Learn about a range of common conditions, from back pain to concussions, and discover how physiotherapy can help you on the path to recovery and wellness.

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A Personalized Recovery Plan from Injury and Pain

Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of an injury or managing a chronic issue, our comprehensive guide covers a range of conditions that you can see a physiotherapist for.

Ankle Sprain
What is it?
An ankle sprain is an injury that occurs when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn, often due to the ankle rolling, turning, or twisting in an awkward manner.


What are symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain in the affected area
  • Difficulty in moving the foot.
What causes an Ankle Sprain?
Ankle sprains are commonly caused by activities like sports or everyday movements where the ankle twists unnaturally, leading to ligament damage.


What happens if it’s not treated?
If left untreated, an ankle sprain can lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains, potentially impacting mobility and quality of life.


What is the best treatment for an Ankle Sprain?
Physiotherapy is a highly effective treatment for ankle sprains. Physiotherapists focus on restoring mobility, relieving pain, and preventing future injuries. Through a tailored program, they help strengthen muscles around the ankle and provide guidance on recognizing risky situations. This comprehensive approach ensures a swift and full recovery, promoting long-term stability and reducing the risk of future injuries.

Back Pain

What is it?
Back pain refers to discomfort or pain felt anywhere along the spine, from the neck down to the lower back. It can vary in intensity and duration and may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Back pain can impact daily activities and overall quality of life.


What are symptoms of Back Pain?

  • Dull, aching, or sharp pain in the back
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the back
  • Muscle spasms or tension in the back muscles
  • Difficulty standing, sitting, or walking for extended periods
  • Pain that worsens with movement, lifting, or certain positions

What causes Back Pain?

  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive strain or overuse of muscles
  • Lack of regular exercise
  • Aging and degenerative changes in the spine
  • Injuries such as muscle strains, ligament sprain


What happens if it’s not treated?
If back pain is not treated or managed effectively, it can lead to several negative consequences:

  • Reduced quality of life due to ongoing discomfort and limited mobility
  • Chronic pain that persists or worsens over time
  • Impact on psychological well-being, potentially leading to depression and anxiety
  • Aging and degenerative changes in the spine
  • Injuries such as muscle strains, ligament sprain


What is the best treatment for Back Pain?
Physiotherapy is an effective and non-invasive approach for managing back pain. The best treatment for back pain often involves a multi-faceted approach that addresses the root causes and provides relief.


Calcific Tendinopathy

What is it?
Calcific tendinopathy is the buildup of calcium deposits in tendons, often in the shoulder’s rotator cuff, causing pain and restricted movement.


What are symptoms of Calcific Tendinopathy?

  • Jarring shoulder pain
  • Limited shoulder movement
  • Discomfort radiating down the arm
  • Difficulty with daily activities involving the shoulder

What causes Calcific Tendinopathy?
The exact cause is unclear, but factors like aging, wear and tear, and metabolic conditions like diabetes contribute to its development.


What happens if it’s not treated?
Without treatment, it can lead to persistent pain, decreased mobility, and functional problems, potentially worsening over time.


What is the best treatment for Calcific Tendionpathy?
Physiotherapy is key, involving pain management through manual therapy, exercises to improve range of motion and strength, posture correction, education on activity modification, and overall wellness to prevent future issues.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is it?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition where the median nerve in the wrist is compressed, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and fingers.


What are symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?

  • Pain in wrist, hand, and sometimes forearm
  • Numbness and tingling in thumb, index, middle & ring finger
  • Weakness in hand
  • Worsened symptoms at night

What causes Carpal Tunnel?

  • Compression of median nerve in wrist’s carpal tunnel
  • Repetitive hand and wrist movements
  • Prolonged wrist flexion
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Medical conditions like arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders


What happens if it’s not treated?
Untreated CTS can lead to worsening pain, decreased hand strength, and difficulty performing daily tasks. Severe cases can cause permanent nerve damage.


What is the best treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Physiotherapy is a highly effective treatment for CTS. It includes exercises to reduce inflammation, improve wrist mobility, and glide the affected nerve smoothly. Ergonomic adjustments and strengthening exercises are also important components.


