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: Book an appointment today with one of our experts and get the solution to all of your problems!  Follow Us Facebook | Twitter |Instagram

Treatment for Sciatica

Sciatica is a type of lumbar radiculopathy

More than half of Canada’s population came across a work-from-home situation and certainly is still on-going. Sciatica has lately been the most troublesome situation due to the least amount of body movement observed throughout the day. However, that’s not it. Let’s dig in further to find out the Whats, Whys and the Hows. 

What is Sciatica? 

Sciatica refers to the Sciatic nerve that emanates along the lower back which further branches throughout the buttocks and goes down each leg reaching the heel and sole of the foot. The Sciatic nerve is known as the largest nerve in the human body and is formerly developed by the coalition of 5 nerve roots, all from the lower spine. The major role that this sciatic nerve plays is that it connects the spinal cord with the skin and muscles of the thigh, leg and foot. 

What causes Sciatica? 

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in the lower spine is compressed due to irregularities in the bone of the spinal cord i.e., either, the disc in the spine has ruptured causing abnormal outgrow of the bone usually called a herniated disc or, is caused by an overgrowth of the spinal bone/discs. In rare cases, the nerve is compressed by a tumour or is abruptly damaged due to diseases like diabetes insipidus.  

Risk Factors of Sciatica: 

  • Age. After a certain age, spine problems are common that could lead to misunderstanding the sciatic pain. This is why it becomes essential to get diagnosed by expert physiotherapists near you. 
  • Obesity. Excess body weight increases the weight on your spine that can contribute to the compression of the sciatic nerve. 
  • Prolonged sitting. People with the least amount of activity can easily be victims of sciatic as sitting continuously at one place can disrupt the spine posture causing discs to skew. 
  • Diabetes Insipidus. The condition in which the person suffers from an abnormal ratio of blood to sugar can happen to develop sciatica due to increased risk of nerve damage caused by sugar molecules in the blood. 

When to visit PhysioExperts

  • Usually, the pain that radiates from your lumbar region commonly known as your lower spine, down the foot, following the buttock and the entire leg is the trademark of sciatica. The symptoms of sciatica include: 
  • Elevating pain in the lower back spreading down the leg. 
  • The feeling of numbness or weakness in the lower back, buttock and feet. 
  • Difficulty moving/loss of movement. 
  • The feeling of “pins and needles” on the legs and feet. 
  • A gradual increase in the ticklish or itchy feeling in the legs.
  • Loss of bladder control. 

How does Diagnosis and Treatment for Sciatica work at PhysioExperts? 


At PhysioExperts, Kanata (Ottawa),  the physiotherapist shall first go over your medical history and confirm your symptoms for further treatment. An understanding of your physique is a must for which you shall be asked to walk on your toes and heel to know the intensity of your calf muscles and the weight your spine can carry. 

Further, you may be asked to lie on your back straight and gradually the physiotherapist shall raise your leg till the point the pain is activated. This helps to understand the origin of the pain in the spine, the nerve being affected and helps determine any problem with the discs. Essential tests like Spinal X-rays, MRIs, electromyography, myelogram shall be conducted if the pain is suspected during stretches, muscle flexibility, motions, massage, or touch. 


For sciatic treatment in Kanata, PhysioExperts focus to decrease the pain and increase the mobility. Beginning with ice packs or hot bag treatment (depending on the cause), the first aim will be to release any sort of muscle discomfort. Once the muscles of the patient’s back and legs are at ease, gentle stretches of the lower back and legs will be performed. Eventually, exercises will be directed such that the muscles of the back are improved, and the core of the lower back and legs are strengthened. 

All patients are not the same, depending on your ability to process the pain, a customized program of stretching and aerobic exercises will be implemented so as to reduce the pressure on the nerve and release the pain resulting in pain-free locomotion. 

Get a personalized program that suits the best for you at PhysioExperts in Kanata. 

For appointments, call Us: 613-672-6000 or drop us an email: 
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Shockwave therapy is a process that functions non-invasively over the affective region by creating a series of low sound wave pulsations through a medium of gel applied over the skin.  Shockwave therapy in Canada has been in existence since the early 90s and has been the most preferable treatment by individuals suffering from not only muscular dysfunction but also, any pain caused by tendon and ligament dysfunctions. 

How does Shockwave therapy work? 

Shockwave therapy has been a primary preference for problems involving connective tissues and several musculoskeletal conditions. In the medical field of applications, it has been a concern to focus on the minimal usage of energy for which Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) also commonly called shockwave therapy qualifies the best in regards to the result. 

There are some tendons in the human body that don’t seem to respond well to normal methods of treatments for which shockwave therapy allows our experts for the alternative stubborn tool for chronic tendinopathy. 

To begin with, our experts at PhysioExperts first ensure you are suited for the shockwave therapy and if or whether it is the best for your problem. The physiotherapist will make sure you are well aware of your condition and what activities should and should not be performed in regards to your condition, and what in concurrence to the treatment could you do like – any sort of activity alterations, considering any other issues in regards to your posture, muscle weakness, etc. The treatment with shockwave is usually performed once a week for a period of 3-6 weeks depending on your condition of improvement. During the process of treatment, it can cause a little bit of discomfort varying on how well you take it. However, it only lasts for about 4 to 5 mins and the intensity can be tweaked to keep the therapy going on at your comfort level.  

