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Neck and Back Pain

LOW BACK PAIN

Low back pain is our most common diagnosis.  It is rare for anyone to go through life without a case of low back pain due to the wear and tear on our spines.  Most low back pain is not the result of specific movement or incident.  The cumulative trauma of being upright and walking, running, lifting, turning and twisting every day, thousands of times a day adds up.  The pain typically develops over time and gets progressively worse.

Risk Factors

  • Daily activities or work activities that require bending at the waist
  • Lifting more than 10 pounds several times per day (boxes, purses, grocery bags, children)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor sitting posture (probably the most common cause)
  • Poor lifting mechanics
  • Poor flexibility/ joint mobility
  • Activity that involves rotation of the spine (golf, tennis, gardening, raking leaves, etc.)
  • Starting a new exercise program (walking, running, exercise classes, etc.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is causing my back pain?

The two most common causes of low back pain are injuries to the disc and stenosis.  With a disc injury, pain is usually relieved with standing or walking.  With stenosis, pain is worse with standing and relieved with sitting.  Sometimes back pain comes from a combination of both of these problems.  A complete screen from a physical therapist is required to determine the cause of your pain.

How do I get rid of it?

Well, that depends on what is causing it.  That is why it is so important to find the cause.  The good news is that most low back pain resolves with physical therapy and does not require surgery.  Our low back pain patients average around 12 visits of physical therapy to go from pain to full function.  One major factor in the time it takes to heal from a spine injury is the length of time it takes for someone who is having pain to start physical therapy.  The sooner we get our hands on the patient, the less time it takes to get back to pain-free living and avoid surgery.

Do I need to see my doctor first?

No.  Louisiana is a Direct Access state.  This means you do not need to go to your doctor to get a prescription.  We work closely with several doctors who specialize in the spine in the communities we serve, so if you do need to see a doctor, we will set that up for you.

Will my low back pain go away on its own?

It’s possible, but not likely.  Unfortunately, most people who have a case of low back pain think “Well, maybe it will just go away.”  The problem with that is, the longer you go with low back pain, the longer it takes us to fix it.  Pain is a warning signal in your body telling you something is wrong.  Waiting for the pain to go away is not a good strategy.  The quicker you get in to see a qualified physical therapist, the faster you can be on your road to recovery.

What should I do now?

The first step to eliminating your pain is finding out what is causing it.  Call 337-993-2766 right now, and schedule your Free Screen at any of our locations.  You will get a free 30 minute appointment with one of our therapists so that you can get all your questions answered.

 

NECK PAIN

Neck and shoulder pain an extremely common diagnosis in our clinics.  Most of us use our necks and shoulders more than we think during the day.  It’s only when something goes wrong that we notice.  Driving, playing with our kids, coaching our kid’s sports teams, lifting and carrying our groceries, and many other activities of daily living can be drastically limited when your neck and shoulders are in pain.  Common complaints of a neck problem we typically see are pain in the neck with turning and bending the neck, headaches, and pain that moves from the neck to the shoulders and even down the arms that can come with movement or at rest.

Risk Factors

  • Daily activities or work activities that require repetitive use of the arms
  • Lifting more than 10 pounds several times per day (boxes, purses, grocery bags, children)
  • Poor sitting posture (probably the most common cause)
  • Poor lifting mechanics
  • Poor flexibility/ joint mobility
  • Activity that involves rotation of the spine (golf, tennis, gardening, raking leaves, etc.)
  • Starting a new exercise program (walking, running, exercise classes, etc.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is causing my neck pain?

The two most common causes of neck pain are injuries to the disc and stenosis.  With a disc injury, pain is usually relieved improved posture or use of anti-inflammatory medication.  With stenosis, pain is worse with prolonged sitting and relieved with bending the head forward to take stress off the posterior spine.  Sometimes back pain comes from a combination of both of these problems.  A complete screen from a physical therapist is required to determine the cause of your pain.

How do I get rid of it?

Well, that depends on what is causing it.  That is why it is so important to find the cause.  The good news is that most neck pain resolves with physical therapy and does not require surgery.  Our neck pain patients average  around 12 visits of physical therapy to go from pain to full function.  One major factor in the time it takes to heal from a spine injury is the length of time it takes for someone who is having pain to start physical therapy.  The sooner we get our hands on the patient, the less time it takes to get back to pain-free living and avoid surgery.

Do I need to see my doctor first?

No.  Louisiana is a Direct Access state.  This means you do not need to go to your doctor to get a prescription.  We work closely with several doctors who specialize in the neck and shoulder in the communities we serve, so if you do need to see a doctor, we will set that up for you.

Will my neck and shoulder pain go away on its own?

It’s possible, but not likely.  Unfortunately, most people who have a case of neck pain think “Well, maybe it will just go away.”  The problem with that is, the longer you go with neck pain, the longer it takes us to fix it.  Pain is a warning signal in your body telling you something is wrong.  Waiting for the pain to go away is not a good strategy.  The quicker you get in to see a qualified physical therapist, the faster you can be on your road to recovery.

What should I do now?

The first step to eliminating your pain is finding out what is causing it.  Call 337-993-2766 right now, and schedule your Free Screen at any of our locations.  You will get a free 30 minute appointment with one of our therapists so that you can get all your questions answered.

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