Conditions We Treat

Achieve Physical Therapy helps patients with many different conditions. Please click on the body areas highlighted in the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

About Head and Neck Post-surgery Rehab?
There are many different types of surgeries that are necessary for stabilizing the neck or cervical spine. Common surgeries include “cervical fusion” and “discectomy”. In a cervical fusion one or more bones (vertebrae) are fused in the neck to stabilize the area. This may be due to fractures or for other reasons such as the removal of a disc between the vertebrae “discectomy”.

How physical therapy helps
After surgery, our physical therapists work with you and your physician to follow a specific protocol of rehabilitation that reduces pain quickly, improves motion, increases strength, minimizes swelling and returns you to activities as soon as possible. Call us today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

Neck Pain
There are many different reasons for neck pain. The neck requires good alignment, proper movement, strength and stability to work correctly. The neck or cervicali spine has to bear the weight of the head, which is around 10-12lbs (the weight of a bowling ball). With injury or prolonged poor posture (for example sitting at a computer), change in alignment, weakness and instability start to occur. This irritates the structures of the neck and can even impinge on the nerves exiting the neck, or the central canal protecting the spinal cord.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists perform a thorough evaluation of your neck to determine your range of motion, strength, posture and alignment. Sometimes, where the pain is occurring, is not the source of the problem. Often a limitation in movement above or below the painful area is causing excessive pressure or poor function of the painful area. With gentle hands on therapy, special exercises and modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation, we can relieve your pain, restore motion and get you back to activities quickly without neck pain.

What is Whiplash?
Whiplash can occur with many different accidents, but is often seen in motor vehicle accidents. The weight of the head and spine is whipped back and forth with the fast movement of an accident or fall. The muscles in the neck don't have time to react and the harsh forces, strain, rip and tear muscles, ligaments and other tissues. In severe cases, fractures can occur in the bones of the neck (vertebrae).

Due to the shock and trauma initially from an accident, pain may or may not be present. Whiplash typically feels worse 1–2 days after the injury as inflammation sets in and tissues become swollen. This can lead to headaches, pain with movement and even numbness / tingling into the upper extremities.

Often, people can have long standing weakness of the neck muscles, leading to future problems, if their whiplash is not fully treated. Strengthening and postural exercises are very important to maintain stability in the neck after a whiplash injury.

How physical therapy helps
There are different phases or treatment to help you after suffering whiplash. Our therapists will work with your physician on the appropriate treatment to help you recover and relieve your pain. At first very gentle hands on therapy, massage, ultrasound and electrical stimulation may be administered to relieve the pain and gently help swollen tissues recover.

Gradual progression is then made with restoring range of motion and beginning very gentle exercises. As you progress, the pain reduces and your range of motion improves, strengthening and postural exercises will be introduced to help you have a full recovery. It is very important to continue through with the recommended treatment plan of your therapist to achieve a full recovery and prevent future problems from occurring. Call us today to discover how we can help you relieve your whiplash pain quickly and make a full recovery.

Headaches and Migraines
Over 45 million Americans suffer from headaches. There are many different types of headaches and migraines from tension headaches, temporal headaches, cluster headaches, migraines and sinus headaches. While there are many different “triggers” such as alcohol, chocolate, scents and other factors for headaches and migraines, most suffers do have some underlying neck problem that causes their headaches. These are called “cervico-genic headaches”.

Headaches and migraines are often spasms of the arteries in the scalp or base of the neck triggering a whirlwind of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This can cause a variety of symptoms depending on where this is occurring in the head. Most headaches have a component of stress. When stressed, our neck muscles tense on a chronic basis, and with supporting our head all day long, become very irritated. Along with other triggers, this can start a headache or migraine. It is why many headache and migraine sufferers have symptoms later on in the day.

How physical therapy helps
Our trained physical therapists examine for many different factors that can be adding to the causes of your headache or migraine. They look for correct alignment, posture, muscle strength of the neck, upper back and shoulders, joint movement in the neck and much more.

If there are limitations in movement or strength in the neck or upper back, this will be addressed to restore your normal mobility. This also increases blood flow in the area, reducing the common spasms that can occur. In addition, our therapists will train you on exercises and techniques that you can use to prevent future occurrences.

