Sometimes simple home interventions are enough to treat cervical disc disease, in which an abnormality in one or more discs that lie between the vertebrae cause neck pain. Often, though, it helps to see a physical therapist that can treat abnormalities, show you how to stretch and strengthen your neck and vertebrae, improve your posture, and prevent neck pain from recurring. You may also consider going to see a chiropractor. In the majority of people, certain exercises and manipulations used by these health care providers can help relieve discomfort and restore movement.
When you visit a physical therapist you’ll first have a complete evaluation. They will assess how well you can move your neck. You may be asked about symptoms such as pain in the neck or between the shoulder blades, pain that radiates down the arm to the hand or fingers, or numbness or tingling in the shoulder or arm. Your strength, reflexes, and other potential sources of pain will be checked. The therapist or chiropractor will also assess joint function in your neck and back to identify limitations or dysfunctions that may contribute to your pain.
Stretch, Strengthen, and Straighten Up
There are several types of manipulations and exercises your physical therapist can use to relieve stiffness, strengthen the area, and restore normal function of the neck. Treatments such as cold or heat application, and deep tissue massage, may be used prior to exercise.
During physical therapy, you will practice a range of exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support your neck. You’ll also learn how to improve your posture and range of motion. To help you learn proper postures, the physical therapist might have you stand in front of a mirror while exercising so that you can see your mistakes and correct them.
Your physical therapist or medical doctor should determine whether you are at risk of further injury from manipulations before treating you.
Neck Traction for Cervical Disc Disease
One technique used by physical therapists and chiropractors to provide pain relief and improve motion is cervical traction. Traction gently extends the neck, opening the spaces between the cervical vertebrae and temporarily alleviating pressure on the affected discs. Neck traction can either be done continuously or intermittently, alternating between short periods of pulling and resting.
It’s also possible to do cervical traction at home. There are pulley systems that you can hook up to a doorway, or devices that will enable you to perform cervical traction while lying down. It’s important if you do cervical traction on your own to first see your physical therapist or chiropractor to make sure that you buy the right equipment and learn how to set it up correctly.
By Stephanie Watson
Medically Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler, MD on April 21, 2021
Physical therapists are often identified by their ability to help people rehabilitate injuries, but did you know they can help you prevent an injury before it happens? Although rehabilitating injuries is a significant component of physical therapy, these health care providers are able to provide services far beyond the injured population.
Physical therapists are experts in the way the human body moves. They are able to provide a unique perspective on purposeful, precise and efficient movement across the lifespan by evaluating the movement system through their expertise in mobility and locomotion. From this evaluation, therapists are able to design a customized and integrated plan of care to achieve the individual’s goal-directed outcomes.
So the question becomes, outside of rehabilitating injuries, what else can physical therapists do that will benefit you?
Prevent injury, be proactive! Physical therapists can help individuals become proactive by identifying body imbalances and risk factors that may predispose them to injury or inhibit their physical performance. By evaluating and addressing these factors, injuries may be prevented. In addition, proactive strength and balance training can help facilitate the ability to perform daily activities and participate in recreational, community, and athletic activities.
Prepare individuals before surgery This is also referred to as pre-rehabilitation, or “prehab.” Research has demonstrated the positive effects of pre-rehabilitation in patients undergoing artificial hip and knee replacements. Patients who perform a supervised exercise program that includes strength, range of motion, flexibility, aerobic and balance exercises before surgery are less likely to require inpatient rehabilitation and often recover at a faster rate. In addition to improving the rate of successful surgical outcomes, prehab is also an opportunity to build a trusting relationship with your physical therapist. Furthermore, it provides prospective patients with the opportunity to ask questions regarding post-operative management and become familiar with the clinic and associated staff.
Promote health, fitness and general wellness This typically focuses on building strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. Many therapists utilize a whole body approach to heal an individual patient’s unique orthopedic or neuromuscular condition and improve their functional capacity for daily tasks, work and fitness/athletic activities. Certain therapists expand their education and skill set and become board-certified specialists in orthopedics, women’s health, geriatrics and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, to name just a few. Other physical therapy specialty areas include pediatrics, sports, electrophysiology, neurology and oncology.