Chronic Pain

What is it?
Chronic pain is a persistent and often debilitating condition that affects individuals globally. Unlike acute pain, which serves as a short-term warning of immediate harm, chronic pain persists long after the initial injury has healed. It can extend for months or even years, significantly impacting one’s daily life and overall well-being.


What are symptoms of Chronic Pain?

  • Continuous or recurrent pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep issues
  • Mood changes
  • Reduced social engagement

What causes Chronic Pain?

  • Tissue damage (nociceptive)
  • Nervous system dysfunction (neuropathic)
  • Heightened pain sensitivity even without an apparent cause


What happens if it’s not treated?
Leaving chronic pain untreated can lead to a cascade of negative outcomes. The pain itself may intensify, making daily activities difficult to perform. Emotionally, individuals may experience increasing distress, depression, and anxiety, while their social interactions and overall quality of life decline.


What is the best treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A personalized blend of physiotherapy and exercise. Physiotherapy involves tailored exercises, manual therapy, and education. Exercise, like aerobics, strength training, and flexibility exercises, aids pain relief and function improvement. Gradual progression under professional guidance is vital.



What is it?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs due to an impact to the head or a forceful jolt that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth within the skull. This sudden movement can lead to chemical changes in the brain and potential damage to brain cells.


What are symptoms of a Concussion?

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Difficulties with concentration or memory

What causes Concussions?

    Concussions are caused by an external impact to the head or a strong jolt that results in the brain moving rapidly within the skull. Common causes include:

  • Falls
  • Accidents
  • Sports-related collisions
  • Any situation where the head experiences a sudden blow


What happens if it’s not treated?
Untreated concussions can lead to complications, prolonging recovery time, increasing the risk of chronic issues, and potentially causing more severe problems in the long run.


What is the best treatment for a Concussion?
Physiotherapy, particularly specialized approaches like those at Westcoast SCI in Port Coquitlam, is a key component of concussion management. It involves personalized strategies such as manual therapy, exercises for physical symptoms, vestibular rehabilitation, and addressing cognitive and emotional challenges. The treatment plan adapts based on progress and aims to integrate rehabilitation practices into daily routines for optimal recovery.


Frozen Shoulder

What is it?
A frozen shoulder, medically known as “adhesive capsulitis,” is a condition where the flexible tissue (capsule) surrounding the shoulder joint becomes thickened, tightened, and scarred. This leads to pain and reduced range of motion in the affected shoulder. The condition progresses through three phases: freezing, frozen, and thawing.


What are symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder?

  • Pain in the affected shoulder
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Gradual progression through freezing, frozen, & thawing

What causes a Frozen Shoulder?

  • Shoulder joint’s flexible tissue thickens, tightens, and scar
  • Inflammation and medical conditions
  • Trauma, injury, or shoulder immobilization


What happens if it’s not treated?
If left untreated, frozen shoulder can lead to prolonged pain and significant loss of mobility in the affected shoulder. This can severely impact daily activities and quality of life. Without appropriate treatment, the condition can linger for years, and the gradual loss of function can become chronic and even permanent in some cases.


What is the best treatment for a Frozen Shoulder?
The best treatment for frozen shoulder is physiotherapy. This non-invasive approach involves manual therapy techniques, personalized exercises, and patient education. Physiotherapists help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and enhance functionality, leading to effective recovery. Specialized clinics like Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy in Port Coquitlam offer tailored treatment plans that prioritize patient involvement and holistic care.



What is it?
Headaches are sensations of pain occurring in various regions of the head, ranging from the forehead to the back of the neck. They can vary in intensity from a mild, dull ache to severe, sharp and stabbing discomfort.


What are symptoms of a Headache?

  • Pain in head regions (forehead to neck)
  • Tight band-like pain
  • One-sided or both-sided pain
  • light/sound sensitivity, nausea, visual issues

What causes a Headache?

  • Tension-type: muscle contractions
  • Migraines, clusters, sinus: distinct causes
  • Triggered by posture, strain, jaw
  • ‘Cervicogenic headaches’: stem from neck disorders


What happens if it’s not treated?
If headaches are not properly treated, they can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. They may become more frequent, intense, and persistent, leading to chronic pain and discomfort. Untreated headaches can also interfere with daily activities, work, and overall well-being.


