Back and neck pain are two of the most common types of discomfort to affect the musculoskeletal system, which are the network of bones, muscles and connective tissues that give our body shape and movement. There can be a huge number of reasons why someone can experience back and neck pain, and the severity of the effects can vary too.
Some people will experience back and/or neck pain mildly and infrequently, while others will suffer from chronic discomfort that requires them to take strong pain medications and severely affects their quality of life.
Fortunately, physical therapy provides you with an alternative to conventional medicines, being able to drastically reduce your symptoms and improve your mobility so that you can start living life to the full again.
Back and neck pain can be caused by everything from injury to illness. Some of the most common causes include:
Lumbar disc herniation
Degenerative disc disease
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Your physical therapist will be able to assess your condition using a physical exam, along with any other testing that they feel is necessary. These could include x-rays, MRI testing, or even blood tests.
Physical therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for both back and neck pain. There are various techniques that can be used, including passive and active treatments that are designed to relieve your pain and restore movement. Some of the techniques that could be recommended for you could include:
Deep Tissue Massage. This technique is used to target muscle tension, releasing it from your soft tissues to reduce pressure and tightness that could be causing discomfort.
Exercises. Your physical therapist will use various exercises to work on your flexibility, strength, stability, and range of motion to reduce your discomfort and improve how easily and comfortably you can maintain certain positions and move around. You will perform these in your sessions, as well as at home to progress your treatment.
Hot/Cold Therapies. Hot therapies can help to increase circulation, sending blood, oxygen and nutrients to the area that requires healing and removing waste products from the body. Meanwhile, cold therapies can be used to slow circulation, which reduces inflammation and muscle spasms, eliminating pain.
Every patient is different, and your physical therapist will talk you through the recommended techniques for you and what you can expect to achieve through your treatment.
Some of the benefits most associated with physical therapy for back and neck pain include:
Reduction in your pain, with many people finding that they no longer need to take pain medications, or their reliance on them is drastically reduced.
Building strength in your back or neck, which could help to prevent future injuries.
Improving your range of motion, which makes it easier and more comfortable for you to move around.
A non-invasive treatment, with no incisions and no need for anesthetic.
Enhanced quality of life, enabling you to return to your usual routine much more quickly.
For more information about physical therapy for back and neck pain, call our office today at 516-217-2189