Improve athletic performance Adherence to a sport-specific training program for athletes can be extremely beneficial in preventing injuries. Another advantage of this type of program is enhancement of athletic performance. These programs often incorporate proper warm-up exercises to perform before games and practices. They typically have a strong emphasis on accurate body mechanics and sport-specific movements.
Help to reduce fall risk Physical therapists are trained to work closely with individuals who have a history of falls or feel unsteady on their feet. Working on specific balance activities and improving core strength will help to reduce the risk of falling fall risk and promotes independence.
Chronic-pain education and management Physical therapists help people who experience chronic pain with exercises that often focus on improving strength, flexibility and endurance through a graduated program. This can help to reduce pain, improve sleep, and promote the ability to take part in social, work, school, and recreational activities.
Your therapist will also educate you on the mechanism of “chronic” pain, how it differs from “acute” pain, and how to manage your own pain.
Posture and ergonomic assessment With technology these days, many of us are frequently using computers, phones and tablets and are often unaware of our posture while doing so. Looking down at your phone can put up to 10 pounds of extra weight on your head and neck, which can cause a multitude of orthopedic problems. Physical therapists can help teach you what correct posture actually means and how to implement it into your daily life. In addition, they can help with how to properly set your desk up for office workers and with body mechanics for people with more physical jobs.
We only have one body, so why not utilize experts in the human movement system to keep things moving? Think of it like you would your regular dental cleanings. Many people typically go to the dentist one to two times per year to prevent oral health issues and to identify potential problems. Your physical therapist can provide the same type of service, by keeping you moving and doing the things you love to do!
Pelvic Pain When Walking: 9 Common Causes
Pelvic pain is pain that occurs in the lower part of your torso, between your belly button and your thighs.
Pain in this region may be due to conditions that affect your musculoskeletal, digestive, or reproductive systems.
Many people experience some type of pelvic pain during their lifetime. Sometimes you’ll notice that this pain occurs or worsens when you walk or move around.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what can cause pelvic pain when you’re walking, as well as how these conditions can be treated and prevented.
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Causes of pelvic pain while walking
In most cases, the cause of pelvic pain when you walk is related to your musculoskeletal system, which includes your:
Let’s look at nine of the most common causes of pelvic pain that can happen or worsen when you’re walking or moving around.
1. Sacroiliac joint painYour sacroiliac (SI) joint is the joint in your backside that connects the lower part of your spine to the bones of your pelvis.
Sometimes, this joint can become irritated and inflamed, leading to pain. This pain can become worse when you:
The pubic symphysis joint is located in the front of your pelvis. It helps hold the bones of your pelvis together and stabilizes them during activity.
If this joint becomes too relaxed, it can lead to pain. This type of pelvic pain is common in pregnant women. It’s also referred to as pelvic girdle pain.
In addition to pregnancy, pubic symphysis dysfunction can also be caused by:
Pain can get worse when you walk and when you:
Like pubic symphysis dysfunction, osteitis pubis also affects the area of the pubic symphysis and surrounding tissues. It can lead to pelvic soreness or pain that can get worse with physical activity.
Osteitis pubis is an overuse injury. It’s common in some athletes, particularly those who play sports involving kicking, pivoting, and twisting. Examples of such sports include:
Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that surround and support the organs and tissues in your pelvis.
Sometimes pelvic pain may be caused by tension in these muscles. This type of pain is more common source in women.
Pain may be localized to the pelvis but may also involve the lower back or legs.
While this type of pain can occur while resting, it can sometimes be aggravated by activities, such as:
An inguinal hernia is a hernia that occurs in the area of your pelvis or groin. These hernias are more commonTrusted Source in men than in women.
The typical symptoms of an inguinal hernia include a noticeable bulge in the pelvis or groin as well as discomfort or pain.
People with an inguinal hernia may experience an increase in pain or discomfort when:
While genetics may play a role, inguinal hernias can also be related to activities that require prolonged periods of standing, walking, or lifting.
