Conditions

Our physiotherapists at Back in Motion have experience treating a wide variety of conditions, including:

Vertigo

Within our skulls, the inner ear is responsible for giving our brain information about the movement of our head in space. Together with input from the eyes and feet, the brain can sense and react to movement and stay “balanced”. However, when the inner ear is not functioning correctly, vertigo can occur.

Vertigo can often arise as a problem with the inner ear and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Vertigo can be thought of as a, “hallucination of motion”. When you experience an episode of vertigo, you may feel as though the room is spinning or that you are moving when you’re not.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), also referred to as, “positional vertigo”, is caused by loose debris within one or more inner ear canals. The loose debris in the inner ears, responsible for BPPV, are salt crystals composed of calcium carbonate, also known as otoliths.

These “ear crystals” may become loose as a result of damage to the inner ear that may results from a head injury, infection, age related degenerative changes, or other disorders of the inner ear. The presence of crystals floating within the fluid of the inner ear causes the brain to perceive that you are moving/spinning. BPPV can impair a person’s balance and it can put individuals, especially seniors, at a risk of falling.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. The pain may feel sharp or dull, causing a burning or aching sensation in the affected areas. It may be steady or intermittent, coming and going without any apparent reason. Chronic pain can occur in nearly any part of your body, and severity and frequency of chronic pain can differ among individuals.  Chronic pain can be caused from an initial injury, such as a back strain or a pulled muscle. It is believed that chronic pain develops after the nerves become damaged. However, in some cases people experience chronic pain without having any prior injuries. The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain and increase mobility. Treatment may include low-impact aerobic training, strengthening exercises, pain relief exercises and/or stretching. This helps you return to your daily activities without discomfort. 

Back Pain

Low Back Pain (LBP) is quite common. Roughly 80% of individuals will experience a significant episode of low back pain at least once in their lives.  The majority of people will recover completely in less than 6 weeks with appropriate care and exercises. Some patients may require more intensive forms of therapy such as spinal mobilization and manipulation. Physiotherapists are trained to evaluate the source of back pain and provide the appropriate treatment including exercises specific to your condition, modalities to promote healing and reduce pain, manual therapy and manipulation to help restore joint motion.

SI Joint Pain and Dysfunction

The sacro-iliac (SI) joint connects the iliac bone of the pelvis to the sacrum or the “tail bone”. The SI joint is very stable with very minimal movement in a normal healthy population. The joint moves the most in women of child bearing age to help accommodate pelvic space during childbirth.  In this population, the SI joint may twist in a painful position and can be re-adjusted with gentle exercises and/or manipulation.  It is less common in other populations and is often misdiagnosed when the real problem is the lumbar spine. Manual therapy, exercise and modalities can be used to relieve SI related pain and dysfunction.

Sciatica

Sciatica refers to irritation of the left or right sciatic nerves. The right sciatic nerve, originates from the right side the spinal cord in the low back, travels through the right buttock and down the back of the right leg. The same nerve pathway holds true for the left sciatic nerve, except it travels along the left side. Commonly, the sciatic nerve can become pinched or compressed and can cause symptoms of shooting pain from the low back or buttock into the leg as well as general low back and leg pain. Patients may also experience weakness as well as numbness and tingling in their leg and foot. Sciatica typically responds well to physiotherapy interventions including exercises (McKenzie routine), manual therapy and pain management with modalities (Ultra Sound, TENS, acupuncture etc.)

Neck Pain

Neck pain is a que common injury: talk about a pain in the neck. There are many causes of neck pain which include postural issues, ruptured discs, pinched nerves, whiplash, arthritis and degenerative disc disease.  Each condition requires a thorough evaluation including review of any diagnostic imaging information.  Depending on the problem, various treatment options are available including exercises, manual therapy, modalities and acupuncture.

Whiplash

This is a common type neck injury. A whiplash injury is often a result of the impact to your neck sustained during a motor vehicle accident. Muscles, joints and nerves in the neck can be damaged. As a result of the injury you may experience pain, stiffness, and weakness in the neck, which may be accompanied by numbness/tingling in the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Often headaches may arise after a whiplash injury.

Concussions

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, usually occurring after a blow to the head. Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a complex disorder in which various symptoms, such as headaches and dizziness arise and can last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion. Common symptoms that are reported post-concussion are decreased concentration, fatigue, irritability, sensitivity to noise or light, memory loss, depression, and anxiety. PCS rehabilitation can aid you in recovering from your concussion.

Knee Injuries

Pain in the knee when walking, standing or doing stairs? Knee injuries are quite common. Most often, the source of the knee pain can arise as a result of osteoarthritis, a rupture or sprain to various knee ligaments, injury to the knee’s shock absorbing menisci, an improperly tracking patella (“knee cap”) or even injury to tendon or muscle of the knee. Forms of manual therapy, exercise and modalities can help improve the function of your knee and reduce your pain.

