Symptoms

/Symptoms
Symptoms2017-10-23T03:32:17+00:00

What sort of condition/symptoms do we frequently see?

Click each symptom below to read more

There are many causes of headache including neck problems, stress, hormonal influences, diet, migraine and blood pressure to name a few. The most common type of headache results from tightness of the neck joints and muscles. This can be brought on by situations such as many hours at a desk, a period of stress, trauma or poor pillow / sleeping posture. Many people are frightened by headaches, especially if they are a new or frequent symptom. This is understandable, as headaches can have serious causes. However, headaches of different origins have different features in the history and examination, so be assured that we can help you identify the cause of your headache. Many types of headaches respond very well to chiropractic care and people are often relieved to find they can be pain free and able to avoid ongoing pain medications.
Neck pain is a real ‘pain in the neck’. You may feel it as a stiff neck that makes backing the car difficult, or it may feel like a stressful tightening. Or it may be so severe upon waking one day that you cannot move in any direction, and even bumps on the road give you sharp pain when travelling in a car. You may even hear a grating sound as you turn your neck, or even feel a little dizzy. It may also accompany a headache. It’s likely that the little joints and muscles of your neck are not moving freely. You may even have some inflammation. This can happen after trauma, but it can also happen with just the daily wear and tear of life. We can certainly help with symptoms like these.
Back pain can occur after trauma, such as a minor car accident or a lifting injury, but more often it comes on gradually over time making it difficult for the sufferer to identify a cause. Sometimes the cause is just daily wear and tear, like prolonged periods of sitting or standing, or even the wearing of high heels. All the structures that make up the back can potentially cause pain. The bones, the joints, the discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves can all be the source of pain. If these structures become tight, and don’t function well, they can produce a surprising amount of pain, even though there is no actual disease process. We call this ‘functional’ pain. The underlying tissues are essentially healthy, but they are not working properly. We can help restore the normal function.
Sometimes pain can stem from an injured or degenerated disc (thick pad between the spine bones) that is swollen and bulging. Sometimes a disc can herniate (protrude) and press onto some of the nerves that run down the legs. (A similar scenario can occur in the neck). This will be felt as severe pain running down the leg, and may even be associated with pins and needles or weakness. It is important to seek help if you think you have an injury like this.

Remember, we deal with back pain every day. So, regardless of its cause, you can be confident that we can help you take the right steps toward recovery.

Factors such as your age, occupation, lifestyle or posture can predispose you to shoulder pain. Often pain is produced when the five muscles of the rotator cuff (muscle that wrap around and move the shoulder joint) have become unbalanced. This usually happens as a result of one of the muscles being overused or strained. However, shoulder pain can also be caused by swelling or tears in the tendons, swelling of the shoulder bursae, or inflammation deep in the shoulder capsule such as in a frozen shoulder. Our examination will help determine the cause, but in some cases we may refer you for an x-ray or diagnostic ultra-sound.
Pain around either side of the elbow, often associated with weakness when using the forearm, for example opening a jar, is a common symptom especially in office workers. These conditions are usually related to long standing repetitive overuse of the forearm, resulting in gradual tightening of the forearm muscles, and painful inflammation in the thick tendons that join these muscles to elbow bones. We provide treatment and lifestyle advice that can greatly reduce these symptoms.
We are frequently asked about posture. Sometimes you may notice one shoulder or hip sitting higher, or a shoulder blade flaring. Sometimes women notice one bra strap slides off a particular shoulder. There are various reasons why our spine and muscles may appear to be contorted and ‘out of place’. Often, these problems are what we call ‘functional’. This means the distortion is related to the behaviour of the muscles and joints and can usually be corrected at least partially if not entirely. It may be as simple as restrengthening a de-conditioned area and stretching out an overly tight area.

Scoliosis, is a spiral deviation of the spinal column which appears as a sideways twisting of the spine and body. It can cause ribs to poke out on one side of the body as well as severely affecting the height of a shoulder. Scoliosis can be produced when the bones do not grow evenly and, if left unchecked, it can become quite serious. When young children grow rapidly, especially girls between the ages of 11-14, it is a good idea to get them checked for scoliosis. We can advise you on the best approach if you are concerned about any postural changes or possible scoliosis.

