All Posts tagged Back Pain

Recreational activities to minimize stress and prevent back pain

Recreational activities to minimize stress and prevent back pain

Going to the chiropractor can help relieve pain and prevent injuries, but being active is also a great way to help keep your spine healthy. Just going for a brisk 10 minute walk each day is enough to help improve your health and prevent conditions of the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body. But there are also a few other recreational activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine to prevent back pain and reduce stress.

Here are a few suggestions and why you may benefit from them:

Yoga and Pilates:

Yoga and Pilates are forms of exercise that typically focus on moving the body while focusing on breathing and body awareness. The poses are purposeful and usually work a few areas of the body at once, including the back and leg muscles to build a stronger foundation for other movements. Also, the poses often focus on balance which can be important to prevent falls and injuries as we age. Compared to higher impact activities that cause added strain to the body, Yoga and Pilates are known to be ‘safe’ for healthy and even injured individuals. Yet, with most practices being keenly aware of your body is important and adapting movement to your skill level. However, regular practice has been shown to decrease back pain1. The great thing about Yoga and Pilates is that there are several types of classes catered to your specific skill and comfort level.

Aquafitness

Aquafitness is a dynamic, low impact activity that usually involves the entire body in movement, including the abdominals, gluteal, and leg muscles. Since the movements are done in water, the water adds extra resistance to strengthen muscles but also minimizes impact on your joints. Aquafitness has been shown to be an effective management tool for those suffering from certain MSK injuries allowing them to keep active. Notably, people suffering from low back pain2 may particularly benefit from aquafitness or gently swimming in water. Contact your local community centre or gym to see if aquafitness is part of their regular programming.

Tai Chi

This Chinese martial art focuses on meditative, deep breathing combined with methodical practice of slow movement enhancing mobility and balance among those who practice the art. Tai Chi is known to have major health benefits – even for those with back pain. Tai Chi can improve pain and function, while decreasing likelihood of chronic pain. It is a safe and effective activity for those experiencing long-term back pain symptoms3.

Other activities you may want to consider are low-impact cardiovascular exercises such as walking or striding on the elliptical machine. There are always alternatives to staying active, even when you experience pain. Some of these can even help relieve the pain.

If you’re looking for ways to stay active and relieve pain, meet with our team to discuss more options.

Sourced from CCA

1Sherman K,  Cherkin D, Wellman R, Cook A, Hawkes R,  Delaney K, Deyo R. A Randomized Trial Comparing Yoga, Stretching, and a Self-care Book for Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Dec 12; 171(22): 2019–2026.

2Ariyoshi MSonoda KNagata KMashima TZenmyo MPaku CTakamiya YYoshimatsu HHirai YYasunaga HAkashi H,Imayama HShimokobe TInoue AMutoh Y. Efficacy of aquatic exercises for patients with low-back pain. Kurume Med J. 1999;46(2):91-6.

3Hall AMMaher CGLam PFerreira MLatimer J. Tai chi exercise for treatment of pain and disability in people with persistent low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Nov;63(11):1576-83.
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10 Chiropractic Research updates you need to know

10 Chiropractic Research updates you need to know

What impact is research having to advance healthcare, the chiropractic profession and patient care?

For the last decade, the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation was working to achieve one goal—to place chiropractic researchers in Canadian universities for the first time in history. With the help of generous donors, this goal was successfully achieved in 2017.

Check out for yourself how donations are making a difference!

University Affiliation

  • 13 CCRF Research Chairs placed in universities across Canada—seven are tenured; two are tenure-track.
  • Chiropractic researchers are working with multidisciplinary health teams, educating medical students, breaking down barriers and building inter-professional networks.

Disease & Disability Prevention

  • Discovery of a therapy halting the progression of Degenerative Disc Disease, a condition that creates significant disability, expense and the highest number of disability-affected years globally.
  • Evidence-based treatment protocols developed for mechanical, degenerative and inflammatory spinal disorders.

Multidisciplinary Collaboration

  • Working with healthcare teams in Denmark, U.S, Switzerland, Australia, Cuba, Hong Kong, UK, South America and more.
  • Industry collaborations with CCGI, CCA, Provincial Associations, Research Manitoba, World Federation of Chiropractic, World Spine Care Research Committee, Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) and more.

