Can Physical Therapy Help Back Pain?

Pain anywhere in your body is a nuisance — especially when it’s in your back. Back pain can not only be annoying, but it can be so bad that it’s actually debilitating. Although there are a lot of different treatment options out there, many of them are invasive and not always effective. However, physical therapy is an option that may help you cope with the pain.

At TruWell Health, our team specializes in the management of many disorders, including many causes of back pain. Dr. Lora Brown and Dr. Michael MacMillan are our two orthopedic doctors who help you figure out the best route of treatment for what’s causing your back pain.

What causes back pain?

Unfortunately, back pain is a common problem, especially at the most inconvenient times. Whether your job involves heavy lifting, or you’re very active in physical activity, hurting your back is always a risk.

But what actually causes back pain? Injuries are one of the most common reasons your back hurts. This may involve the muscles in your lower back, or ligaments as well. However, there are other structural reasons that your back may hurt, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Bulging discs
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Compression fractures

You may also have severe pain due to herniated discs. This occurs when part of the jelly-like disc that helps cushion your spine pushes out of your vertebrae, which puts pressure on your spinal nerves.

These conditions may be the result of a previous injury to your spine, or it could be due to degenerative changes. You also may be more prone to spine problems due to genetics in your family.

Symptoms of a problem

Pain is usually one of the main symptoms when you’re having an issue with your back. The pain may be constant, or it might come and go. Sometimes, back pain even radiates to other areas in your body, including your legs or arms.

However, pain isn’t the only symptom that you might experience with a problem in your back. There are a few other signs that you might experience with a back problem, some of which include:

Sometimes, back pain is more of a serious problem, causing issues with urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence. If you have any problems with this, it’s imperative that you seek help immediately.

Can physical therapy really help?

When you have pain, Dr. Brown and Dr. MacMillan typically recommend physical therapy as a treatment option. Physical therapy helps your back through passive and active exercise. This not only helps your pain, but also improves other aspects of your back, including:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Functionality
  • Mobility

Passive physical therapy helps you to decrease your pain by using several different modalities. This type of physical therapy includes treatments like:

  • Heat
  • Ultrasound
  • TENS units
  • Massage

These therapies are considered passive, because our therapists do them to you, to help you manage your back pain. These help you to manage your pain at its worst, and gives you the education to prevent and manage other episodes.

Active exercise also helps you to decrease your pain in conjunction with passive physical therapy. Our team uses a combination of stretching, low-impact aerobic exercise, and strengthening workouts to not only ease your pain, but prevent further issues down the road.

Physical therapy is a great way to manage mild-to-moderate back pain, without the need for more invasive treatments like surgery. Therapy usually lasts a few months, and then is continued at home when needed.

Don’t keep dealing with back pain. Call our office at 727-361-2162 or book an appointment online today to learn more about our treatment plans.

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