Are you suffering from back pain or another musculoskeletal condition?

Every day, our team of practitioners help people overcome their back pain, neck pain, sciatica and many other musculoskeletal problems. Located in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG), the Freud Clinic has been regarded as a trusted referral source by alternative and medical health practitioners for resolving a wide variety of neurological, muscular and joint condition for over 20 years.

On this page...

  • Is your problem musculoskeletal?
  • Types of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Who should you consult for your musculoskeletal problem?
  • Information about consulting us
  • Further reading on back pain and musculoskeletal conditions
  • Appendix: List of musculoskeletal conditions we see

Musculoskeletal conditions affect the body’s muscles, bones and related tissues. They are a major source of pain and disability across the world and contribute to significant emotional health issues as well. If you are suffering with back pain, neck pain or other musculoskeletal problems, you are no doubt familiar with how it can place limits on your normal functioning and have negative effects your mood and relationships.

Is your problem musculoskeletal?

Understanding musculoskeletal disorders

Everything eventually wears down or breaks down, and our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints are no exception. It’s well known that the risk of musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders increases as we get older. In fact, about one out of two adults, and near three of four people over 65 years old, suffer with the aches and pains related to MSK issues.

These problems typically arise from sudden injuries (car accident, sports, improper lifting, falls, etc.), repetitive movements, poor posture and/or lack of activity.

While the severity of symptoms may vary, the most common ones that patients experience are:

  • Pain: Soreness, achiness, tenderness, stabbing sensation, discomfort, burning
  • Inflammation: Swelling, throbbing, skin redness, warmth
  • Limited movement: Stiffness, spasms, difficulty moving, restricted feeling
  • Nerve involvement: Numbness, tingling, shooting sensations, muscle weakness, atrophy
  • Energy: Fatigue, sleep disturbances

Types of musculoskeletal disorders

Various factors may be contributing to your symptoms

Alignment issues

Like a system of interlocking gears, your body is designed to have a specific alignment to function well. Poor posture can cause your joints to wear out more quickly (osteoarthritis), demand your muscles to work harder, compress nerves and make you more at risk for injury and pain syndromes. We often see spinal misalignments related to neck pain and low back pain.


Our muscles are anchored to our skeleton and contract to provide movement. A strain, often referred to as a “pulled muscle,” involves an overworked or torn muscle. This most commonly occurs in the lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring (behind your thigh).


Ligaments are like tape that hold our bones together. A sprain occurs when a joint is suddenly forced outside of its usual range of motion causing a ligament to tear or overstretch. A classic example is a misstep causing a “sprained ankle.” Other common sprained areas include the neck (whiplash), knee (ACL injury), wrist and hand.


A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac that sits between a muscle or tendon and a boney surface. It allows for smooth gliding of tissues during muscle contraction. A bursa can become irritated due to improper mechanics and cause inflammation: bursitis. Bursitis is most typically seen in the shoulder, hips (trochanteric bursitis), elbow (olecranon bursitis) and knees (prepatellar bursitis).


A tendon is a tough cord extension from a muscle that anchors into bone. With overuse or injury, a tendon may become irritated and inflamed. Common areas of tendonitis include the shoulder (rotator cuff), elbow (tennis elbow) and ankle (Achilles tendinitis). When a tendon and its synovial sheath envelope become inflamed, we call this “tenosynovitis,” typically seen in the hand.

Disc derangement

Cartilage pads function as a cushion between bones. In the spine, intervertebral discs may degenerate, bulge, protrude or herniate and may be associated with neck pain, back pain and nerve compression. In the knee, a meniscus may be torn. In the jaw joint, a disc may become pinched causing a TMJ syndrome.

Nerve compression/pinched nerve

Poor posture, disc herniation, arthritis and muscle imbalances can put pressure on nerves that travel in your body. Symptoms may be close to or far away from the source of the problem. For instance, a sciatic pain felt shooting down your leg may be coming from a tight buttock muscle (piriformis syndrome) or a lumbar disc herniation in the low back. Numbness felt in the hand may be coming from a carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist or a slouched posture affecting nerves originating in the neck.

The first step in relieving pain and restoring proper function is to get a clear understanding of the cause of your problem. An assessment of your occupation, exercise habits, daily postures and general lifestyle, as well as your past medical history, help identify the factors that may have contributed to the onset. A proper exam establishes the specific tissues that have been affected and reveals the most effective treatment approach to be followed.

Who should you consult for your musculoskeletal problem?

Choosing the best approach for you

The list of health professionals trained to help alleviate musculoskeletal conditions is almost as long as the number MSK conditions that exist.

Indeed, there’s no shortage of people you can consult. But, who’s approach will you respond best to? Here is our advice…

First, get a diagnosis:

While most causes of back pain and MSK conditions are relatively nonthreatening, some may be associated with more serious problems. Medical physicians and chiropractors are the most highly trained primary contact doctors permitted to detect red flags and make a diagnosis. To determine the source of your problem, we recommend consulting a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of chiropractic (DC) to undergo a thorough examination. With a diagnosis in hand, the best treatment options can be discussed.

