Did you know that studies say approximately 90% of people will be plagued by back or neck pain at some point in their lives? While it is a common complaint, it can sometimes be difficult to determine where the pain is originating on your own.
Sometimes pain in one area can travel to another part of the body. For example, if your pain is originating in your back or neck, it can sometimes also be felt in the head, arms, or legs. As pain progresses, it is possible for it to travel further from where it is rooted. Fortunately, physical therapy can help you manage your pain, and in many cases, eliminate it altogether. To find our how our advanced physical therapy methods can benefit you, contact Advance Physical & Aquatic Therapy today.
The benefits of physical therapy:
Physical therapy for back pain and neck pain is focused on the structures that support the spine. This includes the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. Your treatment will include both active and passive forms of physical therapy, in order to achieve optimum relief, function, and injury prevention for the future.
Active physical therapy for neck and back pain typically includes specific exercises, stretches, adjustments, in order to manage or relieve your pain altogether. In some cases, aquatic therapy may be recommended, as the buoyancy of water takes pressure off of the cervical and lumbar spine while you’re performing the exercises.
Passive physical therapy includes different modalities, such as massage therapy, ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrotherapy. Massage therapy is used to reduce pain and relax the muscles. Ice or heat therapies help to reduce swelling and pain, in addition to increasing blood flow for healing. With electrotherapy, electrical impulses are sent to the sensory nerves, in order to alter pain signals. It’s a mildly warm sensation that reduces pain and relaxes muscles.
How can I get started?
Before your physical therapy treatments even start, a physical therapist will perform an examination to determine the root cause of your back or neck pain. A strength test will be performed and a goniometer may be used to measure your range of motion. You will be asked to perform certain tasks in order to determine your functional mobility.
Spinal mobility will be also measured through palpation, in order to locate sore or tight muscles. Your full medical history will be evaluated, in addition to your symptoms, in order to determine the nature and severity of your condition. Once your examination is complete, your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan that will target the cause of your back or neck pain and focus on providing relief.
What will my treatment plan look like?
There are several different causes of back and neck pain, which is why our dedicated physical therapists take the time to design an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Some of the most common conditions leading to back and neck pain are:
- Sprains and strains. It’s not uncommon for athletes to incur sprains and strains to the neck or back regions when engaging in sports.
- Sudden traumas or injuries. Sudden damage to the neck or back, such as a sports collision or whiplash, may result in back or neck pain.
- Improper posture. Poor posture can cause unnecessary strains on the back and neck, resulting in pain and discomfort.
- Disc herniation. A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like material of the disc bulges or leaks out.
- Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” on the facet joints, which causes friction when bending. This can also result in a pinched nerve root, which can cause sciatica.
- Degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease occurs when there is “wear and tear” on the spinal discs.
Whatever the cause of your back or neck pain may be, physical therapy can help. If you’ve been limited by pain, contact one of our two PA offices today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and caring physical therapists. Don’t let your pain dictate your life – seek treatment today to relieve your condition and live comfortably once again!