Common Symptoms & Conditions
The Backfit Clinic’s mandate is to promote optimal spinal health and preventative healthcare. That means educating individuals on how to best care for their spine to keep it healthy, functional and pain free. That being said, many people don’t realize that they need help with their spinal care until its too late and they are in pain. If you are in pain, Backfit may be the solution.
If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms there could be underlying issues that chiropractic can help with:
An estimated 23% of individuals worldwide are affected by back pain on a monthly basis. It is the source of significant personal, community and financial trouble, especially when individuals are unable to work because of their pain. Back pain can range from localized pain to radiating pain to gluts, legs and can even cause numbness or tingling in the feet. The problem is that the source of specific symptoms can be very difficult to determine. During our Backfit assessment we employ thorough examination techniques including orthopedic and neurological testing, as well as x-ray analysis, to assess the functionality of your spine. This ensures an accurate diagnosis and sets you up for better prognosis for recovery and maintenance of spinal health in the future.
Although neck pain is less debilitating than back pain, it still has a significant impact on your quality of life. Neck pain often refers pain into the shoulders and arms. A major contributor to neck pain is poor posture leading to misalignment and weakness of musculature holding the neck and head in a good position. Along with the more obvious signs of pain, misalignment can also cause many regulatory functions to become unstable. The neck houses delicate nerve tissue such as the brain stem and nerves that control many critical organs in the body. Therefore, misalignment of the neck can often cause compression of these imperative nerves, which in turn can cause impairment in balance, vision, temperature regulation, digestion, and hormonal regulation. Backfit employs several methods to correct misalignments in the back and neck including alignment therapy and a core program (link) geared towards building structural muscle to support the spine and protect the nervous system to allow for optimal function of muscles and organs.
The sacroiliac joints are the foundational base of the spine composed of the triangular shaped bone (sacrum) at the base of your spine and the pelvic bones. There are many nerves that exit at the level of the SI joints that radiate to the lower extremities. SI joint pain is often confused with hip pain because of their close proximity and because SI pain often radiates to the hips and lower extremities. SI pain can be caused by a range of things including pain in the lower extremities leading to alterations in gait, a difference in leg length or a misalignment higher up in the spine. Through our extensive assessment process our doctors will be able to determine what exactly is causing your symptoms, as well as suggest treatment options.
Radiating pain (Sciatica)
Do you suffer from radiating pain down your leg (sciatica)? Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve that runs down from the low back into the lower extremities. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong! In this case your body is alerting you to the compression of a large and significant nerve. Compression on the sciatic nerve can be caused by things like disc compression, disc bulge, disc herniation, subluxation or misalignment. An interesting and little known fact is that sciatica can begin as radiating leg pain, and then the leg pain transitions to tingling and then numbness. At this point many people believe that the problem is solved; however, numbness only starts when there is so much compression that the nerve tissue begins to deteriorate. Backfit has had great success in treating sciatica as well as tingling and numbness in extremities.
Tingling or numbness
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Back pain is often an indication that a nerve is being compressed and that pressure needs to be alleviated! If this is ignored though, the sensory nerve sending these signals will eventually start to die. When this happens, instead of feeling pain you will start to feel tingling and then eventually you will feel numbness. Many people ignore sensations of tingling and numbness because it is much more easily ignored than pain. However, this is the point when you should be really concerned. Tingling and numbness is a sign that compression of your nerves must be relieved before permanent damage is done. Contact us if you would like to come in for an assessment which includes orthopaedic as well as neurological testing.
Did you know there are three types of nerves that travel between the brain and body? First, there are the sensory nerves that most people are familiar with; the one that causes you to feel things like pain and tingling. But there are two other types of nerves that often get overlooked when talking about back pain. These two nerves are the autonomic and motor nerves that run from the brain and control the organ and muscular systems. For instance, if you have compression on a motor nerve, you could have symptoms ranging from stiffness when you get up in the morning all the way to severe muscle spasms. If the compression is bad enough, the nerve may also begin to die. At this point you may start to experience muscular weakness, for example your back or even leg may “give out” occasionally. During a thorough Backfit assessment, your doctor will perform certain orthopedic as well as neurological tests that will determine whether you have functionally evident compression on the sensory or motor nerves. With successful treatment, it is definitely possible to regain strength and return to optimal health!
Scoliosis is a disorder in which there is an abnormal curve in the spine. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side but should appear straight when looking from the front or back. There are multiple types of scoliosis that are categorized by the cause, as well as the age of onset of the disorder. Scoliosis in children and adolescents is usually caused by a developmental problem, either a development problem in the formation of the spine or because of a developmental problem in another area of the body, such as a discrepancy in leg length. Scoliosis in middle aged and older adults is usually degenerative and can be caused by arthritis, weakening of the soft tissue support of the spine or bone spur formation.
Do you find you just can’t move like you used to? Here at Backfit we promote a combination of alignment and disc therapy in the clinic, as well as home exercises, to work at building healthier, more functional and mobile joints. The spine is supported by small ligaments and muscles. If that soft tissue supporting the spine isn’t malleable, the alignment and disc therapy will not be as effective as if the soft tissue is warm before treatment and you are performing exercises to stretch specific soft tissue on your own at home.
Do you suffer from headaches? Well, you are not alone! Nine out of 10 people suffer from headaches ranging from dull throbbing headaches to debilitating migraines. For some, these headaches are symptoms of an underlying physical disorder; however, 95% of headaches are primary headaches, or headaches not caused by another disorder. The majority of these headaches are caused by muscle tension in the neck and upper back. The best way to treat this is by getting an assessment by a chiropractor in order to ascertain the cause of the tension and then to work with your chiropractor to develop a program geared toward resolving your specific spinal issue.
Whiplash is a common injury after a motor vehicle accident, particularly after being hit from behind. The mechanism of whiplash is that when the accident occurs, the base of the neck gets violently pushed forward while the upper neck and head snaps back. This action causes tearing of the soft tissue supporting the neck as well as damage to the facet joints and the discs in the neck. Although symptoms may not appear immediately, the long term effects of this injury can be severe. If the soft tissue has been permanently damaged, the neck will be chronically unstable and susceptible to further injury. Also, if there is permanent damage to the joints or discs in the neck, there may be impingement on the nerves exiting from the neck. Impingement on these nerves could cause autonomic symptoms such as breathing irregularities or heart burn, or motor symptoms such as muscle tightness or spasms. Here at Backfit we combine disc therapy, alignment therapy and exercises to increase the health of the joints as well as to build up strength in support musculature of the spine and neck (multiple links to disc therapy, alignment and core program).
Posture is one of the key elements that can make or break the health of your spine. The optimal posture of the spine contains three curves (pic). These ensure the ability of the spine to absorb shock and to be functionally strong. If you participate in repetitive actions or sedentary positions such as sitting at a computer desk all day, you run the risk of losing the optimal 3 curve configuration of the spine. If this happens you will lose functional strength and the spine will become much more susceptible to compressive injuries to the discs and nerves. Scoliosis is another factor that can be a great detriment to the prolonged health of the spine. Scoliosis can often cause muscular imbalances that promote an improper alignment of the spine as well as cause permanent bone spur formation and compression of nerves. For more information on how to assess and treat poor posture and scoliosis, check out our page on spinal alignment.