Upper Canada Sports Medicine


Spinal Inversion

If you have found that spinal traction has been helping with either your discogenic low back pain or your sciatic pain that has been in the gluteal area or down your leg, you may find that spinal inversion may be of benefit.

At Upper Canada Sports Medicine, our goal is to have out of our doors and care as soon as safely possible, armed with the proper exercises to strengthen your core and small lumbar muscles. These exercises, coupled with an aggressive extension program will target your low back pain or sciatic pain.

Spinal inversion is a home oriented treatment device that would allow you to treat your low back in the comfort of your own home. The frequency and duration of the treatments will be discussed with your therapist so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your home sessions. The goal of the inversion is to reduce the disc bulge and take pressure off the entrapped nerve root. By getting more frequent exposure to the "unweighting" of the disc, the inflammed nerve root has a better chance of calming down. 

The use of inversion treatment is meant to increase the effectiveness of the extension program you will be placed on as well as allow you to start the process of rebuilding your core strength. 

Your therapist will introduce you to our spinal inversion table to allow you to experience the treatment you would do. There is also the option of purchasing a limited trial program of our table to take to your home. After the trial, you will be given advise as to where you may purchase your own inversion table.

Plantar Fasciitis

What it is
Plantar fasciitis is related to "heel spur syndrome", but they are not the same. The heel spurs to which this web site refers are on the front and bottom of the heel, not the back of the heel. But many of the ideas presented here may be helpful for dealing with other types of heel spurs and heel pain.  Heel spurs are not spike-shaped, but flat and shelf-like. They appear like spikes because x-rays are taken from the side looking down along the edge of the shelf. Pain probably rarely if ever results from heel spurs poking into tissue. Many people have heel spurs and they do not have any pain. A heel spur and/or the plantar fascia may trap or irritate nerves in the heel area (if only by inflammation) and this may be the primary cause of pain in some cases. It is often difficult and usually unnecessary to distinguish between plantar fasciitis and heel spur syndrome, if there is a difference. Causes and treatments for the two conditions are the same. Many doctors use the terms "heel spurs" and "plantar fasciitis" interchangeably. The phrase "heel spur" is used more often than "plantar fasciitis" because a heel spur can be seen on an x-ray, the idea of a "spur" poking into tissue provides a believable and understandable cause of pain even if it's a false description, and because it is easier to pronounce and spell than "plantar fasciitis".

What is it and how we treat it.


Causes: The condition is usually caused by a change or increase in activities, no arch support, lack of flexibility in the calf muscles, being overweight, a sudden injury, using shoes with little cushion on hard surfaces, using shoes that do not easily bend under the ball of the foot, or spending too much time on the feet. The cause is usually unknown and mysterious to the patient. It has often been said that those with flat feet or high arches are more likely to get plantar fasciitis (heel spurs), but I do not know if that is the case. 30% of our visitors indicated they have high arches and 20% indicated they have flat feet, but this may not be different from the rest of the population. Arthritis, heel bone damage ("stress fracture"), loss of natural tissue for cushioning under the heel ("fat pad atrophy"), tarsal tunnel syndrome (the foot's version of carpal tunnel syndrome), and other conditions can cause similar foot and heel pain. Many of the ideas presented here can be helpful in dealing with these other conditions. Excess body weight is a major cause of heel pain. Our visitors are 27 times more likely to be overweight from either fat or muscle (BMI>25) than underweight (BMI<20).  Our visitors are twice as likely to be obese (BMI>30) as the average American. But our visitors often do not know they are overweight because they are comparing themselves to other Americans who are the heaviest people in the world. Here's a chart to check your weight. Calorie restriction experiments since the 1930's in many species have shown that for every excess dry ounce of food (28 grams, 120 calories) you eat, especially empty sugar calories from drinks, rice, white bread, or potatoes, you lose one hour of your life and health, the equivalent of smoking 4 cigarettes. In other words 600 extra calories a day (2 soft drinks and a candy bar) will shorten your healthy years (youth) and lifespan 8 years on average, the same as a pack of cigarettes a day. Not getting at least 1 hour of heavy exercise each week also shortens healthy years, youth, and lifespan about 8 years. People who eat nutritious food and have a BMI of 19 live the longest and are often called "little old ladies".


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