Back Pain

Types of back and neck pain

7 Types Of Pain In The Back and Neck

Pain and Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy is considered one of the best ways to treat multiple types of pain because it focuses so much on treating the root cause and not just the symptoms. Combining hands-on treatments like orthopedic manual therapy with proven pain management techniques like dry needling while progressing through therapeutic exercises brings patients better long-term relief.

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) describes pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described  in terms of such damage.” When we are presented with something that causes pain, if capable, we rapidly or reflexively pull out. The tactile sensation of pain is called nociception.  

Pain is an awkward inclination that lets you know something might be wrong. It may be consistent, pounding, wounding, throbbing, squeezing, or depicted in many other ways. Now and again, it’s simply an annoyance, like a migraine. At different times it tends to be debilitating  

According to John Hopkins, medical pain can bring about other physical symptoms, like nausea,  dizziness, weakness, or drowsiness. It can generate emotional consequences like anger,  depression, mood swings, or irritability. In certain cases, pain could completely change your way of life and affect your job, relationships and independence. 

There are two categories to classifying pain 

  1. Acute Pain 
  2. Chronic Pain  

Types Of Pain

Acute Pain

It usually happens rapidly and disappears. Acute pain generally comes on abruptly and is brought about by something explicit. It is sharp in quality. For the most part, intense agony doesn’t endure longer than a half year. It disappears when there could be, at this point, not a basic reason for the aggravation. Acute pain ordinarily begins unexpectedly after a physical injury, a cut, wound, or muscle injury. Acute pain can likewise be brought about by fever, inflammation, and menstrual cramps. Acute pain is regularly treated by educating the patient, medication, exercise-based recuperation/physical therapy, chiropractic massage, or dynamic development programs.  

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is continuous and, as a rule, endures longer than a half year. This pain can continue even after the injury or disease that caused it has recuperated or disappeared.  Certain individuals experience chronic pain in any event when there is no previous injury or issues. According to Cleveland Clinic, Chronic pain is linked to conditions that include:  

  • Headache
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Back pain 

Chronic pain is normal; it influences 1 of every 5 grown-ups and is the number one cause of disability globally. Chronic Pain is a quiet pestilence that diminishes personal satisfaction, adversely impacts connections and occupations, and causes depression. (Sessle, 2012).  

Types of Back Pain

According to the Health Policy institute, back issues are patients’ most regular complaints to their primary care physicians. Almost 65 million Americans report a new episode of back pain. Approximately 16 million grown-ups – 8% of all grown-ups – experience industrious or constant back pain, which has restricted them from carrying out certain activities in their everyday life.  Back pain is the 6th most exorbitant condition in the United States.  

There are three types of back pain; Axial Pain, Referred Pain, and Radicular Pain. 

Axial Pain:

Also known as mechanical pain. Axial pain is usually restricted to one specific spot or region in the lower back area. Axial pain is patients’ most common type of lower back pain. 

Axial Back Pain

Referred pain

This is a type of pain that is not restricted to one specific region it tends to move around, and the intensity of the pain often varies. Referred pain is the type of pain that a patient faces in one part of the body which is influenced by an injury or discomfort in another part of the body.  

Radicular Pain

According to spine health, radicular pain can be described as electric shock-like or burning; radicular pain follows the way of the spinal nerve as it leaves the spinal canal. This sort of aggravation is brought about by pressure as well as irritation to a spinal nerve root. In the lower back (lumbar spine), radicular pain might go into the leg. Different expressions for radicular pain are sciatica or radiculopathy (when joined by shortcoming or potentially deadness). It very well may be brought about by conditions, for example, a herniated plate,  spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.

Sciatica Back Pain

Click here to read more about Sciatica


Types of Neck Pain

Neck pain is torment in or around the spine underneath your head, known as the cervical spine.  Neck pain is a typical side effect of previous injuries. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Neck pain is extremely normal. It happens in around one out of three individuals no less than one time each year. It is more normal in ladies than in men, and the possibility of developing neck pain increases with age.  

