What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy is a branch of rehabilitation medicine that involves the treatment of disease, injury or deformity by physical methods such as exercise, heat treatments and massage. Physical therapists are licensed health care providers that treat a variety of conditions.
Physical Therapy Benefits for Back and Neck Pain
Physical therapy has a very important role in the treatment of back and neck pain. The goals of physical therapy are to decrease pain, improve function and provide a maintenance program to prevent further recurrences of pain. People who suffer from back or neck pain may think that doing activity will cause more pain and therefore might stop doing much physical activity. Research has shown that inactivity can actually prevent healing and that active forms of back and neck exercises are necessary to rehabilitate the spine and improve pain. Exercises specifically aimed at strengthening the ‘core’ muscles that support the spine have been shown to increase stability of the spine and improve pain.
Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) Method
Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, also known as the ‘McKenzie Method’, is a specific type of physical therapy which focuses on musculoskeletal problems, including pain in the back and neck as well as issues associated with sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, muscle spasms and intermittent numbness in hands or feet.
The majority of time it is a position, movement or activity that causes back and neck pain to start. This may mean that moving in one direction can worsen the pain and moving in the opposite direction can eliminate pain and restore function. The MDT method explores these different positions and movements, how the patient performs them and the response to the movements. By interpreting this information a specific treatment plan is formed with the goal of improving pain. Patients also learn how to self-treat their current problem and minimize the risk of recurrence through appropriate positional exercises.
Referral to Physical Therapy
At Oasis Interventional Spine Care we have access to physical therapy conveniently located in our office through the Neurology, Psychiatry and Balance Therapy Center (www.npbtc.com). Although not directly affiliated with Oasis Interventional Spine Care a referral can be made for physical therapy through NPBTC.
You can always choose where you would like to have physical therapy and your doctor can assist you in finding the most convenient locations. Your doctor can also refer you to physical therapists that are certified in the McKenzie Method if felt to be appropriate.