Physical Therapy for Back & Neck Pain
Back pain is extremely common. Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. A survey from 2006 indicates that LBP is more associated with people who characterize their health status and lifestyle as “poor to fair”. Back pain has many causative factors including but not limited to, muscle strain, bad posture, poor overall fitness, abnormal lifting techniques and weak core muscles. These factors can cause both acute (sudden) and/or chronic back pain (persistent back pain that has been troublesome over time). Physical Therapy has been shown to be an effective approach in treating pain associated with these types of problems. Other more serious factors related to back pain could include but aren’t limited to, vertebral fracture, ruptured disk, and/or arthritis. Your physical therapist can help determine if further evaluation from your physician is required and will refer you out as medically necessary.
How Neck and Back Pain affects a person’s life
Back pain impacts the lives of thousands of Americans in the many ways including:
- Social activity - Making even basic social interactions significantly more difficult.
- Psychosocial well-being - Chronic back pain can wear you down not only physically but mentally as well. Living in a constant state of physical pain can negatively impact so many other aspects of your life.
- Physical activity - There are so many aspects of your lives that people without back and neck pain take for granted. Constant back pain or discomfort make even simple physical activity much harder. Things as basic as being able to maintain a home and a yard become nearly impossible.
- Work/life balance - People who struggle with back pain will often use the stamina they have to complete their job responsibilities. They do this so they can continue to provide for themselves and their family. However, by the time they complete their tasks for their employment, they can be left drained. When they return home, they can be left nearly immobilized. They spend their evenings trying to recover as much as possible so they can return to work in the mornings. This will often result in less meaningful time being spent with family and loves ones.
What Causes Back Pain?
Common causes of this condition include, but are not limited to:
- Poor lifting techniques
- Weak core muscles
- Muscle strain
- Poor sitting/standing posture
- Decreased spinal mobility
Physical Therapy for Back Pain
Our Physical Therapists at Pick PT are health professionals who are specially trained to assess and treat low back pain. If you have low back pain, you are not alone. At any given time, about 25% of people in the United States report having low back pain within the past 3 months. Common conditions that cause back pain are:
- Lumbar Cervical
- Bulging disc
- Lumbar radiculopathy
- Low back strains and sprains
- Lumbar degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar stenosis
- General weakness
Physical Therapy for Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by sudden trauma such as a fall, sports injury, or car accident, or by long-term problems in the spine. People with neck pain can have difficulty performing activities such as working, driving, playing sports, or simply turning their heads. The majority of neck pain episodes do not require surgery and respond best to physical therapy. Our physical therapists design individualized treatment programs to help people with neck pain reduce or eliminate pain. Common neck conditions we treat include but are not limited to the following:
- Cervical degenerative disc disease
- Cervical stenosis
- Post Op cervical surgery
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Neck strain
- Neck sprain
- General weakness
- Ankylosing spondylitis
What can Pick PT do to help?
The therapists at Pick PT are experts in the non-surgical treatment of spine injuries. We help patients recover using hands-on physical therapy and supervised, targeted exercise while also fending off future problems. At Pick PT we specialize in using the McKenzie approach to treating spinal injury. Our Physical Therapists are specialized and continually trained in this advanced approach and are able to utilize this technique to treat your back pain when deemed appropriate. Other tools often utilized by our Physical Therapists include customized and specific exercise programs with top of the line exercise equipment, manual therapy, stretching programs and modalities to help ease your pain and discomfort.
Who Can Benefit from Pick PT Spine Care?
If you have any of the following back or neck problems, you could benefit from spinal therapy.
- acute and chronic low back and neck pain
- muscle tension headaches
- pain extending into the arms or legs
- general arthritic spine complaints
- lumbar spinal stenosis
- work-related spine pain
We also offer post-surgical therapy, which is critical for quick and successful recovery from surgeries like laminectomy and fusion.
Low Back Pain FAQs
Q: What kind of outcome can I expect from back pain physical therapy?
A: Outcomes depend on many variables related to the underlying spine injury, motivation level and prior strength, flexibility and health status. In general, everyone eventually recovers from their LBP. With the help of a physical therapist, this pain can potentially be treated quicker and get you back to your normal daily life!
Q: What can I do to prevent low back pain?
A: Whether an injury has occurred or not, the most crucial component for a happy spine is always a strong core. Without good spine habits and body awareness, an injury can happen from an activity as simple and bending over to tie a shoe to more stressful heavy lifting. Without a strong core, our bodies don’t work efficiently and cause unneeded stress on the spine. Unfortunately, even the majority of people who do participate in some type of regular ab exercise do not demonstrate good control. This is where the eyes of a therapist can help find faulty movement patterns and retrain muscles to work in a way that will prevent further injury and promote healing of injured tissues. Additionally, leading a healthy lifestyle can lead to a decreased risk of low back injury and quicker recovery times if injury does occur. This can include but not limited to, no history of smoking, proper nutrition and adequate activity levels including frequent exercise as recommended by the American college of Sports Medicine.