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome

Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS)is a common overuse injury to the outside area of the knee. The IT band is a thick band of fascia (connective tissue) that runs from the pelvis, over the hip and down to the outside of the knee. Activities such as repeated bending and straightening of the knee (such as running or cycling) can cause a “tight” IT band, which can create friction and compression with the underlying tissues. Over time, this friction can cause inflammation and pain. Weakness or imbalances in the hip musculature may predispose one to ITBFS, as the muscles around the hip are critical for proper knee tracking and alignment.

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorders

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) connects the mandible (your lower jaw bone) to your temporal bone (upper jaw bone or skull). The Temporomandibular Joint has numerous muscles that help to open and close the jaw. Clenching and grinding of your TMJ can cause the muscles that close the joint to become tight and when they are tight enough they become tender to the touch and start to ache.  Common symptoms include temporal headaches, clicking, popping, or grating noises with jaw movement, reduced mobility or locking of the TMJ, jaw or ear pain, and tightness in the muscles of the cheek. A physiotherapist can use a number of techniques to treat this condition, including soft tissue release techniques, manual mobilizations of the cervical spine and TMJ, acupuncture, or muscle rebalancing exercises.

Sport Injuries

Sport injuries often occur as a result of a single or repetitive trauma to the body. Sport related injuries are various and often include concussion, fractures, ruptured or sprain ligaments, or strained muscles and tendons. The appropriate use of modalities, manual therapy and exercises (including sport-specific exercises) can be used to try and get you back to playing sports.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) can occur in any joint within the body. Most commonly OA occurs in the knee, hip and thumb. OA is a result of the degeneration of the cartilage between articulating bones within a joint. With wear and tear over time, the articular cartilage thins which can result in pain, stiffness (often in the morning), and swelling.

In advanced cases, OA may result in joints becoming larger. In more severe cases, the cartilage may wear away completely and the bones may begin to rub together. OA usually progresses over a period of years. The symptoms of pain and stiffness associated with OA often results in a person using the joint less often. This ultimately leads to a weakening of the muscles around the joints. Common risk factors for OA include age, family history, being overweight, and previous joint injury. Treatment includes the use of modalities, manual therapy, and exercises.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a common strain injuries caused by overuse of forearm muscles through repetitive actions. The pain and symptoms are a result of injury and/or inflammation to the tendon that attaches to the outer part of the elbow bone. Common symptoms include tenderness on the outside of the elbow and pain with gripping, pushing, pulling or carrying objects with your hand/wrist.

Golfers Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis) is a common strain injuries caused by overuse of forearm muscles through repetitive actions. The pain and symptoms are a result of injury and/or inflammation to the tendon that attaches to the inner part of the elbow bone. Common symptoms include tenderness on the outside (tennis elbow) or inside (golfer’s elbow) of the elbow and pain with gripping, pushing, pulling or carrying objects with your hand/wrist.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder (also known as Adhesive Capsulitis) is a condition affecting the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint capsule and the surrounding soft tissues become extremely tight. This can cause significant pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. As the name, frozen shoulder, may suggest, the condition can cause an extreme loss of movement that can interfere with daily activities. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, however there are a few known factors that may make you more susceptible to it, such as a result of a shoulder injury or being immobilized for prolonged periods of time. Frozen shoulder typically progresses in three stages:

Stage 1: Freezing: The freezing stage typically lasts from 6 weeks to 9 months, and during this time pain increases and your shoulder loses range of motion.

Stage 2: Frozen: The frozen stage typically lasts 4 to 6 months and pain may begin to improve however the stiffness and loss of range of motion remains.

Stage 3: Thawing: During the thawing stage your shoulder motion will slowly improve. During this stage your physiotherapist will be more aggressive with stretching and range of motion techniques. It can take from 6 months to 2 years to return to normal strength and motion.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the top of your upper arm bone firmly within the socket of the shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries most commonly occur with overuse of the shoulder. It is not uncommon for an individual who performs repetitive overhead activities to develop an injury to the rotator cuff. Injuries to the rotator cuff can also occur with direct trauma to the arm/shoulder such as a fall onto an outstretched hand, fall onto your shoulder or any direct blow to the shoulder. Pain is often experienced while doing overhead tasks, movements that require rotation of the arm, and/or while lifting your arm out to the side.

Plantar Fasciities and Heel Spurs

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the connective tissue that spans the bottom of your foot from your heel bone to the balls of your feet. If the plantar fascia has been overloaded or strained excessively it can tear and then an inflammatory response will occur. Some risk factors for developing this condition are flat feet, high arches, a sudden increase in weight-bearing activities, improper footwear, weight, and/or improper training strategies. A physiotherapist may use a number of techniques to help treat this condition including shockwave therapy, hands on techniques, prescribed exercises, therapeutic taping, and/or footwear.

