Move Without Back Pains With the Help of Physical Therapy
Most Americans will suffer temporary back pain at some point in their lives. When back pain is not temporary, however, it becomes a major quality of life issue. The American Physical Therapy Association states that back pain is the most commonly experienced form of pain for Americans.
In fact, one in every four Americans has sustained some sort of back pain in the past three months. The good news is that you don’t have to live with back pains permanently.
Taking a proactive approach like working with a physical therapist can help you find back pain relief at long last. Contact our office for more information on how physical therapy can relieve your back pain.
What’s causing my back pains?
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 pains can also progress into more serious health issues.
There are three main types of back pains:
- Acute Back Pain: Acute back pain is the most common type. This is a temporary pain that goes away in less than three months.
- Recurrent Back Pain: This occurs when acute back pain goes away for a while, but then comes back periodically.
- Chronic Back Pain: If back pain lasts longer than three months without subsiding, it is classified as chronic.
Back pain is usually not serious and will resolve on its own. Recurring pain and chronic pain, however, can be a sign of a more serious health problem.
There is a broad range of potential physical conditions that could be causing your back pain, which include osteoporosis, degenerative disk disease, a herniated disk, fractures, or lumbar spinal stenosis.
Diagnosing the cause of your back pain
Your journey with a physical therapist will start with a discussion of your symptoms. Your therapist will also review your medical history for any past injuries or illnesses that could be contributing to your current pain. Your physical therapist will also conduct an exam to assess how you are able to move and function as a result of your back pain.
The diagnosis phase will also involve some tests to find symptoms of more serious conditions. If your physical therapist suspects that there is a serious health condition contributing to your back pain, you will likely be referred to a specialist for more testing. In most cases, this will not be necessary.
What can I expect from physical therapy treatments for back pain?
Once your back pain has been diagnosed, a personalized course of physical therapy will be outlined for you. Treatments for back pain will vary based on the diagnosis, your age, weight, physical ability and other factors.
Your course of treatment may include any of the following:
- Education on how to take better care of your back, such as proper methods of lifting, bending, sitting, and sleep positions
- Ice or heat treatments for pain relief
- Stretching and strength building exercises
- Manual therapy and spinal manipulation to improve joint mobility and relieve tissue pain
- Electrical stimulation for pain relief
- Posture work to provide better support for your back
Say yes to physical therapy today
Over the course of your work with a physical therapist, your progress will be monitored to ensure that you are recovering.
The goal is to eliminate the back pain so that you can live a normal life. A big part of working with a physical therapist is that you will learn strategies for movement and carrying out daily tasks in ways that will prevent the pain from recurring.
For example, your therapist will show you proper posture techniques while you are at home, at work or enjoying leisure activities.
You will also learn how to keep up a regular exercise regimen to keep your supportive muscles strong, which will prevent the back pain from coming back. If your weight is contributing to your back pain, you will learn nutritional advice in addition to exercise to control your weight and keep back pain at bay.
Ready to find relief?
The key is to be proactive in standing up to your back pain. If the pain lasts longer than three months, it probably won’t go away on its own.
Call our office today to schedule your first appointment with a physical therapist.