Many people go to a chiropractor if they have a back injury or experience back pain. In many cases, back pain is caused by a spine disorder. Chiropractors use different techniques to treat spine disorders, such as spinal adjustments and spinal traction. A chiropractor may also suggest physical therapy treatment for certain spine disorders.
Here are three spine disorders that physical therapy helps to treat.
1. Degenerative Disc Disease
When the discs between the vertebrae shrink, it results in a condition called degenerative disc disease. The most common cause of this spine disorder is wear and tear, which is why it commonly occurs in older adults. This disorder causes the spine to lose its flexibility, which results in pain or numbness. Even though it's painful to move, doing so can help to strengthen the back and core muscles.
Eventually, the pain will begin to subside. This is why physical therapy treatment can be effective for degenerative disc disease. It is important to move the right way, however. A physical therapist can recommend certain exercises that will help to increase the range of motion in the spine and help the body carry itself more efficiently.
2. Spinal Arthritis
When there is inflammation in the facet joints or sacroiliac joints, it results in spinal arthritis. This spine disorder is usually caused by wear and tear. However, in some instances, spinal arthritis may be related to an autoimmune disorder or an infection.
There are different types of spinal arthritis, which include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine
Common symptoms of spinal arthritis include lower back pain, stiffness in the spine, and tenderness around the affected vertebrae.
Physical therapy treatment for spinal arthritis helps decrease stiffness, which improves flexibility and range of motion in the spine. Physical therapy treatment also helps to lessen the pain. Low-impact aerobic exercises are often included in physical therapy treatment for spinal arthritis.
3. Herniated Disc
The spine consists of cushion-like discs between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers. When the soft part of the disc moves through the disc's exterior, it results in a spine condition called a herniated disc. When the ruptured disc compresses a nerve, it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling throughout the back and extremities.
Physical therapy treatment helps for a herniated disc by taking pressure off of the nerve, thereby helping pain and other symptoms to subside. This treatment will consist of exercises to stabilize the core, strengthen the muscles, and increase flexibility.