Back pain and neck pain are very common in this computer era because of our sedentary life style. Even youngsters and mid age people are not spared from spinal issues because of their poor exercise habits and nature of jobs.
Robin McKenzie, a reputed Physiotherapist from New Zealand classifies the cause of spinal problems into three types.
1) Derangement –Pain caused due to changes in the position and fluid imbalance in the spinal discs.
2) Dysfunction -Pain and restriction of movement caused by tightening of the soft tissues around the spine.
3) Postural syndromes– Incorrect postures that induces stress on soft tissues leading to pain
Back pain lasting more than 3- 5 days,or if the pain radiates down the back of thighs and legs, needs immediate intervention. Also, prolonged neck pain may radiate down the arms and hands,finally leading to numbness.
Surgery was the only option for these types of spinal problems in the past. Hot, cold and electrical modalities can provide a temporary pain relief. But modern physiotherapy which includes manipulation of spinal joints can replace the surgical option.
Manipulation is a “hands on technique”where the physiotherapist treats the affected part of the spine gently manipulating the transverse process (part of the spinal bone). McKenzie Approach is the widely used technique in the western world. This type of approach requires active participation of patients along with the guidance of a physiotherapist. Active participation mainly includes spinal extension type of exercises (backward bending) and sustaining in that position for a while.
The main goals of this type of manual approach program are:
- To rule out the cause of radiating pain down the legs or other areas.
- To bring the spine to its normal position.
- To avoid re-occurrence rate.
- Reduce the frequency of visits to clinic and the expense.
- Carry out the exercise program by patients themselves and obtain a pain free lifestyle.
Manipulation along with McKenzie exercise regimen can effectively cure the patient’s spinal problems.