Did you know that the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 149 million workdays are lost due to back pain? It is a sensation that is all too common for millions of people. 60-70% of people across industrialized nations experience back pain, which can greatly hinder daily life and limit you from participating in certain tasks and activities that you enjoy. If left untreated, back pain can also progress into more serious health issues.
Fortunately, physical therapy can help manage your back pain. If your pain is limiting your life, contact us as soon as possible to schedule a consultation and find out how our services can help you.
What do physical therapy visits look like?
At your initial consultation, 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.
After your consultation, your evaluation process will begin. Your physical therapist will examine you by assessing your posture, 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 then create your treatment plan, beginning with passive physical therapy and leading into active physical therapy. You may also be given exercises to do at home, during your time away from treatments. This is all done in order to reduce pain, avoid further injury, and provide you with the quickest recovery time possible.
If you believe your lower back pain could benefit from our physical therapy services, give our office a call today to schedule your initial consultation. We’ll help you stand up to your back pain!
How will physical therapy help my back pain?
Your physical therapist will focus on treating the root of your back pain, in order to help you regain mobility, function, and comfort. Your individualized treatment plan will incorporate the best methods possible for relieving your pain, facilitating the healing process, and restoring function and movement to the affected area(s) of your back. Your initial appointment will consist of a comprehensive evaluation, which will help your physical therapist discover which forms of treatment will be best for the orthopedic, neurologic, or cardiovascular condition you are experiencing.
With physical therapy treatments, there are two main categories of treatment – passive physical therapy and active physical therapy:
- Passive physical therapy
The purpose of passive physical therapy is to 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. Passive physical therapy can include any combination of these specialty treatments, as deemed fit by your physical therapist:
- Manual therapy.
- Ice/heat packs.
- Dry needling.
- Electrical stimulation, such as TENS Units.
Some of these methods are used to reduce pain and swelling, such as heat/ice packs and massage therapy. Electrical stimulation, while it sounds intimidating, is a painless treatment that delivers minuscule waves of electricity throughout your nervous system. This also helps with pain relief, and it can also help in decreasing muscle spasms, as well as encouraging your body to produce pain-relieving hormones. Hydrotherapy is an aquatic-based treatment, in which patients will perform low-intensity movements in water, thus relieving any muscle pressure they may be experiencing and allowing their joints to move freely and comfortably. These techniques are more commonly used for the treatment of lower back pain than others, although any could be prescribed based on your physical therapist’s discretion.
- Active physical therapy
The purpose of active physical therapy is to provide exercises that the patient can do on their own in the later stages of their physical therapy treatment. Once your lower back pain has subsided enough that your physical therapist believes you are ready for active physical therapy, he or she will set up an exercise schedule specific to your needs. This can include any combination of stretching, strength training, and stability training, and it is all 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.