Back and neck pain and mobility issues are sometimes unavoidable. Injuries from your job, a car accident or fall can have serious implications on your overall health and wellbeing. Throughout the years, Keswick and Sutton Physiotherapy have received several questions relating to physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Please browse through the list below to learn some interesting facts. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.
Q: Why am I getting headaches and neck pain by the end of the day?
A: Cervical Postural Syndrome is a common condition that is caused by poor neck posture over a prolonged period of time (i.e. hours spent looking at a screen) which puts a strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back.
Try the following suggestions to help ease your discomfort and improve your posture over time:
AVOID EXCESSIVE STRAIN: make sure the purse/backpack you're carrying is not too heavy.
WORKSTATION: make sure your screen is at eye level and placed 18-24" from your face: use a chair that provides good support to the low back and arms.
STRAIGHTEN UP: keep your head positioned directly over your neck and shoulders, avoid slouching.
REST: take a short break every 20 minutes, walk it off.
EXERCISE: focus on exercises that pull your shoulder blades back and down, and perform chin tucks throughout the day.
GET HELP: ergonomic education, manual tissue release, pain-relieving modalities (ultrasound, laser), supportive taping, acupuncture and an individualized exercise program can help optimize your recovery.
Q: What is bursitis?
A: Bursa are fluid filled sacs that sit between a bone and the surrounding tendons/muscles providing cushioning to reduce friction when a joint moves. Bursitis is when these sacs become inflamed. Symptoms include pain and swelling frequently affecting shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive strain, trauma (falling and jumping a joint) or constant pressure.
Treatment for bursitis includes rest, icing several times a day, initially avoiding movements and activities that cause pain and stretching/strengthening the surrounding muscles. Keswick Physiotherapy can help you optimize your recovery by providing modalities to reduce pain and inflammation such as acupuncture, laser, ultrasound and IFC, manual tissue release, education on safe activities and what to avoid. Most importantly, our physiotherapists and exercise therapists will educate you on exercises that are appropriate, and the frequency and work rate in which to do them by creating and supervising an individualized program to suit your needs.
Q: What is prehab?
A: Prehab is pre-surgical rehabilitation.
There are several reasons to attend physiotherapy BEFORE surgery:
1) To help heal secondary injuries - Often with injuries, multiple muscles, tendons and/or ligaments are injured. Surgeries often only repair the worst of the injured tissues. Similarly with joint replacements, the surrounding tissues are often in poor condition due to compensating. Attending physiotherapy before surgery can help address secondary issues, so that post-surgically you can focus on rehabilitating the newly repaired tissue or joint.
2) Improve joint range, strength and function - Having muscles that are flexible and strong provide better support to a joint and allow for better mobility and functioning. Physiotherapy can provide you with an individualized exercise program to help optimize your potential prior to an operation. The more range of motion and strength you have going into a surgery, the easier the recovery will be.
3) Education - Preparing yourself mentally before an operation can sometimes be as helpful as being physically prepared. Physiotherapy can help you better understand your expected surgical procedure and post-operative prognosis.
Simply said - the better you go into surgery, the better you will do coming out.
Q: What are text neck and text thumb?
A: Cell phone related injuries are increasing as people spend more time texting, tweeting and surfing. Injuries of the hand, wrist, forearm, neck and upper back are on the rise. Bending your head to look down at your cell can put up to 60lbs of pressure on your spine! Our thumbs were also not built for repetitive texting and swiping. Symptoms may include pain, burning, tingling and weakness.
Here are some tips to reduce these types of injuries:
1) Alternate between using your thumbs and other fingers. Whenever possible, use your fingers instead of your thumbs.
2) Place your phone down on a hard surface if you’re texting, or hold the phone in one hand and text with the other, instead of using only one hand.
3) Use the pad of your thumb, not the tip since it creates an awkward bent position.
4) Keep your wrists relaxed and as straight as possible.
5) Keep the phone at your chest, chin or eye level. If your phone is below eye level, look down with your eyes rather than your neck.
6) Take a break every 20 minutes.
7) Follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of screen time, take 20 seconds to look 20 feet ahead.
If you would like to learn some preventative stretches and strengthening exercises or if you think you have text neck or text thumb, let our team at Keswick and Sutton Physiotherapy manage your treatment!