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Apex Manual Therapy is a sport and spine physical therapy clinic providing spine treatment, sciatica pain treatment, sciatica relief, spinal decompression treatment, and spine therapy.  

Our spine pain doctors are recognized as having the highest level of education in orthopedic physical therapy and are credentialed as FAAOMPT: Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy. This educational achievement is beyond the doctorate level and represents the gold standard level of care for musculoskeletal care.  To date, there are about 1,800 fellows.  


Spine Anatomy 

The spine is segmented into three main sections: 

  • The cervical spine is the neck.

  • The thoracic spine is the upper back.

  • The lumbar spine is the lower back. 

Spine pain can originate in any of these areas and may affect more than one spinal segment.

Spine Pain Categories

Spine pain is categorized based on the amount of time the pain has occurred.  These categories include:

  • Acute spine pain - pain lasting less than six weeks.

  • Subacute spine pain - pain lasting less than three months.

  • Chronic spine pain - pain lasting longer than three months.














Prevalence and Population Affected by Different Types of Spine Pain

Lumbar spine pain affects all people and can be found in children, adults and the elderly.  We find 60-80% of people, of all sizes and shapes, can experience back pain at some point in their life with high recurrence rates.  One study reports lumbar spine pain as being the most common reason for visiting a physician. Back pain is also reported to be the most common reason for absences in the workplace.  In the United States, an estimated 149 million workdays are lost due to back pain.  


Cervical spine pain affects women more than men.  Annual prevalence is between 30-50%. Recurring and chronic cervical spine pain numbers are high.  


Thoracic spine pain has limited research on its prevalence but is believed to be less prevalent than cervical and lumbar spine pain. The thoracic spine is supported by the rib cage and is, therefore, a more stable region. 


Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows. The most common type is non-traumatic spinal stenosis, which is caused by degenerative changes over time. The cervical and lumbar spine are often the most affected.  

Spine Therapy

Spine therapy as a form of spinal stenosis treatment is aimed at correcting the mechanics of the spine to widen the spinal canal and prevent further degeneration. During flexion (bending forward) the spinal canal widens and during extension (bending backward) the spinal canal decreases. The spine also moves into rotation and side bending components which are coupled with opening and closing of the spinal canal. Therefore, to learn how to properly move through varying types of movement, a physical therapist is needed.  

Physical therapists are movement specialists who restore optimal spinal movement, relieving pain and preventing further degeneration. Just because you see something on an image (x-ray or MRI) does not mean it’s the cause of your pain. This means there are people with spinal stenosis findings on an image yet have no symptoms and vice versa.  Surgery is recommended for those progressing in loss of neurological function and the findings on an image is only one thing to consider when determining if someone is a surgical candidate.  

During your evaluation at Apex Manual Therapy, our spine specialist will guide you on the appropriate spinal treatment for your condition.   


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