Back & Neck Pain Relief
Did you know that one out of every four Americans has experienced back pain in the past three months? According to the American Physical Therapy Association, back pain is the most commonly reported pain across the nation. This form of pain typically results from an injury or strain; however, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether the discomfort you are feeling is the result of general back pain or sciatica.
Sciatica is a specific type of back pain that occurs from issues surrounding the nerves, and it is extremely common. Whether you are suffering from general back pain or sciatica, working with one of our highly-trained Bedford and Fall River physical therapists can help relieve the discomfort in your back and restore your health. Physical therapy may even eliminate your need for harmful pain-management drugs, such as opioids, or an invasive surgical procedure. If you are experiencing back pain, contact Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic today. Our skilled physical therapists will create an individualized treatment regimen for you, focusing around your relief and recovery.
Why do back pain & sciatica occur?
General back pain usually develops as the result of an injury, and it can occur suddenly or gradually over time. For example, repetitive straining motions, such as bending down multiple times to pick up boxes while moving, can result in general back pain, as can a more serious, sudden trauma, such as a car accident. Underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, can also cause severe back pain and can lead to sciatica. Degenerative disc disease is also a common condition resulting in back pain, which can be caused by poor posture or obesity. Those suffering from this condition typically report dull, aching pains in their lower back that are chronic and persistent.
Sciatica is a bit more difficult to understand than general back pain. The technical name for sciatica is “lumbar radiculopathy.” Those who develop this condition are typically between 30 and 50 years of age. There are many different types of injuries that can cause the development of sciatica, such as bone spurs, arthritis, or any other injury that impacts the sciatic nerve. Common injuries resulting in sciatica include harsh falls, sports-related collisions, or anything that occurs gradually over time through repetition, overuse, or general “wear and tear.”
So, what’s the difference?
“Back pain” is sort of an umbrella term, as it can be caused by numerous different conditions. For example, you may experience back pain due to an injury at the gym, poor posture, a car accident, and more. The treatment plan that your Bedford and Fall River physical therapist sets up for you, will depend on how you developed the back pain, in addition to its exact location and your past medical history.
Back pain is described as acute or chronic. Acute pain means that it lasts for a short time and is usually severe. Chronic pain means that it lasts generally three months or longer and it can either cause persistent severe or dull pain. The pain you experience is typically either rooted in your back muscles or the bones in your spine.
Sciatica is a specific type of back pain, and it is usually reported as being extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, it is also usually very simple to diagnose. People with sciatica experience pain along their sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in your body.
The sciatic nerve begins at your lower back and then splits at the base of your spine, extending down to your buttocks, legs, and finally to the bottom of each foot. The sciatic nerve can become “pinched,” which in turn causes a “stinging,” “burning” or “shooting” sensation in your lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
How can I get help?
Luckily enough, back pain and sciatica are both completely treatable through the use of physical therapy. One of our Bedford and Fall River physical therapists will create a treatment plan for you that is dependent upon your diagnosis. In the early stages of your physical therapy treatments, you and your physical therapist will work closely to focus on pain relief. This may include any combination of manual therapy, light exercises, posture improvement, ice and heat therapies, or any other treatment that your physical therapist deems fit.
Once you begin to improve, your physical therapist will expand on your exercises and stretches, increasingly making them more intensive over time. These will help in focusing on increasing your strength and range of motion.
If you are suffering from sciatica, your physical therapist will implement specific leg stretches into your treatment plan that are focused around loosening up the sciatic nerve. The overall goal of physical therapy for back pain and sciatica is to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and strengthen the body. The goal is for you to get back to doing your normal daily activities without worrying about pain or discomfort.
If you are experiencing back pain or sciatica, contact our Bedford and Fall River physical therapy office to schedule a consultation. No matter how severe the pain may be, Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic will help you get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), approximately one-third of the population will experience neck pain in any given year. Neck pain can be debilitating and extremely uncomfortable, especially if the pain stretches from your neck down to your shoulders. If left untreated the pain can become more severe, and in severe cases, surgical correction may even be necessary.
Your neck is important for everyday movement, and sharp pains can prevent you from functioning properly in your everyday life. Whether your neck pain presents difficulty when trying to sit up straight in your chair at work, tilting your head down to tie your shoes, or even laying down to go to sleep at night, physical therapy can help get you back to your normal, pain-free life. Many people are able to find relief from their neck pain every year through the help of physical therapy, and so can you. Our Bedford and Fall River physical therapists are dedicated to providing you with the relief you need. If you are suffering from neck pain, contact Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic today to schedule an appointment.
Why am I experiencing neck pain?
There are several reasons why neck pain may occur. When someone experiences neck pain, it typically runs from the base of their skull to the top of their shoulder blades, finally settling in the back of the neck. The pain can also vary in severity – some people suffering from neck pain report a constant dull ache, while others report sharp and stabbing pains. Neck pain can also come with additional symptoms, including, but not limited to:
- Numbness or tingling
- Arm weakness
- Muscle stiffness and tightness in the upper body
- Discomfort and pain when remaining in the same position for too long
- Loss of sleep due to pain and discomfort
- Inability to fully stand up or sit up straight
Neck pain is most commonly caused by injury or damage to the tissues or bone structures in the neck. However, certain degenerative conditions can also lead to neck pain. Some common conditions that may be causing the pain in your neck include:
- Muscle strains. The muscles in your neck can become strained by overuse. Even something as simple as sitting at your desk all day with your neck craned toward the computer screen can lead to a strain in your neck muscles.
- Injuries. One of the most common injuries that results in neck pain is whiplash. It is known as a “strain” injury, caused by the head being whipped rapidly back-and-forth, thus affecting the soft tissues in the back of the neck. Whiplash is typically sustained by an automobile or high-impact sport collision, although there are other ways to sustain whiplash.
- Illnesses. Certain diseases and ailments can result in neck pain, such as meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or even cancer.
- Nerve compression. The nerves that branch out from your spinal cord can become compressed if you have a herniated disc in your neck. In some cases, nerve pain can even result in a condition known as radiculopathy, where pain extends from the neck all the way down to the hands and fingers.
- Joint degeneration. Much like any other joint in your body, the neck joints can erode with age, causing pain. Conditions such as osteoarthritis can also reduce the cartilage between the vertebrae in the neck, which can result in moderate to severe pain.
How can physical therapy help me find neck pain relief?
Physical therapy is one of the best methods for treating neck pain according to WebMD. At Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic, our physical therapists will conduct an initial physical evaluation to analyze the range of motion in your neck, as well as any limitations you have as a result of the pain you are experiencing. Afterwards, they will create a diagnosis that will determine the make-up of your treatment plan. You will work together to understand the goals and expectations of each step in your personalized treatment plan, with the main focus of overcoming your neck pain and recovering as quickly as possible.
Treatments for your neck pain will most likely include manual or “hands-on” therapy, which consists of special techniques designed to reduce the stiffness of your neck and improve its range of motion. Our Bedford and Fall River physical therapists will also provide you with targeted exercises that will improve, strengthen, and build the muscles and tissues in your neck. They will focus on improving your posture to aid in the recovery of your neck muscles, as well as avoiding re-injury in the future. Additional treatment services may be added to your treatment plan as deemed fit by your physical therapist, including ultrasound, ice and heat therapies, or electrical stimulation.
Don’t let your daily discomfort be a pain in the neck any longer. Contact our Bedford and Fall River physical therapy office to speak with one of our licensed physical therapists today and schedule your initial consultation! Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic will help you get started on the road toward long-lasting pain relief.