Blog Uncategorized

What is Your Body Telling You?

Our bodies are very intricate and fascinating, it can tell us so much about our environment and what it perceives as something it likes or perceives as a threat. Question is, how often do we actually listen to those feelings that out body is trying to tell us? It’s very easy to just push through and continue on with what we are doing. We are only human and we like to rush through things to get to our end game but, is that always beneficial to us as a whole? Can your body handle that pace and for how long?

Your body is always adapting to our environment and doesn’t always like to do so in a linear fashion!

“Speed Hides Need”

A very interesting topic was introduced to me this past weekend, “speed hides need”. Meaning your body will find a way to complete a task in the most efficient way, not necessarily the best way. What truly spoke to me was that rushing feeling we get when we are completing tasks. “It’s just one more ________” or “I just don’t have the time for _________ right now”; common phrases we tell ourselves and maybe don’t think about what our body wants or needs. Think about it if you’re rushing to do something is it the same quality until the end? Likely not! This is where “speed hides need” comes into play! As an example you’re doing a squat close to the last repetition, are you consciously thinking about the quality of that movement or the quantity? If you’re speeding through your body may not always be ready, the way it tells us something was too much is through pain, and often unexplained pain is de to those unruly compensation pattern. By speeding through that movement your body is trying to hide that need and mask anything that would sense that you are off in your movement.

What Can my Body Tell Me?

Great question! Your body can tell you when you are maxed out! It can also tell you when it perceives a “threat”. This threat doesn’t mean someone who’s about to sneak up behind you. Rather, your body is telling you “I just can’t do that right now”. Ever get into a stretch and you just feel like you can’t relax into it that well? This may be a sign that you just don’t have that flexibility (yet!). Or this could mean you aren’t in the right mindset for it at that time. When we stretch we want to be relaxed, often if you are rushing through it or it’s uncomfortable your body and brain work together to signal a perceived threat or discomfort. This means something else may tense in response to this perceived stress preventing you from getting that full benefit. This is why it’s important to breathe! A few deep breaths in and out through the nose can do wonders, and help bring you into a better mindset!

Let’s talk about your body

Fight or Flight

This may be a concept you’ve heard before in school long ago. This relates to the nervous system and how your body perceives the environment. This tends to signal the body to be in a high alert mode. Meaning that you may be hypersensitive to the stimulus around you. When this occurs we need to find a way to downregulate (lower) that sensation so we can complete daily living tasks. This could be your fears, pain, or simply stress. It’s our job to figure out how to bring that down to a happy level. After all making your body feel its best is our top priority!

What makes you happy? It may be a pet, or it may be a hike in the woods, we want to know so we can help you best!

How Can We Help?

This is why we like to get to know you and what your goals are! This helps us determine what sorts of techniques will help your body best and determine how much “homework” to give you. This may be why we give you some breathing exercises or remind you to breathe when doing your exercises! Remember we work with your body to give you what it needs!

Written by: Michelle Gaudet BSc, CAT(C)

Certfied Athletic Therapist

Blog Shoulder Injury Uncategorized

Do you have a tear in your shoulder?

We’ve got a bone to pick with the word “tear”. When it comes to shoulder injuries, it is SO misleading! Most people hear that they have a tear in their shoulder and they visualize a muscle that has been completely ripped in two. And that’s just not accurate!

The technical term for this injury is a “Rotator Cuff Tear”. You might also hear the specific muscle name such as “Supraspinatus” which is the most commonly injured muscle of the Rotator Cuff group. You also might hear it referred to as a muscle strain or a “partial thickness” or “full thickness” tear.

In actuality, there are 3 types of “tears” that you can have in your shoulder and only the third and the most extreme kind resemble what you are picturing.

First degree Shoulder Tear

A first degree tear ( or muscle strain… YES it’s the same thing!) involves some irritation and inflammation of the muscle. It is painful but there is NO structural damage. With the right kind of rest and rehab, your body can easily heal from this.

