What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc refers to a disc lesion in the spine, which can cause local symptoms and can sometimes radiate to the legs or arms depending on the location of the lesion. This condition can occur gradually or as a result of a false movement. The hernia is usually located in the neck or lower back. It sometimes appears in the thoracic region in the middle of the back.The intervertebral discs may be damaged due to poor lifting technique, repetitive intense activity or excessive body weight. A combination of several factors can contribute to the development of a herniated disc.With age, the discs lose their gelatinous property, decreasing the size of the disc and the space between the vertebrae. Therefore, the spine becomes less mobile and may become more prone to injury.

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Structures involved

The spine is made up of 24 ​vertebrae,​ each separated by an i​ntervertebral disc​, a small cushion that acts as a shock absorber during spinal movement. These discs consist of a fibrous ring called the​ annulus fibrosis w​ ith a gelatinous substance in the center called the ​nucleus.​ In a ​herniated disc,​ the nucleus pushes through the fibrous ring, exerting pressure on the nerves​ of the spine.page1image3462661504

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Symptoms vary according to the pressure applied to the nerves and can vary greatly from one person to another. When nerves are irritated, a sensation of pain, numbness and/or weakness in the arms or legs may be felt. A herniated disc in the lower back often leads to irritation of the sciatic nerve, causing acute pain radiating towards the leg. A herniated disc in the neck causes pain in the neck and upper shoulders and may radiate towards the arm.

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Recovery

Your rehabilitation plan, health profile, fitness level and nutritional status affect the recovery time.​ I​ n most cases, you can expect a full recovery from a herniated disc. As a general rule, this condition may take several

months to fully recover. In cases where the herniated disc is long-standing, the pain may sometimes resurface with no real cause or identifiable false movement and then subside with a return to an active lifestyle.

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▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Early Stage

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your condition from getting worse. A few days of rest while reducing activitiesthatcausesignificant​p​ ainmaybenecessary,butitisveryimportanttoavoiddeconditioning.A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain and exercises to strengthen the stabilizers in your neck or back, depending on the area affected by the hernia, will allow for a better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your personalized rehabilitation program to restore your joint range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, and functional state.

According to the principles of herniated disc rehabilitation, an active approach including the practice of physical activity, regaining a healthy body weight and the use of safe load-lifting principles are important elements for a functional recovery. A progressive training program over a period of a few weeks is quite common. Following that, maintaining an active lifestyle usually helps prevent the pain from returning.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Remember that pain is not always a good indicator of tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, cardiovascular and strength-building exercises based on your tolerance. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage pain related to herniated discs.

All About Bunions

Hallux valgus is defined as a deformity that occurs at the base of the hallux, the big toe. This condition, commonly called a bunion, is often associated with joint stiffness and causes a change in the alignment of the big toe. The big toe gradually deviates towards the other toes. It generally causes pain and in some cases an alteration in the normal biomechanics of walking.

The articular limitation of the extension of the big toe or ankle is often compensated by walking with an outward rotation of the foot. Over time, this pressure on the big toe joint causes the symptoms to appear and worsen.

The onset of hallux valgus can be accelerated by wearing narrow, pointed shoes, such as high heels. Structural abnormalities of the foot such as flat feet or an increase in the length of the hallux can also contribute to hallux valgus.

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Structures involved

In a case of hallux valgus, it is at the ​metatarsophalangeal joint t​ hat the change in the alignment of the joint occurs. Over time, the ligaments of this joint become more relaxed on the medial side of the joint. When hallux valgus is associated with joint stiffness, it is primarily the cartilage damage combined with the presence, in some cases, of slight bone deposits on the medial side of the joint that would be responsible for the restriction of movement.

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Each person will react differently to this condition and recovery will depend on the stage of the condition. Hallux valgus can produce, but is not limited to, pain and the appearance of a small bump on the inner side at the base of the big toe, joint stiffness, difficulty with impact activities such as walking and running, and can sometimes cause localized edema around the big toe. The presence of hallux valgus is not always associated with symptoms of pain.

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Developments

Hallux valgus, often associated with osteoarthritis, is a progressive condition that cannot be cured, which means that the deformity may progress over time. However, an active lifestyle and a rehabilitation plan may slow the progression of this condition and its symptoms.

