Back Clinics of Canada Patient Question of the Week: Foot Pain & Class IV K-Laser Therapy

K-Laser Tissue Injury

Class IV K-Laser

Can the Class IV K-Laser help me with a foot injury? My foot is not broken, but it’s terribly bruised. Walking is difficult and I feel like my healing is taking forever.

I’m sorry to hear about your foot pain. The answer to your question is YES. The Class IV K-Laser is designed to effectively treat most soft tissue injuries of the body. We have seen many patients with foot and ankle sprains and ligament tears. Their healing has accelerated before our eyes and we’ve seen injuries that ordinarily take weeks to heal, improve significantly faster.

The Class IV K-laser is so effective for treating most soft tissue injuries anywhere in the body — not just in the foot, ankle and shoulder. In fact, the Class IV K-laser is a vital component of our High Performance Healing SystemTM, used in the healing of low back pain and neck pain caused by damaged spinal discs.

Soft tissue includes muscles, ligaments, joints, vertebral discs and intra-articular surfaces. Effects of the laser include:

  • improved healing time; three to five times faster than with other treatments
  • reduced pain
  • improved and increased circulation
  • improved transport of nutrients across the cell membrane
  • influx of water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area
  • reduced swelling
  • reduced muscle spasms and stiffness

Call Back Clinics of Canada today: (416)-633-3666, or toll-free 1-877-PAINFREE. We’ll answer any additional questions you may have about Class IV K-laser therapy, and help you schedule your first laser appointment.

You deserve a pain-free life.

For a more comprehensive list of conditions treated, visit www.backclinicsofcanada.ca/index.php?/backclinics/laser_conditions

Posted in Foot Pain, K-laser therapy, Soft tissue injury, Sports Injuries, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Avoid Back Pain Injuries in Winter

Preventing back pain while shoveling snowEven though winter officially begins December 21, it feels like it may have already arrived. We’ve had a good round of extreme cold, ice and a little snow. Combined, these are perfect conditions for a possible acute back pain or neck pain injury — a fall on the ice, a disc injury from shoveling, an exuberant winter athlete perhaps trying out the half-pipe for the first time.

Besides the usual torn muscle or bone fracture, many Canadian adults can do serious damage to their backs: developing a bulging or herniated disc. This is exactly the kind of back pain condition we treat at Back Clinics of Canada.

Here are 5 things you can do to mitigate injury and enjoy your winter pain-free!

  1. SALT: Icy stairs and walkways are the main cause of serious painful falls. Keep a supply of salt on hand and use it liberally to de-ice. (When visiting others, tread slowly and carefully on their property. I’ve fallen a few times over the years visiting other people and their icy walkways/steps.)
  1. QUALITY BOOTS: Give yourself the gift of sure footing. Check the sole of your boots and make sure you have a pair with a sturdy gripping sole. If it’s particularly icy this season, you may even want to invest in a set of winter boot cleats.
  1. SHOVEL SMART: Shoveling is more strenuous than many people realize and can directly contribute to a painful back injury.
  • Stretch before you shovel or do any strenuous activity. Spending 10 minutes warming up and loosening up your muscles and joints will make a world of difference between an invigorating afternoon and a serious back pain injury.
  • Use an ergonomically appropriate shovel that mitigates stress on your back.
  • Shovel small piles at a time, especially when the snow is wet and heavy. Pushing the snow to the side is less strenuous than lifting and throwing piles. Lifting and twisting to move heavy snow directly stresses the lower back.
  • Always take breaks. Muscles do stiffen up, especially in the cold.
  1. HYDRATION: whether working outside or enjoying some outdoor recreation, remember that an active body needs fluids. Cold weather can be deceiving. So drink before and certainly after your activity. (And yes, hot cocoa counts as fluid!)
  1. Whatever you’re doing, remember to Rest when you’re tired. Stop if you feel pain.

If you do experience back pain or neck pain, call us to book an appointment before your condition grows worse. Back Clinics of Canada’s state-of-the art clinic in Vaughan offers medical breakthrough Class IV K-laser therapy, cutting-edge non-surgical spinal decompression, chiropractic care, custom orthotics and orthopedic shoes, and more.

We offer safe, robust, aggressive healing. Our technology targets and treats the true cause of pain. We are the only clinic in the world that offers the High Performance Healing System™

 

– a unique protocol that has helped even the most debilitating cases.

You deserve a pain-free life!

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Low Back Pain and Pills: Risks Outweigh the Benefits

Morphine. Codeine. Oxycodone. These Pain Medicationare just a few of many well-known pain medications prescribed for patients suffering with debilitating pain. They are opioids, narcotics. Highly addictive. Dangerous even. The public has learned a lot over the years, through various news channels, about the risks that come with taking these medications.

