If you ask any one of our therapists what their most frequent patient case is, they will say; lower back pain. Back strains often go away on their own especially when the traditional “RICE” treatment is used.
…when RICE just isn’t doing the job, physical therapy would be your best path to a pain-free life.
Where Does This Pain Come From and What Can Prevent it?
A common cause of lower back pain (LBP) is an improperly aligned spine due to poor posture. Most office chairs don’t provide much needed lumbar support. We need to give our spines a break by getting up and moving at least once every hour throughout the day.
Non-desk jobs have their own downsides. Being on your feet all day, especially when partnered with heavy lifting or constant bending, is also bad for spinal health. The muscles surrounding the abs and lower back need support. improperly bending and lifting will result in LBP.
In either case, supporting those back muscles is key to reducing the risk of chronic lower back pain. Ask for an ergonomic desk chair, or at least take the opportunity to stretch and move around more frequently. Try getting up and walking around at least once every 30 minutes. If you’re a cashier, wait staff or warehouse worker, invest in shoes with good arch support, which helps keep your entire body better aligned. therefore, assisting your back. If needed, wear a specialized brace to help support heavy lifting.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapy is one of the most effective ways for relieving lower back pain. Medical professionals most often urge their patients to try physical therapy before turning to any prescription medications or surgery. Some medications can have long-term health consequences, despite the advantages of delivering temporary pain relief. Invasive procedures carry a big risk of complication and a lengthened recovery time.
Lower back pain PT typically takes the two-pronged approach of using both active and passive physical therapy, unless the therapist has a reason to recommend one over the other specifically for you and your case.
- Passive PT: The application of specialized ice packs and heating pads. The therapist may also use various types of pulsing equipment, which stimulate nerves and release any pain.
- Active PT: The patient will be performing stretches and exercises that build the kind of flexibility and strength needed to both prevent future flare-ups and reduce current pain. Some of these are done under a physical therapist’s supervision, on specialized equipment, while others can be carried out at home after the patient learns the basics.