If You’re Living with Back Pain, Physical Therapy Could be the Solution
There are few more debilitating conditions than persistent pain in your back. Whether the pain is dull or severe, back pain can limit you from performing simple daily tasks that you once enjoyed. While nearly 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, the treatments used to alleviate it are varied.
Unfortunately, many people automatically think that surgery is the best way to relieve back pain. However, since it carries high levels of risk and requires months of recovery, back surgery is not something that should be taken lightly. Fortunately, surgery is not the only way to relieve back pain - and physical therapy could potentially help you avoid it.
How can physical therapy help before surgery?
If you are already planning on undergoing surgery to help relieve back pain, you may already have a recovery plan that includes physical therapy. What you may not know is that physical therapy is also a great way to prepare for surgery.
Not only can it improve your cardiovascular function, but physical therapy can also strengthen the muscles and muscle attachments in areas that will be weakened by a surgical procedure. Even a few sessions with a physical therapist have been shown to reduce the need for additional postoperative care by more than 25 percent. Since most back surgery procedures require a long period of recovery, the idea of cutting it back by a fourth is definitely appealing.
Your physical therapist will evaluate your current condition and level of pain. They will also consult with your surgeon for more information and any imaging tests that may be necessary. Your physical therapist will then develop a treatment plan that will aid in relieving pain and strengthening the body in preparation for surgery.
If you need to use your arms for balance, your physical therapist will also help you strengthen your upper body in preparation for your surgery. If you are in need better core strength to keep your spine structures in place, your physical therapist will work to strengthen your muscles without causing additional damage.
How can physical therapy help with movement?
It is important to remember that a physical therapist is an expert on how the body moves. Everyone has the natural tendency to rest, not to move, when they are in pain. In reality, however, many people who have back pain can benefit from the therapeutic movements of physical therapy.
Physical therapy can help you regain lost movement in your back and legs while simultaneously decreasing your pain levels. Your physical therapist can also show you how to prevent further injury in your daily life by teaching you how to bend, lift, stretch, sit, stand, or walk in ways that will relieve your back pain.
How can physical therapy aid in pain relief?
Many people associate physical therapy with a postoperative treatment plan. While it plays a vital role in helping patients recover once they've been under the knife, it's also acts as an incredible pain relief tool, as well. Your physical therapist can treat acute pain with therapeutic treatment methods, such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and massage.
What most people do not realize, however, is that pain relief often requires strengthening the structures around the injury, not just treating the injury itself. If you are living with back pain, you may need to strengthen your core muscles in your abdomen and legs to help your back find relief. This process is not a quick one, but a physical therapist can show you exercises that are designed to relieve your pain in the long term.
Your course of treatment may include any of the following:
- Stretching and strength building exercises
- Manual therapy and spinal manipulation to improve joint mobility and relieve tissue pain
- Education on how to take better care of your back, such as proper methods of lifting, bending, sitting, and sleep positions
- Hot or cold treatments, or electrical stimulation, for pain relief
- Posture work to provide better support for your back
Get started on a physical therapy treatment plan today
Whether you are considering surgery or have a surgical date planned already, don't hesitate to reach out. Contact Fyzical Provo to schedule a consultation today and get started on the path toward relief!