Is Chronic Back Pain Preventing You from Living Your Life to the Fullest? PT Can Help
Do you feel like you’ve been locked out of your life due to your chronic back pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Approximately 80 percent of Americans have experienced back pain or will experience it in the future.
The nagging, sometimes excruciating sensation of back pain can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions. In some cases, it can progressively grow worse from day to day until your mobility is severely limited.
Chronic back pain is frustrating. It can prevent you from completing your daily tasks and even when you're not engaged in any activity, can make you feel miserable with discomfort.
While it is understandable to crave a quick solution for this issue, “immediate fixes” like prescription drugs provide only temporary relief and can generate more problems than solutions.
And the prospect of undergoing a major surgery can feel intimidating and risky, even if it would mean lessening some of your painful symptoms. The good news is that there is another sustainable and natural option for you: physical therapy.
A skilled physical therapist can identify the source of your pain, and work with you to create a personalized treatment program that doesn't involve drugs or surgery in any way.
Why do I have back pain?
Unfortunately, most people are no strangers to back pain. In fact, an estimated ⅘ of adults experience persistent low back pain at some point. Many instances of back pain are linked to acute injuries including auto accidents, sports accidents, or workplace injuries caused by improper lifting practices.
Common causes of chronic back pain include:
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Chronic muscle strain from an unbalanced posture or weak back muscles
- Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis of the spine
- A narrowing of the spinal canal known as spinal stenosis
- An old back injury that failed to heal properly, leaving you with internal scarring and chronic stiffness
As injuries heal, the pain individual experiences should fade away, and eventually disappear. For example, in pregnancy back pain fades after the baby is born and the body is able to resume its normal weight and spinal alignment.
However, certain types of back pain instead develop into chronic pain. Conditions that do not naturally heal themselves, like spinal arthritis, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis can leave you in constant or recurring pain.
Repetitive motion injuries and soft tissue strain can also cause chronic back pain. Weak back muscles that do not support a healthy posture, poor workplace or sports ergonomics, and musculoskeletal irregularities such as fallen arches can also permit a state of misery in your upper or lower back.
The drawbacks of prescription medication and surgeries
Have you been dreading treating your chronic back pain more than you hate the pain itself? Many people who experience back pain share this valid concern. Prescription painkillers, a common treatment for chronic pain, can create long-term complications or even lead to addiction.
The prospect of undergoing a major spinal surgery can be incredibly intimidating as well. For example, spinal fusion, a common procedure used to treat fractures, deformities, or instability in the spine is a very invasive surgery that sometimes produces mixed results.
According to Mayo Clinic, “spinal fusion is no more effective than nonsurgical treatments for nonspecific back pain” when the underlying cause of a patient’s back pain is unclear.
The pain-relieving potential of physical therapy
Chronic back pain refers to pain that lasts more than three months. It is a progressive type of pain that gradually worsens with time and can prevent you from completing basic daily activities. Sometimes the specific reason for back pain is very difficult to determine.
The most effective strategy for combating chronic back pain is to simply help your back return to its normal function - and the smartest way to do that is through physical therapy.
Whether your back pain stems from a degenerative condition or strained muscles, our physical therapists can confirm the cause of your upper or lower back pain and build a specialized treatment plan for you.
You may benefit from a PT program that includes the following therapies:
- Chiropractic adjustments to normalize your spinal alignment and improve spinal joint function
- Lifestyle changes to prevent unnecessary strain due to awkward workplace or sports ergonomics
- Alternating cryotherapy and heat therapy to relieve tissue pain and inflammation
- Cold laser therapy and/or massage therapy to soothe, warm, and relax tight muscles and connective tissues
- Orthotics to compensate for foot or leg imbalances that are straining your muscles
- Stabilization exercises to help keep your spinal components in place as you perform everyday tasks (from sitting in a chair to getting out of bed)
- Strengthening exercises to help you enjoy better spinal support and maintain a straighter posture
- Flexibility exercises to gently and carefully extend your pain-free range of back motion
Find relief today and take your life back
Are you ready to gain control over your chronic back pain with the help of our licensed therapists? Contact FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers of Provo, UT today!