Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing involves the adequate contraction of the diaphragm while breathing in. Many people tend to overuse the muscles of the neck during respiration, which can lead to negative consequences:

 - pain in the neck and upper back due to excess muscle tension and stiffness in the spine and ribs
- a reduction in oxygen intake by the lungs due to the insufficient contraction of the diaphragm, which acts as a pump
- pain in the low back and the pelvic area resulting from a decrease in diaphragmatic contraction, which can contribute to a lack of muscular stabilization in the back and the pelvic region

A method for practicing diaphragmatic breathing:

- place the hands on the abdomen
- take a deep and slow breath through the nose while applying a light pressure on the abdomen with the hands to stimulate contraction of the diaphragm
- exhale slowly through the mouth

For further information, you can contact me at 514-934-2334 ext 509.

Does treating the mid-back affect the low back and the hip?

Throughout my extensive experience in treating back pain, it is clear that the mobility of the thoracic spine (mid-back) and rib cage plays a key role in issues in the upper and low back as well as in the pelvic region and the hip. Currently, I have patients experiencing pain in the lumbosacral area (low back) and the hip, who have greatly benefited from manual therapy (joint mobilizations) at the thoracic spine. I am also treating a dancer with pain and chronic stiffness at the lumbar spine, the sacro-iliac joint (between the base of the spine and the pelvis), and the hip, who experienced significant positive results from manual therapy and McKenzie exercises (specific repeated movements) targeting the thoracic region.

There are two main reasons for the effectiveness of treatments at the thoracic region for the lumbopelvic area and the hip: (1) The functional connectivity between the thoracic spine, the low back, and the pelvis means that these areas work in concert with each other to enable the execution of various movements; (2) the thoracolumbar fascia functions as a crucial muscular link between these different parts.

Pain and the Connectivity of Different Parts of the Body

Recently, I was treating a patient who had knee pain and difficulty doing certain sports activities. Radiological exams did not reveal any lesions in the knee. During the physiotherapy assessment, the knee pain could not be elicited. However, I found a muscle weakness in the hip/gluteal area as well as a significant lack of joint mobility in the foot. Thus, my clinical impression is that the issues in the hip and the foot were contributing to the knee pain, since the entire leg like other regions of the body functions as a whole, like a chain. In the end, without having to directly treat the knee, we succeeded in eliminating the pain and in significantly improving his athletic performance. In conclusion, in certain cases, the factors contributing to pain in a specific part of the body can originate from elsewhere due to the connectivity of various areas.

Physiotherapy and Sex

Although sex is often a delicate and even a taboo subject, it is a significant part of human life and activity. With regards to physiotherapy, it is the "activity" aspect that is pertinent. Sexual intercourse involves most of the body, from the head to the feet. Musculoskeletal pain and nerve-related symptoms (tingling, numbness) can hinder sexual acts or be aggravated by the latter. As a health care professional, helping people improve their sex life by treating biomechanical issues forms part of the clinical skills of the physiotherapist. For more information, you can contact me at 514-934-2334 ext 286.

Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder tendonitis involves an inflammation of a tendon, the part of the muscle that attaches to the bone. Repetitive movements and positions or sudden awkward movements can lead to tendonitis.

Contributing factors often include faulty biomechanics, which is one of the main targets of physiotherapy. Anatomical components that can adversely affect biomechanics are joint mobility limitations in the shoulder or upper back region, erroneous positioning of the arm or the back during certain movements, and an imbalance in the strength of muscles in the upper extremity and the back.

Assessment in physiotherapy helps determine the factors causing pain, and a treatment plan is then formulated according to these factors and the patient's needs and goals. The treatment sessions often entail a combination of manual treatments, exercises, and advice regarding posture and the proper execution of specific movements. Consult a licensed physiotherapist to begin the process towards recovery!

My Tailored Physiotherapy Approach

Assessment in physiotherapy involves a systematic analysis of the problem at hand (pain, lack of movement, etc) in order to devise a treatment plan that is congruent with the patient's / client's goals.

My clinical approach consists of determining the contributing factors by evaluating the joint mobility (manual therapy), the movements that relieve and aggravate the symptoms (McKenzie method), and the biomechanics of the affected movements and activities (postural approach).

This detailed analysis allows us to establish the relative importance of the above methods in the patient's care, which is carried out through manual treatments, patient education, and prescribed exercises.