Neck Headaches Newmarket

Physiotherapy For Neck Headaches

Many people around the world suffer from Cervicogenic headaches, which is the medical term for neck headaches. This basically means a problem in the neck joint is resulting in headaches. Since the neck is the source of the problem, the pain can be alleviated by repairing the neck joint.

There are three upper neck joints which can cause a problem as well as other neurovascular and musculoskeletal structures. If any of these areas aren’t functioning properly they can send pain signals to your brainstem and this can result in a headache.

Since the most common cause of a neck headache is due to the upper neck muscle, nerves or joints this is the area that needs to be focused on the relieve the pain. The joints can cause headaches if they’re either too stiff or too loose. If the neck muscles are weak then they can’t properly support the joints and they may become locked in an abnormal position.

Why visit a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapy for neck headaches is a common solution since a physiotherapist is an experienced when it comes to assessing and treating dysfunctional neck joints. The muscles in the shoulder blades and neck can result in pain if they’re in spasm, knotted, or are overworked. If neck joints are injured then the muscles may overwork themselves in an attempt to protect them. The other neck muscles aren’t being used and this makes them become weak. Neck muscles work the best when they have the proper amount of endurance, power, strength, and rest. A physiotherapist will be able to correction any muscle imbalances which are causing pain.

In addition, upper-neck nerves can sometimes be pinched by things such as swelling, bulging discs and arthritic bone growths. When the nerves are pinched your neck will typically lose its normal range of motion. Neck headaches are sometimes misdiagnosed as other types of headaches such as migraines and this is why it’s important to receive a diagnosis from a professional therapist. The therapist will know what’s causing the problem by examining your symptoms. These often include a tender neck and skull base as well as loss of movement and/or stiffness, pain which travels from the back to the front of the head, pain on one side of the head.

Physiotherapy treatments will typically relieve headache pain immediately. Many patients feel a reduction in pain as soon as pressure is applied to the base of the skull and/or neck. Some people experience neck headaches even though they don’t feel any pain in their neck. This is because their neck joints may not be sore while they’re resting. If your neck joints are tender or sore while resting they usually cause pain when touched or moved.

Since a physiotherapist can correctly identify the cause of your headaches it means you’ll receive the proper treatment. Some therapists specialize in neck headaches and can relieve the pain quickly as well as advise you on how to stop it from returning. MRI’s, CT-scans and X-rays can’t always help diagnosis the cause of a neck headache, but they may help identify structures which could cause neck or head pain. It’s a good idea to undergo cervical spine X-rays if you’ve been suffering from the headaches for an extended period of time.

Physiotherapy treatments for neck headaches

Once the physiotherapist has diagnosed the problem you can then begin treatment for it. If your neck joints are stiff they may be unlocked or loosened by gentle gliding movements known as joint mobilization. In addition, you may undergo localized joint manipulation or traction. If the joints are deemed to be unstable then they will need to be strengthened via deep neck muscle exercises. This will allow the muscles to properly limit and control the movement of the joints.

If the muscles are overactive or tight the treatments may include relaxation techniques such as dry needling, acupuncture, massage, and stretching. A physiotherapist may recommend specific exercises to improve your posture or could suggest a posture brace. Also, the therapist will advise you which awkward and potentially damaging neck postures and positions to avoid. Depending on the causes of the headaches and severity of them, most patients will find their pain gone within just a few days or up to a couple of weeks. And if they follow the advice of their physiotherapist the neck headaches likely won’t return.

Spectrum Physiotherapy is located in Newmarket, Ontario and is the premier physiotherapy clinic in York Region.  We offer a range of physio related services which include shockwave therapy, massage and acupuncture treatment.

Rotator Cuff Injury Newmarket

Physiotherapy for Rotator Cuff Tears

 

What Causes a Rotator Cuff Tear?

As the name suggests, a rotator cuff tear is a tear of your shoulder’s rotator cuff tendons. These tears can occur in two ways:

  1. Trauma: Traumatic rotator cuff tears occur suddenly, caused by a high force going through the tendon that pushes it beyond its limit. This is usually the result of a heavy load, such as a forceful throw, a fall onto an outstretched hand, as well as heavy pushing, pulling or lifting.
  2. Repeated Micro-trauma: This is the more common cause of rotator cuff tears. These kinds of tears develop over weeks or months, through repeated straining or pinching of the rotator cuff tendons. These injuries often occur in athletes involved in swimming, weight lifting, racquet sports, throwing sports such as baseball, or paddling sports such as rowing.  In non-athletes, micro-trauma can be caused by repeated pushing, pulling, lifting, or overhead activities.

Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear is pain over the top of the shoulder and arm. This pain may extend down the outside of the arm and be present during both activity and rest. Another frequent symptom is shoulder weakness, particular when lifting your arm up overhead. You may also notice a clicking or crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions. Depending on the severity of the tear, these symptoms may be mild or they may be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities.

Treatment

Treatment of rotator cuff tears and the effectiveness of surgical intervention are often debated among health care professionals. A recent study from Finland suggests that physiotherapy alone can be equally as effective in treating rotator cuff tears as arthroscopic surgery and open surgical repair. In this study, 167 patients with non-traumatic tears of the supraspinatus tendon were followed for one year as they received different treatments. The result was that the patients who received physiotherapy alone showed similar rates of improvement compared to those who received surgery. This indicates that surgery may not be necessary in many cases, and physiotherapy can be effective as the primary treatment for rotator cuff tears.

This can seem a little confusing at first. How can a rotator cuff tear heal without surgery to actually close the tear? It’s possible because the tear does not necessarily have to be repaired for patients to experience pain relief, restored mobility, and increased strength. In fact, research has shown that 30% of people under age 70, and 70% of people over age 80, actually have a rotator cuff tear, yet experience no symptoms. Therefore, the tear itself is not a problem, only the symptoms associated with it; and these symptoms can be resolved through physiotherapy.

Common treatment techniques for rotator cuff tears include:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Electrotherapy
  • Joint mobilization
  • Ice or heat treatment
  • Progressive exercises to improve strength and flexibility
  • Technique correction and education

Treatment is most effective if begun as soon as possible after the injury, and therefore it’s important to seek treatment right away if you suspect you may have sustained a rotator cuff tear. The professional team at Spectrum Physiotherapy can assess your shoulder symptoms, work with you to develop a treatment plan, and guide you along the road to recovery.

Physiotherapy After Car Accident

Physiotherapy After a Motor Vehicle Accident

The professional team at Spectrum Physiotherapy Newmarket has extensive experience in helping patients recover following motor vehicle accidents.

In Ontario, any physical injuries you suffer in car accident are covered by your auto insurance company. At Spectrum Physiotherapy Newmarket, we can answer your questions about making a claim and submitting information to your insurance company, making it easier for you to begin treatment without delay.

Even if you only experienced a minor fender bender, you may still have suffered damage to the soft tissues of your neck and spine, in addition to other injuries.  Whiplash, in particular, is extremely common following all kinds of car accidents, particularly if your car is hit from behind by other vehicle. During impact, your head is suddenly thrown backwards and forwards (or vice versa), or abruptly rotated, extending the muscles and ligaments of your neck beyond their typical range of motion. Often, this motion happens so quickly that you may not even realize it happened. Most people start to notice symptoms in the first 48 hours after the accident, but in other cases, symptoms do not appear for up to two weeks.

Some of these symptoms might include:

  • Pain, aches or stiffness in the neck, shoulders and/or back
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Headaches
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping and concentrating
  • General fatigue

 

It’s important to have the extent of your injuries assessed as soon as possible after the accident, in order to minimize your risk of sustaining long-term damage. Don’t wait and see, hoping the symptoms will resolve on their own. Pain often leads to decreased activity, which in turn creates even more stiffness, weakness and pain, further interfering with your daily routine.

At Spectrum Physiotherapy Newmarket, we can evaluate your function, pain, and the severity of your injuries. Based on your unique condition and goals, we’ll recommend an appropriate treatment program for you, which will help alleviate any discomfort, and work towards regaining full pain-free movement.

Your treatment may include:

  • Acupuncture, electrical simulation, heat, cold and other treatments to provide acute pain relief
  • Education on posture, positioning, and appropriate body mechanics
  • Manual therapy treatments to decrease pain and improve mobility
  • Specific exercises to manage symptoms, as well as restore strength and mobility

If you have questions about what type pf physiotherapy care is right for you after a motor vehicle accident, contact us today to speak to one of our physio professionals