For a brief description of conditions, simply click on the buttons below. When you’re not clear about your pain, discomfort or symptom, please get in touch for a consult.

General

Intervertebral discs are the structures between each vertebrae of your spine. These discs have a very important role in your life: they absorb shocks.
When you injure them, or suffer from a disc bulge, you will feel pain in that area and into the limbs, or you will feel pins and needles, numbness, burning or heaviness.
Disc injuries happen through trauma, lifting, overuse, poor posture or genetics.
But disc pain can also be caused by irritation or degeneration. We can treat most disc bulges conservatively using physical therapy and giving you the right exercises to work with.
When you have bad posture habits, you can suffer from rounded shoulders, sway back, slouching, forward head carriage or tilted pelvis. Poor posture, and the issues that come with it, can then affect the way you move and function in your daily life. Once we know what’s going on we can treat or manage the problem with a combination of physical therapy and advice.
When you go about everyday tasks, you may not be aware of it and your muscles may go out of balance. What this does is upset the symmetry of your body and if you don’t pay attention to it early on you may be creating learned behaviours and bad habits. It goes without saying that this is often the cause of further injury.
Spinal instability refers to the increased motion between two vertebral segments. This can occur after injury or be there from birth. Instability can cause spondylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebra relative to another). This slippage or instability can also be cause by spinal fractures or mal-union during development (pars defect).
Nerves can be impinged, or pinched, as they exit your spinal cord. They get pinched because of disc bulge, inflammation, bone spurs, arthritis or instability. When nerves get pinched you will feel shooting pain, dull ache, tingling, numbness, burning or loss of sensation or strength. Our first priority at the clinic is to find the cause of the impingement, so we can take the pressure off the nerve and make sure you recover in the best possible way.
There are many different types of arthritis: rheumatoid, osteo (degeneration), psoriatic, gout, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile arthritis.
When you suffer from arthritis the symptoms include pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage and surrounding structures. Walking, driving or cooking might feel challenging when you experience joint weakness, instability or deformities.
When we treat arthritis we control the symptoms, and we slow down the process using physical therapy, prescribing you exercises and giving advice for your lifestyle.
When you sprain a joint it means that the supporting ligaments get injured. You’ll feel pain, experience swelling and stiffness. The ligaments connect your bones and can tear partially or fully. With a partial tear we treat the injury conservatively.
When your joints surrounding the spine lock up, we call it a biomechanics joint dysfunction or a fixation. This happens when you overuse the joints, when you injure yourself, or when you have bad posture habits. It will mean that you can’t move as before, and it will also cause the muscles around the locked up joints to tighten and inflame.
Muscle pain can occur after a muscle has been injured (strain, torn, pulled, spasm) during overuse or overloading. When you have an injured muscle you will experience pain, tightness, you won’t be able to move as before and you may experience bruising and weakness.
Bursae are fluid filled sacs that are located throughout the body between muscles, bones, tendons and skin to ensure low friction. When these bursa become inflamed, this is known as bursitis. It is most commonly caused by overuse and biomechanical dysfunction. Treatment of bursitis usually involves finding the source of it and correcting that along with treatment of the inflammation within the bursa.
Tendons are the end structure of a muscle that attaches it to bone. Tendonitis is the inflammation of these tendons after overuse or overload. Symptoms of tendonitis include pain, stiffness, inflammation and decreased range of motion.
RSI is an umbrella term for injuries that involve overuse, vibration, forceful exertions, regular compression and sustained awkward positioning. It can often be associated with pain, tingling, numbness, stiffness, weakness and even decreased blood flow.
Instability is relatively common condition characterised by loosening of the ligaments and joint capsule surrounding the joint therefore enabling the bones to move excessively on each other and can often dislocate.
The thoracic outlet is a space between your first rib, collar bone and muscles. There are nerves and blood vessels that run through this outlet. Thoracic outlet syndrome is when these nerves and blood vessels are compressed by the structures that create the outlet causing arm symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling and heaviness.

Hip Pain

You may hear of this injury in the groin or be familiar with it, in case you’re a runner or doing any sport that involves kicking. The injury happens when you overuse the muscles around the pelvis, which causes stress on the pelvic joint. If the tissue isn’t treated early, ongoing pressure on the pubic bones can cause them to degenerate.
Now there’s a condition that is usually pain free, just more of an annoyance. When you walk, run, get up from a chair or swing your leg around, you may hear and feel a snapping sound in your hip. If you’re a very active person, the snappy hip symptoms may also include pain and weakness.
There is a ring of cartilage around the hip joint called the labrum. It supports your hip joint, making it stronger. When the labrum degenerates, or when you have been overusing your hip joint, it can tear. Symptoms include clicking, catching, locking, pain and stiffness in the hip joint.