According to UpToDate Patient education: Neck pain (Beyond the Basics), The most common  causes of neck pain are Cervical strain, Cervical spondylosis, Cervical discogenic pain, Cervical  facet syndrome,  

Cervical Strain

A cervical strain is one of the most common issues that is being faced today. This usually occurs the neck muscles suffer an unusual injury. Cervical strains are usually caused due to sports-related injuries with heavy impact and physical/mental stress in everyday life, including poor nutrition and poor posture. Cervical strains last up to 4-6 weeks; neck muscles’ most common cervical strain symptoms are stiffness and tightness.  

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical Spondylosis is a condition brought about by unusual cervical spine tears (degenerative changes). The most common symptoms of cervical spondylosis are neck pain, headaches, numbness, and little to no neck mobility. 

Cervical Neck Pain

Cervical Discogenic Pain

This type of neck pain might be the most widely recognized reason for neck pain. It is brought about by degenerative changes in the structure of at least one of the discs in the middle of the cervical vertebrae. The most common symptoms are pain in the neck while turning or shifting your head.  

Cervical Facet Syndrome

The facet joints are situated on the sides of the vertebrae, and arthritis in this space can cause pain in the center or side of the neck; certain individuals additionally notice pain in the shoulders, around the shoulder blades, at the foundation of the head, into the ear and jaw, or in one arm. A typical reason for cervical facet syndrome incorporates a task requiring an individual to expand the neck repeatedly in their daily life. 

Diagnose and Treating Your Pain

There are endless possibilities to modify a physical therapy treatment program in order to relieve your specific back or neck pain. At Balanced Physical Therapy, our Doctors are licensed and certified to diagnose the exact cause of your pain symptoms. We take a unique 1-on-1 approach to each treatment session to ensure that all our patients receive our undivided attention and are properly progressing throughout all phases of the rehabilitation. Visit our contact page to schedule an evaluation or to find out more about our doctors, treatments, and network of insurances.

Mount Clemens Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy For Work Related Injuries

Occupational Therapy

A work injury is a common fear for many people across Michigan and the United States. Autoworkers, stockers/order fillers, construction workers, retail associates, and even nurses all have repetitive tasks that make them susceptible to injuries. Looking closer, every workplace has its dangers such as hazardous chemicals, unsafe tools, and poor ergonomics. If an injury occurs at work, it can be difficult for a person to adjust from a pain-free life where a person can make a living; to recovering and returning to a routine.

Occupational therapy is a great tool available for any employee injured on the job to help alleviate the confusion about what is wrong with the body and provide rehab expertise so you can return to work without risking another injury or more damage.

Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) is an all-natural healthcare specialty focused on helping people of all ages with workplace-related injuries return to a pain-free, active life and improve how a person performs activities at work. The procedure involves diagnosing the injury type, the severity of the injury, what factors at work or throughout the body contributed to the damage, and creating a plan to return to work safely.

Specifically, occupational therapy includes therapeutic activities to improve mobility, body mechanics, coordination, stability, and employability. Patient education also provides workers with practical techniques for managing any symptoms caused by a work-related injury and putting preventive measures to ensure further damage doesn’t occur.

Common Work-Related Injuries

Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) are injuries caused by repetitive motions. CTD’s can be thought of as minor stress injuries that accumulate and worsen over time. A CTD can result from several things such as muscle imbalances, inefficient workstation setups, or just performing a task a thousand (or more) times a day for many years.

Injuries that fall under CTDs include:

  • Clinical syndromes (inflammations of the tendons such as tennis elbow)
  • Nerve compression disorder (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome)

carpal tunnel from working

Other common injuries that require Occupational Therapy include sudden injuries. These are injuries that happen quickly because of poor work safety standards or accidents such as:

  • Slips, Trips, or Falls
  • Overexertion and Muscle Strains
  • Bone Fractures and Dislocations
  • Neck Injuries (including whiplash)
  • Back Injuries ( such as herniated disc)

Why is Occupational Therapy Important?

