Back and Neck Pain

Back and neck pain are extremely common and can come on gradually or be due to an injury. Back and neck pain can be influenced by posture, repetitive use, trauma and even stress. It can become persistent after an acute episode if your movement patterns and central nervous system processing and planning centers do not recover adequately.

When pain is "acute," it means that the pain comes on quickly and usually has an identifiable injury that causes it. An example would be when you bend over to pick up a weight from the flooryou're your back goes into spasm. Whiplash is an example of acute onset neck pain.

Recurring pain refers to pain that seemed to go away after the first occurrence, but then "keeps coming back." This is common when you have developed compensation strategies that alter your normal, optimal movement patterns. Sometimes the original injury has completed resolved, but you are left with altered movement which causes muscle spasm, discomfort and pain.

Persistent (Chronic) pain refers to pain that persists over a long period of time. It can be relatively mild or very severe and can result in big impacts to your ability to enjoy recreation or work. Often with chronic issues, the pain processing centers in the central nervous system become hyper-sensitized and over-protective which results in muscle tightness and altered movement.

As you can imagine, all of these types of problems respond to different treatment approaches. Thorough assessment by an experienced therapist will help to identify the factors that are leading to pain and impairment so that you and your therapist can find the best treatment strategies to improve your pain and function.