Back & Neck Pain

Neck and back pain can occur with relatively simple movements such as bending or twisting but can also be a result of much more forceful and complex movements in the spine.

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Neck Pain

Neck pain can occur anywhere in your neck, from the bottom of your head to the top of your shoulders. The discomfort can vary from a knot, stiffness, or severe pain in your neck. The pain may spread to your shoulders, upper back, or arms. You may get a headache. You may not be able to move or turn your head and neck easily. If there is pressure on a spinal nerve root, you might have pain that shoots down your arm. You may also have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm.

If your neck pain is long-lasting (chronic), you may have trouble coping with activities associated with daily living. Common side effects of chronic pain include fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

Today’s modern living often entails hours of driving and hunching over workstations, which can play havoc with our necks.  Whilst neck pain is less common than low back pain, millions of people experience neck pain and related arm pain at some stage in their lives and therefore seek help.

Neck Pain Treatment

At Spinal and Sports Care we use a range of techniques to help relieve your symptoms and assist with establishing strategies to prevent recurrence. Your treatment may include electro physical modalities, mobilization, manipulation, stretching, taping, remedial massage and dry-needling.

Preventative strategies will focus around improving your workstation setup, improving postural concerns and providing a structured rehabilitation program to address weak or tight areas. We also offer onsite workstation consultations if you need a little more help with your setup.

Examples of head and neck conditions we treat

  • Post surgical rehabilitation.
  • Disc problems, stiffness.
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Torticollis / wry neck
  • Neck related headaches and migraines.
  • Postural problems
  • Acute sprains and strains.
  • Whiplash
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Arm pain referring from the neck.

Neck pain often results from abnormalities in the soft tissues – muscles, ligaments, and nerves, as well as in the bone and the joints of the spine. The most common causes that we identify and treat are soft tissue abnormalities from injury or prolonged wear and tear in many people and can also the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders and arms.

When neck pain is caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm. Shooting pain that spread down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of a “pinched nerve” or nerve entrapment in the neck. When a nerve is “pinched” in the neck, numbness, weakness and possibly pain of the hands or arms may occur. Disc injuries are the most common cause of nerve entrapments.

Low Back Pain

Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility, interfere with normal functioning and quality of life. Low back pain can limit movement, and can be especially difficult to “straighten up” from a seated position. Pain may be in one small area or over a broad area. It may also refer down into the buttocks, groin or down the leg. You may have muscle spasms.

Back injuries can be classed as acute or chronic.

Acute back pain generally lasts a few days or weeks, and is often mechanical in nature and caused by some form of trauma e.g. lifting a heavy object, a fall, sports injury or prolonged activities such as gardening, and occasionally appears for no apparent reason.

Chronic back pain last for a longer period of time, generally more than 3 months, and may be more degenerative in nature.

Your lower back bears most of the weight and stress of your body. Back pain most often occurs from strained back muscles and ligaments, from improper or heavy lifting, after a sudden awkward movement, or from simply sitting too long in a chair with poor posture. Sometimes a muscle spasm can cause back pain.

In many cases, there may not be an obvious cause.  Our practitioners at Spinal and Sports Care are able to assess the cause of your back pain. Most low back pain is short-term (acute) and will go away in a few weeks to months especially with accurate diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

Back Pain Treatment

The complex nature of back pain means that you need to be sure that you get the most accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan to get the most effective results. Scientific evidence tells us that not all back problems respond to the same treatment, so being able to identify which treatment is going to be most effective and applying that treatment expertly is essential to getting fast effective relief.

We assess and treat a large number of back pain patients every day and use the latest treatment techniques to help our patients, including; joint mobilisations, manipulation, McKenzie therapy, specific core stabilisation exercises, electrical modalities, thermal modalities, acupuncture, dry needling, massage, exercise techniques & stretches, ergonomic advice, lifting techniques, self-management & preventive advice and postural advice.

With all causes of low back pain, one of the most important ways to improve your condition is with back strengthening and conditioning. This is done with specific exercises, as well as general aerobic conditioning.

Following a consultation and treatment session with one of our experienced practitioners, you will likely understand the cause of your pain, the likely duration and the next steps required to adequately resolve your condition. We will always commence treatment, where appropriate, in your initial consultation.

Common Back Injuries We Treat

  • Disc bulge (sometimes called herniated or ruptured disc):
    The disc between the vertebrae may become damaged and bulge slightly, causing pressure on the surrounding nerves. This can cause symptoms of back pain, leg pain, pins and needles and possible numbness. Chiropractic / Physiotherapy treatment is usually indicated, and occasionally further investigations such as an MRI scan may be required.
  • Sciatica: the term used to refer to pain originating from pressure or irritation to the sciatic nerve. This nerve exits the spine in the lower back and travels down the leg. Causes of sciatica may include a disc bulge, muscle spasm or poor posture.
  • Ligament or joint sprain and muscle spasm: often caused by heavy lifting, prolonged bending or sporting injuries. Pain usually felt in lower back, sometimes one sided. It may cause pain to radiate into buttock or leg. Movement is often restricted. Physical Therapy or Chiropractic treatment for this type of back injury usually give good results and can reduce recovery time and prevent ongoing problems.
  • Postural back pain: poor posture can be one of the most common causes of back pain, and is a frequent presentation in our clinic. Sleeping position, work desk set up and standing posture may all be contributing factors. Back pain and injuries are often caused by weak abdominal and back muscles, contributing to poor posture and reduced ‘core strength’
  • Degenerative changes: back pain and stiffness may develop from ‘wear and tear’ to the spinal joints and discs. This can be degenerative in nature, be gradual in onset, and may become chronic. Early morning stiffness and pain with prolonged standing is a common complaint.