Being injured in the workplace, either by an accident or repetitive stress, can severely limit or completely change someone’s life. Occupational therapy benefits injured workers by allowing them to regain function after an injury so they can return to work confidently and safely.

In the process, injured workers learn the specific triggers that put them at risk for re-injury, how to handle a flare-up, and ways to adjust to limitations when returning to work.

Occupational therapy can help workers return to normal after common work-related injuries. It allows them to work more confidently and strengthen/maintain their bodies for many years after discharge.

Occupational Therapy Benefits

Regain Strength and Prevent Further Injury

When a worker sprains, strains, or breaks a muscle, ligament, or bone, the body becomes weakened. Occupational therapy strengthens the injured body part and surrounding areas so that you have better protection from being hurt again in the future. In the case of a CTD, rehabilitation of a tendon or ligament can include implementing proper techniques for repetitive tasks that can cause that injury.

After a sudden injury such as a disc herniation, learning proper body mechanics for pushing, pulling, and lifting is one of the best ways to prevent future accidents. In the process, your therapist will also use natural methods to decrease pain so that you can work on more advanced exercises.

Mount Clemens Occupational Therapy

Avoid Surgery

With CTDs, if you and your doctor can catch an injury early enough, it is possible to reverse sufficient damage to avoid surgery. When a person takes advantage of the therapist’s expertise and comprehensive therapy plan, occupational therapy offers an opportunity to ease pain and regain function without going under the knife.

Eliminate Pain and Minimize Surgery Complications

After a workplace injury, occupational therapy can introduce methods for pain reduction, including splints, taping, and manual massage techniques.

After corrective surgery, occupational therapy will provide you with the best therapy treatments to return to full functionality quickly and safely. Communicating with your therapist, attending every appointment, and following a home exercise program can be critical in preventing setbacks, surgery complications, and re-injury.

Retain Independence

One of the most frightening parts of an injury from work is how it may change a life. No one wants to give up their hobbies or not have a source of income, so losing independence because of an injury is can be a scary thing. Occupational therapy offers ways to help heal your body and provides new methods for adapting the world to your body’s unique needs.

How Balanced Physical Therapy Helps With Worker’s Comp Injuries

After you’ve been hurt, you just want to feel better. We understand your concerns and fears, which is why we provide full 1-hour appointments with a licensed and certified therapist. With no double or triple bookings, we make sure injured workers are our number one priority. Our therapists are known for working with your doctors and worker’s comp case managers so that you get the care and documentation as quickly as possible.

Rest assured that when you work with Balanced Physical Therapy, your health and recovery will be cared for by most professional staff (we do not use techs or aids to provide our treatments for our patients. With flexible appointment times for early morning and late evenings, we are always ready to help anyone in Mount Clemens, St. Clair Shores, Clinton Township, Fraser, and other surrounding areas of Macomb County.

Our primary focus is getting back to living with the joy and confidence you had pre-injury. To find out more about our occupational therapy treatments, insurance coverage, or appointment availability, give us a call at (586) 741-5806.



Physical Therapy For Athletes

Benefits Of Physical Therapy For Athletes

Physical Therapy For Athletes

Physical therapy and sports medicine for athletes focus on the mechanics of your moving body. How an athlete’s body moves, what muscles and ligaments are used in each movement, and what are the strengths and weaknesses to work on in order to fully recover.

Working with a physical therapist will aid athletes in getting back on their feet (metaphorically and literally) quicker, safer, and more efficient.

Sports Injury Doctor


What is Physical Therapy?

Working with a Physical Therapist for athletes is like calling an auto mechanic for your car when you see a check engine light. Just like a mechanic will run the engine, listen for unusual noises, and watch the engine at work, your physical therapist will do the same after an athlete is injured.

In sports medicine, a physical therapist is a diagnostician. First, they assess the movements of your body to provide an accurate injury diagnosis, determine why the injury occurred, and consider other risk factors for future injuries. After your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will make a personalized treatment plan that includes a combination of hands-on orthopedic manual techniques, improving muscle strength, stability of the joints, optimizing mobility, and decreasing pain.

Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy

For instance, if you’ve injured your Achilles tendon, they’ll examine it by checking the range of motion, level of pain, and how strong the associated muscles are. Then, a treatment plan to get you back on your feet is drawn up, including strengthening techniques, flexibility techniques, and other things designed to bring strength and mobility back.

Physical therapy is designed to bring function back after an injury holistically. What’s more, it’s also meant to prevent sports injuries by educating about proper moving techniques before the tendon ever ruptures.

Why is Physical Therapy Important for Athletes?

Relive Pain, Restore Function, and Prevent Future Injuries are the most important goals for athletes after suffering an injury.

Pain when moving is always unpleasant, but more so for athletes. Physical therapy has techniques for immediate pain relief (such as dry needling, Kinesio taping, or cupping therapy) to make all athletes more comfortable so they can progress to more advanced exercises in order to return to competition.

In addition, a physical therapist specializing in sports medicine has methods for bringing your body back from injury to get your body back into peak performance. Assessing what went wrong in your body allows them to formulate how to fix it and give tangible methods for strengthening the injury.

After an injury, strength, and mobility can be compromised. For instance, rolling your ankle on the field means it’s tender for a long time afterward and not supporting your weight as well. Maybe it won’t support your weight to run down the field anymore, or it supports your weight but hurts so much you can’t see the ball anymore. 

Physical therapy will help build the strength in that ankle back to where it was before the injury, eliminating the pain of that injury, as well as safeguarding against future damage. 

Sometimes an injury can take a long time to heal. In the meantime, strength is lost, and it can feel insurmountable to get it back. In physical therapy, we focus on regaining that strength safely and healthily to protect against re-injury. As a result, some people even feel stronger than before the injury.

Reducing Pain and Understanding Your Body

A physical therapist has specific training to understand your body and how sports injuries can happen. In physical therapy, we focus on fixing pain and reducing and preventing it. Physical therapists can suggest correct techniques and help you determine what works best for your body to keep it strong.

Sports Medicine Doctor

Then, we’ll work one-on-one with you to show you the proper procedures so that these sensitive areas of your body are taken care of so well you won’t have to worry about them. These strengthening techniques don’t only fix what’s broken but also help keep them from breaking.

The Value of Balanced Physical Therapy

When doing physical therapy, you want to choose professionals at the top of their field. Our doctors are movement specialists who understand how your body moves during your sport and all the stresses that come with training and competing at a high level.

With Balanced Physical Therapy, you are treated as individuals with unique needs. Our athletes work one-on-one with a certified Doctor of Physical Therapist and are not passed around between assistants, techs, or aids. Each treatment is 1 hour, allowing for the safest, most professional care.

Our doctors also have experience working with male and female athletes of all levels in a vast range of sports, including:

  • Track-and field
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Performance Arts
  • ..And more

Physical Therapy Prevents and Heals Sports Injuries

There are multiple disciplines in sports medicine. Depending on age, sports, and injury type, Balanced Physical Therapy has options that are proven to get you back to competing. Contact Us Today to speak with one of our licensed and certified Doctors of Physical Therapy or to get started with an initial evaluation.


Back Pain: Causes, Treatments, and Costs

Back Pain: Causes, Treatments, and Costs

A review of some common acute and chronic back pain conditions. We cover ways to manage minor back injuries at home, finding medical professionals to diagnose and treat back pain, and physical therapy treatments available to help you recover.

Back Pain Review

Back pain encompasses many different experiences and levels of debility for people who suffer from it. The basic term can encompass acute pain or chronic issues that get in the way of enjoying life or working. The one constant for people who suffer from painful back problems is that they wanted to stop as soon as possible. Once you understand the different types of back pain and have your specific problem diagnosed, there are multiple ways to manage it so you can go back to your regular, positive lifestyle.

Back Pain: Causes, Treatments, and Costs


Types of Back Pain

Categorizing back pain can be done in multiple ways. Is the pain temporary or permanent? Where does the pain come from? How much does it hurt, and does it impede physical functionality in any way? Answering these and other questions are important parts of identifying the cause of your back pain and potential treatment options.


