Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Injuries:
The spine is composed of 24 vertebrae: 7 Cervical, 12 Thoracic, and 5 Lumbar. In total these structures function to protect the spinal cord and to allow for our erect posture and independent movement of the upper extremities, lower extremities, and trunk. Each vertebrae is separated from the next by a disc. These discs serve the purpose to create space for the nerves to exit from the spine as well as to allow for shock absorption to reduce forces on the spine. As we age, or as a result of injury, the disc space can narrow causing issues with sensory and or strength changes. I am sure you are familiar with the term "Sciatica" and its symptoms. This is a term given to the type of pain one can feel from a nerve impingement. The causes can be varied. Osteoporosis,or a reduction in the strength of the bone structures and arthritis, a wearing on the surfaces of the vertebrae, also can affect the spine. Injuries such as whiplash or trauma to the spine are other possible causes of pain. Physical Therapy evaluation and treatment in conjunction with care from your medical doctors can be very helpful in reducing the effects of these forces and changes to the spine. There is much a therapist can do to help you to learn to move with less pain or stress to the spine, exercises to be taught that can improve the alignment of the vertebrae, and treatments to reduce pain. Surgery is not often the first or best choice in addressing back and neck dysfunction. The conservative approach works best to address most issues. Again it does often take a combined intervention with your medical professionals but in many cases therapy can greatly help to reduce your pain and dysfunction and help to reduce further injury or episodes of pain.
If you have issues with neck or back pain Flynn Physical Therapy can help to reduce or alleviate these issues. Please call to discuss any questions you may have to determine if physical therapy is the intervention that is needed to heal you.
Dr Kaethe Flynn PT, DPT