Living with back pain or neck pain

If you're suffering from back pain or neck pain, the key to getting effective - and lasting - relief is finding a partnership with clinicians who take the time to understand and treat the source of your pain.

When you visit St. Charles Physical Therapy in Bend, Oregon, our physical therapists will listen to your history: what makes your symptoms better, or worse and how the pain affects your daily activities. They will conduct a thorough evaluation of your spine, be it your neck or back. The examination may also include: checking reflexes, evaluating strength of arms and legs and determining if there are any sensation changes in your limbs. Using this information along with your medical history, our physical therapists will create a personalized treatment plan designed to relieve pain and meet your unique health goals.

Nonsurgical rehabilitation

Whenever possible, it is preferable to treat neck or back pain with methods other than surgery. These methods include:

  • Safe Movement. Gone are the days of bed rest. Our physical therapists prefer teaching patients proper posture in order to decrease pressure and stress on discs and nerves as well as movement strategies to return to ordinary activities as soon as possible.
  • Gradual Exercise. Our physical therapists assist in creating gentle movement and strengthening programs designed to minimize pain, improve mobility, increase strength and promote a healthy posture. As pain improves, the patient and physical therapist work together to progress toward more active exercises to build strength in abdominal, low back and neck muscles.
  • Posture Education. In addition to strengthening, posture plays a large role in injury treatment and prevention. Our physical therapists will assist you in creating a posture-friendly environment at work, at home or during the activities you love (i.e. gardening, sports, crafts, etc.) in order to decrease stress on your injured spine and avoid further injury.

Rehabilitation after surgery

If surgery is necessary, our physical therapists will create a plan based on your post-surgical precautions and rehabilitation needs. During your recovery, you should follow your surgeon's instructions about wearing a back brace or support belt. In the first weeks, you should also be cautious about overdoing activities. If you've had a lumbar fusion, your surgeon may have you wait six weeks to three months before starting physical therapy.

Although recovery times vary, once you start physical therapy, you'll usually go for one to three months. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Heat or ice therapy
  • Gentle exercise
  • Endurance / walking programs
  • Modalities (i.e. electrical stimulation, TENS, ultrasound)
  • Manual therapy
  • Postural and ergonomic training
  • Pain management

Your plan may also include manual therapy, a physical therapy subspecialty that uses skilled, specific hands-on techniques to diagnose and treat soft tissue and joint structures with benefits that include increasing your range of motion, reducing pain, decreasing swelling and relaxing muscles.

Our physical therapists at St. Charles Physical Therapy will help guide you through your back and neck rehabilitation every step of the way in order to progress you toward ongoing wellness.

Want to know more about physical therapy services? We encourage you to call us at 541-706-5940 to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist who can answer any of your questions.

St. Charles Physical Therapy has a team of physical therapists who have long been recognized as leaders in treating lower back pain and neck pain in Bend, Oregon.