Thursday, 11 October 2012

Reasons to See a Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists are experts at helping people treat physical pain and injury. In addition to assisting with pain relief, by using specific techniques they can manipulate injured areas to help the healing process.

There are many new technologies on the horizon that a physiotherapist may use to address symptoms for improvement, which can also completely heal an injury and eliminate pain. Below outlines some of the many different reasons that seeing a physiotherapist can be very beneficial.

Chronic Pain

Physiotherapy is very beneficial for people who have common conditions such as:

  • Arthritis, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Painful joints
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heel and foot pain
  • Elbow or shoulder pain
  • Ligament, muscular fractures or sprains
  • Ankle sprain or pain
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain, due to injury, infection, wrong posture, or
  • Muscular soft tissue injuries


People experience many types of physical injury. Often, it is not clear what the level of damage is at the outset. While it is most natural to attempt to let the body heal on its own, some injuries prevent that from occurring. This is why it is advisable to see a physiotherapist right away, even if you are unsure of the extent of the injury, rather than waiting until the pain increases. The sooner an injured person sees a physiotherapist, the more expediently he or she can get a treatment plan in place that could manage and eliminate pain, while correcting body damage.

Immediate Pain Management

After any kind of discomfort or pain begins, it is advisable to see a physiotherapist as soon as possible. The first point of pain is a critical time and immediate attention not only starts the healing process, but when pain and injuries are less aggravated when treatment begins, further damage may be stopped. In addition, physiotherapists instruct patients about how to manage each recovery stage, which is critical to accelerate healing.


People who have had surgery, particularly on any extremity, can greatly benefit by seeing a physiotherapist. One example is a broken bone that has been reset. In that case, it is imperative to assure that you visit a physiotherapist for, at the very least, several few weeks.

Chronic Injury

Chronic injuries usually last six months or more. Some injuries take a long while to recover. Chronic injuries are often related to muscle tightness or weakness, due to imbalances that were never adequately addressed. In addition, people who suffer from chronic pain can find it beneficial to discuss their issues in social media forums and find a physiotherapist to assist them.

Pain During Exercise

People who routinely injure themselves while exercising often have caused damage to their bodies. These issues can be corrected by seeing a physiotherapist, who will conduct a screening to determine the cause of pain. Remedies will be offered, along with instruction to help ensure the same issues do not return.

Minor Pain and Injuries

Through the years, people can accumulate small and presumably insignificant pain and injuries. This can contribute to muscle weakness and tightness so that joints stiffen or become loose. Underlying issues usually contribute to causing a non-optimal habit of movement or pattern, which further contributes to more body part breakdown. A physiotherapist can conduct a comprehensive screening for:

  • Flexibility and strength
  • Assessment of movement patterns
  • Developing individualized treatment programs
  • Advising on recommended, as well as activities to avoid

Other Benefits of Physiotherapy

Aside from the obvious pain management and injury correction that physiotherapy provides, one of the great benefits of treatment is the lack of drug use. Pain killers often damage the body and cause addictions that people struggle with later. The treatment is completed at the body’s pace, which usually means that patients do not have to rely upon anti-inflammatory or pain medication.

Finding a good physiotherapist is quite simple and can be done using social media outlets and searching through forums to find a professional who best suits your needs.

Remember that neglecting pain or an injured area contributes to chronic pain, weakness or recurrence of injury. This is why it is important to seek the assistance of a physiotherapist as soon as pain or injury occurs.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

5 Types of Back Pain Treatment

Back pain is a common ailment that ranges from mild to serious. It can occur in your lower back, upper back or anywhere along your spine. Common causes of back pain include improper lifting, strained muscles, bulging disks, sciatica and arthritis. Spinal infections and tumors can also cause back pain in rare cases. Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to treat this condition.

Home Care
Mild back pain resulting from minor injuries or strains can usually be treated at home. Ice packs and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. Heating pads can help relieve sore muscles. Avoid doing strenuous activities since this can make your condition worse. Resting for a couple of days is alright, but you should avoid prolonged periods of rest after this point since this can slow your recovery. It’s important to call your doctor if you have severe back pain or pain that lasts longer than three days.