Knee Pain

Chondromalacia patella is the softening and degeneration of the cartilage on the underside of the patella (knee cap). This causes pain deep in your knee, under your knee cap. It can also cause mal-tracking of the patella due to the changes in biomechanics.
When you suffer from a meniscus problem, it may be caused by degeneration or by some sort of trauma, violently twisting your knee in most cases. It comes with swelling and pain, and symptoms like popping, clicking and locking. What happens is a tear in the medial or the lateral meniscus. The meniscus is a fibrocartilage that separates the thigh bone from your skin bone.
Runners knee, also called ITB Syndrome, means that the biomechanics of your knee change, more specifically in the Iliotibial band (a long band of fascia that runs from the outside of your upper leg, from your hip to your knee).
A weakness or a tightness, fatigue or how your knee absorbs shocks when running, can change the biomechanics, and cause the syndrome.
Osgood–Schlatter disease (apophysitis of the tibial tubercle) is an inflammation of the patella ligament at the tibial tuberosity (just below the knee cap). Most often this happens in young children, and it can be recognised through a painful lump below the knee. When your favourite sports involve running, jumping, and quick changes of direction, you’re at risk, particularly during growth spurts or in case of overuse of the ligaments.
When we say we have a “shin splint”, it could mean any pain along the front of the shin. It’s more a symptom than a disorder, and there are many possible causes for this kind of pain: poor biomechanics, flat feet, incorrect footwear, instability, or overuse to name just a few.
Depending on the cause there are a wide range of treatments but it’s very important to establish a correct diagnosis.

Head / Neck Pain

When we get a headache it may come from our joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, tendons and ligaments. When one of these structures isn’t working well, it can send referred pain up into your neck and head. Our practitioners are well trained to do a thorough physical exam and diagnose where your headaches come from.
Between each vertebrae in your spinal cord, from top to bottom, on either side, there are 2 facet joints. When they “lock” they cause spasm of the muscles around them. What you then feel is a combination of pain and not being able to move. This is one of the common conditions that we treat at the clinic.
Our jaw connects to our skull by means of the TMJ, the Temporo Mandibular Joint. It works like a sliding hinge. Now when something’s wrong with your TMJ, you’ll feel pain in your jaw or the surrounding muscles. The muscles that control the jaw, span from above your ears into your neck. When there’s any dysfunction, asymmetry or overuse there, this can be the cause of the jaw pain. Other causes include arthritis or injury.
Whiplash is mostly linked to car accidents but it can be caused by any whipping action of the neck in any direction. What it means is that the structures around your head, neck and shoulders are damaged (muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves).
Whiplash can become chronic, and it’s important to take care of it with physical therapy and with prescribed exercises.

Back Pain

Your ribs attach to your spine and to the breast bone. What they do is protect your lungs and heart, working like a bucket handle, moving up and down when we breathe. It’s common for ribs to become “stuck” so we feel pain when we move, when we breathe or cough. It mostly also causes a restriction in movement through the chest cavity.
Scoliosis means your spine curves in an unnatural way from side to side. It usually happens without a specific reason. We can manage a mild version of scoliosis using physical therapy and with prescribed exercises. What this does is slowing down the process, or even stopping it. It’s also important we monitor a scoliosis, so we can take swift action when it’s necessary. Early diagnosis is very important.
When you hear the term “Sciatica” being used, it’s usually to describe pain that runs down the back of your leg. The word is not a diagnosis, it’s a symptom. This kind of pain comes from an impingement, caused by a disc bulge, spinal dysfunction, muscle tightness, inflammation, arthritis or something higher up the spine, even into the brain. Sciatic issues can also cause burning, tingling, numbness or weakness. Depending on the diagnosis, we treat most sciatic pain and symptoms conservatively through physical therapy and by giving you exercises.
We all have 2 sacroiliac joints or SI joints between the base of our spine and our hips, one on either side. They are very strong joints, supported by ligaments, assisting with fluid movement of the pelvis. They absorb shocks in that area. Now when the joints are disfunctional or fixated, you won’t be able to move freely, and you will feel pain in that area and down your leg.

