Hello and welcome to the Rise Above Physical Therapy blog! We are so glad to have you here. We are a physical therapy clinic located in Summerville and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina that is dedicated to providing outstanding service to all of our patients. We offer many services within the physical therapy realm, including sports medicine rehabilitation, aquatic therapy, treatment of neurological disorders, gait analysis, and more. Here on our blog, we will cover a range of topics related to physical therapy and health and share tips so that you can maximize the benefits of physical therapy. We hope you’ll enjoy our blog and come back for more!

In our last blog, we discussed prenatal and postnatal physical therapy. Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it comes with many changes, especially physical ones. Many women experience physical ailments such as back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. Participating in physical therapy during and after pregnancy can help relieve some of these discomforts. If you are interested in learning more, be sure to check out our last post!

Today, we’ll be discussing how physical therapy can be helpful to people experiencing neck and/or back pain. If you are dealing with neck or back pain, it is safe to say that you are not alone. Approximately 80% of people deal with neck pain in their lifetime, and about 8 percent of all adults (around 16 million people) experience persistent or chronic back pain. This pain can be attributed to a number of factors, which we will take a look at in more detail. Regardless of the cause, physical therapy can provide relief! Let’s get right into it.

Symptoms and Common Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints among adults today. Neck pain may present as a “stiff” neck, or can consist of either dull or sharp pain. Besides pain, some of the symptoms associated with neck pain include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle tightness and/or spasms
  • Decreased ability to move the head or difficulty moving head from side to side

One of the most common causes of neck pain is muscle strains, or injuries to muscles or tendons. This consists of the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers, usually when they have been overworked. For example, spending too much time hunched over a computer or smartphone can cause muscle strain. Other causes of neck pain include nerve compression, worn joints, and injuries, such as whiplash from a car accident. In some cases, diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause neck pain.

Symptoms and Common Causes of Back Pain

Back pain can range from muscle aches to shooting, stabbing, or burning sensations. Other symptoms associated with back pain include:

  • Pain radiating down the leg
  • Worsening pain when bending, twisting, lifting, standing, or walking

One of the most common causes of back pain is muscle or ligament strain. This is often due to repeated heavy lifting. Other causes of back pain include poor posture, arthritis, osteoporosis, and bulging or ruptured discs. While anyone can develop back pain, it becomes more common with age, lack of exercise, and excess weight. 

How can physical therapy relieve neck or back pain?

Physical therapy can play a significant role in relieving neck and/or back pain by combining various techniques and treatments. When you visit Rise Above Physical Therapy, one of our knowledgeable therapists will assess your condition by examining your posture and range of motion. This will help us identify any underlying issues contributing to your pain. 

Once your condition has been evaluated, a treatment plan will be tailored to your unique needs. At Rise Above Physical Therapy, we use our skills and tools to promote healing and decrease pain, as well as restore functional mobility. We utilize manual therapy as well as a biomechanical approach. Manual therapy consists of hands-on techniques, such as manipulation or joint mobilization that can help improve joint mobility, reduce muscle tension and tightness, and restore proper alignment. Biomechanical analysis is an approach that takes a basic human movement and identifies patterns or areas of deficiency that can be improved upon. This allows us to better create a treatment plan that works best for you. Additionally, physical therapists can prescribe exercises and stretches that can help manage or reduce pain. These exercises may focus on strengthening the muscles that support the spine, improve flexibility, and correct postural imbalances. 

Sometimes, certain lifestyle factors can contribute to neck or back pain. For example, sedentary behavior, poor posture, improper lifting techniques, and repetitive strain can cause neck or back pain. A physical therapist can help you identify these factors and provide guidance when it comes to making proper changes. In fact, education is a big part of physical therapy– When you are educated on proper body mechanics, you become more conscious of how you are sitting, standing, lifting, or holding your body in general. 

As you can see, physical therapy is a great way to manage, reduce, and eliminate neck and/or back pain. It is important to remember that each individual’s situation is different and may require a different approach, such as a treatment plan with more or less intensity. Overall, physical therapy is a comprehensive approach to pain management and can help you regain optimal function and quality of life! Rise Above Physical Therapy is proud to offer a variety of programs, including manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercises. We also make use of facilities within the campus of the YMCA, including a gymnasium, training room, indoor pool, and more. Our goal is to utilize the specific facilities necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for your recovery. If you are suffering from neck and/or back pain, we encourage you to reach out to us! Our knowledgeable staff would be happy to assist you! Here at Rise Above Physical Therapy, we use our skills and tools to promote healing and decrease pain as well as restore functional mobility. Schedule a free consultation with us today!