• Back & Sciatic Pain

    Comprehensive rehabilitation (rehab) programs offer a variety of treatments for low back pain. They may use physiotherapy, pain management with medicine and mental skills, and other medical treatments. These programs teach people how to care for their backs and how to prevent reinjury

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    Stacey Benmore, BSc, MSc (PT), Dip.Manip.PT, FCAMPT, Physiotherapist, discusses back problems from sitting.
    Stacey Benmore, BSc, MSc (PT), Dip.Manip.PT, FCAMPT, Physiotherapist, discusses back problems from sitting.
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    Gordon Bohlmann, BSc (PT), CGIMS, OMT, BSc HMS, Physiotherapist, discusses physiotherapy for sciatic pain.
    Gordon Bohlmann, BSc (PT), CGIMS, OMT, BSc HMS, Physiotherapist, discusses physiotherapy for sciatic pain.
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    Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses lumbar pain and injuries, diagnosis and common treatment options.
    Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses lumbar pain and injuries, diagnosis and common treatment options.
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    Mr. Carman Wong, BCScBiol, BCScPT, FCAMPT, CG (IMS), Physiotherapist, discuss spinal traction and back pain treatment.
    Mr. Carman Wong, BCScBiol, BCScPT, FCAMPT, CG (IMS), Physiotherapist, discuss spinal traction and back pain treatment.
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    Jackson Sayers, B.Sc. (Kinesiology), discusses isometric lower back exercises using body weight.
    Jackson Sayers, B.Sc. (Kinesiology), discusses isometric lower back exercises using body weight.
  • What Causes Sciatic Pain of the Low Back

    Sciatic pain or sciatica is a typical complaint that people will come into the clinic with, and what they usually mean by that is they have pain somewhere in their back or going down their leg. It’s important to remember that sciatica or sciatic pain is really not a diagnosis but a set of symptoms by which people describe pain. So it’s very important to be assessed by a physiotherapist to determine where the pain is coming from because it could come from a number of different structures. Local Physiotherapy 

                                 

    If we have a look at the lumbar pelvic spine, we have the vertebrae which are these bones over here. And the lumbar spine is comprised of the last five vertebral segments. This is our sacrum or tailbone and these are the two hip or pelvic bones with the hip joints sitting on either side over here. And five of these nerve roots will join together to form the sciatic nerve, and we have one on each side one on the left and one on the right. So because sciatica is a complaint which can affect any of the five nerve roots comprising of the big sciatic nerve, it’s very important for your physiotherapist to assess each one of these levels to determine what the cause might be.

    So depending on where that nerve is becoming either irritated or compressed, we could have symptoms which mimic or are described as sciatica. They can be things like numbness or tingling going down the leg or into the foot, difficulty in controlling the muscles supplied by those nerves, pain, or uncoordination. And so there are four common causes of sciatica. One might be a disc which in laymen’s terms is called a slipped disc. Really it’s a herniated disc in which the disc tissue gets torn and that can push on a nerve root.

    The second could be something called spinal stenosis which is compression around the central part of the nerve inside the spinal column. The third most common cause is something called spondylolisthesis which is a big word that means one vertebra has slipped forward on another. The last most common cause of sciatic pain is something called piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a muscle which runs through the pelvis from the sacral bone onto the hip bone. So as the sciatic nerve traverses this part the piriformis muscle can compress that sciatic nerve and that can give you pain further down. Because we know that sciatica is a set of symptoms, rather than an actual diagnosis, it’s important to get an assessment by a physiotherapist experienced in dealing with sciatica to be able to accurately determine where the pain is coming from.

    Typically when you see your physiotherapist he or she will do an assessment which consists of a subject of evaluation during which a number of questions are asked to determine the history of your pain and probable causes followed by an objective examination where your physiotherapist will use a variety of physical tests to put stress or lowered on various structures that could be responsible for the pain. An example of this would be a straight leg based test or stress tests of the lumbar spine joints to determine if they are at fault.

    If you as a patient are complaining of pain in your buttock, lower back, or leg especially if that pain travels from the lower back down the leg or you’re experiencing symptoms of tingling, numbness, pins and needles, or you’re having trouble controlling the muscles in your lower back and leg, it’s very important to see a  local physiotherapist today to determine the causes of this pain.

    Presenter: Gordon Bohlmann, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC

    Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

  • How Pilates Can Help With Back Pain

    Pilates is working from your core, creating a foundation so that you can move throughout your day better and easier. Clients often experience the vicious pain cycle between exercise and pain, exercise and pain. People are told especially with back pain that they have weak cores and they need to go strengthen their core.

    So then they go and find a class, a community class or whatever, to work on yoga, working on their core, a Pilates class. Even going to a personal trainer. Or they try to return to the gym. With that, they often get frustrated because sometimes they’ll experience more pain with that, and then the cycle continues again.

    So basically those community classes can be a little bit challenging in the sense that there’s some competition involved, there is pleasing your instructor, there’s different elements to it. And, and sometimes your lack of body awareness can, can play into that vicious cycle. With clinical Pilates, it’s one on one. So you, your body’s gonna be different than someone else’s body. So from that we can break down and give you specific exercises, specific cues that can actually have you feel that. Versus it’s a little bit challenging sometimes in a group scenario for an instructor to target everybody’s individual cues and individual imbalances. So clinical Pilates is good in that sense that it, it helps tie that in for you so that you can feel it for yourself. Then you can go and take that to the class, and then you can feel more confident in your class and have more success with it.

    Pilates uses numerous machines. There’s reformers, there’s chairs, there’s trap tables, there’s small apparatuses, balls and so forth. And the nice part of being, about Pilates is the machines that you can use with that as well. Because it helps to support you.So very often people have a hard time firing their core, but when they’re on one of the machines, they can experience that because of the way the machine moves and the way it supports you so that you can actually access those muscles a little bit easier.

    If you’re caught in that vicious cycle of back pain and exercise, contact your local doctor. They can refer you to  your local clinical Pilates instructor to stop that cycle.

    Presenter: Ms. Danielle Langford, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

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