Tweaked your lower back?

Tweaked your lower back?

Back pain is something most of us have experienced. It can occur during exercise, from repetitive lifting, or sudden awkward movements. The most common cause of lower back pain is a strain or sprain of the ligaments in the spine. The lower back is especially vulnerable to injury as it carries the weight of the upper body and is involved in twisting, bending movements.

There are two common types of lower back injury.

One of them is a lumbar sprain. The lumbar spine is the name of the 5 vertebrae of the lower back leading down into the top of the pelvis. A lumbar sprain occurs when the tough tissues know as ligaments surrounding and joining the bones get overstretched or even torn.

The other common injury is a muscle strain. This is usually known as a pulled muscle and refers to when the muscles are overstretched or overused and start to tear.

Both types of injury have very similar symptoms and require very similar treatment. When the ligaments of muscles are stretched or torn in any injury, it can cause inflammation. The inflammation is a natural response to injury. It is when blood rushes to the injured area to help repair and restore the injured tissue. Other symptoms can include stiffness, pain that worsens with movements, soreness to touch the area, or difficulty standing or moving.

If you find yourself with a lower back injury…

  • Get yourself an ice pack. Put ice on the lower back for up to 20 minutes every 6-8 hours.
    It may feel good to lay flat on the floor to help the muscles in your back surrounding the injury to relax.
  • Book into see a physiotherapist to help you release any tight back muscles and get you moving again. Click for Christchurch, Rangiora or Hamilton.
  • Sleeping with pillows under your knees a good way to release the muscles while you rest overnight.
  • Once you can move, it is good to stay mobile. This will help improve your injury, making sure you keep your spine in a neutral position while doing any bending movements.

Once you are feeling more mobile and your pain is improving it is a good idea to start stretching.

Two stretches to try;

  • Knees to chest. Lying on your back, bring your knees up towards your chest and give them a hug with your arms. Gently pull your knees close to your body, ensuring that when you stretch you aren’t increasing your pain. This can be done with one leg at a time of you are particularly stiff.
  • Cat Stretch. On all fours, bring your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Tuck your belly button up towards your spine. Tuck your chin and arch your spine. Imagine you are trying to create space in between each vertebra and lengthen the muscles in your back.

When your back pain is manageable you should work on strengthening your core and back muscles. Any movement is great for blood flow which will help reduce any muscle stiffness. Talk to your physio to help create a core strengthening program to reduce the risk of re-injury and keep you active for life!

Cancer Rehabilitation- what we can do for you

Cancer Rehabilitation- what we can do for you


Did you know that Active Health has physiotherapists trained in Cancer Rehabilitation?

We have 4 physiotherapists trained specifically in cancer rehabilitation, and ready to help you to feel your best. Our Physiotherapists can offer treatment in both the St Albans and Rangiora Clinics.

Do you know someone that has been affected by cancer?

Cancer treatment is full on and commonly causes unwanted side effects that negatively impact quality of life. Treatment is also known to affect physical health, body weight and cardiovascular health. This can lead to a withdrawal in daily activities like physical activity and working. A great way to combat this is to see our highly skilled physiotherapists to help get you back on track and feeling better.

Cancer rehabilitation can help reduce the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. Our trained physiotherapists can help support people in all the stages of their treatment and after treatment has finished, to help them maximize their recovery and improve their quality of life.

Please spread the word that there are trained physiotherapists that can help support people who are recovering from cancer, as so many people are missing out on this valuable support and as a result they are living with unnecessary side effects of cancer.

Cancer rehabilitation can help:

  • Ease pain and muscular tension
  • Regain strength and mobility
  • Increase energy levels and improve breathing
  • Help with managing fatigue
  • Reclaim body confidence and control
  • Reduce treatment related side effects
  • Return to those activities that you love but have been unable to do lately

An added bonus

There are a few options for funding for this type of rehabiblation to help ease the finacial strain of treatment.

For those affected by Breast cancer, you can apply for funding here through the Breast Cancer Foundation.

For any other types of cancer, you can apply for funding here through the PINC and STEEL Trust. 

Click here if you want more information

Heel Pain? Here is what you need to know about Severs

Heel Pain? Here is what you need to know about Severs

What is Severs?

Severs is an acute condition that affects the back of the heel bone around the area where the Achilles tendon inserts. This condition occurs during growth spurts and is most common in children aged between 8 and 14 years old. It crops up mostly in children who play sports like football and soccer. Symptoms include a painful pressure in the heel that is particularly uncomfortable when running and jumping.

How is severs caused?

  • Overuse injury – overactive children, participating in multiple sports at a time, sudden increase in activity, lead up to school cross country or athletics day 
  • Stress response – repeated impact and stretching of muscles causes tightness meaning calf muscles pull on calcaneal bone resulting in inflammation and increased sensitivity to growth plate.  
  • External factors – soft flexible footwear, training on hard surfaces like wooden floors or concrete, hard ground i.e. preseason winter sport  

Also seen in children with high arched or low arched feet, obesity and sometimes coincides with recent or current growth spurts.

How can I manage Severs?

There are a few ways to manage and treat the symptoms of severs disease. The aim is reducing the tension in the back of the heel where the growth plate. A podiatrist can help by assessing any biomechanical issues and check alignment to reduce any tension on the heels. Podiatrists can also assess footwear to make sure the feet are properly supported, especially through the heel cupping. They can also help prescribe stretches the release the tension down the back of the legs and exercises to help strengthen weak muscles and to stabilise the foot.

What now?

Seeing a podiatrist is the best way to help combat and treat this painful condition, they can create a personalised treatment plan to best suit your needs and aid your recovery.

Click here to find an appointment in Rangiora.

Click here to find an appointment in Christchurch.