Many adults frequently complain about having back pain. Lower back pain is very common, and it is caused by muscle strain or any injury. Back pain caused by muscle strain usually subsides with some form of physical activity and exercises. However, back pains can sometimes become more serious if there is any underlying condition. Physiotherapy can help patients with several types of back pain to improve flexibility and manage pain.
Doctors recommend patients with serious back issues to seek physical therapy. Physiotherapy is also needed when patients go through any back related surgery. In this article, we will look at how physiotherapy can help people suffering from various types of back pain.
Do I Need Physiotherapy for Back pain?
Physiotherapy can be useful for people going through any kind of back pain. If you have debilitating back pain that interrupts your daily activities, then it is worth seeing a physiotherapist. Physical therapy can help with various types of back pain such as:
· Non-specific back pain that has no underlying medical condition or injury.
· Sciatica pain: This is the pain that occurs from the back and goes all the way down the legs.
· Back pain caused due to degenerative disc disease.
· Spinal stenosis
Physiotherapy can help in pain management and prevent the pain from getting more severe. It improves movement and mobility and reduces the chances of pain in the future. With physiotherapy there is reduced risk of any injury to the back area. It can also help in the recovery process of any injury and surgery. Physiotherapists can assist you in maintaining a good posture while sitting for long hours so that you don’t strain your back.
If you have consulted a doctor about your back pain, they may recommend you to a physiotherapist or you can book your own appointment as it does not require a doctor’s referral.
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Diagnosis is important
If you have continuous back pain that won’t subside, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis. The doctor can then perform various medical examinations to see if there are any medical conditions causing this pain. After the diagnosis your doctor can recommend a course of treatment which will likely include physical therapy.
How Can Physiotherapy Help with Back Pain?
When you first go to a physiotherapist, they will review your medical history. You will be asked to provide information about any medical diagnosis, medications, and your lifestyle. All this will help them assess your case and decide on a treatment plan for you. Physiotherapists focus on reducing your pain and increasing movement and function of your whole body in case of any injury or illness.
Here are the treatments a physiotherapist will commonly suggest depending on the type of back pain you have.
Active Physical Therapy
This type of physiotherapy focuses on doing certain stretches and exercises to alleviate back pain and remove it from its roots. Movement and exercises have proven useful to reduce pain and improve flexibility. It can not only help restore movement, but also strengthen your back. For people with lower back pain, exercise is the focus of their treatment. A physiotherapist will recommend the exercises that are right for you and help you perform them correctly.
Here are some exercises that a physiotherapist is likely to recommend:
This type of exercise has a lot of movement and increases your heart rate. These are perfect to help you with stiffness and manage your weight. It can be very useful in improving your overall wellbeing. A physiotherapist may suggest low-impact aerobic exercises at the beginning like walking, swimming, and using step machines or exercise bikes. You may be advised to do these exercises for about 30 minutes every day when you get started.
Stretching exercises are important to improve the flexibility of your spine and reduce muscle strain. A physiotherapist will help you do various stretches that can relieve stress from your back.
Core strengthening exercises
These types of exercises can sometimes be a part of your treatment plan. Strengthening exercises help make your core muscles strong. Core muscles include muscles in your abdomen, back and those around the pelvis.
Being active is the focus of this type of physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist will advise you to exercise every day which can help with your back pain. These exercises will be right for the type of pain you have.
Manual therapy is based on skilled ‘hands-on’ therapy to reduce pain and improve mobility. This therapy will be combined with other exercises as part of the treatment. Physiotherapists can use the following manual techniques:
Mobilization: A physiotherapist will use slow and gentle movement to stretch your spine. The focus here is to restore your back to have its normal movements.
Manipulation: This means that a physiotherapist will make quick thrusting movements with their hands at a particular point in your back. It helps to decrease pain and improve flexibility.
Manual therapy can not only reduce pain, but also induce relaxation. It reduces muscle tension and increases mobility.
Physiotherapists will also use heating pad, ice packs and electrical stimulation as part of the treatment when needed. For many people who don’t require emergency surgery, sometimes physiotherapy is first recommended to see if the problem can be solved without surgery.
Physiotherapy can help reduce chances of back problems in the future. If you are going through any type of back pain, it is best to consult a physician first for a proper diagnosis. This can help you rule out any underlying medical conditions or contraindications for physiotherapy like a tumor or fracture. After the completion of physical therapy treatment, patients can follow an active lifestyle and continue exercises to avoid any back related issues in the long-run.
You can book a physiotherapy appointment with us here.