Back and neck pain can occur for a variety of causes. Back and neck pain can be mild to severe, and it may be accompanied by other symptoms. Fortunately, physical therapy can help you get rid of back and neck discomfort and get back to enjoying a pain-free life.
Muscle strains, which can arise as a result of a cervical herniated disc, cervical degenerative disc disease, or cervical osteoarthritis, are the most common causes of neck pain. Back pain can be caused by anything that causes the structure of the spine to alter, such as lumbar disc herniation, lumbar degenerative disc disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, or osteoarthritis.
You don’t need to continue living in constant pain and discomfort, especially when there are resources available to you to help you feel better. Relieve your back and neck pain today by contacting our office to schedule a consultation at Integrated Physical Therapy.
How pain in the spine is connected to your neck
We don’t typically think about it, but we use our spines for many of our daily activities. Even simple things, such as turning to grab something out of the cupboard or looking over your shoulder, requires the interaction of the entire spinal joints, muscles, and nerves.
Your spine is connected through a series of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints where movement in one region influences movements in another. As with any type of interconnected system, breakdowns can happen at any time. This is why dysfunction in one area can lead to pain in the other.
Pain in your back and/or spine can range from a mild, dull, annoying ache to persistent, severe, and disabling pain. Often the pain in your back or neck restricts mobility and interferes with normal functioning and quality of life.
When you have limited motion in your neck, your body compensates by twisting more than it usually would allow you to complete the task. Our spine requires the coordination of the entire spine; otherwise, movements can cause pain or limitations that impair your ability to complete the activity.
If you are experiencing neck pain, back pain, or a combination of both, our physical therapists would be more than happy to meet with you for a consultation to discuss how they can help!
How is the cause of neck and back pain diagnosed?
Back pain and neck pain can lead to a loss of productivity, and it is a common cause for disability. Because of this, it is important to seek the assistance of a medical professional immediately if you are suffering from back or neck pain.
If you’re having back or neck pain, you should see your primary care physician immediately. They will almost certainly do a physical examination and may request x-rays or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.
Your doctor will be able to examine your soft tissues, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels clearly with an MRI, which can reveal the source of your back or neck pain. Once this has been determined, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan, which will almost certainly include physical therapy!
How will physical therapy help my back or neck pain?
Physical therapy is an effective treatment for both back and neck pain. The goals and expected outcomes of these treatments include:
- Prevention of further issues. By learning proper body mechanics, you can avoid future injuries and prevent pain from recurring.
- Decreased pain and stiffness. By using passive treatments such as manual therapy, your physical therapist will help alleviate pain in the affected area and accelerate the healing process.
- Increased range of motion. Your physical therapist will implement flexibility exercises into your treatment plan, which will help increase the range of motion in your back and neck.
- Improved quality of life. Physical therapy can help you return to your normal routine much quicker, allowing for an overall improvement in quality of life.
- Improved strength. Your physical therapist will create a specific exercise plan for your particular needs, which will aid in the strengthening of muscles in the affected area.
Treatment plans are made up of both passive and active methods. Passive treatments work to relieve pain, inflammation, and stiffness, while active treatments work to improve strength, flexibility, and function.
Common passive treatments for back and neck pain include ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. Active treatments include targeted stretches and exercises that your physical therapist will prescribe. Your therapist will be the one to decide which kinds of therapies are right for your condition and your therapy treatment will be created that way.
Call our clinic to schedule your one-on-one evaluation
You deserve to live a life that is pain-free. Dealing with neck or back pain (or both!) on a daily basis shouldn’t be something that you’re forced to do. If this is your current reality, it’s time to say hello to a new one with the help of physical therapy.
Contact us today to confirm your appointment and get started on the first steps toward pain relief.