Patients suffering with serious chronic low back pain or neck pain are likely to ask their doctors for prescription painkillers to help them manage. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) recently issued a statement — the risks associated with taking narcotic pain medications seem to outweigh the benefits. Hopefully patients and doctors will pause before securing the next prescription.

The risk of death, overdose, addiction, or serious side effects with prescription opioids outweigh the benefits in chronic, non-cancer conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. *

More than 100,000 people have died from prescription opioid use since the late 1990s, according to the AAN. And there have been more deaths in young to middle-aged groups from prescription opioids than from firearms and car accidents.

Addiction is a serious problem. Studies show that fifty percent of patients who take opioids for at least three months are still on opioids five years later. And while opioids may provide significant short-term pain relief, there is no substantial evidence that medication successfully maintains pain relief or improves function over long periods of time without serious risk of overdose, dependence or addiction.

Alternatives to Pain Medication

Alternative pain management options are available. Back Clinics of Canada in particular offers a multi-pronged approach to care for painful back conditions like bulging/herniated discs, sciatica, spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis and facet syndrome. What makes this care different is that it is designed to target and promote healing of the root cause of patients’ pain. It’s called the High Performance Healing SystemTM.

This system, developed by Dr. Nusbaum, delivers patient-specific targeted healing for true, lasting pain relief. One side effect of our care – many Back Clinics of Canada patients have successfully stopped taking their pain medication altogether.

The High Performance Healing SystemTM offers benefits without any risks.

* American Academy of Neurology, September 30, 2014. http://www.newswise.com/articles/aan-risks-of-opioids-outweigh-benefits-for-headache-low-back-pain-other-conditions

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5 Ways to Keep Your Kids’ Backs Strong and Healthy

Children's back pain from poor posture and heavy backpacks is preventable
Back pain and neck pain affect not only adults. Kids too are prone to aches and pains brought on by poor posture, carrying heavy backpacks and, well, by just being active kids. As parents, it’s our job to give our kids every advantage for an active, healthy life.

Look out for your kids’ spinal health with these 5 easy tips.

1. Posture: We’re raising a generation of slouchers. Kids everywhere are hunched over their smart phones and gaming systems. No one seems to look up anymore. Poor posture weakens shoulder and neck muscles, and puts stress on discs, joints and muscles of the back. This unnecessary stress speeds up the natural degenerative process of the spine. Teach your kids about proper posture and why it’s important. Not only will it help them to feel better, they’ll look better too!

2. Activity: Involve your kids in activities and sports that help to strengthen their core muscles (muscles that support the lower back and abdomen). Dance, gymnastics, weights, soccer, basketball. You name it. An active person is a healthier person.

3. Correct Backpacks: During the school year kids are laden with too heavy packs. These do more to strain and injure young kids backs than anything else. Make sure backpacks are the right size, are worn correctly, and are not overweighted. Read here to learn more.

4. Nutrition: What we eat impacts spinal health. A diet rich in calcium, glucosamine sulfate, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, soy and fibre can really boost growth and healing of soft tissues, the primary component of spinal discs. Read this nutrition article to learn more. Provide your kids with healthy foods that will provide them with spine-friendly nutrition.

5. Spinal Health Check-Up: Every child should have their spinal health checked by a back pain doctor, at least once a year. A healthy spine is central to the overall health of the body. As well, by properly addressing any “minor” aches and pains of the low back or neck, you can prevent small strains from becoming big health problems later on. No one is ever too young to have their spine checked.

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3 Tips For Preventing Back Pain Caused By Prolonged Sitting

Preventing Low Back Pain When Sitting All Day

What happens to your spine when you sit for long periods? This infographic explains the different forces in motion and what you can do to prevent low back pain from sitting in your chair.

Inner hip muscles, or iliopsoas connect the back to the legs. These muscles get tight when you sit all day, causing the abdomen to be bulled forward and downward, and causing pressure on the lower back. Unnatural pressure on the lower back can certainly lead to pain. Prolonged sitting can compress spinal structures like the discs and lead to their deterioration, and may also aggravate sciatica.

3 Simple Tips For Keeping Your Low Back Pain-Free

1. Stand up, stretch backwards for a moment and walk a bit every 20 minutes.

2. While seated, keep one knee lower than the other (requires sitting near the front edge of your seat). Alternate knees frequently.

