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NECK AND BACK PAIN

At least 80% of people will report back or neck pain in their lifetime. It can come from being too active or being too still! Pain can be due to something (an injury, twist) or seemingly nothing (often posture). Symptoms can radiate down the arm or leg. It is important to work out the cause of the problem and address it, rather than just treat the symptoms.

Common conditions which may cause pain in the region of the spine and ribs include the following:

- Wear and tear arthritis can occur in the spinal and rib joints, just as elsewhere in the body. These degenerative changes may have a number of causes, including previous injury, familial tendency and age. Your x-ray may report “degenerative changes”, “spondylitis” or “osteoarthritis” – each of these terms imply wear and tear and may include the disc. Associated with these changes may be osteophytes, which are bony spurs of the spine.

- There are a number of long “s” words which describe conditions which may cause back pain. These include spondylolisis and spondylolisthesis. These describe a degree of slipping of one vertebra on another. Scoliosis describes a region in the spine which, rather than being straight, is rotated. The severity of this is very variable, and many people have no pain or dysfunction relating to a mild scoliosis.

- Common disc injuries include disc bulges, disc prolapses, and annular tears. A mild disc bulge may cause no problem, but a severe disc prolapse may cause pressure on a nerve and cause sciatic (leg) or arm pain.


What can I do?  

There are many other conditions which may cause cervical (neck), thoracic (trunk) or lumbar (lower back) pain, but it is worth noting that mostly pain is due to stiff joints, or muscle spasm/ tightness. A lot of relief from back and neck pain can be afforded by specific exercises (e.g. stretching for stiffness, core stability exercises for instability/weakness). Correcting posture so that you have better spinal and pelvic alignment will take pressure off overloaded tissues. At Macquarie Street Physiotherapy we can help you by mobilizing joints and massaging muscles to get things moving. We are experts in exercise prescription, postural correction and treatment of back and neck pain. We aim to make you self-reliant in managing your symptoms (if they return) by providing sound advice and education. We look forward to you offering you relief from acute (new) or chronic (old) pain.

 

Macquarie Street Physio