SOS Physiotherapy: Herniated Discs

BUCKET LISTS... GOLF IN IRELAND The Spinal Column The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

three mountain peaks, and one spire equal the most magnificent view in British golf”. The 9th, a long par four, is perhaps one of the world’s most photographed holes, the line from the elevated tee is directly at the Slieve Donard peak and the sweeping fairway lies eighty feet below. If a measure of a great golf course is the number of holes that you can remember, then Royal County Down is one of the greatest courses of them all. Lahinch – Old Course Golf at Lahinch dates back to 1892. Three local Limerick golfers laid out an 18-hole course, assisted by officers of the Scottish "Black Watch" regiment who were stationed in Limerick at the time. In 1894 Old Tom Morris was commissioned to make improvements to the layout and he made excellent use of the natural terrain, especially the giant sand dunes. Old Tom believed that Lahinch was the finest natural course he had seen. Lahinch is an enchanting place to play golf. It's rugged, distinctive, unusually varied and immensely entertaining. It's a traditional out and back layout, situated next to the lovely beach of Liscannor Bay. Views across the bay from the 3rd are uplifting. This 446 yard par four has a blind drive to a hidden fairway and the approach to the green is obscured by a hill on the right. The 4th is a short par five named Klondyke. It's one of the most unusually holes in golf and an Old Tom specialty. The tee shot needs to find a narrow ripple fairway located in a valley between dunes. A blind second shot then has to negotiate Klondyke, a towering sand dune that straddles the fairway some 200 yards away from the green. It's certainly a quirky hole but it's also very memorable. What's the best way to follow such an eccentric hole? Why, another highly peculiar one, naturally! Left untouched since Old Tom Morris first fashioned it over a century ago, Dell is the renowned blind par three 5th, its green nestling between towering sand hills that surround the narrow green on all sides. A stone on top of one of the dunes indicates the hole location from the tee so golfers are advised to factor in the wind direction, pick the right club for the yardage, then take aim for the hidden flag. The Old course at Lahinch is an absolute gem. Take note of where the goats are. If they are sheltering near the clubhouse... take an umbrella... you are in for a wet round. If wishing to wander the Emerald Isle, don't hesitate this golf destination as it offers the best of all you would wish for, truly a bucket list destination come true!

In May 2018 an opportunity to join a group of 12 golfers presented itself, one to which I did not hesitate to say yes to joining. The trip included some of Ireland's greatest golf destinations including Newcastle's Royal County Down. Arriving in Dublin, we boarded the “coach” that came with its own private driver. He was a burly Irish football player, who not only knew all the golf courses but many of the caddies and all the after-golf hangouts. To have the full experience, caddies are essential at some courses and add great flavour to the golf experience. Most golf caddies have been in the field for many years. Their expertise into the local courses, how to approach each hole, the way putts will move and where to aim can greatly enhance anyone's game and love of the sport. Most of all caddies often have ties to the local history and community that fill in the experience. So having this connection with some of the caddies told us we were in for an unforgettable time. Let me paint you a picture of this trip by highlighting a couple of amazing golf experiences. Our escapades began at the Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, rated number one golf course in the world according to Golf Digest magazine. The course rests in a little holiday town nestled at the feet of the majestic Mountains of Mourne. It’s an exhilarating location for a classic links golf course where the Bay of Dundrum sweeps out into the Irish Sea and where the mighty peak of Slieve Donard (3,000 ft.) casts its shadow over the town. Opened for play in 1889 and was extended to 18 holes a year later by Old Tom Morris. Harry Vardon modified the course in 1908 and the course received royal patronage from King Edward VII. The sand dunes are rugged but beautifully clad in purple heather and yellow gorse, the fairways are naturally undulating, shaped by the hands of time. The greens are small and full of wicked borrows. Measuring nearly 7,200 yards from the back tees, Royal County Down is a brute. It’s a mystery that this fantastic course, with one of the finest outward nine holes in golf, has never hosted an Open. The 4th and 9th holes are both universally admired. The 4th must be one of the most scenic long par threes in golf described as follows by one commentator: “Innumerable gorse bushes, ten bunkers,

INSIDE: • Relieving Pain From Herniated Discs • Know Your Physio • Calling All SOS Physiotherapy Family!

• Exercise Essentials • FREE Workshop • A Commonly Forgotten Muscle


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Back pain can develop for all sorts of reasons. From a car accident to bad posture, to an uncomfortable seat for a prolonged period of time, back pain can come out of nowhere and cause no small amount of discomfort once it arrives. There are some back injuries, however, that are even more painful than your run-of-the-mill back pain. A herniated disc is one of the most painful back injuries that you can experience, and it is far more common than you may be initially aware. What is a Herniated Disc? Your spine is made up of a series of interlocking bones with small cushions in-between each joint socket. The structure of your spine is what allows you to move freely from side to side. Every time you crunch your abdomen by bending forward, or lean to one side or another for a deep stretch, those little vertebral bodies move with you, keeping you comfortable and your back strong. Without cushioning in between each of those sockets, the bones would rub against one another with every movement, and this would be incredibly painful. When a disc becomes herniated, the cushioning in between the vertebrae will rupture, essentially deflating the cushioning in between the vertebrae and causing the bones to begin to rub against one another. This is painful enough as it is, but can become even more painful if the herniated disc actually begins to press on the adjacent spinal nerves, causing the pain 5 3 2 9 6 5 7 3 2 1 5 8 9 8 3 4 8 1 3 5 6 1 4 1 8 n° 315994 - LevelHard n° 315994

