What causes neck and back pain?
Spine pain can come from various causes including the intevertebral discs, spinal ligaments, nerves, muscles, facet joints, etc.
Pain can be caused by trauma (e.g., motor vehicle accidents, falls, etc.) or may begin insidiously after a simple task such as bending over to tie shoelaces.
Posture is a major contributing factor to spinal pain, especially for people in sedentary occupations (e.g. secretarial work, truck drivers, accountant) Simple measures can be taken to improve posture, which in turn will decrease strain on the neck and back and alleviate symptoms.
In conjunction with postural deficits, many people have a strength imbalance in the major muscle groups, leading to increased loading on the spine.
Where do I feel the pain?
Most commonly pain is experienced close to the spinal column, either centrally or off to one side. In some cases pain may travel into the arms or legs, and may be accompanied by muscle weakness, loss of sensation and or “pins and needles”.
Which spine diagnoses can benefit from Physical Therapy?
Many diagnoses of spinal pain are appropriate for physical therapy, including but not limited to, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, sprains/strains, herniated discs, spoldylolisthesis, sciatica, scoliosis and what some call, “pinched nerve”.
What type of treatment will I receive for my spinal pain?
The Therapy Network has highly trained spine specialists in the fields of Manual Therapy and McKenzie Therapy.
Therapists trained in advanced joint mobilizations will identity joint motion changes in the spinal column. Once identified, a hypo mobile or “stiff” joint is stretched to restore joint mobility. If a hyper mobile or “loose” joint is identified, a therapeutic exercise program is developed to provide greater support to the injured spinal segment.
Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy is a movement based examination and treatment program. It requires minimal use of traditional “modalities” with an emphasis on patient education, self treatment and prevention of recurrence. This type of therapy is especially useful for spinal pain that has referred into the extremities.
Frequently, a combination of the two approaches in conjunction with a strengthening program will be utilized to assist the recovery of spinal function.
Ask your doctor about physical therapy for spine pain. If your doctor would like more information, have them contact The Therapy Network’s training department to talk to someone who can get information to them.