Conditions We Treat
Low Back Pain:
Lower back pain is very common. Most people will experience one or more episodes of lower back pain in the course of their lives. In some cases, the back pain subsides quickly. Many times the pain returns and can become more severe or chronic. Back pain can come on for a number of reasons including poor posture, repetitive strain, sport injuries, work injuries, or trauma.
Lower back pain may be due to sprains (ligament or cartilage tears), strains (muscle tears), disc protrusions, sacroiliac or facet joint injuries. More severe injuries may cause sciatic nerve root irritation causing pain down the leg, commonly referred to as sciatica.
The chiropractor is considered a low-back pain specialist. He will discuss your past and current history of your back pain. Perform a thorough examination and discuss your diagnosis and recommended treatment. In a small percentage of cases a referral for further imaging and/or testing is required. The chiropractor will devise an appropriate treatment plan based on your condition.
Many of us experience one or more episodes of neck pain at some point in our lives. Sometimes the pain comes on over a period of time or quite suddenly. Many cases resolve quickly, become progressively worse or some suffer repeated episodes. Neck pain can be associated with headaches or pain travelling down the arm.
Neck pain can be due to poor posture, pain related to a road traffic accident, sport injuries, wear and tear, or minor slips and falls. Muscles, joints, and ligaments can all be involved. As we get older “wear and tear” can occur to the intervertebral discs of the spine (the shock absorbing pads between the bones of the neck). It initially shows up as neck pain or stiffness. As this condition progresses it can cause pain, loss of sensation, or numbness in tingling down the arm and sometimes into the hands due to a compressed nerve. In very rare cases neck pain can be due to a more serious underlying illness.
Seeing a qualified health professional such as a chiropractor, who is experienced in diagnosing conditions of the neck and spine, can help treat neck pain, and also identify if a referral or imaging is necessary. The chiropractor will devise the appropriate treatment plan based on your condition.
Cervicogenic (tension) and migraine headaches:
Most people experience headaches at some point in their lives. For many these headaches can become chronic and affect their everyday lives.
The most common form of headache is the cervicogenic or tension headache. The term “cervicogenic” means originating in the spine. This type of headache is due to “tension” on the muscles of the spine and immobility in the cervical spine causing a referred pain up to the back of head or forehead. Many experience this headache due to poor posture causing the muscles in the upper back and neck to become tight. This headache can subside quickly or become more frequent, severe, or increase in duration.
Migraine headaches is a severe headache associated with a throbbing pain in the forehead or the side of the head. The headache sometimes is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine headaches are sometimes brought on by certain foods, alcohol, or other environmental factors.
A chiropractor is well-trained to diagnose and treat most forms of headache. Your chiropractor will perform a thorough history and exam. Explain your diagnosis and recommended treatment when appropriate. He will also make the appropriate referral for further testing and imaging when necessary.
If a headache is accompanied by slurred speech, numbness or paralysis on one side of the body, a rash, or fever please contact 999 immediately. If you notice a sudden increase in frequency, severity, or duration of your symptoms please contact your GP as your headache may be due to another underlying health problem.
The shoulder is a very complex joint responsible for complex movements. Due to the complexity of the joint and the ability to move in many directions it is placed under a lot of stress and is susceptible to injury and ultimately pain. Shoulder pain can be the result of the stress of improper posture, repetitive strain at work, exercise such as weightlifting, or overhead sports such as cricket bowling, tennis, or volleyball.
A primary source of shoulder pain is the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a series of 5 muscles that envelope the shoulder joint and act on the shoulder blade. These muscles are responsible for keeping the upper arm bone centered in the shoulder joint and rotating the shoulder. When in an improper posture these muscles can become over-active and fatigued. When you put excess stress on the fatigued rotator cuff this causes micro-tears at the insertion of the muscle on the upper arm bone. The body lays down scar tissue as it attempts to heal these very small tears. This leads to a condition know as “impingement syndrome” which causes anterior or posterior shoulder pain and stiffness with raising and rotating the arm. This can ultimately lead to larger tears of the rotator cuff as the patient gets older.
The chiropractor will perform a detailed history and through exam including neurological, range of motion, and orthopedic testing to evaluate the source of your shoulder pain. He will explain the diagnosis, recommended treatment. Treatment typically includes joint mobilization, soft-tissue therapy, rehabilitative exercise, and kinesiology taping. In some cases, it is necessary to refer the patient for further imaging or a consultant referral.
Many people experience hip pain with activities such as walking, sitting. A common source of hip pain is referral from the lumbar spine or sacroiliac joint. As one gets older osteoarthritis of the hip becomes more common due to wearing away of the cartilage of the hip joint. Osteoarthritis of the hip can be due to previous trauma, repetitive strain, obesity, or genetic factors.
The chiropractor will evaluate the source of your hip pain. He will perform a thorough history and examination including, neurological testing, gait analysis, posture analysis, and orthopedic testing. If osteoarthritis of the hip is suspected a referral for an x-ray evaluation of the hip or consultant referral may be necessary in order to evaluate the extent of the degeneration of the hip joint. Although, the degeneration of the hip can’t be reversed, chiropractic treatment can slow-down the degeneration and help decrease pain through the use of joint mobilization, soft-tissue therapy, and rehabilitative exercise.
