Angela Redepenning, Physical Therapist at Glacial Ridge Health System, is now a CSMT “certified spinal manual therapist.” To attain this certification Angela completed a year of coursework, tests, and hands-on training specifically targeted at evaluation and treatment of the spine. You may be thinking – “What is a spinal ‘manual’ therapist?” This means she has been taught many hands-on techniques to help improve motion and therefore decrease pain in the spine. Improving motion is very important because the discs in our spine do not have a blood supply; they get their nutrition and tissue healing through movement!
Where is spine pain located?
Pain could be anywhere along the spine – the neck, middle back, or lower back. Other common areas of pain include headaches, pain in the shoulder blade area, and even hip pain! Pain in these areas can be “referred pain.” This means that the pain in your hip may not be due to a painful hip joint but can actually be coming from your low back. Another common area of referred pain is the shoulder blade area. This area of pain might not be due to a painful shoulder, but could be coming from your neck or middle back.
Spine pain can also be far away from the spine too. The nervous system is very sensitive and sometimes with injury, nerves become extra irritable and can start to send pain down an arm with a neck injury or down a leg with a back injury. Sometimes the word “sciatica” is used to describe the leg pain. The pain in the arm or leg can be felt as burning, tingling, dull, or even achy. Everyone’s pain is very different; no one has the same body, no one has the same pain.
What to expect
Angela would see you for an initial evaluation to fully examine your range of motion, strength, and also do some tests to further assess what is going on in your spine. You would also discuss pain and symptoms, activities that increase your symptoms, and she would explain what she thinks is contributing to your pain based on the findings of the examination. Then, together as a team, a treatment plan is created. This would include a discussion on how long you may need outpatient therapy, what type of treatment you may need, and what you want to get out of your time in physical therapy.
Tamara from Glenwood said, “I have two compressed discs in my back along with some stenosis. I was having a lot of pain and difficulty walking, standing, and sleeping. I was skeptical that physical therapy would work, but Angela assured me it would help and she proved it to be true. She helped with the pain and gave me exercises to help continue the recovery.”
How do I make an appointment?
A referral from your doctor is needed. After discussing the pain you are having, ask if physical therapy and spinal manual therapy could help.
Angela has a passion for working with patients of all ages, decreasing pain, and getting people moving better!