What is Radiating Pain?
If you are experiencing radiating pain to the shoulder, arm and even hands, the source of your trouble could be your neck or “cervical spine”. The nerves that supply sensation and movement travel from your neck down your arms. These nerves exit from your spine on both sides supplying the left and right sides respectively. Often with poor posture, poor alignment, muscle weakness or injury, the structure of the spine can change. This can lead to a narrowing of the holes where the different nerves exit from your spinal cord, out of the neck to the shoulders and upper extremities. These holes (foramen) depend on the proper alignment and movement of each level of joints in your neck.

Symptoms often start off as a mild, occasional tingling to certain areas of the shoulder, arm or hand. It can then worsen to pain and even numbness. This does require medical attention, so call us for an evaluation immediately and we will coordinate with your physician. Most symptoms can be reduced quickly. However, the time it takes to reduce symptoms depends on how long and to the extent the symptoms have been occurring.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is an important part of recovery from radiating shoulder, arm and hand pain. Our therapists work with you to determine what the cause of the compression on the nerve structures. Often, there is a limitation in movement in the joints above or below the affected area of the neck.

By improving neck joint mobility, posture, alignment and muscle strength, support and stability can be returned to your neck. This reduces pressure on the affected nerve and allows it to heal, resolving symptoms. Call us today to discover how we can help you quickly resolve your radiating shoulder or arm pain.

What is Forward Head Syndrome?
Forward head syndrome is extremely common in today's society and describes a condition where, due to changes in posture, the head juts forward actually shortening the neck. This can be mild or severe and is affected by different factors such as type of work, age, arthritis and genetic factors.

Due to prolonged sitting, poor posture with work, working at a computer, sitting at home in poor posture watching TV and a host of other common poor postures, changes in your spine can occur over time. Think about how much time you spend looking into a screen and hunched over a desk. The 10–12lbs of your head are pulling forward on your spine.

Over time, the normal curve in your neck reduces, the length of the spine decreases and muscles in the neck become weaker. This can lead to a variety of symptoms from neck pain, to headaches and even impinged nerves radiating pain into the upper extremities.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy works in a variety of ways to improve your posture and actually change your neck posture over time. With hands on therapy, stretching, special exercises and postural re–training, our physical therapists work with you to improve your posture, alignment and neck strength. In addition, we train you on proper postural positioning and techniques to adapt your work and home areas to reduce the strain on your neck. Call us today to discover how we can help quickly reduce your neck pain and improve your posture!

What is Arthritis and Stenosis?
As we age, we use our neck joints and muscles thousands of times a day. This wear and tear over time can lead to bony changes in the joints and bones (vertebrae) of the neck. These bony changes, along with poor posture, cause spurs of bone that can rub and irritate the surrounding tissue.

When the spurs protrude in the holes on the side of the neck where the nerves exit out (foramen), or the central spinal cord canal, this is called spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can be central stenosis or foramenal stenosis. It can cause a variety of symptoms, from chronic pain, to numbness and tingling into the arms. In severe cases of central canal stenosis, which affects the spinal cord, poor balance, pain in the legs and difficulty with walking can occur.

People with osteoarthritis in the neck can experience chronic pain, stiffness and limited range of motion with turning their head and looking up. Pain may be worse in the morning or after prolonged sitting.

People with rheumatoid arthritis can suffer with neck pain. It is very important for people with rheumatoid arthritis to maintain strength in their shoulder, neck and postural muscles. This is because a very important ligament in the upper neck often weakens with rheumatoid arthritis and can be a serious health risk if injured.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important for neck arthritis. Our physical therapists assess your range of motion, joint mobility, strength and posture. From there, we determine the best plan of treatment, which may involve gentle hands on therapy to restore joint range of motion, massage to improve muscle mobility, strengthening, range of motion exercises and postural re–training.

Our physical therapists work with you and your physician to restore natural movement, eliminate pain and get you back to enjoying your normal activities. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your neck pain quickly!