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▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Painful episodes

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. A few days of rest by reducing activities that cause significant pain may be necessary.​ However, it is very important to avoid deconditioning. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain, joint mobilization exercises and strengthening of the hallux muscles will allow for a better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program to improve the range of motion of your big toe and your leg in general, to restore your flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, and your functional state.

According to the principles of hallux valgus rehabilitation, improving the extension of the big toe and the articular amplitude of the ankle should be an integral part of the treatment plan. A program to improve joint range of motion and flexibility, as well as specific muscle strengthening is common to control the symptoms. Short-term use of a toe separator may be beneficial.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Remember that pain is not always a good indicator of joint and tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce joint range-of-motion exercises based on your tolerance. It is always better to limit walking to a pain-free level than to stop it completely. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis in the big toe.

Lateral Ankle Sprain

Lateral Ankle Sprain
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A lateral ankle sprain (LAS) occurs when you twist or roll your ankle inward.This can happen by walking/running on an uneven surface, stepping on someone else’s foot, pivoting or changing direction during sport.The severity of the sprain can range from mild to severe.

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Structures involved

Usually, this abrupt inward ankle twist or roll will lead to a stretch or
a tear, partial or complete, of the lateral ligament complex of your ankle. In the very moment preceding the sprain, your ankle muscles will tend to protect you with a forceful contraction. Sometimes, this can lead to muscle spasms and/or a small bone fracture where the muscle attaches to your foot.The peroneal nerve and the ligaments of your foot may also be overstretched during a lateral ankle sprain.

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Everyone will react differently after an injury and recovery will depend on the severity of the sprain. LAS can cause but is not limited to, pain, difficulty in weight-bearing activities, swelling, ecchymosis, pins & needles.

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Recovery

The severity of the sprain, your rehabilitation plan, your health status, your fitness level and your nutrition affect recovery time. Generally, you can expect to fully recover from a lateral ankle sprain.

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▶ WHAT TO DO

Early-stage

Relative rest is a good way to protect your ankle against further damage, but it is important to avoid overprotecting your injury. A few days rest might be necessary, but returning to progressive loading during your activities of daily living, non-painful light cardiovascular exercise and balance exercise will allow better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your practitioner’s advice. It will help you manage the different phases of the recovery process and will increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation. Your practitioner will assist you during your rehabilitation program in order to regain your normal range of motion, strength and endurance, balance and functional status.

▶ WHAT TO AVOID

Don’t rely on passive treatment only. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients that are actively involved in their treatment plan tend to recover faster. Keep in mind that pain is not always a good indicator of tissue damage as severe pain doesn’t necessarily mean a severe injury. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well managed in collaboration with your therapist, you should reintroduce light exercises as tolerated.

Knee Osteoarthritis

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis is a condition that can cause stiffness that limits joint range of motion. Over time, the knee’s flexion and extension movements become limited, generally causing pain and an alteration of the normal biomechanics. Your thigh muscles also have to work harder during movement, generating a feeling of muscle tension.To date, the exact causes of osteoarthritis have not been fully identified. It is completely normal to have a mild level of osteoarthritis with age. However, the more advanced stages of osteoarthritis can affect the ability to carry out daily activities and sports. An exacerbation of symptoms usually occurs during a period when the level of physical activity has been drastically increased. Direct trauma to the knee can increase the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

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Structures involved

In the knee, the joint affected by osteoarthritis is the t​ ibiofemoral joint​, formed by the femur bone and the tibia bone. It is mainly ​cartilage​ damage combined with the presence, in some cases, of slight bone spurs in the joint that appear to be responsible for the restriction of movement. Over time, certain muscles in the thigh area may compensate for the joint restriction and become more tense.page1image34813889601

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Each person will react differently to osteoarthritis and management will depend on its stage. Knee osteoarthritis can produce, but is not limited to, local pain in the knee, localized edema and stiffness in certain knee movements. Repetitive movements of the knee during walking or other sports activities and a squatting position with direct pressure can cause pain.

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Developments

Knee osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that cannot be cured, which means that the range of motion may decrease over time. An active lifestyle and a rehabilitation plan may however slow the progression of this condition and make it easier to manage the symptoms.

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▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Painful episodes

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse after a painful episode. A few days of rest while reducing activities that cause significant pain​ m​ ay be necessary, but it is very important to avoid deconditioning. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain, joint mobilization exercises and knee and hip muscles strengthening exercises will allow for better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of success. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program in order to improve range of motion of your knee’s joint, regain flexibility, muscle strength and endurance, and functional state.

