After the Marathon Finish Line

  • After the finish, look for the physiotherapists, members of the Panhellenic Physiotherapists’ Association, if a musculoskeletal problem has arisen, in order to get a first treatment and receive the appropriate advice for your problem.
  • If discomfort will await you in the coming days, visit your physiotherapist for an assessment and ideal treatment to follow. 

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Running Barefoot? The Pros and Cons of a New Trend with Many Fans

Running has been one of the most popular exercise habits for a decade now, with measurable health benefits, including cardiovascular health, reducing strokes, hypertension, increasing bone density, as well as combating depression and increasing positive mood.

Despite the many positives of running, the injury rate of people who choose to run is a high 79%, annually. Perhaps this is leading many runners to find alternatives to help them reduce injuries and increase their performance. One of these alternatives is running barefoot.

What We Think About Barefoot Running:

Most studies that have been conducted on barefoot running have been done in a laboratory setting. However, only runners who run barefoot out of habit over a long period of time can provide sufficient information about their musculoskeletal adaptation and the kinesiological habits they have developed from this habit. In addition, it is important to emphasize that all runners, barefoot or with shoes, vary considerably depending on the range of motion, speed, quality of the running surface, hardness of the ground and fatigue. There is also evidence to suggest substantial differences in runners' morphology according to their nationality.

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Breast cancer and menopausal symptoms in the bones

Menopause symptoms and breast cancer are linked in many ways:

  • Breast cancer treatment can cause a decline in ovarian function and trigger menopause
  • Cancer diagnosis may coincide with menopause/menopause
  • Assisted hormonal therapy, which prevents recurrence of the disease, may trigger menopausal symptoms
  • A woman diagnosed with breast cancer may have been forced to discontinue hormone replacement therapy to inhibit menopause, thus experiencing menopausal symptoms

Menopausal symptoms may start suddenly, at the same time as the start of breast cancer treatment, or may progress gradually as the treatment time progresses. There is no way to predict the symptoms that every woman entering menopause will experience. 

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Adjuvant hormone therapies and their impact on women's sexual health

 

The effectiveness of pelvic floor exercises in the treatment of a multitude of problems, including Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM), is now beginning to become known to the general public.

Research being conducted offers solid findings on the effectiveness of the physiotherapy approach to problems such as dyspareunia and sexual dysfunction. The following article provides tangible solutions to women who have suffered for years and remain unresponsive.

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Pelvic floor friendly exercise for aqua

Aqua exercise, which is different from swimming, focuses on how to be as inefficient as possible to create caloric burning effect. The most effective way to do this is to use the properties of water, buoyancy, resistance and turbulence in an upright position.

Any exercise that uses the equipment to float the body in the water has no negative effects on the pelvic floor, and is therefore recommended as pelvic floor appropriate activity. These exercises can help increase both muscular strength and endurance and can also be used for cardiovascular conditioning, making them ideal for anyone with pelvic floor issues. Water provides good support for the pelvic floor and is a great option for women who are overweight, are pregnant, or who have joint problems that limits their ability to exercise on land.

Read more here: https://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-friendly-exercise-for-aqua-.html

 

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Physical Therapy Guide to Bunion (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is a bump on the side of the foot that develops at the joint where the big toe connects to the foot. It can be classified as mild, moderate, large, or severe. Several factors may cause bunions. Bunions most often develop in women and older adults. Over time, the affected joint may become stiff, painful, and deformed. Bunions and the pain they cause can lead to problems with shoe fit and difficulty walking. Physical therapists help people with bunions reduce their pain, increase the function of the big toe, improve muscle strength, and restore walking ability.

A physical therapist will conduct a thorough examination on your first visit. This will include taking your health history. The goals of the initial exam are to determine the degree of your injury and its probable cause. The interview will be specific to you.