Healthcare Integration

Patient Care and Practice Development

Sourced from CCA Blog

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What is the Difference between Acute and Chronic Back Pain?

What is the Difference between Acute and Chronic Back Pain?

Acute or short-term low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis. Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. Chronic back pain is pain that persists for more than 3 months. It is often progressive and the cause can be difficult to determine.

Most patients with back pain recover without residual functional loss, but individuals should contact a doctor if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and inflammation after 72 hours of self-care.  Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics or other nontraumatic causes is often preventable. Engaging in exercises that don’t jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly can help prevent injuries. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture. Applying ergonomic principles — designing furniture and tools to protect the body from injury — at home and in the workplace can greatly reduce the risk of back injury and help maintain a healthy back.

Sourced from NINDS

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High- and Low-Impact Activities for Everyone

High- and Low-Impact Activities for Everyone

It is no secret that at the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) we often promote the benefits of regular physical activity as a way to stay healthy and happy. In fact, the CCA thinks it’s so important that we’ve created a free app: Straighten Up Canada! The app is currently available for download via Apple StoreGoogle Play and Blackberry World. Featuring easy-to-follow exercises, it helps to improve your posture and allows you to stay active during your day!

Investing time to do activities or sports that you enjoy is key to healthy aging and an active lifestyle. Being physically active is often a good way to prevent and manage musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries as well as helping maintain strength and mobility. Varying your routine between high- and low-impact activities is a great way to modify your workouts and challenge the body. We’ve outlined some great suggestions for both so you can get up and get moving!

High Impact

High-impact exercise is typically described as an (often aerobic) activity where both feet leave the ground at the same time1. Often, high-impact activities may include exercise classes which involve jumping, leaping, or jogging in place. Doing high-impact exercise can put you at greater risk of injury if your body is not prepared, especially if you’re just starting out. Be cautious and adapt to a lower impact version of the activity if in doubt. Otherwise, before starting high-impact exercises make sure you have warmed-up.

Good examples of high-impact exercises are:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Jumping rope
  • Running or jogging on a treadmill (or outdoors)
  • Performing plyometric exercises

High-impact exercises tend to be more intense and expend more energy, so it’s important that if you’re doing high-impact exercises that you’re well-prepared. For some, high-impact exercises are not appropriate: they may increase the risk of injury, commonly to the ankles, knees, hips, and even the back. That being said, high-impact exercises can have a lot of great benefits too2:

  • Improves bone density
  • Increases an individual’s heart rate more quickly, thereby burning more calories
  • Improves a person’s stability, balance, and coordination
  • Strengthens the heart and lungs

Low Impact3

Low-impact exercise tends to be less jarring on the body and joints, and less intense overall. According to the American Council on Exercise, keeping at least one foot on the ground at all times also reduces your risk of musculoskeletal injury. Some examples include4:

  • Working out on an elliptical machine
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Using a rowing machine
  • Home exercise
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Nordic walking

It’s important to realize that low impact doesn’t mean low intensity (unless purposely designed to be so) because you can still get an intense workout keeping both feet on the ground. Low-impact exercises are great for beginners, people with arthritis or osteoporosis, older adults, individuals who are obese, pregnant women, and people with bone, joint, or connective tissue injuries.

Whichever form of physical activity you choose, make sure you do it safely.

Provided by the Canadian Chiropractic Association

References

1Amy Gonsalves, “High Impact versus low impact.” Diabetes Outside blog. April 19, 2011. https://blog.diabetesoutside.com/?p=1060

2Paige Waehner, “High Impact Exercise—Is High Impact Exercise Right for You?” VeryWell.com. May 2, 2016. https://www.verywell.com/is-high-impact-exercise-right-for-you-1230821

3Nicole Nichols, “low impact vs. high impact exercise: Which is right for you?” SparkPeople.com. April 14, 2010. https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=fitness_defined_lowimpact_and_highimpact_exercises

4NHS, “Easy exercises.” NHS Choices. Page last reviewed: 01/03/2016. https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Lowimpact.aspx
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A beginner’s guide to outdoor running

A beginner’s guide to outdoor running

Chiropractor-approved tips

You’ve made the decision to take your cardio routine from the treadmill to the sidewalk – congratulations! You’re on your way to reaping some amazing benefits. If you’re feeling wary about transitioning your routine to a new location, we’ve got you covered. With a good pair of running shoes and some healthy preparation, you can get the most out of your running session outdoors.

