3 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help Low Back Pain

Health & Medical Blog

Low back pain is a frequent problem, especially since any number of ailments can contribute to pain. When you start experiencing low back pain, it is best to be evaluated by a physical therapist to minimize the chance your problems will become worse over time.

Evaluation Of Your Lifestyle

There are many ways your daily activities can contribute to pain and your physical therapist will make suggestions for change. One situation is your type of job. Sitting in front of the computer all day or standing for long periods can make your back worse. If you have a sit-down job, your physical therapist will likely recommend stretching exercises throughout the day. Standing up, walking around, and stretching your back and hip flexors can help. For people who work on their feet, a physical therapist might recommend back support and/or orthotics to improve biomechanics and posture. Everyone can benefit from changes in the way they sleep, such as a better mattress for firm back support, regardless of their sleeping position.

Exercise Programs

A well-rounded exercise program is also helpful for low back pain. The specific exercise program will depend on the suspected cause of your back pain and which muscles in your body need strengthening. For some people, their low back pain might be attributed to weak abdominal muscles, especially if they tend to carry more weight around the middle. A physical therapist might recommend trying to lose excess belly fat to reduce the concentration of weight in the front of your body. Exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles can include crunches while lying down or in the seated position. It is a common misconception that low back pain is only due to weak abdominal muscles. Your physical therapist will likely prescribe other exercises that work to strengthen the entire core, so no single muscle group dominates.

Pain Management

Physical therapists also recommend non-medication types of pain management to reduce low back pain. A common approach is the use of heat therapy because it is frequently effective for some types of arthritic pain and pain associated with tense muscles. Since there are numerous types of heat therapy products on the market, many of these items can be used while at work and do not come with the limitations of using a heating pad. Other options to help with low back pain include lidocaine patches or the use of retail transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices. In the case of TENS units, ones prescribed by your physical therapist or other medical professional might be more effective than their retail counterparts and could be covered by insurance.

Integrating physical therapy into your treatment for low back pain can help you live pain-free with less need for medications. Have your low back pain evaluated early at a place like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C. to reduce further degradation of your back.


20 March 2018

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.