Back & Neck Pain Relief

Back & Neck Pain
Back & Neck Pain

Physiotherapy Could Provide Relief from Back and Neck Pain

While the statistics for South Africa are less clear, in the US, the figures suggest that around 85% of the population experiences pain in the back or neck regions at some stage during their lifetimes, and the former is cited as the second most common reason for Americans to visit their doctor. Two things regarding the local incidence of these maladies that are quite clear, however, are that their incidence is growing, and that this increase is related to the more sedentary 21st-century lifestyle. Perhaps it is time to take a break from the PCs and mobile devices, and consider a course of physiotherapy.

Unfortunately, far too many of those who suffer from this type of pain choose, instead, to dose up on ibuprofen, and retire to a comfortable sofa in front of the TV, or even go to bed. Apart from the known dangers that are inherent in the continuous use of painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications serve only to mask the symptoms of pain and discomfort, while failing to address their underlying cause. As for retiring to the sofa or going to bed, in the long run, these actions are likely to result in more pain.

In all fairness, a significant proportion of neck and back pain is the result of muscle injury rather than postural problems. Thus, physiotherapy is not just a solution for couch potatoes, but can benefit manual labourers and sportsmen who are prone to such injuries, as well as those with certain degenerative conditions that affect the spinal column.

While a physiotherapist is not a physician, and is not required to hold a medical degree, he or she is a graduate healthcare professional, and is trained to adopt a more holistic approach to the treatment of pain. In the course of their work, they may be called upon to perform massage and physical manipulations, guide patients on how to perform therapeutic exercises, or to administer treatments, such as ultrasound, hydrotherapy, and electrotherapy as indicated. Once a patient is familiar with them, some physiotherapy exercises can then be continued at home when this may be more convenient.

One concern that frequently surfaces among those who suffer from neck or back pain, is whether all the manipulation and exercising may hurt. The honest answer is that, initially, treatments are likely to highlight the pain in affected areas. However, it will be transient, and will gradually reduce as the various treatments progress. Ultimately, a course of physiotherapy frequently proves to be a life-changing experience for many of those who have suffered, often for many years, from continuous pain in the cervical or lumbar regions, whether the result of overexertion, injury, or simply a sedentary lifestyle.

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