Spine Specialist Near Me in St. Louis, MO
Spine specialist near me in St. Louis, MO. Spinal conditions can make normal activities like standing up difficult, and disrupt how our bodies function. For people who play sports, back injuries can prevent you from being at the top of their game. For workers, it can prevent you from providing for your St. Louis, MO family. For others, it can keep us from taking walks or playing with our grandkids as we’d like to. Physical therapists with a spine specialty can help return to the functional and pain-free life you’re looking for. Through safe and proven exercises and treatment plans, Axes Physical Therapy can help you achieve the mobility and pain relief your body needs to be at its best, and that you need to live your best life. If you’re prepared to finally move on from debilitating back pain, request an appointment with an Axes St. Louis, MO spine specialist, or get in touch with the Axes location nearest you.
Under Missouri Revised Statute §334.506, a doctor needs to prescribe physical therapy. If you’re recovering from a back or neck injury, or are find that back pain is keeping you from the activities you love, ask your doctor if physical therapy with a spine specialist in St. Louis, MO is what you need. You can also come see us for one of our no-obligation injury screenings.
The Anatomy of the Spine
The spine is our central support structure, and plays a fundamental role in most movements and how the body communicates with itself. It extends from the base of your skull to your pelvis. The spine consists of:
There are 33 vertebrae from the top to bottom of the spine, which are small bones that form the backbone. Every vertebra has a hole in the center to protect the spinal cord and its nerves. There are five vertebral regions. There are:
- 7 vertebrae in the cervical region (your neck)
- 12 vertebrae in the thoracic region (your middle back)
- 5 vertebrae in the lumbar region (your lower back)
- 5 vertebrae in the sacrum region (the triangle shaped bone that connects to the hips)
- 4 vertebrae in the coccyx region (your tailbone)
The 24 vertebrae in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions allow us to move; the others are immobile.
Facet joints are the small joints that connect the bony tips of vertebrae on the back of the spine. They allow your back and neck to extend, bend, twist, and rotate. Between the joints and bones are cartilage and synovial fluid, allowing the bones to move without grinding against each other.
Discs are the flat, round cushions between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers. Every two vertebrae have one disc between them. Discs have a “gel-like” middle known as the nucleus pulposus, which allows for mobility and absorption, and an outer ring of tough fibers called the annulus fibrosus that surrounds and protects the gel-like center.
The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular structure, extending from the brain to your lumbar region, where the nerves go into the lower part of your body. The spinal cord is protected by spinal fluid and a membrane called dura mater. The neural foramen are openings in the vertebrae where the nerves to go into other parts of the body. The spinal cord carries messages between our brain and other parts of our body.
The spine also has muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Ligaments connect bones together, hold them in place, and give them structure. Muscles are connected to bones by tendons, and power their movement.
A healthy spine needs all of these different structures to function properly and in unison to achieve optimal movement health and a pain free life. Numerous different conditions can interfere with the spine and keep you from the activities you love most. If you’re living with back pain or spine issues, a spine specialist in St. Louis, MO like Axes’ physical therapists can get you back to the lifestyle you desire.
What Conditions Can a Spine Specialist in St. Louis, MO Help With?
The American College of Physicians recommends certain physical therapy treatments for people living with lower back pain and neck pain. Whether you’re dealing with pain on a daily basis or recently sustained a work injury, Axes’ St. Louis, MO spine specialists can help get you feeling great again. Some of the common conditions we help with in St. Louis, MO are:
- Disc Injuries — Herniated discs and bulging discs can be the result of either an injury or wear and tear as we get older. They can impinge on a nerve which can cause severe pain along your neck and back and limit strength. Degenerative disc disease occurs as the cushioning in your spine wears away, and greatly decreases flexibility.
- Sciatica — Sciatica is a general term for irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body and originates near your tailbone. It can lead to debilitating pain, weakness, and numbness through your buttock and leg.
- Spinal Stenosis — Stenosis occurs when the spinal cavity becomes too narrow and puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Symptoms include pain, balance issues, and loss of sensation in the extremities.
- Spinal Arthritis — Arthritis is the inflammation of the facet joints. It occurs as the cushioning between the joints degrades over time or from over-exertion. Obesity, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions can also lead to arthritis. The term “arthritis” describes over a hundred conditions, most of which are possible in the spine.
- Axial Back Pain — Also known as nonspecific back pain, this refers to pain that doesn’t have a known, recognizable cause. Common causes are obesity or poor posture.
Physical therapy can also help with muscle strains, whiplash, and other more acute injuries.
Whatever condition is currently ailing you, our St. Louis, MO spine specialists will work with you and your physician to develop a treatment plan, based on proven strategies, and aimed at getting you back to the things you love doing most and a more comfortable life. While some conditions, like degenerative disc disease, won’t ever fully go away, physical therapy can be part of a holistic wellness routine that eases symptoms and regains optimal mobility.
If your spine condition requires surgery, we offer pre- and post-surgical rehab in St. Louis, MO to help you be healthy for surgery and recovery quickly and safely.
Benefits of Working With a Physical Therapy Spine Specialist in St. Louis, MO
More and more people are turning to physical therapy as a non-surgical option for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. According to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, physical therapy is just as effective as surgery for certain types of back pain, and doesn’t involve the same risk of complications. Early intervention by a licensed St. Louis, MO physical therapist is proven to reduce long-term opioid dependence.
A licensed spine specialist will be able to determine what is causing your pain or other issues, and design a treatment plan based on your current and previous medical conditions, your age, and the lifestyle you wish to achieve or get back to. Through numerous different exercises and manual therapy, physical therapy can reduce pain, help your spine and nervous system function better, increase flexibility.
Physical Therapy for Spine Conditions
Depending on your specific condition, your St. Louis, MO spine specialist at Axes may implement some of the following practices to help get you back to the activities you love:
- Manual Therapy — Our St. Louis, MO manual therapists are able to use subtle pressures and stretches to alleviate symptoms and improve function caused by muscle or joint dysfunction. Hand-on services we may use to treat you include:
- Guided Exercise — Safe exercises are crucial for getting your soft tissue, joints, and bones stronger and more flexible. In addition to managing symptoms now, certain exercises will allow you to maintain a well-functioning spine while going to work or doing the activities you love most. Exercises we might assign include:
- Core stabilization
- Postural retraining
- Cardio conditioning
- Strength training
- Home exercise
- Injury Prevention — There’s nothing worse than believing you’ve gotten past an injury, only to suffer another injury in the future. We’ll educate you about your injury and how it affects your body’s function, so you can learn how to be active safely. Our injury prevention program includes:
- Patient education
- Lifting education
- Activity modification
Your treatment plan in St. Louis, MO will be based not on just recovery or pain relief, but on getting you to optimal function and keeping you there. However we recommend treating your spine condition or back pain, it will designed based on peer-reviewed studies that those techniques have been proven to work.
Other conditions we help treat in St. Louis, MO include:
- Beginner Running Program
- Chronic Pain Treatment
- MCL Injury
- Shoulder Pain
- Injury Prevention
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
Call Axes For Your Spine Specialist Near Me in St. Louis, MO
Don’t let a spine condition prevent you from the activities you love. At Axes, our St. Louis, MO spine specialists are dedicated to positive patient outcomes. You didn’t decide to live with this condition, but you can choose to do something about it. For a professional and knowledgeable St. Louis, MO spine specialist to help you, request an appointment with Axes Physical Therapy now or reach out to the location closest to you