Your back is one of the most complex parts of your body. It is made up of bones, muscles, joints, organs and your spinal canal - which houses your spinal cord, one of the most important components of your nervous system.
As impressive as the back is, there is a lot that can go wrong with it. Some back injuries can be very serious, but the most common back issue is lower back pain.
Lower back pain is not usually medically serious, but that doesn’t make it any less disruptive to your life. Determining exactly what is causing your back discomfort is an important element of your treatment. Here are five common causes of lower back pain:
1. Poor lifting technique
Whether you are at the gym, moving furniture, or at work you need to be sure to exercise proper lifting technique at all times. Straining your back is completely avoidable when you use these proper lifting techniques:
If you are overweight (or pregnant) you are more at risk of lower back pain due to the strain of carrying extra weight in front of your body.
To protect your back (and improve your overall health) consider a low impact exercise routine like yoga or Pilates. Both yoga and Pilates will:
3. Sports injuries
It is important to stay healthy and active to protect your back, but even athletes who are in excellent physical condition can experience lower back pain caused by the sports they enjoy. Golf is a particularly common cause of lower back pain among middle-aged people, while sports like baseball/softball, squash, soccer, basketball, hockey and football can also result in lower back pain.
The best way to protect yourself from lower back injuries during sports is to:
If you are already suffering lower back pain from a sports injury then you should consider non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive techniques such as physiotherapy, sports massage and even acupuncture to get back on the field, court or course.
While not as dramatic as a sports injury, sitting for prolonged periods can be just as damaging to your lower back. Sitting can compress your back, cut off blood supply and put pressure on muscles, discs and ligaments. To avoid or reduce back pain caused by extensive sitting:
5. Medical Conditions
It is important to always visit your doctor or medical professional when you are experiencing lower back pain to ensure that it is not the result of serious medical issues, such as:
According to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, “four out of five Canadians experience at least one episode of lower back pain (LBP) at some point in their life.” If you’re one of the many Canadians suffering from lower back pain the good news is that you don’t have to suffer. Book an assessment today with one of our physiotherapists and start your road to recovery.
Spinal manipulation has a long history as an effective treatment for a range of health issues. Based on a combination of western medical science and ancient Asian traditional treatments, spinal manipulation has been used countless times as part of rehabilitative or preventative treatment programs all over the world. Despite the prevalence of spinal manipulation, many myths still persist about its use and practice.
What is spinal manipulation?
Spinal manipulation is also sometimes referred to as manual therapy, joint therapy, or spinal manipulative therapy.
For millennia spinal manipulation has been used across the world in many different countries and cultures to treat a range of ailments. Historical documents suggest that spinal manipulation was a recorded technique utilized in ancient China and Ancient Greece more than three thousand years ago. Even the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates mentions manual manipulation techniques in his famous studies of medicine. Does his name sound familiar? The Hippocratic Oath is one taken by all doctors when they swear to uphold the principles and proper conduct of the medical profession.
Spinal manipulation was part of traditional medicine across Indonesia, India, and much of Asia, but also in places such as Russia and Norway. Since the beginning of the modern medical era the popularity of spinal manipulation as a treatment option waxed and waned. Over the 19th and early 20th century the technique was met with skepticism, but it has since been accepted as a valid treatment option for certain issues when used in conjunction with other techniques.
How does spinal manipulation work?
There are many techniques used in spinal manipulation, two of the main techniques involve: a sudden but controlled force on a joint cause a popping sound; or less sudden movements which stretch and gently manipulate joints, muscles, and ligaments.
What are the benefits of spinal manipulation?
Spinal manipulation is used as a treatment for:
Spinal manipulation’s benefits also include:
Is spinal manipulation right for you?
There are some risks associated with spinal manipulation, however these risks are minimal. Some studies have indicated that certain spinal manipulation techniques can cause stroke, and others have noted that there is a slight risk of spinal injury. Both of these issues are very rare, but you should always consult your doctor before undergoing any new form of treatment and make your physiotherapist aware of any pre-existing conditions.
If you have osteoporosis, a heart condition, certain forms of cancer, or serious spinal injuries, spinal manipulation may not be right for you. In such cases alternative techniques which don’t involve the use of manual force (like acupuncture) might be better options.
Whether or not you have a pre-existing condition, it’s important to ensure your physiotherapist is qualified to perform spinal manipulation. Physiotherapists who are Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy have earned the qualification that a physiotherapist can achieve. This FCAMPT designation is recognized around the world and Meadowlands Physiotherapy is one of Ancaster's only physiotherapy clinics with FCAMPT designated physiotherapists.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physiotherapists. We will be able to assess your condition and overall health to determine whether or not spinal manipulation would be beneficial to you.