What is the best treatment for a Headache?
The most effective treatment for chronic headaches involves a personalized physiotherapy plan that includes manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercises, patient education on triggers and posture, and evidence-based strategies to address the root causes and provide holistic relief.


Hip Pain
What is it?
Hip pain refers to discomfort or soreness in the hip area, which can encompass the joint itself as well as the surrounding muscles and tissues. It is a common condition that can range from mild to severe and can impact an individual’s ability to move, walk, and perform daily activities comfortably.


What are symptoms of Hip Pain?

  • Discomfort or soreness around the hip joint
  • Sharp or dull pain in the hip area
  • Difficulty walking, especially with a limp
  • Pain that may radiate to the groin, buttocks, or thighs
  • Limited range of motion in the hip joint
  • Stiffness and difficulty in moving the hip
  • Swelling or inflammation around the hip
  • Pain that may interfere with sleep or rest

What causes Hip Pain?
Hip pain can be caused by a range of factors, including:

  • Degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis
  • Tendonitis, (inflammation of the tendons around the hip)
  • Referred pain from other areas, such as the lower back or spine
  • Structural issues, fractures, or joint misalignments


What happens if it’s not treated?
If hip pain is not treated, it can lead to reduced mobility, decreased quality of life, and a decline in physical function. Chronic pain can negatively impact a person’s ability to perform daily activities, engage in exercise, and maintain overall well-being. Untreated hip pain can also contribute to the progression of degenerative diseases, leading to more severe joint damage over time.


What is the best treatment for Hip Pain?
Physiotherapy is often recommended as one of the best treatments for managing hip pain. It involves manual therapy, tailored exercises, and education on body mechanics to alleviate pain, improve function, and enhance overall well-being.


Neck Pain
What is it?
Neck pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint characterized by discomfort or pain in the area between the base of the skull and the top of the shoulders. It can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and can impact daily activities and quality of life.


What are symptoms of Neck Pain?

  • Pain or discomfort in the neck region
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Pain that radiates to the shoulders, arms, or upper back

What causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Prolonged poor posture
  • Stress
  • Injuries such as whiplash
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Conditions like herniated discs and arthritis
  • Repeatedly straining the neck muscles


What happens if it’s not treated?
If neck pain is not treated, it can have several negative consequences. It can lead to decreased quality of life due to ongoing discomfort and restricted movement. Chronic neck pain can also affect work performance, disrupt sleep, and cause emotional distress. Additionally, untreated neck pain can potentially worsen over time and lead to more severe complications or chronic conditions.


What is the best treatment for Neck Pain?
Physiotherapy, with its holistic approach involving assessment, manual therapy, exercises, education, and preventive measures, is considered an effective treatment for managing neck pain.


What is it?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint condition characterized by the deterioration of cartilage within the joints. Cartilage is the tissue that cushions the ends of bones in a joint, allowing smooth and pain-free movement. As the cartilage breaks down over time, the joint’s structure and function are compromised, leading to pain, stiffness, and mobility issues.


What are symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

  • Persistent joint pain that worsens with movement
  • Joints may feel stiff, especially after periods of inactivity
  • Difficulty in moving joints through their full range of motion
  • The affected joints might become swollen or tender
  • A grating or crackling sensation during movement

What causes Osteoarthritis?
The exact cause of osteoarthritis is not always clear, but there are several contributing factors:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Previous joint injuries or trauma
  • Excess body weight
  • Repetitive use of certain joints over a long period


What happens if it’s not treated?
If osteoarthritis is left untreated, the condition can worsen over time. As cartilage continues to deteriorate, the joint’s integrity is compromised, leading to increased pain, reduced mobility, and a decreased quality of life. In severe cases, joint deformities can develop, further limiting the ability to perform daily activities. Ultimately, untreated osteoarthritis can significantly impact an individual’s overall well-being and independence.


What is the best treatment for Osteoarthritis?
The optimal treatment for osteoarthritis involves a comprehensive approach focused on symptom management, joint function improvement, and disease progression mitigation.

At Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy Port Coquitlam, we offer a specialized osteoarthritis group class, combining tailored exercises, education, and community support. This class empowers participants to learn about their condition, engage in safe exercises, and connect with others facing similar challenges. Learn more about our Osteoarthritis Group Class for effective and supportive osteoarthritis management.

