Blog & News
We’ve Got Your Back!
Let’s face it, we need our backs for just about everything! Because our spine is used all day for bending, lifting, and twisting, it is also more susceptible to injury. Back pain can be caused by several chronic back diagnoses such as arthritis and posture syndrome, as well as acute types such as after a car accident or injury. Physical Therapy is perfect for people suffering from any injury of their spine. We treat anything from headaches and the base of the neck, to the tailbone and hips. We treat the whole thing because as they say, “The hip bone’s connected to the back bone!”
Arthritis and Your Spine
What exactly is arthritis? There are two types of “osteoarthritis” (OA) which means “bone arthritis.” Degenerative Joint Disease, or DJD, is caused by a breakdown of cartilage in joints. This common type of arthritis can occur in almost any joint in the body.” It affects nearly 27 million Americans, and is a progressive disease that worsens with age. This is the normal “wear and tear” our bodies go through over a lifetime. It is characterized as aching and soreness which is worsened with movement, and/or pain or stiffness after long extended uses or periods of inactivity.
The second type of osteoarthritis is called Degenerative Disc Disease, or DDD, which is a chronic wear and tear of the discs lying between our vertebra. This is basically our cushion between the bones in our back along our spine. As we age, our body begins to lose moisture and cartilage and the discs slowly wear down, most commonly in the neck and lower back. This back condition also causes pain with extended activity and movement, and results in aching and stiffness.
Acute Back Injuries
Now that we’ve reviewed the 2 types of arthritis in the spine, let’s talk about acute back injuries. One of the most identifiable types of back injury is following a car accident. Neck and back pain after a motor vehicle accident can sideline a person from work, sports, or from normal daily activities. Whiplash injuries are described as muscle spasms, tightness or stiffness in the neck or back. People can also suffer from headaches, concussions, or dizziness following an accident. These symptoms can progress from months to years, especially if the root of the problem is not treated.
The more common type of instantaneous injury is a muscle or ligament strain or sprain. In our spine, this could look like bending over and immediately feeling a back pain, or with a twisting and lifting injury. These injuries can occur at any point in our lifetime and can sideline us from our normal activities that we enjoy. Luckily, physical therapy can be used to treat any of these back problems.
Physical Therapy for Back Pain & Injury
Physical Therapy is crucial in your rehabilitation from back pain or injury. As we have discussed above, our back can suffer at any point in our lifetime and with any activity level, and PT can be utilized to heal from the injury. Physical therapy helps to restore motion in the spine, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and teach postural correction to reduce pain. Along with exercises to stretch and strengthen, your Physical Therapist can use massage to help restore balance to strain muscles. Your PT can also perform manipulations and adjustments to the spine to restore alignment. We may also use Ultrasound or Electrical Stimulation to calm the nerves and manage pain. From the first time you walk in our office, we hope to better understand your spine issues and help to begin to reduce your pain. Our goal is to restore your function so you can return to your normal lifestyle. We can’t wait to help you heal!