Spine/Musculoskeletal Conditions – Details

Neck pain Pain in the neck region that may be chronic or from an injury. Neck pain may also be called cervical pain.

Back pain Pain in the upper, middle or lower back. May be referred to as cervical pain (upper back/neck), thoracic pain (middle back), or lumbar pain (lower back). This may be chronic pain or from a recent injury.

Sacral pain/SI pain Pain in the area of the sacrum or sacroiliac (SI) joint. The sacrum is a bone that is at the bottom of the spine and sits between the hip bones. Pain can occur when the attachments between the sacrum and the hip bones are misaligned or inflamed. This can occur for many reasons including injury, pregnancy or muscle weakness.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) Degenerative disc disease is degeneration of the intervertebral discs of the spine. Although disc degeneration is a normal part of aging, for some people it may cause severe pain and greatly affect quality of life. Disc degeneration may occur anywhere along the spine from the neck to the low back. Pain may be constant or may increase with specific movements such as bending, twisting, sitting or walking. Physical therapy treatment is often successful in treating and helping to alleviate the symptoms of DDD.

Scoliosis Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. It can cause muscular pain or nerve impingement that physical therapy may help to alleviate.

Tailbone pain/Coccydynia Pain in the area of the tailbone, also called the coccyx. This bone is at the very bottom of the spine, attached to the sacrum. Pain can occur when the coccyx is displaced. This can happen for a variety of reasons including injury or during pregnancy/childbirth.

Piriformis syndrome Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks as well as referred pain along the course of the sciatic nerve down the leg. The piriformis muscle lies underneath the glute muscles in the buttocks, and attaches on one side at the sacrum, and the other at the top of the femur.

Sciatica Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve is compressed, irritated or injured. It causes a variety of symptoms that may include pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the lower back, buttocks, leg and foot along the path of the sciatic nerve.
Causes of sciatica vary and can include: spinal disc herniation, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, pregnancy, or poor posture/body mechanics.

Groin/Pubic pain Pain in the area of the groin or pubic area. This pain may be muscular and result from injury, weakness or excess tension on the muscles. Pubic pain may also result from dysfunction of the pubic symphysis, a cartilage disc that joins the two pubic bones together.

Rib pain Pain in the area of the ribs either on the front (anterior) of the body or back (posterior) of the body. The ribs should move in a coordinated way during breathing and body movements. When the ribs are not moving normally, or there has been an injury, pain may result.

Hip pain Pain in the area of the hip. This pain may be specifically at the hip joint, or can occur anywhere along the hip bones. Reasons for pain in the hip area vary, but may be the result of injury, muscle weakness, muscle spasm or bursitis.

Knee pain Pain in the area of the knees. This may be the result of an injury, it may have had a more gradual onset, or physical therapy may be needed post-surgery.

Ankle/Foot pain Pain in the ankle or foot. The pain may be the result of an injury such as a sprain, it may have had a more gradual onset, or physical therapy may be needed post-surgery.

Plantar fasciitis Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the fascia on the bottom of the foot – the plantar fascia – is irritated and inflamed. This band of tissue stretches from the heel to the toes. Pain is often worse in the morning and gradually gets better as the day progresses. The most intense pain is usually at the heel. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, during pregnancy, and is also associated with wearing unsupportive shoes.

Headaches Headaches and migraine headaches vary in their presentation and intensity, and have a variety of causes. They may stem from musculoskeletal problems, tense muscles, allergies, stress, or a variety of other reasons. The goal of Physical Therapy is to remove any soft tissue or musculoskeletal causes for the headaches. Treatment may include CranioSacral Therapy, exercise, muscle re-education and postural re-education.

Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that is characterized by chronic widespread pain, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances and general fatigue. The symptoms may vary in intensity on a daily basis. The goal of Physical Therapy for Fibromyalgia is to improve quality of life and assist in management of symptoms.

Source: National Fibromyalgia Association www.fmaware.org.

TMJ dysfunction TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is located on either side of the head at the point where the jawbone meets the skull. This joint allows for talking, chewing and yawning. When TMJ dysfunction occurs, symptoms may include: pain or tenderness in the jaw area, headaches, difficulty or pain while chewing, locking of the joint, pain in the facial area, or an uncomfortable bite.Physical therapy for TMJ dysfunction addresses any musculoskeletal problems that may be causing the pain, and may include relaxation techniques and home exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding this area.

Source: www.mayoclinic.com

Thoracic Outlet syndrome Thoracic Outlet syndrome may occur when the blood vessels or nerves that travel from the neck down to the arm become compressed in the area between the collarbone and first rib. Symptoms may include numbness or tingling in the arm or fingers, pain or aching in the shoulder area or arm, and/or a weakened grip.

Frozen shoulder Frozen shoulder is a condition during which the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful to move. This condition may also be called adhesive capsulitis. This condition often begins with pain in the joint, and pain may decrease as mobility of the joint decreases and it becomes “frozen.” Physical therapy helps to gradually increase movement and strength in the affected shoulder joint.

Source: www.mayoclinic.com

Elbow pain Pain experienced in the elbow. This may be on either side of the joint or may also be called tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. The pain may be the result of an injury or may have had a more gradual onset.

Carpal tunnel Carpal tunnel syndrome has a variety of symptoms that may include: aching in the wrist, hand and/or forearm; tingling or numbness in the hand and fingers, especially the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers; pain that radiates from the wrist up to the arm; and a sense of weakness in the hand. The carpal tunnel is a structure in the wrist, about the diameter of the thumb, that protects the main nerve of the hand – the median nerve – as well as the tendons of the fingers. When the median nerve within the carpal tunnel is compressed, it results in carpal tunnel syndrome. This can occur from repetitive use, injury, or from fluid retention such as may occur during pregnancy.

Source: www.mayoclinic.com

Wrist/Hand pain Pain experienced in the hand or wrist. This may be the result of an injury, may have had a gradual onset, or physical therapy may be needed post-surgery.

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