Read more here: https://www.choosept.com/symptomsconditionsdetail/physical-therapy-guide-to-bunion-hallux-valgus

 

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Menopause: PTs Help to Ease 'The Change'

Every woman who lives long enough will experience this life transition. Yet many PTs are unaware that their skills as movement experts can help prepare women for menopause, ease some of its side effects, and contribute to a longer, healthier life. Physical therapy for women prior to, during, and beyond menopause is a largely untapped niche for women's health providers and an opportunity to reach patients across the lifespan.

Many effects of menopause are interrelated. For example, constipation can relate to urinary leakage. Getting up at night to use the bathroom can be associated with injury, as women may slip and fall when they are drowsy or in unlit rooms. As with various other conditions cited in this article, urinary incontinence is not caused by menopause. It can, however, be exacerbated by pelvic floor weakness as women age. To determine the strength of pelvic floor muscles, PTs can test muscles intravaginally with a digital exam. They then can suggest core exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

Read more here: Menopause_-PTs-Help-to-Ease-The-Change-1.pdf (freedompt.com)

 

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High impact classes and the pelvic floor

The attraction of high impact workouts is the opportunity to expend energy while bouncing around like a teenager. But for some of us, the pelvic floor is not as strong as it was when we were younger.

For a lot of women, the prospect of exercising involves going to the toilet before a class, avoiding fluids beforehand, racing to the toilet during the workout or resorting to wearing pads.

Fortunately, protecting the pelvic floor and high impact workouts needn’t be mutually exclusive. While you are working on improving your pelvic floor strength, the following guidelines will assist you with making the right exercise choices during a high impact workout.

Read more here: https://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/high-impact-classes-and-the-pelvic-floor.html

 

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Top 5 Kegel Exercise Mistakes

ΈΓΓΥΟΣ; Στο ΠΡΑΞΙΣ Σχεδιάζουμε Ασκήσεις Κολύμβησης για Εσάς!

Are you doing your Kegel exercises but not seeing any improvement? It's great that you are keen to strengthen your pelvic floor but are you guilty of doing any of these top 5Kegel exercise mistakes? 

Kegel exercises may sound easy, but unfortunately they aren’t. The hard part is locating the correct muscles.

1 in 2 women perform Kegel exercises incorrectly, pushing down on their pelvic floor muscles which causes more damage, instead of correctly squeezing and lifting. If you're unsure as to whether you're doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly, there are tools available to help.

1. Using Incorrect Muscles
2. Not Switching Things Up
3. Forgetting to Relax
4. Not Tracking Progress
5. Giving Up Too Soon

What you can do if you are making these Kegel exercise mistakes?
If you are guilty of any of the above don't worry, you can soon rectify your issues with our range of Kegel8 electronic pelvic toners - they do all the hard work for you!

Read more here: https://www.kegel8.co.uk/blog/top-5-kegel-exercise-mistakes

 

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Help with Bowel Disorders

The process of digesting food we eat starts in the mouth where the food is chewed properly before arriving in the stomach.

The food is further broken down in the stomach and then passes through the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed, before moving on to the large intestine.
As food passes around the large intestine, it absorbs fluid to become a formed motion. The formed motion is stored in the lower part of the large intestine called the rectum until it is passed out of the body.

The stool consistency can vary depending on how long it has stayed in the rectum. Ideally this is a soft, smooth shape which is easy to pass. This relies on having good muscle function around the anal sphincters through which the passage of stool is controlled.

Bowel problems can occur at any age and the type of problem you have may influence the treatment you are offered. Some conservative (non-surgical) treatments you may be offered and some changes you may be able to make yourself to help your symptoms.

Read more here: https://pogp.csp.org.uk/system/files/publication_files/POGP-BowelFunction_0.pdf

 

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Barbell workouts

Barbell workouts are great for developing muscle strength and endurance, and this form of resistance training is effective in maintaining bone mass as well as being an enjoyable form of weight training.

This type of workout can be easily modified for people who have pelvic floor issues or are at risk of developing problems.