3. Regularly preform hip flexor stretches to keep your muscles from tightening up.

Posted in chronic low back pain, low back pain | 1 Comment

Road Trips and Back Pain Infographic

Road Trips and Back Pain Infographic

The Road Trips and Back Pain Infographic from Back Clinics of Canada

If you’re one of the 80 percent of adults taking at least one road trip this year, be aware that car travel is not great for back pain. Minimize your low back pain and neck pain on long drives with these tips:

1. Use a Lumbar Support Pillow: This can help reduce stress on the lower back and help maintain proper alignment.

2. Good Posture: Minimize strain on your neck, shoulders and lower back. Adjust your seat and mirrors and reach the pedals comfortably.

3. Take Driving Breaks & Stretch: If you suffer low back pain or neck pain, stop and stretch every 30-60 minutes.

4. Move Often: Change position as you’re able, cruise control can help you rest your legs.

5. Pack Smart: Lift luggage with your legs, not your back. Hold heavy items close to your body. Ask for help!

6. Share the Load: Take turns relaxing both your muscles and your mind.

7. Stop When You Should: If your pain intensifies, stop. Rest, ice, and lay down with a pillow under your knees. If this doesn’t help, or if you develop persistent numbness, loss of muscle power or bowel/bladder symptoms, call your health professional.

Posted in acute low back pain, back pain and driving, chronic low back pain, low back pain, Spinal Health Tips, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer Road Trips and Back Pain

Prevent back pain and neck pain while drivingMore than 80 percent of adults will probably take at least one summer road trip this year*. On average, they’re willing to drive more than 500 miles. That equates to approximately 8-9 hours on the road.

There are many positive reasons for choosing travel by car: fresh air, low cost, enjoyment of driving, family time. Unfortunately there are some drawbacks as well. Long drives are not good for the back. If you suffer with any kind of back or neck pain, such as bulging or herniated disc, spinal arthritis or sciatica, you may find your pain aggravated by long stretches on the road. If you don’t have a specific low back or neck pain condition, stress and aches on the spine can develop on long car trips, affecting even the healthiest person. Both the lower (lumbar) spine and the neck (cervical) can be negatively affected.

Why Car Travel is Not Great for Back Pain

1. Car seats are not ergonomically ideal. There is some adjusting you can do to the angles and height of a driver or front passenger seat. But overall the seated position of the driver or passenger is likely to bring the center of gravity right over the discs, which can lead to an increase in pain. Poor posture assumed in a car seat worsens things.

2. When sitting in a fixed position for a long time, muscles can stiffen. This can cause spasms and shorten hip flexors. The driver may also experience hyperextension of the neck and cramping of the legs.

3. Packing the car with suitcases, coolers or other heavy/bulky items can also exacerbate an existing back pain condition. Often people lift too-heavy loads and/or lift improperly, and don’t realize that they’re putting incredible strain on their lower backs.

Minimize Low Back Pain and Neck Pain on Long Drives

These simple reminders can help to minimize back and neck pain while enjoying your road trip.

1. Use a Lumbar Support Pillow: this can greatly reduce stress on the lower back. It will support your lower back and help you to maintain proper alignment over your hips. It’s good for just about any seat in the car.

2. Good Posture: Having good driving posture will minimize strain on your neck, shoulders and lower back. Especially if you’re the driver, take time to adjust your seat before beginning your long drive. Make sure you can see in the rear and side mirrors by moving your eyes, not straining your neck. Also that you can see all dashboard dials and information by just moving your eyes. Be able to hold the steering wheel comfortably, without lifting, rounding or straining your shoulders or neck. Your feet should reach the pedals in a relaxed way. Don’t sit too far away that you strain your ankle or toes, or too close that your knee is bent up under the wheel.

3. Take Driving Breaks and Stretch: If you suffer with low back pain or neck pain, stop every 30-60 minutes. Pull the car over to a safe spot, park and get out. Stretch your muscles; loosen your joints, move around get your blood circulating.

Specifically, and this is good for everyone, place your hands on your low back and extend backwards so you feel a good stretch. Also you can rotate your upper torso carefully from side to side. This should take no more than a minute. These stretches will help dissipate pressure on your spine and help you feel more comfortable.

4. Move Often: Change position as you’re able, especially if you are a passenger. (If the car has cruise control, use it while driving to rest your legs.)

5. Pack Smart: Be mindful when loading and unloading the trunk. As always, lift with your legs, not your back. Resist the urge to bend over when maneuvering heavy objects. Pivot to turn. Hold heavy items close to your body. Ask for help before pushing yourself too far!

6. Share the Load: Don’t do it alone, if at all possible. Share the driving with another adult; take turns relaxing both your muscles and your mind.

7. Stop When You Should – Your health is too important. If your low back pain or neck pain becomes intense, stop! Rest, ice and lay down with a pillow under your knees. If this doesn’t help, or if you develop persistent numbness, loss of muscle power or bowel/bladder symptoms, call your health professional.

