Many people have back pain and neck pain. As a matter of fact, studies reveal that 90 percent of people will experience either back pain or neck pain at least once in their lives. It’s not always easy to isolate those regions of the body that are causing back pain or neck pain. Pain can radiate to the arms, legs and even the head. Each episode of pain can progress more, last longer and travel further from its origin. If you figure out the cause, you may wind up needing pain management or even surgery.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Back Pain and Neck Pain
Physical therapy for back pain and neck pain is focused on the structures that support the spine, including ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints. Some types of active physical therapy for neck and back pain include specific stretches, exercises, adjustments and even aquatic exercise. 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 ice and heat therapy, massage therapy, electrotherapy and ultrasound. Ice or heat therapy increases blood flow for healing, reduces swelling and pain and loosens up stiff muscles. Massage therapy relaxes muscles and helps reduce pain. With electrotherapy, electrical impulses are sent to the sensory nerves to alter pain signals. It’s a mildly warm sensation that reduces pain and relaxes muscles.
A Physical Therapist for Neck and Back Pain
Before treatment even begins, a physical therapist will perform an examination to determine the root cause of your back or neck pain. A goniometer may be used to measure your range of motion. A strength test will also be performed. Spinal mobility will be measured along with palpation to locate sore or tight muscles. A full medical history will be taken in addition to your symptoms. You can discuss the things that you are now not able to do. A physical therapist will also ask you to perform certain tasks in order to determine your functional mobility. In sum, a full assessment of your physical condition will be done, and a personalized treatment plan will be created to target the cause of your back or neck pain.
Why a Specific Treatment Plan Is Developed
A specific treatment plan is developed since the cause of your back or neck pain can vary. It may be due to disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, a sports injury, whiplash, osteoarthritis or poor posture. A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like material of the disc bulges or leaks out. Degenerative disc disease occurs when there is wear and tear on the discs. Osteoarthritis is wear and tear on the facet joints and can cause friction when bending, pinch a nerve root and result in sciatica. And it’s not uncommon for athletes to incur sprains and strains to the neck or back regions when engaging in sports.
The good news is that physical therapy has been proven to help with neck pain or back pain regardless of its root cause. If you’re suffering from neck pain or back pain, call our office today to see how physical therapy can help get you back in the game and live a pain-free life. Our physical therapists are certified and experienced. They’ve helped many others and can help you too.