Neck and Back Pain

  • Back problems can cause pain in the back, groin, hip or leg.
  • Neck problems can cause pain in the neck, shoulder, mid-back, arm or cause headaches.

This pain can be caused by a number of factors including degeneration or injury to any of the structures associated with the spine such as discs, muscles and ligaments.

Common causes of back and neck pain include:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Bad posture
  • Repeated stress
  • Injury
  • Conditions ex: scoliosis

Physiotherapists working in the area of Musculoskeletal therapy are specially trained in treating back and neck pain.


What will a physiotherapist do?

  • Perform a detailed assessment via history taking and a physical examination.
  • Give a diagnosis of the exact site of symptoms and the underlying causes.
  • Discuss a treatment and exercise programme in collaboration with you.
  • Your Physiotherapist will monitor your symptoms at each visit and will progress your treatment programme accordingly. If appropriate, your physiotherapist will liaise with your doctor, hospital consultant or other health care professional. You will be advised on return to work, sport, daily activities and given advice on preventing recurrence of your pain.


Treatment techniques:

  • Stretching, strengthening and postural re-education exercises. Group exercise interventions may be appropriate such as Pilates.
  • Biomechanical assessment and prescription of orthotics including posture re-education as pain can be due to repeated poor movement patterns.
  • Prescription and fitting of collars, pillows, spinal supports, lumbar rolls and/or corrective seating.
  • Education and advice on ergonomics (working postures).
  • Manual techniques for example manipulation, traction or mobilisation of the joints in the spine.
  • Hydrotherapy.
  • Soft tissue techniques – massage, frictions, trigger point therapy, acupressure and stretching.
  • Taping  – taping techniques may be used to offload over active muscles or to stabilize certain movements. Taping can also be used to provide feedback and enhance proprioception (communication between the brain and the affected part).
  • Electrotherapy – Electrotherapy modalities vary widely  but the most common are: ultrasound, interferential, TENS, laser or electrical stimulation which may help speed up healing and reduce pain.