Acute Back Pain Caused by Minor Injury

Injuries cause the most specific and short-lived types of back pain. These include bruises due to an impact of some kind in most cases. Like with any other minor injury, rest, ice or heat, and time will help you recover. Of course, more serious accidents can lead to chronic problems. When your back is involved, always seek medical diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

When most people talk about back pain, they mean chronic discomfort that gets in the way of their ordinary activities and enjoyment of life. This is caused by a variety of problems.


Muscle Strains and Soreness

The most common types of back pain reported by Medical News Today include general soreness and ache from pulled muscles, tension, damaged ligaments, and other strains(Back Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments). These can create everything from an unpleasant ache at the end of a hard day to constant discomfort that leaves you lying on the couch and reaching for over-the-counter pain relievers more often than not.

This type of muscular pain issue may come from one instance of slipping and falling, lifting a heavy object improperly, or otherwise experiencing abrupt trauma. A lot of back pain comes from repetitive stress injuries, however. Regular heavy lifting, bending and stretching, poor posture, long periods of driving, and even poor sleep habits can cause ongoing discomfort.


Spinal Structural Problems

Back pain’s other main cause comes from physiological problems related to the spinal column. These include bone- and nerve-related issues. In most cases, wear and tear over time and age-related conditions make up the bulk of these problems. (NIDH: Low Back Pain Fact Sheet) They include:

  • Bulging, herniated, or ruptured disks
  • Arthritis including osteoarthritis and spondylosis
  • Spinal stenosis – narrowing of space for nerves
  • Osteoporosis or other vertebrae fractures
  • Sciatica – Pressure specifically on the sciatic nerve

Issues with the kidneys, uterus and other internal organs can also cause lower back pain. In some cases, things like tumors or blood clots are also at fault.

Managing Back Pain

Eliminating and managing back pain involves either fixing the problem that caused it or finding a way to minimize discomfort going forward.

Lifestyle Changes

Eliminating the causes of muscle and ligament strain is the first step in recovering comfort. Minimize picking up heavy objects, minimize sitting or driving time, and reduce strenuous physical activity that puts tension on your spinal column and back muscles. Also, get a better mattress and use foam wedges or pillows to align your spine more positively.

Ice Packs and Hot Compresses

Both hot and cold treatment options can reduce pain temporarily. This is the same type of treatment you would use if you sprained your wrist, twisted her ankle, or strained any other large muscle in your body.

OTC Medication and Prescription Drugs

For temporary pain, simple over-the-counter pills and topical creams or ointments can help you feel better. Anti-inflammatory medications are specifically designed to target the type of pain that frequently occurs with muscle strains. Your physician may prescribe more serious anti-pain drugs or muscle relaxants for acute injuries, surgery recovery, and chronic problems.

Moving, Stretching, and Strength

Although it may seem contraindicated, certain types of careful exercise actually help with back pain. This includes everything from gentle stretches to help align the spine and work out tense muscles to core strength building for longer-term back support. Make sure your physician or care team approves any type of physical activity or therapeutic movement before you begin.

Back Stretch

Types of Doctors for Back Pain

The type of physician you use for back pain depends entirely on its cause and ongoing management options(Very Well Health: 10 Types of Back Pain Specialists). Receiving an accurate diagnosis is essential for continuing with an effective treatment plan. This matters for both acute, short-term discomfort and chronic pain.

General Practitioners

Due to the structure of the healthcare industry and access, most patients who experience back pain go to a general practitioner, primary care physician, or family doctor first. This is the person who can usually identify the cause of back pain and refer you to a specialist who treats the specific issue. If your pain stems from repetitive stress or an accident, they will undoubtedly handle your treatment directly.

Orthopedic Doctors

More serious issues with the spinal structure get handed over to orthopedists. These surgeons specialize in musculoskeletal problems like scoliosis, ruptured discs, vertebrae fractures, and similar problems. In some cases, surgery is the final option for alleviating pain and minimizing the risk of further issues after you and your care team exhaust other treatment options.


