Fight Chronic Back Pain with Physical Therapy

Back Injuries, Physical Therapy


Looking for a way to stop your chronic back pain in its tracks? Try physical therapy.

Practically everyone experiences back pain of some kind at one time or another. This pain can be temporary, resulting from an injury or an improper movement, or it can be chronic, which is defined as persistent back pain lasting three or more months. The Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University estimates that 16 million Americans suffer from chronic back pain, making it a far more common problem than many may realize.

Chronic back pain doesn’t just have a physical toll, it can also take a significant psychological toll. Thankfully, you can fight chronic back pain with physical therapy. Read on to learn more about chronic back pain and how physical therapy can improve your pain.

What’s causing your back pain

Back pain can result from an injury, a degenerative condition such as arthritis or spinal stenosis,  or a repetitive motion that stresses the muscles and connective tissues of the back. When it comes to chronic back pain, herniated discs and congenital defects, such as scoliosis, are common culprits.

In order to properly treat your back pain, it’s important to first understand what’s causing it. An orthopedist can diagnose your pain and determine the best path forward. Surgery is rarely the first line of treatment for back pain. Spinal surgery is a serious, invasive operation and doctors will avoid it at all costs. Instead, they will typically recommend starting with conservative treatment with physical therapy given its proven impact when it comes to reducing back pain.

The five benefits of physical therapy in treating chronic back pain

Physical therapy is highly effective when it comes to reducing chronic back pain. It can help you:

Improve your posture. You may not realize it, but poor posture may be at the root of your back pain. Constantly slouching for long periods strains the core muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, and back, leading to an aching back. A physical therapist will work with you to improve your posture and strengthen the muscles around your spine with exercises and lifestyle changes. Once you’re standing up straight, not only will your posture be better, but you’ll experience less back pain.

Boost mobility. When your back hurts, you may avoid certain motions or activities that could cause additional pain or strain. This can severely curtail your ability to move freely and make it difficult to do your everyday activities at work and home. A physical therapist can show you how to accomplish everyday tasks while lessening the stress on your back. With physical therapy, you’ll increase your mobility and regain some of your confidence and freedom.

Reduce reliance on pain medications. While muscle relaxants, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory drugs are often used to control pain, they are not intended for long-term use due to the side effects. Physical therapy is a natural way to reduce your pain and, in turn, reduce your reliance on pain medications to live a pain-free life.

Avoid surgery. As mentioned earlier, spinal surgery is the last resort for curing back pain, which is why your orthopedist should always prescribe a physical therapy program before surgery is even considered. When a course of physical therapy is followed successfully, it also allows patients to avoid surgery altogether!

Explore alternative therapies. While physical therapists mostly focus on physical exercises (as their name implies), they can also work with you to explore other approaches to treat your back pain. Biofeedback, electrical nerve stimulation, and massage are all other techniques that have proven successful in reducing chronic back pain. Talk to your therapist about these therapies if you want to try an additional approach to reducing your back pain.

Tackle your chronic back pain today!

Chronic back pain can severely impact your quality of life. Luckily, physical therapy is a great, non-surgical way to reduce that pain. At All Sports Physical Therapy our physical therapists have the expertise to reduce your pain and get you back to living your best life. Contact our office today for a consultation.

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