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1. Neck pain

Neck pain refers to pain arising from damage to structures in the neck. This can occur following a movement such as bending forward or twisting your neck. Neck pain is experienced as pain felt in the neck, and/ or in the head and shoulders. This may either be a dull ache or a sharp pain which is made worse by movement. In some situations it may restrict movement of your neck.

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2. Acute Nerve Root Pain

Acute nerve root pain refers to when a nerve coming from the spinal cord gets compressed by a structure in the neck, usually from either irritation of a cervical disc or compromise of the intervertebral foramen (a small hole where nerves exit the spinal canal) due to the presence of osteophytes (bony outgrowths) or inflammation of nearby structures. Acute nerve root compression produces a sudden onset of pain usually in the arm. Neck pain may or may not be present. Pain may be associated with pins and needles, numbness or loss of strength/movement in the arm.

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3. Whiplash

Whiplash refers to the injury to any of a number of structures in the neck as a result of an acceleration/ deceleration injury. The most common injury is motor vehicle accidents and contact sports. Typically there is little or no pain at the time of injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, there will be a gradual increase in the intensity of the pain over the following 2–3 days. Pain is usually felt in the neck, and occasionally in the head and shoulders. This may either be a dull ache or a sharp pain which is made worse by movement.

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4. Thoracic intervertebral joint disorders

A thoracic intervertebral joint disorder refers to an injury affecting the intervertebral joints in your upper back and most commonly result from an overstretching injury or poor posture putting excessive strain on the joints. Pain felt within the upper back. Pain is often a dull ache that will be made worse by movements of the trunk. Stiffness in the upper region of the back may also be experienced.

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5. Costochondritis

Costochondritis refers to inflammation of the joint between one of the ribs and the breastbone (sternum), and is experienced as central chest pain. Costochondritis may result from a single injury such as direct trauma or may occur during tackling in contact sports. Similarly, Costochondritis may result from excessive ‘wear-and-tear’ of the joint.

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6.Low Back Pain

Low back pain results from damage to structures in the back (i.e. muscle, ligament, disc, nerve and bone). It commonly occurs following a movement such as bending forward or twisting through the back. However, lower back pain can also occur through more complex and forceful movements of the lower spine for example lifting a heavy object. Low back pain is experienced as pain from the lower back. This is often a dull or strong ache, which is made worse by movement. It may prevent you from ‘straightening up’ to a normal standing posture. The pain may be central in the back, to one side or on both sides of may also radiate down into the buttocks, back of the thigh or lower leg.

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7. Acute Nerve Root Compression

Acute nerve root compression refers to when a nerve leaving from the spinal cord is compressed by a structure within the back. Acute nerve root compression most commonly occurs when an intervertebral disc prolapses. An intervertebral disc refers to the disc between two vertebrae in the lower back. When this disc is injured, its contents may prolapse or bulge outwards into the spinal canal that contains the spinal cord and the nerves that lead on towards the legs. You may experience a sudden onset of pain felt in the lower back. This may be associated with the inability to stand up straight and made worse by sitting, bending, lifting, coughing or sneezing. In addition, this nerve compression may produce pain within the legs. This results from compression of the nerves to the legs. This source of leg pain may be sharp, shooting, and accompanied with pins and needles, numbness or weakness in the legs. If you have or suspect you have an acute nerve root compression, you should book an assessment with one of our expert Physiotherapists. If, in addition to back and leg pain, you have numbness in the saddle region and are having difficulty passing water (urination) you should go to your nearest emergency department.

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8. Sacroiliac joint disorders

The sacroiliac joint is the joint that is found between the two pelvic bones (sacrum and ilium) at the back of the pelvis. Excessive movement stresses the ligaments and soft tissue structures that support the joint. If the ligaments and supporting structures are continually stressed and overstretched, pain and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint can result. Sacroiliac joint pain is frequently experienced around the top of the buttocks. It is often only felt in one buttock; however, in some instances it may be felt in both. The pain may also be referred to the groin or the front and outside of the thigh.

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9. Piriformis conditions

The piriformis is a short muscle deep in the buttock region. Piriformis conditions refer to buttock pain that is caused by this muscle. Piriformis conditions usually result from tightening of the piriformis muscle. This may occur as a result of a previous strain in the muscle or because of repeated microtrauma to the muscle. Microtrauma refers to microscopic damage to the muscle, which does not produce any symptoms such as pain. If the body is not given enough time to heal this microtrauma, further damage to the muscle may occur. This can lead to progressive tightening and thickening of the muscle. Stretching of this tight muscle when the hip and leg are moved in activities may then cause pain. Piriformis conditions produce pain felt deep into the buttock. This is especially felt when the hip is moved to its extremes of movement and particularly when the hip is rotated. For example, whilst changing direction during running.

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