Second Degree Shoulder Tear

A second degree tear involved a small amount of muscle damage. But the beautiful thing about the body is it’s ability to heal from injuries! First and second degree tears will not have any long term damage after the initial healing process.

Third Degree Tear

A third degree tear is the kind that you are picturing. The entirely of the muscle has been torn in two. BUT if the two ends are close together and you are resting or in a sling, your body can still heal from this!

It is only when the two ends migrate farther apart that a surgical solution may be needed.

What should I do if I tore my shoulder recently?

It might be tempting to think that first and second degree tears don’t need rehab. But that would be a a bad assumption.

The body is smart. It wants to avoid pain. So it will begin to do things in a different way to avoid using the painful muscle while it heals. These compensation patterns become your new normal and lead to other muscles working way harder than they are supposed to. Your shoulder will naturally start to round forward in to a more protected position. This position and the compensation patterns will lead to other injuries and pain long term.

Click here to speak with one of our therapists about how we can help.

What should I do if I tore my shoulder a long time ago?

If you tore your shoulder a long time ago and you are still having pain, it is likely that your shoulder did not heal properly the first time around (did you see a therapist for rehab?). The pain you are feeling now is likely caused by the compensation patterns and poor positioning that your shoulder has developed. The pain is being caused by a secondary cause and not the original shoulder tear.

The good news is that the position of your shoulder and these compensation patterns can still be fixed no matter how long they’ve been around. The approach will just be different than if we were seeing you when it had just happened. But, we can still eliminate your pain and get you back to the life you love!

And you may be asking “But what about scar tissue”. And while that is maybe a topic for another day, scar tissue isn’t necessarily bad! Scar tissue forms any time there has been damage to tissue. You likely have multiple areas of scar tissue all over your body and don’t even know it! When scar tissues heals correctly it is flexible and moveable just like normal tissue. It should not cause long term problems or pain.

It is when the scar tissue heals in a way that is not flexible or moveable that it becomes a problem. We can improve how scar tissue moves with your body even after it has developed. But the longer the scar tissue has been around, the longer this process will take. That’s why we recommend you reach out to a therapist sooner rather than later to get this addressed.

Click below to speak with one of our therapists about how we can help

Above all else, we want you to know that there is a resolution for your pain. You don’t need to suffer. You don’t need to be reliant on pain killers. And you might not even need surgery after all!

Reach out to us so that we can help.

Not sure about us just yet? That’s ok. We know that it can be hard to know who to trust in the health care system and we never want you to feel rushed in to making a decision if you just aren’t ready.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel or follow us on instagram or facebook for more helpful tips for your injuries or aches and pains.

Ready to start feeling better? Request to speak with one of our therapists to hear about what we can do to help!

Blog Injury Rehabilitation Uncategorized

Do You Have Arthritis? Here Is What We Encourage You To Do

If you think you have arthritis, know that you do, AND especially if you’ve been told that there is nothing that can be done- you need to watch this video!

Not All Pain is Arthritis

We know it’s easy to jump to conclusions and self diagnose yourself with having arthritis. But there are so many other things that can be causing your pain! Your pain could be coming from muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone, fascia, nerves, etc. And MOST pain is coming from compensation patterns and imbalances. When muscles are tight or other muscles aren’t working, it pulls the joint in a funny way causing pain and causing wear and tear. So, consult with your healthcare provider before jumping to any conclusions.

Arthritis Can be Improved

And even if you know for sure that you do have osteoarthritis, it still doesn’t mean that you are doomed to always be in pain. As I explained above, because most pain stems from imbalances, and imbalances can be corrected! Therefore your pain can be either reduced or eliminated! That’s right… having arthritis does not mean that you will always be in pain!

Fun fact, if you were to do an MRI on a group of healthy and pain free individuals… you will likely find arthritis somewhere! But just because it shows up on a scan, does not mean that it will be causing them pain ( nor does it mean that it is going to get worse over time).

What is Arthritis

Just to be clear, we are speaking about osteoarthritis here ( not rheumatoid arthritis). Osteoarthritis is simply a wearing down of the cartilage within a joint. It is degeneration or ” wear and tear” but as I mentioned earlier… this is not a death sentence. Many people have degeneration within a specific joint and never even know it because they don’t feel any pain.

