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Back and neck pain are extremely common conditions that many people struggle with over the course of their lives. According to the National Institute of Health, back pain is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.
Unfortunately, it’s not always an easy task to pinpoint the exact source of the pain you’re feeling in your neck or back. Pain can often radiate into your arms, legs, and head.
Oftentimes people end up paying for expensive surgeries to find relief or falling back on addictive medication that can cause harmful health effects later in life. However, there is another solution for back and neck pain: physical therapy!
What Physical Therapy Does For Neck & Back Pain:
There are many different techniques in physical therapy for targeting neck and back pain. Physical therapy for these conditions is focused on the structures supporting the spine. These include the tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. Typically, physical therapists include stretches, exercises, and adjustments to relieve neck and back pain.
Some therapists even use aquatic exercises to make therapy even smoother. Aquatic therapy is helpful because the buoyancy of water takes pressure off of the cervical and lumbar spine while you’re performing the exercises.
Passive physical therapy also includes a variety of modalities like heat or ice therapy, massage therapy, electrotherapy, and ultrasound therapy. Heat or ice therapy can increase blood circulation to speed up the healing process and reduce swelling and inflammation. Massage therapy will relax muscles to reduce pain.
With electrotherapy, electrical pulses are sent directly into sensory nerves to prevent the pain signals from reaching your brain. Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to penetrate deep into tissues and provide a soothing sensation to affected areas.
How will a physical therapist help me?
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.
Your physical therapist will conduct a thorough examination to pinpoint the root cause of your back or neck pain. He or she may use a tool called a goniometer to measure your range of motion. They will also most likely perform a strength test on you.
Spinal mobility will be measured along with palpation to locate sore or tight muscles. Your physical therapist will also ask you to complete certain tasks in order to figure out what your functional mobility levels are.
Your physical therapist will take a look at your medical history as well to see if there are any factors that might correlate to the pain you’re currently feeling, such as recent injuries or surgeries. During this time, you can discuss the things that you are now not able to do as a result of any past injuries you might have sustained.
Why is a treatment plan so important in physical therapy?
Your physical therapist will create a customized treatment plan that is specific to your pain levels and needs. This treatment plan might be different for you than it would be for someone else, since the cause of your back or neck pain can vary.
For example, you might be experiencing pain because of a herniated disc, a degenerative disc disease, whiplash from an auto accident, a sports injury, arthritis or poor posture.
A few conditions that could be the root cause of the pain you’re feeling are as follows:
- A herniated disc: This condition occurs when the gel-like material of the disc bulges or leaks out.
- Degenerative disc disease: This condition occurs when there is wear and tear on the discs.
- Osteoarthritis: Arthritis is developed due to wear and tear on the facet joints. This causes friction when bending, can result in pinching a nerve root, or in sciatica.
- Strains & sprains: This is a very common issue that sends people straight to a physical therapist. It is not uncommon for athletes to incur sprains and strains to the neck or back regions when engaging in sports that require aggressive overuse of a body part or muscle.
Call today to find help for your condition
Neck and back pain is absolutely not easy to deal with no matter what age you are! The good news? Physical therapy has been proven to help with neck pain or back pain regardless of its root cause. It’s a totally safe, natural, and effective mode of treatment for anyone looking to avoid expensive surgeries or harmful medications.
If you’re suffering from neck pain or back pain, call our office today to see how physical therapy can help get back to living a pain-free life. Our physical therapists are certified and waiting for you; they’ve helped many others and you’re next in line!
Give our office a call today, and learn how we can get you on the path to recovery. There’s no reason to suffer in pain when we have the solution right here!