If you suffer from low back pain that lasts longer than a couple of weeks, your
doctor will probably refer you to a physical therapist. While simple measures such
as applying heat or ice or using over-the-counter pain remedies may help, the
best approach for most back pain is exercises and other treatments under the
guidance of a physical therapist. When you come in for your evaluation, we are
first and foremost going to determine what kind of back pain you are suffering
from. Is it acute or chronic, and what is the reason for the pain? We will do tests
to decide which category of treatment will work best for you.
Treatment Category #1:
If your problem stems from pressure on a nerve from a disc bulge or spinal
stenosis, a repeated movement program may help. With these conditions, pain
often travels down the leg and there may be numbness, tingling, and weakness.
Sometimes the leg pain may be worse than the back pain. We can minimize the
pain in the leg with one of two types of motions. If pain is worse with bending
forward, movements that involved bending backwards may help relieve pressure
on the nerve. If pain is less with bending forward, which is common with spinal
stenosis, the second motion involves forward-bending movements to open up
the area of pressure on the spine.
Treatment Category #2:
The second treatment category option is a stabilization program. This program is
suited for people who move their spines in ways that deviate from normal or have
pain with certain motions, such as rolling over in bed or getting up from a chair.
They usually have this pain because they have weakness in the deep muscles
of the abdomen. People with back pain often have a difficult time engaging the
correct muscles. When the deep spinal muscles weaken, the other surrounding
muscles become overly tight as they try to stabilize the spine. However, that is
not their role, and pain and tightness will often develop due to that. Our physical
therapists can teach you how to use the correct abdominal and spinal muscles.
Treatment Category #3:
For people with stiffness in the spine, our physical therapists might do
mobilizations. Stiffness may result from a variety of causes, such as osteoarthritis.
It is a passive mechanical approach that aims to move joints and their surrounding
tissues. The goal of this treatment is to reduce pain and stiffness while restoring
correct alignment and function.
While there may be three categories of low back pain, we do have crossover. We
may start a patient on a mobilization program, but then we may add stabilizations
activities. In addition to our hands-on and therapeutic exercise treatments, you
may also use our Lightforce Class IV Deep Tissue Laser to help manage your
pain. Our Class IV Laser provides lasting relief from both inflammation in the
body and the pain normally produced by the condition, through a process called
photobiomodulation. The photons are sent through the tissue to interact with
your body at a cellular level. The metabolism of the cells is accelerated, which
reduces inflammation. The reduction of inflammation also decreases pain,
so both benefits are experienced simultaneously. We are now offering free trials
with our Class IV Laser. Give us a call to schedule a free trial!