Note: Running is a high-impact activity. If you’ve never run before, please consult a chiropractor/medical practitioner to ensure you won’t worsen any pre-existing conditions or cause injury to your joints.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

Warm up and cool down: Make sure you stretch before and after your run. Stretches are an essential part of your running routine to avoid injuries. Some important points to keep in mind:

  • Never stretch a cold muscle
  • Hold each stretch for a slow count of 30
  • Repeat twice on each side
  • Don’t overstretch—be comfortable
  • Don’t bounce when stretching

Pick a road or trail you are familiar with: When starting out, the last thing you want to worry about is getting lost. Before you lace up your sneakers, do some research: ask friends where they like to run, use online running forums to find popular routes, and check to see if your park has designated trails. The more popular and visible the trail, the better.

Wear the appropriate footwear: Adapt your shoes to your environment. A regular running sneaker works for the flat, predictable surface of a treadmill. But once you are outdoors, make sure the sneaker’s tread can handle the gravel, dirt roads, and slick trails. Runners should get a sneaker that supports the feet while having the appropriate sole to help maneuver and provide support over uneven surfaces.

Start slow: Running outside is more taxing on your muscles, joints and bones, making you more prone to injuries like shin splints. Start off with shorter distances on flat roads or trails. As your endurance improves, gradually increase your mileage and hill work.

Maintain a constant pace: Don’t feel compelled to push yourself to run at the same pace that you would on a treadmill. Start with moderate and comfortable pace that allows you to run safely, and gradually increase your speed over several weeks as your body allows.

If you’ve been running on a treadmill for a while, transitioning to the outdoors may take time. The mechanics of running on a stationary treadmill are different than running outside on an uneven surface.

Originally published June 2016 by the Canadian Chiropractic Association

1Shape Magazine, “Don’t make these mistakes when running. https://www.shape.com/fitness/cardio/dont-make-these-mistakes-when-running-outdoors

2Popsugar, 4 things you need to know before running outside. https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Tips-Running-Outside-28328027
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The top 6 common myths about chiropractic treatment

The top 6 common myths about chiropractic treatment

Many Canadians continue to have questions about the role that chiropractors play in the healthcare team, and what benefit chiropractic care may have to their health.

1. Once you see a chiropractor you have to keep going back

This is false. When seeking care from a chiropractor, we will perform an assessment including a history and physical examination to determine the cause of the pain or dysfunction. From these observations, a diagnosis will be made and the treatment plan developed in collaboration with the patient – according to their needs and goals. The treatment plan will recommend a number of initial visits to see if the patient responds to care and scheduled re-evaluations. Depending on the patient and the condition, the recommended course of care may vary. Ultimately, the decision to continue care is yours. As a patient, if you have questions or concerns about care, you should feel comfortable to ask the chiropractor for more information on the recommendations made and address any concerns. The care plan should be part of a shared decision-making between the patient and practitioner.

 2. Chiropractors are not ‘real’ doctors

Chiropractors are regulated in all 10 Canadian provinces, and are designated to use the title “doctor” similar to physicians, optometrists and dentists after completing the extensive Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. Those professions who are recognized to use the “doctor” title have extensive training in their area of expertise that allows them to be diagnosticians – to provide a diagnosis.

Chiropractic care in Canada

 3. A medical doctor must refer you to a chiropractor

In all provinces in Canada, chiropractors are primary contact providers, which means you can access them directly. Due to the extensive training of chiropractors as diagnosticians, chiropractors will perform a comprehensive assessment to help determine a diagnosis or clinical impressions. Depending on the outcome, the chiropractor can discuss a course of care or refer to another healthcare professional, as needed. However, in some cases, you may need a referral to access coverage depending on your benefits provider.

