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Appalachian Physical Therapy helps patients with many different conditions. Please see the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

What is Arthritis and Stenosis?
As we age, we use our neck joints and muscles thousands of times a day. This wear and tear over time can lead to bony changes in the joints and bones (vertebrae) of the neck. These bony changes, along with poor posture, cause spurs of bone that can rub and irritate the surrounding tissue.

When the spurs protrude in the holes on the side of the neck where the nerves exit out (foramen), or the central spinal cord canal, this is called spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can be central stenosis or foramenal stenosis. It can cause a variety of symptoms, from chronic pain, to numbness and tingling into the arms. In severe cases of central canal stenosis, which affects the spinal cord, poor balance, pain in the legs and difficulty with walking can occur.

People with osteoarthritis in the neck can experience chronic pain, stiffness and limited range of motion with turning their head and looking up. Pain may be worse in the morning or after prolonged sitting.

People with rheumatoid arthritis can suffer with neck pain. It is very important for people with rheumatoid arthritis to maintain strength in their shoulder, neck and postural muscles. This is because a very important ligament in the upper neck often weakens with rheumatoid arthritis and can be a serious health risk if injured.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important for neck arthritis. Our physical therapists assess your range of motion, joint mobility, strength and posture. From there, we determine the best plan of treatment, which may involve gentle hands on therapy to restore joint range of motion, massage to improve muscle mobility, strengthening, range of motion exercises and postural re–training.

Our physical therapists work with you and your physician to restore natural movement, eliminate pain and get you back to enjoying your normal activities. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your neck pain quickly!

What is Whiplash?
Whiplash can occur with many different accidents, but is often seen in motor vehicle accidents. The weight of the head and spine is whipped back and forth with the fast movement of an accident or fall. The muscles in the neck don’t have time to react and the harsh forces, strain, rip and tear muscles, ligaments and other tissues. In severe cases, fractures can occur in the bones of the neck (vertebrae).

Due to the shock and trauma initially from an accident, pain may or may not be present. Whiplash typically feels worse 1–2 days after the injury as inflammation sets in and tissues become swollen. This can lead to headaches, pain with movement and even numbness / tingling into the upper extremities.

Often, people can have long standing weakness of the neck muscles, leading to future problems, if their whiplash is not fully treated. Strengthening and postural exercises are very important to maintain stability in the neck after a whiplash injury.

How physical therapy helps
There are different phases or treatment to help you after suffering whiplash. Our therapists will work with your physician on the appropriate treatment to help you recover and relieve your pain. At first very gentle hands on therapy, massage, ultrasound and electrical stimulation may be administered to relieve the pain and gently help swollen tissues recover.

Gradual progression is then made with restoring range of motion and beginning very gentle exercises. As you progress, the pain reduces and your range of motion improves, strengthening and postural exercises will be introduced to help you have a full recovery. It is very important to continue through with the recommended treatment plan of your therapist to achieve a full recovery and prevent future problems from occurring. Call us today to discover how we can help you relieve your whiplash pain quickly and make a full recovery.

Have you ever woken up with a stiff neck, unable to turn it to one side or another? Does your child seem to have an abnormal head or neck position? This condition, called torticollis, is painful and can result in the permanent shortening of the muscles that are involved. Fortunately, physical therapy can not only relieve the associated head and neck pain, it can improve your range of motion and eliminate torticollis for good. Contact us today to find out more or to schedule your consultation.

What is torticollis?

The word torticollis literally means “twisted neck”. There are typically two types of this condition – congenital, meaning present at birth, and acquired, meaning an incident or accident causes it. For some children, torticollis happens in the womb in the weeks before birth where the head and neck are positioned at an odd angle. Other children are born with the condition because of difficulties during delivery, a decreased blood supply to the neck muscles, muscular fibrosis or congenital spine anomalies. Even if a child is born with healthy head and neck positioning, infants sometimes develop torticollis when they spend too much time laying on their back, sitting in car seats, swings, bouncers, or strollers, or laying on play mats.

