Physical Therapy Treatment Guide to Lower Back Pain

What Is Lower Back Pain?

Have you ever suffered from lower back pain? While the pain may vary from a mild, dull ache in the lower back to a severely restricting pain, it has happened. Recent studies prove that 8 out of 10 individuals worldwide suffer from lower back pain at least once during their lifetime. It also happens to be one of the most common reasons for absenteeism from work.

You may feel the pain around the back extending down the hips, sometimes even to your legs.  It may stop you from performing activities of daily living that involve bending, lifting, twisting, or continuous actions. Often, the pain is accompanied by numbness and tingling in either or both legs and, in severe cases, loss of strength or sensation in the lower limbs. Back pain often limits people’s ability to work and may even lead to depression.

What are the Causes of Lower Back pain?

Pain in the lower back occurs because of multiple reasons. A recent injury to one of the back structures may result from sudden heavy lifting, twisting, or bending. A chronic injury happens time and again due to repetitive activities that strain the structures in the back. The intensity and severity of low backache depend on the injury mode and the damage's extent.

Sometimes back pain may also occur due to other medical conditions such as infection, malignancy, inflammatory diseases, arthritis, or pregnancy-related backache. A preliminary physical examination by your doctor will help them understand the possible causes of your lower back pain.

What happens during Lower Back Pain?

Your spine is made to withstand all the stresses of your day-to-day activities. The bones, the joints, the muscles, the ligaments, the tendons, and the intervertebral discs all work together to support your body and allow it to move the way you need it to. A sudden strain or injury on any of these structures compromises their ability to support and allow movement.

Knowing which structures are responsible for your pain is crucial for effective relief from lower back pain. The first step of diagnosis is a physical examination by a clinician, an orthopedic, or a physical therapist for back pain. Physiotherapy for back pain preliminary examination will help your doctor identify the best course of treatment for you. Once your doctor finishes the physical evaluation, they may suggest further diagnostic investigation to aid your treatment.

Physical Therapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

A physical therapist for back pain diagnoses your lower back pain and suggests a personalized treatment approach that gives you satisfactory relief from lower back pain. Since back pain has a high chance of recurrence, physio for lower back pain helps you maintain a pain-free lifestyle and prevent possible recurrences in the future. The first step is ensuring you are aware of what back pain is, your treatment options, and how to get treatment.

The focus of physical therapy for back pain is to bring relief from pain, improve your ability to perform day-to-day activities, correct your posture, and prevent the recurrence of back pain. Since back pain requires a multi-faceted treatment approach, physiotherapy for back pain engages a combination of treatment methods. The treatment is personalized to you to get a good reprieve from the pain. Here is how a physical therapist for back pain helps in relieving lower back pain:

Machine-based Therapy

a physical therapist for back pain engages machines like Interferential therapy (IFT), Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and ultrasound therapy to reduce pain. Each machine is uniquely adept at targeting the structures causing back pain. They are effective in reducing pain and inflammation.

LASER Therapy

LASER therapy uses a specific wavelength of energy to reduce back pain and begin the healing process. It reduces muscle spasms in the back and stimulates regeneration of the structures in the back. It also improves blood circulation around the injured area, accelerating healing.

Chiropractic for Back Pain

Chiropractic treatment for lower back pain uses spinal manipulation and mobilization for the treatment of back pain. Chiropractic treatment helps restore the range of motion at the joints in the back and improves their function. Chiropractic treatment for lower back pain also helps reduce nerve irritability and improve the movement of soft tissues around the spine.

Decompression Therapy

Decompression therapy helps reduce the pressure from the spine, particularly the intervertebral discs. It is a motorized decompression that reduces the stress over the spinal structures. Physiotherapy for back pain allows the structures to heal and improves the exchange of nutrients at the injury site. 

Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Exercises are selectively prescribed for you to relieve pain. They reduce stress from the structures in your back. Nerve exercises help reduce tension and reduce radiating pain. Progressive strengthening exercises increase the strength and endurance of gliding muscles around the spine.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics helps in ensuring you don’t strain your back during routine activities. Lifestyle modification to improve how you sit, stand, walk, bend, and work improves your function. They also help prevent recurrence and help maintain the relief you receive from the back pain treatment.

Conclusion

The duration and intensity of physical therapy and chiropractic treatment for lower back pain vary from person to person and are prescribed according to your needs and lifestyle requirements. Physical therapy also helps people (suffering from back pain) with higher physical demands, like athletes or people with highly active lifestyles. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long will physiotherapy for back pain take?

Physical therapy for four weeks is usually suggested as an initial conservative (nonsurgical) treatment choice for patients with the most common low back pain conditions before they explore alternative, more invasive treatments, such as back surgery.

  1. What does a chiropractor do for lower back pain?

Chiropractic treatment for lower back pain helps to align the body better, relieve discomfort, and regain joint or spinal motion. The term for this is the spinal adjustment. Recent studies have shown that it is safer and equally effective in relieving pain and discomfort as drugs and surgery.