Similar to “TMJ,” oral-facial pain is a term which typically encompasses and wide variety of symptoms and diagnosis. Most often, patient experience pain with chewing and/or clenching the teeth. This can be caused by either the muscles of mastication or irritation of the trigeminal nerve, a very important cranial nerve in the face. 

LOW BACK PAIN

Low back pain is commonly regarded as the number one orthopedic complaint in the United States. Contemporary research shows more than 70% of people will develop low back pain at some point in their lifetime, often requiring formal medical management. While most patients understandably prefer a “quick fix,” numerous studies show that conservative care, most notably physical therapy, is the most effective solution. Confounding the management of low back pain are the numerous diagnosis, treatment options and contradictory information associated with its treatment. The underlying goal of physical therapy, which is to increase mobility, while decreasing low back pain has repetitively provided consistent, positive results. Specifically diagnosed conditions, which are commonly treated in physical therapy are:  Degenerative Disc Disease, Degenerative Joint Disease, Arthritis, Herniated/Bulging Disc, Stenosis, Sciatica, SI Joint Dysfunction, Radiculopathy and Post-Surgical.  

TREATMENTS

Treatment of low back pain, whether acute or chronic, typically begins with decreasing inflammations and pain. This includes reducing muscular tension of the lumbar region. Restoring range of motion and functional mobility are also key components of rehab at this point. With a reduction of painful symptoms, patients are usually able to gradually return to their normal daily activities.

Following a reduction of inflammation, more advanced techniques are then incorporated. These treatments aim to reduce spinal compression, promote proper vertebral joint function and reduce radicular symptoms. Spinal manipulation/mobilization, postural education and core stability allow for a patient’s return to full function.  

MANUAL THERAPY

Manual therapy, including soft tissue manipulation, joint mobilization and dry needling, are commonly used to decrease pain and muscular dysfunction. Skilled physical therapy intervention can undoubtedly increase blood flow to these areas and ultimately reduce inflammation. Contemporary research consistently concludes positive results with the physical contact between a therapist and patient.

THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE PROGRAMS

Therapeutic exercise programs, including both stretching and strengthening are the hallmarks of productive physical rehabilitation.  The application of proper posture training and restoring normal movements patterns are necessary for early resumption of activity. Specific stability exercises are utilized to improve neck and upper quarter control, while also reducing the possibility of re-injury.

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