If your back pain is causing significant problems or does not improve after a few weeks, you should see a physical therapist. Physical therapy for back and knee pain can be best handled by RPM Woodlands Physical Therapy Services. Physiotherapy is beneficial, for example, in the following cases of back pain:
- Non-specific back pain: is back pain in which a specific cause has not been identified (such as injury, infection, herniated disc, etc.)
- Sciatic pain: It extends from the back to the legs and can even reach the foot. It can be caused by a prolapsed or herniated disc and the tension of the pyramidal muscle. Disc prolapse occurs when the disc bulges and presses on a nerve.
- Back pain is caused by the aging or wear of the discs in your spine (degenerative disc disease).
- Spinal stenosis: This is when the space around the spinal cord narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord.
Treatments For Back Pain
Active Therapy, Rehabilitation
Active therapies are exercises and movements that you do yourself. They are always an essential part of any treatment. In general, staying active in any way is the best way to fight back pain. Exercises can help improve flexibility, mobility, and strength in the lower back. Your physical therapist will advise you exactly which exercises are right for you and how to perform them. Below we have included an overview of the different types of exercise that you are likely to encounter.
- Aerobic exercise: These are resistance exercises, which increase your heart rate and your exercise tolerance. It is an essential part of any treatment program. Exercise helps a lot to relax rigidities. It will also help you control your weight and improve your well-being. Your physical therapist will likely recommend low-impact aerobic exercises to start with; these include walking, swimming, and riding a stationary bike and treadmills. In general, you will be advised to do aerobic exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, up to 5 times a week. But the usual thing is that you start with 10 minutes 2-3 times a week in the beginning.
- Stretching exercises: The aim is to improve the flexibility of the spine and reduce any muscle tension. Your physical therapist will likely ask you to stretch every day.
- Strengthening exercises: Exercises that aim to strengthen the deep and core muscles can sometimes be part of exercise programs for back pain. Among others, the muscles that tend to be strengthened in low back pain are the abdominal muscles, the back muscles, and those of the pelvis.
Your physical therapist may also suggest that you try one of the following manual (“hands-on”) techniques. Usually, manual therapy is combined with an exercise program.
- Mobilization In mobilization, your physical therapist will use slow, gentle movements to stretch your spine. Your goal is to return your back to your normal range of motion.
- In manipulation, your physical therapist will perform a faster-pushing action with his hands at a particular point on your spine. You may hear a ‘pop’ sound when they do this.
- Massage therapy and Jones technique
- Dry needling