These specialists deal with the nervous system, which obviously involves the spinal column. In the process of alleviating back pain, these positions will diagnose chronic, nerve-related pain. Their primary roles include diagnosis, prescribing medication, and referrals to neurosurgeons or other specialists.


If arthritis or osteoarthritis is the main cause of your back pain, a rheumatologist will help solve the problem. For extremely serious problems that affect the spinal nerves or bones, you will probably get a referral to another type of doctor.


Physical Therapy: Effective for a Variety of Back Pain

Broken vertebrae need mending, arthritis may need anti-inflammatory medication, and all types of back pain can benefit from a proper mattress, good posture, and more careful bending and lifting practices. If surgery or other serious treatment options are not good options for you, physical therapy can alleviate a lot of back pain for many sufferers.

What Can a Physical Therapist Do?

For chronic back pain, therapists present a variety of options. They can help with simple treatments, help release muscle tension, and teach you ways to position yourself and move to reduce discomfort. This may include flexibility and strength training, help with posture and sleeping positions, and proper lifting or work techniques to minimize the risk of making back pain worse.

Back Pain Treatment Options


Physical Therapy is Cost-Effective

When exploring options of any type of medical treatment or ongoing therapy, the cost depends a lot on your personal insurance plan. While the actual monetary numbers differ, the value of a physical therapist when it comes to acute or chronic back pain cannot be understated. Taking medication or using special creams costs a lot with no end in sight. Surgery not only costs a lot upfront but also carries the risk of additional problems in the future. Also, you have a much greater risk of missing more work if you go that route from the start.

Physical therapy provides ongoing help in an affordable way that usually does not impact your ability to do your job and maintain your income. Insurance reimbursement is common with a referral, but even out-of-pocket expenses become manageable when you regain a pain-free or reduced-pain lifestyle you can enjoy.

Uneven Hips and Abnormal Pelvic Tilt

5 Things To Know About Uneven Hips and Abnormal Pelvic Tilts

A guide for anyone who believes their hips are out of alignment. Learn about the signs and symptoms of misaligned hips. Find out how this condition relates to your pelvis, spine and posture. See the ways physical therapy can help you get realigned and get back to functional, pain free life

What Does It Mean When Your Hips Are Out Of Alignment?

When it comes to having uneven hips, it is essential to understand that your pelvis and spine are also affected. Having uneven hips is often associated with an anterior pelvic tilt. These two can drastically change a person’s back health, posture, and overall biomechanics. A slight misalignment can cause pain and discomfort in the hip and lower back regions. Over time this small problem can have compounding effects that reach up into the shoulders and neck. To help you avoid these type of complications, we will go over:
  1. How you can determine if your hips and pelvis are properly aligned
  2. Common symptoms and causes of uneven hips and abnormal pelvic tilts
  3. Physical Therapy Treatment for uneven hips and abnormal pelvic tilts

What Is A Normal Hip Alignment?

To determine whether or not you have proper hip and pelvis alignment, a physical therapist would need to observe and measure multiple factors around the hip, pelvis, and spine. As always, it is best to seek a professional opinion from your primary care physician, physical therapist, spine specialist, or chiropractor.  If you haven’t gone to see your doctor or physical therapist and would like to self-check your hip alignment, you should look out for three things:
  1. Your pelvis should be parallel to your shoulders and the ground
  2. Your hips should stay neutral and not be tilted forward or backward
  3. Your hips should be on the same level horizontally, not one higher and one lower
Uneven Hip and Pelvis Alignment
Hip and Pelvis Alignment Comparison via Runners World
An excellent way to check all three is to stand in front of a full-body mirror to observe your posture thoroughly.  First, take notice if your shoulders are even. A shoulder that sits higher than the other may present a lower, misaligned hip on the same side. A shoulder blade that sticks out can also help you determine the hip and pelvis’s misalignment on the same side.  Next, take a look at how your spine is aligned. A curved “C” or “S” shape of your spine can help you determine if the cause of your uneven hips is scoliosis-related.  It can also help to imagine a straight line from your nose to the belly button. If the line doesn’t touch, this would also indicate a spinal misalignment, possibly related to your hips or pelvis. Suppose you do not have access to a full-body mirror or have trouble visualizing the proper hip and pelvic alignment. In that case, it can help understand some common symptoms associated with misaligned hips and pelvis.