Many people report waking with pins / needles or numbness of the hands. This is a remarkably common problem that usually relates to a tightening of the muscles around the lower front of the neck. The tight muscles can cause compression of the nerves and blood vessels that supply the arms. We call this thoracic outlet syndrome.

Another possible cause is narrowing of the carpal tunnel in the wrist, causing compression of the nerves into the hand. Very occasionally pins / needles and numbness can be caused by diseases of the central nervous system, narrowing of the spinal canal, or even be related to diabetes. We can determine the cause in your case and help relieve these annoying symptoms, or refer you for further testing if required.

As we grow old, our joints wear out. We all get a bit of osteoarthritis, and this is a normal physiological part of aging. If we have suffered trauma to an area, or have poor mechanics that overload an area, we can develop arthritis relatively young. This does not mean you cannot have treatment. Of course treatment is always modified to consider the conditions of the individual’s tissues. So, in the presence of arthritis, our approach would focus on balancing the function of the supporting muscles and soft tissues and improving mobility of the arthritic joint. As a consequence, the function improves and the pain lessens. Many people believe once they have a diagnosis of arthritis, they simply have to put up with ongoing pain. Quite often this is simply not true, and with the correct treatment and lifestyle modifications, considerable relief can often be achieved.
The reduction of bone density that occurs with aging or poor health, or as a result of long term use of certain medications, does not mean you are too fragile for treatment. While some of your pain may come from the bone changes, pain will also be coming from the surrounding muscles. It is vital that the correct type of activity/exercise is pursued to maintain existing bone density. Treatment would be modified according to your age and bone density, but we can still definitely help you ease your pain.
There are many reasons why we may develop back pain during pregnancy. These can include the increasing weight, the softening of the ligaments, the disengagement of and normal core muscle support, the position and size of the baby.

As the ligaments soften, the muscles are left to provide more of the support normally provided by the ligaments. Muscles can do this if they are in good condition, however if they are in spasm, they can be inefficient at providing support, and produce pain. During pregnancy, we provide treatment that focuses on helping the muscles provide their optimum support, and this can greatly reduce pain.

After delivery, many women have persistent low back pain. This is usually related to some of the core muscles (body’s natural girdle of supporting muscles) having been switched off during pregnancy but not properly re-engaged following delivery. This can lead to a lot of pain, especially when combined with the lifestyle of breast feeding, bending and carrying whilst caring for a new born. This can all be exacerbated on subsequent pregnancies, when the ligaments have become even softer and the Mum is looking after several young children. It can be ‘back breaking’ work. We can assess your back, get things moving properly, and teach you the correct exercises to restore some strength and stability to our back. You really don’t need to live with that pain, and it is essential to stabilize your back before any further pregnancies.

The core is the deep layer of interwoven muscles that lie close to the spine and form the body’s natural stabilizing system. The core muscles support and stabilize the spinal column, while the outer muscles move the spinal column. Without the stabilization, the outer muscles would wrench and pull on our joints, and even everyday movement could cause pain and damage.

Quite often after an episode of back pain, even of relatively short duration, our core muscles can ‘switch off’. It is a protective mechanism when we are hurt or injured. There is short term benefit in reducing the core muscle pull on the inflamed structures, so the brain effectively disengages some of the normal activity of the core. In some people, the core will automatically re- engage once the inflammation and pain have settled, but in many people it requires specific exercises to switch the core back on. If we do not re-engage the core, we are vulnerable to repeated injuries from very minor insults.

Another surprising fact is that someone may be very muscular and ‘buffed’ on the outside, but still have very poor core function and a lot of back pain. They may well be doing a lot of gym work, but not including the correct exercises to rehabilitate the core. The good news is that it really isn’t difficult to activate the core with the correct exercises, it just requires a bit of commitment. It’s a commitment that is well worth the effort though, because in many cases it can completely eliminate the back pain.

Whether it is a sprain/strain, degenerative arthritis or pain from a bursa, we can assess this and help with a variety of treatments.
This is a common and annoying problem felt as pain under the foot, especially for the first ten or so steps after getting up. Sometimes the pain persists all day. Foot shape, foot wear and lifestyle factors can contribute to this problem. We can help relieve your pain and modify some of the factors causing your problem.