More recent research has lead us to learn much about back and neck pain and, in the process, revolutionize the treatment thereof. Nowadays rehabilitation is done in a different, more active way.
Whilst many people have learnt to deal with back and neck pain themselves, sometimes intervention aid support is required. You may find it interesting to note that:
- Four out of five people suffer from pain during their lives;
- Back or neck pain is usually not caused by serious illness or damage;
- Half of the people who get back or neck pain experience recurrent pain within two years. Still this is not a serious condition but rather a chronic condition;
- People who recover the fastest from and cope the best are those who stay active and get on with life. The human spine is designed for movement;
- If the pain is prolonged or recurs often, active rehabilitation through exercise is highly recommended to improve lost function and relieve pain.
Rest is an old fashioned treatment of choice for back pain. We know for example, that bed rest for more than one or two days harms the spine. This is due to a number of reasons, including:
- Bones, muscles, and ligaments soon weaken;
- The spine stiffens and loses control and coordination;
- Loss of physical fitness and conditioning;
- It becomes increasingly more difficult to lead a normal life style.
Most variations in back or neck pain can be addressed without medical attention but prudence is the key to one’s approach. It is natural to be concerned that back and neck pain is due to something serious – this is usually not the case. However your doctor can help determine the cause and the severity. Some warning signs that may require more urgent advice from a medical practitioner include:
- A fever in addition to the back or neck pain;
- Inability to manage your daily activities;
- Pain that worsens over a period of weeks;
- Regular occurrence of pain.
If in addition to the back and neck you experience:
- Numbness around the crotch and genitals;
- Difficulty in controlling or passing urine;
- Numbness and pins and needles or weakening in both legs;
- Unsteadiness in standing.
It will be advisable to see a doctor immediately
From the aforementioned it is clear that a proper assessment must be done to confirm your condition. Once the doctor confirms that you do not have a serious condition, an individual treatment program can be designed. The program consists of carefully planned and controlled exercises and guidance on how to deal with the problems of everyday life.
Phase one includes a series of evaluations and measurements aimed at assessing the back or neck pain condition and with these results a personalised and individual program is designed. The duration and content may vary dependant on the type and severity of the condition.
Phase two is the treatment process that consists of active exercises with appropriate, controlled weights and motion. Guidance on how to use the spine and lead a normal life is another component of the treatment. The exercises are targeted at the trunk muscles and the motion of the spine, helping to restore mobility and control. Relaxation is an essential part of the program. After the guided program, you receive a plan on how to maintain the results long term. The attending doctor can also follow your progress based on regular check-ups.