One of the most common health problems among Americans is back pain, according to information from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases. Approximately 25% of American adults deal with at minimum of one day of back pain during a three-month period. Statistics also show that neck and back pain account for one out of every 20 health care visits, which means one of the most common reason patients visit a health care professional for musculoskeletal problems is to decrease back pain.
Unfortunately, a report by the National Center for Health Statistics also found that one out of 30 individuals of working age Americans is unable to work or at least limited in the work they can perform due to neck or back problems.
“A back injury can happen to anyone at any age,” said Gregg Cardena, director of physical therapy for SportsCare. He added “even something as innocuous as a sneeze or a cough can cause injury, especially in middle-age patients and older.”
People of any age can experience back injuries, and many different causes can bring on back pain, including accidents, congenital defects, falls, or lifting something heavy. As people age, the fluid between intervertebral discs become unable to reabsorb water, increasing the risk of disc herniation. Individuals with core weakness or instability also have a higher risk of back injuries.
At SportsCare Institute, a team of licensed, experienced physical therapists work with patients using non-invasive, hands-on therapies. The goal is to improve function while decreasing pain, providing patients with the resources needed to prevent future recurrences and maintain good spine health. Since physical therapy focuses on treating the cause of back pain, it offers an excellent alternative to surgical intervention and often reduces or eliminates the need for pain medications.
While many methods of treating the spine exist, one of the treatments SportsCare Physical Therapists may utilize is the McKenzie method, which is a movement-patterned program that makes use of directional preference, helping to centralize and decrease back pain. Of course, every patient with back pain is unique, which means physical therapy plans must be customized to each patient. Even if two patients have the same back problem, the solutions that provide results can be totally different.
Passive therapies may be used in some cases, such as electrical nerve stimulation, ultrasound therapy, hot therapy, or cold therapy. Your SportsCare Physical Therapist may also look at lumbar-pelvic mobility and stability, along with movement patterns. If patients deal with prolonged or frequent spine pain, a physical therapist can offer relief. Physical therapists are experts in dealing with musculoskeletal problems, and they are trained to use posture training, stretching, and exercise to help treat these conditions effectively and in this case decrease back pain for the patient.
It’s essential for patients to learn exercise from a licensed physical therapist, ensuring that exercises are done with proper form to achieve the intended effect without causing further injury. The therapists at SportsCare are experts in exercise prescription and biomechanics, allowing them to watch patients carefully, correcting poor posture, muscle compensations, or any incorrect movements.
Many patients often overlook one of the simplest solutions – improving their posture. Posture is essential, particularly for individuals who lift heavy items, repeatedly twist and bend, or spend a lot of time sitting. By lifting properly and sitting upright with properly posture, the risk of injury is reduced. The therapists at SportsCare begin evaluating patients by looking at their posture. They look for signs of bad posture, such as a rounded back, hunched shoulders, or a head that hangs forward.
The goal is to help patients return to normal function once again, or at least as close to normal function as they can. If a patient needs to sit at a desk for hours at work, therapists will work to help them accomplish this. For patients that play sports, therapists work to get the patients back into playing their favorite sport again.
“I actually suffered a spine injury in high school. I played football and I was injured during a collision.” With a whiplash injury to his neck, Cardena was airlifted to Morristown Medical Center. Still suffering pain after months of medical treatment, “someone suggested I try physical therapy. After my first physical therapy session, I had never been in less pain since the accident. I was back playing sports within a few weeks. Those two months of physical therapy worked for me; it completely saved my life.”
Physical therapy with the goal to decrease back pain and relieve other spinal injuries offers more than just a way to relieve pain and other symptoms. It offers a way for patients to get their life back. SportsCare Physical Therapy offers cutting-edge techniques and skilled professionals to help patients get back to living the life they love.