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, which is a band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of your lower leg to your heel bone.  This condition is typically caused from excessive strain, repetitive stress or failed load transfer through the lower leg and can cause the Achilles tendon to become inflamed. This most commonly occurs if you increase the amount or intensity of an activity too quickly and your body doesn’t have time to adjust. Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis may include dull or sharp pain along the back of the tendon, typically closer to the heel, limited ankle flexibility, a nodule (a lumpy buildup of scar tissue), and/or a cracking sound with ankle movement.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by compression of the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve travels from your neck, down your arm into your wrist and can become entrapped or compressed by the carpal tunnel (a tunnel formed by connective tissue at the wrist). Symptoms include burning, tingling, numbness, and/or an aching sensation in the palm of your hand, your thumb, index and/or middle fingers. Typically symptoms will develop gradually and worsen with repetitive use of the wrist, forearms and fingers, and you may notice the pain is worse in extreme wrist flexion, extension, or gripping tasks.

ACL Injuries

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the four main ligaments in the knee. The most common injuries to the ACL are partial and complete tears, which typically occur in athletes who participate in sports where abrupt directional changes are performed. The main movement that can cause an ACL tears is when the foot is planted one way and the knee is turned in another direction. Your physiotherapist can help you achieve full range of mobility, and can teach you exercises to improve strength, balance, coordination, and agility.

Pre and Post-Operative Rehabilitation

Research has shown that patients that receive appropriate physiotherapy interventions that begin before a surgery, “pre-habilitation”, have often shown more favorable outcomes at the beginning, during, and at the end of post-operative rehabilitation. The name of the game is maximizing function before you go into surgery. Commonly knee replacements, meniscus repairs, hip replacements, rotator cuff repairs, spinal fusion and decompression surgeries may benefit from “prehabilitation”. Post-operatively, physiotherapy is very important to ensure you can achieve maximum range of motion, sufficient strength, balance and optimize your function. Therefore, physiotherapy can be critical in both pre and post-operative rehabilitation to maximize your functional ability.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) can often occur from micro-tearing/stress to the muscles, tendons, joints, or ligaments and can worsen over time. RSIs can result from the most seemingly ordinary tasks. These include occupational demands, sports, household chores and other hobbies. These injuries can cause pain with movement and reductions in strength, coordination and function over time. Your physiotherapist will work with you throughout the healing process to remedy and improve lost and reduced function. Pain management, mobility, strengthening and functional activities as well as manual therapy and modalities can be used in RSI treatment.

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture (DC) is hand deformity that usually develops throughout the course of many years. As the condition progresses, the skin on your palm might appear puckered or dimpled in certain areas. Typically, a firm lump of tissue can form on your palm. The lump may be sensitive to the touch. Over time, cords of fibrotic tissue can form and tighten under the skin on your palm and can spread up and into your fingers. As these cords thicken and tighten, your fingers may be bent/pulled toward your palm. The affected fingers cannot be straightened completely, which can complicate everyday activities such as placing your hands in your pockets, putting on gloves or shaking hands. DC can affect any finger, but most often the ring pinky, and middle fingers are affected. DC can affect one or more fingers at a time. Treatment consists of “breaking up the fibrotic tissue” with the correct use of modalities and specialized massage instruments.

Trigger Finger

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition in which one or more of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. Your finger may straighten with a snap, similar to a trigger being pulled and released. Trigger finger occurs when inflammation narrows the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon of the affected finger(s). Occupations or hobbies that require repetitive gripping actions put an individual at a higher risk of developing trigger finger. Signs and symptoms of trigger finger may progress from mild to severe and typically include, finger stiffness (particularly in the morning), a popping or clicking sensation as you move your finger, tenderness or a nodule (bump) in the palm at the base of the affected finger, finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops straight as well as a finger locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten. Trigger finger more commonly affects your thumb or your middle or ring finger. More than one finger may be affected at a time, and both hands might be involved. Triggering is usually more pronounced in the morning, while firmly grasping an object or when straightening your finger. The condition is also more common in women and in anyone with diabetes. Treatment consists of the appropriate use of modalities, massage and manual therapy.

Bells Palsy

Bell's palsy is a type of facial paralysis that results in an inability to control the facial muscles on the affected side. Bell’s palsy can occur due to inflammation or damage to the Facial nerve. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. They may include muscle twitching, weakness, or total loss of the ability to move one or rarely both sides of the face. Other symptoms include drooping of the eyelid, a change in taste, pain around the ear, and increased sensitivity to sound. Treatment often includes specific facial exercises and retraining as well as acupuncture and electro-acupuncture.

Pregnancy Related Pain

As pregnancy advances, many woman experience biomechanical changes which may result in low back pain and sacroiliac joint (SIJ) related pain. A contention known as diastasis recti (DR) can also occur during pregnancy. As the unborn child grows, the expansion of the mother’s abdomen, can cause the rectus abdominal muscles to move from the center of your abdomen to either side. DR can contribute to postural complications and weakness. Your physiotherapist can help relieve low back and SIJ pain as well as biomechanical and postural dysfunctions through the appropriate use of modalities, manual therapy techniques and specific exercises.