Pain is typically the reason patients seek medical attention, and is what almost everyone will experience at some point in their life. The experience of pain is largely subjective, as everyone perceives pain stimuli in their own individual way. Once your physician performs a pain assessment you may be referred to a physical therapist for treatment.
Pain is characteristically categorized as either acute, meaning short lasting with a sudden onset, or chronic, which can last for a few weeks to many months. Acute pain is commonly the result of a well-defined cause, like an injury. Chronic pain generally results from degenerative disease, like arthritis, or a severe accident and typically requires long-term therapy.
Postural analysis is used to determine a skeletal or muscular imbalance and if the imbalance is contributing to pain and/or dysfunction. Postural analysis assists healthcare practitioners in assessing whether there is a relational cause or contribution to pain.
Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, affects up to three percent of the population, or approximately six million people, in the U.S. Doctors aren’t sure what the cause is to the most common forms of scoliosis, although it appears that genetics play a factor. There is scientific evidence that shows physical therapy may help a patient with scoliosis to stand up straighter and improve breathing. Physical therapy can also help to manage the pain from scoliosis as exercise, like Pilates, have shown some promise in treating the disease.
Treating a patient who has frequent headaches with physical therapy can often provide dramatic results. Relief from constant or even infrequent, but severe, headaches can be life-changing for a patient living with pain. Many patients who enter therapy with neck injuries commonly report persistent or frequent headaches and are also completely unaware that spinal issues and headache pain may be connected.
Headaches are known to be caused by a wide range of conditions, including compressed nerves, vascular issues, damaged muscles and joints and more. Many of these issues are the result of an accident, like a car crash, or injury to the spine or head. Physical therapy is often used to treat headaches which are the result of musculoskeletal problems, including disc pathology, muscle tension, tightness or injury, restricted neck motion, bad posture and even shoulder tightness or lower-back problems. In some cases, where the cause is obvious and treatable, patients can see rapid or even immediate relief from headache pain.