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Spinal Injuries

Spinal Injury specialist Coffs Harbour

A large proportion of the Australian population will experience a significant episode of back pain at some stage in their lives, with a number of these going on to suffer recurrent pain and functional limitations due to their injury.  As physiotherapists we are trained to properly assess and treat spinal pain, including headaches, utilising techniques such as:

  • Advice on appropriate activities to promote early movement
  • Massage
  • Mobilisation / manipulation
  • Stretches
  • Postural advice
  • Core stabilisation exercises, e.g. physio ball exercises, Pilates
  • General strengthening and fitness exercises

Our aim at CCSP is to educate you on your injury, perform the necessary “hands-on” techniques to speed up your recovery and formulate an appropriate home exercise program for both the short and long term management of your injury.

There are a number of different structures that can be injured when it comes to spinal pain.  These include:

Facet joint: these are the small joints in the spine that control the direction of movement at each specific level of the spine.  Just like knees or ankles, these joints can be stiff, loose or injured if taken beyond their natural limit which will result in pain.  These joints are also susceptible to all forms of arthritis, e.g.”wear and tear” arthritis (osteoarthritis) and inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis).

Discs: these are the spines cushioning system and consist of a cartilage outer rim, with a gel-like substance in the middle.  Through sudden or repetitive trauma this gel can start pushing through the outer wall of the disc (bulge) or even rupture the outer wall (prolapse).

Nerves: these are our message pathways and branch off our spinal cord to exit at every level of our spine.  If the nerve becomes impeded while escaping the spine, e.g. disc bulge or bony spur, it can become inflamed and pain can felt anywhere down the distribution of that nerve. The term “sciatica” is a diagnosis given to pain that is felt anywhere down the distribution of the sciatic nerve.

Muscles: these provide the spine with movement, but equally important they provide the spine with stability.  Acute muscle “strains” are less frequent in the spine, however muscles will often tighten or “spasm” as a protective mechanism in response to injury, which can result in muscle fatigue and soreness.


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