Neck

The majority of people will experience neck pain or stiffness at some time in their lives. Whether it is a sharp pain, dull muscular aches or an inability to fully move your head, a painful neck can be very frustrating.

How Does the Neck Work?

The neck comprises of seven bony vertebrae (the cervical spine), typically referred to as C-1 to C-7, with cartilaginous discs between each vertebral body. Numerous muscles and ligaments in the neck allow for movement, while continuously supporting the cervical spine. The neck supports the weight of the head and protects the nerves hat carry sensory and motor information from the brain down to the rest if the body.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain can result from a variety of causes including muscle strains, joint and disc degeneration, nerve compression, direct trauma and certain diseases. Pain may spread to the upper back, shoulders and arms, or it may cause a headache. Faulty posture in combination with stress and anxiety is a common cause of chronic neck pain.

The Importance of Exercise Therapy

Exercise therapy plays a pivotal role in treating and managing neck pain. Treatment aims to restore full range of movement and function of the neck, providing long term pain relief. Correct rehabilitation and exercise technique is essential in helping you return to previous levels of activity as well as preventing re-injury.

Shoulder

The shoulder is an extremely mobile joint, allowing people to reach and move in many directions. However the mobility does predispose the shoulder to injury which can make even the simplest daily activities painful.

How Does the Shoulder Work?

The shoulder consists of two primary joints, the glenohumeral joint and the acromioclavicular joint. The glenohumeral joint is the connection of the humerus (arm bone) with the scapula (shoulder blade). The acromioclavicular joint is the connection of the clavicle (collar bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade). The glenohumeral joint is a complex ball and socket joint that allows for movement in several planes of motion. There are many ligaments that help support the shoulder, and many muscular attachments, particularly the "rotator cuff", which aid in support and movement of the shoulder.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

The shoulder can be injured suddenly in a traumatic incident or over a period of time by performing repetitive movements or positions. Additionally, pain can occur in the shoulder from diseases or degenerative conditions. One of the most prevalent causes of pain in the shoulder is rotator cuff pathology, which involves the primary dynamic stabilizing muscles of the shoulder. Other soft tissue or nerves that supply motor and sensory innervation to the shoulder can also produce pain in specific conditions.

 

The Importance of Exercise Therapy

The fundamental principle in shoulder rehabilitation is stability during movement. The framework for this is to normalize the shoulder anatomy as well regains the correct biomechanics. Through strengthening and stretching of specific muscles, shoulder stabilization and progressive correction of the biomechanics can occur. Having experienced a shoulder injury, the majority of patients do not have the knowledge to rehabilitate themselves safely. It is emphasized that rehabilitation techniques of the shoulder need to be individualized, providing a complete program tailored to your need and goals.

 

Lower Back

Research has shown that 80 percent if adults (males or females) will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetimes. Lower back pain is currently the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. It is extremely important to treat lower back pain at the onset in order to avoid aggravation and compounding the problem.

How Does the Lower Back Function?

The lower back, called the lumar region, is a complex structure of vertebrae, discs, spinal cord, nerves, ligaments and muscles. This region of the back supports much of the weight of the upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by intervertebral discs that act like shock sbsorbers thoughout the spinal column. Ligaments hold the vertebrae in place and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Together, the ligaments and muscles provide support and stablilty to the lower back. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord which exit the vertebral column controlling body movements and transmitting signals from the body to the brain.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain symptoms vary greatly from person to person as a result of intricate and overlapping structures. Pain is commonly caused by disc degeneration, muscle strains, skeletal irregularities, ligament sprains, direct trauma, arthritis and pregnancy. The symptoms experienced can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person incapacitated. Ironically, the severity of pain is ofen unrelated to the serverity of the damage.

The Importance of Exercise Therapy

The first step in effectively treating back pain is to identify the symptoms and the underlying cause of the pain. Untreated lower back pain can cause changes in posture, walking and functional activities that may in turn worsen the problem or cause new ones. Exercise is a key element of almost any lower back pain treatment plan. The exercises and stretches are best done though a controlled, progressive program, with the goal of establishing a stronger and more stable spine.

Hip

The hip joint is one of the most important joints in the human body. It is designed to withstand repeated forces and a large amount of "wear and tear". Despites its robustness, the hip joint isn't indestructible. Hip pain and joint injuries are common for all age groups in both men and women.

How Does the Hip Function?

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket synovial joint formed between the hip bone and the femur. A round, cup-shaped structure on the pelvis, known as the acetabulum, forms the socket for the joint. The rounded head of the femur forms the ball of the joint. The weight-bearing bones in our body are protected with articular cartilage, which is a thin, tough and flexible surface. Additional stability is provided by the large ligaments, tendons and muscles around the hip joint which hold the bones in place. Functionally, the hip joint is very stable, while enjoying a high range of motion.

