Back pain affects millions of Americans each and every day. That’s because we abuse our backs with intense and repetitive movements throughout the day, and over time or in a moment of acute stress, spinal structures can break down. Also, because back pain is so common, many people mistakenly believe that mild or moderate back pain is normal as they get older. That’s simply just not true, and oftentimes it only leads to worsening back problems. In today’s blog, we explain how you can fight back against regular back pain through a physical therapy routine.
Combating Back Pain With PT
Back pain can be quite complex, so while physical therapy can work for a number of different spinal conditions, it’s important that you really understand what’s going on with your spine before you just jump into some therapy exercises. Your physician can provide you with a diagnosis, but in many instances, you can cut out the middleman by having a physical therapist provide the evaluation and assessment.
You’ll be given your own set of physical therapy exercises based on your specific condition, but these exercises can be so helpful with a number of different factors related to back pain. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can reduce pain and improve function in your spine through physical therapy.
- Improve Range Of Motion – If back pain is making it hard to twist or bend in one direction, or you’re not able to move as freely because of pain, physical therapy can help restore this lost motion. By targeting weakened muscle groups or areas of nerve impingement, we can use some light exercise and stretching techniques to help improve flexibility in your spine.
- Posture Improvements – Oftentimes we aren’t aware of how our posture is contributing to back pain, and treatment involves little more than identifying these poor posture habits and giving you the tools to self-assess and correct. Office workers and those who drive for a living are two groups who tend to deal with posture-related spinal issues, as is anyone who spends a lot of time looking down at their phone. Posture improvements while you’re active can also help to calm back pain symptoms.
- Targets The Root Cause – Physical therapy is oftentimes a preferred treatment plan for individuals with back pain because it targets the root cause of the problem. Other passive treatments like rest or painkillers can help to mask symptoms, but oftentimes they fail to resolve the underlying issue, which isn’t going to help treat your pain on a long-term basis. Targeting specific muscle groups or vertebrae with exercise or manual therapy can address the cause, not just the symptoms.
- Build Muscle – Physical therapy also helps to strengthen supportive muscle groups so that a problem doesn’t come back later down the road. Odds are you’re still going to be putting plenty of strain on your spine after you’ve recovered from your injury, so you want to be sure your back can handle that pressure. Targeted physical therapy can find muscle imbalances or weaknesses and improve them so you’re not at risk for a subsequent injury.
- Provide Protection – Finally, your physical therapist can ensure that your rehabilitation routine is safe and isn’t putting your spine in danger of further injury. You can find a number of different back pain treatments online, but those tips may not be pertinent to your specific situation, which is why it’s nice to have a professional by your side to guide you through the process. Connect with a physical therapist to not only help strengthen your spine, but to help protect it while it heals.
So if you have been dealing with nagging or chronic back pain, now is the time to do something about it. For more information, or to connect with a physical therapist in your area, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.