Low back pain physical therapy

For many people who are dealing with chronic low back pain, physical therapy can be an effective noninvasive method of pain relief. Whether you have been recommended for physical therapy and have questions or you are exploring potential treatment options on your own, we hope the following information can give you a better understanding of how this method can be part of an effective treatment plan.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a rehabilitation program designed to help people maintain mobility and functionality so they can have the best possible quality of life. It can treat a wide variety of health problems, from traumatic injury to disease to natural aging, and it also encompasses a wide variety of subspecialties, including pediatrics, geriatrics and orthopedics.

If you have lower back pain and your physician has diagnosed you with a spine condition such as a herniated disc, bulging disc, spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis or a bone spur, you will most likely want to see a physical therapist who specializes in orthopedics. The goal of physical therapy for most spine conditions is to improve mobility and potentially relieve pain by performing exercises to strengthen surrounding muscles and take pressure off of the spine.

Examples of physical therapy exercises

Types of exercises that may be recommended during a physical therapy session to achieve low back pain relief include:

  • Wall squats. Stand with your back flat against a wall; walk your feet out about 10 inches; slowly bend both knees, hold for several seconds, and then slowly bring yourself back to an upright position.
  • Heel slides. Lie flat on your back; slowly bend one leg at a time by sliding your heel along the floor up toward the knee of the opposite leg; repeat 10 to 15 times.
  • Stabilization maneuvers. If you have access to a large aerobic ball, lie down flat on the floor and hook one leg over the ball; slowly raise the other leg and the opposite arm; lower both, then repeat 10 times on each side.

If you have lower back pain, these exercises should only be performed with the supervision of a qualified professional, such as a physical therapist or doctor.

Other treatment options

If you find that your low back pain is not improving despite fully exploring treatment options such as physical therapy, spinal injections or massage, you may be recommended to consider a surgical procedure.

At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures offering our patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication.^ Contact us today for more information.

We’ll be happy to help you receive a free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.