Modifying a workout can be intimidating as no one wants to stand out in the crowd. As an instructor, my clients modify their workouts for all sorts of reasons and injuries, and I would prefer they take responsibility for their health. Remember that it’s your body and your workout, so own it and always remember to put your pelvic floor first.

Exercises performed above the head place much more pressure on the pelvic floor and as such, leaking is more likely to occur. Reduce the weight or perform a forward, lateral or rear shoulder raise with dumbbells. Alternatively, for triceps, a bent-over or supported (on the step) triceps kickback is preferable.

Read more here: https://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/barbell-workouts.html

 

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Coccydynia a painful condition

Coccydynia can be a very painful and debilitating condition of the coccyx. Sometimes there is no history of injury at all. It can be related to childbirth or there can be a history of a fall.

Usually all of the following need to be addressed in order to resolve the presenting coccyx pain.

The spine and pelvis need to be evaluated and treated by a skilled physiotherapist and the pelvic floor needs to be released as part of the overall management. This may be under the care of the same or another physiotherapist depending on the training of the therapist.  Pelvic floor release will involve using the breathing techniques as well as manual therapy where it is accessible.

Read more here: https://pelvicphysiotherapy.com/coccydynia/

 

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Physical Therapy Guide to Meniscal Tear

What is a Meniscal Tear?
The meniscus is a cartilage disc that cushions your knee. Each of your knees has 2 menisci (plural of meniscus); one on the inner (medial) part of the knee, and the other on the outer (lateral) part of the knee. Together, they act to absorb shock and stabilize the knee joint.

Meniscal tears can be classified in 2 ways: acute or degenerative. An acute meniscal tear typically is caused by twisting or turning quickly on a bent knee, often with the foot planted on the ground. This mechanism of injury often produces related injuries, such as an ACL tear. Degenerative meniscal tears occur over time, due to repetitive stress being put on the knee, such as in a job or sport that requires a lot of squatting.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
Meniscal tears can often be managed without surgery. A short course of treatment provided by a physical therapist can help determine whether your knee will recover without surgery. Your physical therapist can help control pain and swelling in the knee area and work with you to restore full strength and mobility to your knee.

Read more here: https://www.choosept.com/symptomsconditionsdetail/physical-therapy-guide-to-meniscal-tear

 

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Recovery after having a caesarean section

In the first week or two after having a caesarean it is common to experience discomfort or even pain when getting in/out of bed, walking any distance, carrying out any activities that cause strain on your tummy and when going to the toilet to pass urine or open your bowels. This is because of the wound in your tummy and womb and how your tummy muscles, bladder and bowel have been moved around during surgery. Having an anesthetic and pain medication can also leave you feeling more tired than usual and can sometimes cause sickness.

Usually the wound heals well and scar tissue will form within 3-4 weeks. A few women may get a wound infection, so if your pain is not settling, the wound becomes hot and red or you notice a discharge from your wound, tell your GP or midwife straight away. As the scar forms it can leave a strange numb feeling over it. For a few women too much scar tissue can form and leave the scar feeling tight and sore.

Read more here: Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy

 

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Can exercise help treat anxiety?

ΈΓΓΥΟΣ; Στο ΠΡΑΞΙΣ Σχεδιάζουμε Ασκήσεις Κολύμβησης για Εσάς!

 One sobering study shows that people with anxiety tend to be more sedentary and do less intense forms of physical activity, if any. That’s ironic, because lacing up your sneakers and getting out and moving may be the single best nonmedical solution we have for preventing and treating anxiety. A simple bike ride, dance class, or even a brisk walk can be a powerful tool for those suffering from chronic anxiety. Activities like these also help people who are feeling overly nervous and anxious about an upcoming test, a big presentation, or an important meeting.

If you’re just starting out, don’t despair. Some research also shows that just a single bout of exercise can help ease anxiety when it strikes.

