Back and Neck Pain
How common is back and neck pain?
According to the best available data, about 80 percent of the population will experience back and neck pain in their lifetimes. Those bouts don’t include minor incidents like the occasional twinge, but instead the serious sprains, strains, spasms, and impaired range of motion problems that make it so hard to function.
In some cases, the causes of your back and neck pain may be obvious — if you’ve recently been in a car accident or suffered a sports injury, for example. Often, however, problems can develop through poor posture or from having to perform the same action repeatedly. In addition, if you’re often obliged to spend too much time at your desk or in the car and not enough time being active, the resulting muscle weakness can add to the problem.
What are the consequences of not getting help?
Patients who seek treatment from their neck and back pain are often surprised to learn that some other problems they’ve been experiencing might be related. So even if you think you can “live with” not being able to turn your neck fully, other problems can accumulate.
For example, if you have chronic migraines or frequent bouts of tension headaches, a pinched nerve in your neck may actually be the culprit, rather than your diet or your busy schedule. In addition, you may find that the problems you’ve been having with shoulder mobility — or shooting pains down your arms and hands — might actually spring from your spinal issues.
How can back and neck pain be treated?
Our patients are often referred to us by their primary physicians or by a specialist, and we’ll continue to work with your medical team to treat the specific cause of your pain. Our highly trained physical therapists will also give you a full evaluation, including a spinal alignment assessment, simple tests to evaluate muscle strength in the areas that support your back or neck, and range-of-motion evaluations.
Once we’ve pinpointed the main cause of your neck or back pain, we’ll develop a treatment plan with you. In your sessions, you’ll be taken through moves that build strength and flexibility. Our team of physical therapists will also help you learn how to better position yourself during your daily life to avoid relapses, including ergonomic and posture tips.
Contact us at Harahan & New Orleans, LA centers so we can help you quickly resolve the debilitating back or neck pain you’re feeling now – and learn how to prevent it in the future.
What are the causes of back pain?
There are a large number of conditions that can result in back pain. For example, poor posture, car accidents, and sports-related injuries are just a few of the ways that someone may develop back pain. Injury is the most common cause of back pain. This can happen in one of two ways: 1) an instant, sudden trauma, such as a car accident, or 2) repetitive use that puts excessive stress on the back over time, such as bending down several times throughout the week to pick up boxes. Some other factors that may contribute to your back pain include degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis, fractures, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and tumors of the spine.
Why does my back hurt?
Back pain commonly results from a muscle strain or injury; however, it can also develop as a result of an underlying condition, such as a herniated disc, sciatica, or degenerative disc disease. Poor posture, car accidents, and sports-related injuries are also common ways that someone may develop back pain. Your physical therapist will focus on treating the root of your back pain, in order to help you regain mobility, function, and comfort.
How can I get relief from back pain?
You can treat your back pain with physical therapy. Physical therapy can address back pain by helping to improve your range of motion, strengthening the muscles in the affected areas, and using targeted massage to reduce tension. In many situations, working with a physical therapist to improve can significantly reduce the severity of your back pain, and may even help you avoid more invasive procedures, such as surgery.
What are the best exercises for back pain?
It is common that the muscles used to support the lower back may become weakened from inactivity. We’ll prescribe targeted, easy-to-do exercises that we will walk you through, in order to help your back muscles regain their strength. This will help provide greater support to your spine and reduce any inflammation you may be experiencing. While the best exercises for your back pain are relative to your specific conditions, some common ones your physical therapist may have you do include spine stretches, bridges, and pelvic tilts.