to muscle spasm, wrong posture.
  • Lower back pain that occurs due to muscular imbalance/tightness, postural, facet joint restriction.
  • Thoracic pain due to disc herniation, or rib restriction.
  • Recurring migraines or headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Shoulder conditions like frozen shoulder, rotator cuff injury, tendonitis, bursitis
  • Hip pain due to hip impingement or post-surgical hip replacement, or myofascial hip pain
  • Knee pain as a result of post-surgical knee replacement, or conditions like iliotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral dysfunction.
  • Ankle pain due to conditions like ankle sprains/strains, arthritis.

Manual therapy techniques 

Manual therapy techniques are suitable for connective tissues and helps alleviate muscle aches. It also helps restore normal mobility to provide symptom relief in acute, sub-acute, and chronic pain conditions.

Here are some of the manual therapy techniques that help you restore your health position.

Soft Tissue Manipulation

Many a time, strenuous asctivity can cause muscular tiughtness and thereby causing wear and tear in soft tissues. As it turns out, even after the restoration process, the muscle spasms continue. In such cases, we may need to address the muscle tension, or else it may cause muscualar dysfunction.

Soft tissue manipulation works through the application of pressure to break the inelastic or fibrous muscular tissue (called ‘myofascial adhesions’). Typically, these are the scar tissues from injury to muscle fibres.

Pain Rehabilitation Techniques

One of the benefits of these manual therapy techniques is that it helps correct the abnormal neuromuscular reflexes.  The abnormality leads to structural and postural problems, which results in painful ‘tender points’.

During physiotherapy treatment, the patient is held in a comfortable position for some time. Gradually, some intensity of asymptomatic strain is induced through mild stretching. Slowly, the body is brought out of that position. As a result, this allows the muscles to regain a usual status.

Your practitioner may decide to use these techniques for back problems that are too acute or too delicate to treat with other procedures.

Joint Mobilization

A manual therapy technique that involves joint mobilization can be used for patients who suffer from spasm in the back muscles or other connective ligaments and tendons. This technique includes loosening up the restricted joint and increasing its range of motion by providing slow velocity and increasing distance of movement. The movement propagates through the barrier of a joint to the actual bone surfaces.

Muscle Energy Techniques

Muscle energy techniques help improve muscle tightness. It also helps lengthen shortened muscles. Your physiotherapy treatment may include the application of a distinctly controlled counterforce. The force applies specifically in a particular direction, from a precise position. The procedure may be repeated two or more times.

Conclusion

Currently, if you or anyone you know are suffering from acute or chronic pain; and are looking for relief, you may need to take a quick step ahead to avoid further aggravation. For your specific needs, let’s get in touch and discuss which one, among all manual therapy techniques, suits you.  At PhysioExperts Physiotherapy Clinic, Kanata we incorporate manual therapy into physiotherapy treatment to help optimize your recovery.  

PhysioExperts Physiotherapy Centre is a Kanata-based clinic providing one-on-one appointments with registered physiotherapists. Our team strives to deliver the highest quality of care. As such, we take our time to fully understand your situation, so that you can make a full and effective recovery. Our facility is always clean and includes free parking for your convenience. We are open early in the morning to late evening, with on-call options on Saturdays. For more information, check out our reviews.

Geriatric Physical Therapy Exercises

Physical activity has proven to be beneficial for people of all ages. However,as you age, sometimes you need more than just physical activity to keep yourself from harm’s way, this is where geriatric physiotherapy can be of use.

The advantages of exercise for older adults include:

  • Less prone to developing diabetes,stroke, heart disease and certain types of cancers
  • Protection against osteoporotic fractures and post-menopausal osteoporosis
  • A decrease in unplanned falls
  • A decline in loneliness, isolation and depression
  • Less likely to develop complications associated with motionlessness
  • Balance and proprioception (Awareness of one’s own body)
  • Coordination and motor control (improved control over daily activities)
  • Stamina (carry out activities for longer period without much exhaustion)
  • Power
  • Elasticity

Physical activities reduce therisk of falls, which is one of the major causes of disability during old age. Physical activity increases mental health and reasoning in older adults and helps them cope with depression and anxiety. Empirical evidence shows that physical activity among the elderly significantly increases sociability. This is a huge benefit because loneliness is one of the leading causes of depression among the elderly. 

Type of exercise recommended for older adults:

  • Aerobics activity
  • Exercises which improve flexibility
  • Balance and proprioceptionexercises (crucial for fall prevention)

For more information about geriatric physiotherapy Call us now or Book Online at PhysioExperts!