Which type of exercise you choose may not matter greatly. Studies point to the effectiveness of everything from tai chi to high-intensity interval training. People experienced improvement no matter which types of activity they tried. Even general physical activity is helpful. The important thing is to try activities and keep doing them.

While scientific studies are important, you don’t need to consult a chart, statistics, or an expert to know how good you feel after working up a sweat. Remember those feelings and use them as motivation to do something physical every day. Time to get up and get moving!

Read more here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-exercise-help-treat-anxiety-2019102418096

 

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Improving Your Bowel Function

ΈΓΓΥΟΣ; Στο ΠΡΑΞΙΣ Σχεδιάζουμε Ασκήσεις Κολύμβησης για Εσάς!

Bowel problems can occur at any age and the type of problem you have may influence the treatment you are offered. This leaflet outlines some conservative (non-surgical) treatments you may be offered and some changes you may be able to make yourself to help your symptoms.

The process of digesting food we eat starts in the mouth where the food is chewed properly before arriving in the stomach. The food is further broken down in the stomach and then passes through the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed, before moving on to the large intestine. As food passes around the large intestine, it absorbs fluid to become a formed motion. The formed motion is stored in the lower part of the large intestine called the rectum until it is passed out of the body.

Physiotherapy management is a “package” of care and may include biofeedback if appropriate. You will be given support and information including education explaining how normal bowel function works and the common causes of bowel problems such as faecal incontinence and constipation. Pictures, models and other visual aids may be used to help you improve your understanding of your symptoms. Start by using your pelvic fl oor muscles and try to hold on for an extra few seconds the next time you need to empty your bowels. Try to see if this can allow you to then walk calmly to the toilet and not feel rushed. Gradually try to increase how long you can hold on and thereby regain greater control of the back passage muscles.

Read more here: https://pogp.csp.org.uk/system/files/publication_files/POGP-BowelFunction_0.pdf 

 

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Diaphragmatic Breathing

Αναπνοή

 Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of breathing exercise that helps strengthen your diaphragm, an important muscle that helps you breathe as it represents 80% of breathing. This breathing exercise is also sometimes called( belly breathing or abdominal breathing).

When the diaphragm is functioning effectively in its role as the primary muscle of inspiration, ventilation is efficient and the oxygen consumption of the muscles of ventilation is low during relaxed (tidal) breathing. When a patient relies substantially on the accessory muscles of inspiration, the mechanical work of breathing (oxygen consumption ) increases and the efficiency of ventilation decreases.

Controlled breathing techniques, which emphasize diaphragmatic breathing are designed to improve the efficiency of ventilation, decrease the work of breathing, increase the excursion of the diaphragm, and improve gas exchange and oxygenation.

Read more here: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Diaphragmatic_Breathing_Exercises

 

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Signs of a pelvic floor problem

ΈΓΓΥΟΣ; Στο ΠΡΑΞΙΣ Σχεδιάζουμε Ασκήσεις Κολύμβησης για Εσάς!

Pelvic floor problems can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or too tight. 

Some people have weak pelvic floor muscles from an early age, whilst others notice problems after certain life stages such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.

Some people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This can be made worse by doing squeezing exercises and overworking the muscles without learning how to relax.

Although it is hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal (tummy) muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you to actively support your bladder and bowel. This improves bladder and bowel control and reduces the likelihood of accidentally leaking from your bladder or bowel. Like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor muscles will become stronger with a regular exercise program. This is important for both men and women.