What Can Be Done

Athletic Therapy can help to resolve the imbalances and compensation patterns that have caused the pain within a joint. We will do a complete whole body assessment to pin point where the problems. And then, we will come up with a game plan to resolve them. This will likely include hands on techniques, stretches and strengthening exercises.

Check out some of our client success stories HERE

Not sure about us just yet? That’s ok. We know that it can be hard to know who to trust in the health care system and we never want you to feel rushed in to making a decision if you just aren’t ready.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel or follow us on instagram or facebook for more helpful tips for your injuries or aches and pains.

Ready to start feeling better? Request to speak with one of our therapists to hear about what we can do to help!

Blog Uncategorized

5 Quick Exercises You Can Do on An Office Break!

With a lot of people working from home these days (hopefully not for long!) we might not be taking as many frequent breaks or getting in key exercises! Taking a quick break is good to allow for your mind and body to rest and reset. Long hours in not our most ideal working space may lead to some troubles! Maybe our shoulders, our neck, or our mid back are taking a bit more of a toll on us than normal. Want to find out how we can help? Stay tuned we have your mobility moments ready for you to test out!

What should my break look like?

Your breaks should be relatively frequent. No this doesn’t mean endless trips to the fridge, your eyes and your body need a break too! It has been suggested that our eyes should have a break every 15 minutes from screen time for 1-2 minutes. Additionally, rest breaks every 30-60 minutes to get up and get moving around, in this time you should have the opportunity to work in some quick stretches! [1] Micro-breaks are also an excellent type pf break as they allow you fix your posture or even stand up to adjust if needed. [1]

5 Quick Exercises

1. Doorframe Grabs: Grab the edge of a doorframe (or pillar!) slightly above your shoulder, standing away from the wall legs shoulder width apart, move the hips away and allow the body to lean into the wall slightly. 15-20 per side.

2. T-spine Rotations: Grab some desk space, place one elbow on the counter edge, the other at the back of your head. Breathe in and rotate up, breathe out and rotate down. 15-20 per side.

3. Neck Stretch: With the hands (or a ball!) place at the area just between where the shoulder and neck meet, apply a gentle downward pressure, then tilt the head away *can rotate the head to armpit if needed for more stretch; return to neutral slowly. Repeat for 30-60 seconds (approx. 10-15 times).

4. Scap Setting: Against a wall, stand slightly away and rest the hands below shoulder height, then gently draw shoulder blades together *remember shoulders are ear poison! 1 set of 10-15 with a 10 second hold. *Can also do seated at your desk

5. Finger Stretches: Take an elastic band (can be from Asparagus or other veggie packages!) place around the fingers, starting in a semi-closed grip separate the fingers evenly out in a star formation. 15-20 per side. *Great for if you’ve been typing or on the phone for longer than normal!

The above exercises will help get you up and get you moving! They will help reduce stiffness and keep you active during your break! It’s important to keep moving routinely throughout the day for spinal health and just overall well-being! Check out the video above for a demonstration of the first 3 exercises to show you how to get the best out of your break time.

What if I don’t have time for a break?

You should always make time for a break! Working from home shouldn’t be very different from your daily work routine. Your breaks may just look a little different right now. Especially not being in our normal environment we may be developing some bad habits at our makeshift desks (if we don’t have a nice home office). It is important for not only your physical health but, also your mental health to take a break and get some new perspective. So take that minute (or more) to have a break, fix that posture, and keep you moving so you can perform at your best! Quick trick, some of these exercises (Scap Setting and Finger Stretches) can be routinely done while you are still working!

Give these exercises a try and we are sure you will feel better! If you need further advice on you specific needs feel free to ask one of our therapists we would be happy to help program something specific to your unique needs!


[1] Hedge, A. (2019). Workstation ergonomics: take a break!. Found May 4, 2020 from:

Blog Uncategorized

Closed But Not Gone!