Physical Therapy
You might need physical therapy to help you recover from a severe back injury or to help you cope with chronic back pain. Physical therapists use several types of treatment methods, such as ice, heat and electrical stimulation, to relieve pain. They also help patients strengthen their back muscles and become more flexible once the pain subsides. These exercises help patients recover and lower the risk of having back pain return.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, usually help back pain that is mild to moderate. You might need prescription muscle relaxants to relieve back pain if over-the-counter medications don’t work. Your doctor might prescribe codeine or another narcotic to provide short-term relief for severe back pain. If you’re dealing with chronic back pain, antidepressants like amitriptyline might help. Your doctor might try cortisone injections if other forms of medication haven’t been effective. Cortisone reduces inflammation, although this relief typically only lasts for a few months.

Spinal Manipulation
Spinal manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustment, is usually used for lower back pain. It’s done by making a joint move farther than usual but not to an unnatural degree. Although chiropractors typically perform spinal manipulation, physical therapists and osteopathic doctors with the right training can also use this form of treatment. Chiropractic care might also include massage, stretching and electrical stimulation to help relieve back pain.


Most cases of back pain don’t require surgery. Your doctor might recommend it if other treatment methods don’t work or if the pain spreads down your leg or is associated with muscle weakness. Surgery might involve joining or fusing two vertebrae, removing part of a spinal disk or removing part of a vertebra. Fusion helps reduce pain, but it can also lead to a higher risk of arthritis in your vertebrae. Partial disk removal relieves pain by getting rid of the disk portion that is putting pressure on a nerve. Partial vertebra removal gets rid of bony growths that press on your nerves or spinal cord.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Back Pain: Daily Annoyance or Serious Problem?

Many people suffer from regular back pain. Whether it be from age, weight, sleeping improperly, or sleeping on a poor quality mattress, back pain can crop up for many different reasons and have serious effects on your day to day life. Regular back pain, however common, is not something to be ignored. If you are experiencing regular back pain, is it extremely important to visit your doctor to make sure that your back pain is simply muscle tension or stress and not something more serious. Even simple muscle strain or back pain caused by stress, however, can affect your daily life dramatically.

What is causing your pain?

If you begin experiencing back pain on a regular basis, it is important to visit your primary care physician in order to determine the cause of the pain. Some of the most common causes of back pain are associated with stress, poor posture, sleeping in an insufficient mattress, and even dehydration. However, there are some more serious causes of back pain that must be ruled out by your doctor. For example, back pain could be caused by a problem with your kidneys. If you are experiencing bladder discomfort and localized pain and tenderness in your mid to lower back, you may have some form of kidney infection. Common kidney infections can be treated with oral antibiotics, but it is important to treat them quickly so that no other complications arise. Also, back pain could be cause by a cyst or tumor on the spine. If you have undiagnosed back pain, you may need an MRI to make sure that you do not have either of these conditions. While tumors and cysts can be surgically drained or removed, it is important to make sure that they are not indicators of a more serious problem like cancer.

How does back pain affect your daily activities?

Having chronic back pain has many effects on day to day activities. Just getting out of bed in the morning can be painful and troublesome. Often, driving in your car for long periods of time can exacerbate back pain, as car seats tend to not be ergonomically advantageous for the back. Similarly, back pain can be made worse by uncomfortable office chairs. This pain can be agitating and troubling. Experiencing constant pain can cause you to lose energy quickly, making you feel tired and depressed.

What can you do?

If your physician has determined that your back pain is not caused by any more serious problem, you can begin to treat your back pain at home by taking an over the counter pain medication. Also, apply heat to your back to help to ease and relax your muscles. Painful muscle spasms in your back can benefit greatly from a gentle massage. Also, consider purchasing a memory foam lumbar or back support for your car and/or office chair in order to provide you with appropriate support while sitting for long periods of time.

Back pain can be disruptive and annoying. After having you back examined and ruling out more serious causes, simple back ache can be treated at home in order to prevent some of the effects that it can have on your life.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Methods for Treating Back Pain

Back pain is a common ailment, affecting most people at some time in their lives. The majority of cases will be short term but some will become chronic, requiring medical intervention. There are different methods of back pain treatment, which may bring pain relief and a return to normal life.

The main symptom of back pain is an aching located in the spine, shoulders or neck. Upper and lower back problems often respond well to chiropractic adjustment, although it does not address the immediate pain issues. This may lead to a slow recovery and frustration for the patient, who may then seek relief from a physician.

A doctor may prescribe medication, such as painkillers and muscle relaxants, to ease the discomfort of back pain. While this method will help in the short term, the medications can become habit forming and are not an option for extended treatment. Medications also treat symptoms and not the cause, which is why it is vital to see a doctor and have a complete battery of tests to pinpoint the source of the pain.

