Those who suffer from lower back pain know just how much it can impact so many aspects of life. It can keep you from participating in the activities you enjoy, and can even prevent you from keeping up with everyday tasks. If you are dealing with this life-changing condition, you are likely trying to find some form of relief. Here is how physical therapy can treat your lower back pain and help you get back to the life you love.
At Next Level, our doctors of physical therapy have helped individuals and athletes recover from lower back pain using a comprehensive approach, including physical therapy, athletic training, and massage therapy. Schedule an evaluation at (661)383-9828 to take the first step toward feeling better.
Common symptoms of lower back pain include the following:
Sudden awkward movement or excessive or heavy lifting can strain muscles and ligaments in the back. Chronic or untreated muscle or ligament strain can cause painful, debilitating muscle spasms.
Discs provide cushioning between your vertebrae. The soft material inside a disc can press on a nerve when it slips, bulges, or ruptures.
Osteoarthritis often affects the lower back. When arthritis is in the spine, it can cause the space around the spinal cord to narrow, a condition called spinal stenosis.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition that causes the spine’s vertebrae to become fragile and brittle, ultimately leading to painful breaks and fractures.
Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, resulting in pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. The condition is caused by bone spurs, disc degeneration, or the thickening of a nearby ligament.
Your spine has a natural “S” shape, with your upper back curving backward and your lower back curving forward. Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that results in a sideways curve when viewed from behind. This unnatural curvature can result in lower back discomfort.
Physical therapy is a comprehensive treatment approach that focuses on strength, flexibility, and endurance. Your physical therapist will create a unique program suitable to your needs and limitations. Throughout the course of treatment, they will also show you the proper exercise techniques so you can perform the treatments on your own. Physical therapy includes but is not limited to the following:
Strong core muscles help you maintain balance, avoid unnatural movements, and prevent muscle and ligament strain. Core-strengthening exercises build strength and endurance and allow your body to transfer force through your muscles instead of your spine, significantly reducing your risk for lower back pain.
Core-strengthening exercises include the planks, crunches, bridges, and bird dog.
Stretching encourages your body to activate and strengthen weak muscles, which can help relieve pain in the lower back. Stretching exercises can also help to minimize and prevent spasms and stiffness in the back and greatly reduce sciatica pain.
Stretching exercises include the knee-to-chest stretch, piriformis stretch, child’s pose, pelvic tilt, and seated spinal twist.
Not only does aerobic exercise support heart health, but it also heals the muscles in your spine. Cardiovascular exercise increases your heart rate, improving circulation, cellular oxygen levels, and energy production in your tissues - all of which help your spinal muscles become less stiff.
Cardiovascular exercise includes walking, swimming, biking, and training on an elliptical.
Good posture minimizes strain and maintains a balance between the muscles and bones. Poor posture can result from pain or poor ergonomics at home or work - or can simply be caused by bad habits. Bad posture can limit the movement of the spinal muscles and tendons, making even simple movements painful and challenging.
Posture training exercises help stabilize the spine by stretching and strengthening the back and abdominal muscles. Some common posture exercises include abdominal strengthening, calf stretching, seated squats, and pelvic tilts.
Lower back pain can cause you to miss work and leave you unable to participate in physical activity. But you don’t have to live with the discomfort and limitations associated with back pain. Physical therapy, athletic training, and massage therapy can help you recover from the pain, get back to work, and enjoy life to its fullest.
If you are suffering from lower back pain, Next Level Physical Therapy can help. Our doctors of physical therapy will come up with a multidisciplinary treatment plan to overcome the life-changing effects that come with chronic back pain. Take the first step to a better quality of life by contacting our team of experts. Call (661)383-9828 today to schedule an evaluation.