According to the principles of knee osteoarthritis rehabilitation, improving joint range of motion should be an integral part of the treatment plan. A program to improve joint range of motion and flexibility, as well as specific muscle strengthening is common to control the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Keep in mind that pain is not always a good indicator of joint or tissue damage. A significant level of pain does not necessarily imply a more advanced stage of osteoarthritis. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, light mobility and strengthening exercises based on your tolerance. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Guyon’s canal syndrome

One of the conditions best suited to laser therapy

This syndrome corresponds to a compression or irritation of the ulnar nerve at the level of the Guyon’s canal, located on the anterior surface of the wrist towards the fifth finger.

This condition is usually the result of a direct trauma to the hand or following a prolonged compression of the hand, such as in cyclists or golfers. Also, Guyon’s canal syndrome can occur as a result of repeated grasping movements along hand movements. This problem can also occur following a sustained position with the wrist bent.

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Structures involved

In the wrist, the ulnar nerve passes directly between the pisohamate ligament, which connects two carpal bones together, and the fascia of the palmaris brevis muscle located in the palm of the hand. These two structures together form Guyon’s canal. In addition to the ulnar nerve, the canal also contains the deep branch of the ulnar artery. The syndrome usually occurs when, for one reason or another, the space in Guyon’s canal is reduced and the ulnar nerve is compressed.

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Guyon’s canal syndrome can cause, but is not limited to, numbness, tingling and loss of sensation in the fifth finger and half of the fourth. Atrophy of the hand muscles may also occur. During the night, you may experience pain and numbness from prolonged bending of the wrist. Symptoms are also exacerbated during repetitive activities involving wrist movements or prolonged pressure on the hand.

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Recovery

Your rehabilitation plan, health profile, fitness level and nutritional status affect the recovery time. Most of the time, you should recover completely from Guyon’s canal syndrome. This condition may take a few months to fully recover.

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▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Early Stage

Relative rest is a good way to protect your Guyon’s canal syndrome and prevent your injury from getting worse, but it is important to avoid over-protecting it. A few days of rest by reducing activities that cause pain may be necessary. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercise and specific mobility and strengthening exercises will allow for better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program to restore your joint range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and functional status.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, mild strengthening exercises based on your tolerance.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression or irritation of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel on the anterior side of the wrist.This condition is usually the result of repetitive wrist movement, such as regular and prolonged use of a computer mouse or repetitive movements at work. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also occur as a result of trauma or tendinitis of the flexor muscles of the wrist, or during pregnancy due to nerve compression as a result of swelling in the hands.It is estimated that about 8% of the adult population is affected, making it a relatively common condition. It is the most common compression neuropathy of the upper limb. Women are twice as affected as men.

Structures involvedThe nerves of the hand as well as the tendons of the flexor muscles pass to the anterior aspect of the wrist under the ​transverse carpal ligament​ that holds them in place. It is the passage formed by the transverse ligament and the bones of the wrist, called carpal bones, that forms the carpal tunnel. The syndrome usually occurs when, for some reason, the space in the carpal tunnel is reduced and the median nerve is compressed.In some cases, a dysfunction of the cervical spine can cause symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome without repetitive wrist extension motion.page1image34618856961

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause, but is not limited to, numbness and tingling in the first three fingers and half of the fourth, as well as atrophy of the hand muscles. During the night, you may experience pain and numbness from prolonged bending of the wrist. Symptoms are also exacerbated during repetitive activities involving wrist movements.

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Recovery

Your rehabilitation plan, health profile, fitness level and nutritional status affect the recovery time. Most of the time, you should recover completely from carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition may take a few months to fully recover.

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▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Early Stage

Relative rest is a good way to protect your carpal tunnel syndrome and prevent your injury from getting worse, but it is important to avoid over-protecting it. A few days of rest by reducing activities that cause pain may be necessary. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercise and specific mobility and strengthening exercises will allow for better recovery.

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program to restore your joint range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and functional status.

According to the principles of carpal tunnel rehabilitation, reducing aggravating factors and recovering neural mobility, through neurodynamic exercises, would be an important part of functional recovery.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, mild strengthening exercises based on your tolerance.