Lifestyle adjustments may be helpful in cases of chronic back pain. Poor posture can cause bone and muscles to move out of place, creating an environment for pain. People who work desk jobs are very prone to this issue, which can be avoided by using an ergonomic chair and getting up often to stretch. Sitting up straight will improve circulation and prevent too much stress being placed on the lower back.

Back exercises can strengthen muscles and alleviate pain, as well as stop pain from recurring. A doctor or chiropractor can recommend a regimen and many can be found on the Internet as well. It is best to start out slowly and add more exercises as the pain improves. Overdoing it may cause an injury and make the problem worse.

Another consideration is body weight. Obese people tend to suffer from back pain, due to their large body mass. The extra weight puts undue stress on bones and muscles, and may cause tissue damage. The best back pain treatment for an overweight person is frequent exercise. Reducing weight will remove the excess pressure on the spine and improve overall health.

If none of the above methods bring relief, surgery may have to be considered. This is a treatment of last resort, as it has a very long recuperation time. The patient will have to take time off from work and will not be able to participate in many activities while recovering. The long term result from surgery is usually positive, and it enables those with stubborn cases of back pain to resume their lives when other treatments have failed.

Anyone who is suffering with chronic back pain should see a doctor as soon as possible. The earlier treatment begins, the better chance of the condition being cured. Between simple exercise and surgery, there are many back pain treatments to choose from. No one should have to suffer with chronic back pain.

If you are suffering from back pain be sure to visit you local CBI Health Centres and see what they can do to treat your back pain.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Starting a Career in Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists, commonly referred to as physical therapists, diagnose and treat patients having difficulties with mobility or physical movement. Patients often visit the physiotherapist at the recommendation of their health care provider. After an initial assessment, therapists develop an individualized care plan, which indicates the patient’s diagnosis, treatment options and short and long term goals along with progress notes. Physical therapists often visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes. When able, patients also visit physical therapy clinics. Physiotherapist wages vary depending on years of experience and occupation location. On average, physiotherapists earn $25.00 to $38.00 an hour.

Occupation Description

A physical therapist uses years of professional medical training in treating patients of all ages who suffer limited movement because of illness, injury or the natural aging process. Working alongside other members of the health care team, therapists initially review the patient’s medical history and visit with the patient before performing a physical assessment. Therapists then assess patients by having them demonstrate the specific problem while evaluating muscle strength and range of movement along with any signs of discomfort.

The various treatment modalities include massage, heat, hydrotherapy and simple exercises. Massage, heat and other varied treatments encourage muscle relaxation and increase blood circulation in affected limbs. Exercises improve balance, extend range of motion and increase muscle strength. Physiotherapists might also recommend the use of braces, crutches or wheelchairs along with other assistive devices. After receiving training from the therapist concerning the use of these devices, patients gain increased independence and greater mobility.

Therapists treat patients having a wide range of physical difficulties including athletes suffering from sports injuries, elderly patients experiencing limited function after suffering from a stroke, or individuals with chronic syndromes that include cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis.

General Requirements

Excellent communication skills are a must as therapists work directly with many members of the health care team, patients and their families. Physiotherapists also possess compassion, empathy and patience. Seeing many patients throughout the day, and sometimes in numerous locations means physical therapists must manage their time wisely. In working with patients who hope to attain function and mobility goals, therapists usually generate a positive attitude and the ability to stir confidence, courage and motivation.

Educational Requirements

Becoming a physiotherapist initially requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in the health sciences. Therapists generally need anatomy, physiology and biology along with chemistry and physics. Acceptance into a physiotherapy program evolves around grade point average and any previous experience. Some students work as a physical therapy assistant prior to schooling. Acceptance boards also review community service work and letters of recommendation from professional therapists and other health care providers.

After entering physiotherapist programs, students combine classroom lectures and studies with hands on clinical training during the course of their education. Students have the option of obtaining a master’s or a doctorate in physiotherapy and may specialize in cardio/respiratory, neurological or orthopedic care. Therapists also require state licensure, obtainable by paying the state fees and taking a board exam. Physiotherapists must also acquire the recommended number of continuing education hours annually and renew licensure every two years according to individual state requirements.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Natural Remedies for Back Pain

It is estimated that as many as 31 million Americans suffer from chronic and debilitating back pain. This unpleasant condition can be influenced by a number of factors such as age, injury, obesity, scoliosis, bad posture and poor lifestyle habits. Back pain can manifest as dull aches, burning sensations or sharp pains. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat this problem without the use of potentially addictive drugs or risky surgeries.