Read more here: http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/how-can-i-tellif-i-have-a-pelvic-floor-problem.html

 

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Core stability

Core stability (CS) was introduced for the first time in 1990s by (Hodges and Richardson) during studying the timing of trunk muscles in patients with chronic low back pain CLBP[2]. There is controversy and some confusion on the definition of the term “core stability”[3][4][5]. Traditionally this term has referred to the active component to the stabilizing system including deep/local muscles that provide segmental stability (eg transversus abdominislumbar multifidus) and/or the superficial/global muscles (eg rectus abdominis, erector spinae) that enable trunk movement/torque generation and also assist in stability in more physically demanding tasks.[3]

Training the local muscles (developed by physiotherapists) is a complex skill for the participant and the trainer that requires precise and rigorous assessment, exercise instruction, and feedback. Training the superficial muscles can be equally complex and is undertaken by a range of health and sporting professionals with a large variety approaches evident. An alternative term to “core stability” is “motor control” that reflects concepts around lumbar stability in a more holistic approach including: the brain, sensory inputs, motor outputs, mechanical properties of muscles/joints, what is normal/abnormal and what may be adaptive/maladaptive.[4]

Read more here: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Core_stability

 

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What does a pelvic floor physiotherapy assessment involve?

At the first appointment the physiotherapist will carry out a detailed assessment, including when and how your symptoms started, what may aggravate or make them worse or if there are any positions or situations that ease the symptoms.

They may also ask about any previous treatment including hospital tests, investigations or scans you may have had related to this issue as well as your general medical health – this will ensure they make an accurate diagnosis and know the best way they can help.  It is also helpful to know about your lifestyle – including any work, sports or hobbies you enjoy.

For diastasis recti, back and pregnancy related pelvic pain symptoms, if you are happy and agree the physiotherapist may then assess how your back, hips and pelvis are moving and they may carry out some other tests to these areas of your body to try to find out what is causing any pain. They are also likely to look at the activation of your tummy/abdominal muscles.

If the physiotherapist thinks that your problem is not PGP/ LBP but some other cause they may suggest that you see another health care professional, such as your GP, to look into your problem further.

Read more here: https://thepogp.co.uk/patients/pelvic_health_advice/physiotherapy_assessment.aspx

 

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Perineal Healing After Having Vaginal Birth

90% of women giving birth vaginally to their first baby will get a perineal tear. This most often occurs to either the skin at the vaginal opening (labia/vulva) or the tear may be deeper involving the pelvic floor muscles. A few women will also have a tear to the muscles of the back passage. Sometimes the midwife or doctor delivering your baby will suggest making a small cut to one side of the vagina (called an episiotomy) to try to prevent bigger tearing.

All women will have a postnatal check with their GP approx. 6-8 weeks after birth. This is to check on your recovery. If you are having any problems with the healing of your perineum, this is a good opportunity to mention it to your GP.

Between 6-12 weeks after birth women who have had a third or fourth degree perineal tear will have an appointment at the hospital with either a specialist doctor, physiotherapist or nurse. At your appointment you will be asked about how you feel your recovery is going and if you are having any problems, particularly with your bladder or bowels.

Read more here: https://thepogp.co.uk/patient_information/pregnancy_and_early_postnatal/perineal_healing_.aspx

 

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Combating Muscle Atrophy With Physical Therapy

When a particular muscle or group of muscles is not used for a period of time, patients suffer from dis-use atrophy. There are studies that indicate there can be biochemistry changes in the muscle cell(s) indicative of an atrophy response within 72 hours of dis-use.  These changes are miniscule but it is easy to extrapolate what occurs in the muscle cells of someone that is not able to move and use or unwilling to move and use a particular body part for several weeks/months. The effects of disuse atrophy can be devastating to someone’s functional capabilities.

Many people are too sedentary and their muscles are atrophied, under developed and weak.  People who are in a non-weight bearing environment (astronauts) or confined to very small places (POWs) are notorious for exiting their situation looking emaciated and extremely thin.  The term “skin and bones” is commonly used because their muscle structure has “wasted” away to a bare minimum.  Many of these people are unable to walk because their muscles in their legs are so atrophied and weak that they cannot support their body weight.