Patellofemoral Pain
What is it?
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), also known as runner’s knee, is a movement-related ailment that affects the patellofemoral joint located between the kneecap (patella) and the thigh bone (femur). It is characterized by a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee, particularly during activities such as running, jumping, squatting, or using stairs.


What are symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain?

  • Aching pain in the front of the knee
  • Discomfort while sitting for prolonged periods
  • Sensation of grinding or popping in the knee joint

What causes Patellofemoral Pain?
The root causes of PFPS can vary from person to person. Biomechanical factors often play a role, such as:

  • Malalignment of the kneecap
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Issues with the feet
  • Overuse
  • Repetitive activities
  • Weak or tight muscles
  • Improper movement patterns

It’s important to note that the exact cause may differ for each individual.


What happens if it’s not treated?
If left untreated, PFPS can lead to persistent pain and discomfort, which can significantly limit mobility and activity levels. Without appropriate intervention, individuals might be forced to avoid activities they enjoy, and the condition could potentially worsen over time. Untreated PFPS might also lead to compensatory movement patterns, which can cause additional strain on other parts of the body.


What is the best treatment for Patellofemoral Pain?
The most effective treatment for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) involves comprehensive physiotherapy. This approach addresses the underlying causes through strength and conditioning exercises, manual therapy, tailored stretching, patient education, and personalized strategies. Clinics like Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy in Port Coquitlam provide patient-centric care to alleviate immediate pain, prevent recurrence, and restore active lifestyles.

Post-Surgical Healing
What is it?
Post-operative healing is far from uniform, diverging widely among individuals and frequently accompanied by physical discomfort and functional restrictions. In this context, physiotherapy emerges as a means to expedite recovery, reinstate functionality, and guide individuals back to a state of peak well-being.


What are symptoms of Post-Surgical Healing?

  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Discomfort
  • Decreased range of motion


What happens if it’s not treated?
If post-surgical recovery is not treated properly, it can lead to prolonged pain, reduced mobility, increased complications, and negative psychological effects.


What is the best treatment for Patellofemoral Pain?
The most effective treatment for post-surgical recovery involves a comprehensive approach, including personalized physiotherapy, pain management, patient education, psychological support, proper nutrition, rest, and consistent follow-up. This holistic strategy addresses physical and mental well-being, optimizing healing and facilitating a quicker return to normal activities.


What is it?
Sciatica is a condition characterized by a stinging or tingling sensation that originates from the irritation of the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the lower back and extends down each leg. The discomfort and pain associated with sciatica can range from mild and intermittent to severe and continuous.


What are symptoms of Sciatica?

  • Pain, tingling or numbness along sciatic nerve
  • Sharp, shooting pain
  • Constant ache or a combination of sensations

The severity and location of the symptoms can vary from person to person.

What causes Sciatica?
Sciatica can be caused by various conditions, including:

  • Herniated disc
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Piriformis syndrome


What happens if it’s not treated?
If left untreated, sciatica can lead to chronic pain and decreased quality of life. The ongoing irritation of the sciatic nerve can result in persistent discomfort, mobility limitations, and a reduced ability to perform daily activities. Long-term untreated sciatica might even result in muscle weakness and further complications related to nerve compression.

What is the best treatment for Sciatica?
The best treatment for sciatica involves personalized physiotherapy that focuses on strengthening muscles, improving flexibility, and addressing posture. This approach, as practiced at clinics like Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy in Port Coquitlam, aims to reduce pain, enhance mobility, and prevent future flare-ups, promoting a more comfortable and active lifestyle.

Tennis Elbow
What is it?
Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common condition characterized by pain and discomfort in the outer part of the elbow. It is an overuse injury that affects the tendons and muscles around the lateral epicondyle, which is the bony prominence on the outer part of the elbow.


What are symptoms of Tennis Elbow?

  • Pain & tenderness on outer side of elbow
  • Radiating pain down the forearm
  • Worsening pain with gripping, lifting, or twisting motions
  • Aggravated pain when extending the wrist against resistance
  • Weakness in forearm muscles
  • Difficulty in performing gripping tasks

What causes Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is primarily caused by repetitive and strenuous use of the forearm muscles and tendons. The repeated motion and strain can lead to small tears in the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle. Despite its name, tennis elbow can be caused by various activities beyond tennis, such as typing, using tools or playing other sports that involve repetitive wrist and forearm movements.


