Back & Neck Rehab
In treating patients with neck and back injuries, First Step Physical Therapy uses the latest and most effective treatment techniques as proven by the most current research. The therapists work along with prescriptions and in close communication with medical doctors, performing in-depth evaluations to determine patients’ individualized needs and treatment plans.
Neck and back injuries can be the result of either macrotrauma or microtrauma mechanisms. Macrotrauma injuries result from a sudden, major force such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall. Microtrauma injuries develop from repetitive low level stressors which include poor body mechanics, repetitive work-related activities, poor postural alignment, and weak/imbalanced core musculature.
While lower back pain may be localized to the lumbar spine or may radiate down one or both legs, neck pain may radiate down the shoulders and into the arms and hands. Both can cause pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling.
A few examples of diagnoses treated at First Step Physical Therapy for back and neck pain include:
Whiplash: This is a traumatic insult to the soft tissue ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the cervical spine by an abnormal force to the body. Common mechanisms of injury include motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries. Symptoms of whiplash include neck and radiating pain down the arms, headaches, swelling, muscle spasms, and loss of range of motion.
Muscle Sprains and Strains: Sprains are overstretching of fibrous bands of tissue called ligaments, causing either micro or macro tearing. Ligaments attach two or more bones at joints to limit excessive movements. Strains are injury to the muscle or to the fibrous attachment to bones called tendons. Symptoms of these injuries include a pop or tearing feeling, pain increasing with movement, muscle spasms, and decreased motion typically bending forward, sideways, rotating, or standing erect.
Disc Problems: These disorders can be from both micro and macrotramas. It is common for degenerative problems, herniations, and bulging discs to irritate nerve roots, causing radiating symptoms onto the extremities.
Postural Syndrome: Caused by poor postural awareness, this syndrome is a nontraumatic injury to the neck, mid, and low back. Over time, the soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons) along with spinal joints assume an abnormal position, causing loss of motion and pain. Postural syndrome frequently occurs in students and workers requiring prolonged sitting.
Spinal Stenosis: Typically caused by age-related changes in the ligaments, spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the cervical or lumbar spinal canal. Symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, incoordination, a decrease or loss of sensation, and in more severe cases, bowel and bladder dysfunction. (If experiencing these symptoms, contact your medical doctor immediately.)
Additional conditions treated at First Step include, but are not limited to:
- Compression fractures
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Ankylosing Spondylitis