Most people experience low back pain or neck pain at some point in their lives.
According to a survey conducted by the APTA, close to 40% of adults say low back pain has affected their ability to engage in their everyday activities, exercise, and sleep. Neck pain affects about half as many people. And while many feel that back and neck pain are more likely to affect active people, sedentary people are also, if not more so, at risk: In fact, more than 50% of Americans who experience back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting.
What many people don’t realize about neck & back pain:
- Most pain is preventable
- Can usually be healed non-surgically
- Pain rarely becomes a chronic problem if treated properly.
Most often, neck & back pain are due to faulty posture, overuse, strain, or an acute injury; and can be effectively and quickly resolved with proper physical therapy care. More rarely, spinal pain is caused by a more serious condition such as a herniated disc, degenerative changes or arthritis. Even in those instances, physical therapy, especially if done early on, may significantly or even fully alleviate symptoms and restore functional spinal health. Sometimes, physical therapy can be combined with other interventions such as injections for optimal recovery. In a minority of cases where surgery is unavoidable, physical therapy beforehand can prepare you for your procedure to increase your chances of a successful operation; and, after surgery, physical therapy is instrumental in the rehabilitation process.
Our Approach at Pro-Health:
Determining the cause of a patient’s neck or back pain is a critical first step. It is the most important part of any successful treatment. This goes well beyond identifying the structure or joint that is in pain. We need to identify any contributing factors (such as muscle weakness, flexibility imbalances, abnormal joint motion, poor postural habits, etc.) which may have triggered your problem. If all contributing factors are not identified and treated/corrected, your neck or back pain is likely to reoccur, or even worse, deteriorate.
With a very skilled physical therapist who will take one full hour to evaluate you at your first session, we will be able to thoroughly assess you going beyond the obvious symptoms. With a detailed clinical picture, a complete treatment plan can be devised.
Your treatment plan will be tailored to you and will include a combination of:
- Manual therapy to improve, and when possible, restore, the mobility of joints and soft tissues.
- Neuro-muscular training to irestore proper movement and relieve nerve pressure.
- Education about how to take better care of your neck and your back; including postural modifications (often small changes can have a big impact!) and ergonomic assessments.
- Key exercises to strengthen your core and stabilize your posture: strong trunk muscles provide support for the spine, while strong arm and leg muscles help take some of the workloads off of the spinal joints.
- Flexibility exercises to address any muscle and neural flexibility limitations.
- Fitness program: this has been proven to help relieve pain while promoting a healthy body weight.
- Modalities including cold laser, ultrasound, spinal traction, electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, biofeedback, diathermy, as well as ice and heat, can be used in your treatments to promote healing, decrease pain, minimize inflammation, decompress spinal joints, administer medication, and re-educate muscles.