Physical Therapy for Back Pain, Neck Pain, and Headaches
Physical Therapy for the Neck, Back, and Spine
Lee Miller Rehabilitation Associates focuses on achieving and maintaining optimal spine health and alleviating pain. We focus on identifying the source of the problem which can be caused by any number of factors including injury, degenerative disease, lifestyle, or rheumatologic issues.
Neck pain can be caused by injuries like whiplash, muscle strain, a sprain in ligaments or tendons of the neck, arthritis, or disc degeneration. Treatments for neck pain may include flexibility training, strengthening and conditioning exercises. Chronic neck conditions can lead to a dependence on pain relievers and prescription medications. Physical Therapy provides patients with not only pain relief but also teaches them how to manage chronic pain without having to rely on medication or surgery.
What treatments are used in rehab for the neck?
Each patient’s case is unique and a treatment plan will be developed to address your specific needs. Your treatment may include strengthening and conditioning exercises, flexibility exercises, joint mobilization, massage, instruction on proper posture, electrical stimulation of muscles, or joint mobilization.
Am I a good candidate for neck and spine rehab?
Our goal is to relieve your pain, increase the functionality of your muscles and joints, and to teach you how to prevent further aggravation of your injury or condition. If you have experienced pain for more than a few days or if your pain is continually worsening, you are likely a good candidate for physical therapy. Physical therapy in some instances can be an alternative to surgery and can reduce your dependence on pain medications. To determine if you are a good candidate, call or schedule an appointment.
Can Physical Therapy help with the dizziness from my neck injury?
Injuries to the neck can not only cause pain and stiffness but in some instances, it can also cause dizziness. The dizziness is caused by a disruption to the Oculomotor control system (the use of the eyes and head together). The Oculomotor control system relies on the coordination of neck and eye muscles along with neck repositioning acuity. There are several exercises that you can be taught in physical therapy in addition to hands-on mobilization that can improve the dizziness. Call us to schedule an appointment. There are other causes of dizziness. For example part of the balance system called the semicircular canals in the inner ear can cause acute vertigo(dizziness). Stiffness of the joints of the upper neck can cause dizziness too. The physical therapists at LMRA are skilled as assessing the cause of the dizziness and treat the cause or make the referral to the proper health care specialist.
Will physical therapy to my neck hurt?
While physical therapy is not intended to hurt, at times, in order to restore your mobility pain levels can fluctuate. Physical therapy is intended to relieve pain, but it is possible to experience temporary soreness from using muscles that have weakened or are recovering. This is a normal response to treatment. It is important to communicate openly with your therapist to minimize your discomfort.
Chat With An Expert
If you have questions about how we can help you with headaches or back or neck pain, talk with one of our experts.
Experiencing Back Pain?
Almost everyone has back pain at some point in their life. Statistically, 80% of the population has back pain significant enough to miss time from work and seek medical attention. It has been said that our spine was not designed to be used in the upright position but rather to be used on all fours. After all, the natural or most rested position of the spine has a series of curves in it. In essence, the vertebrae in our back are like a stack of blocks that are not in a straight line but offset on each making it inherently unstable and subject to injury.
Back pain is NOT one problem but can be caused by several different types of disease processes, including regular wear and tear from years of use in daily life and recreation. Though acute back pain can be a result of injury as well. Back pain can be a very complex problem because virtually every structure in the back can be a source of pain. The good side of the story is that a lot of back pain can be avoided or corrected easily. At Lee Miller Rehab Associates, our therapists have a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the back and are uniquely qualified to use noninvasive treatments to locate, diagnose and eliminate back pain.
Choose Physical Therapy First – Did you know that in the State of Maryland, you do not need a physician referral to see a Physical Therapist to be covered by insurance?
Understanding the Anatomy of the Back is Key to Designing a Treatment Plan That Works
Some of the major structures of the spine are: 1) The discs that act as spacers between the bones. 2) The vertebrae are the bones and have very projections off of them which are the bumps you see when you look at your back. 3) The nerves that come off the spinal cord, come through holes created between the vertebrae. The nerves supply the electrical power to all the muscles of the body like the electrical cord to a motor and supply all the sensations that we feel like heat, cold, touch and pain. There are many ligaments that hold the spine together that can also be a source of pain.
The physical therapists at LMRA will listen to your history of back pain and do a comprehensive clinical evaluation of your back. We may also request X-rays or MRIs. With all of that information with will explain to you
- what we feel is the cause of your pain,
- develop a plan of care for you and
- give you an idea what the expected outcome will be and
- how long it will take to get you better.
Manual Therapy is Highly Successful
Some of the treatments may include a variety of different types of hands-on manual therapies to correct the alignment of the joints. We pride ourselves on our experienced physical therapists and the high level of expertise in the field of manual therapy. We also will prescribe a specific exercise routine, some of which will be monitored in the office and some exercises for you to do at home. We are big proponents of you taking back control of the movement of your body. Commonly, with back pain, we will do Dry Needling. We may also use modalities of heat, cold, electrical stimulation or traction. Most importantly, we will teach you the proper way to move and sit ergonomically to decrease the stress on the back to allow your back to heal and to prevent reinjury.
We may also recommend you for other special tests or specialist to supplement what we will do for you.
Physical Therapy for Headaches
Headaches are defined as pain in the head, neck, or face. Most headaches are caused by stress, muscle tension, posture, diet, or vascular issues. Physical therapy aids in headache treatment by addressing issues with posture, range of motion, joint mobility, strength, and muscle tension and stress management.
Physical therapy can alleviate headaches that are caused by muscle tension and tightness, lack of neck motion, poor posture, and disc pathology. It focuses on muscle relaxation and retraining. Physical therapy can also help to diagnose the type of headache. Often migraine or sinus headaches are misdiagnosed because it is not well understood that headaches in the forehead or sinus pain can actually be caused by joint restrictions of the neck and neck/head muscle tension.