Do I need to be referred by a doctor?
No. Physiotherapists are first line practitioners so you do not need a doctor’s referral.
Should I use heat or ice?
This is a very controversial subject about which many articles have been written and research done.
As a rule of thumb: use ice for treating the pain of inflammation of an acute injury and heat for treating the pain of muscle spasms.
Ice decreases inflammation, swelling, redness and heat. Use ice for the first 72 hours following an injury then switch to heat.
If an area is inflamed (red, hot and swollen), heat can aggravate the condition, so use ice on an inflamed area. Ice can make muscle spasm worse, so heat is preferred.
Muscle Injury vs Muscle Spasm
If you injure (tear or strain) a muscle, use ice as the muscle will be inflamed. If the muscle is in spasm (not inflamed) use heat.
In summary: Use ice for acute injuries and heat for muscle spasms.
What is hypotonia OR low tone?
Hypotonia is a state of low muscle tone (the amount of tension or resistance to stretch in a muscle), often involving reduced muscle strength. Hypotonia is not a specific medical disorder, but a potential manifestation of many different diseases and disorders that affect motor nerve control by the brain or muscle strength.
Examples of such disorders would be a child with Down’s syndrome or muscular dystrophy.
What causes Lower Back Pain?
Abnormal curvatures of the spine
Leg length discrepancies
Spinal canal narrowing
Osteoporosis with fractures
Prolonged corticosteroid use
What causes neck pain?
Degenerative disc disease
Neck strain or trauma
Abnormal Curvature of the spine
A herniated disc
Conditions directly affecting the muscles of the neck, Eg. fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica
Common infections (such as virus infection of the throat, leading to lymph node (gland) swelling and neck pain)
Tuberculosis of the neck
Infections of the spine bones in the neck (osteomyelitis and septic discitis)
Meningitis (often accompanied by neck stiffness)