Signs And Symptoms Of Misaligned Hips or Pelvis

People with misaligned hips or abnormal pelvic tilts often experience symptoms that progress from minor and unnoticeable to significant and life-altering.  Minor symptoms that often go unnoticed for long periods include:
  • General low backache
  • Pain in the hip and buttocks area that increases during or after walking
  • Pain in the hip and low back after standing in place for long periods
  • Unbalanced walking or gait
  • Achy feeling in the lower back or hip while laying down
If these minor symptoms go untreated for too long, they can progress into more severe complications such as:
  • Pain that goes down into the thigh towards the knee
  • Pain in and around the groin
  • Inability to stand in place or walk
  • Poor spine alignment

What Causes Uneven Hips and Abnormal Pelvic Tilts?

To get back to a pain-free and active life, it is always best to understand why your hips and pelvis are misaligned. We recommend everyone see their primary care physician, spine doctor, or physical therapist as soon as symptoms begin to show. A medical professional can evaluate posture, gait, measure each leg’s length, prescribe an X-Ray or CT scan for the most accurate diagnosis.  Your health care professional can diagnose the cause of misaligned hips or abnormal pelvic tilts, which may include:
  1. A functional Leg Length Discrepancy: You can think of this as poor posture for prolonged amounts of time that result in muscular imbalance. When bad posture becomes a habit (in sitting or standing), the muscles surrounding the hip and can become tight and shorten, causing the hip to pull upwards. Also, on the other side of the body, muscles can become weaker and looser, causes the hip to sit lower.
  2. Structural Leg Length Discrepancy: You can think of this as one leg being shorter/longer than the other, outside the commonly accepted range. Most people have a slight difference in leg lengths, but significant differences (4cm or more) can cause hip and pelvic misalignment. These leg length discrepancies can be congenital (naturally from birth). Other causes include growth plate injuries (Salter-Harris fracture is common amongst children and adolescents), poor healing after bone breaks, joint conditions such as arthritis, or bone diseases such as neurofibromatosis.
  3. Scoliosis: This abnormal “S” or “C” curve in the spine is a prevalent cause of hip and pelvic misalignment. Scoliosis is more common amongst young females and can run in the family. 
Once a medical professional confirm a diagnosis, people with misaligned hips and pelvis can begin the recovery process. One of the best and most common ways to correct these issues is physical therapy.

Treating Uneven Hips and Misaligned Pelvis With Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is typically one of the best non-surgical treatment options for misaligned hips and abnormal pelvic tilts. Your physical therapist can help diagnose the cause of your pain and misalignment. They can also assist you with pain management, stretching, strengthening exercises, and biofeedback to prevent and eliminate symptoms. Some techniques and practices that are effective include:
  • Muscular release to tight hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • Corrective exercises that address your specific diagnosis. Each type of pelvic tilt (Anterior, Posterior, and Lateral Pelvic Tilts) requires different treatment plans to realign.
  • Help fix bad habits related to posture when standing and sitting.
  • Assist and educate patients on the best way to sleep with as little pain as possible.
Early treatment can help speed up the recovery and prevent significant complications. If you believe your hips are misaligned, you have an abnormal pelvic tilt, or unsure about the cause of your back pain, please contact us at (586) 741-5806 today to make an appointment
Sciatica Symptom

Sciatica: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments To Know

A simple guide to a common problem. We cover the sciatic nerve anatomy, elated pain, and physical therapy treatments proven to relieve sciatica.

Sciatica is a term used to describe pain along the sciatic nerve. The Sciatic nerve is made up of five nerve roots; two at the lumbar spine (lower back) and three at the sacrum (lowermost part of the spine). These nerve groups combine to make up the left and right sciatic nerve.

