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Low back pain is one of the most common medical problems and occurs due to injury associated with the nerves, bones, and muscles of the back. The pain can vary from a sharp shooting pain that happens at various intervals to a gnawing pain that can last for weeks on end. While the former can go away with some muscle relaxant, the latter may need a combination of medications and exercise.
Common reasons include improper sleeping posture, lifting, fracture, lack of exercise, disk injuries, arthritis, and many more. Most of these instances would lead to medium to long term pain that will not subside on its own. Physiotherapy has been proven to provide very good relief and render it pain-free.
The aim of physiotherapy is 3-fold - reduce pain, improve movement, and maintain the spinal function in the long run. Most often, the therapy sessions would last for about 4 weeks when the regular course of medications have not helped much.
The nerves, muscles, bones, and disks of the low back are supported by the abdominal muscles and the back muscles. The intent of the exercise is to strengthen these two sets of muscles so that the spine/low back per se is not very susceptible to injury. The exercises would be a combination of stretching followed by strengthening and conditioning, all aimed at these two sets of muscles.
In addition to being used a sole means of treatment, physiotherapy also is used in back pain to treat severe cases both pre and post surgically. What is corrected by surgery needs to be enhanced by the regular exercises as prescribed by the doctor.
One disclaimer that a doctor might want to give is that the physiotherapy may not be beneficial if exercises are not done properly or if the patients don't adhere to the scheduled prescription. The long-term success depends not just on getting the relief but on following the maintenance exercises that are prescribed. This is more important and helps avoid relapse of the back pain. A good posture and improved core stability with ongoing exercises is the key to success of physiotherapy in low back pain.
While most people consider low back pain as a chronic condition, it can be managed effectively. It is important to realize that there is no overnight cure and that it may not get better on its own. Physiotherapy is a very good intervention; however, it will depend on the severity of pain and how it affects the patient's lifestyle.
The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body. It goes from the lower back all the way down to the base of the leg. When there is a disorder associated with the sciatic nerve, it is known as sciatica. Sciatica, however, does not necessarily need a surgery or a very elaborate procedure to fix the problem. Most commonly, it is treated simply by practicing a number of simple exercises.
1. Reclining pigeon pose
There are three main forms of the pigeon pose. These are sitting, reclining and forward. It is recommended that if you are just starting your treatment for sciatica that you use the reclining pose. In this pose, you are supposed to hold your left leg in the air at a right angle to your back. Then you are supposed to hold your ankle against the knee. Finally, repeat this stretch with the right leg as well.
2. Knee to opposite shoulder
In this stretch, the starting position is on your back side. You have to have your legs out and feet upwards. From this position, try to bring your right leg towards your left shoulder. Hold this for 30 seconds and then release and relax. Repeat this exercise three times and then repeat the whole procedure with your other leg. Only take your leg as far as it will go.
3. Sitting spinal stretch
At the start of this exercise, sit on the ground with your legs going straight outwards and your feet flexed in the upward direction. Pull your left knee and then put it on the outside of your right knee. Finally, place your right elbow on the left knee so that your body turns to the left. Hold for 30 seconds and then relax before repeating with the other knee.
4. Standing hamstring stretch
Put your foot on an elevated surface such that it is above the floor but not above hip level. Flex your toes forward such that your feet and legs are nearly in a straight line. Bend as far towards the foot as possible. However, do not stretch so far that you feel pain. Finally, repeat this procedure on the other side after release.
Neck pain is a common medical condition which can be easily treated if proper care and medications are taken. It usually occurs due to strained neck muscles due to a bad posture, though there might be other causes as well. Rarely, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem as the condition is relatively mild in nature. The symptoms of a neck pain are very obvious which refers to any kind of discomfort in moving your neck on a daily basis. Along with this you might also have headache, stiffness of the head and muscle tightness.
Some of the most common causative factors of neck pain are listed below.
A muscle strain generally happen when you exert too much pressure on your neck continuously for long periods. It also happens when you have your neck fixed in the same position for long hours of the day. Muscle strains in the neck may occur when you keep your neck bent in the wrong way while doing activities like reading a book, looking at your mobile phone or working over your laptop for extended hours.
Just like all the other bodily joints, the neck joint also tends to wither and degrade with age. This phenomena is known as the wearing/wear and tear of the joints. The bones of the neck joint tend to wither with time, thereby making your joint frail and exposing it to various pains and medical conditions.
Nerve compression is a medical symptom whereby there is excessive pressure put on one particular nerve in the body. Herniated discs or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord, hence causing a long lasting neck pain. Damage caused from a nerve compression may be minor or severe depending on the pressure applied. It may cause temporary or long-lasting problems depending on the degree of damage caused. The earlier you get a diagnosis and treatment for nerve compression, the more quickly you will find relief.
Neck related injuries are common phases of pain and discomfort caused due to an external damage to the neck as a result of a tragic sports related or vehicular accident. A neck injury is also known as a whiplash and it refers to an injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash mostly occurs during accidents, physical abuse or other trauma.
Knee pain is one of the most common and painful ailments that can limit mobility. Injuries can result in cartilage or meniscal tears or sprains too. Obesity is another reason knee pain is on the rise. Also, regular wear and tear of the ligaments and tendons around the knees due to old age is another cause. These days, with reduced physical activities and sedentary lifestyles, the rate at which knees are wearing out has also become accelerated. Whatever the reason, a correct diagnosis followed by prompt treatment can help.
Over the years, physiotherapy has been playing an important role in treating knee injuries. Whether to supplement the various drugs to reduce pain and inflammation or to avoid surgery, physiotherapy has helped many and its popularity is growing every day.
Here are some ways that physiotherapy can help reduce pain.
1. Improve flexibility of tendons - The knee cap is an area where there are lot of tendons and ligaments coordinating to enable movement. Careful exercising can ensure that the flexibility of tendons and ligaments is improved, thereby making your knee movement easier and less painful.
2. Improves blood supply - As we all know, proper movement requires good blood supply. Exercising with special focus on the knee ensures that blood supply is improved, and thereby the supporting ligaments and tendons function optimally.
3. Enhances the knee cap function - The knee cap is that portion which joins your thigh bone to your calf bones. This is prone to slip out of place, especially with arthritis and injuries. This can be painful and limit movement to a great degree. Focused exercises aimed at improving knee cap function will ensure that the knee cap has a wider range of function, and does not slip out of its socket easily.
4. Reduce rigidity - Once you start physiotherapy, you will feel your knees getting more flexible. The rigidity that had set in as a result of injuries and/or old age will also reduce over a period of time.
5. Slow down the wear and tear - When you start physiotherapy after knee damage, continuing the exercise routine, of course with expert guidance, can reduce the pace at which further damage might happen.
A word of caution though. Be sure to consult an experienced physiotherapist before you begin. Exercising in a bad manner can do equal or more harm than the original injury or old age itself.