Physical Therapy for Back and Neck Pain

Can Physiotherapy Help Relieve Back and Neck Pain?

Farryl Roth – Physiotherapist

October 15 2020

Back and neck pain is one of the world’s most common health problems and affects people both young and old. Along with the latest scientific evidence showing that physiotherapy treatment is an effective treatment for both acute, chronic, and long-term back pain, we at Integral Physiotherapy have seen effective results with our own clients.

Your family physician may refer you to a physiotherapist to help you relieve your neck and back pain and restore movement and strength. Whether you have been suffering from occasional or more long term pain, Farryl Roth is trained to assess, diagnose, and treat a wide variety of spinal problems.

Here are Some Ways Physiotherapy Can Help Relieve Back and Neck Pain.

How Effective Is Physiotherapy For Back And Neck Pain?

Physiotherapy is widely considered to have the biggest impact when it comes to getting rid of any stiffness or pain, whether it be in the back or neck area. If you want to ease the pain long term, then focusing on short term solutions like medication is not considered to be an effective solution. Physiotherapy treatments can often help people avoid the need for medication or surgery altogether.

Farryl Roth will work with you to design a custom treatment program that will speed your recovery efforts, including regular exercises and treatments that you can do, even at the office or at home. The goal is to work with you so that you can return to your normal lifestyle and activities without frequent back and neck pain holding you back and making you feel uncomfortable.

What Do Physiotherapists Hope To Achieve When Working With Clients?

Physiotherapy goals for back and neck pain include the following goals:

  • Educating our clients about the underlying cause of their back or neck pain
  • Educate our clients on the techniques and importance of correct posture alignment
  • Speed up the healing stages with the help of tried and tested techniques and exercises
  • Manage episodes of severe pain through therapies
  • Try and prevent the future occurrence of the same symptom further damaging muscle and joints
  • Restore joint flexibility and mobility
  • Manage and heal your body aches and pains so you can live a normal lifestyle

What Will A Physiotherapist Do For My Back and Neck?

Farryl will monitor your symptoms at each visit and will progress your treatment program accordingly. A physiotherapist usually treats back and neck pain in two components:

Passive physiotherapy

Passive physical therapy helps reduce pain and helps you achieve a more tolerable pain management level. It is usually achieved using trigger point therapy, spinal mobilisation, Interferential therapy, and ultrasound among others.

Active exercises

From simple back stretching exercises to doing short bursts of low impact aerobics, a combination of exercises are used to rehabilitate the neck and spine area. Active exercises are short in duration, usually between 20-30 minutes, and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Farryl Roth will teach you step by step how to perform these exercises correctly, taking into account your health and history.

Types of Physiotherapy Treatments:

Some treatment options for back and neck pain can include:

  • Manual techniques – this includes muscle and spinal manipulation, flexibility exercises, and traction or mobilisation of the joints in the spine

  • Hot and cold therapies – Farryl will use heat to get more blood to the affected area. More blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to that area, resulting in faster healing time. Cold physiotherapy slows down circulation, helping to lower inflammation, cramps, and pain. Hot and cold therapy is most effective when used together (alternate)

  • Deep tissue massage – Designed to target chronic muscle tension that builds up through daily life stress. This type of massage target’s pressure and friction in your neck and back to release the tension.

  • Strength building. Farryl will create a specific exercise plan for your particular needs, which will aid in the strengthening of muscles in the affected area.

  • Taping – this involves slowly stretch and mobilize your spine so that you feel less pain and can move more easily.
    Myofascial release – To assist in loosening the layers of tissue that cover muscles and joints.

  • Improve endurance – Restoring joint and muscular endurance is crucial for people with neck and back pain. Farryl will develop a program of activities to help you regain the endurance you had before your pain started.

Lifestyle Tips and Considerations

  • Keep work equipment within arms reach of where you are sitting

  • Schedule breaks throughout your day for simple stretching workouts

  • Work at an appropriate temperature with adequate lighting

  • Always monitor your posture

  • Try to position your cell phone or other electronics at eye level. Then you do not need to bend your head forward or look down to see it

  • Keep active by maintaining regular exercise to keep your muscles and joints moving

  • Massaging the area which is in pain might also provide relief by stretching tight muscles and ligaments.

    For more in-depth home treatment on back pain, click here

Exercises to Avoid

You should be careful to avoid workouts that may hamper your progress. I don’t recommend doing sit-ups or crunches in the acute phase, as these can strain your neck vertebrae and also hurt your back even more.