4. There is no evidence to support the effectiveness of chiropractic care

Chiropractic treatment is at times questioned on its effectiveness. Yet, the chiropractic profession and others have invested significant resources to build a robust body of evidence studying the impact of manual therapies on MSK conditions. For example, spinal and joint manipulation has been shown to be effective treatment for acute and chronic MSK conditions, like back pain. In fact, spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is recommended as first line intervention for back pain in numerous clinical practice guidelines including the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force1, the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society2 as well as Britain’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence3.

 5. Chiropractors can only treat back pain

Chiropractors are musculoskeletal (MSK) experts and are trained in assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing biomechanical disorders that originate from the muscular, skeletal and nervous system. In addition to the evidence that supports chiropractic care in managing musculoskeletal complaints of the spine, there is also evidence that it supports chiropractic management of the extremities, headaches and even TMJ pain,5,6. Chiropractors are also able to provide lifestyle counselling about nutrition, fitness and ergonomics among others that may be useful in managing or preventing a variety of health conditions. The health of your MSK system doesn’t just start with a healthy spine, you need to be fully aware of your health to maintain a well-rounded healthy lifestyle!

 6. Adjustments are painful

In general, adjustments or joint manipulations do not hurt. In fact, many patients report immediate pain relief. Patients may be nervous about the ‘cracking’ or popping sound that may occur during an adjustment. The sound is believed to result from the release of gas bubbles from the joint – similar to cracking your knuckles!

Asking questions about your health and treatment options are very important. You are a partner in your care and your participation is critical to helping us provide the best care to meet your goal. To do so, as a profession, we strive to better understand what information you need to make those important decisions. We want to hear from you! If you have any questions beyond this blog about chiropractic treatment, visit a chiropractor in your area. To learn more about what to expect at your first chiropractic treatment, you can take a look at our online videos.

1Haldeman, S., Carroll, L., Cassidy, J., Schubert, J., & Nygren, A. (2008). The bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders: Executive summary. Spine, 33(4S), S5-S7. 

2Chou, E., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross, T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(7), 478-491. 

3National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2009). Low back pain early management of persistent non-specific low back pain. Londres, Angleterre. 

4Hoskins, W., McHardy, A., Pollard, H., Windsham, R., & Onley, R. (2006). Chiropractic treatment of lower extremity conditions: a literature review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 29(8), 658-671. 

5McHardy, A., Hoskins, W., Pollard, H., Onley, R., & Windsham, R. (2008). Chiropractic treatment of upper extremity conditions: a systematic review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 31(2), 146-159. 

6Bryans, R., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Reugg, R., White, E., & , (2011). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 34(5), 274-289.
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6 Tips for Buying a Mattress (And Sleeping Well)

6 Tips for Buying a Mattress (And Sleeping Well)

Consider the importance and value of a good night’s sleep (beyond the price tag) when you are looking for a new mattress. Your back will thank you.

A 2011 study by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) reports that 41% of women and 36% of men claimed their back pain was caused by a poor night’s sleep. The pain can often be attributed to the firmness, size, or the offered back support of the mattress. If you’ve ever woken up with a sore neck or back, you may want to evaluate the quality of your mattress. Your mattress can play an important role in maintaining your MSK health. Here are a few tips to consider when making a purchase. 

When to replace your mattress

Waking up from slumber with a sore back on repeated occasions can be a sign that it is time to switch to a newer mattress. Typically, it is said that after 10 years, the bed will begin to deteriorate, which is the best time to consider buying a new one.

What size do I need?

Mattress size depends on the number and size of people sleeping on the bed; therefore, consider the following1,2:

  1. Buy a mattress that provides the proper support for your entire body and promotes good posture.
  2. The sleeper’s spine should lay parallel and not sag in any area because the bed is too soft, or bow because the bed is too hard.
  3. The mattress should be six inches longer than the tallest person sleeping in the bed.
  4. The width of the bed should allow enough space for the person’s pillow and even for a person to put their hands behind their head without their elbows touching any other person sleeping.
  5. If the person is a restless sleeper, it is recommended that the bed be wider to accommodate some tossing and turning.
  6. Take time to try out the bed before you buy and see if it’s right for you.

