Neck & Back Pain…Can Physical Therapy Help?
Yes! Spine pain is the number one orthopedic reason people visit their physician. The causes of spine pain are diverse and dependent on several factors including lifestyle, injury or trauma, the length of time a person has had pain or re-occurring symptoms and past medical history. Many times a conservative regiment of physical therapy can aid in quicker recovery and a return to prior functional status. Common diagnoses that may benefit from therapy include but are not limited to: herniated discs, sciatica, ligament or muscle strains/sprains, osteoporosis, degenerative joint or disc disease, arthritis, scoliosis.
What is a Typical Treatment for Spinal Pain?
Depending on your diagnosis and deficits found during your initial evaluation, your individualized physical therapy plan will include a combination of manual therapy, core strengthening, postural re-education, stretching & mobilization including Mulligan and McKenzie based treatment approaches.
Manual Therapy: This “hands-on” portion of therapy can include a number of techniques. All techniques are geared toward decreasing pain, normalizing joint movement and overall spinal movement, increasing circulation to dysfunctional tissue & decreasing healing time, improving spinal alignment/symmetry and improving surrounding muscle function.
Core Strengthening: A common finding in many people seeking physical therapy is “core” weakness of the muscles providing stability for the back including the abdominals and lumbar musculature. Providing therapeutic exercise and strengthening to the identified weak muscles can create better support for the back and decrease pain. Strengthening can also give added support to hyper mobile joints.
Postural Re-education: Postural dysfunction can be a contributor to spinal pain. Exercises geared toward enhancing postural awareness can not only improve spinal alignment but give the patient an improved way to move for daily activities.
Stretching & Mobilization: “Tight” muscles or restricted joints can be addressed during therapy sessions. The Mulligan and McKenzie based theories used in our clinics make for an easy transition to home exercises that can help the person control pain away from the clinic. This not only empowers the person in pain, but allows for quicker results.