What is it? Tendinitis is an irritation or inflammation of the tendon, most often experienced in the elbow, shoulder, heel or knee, but can be experienced in anywhere in the body. This is a condition that can increase in pain levels over time, to a point where any movement can be excruciating.
Symptoms: The most significant presentation of pain in tendinitis will usually be at the point where the tendon attaches to the bone. Typical symptoms include tenderness, mild swelling and pain that can best be described as a dull ache, but will eventually lead to more severe pain.
Common Causes: Although tendinitis can occur as a result of an injury it is most often caused by repetitive strain of a tendon due to poor technique. This can be equally true for athletes or gym-goers and people in professions that require repetitive movements.
How to treat it? Rest, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy are common treatments for tendinitis. Unfortunately, often times after rest the symptoms return once exercise is resumed. In cases like this it is necessary to ensure that proper technique is maintained to reduce an unbalanced stress on the tendons.
What is it? Sacroiliac pain (SI Pain) is often mistaken for lower back pain. Though it can appear in the lower back the cause can be very different from that of lower back pain. SI joint pain most often occurs when the joint is not properly aligned, by either being compressed or displaced. The levels of pain experienced due to SI joint pain can vary from mild to excruciating, based on the recency of the injury and the level of displacement of the joint.
Symptoms: SI joint pain appear as pain in the lower back and buttocks, and can radiate to the groin, lower hip and upper thigh. Though mostly felt on one side it can be present on both sides, often with one side more painful than the other.
Common Causes: Poor muscular control, particularly the transversus abdominis, psoas and quadratus lumborum, could lead to SI joint pain. It can also be caused by problems with the ligaments that support the joint, when the ligament become either too loose or too tight. SI injuries is another cause.
How to treat it? The first step in effectively helping someone suffering from SI joint pain is to identify the mechanism of dysfunction: joint displacement or compression. Once this is identified and corrected the supporting structures (muscles and ligaments) need to be activated and any imbalances corrected.
What is it? Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the sudden and forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck – like cracking a whip. In some cases whiplash go hand-in-hand with concussion.
Symptoms: Common symptoms include neck stiffness and pain that often worsens with movement, reduced range of motion in the neck, headaches, dizziness and tenderness or pain in the upper back, shoulders and arms. In some cases it could even cause ringing of the ears, blurred vision, memory problems and irritability.
Common Causes: Most often caused by a sudden hit from behind, such as a rear-end car accident, whiplash can also happen during a fall or sports accidents such as getting tackled in rugby or hit in boxing.
How to treat it? Although whiplash often heals by itself after a few weeks, it has the potential to develop into chronic neck pain. After consulting a physician and ruling out bone injuries (broken bones) and other structural damage, correction of any muscular imbalance caused by the injury will help greatly in reducing the healing time.
What is it? Also known as a sports hernia, a groin strain is an injury to any of the adductor muscles (inner thigh muscles). This can vary in severity from mild (muscle strain) to severe (muscle tear). It is an injury often associated with athletes taking part in sports that require rotation (kicking in martial arts, golf or tennis) or quick changes of direction (football, handball or ice skating).
Symptoms: The most common symptom of a groin strain is pain felt on the inner thigh, anywhere from the knee to the hip crease. It can be associated with swelling and / or bruising and often leads to difficulty in walking or running.
Common Causes: An imbalance in the rotational muscles of the body can lead to the adductors getting overly fatigued, causing an increase in risk for an injury. It can also be caused by sudden, unexpected movements that require rotation or changes of direction, as well as trying to prevent falling during slipping or tripping.
Who can suffer from it? Although anyone can suffer from a groin strain, it is most prevalent amongst athletes, both recreational as well as professional. Some sports, such as football and golf, have a higher injury risk when compared to road running or swimming.
How to treat it? As with most muscular issues treatment is often based on the severity of the injury. In the case of muscle tears, surgical repair of the muscle is often required. In the case of muscle strains some manual therapy and corrective exercise have a very high success rate. In either event, correction of any muscle imbalances that either caused the injury or resulted from the injury, is paramount.
What is it? Lower back pain is one of the most common, if not the most common, injury and can affect as many as 80% of people at some point in their life. Lower back pain can account for as much as 56% of all sick days in certain occupations and can have a significant impact on a country’s economy. Lower back pain is a symptom that can arise from a host of causes, including intervertebral disc herniations, spinal conditions such as spondylosis, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, spondylitis, poor posture, extended periods of sitting, to name but a few. Patients with lower back pain have been observed to have altered movement patterns, and this could either be caused by, or the cause of, the lower back pain.
Symptoms: Lower back pain is characterised by painful sensations in the lower area of the back, typically between the lowest rib and the pelvis. However, it can be experienced outside of this area. It can be experienced as a constant dull ache that can last for extended periods of time, or can be short sharp stabs of pain that only manifest during specific movements. Other symptoms can include muscle spasms, difficulty in standing up straight, walking or going from standing to sitting. Symptoms of sciatica are common in people suffering from lower back pain.
Common Causes: Injuries, disc herniations or muscles strains due to bad posture or lifting technique, poor core control (reactive stability), muscle imbalances, prolonged periods of using bad posture.
How to treat it? The quickest way to improve back pain is to identify the underlying cause, whether it is a muscular imbalance or a structural issue (bones, ligaments, etc.). Exercise with the correct technique has proven to be an effective treatment for lower back pain, with manual therapies being equally good. Combining the two will lead to the best results.