There are many options to consider when it comes to purchasing a mattress. Make sure to take the time to explore and do your research, especially if you are looking for specific features to meet your needs. A good night’s rest is important for your MSK health and ensures you can continue doing your daily activities. Consider these tips for your next mattress—your back depends on it!

 

References

1 British Chiropractic Association, Mind Your Posture When Buying a Bed, http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/gfx/uploads/member%20area/New%20posture%20sheets/Mind%20your%20posture%20-%20buying%20a%20bed%20-%20sleep.pdf

2 Utah State University, Selecting a Comfortable Mattress, http://www.sleep-mart.com/utah.pdf
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4 Ways Your Feet May Be Hurting Your Back

4 Ways Your Feet May Be Hurting Your Back

Our body is a complex and fascinating structure of connected and largely interdependent parts. In a past blog, we discussed how your feet can contribute to back pain and other musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. The altered gait and biomechanics can create additional stress on joints, muscles, bones, and the nervous system, putting you at risk of injury.

Here are some examples of biomechanical foot dysfunctions, and how they can lead to back pain1,2,3,4,5:

  1. Injuries

A series of studies suggest that back pain may result, in part, from repetitive abnormal function of the feet, causing you to alter your posture to compensate for the foot pain—ultimately creating an environment primed for low back pain. The studies also suggest that someone with a previous history of injuries is more likely to reinjure themselves. This is due in part to repeating the same dysfunctional movements over time, consequently altering one’s gait—often without being addressed.

  1. Range of Motion

Motions of the hip, knee, ankle and foot joints flex in the opposite direction from the joint directly above or below it. Should one of these hinges be restricted or limited, the loss of motion in one joint negatively impact the others (higher up the leg or in the spine, for example) and this may result in pain or dysfunction.

  1. Leg Length Discrepancies

A difference in leg length that is greater than 5 millimeters can contribute to low back pain. If the leg length difference is greater than 9 mm there is a significantly greater likelihood of having an episode of low back pain. Leg length discrepancies can be structural or functional. Depending on the discrepancy, measures can be taken to help address these and alleviate symptoms or dysfunctions.

  1. Body Weight Imbalances

There can be subtle structural differences in your body. These can be related to natural asymmetry or an injury, and either could potentially have a dramatic impact on the rest of your body. The parts of your body are all connected in a kinetic chain, and if there is a significant imbalance in your weight, the imbalanced force can end up making its way to your lower back (or another part of your body) causing MSK-related issues down the line. Any host of issues stemming from the foot has the potential to work all the way up to the hips, which is just a short chain link away from your low back, potentially causing you back pain.

We can help! Book an appointment at Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation today!

References

  1. Wilson J, Ferris E, Heckler A, Maitland L, Taylor C (2005). A structured review of the role of gluteus maximus in rehabilitation. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 33(3) 95-100.
  1. Dananberg HJ. The Effect of Gait on Chronic Musculoskeletal pain. Manual for The Langer Foundation for Biomechanics and Sports Medicine Research, 1992 pp.16-22.
  1. Dananberg HJ. Gait style and its relevance in the management of chronic lower back pain. In: Vleeming A, Mooney V, Gracovetsky S, Lee D, et al. (eds): Proceedings, 4th Interdisciplinary World Congress of Low Back & Pelvic Pain, Montreal, Canada, November 8-10, 2001, pp. 225-230.
  2. Dananberg HJ, Guiliano M. Gait mechanics and their relationship to lower back pain. In: Vleeming A, Mooney V, Tilscher H, Dorman T, Snijders C. (eds): Proceeding of 3rd Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back and Pelvic Pain. European Conference Organizers, Rotterdam, Holland, November 1998.
  3. Dananberg HJ. Gait style and function of the SIJ. In: Vleeming A., Mooney V, Snijders C, Dorman T (eds): Movement, Stability, and Lower Back Pain. Churchill Livingstone, New York, 1998, pp. 253-267.
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From Head to Toe: How your feet may be affecting your back health

From Head to Toe: How your feet may be affecting your back health

When you think about your back pain, do you consider the health of your feet? Maybe not.  We read this blog on the Canadian Chiropractic Association and thought we would share it with you!