Elbow Pain

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common tendonitis of the wrist extensor tendons that attach on the elbow. Pain is felt right on the outside of the elbow and is often pinpoint in nature. It is usually caused by overuse of the elbow and wrist.
Golfer’s Elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is a common tendonitis of the wrist flexor tendons that attach on the elbow. Pain is felt right on the inside of the elbow and is often pinpoint in nature. It is usually caused by overuse of the elbow and wrist.

Shoulder Pain

The thoracic outlet is a space between your first rib, collar bone and muscles. There are nerves and blood vessels that run through this outlet. Thoracic outlet syndrome is when these nerves and blood vessels are compressed by the structures that create the outlet causing arm symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling and heaviness./accordion_item] Impingement syndrome is a condition where the rotator cuff tendons of your shoulder are trapped and compressed when you move your shoulder. This is when your shoulder tendons and bursa will get injured and it will hurt each time you move your shoulder. Impingement syndrome can be caused by poor biomechanics, abnormal bone formation, tendonitis or inflammation.
When your shoulder joint or glenohumeral joint, gets inflamed and tightens up (we also say it’s becoming fibrosed), the joint gets stuck (adhesion of the joint) and we experience “Frozen Shoulder”. The metaphor is used to describe three stages of this particular problem: your shoulder is freezing, it’s frozen or…it’s thawing.
The typical things you’ll experience when your shoulder is frozen are obviously pain, stiffness and you won’t be able to move your shoulder as normally.
Shoulder instability happens when your ligaments and the joint capsule, surrounding the shoulder joint, are loose. What it means is that your bones now have too much space to move around and that’s when they can dislocate.
The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that stabilise your shoulder (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis if you want to get to know them better).
When you overuse these muscles, or they are affected by an accident, they can tear, or they can develop tendonitis. You’ll experience pain and stiffness in your shoulder when this happens, or also down your arm.
Around our shoulder joint there’s a ring of cartilage and that’s called the labrum. When a tear occurs in that labrum we call it a SLAP lesion. It can happen when you move your shoulder in a forceful way, pulling the biceps tendon away from the bone and thus causing the labral tear. In doing so you may also experience that the joint is dislocated.
Bursae are little sacs throughout the body, filled with fluid. They sit between muscles, bones, tendons and skins and they are doing great work there, ensuring low friction. But when things go wrong and when they become inflamed, we call it bursitis. The causes? Overuse and biomechanical dysfunction, quite often. It’s mostly a matter of discovering what caused it, and then of correcting it, along with treating the inflammation within the bursa.
Tendons are the extremity of your muscle, the part of a muscle that connects the muscle to the bone. When you overuse or overload them they can get inflamed and that’s when we talk about tendonitis. The typical symptoms are pain, stiffness and you’ll feel that you can’t move your body as you normally would.

Wrist / Hand Pain

The carpal tunnel is a space within the wrist created by the bone of the wrist and a thick layer of fascia. Running through this space is nerves, tendons and blood vessels. If the size of this space is compromised by inflammation, injury, a narrow tunnel or certain diseases, it can impinge on these structures causing pain, numbness, weakness and decreased circulation.
De Quervains Tensinovitis is a common tensinovitis of the wrist with involves inflammation of the sheath that surrounds two of the tendons attaching to the thumb. This is commonly caused by overuse of the muscles.

Ankle / Foot Pain

Achilles Tendonitis is what you have when your “achilles heel” is inflamed, because you have overused it, or because of other reasons like poor biomechanics, overuse or tight muscles. This inflammation can happen to you even if you’re not doing heavy sports, and actually it can occur at any age, whatever the level of your activities.
Heel spurs are bony growths attached to your heel bone. They create pain and swelling and it will often mean that you can’t move like you could before. Usually heel spurs are linked to chronic plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis.
The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of your heel bone, extending along the sole of the foot towards your toes. To put it simple, absorbing shocks is what it does. Now when the plantar fascia tightens and inflames, because we have been overusing it, because of an accident or poor biomechanics…that’s when it’s sore in the morning and it can feel like tearing in the base of your foot when you walk.
Sever’s disease (also called apophysitis of the calcaneus) is an inflammation of the achilles tendon. What you’ll notice is a painful lump over your heel, and this often happens in young children. Too much running, jumping and quick changes of direction are some of the causes, as well as typical overuse and growth spurts.

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