Back pain is a very common problem which will effect most people at some point in their lives. It is often caused by bending, lifting or standing for long periods of time but thankfully it rarely has a sinister cause. It however is most important that any sinister cause is ruled out by appropriate assessment and imaging as deemed necessary by experienced clinicians.
The majority of even the most disabling of back pain problems will usually ease or at the least be made more manageable with the use of neuropathic medications and a rehabilitation program but on occasions surgery may also be indicated. We will diagnose and offer treatment for back pain ranging from a milder annoying pain effecting sporting performance and enjoyment to more disabling pain effecting simple daily activity such as sciatica.
Osteoarthritis, “wear and tear” arthritis, can affect almost any joint of the body but most commonly effects the knees, hips and small joints of the hands. Pain and stiffness can be very disabling and affect peoples undertaking of everyday tasks. Whilst osteoarthritis is a long term condition which can’t be cured, it can be managed. Simple measures such as weight loss and simple analgesia are often sufficient to prevent the need for any other treatment, but not always. People often worry that the more active they are the worse the “wear and tear” will become. This isn’t however often the case. Appropriate forms of exercise are extremely useful as they enable muscles surrounding the diseased joint to become stronger offering support to the “worn” joint” which in turn eases pain. Other treatments such as steroid injections and hyaluronic acid injections can also greatly help a person to live with the condition and to pursue the activities they wish.
(see Hyaluronic Acid Injections Blog)
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis occurs when the capsule surrounding the ball and socket joint of the shoulder becomes inflamed and thickened. The condition is extremely painful and the shoulder becomes very stiff, often becoming extremely disabling, preventing a patient from lifting their arm to above shoulder height. The condition will settle without any treatment but this can take 18 to 24 months on average. A number of different treatments exist to reduce the time stiffness and pain is experienced. Such treatments include simple analgesia and steroid injections to reduce the pain, to ultrasound guided hydrodistension injections to improve the shoulder movements and decrease pain should be considered (See Blog Frozen Shoulder)
Shoulder impingement causes pain and often weakness to the shoulder as tendons of the rotator cuff are “nipped” within the shoulder when lifting the arm above head height or twisting the shoulder to put it behind the back or head. Tendons can become “nipped” because of narrowing of the bony tunnel in which they run, due to abnormal shoulder mechanics secondary to weak muscle or a small fluid filled sac (bursa) within the shoulder becoming inflamed inside the bony tunnel. Injections to bathe the tendon with steroid inside the shoulder or ultrasound guided injections into the small bursa can be very helpful to restore function and decrease pain.
Tennis Elbow / Golfers Elbow
Tennis elbow and golfers elbow are both conditions called “enthesopathies”. They are caused by wearing of the tendons as it attaches to the bone on inside or outside of the elbow. It is well recognised tendon problems are difficult to treat with many different treatments available but no one gold standard treatment to suit everyone. A range of treatments available vary from a specific form of rehab exercise to steroid injections and injections of a patient’s own blood to stimulate healing of the diseased tendon.
Hip pain can be caused by a wide range of conditions including osteoarthritis of the hip joint and inflammation of tissues such as tendons, ligaments and bursae (fluid filled sacs) around the hip. Correct diagnosis of the cause of the hip problem is essential for the most appropriate treatment plan to be put in place.
Trigger finger is a condition caused by the formation of a nodule of tendons in the palm of the hand. It occurs in finger and thumb tendons with the nodule making running of the tendon through its tendon sheath, like a train through a tunnel, less smooth and this results in “clicking” and “locking” of the finger or thumb. The digit can become locked regularly and may even need the patient to use their other hand to “unlock” the fixed joint. A steroid injection is usually very successful in treating the condition but on occasions surgery may be required.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Three main nerves run down the arm to supply the hand and wrist. One of these nerves, the median nerve runs into the hand through a tunnel formed by bones of the hand and a thick fibrous roof, forming the carpal tunnel. It is common for the nerve to become compressed within the tunnel resulting in pain and tingling in the hand commonly waking a sufferer from sleep. The use of wrist splints and steroid injections can be used to treat the problem with surgery being advised if other treatments fail to relieve symptoms.
Significant experience working within professional sport and in treating musculoskeletal conditions for all ages. Contact Sports Medicine North East for an appointment.
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