Many people experience knee pain with activities such as walking, running, squatting, sitting, or playing sports. This pain can be due to repetitive strain, trauma, or degeneration of the cartilage of the knee. The knee is commonly put on excessive stress due to low back, hip, and foot and ankle injuries.
Many athletes who run or jump a great deal experience knee pain. A common knee condition is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). The stress of running can cause muscular imbalances in thigh causing your patella (knee cap) to track improperly in the groove that it sits between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). This softens the cartilage behind the kneecap and can put stress on the patellar tendon that attaches the knee cap to the tibia. This can cause pain and inflammation in the knee especially at the beginning of activity. The pain can subside as activity continues but typically returns at the end or following the offending activity.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common problem one experiences as they get older. This is not to be confused with inflammatory arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative arthritis due to past trauma or repetitive stress on the knee joint causing “wear and tear” on the two shock absorbing c-shaped cartilages of the knee called the meniscus. The meniscus wears away or shows tiny micro-tears in response to abnormal stresses, which become worse over time, causing pain, stiffness and swelling of the knee.
The chiropractor will perform a through history, and exam, including range of motion, orthopedic and gait testing. He will also other joints such as the hip, lumbar spine, and foot and ankle which can contribute to knee pain. In some cases, further imaging such as x-rays, MRI scans, and lab testing is necessary to obtain a diagnosis. The chiropractor will explain your diagnosis, recommended treatment, and prognosis. Treatment commonly includes, knee mobilizations, soft-tissue massage, rehabilitative exercise, and kinesiology taping.
Our feet are put under excessive stress whether it is walking, running, playing sport, standing at work, or wearing improper shoes. Prior trauma, such as ankle sprains, fractures, and other injuries alter a person’s gait which can put stress on other areas of the foot and ankle as well as other joints such as the knee, hip, and spine.
Ankle sprains are common among athletes. A “sprain” is defined as a tear to a ligament. The most common ankle sprain is an inversion sprain (turning the ankle inward), which causes damage to the outside ligaments of the ankle. Ligaments have a poor blood supply when compared to muscles, tendons, and bone. Due to the poor blood supply an injured ligament will heal rather slowly. Also, ligaments give feedback to the body on where the joint is in space. This ability becomes damaged when an ankle is sprained. Therefore, if an ankle sprain is not rehabbed correctly the athletes is prone to further ankle sprains and can ultimately lead to fractures or osteoarthritis of the ankle.
The insertion of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia is put under excessive stress with running and jumping in sport or wearing inappropriate footwear such as high heels. This causes micro trauma at the insertion of the tendon. The body heals the area by laying down scar tissue (tendinosis) which is relatively inflexible, causing pain and stiffness with running, walking, standing, and jumping. The hallmark sign of plantar fasciitis is pain in heel, especially with the first step in the morning.
Your chiropractor is well-trained to treat and diagnose conditions of the foot and ankle. He will take a thorough history, and perform an exam including postural analysis, range of motion testing, gait analysis, and orthopedic testing. He will also address issues with any other joints which may be contributing to the injury. When necessary the chiropractor will refer the patient for further imaging such as x-rays, or MRI scans to further diagnose the problem. Once diagnosis is established he will explain the problem and recommend treatment if it is appropriate. Treatment commonly includes joint manipulation/mobilization, soft-tissue massage, rehabilitative exercise and kinesiology taping.
Elbow and Wrist Pain:
Many experience wrist and elbow pain either with sport or repetitive activities. Racquet sports such as tennis, squash, or badminton, throwing sports like cricket, and weightlifting can put excessive strain on the wrist and elbow. Occupations which require computer work or factory work puts a low force, repetitive strain on the muscles, tendon, ligaments, and cartilage of the elbow and wrist ultimately leading to an injury.
A common elbow injury is lateral epicondylitis, commonly referred to as “tennis elbow”. The patient presents with pain at the outside of the elbow which becomes worse with repetitive wrist extension. The pain is a result of overactive forearm extensors. These tight muscles pull at the insertion at the outside of the elbow, causing micro tears in the tendon. These small microscopic tears heal, creating scar tissue. Initially, the pain goes away once the activity stops, but can become chronic over time, causing the patient to avoid the activity. Many of these elbow injuries can be the result of immobility in the shoulder and/or instability of the shoulder blade causing excessive strain on the elbow.
The chiropractor will take a thorough history and examine your arm pain. The examination will include neurologic, range of motion, muscle strength, and orthopedic testing. When necessary the chiropractor will refer for further imaging (x-rays, ultrasound, or MRI scan), or refer to your GP. He will explain the diagnosis and recommended treatment plan. Treatment may include, joint mobilization/manipulation, soft-tissue massage, rehabilitative exercise, and kinesiology taping. The chiropractor may also give work station/ergonomic advice, or activity modifications.