Neck pain and injury is common in a physiotherapy clinic and can be caused by multiple factors.
The head is balanced on a column of bones called vertebrae, each of these vertebrae are separated by discs and stabilized by ligaments. Movement occurs at the head and neck by contraction of the muscles around the neck, shoulders and upper back.
Any number of these structures can be implicated in an injury to the neck leading to pain, headaches and restricted movement.
A common reason as to why these injuries occur is a compromised sustained posture both during sitting and standing. Bad habits such as poor postures can lead to structural adaptation, leading a temporary problem to becoming a permanent one. It is imperative to address biomechanical faults early to prevent them from becoming symptomatic and more difficult to reverse. If you notice your posture isn’t ideal, see a Movement Medicine Physiotherapist before it becomes symptomatic and starts causing you pain! It can be changed!
Common neck injuries:
- Disc Bulge
- Pinched Nerves (Nerve root compression/compromise)
- Joint sprains
- Wry neck
- Muscle strains
Headaches are among the most common complaints in a physiotherapy clinic affecting approximately two thirds of the entire population. It can affect people of all ages and does not discriminate between athletes and the general public.
Headaches can be classified into many categories such as vascular(migraine), exercise induced, cluster headaches and cervicogenic. The latest research estimates that up to 80% of migraines are actually cervicogenic in nature. This indicates that the vast majority of headaches can be treated through management of the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back.
Once a thorough assessment is performed by a Movement Medicine Physiotherapist, the treatment will include a combination of massage, joint mobilization, stretching and strengthening. If it is deemed appropriate, modifications may be suggested in regard to ergonomics of a clients workstation to reduce postural load.
Healthy shoulders are crucial to performance in everyday tasks as well as the vast majority of sports. Without a fully functioning shoulder joint the most mundane tasks become increasingly difficult e.g. wash your hair or reaching for the seatbelt.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, however, unlike the hip, the shoulder is quite shallow. This structure allows for more mobility however compromises stability, relying heavily on the surrounding musculature.
An injury can occur to any number of structures such as bones, ligaments and muscles, particularly those involved in racquet sports as well as jobs requiring repetitive use of the arm e.g. painter, carpenter and electrician.
Common shoulder injuries we see are:
- Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
- Rotator cuff tears/strains
- Rotator cuff tendinopathy
- AC joint injury
- Shoulder Impingement
- Labral/cartilage tears
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is the most common type of injury sustained worldwide. It is estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain in their lives with a large percentage of those suffering from reoccurring episodes of pain.
Once properly assessed by a Movement Medicine professional the appropriate treatment is provided with a comprehensive mobility and/or stability program to ensure the pain is not only relieved but prevented from becoming chronic.
Lower back pain is largely the result of a weakness or limitation in both the hips or mid back (thoracic spine), causing the lower back to absorb more load than normal. In today’s society, the human body is required to sit for hours on end encouraging poor adaptations that lead to weak gluteal muscles as well as a slouched and weak upper back.
Don’t continue to put up with pain and restrict your activity levels, with the help of our team you can make a safe and durable return to movement.
Common back conditions treated:
- Disc bulge
- Pinched nerves
- Joint sprains (thoracic/lumbar/rib)
- Muscle strains
- Stress fractures
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunctions
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
Elbow, Wrist, Hand
Elbow, wrist and hand injuries are particularly common in jobs requiring repetitive grasping, gripping and keying leading to overuse injuries. Simple modifications and advice regarding technique, splinting and bracing can drastically decrease your symptoms.
It is also common to have a biomechanical/alignment issue stemming from the neck and shoulder contributing to an overuse injury further down such as golfers and tennis elbow.
Not all injuries are overuse and chronic in nature however, with many injuries being sustained after a fall directly onto the hand or elbow as well as traumatic injuries sustained at work or during sport.
Common injuries of the elbow, wrist and hand:
- Tennis elbow
- Golfers elbow
- Bicep injury
- Ligament sprain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- De quervains tenosynovitis
- Mallet finger
- Trigger finger
- TFCC tears
- Nerve pain
Knee pain can be caused by various structures around the knee joint including muscles, tendons, ligaments and the cartilage (meniscus). It can even be referred from other areas such as the lower back or hip. Knee injuries can occur gradually over time or from a trauma.
Acute knee injuries often occur in athletes involved in sports involving rapid change of direction, twisting and kicking such as football, soccer, basketball and netball. Such injuries often involve tearing of the meniscus (cartilage) or ligaments of the knee. These type of injuries can also occur during forceful contact with other players.
Gradual onset knee pain often occurs in those patients involved in activities that involve high volumes of running, repetitive squatting, jumping and twisting. One of the most common causes of gradual onset pain located at the front of the knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome. This is typically caused by biomechanical issues or muscle imbalance, resulting in mal-tracking of the kneecap. Over time this causes irritation to the surrounding soft tissue. If left untreated symptoms often gradually become worse over time and may limit your ability to participate in sport or activity.
Common injuries to the knee include:
- ACL injury
- Patello-femoral pain
- Meniscal or cartilage injuries
- Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
- Patella Tendinopathy
- Muscle strains
- Ligament sprains
- Baker’s cyst
Hip and Groin
The hip could be considered the human body’s foundation. It is the bridge connecting the lower and the upper body and as a result there is a lot going on around your hip and groin area. There are lots of muscles, structures like bursae (fluid filled sacs), and of course the joints themselves (e.g. hip joint, sacroiliac joint, pubic symphysis) that could all potentially be implicated in an injury. Muscles can suffer acute strains, chronic tightness or over use can result in tendinopathies, or there can be structural damage to the joints. Pain could also be referred from other areas e.g. your lumbar spine. Hip pain could also arise as a result of incorrect movement patterns from higher or lower in the kinetic chain such as poor movement at the thoracic spine or even an over pronation in the foot (flat feet).
Common injuries of the hip/groin include:
- Bone Fracture
- Labral tear
- Groin strain/tendinopathy
- Hamstring strain/tendinopathy
- Gluteal strain/tendinopathy
- Osteoarthritis (most common)
- Other forms of inflammatory arthritis e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Trochanteric pain syndrome
- Total Hip Replacement