Health Blog

Back or Neck Pain? What Different Types of Pain Mean

neck-pain

When you have an ache or pain it can leave you scratching your head as to where the pain is truly coming from. Just because it hurts in that part of your leg or arm, doesn’t mean that is where the problem is coming from. Is it a bulging disc, muscle strain or did you just plain over do it?

 

Being a physical therapist is much like being a mechanic for the body. Where is that pain coming from, what type of pain is it, are you out of alignment, what are you not able to do that you want to get back to, how is your body moving incorrectly, etc.?

 

If you are suffering from back pain or neck pain, here are questions that help determine the origins of your pain:

 

How long have you had your pain?

For example, acute low back pain may be because of a muscle strain. Chronic low back pain is typical of restricted spinal joints, tight muscle tissue and weakened muscle strength.

 

How is the pain? Achy, sharp, tingling?

Achy pain is typically a problem with movement due to poor functioning of muscles and joints. Sharp pain can be a muscle spasm or even an impingement of a joint. Tingling sensations and pain can be irritation to a nerve either from compression or inflammation of that area.

 

Does the pain travel to a specific part of the leg or arm, or does it spread over a wide area to the buttock, back of the leg or arm?

Widespread pain is typical of muscle strain, inflammation and weakness. People will typically relate this pain to prolonged standing, walking and other physical activities. The muscles cannot support the spine or hips and thus become strained. Specific pain to a part of the leg or arm can possibly be nerve related. In either of these cases, it is important for you to seek out the right professional help.

 

Is the pain worse at a specific time of day?

Achy, stiff pain in the morning can be due to muscle and tissue tightness. Severe radiating pain to the lower back, buttock and leg with bending in the morning is an indicator of a potential herniated disc. Widespread pain is typically related to the lack of flexibility and guarding in the spine. Whereas, pain towards the end of the day after moving and activity is an indicator of spinal muscle weakness, as the muscles fatigue during the day.

 

Do you have difficulty with prolonged sitting, standing or walking?

Pain with prolonged standing and walking is usually a sign of muscle fatigue of the spine as well as the hip muscles. It is typical to complain of pain to the low back and buttocks as your muscles cannot tolerate the activity. An easy test to check your hip strength is to lie on your side and lift your leg up 15 times. If you struggle with this, you most likely have hip muscle weakness, which will cause a lot of strain to your spine. Most people with back pain have weakness in the gluteus and core muscles.

 

The good news is that with the right physical therapy treatment plan, you can quickly treat these problem areas and prevent the pain from returning. There is a lot that can be done to help pain and the fastest way to relieve it is to find out the true source and treat it. With our years of medical training, specializing in muscles, joints and nerves, we determine where your pain is coming from. Then with specialized hands-on therapy, structured easy medical exercises and modalities, we can relieve your pain, get you stronger and put you on the right path to return to activities. Contact Orthopedic and Balance Therapy today to learn more and say goodbye to your pain.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAIL LISTDiscover the solution to pain-free living.
Sign up today for monthly health tips.

Our Reviews
Elaine Krause
Elaine Krause
18:18 11 Dec 19
I attended several of the Saturday workshops at OBTS to increase my knowledge as a yoga instructor. Noel’s informative presentations were tailored to meet the needs of those individuals who were present. I took advantage of the free assessment offered to the attendees, and chose to try PT to resolve a minor issue. The therapists did an excellent job correcting the problem quickly. Great team of professionals! Thank you!
Timothy Knopf
Timothy Knopf
20:18 30 Oct 19
Best therapy place around. I would recommend this place to everyone. They have the best group of therapists around.
Mitchell Udowitz
Mitchell Udowitz
20:43 27 Oct 19
I have been to two Physical Therapy places prior to finding Orthopedic & Balance Therapy in Valparaiso. While they were ok they don’t hold a candle to Orthopedic & Balance Therapy. OBT team works as one in harmony and they stay on top of the latest technology for their patients. Their team is so very knowledgeable and very friendly plus they generally care about what they are doing and it shows. They are concerned about the whole person not just the injury they need to be treated for.
Barbara Serynek
Barbara Serynek
18:52 03 Oct 19
The entire staff has been very pleasant, professional and accommodating. Both Kristen and Joe have given me the best massages. Kate and Kollin made sure that I was doing my excercises and helped to move things along. Feeling better every visit. I'm so glad that I chose Orthopedic & Balance.
Heidi Richardson
Heidi Richardson
17:00 19 Sep 19
I went to physical therapy not expecting it to do very much to help because that’s the way I approach everything with low expectations. Noel and his team have made my neck feel so much better that it puts me in a more positive mood each day and I actually feel more positive and more productive on a day-to-day basis..
Christine O'Donnell
Christine O'Donnell
16:26 14 Aug 19
I could barely walk into OBTS six weeks ago. I had very bad lower back and hip pain. The progress has been life changing for me. I always walk out of there with little or no pain. The staff, Laura, Dr Diane, Angie and, of course, Peggy, have taught me so much to keep my pain at bay. I highly recommend this team.
Nancy Guenther
Nancy Guenther
15:28 12 Jul 19
Absolutely awesome! My walking has improved 110%. And my pain level is zero. I highly recommend them. Go....you will be amazed how much better you feel.
Tracie Baxter
Tracie Baxter
20:24 03 Jul 19
This was the only place that could help with my TMJ. If you’re suffering from TMJ go see Noel! He really understands the condition. I no long have to deal with constant pain! The whole staff at this office is amazing and very welcoming.
Cindy Standiford
Cindy Standiford
21:33 28 Jun 19
The whole team is great!! I’m getting great care! I recommend Orthopedic & Balance for any issues you might have.
Joseph Mulholland
Joseph Mulholland
19:53 09 May 19
Amazing staff and amazing care. I came in barely able to stand up straight due to a back injury. After 6 weeks, I feel like brand new. Everyone was extremely helpful and easy to work with. Highly recommended!
Trool u
Trool u
19:44 24 Apr 19
I am a PTA student that was required 16 hours of observation time. I had the pleasure of completing my hours at this Valpo location. The staff is incredibly friendly. They were quick to make me feel at home. In a way I was sad to leave, but happy to continue on. I hope to eventually work in this field with a work family this caring and knowledgeable about their profession.
sharon Kramer
sharon Kramer
16:23 18 Apr 19
My experience has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience in getting me to feeling better. The staff does a remarkable job and are fully qualified in their respective areas. The staff made it fun coming here and they were very caring and helpful with their clients!!
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
See All Reviews