What happens if it’s not treated?
If tennis elbow is not treated, the condition can persist and worsen over time. The pain and discomfort can become chronic, affecting daily activities and decreasing overall functionality. In some cases, the damage to the tendons and muscles can progress, leading to more severe symptoms and potentially limiting the individual’s ability to engage in sports or work.

What is the best treatment for Tennis Elbow?
Treating tennis elbow effectively involves comprehensive physiotherapy, including tailored exercises, manual therapy, patient education, and gradual progression. This approach addresses pain relief, functional restoration, and ergonomic adjustments, ensuring gradual yet significant improvement over time.

What is it?
Vertigo is a condition characterized by a spinning sensation or a feeling of being off balance. It is often described as a false sense of movement, where the affected individual perceives themselves or their surroundings as spinning or moving when they are actually stationary.


What are symptoms of Vertigo?

  • Spinning sensation
  • Feeling off balance or unsteady
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Abnormal eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Sensation of floating or tilting

What causes Vertigo?

  • Inner ear disorders, such as BPPV, Meniere’s disease
  • Infections affecting the inner ear
  • Head injuries or concussions
  • Migraine-associated vertigo
  • Certain medications
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Changes in the vestibular system due to aging


What happens if it’s not treated?
If vertigo is not treated, it can significantly disrupt an individual’s everyday life. The symptoms of vertigo can lead to increased risk of falls, reduced mobility, difficulty performing daily activities, and decreased quality of life. Moreover, untreated underlying conditions that may be causing vertigo, such as inner ear disorders, could worsen over time and lead to additional complications.

What is the best treatment for Vertigo?
The most effective treatment for vertigo is physiotherapy, particularly vestibular rehabilitation. This approach focuses on compensation, training the body to rely on other senses, and adaptation, which involves controlled exposure to movements that provoke vertigo to help the brain adapt and reduce symptoms. At Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy in Port Coquitlam, we offer vestibular rehabilitation, creating personalized treatment plans, making use of non-invasive methods to restore balance and improve overall well-being.

What is it?
Vestibular disorders are a group of conditions that affect the inner ear and brain’s balance centers. The vestibular system, located in the inner ear and connected to the brain, is responsible for maintaining spatial orientation and balance. When this system malfunctions, often due to conditions like Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), patients experience symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, and coordination problems.


What are symptoms of Vestibular conditions?

  • Dizziness
  • Imbalance
  • Problems with coordination
  • Visual disturbances
  • Decreased balance and stability
  • Difficulty completing everyday tasks

What causes Vestibular conditions?
Vestibular disorders are caused by malfunctions in the vestibular system, which can be triggered by various conditions such as:

  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)


What happens if it’s not treated?
If not treated, vestibular disorders can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The symptoms of dizziness, imbalance, and disorientation can lead to limitations in daily activities, reduced mobility, increased risk of falls, and overall discomfort. In severe cases, these symptoms can even result in social isolation and a decreased ability to perform tasks that were once routine.

What is the best treatment for Vestibular conditions?
The best treatment for vestibular disorders is vestibular rehabilitation, a personalized exercise-based program that aims to promote compensation for inner ear deficits. This approach helps reduce symptoms and problems caused by vestibular disorders, and it often includes exercises like gaze stabilization, habituation, and balance training. Patient education is also crucial for better outcomes.

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Allison S.

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“I’ve been struggling with on and off back/shoulder pain for years. After a really bad spot I finally went to physio after ER doc suggested it and Dominic cut my pain levels in half on the first visit! Was a great experience. Location was very clean and inviting.”


Alejandro C.

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“Westcoast SCI has been fantastic. Aren S. has helped me not only manage and reduce my tendonitis but has gotten me on track to running my first race. It’s been a wonder being able to exercise pain free.”


Jacqueline P.

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“I would highly recommend Jelena Toma for anyone who needs physio. She’s very attentive to your pain and treats it accordingly. Respectful, caring and mostly honest. Thank you!”