Appendicitis is when your appendix becomes inflamed. It’s often not known what causes this inflammation. Medical experts believe it may happen when the entrance to your appendix becomes blocked.
Appendicitis is a potentially serious condition. If you don’t get prompt medical attention, your inflamed appendix may burst. This can lead to a serious bacterial infection in your abdominal cavity.
People with appendicitis feel severe pain in the right side of their pelvis, along with symptoms like:
Diverticulitis happens when small pouch-like structures that have formed in your large intestine, called diverticula, become inflamed. This can cause symptoms like abdominal pain or tenderness.
In severe cases, it can cause a perforation, or tear, of the large intestine. This can lead to a serious bacterial infection in your abdominal cavity.
Sometimes this pain can become more severe when you perform jarring movements, which can include walking.
Other symptoms of diverticulitis include:
Pelvic pain due to PCS is generally dull or achy. However, the pain can become sharper or more intense from long periods of standing or walking
9. Bone cancerOne of the symptoms of bone cancer is pain, especially when using the area of your body that’s affected by the cancer.
For example, if you have cancer in your pelvis, you may feel pain when walking, standing for a long time, or using the stairs.
There are other potential symptoms of bone cancer, such as:
Home remedies for pelvic pain
If your pelvic pain is mild and isn’t accompanied by any concerning symptoms, there are ways to help ease your pain at home:
When to seek care
Make an appointment with your doctor if you develop any type of pelvic pain that:
These can include:
Treatment for pelvic pain
The treatment that your doctor prescribes for your pelvic pain will depend on what’s causing it. Some examples of potential treatments of pelvic pain while walking include:
Not all causes of pelvic pain while walking can be prevented, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk. Some preventive steps include the following:
There are several types of health conditions that can cause pelvic pain when you walk.
In many cases, the cause of this type pain is related to your musculoskeletal system. This includes your bones, muscles, joints, and tendons.
In other cases, the pain can also be associated with organs and tissues in your pelvis.
Mild to moderate pelvic pain can often be treated at home with rest, cool and warm compresses, and OTC anti-inflammatory medications.
However, it’s important to see your doctor if your pain worsens, persists, or interferes with daily activities.
The specific treatment of pelvic pain while walking depends on the cause. Initial treatment is often conservative, involving medications or physical therapy. Your doctor may recommend surgery in more severe cases.
A physical therapist can develop a movement plan to help keep you active.
Physical therapy focuses on the body’s ability to engage in movement. Movement can be anything from getting in and out of chairs to climbing stairs, walking in your neighborhood, playing a sport or doing recreational activities.
What Are the Goals of Physical Therapy?
For arthritis, goals typically include:
To start, an individualized plan of exercises is developed. These exercises are designed to improve flexibility, strength, coordination and balance to achieve optimal physical function. Physical therapists:
The goal of a physical therapy session is to teach you how to do things in your treatment plan – such as performing certain exercises, or how to best use hot and cold compresses – for yourself. The visits are often short – about an hour – and focus on identifying problems with your physical function and giving you strategies for care that you can do at home.
When visiting the PT, think clearly about what your complaint is and what you would like to be able to do after physical therapy. Your goal can be getting in and out of your car without pain, raising up on your toes or raising your arms to reach items in your kitchen cabinets, taking a walk or performing your job without pain in the hips, knees and feet, or even walking or running a 5K. Your PT can then work with you to develop a plan that is right for you to achieve your goals.
In most cases, you don’t need to see the PT every week. Periodic visits every few months are sufficient to update your program if necessary. When you experience a change in your health – such as a flare in your arthritis that causes you to fall behind in your exercise program or involvement of a different joint that affects another area of function – you can return to the physical therapist to update your exercise program and treatment strategy.
The key to a successful outcome is learning the exercises from a physical therapist and practicing them at home over the long term. Improvement is gradual – the body gets stronger and more adept slowly over time – so consistent practice is essential.
How to Find a Physical Therapist?
If you are interested in seeing a PT, ask your doctor for a recommendation an a referral for an evaluation at Zenergy Physical Therapy.