What Causes Hip Pain?

Your hips are strong and stable when healthy, however forceful injury and certain conditions, like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis may affect the health of the hips. Joints may also be comprised by congenital deformities which can leave the hip vulnerable to injury upon repetitive trauma.

 

The Importance of Exercise Therapy

The hip joint and its integration with your pelvis, Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) and lumbar spine make it a complex region to correctly analyse and assess for dysfunction. Hip function can also be affected by lower limb biomechanics involving your knee, foot and ankle. Building strength and increasing flexibility are two important ways to reduce hip pain by reducing the amount of stress placed on the hip joint. Correcting the biomechanics through a holistic approach to injury is pivotal in the rehabilitation process, ultimately preventing the return of hip injuries in the future.

 

Knee

The knee is one of the largest joints in your body and is vital to movement. It allows the lower leg to move relative to the thigh while supporting the body's weight. Movements at the knee joint are essential to everyday activities including walking, running, sitting and standing.

How Does the Knee Function?

The knee is a hinge joint whereby the upper leg bone (femur) and the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) are connected by ligaments, tendons and muscles. The surface of the bones inside the knee joint is covered by articular cartilage, which provides a smooth and gliding surface for the joint movement. The joint has two extra pairs of cartilage called menisci, which spread the load more evenly across the knee. The knee joint is held in place by four main ligaments, the joint capsule and serveral large muscles which attach across the knee.

What Causes Knee Pain?

There are many different causes of knee pain. Although a knee problem is often caused by an acute or sudden injury to one or more of the knee structures, it may also be a result of repetitive damage over a longer period of time. Some people are more likely to develop a knee problem that others. Common risk factors which contribute to the incidence of knee pain include older age, previous knee injuries, being overweight and sports or work that place excessive stress on the knee joint.

The Importance of Exercise Therapy

Exercise therapy is fundamental in the rehabilitation process as muscles surrounding the knee directly support and stabilize the knee joint, Incorrect biomechanics in the lower limb can place increased stress on vulnerable structures, such as the menisci, which can lead to degeneration and chronic pain. Developing the correct ratios between opposite muscle groups and stretching overly tight muscles based on an individualized assessment, is key in preventing or rehabilitating knee pain.

 

Ankle

Ankle Injuries are extremely common as the joint is subjected to daily stresses common in everyday activity. The ankle joint is capable of a wide range of movement which is necessary for locomotion and to navigate uneven ground. The ankle takes the full weight of the body and the forces that are exerted on it are considerable.

How Does the Ankle Function?

The ankle is a complex structure in that there are two joints that allow movement at the ankle. These include the tibiotalar joint (true ankle joint) which is the articulation between the lower end of the leg (tibia) and the body of the foot bone (talus). This joint allows you to push the foot down or to pull it up towards you (dorsiflexion and plantar flexion). The second joint is the subtalar joint, which is the articulation between the two bones of the hind foot (talus and calcaneus). This joint allows you to turn your foot in and out (inversion and eversion). Stability in the ankle is achieved by several ligaments, muscles and the joint capsule surrounding the ankle joints.

What Causes Ankle Pain?

The most common ankle problems are sprains and fractures, but ankle pain can have numerous sources. A sprain is an injury to a ligament/s and is commonly experienced when one "rolls over" one's ankle. A fracture is a break in a bone which is generally the result of a forceful incident. You can also injure other parts of the ankle such as tendons, which join the muscles to bone. A common tendon exposed to significant stress is the Achilles tendon. The cartilage in the ankle, which allows for smooth movement in the joints, may also be a source of pain.

 

The Importance of Exercise Therapy

The ankle muscles and tendons act dynamically to control, move and protect the ankle joint. The muscles move the foot and stabilize the ankle to avoid over stressing the static restraints such as the ligaments. Research has shown that strengthening and improving the coordination of the muscles around the ankle is essential in treating and preventing several injuries. Strengthening and stretching tight muscles also aids in maintaining the correct arch position of the feet. Treatment is aimed at restoring the ankle's function and movement which can prevent chronic pain or instability.

 

At Gareth Devine Biokineticist

A full assessment is done which is specifically tailored to your needs and your specific condition. A full medical history, postural analysis, muscle strength and flexibility testing as well as functional and specific screening is done in order to ensure that you receive the best and most relevant rehabilitation program to suit your personal needs. Our biokineticists do their absolute best to ensure you feel safe and comfortable while exercising and that you are able to achieve the very best of your abilities.