Your feet serve as the foundation for your entire body as it moves. Dysfunction in your feet can manifest as pain in other areas of your body like your back. Did you know that studies have linked flat feet, excessive pronation, ankle instability, and ankle joint dysfunction to low back pain? Faulty foot biomechanics, like the ones we just pointed out, can have a negative impact on all supporting joints above the foot/ankle complex, including the low-back region.

For some people, even those with faulty foot biomechanics, they may not experience symptoms like others do. But for those at risk, read about how your feet may be linked to the pain in your back:

Flat Feet: Flat feet can increase risk of back pain due to flattening and rigidity of the arch. For people who have flatter arches, the feet may not adequately correct how the forces disperse on landing. This can result in forces being translated up to other structures, like the back, causing pain and discomfort1. Foot orthotics can help correct flat feet (pes planus).

Leg Length discrepancy: This is literally a difference in leg length between one and the other. Leg length discrepancy can be structural or functional. To accommodate the difference, the body will adapt and in some cases may result in a functional scoliosis. Also, to compensate, muscles and other soft tissues may be affected which can cause pain and discomfort1.

Excessive Pronation: Over-pronation occurs when the foot and ankle joint collapse in the centre from bearing weight. The foot absorbs axial rotation of the leg during gait and then prepares the body to react against contact with the floor2.  Foot orthotics can help improve pronation.

Ankle Instability: Ankle instability can be due to an injury, or due to irregular neuromuscular control of the ankle. Studies have shown a correlation between moderate to severe ankle instability and the risk of low back pain3.

So if you are experiencing back pain, consider the role that other structures may play. How your feet function as you move, work, and participate in activities you love can impact the rest of your body. Talk to a chiropractor to find out more about how to prevent or manage such issues.

 

References

1O'Leary C, Cahill C, Robinson A, Barnes M, Hong J. A systematic review: The effects of podiatrical deviations on nonspecific chronic low back pain. Journal Of Back & Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation [serial online]. April 2013;26(2):117-123 7p

2Rothbart B, Estabrook L. Excessive pronation: A major biomechanical determinant in the development of chondromalacia and pelvic lists. J Man Phys Ther. 1988; 11(5): 373-379.

3Marshall PW, McKee AD, Murphy BA. Impaired trunk and ankle stability in subjects with functional ankle instability. Med Sci Sports Exer. 2009; 41(8): 1549-57.
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Shortness of Breath…Can this be caused by a Slipped Rib?

Shortness of Breath…Can this be caused by a Slipped Rib?

Shortness of Breath…Can Shortness of Breath be caused by a Slipped Rib?

The simple answer is YES.  However, shortness of breath can be caused by more serious conditions.  These conditions require immediate medical attention.

Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly (called acute) has a limited number of causes, including:

  1. Asthma (bronchospasm)
  2. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  3. Cardiac tamponade (excess fluid around the heart)
  4. Heart attack
  5. Heart failure
  6. Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  7. Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in an artery in the lung)
  8. Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  9. Pneumonia (pulmonary infection)
  10. Sudden blood loss
  11. Upper airway obstruction (blockage in the breathing passage)

In the case of shortness of breath that has lasted for weeks or longer (called chronic), the condition is most often due to:

  1. Asthma
  2. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  3. Deconditioning
  4. Heart dysfunction
  5. Interstitial lung disease
  6. Obesity

Although very painful, slipped rib syndrome is usually NOT a serious condition.  It does, however, require special attention and treatment(s).  The assessment and treatment should take place as soon as possible to prevent delay in recovery. 

So why slipped rib syndrome cause “shortness of breath” or DECREASE in taking a FULL BREATH?

In order to understand this, lets discuss some anatomy first. Slipped rib syndrome was first described in the early 1900’s.  Cases have been reported in children as young as 12 years and much higher in females than males.  We have 2 sets of 12 ribs which create the rib cage.  The ribs attach to each thoracic vertebrae in the back.