By simply following a regimen using the proper amount of resistance training can reverse the effects of dis-use atrophy. Muscles will respond favorably to resistance training and the synthesis of contractile proteins will surpass the degradation process providing the patient performs the exercise routine consistently.  The muscles must be exercised in a way that requires them to act against an excessive resistance force.  This has been shown to produce hypertrophy of the muscle cells which is the exact opposite of atrophy.

Read more here: https://ace-pt.org/ace-physical-therapy-and-sports-medicine-institute-combating-muscle-atrophy-with-physical-therapy

 

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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a common condition that limits the natural function of the jaw, such as opening the mouth and chewing, and can cause pain. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that connects your jaw to your skull in front of your ear. The TMJ guides jaw movement and allows you to open and close your mouth and move it from side to side to talk, yawn, or chew.

TMD can cause the jaw to lock or get stuck in a certain position. You may experience headaches, feel pain when chewing certain foods, or have difficulty fully opening your mouth.

Your physical therapist will evaluate your posture and observe how your cervical spine—the upper portion of your spine, situated in your neck—moves. Your physical therapist will examine your TMJ to find out how well it functions and whether there are any abnormalities in your jaw motion.

If, after the examination, your physical therapist suspects that your pain is a result of the position ("alignment") of your teeth, the therapist will refer you to your dentist for further examination.

Your physical therapist can help you restore the natural movement of your jaw and decrease your pain. Based on your condition, your therapist will select treatments that will work best for you. Your treatments may include:

Read more here: https://www.choosept.com/symptomsconditionsdetail/physical-therapy-guide-to-temporomandibular-joint-disorder

 

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Common Bowel Disorders

Bowel problems can occur at any age and the type of problem you have may influence the treatment you are offered. This leaflet outlines some conservative (non-surgical) treatments you may be offered and some changes you may be able to make yourself to help your symptoms.

It is normal to open your bowels from between three times a day, to three times a week. Everyone’s bowel function is individual and varies with many factors, such as diet, fluid, lifestyle and age.

The pelvic fl oor muscles act like a hammock to support the pelvic organs. Pelvic floor muscle exercises will also strengthen the anal sphincter muscles. These exercises will improve pelvic organ support, continence and sexual function. Pelvic fl oor muscle exercises (sometimes called Kegels) should include long squeezes as well as short, quick squeezes. You should work the muscles until they tire and do the exercises regularly to help the muscles become stronger and more effective.

Draw up and tighten your pelvic fl oor muscles before any activity which increases the intra-abdominal pressure, such as coughing or lifting to help the pelvic floor resist the downward movement of pelvic organs. It is important that you do your pelvic fl oor muscles exercises correctly. If you are having diffi culty ask to be referred to a specialist physiotherapist for proper assessment, and further advice (see inside back cover).

Read more here: https://pogp.csp.org.uk/system/files/publication_files/POGP-

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Causes of neck pain and treatment

Around 50 per cent of people with neck pain will experience a recurrence of their problem. It’s important to understand what may have caused your neck pain, if you want to try to prevent it from returning. 

If this is the first time you have suffered with neck pain, it is most likely that you will recover over the next few weeks. Most neck pain problems get a lot better within three months. 

If simple painkillers and staying active are not helpful, then other treatments may be recommended. If you have an ongoing neck problem, say more than three months, then research suggests that the most effective treatment is exercise. In most cases, it is not possible to identify the exact cause of neck pain. It’s important to know that any kind of serious structural damage is rare, and the most likely cause is a strain of one of the small joints located on the side of the neck. These joints are called ‘facet joints’. Less commonly involved are the intervertebral disc and even less so, the nerves.

Neck pain is less common as we grow older, but ‘wear and tear’, ‘arthritis’ and ‘disc degeneration’ are more common and can be found in people who do not experience neck pain.

Read more here: https://www.csp.org.uk/conditions/neck-pain/causes-neck-pain and here https://www.csp.org.uk/conditions/neck-pain/treatment-neck-pain

 

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“The Science of healing - The Art of Caring”