On average, about four out of five people will experience low back pain in their lifetime. Though the condition can be chronic, it is often treatable. If you are currently experiencing low back pain, the symptoms may range from mild to severe. There are a few routes you can take to resolve your condition, and physical therapy is one of these.
What Is Low Back Pain?
Low Back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions, or diseases — most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back.
Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.
Usually, lower back pain gets better with rest, pain relievers, and physical therapy (PT). Cortisone injections and hands-on treatments (like osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation) can relieve pain and help the healing process.
Signs and Symptoms
There are a few symptoms of low back pain that you can look out for when getting a diagnosis. Here are a few of the common symptoms of low back pain:
- Stabbing or shooting pain in the region
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to walk or move
Causes of Low Back Pain
Low back pain can be caused by different kinds of injuries and other underlying conditions.
Strains and sprains: these are the most common cause of low back pain. Strains and sprains affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the low back.
Disk problems: the spinal vertebrae are cushioned by disks. If someone has problems with these disks such as shifting or disks irritating nerves, it can cause low back pain. Disks can also tear which leads to a lot of pain.
Bone fractures: accidents and other types of injuries can lead spinal bones to fracture which can result in a lot of pain in the low back.
Spinal conditions or disease: medical conditions that affect the spine such as spinal stenosis, scoliosis, and arthritis can cause low back pain. There are also some diseases and infections that can lead to low back pain.
Poor posture: constantly sitting or standing in a way that doesn’t provide support to your back, you can develop low back pain as a result.
How to Prevent Low Back Pain
If low back pain is caused by diseases or medical conditions, then surgery or medication may be required. For other causes, here are some prevention tips:
Develop strong abdominal muscles. Physical therapy can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
Practice good posture when lifting heavy items. Lift with your legs not your back and hug the item to your body with a straight torso.
Stay healthy and maintain a balanced weight that doesn’t put too much pressure on your spine.
How can Physical Therapy help with Low Back Pain?
The type and cause of low back pain will determine the extent of physical therapy needed to treat it. Physical therapy practices can range from the application of heat and cold to retraining muscles for better posture.
Stabilization exercises in physical therapy can help people suffering from low back pain find relief. Physical therapy aims to train people to engage with the right muscles to ensure that their spines are supported and protected.
Physical therapists might also employ massaging or mobilization techniques to the affected area to stimulate it and relieve the pain.
If you are dealing with low back pain and want to learn more about how you can be treated, feel free to contact us today!