While the majority of people who experience torticollis are infants or children, anyone can experience the neck pain and limited range of motion associated with it. A muscle or nervous system injury can suddenly make it difficult to straighten your neck or position your head properly. This type of injury may be associated with car accidents, extended illnesses or other trauma.

Typical Torticollis Treatment

For many adults, torticollis will resolve itself on its own within a few days. However, it is vital to seek treatment on behalf of infants or children who are experiencing this type of head or neck positioning. If left too long without intervention, children may experience permanent disability due to shortening neck muscles. One of the first treatments doctors recommend are stretching exercises designed to lengthen and strengthen the neck muscles holding the head in the incorrect position. 80 percent of all children respond well to this type of treatment plan and do not experience any lasting effects. If these non-invasive treatments do not work, doctors will recommend surgery to lengthen short muscles and return the child’s head to a normal position. Once completed, the child may need physical therapy to strengthen their neck muscles and prevent the problem from recurring.

How Physical Therapy Treats Torticollis

Physical therapy services go beyond post-surgical care. While they are vital to someone who has been through a surgical procedure, they are also designed to increase range of motion, decrease muscle tightness and strengthen gross and fine motor skills that are needed for proper neck and head positioning. A physical therapist will first conduct an assessment to test your (or your child’s) range of motion and evaluate any other conditions that often accompany torticollis. These may include plagiocephaly (abnormal head shape), spine problems, or a misalignment of the hip joint (hip displaysia). Once the evaluation is complete, the physical therapist will discuss their findings and a potential treatment plan.

Physical therapy may include performing stretching exercises both in the office and at home to increase your range of motion and strengthen your neck muscles. These may include passive stretches which you perform and hold as well as active stretches of the neck and shoulder muscles designed to strengthen muscles that are used to maintain good posture. Even in infants who do not seem to be strong enough to reliably hold their own head, these stretches and exercises can correct the problem quickly. In fact, early intervention for torticollis often provides the best results.

If you or your child is experiencing painful, incorrect positioning of the head or neck, contact us today to schedule an evaluation. Our physical therapy staff can evaluate you or your little one and provide you with a customized treatment plan designed to treat your torticollis, leaving you pain-free and moving well.

Source

  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/congenital-muscular-torticollis-twisted-neck/

Information coming soon!

Information coming soon!

Information coming soon!

Information coming soon!

What are Degenerative Diseases?

Degenerative diseases of the spine fall under the categories of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). In the spine, this is typically due to age and genetics. The wearing down of the joints or discs causes loss in normal height of the bony segments in the back. This can cause excessive joint pressures, bone on bone rubbing and increased inflammation. Typically with DDD or DJD comes stiffening of the spinal joints and weakening of key spinal muscles.

How physical therapy helps

While the degenerative process cannot be reversed, there is a lot that can be done to improve mobility, reduce pain, improve strength and improve function. Physical therapy is the ideal, non-invasive treatment that helps to improve spinal flexibility, core muscle strength, reduce pain and improve posture. All of these contribute to less pain and a return to normal or modified activities. Call us today to discover how we can help your back pain and return you to the activities you love!

Neck Pain
There are many different reasons for neck pain. The neck requires good alignment, proper movement, strength and stability to work correctly. The neck or cervical spine has to bear the weight of the head, which is around 10-12lbs (the weight of a bowling ball). With injury or prolonged poor posture (for example sitting at a computer), change in alignment, weakness and instability start to occur. This irritates the structures of the neck and can even impinge on the nerves exiting the neck, or the central canal protecting the spinal cord.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists perform a thorough evaluation of your neck to determine your range of motion, strength, posture and alignment. Sometimes, where the pain is occurring, is not the source of the problem. Often a limitation in movement above or below the painful area is causing excessive pressure or poor function of the painful area. With gentle hands on therapy, special exercises and modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation, we can relieve your pain, restore motion and get you back to activities quickly without neck pain.