Many people today spend the vast majority of their time sitting down. This is often because they have a desk job or spend too much time in front of the television. As a result, their back muscles become weak and prone to injury and discomfort. Exercising regularly can help to not only keep people in shape but also to strengthen the back muscles. Some exercises that will help with this include swimming, walking and twists.

Hot and Cold Treatment

An alternating hot and cold compress has long been a popular way to treat back pain. This can be done by using ice and a heating pad or one of the many hot and cold patches available at drug stores. The cold numbs painful muscles while reducing inflammation. The heat then relaxes sore muscles and improves blood flow, which deliver nutrients and oxygen to the area to promote healing. While doing this treatment, it is advisable to remain immobile for 15 to 20 minutes. Muscles that are stiffened by cold temperatures are easily injured.


There are a number of establishments dedicated to medical massage, but this method of treatment can also be done at home with the help of a willing partner. Massage, regardless of the technique, will soothe stiff and sore muscles and improve blood flow. Furthermore, massage tends to have a relaxing and rejuvenating effect on the entire body that will fight pain and tension for days afterward.


Most people mistakenly believe that spices are only good for flavoring food, but many of them also work as potent medicines. For example, turmeric and cayenne, two very common and inexpensive spices, can reduce back pain through their anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Spices like these provide a wonderful alternative to drugs like NSAIDs, which are being now blamed for conditions like stomach ulcers and failure of the liver and kidneys.

Improve Posture

People who work in jobs that require long periods of sitting usually develop back problems over time as a result of poor posture. When the strain of the work day starts taking its toll, slouching and slumping is inevitable unless conscious effort is given to maintaining an upright position. Fortunately, there are a number of ergonomic chairs and back supports available on the market that will help users correct this problem.

Firmer Bed

One of the biggest causes of chronic back pain is sleeping on a bed that is too soft. A soft mattress does little to support the spine during sleep, causing the surrounding muscles to become weak and strained. To remedy this, it is recommended to purchase a firmer mattress or skip the mattress entirely. Many people who once complained of chronic back pain have found that sleeping on the floor quickly resolved their issues.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Bend, Stretch, Rub Away Your Pain

Have you been moving a little slower lately? Not quite ready for the rocking chair, cane or motorized scooter? Well, you may just be suffering from dorsalgia. Don't let that word scare you. It means back pain and you are not alone. Approximately 80% of all people will suffer from back pain sometime in their lives. Your back may experience an injury or just need relief from being overworked. Whatever the cause, you want to get rid of the pain and get back to everyday movement.

Let's say that you consulted your doctor, and the good news is, you have no internal damage or disease. Great! Now, before you start thinking that you may have to go under the knife, consider first some simple exercises. By simple I mean you can do these routines at home, at work, in the park, or even while shopping. If you're not sure what to do, your doctor can refer you to physical therapy, where a trained therapist can help you with the best exercises for your symptoms. They will evaluate your current condition, develop a routine for your treatment, and track your progress. After a few sessions with them, you can continue to relieve the pain and restore your full range of motion, on your own.

Here are a few things you can do that will save you time and money. Rest your back for a day or two. Who doesn't deserve a little rest and relaxation, every now and then. However, don't lie down too long as inactivity may only stiffen your muscles and increase the pain. So grab a good book or the TV remote and take it easy.
Next, get those muscles in motion. Bend, stretch, reach, and don't be afraid of the little pain you will suffer. Remember that saying 'no pain, no gain'. The pain will start to ease as the muscles relax and your blood freely flows. For those of you who are internet savvy, there are websites that show and describe various exercises to enhance your health. You probably already have everything you need to accomplish these tasks. Chairs, towels, pillows, ropes, comfortable clothes and shoes are some of the main items you need. You can be sitting, standing, or lying down. There are methods suitable for all kinds of positions. As a matter of fact, you probably did some of these exercises today, while you went about your daily functions!

When was the last time you treated yourself to a massage? That long? It's not just about the pleasure of having trained hands rub warm oil on your body. Massages are also therapeutic, reducing tension and stress. This will put those muscles in such a relaxed state, that, you may just grab a little nap while the therapist is at work!

So save your money for Heli-Hiking in British Columbia or skiing the Blue Mountains of Ontario. Move your way to freedom and a pain free life.