Low back pain

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There are many different types of low back pain and it is one of the most common injuries and is believed to affect up to 80% of us in our lifetime.

Low back pain often results following damage to the structures of the lower back (ligaments/joints/discs/muscles) which presents as localised pain into the lower back with or without nerve-related symptoms such as numbness, pins & needles or altered sensation.

The causes of low back pain vary greatly. Simple tasks like putting shoes and socks on or more complex movements like lifting and twisting can all produce low back pain. Many movements can aggravate the symptoms and it is therefore important to have a full physiotherapy assessment to avoid an increase in your pain.


Whiplash

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Whiplash injuries are as a result of an acceleration-deceleration movement of the neck (usually during a road traffic accident). During this forceful movement, many of the structures in the neck can be sprained and strained resulting in neck and shoulder pain among other symptoms such as cervicogenic headaches.

The symptoms do not usually begin until 2-3 days post injury and can be made worse by certain movements of the neck.


Nerve root impingement

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Acute nerve root impingement occurs when a nerve originating from the spinal cord becomes compressed by a structure (often cervical discs or reduced intervertebral foramen). This often presents as radiating pain into the shoulder, arm or hand. Sometimes this is accompanied by neck pain but not always. Nerve-related symptoms such as numbness, tingling and loss of strength/power can be present in the arm.

Frozen Shoulder

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Adhesive capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder) is a common condition and presents with intense pain into the shoulder associated with a significant loss in range of movement.

The capsule that surrounds the glenohumeral joint becomes stiff and inflamed and can result in a constant dull ache within the shoulder joint.

Most cases of Frozen Shoulder occur spontaneously however they can arise following trauma or injury.


Shoulder Impingement

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Shoulder impingement involves intermittent trapping of the rotator cuff tendons between the humeral head and acromion within the shoulder joint. This ‘trapping’ can result in a sharp pain during reaching movements and overhead activities/sports.

Repetitive compression of the rotator cuff tendons and sub-acromial bursa can result in inflammation (tendinitis/bursitis) and if left untreated can lead to more severe damage of the tendons (tendinosis/ calcific tendinopathy). It is frequently misdiagnosed, therefore a full assessment from a physiotherapist is advised to avoid further injury.


Rotator cuff injury

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The rotator cuff is made up of 4 tendons (Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, Subscapularis and Teres Minor) and injury to these tendons are a common cause of shoulder pain and dysfunction.

Rotator cuff tendons can be torn following trauma to the shoulder or falling onto an outstretched arm. They can also become damaged and inflamed following repetitive impingement or microtrauma from overuse during sport or physical activity.

Tennis Elbow

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Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is a condition that presents with pain in the outer part of the elbow. It is a tendinopathy of the wrist extensor tendons where they attach at the elbow.

Usually, Tennis elbow is caused by overuse but can also arise following trauma to the elbow or wrist extensor muscles/tendons in the forearm. It can result in reduced grip strength alongside loss of function and pain.


Golfers Elbow

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Golfers elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) is a condition that presents with pain in the inside part of the elbow. It is a tendinopathy of the wrist flexor tendons where they attach at the elbow.

It is also know as ‘Throwers Elbow’ or ‘Little league Elbow’.


Olecranon Bursitis

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Olecranon bursitis is a condition where the fluid filled sac (bursa) on the tip of the elbow becomes painful and inflamed.

It often occurs following trauma to the tip of the elbow and results in redness and localised swelling.