Using physical therapy as a form of annular tear treatment

When used as part of a multidimensional annular tear treatment plan, physical therapy can provide a number of benefits. Many people who participate in physical therapy are able to improve their flexibility, strengthen the muscles that support their spines and alleviate some of the pain that they experience as a result of the condition. Physical therapists can also provide individualized strategies for making day-to-day activities easier when dealing with pain and other physical limitations.

What physical therapy typically involves

Physical therapy is typically tailored to the unique needs of the patient. This means that the techniques and exercises can change from person to person and even from session to session. However, some of the most common approaches include:

  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Stability and flexibility exercises
  • Manual adjustments

Other types of annular tear treatment to use with physical therapy

Physical therapy tends to be most effective when it is combined with other conservative annular tear treatment options, such as anti-inflammatory medications and lifestyle modifications. Some people also choose to use complementary and alternative therapies, such as yoga and chiropractic adjustments, to enhance the results of their physical therapy plan.

While physical therapy is very helpful for many individuals, it cannot “treat” an annular tear in the sense of repairing damage to the spine or alleviating any associated nerve root compression. Because nerve root compression is typically responsible for the pain, muscle weakness, tingling sensations and numbness associated with an annular tear, directly addressing the compression with surgery may be necessary if nonsurgical treatments don’t provide adequate symptom relief.

When it comes to annular tear surgery, there are several options. Traditional procedures generally involve large incisions and long recovery times. However, some individuals may be able to consider a minimally invasive procedure as an alternative.

At Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive outpatient surgery for individuals who have not achieved the desired results from physical therapy, medications and other forms of nonsurgical annular tear treatment. To find out if you’re a candidate, contact us today.