Spinal pain physiotherapyBy Nigel Chua
Spinal pain includes neck and/or back pain. Up to six out of ten adults suffer from spinal pain every year. Of these six adults, 50% will develop long term (chronic) pain.
This means that 30% of adults have long term back pain or neck pain.
This may be surprising, but it has unfortunately become the norm. Spinal pain is often a result of issues with:
- back and neck discs
- back and neck joints
- back and neck muscles
- back and neck ligaments.
Most of the time it is directly linked to:
- trauma such as falls, direct blows/hits or motor vehicle accidents
- poor posture/poor postural habits
- repetitive strain injury.
Of course, there are other causes of spinal pain too, such as inflammation, or medical conditions such as:
- arthritis (e.g. juvenile arthritis, spondylosis)
- other progressive diseases that can affect the bones, muscles and joints of the spine.
SPINAL PAIN PHYSIOTHERAPY
Back and neck problems can cause sciatica, which means that the spinal nerve is being compressed somewhere along the spine, and this leads to
- back pain (including back strains and low back pain) and neck pain
- tingling down the buttocks, leg, ankle and foot.
Sciatica can be triggered even by very small everyday activities or movements, such as leaning forward to pick up your toothbrush or bag. In some cases, it may happen for no obvious reason at all (meaning that you can't connect a specific event to the pain, although there may have been something that triggered it that you're not aware of).
Sciatica can also be caused by a stretch injury. In some cases, sciatica may happen due to a muscle pressing against the nerve (see Piriformis Sciatica).
It usually affects one side of the leg/hamstrings, and patients often report experiencing tingling and tightness that travels (radiates) down the back of the thigh and sometimes to the front of the shin.
Phoenix Rehab senior physiotherapists are carefully selected to join the team, and they are experienced experts in assessing, diagnosing and treating back and neck problems that you or your loved ones may face.
SPINAL PAIN PHYSIOTHERAPY SYMPTOMS
Spinal physiotherapy treatments by senior physios are generally regarded as effective conservative management for your back and neck pain.
Treatments by our specialist senior physiotherapists will help to:
- decrease muscle spasms related to spinal pain
- relieve spinal nerve root compression caused by slipped discs
- treat secondary conditions caused by compression of the sciatic nerve.
Other than treating the symptoms of pain, discomfort and nerve symptoms (such as radiating sensation/tingling), we provide our patients with customized back exercises to effectively strengthen their core and back muscles. This helps to build stable supporting muscles.
Research shows that specific exercise therapy prescribed by qualified and experienced specialist physiotherapists is vital in the successful management and treatment of spine-related pains.
SPINAL PAIN PHYSIOTHERAPY TREATMENTS
Our specialist spine physiotherapists are experts in assessing and treating spinal conditions.
One of the most important things for patients to note is that spinal problems can be prevented from occurring or recurring by regular training to keep the back and core muscles strong but flexible.
Spinal physiotherapy treatments may include:
- hands-on manipulation and mobilization (manual therapy)
- computerized decompression spinal traction physiotherapy
- soft tissue management
- cold therapy
- heat packs and heat treatments to relieve tight muscles and joints
- ultrasound therapy to accelerate soft tissue healing
- exercise therapy
- acupuncture or dry needling
- deep tissue release.
If you have any back or neck pain, or you know someone who does, do consider seeing our specialist spine physiotherapist. You may even prevent the need for back or neck surgery with early spinal physiotherapy intervention.
Do not hesitate or wait for it to go away - pain is a normal response from our body to signal to us that there is an issue to resolve - and the earlier we address it, the faster it'll be resolved. If you delay, it may become worse and progress into something more serious that may take much more time to resolve.