Treatment options:

There are many therapies available in Montreal that may help you and it is difficult to give general advice as to which one will work best for your specific case. Nonetheless, we have written a simple guideline to help you, based on current scientific research and our multidisciplinary experience:

  • Medication: Over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs may be helpful in acute situations to help reduce inflammation and block pain. Because these may have negative interactions with other drugs and may be linked to potentially dangerous side-effects with long-term use, we recommend to be followed by a medical doctor if you are taking medication.
  • Chiropractic: A chiropractor uses a variety of manual techniques that help relax tight muscles and improve joint motion. This reduces pain and improves movement. In scientific trials comparing the effectiveness of different therapies for low back pain, chiropractic tops the list. If you are experiencing back pain, our advice is to consider chiropractic first, especially if you have never consulted a chiropractor before.
  • Osteopathy: An osteopath uses techniques to influence the body tissues and how they function together. Because of its integrative approach, if you are also suffering from organ issues (breathing, digestion, painful menstruation, etc.), our advice is to try osteopathy first.
  • Massage therapy: With a focus on relaxation, massage is a great way to relieve muscle tension. If you are attracted to a manual technique to help you relieve stress, our advice is to try massotherapy.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncturists view the body as having meridians within which energy can get blocked at specific points. Thin needles are inserted in these areas to help improve energy and reduce pain. This method may interest you if you prefer not to have manual therapy.
  • Physical therapy: Physiotherapists use a variety of manual, electric and exercise modalities. If you are attracted to electric therapies, consider consulting a physiotherapist.

Information about consulting us

You can schedule an appointment by calling us (514-483-3444), emailing us or booking online.

If you are not sure what therapy to select for your back pain or other musculoskeletal problem, consider these options:

  • Call us (514-483-3444) to schedule a complimentary phone call to discuss your case with one of our practitioners.
  • Email us a description of your symptoms and what you’ve tried. We will get back to you with advice on what may work best for you. We’ll tell you which of our services you may benefit most from (chiropractic, osteopathy, massage therapy) or refer you to another clinic if it’s in your best interest.

Appendix: List of musculoskeletal disorders we see

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Arthritis
  • Coccyx/tailbone pain (coccydynia)
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Disc Bulge
  • Disc Herniation
  • DISH
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Failed Back Surgical Syndrome
  • Hyperkyphosis
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Lumber sprain
  • Lumbar strain
  • Mechanical back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pinched nerve
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Pregnancy Back Pain
  • Radiculopathy
  • Retrolisthesis
  • Rib Subluxation
  • Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain
  • Scheuermann’s Disease
  • Scoliosis
  • Short Leg
  • Slouched posture
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylosis
  • Stenosis
  • Arthritis
  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Cervical sprain
  • Cervical strain
  • Cervicogenic Headaches
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Disc Bulge
  • Disc Herniation
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Head forward posture
  • Hypolordosis
  • Loss of cervical curve
  • Mechanical neck pain
  • Military neck
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pinched nerve
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Radiculopathy
  • Spondylosis
  • Stenosis
  • “Text neck”
  • Whiplash
  • Arthritis
  • Clicking jaw
  • Disc problem
  • Jaw deviation
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
  • Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Injury
  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Arthritis
  • Biceps Tendonitis
  • Brachial plexus lesion
  • Calcific Tendonitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Rotator Cuff Dysfunction
  • Scapular dyskinesia
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Shoulder instability
  • Shoulder sprain
  • Shoulder strain
  • Shoulder tendinitis
  • Shoulder tendonitis
  • Sternoclavicular joint dysfunction
  • Subacromial pain syndrome
  • Supraspinatus tear
  • Supraspinatus Tendinopathy
  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Elbow bursitis
  • Elbow instability
  • Elbow sprain
  • Elbow strain
  • Elbow tendinitis
  • Elbow tendonitis
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Arthritis
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Elbow bursitis
  • Elbow instability
  • Elbow sprain
  • Elbow strain
  • Elbow tendinitis
  • Elbow tendonitis
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • DeQuervains Tenosynovitis
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture
  • Ganglion Cysts
  • Hand sprain
  • Hand strain
  • Hand tendinitis
  • Hand tendonitis
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Skier’s Thumb
  • Trigger Finger
  • Wrist instability
  • Wrist sprain
  • Wrist strain
  • Wrist tendinitis
  • Wrist tendonitis
  • Femoral Acetabular Impingement
  • Femoral Nerve Root Pain
  • Hamstring Tendinopathy
  • Hip bursitis
  • Hip instability
  • Hip sprain
  • Hip strain
  • Hip tendinitis
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Sciatica
  • Snapping Hip Syndrome
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Chondromalacia
  • Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Knee bursitis
  • Knee instability
  • Knee sprain
  • Knee strain
  • Knee tendinitis
  • Knee tendonitis
  • Lateral Collateral ligament (LCL) Injury
  • Lateral meniscus Injury
  • Medial Collateral ligament (MCL) Injury
  • Medial meniscus Injury
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Runner’s knee
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Ankle instability
  • Ankle sprain
  • Ankle strain
  • Ankle tendinitis
  • Ankle tendonitis
  • Flat feet (fallen arches)
  • Foot instability
  • Foot sprain
  • Foot strain
  • Foot tendinitis
  • Foot tendonitis
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain
  • Difficulty breast-feeding
  • Discomfort after birth
  • Ensuring proper pelvic alignment
  • Pelvic pain during pregnancy
  • Sciatica related to pregnancy
  • Asthma
  • Bedwetting (enuresis)
  • Colic, persistent crying
  • Neurological development
  • Pain related to ear infections
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Post-birth examination
  • Torticollis