Back pain physical therapy

You may be surprised to learn that back pain is common — millions of people around the world experience back pain that interferes with their work, daily activities or leisure time.

For some, acute back pain disappears in a few days or weeks while others experience chronic back pain for months or longer. The causes of back pain vary from person to person, but the most common causes include:

  • Muscle, ligament or tendon strain
  • Pinched nerves
  • Disc bulging or herniation
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs

Physical therapy benefits

If you are experiencing any form of back pain, you should contact a physician. The physician can diagnose the cause of your pain and prescribe conservative treatments, which may include anti-inflammatory medications combined with physical therapy. Physical therapy aims to reduce pain, increase mobility and strengthen back muscles to prevent reinjuring the area.

Physical therapists may use two forms of therapy to reach these goals: passive and active. Passive therapies like hot and cold therapy and pain medication work to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and muscle spasms. Active physical therapy helps your back by incorporating stretching and strengthening exercises, low-impact aerobics or chiropractic treatment.

Physical therapy for back pain can be effective in relieving acute or chronic back pain symptoms like:

  • Persistent aching along the spine
  • Sharp pain in the neck, upper back or lower back
  • Radiating pain that travels from the lower back to the buttock and down the thigh (sciatica)
  • Severe chronic back pain and muscle spasms
  • Numbness, tingling and weakness in the extremities

Following recovery, physical therapy may be used to prevent neck or back pain from returning.

Minimally invasive treatments

You may require more than physical therapy if your back pain progresses or if you have a severe degenerative spine condition. If conservative, nonsurgical treatments have not relieved your back pain, your physician may recommend surgery.

Before you undergo a highly invasive open back surgery, consider minimally invasive spine surgery from Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures that hold many advantages over traditional open spine surgery. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with a small incision that often leads to a shorter recovery time.^

Contact us to see if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures and for your no-cost MRI review.*