As many of you know, both Competitive Edge Locations have been closed since March 16th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the very begin, we wanted to do our part to limit the spread of the virus and closing the clinics was the most responsible choice. BUT that doesn’t mean that we are gone! Far from that, the Competitive Edge team is here and working harder than ever to align you with the resources you need during this time!

We know that just because we are closed, does not mean your pain has gone away. And that’s why we have a few different resources we would like to offer you to help you through this period of social distancing.

1.) Instagram and Facebook

If you haven’t done so already, you need to follow us on one of these social media platforms. We are posting even more frequently right now to give you tips and tricks of things you can do from home in order to help decrease your pain. We also just want to stay in touch with you, say hi, show you what our therapists are up to, and to help you out with anything you need. So click below and follow us on instagram, facebook , or both!

2.) Telehealth / Virtual Athletic Therapy

A little secret that you probably didn’t know is that our therapists have 2 secret weapons. The first is their ability to ask you precisely the right questions and to interpret your answers in a way that not only tells them what your injury is and what is going on in your body, but also what you need to do in order to be able to resolve it!

Their second secret weapon is their eyes! Our therapists see things that you would never even notice. Whether it be the way you are sitting, standing or moving, or the way you perform an exercise they ask you to do. They see it all and this gives them so much information about how to help you!

The brilliant thing is that they can still use both of these secret weapons to help you virtually! Once you schedule your appointment , you will receive a confirmation email with a link to access the video call. At your Virtual Appointment, you will discuss your injury and how you are feeling, perform some simple movements to allow the therapist to determine what need to be done to help you feel better AND… this is the best part… they will teach YOU how to resolve your own pain! This might be a hands on self release where you recreate what your therapist would normally do for you or some exercises that you can complete with your therapist and also later on your own!

We have had great feedback from our Virtual Athletic Therapy clients to date and are so happy that they are beginning to feel better without ever having to leave the safety of their home!

3.) Membership and Virtual Classes!

If you’re struggling with the motivation to keep up with boring exercises from home on your own ( … I’m only saying what I know you’re thinking!) then the membership site is for you.

Your membership will give you access to weekly LIVE Virtual Classes with a Competitive Edge Therapist, video recordings of previous classes, and other resources from all of the therapists at Competitive Edge to help you feel better from home!

Sign up for a free 30 day trial. No pressure, no commitment, no competition during the classes. Just a way to make doing your exercises and feeling better FUN!

Not sure which option is best for you? Apply to speak with one of our therapists and we would be happy to give you more guidance!

Stay safe everyone and remember, we are here for you either now or when you need us!

Athletic Therapy Blog Competitive Edge Sport Therapy Injury Rehabilitation Uncategorized

What is Telehealth and how can it help you?

Telehealth is a new feature for us here at Competitive Edge and is our way to help you speak with a therapist and help give you some tools to keep you active and healthy in a variety of places! Telehealth is a way to help change up some of those exercises, modify current ones, and help target your aches and pains. Although you won’t be getting all of our hands on treatment we can help guide you through some gentle releases.

How does Telehealth work?

what the heck is Telehealth?!

We are being very creative with this method of communication. To help explain things better some of our therapists have incorporated some picture references and even some skeletons into the mix (don’t worry Skully is plastic). This helps make this experience educational and uniquely tailored to you! We realized that during this time that we needed to do something to help people because let’s be honest, your pain doesn’t go away when a pandemic hits!

What are the benefits of Telehealth you may ask?

1) You get to speak with an expert!
2) You can work on yourself and your pain from the comfort of your home!
3) We can empower you to use your hands to get some relief!
4) You get some great education about your injury and your body
5) You can do this anywhere! (Hopefully with an internet connection of course)

So, what’s the difference?

In contrast with getting treatment we wouldn’t have access to our hands on approach for an assessment. However, with Telehealth we get to look at how you move and give you some guidance from what we can see. Telehealth is a great way to stay connected and keep up with your exercises and change things up as needed. Also, this will be a great tool for people to use if they are traveling and run into a bit of a rut, or if you are sick and can’t make it in for your appointment (when we are back up and running). This will help to keep you on the right track to getting better!