What does Sciatica feel like?

‍Pain is normally one of the first symptoms a person suffering from sciatica experiences. This pain can either be constant or intermittent down one leg( although both legs can experience this pain). The most common symptom of sciatica is a sharp, burning feeling. Other sciatica symptoms include:
  • Electric shock-like, shooting pain
  • Numbness and tingling feeling at the back of the leg
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain
  • Dull aching feeling
  • Discomfort that comes or goes
  • Weakness at the lower back, leg, or foot

What causes Sciatica?

‍Some of the most common reasons for the onset of sciatica include:
  • Herniated or Slipped Disk that puts pressure onto the nerve roots. The Cleveland Clinic ( estimates that about 1% to 5% of people will experience a slipped disk at some point in their lives. When too much pressure is applied to the vertebrae of the spine, it can “push” out a disk causing it to bulge( herniate). A herniated disk along the lower portion of the spine can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Degeneration ( of the tissues along the lumbar spine, facet joints, and the actual vertebral bone can all cause pressure to the sciatic nerve through compression and inflammation.
  • Spinal Stenosis is the actual narrowing of the spinal canal (the passageway where your sciatic nerve runs through). Spinal Stenosis is most common for people over the age of 60, resulting in pinching of the sciatic nerve.
  • Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips out of line with the vertebrae above it. A good example of this is when the L5 vertebra slips forward over the S1 vertebra, causing sciatic nerve compression. Spondylolisthesis is most common with young adults and can result in pain along the right and left sciatic nerves.
  • Osteoarthritis and the bone spurs (jagged edges of bone) that develop with age can also compress the sciatic nerve.

What are the treatment options for sciatica?

‍Most often, patients experiencing acute or chronic sciatica will receive nonsurgical treatments by their primary care physician or spine doctor. Nonsurgical treatments for sciatica often include rest, physical therapy, medications, or therapeutic injections. Physical Therapy can be one of the most beneficial treatments for sciatic pain. Combining pain management techniques with flexibility and strengthening exercises can be a long term solution for patients to:
  • Restore pain-free functional movements
  • Relieve lower back, buttock, thigh, and leg pain
  • Reduce muscle spasms
  • Improve lower body mobility
  • Promote a better soft tissue healing environment for the lower back
  • Prevent future flare-ups
  • Restore function of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint

What should I expect when going to physical therapy for Sciatica?

‍If you have received a referral for physical therapy to treat your sciatica, the first step would be to undergo an initial evaluation with a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. This first appointment serves to provide your therapist with a baseline knowledge of your current condition. Your physical therapist will use this time to learn about your specific sciatic symptoms, past medical history, lab tests (MRI or X-rays), lifestyle habits, and short/long-term goals. Your therapist will also test specific functional movements such as range of motion, flexibility, posture, and reflexes. From there your therapist will craft a therapeutic program designed to reach your goals based on the results found from the initial evaluation. A typical sciatica treatment program will consist of passive and active techniques. Depending on the severity of symptoms, your physical therapist will progress these techniques as required. Passive techniques for sciatic nerve pain serve to help patients with promoting blood flow, reduce muscle spasms, and decrease pain. The passive portion of a sciatica treatment program can consist of modalities such as:
  • Hot/Cold packs
  • Traction
  • Manual Therapy
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS unit)
  • Neuromuscular Electric Muscle Stimulation.
Active techniques for sciatica serve to improve leg mobility and range of motion, strengthen core muscles, stretch tight muscles such as the hamstrings, and encourage the flow of nutrients and fluids throughout the body. Active physical therapy techniques may include:
  • McKenzie Method
  • Abdominal and Back Exercises
  • Abdominal and Back Stabilization
  • Hip Mobilization
  • Functional stretching of the hamstrings, quadriceps, and deep lower back muscles
It is best to seek treatment for sciatica as early as possible. Pain symptoms often progress and flare-ups become more common as you age. To make an appointment with one of our physical therapists call (586) 741-5806 and one of our friendly staff will assist you with the process.