Back pain is one of the most common ailments among American adults. It is also a leading cause of missed time from work and visits to the doctor. One way to help relieve the discomfort and loss of range of motion caused by back pain is to start physical therapy. Consider these ways how can physical therapy help back pain so that a person could return to the activities that he or she enjoys.
Passive Physical Therapy Treatments
Passive physical therapy treatments are performed by the therapist on the part of the body that hurts. One example is ultrasound therapy. This type of therapy uses sound wave vibrations to relax contracted muscles. Another type of passive physical therapy is a transcutaneous electronic stimulation unit. This uses small electrodes attached to the back. The electrodes stimulate the nerves, causing them to stop sending pain signals to the brain. Deep tissue massage is another relaxing form of passive physical therapy for reducing back pain.
Active Physical Therapy Treatments
There are many exercises that help to reduce back pain. In order to get the right form and not cause a new injury, it is best to work with a physical therapist. Physical therapists guides a patient through the proper way to stretch, bend and turn. This strengthens the core muscles that are attached to the spine. As the core of the body gets stronger, the back pain is lessened.
Ergonomic and Posture Instruction
A big part of physical therapy is learning about the ideal way to do things so that the body is supported instead of strained. During physical therapy sessions, a person can learn how to use proper posture when seated at a computer or when sitting in a car to drive. Physical therapists also help people with the ergonomics of everyday activities, such as taking a shower or getting dressed. These activities are designed to reduce the risk of a new back injury and to help heal the soft tissues that support the spine.
Recovery After an Injury or Surgery
Pulling a muscle, getting into a car accident or having back surgery could all lead to back pain. In considering how can physical therapy help back pain, one of the leading ways is in helping with the recovery after an injury or surgical procedure. A physical therapist helps a person ease back into activity. One way is through dynamic stabilization of the body. Another way is with proper stretching techniques that help to warm up the muscles and get them ready for a more vigorous activity.
Instruction on Caring for the Spine
Physical therapists offer guidance on how a person can avoid putting too much pressure on the lower back. By taking some of the pressure of the discs in the back, a person may find considerable relief from his or her pain. Techniques such as alternating activities, exercising in the water and doing specific exercises are all methods that physical therapists can teach to their patients for pain reduction.