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
As a normal part of the aging process, the fluid filled discs between our neck bones (vertebrae) dry out and shrink. However, in some individuals, this can be excessive, leading to a severe loss of height in one or more sections of the neck. This loss of height can increase rubbing of bone on bone, produce bone spurring, increase pressure on joints and nerves exiting the neck.

Symptoms can range from chronic aching pain in the neck, to radiating pain in the arms, numbness / tingling and headaches.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is a very important part in the maintenance of degenerative disc disease (DDD) and degenerative joint disease (DJD). While the disease process itself can't be changed, maintaining good posture, joint mobility, alignment, strength and range of motion, can reduce or eliminate symptoms and maintain a healthier spine.

Our physical therapy is a great treatment solution to help you feel better and return to normal activities. If symptoms do return in the future, know that we are here to help you resolve your pain quickly. Call us today to discover how we can help you!

About Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) describes the problems that may occur at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is where your jaw bone attaches to the skull. It is a complex joint that has to slide forward and drop down in order for your jaw to open. It moves thousands of times a day with talking, eating and any time you move your jaw. The joint has a disc or fluid filled sac within it and has many ligaments and muscles that coordinate movements.

The TMJ relies heavily on proper posture and alignment to function well. The posture and positioning of the neck and head play a large role in the pulls of muscles on the TMJ. Abnormal muscle pulls can lead to altered movement of the TMJ and thus pain.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy helps TMJ suffers in a number of ways. Our therapists work with you to determine the exact mechanisms of your TMJ and where you have poor alignment of the TMJ, neck and head. By improving posture, movement and function, the normal muscle balance and movement of the TMJ can be restored. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your pain quickly.

About Vertigo
Vertigo and dizziness can be the result of a variety of different factors. Vertigo or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) can occur because of calcium crystals that form in the inner ear labyrinth canals. These canals give feedback about balance to your brain.

About Dizziness
Dizziness can occur for a variety of reasons, including issues with medication. Issues with mobility of the neck joints and muscles can also affect dizziness. When this occurs, the major arteries in the neck which supply the back portion of the brain that control balance and orientation can be affected.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists perform a thorough examination of your balance and vestibular symptoms. We evaluate your visual movements, positioning of your head, neck mobility and balance. At times, we may need to provoke symptoms to determine the exact mechanism of your vertigo or dizziness.

If you are suffering with dizziness and vertigo, you can benefit from physical therapy intervention to improve symptoms and increase your neck mobility. There are specific vestibular and balance exercises that are performed to settle the calcium deposits in the inner ear and improve your balance systems. Call us today to discover how we can stop your vertigo or dizziness and make you feel like yourself again.

What is Herniated or Bulging Disc?
A disc is a jelly like, fluid filled sac that acts as a cushion between the bones of your neck (vertebrae). Your discs change as you age, drying out and becoming more brittle. In addition, as the discs dry out with age, the change in height between the vertebrae decreases, causing changes in posture and function. In younger adults, the center of the disc (nucleus) is held in place by many rings of the disc (picture a cross section of a tree trunk). With minor or major injuries, poor posture and strain, these rings can rupture allowing a pressing outward of the disc nucleus. Finally, as the nucleus reaches the outer edges, the disc can begin to bulge, which in turn can rub and irritate nerve roots exiting your spine.

In more severe cases, the disc can become herniated, which further presses into the spaces where nerves are exiting. Symptoms can range from localized pain, to numbness / tingling to a specific part of the shoulder, arm or hands. In more severe cases complete lack of sensation, muscle weakness and paralysis of an area of the upper extremity can occur.

Changes in posture, strength and range of motion can all affect the positioning of the disc and how much bulging or herniation is occurring.

How physical therapy helps
The good news is that the majority of bulging and herniated discs can be treated conservatively with physical therapy. By working with your medical history, symptoms and testing, our physical therapists can determine what areas have been affected.

A thorough plan is then created to relieve pressure on the disc by improving joint function, muscle strength and posture. Modalities, such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation may be used to reduce pain, muscle spasm or inflammation. Our therapists work with you to recover lost strength and range of motion. In addition, we then train you on the correct exercises to maintain good posture and reduce the risk of future episodes. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your pain quickly and restore your function!