If you have an ache or a pain that you are currently dealing with and think Telehealth is a good option for you don’t be afraid to schedule something in with one of our therapists to see how creative we can be!

Written by: Michelle Gaudet

Certified Atheltic Therapist

Blog Uncategorized

How To Maximize Your TV Time, Without Pain!

A few days ago, I took to our social media page to see how many of our followers are spending more time than they would like on their couch, watching TV or Netflix these days. And as I expected, most people are watching more than normal and it’s making them achy and sore! So I put together this video with a few simple suggestions of how you can get comfy on the couch, enjoy your rest time, but also not aggravate or worsen your pain!

Take a watch and let us know what you find what TV postures helps your injury when you’re comfy on the couch!

As much as we all want to have perfect posture at all times, it’s just not realistic for most of us to expect to sit up tall and straight while watching TV for a prolonged amount of time. Inevitably you are going to start to slouch and you might not even realize it until you start feeling achy and sore.

So instead, put yourself in a comfortable position that will minimize the strain on your injured area and will be easy ( or at least easier) to maintain while you relax on your couch!

Try out these 2 suggested positions and let us know what you think!

TV Position #1: Side lying

Just like when you sleep at night, laying on your side can minimize the stress and strain on your body. Make sure that you don’t have too many pillows causing your neck to be at a stressful angle. You can also add a pillow between your knees or under your waist depending on what feels right to you and depending on where your painful area is! Just remember to keep your head nice and straight and not to let it travel too far forward

TV Position #2: Reclining

Bonus points if you have a comfy recliner at home! If you do, you may want to try putting a pillow under your knees to ease some tension off of your low back or putting a rolled up towel behind your low back.

If you don’t have a recliner- you can make one out of pillows, like I show in the video! You want your spine to be as straight as possible while still being comfortable. So try not to lift your head. You should be able to relax comfortably here. Feet should be directly under your knees or you can put your feet up on a coffee table or ottoman!

So, don’t feel too guilty about your TV time. We all need to take a break and rest and relax in a way that helps us unwind! We just want you to be able to do so without making your pain worse during or after! So, try these tips and let us know what you find works best for you!

Bonus tip: Do the exercises your athletic therapist has given you either before or after ( or both!) to really minimize the impact your TV time has on your body.

If you are interested in getting more information about your injury and how we can help, CLICK HERE and apply to speak with one of our therapists! This conversation is completely free of charge and no commitment. You will receive advice on what you can and should be doing to start feeling better and to get back to the life that you really want!

Athletic Therapy Blog Injury Rehabilitation Uncategorized

8 Tips for Staying Active While Injured

One of our pet peeves is when someone is told to do nothing when they are injured; just to go home and sit on the couch and hope that by some miracle, their injury will heal.  But for a lot of us – we don’t want to just do nothing, and for a lot of injuries, the “rest method” isn’t enough.

At Competitive Edge, we believe in helping you stay active during your recovery. The body needs movement! So here are our 8 tips for staying active when you are injured.

1.) Nothing should be painful!

You heard us. So stop being silly and macho. Pushing through the pain will not – I repeat – WILL NOT lead anywhere good. You will only aggravate the injury, cause inflammation, delay the healing process, or cause additional compensation patterns in the area which leads to further injury down the road.

Listen to your body. If a particular movement or activity is painful – don’t do it. Find a modification or alternative activity that you can participate in without pain.

2.) Do your rehab

Just do it. If you made an effort and spent the money to see an expert to help you in your recovery – do what they tell you to do. Create a routine and make a habit. Add it in throughout the day either in a work-out or a break at work – anywhere! Just do your darn injury rehab!

3.) Change your focus

Now that you are recovering, your focus might not be on setting any PB’s or PR’s or whatever you want to call them.  But the physical activity you get can still be meaningful! Focus on things that will aid your recovery like working on flexibility and mobility, strengthening in different ways, participating in fun, new, pain-free activities, etc. Now is your chance to experiment! Enjoy the change. Cross training will only make you better once you return to your primary exercise.

