There are so many possible causes of pain, ranging from distinct events such as car accidents or injuries at work, to chronic pain that worsens over time but cannot be traced to a single event.
To help you quickly find relief from pain issues, look for the condition you believe is the primary cause of pain. This is not a complete list (there is no such thing!), but covers many of the most common conditions for which our patients seek help.
(If you find it difficult to point at just one probable cause of your pain, you’re not alone. It’s very rare for us to see a patient who comes in presenting only one problem.)
Tip: you can also look at the companion section, Treatments Available, to see a summary of many of the treatment techniques we offer. Either way you search, you’re getting closer to the right blend of therapy for you, your body, and your condition.
Headaches and Migraines
There are two categories of headaches and migraines: primary and secondary. Headaches and migraines are considered primary when they are the root problem.
- Headaches – are defined as pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck.
- Migraines – Migraines are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head; usually throbbing or pulsing pain, upset stomach and sometimes vomiting, sensitivity to light and visual issues.
Migraines can cause temporary loss of functionality. Most migraine sufferers report that their symptoms worsen if they remain active or attempt to perform daily functions. Migraines can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.
Car Accident Injuries
Automobile accidents account for more than 3 million injuries annually in the United States, one of the most common traumas. Injuries can range from minor, short-term issues to major, long-term (chronic), debilitating problems.
Some of the most common auto injuries are:
- Whiplash – neck pain due to strain in ligaments
- Back injuries – ranging from strained muscles to a slipped disc
Chronic pain can creep in and become part of your daily life. It can move from one part of your body to another. It can mainly be back pain, neck pain, or referred pain that shoots into your legs and arms. It can make it difficult to focus at work, do anything for recreation, and live a full life. We trace the culprits causing your chronic pain, get the pain under control, then go to work on the issues that caused it in the first place – and could bring it back.
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According to OSHA standards, an injury or illness is considered work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.
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Low back pain is very common. Most people experience it at least once in their lifetime. For most people, the pain is temporary. But back pain can become long-lasting (chronic) if a person has ongoing poor posture and body mechanics, unstable core muscles, ongoing walking (gait) issues, or if under stress and/or depressed.
Low back pain can happen anywhere below the ribs and above the legs. The lower back bears most of the body’s weight. Therefore, there can be many causes for pain such as injury, aging, pregnancy, herniated disc, compression fractures, joint issues (see sacroiliac dysfunction), illness, genetic spine issues and overuse.
Neck pain usually involves minor to major muscle strain in the neck or surrounding areas. Most neck pain is due to poor posture. Other common neck pain causes are arthritis, sports, accident, injuries or illnesses.
At times, other symptoms may accompany neck pain. The following symptoms may indicate a more serious illness or injury and require immediate medical attention:
- Shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm
- Numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands
- Inability to touch your chin to your chest
The shoulder is an extremely mobile and potentially unstable joint that can be easily injured. The most common causes for shoulder injury are sports, manual labor and the degeneration of soft tissue surrounding the shoulder due to aging.
A shoulder injury usually consists of tears in the tendons (i.e. rotator cuff), muscles and or nerves surrounding the shoulder including the clavicle bone, scapula and humerus (upper arm bone). Other shoulder injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations, separations, tendinitis, bursitis, frozen shoulder, fractures, and arthritis.
Rotator Cuff Syndrome
The rotator cuff is a structure composed of tendons that work along with the shoulder muscles to hold the ball at the top of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the socket and provide mobility and strength to the shoulder joint.
Rotator Cuff injuries are usually a result of inflamed, irritated, overused or torn tendons or muscles of the rotator cuff. The most common symptoms are pain or discomfort in the shoulder and upper arm, difficulty sleeping on the shoulder and raising the arm overhead. For some people, the pain will present itself in the front or side of the shoulder and move down the elbow and forearm.
Sacroiliac Dysfunction refers to pain in the low back, hip or buttocks region caused by the strain, damage, inflammation or general wear and tear of the sacroiliac joints that are connected to the spine and pelvis (low back region).
The sacroiliac joints (low back area) bear most of the weight of your upper body. This can easily lead to overuse and irritation issues. Problems such as spine misalignment, poor posture and core strength, increased muscle tension, walking patterns (gait), pregnancy, and degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis, as well as certain repetitive sports motions (i.e., golfing) can also contribute to Sacroiliac Dysfunction. Slipping or falling can
Whiplash is an injury that occurs when the neck muscles and ligaments are strained and sprained due to a sudden movement forcing the neck to move forward and backward beyond its normal range of motion. One of the most frequent causes of whiplash is automobile collisions.
Common symptoms of whiplash are headache, dizziness, stiffness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating and blurred vision. Most people recover from whiplash within a few weeks but some have long lasting, painful and at times disabling symptoms.
Symptoms such as memory loss, pain, weakness, numbness and/or tingling in arms and shoulders, as well as pain when moving the head may indicate a more serious condition or injury.
Orthopedic problems are deformities or injuries that arise from bone, joint, and/or muscle issues. Most orthopedic problems stem from the back, knee, hip, foot, wrist and ankle areas. Common injuries are muscle strain, Plantar Fasciitis (bottom of the foot), torn meniscus and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears (knee), Achilles Tendon Rupture (back of heel area), ankle, hip, elbow and wrist sprains and fractures. Although some injuries arise from illness, infection or disease, overuse is reported as the most frequent cause.
Fibromyalgia is a condition in which people have frequent, long-lasting pain and tenderness in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues throughout their body.
Common symptoms are fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
The specific cause(s) of fibromyalgia is still unknown but research shows the syndrome can be traced back to or triggered by:
Physical or emotional trauma
Abnormal pain response – areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react differently in fibromyalgia patients
Infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve (controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, but not little finger), which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or constricted at the wrist. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, which can radiate up the arm.
Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-eye-tus) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.
The most painful symptoms occur as a person takes the first few steps out of bed in the morning. The pain may return throughout the day after sitting or standing, usually for long periods.
Inadequate support or poor-fitting shoes are one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis. Athletes, particularly runners, frequently develop this condition. Overweight and pregnant women are also at risk.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is usually caused by pressure and/or compression on the blood vessels and nerves that pass through the narrow area between the neck, shoulder, collar bone (clavicle) and upper ribs, down into the arms and hands. The most common cause is repetitive overuse.
Frequently reported symptoms include pain and numbness in shoulders, neck and/or arms-inner forearms, hands and ring or pinky finger(s). Other symptoms may include poor circulation in arms and hands, which can be cold to the touch or swollen. The arms and hands might also be discolored, usually with a bluish appearance.
People with Pre-Diabetes have an above-normal blood sugar reading and are at high risk for developing diabetes. Our Pre-Diabetes program includes initial evaluation, individualized exercise prescription and support/followup.
Balance / Dizzy Problems
Balance and walking problems can result from orthopedic conditions, neurological disorders, or a number of injuries that involve the joints, muscles, and nerves. FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Center therapists take a whole-body approach to consider whether issues with the spine, hip, knee or feet contribute to imbalances, and they provide intensive one-on-one care to help you achieve the greatest independence possible.
Pilates exercise method is designed to condition and connect body and mind, correct muscle imbalances, improve posture, improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles. The muscle strengthening focus is on the body's core. Some of the goals and benefits of this method include improved:
- Enhanced quality of life