Bothered by Lower Back Pain? Stand up Straighter with Physical Therapy

Lower back pain is a sensation all too familiar to millions of people. This pain can hinder many aspects of your life: working, spending time with friends and family, partaking in the activities you enjoy, and even just relaxing. The World Health Organization estimates that in the United States, 149 million days of work are lost due to low back pain. It is the leading cause of inactivity among adults, and it can result in other health issues if left untreated. It is also extremely common, appearing in 60-70% of people across industrialized nations.

If lower back pain is plaguing your everyday life, it is important that you find relief as soon as you can. For more information on how we can help get you back to an active life, call our office today.

How can physical therapy help?

Physical therapists focus specifically on pain and dysfunction to help their patients regain comfort, mobility and function. Physical therapy treatments are used to alleviate pain, promote healing, and bring restored function and movement to the dysfunctional area. When you come in for your first visit, your physical therapist will provide you with an extensive evaluation, discovering what form of treatment will be best for whatever orthopedic, neurologic, or cardiovascular condition you are facing.

Physical therapy will include treatments that help pain become more manageable, and hopefully to alleviate it altogether. Lower back pain can be a debilitating condition, impeding your physical abilities. Because of this, physical therapists work hard to reduce pain as much as possible. Treatment may include any combination of these specialty treatments, as deemed fit by your physical therapist:

  • Joint mobilization
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Other manual therapies
  • Dry needling
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Heat/ice packs
  • Ultrasound
  • Iontophoresis

 

Some of these methods are used to reduce pain and swelling, such as joint and soft tissue mobilization and heat/ice packs. Electrical stimulation, while it sounds intimidating, is a painless treatment that delivers minuscule waves of electricity throughout your nervous system. This helps with pain relief, and can also help in decreasing muscle spasms, as well as encouraging your body to produce pain-relieving hormones. These techniques are commonly used for the treatment of lower back pain, although other techniques may be prescribed based on your physical therapist’s discretion.

Physical therapy will also include exercises that you can do on your own through your course of physical therapy treatment. Your therapist will teach you exercises to perform at home. Using proper form throughout the exercises is critical to the success of the exercise and therefore your physical therapist will ensure proper form before you are asked to perform them at home. The exercises will be tailored to correct your particular dysfunction. The exercises may include any combination of stretching, strength training, core stability training, or balance re-training and are geared toward helping you gain back your flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. These exercises will help provide support to the painful area and will guide you further in your recovery process.

What will my visits look like?

At your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, lifestyle, and painful area(s). This information will assist your physical therapist in creating the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs, so you can be provided with long-term results.

Next, your physical therapist will examine you by assessing your posture, gait, range of motion, coordination, strength, balance, flexibility, blood pressure, and/or heart rate, depending on your pain and symptoms. This evaluation will be both manual and visual.

When you’ve completed your thorough evaluation, your physical therapist will create your treatment plan which may include the treatments listed above as well as a home exercise program. The goals of physical therapy are to reduce pain, return you to an active lifestyle and avoid further injury.

If you believe your lower back pain could benefit from our physical therapy services, give our office a call today to schedule your initial evaluation. We’ll help you stand up to your back pain!


Sources: