Curezone Physiotherapy, Mississauga collaborates with a team of providers providing treatments in various conditions including Spinal Injuries.
Our Spine is divided up into three major sections The Cervical, The Thoracic and The Lumbar Spine. Just below the Lumbar spine lies the sacrum which is part of the pelvic area. The Cervical spine has 7 vertebrae the Thoracic spine has 12 vertebrae and the Lumbar spine has 5 vertebrae.
Each vertebra looks different from each other but they all have the same anatomy with spinous processes, transverse processes, lamina, vertebral bodies and facets for spinal joint articulation. The spine bears a lot of weight and in-between each vertebra is the intervertebral disc that separate the vertebra from rubbing on each other they act as cushions. The spinous processes are the bones you can feel when gliding your hand down your back. The transverse processes are situated 90 degrees to the spinous processes and they provide muscle origins and insertions. There are many muscle attachments that help stabilize the spine, neck and head and some originate in the at the atlas of the spine and insert all the way down to the sacrum.
Some of the muscles of the spine that support the neck upper back and shoulders include Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboid Major/Minor, Levator Scapula and Serratus Muscles. Muscles that support the spine include Erector Spinae, Abdominal Muscles and Oblique Muscles. There are also many other intermediate and deeper muscles of the back. Abdominal Muscles and Lower Back muscles make up what is known as the Core. The core is very important in stabilization and balance it prevents you from falling having a strong core displaces the load of the spine and transfers forces up and down the body.
Injuries of the Spine (Cervical Spine)
– Cervical Stinger
Stingers Occur in contact sports when the athlete head is forced backward or to the side which leads to the cervical nerves to overstretch or become compressed which causes radiating pain through the arm of the affected side. This pain feels like an electric shock that can last seconds to a few minutes.
Prevention – Strengthening the cervical muscles, tendons and ligaments through a physical therapy program as well as the proper equipment while playing sports and the use of sport related techniques.
– Cervical spondylosis or Nerve impingement
Cervical spondylosis is a condition that causes deterioration of the vertebrae, discs, and ligaments in the neck or cervical spine. In cervical spondylosis, the edges of the vertebrae often develop bone spurs called osteophytes. Nearly 85 percent of people over the age of 60 years live with cervical spondylosis, but not all of them experience pain.
Cervical spondylitis refers to common age-related as well as lifestyle related changes in the spine at the back of the neck. With age, vertebrae (the component bones of the spine) gradually form bone spurs, and their shock-absorbing discs slowly shrink. These changes can alter the alignment and stability of the spine. Common sign & symptoms of cervical spondylitis such as neck pain, headache, vertigo, vomiting, chest pain, palpitation, fluctuating blood pressure are also found in many serious illness3. Therefore, most of the time these are confused with related disorders such as Angina/ MI, Cerebropathies, Ear diseases, Nasal diseases, ophthalmic problems, Blood pressure abnormalities and other chronic disorders.
Injuries of the Spine (Thoracic Spine)
– Vertebral Stress Fractures
Repetitive twisting and turning that places tremendous forces and stress on the vertebrae of the spine. When the spine is overloaded it is more susceptible of fractures of the vertebrae or stress fractures. These fractures are common in Golfers, Gymnasts, Cheerleaders, Dancers and Volleyball players. The athlete will feel pain, swelling and bruising avoid over training and consult a physical therapist for comprehensive exercises to strengthen the muscles.
– Herniated Discs
When the body twists or turn when the spine is flexed and there is a load placed on the spine so is the load that is also placed on the intervertebral discs. When overloading the disc will actually slip anteriorly and the nucleus pulposa can burst out of the annulus fibrosis that holds it in. Reasons for this type of injury include overtraining, poor posture, overloading weight and improper techniques. Athletes will feel radiating pain, weakness, loss of strength and numbness in the area of the spine or the extremities. Surgery can be a treatment option.
– Other Thoracic Spine Injuries
It is uncommon in sports to injure your thoracic spine however you can fracture your ribs and intercostal neuralgia and strain the muscles in and around the ribs when rotating the torso. Rib fractures occur when playing contact sports when there is a direct blow to the rib cage.
Injuries of the Spine (Lumbar Spine)
This type of injury occurs when one of the vertebrae slips anteriorly and is most common in the lumbar spine. There are two types of Spondylolisthesis injuries, Degenerative Spondylolisthesis and Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis. The Degenerative one is caused by a general wear and tear of the spine when the Intervertebral Discs (IVD’s) weaken and lose height and become stiff and begin to bulge out. It can also be arthritic causes when it develops the joints and ligaments become weak and can no longer hold the joint in the proper position. This slipping can narrow the spinal canal and put pressure on the spinal cord. Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis is when the lumbar vertebrae fractures and slips forwards. It is occurring to the Pars Interarticularis and is more common in adolescence and will go unnoticed until adulthood. There is no narrowing of spinal canal. Treatment includes surgery, Physical Therapy and exercises to strengthen the muscles in the lower back, medication and steroid injections (cortisone shots) to decrease swelling and pain.
Protrusion of the abdominal viscera through a weakened portion of the abdominal wall this can stem from birth or it can be acquired through lifting heavy objects. Inguinal Hernias is the most common hernia that happens in athletes this is when the intestines protrude through the inguinal ring and can extend to the scrotum.
Physiotherapy treatment of the Spinal Injuries
We make sure that our Physiotherapist at Curezone physiotherapy clinic do a thorough assessment of the Spine to find the major cause of the problem and provide a treatment plan based on your condition. Spinal nerve compressions can cause pain on the elbow, wrist, fingers, knee, calf or ankle joints. Based on your subjective and objective history and assessment, the Physiotherapist will find out the diagnosis.
Physiotherapy treatments usually consist of Various modalities such as Laser therapy, Ultrasound therapy, Shockwave therapy, Mechanical Lumbar or cervical traction to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Hands-on Manual Therapy is accompanied by the other treatments with some very specific exercises based on your condition.
Make sure you book your appointment today and get assessed by our physiotherapist now.