Physical Therapy and the Treatment of Low Back Pain

Sep 28, 2023

If you have low back pain, you are not alone. At any given time, about 25% of people in the United States report having low back pain within the past three months. In most cases, low back pain is mild and disappears on its own. However, for some people, back pain can return or continue, leading to a decrease in quality of life or even disability.

Various treatment options are available for patients with low back pain. Conservative treatment, including Physical Therapy, is typically the first option for managing your symptoms. Research indicates that early Physical Therapy can lead to better outcomes, lower costs, a reduction in the use of opioid medication, and decreases the need for surgery.

Not all low back pain is the same, so an examination by a Physical Therapist will identify the factors that have contributed to your condition, and help design an individualized treatment plan for your specific back problem. The goals of Physical Therapy are to decrease back pain, increase function, and provide instructions on a maintenance program to prevent future back problems.

Physical Therapy treatment options include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Manual therapy:
    • Spinal Mobilization is performed to improve the mobility of your spine.
    • Soft Tissue Mobilization is used to reduce pain, tension, and increase blood flow.
  • Spinal Stabilization Exercises:
    • Help to retrain deep abdominal and spinal muscle weakness that may contribute to your low back pain.
  • Stretching Techniques:
    • Restores optimal movement and tissue tension due to pain and inactivity.
  • Repeated Movements:
    • Specific movement patterns may help reduce and resolve your symptoms.
  • Patient Education:
    • Training for proper lifting, bending, and sitting; for doing chores both at work and at home; and for proper sleeping positions
    • Assistance in creating a safe and effective physical activity program to improve your overall health

While low back pain can be quite painful and interfere with your daily life, working with a Physical Therapist can help identify the factors that may contribute to your back pain and can provide treatment to get you back to doing the things you love.

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