Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as heavy lifting, herniated disc and degenerative disc disease. Heavy lifting can strain and tear the lower back muscles, a herniated disc can impinge upon the sciatic nerve and degenerative disc disease can cause inflammation and soreness. Symptoms may include a combination of the following:
- Mild, chronic pain punctuated with periods of severe pain
- Chronic pain that ranges from nagging to severe
- Pain that radiates to the buttocks
- Pain while sitting
- Muscle spasms
The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain
Patients suffering from most types of lower back pain are often referred by their physicians or chiropractor for physical therapy with a certified physical therapist. It’s a noninvasive treatment for low back pain that helps avoid back surgery. The goals of physical therapy are to reduce back pain, increase daily function and to educate the patient about how to avoid future back problems. It often includes two treatment modalities: passive physical therapy and active physical therapy. The use of electrical stimulation, ice packs and heat application are forms of passive physical therapy. Specific exercises are an example of active physical therapy. Clinical studies support the benefits of physical therapy both before and after back surgery. It can significantly shorten recovery time.
The Exercises in Physical Therapy
Most physical therapy programs will include a combination of exercises, such as stretching, dynamic stabilization exercises and core strengthening exercise. Stretching provides relief for muscles and helps maintain a normal range of motion. Dynamic stabilization exercise may include specific stabilizing exercises, exercise balls or balancing machines. The goal is to strengthen the spine’s muscles through a various range of motion. Core strengthening exercise target the low back muscles and abdominal muscles to develop strength. It may include leg raises, crunches and abdominal machines. A physical therapist will develop an individualized exercise program tailored to the patient’s needs. Typically, a series of treatments take place over a period of four weeks and include periodic maintenance treatment.
Let Us Help
If you’re suffering from low back pain, turn to the medical experts at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists. All of their physical therapists are trained orthopedic manual physical therapy and implement the latest evidence-based therapy. Call 904-634-0640 to schedule a consultation today or contact us by completing our contact form, and our trained staff will answer any question you may have. Recovery begins at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists.Return to Blog