4.) Core, Core, Core

It’s your foundation after all. Having a strong core and good control over your pelvis and spinal movements and good body awareness will not only help throughout your recovery, but it will also help prevent future injuries down the road and make you stronger and healthier overall.

5.) Progress Slowly

We’ve all done it or known someone who has. You’re recovering from an injury and trying to get back into your activity. You are giving it a shot and guess what – no pain! So you put more weight on, or you go faster or harder or longer, and you only feel a little bit of pain. But boy do you feel it the next day, and it’s not an “it’s-so-good-to-work-out” feeling.

When you are reintroducing or progressing certain activities, add a little on each day as you are able. You need 24-36 hours to know how your body will respond, so progress slowly. We know you are eager to be back to 100%, but it’s not worth setting yourself back weeks in your recovery. Be patient and progress slowly.

6.) Controlled movements only!

You might think, “well it’s a neck injury – I can still do jump squats, right?” NO! Fast, powerful or complex movements use your whole body! Change them out for slow, controlled movements that allow you to work on isolation; this ensures you won’t accidentally cause pain or aggravate your injury.


7.) Stick with it!

Remember that the moment you stop feeling pain, or the first day you can do an activity you couldn’t before, does not signal the end of your recovery. Though you might be feeling a bit better, don’t stop yet! The last thing you want is to be making good progress and to get to about 80%, stop doing your exercises, cancel all of your athletic therapy appointments and next thing you know you’re back in pain and down to 40% again. Stick with it! Finish your injury rehab and recover all the way to 100%.

8.) Focus on Form

If you haven’t been cautious of your form before now, you definitely should start.  Having proper form means that you are strengthening the body in the right way, using the right muscles and reducing the unnecessary strain on muscles and stress on joints. If you’re not sure if you’ve got adequate form or not – talk to an expert. Your Athletic Therapist or physiotherapist should be able to help you with this but when in doubt, speak with a personal trainer or strength coach( bonus points for one that is familiar with post-rehab training!)


So go ahead, have fun! Recovering does not have to mean laying around and wasting away. Just be smart and let us know how it’s going!


Written by Lindsay Langlais (Ibey)

Certified Athletic Therapist

Athletic Therapy Blog Uncategorized

Athletic Therapy for the Non-Athlete

Are you thinking about seeing an Athletic Therapist but, you’re not an athlete? Don’t be fooled by the name! We see everyone! Everyone’s an athlete in their own way, from desk jockeys to weekend warriors. Even if you’re only looking to getting back to regular daily activities or thinking long-term to be able to play with the grandkids, Athletic Therapy is for you!


Athletic Therapy Success Story

My mom is the biggest advocate for Athletic Therapy. Why? She has seen the worth over the years. Is she an elite athlete? No, she is an everyday person who works a desk job. Over the years, her range of motion decreased without her noticing the change until she decided to get a little more active. Like anyone, she wants to be able to do things with future grandkids which stemmed her passion for wanting to gain mobility and strength back into her life. Carpal Tunnel and Sciatic nerve pain are two chronic problems she had faced for many years, to the point where surgery may have been needed to help relieve her Carpal Tunnel symptoms. She started seeing an Athletic Therapist so she could find out more about all my tidbits of information I would share wither her as I progressed through my journey to my dream career. Soon, everything began to change. With a combination of Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, Mobilization, and a variety of other techniques, she began to notice a difference. My mom started getting her range of motion back, saw strength gain, and experienced a significant reduction in pain. Now, no surgery is required, and the day-to-day aches and pains that were always present are at manageable levels or gone altogether. She saw the worth of seeing an Athletic Therapist and the value it added to her life.


Competitive Edge Approach to Athletic Therapy

So how are we different? We focus on a whole-body approach, putting all the necessary pieces of the puzzle together. We take a detailed history of previous injuries to see how they may have contributed to the problem at hand because our old injuries can influence current ones. The body tends to adapt to the change created; it isn’t until later, when we are in a state of dysfunction, that we notice this change. We are in a state of dysfunction when that pain or restriction starts to affect our daily activities.


