Back and/or Neck Pain
Back and/or Neck Pain
Mechanical Low Back Pain (LBP) and/or neck pain are the most common ailment we see in physiotherapy. LBP often represented as pain in the buttock or “sciatica”. Low back pain affects nearly everyone at some stage of life. 60-75% of patients that have back pain once will experience recurring problems. Most of the back pain is mechanical. That simply means that there is a problem with the moving parts of the spine. The tissues affected may be the: discs, ligaments, muscles, nerves, or cartilage.
Neck Pain is also mechanical pain arises when the soft tissue between two joints of the spine has been over stretched, gets locked up, or in some cases torn. It may start with an incident or for no apparent reason. The pain will be caused or affected by certain positions or movements. According to that logic, it will typically respond well to specific positions or movements. The patient can learn to do these maneuvers themselves, though some “hands-on” by the therapist may be needed to get things started.
If you bend your finger backwards far enough you would feel uncomfortable, and if you immediately released the pressure, the pain would be vanished, and no damage will have occurred. If, however, you did not release the pressure, eventually, there would be some tissue sprain and damage such that even when you released the pressure, the pain would still be present. In simple cases, healing takes only a few days but if you continued (knowingly or unknowingly) to apply that pressure daily, the soft tissue would not have a chance to heal and pain would persist. The same thing happens in back pain. We tend to rest prolonged in poor posture (slouching) or bend too much and our problems continue.
Common Causes of Mechanical Low Back Pain
What to do about it?
As we take our car to the mechanic to fix the moving parts when there is a problem, and so we must go to the physiotherapist when our moving parts has a problem that need to be fixed. The physiotherapist will diagnose your problem and propose solution to fix your problem and relief your pain the same as the auto mechanic diagnose your car problem and fixt it. As the mechanic does not figure out what is wrong with the car by taking a picture of the engine, the physiotherapist also does not depend on a picture (ie X-Ray, MRI) to figure out what is wrong with your back. These diagnostic tests are one piece of the puzzle, but X-Ray and MRI are static and are not as helpful as many believe to diagnose a problem with movement.
Taking care of your car is your responsibility just as taking care of your body is your responsibility. Self management and treatment of low back pain is now widely accepted. At Ultimate Care Physiotherapy and Massage Clinic, you will be taught how to treat your back pain yourself. It will be more effective in the long run than any other treatment. Truly effective treatment is treatment that you eventually need less often, not something that you need on an ongoing basis.
What to expect from physiotherapy?
Your physiotherapist will take a very detailed history regarding your onset, duration, irritability, intensity, location, aggravating and easing factors of your symptoms. A physical assessment of your movement and limitations will also occur. If at this point, the physiotherapist feels the problem is NOT mechanical or musculoskeletal, they will refer you back to your physician to rule out other pathologies. Once the physical therapist has determined that you have mechanical pain of musculoskeletal origin, we will explain the anatomy and cause of the pain and begin treatment aimed at helping you manage and prevent future episodes.
You can expect to be given some simple movements or postures that will help reduce the mechanical strain on your tissues and promote healing. Most patients start noticing decreased pain and increased range of movement on the first visit. Our goal is that improvements should be obvious by the third visit. Treatment may also include core exercises, ergonomic and lifting advice, manual therapy, dry needles (IMS), Shockwave therapy or other modalities. The focus is to get you moving comfortably again and to teach you the self- management strategy for the long term. We do our job well, and you need us less time as you will be independent in managing your problem.