to spread even further up the spine. The most common placement for a herniated disc is at the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back. While it is not the only reason that pain can become severe in the lower back, it is definitely one of the most severe forms of back pain. If you suspect that you may have experienced a herniated disc it is important that you seek medical attention, such as from your physiotherapist. A herniated disc will not heal on its own, and working with a physiotherapist is one of the best ways to experience relief from the pain associated with this common concern. How does this happen? The vertebrae in the spine are stacked closely together, with only a small amount of space for the discs in between each bone. A disc can become herniated as a result of injury, car accident, or even simply from overuse. One of the most common causes of a herniated disc is heavy lifting. Weight lifters have to be especially wary not to suddenly lift something too heavy, otherwise risk experiencing a slipped disc. But experienced gym goers are not the only ones at risk. Every time you attempt to move a piece of furniture, a heavy box, or even a big bag of books you need to be wary to lift correctly, otherwise face the risk of potentially herniating a disc in your back. Look inside to learn more about our programs and say good-bye to your aching back.




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Please Take A Moment To Look Through All That We Offer:

• Physiotherapy • Registered Massage Therapy • Acupuncture

• Osteopathy • Personalized Exercise Programs • KW Pelvic Health

Physiotherapy • Custom Foot Orthotics • FITforeGOLF

• Custom Bracing & Orthopedic Supply

• And More!


Pain associated with a herniated disc often develops in the sciatica nerve, and doesn’t subside with simple rest and relaxation. While hot and cold therapy will help alleviate the pain associated with many different back issues, it won’t make the pain of a herniated disc go away. The pain is often frequently associated with numbness, weakness, and tingling in the legs. In many situations, the pain will feel more severe after initial movement, such as standing up or laying down. Many people mistakenly refer to having a herniated disc as having “pinched a nerve,” but that is not the case. Physiotherapy is a great resource for attempting to overcome the pain associated with a herniated disc. A combination of passive and active techniques is typically employed, including deep tissue massage, hot and cold therapy, electrical stimulation, and hydrotherapy, as well as deep stretching and strength building. If you suspect that you may have a herniated disc, contact a physiotherapist right away. Attempting to engage in therapy at home could lead to further injury. It is best to have an experienced therapist assess your injury before attempting any treatment options. Discover how our Spine Program transforms your back pain from a pressing problem, to a distant memory, allowing you to live a happy, active and pain-free life.

Exercise Essentials Try this movement if you are experiencing back pain.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice Skillet

INGREDIENTS • 1 lb ground beef • 1/4 medium onion diced

Helps Disc Related Low Back Pain

• 1/2 red pepper diced • 3 tbsp taco seasoning • 1 cup diced tomatoes • 12 ounces cauliflower rice • 1/2 cup chicken broth • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese or Mexican Blend

PRONE ON ELBOWS Lying face down, slowly raise up and prop yourself up on your elbows. Hold for 8 seconds. Repeat 8 times. This exercise is predominantly for disc related injuries. If there is any discomfort please consult with your physiotherapist.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef until almost cooked through (just a little pink). Add the onion and pepper and continue to cook until no longer pink. Stir in the taco seasoning. Add the tomatoes and cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the cauliflower rice begins to soften (8 to 10 minutes for frozen). Sprinkle the skillet with the cheese and cover. Let cook until the cheese is melted, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from heat and top with your favorite toppings like sour cream, avocado, and chopped cilantro.


The Lumberjacks Twins at SOS

Mentoring Corner

The physiotherapists at SOS Physiotherapy are dedicated to learning and helping each other hone their skills to enable their patients to get the best outcomes possible. They get together weekly to practice their hands on skills and share ideas, all in an effort to improve the overall care for our patients. Here’s what we’ve been working on to get you better faster. Here Steve is helping Christine improve her Dry Needling acupuncture skills... and Jon

is the pin cushion! They’re squeezing and grabbing to find the tight bands in the Upper Fibers of Trapezius (that’s a mouthful) and then using one needle to go in and out of the muscle bands to release them. This is a very effective technique for muscles that are guarding or are in chronic spasm from an old injury. If you’ve got lingering pain that nothing else has worked for, this will often do the trick. Come in for a consult or ask your physiotherapist. Make a point of doing it...

Is there a Lumberjack in the house? No, Dave and Adam did Not plan this..