What is Athletic Therapy?

Athletic Therapists are specialists in injury assessment, prevention and sports injury rehabilitation. Musculoskeletal injuries are the main elements in our scope of practice; those are injuries to the muscle, ligaments, tendons, and bones. Additionally, we are a Calgary concussion clinic, and we also work with motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), nerve related injuries, and more. We aim to determine the underlying factors to the injury and target those features to provide the best treatment plan for each individual. These factors can include posture, core, balance and stability, and ergonomics. Core and posture are two main components for everyone. What is good posture? How do you actually achieve that goal? That is where balance and stability come in because you need to have balance of the musculature in order to achieve good posture. Your core is also of importance; we need to lay the foundation before we try to build up from the ground.


What Can Athletic Therapy Do For You?

Yes, you will still find us out on the sidelines working with various sports teams but, most of the people we see are everyday people! You may not be an elite athlete, but Athletic Therapy Programs can change your life! I look at the benefits that not only my mom has gained but the experiences of my friends and clients. By using a combination of techniques, they are able to move better, are pain-free, and have been helped on an individual basis to get the results they deserve. If they can get these results, why can’t you?

Client Signature:  Looking for help with your injury, ache or pain? The experts at Competitive Edge Sport Therapy can help! We can identify and resolve the root cause of your complaint and pain. Contact us today, at (403) 252-6222 |

Written by Michelle Gaudet
Certified Athletic Therapist CAT(C)


Back Pain Blog Uncategorized

Massage Therapy for Low Back Pain? What Can Be Done?

Over the past few years, lower back pain (LBP) has become a significant health concern in Canada.  It is estimated that up to 85% of working people will experience LBP at some point in their lifetime.  This leads us to a few questions:

      What causes low back pain?

      What can we do about it?

Causes of Low Back Pain

While there are several contributing factors in LBP, the most common seem to be related to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the steady growth in obesity rates over time, and an increased number of hours that people are putting in sitting at a desk.  

For the purpose of this discussion, let’s look at the increased number of hours that people are logging at desks, behind the wheels of their vehicles, and time spent on the couches at home.  We will briefly examine the physiological and mechanical causes of LBP and how massage therapy can assist in relieving this condition.

Body Mechanics

When we assume the typical seated posture whether at a desk or behind the wheel of a vehicle there are a few biomechanical changes that take place:

      Prolonged flexion of the hip joint can lead to a shortening of the hip flexor muscles, when not adequately stretched during the day.

      This shortening of the deep hip flexors can cause the hip flexors to become short and weak over time leading to an excessive lumbar curve.  

      The tightness in the hip flexors can cause an inhibition of the glute Maximus (the opposing muscle group.)  This leads to an imbalance in the hips and low back.

      Prolonged inhibition of the glute Maximus and excessive periods of sitting can result in atrophy of the muscle.

      The structural imbalance of the hips that is created can lead to pain in both the hips and lumbar spine.  And there it is…Low Back Pain!

How can Massage Therapy Help?

When a muscle or group of muscles are tight and creating an imbalance in the body, there are several techniques the massage practitioner can use to help alleviate the hip flexor tightness. The most common way is to incorporate a passive or active stretch to the muscle and apply pressure at different points along the muscle (usually origin, insertion and belly of the muscle).  By using the techniques to release the tight hip flexors, the imbalances that were in place can begin to be removed, and a path forward is created to eliminate low back pain.

Final Thoughts

Massage Therapy can be a very useful tool in removing the conditions that create low back pain, but there are other considerations that people can make on their own to assist the process.  A dedicated stretching and mobility program along with lifestyle and ergonomic changes will go a long way in ensuring that you can help to avoid the conditions that can lead to low back pain!

Client Signature:  Looking for help with your injury, ache or pain? The experts at Competitive Edge Sport Therapy can help! We can identify and resolve the root cause of your complaint and pain. Contact us today, at (403) 252-6222 |

Written by Chris English,

Registered Massage Therapist