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Hands of hope NY

Back Pain

Back is one of the most common areas that many people have issues with. Generally , this is because of our lifestyle and the way we do things like lifting heavy weights , sitting for long periods of time, etc. At hands of hope, we use the most evidence based approaches to treat back patients. One of our main focuses is to prevent surgery and decrease pain medications intake. Our approach depends on the concept of natural treatment of your back issues . We have high success rates with our patients with a variety of back problems to get them back to their normal daily life and their maximum function.

We would like to discuss 4 of the most common causes of back problems:

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Disc Herniation

Disc herniation symptoms can include:

  • – Back pain
  • – Weakness in one or both legs, pain, tingling, numbness
  • – Change in bowel habits, bladder issues (Seek medical attention immediately)

Treatment for Herniated disks 

At Hands of Hope NY we know that spine disorders may result from multiple causes. Herniated disks are a common cause of back or neck pain. Sometimes referred to as a “slipped” or “damaged” disc, this condition occurs most often in the lumbar or lower back, as well as smaller discs in the cervical or neck region.

Spinal discs are rubbery pads between the vertebrae, the specialized bones that make up the spinal column. Doctors call them intervertebral discs. The discs act as a small cushion between the vertebrae of the spine, and when they are displaced, they can pinch and put extra pressure on the nerves in the area. This can cause symptoms such as tingling or sharp finger pain in the hands (cervical disc) or legs (lumbar disc), sensational impairment, such as burning sensation or pins and needles, or lack of sensation, loss of strength, pain and limited motion.

 

Although herniated discs can sometimes be very painful, most people may feel much better in a few simple, non-surgical treatments, such as those offered in physical therapy.

The treatment can include heat pack, traction, manual treatment including therapeutic massage  and variety of exercises.

Quick Tip : Lying on your stomach with a pillow underneath your stomach can help decrease your back pain.
Apart from physical therapy for the back area, anti-inflammatory pain medication may be used as well as an injection of a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation and manage pain. However , these methods are temporary supporting solutions for your pain. Physical therapy focuses on a more long term approach to reduce the load on your spine and relieve nerve irritation.

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Non specific Low Back Pain

NSLBP simply means that there are multiple factors contributing to the back pain. It’s not one reason that causes the pain. Recent research has shown that the majority of back problems have multiple causes, not just one. 


If the ligaments and muscles that stabilize the spinal column are weak, this will make the spine unstable and can be painful.
Prolonged standing and sitting , lifting heavy objects and even being overweight can contribute to pain radiating throughout the body since the nerves within the spinal cord reach all over the body. 

 

Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

 

  • Overall feeling of stiffness and limited range of motion.
  • Pain can be intermittent, constant, radiating or localized.
  • Pain in the back of the legs

Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Multiple physical therapy techniques can contribute to recovery from your non – specific low back pain including :

– Core stability exercises
– Manual therapy
– Functional strengthening exercises
– Aquatherapy ( hyperlink to aqua therapy page)
– Traction

 

Prevention of Back Pain

Hands of Hope Physical Therapy in NYC is always educating patients about what they can do to prevent musculoskeletal problems and we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of some general guidelines. Fundamentally, the core muscles act as the sturdy central link connecting lower and upper body, for almost all everyday actions, the necessary movements originate in your core or move through it. Low back pain — a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives — may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles. Furthermore, when picking up objects stand directly behind them and bend your knees when lifting. Do not bend or hunch over and make sure you carry objects close to the body.

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“  AposTherapy® is a clinically-proven, personalized treatment that eases pressure on your joints and corrects your walking patterns, with just one hour or less a day “

Now for Healthfirst patients, Hands of Hope Physical Therapy is at your doorstep!

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Degenerative disc disease

What is Degenerative Disc Disease ?

Pain due to a damaged disc or multiple discs in the spine is referred to as DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease). As we all age, these discs begin to dry out and become less effective in preventing the vertebrae from rubbing together and pinching nerves, instead of performing their natural role as shock absorbers. Many people suffer back pain from the wearing of the spinal column but DDD can heavily affect the patient’s quality of life.

 

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease:

  • Pain can reach buttocks, thighs and hips if the degenerating disc is in the lower back (caused by excessive sitting or by repetitive movements such as lifting, bending over or twisting).
  •  
  • Pain can reach towards arms, shoulders and even neck if the degenerated discs is in the upper back.
  •  
  • Regardless of location, numbness, tingling or weakness can be experienced affecting how you walk, move or even how you stand.

 

See this blog about importance of core strength :
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-real-world-benefits-of-strengthening-your-core

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Scoliosis and Kyphosis Conditions

Scoliosis is a side curvature of the spine. It usually occurs during puberty, and often goes undetected when not sufficiently severe. With scoliosis, the impairment caused by misalignment of the spinal vertebra may become more serious as we get older. This may also be due to improper posture, weight distribution, and poor biomechanics throughout our lifetime.

Scoliosis typically results in a discrepancy in length of the leg, uneven shoulders, with the shoulder blade appearing more prominent on one side than on the other, pain in the neck and back, and limited mobility.

Treatment of Scoliosis

Although scoliosis cannot be reversed, the pain and discomfort felt can be mitigated by physiotherapy. Also , Recent studies showed magnificent results in the improvement and decrease of the curvature with proper physical therapy and bracing. 

Kyphosis

 

Kyphosis can occur at any age but is common with older women and involves an exaggerated, forward rounding of the back. This happens due to weakness in the spinal bones causing them to crack or compress. Other types of kyphosis occur in teens and infants due to malformation of the spine or wedging of spinal bones over time. Mild Kyphosis doesn’t cause serious problems while severe kyphosis can be disfiguring and painful. 

 

At Hands of Hope NYC we know that there is a range of variation in the way the upper back rounds forward. It is when you hunch out of your normal range that problems start occurring. 

 

Symptoms of Kyphosis

 

  • – Fatigue
  • – Mild to severe back pain
  • – Rounded upper back 
  • – Spine stiffness and/or tenderness
  • – More severe cases can experience shortness of breath, chest pain and/or numbness, weakness and/or tingling in the legs

 

Treatment for Kyphosis 

 

At Hands of Hope NYC we come across people with a considerable hunch and still pain-free and functional. There is even a study that shows people in good health above 65 don’t feel pain from a hunch

Quick Tip : Lying on your stomach with a pillow underneath your stomach can help decrease your back pain.

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To determine the cause of pain

For people who are experiencing pain or problems with kyphosis, the next step is to determine the cause, because treatments will address those root issues since there is no direct treatment for kyphosis:

  • Postural:

    Because the cause here is due to posture, that’s the first line of treatment to correct the situation . That might mean physical therapy and strength training.
  • Scheuermann’s:

    This form can be treated with physical therapy and mild pain medications most of the time, but if the patient is still growing and the spinal curve measures at least 45 degrees, a brace is often recommended.
  • Congenital:

    Surgery done during infancy can help treat the disorder, especially since the condition typically worsens as a child grows.
  • Kyphotic spinal curves:

    With other causes, such as degenerative arthritis or spinal infection, the change may be gradual. When that happens, a doctor will measure the spine curvature over time to see the rate of progression. When it’s greater than 75 degrees, surgery may be needed to treat the deformity and stabilize the spine. Before that point, someone with worsening kyphosis will likely be treated with physical therapy, specific home exercises, and pain medication.

Examples of activities that help strengthen muscles in the back and core and improve balance overall are:
– Yoga
– Stretching
– Strength training
– Swimming

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