Know Your Physio

David Slover, BSc(PT), BPE, BEd, CAT(C), CAFCI (owner)

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Healthcare Services! Belmont Clinic Belmont Centre for Physical Medicine 564 Belmont Avenue West, Suite 301 Kitchener, Ontario N2M 5N6 TEL: (519) 743-4355

Dave is the initial physiotherapist hired at SOS Physiotherapy when the clinic opened in 1991. He has been a registered physiotherapist for 35 years. He is one of the owners along with primarily working as a clinician. Dave holds degrees in physical education (McMaster U), Education

(Queens U), and Physical Therapy (University of Toronto). He has worked in pediatric sports medicine at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, ran a sports medicine clinic at Lakehead University, taught in the sports injury management program at Sheridan College. Dave has had multiple experiences while employed at SOS managing medical coverage for various provincial and national championships held in the KW area. He has traveled extensively representing Canada and was selected to be part of Canadian Health Care Team at: Canada Games, University Games, Commonwealth Games, Francophone Games, Summer & Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Dave has found this setting to be most challenging & rewarding as there are a myriad of complex orthopedic problems seen on a daily basis. His sports medicine and athlete centered experiences help him with motivating clients of all ages to do their best. Dave is very athletically active in multiple sports including GOLF, hockey, curling, skiing, and regularly attends hot yoga classes to work on flexibility, strength and balance.

Campus Clinic University of Waterloo Student Life Centre

200 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 TEL: (519) 884-0767

Elmira Clinic Behind Wellness Centre (Clock Tower) 3 Wyatt Street East, Suite 2 Elmira, Ontario N3B 2H4 TEL: (519) 669-1212


HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP! We are going on the road to FLIP THE PYRAMID! Our mission is a really big one, but we think KNOW we can do it. Are you a member of a special group? Attend church? Own a business? Part of a medical group like a healthy heart club? Participate in group exercise program? Work at a health-conscious office? Go to a gym? Part of parenting group or school? All we need you to do is to make a simple introduction to someone in the group or business you’re a part of. From there we can see how we can help educate the members of the group and Flip the Pyramid one small group at a time. Our FREE WORKSHOPS could come to you! Please email me directly at or call and leave a message for me at the office 519-743-4355 . We are limiting this to the first 10 groups that contact us so ACT NOW!

Over the last six months, the entire SOS team has been hosting workshops here at SOS Physiotherapy to help educate the community, and what we have found is disturbing. We are an unhealthy group! Our loved ones are struggling with pain, getting addicted to narcotics, having surgeries, getting painful injections, paying for expensive diagnostic testing BEFORE exhausting all other conservative treatment options first. To take the best care of ourselves and our loved ones it should NEEDS to be the other way around. (The image below should look familiar from school… think food pyramid) As you can see the NOW Pyramid is not good…no reason it should be this way. We have access to the most amazing healthcare in the world and we are hurting more than we’ve ever been. We NEED to get to the Pyramid on the right, the FUTURE … Use all our conservative options first then only after it has been exhausted move up the Pyramid to more invasive strategies with life altering surgeries used only as a last resort. We are trying to FLIP the Pyramid…

Dedicated to your health, Jon





Belmont Clinic Location Saturday, March 23rd @ 10:00am BACK PAIN & SCIATICA WORKSHOP Workshops are free but seats are limited. Don’t delay, register today by calling now! Call Today! (519) 743-4355

Elmira Clinic Behind Wellness Centre (Clock Tower) 3 Wyatt Street East, Suite 2 Elmira, Ontario N3B 2H4 Tel: (519) 669-1212

Belmont Clinic Belmont Centre for Physical Medicine 564 Belmont Avenue West, Suite 301 Kitchener, Ontario N2M 5N6 TEL: (519) 743-4355

Campus Clinic University of Waterloo Student Life Centre

200 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 Tel: (519) 884-0767


The gluteus medius is a muscle in the side of your hip and pelvis that plays a huge role in every step you take!! It originates along the side of your pelvis and inserting into the top of the femur. The gluteus medius is responsible for supporting one side of the body as the other leg swings through. Maintaining strength of your gluteus medius is important to ensure good balance and to prevent falls.

Training your gluteus medius so that it has enough strength and endurance is important for safe, efficient walking and running, and preventing future injuries. Exercises:

Clam Shell with elastic

The left side of the diagram below shows the muscle working properly to maintain a level pelvis as the left leg passes through. The image on the right shows a compensation due to weakness, this can lead to increased load of the right side of the low back, premature wearing of the hip joint and inner portion of the right knee and into the foot. Studies have shown your gluteus medius produces the most peak muscle force out of all of your hip muscles when you walk or run. The Gluteus Medius Helps: • Absorb force of the ground pushing back against your leg as your foot hits the ground. • Prevent your knee from collapsing inwards while walking & running. • Absorb force of landing • Steady your pelvis and keep your trunk level

Side leg lift

Using with walking – squeezing gluteus medius as you accept weight onto the leg, this will transfer into walking as you squeeze the muscle with each step.

Belmont Clinic Belmont Centre for Physical Medicine 564 Belmont Avenue West, Suite 301 Kitchener, Ontario N2M 5N6 TEL: (519) 743-4355

Campus Clinic University of Waterloo Student Life Centre

Elmira Clinic Behind Wellness Centre (Clock Tower) 3 Wyatt Street East, Suite 2 Elmira, Ontario N3B 2H4 TEL: (519) 669-1212

200 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 TEL: (519) 884-0767

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