* Survey fielded by Bridgestone Americas in May 2014.

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How Do I Get Relief From Back and Neck Pain When I Sleep?

Back Pain and Sleep Position

The Back Clinics of Canada infographic with sleep position tips for reducing back and neck pain.

Sleep Position:

On your back OR on your side. If on back, prop up your knees with a pillow, if on side, prop a pillow between your knees.

Meditation:

Relaxing your body will ease muscle tension

Neck Pillow:

Having  a good pillow such as a contoured pillow or a water pillow to support the neck may help to prevent waking up with neck pain.

Mattress:

Choose a tight-top mattress or a very low-profile pillow top. A higher firmness will provide support without sacrificing comfort.

Body Pillow:

A body pillow helps you to comfortably maintain a side-position and reduces stress on the spine.

 

 

 

 

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Preventing Back Injuries While Playing Golf

Playing golf while avoiding back injuriesWith over 5.7 million golfers in Canada*, golf has become the most popular recreational sport in Canada. This is due to an increase in baby boomers retiring and the increase in golf courses in the country. With summer just beginning, even the most casual golfers are beginning to take advantage of the weather.

Many golfers, both casual and serious, frequently injure their back because they do not take into account the potentially taxing strain on their bodies that comes with golfing. The most common injury occurs in one’s lower back.

There are several ways in which you can take proactive steps to prevent injury in your lower back from holding back your golfing:

Stretching: It is all too often that a golfer will go directly to the tee early in the morning and immediately begin with their driver. This can lead to straining one’s back muscles, which will lead to lower back pain. Make sure to take the time to stretch before taking that first swing. It is important to emphasize stretching the shoulder, torso, hip and hamstring.

Start with your upper body and move your way down. Some simple stretches such as rotating your shoulders and neck are a good way to start. By pulling your k
nees to your chest
you will be able to work on your hips. Don’t forget to work on your hamstrings by bending over and touching your toes.

Practice Swings: There is no reason to jump immediately into using a driver. It is best to work your way up to a big swing gradually. Start with a wedge and slowly begin to use other clubs. This will ensure that the first swing that you take does not come as a shock to your back.

Proper Mechanics: Having proper mechanics cannot only improve your golf game but it will also prevent more injuries. By working with a professional or practicing on your own, you will be able to maximize your swing while minimizing the impact on your body. By spreading out the force throughout your body during your swings, you will not have as much stress on your lower back muscles.

Lift with Your Knees: Your golf bag might not be part of the game but it will be part of the reason your back could be in pain. Make sure that before you lift your bag, you are lifting with your knees and not your back. Lifting with your knees will put less stress on your back . Additionally, using two bag straps instead of one will allow you to distribute the weight evenly on your back and reduce the chance of having lower back pain because of an uneven load.

If you are experiencing pain from a low back injury, please visit a back pain specialist who can find and treat the source of the pain. Back Clinics of Canada provides the necessary treatment and care for all athletes that have endured pain from sports related injuries. Our offices have the most state of the art equipment to ensure that you are back on the greens without the use of any drugs or surgery.

*According to the National Allied Golf Association

Posted in acute low back pain, chronic low back pain, Golf back injuries, low back pain, Sports Injuries | Leave a comment

Prevent Low Back Pain: If You’re Sitting All Day, These 3 Tips May Help

iStock_000015889139SmallIt’s easy to understand how back pain can result from a workplace injury or from repetitive stress. But from sitting?

Yes. The problem often lies in the muscle group that connects the lower back to the legs. It’s called the iliopsoas or inner hip muscles. These muscles get tight when you sit all day. This tightening causes the abdomen to be pulled forward and downward, causing pressure on the lower back. Unnatural pressure on the lower back can certainly lead to pain. Prolonged sitting can also compress spinal structures like the discs and lead to their deterioration, and may also aggravate sciatica, which is pain, numbness, burning or tingling down the leg due to irritation of the sciatic nerve.

If you have a job, or lifestyle, that necessitates extended periods of sitting, take note of these 3 simple tips for keeping your low back pain-free.

  1. Stand up, stretch backwards for a moment and walk a bit every 20 minutes.
  2. While seated, keep one knee lower than the other (which requires you to sit near the front edge of your seat). Alternate knees frequently.
  3. Regularly perform hip flexor stretches, to keep the muscles from tightening up.

If you are suffering with low back pain, schedule an appointment at Back Clinics of Canada. Only Back Clinics of Canada offers the High Performance Healing SystemTM — an integrated approach to healing damaged/injured spinal discs. Our care is non-invasive, non-surgical and drug-free.

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