Why PhysioExperts for Shockwave Therapy? 

The shockwave therapy in Ottawa used at PhysioExperts ensures the usage of the safest and the most recent medical device that is tested and approved for the treatment and management of the condition of the delicate tissues. Therapists at PhysioExperts effectively treat any enduring and lingering conditions like chronic tendinopathies (commonly known as tendinitis) which are conditions that have been greater than 6 to 7 weeks. Some of which are – 

  • Tennis elbow
  •  Achilles 
  • Rotator cuff 
  • Plantar fasciitis
  •  Jumpers’ knee 
  • Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder 
  • Heel spurs 
  • Groin strain 
  • Hamstring tendonitis 
  • Gluteal tendonitis
  • Fractures. 

These could be a result of sports, strains, or injuries at work. 

For shockwave therapy At PhysioExperts Kanata, your course of treatment shall consist of 3 to 5 treatments depending on your injury that will be planned a week apart at your availability. Some patients notice the difference in pain immediately after a session or two and improve the mobility of the muscle, however additional sessions will be required in order to make sure the complete healing of the particular muscle. Since shockwave therapy is a collective effect, more than one treatment in multiple sessions is required to ensure the safety of the elasticity of the muscles in addition to long-lasting relief. 

Want to know more about Shockwave Therapy? Book an appointment with us at PhysioExperts in Kanata. 

For any concerns, Call Us: 613-672-6000 or drop us an email:

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How to treat a concussion with physiotherapy?

Every individual experiences different symptoms after suffering a concussion and therefore there is no one size fits all when it comes to concussion treatment. To recover from a concussion, an integrated approach of vestibular-ocular exercises with rehabilitation can help in recovering from the condition. 

An integrated approach involves consulting your physician to understand the severity of the condition and devising a recovery plan which can fasten your recovery. At PhysioExperts, we include physiotherapy, and massage therapy to ensure everything is addressed properly.

Further to our concussion recovery therapy we educate you about the benefits and how we will be curing the symptoms with rehabilitative exercises during the tenure of the treatment. This gives positivity which boosts your recovery. We try to minimize the associated anxiety and mental health components of the injury as a lot of what you are going through which is frustrating but is also normal after a concussion.

After 48-72 hours of rest, we help you return to your daily active life as long as the symptoms are not provoked again. We then introduce a daily aerobic exercise routine in our clinic. Daily aerobic exercise helps to address issues with the Autonomic Nervous System, which is commonly impaired after a concussion. As mentioned earlier every concussion is different and therefore we work on a personalized plan and track intensity levels and associated responses to encourage an active recovery.

The few days of treatments includes 20-minute slow walks at a level that does not provoke symptoms., Gradually as you start to feel better, we introduce different exercise regimes depending on the rehabilitation goals. Commonly after a concussion our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) will lose its ability to help in the regulation of our heart rate response. This is partly why concussion patients may experience symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and feeling lightheaded to name a few with increased activity levels and postural changes (from seated to standing).

PhysioExperts offers physiotherapy in Kanata for sports-related injuries. For appointments, call us at (613) 672 6000 or email us at

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Acupuncture: Advantages & Disadvantages

Acupuncture therapy has been practiced with great success for thousands of years for patients suffering from chronic pain, headaches, stomach issues, menstrual cramps, and fertility problems. 

Even though this technique has shown proven results and can improve your health significantly, you need to assess if you need to take it or not. Before you schedule an appointment with our acupuncture specialist, we would recommend asking yourself whether you need it or not. No doubt, acupuncture therapy certainly has its advantages, but there are some disadvantages linked to it as well.

Let’s help you understand what you need to consider when you book an appointment for acupuncture therapy in Kanata.

  1. Acupuncture helps you feel relaxed. Pricking needles on the pressure points specific to your condition helps in relieving you from pain and stress. Data shows that Acupuncture creates an increase in serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins,which help in enhancing your mood.
  2. No drugs or chemicals are used in acupuncture. Therefore there are little to no side effects of acupuncture therapy. This natural therapy also helps in balancing the body’s energy levels. 
  3. Even though the practice uses pricking needles in the skin, a trained acupuncture specialist can make the treatment painless. There is strong overwhelming evidence that acupuncture is a high-quality treatment for chronic pain and a wide range of health conditions.

Now let’s deep dive into the disadvantages of acupuncture therapy

  1. Acupuncture may temporarily worsen certain symptoms before the situation improves. This is a rare situation but it is good to be aware of. If your body energy levels are imbalanced, your body may experience changes and sensations which is quite normal. 
  2. You may undergo the treatment and still see no improvement. We usually suggest our patients take a few sittings of acupuncture therapy in our clinic to see better results. It also depends on the condition. If the condition is chronic or needs a holistic approach, you may need 4 to 8 visits a month for several months.
  3. Dizziness, nausea or strong fatigue can occur after an Acupuncture session. This is usually if the patient has not eaten before acupuncture therapy or has over exercised prior to the treatment.  Be sure to inform your Acupuncturist of any recent changes or long term issues with mood and energy before your treatment in order to ensure the best results.

It is our expectation that this article will help you understand the pros and cons of acupuncture therapy. 

PhysioExperts offers physiotherapy in Kanata for sports-related injuries. For appointments, call us at (613) 672 6000 or email us at

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