Articles in Category: Ergonomics

Low Back Pain (LBP) associated with Leg Pain/Discomfort

on Thursday, 14 February 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Low Back Pain (LBP) associated with Leg Pain/Discomfort

Practitioner: “Can you please describe your problem for me?”

Patient: “Yes. I have this Chronic Lower Back Pain that if it triggers, I can feel in my leg(s) as well. I start work from 9am, the pain will start crawling in after an hour of sitting, and then I can feel the pain down into my leg(s) after that. But, if I stand up and walk around a little bit, the pain will ease. This is why I have been putting treatment off for so long.”

 

Does this sound familiar?

The question is why does the LBP sometimes follow with leg pain? If the LBP is already a pain in the backside, why does the leg pain love to join the party?

If we look into the User’s Manual for the human body – lower body in particular, the question can easily be answered.

 

The difference between disc origin and muscular origin is if the pain travels below the knee. This is the reason why most practitioners are critical to the pain below or above the knee. If the pain travels below the knee, it is suggested to be disc lesion. If the pain does not travel below the knee, it is suggested to be muscular-related. Unfortunately, there is a User’s Manual 1.1 that specifies that each person is unique, and there could be an occasional case where the above situation differs.

 

Studies have shown that younger patients experience more discomfort in a sitting position due to increased disc pressure, but gain relief by standing up and walking (Souza, 2014). Whereas older patients have trouble when walking or standing due to gravity pull with a compressive effect that applies pressure onto the posterior (back) aspect of the region (Souza, 2014).

 

The patient sometimes describes the pain only in one leg or both legs at the same time. The difference between the two is disc-related pain for one leg and stenosis-related (narrowing) leg pain for both legs.

 

Pain below the knee is suggested to be caused by a disc lesion; chiropractic treatment usually has a beneficial effect and is able to achieve a good result.

 

Pain above the knee is suggested to be muscular-related. A trigger point is a term used to describe a tender area of the body that is irritated by a particular muscle group and has created a referral pattern to another area of the body. An example such as, an iliopsoas trigger point can cause referral pattern down to the front of the thigh, a piriformis trigger point can cause referral pattern down to the back of the thigh, or a Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) can cause referral pattern down to the side of the thigh. These three muscles are located either deep inside our lumbar region or on the side of our hip region, which can mimic LBP. If by adding trigger point patterns into the equation, we have a lower back pain associated with leg pain/discomfort symptom.

 

Therefore, finding a practitioner with the advanced ability to diagnose this is essential to determine which type of treatment is most suitable for the patient. Once the partitioner is found, it would be wise to stick with them. If the partitioner provides effective treatment, plus a strong ethical view, it is considered hitting the jackpot.

 

 

Written by David Hsu

Dip Remedial Massage, Bachelor Rn. Diploma Osteopathy (Canada)

 

Reference:

Souza, T. (2014). Differential Diagnosis and Management for Chiropractors. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

 

Musculoskeletal Development

on Thursday, 28 January 2016. Posted in General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Musculoskeletal Development

Musculoskeletal Development

 

When we are born we're usually around 50cm long. Once we're fully grown we have added another 115cm to that. It all seems normal and usually it happens without any issues, however there are very complicated processes at work that are influenced by so many factors. To name a few: hormones, exercise level, diet, and different pathologies.

 

Bone growth

 

At the end of your bone there is a disc like structure of non-ossified cartilage, this is the growth plate. By multiplying the cartilage the cells help expand the bone and this is how people grow. When we age, eventually all the cartilage ossifies and we stop growing.

 

Even though the growth plates have been ossified in adults this does not mean the bones are not operational. Bone is being broken down and relayed constantly throughout one’s life. The production of bone is being stimulated by Oestrogen a hormone this is the reason why the bone strength deteriorates in post-menopausal women.

 

Hormones

 

The growth hormone is important for development and is made in the pituitary gland within your brain. The hormone causes longitudinal growth by stimulating the growth plates. The release of this hormone into your blood stream isn't a continuous occurrence but more a collection of bursts. These bursts happen at night two hours after you've fallen asleep. Besides sleeping, physical exercise has a positive effect on the release of this hormone as well.

 

In addition to the growth hormone, the Thyroid hormones and sex steroids (testosterone and oestrogen) play an important part in an individual’s growth. Sex steroids cause rapid growth during puberty, up to 12cm a year! But even in adults the growth hormone has a number of important functions. It’s important to the musculoskeletal system, bone density, metabolism and our wellbeing.

 

What are growing pains?

 

Growing pains are pains felt by children and adolescents at night on both sides of their bodies.

 

There are many different theories on what exactly causes growing pains. One such theory suggests that the pain is caused by the stretching of the muscles and tendons as the bones grow. As discussed previously we don't grow the same amount from one day to the next so the pain can be present during one night and gone the next. It is nothing to be concerned about, as a parent you can try to massage the area. If the pain persists however refer to a healthcare practitioner.

 

Chiropractic care and developing children

 

As you'll understand by now, there is a lot happening in your body during your youth. And we've only been discussing bone growth. Your muscles need to elongate at the same speed and that can lead to diminished coordination. This is mostly seen during puberty as this is when you grow the most. It is important for youngsters to be exercising lots, this best enables the body to adapt to all the changes, what is more you are training your motor skills.

 

It is important however that you exercise and move in the correct way, using the correct motor patterns. This is where chiropractic can help. By making sure that the joints can move freely, the muscles can function better, which, can optimise growth and prevent injuries. By treating problem areas, addressing faulty movement patterns and explaining certain preventative measures, chiropractic endeavours to help our youths move without pain and diminish the risk of injury so that playing sports remains fun!

Myth Busters: It's Important to Stretch before Exercise

on Thursday, 14 February 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Ergonomics, Training and Performance

Myth Busters: It's Important to Stretch before Exercise

For many years it was believed that performing static stretches before exercising reduced your risk of injury. However research has shown that this is not the case.

 

Static stretching is a method of stretching where you gradually lengthen your muscles and tendons by holding your body in a certain position for approximately 30 seconds. An example of this might be a hamstring stretch (see below). This type of stretching is useful in improving flexibility and muscle function.

 

Stretch 1 

A study completed in Norway that had over 1000 participants found that there was little to no reduction in injury risk when stretching was performed before exercise. Research has shown that performing a warm up made up of dynamic stretches can increase body awareness, strength and neuromuscular control which reduces the risk of injury.

Stretch 2  Stretch 3

Dynamic stretching is a type of stretching where you gradually lengthen muscles and tendons and also warm them up by moving your joint through a range of motion similar to the activity you are about to perform. For example if you are about to go for a walk/run/cycle performing leg swings can be beneficial (see below).

 

Static stretching is still important to perform after you exercise. This can help in easing muscle soreness caused by Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which can occur 24-48 hours after an exercise session. It is a good idea to perform these stretches in your cool down, focusing on the areas of your body that you worked most.

 

So if you’ve been doing static stretches as part of your warm up at the gym or on the field maybe swap it for some dynamic stretches and save the static stretches for your cool down.

 

If you would like to learn or know more about what stretches are most beneficial for you as an individual get in contact with Emily our Exercise Physiologist here at Institute of Sports and Spines!

 

 

Written by Emily Holzberger

Qualifications: B. ExSS Majoring in Clinical ExPhys.   

 

Resource: ABC Health and Wellbeing, 2014