Studies show that as much as 90% of Americans experience spine symptoms and/or back pain at least once in their life. This pain can sideline jobs, daily routines, social lives, sports, and hobbies. The centerpiece of physical therapy for back disorder and pain is a treatment plan and schedule for managing the pain while gradually returning a person to an active life.
Physical therapy can offer options and benefits for those suffering with chronic back pain. Your physician may determine that physical therapy is appropriate to address neck- and back-related injuries and conditions that do not require surgery. Often physical therapy is essential after back surgery to assist in regaining your previous level of function and in improving strength, flexibility, and body mechanics.
Physical therapy works to find the root cause of head, neck, shoulder, and back pain. If something is amiss with the back, pain can travel into the arms, head, and eyes as well as radiate into the gluts, groin, hip, and legs/feet. If the origin of simple back stiffness and slight pain isn’t identified and managed, it can become progressively worse, episodes can last longer, and the pain can travel farther form its point of origin. At its worst, accumulated damage to the spinal column can lead to failure of the structure of the spine. If the damage reaches this point, physical therapy alone will not be an effective treatment and more extensive—and more invasive and expensive—intervention will be necessary.
Stopping this cycle is important and physical therapy can help. And it can be as simple as seeing a physical therapist at the first signs and symptoms of a herniated disc.
The techniques of physical therapy teach patients how to manage their pain and how to minimize the impact of pain in their lives. A physical therapist will first assess a patient's back pain and give a hands-on examination, looking for how the pain has altered the person's gait, posture, sitting tolerance, flexibility, and muscle strength. Then the therapist and patient map out a program of activities designed to address each of the impairments caused by pain.
Ultimately, physical therapy seeks to increase the function and improve the quality of life for someone with chronic or acute back pain.
If you’re ready to manage your neck, shoulder, and/or back pain, contact us today.