Treating Neck and Low Back Pain

Neck and Low Back are unfortunately a fact of life. Literally, 100% of people will experience a moderate or severe episode of neck of low back pain in their lifetime. These conditions are so common that many therapists, Chiropractors and treatment options exist only to treat these complaints. But, I’m not a classic Chiropractor relying on an adjustment to solve a more complex issue with your spine. Most of the time it’s simply the aging process taking place and not a traumatic event. Usually the person is much healthier than they feel at the moment and I’m able to provide treatment, management and advice that helps address the issue in a timely manner. 

Whiplash

Whiplash usually causes neck and upper back pain after a violent event like a car accident or sports related impact. It occurs when the head is jerked back-and-forth or side-to-side in a rapid movement. The muscles of the neck and upper back tense up to protect the head and subsequently strain most deeper layers of the muscle. Sometimes the ligaments protecting the spine and spinal bones/joints become inflamed and painful as well. Each case is different but introducing therapy and a recovery plan is essential so there are not lasting issues. 

Neck Strains and Sprains

Most pain of the neck and low back is soft tissue related, not the disc, spinal joints or other anatomy. Improving the soft tissue quality and healing potential of the muscle while decreasing tightness is important prior to introducing therapeutic exercise. Strains and Sprains can also present as a compensatory reaction to normal aging of the spine. With a good game plan we can prevent severe neck and low back strains with regular movement and self care. In acute cases, we can provide relief and guidance on how to recover fast. 

Facet Joint Pain

Facet joints are the joint Chiropractor traditionally “adjust” to improve mobility and decrease muscle tightness. After Myofascia (muscle and fascia) pain, facet pain is the most common source of neck and low back issues. This is because as we age our disc loose height, we shrink, and more pressure is placed upon the facet joints. They become overstressed and often have arthritis develop around. This limits our spinal mobility and encourages our neck and low back muscle to tighten down. Chiropractic manipulation is one way to make the facet joint move better and calm down, but I feel there is a more comprehensive way to treat and prevent facet related pain. This condition shouldn’t require excessive amount of visits if you treat the muscle and joint pain, improve mobility and introduce self care exercises to prevent the issue. In severe cases I’m able to guide you on the appropriate imaging, injection and other medical procedures you could consider to find relief and get back to your active self. 

Disc Injuries

Although rare, Spinal Disc injuries do happen and they are frustrating. I know, I severely herniated a lumbar disc and experienced significant leg pain from a pinched nerve. Luckily, with some medical help (injections) I avoided surgery and feel pretty good with regular movement and self care.

There are many types of bulges, herniations, extrusions and annular tears, but most disc pain is not that severe, it’s usually very subtle. Most patients experience episodes where the disc might become somewhat inflamed and stiff, which then produces facet joint and muscle pain. Much of the pain is treatable and hence surgery is not common these days. If specialized medical care is needed then I’ll outline what your options are. Xray, MRIs and other tests might be appropriate to accurately diagnose the cause of your pain. Radiating pain down the arm or leg from a disc injury, or the swelling it might create is called a Radiculopathy. It can be confused with other soft tissue, shoulder and hip complaints and deserves the attention to detail to ensure we address it swiftly. 

neck pain treatment in lafayette, co

Depending on your need, I might suggest one of handful of these treatment options. 

  • Activity Modification 
  • Hot/Cold Therapy 
  • Graston Technique
  • Cupping Therapy
  • Dry Needling
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Manipulative Therapy- Chiropractic Adjustments
  • Massage Therapy
  • Injections 
  • Electrotherapy 
  • Over-the-counter Medications 
  • Imaging/Studies: XRay, MRI, CT, Nerve Studies, etc. 
  • Specialist Referral

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    Google Reviews

    This practice has been the only one to truly help with the underlying symptoms and cause of my pain. Eric St. Pierre is highly intelligent, competent and updated on current research. More importantly, Eric has an uncanny ability to show deep compassion for each unique client situation. This is extremely helpful in the emotional and mental aspects of recovery. In addition, the suggested dry needling treatment, soft tissue work, and exercises Eric suggested have greatly helped my physical symptoms. I highly recommend ESP Sports Medicine to anyone who has been injured or is just in need of a body, muscle, or neural reset. They are fantastic.

    ESP Sports Medicine is the best therapeutic practice I've ever seen and I've seen many over the years for my severe chronic neck pain. / Denise Peters

    Neck Pain FAQ

    How To Sleep With Neck Pain?

    Find a supportive sleeping position, avoid caffeine and/or alcohol, use relaxation techniques, and reduce potential sleeping disruptions. If the pain is still too much you may need to see a medical doctor for short-term pain medications or sleep medications until you get relief from physical rehab treatments or injections.

    Can Neck Pain Cause Headaches?

    Neck pain can cause headaches. The muscle of the upper back and neck attach to the bones and muscles of the head. If these muscles become too tense they can cause headaches to occur. Headaches may also be a sign of a concussion following a car accident so concussion screening should be done by your provider.

    Is Neck Pain A Sign Of Covid?

    Physicians are still learning about the effects of COVID-19 but as of the current research neck pain alone is not a symptom of the virus.

    How To Relieve Neck Pain?

    Between sessions in our office a few ways to relieve neck pain include heat, ice, therapeutic exercises, focusing on eliminating poor neck posture, neck decompression, over-the-counter meds, prescription meds, stimulators, and more. Discuss with your doctor to find which may be best for you.

    How To Treat Neck Pain?

    Neck pain can be treated in many ways but ultimately it depends on the cause of the neck pain. Our providers start with more conservative treatments such as massage and therapeutic exercises and if those do not help they consider injections, imaging, and sometimes surgery consultations.

    Meet our Providers

    Eric St. Pierre
    Sports Chiropracter

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    Doctor of Physical Therapy

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    Kim Schemahorn
    Licensed Massage Therapist

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    The physicians and doctors at ESP Sports Medicine work with car accident-related neck pain every day and have been doing so for many years. They provide a thorough consultation to determine which neck pain treatments are right for each patient. Our providers also are in close contact regarding patient care so they can determine quickly if a treatment is working or if something different should be considered. We do not waste our patients’ time with endless treatments. Our providers are thoughtful, caring, and truly enjoy working with patients to help them get back to school, work, and life. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and are looking for providers who will listen and provide top notch care, please give us a call today.

    ESP Sports Medicine
    380 Empire Rd Suite # 220
    Lafayette, CO 80026
    Phone: 1 (720) 509-9633

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