If you suffer from low back pain, you should be aware of the fact that physical therapy is a highly effective treatment option. According to statistics, approximately 80% of all adults will suffer from some degree of pain in their lower back region at one point or another in their lifetime. This physical problem is to blame for job-related disabilities and one of the leading contributors to absenteeism from work.
There are many potential causes of this type of pain. The area where the pain occurs includes a comprehensive network of muscles, a variety of nerves, many different bones, as well as an assortment of discs and/or tendons.
Any type of irritation or complication with any of these structural components may lead the onset of lower back pain. If you are seeking true relief from pain that you experience in the lower back, you should consider pursuing physical therapy as treatment for the issue.
How Physical Therapy Helps Back Pain Sufferers
Ultimately, the goal of physical therapy by a lower back pain specialist is to decrease the pain that is experienced, optimize the functionality of the back, and educate patients on how to prevent future complications with back pain.
Unlike medications, physical therapy does not mask or cover up the pain for short amounts of time. Instead, it is designed to assist with long-term relief. In fact, most medical doctors will refer a patient to a physical therapist for assistance prior to committing to treatments that are considered to be more aggressive, such as surgery.
Forms of Physical Therapy
If you suffer from lower back pain, you should know that there are two common forms of physical therapy that you may engage in when it comes to treating your issue. The first is referred to as “Passive Physical Therapy” and the second is referred to as “Active Physical Therapy”. A general explanation of these forms of physical therapy is outlined below:
- Passive-based physical therapy includes activities that may be performed on a patient that is experiencing lower back pain. These include the application of heat, the application of ice, and/or electrical-based stimulation to the affected area.
- Active physical therapy is a treatment that is designed to focus on certain types of stretches and exercises. For those that have low back pain, active physical therapy is the top-rated choice among physical therapists. It is believed that the exercises hold the highest level of benefits for patients.
The lower back, which is also identified as the “lumbar spine”, requires stability. This level of stability is almost nearly dependent on the lower back musculature and the muscles of the abdominal cavity. Each of the bones and discs within the area is completely surrounded by a large number of muscles. If these muscles are worked and become strong, there is far less stress placed on the discs and the numerous joints that are part of the spine.
By engaging in physical therapy, these muscles are enhanced and strengthened, thus, providing a high level of lower back support.