Slipped rib syndrome location

Costovertebral Joints (Red Circles)

Sometimes the ligament connection (called costovertebral/costotransverse ligaments) linking the vertebrae of the back and the rib can cause symptoms and discomfort.  If this connection is slightly lax or loose, it may cause something known as hypermobility.  Let’s break up this word – hyper – and – mobileHyper meaning excessive or beyond. Mobile meaning capable of moving or being moved. Hypermobility may result in stretching of the ligament, misplacement of the bones, and thus an irritation in the back over the attachment location.  Sometimes the nerve in the area can become irritated from this stretching and as a result sends a sharp pain around the torso from the back to the front.  Furthermore, the muscles around the area become taut and irritable as well.   Hope I did not lose you!  If I have, think of it this way…your rib and vertebrae bones are connected together by a ligament (in this case, think of the ligament as an elastic band).  If the elastic band stretches too much, it may cause the bones to shift out of there normal alignment.  If the bones shift, they feel out-of-place and thus cause our body discomfort.  Hope this explanation makes things more clearer. If the rib is not functioning optimally or creates pain due to ligament stretch, breathing patterns can also be altered.  Sometimes this alteration can lead to shortness of breath or the feeling of not being able to take a deep breath without discomfort.

How do I treat a slipped rib?

Slipped ribs can be treated by various techniques.  One technique is to relax the musculature with heat, interferential current (electromodality that assists in pain reduction), acupuncture, and registered massage therapy.  These techniques will assist in realigning the rib(s) and vertebrae.  A second technique is to adjust the rib(s).  This will also assist in realigning the rib and vertebrae into a ‘normal’ or more comfortable position.

What is an adjustment?

The Ontario Chiropractic Association defines an adjustment as a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body.  Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about. Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor.

How is a slipped rib adjusted by a Chiropractor?

One technique is to have the patient lie on his/her stomach on a chiropractic table.  The adjustment is applied by the chiropractor to the area where the slipped rib(s) is/are irritated.  The adjustment to the area is very quick.  Following the adjustment, the patient usually knows whether or not that rib(s) is/are still irritating them.  Most of the time the pain goes away.  Sometimes, the muscles around the slipped rib remain tender to the touch.  Another techniques is to have the patient sit at the end of the chiropractic table.  The patient sits facing away from the table.  The patient is lowered onto the table and will usually feel the pop or click once he/she reaches the table.  Trained Chiropractors and other trained practitioners can perform this rib adjustment procedure in various ways.  Always consult a trained health practitioner when contemplating treatment.

What exercises should I try if I have a Slipped Rib?

From my experience, a combination of techniques, modalities (IFC, Cryotherapy, He

Wall angels for Slipped rib syndrome

Wall angels for Slipped rib syndrome

at Therapy), registered massage therapy and adjustment, work extremely well to help with the discomfort of a slipped rib. Furthermore, I find that adding mid back strengthening exercises (such as wall angel exercises) to the mix, helps to prevent future episodes of slipped rib syndrome.

 

Please note that I have NOT exhausted and discussed all the options for dealing with a slipped rib.  I have only touched on a few that I find work for my patient’s.  Do your  own research and if you have any questions, please send them along and I will do my best to address them.  Look forward to comments.

Hope you found this information on the slipped rib syndrome interesting. To make an appointment to see Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, please contact the office at 647.873.4490. 

Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates

Chiropractor & Acupuncture Provider

www.fitforlifewellnessclinic.com

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Dr. Luciano Di Loreto graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (2010) as a Doctor of Chiropractic and obtained a certificate in Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University (2010). At his practice located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto combines evidence-based chiropractic care with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to health care. He is an approachable, passionate, and diligent practitioner with a focus on delivering exceptional acute, preventative, rehabilitative and supportive care for a variety conditions relating to the muscle, nerve, and bone. During his spare time, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto takes pleasure in spending time with his family and friends. He enjoys fishing and playing sports.

Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre is a health clinic located in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Major Mackenzie on Weston Road (Located in the Vellore Medical Centre & Walk In Clinic). If you have questions for Dr. Luciano Di Loreto & Associates, please contact us and we will get right back to you promptly with information on your conditions/concerns.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The following information is my personal notes about this subject matter. It is intended for informational purposes only. Consult a health practitioner to help you diagnose and treat injuries of any kind.

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